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Lizardfolk

Kydeem de'Morcaine's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,710 posts (9,791 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 9 Pathfinder Society characters. 15 aliases.


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DM_Blake wrote:

...

Or for more fun, make auto-tourettes that magically hurl invective and insults at passers-by...

BAZINGA!!!

I so have to do this!


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Jiggy wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:
It is a system flaw to my personal point of view

My point is that this is an oxymoron.

That's why people react to you stating that there's something wrong with XYZ and you find yourself having to repeat the "just me personally" bit: there can't be something wrong with the system to just you personally, so when you say both, only one gets believed.

If you had just said "I prefer if everything remains realistic unless given a clear and specific exception", then you wouldn't have gotten the replies you did. Since you instead said "If things that aren't given a clear exception don't remain realistic, then the system is flawed and illogical and inconsistent and nonsensical... but, you know, just personally", well, people looked at the content instead of the disclaimer.

So, again: there's no such thing as "the system is flawed to me personally". Pick which one you want to stand by and say only that.

Uhmm. No that isn't an oxymoron. Yes, something can have a flaw from my point of view and not from another's.

There are certain things I would look for in a RPG game. In engineering/design terms that would probably be called the system requirements. If it doesn't meet all those system requirements, then it is flawed with respect to me and my requirements.
A different person will most likely have a different list of things he looks for in a game. A different set of system requirements. If it meets all of his requirements, it is not flawed with respect to him and his requirements.

But that's really kinda beside the point. I don't think it is possible to make any system that is absolutely perfect with respect to anyone. Every system has flaws, it is a matter of which set of flaws bother you the least in conjunction with which set of positive features are you most satisfied.

For the most part, I am rather well satisfied with PF and with the way it is played by the majority of people that I have met. Doesn't mean I think it is perfect.


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I don't have a problem with 'fantastical' things EXCEPT when it is so bizarre it interrupts my suspension of disbelief.

If you insist that something is non-magical, yet it is clearly not possible... Well let's just say that it is jarring to my OCD Engineering Mind.

There was some build a while back that had a gunslinger firing-reloading-firing 10 shots (I think) round after round. With no magic involved. Ok, that jumps out at me.
People without magic just don't move that fast. Besides, if you try to ram a muzzle loader that quick, I'm pretty sure either the friction with the barrel or the impact at the bottom of the barrel will set off the black powder. If nothing else the barrel will quickly get so hot that mere contact with the barrel would ignite black powder.
It doesn't make sense even in your fantasy world and that bugs me.
Now if you say something like A gunslinger begins to get the notice of the X god who is impressed and grants Y power... Ok, you have an in game justification for it that works within the physical universe set up for your game.

I once was in a group that all jumped off a cliff (several hundred foot high). One was in in full plate armor. They reasoned that the falling damage and resources expended would be less than what they would need to get down the possibly trapped/guarded path. Plus they were in a hurry to accomplish more that session. No magic involved.
They should have had splintered bones, been buried into the ground, gear bent/mashed, etc... Nope, nothing but a click stick afterward.
If you have something in your setting that says after killing 14k magical enemies even a swordsman begins to absorb some of their magical power and can now do Z...
But without it, it doesn't make sense even within your fantasy game.

Yes, I know there are people that are not bothered by that kind of thing. Their suspension of disbelief is nearly infinite. It doesn't matter if it makes sense or is logically inconsistent.
But there are some like me who are bothered by it.


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RDM42 wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:
thejeff wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:

I love it all, combat, RP, building characters, political intrigue, skill challenges...

Except mazes and puzzles. F*** that mess. Let me roll an int check and move on, my 23 int wizard should be able to solve that if I'm too dumb for it.

That much I agree with.

Oh Lordy yes! I am not that great at puzzles most of the time. I really can't understand the point of them either. Yes, I know they are a staple of certain types of fiction. I never understood their inclusion there either. It always seemed like poor storytelling to me.

"Gosh I can't figure out a reason why everyone else didn't kill the monster before this guy showed up. Guess I'll throw another puzzle in there, that's always good to make people miss the hole in the plot."

Riddles are a staple of myths in the real world going back a very, very, VERY long time.

That's what I said. I know they are a staple in certain types of fiction. But it almost always seems like a very poor plot device in all those old ones as well. Even more so when you assume magic is available.

Why would the evil mastermind put a puzzle, maze, or riddle controlling his secret escape route? That would just slow him down trying to escape. Especially when you consider he could just use magic that identifies and only opens for him. No puzzle necessary.

Ok, your secret escape tunnel has a set of levers to pull in the correct order or 'dead,' so why would you put a set of levers on the outside coming in? You can walk into your fortress through the front door. If you want to make a stealthy entrance, again there is magic you can use without weakening your security.

Ok, so you have a set of levers on the outside coming in. Why make there be any logical order? It is the key to your whole security. Maybe it would be smarter to make it random and just memorize it.

Ok, you've got the levers and there is a logical order. If someone uses the wrong order, why have it shoot a dart that just might inconvenience someone's great grandmother? It wouldn't even stop a cookie selling girl scout (some of them are damn tenacious).

Yes, occasionally there is an actual reasoning behind them. Like the Egyptian pyramids conglomeration of traps. Their religion has them being buried with riches, can't let others steal them, but they also don't want to be trapped in there forever. AND they don't have magic to take care of it.

And occasionally you could have some sort of DR Evil that likes to watch the helpless scurry through the death maze. But that particular brand of insanity should be pretty rare (rather than every other bad guy).

Yes, they are a staple. That doesn't mean it makes any sense.


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Rynjin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
I have never seen a PC character that was "an obvious liability". So what if my PC isn't DPR maximized?
I've seen a few. A caster Druid with 13 Wis, for one. For 7 levels he accomplished jack and all, and provided little of value to the party. Then he quit playing.

I've also seen a few. It was me once. (A particular specialized build just didn't work as well as I expected.)

An incidentally unoptimized character or two in the group doesn't bother me all that much. If it contributes halfway decently both in and out of combat, that is enough for me.
But I've seen a very few that were intentionally ineffective. For whatever reason it doesn't contribute and actually endangers the other characters for no real reason. That usually does annoy me.

However, it annoys me just as much when someone intentionally and knowingly optimizes for combat to a significantly greater extent than the rest of the group. If the GM tries to challenge that PC, Everyone else is unlikely to survive.
.
.

Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:

...

I love optimization. I prefer to have a character that can dominate encounters and then hold back until there's an emergency. This has saved my party on a couple of occasions. ...

You ever played a team sport with a much better athelete who didn't really try and just putzed around, just waiting for you to be losing so he could 'save the day' and be the only hero? Did you enjoy that game? Most people don't. It is insulting and belittling.

But a powerful character that does work hard, puts extreme effort into helping the others, and that helps make it a team victory? That is greatly appreciated.


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gnoams wrote:

...

So the two survivors come back to the lodge to report. The dwarf tells their venture captain that he did all he could to save the necromancer, but the cleric stood there and watched their fellow pathfinder die. The society tells the cleric they can no longer work with them if they cannot be relied upon to cooperate with all their fellow pathfinders. Cleric is fired, character is reported as dead.
Of course, the GM should make it clear to the cleric player as the necromancer lies dying that they will be booted from the society for their inaction. The society is a neutral organization, they care not about the morality or religion of their members, only that they work together. Anyone who breeches these three tenants, explore, report, cooperate, is not going to remain a pfs agent.

Only if you are going to go the other way also.

The inquisitor healed the necromancer. The 3 survivors head back and report to the VC.
The VC tells the necromancer he can not be relied on to cooperate with all their fellow pathfinders. You agreed not create undead, then did so in direct violation of the that agreement, just because you thought it would be amusing. The necromancer is fired, character is reported as dead.
Of course, the GM should make it clear to the necromancer player as the he is getting ready to create a zombie that they will be booted from the society for their action. The society is a neutral organization, they care not about the morality or religion of their members, only that they work together. Anyone who breeches these three tenants, explore, report, cooperate, is not going to remain a pfs agent.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

...

My father used to be a shop steward (a union representative), one of about six shop stewards where he used to work. He was particularly successful in negotiating with management and getting the workers a good deal.

One day, he went into work to find that the others were having a shop stewards meeting without him. When he asked why, he was told that the meeting was about him. They thought he was too good at his job, and thought that this was suspicious.

In reply, my father got out a small book. "This is my Shop Stewards Handbook. I've got one, each of you has one, and they each say...

off topic:

Part of this was possibly a mentality state at many union shops held by many union stewards. No one at any level in any job was supposed to do anything better than the worst person in a similar position. In fact if you could keep your job and perform worse, that was what you were supposed to do so everyone could get away with doing less.

Teamsters and UAW were particularly vehement on this. I was threatened with physical violence and ultimately lost my job because I actually did the job the way I was told by the folks that hired me. Turned out 25 pieces an hour was easily doable by anyone walking in off the street with zero experience, even though the union had been claiming 18 an hour was the best possible my experienced workers.

Luckily, I don't think many unions have that much power in recent years.

No, I am not an anti-union crusader. Unions (or at least the realistic threat of unions) are very much necessary. If they didn't exist, management very clearly would revert right back to the abusive bad old days of doing whatever they could get away with.
But for a while, some unions simply had too much power and didn't care that they were doing much more harm than good.

Liberty's Edge

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Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Andrew Roberts wrote:
My PFS Lavode De'Morcaine wrote:
I certainly don't push them on anyone. We have had some difficulty a couple of times explaining the animal companion, TWF, oversized weapon, firearm rules to complete newbies before.

Just pointing out that, incidentally enough, all of those rules areas have a PFS pregen for them, so it's really not any different from handing them one of those pregens.

Lini: Animal Companion.
Valeros: Two Weapon Fighting.
Amiri: Oversized Weapon.
Lirianne: Firearm Rules.

I think that's actually his point: because several of the pregens have these complicated rules, he has a folder of characters that don't.

Side note: a "skill level rating" on the pregens could be handy, or even just a list of which pregens would you hand brand new players and which pregens you would never give a brand new player and why.

Exactly! They saw those precise pregens and were instantly set on running them. Even wanting to build their first actual character that way. But they just didn't understand the rules for those choices.


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Randarak wrote:
And this way of thinking (disagreement=oppression) seems to be becoming more prevalent. Its troubling, to say the least.

In my opinion, at least some of that is the way it is handled. Especially on the internet.

In person I can have a discussion, even a heated discussion, on a topic such as E vs C and can expect it to be civilized and at least semi-rational.

On the internet, I can almost guarantee it won't be civilized and won't be rational (by either side). It will be full of viscous personal attacks as well as multiple people jumping in with walls of text to try and drown out anyone that disagrees with them. (I've seen at least a few cases on these boards where someone was posting with multiple aliases just to make it look like it was a bunch of people.)
If it doesn't get locked will probably eventually devolve into actual threats.

While agree that it is not, at times, that can certainly feel like oppression to some.

So now, even if I have a well thought out, reasonable, and supported decision; I won't get involved because it won't make any difference and I will at best be ignored. But most likely I will be vilified for disagreeing with some 'obviously' perfect point of view.


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will save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19

I WILL NOT BE DRAWN INTO YOUR POINTLESS ARGUMENT ABOUT EVOLUTION VS. CREATION!
again...


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Sambo wrote:
I've heard that sorcerers are better casters than wizards, but from what I've seen it's almost the opposite in every way possible. ... Is there any reason to pick sorcerer over wizard? ...

It is very group, campaign, and GM dependant.

In my previous gaming group we had who almost never let me find out very much of what was going to be happening or who I would be fighting. The group never wanted to wait around while I filled an empty slot. Even if I talked them into waiting, the GM would rarely give enough uninterrupted time to do so. The campaign was a constant race against time so very nearly zero time to craft any magic items (I was only able to make a few low level scrolls over several levels). The group would get irritated when I was using game time to change my daily list of spells.
So I almost always had the same list of generally useful spells prepared. But what if I needed 3 fly spells that day? Too bad I only had 1 prepared. So I had the same list of spells each day like a sorc, but I couldn’t spam a spell if that was what I needed a bunch of right then. I struggled through 7 levels with my wizard being mostly fairly ineffectual. Most of the time he was less useful that the poorly built fighter run by the newbie. I retired him and made an oracle. Definitely not extremely optimized, but easily one of the most effective characters in the group (might have been edged out by the paladin, but close). In that campaign, with that group, and that GM – a prepared caster is at an extreme disadvantage. Spontaneous casters are substantially more effective.

The group before that was almost exactly the opposite in all respects. Detailed info was fairly easy to come by, the group had no problem taking time for preparation and detailed plans, and the campaign had plenty of down time for whatever we needed/wanted to do getting ready. So the prepared caster was almost always able to be ready with the very nearly perfect spell for each situation to really significant effect. Could make whatever magic items we wanted.
In that campaign, with that group, and that GM – a prepared caster is everything. They are virtually unstoppable and will make virtually any other type of PC look like second string support.

Most groups (including my current one) are somewhere in between. Both are effective. Both have strengths and weaknesses. I think it is actually best to have one of each in a group. A prepared caster to try and have the perfect spell when you know what to expect AND spontaneous caster that can spam pretty good spells like crazy when the smelly-stuff-hits-the-rotary-impeller! So maybe a druid and sorc or a wizard and oracle.

Then of course you get into all the issues of the spell book caster. Which spells do I have in my spell book? Which spells should I pay to get added to my spell book? How many / which ones of my spell books is my 5 str wizard trying to carry around? How many slots do I leave open today? I need to read/learn/ready about 6 times as many spells. Etc… Many players simply hate trying to deal with all that crap.

Additionally there are some (like me) that are just bugged by the whole Vancian prepared caster concept. I just have a hard time getting it to make sense in my head. The spontaneous caster (or even more so the arcanist) makes more sense and 'fits' with what I think a caster should be like.

Sambo wrote:

...

Separate question: My brother is GMing a campaign and he wanted to create a group of enemies that would mimic the party (in class choice as well as personality of each player) that would consistently be causing conflicts for the party. The enemies would probably be exactly the same level, so how would a GM keep one party from completely killing off the other after one fight? He wants to do it at around 5th to 10th level, so super high level magic is out.

Really, it is almost impossible with the PF rule set and the way most players behave (some degree of murderhobo-ish-ness). There’s only a few ways I’ve seen it work even slightly.

The other group is (also) working for a noble. There will be lots of problems if the party just kills them with any witnesses about. This also means the GM can’t have the opposition group go all out or the PC’s will think they have no choice but to kill them, regardless of consequences. Think Three Musketeers and the other groups working for the Cardinal.

Opposition group is very cowardly/careful about how they do things. They fire a few spells and poisoned arrows from the top of the hill then duck down. By the time the PC’s get there they have mounted their horses (with expeditious retreat) and are already racing to the horizon. Or the outfit and buff some brigands that they have do most of the attacking and dying. The of course run away long before they can get trapped.


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I tend to vary wildly.

Every once in a while everything just sort of comes together for me. Concept, mechanics, backstory, gear, plans, etc... Everything comes into may head about as fast as I can make the herolab selections and type. In those cases about 20 minutes. But that isn't my norm.

Usually, I take days to weeks. In odd moments I think about various concepts/roles. The different ways I can fulfill those. Then I start making a really rough concept. Check a guide or two. Make some changes. Post a half-ashed concept for critique. Refine it further with the feedback I get. Then spend a couple more days making minor tweeks and changes to get it 'just' right.

However, I do the above for way more character concepts than I have any opportunity to run. And I save most of them. So usually when someone wants me to make a new character I usually have something pretty close already built. So it seems like I come up with this really complex and fully developed character quite quickly.

Having said that, if a GM wants a character for a one shot and any of my 'stable' ideas don't fit, I can almost always come up with something in as quickly as 10 minutes. But it wouldn't be as 'rich and varied' of a concept as I usually like for something long running.


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Since it is on these forums I will try to keep my examples within the realm of gaming, but it bugs me all the time.

[rant]
A) GM complains the players won't role play, but he always skips right to the next fight if there is even the slightest delay.

B) Players are upset the campaign is a linear series of combats, yet they ignore every potential side trek and don't bother with anything except charging to the next fight.

C) Player is upset that his PC's constantly fails will saves, his builds always dump wisdom, 2-3 classes with poor will saves, and never spends the money for anything to protect his mind.

D) Player/GM says combat takes too long, however never has anything ready and every time have to wait on their turn while they figure out what to do.

Grr!!! If you don't like it, stop doing it!
[/rant]

Sorry, had to get that off my chest before I said something inappropriate to several in-duh-viduals I interact with on a regular basis.

I'm sure you have more examples you can give.


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I don't know about everyone, but some people like to think of it as you get a couple of 'almost real missions' before you actually graduate. So they do something like Wounded Wisp, MoFF, then Confirmation. To them you aren't a really a PFS member until you are 2nd level.

{shrug}


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Ever had the contingency spell end up being a really bad choice? A friend and I were talking about some old games. The subject came up from some things that had happened to one of my characters.

Long time ago I had a character that was mostly just very hard to kill tank. Throughout most of his adventuring campaign he was rarely all that close to dead even when many the other were unconscious. At some point we found one of the old staves that would explode on breaking, but we didn't have anyone that could use it. At some later point someone offered to cast a few high level spells for each of us as a reward. I got a contingency to cast some powerful AoE spells on staff when my character died. We all figured everyone else would be dead or at least smart enough to move away from him in that circumstance and I would have a decent chance to take some powerful bad guys down with me. This was back when it was permanent until activated and could hold several spells. Then I promptly for got about it.
Several levels (and RL months) later, my PC agreed to trade his life to buy the release of some important hostages. (Totally in character for that guy.) Ended up taking place on ship board meeting between 2 vessels. The GM even had me make a couple of wisdom and intelligence checks for reminders. I rolled in the low single digits every time. Right after I put my head on the chopping block, the GM says "Ok, the axe is swinging down... Let me see exactly what you have written down for that contingency spell from last fall." Wait what?!?
The explosion/spells sank both ships, killed most of the bad guys, the hostages, most of our allies, and a few of the PC's.

More recently, had a character going into a very lethal situation. We certainly did not expect very many of the party to survive. Campaign BBEG, super secret stronghold, annex of Hades in our world, yadda yadda...
My caster uses a contingency and teleport. If PC dies, teleport to the chamber of the high priest of the sun goddess. Already paid him for a resurrection, heal, and what ever other condition removals are needed. I even left some backup gear with him just in case. Like I said, was expecting it to be lethal. Then I would be able to prep a little bit and pop back to aid my fellows. All planned out for the worst case.
Only it wasn't quite the worst case.
We are working through the lair. In his office We got a list of names that are traitors working with the BBEG. All good info for cleaning up after word. GM is still smirking though.
We're in a later fight with some sort of constructs and a bunch of 'dimension step' assassins. All of a sudden in the middle of the fight, my brain suddenly makes a connection. I recognize the 3rd name on the list at the same time as the GM is rolling the dice for the assassins flanking me. I don't have a chance to say anything before I died. That 3rd name on the list is the high priest of the sun goddess.
After a short while my character does teleport back to the others, but he is now a skeletal champion/sorcerer blasting his former allies with debuff/curse spells. Becoming the skeletal champion also removed most of the weakness that had been plaguing my sorcerer. I ended up being a tougher fight than the BBEG.

The group all threatened to immediately kill any of my characters that tried to use contingency after the second time.

You have any stories of contingency gone wrong?


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Gars DarkLover wrote:
Speaking of Players expectations and the like...

Lately I have seen some other recruitment threads giving more details on what they want from the group. I really like that! Thank you.

One said the GM was looking for the "5 man band" troupe. Not my thing. So I didn't have to waste a bunch of time (for both of us) on it with bad feelings on both sides.
Another said the GM was intending it to be a pretty lethal game. I actually sometimes like that, but not right at this time.
Another wanted a bizarre dysfunctional family vibe. Great! I jumped in with both feet.

Over the years I've accidentally gotten into some that had 'unadvertised' expectations.
One the GM really expected every PC to get into love/hate relation ships with other PC's or NPC's.
Another was basically upset that we weren't giving big long expositions of internal dialogue and emotional angst.
Sorry, I'm just not into those. If you'd said something about it in the beginning I would have avoided. Both seemed to feel that 'RP focus' covered their expectations.


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"It would appear you are of two guts on the matter."


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Snowblind wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:

Guess I should add:

5) Can be affected by your history.
Some GM's tend to pick a small number of very powerful creatures. In this case, they tend to have a higher to hit bonus then even the monster melee machines and will rarely miss unless you have a really sky high AC.
Some GM's like large numbers of moderate opponents. In that case, your experience will tell you that a decent investment in defense can have a big payoff, but still leave you plenty for respectable offense.

I favor large numbers of moderate opponents.

... hoping defense will let you weather the storm is a terrible idea that leads to getting entangled, tripped, flanked and murdered by longspears and ranseurs. ...

Didn't say anything remotely close to 'hoping defense will let you weather the storm' in my post. I certainly didn't suggest ignoring good tactics.

However, let's assume we have a bunch of bad guys that do not have +367 to hit and 9132 hit points and are instead individually substantially less powerful than the PC's.
A very slight reduction in offensive might will often not significantly affect the number of hits required to take an opponent out of the fight.
Yet that very slight reduction in offensive focus converted to defensive options can make a pretty significant decrease in the number of hits received.

If you are say a 8th-10th level character (focused entirely on offense) wearing a mwk chain shirt and have a dex of 12, your AC is 15. Most of even the crappy opposition at mid levels will hit you almost every time.

I did not say focus entirely on defense, but at those levels it is relatively cheap to have AC of ~25 and say a 20% miss chance (or some other non-AC defense). Now a noticeable number of attacks will not be doing damage to your PC and your reduction in offensive power is probably negligible against those opponents.


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It is a few things working together.

1) Preference: Think about a soccer team. How many people want to be the striker scoring goals and how many want to be the goalie stopping the other team from scoring goals?
Same kind of thing. Most people would rather be the one taking the enemy down, so that preference leads them to focus on offense.

2) Mechanics: The system as a whole tends to reward offense more than defense. There are more feats that effectively boost offense. There are more stacking buffs for offense. Offense is easier in this system than defense. You have to work pretty hard to get enough defense to make a significant difference.
A lot of people se virtually no difference between a AC=10 and an AC=25 at mid levels. Most any significant opponent is still going to hit the AC=25 almost all the time. So what did that gain you?

3) RL Time: If you have very many PC's with a bunch of defense (which means less focus on offense), often the fights will tend to drag on forever. Some people don't like that. They want it over in 2-3 rounds whatever the results.

4) No Significant Consequences: Early campaign, it doesn't really matter how much you got hurt as long as you don't quite get killed. Wands of CLW are stupidly cheap and easy to procure. Mid campaign you don't even have to worry too much about death since raise dead becomes available. Late campaign the PC's are so rich that even the resurrections are a meaningless cost.

Taken together, these things push a lot of people to focus almost exclusively on offense.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

You are a member of the pathfinder society: a lose collection of murderho..erm.. adventurer archaeologists, explorers treasure hunters, adventurers and vagabonds from across golarion. You make a character. Go on an adventure, get a sheet. Get three sheets you level up.

...

Have something you can do in combat, have something you can do out of combat: Talky face stuff, knowledge skills, sneaky rogue stuff.

I would like to emphasize the bolded portion from BNW.

Not all, but some home groups are perfectly ok with completely dividing things up. This PC only fights in melee. That PC does all the talking. This other PC does all the sneaking. At he just blows carp to pieces with magic. Etc... The PC's are all very specialized.
That level of specialization is not only not necessary in PFS, it can actually be very severe hindrance. A PFS table is usually a random collection of individuals who then need to learn to work together very quickly.
You might not have a super optimized combat machine that can handle all the fighting for you, so you need to be able to do something in a fight. Might be that, none of the guys at the table have a super diplomat bard with +467 in all the social skills, so you might have to help out when talking to others is necessary.

I try and get people to have an answer 4 for questions.
1) What is your primary role/activity in combat? I was planning to hit things with an earthbreaker. That’s good.
2) What is your secondary role in combat, when the primary doesn’t work? What do you mean? It might be a wizard on top of a cliff throwing lightning bolts at you. Oh, I will buy a good strength rated composite longbow. Works for me.
3) What is your primary role out of combat or in social situations? I was planning on ranks in survival so I can track bad guys. Certainly worthwhile in some situations.
4) What is your secondary role out of combat or in social situations? Uhmm… Well I have a little bit of wisdom, so I could put some ranks and a trait toward sense motive to tell when people are lying to us. Excellent. Might even be more useful than the tracking.

I personally, usually also have a tertiary role in and out of combat. But a primary and secondary is usually good enough for a successful career.


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Claxon wrote:

...

I'm no structural engineer so I can't tell you which ones would be load bearing based on that picture. However, a DC X know(engineering) could.
...

Also consider, it is unlikely the person that made that picture is a structural engineer. So I wouldn't rely all that heavily on analysis of the picture anyhow.

If collapse would inhibit the story, give it a high DC knowledge engineering check.
If collapse would promote the story, give it a low DC knowledge engineering check.
.
.

Claxon wrote:
Stone to flesh on some load bearing walls would make quick work. ...

I once had a group that used stone to flesh on a wall. Then set down to luch. Ewww.....


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redward wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:
I have been verbose, because I would prefer the policy to change.
To clarify, are you saying you want it to be explicitly allowed for players to read chronicle sheets so they can be aware of rewards prior to playing a scenario?

Hmm... That is probably stating it to strong.

I would prefer fore knowledge of chronicle sheet rewards to not be a thing that is addressed at all.

But particularly, I would like for someone to be able to say something like "Hey I heard there was spear that gives a shield bonus. Which scenario is that?" and get an actual answer rather than being verbally flayed alive.

I see nothing wrong with the lists that some people have started with items/boons that can be found in scenario whatever.
(I really disagree with the people that say knowing X item is on the sheet gives someone a tremendous advantage in the scenario. That is really reaching to try and find something wrong.)

I would like for people to not be looked down on and accused of cheating (at least in spirit), because they want to get something with the character that can use it.


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Hmm...

I've been rereading a few of my posts and I want to clarify a potential mistaken impression I may be giving.

I do understand that there is a policy against 'chronicle fishing.' I have not been so verbose in this thread to excuse my own 'chronicle fishing' activities. Ever since I learned of it, I have been trying to abide by it as best I can, given my current understanding of this rather nebulous 'bad' thing. Personally, I think I abide by it better than some of the most vocal people in my local area have done. I will continue to follow the policy as long as it is the policy.

I have been verbose, because I would prefer the policy to change. It at least slightly hampers my enjoyment of the hobby. I personally, would prefer to have my character win the XYZ of Koolness that he can make use of by his own actions.
"Ok, we were down to only 3 of us upright and I only had a little bit of life left. But I bullrushed the tyrant off the ledge, Jim kept the slope greased so he couldn't climb back up while Julie turned him into a pincushion. I claimed the XYZ as my share. It was close, but we managed to ..."
That is fun to remember and think about it.

Yes, I can GM the scenario to get the XYZ of Koolness. But to me, that doesn't have the same ring.
"Yeah, I wanted the XYZ for this PC so I ran it for some yahoos that really didn't know what they were doing. But whatever, I got the XYZ on this PC now."
Not so fun and memorable. Don't get me wrong, I GM when my schedule permits and enjoy doing so. But getting the XYZ in that manner makes it seem less not more special. At least to me.


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I will say that I don't know what the best solution is, but I will say that some of the ones proposed seem like poor ideas.

I think the hints will not work, unless you make it so obvious that you might as well have just said it. I have 7 PC's so far with dozens of chronicle sheets. I usually only get a few minutes at best to decide which table I will play at and which PC will be used. The odds of a subtle hint reminding me that this one PC has a sheet with something that sound similar seems remote.

I would be careful about making this another convention only boon. Those are starting to really aggravate some/many players. At least in my area, most of the players even very active players simply do not attend conventions.
"Ok we realized this is an issue for lots of people so we have this solution. But the only way you even have a chance to get this solution it to attend a convention whether you want to or not. Even then, you probably won't get"
I go to a few local conventions and would have a chance to get it. But there are already bad feelings over some of the convention boons that a few players have but no one else can get.
I would rather see no solution than this solution. I can't say for sure if any would quit, but I'm pretty sure the response would not be positive.

I would rather just see it as something added to the guide. use the cost as suggested by another poster. Spend 2 prestige on the giving and receiving character to transfer a boon from one to another. The receiving character must also pay any associated gold or other costs directly associated with the boon. The boon can not be used until the receiving character is at least as high of level as the character that one the sheet.

I think that would make the cost high enough that it won't be done for just everything, but it is still possible to get the special X with an appropriate character.


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andreww wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
and that sometimes means getting the uber-paladin-sword-of-uberness for your uber Paladin

Does this really actually happen? Most loot on chronicles is pretty terrible for the level at which you see it. It is very rarely something you probably couldnt just buy with fame anyway. Even if it is something unique to the chronicle often it is priced in a way which makes it far better simply to buy something standard out of existing resources.

Outside of higher caster level scrolls and potions or partially charged wands I have yet to see much worth the cost on a chronicle I couldnt already buy with fame.

Rarely for actual power reasons, but abit for theme reasons. Also there are a few that are very nice and/or have something that you just can't spend gold to get.

Spoiler:
certain types of animal companions/familiars and unique items come to mind


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kinevon wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

...

I admit. I didn't understand it at first either. But one of the designers at the time, specifically Sean K Reynolds, changed my mind with a post that is linked way above.

It shows what the designers intent was. Which in something that was slightly ambiguous was very important to me in how I decided to interpret things from that point forward.

Almost everyone I have talked to agreed with the interpretation we have all been using.

Until this thread, I had never seen or even heard of this post from SKR. Even then, that thread doesn't really say that is what the rule means. It sounds more like he is saying "I do it this way because it seems to work better." Actually I'm fine with that. But if that was really what they wanted the rule to say, put it in the errata / faq / or multiple re-printings of the book.
Obviously a heck of a lot of us are going to continue reading it they way many of us already have.

A lot of these posts are sounding like we are obviously horrible, mean, vindictive GM's. There is apparently no reasonable way anyone could think take 10 isn't allowed for almost anything. Because obviously we all should magically know SKR suggests handling it like this.

So, according to your interpretation, if I am understanding it correctly, you can never take 10 while swimming? After all, you are in danger of drowning if you fail your Swim check.

** spoiler omitted **

Try reading the conversation. I said I am now inclined to agree that take 10 is allowed if the danger is only on a failed result. I will try to remember to use that in the future.

However, I am offended by the attitude that I am a rotten person for reading it and getting the exact same understanding that the vast majority of people I have met got when they read it.
When even some of the people emphasizing there is no other possible interpretation are relying on a post (which actually doesn't exactly say that) most have never seen, rather than the 'supposedly clear' text being discussed.

Read the last couple of pages. Even people that agree on the fact that immediate danger does not include results of a failed check are still arguing about how to apply the rules to a fairly simple and common situation.
Yet the rule is so simple and obvious, that the only way I could possibly have used my prior judgement was the fact that I was intentionally being mean to the players. There is no possible way I (and most of the gamers I know) could have legitimately thought we were doing it right.

That attitude really bugs me.


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I will point out a conversation I heard at the game shop yesterday on this very exact subject. I will not quote so as not to embarrass anyone. The 3 individuals involved had very obviously read this exact thread.

It basically boiled down to:
* Most of the people don't seem to consider it 'fishing' if you learned about it 'legitimately' (like GM'ing or playing a scenario) or accidentally if some mention/writes about it when you didn't ask.
* They're going to keep track of what they accidentally hear about.
* GM a few old ones they need for particular things.
* Make powerful, fast, easy Core PC's that they really don't care about.
* Grind through everything that is new for them in a Core game. GM a few on Core if no one else will.
* Then they can play the ones needed with the 'right' PC to get what they want on they character they want.

(Incidentally 2 of those 3 guys are absolutely horrible as GM's. They don't enjoy it and are pretty obviously just cranking through it as quick as they can. They brag about their multiple stars, but I would much rather not play than have them as my GM. I personally don't want more things encouraging them to GM.)

In my opinion, this behavior is much worse for the community than letting people know 'chronicle sheet X-X has the Halberd of Doom on it'
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redward wrote:
... I like seeing people get excited when something especially useful or fun pops up. ...

I absolutely agree with everything you said in that post except this bit. Because it almost never happens.

It has never happened to me or as far as I've heard to anyone that I know that they just happened to have a character play a scenario with a character that can use the reward bangle. Not once. Every single one has been GM'd to get on the right sheet or they knew about it before hand and played the right character.
Yes, I'm sure across the world the odds have played out so that it has happened a few times. But the chances are astonishingly small.
The are umpteen bajillion possible combinations of builds and character concepts. It is pretty unlikely that you just happened to have a character with an animal companion for whom an Axebeak is thematically appropriate when you played that campaign for the first time.

Everyone was talking about it when that came out, so I did hear about it. So I said I was going to make a tengu cavalier specifically to get it. Everyone acted like I had the plague for saying that. Everyone knows that is 'wrong' to play for a specific reward. Building for it is even worse. So now there is this kool reward that I am unlikely to ever be able to make use of because it would be somehow nebulously wrong to do so.
Later I find out that many of those same people somehow have a build that it just somehow coincidentally seemed to work for. But oh no they didn't build for it, it just worked out like that. Yeah right.

The system we have is just promoting being stealthy about chronicle fishing, not actually dissuading it at all.


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This may be lack of sleep talking, but I think I just had an idea for what may just become my favorite character ever.

Fighter 1 / Summoner X
Dump both intelligence and wisdom (will take iron will and improved iron will to help with saves)
Give the eidolon the Ability Score Increase to intelligence and Wisdom as often as allowed
Make the eidolon small and looking like an angel, have it ride around on my left shoulder giving ‘good’ advice
Take the feat from the Familiar Folio to get a familiar (I forget the name) and improved familiar for the imp or quasit have it ride around on my right shoulder giving ‘bad’ advice
Run the scenarios with the intelligent items. I know there is a shield and I believe at least one with a weapon, but I don’t remember what kind off the top of my head.

He will literally have an eidolon, familiar, shield, and weapon that are all smarter than him and constantly telling him what to do.

It should be epically hilarious!

Any more ideas on what I should do to make this better?


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Andrew Christian wrote:

...

I admit. I didn't understand it at first either. But one of the designers at the time, specifically Sean K Reynolds, changed my mind with a post that is linked way above.

It shows what the designers intent was. Which in something that was slightly ambiguous was very important to me in how I decided to interpret things from that point forward.

Almost everyone I have talked to agreed with the interpretation we have all been using.

Until this thread, I had never seen or even heard of this post from SKR. Even then, that thread doesn't really say that is what the rule means. It sounds more like he is saying "I do it this way because it seems to work better." Actually I'm fine with that. But if that was really what they wanted the rule to say, put it in the errata / faq / or multiple re-printings of the book.
Obviously a heck of a lot of us are going to continue reading it they way many of us already have.

A lot of these posts are sounding like we are obviously horrible, mean, vindictive GM's. There is apparently no reasonable way anyone could think take 10 isn't allowed for almost anything. Because obviously we all should magically know SKR suggests handling it like this.


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Kevin Willis wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
... I understand that there is the potential for abuse ... ...
The player started during season 5 and purchased all the previous seasons, then went through and picked out the ones that gave him the biggest mechanical advantages to sign up for. I sat at a convention table with him and he made no bones about what he had done (though he did claim he hadn't read the scenarios, just the chronicles). A player that does this kind of thing is already going to be a min-maxer but he took dominating combats to a whole different level. Not much fun for the rest of the table. ...

I understand why that was no fun. But given that player and his personality, Do you think denying him the chronicle info would have suddenly made him a team player who wasn't trying to win bigger than everyone else? I'm guessing not.

So his knowing what was on the chronicle sheet to cherry pick scenarios was not the problem. The problem was his attitude and style of play. So trying to prohibit cherry picking wouldn't solve anything, even if it worked, which it doesn't.

I suppose you could say the cherry picking made his 'winning' incrementally worse, but certainly not by much. It really isn't hard to build a PC for PFS that out combats the average PC by a substantial margin if you are trying to do that. Oooh he has a +47 instead of the +45 he would have had without cherry picking. Big deal.


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Some people seem to think it is a wrong on par with stealing cars.

Honestly, I've never seen a problem with it. Why does it hurt me if JimmyJoeBob brings Dofus the wonder magus to my table because he knows there is a mask that will work perfectly with his specialization? He's trying to succeed, else he wouldn't get the mask either. So his determination to get it makes us all more likely to succeed. Not a problem to me. Plus your not really stopping that kind of thing anyway. Players talk about what they've gotten anyway, some guys have played lots of scenarios, some have GM's others. A lot of people are making those plans anyway, even if they don't specifically admit it on the forums.

Additionally, I've found it particularly disappointing that I have never gotten a chronicle sheet with something kool/interesting/useful/unique with a character that can use it.
New familiar option - inquisitor
Sneaky social skills item - paladin
Intelligent shield - kensai
Mythic weapon - sorcerer

The only way, I can have any of those things on the PC they work for is to GM the scenario. I don't mind GM'ing. However he has it, but didn't win it. I want to be able to say my PC has the Gauntlet of Zyfon because he wrested it from the dying grip of the evil Malignaton, nearly dying in the process. Three guys were unconscious, yet the team persevered and managed to save the princess... Nope. I GM'd the scenario where some other guys who played pretty badly and failed the mission, so I applied it to this guy. {yawn}


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Orfamay Quest wrote:

...

I assume you mean "wouldn't hit the exact same spot"? Because those things really wouldn't hit a manhole cover at five paces.
...

Yeah, that's what I meant. Too much blood in my caffeine this morning.


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Unfortunately, I don't see that there is a lot you can do without at least a minor discussion. Try to make it as non-confrontational as possible. Talk to him separately (not at the game table even) but in person. Many people write emails or messages like an attack, even if they don't many people read them like an attack.
"Look I want to just put this out there as something I would like you to consider. For a while now I've been feeling like you are out to get my PC in particular. It seems like you constantly change the rules just to hurt what my character wants to do. You don't have to respond right now, just think about it."

To be honest, I don't see much chance of things getting better. But that is the only way that I see even a slim likelihood of improvement.

The only other thing you could try would be to take a turn at being GM yourself. But that might be even worse. Sometimes not-so-great GM's make absolutely awful players.

I recently had to leave a group for fairly similar reasons. The type of game I wanted to play just wasn't what he wanted. I blamed the decision to leave on work schedule, a class I take, and family commitments. I still hang out with those guys occasionally. We grill on a Saturday afternoon, watch a movie, or play cards, just not RPG's. Might have been some hard feelings, but it would have been much worse if I had stayed until I blew-up and said some not nice things.

I found a different group that meets at a different time that just happens to fit better into my busy schedule.

Edit: Did want to bring up one other possibility I just remembered. I have seen a few GM's do this for a 'reason' that makes sense to them. I still think it is lousy way to handle things, but it isn't unknown.
If one player is head and shoulders above the other players in building an optimized character or very tactical about how he plays his character, he can seem to be marginalizing the other PC's/players. This can be an actual problem. A few GM's will try to correct this by continually shutting down anything they try to do because it must be overpowered if they are the one trying to do it.
As I said, I think it is a horrible way to handle things. But I have seen a couple of GM's that think it is what they are supposed to do. In those cases I was able to work out a different solution with them. I optimized a very weak concept and made sure my tactics were to give others a bonus not myself.


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kestral287 wrote:

...

Hence, you have micro scale scenarios of actual play where they would have been helpful, but in the massive majority (read as: macro scale) of actual play they would not be. And that develops an aversion to consider them even in the .01% of the time that they're actually a viable choice outside of class features.

(I don't think it is anywhere near that rare that they are a good idea, but that is really irrelevant to my point.)

You last sentence is a reason that I could almost agree with. If I didn't constantly watch people spend huge amounts of time on convoluted schemes to make a really lousy feat workout at least halfway decent.
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What ever, it seems most people are absolutely convinced they are horrible no matter what.

A few of the responses make a bit more sense than most of the others, but still don't hold out much hope that anyone will be willing to give them much of a chance.

Thanks folks. Catch you later.


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Ok, I can see why in PFS they would be unpopular. Unless you have a very small pool of players, you won’t know who you are going to be with at the table so they probably won’t have the matching abilities.

But as far as I can tell, most home groups never use them (unless free from the class abilities). Even when they are pretty obviously mathematically superior, people don’t use them. I’ve demonstrated it with the opposition forces (when I was GM) and with a short term demo with a 1 shot. Every single player and GM was amazed at how great they worked. But still no one was willing to take them next time they were making characters. Even ‘optimizers’ making teams to work together will only rarely consider using them.

example 1, designed to be a small team anyway:

Small group had 2 players making pet builds. A summoner and a druid. Both actively planned to provide flanking for their melee pets as much as possible. Plus there would be 2 pets usually in melee. One of which was intelligent and could work toward flanking with the other. The summoner was also working toward a reach eidolon (for attacks of opportunity) and was himself using a long spear.
Flanking and weapon focus claws (and PC weapon) gives a +3 to the claw attacks (and the PC’s weapon attacks). The bite and gore attacks are only at +2.
Flanking and outflank gives a +4 to the claws, weapon, bite, and gore attacks and an extra AoO when a critical is scored.
Besides you could still take weapon focus and they stack just fine.
Four melee creatures with outflank should be able to provide flanking most of the time. Yet neither player was willing to seriously consider taking outflank.

example 2, group sneaking:

Players all said they really wanted to make a sneaky group kinda like a magical special forces unit. Complained the system doesn’t allow it. They made builds with a whole bunch of feats and traits devoted to max stealth. With the 5 players, familiar, and animal companion someone would be rolling low and blowing the sneak most of the time. I showed them how replacing one of the feats with Stealth Synergy makes it work just fine. With 7 creatures rolling and always taking the highest die rolled, you will almost never blow the stealth. I both worked out the probability and used computer generated example rolls for 1000 times. Then we even all rolled dice at the table about 10 times. I don’t remember the percentage off the top of my head any more, but it is pretty dang rare to get 7 rolls to all be around 4-5 or less and the average was like +8 (much better than the stealth feat they were replacing).
They talked about how many possibilities this opened up and how much better the sneaky force would be. First session, other than me, they all brought characters without Stealth Synergy.

example 3, mounted combat:

Next campaign was going to be the PC’s were from a nomad tribe of Halfling dinosaur riders (Eberron & PF). They weren’t sure if mounted combat could be made to work with the way initiative rolls unless everyone delayed to whoever rolled the lowest. One of the last encounters of my campaign I made an opposing party of mounted characters with a few mounted teamwork feats. Most of the opposing party was lower level and much lower gear than the PC’s. But they very quickly almost killed several of the PC’s. They saw how easy it was to get lots of very successful charges with cavalry formation and coordinated charge.
None of them took a teamwork feat except for the hunters free one.

example 4, will saves galore:

We were in a campaign where we were constantly rolling moderately high AoE DC will saves from surprise ambushes. We didn’t expect it from the campaign description for our initial builds. So most just had the standard ‘decent’ will save. About halfway through every single PC took the feat iron will for a +2 on will saves. If they had instead took shake it off they would have almost always had a +3 to all saves. But no one did.

I just don’t get it. Even when a teamwork feat is numerically better and perfectly fits the build concept and/or does a better job of solving the problem in front of them, most people seem unwilling to even try them. The only answer I’ve been able to get is “They don’t work all the time. What if you are not right next to your team mates?” But you usually are next to your team mates and almost no feat works all the time.

Is there something I’m missing? If you are one of the people that won’t take them even when they work great for what you want to do, can you tell me why?


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melferburque wrote:
one of my fave aspects of the wounded wisp evergreen is the NPCs you talk to in the bar that reinforce many of the complaints in this thread. there's a reason it and confirmation are meant as an introduction. they flat out tell you "y'know, you really should have an acid flask" and "maybe you shouldn't just wantonly kill EVERYONE you come across" ...

I was especially thrilled the first time I heard this in the Wounded Wisp. I thought it was great.


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ryric wrote:

Theoretically you can use the pit spells to circumvent floor things that are even more inconvenient. Pressure plate that sets off a trap? Pit and it's gone. Small pool of lava or acid? Pit and it's gone. You can take out the middle of a bridge. You can temporarily erase a trap door/escape hatch. And so forth.

I wouldn't say that the pit spells destroy any of these things, but the real floor is suppressed for the duration of the pit.

We have used my pit spells to get past doors a couple of times. But we only did that in desperate situations, since the only pit I had at that time was the one with spikes at the bottom.

I don't know if it is actually legal, but we made a pit centered right at the front of the door. So just under half of it was extending to the other side of the door. Climb down on our side walk across (under the door) climb up the other side. It did mean we were trapped in a vault until I could refresh my spells in the morning.

Grand Lodge

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Hmm... Like many CORE games, we seem to be a bit ranger heavy. I may make Hadanka into something else before I reach 2nd level. But currently he is a switch hitter ranger bow/curved blade.
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Honor Guard wrote:

...

I sent a PM to GM Rutseg, and will be perusing the Pathfinder ruleset to create a submission for the game. I understand my inexperience with the game may be a drawback, and if not selected I wish the game and the players selected nothing but the best.

This a PFS and CORE game.

PFS (PathFinder Society) games are kinda the follow up to Living Greyhawk. It is some rules by which people all over the world make characters and have adventures using the same assumptions. That way you can take the same characters and continue to play them with other people any where at anytime.

The free rules for PFS play are here.
CORE means the PC's must be made using only the Core Rule Book (CRB).

Low level PFS CORE is actually just about ideal for people new to the game. It only uses the CRB so not as many books you have to learn. Plus the groups tend to be at least moderately experienced players who are well able to help with any difficulties or misunderstandings you might be having (and can incidentally help keep you alive if things go wonky).
PbP can also be good for learning because it gives the player plenty of time to go look up a particular rule or even ask questions in the forums if not sure how to do something.

If you don't have a PC ready when the game is ready to start there are pregens available. They are serviceable, but nothing special. Some beginner builds are also available NOOB Builds. They are a little better than the pregens but still relatively simple for a beginner to get the hang of. Many people would still prefer to make there own character and that is perfectly fine. If you would like some assistance, sing-out and lots of people will be willing pitch in with suggestions.


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ryric wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:

If you use any published material at low level for example, it just doesn’t match up very well with high level stuff. Apparently even within a given AP.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of 2 published where the ultimate BBEG has divinations, predictions, auguries, whatever that clearly indicate the PC’s are a threat to his very survival. So confident in the truth of that, he sends assassins to kill them across the nation or world on multiple occasions. Yet for some reason he only sends very weak, inexperienced, and small numbers of assassins after them. Yet at the end of the thing you find out BBEG has literally hundreds of agents more powerful than what he sent and dozens that are much more powerful than what he sent. He actually doesn’t seem to have any agents as weak as what he has been sending. Why? Ok, maybe the first time. But after the PC’s had survived the first couple of tries. Wouldn’t he have said, “Enough of this! Lord Death Slayer take your 50 most powerful minions, teleport over there, and personally ensure I don’t have to worry about this anymore! Report back to me by supper!” Apparently not.
Here's how I see this. The divining BBEG uses his divinations to find threats to his rule. There are 170 low level parties that may someday thwart his plans.(low level groups are a dime a dozen) So he sends out his numerous minions to handle the threat. Most come back but 23 of the parties survived. So he sends his more powerful minions to deal with the greater nuisance, and so forth. By the time the actual true threat of the PC party is narrowed down, and he's sending his big guns at them, they've had time to level up and can meet the threat. Also all the lesser guys are hiding or dead by now. It all depends on how you spin it. ...

Not unreasonable, but not how it was written. As it was written (in one of them, I haven't read the other) the BBEG knows that the PC's are destined to thwart him. He sends a single 3rd level assassin across the world taking months to get there. Next he sends three (or five) 3rd level assassins across the world taking months to get there. Next he sends six 3rd level assassins with a 5th level leader across the world taking months to get there. Etc...

When you finally get to his lair it is chock full of bad guys (not one of which is less than 8th level), many of whom had teleport and quite a few of the real big badguys have greater teleport.

Yes, a good GM might have re-written that story. Assuming he has the whole series at the start, sees the problem, knows how to fix it, and has the time to fix it.

ryric wrote:

...

How does detect evil help here? Anyone under level 5 doesn't ping, and even being Evil isn't actually a crime in most areas. Heck, you can be LE and obey the letter of the law while getting your rocks off as the bureaucracy messes with people's lives. Evil can be just petty dbaggery making people's lives miserable.

A previously LG society, rulers, nobles, and army. Are suddenly all evil. I don't know why but the write-up specified the power making them evil did ping on detect evil. Plus almost anyone in charge of anything is actually a spawn of something now (easily above the 5 HD limit). To top it off they are obviously not acting normal now.

Maybe not obviously illegal. But it seems like just maybe it might have been enough to get someone in all those high powered clergies suspicious enough to cast a couple of low level divination spells. Just possibly.
The PC's had the whole thing pretty much figured out in about 1/2 day in-game time and about 30 minutes of RL play time.


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Dekalinder wrote:

@ElterAgo

First, your world need to be fitted for high level characters from the start, not retrofitted after your PC got a few levels. ...

Granted. But there is already a ‘standard’ world in existence. There are literally dozens of threads that will tell you the captain of an army might be 6th level. A royal champion would be 8th level. There is almost no one in the world over level 10. Except for bad guys that are for some reason waiting until the PC’s are high level before they start causing problems. People start play in that world because it is the ‘standard’ and most of us don’t have the skill to make our own world that makes more sense than that ‘standard’ world. Of if we have the skill we don’t have the time.

If you use any published material at low level for example, it just doesn’t match up very well with high level stuff. Apparently even within a given AP.
Just off the top of my head, I can think of 2 published where the ultimate BBEG has divinations, predictions, auguries, whatever that clearly indicate the PC’s are a threat to his very survival. So confident in the truth of that, he sends assassins to kill them across the nation or world on multiple occasions. Yet for some reason he only sends very weak, inexperienced, and small numbers of assassins after them. Yet at the end of the thing you find out BBEG has literally hundreds of agents more powerful than what he sent and dozens that are much more powerful than what he sent. He actually doesn’t seem to have any agents as weak as what he has been sending. Why? Ok, maybe the first time. But after the PC’s had survived the first couple of tries. Wouldn’t he have said, “Enough of this! Lord Death Slayer take your 50 most powerful minions, teleport over there, and personally ensure I don’t have to worry about this anymore! Report back to me by supper!” Apparently not.

Dekalinder wrote:

On the second issue, the answer is the same os why wasn't Elrond but Frodo carring the ring. Or why in the company there was Legolas instead of Thranduil, why gandal was always somewhere else ecc. ...

That really isn’t. That is some low level guys helping out with a critical side mission while the big guys play ball.

Remember this is a series of novels written by what a lot of people consider to be one of the genre’s greatest authors ever.
Even then, some of us couldn’t help but think of why? Why did the BBEG wait until the ring resurfaced to attack. If he had attacked a year earlier, 5 years earlier, or a generation earlier; he apparently would have been unstoppable.

Dekalinder wrote:

The short of it, is that there are always bigger troubles. And on the other hands, you always need fresh blood to rise up through the ranks.
Also, even if 17 level wizards may be aroud, that doesn't mean they are actually available. If you are a 17 level character, you definatly can't be bothered to interrupt your planeshaping resarch to come solving some low level trouble.

I encourage you to read the thread that was linked in the first page. ...

Yes, a minor problem is not worth their time. I get that. But that low level issue was apparently wiping out the nobility, turning the entire capitol into zombies, opening a portal to the abyss, eliminating magic from the land, etc… That’s not really a minor problem anymore. It just might be worth 15 minutes of the arch mage’s time to ensure it didn’t happen.

Nope. Instead he decides to just hope that the beginner schmucks won't let his family, home, nation, or magical power won't be wiped out.

I will try not to spoil anything for those that haven’t played it yet. There is an AP. A major city has at least 1 cleric capable of casting true resurrection. Several good churches are at least powerful enough that there is fierce competition for influence.
Bad guys have ‘for a long time’ been taking over the government, nobility, and military. A first level detect evil finds which ones have been taken over. A low DC sense motive check reveals people are not behaving properly. In the first couple of days, the PC’s will almost effortlessly trip over dozens of clues that almost anyone should be able to pierce together.
Yet until the PC’s get there, not one of the churches has noticed anything wrong let alone done anything about it.

Dekalinder wrote:

No one ever suggested that running a high level campaign was easy. But the classic complaint that "the games break" is only because people refuse to adapt to the new paradigm. ...

Actually, yes a lot of people do say it is easy. There was another of those just a little ways up thread.

I think a lot of people don’t ‘refuse to adapt’ as much as they can’t figure out how to do it, it is too late in their campaign when they realize it isn’t set up right, or just don’t have that much time to completely re-write everything published for a hobby.

Dekalinder wrote:

On a last note, if I remember correctly, in the BECMI starting 10th level you had to deal with characters having castles, reigns, wizard towers, and warriors having armies in the thousands of mens. It's just that right now people complain much too easly.

You only had thousands of troops if you spent all your money on them. That did occasionally happen because some GM’s would let you amass huge amounts of money, but you couldn’t buy magic items. So you quite literally had almost nothing else to do with it.

People complained just as much back then. It was just about different things. As I recall, one of the big ones was that even 20th level characters couldn’t challenge the gods.
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Again, I'm not saying it is impossible to have a good high level game. But it is much harder to achieve than a good low-mid level game.
the OP asked why their aren't many high level games. I believe that is a large part of why. The stuff that is published, the stuff accepted as 'standard,' the rules themselves, what people expect at various levels, and just plain person skill sets make it more difficult.


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ryric wrote:
Saldiven wrote:


For the example you give, with a group of lower level characters, instead of the characters being the already experts on the subject matter, the adventure could easily revolve around the party having to find the forgotten, ascetic sage high on a lost mountain top who points them to the lost library in the center of a vast wasteland which points to a powerful artifact hidden in the ruins of a civilization sunk beneath an ocean to solve the problem.

Amusingly, your example of how to "level down" the plot illustrates one of the reasons I like high level play. In your example, basically the PCs become errand runners. They go find the hermit/sage, get the info, go find the artifact, and use it. All the power and agency comes from other, "better" characters than the PCs - all the actual planning and solving of the problem is done for them. In most good high level games, there is no one else to turn to. The PCs are it. They are the Justice League and if they can't solve the problem certainly no one else can.

It really hammers home to the players just how far they've come when they realize that they are now the high level guys who hire lesser groups to do the small stuff they don't have time for. They are now the group who has to deal with the unbeatable evil - do they seal it away for a later generation? Do they try to kill it now and risk the destruction of civilization? High level PCs should be making choices that change the world. They are the big boys now.

I actually agree with you almost completely on this.

However, I also have to say that when I am GM, I just plain don't know how to write a good 'change the world' adventure.


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Hmm... variety of reasons.

Many have already been mentioned, so I will just point out the ones that I think could use a bit more emphasis or explanation.

Unlike a lot of people, I actually don't mind starting at 1st level. Though I think 2nd or 3rd often works a little better. (It is much more difficult to GM for 1st level and come up with something interesting / challenging that doesn't accidentally TPK on a couple of bad rolls.) But if you always start at very low levels some people just plain get tired of the whole thing before they get to really high level.

Some of it is a self replicating cycle. The GM never plays high level so doesn't really know how to handle it. The game starts to fall apart at high level, so he wraps it up. And never gets any experience at high level.

Some are the 'sameness' of themed campaigns.
A while back we played a heavily modified synthesis of Ravenloft and Carrion Crown set in Ebberon. Eventually we were just sick of fighting vampires and lycanthropes and rolling horror checks for things we had already been fighting for months. We pretty much had it down on what to do vs. various types. It became a yawn fest. We started using kinda stupid tactics just to see if it would work and because we really didn't care if we got killed anymore.
Does it have to be that way? No of course not, but it often is. Remember not too many GM's are actually professional caliber authors. They often have a good idea for a campaign. But that may not really be enough material for 20+ levels of encounters.

Slow and complex. If the group doesn't really force the pace of the game, it can really slow down. At 3rd level your PC probably really only has some where around 3 reasonable things he could probably do in any given round of combat. Once he gets to 18th level, even a simple character is likely to have a couple dozen possible things to do. Plus it becomes even more difficult to tell which ones are good from which ones are less good. I've heard of groups taking an hour or more for each round of combat especially at high level. Which could mean they can't even do 1 fight in an evening of play.

System breaks down. A few levels is so incredibly more powerful that things stop making sense. I've been in a few level 15+ situations with "Why isn't this guy running the world?" constantly running through my head.
Ok, the lich cleric 18 can quite obviously take on the whole entire country in a stand up fight all at the same time. No one else in the kingdom other than us is above 8th level, so really can't threaten him. Last month our characters were 8th level. So why didn't he just walk in, take charge, and kill anyone that disagreed? Why would he bother trying to trick/scam his way onto the throne?
(Plus you start getting silly things like the martial taking on the dinosaur with his bare hands just because he can.)
Again, does it have to be that way? No of course not, but it often is.

Anyway, that is some of my random thoughts.


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Read it again. He didn't say you have to play a rogue. He didn't even say non-core was impossible. Just that it needs to be checked and approved first.

The ranger is imprisoned.

Thought a rogue might help with the rescue.

He said, play what you want.

That sounds pretty reasonable to me.


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Mark Hoover wrote:

...

If I do get the chance to play I'm going to try and work that in. Maybe have a fighter that calls his weapons girls' names or a brawler that names his moves. Instead of "I attack" I'll shout out "Take a face fulla' GLADYS!" when rolling to hit with my greataxe.

Everyone at work is staring at me because I started giggling when I read this.

I am SOOOO stealing this idea.


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DrDeth wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Is there someone here who has professed to always wanting to run one? (I'm not going back through this thread looking, so I don't expect you to either. Just thought maybe you saw one you can point out.) For the most part it seems to be people arguing about how it's always bad versus only sometimes being bad.

"I run GMPCs all the time."

"I have used a DMPC since I began DMing"

"I use GMPC's a lot"

Ashiel says he always runs one.

and Jaelithe seems to indicate that they use DMPCs most/all of the time.

However, why quibble? Do you agree with my main point: "I just ask that the DMs who use them consult your players and think of their real motivations for running one."

He isn't on these forums, but I used to game with a guy that almost always added a GMPC into the party.

He would always say he was doing it to help us out, round out the party, provide clues, provide a little extra power when needed, or save the party if it looked like a TPK.
However, that wasn't the case. The GMPC came along whether we needed more power or not. It never provided clues. If we didn't have a role covered, that was usually not what the GMPC could do. Etc...
Before I got there, while I was there, and after I left players were trying to politely tell him the GMPC wasn't needed, we didn't want to split the loot further, in-character the personality didn't fit with the team, whatever. Either that GMPC was with the party or another one would soon be introduced.
In reality, I think he just wanted to be a player at the same time as he was GM. (Put didn't want to give up enough creative control to let someone else GM.) Oddly enough; we would constantly find scrolls on that spell list, that specific exotic magic weapon, or a cloak that augments that class ability.
He wasn't horrible about it, just enough that it was noticeable and slightly annoying.

But as I said before, it wasn't enough for me to just walk. Most everything else he did as GM was good enough that I still enjoyed the game. Overall, if he had dropped the GMPC, I think I would have considered him a good GM instead of a decent GM.


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LazarX wrote:
Akerlof wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
I prefer "I'll bomb when he starts to do something magical". It won't prevent channeling, but they can't avoid my readied action by doing something that's just subtly different from "when he casts a spell".

That's why I like to take at least one rank of Spellcraft on my martials:

Martial: I ready to smack him when he casts a spell.
GM: He begins to mumble and wave his hands.
Martial: Is he casting a spell or just bluffing. Don't need to know which spell he's trying to cast, just whether or not he's casting.
GM: Spellcraft check?
Martial: Sure, here you go.

If you've got spellcraft trained, you should be able to ID whether or not he's actually casting or not with a fairly reasonable spellcraft check at the most, certainly lower than it takes to ID what he's casting. I personally generally let people ID an actual cast flat out if they have spellcraft trained, and not if they don't. Though I could see requiring something like a DC 10 (or 10 + spell level at most) to ID the fact that they're casting.

What's the point? The spellcaster is taking his action. Are you NOT going to hit him because he's not casting a spell?

I start to wave my hands and mumble as my move action.

The barbarian hits you.

Ok, for my standard action I cast dominate person on the barbarian.


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TCG, you have way too much spare time. Go start a PbP homebrew campaign merging PF, Cthulu, and the old d6 Star Wars rules in the Gammaworld universe. That might keep you busy for a while.
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Also, we don't know the system mastery level of the group. They may honestly not know there are other ways to take care of those classic 'roles' in the party.

Another thing would be knowing the actual roles of the rest of the party. The druid, fighter, ranger, and cleric could all be melee machines. The druid and cleric could be offensive casters. PF lets you make almost any class fill almost any role to the point where just the class name doesn't really tell you very much about the character anymore.


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Jaelithe wrote:

...

Quote:

Second, very few of us are saying GMPC’s are always done badly and should never be used. What we are saying is:

- While we acknowledge that a GMPC can be done well and be great for a campaign. It is also very true that a GMPC can be done really horribly. I don’t think this is at all controversial. I think almost all players have examples of GMPC gone bad.

Agreed. But usually it's attached to someone who's a bad DM otherwise, as well, in my experience.

Quote:
GMPC seems to be done poorly more often than done well. Yes, this could just be perception or isolated incidents.
DMing seems, in my opinion, to be done poorly more often than done well, so ... that's not unique to DMPCs. ...

True. I would never say that a GMPC is the only thing that can go wrong. Or that just that one thing, even if done wrong, will cause me to walk away.

I have stayed with a GM that insisted on using a bad GMPC because most of the rest of the experience was pretty durn good. It still would have been better without.

But it has become an indicator for me. I see an obvious GMPC and it's like a flashing yellow warning light "Uh Oh Be Careful, This Could Be Another One Of Those GM's"

Jaelithe wrote:

...

Quote:
Yet to many of us it seems to be a fairly consistent occurrence. To the point where some people will quit (or never join) a group as soon as they learn there is a GMPC in use.

I feel no need to coddle people with the mentality of nine-year-olds who decide, "There's something here I may not like. Not even gonna give it a chance!"

Gosh ... I'll really miss you.

Quote:
Small point. Most players that I have known will not tell the GM, "I don't like your GMPC." They don’t want to initiate that confrontation. They will just become more and more dissatisfied until they quit the group. The GM will never know that the GMPC contributed to the dissatisfaction.

In other words, "I'll be a passive-aggressive wimp about this, and just walk away, rather than show an iota of backbone and say, 'You know, this isn't working for me.'" What ... a ... crock.

Not only small, but appalling ... and speaking to their issues, not the DM's. Players are solely responsible for having the strength of character to say what's working for them and what isn't. ...

That wouldn't be passive-aggressive, at worst it is just passive. No hidden aggression or striking back.

It's also not acting like a 9 year old. Nine year olds are the ones that throw screaming hissy fits. They don't politely say, "This group doesn't seem to be matching up to where I like to see my game going. I hope you guys have fun in the future and find someone more to your liking."

I understand what you are saying here and I sorta understand it. On the other hand.
I am one of those people that probably would not say anything on a subject like this to the GM for 2 distinct reasons.
A) If no one else seems uncomfortable with it, I will probably assume it is a long term factor in their game. They are used to it and enjoy it. It would be rather petty of me to expect them to change their existing game just for me.
B) This game is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime. Around 90% of my professional job is confrontation and arguing with people. I game to get away from that not add to it.
Adding a confrontation questioning how someone runs things is not enjoyable. Especially if might be someone who doesn't take such comments well. To be honest some of your responses in this thread sound like someone who would turn any such criticisms into an antagonistic argument.
Guess what? Not liking that one aspect has just turned into not liking the whole situation. I'm probably going to be quitting the group at that point anyway.
What would that confrontation have gained me?

Do I have the strength of character, intestinal fortitude, or whatever you want to call it for a confrontation? Of course I do, it's how I make my living. Doesn't mean I feel it is worth it in this case, will have a desirable result, or is how I want to spend my free time.
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Feed back that is less likely to set-off the GM and I think he will actually listen, yeah sure. I've given feedback and suggestions, no problem.


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Jaelithe wrote:
I find the anti-DMPC crusade tiresome and silly, frankly, because it almost invariably features sweeping generalizations that are usually resentment-laden and downright vitriolic, as with some of the above posts. ...

First, many of the above examples of good GMPC’s would not be called a GMPC in my groups. They would just be a long term re-occurring NPC.

Second, very few of us are saying GMPC’s are always done badly and should never be used. What we are saying is:
- While we acknowledge that a GMPC can be done well and be great for a campaign. It is also very true that a GMPC can be done really horribly. I don’t think this is at all controversial. I think almost all players have examples of GMPC gone bad.
- GMPC seems to be done poorly more often than done well. Yes, this could just be perception or isolated incidents. Yet to many of us it seems to be a fairly consistent occurrence. To the point where some people will quit (or never join) a group as soon as they learn there is a GMPC in use.
- GMPC is very easy to do badly without the GM apparently realizing he is doing it badly.
- GMPC is so ‘expected’ to be a problem, that some players will begin looking for and anticipating problems that may or may not actually be there. So even if run well, it could be causing friction within the group just by its very existence in the game.
- The plot help or capability assistance the GMPC is intended to provide can almost always be provided in some less controversial method that is less susceptible to causing problems.
- Many of us prefer to not utilize such a problem prone option when another possibility exists.

NOTE: This is not an absolute. I have still used them on occasion and will continue to do so when it is the appropriate solution to the situation. But I always try to explore some other solution first. If I do use one, I am very careful in how I go about it.
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Jaelithe wrote:

...

If your players bring it up as an issue, then you should probably reconsider the character's participation. ...

Small point. Most players that I have known will not tell the GM, "I don't like your GMPC." They don’t want to initiate that confrontation. They will just become more and more dissatisfied until they quit the group. The GM will never know that the GMPC contributed to the dissatisfaction.

That is one of the reasons I rarely use them anymore. I am aware that I am not nearly empathic enough to intuit the players being dissatisfied with the GMPC if no one says anything. So I don’t see enough potential gain to take the risk that I might be running it worse than I thought.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

If you're not comfortable roleplaying, then view the game as an opportunity to fix that ...

... RPGs are the antithesis of "casual gaming" - ... you need to be creative to play RPGs. ...

... a deceptive trap that's led to "play only this way because ..."

... It's something to aspire to ... you practice and aspire to improve ...

... I'm feeling edged out of what should be my home turf ...

Do you realize that what you are saying comes surprisingly close to - Play only this way, that's the game I like.

There is a place in the game for people that want to expand their ability/freedom/creativity to role play. Occasionally I really get into that myself (more so when I was younger and had less responsibilities).

But not usually. I have an extremely stressful job. I am constantly challenged and pushed 'outside my comfort zone' on a daily basis. Usually, I do not look for that in my RPG time. I want to relax, putz around with something I'm pretty good at, hang out with my friends, and just have fun. I don't want a challenge to my emotional interactive equilibrium.

What many people call a beer and pretzel game (although I don't drink beer).

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
... and judging from the Favorite I've earned on that last post, I'm not alone).

You are certainly not alone. I'm quite sure there are a significant number of people that like to game the way you do. There is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes however, it is difficult to match up those people at the same location and time.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
... There isn't one worthy pursuit in all the world that's meant for everyone. ...

Agreed, but there is also no need to exclude people from something they have fun with because they don't play the game the way you like it.

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