The arms race is progressing nicely as the NPCs have caught up somewhat. Season 4 is more dangerous; but not suicidal. Take care about playing up, playing with a group of fewer than six, think a bit more creatively and don't assume that all problems can be solved by a frontal assault, or that diplomacy or temporary retreat is not an option. Those who are adventurers do not whine, they overcome. And remember to bring extra wands and healing potions... I do think that the PFS danger level is more in line of what it should be now than in former years. One can't reasonably expect to just come to the table and be handed a cert.
The whole idea of factions is only window dressing unless each faction not only stands for a clear aim and ideal; but the results of completed faction missions substantially effect the plot arc of the campaign and is closly tied to the rise/fall/ relative benefits of that faction.
I would not like the DM rolling the stats for my character- it's like getting a pre-gen. I would politely explain my position and ask to be able to roll my own character's stats. If the DM refused to do this, I would still try out the game- looking upon it as a challenge rather than a foredoomed scenario. Remember that the array that the DM provided still has four stats which have plus one bonuses even before you pick your character's race and class. I don't consider the offered array to be hopeless, even though its stats are lower than the other characters recieved. I have often found that a character's success can depend more on the ideas and tactics the player utilizes than that character's starting stats. And, as the game progresses, your character may have the opportunity to gain even more effectiveness by finding or purchasing magic items. Maybe my attitude in this regard comes from having played D&D and creating characters utilizing the old "roll 3d6 and assign them sequentially as rolled" method which, by comparison, makes this DM seem generous. After having actually tried out the game, if I thought the DM was being unfair, I could withdraw.
I think that the only way to find out if you and your kids will like Pathfinder is to try it out. I would suggest that you see if you can attend a Pathfinder Society game in your area. You might want to contact your area's Venture Captain to locate a suitable gaming spot. Please note that the Pathfinder Society games usually last 3 1/2 to 5 hours, and are somewhat more structured than a typical home game, primarily due to the need for more uniformity in an organized campaign and the time limit involved. However, it will at least introduce you to the game, character creation and the world of Golarion setting. There are introductory modules just for new players. I am sure that you could also arrange to have the DM or another player help in character creation. I know that in the group I play with, the "veterans" are always happy to help new players. Please also note that there are opportunitys for role-playing in Pathfinder- much depends on the DM and players in the group.
My personal opinion is that cure (and wands of cure) spells should only be allowed to heal good or neutral creatures; and that wands of infernal healing should only be allowed to heal evil or neutral creatures. I realize that my personal opinion differs from the Pathfinder ruling.
For me, the fun of the game is the individual challenge and the cooperation with fellow Pathfinders to overcome challenges. If the game entails no challenge or real risk of character death, then it is not interesting. You might as well walk into the gaming session yelling "give me the cert ( or XP and treasure )" and have the DM hand all the rewards to you immediately. Making games easier and less challenging merely reflects our present culture of unearned freebies and entitlements.
I had my first character death playing PFS# 4-16 last night. I was not happy about it; but- looking back- it resulted from a combinaion of "playing up" in a level 8-9 module with a level 6 character, not being cautious enough while attempting to play my character's alignment, and an unlucky (or not lucky enough) FORT save roll. Ocassional character death should happen, even if it happens to my own character which I DO NOT resurrect. If it doesn't, the game is an essentially meaningless exercise in self gratification.
Pyromaniac: likes to start fires or explosions, is enraptured by fire-sometimes just dreamily stares at it. As is well known, goblins hate books and reading, as it is commonly known (by goblins) that the reading of words steals your soul. This brings up the interesting question of goblin's reaction to picture books of fires and explosions- would they shun these type of books or treat them as a sort of pyro porn ? Goblins also love the game of "conk"- whose sole purpose is to sneak up behind another goblin and hit them over the head ( or, even better, set them on fire ). P.S. Dont get too realistic with the fires: use paper tokens instead of matches.
When my players are... I no longer feel bad for DMs who hate on whiny players, also i have results about the entire party of wizards thing
This has gone on far too long. MM insists on being right, has a harsh attitude, and and is ready to punish the players characters at the drop of a snooze. The players want a campaign that makes them ubermenshen. No one seems able to really listen to one another or to compromise. Maybe they deserve each other?
When my players are... I no longer feel bad for DMs who hate on whiny players, also i have results about the entire party of wizards thing
I'm not going to get hung up on the sleep issue in this homerule game. If that's the way the DM wants to run it, so be it. The fact that the party survived, even if inelegantly, should be viewed as a success on their part ( and might even be looked upon by the party as a heroic victory against overwhelming kobold odds ). What the DM might consider, prior to running the next session, is a discussion with the players as to what they felt they learned from this last battle and what different type of tactics or spells ( if any ) they might have used to make an even more successful outcome. In this discussion, the DM should not suggest particular tactics but merely let the group evaluate their own performance and devise their own possible alternative tactics. Learning usually seems to "sink in" better when it comes from the group itself rather than a lecture.
This thread is just another example of min-max munchkinism; players wanting to have unrealistic or God-like stats and priviledges from the get-go. It's always more of an adventure and challenge when you start out with a normal stat array and are able to complete difficult adventures and grow your character along the way. My groups have always used 4d6 (no re-rolls) and don't whine if they get a stat under a 10. I'm proud to be very old school; and my groups have been playing together for years, so I guess I must be doing something right. But, for those who wish to take the road of entitlement and priviledge, that's your right. I hope all of us will have fun in our own way.
CHAOTIC EVIL: NO RESPECT FOR ANY LAW EXCEPT HIS OWN self-centered scizophrenic/ multi personality(?) WISHES. Little or no self control and/or consistency in his behavior. Definitely would suggest he be involuntarily hospitalized and medicated.
In my experience since Pathfinder year zero, character deaths averaged less than 1%. Year 4 modules are harder, so carefully consider before playing up. Personally, I refuse to raise any of my characters that die. Causes of character death most often seen: 1. poor tactics, especially separating from the group or reckless charging. 2.Plain old bad luck. 3. Playing up and/or not knowing or considering retreat as an option.
I believe that more unique items should be available via the chronicle sheets. These don't have to be major munchkin improvements-they might simply be flavorful. For example, the Andoran Freedom Medal- awarded for freeing x number of slaves (this might raise your diplomacy in Andoran controlled areas, but lower it in areas where slaveholding is legal).
While in a town or city, a package is delivered to the PC in question. It contains a note on the outside which reads: " I have been following your exploits for some time and you have shown yourself worthy of this small gift, which you might consider as a down payment on a future endeavor I have in mind. Perhaps you and your associates can meet me at ( insert local tavern name ) tonight. Signed, Omnicience." Inside, an ornate giftbox contains a magical gemmed sword (or other type of weapon or wand the character normally would use). Two rounds after touching the sword, it explodes for xd6 damage (the gems are delayed fireballs ). This not only kills the character in question; but can set the stage for the next quest- to find and repay Omnicience, who might be a high level Wizard/Assassin heading an assassins guild.
I would let a player re-roll his character on a one time basis as long as his new character is a beginning first level character. Beyond this, kiss the entitlement hobo goodby.
In my home games, all the characters are created by dice rolling rather than point buy. This has been accepted by all the players involved. And, if one or a few players get lower scores, they look upon it as a challenge to survive, accomplish their goals, and prove their skill even if the die rolls did not initially favor them. If a player wishes to create a purposely flawed character, that is totally within his/her right-he or she just has to be willing to take the game risks involved. I have found that as long as the group sticks together, cooperates, and makes up for each other's weaknesses, things usually seem to work out o.k. And that is also a good lesson for real life.
I am of the strong opinion that more level 1-5 modules are needed. The relative scarcity of these new modules is a hurdle in recruiting newer players. Additionally, I think it is easier to recruit D.M's for lower level modules than for higher level ones ( I, for one , feel far more uncomfortable in D.Ming the higher level mods as they are much more complicated in terms of the rules and the intricacy and scope of the material and interactions involved ). This also can exaccerbate the problem of D.M. burnout, in which a relatively low number of highly qualified D.M's must assume a preponderance of the work.
I still believe that boons should be awarded only for character participation in Pathfinder game activities; and that they should only apply to the specific character that was played. The enjoyment derived from books should be its own reward, and should not be used as an encouragement for book sales. Similarly, rerolls for purchasing shirts should be barred. I think that this marketing tactic is a poor choice from an ethical standpoint, though it probably is an effective marketing ploy. I recently attended a convention at which I was awarded a book boon. I will be keeping that particular boon as a souvenir of a very enjoyable and well-run convention, but will not apply that particular boon to any of my characters. Additionally, the use of boons/rewards/ tie-ins is a slippery slope. What could be next- boons for purchasing Barbie dolls?
Pathfinder flourishes because:1. Wotc/Hasbro abandoned 3.5 and replaced it with something far inferior- thus creating a vacant niche for another new company to step in. 2.The WoTC/Hasbro replacement was done in the worst possible way, thereby alienating many of it's former customers (I, for one, have not bought a Hasbro product since this was done) and 3. Pathfinder turned out to be an improvement on 3.5, along with great service and support by the company. Pathfinder, despite a few flaws, is an eminently playable and fun game. I don't think Pathfinder 2.0 is needed.
I would never play in a group where PvP is allowed. If it happened and the DM did nothing about it, I would quit immediately. Incidentally, it is for this reason that I will NOT become involved in Pathfinder Online. Pathfinder should be a cooperative game- not adverserial.
If you don't roleplay your stats, all you are doing is cheesy min-maxing. But I guess some people just want to be able to have the advantages of higher stats in certain areas without the penalties involved with their dump stats.
Give them 5 minutes to talk to each other and hopefully work it out. If they don't come to a satisfactory agreement, let the fighter character leave the group. And the imp, who has overheard the conversation has gone invisible,so the fighter can't just kill him before he leaves. Send the player playing the fighter to a separate area to make a new character. Once the fighter leaves, the imp can attack him separately. If the fighter can survive long enough, he might even be able to call out for the group's aid...
In my home games, one person in the party can listen at a door. He can be aided by anyone within 5 feet of the door. Or, he can "take twenty'. Multiple listen checks are not allowed. Any occupant(s) of the area behind the door also get listen checks. Even if the space behind the door is empty, I roll a fake listen check in secret.
I have always, and still, believe that the practices of slavery and devil worship are inherently and majorly evil. For these reasons I have also always believed that the faction of Cheliax deserves an evil status; and that it therefore should be outlawed by Paizo as a player option. Hopefully, Paizo will do this in the future. Unfortunately, at present, Paizo has chosen not to do so; and I therefore have to endure the situation as it is. I cooperate with individual Chelaxian Pathfinders as long as they do not push their faction beliefs jerkishly towards my character. If they do, they may experience lack of healing or sub-optimal tactics as far as their character is concerned.
Are your players happy and enjoying the game? Talk with each of them to see what they like/dislike. Do they prefer lots of combat? any particular themes? Puzzles? Political and/or social intrigue? Find a way for each group member to shine by using his/her character's special skills/abilities. Let each member find a way to make his/her own character memorable and special. Ask each group member what they would like to see their character accomplish. The fact that your group is meeting regularly and has grown is a positive sign that you are doing well. Let us know,in a few months, how things have progressed.
There is no such thing as a perfect character. As long as the chracter is legally made following the Pathfinder rules, let that character exploit his strengths. But, as has been pointed out, evry character and group has weaknesses which should occassionally be exploited- especially by intelligent enemies. The DM should try to utilize different types of tactics and terrain, and to not make all encounters combat oriented.
The season 4 modules are definitely riskier, especially if played with only 4 players. I would advise the average player not to play up unless they can they are willing to have a much higher chance of their characters death to gain greater reward. If your character is optimized and is adventuring with a balanced and tactically experienced group, then the risk is somewhat lessened. In our New York group, we've had very few character deaths over the years. Maybe it's because of the high skill level of some of the players ( some of whom have become Venture Captains, Venture Lieutenants, or have graduated to work and/or write for Paizo).Anyway, i'd just like to take this moment to express appreciation and thanks to our group members, our GM's, Venture Captains, and to our group coordinator, Helen Keier.
I have always believed that PFS scenarios should have faction missions which, at times, should be potentially mutually exclusive. For example, one faction's goal for a particular scenario might be to rescue/free a runaway slave while another faction's goal might be to see that the slave is returned to his master. As it is, different factions and their members are too cooperative, chummy,and non secretive. If the game has factions at all, there must be at least the possibility of factional intrigue. Oh, and by the way, whatever has happened to the promise of rewards/benefits for the most successful faction(s).
In my day, colleges used to charge a higher fee for non-matriculated as opposed to matriculated students. Matriculated students had to carry at least nine credit hours. Thus, if you carry less that the minimum number of courses to maintain a matriculated status, you can wind up both paying more and being in a slower time path towards graduation. You might, in this instance, consider taking an additional course per semester if this would grant matriculated status. Disscuss this with your college guidance/financial counselor. Also, dependent upon your life experience, your college might be able to grant you additional college credits reflective of your experience. Finally, you might want to check out if the college has any specialized scholarship aid available either for students in your specific major or for your specialized population group. Hope this is helpful.
In my homebrew gameworld, the players decisions/rise in power change the campaign. And the players decisions do not necessarily serve the cause of good or of national cooperation. The players can become rulers of a town, fiefdom or nation. And, of course, even if the players help one of their group to become a god, other gods can become involved...
The computer address for the New York State agency I spoke about is: www.vesid.nysed.gov. Hope this can help someone- but you have to start well in advance of whatever you are planning in order to be accepted as a client and subsequently recieve assistance.
In New York State, a state agency which used to be called New York State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation ( it changed its name and i'm unsure of its current one )can pay for educational training/tuition costs and many other ancillary costs such as special equipment necessary for the student. One has to apply to that agency and meet their lenghty requirements in order to prove that the applicant has a permanently handicapping condition. This agency must approve expenditures for these purposes before they are incurred by the student. I have no idea as to whether this agency retroactively can provide assistance. Students in other states should call their state governments to see if they have similar programs for the handicapped.
My advice to any student considering college would first be to consider a community college for the first two years as tuition at these institutions is generally much lower. Live at home if possible to save costs. Choose your major very carefully, as few real jobs may be available for students majoring in certain subjects. Make a financial plan so you'll know beforehand how much college is going to cost, and whether you can afford it without going into a life of perennial debt. Work part and/or summers time to offset tuition costs. ONE NEEDS TO HAVE A LONG RANGE REALISTIC PLAN BEFORE ENTERING INTO ANY MAJOR COMMITTMENT. The fact that many college students do not take these steps beforehand, leads to situations where not only are students entangled in debt; but that the government is now on the hook for billions of dollars which will probably never be repaid (similar to the housing bubble which burst). Every individual is ultimately responsible for his/her own welfare. Carefully evaluate your own and your family's present financial situation in light of your own income and expenses, consider how expenses can be reduced or income raised (second part-time job?) and set priorities on which things are really necessary and/or must be paid first. Unfortunately, it has taken a long time to get into this situation, so expect that the reality is it will take a long time to get out of it.
I'm looking foward to "Ultimate Campaign" and plan on using some of the ideas you have already highlighted ( although I adamantly refuse the re-make of cheesier characters ). I especially look forward to the expanded Kingmaker rules for building towns and cities, mass combat rules, charts to help players expand upon their character's personal histories, and young character options.