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I miss the old way. I wish PFS would have at least kept the old style in place in Seasons 0-4. I've only had bad experiences with Secondary Success Conditions, and I really enjoyed having a task all to myself every session, and how I could challenge myself to complete the task in a cool and clever way.
For the issues with the Rules forum, it would be nice to see some sort of mechanism for curation of rules questions and their answers. Like maybe an upvote/downvote system to promote the posts which answer the question. Sort of like Stack Overflow.
As it is right now, the Rules Forum is the place where good questions go to die, as well as clog up the search function for future users with rules questions. I wonder how many hours the Pathfinder community has wasted wading through so many useless and misleading posts in the Rules forum.
It's also entirely possible that the spread of the church of Sarenrae actually is a Qadiran plot to conquer Taldor without going against the wishes of central leadership. It's possible that Taldor had very good reasons to institute the ban.
Anyways, we really could use a new Taldor book. Hopefully, this interesting piece of shades-of-grey canon will be either reinstituted or replaced with some other really interesting shades-of-grey aspect of the country.
-Matt really enjoyed helping out the cultists while planning how to sell them out while playing in that PFS scenario.
Lessons of Chaldira is fine now though, it was nerfed to allowing you a reroll before the failure/success is revealed, which is far less powerful.
Okay, that's good news, thanks for that.
Alchemical allocation basically lets an Alch4 get the extract benefits of being an Alch7. And if the Alchemist can find a higher-CL potion on a Chronicle (ex: Ruby Phoenix Tournament), it really gets out of control. Also, there have been some items printed since Allocation which make it really spin out of control even more.
I'll have to think about the Pageant of the Peacock masterpiece. My off-the-top-of-my-head reaction tells me that Bards need a bone considering what's allowed in PFS these days. Either way, Pageant is definitely not the highest-priority option to remove. It would be silly to remove Pageant but keep Slumber Hex, for example.
Speaking of flying-pouncing monstrosities, I can make a few contributions to this list off the top of my head...
It's my experience that chases are great when the GM goes for the abstract, highly-descriptive approach instead of the concrete "these are 30' foot spaces, here are the very-specific obstacles with very-specific ways to get past them" approach.
The players need to be on board, too, as they need to be willing to play along and be abstract and descriptive instead of bludgeoning every obstacle with numbers alone.
But if for some reason you go for higher optimization (without even going for broken things) the rogues fall behing the other roguish characters, do we agree on this?
I won't disagree with that. I took the DPR challenge with Raquel, and she fell short of an Archaeologist10's DPR. However, the Archaeologist busted out a bunch of daily resources. At the same time, though, I never sat at a PFS table with a roguish character that outdid my Rogues.
So, if the daily resource use doesn't come up, the Archaeologist will win out. If the daily resources are an issue, Raquel is looking a lot better.
This right here is, IMO, one of the fundamental problems of Pathfinder. So much of the game is balanced around daily resources, yet there are no built-in mechanisms to enforce that restriction.
The Rogue and the Fighter have zero built-in per-day abilities. The board really dislikes the Rogue and the Fighter. I do not believe that this is a coincidence.
So, in short, after 2,500+ posts the answer is NO, we CANNOT make the rogue "work" ... There will always be a class that can fill the rogue's role more effectively.
The existence of a more powerful option does not invalidate the less powerful option. You're basically saying that bicycles can't get you a mile down the road simply because cars exist.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
The problem being, of course, that applying a similar level of system mastery to non-rogues produces characters who can shatter published content.
I agree with you, Chengar. It's not very difficult to produce characters who blow through published material. The APs are designed for a party of four 15-point characters with very few non-Core options, meaning that adding in all the powercreep which has occurred since will smash things. The Rogue, I'll say, started off behind a bunch of other classes, and hasn't gotten the same powercreep boost that other classes have received.
That being said... Can we make the Rogue work in published content? Absolutely. The Rogue just doesn't turn published content into Easy Mode like several other classes (with their powercreep) do.
So, if you and all of your group enjoy Easy Mode, I can understand avoiding the Rogue. There's plenty of material out there for you and your group to build whatever Smashy McSmashersons you want. But if you or any of your group don't enjoy Easy Mode, the Rogue is a pretty good idea.
-Matt doesn't enjoy Easy Mode.
Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that the canon speaking of the current state of the Empire is in a place where the primary elements are all in the mind of the reader. Josh Frost spent quite a lot of his word count on Cassomir rather than on developing the Empire itself. Consider that this thread speaks more about Princess Eutropia than the canon's two sentences ever did.
The answer to the original poster's question is whatever you want it to be. We would need a new and well-done setting book to have any more to work with.
Yeah, that article has me curious and excited for what's coming this fall. I wonder what sorts of fresh ideas the three global admins are bringing to the table, and how both PFS and this Moonsea campaign can learn from each other as well as provide a good experience for a greater variety of players as a result of there being more content out there.
Rogues aren't actually a very good face because they don't get much to go into their face skills other than skill ranks and in class.
And that's kind of my point... skill ranks, the class skill bump, a decent attribute, and maybe some magic items... that's all you need. And once you can hit all your DCs, just like when you're spanking every combat you run into... any further improvement is unimportant.
It's not about achieving the highest modifier after expending a whole bunch of traits and daily spells. It's about being able to hit your DCs. I'd even say that the characters who can do that with the least resource expenditures are the "best" face characters.
Assuming that figure is correct, I'd say that the real question here is:
Why are so few games at Tier 7-11? Why are so many players dropping out of the campaign before they play Tier 7-11?
Even if the campaign were to add fifty Tier 1-5s a year, that would not address the issue of player retention that the Tier 7-11 figure is indicative of.
There's also the option of working things from the other end. If your players crave action and danger, kindly inform them that bringing Easy Mode PCs will deny them and their tablemates of the desired experience. PFS won't let you adjust the scenario to the PCs, but you can adjust the PCs to the scenario.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Rogues get an at-will Dex-to-damage option in Flight Stunt; while clearly not a Level 2 talent, flight isn't exactly hard to pull off at higher levels.
Note that Rogues cannot actually take ranks in the Fly skill. On top of that, the flight stunt requires a Fly check against CMD, as a swift action, while charging from the air. That's not exactly at-will. But apparently it's so powerful that the extra damage needs to be precision damage.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Swim Stunt is great if you're playing an unterwater game, or better yet, if you're GMing a game where the PCs are forced to go underwater. It's situational, sure, but it's situationally deadly.
Do you know how many rounds, and thus how many dice of sneak damage, would have to be sacrificed for this talent to have any actual effect at all?
A 14-Con enemy can hold its breath for 28 rounds. We're looking at at least 20 rounds the rogue would have to strip away, by sacrificing 20d6 of sneak attack. Keep in mind that the Rogue can only make the attempt (which fails on a missed attack, might I add) once per round. And this stunt doesn't actually kill the target, it just forces the target to start making Constitution checks. Sneak attack damage, that does work to kill the target. Simple mathematics tell us that using this stunt actually makes the target live longer than it would if the Rogue rolled his d6s.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sneak attack was nice in 3.5, when you could give a halfling rogue a ring of blinking and a sackful of acid flasks. In PF, it's not so good.
Though blink may not work so well for achieving ranged sneak attacks, tiny hut still does.
Thomas Graham wrote:
Any scenario in the 7-11 range that lets my Gunslinger Kyrie put a bullet into Torch's head for good please.
Hmm... I wonder what Torch ever did that made him worth killing. I thought he was the good guy, waging a campaign of accountability with a side of vengeance against the well-deserving Decemvirate.
I wonder... does greater magic weapon actually stack with furious, or does it simply provide a "constant overwrite" effect of the weapon's enhancement bonus?
If the latter... then the greater magic weapon/furious/courageous combo doesn't really work, and courageous simply requires a CL 16+ casting of greater magic weapon to go nuclear.
King of Vrock wrote:
With courageous he still needs to make an attack with the weapon to gain the bonuses.
How does that work with Rage, Vrock? Do the barbarian's hit points, saves, etc. bounce up and down based on whether he is attacking? If so, when exactly does the barbarian stop attacking?
See the weirdness?
I do not see a way to structure a card-based range-related chase which is both compelling and has any potential for entertainment past APL 7.
Off the top of my head, I'd say:
-Is there a reason why ranges can't be abstracted?
I remember designing a chase for The Golemworks Incident...:
meant to cover the case where Black teleports away. If I remember correctly (this was about eighteen months ago), the mod doesn't cover what happens next, because the text assumes that the players incapacitate Black. The chase scene I drew up for it had the players pursuing Black through investigation, making checks to track down Black's safehouse in the city before Black could burn his loose ends and get away. I basically came up with Law and Order on index cards. There, I abstracted both time and distance.
The chase scenes we have seen from Paizo have been low-level chases. That does not mean that adaptation past 4th level is impossible.
But that's for another day, and for scenario authors to consider, not so much for the GM running an existing chase.
Though this will never happen, it could make for a good discussion:
-Reduce PFS characters' point-buy down to 15, as well as sharply reduce the number of Additional Resources offerings which a given character can take, in order to align the power level of PFS characters with the power level that Paizo products expect.
In other words, if the APs assume 15-point PCs with little to no non-Core options, would PFS be better served if its PCs adhered to the same baseline?
I stumbled across this earlier today. Looks like big changes are coming to the leadership of the Society! I was pretty blown away, but I'll let you guys read and find out about what's happening to the Decemvirate yourself.
I recently commissioned a portrait of the lovely and elegant Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher. The Lady is pictured in an example of her adventuring garb.
Mark Seifter wrote:
The top Lymnieris devotion boon, which anyone can get at super-high levels for one feat, allows limitless lowering of people's age categories with no apparent duration or reversibility.
Good call. The method I'm thinking of is not a player option, though, as in not related to a feat, spell, class feature, etc.
Anyways, I'm really glad to see that we've moved well beyond "Doesn't work in PFS. Sorry." and we are coming up with ways for the original poster to accomplish his goal.
Erick Wilson wrote:
Well said. One could argue that RAW is too-often used as a mechanism for absolving oneself of any social responsibility. "It's legal, so I deserve to play this superpowered character. It's not my fault that I'm steamrolling scenarios and soloing everything, it's the campaign's fault!"
This is actually why I try to avoid using alignment at all. The players who are able to treat it as a roleplaying aid don't need the crutch, and the players who are not able to often use it as an excuse to cause social conflict.
Alignment is just more trouble than it's worth.
In fact, let's examine the story that spawned this thread once more, with more objective language and stripping out references to alignment and the poster's character class, which the OP has also cited as justification for his actions...
Unaligned Clone of OP wrote:
There we go. Based on this version of the tale, is the GM worthy of being called a bad GM?
48. Just as every Runelord knew about the power of Divination, so do I. I will not be caught unaware of the meddling adventurers. I will make sure I know when they are coming, and I will cast my buff spells right before they do, just as I know they are casting theirs right before they meet me.
49. I will commission dispel magic traps in my sanctum, which will target those up-to-no-good Pathfinders.
50. I will always have a way to escape. I know that the Pathfinders are coming, and they always kill anything with a statblock (and some things without!). I will not trust them when they say they don't mean to kill me, because they do.
I am not really seeing how that is true. A group of 4 or 6 pregens is going to be crushed in many scenarios, especially 5-9 or 7-11's.
If that is actually the case, then it is a problem of the campaign not adhering to the expectations it has set for itself. The standards are still in place.
The Fox wrote:
Matt, what is an appropriate benchmark?
I would say take the Core pregens and let them be the benchmark.
The campaign staff believes that the power level of the campaign's opposition is at a level such that a player playing a pregen should and will have a good time, making them the best thing PFS has, and a very appropriate thing, for players to compare their characters to.
I have learned that the Paizo board wisdom often focuses way too much on optimization for combat effectiveness, and following such wisdom is actually a bad thing in Pathfinder Society. That wisdom simply tries to maximize effectiveness, without paying consideration to the power level of the opponents. Since Pathfinder gets a lot less fun when overpowered characters are at the table, players who subscribe to that wisdom often harm the fun of the whole table.
I have learned that it's actually pretty tough, as a player, to build a PC that is of a "just right" power level. There is just so much variability of power level of the available material, from the Core to the splatbooks, that it's very easy to build an overpowered character "accidentally" instead of intentionally.
I have learned that it's very important to find a group of players and GMs who all have similar expectations about power level. Unfortunately, the nature of Pathfinder Society means that stable groups with aligned expectations will have trouble with a "public" campaign.
A scenario author's. This sounds like a great item for a Chronicle.