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You know, the low amount of first-party material means very little power creep and great opportunities for third party publishers to step in and provide awesome content.
If you think about it, this decision is great for third party publishers.
On that note, if Paizo were to start publishing 5E-compatible APs, that would be a huge deal, and a huge opportunity for Paizo.
Ok, so, the time line we have...
2013 is when the reactionary hate voting began, and the con was in Texas.
2014 is the year of the blacklisting of the hate nominees, and the con was in London.
The con is in Washington State this year.
Hmm... Not conclusive, but I might be onto something.
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Indeed. My games involve being good as a difficult road, with commensurate benefits.
Problem is... the Pathfinder Society campaign makes being good unsatisfying and un-beneficial. And then there's the problem of needing the whole party to be willing to go down that road with you.
You're right, Koujow. I recall, actually, very early on, having the same visions of Indiana Jones. Funnily enough, one of Paizo's freelancers, who was active all the way back in 2008, told me that the PFS are more like Dr. Belloq than Indiana Jones.
And it's true. It got a bit old after awhile, largely because I found it pretty silly to see, over and over, absolutely zero negative repercussions for the Society's shady ways. In Golarion, just as in the real world, crime does pay when you or your bosses have enough money and influence to make the consequences disappear.
Anyways, I reacted by having my character take her growing resentment of the PFS and act on it. It was pretty fun, but I agree with the observation that the other players were perfectly happy to follow the criminal railroad (my Eyes of the Ten group was a notable exception. Wow, that was great). It's amazing to see what lengths players will go to justify that Prestige Point.
It's kinda weird (and misleading) how Paladins are OK and Evil characters aren't, isn't it?
It's interesting to see how, as of right now, characters of an asexual nature (14.1%) are more prevalent than characters of a homosexual nature (5.6%).
It's also interesting to see that female characters are, as of right now, less likely to be heterosexual (35.0%) than male characters (50.9%), and significantly more likely to be bisexual (27.2% v 10.2%).
It's a start. What would be nice is to have a set of reference points for these sorts of stats, so players can, with a quick glance, see where their PCs are falling behind. Such a table would be great in a guide to 8-9 and 10-11.
Also useful would be a second set of reference points, this one showing stats beyond which a PC starts to trivialize content.
The space between, perhaps it could be called the Fun Zone?
Unfortunately, just what is "Sub-competent" is so subjective. I remember when I made the aforementioned PC, I asked the board the question of just what level of combat effectiveness is considered "minimum competence." I received zero answers.
The board is apparent very good at maximizing them numbas. They aren't so good at figuring out what "competence" means beyond a named bonus type.
So... In a conversation about "competence," the question remains... What does "competent" mean? How much attack bonus? How much damage? How much AC? How high of a save DC? How high of a skill modifier? Etc.
Before accusing another player of bring a character which "takes more than it gives," it might be smart to define what that competence line actually is.
I would hope that my tablemates enjoyed having me around while I was moving up the levels with my unoptimized socially-focused PC.
Just when did this idea of "playing suboptimal PCs is a troll behavior" start propagating, anyways?
Also, I would suggest adding "embrace teamwork" and "think outside the box" as tips for 8-9 and 10-11 play.
You say that high level play (well, PFS really stops at mid-level play, but that's a point-of-view matter) is the reason we all play, yet you also say that you have multiple people who retire characters at sixth level.
Why is that? If later levels are so important, why do these people skip them?
In PFS Organized Play there isn't any time for mysterious backgrounds that are slowly revealed.
On the other hand, you could say that in PFS, there isn't any time to dispel other players' tendency to metagame based on assumptions made about your OOC description. Revealing that you are playing, say, a Paladin, that will inspire certain assumptions about your character, assumptions which may act as a detriment to the experience. Your character might look nothing like a stereotypical Paladin and not act particularly stereotypical-Paladin-like, but the other players most often will treat your character like that stereotypical Paladin, just due to that OOC mechanical knowledge.
So, is it not easier for everyone to just tell the party about the mechanical aspects that lead to appropriate assumptions rather than the metagaming problem?