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You should probably tell your friends that their "gifts" are technically illegal. Not just in the PFS sense, but as in illegally distributing digital media under U.S. Law.
Unless you are versed in the ins and outs of US intellectual property law, avoid making blanket statements about whether or not this is "technically illegal". Fair Use, for instance, may cover this.
Accusing people of being criminals isn't a good idea in the first place.
Regardless of whether or not it is illegal, you can't use PDFs with other people's watermarks to satisfy the Additional Resources requirements.
Season 0: Asmodeus Mirage was memorable
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
As this thread has probably shown, retraining rules are not used to make an unviable character viable. If your character is unviable, your best bet is either to get your hands on a free retrain boon (rare as hen's teeth), or hope that an errata comes along that allows you to retrain for free.
What people are using the retraining rules for is to either end up with a character that would have otherwise been impossible to make (for example, Pirate Rob's D-dooring Horizon Walker), or to allow a character to make a short-term decision without worrying about the longer-term consequences (Cleave being an obvious example).
Whether this was what was intended, I don't know. But your understanding - looking at it from the context of 'swapping a character' is not how it works.
In an ideal world, no errata would be necessary.
However, at the moment we have a couple of systems:
1. FAQs - these are split between Rules Clarifications, and stealth errata. There are a couple of cases where poorly thought out clarifications (often phrased as a certain interpretation rather than an overt errata) resulted in undesirable unforeseen consequences. An example of this would be the SLA ruling that was used for early entry into prestige classes.
2. Errata - these only get released when a new printing of a book is released, sentencing much of the Pathfinder Chronicle and Companion line to never receiving the errata it deserves. In addition, because it is set in stone when it is printed, Paizo tend to be very conservative about it. An example here would be the Bracers of Falcon's Aim, which was nerfed into uselessness.
The issue is that when an FAQ comes out, it still causes issues - sometimes it's unclear as to whether it was an actual rule change or not. Indeed, they are often worded as a "this is how it's always been interpreted" rather than a "this was printed incorrectly; it should have been different". Compare and contrast the SLA ruling with the Ring of Continuity FAQ-based stealth errata.
It is better to acknowledge that what is being done is errata, and mark it as such. I shouldn't need to refer to the FAQ to know what the rules are.
I believe that this is PFS related, because errata has a much more pronounced effect when one is required to abide by it. (If it isn't, feel free to move it).
This is a feeling that I've had for the past few years, and the recent printing of Ultimate Equipment finally made me post it.
Paizo staff are human, humans make mistakes.
When a published book has an error in it, errata is the only way to properly correct the error. An FAQ might 'clarify' the material (and even change it), and the Campaign Coordinator may choose to disallow it if it is a class or item, but the only way to really fix it is with errata.
And this is where the problems start occurring.
In my time playing PFS, the two most pronounced sets of errata have been the Ultimate Combat changes to various feats (like Crane Style), and these recent Ultimate Equipment changes.
Because of Paizo's policy of "we only errata when we reprint", many of the changes appear rushed, more for the purpose of ensuring that the rules are not abused than resulting in a balanced fix.
This also comes up with further issues with some of the fixes having unintended consequences, such as the Ring of Inner Fortitude negating polymorph spells. And since the second printing has already been typeset and probably sent to the printers, it's unlikely to be properly fixed in the next two years.
I understand that Paizo is not a large company, and that there are always development pressures, but as it stands, there is currently no good method to correct an error.
What we need is a revision of way the errata is issued. It should be decoupled from the release of new books, making it more easily modified and giving a better chance for it to be applied to less popular products. When a new printing of a book is needed, it can be applied and typeset.
Regardless, compelling people to purchase a new book, even a PDF, is horrible policy.
As a player, I don't want to be compelled to purchase a new book, just because it contains an updated version of a legal option that my character has been using for years. It's bad PR and breeds resentment.
It also affects my back and my luggage allowance.
Jason Wu wrote:
This is incorrect. With multiple arms, you have a single "primary hand", and the rest are "off-hands". With the primary hand, you take -6 to hit, and the secondary hands take -10 to hit, similar to two-weapon fighting. This is in addition to attacks granted by your BAB.
For example, with a dex of 16, and a BAB of +7, your six-armed eidolon could attack as follows:
+4 (primary with -6) / -1 (primary iterative with -6) / +0 (secondary) / +0 (tertiary).
Generally, you do not get additional attacks from BAB to non-primary hands.
The concentration check DC would be 10 + the CMB of the person doing the tying, + spell level. However, if they're being questioned at the time, I'd give the PCs an action to stop them (treat as a readied action).
If you're feeling difficult, you'd call it a surprise round, roll initiative, have him 'start casting the spell' and allow anyone who beat him in initiative to take a standard action to stop him.
I would have no problem allowing that ring in my game. For 36000gp, doing 10d6 damage as a touch attack is not at all overpowered. I wouldn't allow it to be activated as part of Spell Combat (if that's what you have in mind). (Although that might be more because of my opinions towards magi rather than anything else).
Looking at the opportunity cost, you can pick up a +4 weapon for 32000gp, which in the right hands would do more than 35 average damage per round.
In all practicality, it'd be unlikely for the ring to be used more that 10 times a day. Probably closer to 4.
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
With something like "is this evil", I prefer that we don't draw lines in the sand: it's just adds fuel for arguments (as if the whole alignment system isn't flamebait enough). It's something where context is very important, and a hard and fast rule often does more harm than good.
The fact is, Blood Money + Raise dead comes online, at the earliest, at 10th level (which requires a significant investment in multiclassing). Otherwise an 11th level witch can handle it (although not dumping str in either of these cases is again an investment that doesn't bear fruit for most of a Pathfinder's career).
Regardless, at 10th and 11th level, the ability to raise someone for free isn't actually that powerful an effect: it's only useful after a party has already found themselves on the short end of the stick. How many pathfinders end up Permanently Dead post-9th level anyway?
If we're talking how Blood Money affects the economy, I think the biggest effect that PFS rules effect the economy is how most long-duration (often permanent) spells with material components (Symbol of Revelation, etc) don't carry across between scenarios. I'm not advocating that they should, but blood money makes these spells playable.
This is not the removal of an option. This is a sensible interpretation of the printed rules. It is unthinkable to interpret that this second-level spell was intended to be able to turn a long-duration out-of-combat summoning spell (like Mount) into a creature that's balanced for in-combat short-duration fighting. If such a thing was intended, it would have been printed in there - it is so out-of-line from established expectations that its omission should speak volumes.
As I see it, Alter Summoned Monster was designed to allow a conjurer to switch between different summonable monsters, or even to upgrade numerous smaller monsters.
Not to turn Heightened Mounts into 9-hour-long Large Earth Elementals.
I generally don't believe that the removal of options should be based on theorycraft. After all, an injection of common sense into the game goes a long way - from both sides of the screen.
For the record, there is no reference to Rules As Written in the Guide.
It is simply: Do not contradict written rules, and run scenarios as written.
As a Pathfinder Society GM, you have the right and
Bob Jonquet wrote:
It is unlikely that the resolution will be posted here (as is not typical) especially so if the decision is punitive.
That being said, I think we all would benefit from some general guidance about how to handle situations where a player or two are causing good players to stop attending sessions.
As I see it, the reasoning is that Invisibility clearly states:
There are a couple of things that can prevent this 'disparity' being blown out of proportion.
The obvious one is time constraints - if you're enabling a 'fifteen-minute adventuring day', it is obvious that spellcasters are benefiting much more than non-casters.
What I do in response to most of the theorycrafted arguments that seem to come up in discussions like these (blood money + simulacrum; various different ways of getting unlimited wishes, etc) is to take it ingame, and let the players know that if such an exploit was possible, other people would already be doing it. There is an in-universe reason why it's not happening (and if the player wants to find out what it is, then they're welcome to try and prepare for the consequences...)
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Also four unchained classes, bring it to 42.
For the record, by the end of 3.5, it had 38 base classes - including obscure stuff from the Paizo-published Dragon Magazine.
With regards to classes, Paizo has leaped ahead of 3.5. I believe it is still lagging behind with regards to prestige classes, but it makes up for that with the literal hundreds of archetypes available.
Mike Bramnik wrote:
For the record, the OLDER version of the scorpion whip (the one in the Adventurer's Armoury) is the one that IS legal. The version in Ultimate Equipment is not legal.
Has anyone had issues where a player bought one from UE and was forced to buy AA in order to maintain a legal character?
I want to expand on this and state that there should never be a situation where the release of a new source forces a player to buy it in order to continue playing their character - either allow a full rebuild, or grandfather it in.
I find it interesting the selection of scenarios your GM is putting you through, and there might be a reason for this.
From one perspective, it seems to be a combination of two factors:
I can see that this would cause an escalation of a GM vs Player mentality, which would explain why the GM keeps running scenarios that are not trivialised by your character.
I would suggest speaking with your GM and coming up with an agreement where you all start over with new characters, and provide a bit more balance for everyone.
A couple of reasons: Firstly, it's never considered a 'good' act, so there aren't people arguing that. Secondly, it's pretty difficult to pull off: you need serious levels of wizard or cleric to do it, so it doesn't come up much. Finally, it seems that trying to negotiate a deal with a devil in a summoning circle is so fraught with dangers (the kind of Definitely Table Variation dangers), that they're dealt with pretty quickly.
One of the ways to speed up animal companions in combat is to allow them to act on their masters' initiative. It does give them a small advantage, but it prevents a player being required to handle multiple actions at multiple different times in a round.
When Brock GMed for me, that was how he ran it.
One thing that I would like to see is errata being issued independently of a new printing. This allows a few positive results:
- FAQs can remain as rules clarifications, and can be separated from actual changes.
I generally have a very open policy. In the game I run, I allow everything from the core rulebook, and I will generally allow anything from any other books (including third-party publications), but I will read over them before I allow them.
I don't buy into the argument that Paizo's publications are necessarily more balanced than third-party stuff.
Joe Ducey wrote:
Infernal healing requires devil blood. I shudder to think what substituting it with demon blood would result in...
Andrew Christian wrote:
Maybe I read your previous comments incorrectly, I apologise.
Could you clarify that you believe that opening up rebuilding in the case of errata would cause a rise in powergaming? Or does your opposition to the idea stem from something else?
Benjamin Falk, Andrew Christian:
As far as I can tell, you're saying that the potential for punitive measures on the off chance that Paizo FAQs or erratas something is an effective deterrent to creating overpowered characters.
The presence of overpowered characters under these current measures is evident that this is not effective.
I have asked several of the munchkins in my local community if they are concerned about this, and they general response ranges from "It's a good way of getting Paizo to fix their mistakes", to "I'll worry about that if it happens.". (There was also one player who expressed that they "made this character to get back at Paizo for banning the vivisectionist.")
We should also take into account the other people who are inconvenienced by these measures. The policy is not only punishing the powergamers.
Another more insidious measure that the current policy causes is the view that the PFS leadership does not respect the players affected by the changes. This leads to resentment, and a lack of respect for both this policy, and other policy. When a player self-justifies an unsanctioned rebuild, they are more likely to (for instance), self-justify other unwarranted behaviour.
I feel that the use of punitive measures in response to errata is ineffective as a deterrent to powergaming, and does considerably more harm than good.
I couldn't agree with you more. Once they announced 105 archetypes in the ACG, I knew that it was impossible.
Andrew Christian wrote:
I've seen one person, who found it fun to exploit the math if the game to create some pretty gross builds.
So you're saying that it's already happened, even without liberal rebuilding rules. And I agree, losing a good GM and creating negative drama is bad for the community.
Andrew Christian wrote:
The moral to my story, is that when you open the door to potential abuse of the available options, one person can create major negative drama in an entire region.
But, as you stated above, the door is already wide open. The player already did.
The restrictive rebuilding rules don't stop it. If anything, they provide a disincentive for Paizo to close the door.
Todd Morgan wrote:
People would abuse the more liberal policy. Liberal policies in the past have had to be re-structured due to abuse in the short amount of time they were open. When a small amount of people abuse the system it ends up hurting everyone.
I would disagree. Currently, if a player feels that the rules aren't making the game more fun for him, he will end up either quitting the campaign, or ignoring the rules.
We already tolerate abuse of the rules: look at the broken characters that some players bring from time to time. As GMs, we're Required to allow them on our tables, even if they trounce encounters.
Yet we're punishing a player who is now stuck with a character that now does not do what it was envisaged to do due to an oversight by Paizo.
I understand that we are not supposed to promote cheating, but we also should try and avoid creating punitive rules that allow players to self-justify it.
Request For Clarification of Rebuild Rules Or Alternatively Further "Grandfathering" After Recent Errata
Mystic Madness wrote:
His stats are also entirely Charisma-focused to facilitate the maximum possible number of channels. He does not even carry a weapon because he has not the strength to wield it.
Reading the guide and the bit about rebuilding due to rules changes makes me very uneasy.
It seems less liberal than the previous version. In particular:
I acknowledge that the old version did have some ambiguity, but in the spirit of "don't be a jerk", the consensus (at least in my area) was that if a class changed, you could rebuild your character.
What this seems to be making clear is that if a class feature changes (that isn't ability-score-dependent), the player either needs to suck it up, or spend $10 on Ultimate Campaign, as well as a non-trivial amount of prestige and gold on a retrain.
I'm pretty sure that it was stated that failing to render aid does not qualify as PvP.
I find it disturbing that some posters above seem to think that the necromancer did not do anything wrong. It takes a certain amount of preparation to cast Animate Dead (there are definitely more practical third-level necromancy spells out there), and he could have defused the whole situation by realising that it would antagonise the inquisitor. Instead, he deliberately chose to escalate the situation.
As a GM in this situation, I wouldn't penalise the inquisitor for what he did. On the other hand, I wouldn't require the inquisitor to.
As a player who does play the odd controversial PC, I accept that if I offend other PCs, I don't expect them to assist me. In my Eyes group - where I was playing a diabolist - I did not expect the paladin to heal me after what happened in the first section.
If we're getting all rules-lawyery on this subject, please note that the Additional Resources page requires that a player bring "a name-watermarked Paizo PDF of it". It doesn't say anything about a requirement for the PDF to be viewable.
If I didn't want to buy (but still wanted to use) the additional resources, I wouldn't go to the painstaking effort of borrowing other peoples' books in order to hoodwink a VO into believing I owned those books.
I would simply use one of the multitude of free online watermarking tools that are out there to provide a much more reliable method of hoodwinking the GMs.
I would argue that if a player has a list that details is or her ownership of materials, and which ones are being used for the character, it would make my job as a GM easier: I might even check players' ownership of additional resources more than once every ten tables.
Have you tried to audit a character sheet for ownership next to a crate of books that the player has brought along?
Walter Sheppard wrote:
PDF printouts are now considered 'existing alternatives to having tablets'?
For the record, until about two years ago, bringing an electronic version of a watermarked PDF was not considered acceptable.
I think that this is an important datapoint, but I disagree with your conclusion.
So, of the nine players, six are "taking advantage" of the fact that it is very difficult ("painstaking") to audit a character sheet to determine what additional resources they are using. One of whom probably would not have much trouble meeting the requirements.
A proposal that involves having the players list their additional resources before the game, would make the GM's job considerably easier in this regard.
This is interesting: so the players didn't actually own the resources they were using. Were there any players who would be affected by the proposal (Did they own the books, but found it too arduous to carry them to the session with them?).
I understand that noone really has signed up to be a member of the PFS police. The best we can hope for is a cultural change that will strongly encourage ownership of resources. Making it easier to audit ownership of materials would go a long way.
When I think of the hundreds of dollars I have invested in PFS materials, the apathy displayed towards Paizo by some players was rather sobering. As of now, I support the status quo- bring it if you own it- otherwise you don't get to use it.
When I look at my bookshelf, and think of the hundred of dollars that went into purchase the 30+ kilograms of PFS materials, I feel that when someone representing Paizo comes out and says "If you don't want to get a hernia carrying them all around whenever you go to a PFS game, buy the PDFs as well as the books that you've already bought from us.", I feel that the system needs to change.
Noone here is suggesting that we let players who haven't bought the materials play.
We are just proposing methods that would make it easier to enforce this rule, and would allow people who have supported their FLGS by buying books from them to use the books that they have bought without being horribly inconvenienced.
Okay. I'll bite.
This has happened, in my region, amoung some prominent members of my local community who really should know better.
After the GM star replay was announced, a number of people started some very concerted efforts to achieving four stars, including discouraging regular GMs from GMing in order to rack up more games. In addition, they started encouraging newer players to concentrate on levelling up their highest-level characters, even spreading misinformation that Eyes of the Ten would be retired "by September 2014". All this in order to have the opportunity to replay Eyes.
This has been my only direct exposure to GM star replay.
One thing that really needs to be added to the summary:
Printing scenarios more frequently will make things much, much easier.
I feel that everything that has been tried (Evergreens, GM star replay, Expanded Narrative Boon, Core campaign) has really been a band-aid solution.