Andrew Christian wrote:
Gnomes of Golarion p26 wrote:
I can't imagine a gnome sitting down in a tavern, announcing "Hey guys, this food would taste better a with a bit of a chilli-flavour, so I'll cast Prestidigitation to flavour it, so I won't be fireballing you. Chill, mates." every time he wants to do that.
I've fudged a few rolls in the past, in order to prevent killing PCs, and in retrospect, it feels really bad - that you're cheating the players out of the experience.
You know that when the PC comes up against a GM who doesn't fudge rolls, you are partially responsible for the outcome - the fact that the player doesn't expect that kind of outcome, and will likely have antagonistic feelings.
At the end of the day, I've felt that honesty definitely trumps out.
Thomas Graham wrote:
Sure, necromancy's universally despised, but it's allowed in play.
But trying to persuade that harbourmaster to get the location of a potential lead will be much harder if you're walking around with a bunch of zombies behind you is something completely different. It's foolish to think that you can walk around with animated skeletons and not have adverse NPC reactions.
Just remind them of the typical reaction that NPCs have when someone pulls out a firearm:
Inner Sea World Guide wrote:
Of all the forms of technology [...] from the lands of the Inner Sea, none are as universally misunderstood or despised as the firearm. [...] The appearance of a firearm suggests at once an outrageous expenditure of gold, a sorrowful impotence of limb, and an immediate threat of dishonorable violence.
That's certainly going to hurt diplomacy, and make "disarm, steal or sunder the gun" a high priority.
James Risner wrote:
Terrible Remorse would like a word with you....
I've noticed this issue a bit in the past, and I'm not really sure how the rules work with it.
Let's use a Hezrou as an example. He's standing next to Bob, the raging barbarian with an AC of 13 and a CMD of 24.
He starts his full-attack. His bite hits, doing some damage and grabbing him. He and Bob both gain the Grappled condition.
Question 1: Now that they both have the grappled condition, can he continue his full-attack? He still has two claw attacks he hasn't used.
Bob's turn comes up, and he (sensibly) quick-draws a longsword and full-attacks the Hezrou (at a -2 to all attacks due to the grappled condition).
It's now the Hezrou's turn. What are his options?
In the situations I've described, it seems that it's in Bob's best interest to remain grappled, simply because it prevents him from suffering three attacks.
Is this really what the designers intended?
As I see it, there are two issues here.
Firstly, the new "secondary condition" format as presented by Season 5 scenarios. I feel that it does have some issues, specifically mustering and encouraging cherry-picking of scenarios (which Campaign Leadership has, in the past, Strongly Discouraged), but it may help solve some issues.
Secondly, the elimination of all season 0-4 faction missions and replacement of them with a "secondary success condition". I feel that this is a horrible decision, a travesty, and I implore campaign leadership to rethink this decision.
We have yet to receive an explanation of why campaign leadership thought this was a good idea.
Countless man-hours have been invested in the writing of these faction missions, and they do help define a character. Of course there might be some poor missions, but the secondary success conditions aren't particularly flavourful either. And I'm sure that every player here remembers one or two great moments that arose from a faction mission.
It seems horribly wasteful to throw all of this effort out the window. We've had this system for three or four months, and it hasn't been getting any better. Please, give players a Reason for them to follow their factions. Let the already published faction missions be MEANINGFUL.
(I'd like to reinstate that the above four paragraphs refer to only seasons 0 through 4, NOT the season 5 format)
I think it's a travesty. I feel that factions are a significant part of Pathfinder Society, and faction missions give players the opportunity to take the spotlight, and show that their characters are part of something special.
Sure, there are some not-so-nice faction missions, but there are also some not-so-nice scenarios, classes, items and players. There was no good reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The secondary success conditions replace a rich, workable and unique system with a pale imitation of it. It's an interesting trial, but I hope campaign leadership throw them out and return to the faction missions.
Just putting it out there (I hope that this does not degenerate into another light/darkness debate), but a heightened continual flame will only increase the lighting level from "supernatural darkness" to "darkness", and will not "completely negate the darkness".
In combination with darkvision, it is effective, but other than that, your best bet is Daylight in conjunction with another light source.
My group has just finished the Devil We Know IV scenario, and my GM and the whole table were rather perplexed at the secondary success conditions: There is no point where it is even prompted or implied.
When I run this scenario, how can I prompt it?
It's been established that evergreening scenarios, unretiring scenarios, sanctioning APs etc, are just stopgap measures, and that the only real solution seems to be to release more scenarios.
I understand that Paizo does not want to release its financial commitments to us, but the question boils down to:
What will it take to increase the number of scenarios to 3/month over 2/month?
How much more would we be paying for scenarios? Would fewer books be released? How many?
Should there be a broader solicitation of scenarios from the public?
My solution is to hand out faction missions and encourage the players to do them.
I am yet to receive any complaints as a result of doing this, and, when I'm playing season 0-4, I still request the missions.
I feel that the loss of faction missions is a blow to PFS.
I've found the most important part of surviving PFS is the way that the characters are played. Buying all the unbalanced gear in the game's not going to help if you don't know that it's a bad idea to try and slumber vermin.
Knowledge of things like Reach, Flanking, and various ways of avoiding being hit (knowledge of typical spell areas, high AC/HP, spells like mirror image and displacement) has contributed towards my characters' survival more than any amount of gear.
Regarding names, I recently had a player ask if it was permissible to have a character with the same name as the player. I responded that it was permitted, but Not Recommended.
My reasons were:
What are your thoughts on this issue?
Aside from one wonky Magus build (and really, there are so many of those that it's hard to keep track of them all), does anyone have any concrete examples of why the Spring Loaded Wrist Sheath is game-breaking? Certainly, it is useful, but game-breaking?
It's not really that it's :"game-breaking" any more than the Bracers of Falcon's aim is game-breaking. You are able to get the effect from other items (such as gloves of storing, or such), and it doesn't /break/ the game. But is does make the game less balanced for everyone.
The Bracers of Falcon's Aim as banned due to it being grossly undercosted. I don't see why the spring-loaded wrist sheaths aren't, and shouldn't be subsequently banned.
Since this seems to becoming a gripe about herolab, I had an unfortunate situation where a completely new player was given access to someone's herolab and was walked through creating a character.
The resulting character had a bunch of archetypes I hadn't heard of, was wearing four-mirror armour and using chakrams, and a bunch of other noncore stuff I couldn't verify.
I was in an awkward position of being forced to either allow him to play at the table, or bar him from doing so, which would probably lose him as a player completely.
Now I'll be required to explain why he needs to rebuild his character in order to make it legal, and I'm not relishing that...
Cao Phen wrote:
GM stars mean nothing relative to opinions. A 4-star GM could be someone who GM'd PFS 5 months straight. A person with no stars could be someone who has experience GMing for the past 35 years. If saying stars are everything, then it equates to a type of elitism that is set in a person's mind.
Given that we're talking about GMing PFS, I would think that those with more stars would as such have GMed PFS more.
I am by no means implying that stars are everything, just that the perspective from a player is rather different that that of a GM, especially when we're talking action economy.
Cao Phen wrote:
To respond to the simulationist point of view, PFS is high fantasy scenario. How does a ninja that makes mirror images of themself, a druid that shapeshifts into an octopus, and a devil-born knight of the god of beer and booze simulation of something? You are trying to place real-life into something that is supposed to invigorate someone's creative mind of diving into hidden dungeons to find magical treasure, fighting off hordes of goblins attacking a stable, and saving the kingdom to become a hero.
All of your examples are magical in nature. The spring-loaded wrist sheath is a mundane item, which, like a spyglass, sword or torch, is expected to, from a simulationist point of view, work as it does in real-life.
Cao Phen wrote:
To respond to the gamist point of view, spring-loaded wrist sheaths do not break action economy. They expand the action economy that every person has already availible to them. Does this mean a Tiefling with a tail is breaking action economy? A monk with Ki points is breaking action economy? An inquisitor using Judgement breaking action economy? A spellcaster with Feather Fall? Should they be banned because they break "action economy"?
All of your examples represent a considerable opportunity cost. The tiefling is required to trade out some racial traits. The monk has taken levels in monk rather than some other class. Similarly with the inquisitor. The spellcaster has eschewed the preparation or knowledge of another spell to have feather fall available.
The spring-loaded wrist sheath has no such opportunity cost, except for the metagame requirement of the player paying $US10 for Adventurer's Armory.
Cao Phen wrote:
Your third argument, stating that the "powergamer's argument" is that the SLWS make character more powerful, and they don't restrict or ban them ...
You seem to have read it incorrectly. My third point was illustrating another motive for argument on this subject, and seemed appropriate considering Jason Wu's views on the topic.
I believe Kyle Baird has already addressed the "if it's ubiquitous, it's not necessarily broken, but it can be an indicator" view.
Jason Wu wrote:
As my previous posts have stated, the Spring-loaded wrist sheath fails on both counts:
From a simulationist point of view: actual, real-world spring-loaded wrist sheaths pretty much need to be designed for the item they're going to hold, are complex and bloody dangerous.
From a gamist point of view: spring-loaded wrist sheaths break action economy, and are massively undercosted for what they provide.
The only argument that stands is the third argument - the powergamer's argument (spring-loaded wrist sheaths make my character more powerful! Please don't restrict or ban them).
It's an interesting observation that most of the people arguing for widening what can be put in a wrist sheath have comparatively fewer GM stars. Perhaps this is related.
Okay, I post on forums and things are easier to read when people capitalise the first letter of each sentence. This is a suggestion:
yes - Just make it clear, concise and consistent.
Capitalisation really helps when you read 50 posts while browsing the forums.
Seriously though, it's rather nitpicky to insist on that sort of thing. I'd rather see "hat of disguise" written on an inventory list rather than the player saying "I think I've got a hat of disguise..." (five minutes of looking through chronicle sheets later) "oh, here it is."
Slightly off-topic, but this is one of my gripes with any computerised character-generation software.
There's a rules ambiguity (such as this one), and the software developers are required to make a call one way or another.
You, as a user, and me, as a GM, are not even AWARE that such a call has been made, or the reasoning behind such, or whether it's actually valid.
There's no way you can open up a "controversial rulings" tab or anything like that, to work these things out.
That being said, I wouldn't disallow the use of such programs when creating characters. I would, however, discourage the use of them by players who can't fill in a character sheet by hand.
If you've looked into real-life spring loaded sheaths, even with today's technology, they:
- only work for the specific knife they're designed for (which won't have a blade longer than 100mm, generally). Good luck putting anything else in it and expecting it to function.
If anyone can show me anything to the contrary, please show me a link.
If you argue that a scroll can be put in a spring loaded wrist sheath, then the same argument works with drawing a scroll within easy reach while moving.
I'm going to put it out there that the Spring-loaded wrist sheath - even with the strictest interpretation - breaks action economy (for a price so low it doesn't even need to be on the ITS), is unrealistic, and as a result is unbalancing to the game.
Other such items have been banned in the past. This should join it.
If you want a free-action retrieval of an item, there is the Glove of Storing available, at a more reasonable and balanced price.
Even WotC doesn't call their "spindown life counters" "dice". I don't see why I should.
I've found Inkscape to be very useful. It also has means to depixelise images.
After extracting the image, fire up inkscape and import it.
Open Document Properties (File menu), set your page size, then go to the grids tab and add a new 1" grid.
Now, select the image, and go Path->Trace Bitmap.
Greg Hurst wrote:
The fact that some faction missions are somewhat contrived is no reason to throw out what I feel to be a rather important and enjoyable aspect of PFS. The solution to "bad faction missions" is good faction missions, not "throw away all faction missions".
Faction missions allow factions to differentiate themselves and gives players on the ground a more "personal" experience than organised play often offers.
I have noticed over the years a continued deemphasis on faction missions, which I feel started with the introduction of new factions, the watering down of the missions, and a culture of gaming the system where one would expect a character of a different faction to assist in a faction mission with no ingame explanation.
In short, I feel that Pathfinder Society is worse off as a result.
The Season Five system of "several scenarios can provide special boons for factions" makes it even harder for a player on the ground (one of those 97% of players who don't keep up to date with the forums) to achieve. So much for dealing with the "unclear faction mission" complaint...
When I GM season 0-4, I hand out the faction missions as usual, and the only difference I make is what I'm required to do - that is, award prestige regardless.
I am yet to receive any negative feedback from this process.
I have a couple of sets of gold-plated 3D printed dice, which some GMs have an issue reading from across the table, and consequently request me to not use them.
I don't see how using a electronic dice roller would be any different (if you turn up at my table with one, I won't let you use it either).
Keep in mind, that even if you have the sourcecode to a given diceroller, if you have access to the source of entropy (which is not too difficult to achieve on any rooted android or iOS device), it's easy to manipulate the results.
With physical dice, shenanigans are much more detectable.
I think it would be impossible to reduce compliance of that rule: where I game, it's very rare for a player to come forward at the start of a game saying "these are the additional resources I'm using". This sheet would encourage it.
It would provide a means for a player who has bought a crateload of Pathfinder books a way of playing a legal character using photocopies, rather than rebuying PDFs, or "bypassing the rules" and pirating PDFs, then adding watermarks.
If watermarking fraud becomes commonplace, then the integrity of the "watermarked PDFs prove ownership" premise is out of the window, and everyone loses.
Don't lump the paying customers who photocopy their books for convenience with the non-customers who pirate.
This is a Good Thing. It allows a GM to determine whether the feat "Master of Wonders", from Gnomes of Golarion is legal for PFS play. Without knowing the page number, it's impossible to check legality.
As I see it, the problem that this topic is addressing is, "How does someone who has a bootload full of books bring a legal character to a PFS table without getting a hernia?"
The goal of the current system is to Prove ownership and to Make rules available for reference.
Noone seems to dispute that the rules must be available for reference, and that the PDF or physical book is the only actual source for it. It goes without saying that a photocopy would satisfy the "rules available for reference" criteria.
So, to prove ownership, we refer to the guide:
Guide 5.0 p5 wrote:
We already have an inventory tracking sheet. Why not just create an additional resources tracking sheet, that has columns for Resource, Source, Page number, and GM/VO signature. This would be the sheet that can satisfy both the "prove ownership" and "inform the GM" criteria - and also allow players to know which pages they need to print out.
It would be used in conjunction with other rules sources (aka hardcopies, watermarked PDFs, printouts or photocopies) in order for the relevant rules to be viewed.
It also has the side benefit of deterring the people who rely solely on unofficial third-party websites (they generally don't include page number - also making checking against Additional Resources a challenge).
Wands have never been part of the "buy anytime" list. You either need to spend 2 prestige for a level 1, CL1 wand, receive it as an option on a chronicle sheet, or wait until you have nine fame.
A Wand of Bless Weapon (after rechecking the PRD, seems to have changed since 3.5) costs 750gp, (level 1 paladin spell). So you could get it with either two prestige, or 750gp assuming you had sufficient fame.
On the copyright side (since you guys seem to keep bringing it up), it's been ruled that in Australia, format shifting (which includes scanning a physical book), is legal.
That being said, when I GM, my stance is that as long as a) you assure me that you own the resources (I'm seeking an assurance, not a proof), and b) you have the actual printed text with you (either photocopy, physical book, printed PDF, accessible electronic version), I'm fine with it.
If your players have bought the book, and brings the appropriate pages with them, there shouldn't be a problem.
The hard stance of "Either suffer a hernia from carrying a large number of heavy books, or buy PDF versions of all the books you already own" has the effect of lumping your customers who are willing to buy books in with the people who are not willing to pay money and would rather use a pirated PDF.
Should you step up enforcement on this, it's just a short step to people starting to watermark their own PDFs (a three line shell script can accomplish this), damaging the overall integrity of the whole watermarking system.
I carry a bunch of books. They're rather heavy, and if I didn't have access to a car, it would be impossible.
The FLGS and the GMs/players don't particularly appreciate it when I bring a crate of books to the table - it eats into floor space and/or table space.
I've taken to bringing photocopies of the additional resources I'm using, putting them into my character binders, and saying "Here are my additional resources, if you want to see the real book, they're in my car."
Noone has seemed to have a problem with this (indeed, noone's asked to see them).
There is a certain measure of trust that's already required between the GM and the players. I don't why it can't be extended to this.
Let me guess: you told other players your faction mission, they decided that it wasn't in their interests to assist you (or let you complete it at all) and you're now complaining about it.
Failing or refusing to render aid is NOT PvP. The Pathfinder Society requires its agents to work together to complete the assigned mission. They are aware that other factions exist, but as long as the overall mission is completed, the Decemvirate doesn't - and should not - care.
If your character comes across as a cutthroat Sczarni, I assure you that some of my characters would take offense to that and, in absence of any other circumstances (roleplaying, bluffing, or otherwise persuading the character that helping (or at least not hindering) you would be the correct course of action), it is perfectly justified for a character to prevent the successful completion of a faction mission - they're supposed to be secret, and if you stupidly broadcast your mission, on your head be it.
I am not required to cure you when you're down - but I generally will because you will help us succeed on our mission. I will definitely not try and negotiate with an NPC on your faction's behalf however.
The risk of telling your party what your faction mission is risks failing the faction mission.
Remember that you should not feel "entitled" to two prestige for every scenario. Don't insist or expect it.
Finally, requesting no chronicle sheet is CHEATING (p21 of the Guide). Don't do it. The GM is REQUIRED to give you a chronicle sheet if you play in the scenario.
I try and come up with something memorable, although experience has caused me to limit it to three syllables.
Mytiazair half-elf arcane trickster, literally means "Emerald Magic Lightning" (according to Races of the Wild)
I did try, however, to name a character after a real-world person, a cleric by the name of Kernighan with his companion Dennis. I've found that this is not a good idea, as the 0.5% who understand it groan, and the rest think the name is horrible, until you explain it, and then they groan.
My answer is as explained as much as possible in the document I wrote here. There is still clarification required for two of the assumptions listed on the back page, but it seems fully consistent with all the printed and FAQed rulings.
That being said, comments, corrections and feedback are appreciated. (and a fix-up of the two remaining assumptions)
Devil's Advocate and everything, but doesn't the price of a Glove of Storing reflect the immense utility of breaking action economy rules in Pathfinder.
As written (only allowing light weapons, wands and ammunition), the spring-loaded wrist sheath already gives you a big advantage based on action economy. Similar to other banned items like the Quick Runner's Shirt.
Storing a wand (6" long, minimum, 1/4" diameter) is already getting to the limits a wrist sheath can hold (you'd be hard-pressed to find a wrist sheath that can hold a knife longer than 7" or so - and they've been designed to fit in the sheaths). A scroll, at 8.5" plus ends (with tube, and end rods, so expect the diameter to be closer to 1")
I would argue that a potion (tube, 2" long, 1" diameter, of a rather dense liquid (about that of sulfuric acid, could even be as dense as mercury, depending on the thickness of the glass), would also not fit in the sheath.
But given that the item breaks action economy and is tending to be a "must-have" item (see Bracers of Falcon's Aim), it's a pretty good case for the Campaign Staff to avoid all these questions and just ban the item.
To answer your question regarding a character trying to make your character fail faction missions: Simple: Don't let him know what your faction mission is.
Feel free to lie or misrepresent it in order to get him off guard.
Part of the issue is that you're letting him know what your mission is in the first place.
My argument in favour of multiple GM credits boils down to the fact that generally, the first time a GM runs a scenario, it's not as "fleshed out" or as smooth as it could be should the GM be experienced at running the scenario (having run it before).
I know several GMs who will only GM a scenario once, to receive credit, then move onto a new scenario to run. I feel that this is giving the players a disservice. Trying to group those GMs into some form of "undesirable GM" doesn't stop it from happening.
I believe it might bring BAB to +21. However...
CRB p408 wrote:
This is reflected in several monsters like the Solar.
Situation: A 20th level druid has a bird companion, and the Andoren Falconry feat.
What are its statistics: I understand that table 3-8 in the Core Rulebook (p52) only goes up to 20, and believe that the effective druid level in this instance would be 21.
ANDOREN FALCONRY [Local]
About a month ago, I wrote a document on how darkness and light spells interact in a dungeon setting (where prevailing light conditions are "dark").
The document can be accessed from my website here.