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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.
Michael Brock wrote:
People can also choose to not use more than 2-4 books to create a character. It's always a choice and there ar options. Please stop advising that we discrimate. That is the fatherest thing from the truth.
Even with four books, (say, Core rulebook, APG, Ultimate Equipment, Bestiary), we're talking about 4kg. Given that included baggage allowances for Australian airlines is 7kg, (and the airlines are pretty committed to enforcing them!), it leaves very little space for clothes and other sundries. This makes it difficult (or more expensive) if you want to attend a convention without spending a day driving.
I have already started storing Core Rulebooks in various Australian capital cities to alleviate the strain, but I'm not sure if it's really the right effect to create.
I think we should stop talking about forgery. When it comes to supplying additional resources, the easiest thing to forge would be the watermark.
I would be happy with Photocopy of the pages + a one-off sign-off by a Figure of Authority (GM/VL/VC - whatever satisfies Paizo).
Gary Bush wrote:
Anyone with more than a basic amount of technical knowledge and access to google would not have much trouble editing a watermarked PDF before printing it out to present.
Much less hassle than trying to doctor photocopies.
I suggested a solution two years ago.
I believe that the rules have changed since then: you now are allowed to carry 'a name-watermarked Paizo PDF of it'. As blackbloodtroll indicated above, there is nothing saying you can't bring your PDF on some form of media that's unreadable (I carry all of my PDFs around on a ZIP disk... that's legal, right?). Food for thought.
The solution, as always, is to pressure Paizo to release more scenarios.
Guide 6.1 (2014) wrote:
Reporting has a cascading effect. Pathfinder Society campaign management needs accurate records to correctly gauge how many people are playing Pathfinder Society each month in order to track growth and properly budget resources to meet the campaign’s needs. The more people who play, the more money and time are dedicated to the Pathfinder Society program.
Guide 2.0 (2009) wrote:
We need accurate records so that we know how many people are playing Pathfinder Society each month so that we can track growth so that we can properly budget the Society. The more people that play, the more money we dedicate to the Society.
I hope that the release schedule can reflect player growth between 2009 and now.
Do they really get totally screwed if caught? Have you ever witnessed (or even heard of) someone being forced to leave the table (or reported up the chain) for not bringing correct source materials?
Pathfinder Design Team wrote:
I think this in and of itself would be a good answer the this (obviously) Frequently Asked Question.
In the context of PFS, I think it would be beneficial for Campaign Leadership (the "GM" of PFS) to issue their own set of guidelines.
At this point it's moving away from "FAQ" and into "errata". To be honest, the whole "Hands of Effort unwritten rule" should be revisited.
I think that removing the "trade scribe scroll for spell focus" and "trade Brew Potion for Extra Bombs" special rules would (assuming that the "don't break WBL" balancing act is done) result in a net powerlevel decrease for wizards and alchemists.
The idea of "1 prestige per day" crafting is basically the same as "trade prestige for money at a rate of 1/500gp."
This seems somewhat related.
The Harvard Business Review wrote:
It's been stated several times on this forum that it is extremely frowned upon to find scenarios to play based on their chronicle sheets.
That being said, the post-season 4 approach to faction missions seems to put a lot of emphasis on attempting to match up a PC of the 'correct' faction with the corresponding scenario. This seems to be kosher.
Draw your own conclusions.
I would be very much in favour of a reconsideration of the system of "the first time you GM a scenario, you get a boon; subsequent times, you get nothing". In my experience from both sides of the screen, the game gets better the more times a GM runs a scenario, and we should be encouraging this.
Noone Needs to know the identities of the Decimvirate:
Ever wondered what the secret Pathfinder Handshake is?
Ever actually looked into your Wayfinder? It contains ten values of y, where y = gᵡ mod p. Each of the Ten have knowledge of x.
Coming soon: 7-12: A deluge of counterfeit wayfinders with the wrong values in them flood Absalom and beyond.
I would like to see more faction missions: preferably, a given faction member should be able to do a faction-related activity (not just part of a journal card), one in every two scenarios.
Storywise, I'd like to see a followup to The Immortal Conundrum.
I can't see how reducing the amount of money that the PCs receive because the players didn't kill everyone and loot everything can EVER make the PFS experience BETTER.
And I'd be willing to apply the Reward Creative Solutions (and the 'invalidated tactics') clauses to ensure that this penalising doesn't happen.
Michael Brock wrote:
I would like to think that it's the same reason why private companies allow government auditors into them to ensure that they're following the law.
(And, in a governmental situation, why the whole 'three houses of government' exist)
That being said, if a known traitor (Torch, for example) turns up as an auditor, the staff (Pathfinders, in this example) are definitely going to resent it, especially if the board (the Decemvirate) don't do something about this.
I kinda liked Skeleton Moon, though we had it easy and managed to win our way out without a single death. And cockatrices, well, on the lower subtier they were juvenile and only inflicted paralysis.
I remember my first game of PFS. We were playing Skeleton Moon, playing up. After the first encounter, the GM walked over to Jason Buhlmann (who happened to be in the room) and asked "What happens when someone gets petrified in the first encounter?"
I don't think that there is a single save-or-die effect that doesn't have a counter. If a PC is extremely paranoid, there is a significant array of divinations to determine whether one is upcoming, and a 4000gp item will be able to protect against almost any of them you'll encounter in PFS play.
We have Death Ward, we have Freedom of Movement, we have True Seeing, we have Mirror Image (to avoid the attack rolls), and, for the totally paranoid, a scroll of Antimagic Field is only 1650gp.
Once you add in the rerolls routinely available to PCs, it's pretty obvious why save-or-die effects really don't affect PCs that much.
One interesting thing that this topic has brought up seems to be that some GMs (perhaps even a representative sample) are less likely to regret taking out a powergaming PC than one who is less optimised.
I personally find topics like this very adversarial. Generally, a reasonable GM doesn't enjoy killing a reasonable PC.
For the record, sleep was a one-round cast in 3.5.
Reading the unchained rogue, it does seem intentional, and it probably was done deliberately. I think something as important as ki pool would have been specifically called out if it were to be an option.
When there is a month-long playtest, and they release two scenarios a month, there isn't that much opportunity for an experienced player (one who has played most scenarios) to actually play a new character.
DM Beckett wrote:
My hope is that we're not going to require all Rogue and Summoner players to buy another book if they wish to continue playing their characters in PFS.
Chess Pwn wrote:
I am pretty sure that it will follow Paizo's standard errata release schedule: When they run out of print copies of the books, they'll release the errata along with the second printing.
If you want errata quickly, I suggest buying all the copies of the book :)
Alex Smith 908 wrote:
A circlet of persuasion's abilities don't require them to be used against creatures. I'm particularly referring to Use Magic Device.
One of the reasons that this strict, complicated subtier-determination system came about was to prevent abuse of playing up in order to get additional gold.
This was before the introduction of Out-Of-Tier gold.
Would it not be simpler to simply change it to "if APL falls between tiers, the players can choose", like it was pre-season 4?
Ferious Thune wrote:
Perhaps this should be a case for removing the text that requires rounding to whole numbers at all.
Ferious Thune wrote:
I understand that this might be a little off-topic, but it seems that there might need to be some clarification.
Put it another way: If there are people out there who believe that an APL of 2.6 should be rounded up to 3, then further rounded up to 4 in order to determine subtier, a clarification is really warranted. As I see it, in this situation, the subtier should either be rounded up to 4, or down to 2. The only time that these clauses should be important is if the APL is exactly between tiers; that is 3.0, without rounding.
Chess Pwn wrote:
I'm really hoping that there really isn't a distinction between "not allowed" and "frowned upon" in this context. There might not be an actual prohibition against it, but I can't see any legitimate reason why it should happen.
I am against the wholesale selling of boons.
Paizo sending limited numbers of printed boons to FLGSes to build rapport with store owners, might, however, be worthy of consideration.