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Mekkis's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 260 posts (284 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 14 Pathfinder Society characters. 5 aliases.


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I'll point it out again: For a necromancer to cast Animate Dead, he would have had to prepare it (and the material components) in advance.

He was INTENDING to do this all along.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

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:

[1] VOs and high stars GM would have the ability to "sign off" on the resources that a player can prove ownership. This means having the book in hand or be able to show a PDF with proper watermark.

[2] This form would have to be updated on a regular basis (annually) but could be updated more often.
[3] If the player purchases a new resource than they would have to bring the book or PDF printout with them until they can get their Ownership Form updated.
[4] Players would need to bring photocopies of the pages in the book related to their character. Failure to bring a photocopy would be the same as not owning the resource.
So Gary, in short, your proposal is to leave things as is, but allow some way for photocopies of books to become legal alternatives to carrying the physical books, similar to how PDF printouts are existing alternatives to having tablets.

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.


Profession: People Smuggler.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think that this is an important datapoint, but I disagree with your conclusion.

Socalwarhammer wrote:

Well, rather than debate I thought I would go and gather some evidence regarding the use of PDFs vs. books.

This week, myself and another GM took the painstaking task of verifying our players characters and resources used to create them. With 2 GMs and 9 PFS players- 5 failed to own the necessary materials which were needed to 'build' their characters and a 6th player could show they had the necessary PDFs (on their Paizo Downloads)but hadn't brought in a print copy or their i-pad for play.

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.

Socalwarhammer wrote:

It was disheartening to see. 3 of the players in question lacked only 1 or 2 items which would have been necessary to complete their character- such as for a specific trait, feat or piece of equipment. 2 others, had completed characters formulated from a complex array of books/supplements and possessed only the Core Rules and/or 1 or 2 additional books (such as Advanced Players Guide and Ultimate Combat). When asked, a few of the players stated that they planned on buying the necessary materials in the future, but could not afford it currently. This was in stark contrast to 2 players who said they 'didn't care' if PFS had rules requiring the ownership of materials for use in games and said that it was too easy to get everything off the internet for free.

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?).

Socalwarhammer wrote:

I didn't sign up to be a member of the PFS Police, but after taking the time to get a better understanding of it myself- I am much more sympathetic to Paizo's policy. This experience helped me dramatically change my opinion on the ownership of materials in regards to PFS play.

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.

Socalwarhammer wrote:
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.


tivadar27 wrote:

rknop wrote:

3b: Some people think there already is too much replay.

Literally 0 people suggested this, and I've re-read the posts. Please reference at least one instance where someone indicated they thought this was the case.

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:
Gamerskum wrote:
The rule isn't just to prove ownership. Its to present an unadulterated copy of the rules you are using. GM's don't own everything so you need to bring proof that that is how that stuff your using works.

And this can be handled by a player with signed ownership forum and copies of the relevant sections of the books needed to support what the character can do.

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.


IQuarent wrote:
IQuarent wrote:
If the rules are going to punish me for having more material that seems pretty ass-backwards. Im just saying.
trollbill wrote:
Not to mention that, given the current level of enforcement, the rule punishes those who follow it far more than it punishes those who don't.

That... is a really good point. The only offset of it is that if someone doesnt follow it, they get totally screwed when caught. But that seems like entirely the wrong intent of how ANY rule shod be made enforced.

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:

No FAQ Required:

The point of the Take 10 option is to allow the GM to control the pacing and tension of the game, avoiding having the game bog down with unnecessary and pointless checks, but still calling for checks when the chance of failure leads to tension or drama, as well as when a series of checks would have a nonsensical result if all outcomes were exactly the Take 10 result. To that end, it would be counterproductive to attempt to make a strict ruling on what counts as “immediate danger and distracted” because that’s going to vary based on the pacing and dramatic needs of the moment. The very soul of the Take 10 rule is in the GM’s discretion of when it applies, and tying the GM’s hands, forcing them to allow Take 10 in some cases and disallow it in others would run counter to the point of the rule’s inclusion in the game. The rule is currently flexible enough to allow this, and it should maintain that flexibility.

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.

Torbyne wrote:

Perhaps a better FAQ question for this instance would be:

"When using the TWF rules to gain additional attacks does that require a character to forgo their shield AC bonus regardless of what limbs are used in the TWF attacks?"

It doesnt clear up the whole issue but seems to be more in line with the original post.

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."


Master Craftsman is not a banned feat. It is the most useless feat in PFS, given that you can't craft anything.

However. It is called out in one scenario, where it gives a minute advantage.


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This seems somewhat related.

The Harvard Business Review wrote:

at least two dozen studies over the last three decades have conclusively shown that people who expect to receive a reward for completing a task or for doing that task successfully simply do not perform as well as those who expect no reward at all. These studies examined rewards for children and adults, males and females, and included tasks ranging from memorizing facts to creative problem-solving to designing collages. In general, the more cognitive sophistication and open-ended thinking that was required, the worse people performed when working for a reward.



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'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

Meh...Anything else?

Some token degree of basic morality and sense of fairness? Evidently, they've screwed up in the past, and nobody should be completely beyond accountability.
Next question...if YOU were the Decimverate, would you voluntarily keep a watch dog and his cronies around? Why would a private organization with adventurers who volunteer to be part of it, care about basic morality and a sense of fairness?

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.


Deussu wrote:
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?"


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trik wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Do we really want to eliminate death in the game, entirely?
I have nothing against deaths that have a counter. If proper tactics or a well placed spell can stop someone from dying, but isn't applied, so be it. SOS even have counters. It's the straight SOD that really isn't fun.

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.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

I'd very much like to see less of it in the game. Pathfinder did away and raised the levels it took to do it by making sleep a full round cast, raising the level on baleful polymorph, making disintegrate and slay living just a LOT of damage...

.. and then brought in the witch with slumber hex.

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:

Personally, my hope is that for the Rogue and Summoner, they 100% supersede the original, (notice I said "hope", not "belief"). I've never really bought into the belief that the Rogue is underpowered, nor really even the Fighter.

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:

So I'm curious if I can get a response to this. How much longer are we looking at for the ACG errata? are we talking

A) about a month or less away (I'd love this but don't expect it)
B) like 2-3 months away
C) up to 6 months away
D) over 6 months away
It's been 8 months since release and many months since the errata left Mark's hands and we haven't had a status update of whats happening for awhile. This isn't meant to be a "hurry" question, I'm on board with the take the time needed to get it done right, and I know there's a lot going on that I'm not aware of.

And if you don't feel comfortable answering the above question, or if you feel like answering two questions, can you answer this one?
I'm asking if I can become a bit more aware of what's happening now to it and what's left that needs to be done. This avoids giving any type of date estimation and just helps us know how it's coming along.

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:
CWheezy wrote:

What if you changed these items to actually do something useful?

At any of the levels?

The only useful power of the item I can see is the 8th level robe power, which is good for oracles and people who take noble scion(war).

I laughed at the suggestion power, I sure hope the other person doesn't have spellcraft

Have you just never played in a game that involved actual intrigue ever? This is a better circlet of persuasion, already a really good item, that just has a minimum level requirement for only 300 more gp.

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:

Quoted from the thread on proposed changes to the guide:

APL 2.6 does round to 3. There's no further rounding to 4. Once it is rounded to 3, the number of characters determines which subtier should be played. In season 0-3, 6 or 7 characters would play tier 4-5. In seasons 4-6, 5, 6, or 7 characters would play 4-5 with the 4 player adjustment.

If this were not the case, then the special rule about being able to choose how you want .5 to round would not need to exist, and it would say always round down instead of round to the nearest level.

The question here was whether, if there are no characters in the 4-5 tier, a party would still have to play up if they end up between subtiers. I could as easily have used a party of all 3rd level characters in my example.

Perhaps this should be a case for removing the text that requires rounding to whole numbers at all.


Ferious Thune wrote:

Second suggestion: In the Determining Subtier section, clarify whether the line "In the fringe case where there are no players that are high enough to have reached the subtier level (such as a party of six 3rd level characters), the group may decide to play down to the lower subtier." applies to all seasons or only seasons 0-3.

Since that line appears after the section on season 0-3 scenarios, many GMs interpret it as not applying to seasons 4-6, while others believe that it applies to all seasons. Put another way, if a 6 player table APL 2.6 in a season 4-6 scenario does not have a 4th or 5th level character in the group, must they still play the 4-5 tier with the 4 player adjustment, or do they have the choice to play 1-2 with no adjustment?

LINK to a relevant discussion.

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.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
So you cannot use a lv4 pregen if the other 5 players are all lv1, even though you wouldn't be forcing the party to play up, correct?
Thats the generalish consensus: that the level 4 pregen is not not the appropriate level for a 1-2 game.

So are they not allowed to or is it just frowned upon? Is it my choice as GM if they can or not, or do I suggest they play the "appropriate" one but can't stop them from playing the other if they wanted? Is there a rule about this to show people it's not allowed?

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.


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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.

Dip one level of magus for spellstrike?


  • Buy Rod of Wonder (12000gp)
  • Fire constantly until gems come out (∞gp).
  • Find GM willing to write this on your chronicle sheet. Point them at the FAQ, and hope they don't read that bit where Brock said "Don't exploit this".
  • Profit.

I hope that there are no GMs out there who will agree with part three in the presence of players who think that abusing this is a good idea.


If you're trying to set up ambushes, probably the most important thing to have is access to the silence spell - it gives the less-stealthy members of the party the ability to participate, and get in position before you spring it.

My Runelords group succeeded in bypassing large swaths of the adventure this way.


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I think that not allowing a rebuild hurts PFS more than allowing one does, and as GMs, we should be liberal about it.

If someone came to my table and explained that this had changed, I would happily sign off on their rebuild.


Jeff Merola wrote:
Cao Phen wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
Cao Phen wrote:
Staff of Entwined Serpents

Yeah, this is my favorite of the newer items. At will Magic Missles.

I have a Staff Magus with the Wand Wielder arcana that uses this in Spell Combat any time she doesn't have anything better to cast.

Unfortunately, the Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents is a Quarterstaff that has Magic Missile enabled as a Command Word. If it had charges like the Staff of Minor Arcana, then you can use it via Spellstrike. Because command words take a Standard Action to use, it is not applicable for Spellstrike.

Here's the ability he's using:


Wand Wielder (Su)

Benefit: The magus can activate a wand or staff in place of casting a spell when using spell combat.

It says activate a staff, which is what you're doing.

The Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents is not a 'wand or staff' - it falls in the Magic Weapons section of Inner Sea Gods, and does not require Craft Staff to create.

It also lacks the CL8 that is required of magical staves.


Lou Diamond wrote:

Less banning things from new material until they are proven to be broken.

Are you condoning more banning of things that ARE proven to be broken? It works both ways.

I can get behind that.


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To get a metric of how a price increase would affect purchases, I would suggest that Paizo check the difference in sales between September 2014 and Feburary 2015 to Australian customers: they have endured a 25% weakening of the exchange rate: effectively raising the price by 25%.

Personally. I would be willing to increase the price by $1 or two per scenario, but only if there was an immediate increase in release frequency and quality.


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Keep in mind that you should still have the faction missions available. They can contain important flavour, and some players request them specifically.


YIDM wrote:

At the end of the day, I figured this out, confirmed what I thought was correct, and after a quorum of the VC's, we ruled that he had actually died, since he couldn't legally have had the item that saved him. And, now that one of the Dev’s (Mike Brock) also confirmed it, there is no question.

You retroactively killed a PC? You can do that these days?

Regarding Pathfinder Society, are there any policies, rulings or allowed content that you regret?


Not only are they stupidly powerful, especially with the variants being around, they break any scenarios that rely on spells like dominate person, charm person and the like.

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