Favorite scenarios with weather affects, overland travel, and actually having to use rations *Spoilers*
Chris Mortika wrote:
I may be an aberration in this, but I don't believe any of my characters have *ever* had to keep track of rations in PFS. Not walking back from the heart of the Mwangi, not on several 3-month trips over the crown of the world to and from the Dragon Empires.
I've done it a handful of times, usually to stress a point.
Last time I did it was for Rebel's Ransom. I wanted to press how long of a travel the group had from civilization to the dungeon complex so when a certain bad-guy did a certain bad-thing, the group understood the gravity of the situation.
@MisterSlanky Ninja/Paladin? I'm a little curious how you put that together. I'll admit I don't see the obvious synergy in classes. Sure, Charisma is a shared focal stat, but after that?
Fun more than anything.
I had a boon giving me access to a single Eastern weapon. I chose the meteor hammer, and with it two-weapon fighting. The ninja levels let me do a number of things. Beef up my horrible skills, give me access to some useful team abilities such as removing traps, get access to the ninja trick that lets you do strength or dex damage on every hit, and access to tidbits like evasion and a ki pool (which is a godsend in terms of getting from point A to B, and getting in extra str or dex damaging attacks).
Thematically, it let me create a Paladin of Irori.
That's why it was synergistic.
Glad my advice paid off. I really enjoy this scenario's story, so hearing it went well is pretty awesome.
As somebody who argued fervently against Andrew when this came up a few years ago and still think the whole decision is silly (if you get a GM that refuses to stick around to let you roll 100x to get better) I must also confirm that Nefreet posted and what Andrew is saying is correct. The intent, and the wording is very clear - you must eliminate ALL conditions (including stat damage) before you walk away from the table. If a GM says "I'm leaving" after two rolls, you'll have to pay.
I have a very broad request for advice on alchemists. I think that I've discovered that it's not that I don't like alchemists, it's that I have absolutely zero concept on how to build an alchemist to do anything reasonably well, especially with my desire to have "different" character builds. It's almost as if everything just pigeonholes all Alchemists into a bomber or "Mr. Hyde" build. I want neither, but I’m willing to work with a hybrid of the two.
I have no interest in being optimized. Being useful is good, being optimized is not. In other words, I don’t want to be a fifth wheel, and I want to have moments to shine (as would any player). Furthermore, the idea of sitting in the back with a 20+ INT chucking bombs does not appeal, but neither does using feral mutagens (been there, don’t want to do that again). I do like the idea of a selfish magical rogue though, so that’s I suppose someplace to start.
I have the following PFS legal Tengu Alchemist build, and I’m looking for advice on direction.
So where to go? Give me some ideas that I might not be thinking of. Do I wind up taking mutagen to get rid of the horrible crypt breaker draught? Thoughts that have crossed my mind which I’d like insight on if you can are using Breath Weapon Bomb and staying in melee range, maybe going the mummification route, or maybe the spontaneous healing route. Is explosive projectile worth considering? Seriously, anything that gives me an idea or two.
I don't see how that could be legal. The moment you remove the requirement to be AA level 1 (i.e. while you are still legally taking AA level 2, your level 1 requirement is no longer met), you've invalidated the ability to be an AA altogether.
I do not believe retraining lets you retrain into illegal builds.
For classes with animal companions it is not at all difficult to get the spell carry companion, and once you hit 7(ish) you should be considering hosteling armor. I don't care if it "nerfs" an AC class, if the rest of the group has to take off armor and peace tie weapons in
Spoiler:, then a war trained animal with razor sharp claws and teeth isn't going to be allowed in unless you want me to tie it up.
The Blakros Matrimony
GM made a good call; there are certain scenarios where an animal, trained or not, is not welcome. Might you have to take extraordinary measures to deal with this? Probably, but you're Pathfinders for god's sake. Hopefully the players can be adult enough to realize this.
The Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment (Be prepared to fudge a few rolls or deal with character death)
You've really planned out your game days to try to facilitate eventual leveling. Be prepared for ToEE to throw a complete monkey wrench into that. There's a damn good chance characters will die.
I've TPKed one table, and one of our local GMs has TPKed three I believe.
I'm sure that's what the poster may have thought was said, or it may have been said, but being involved in the original discussion, I can assure you that it was far, far more detailed.
One of the reasons was that they were stepping on the toes of the rogue too much. And it's true. There's little reason to play a rogue when you could play a Vivisectionist, if it was the sneak attack you were going after.
Cheapy, since you were not involved in the internal conversation on why Vivisectionists were banned, can I ask where/how you can make such a definitive statement?
On second thought, you might (big might) want to look into Shattered Star. I've only gone through #1 so far, but it's a very "classic" dungeon delve (and from what I understand the most megadungeon-esque of the APs. If you're looking for something more classic, it's hard to get more classic than that.
I would worry about the Lust shard, but I have no idea how far it pushes PG-13 as I haven't read that far.
captain yesterday wrote:
Kingmaker or Skull & Shackles
From what you said I would not run Kingmaker (the most "sandboxy" of all of the AP choices out there). I would also question Skull and Shackles knowing of some of the more adult pirate themes (which of course you could try to cut out).
Council of Thieves wouldn't be horrible from "have the kinds run it" front (I went through #3 and didn't have any problem with adult themes), but the whole thing is so-so in terms of content.
I second Legacy of Fire. You'd have to convert, but it's a really fun story and pretty railroady. The "typical" fantasy theme is very Arabian Nights, but that's certainly not a bad thing.
I've done Thornkeep as a PFS home game. It's okay. The dungeon ranges from pretty damn cool to kind of boring, but it's really just that, one massive dungeon delve with very little extra information to go on. If your wife's interested in running something more pre-packaged as a campaign environment with story, I wouldn't suggest it.
I think it has to do with the new code behind the overall display of the messageboards. Another related problem I've noticed is when you reload the page now, rather than taking you back to where you were in the threads, it defaults to a specific spot in the list and now you have to renavigate to where you were.
And there is no change to the first level rebuild rules. If you want to retrain your traits because of lessons learned, you may still do so, at level 1.
Michael Meunier wrote:
The problem is all the innocent bodies the battle leaves in its wake. Not every PFS player wants to participate in the cheese off. Some just want to have a good time at a modest level of challenge. When you make things harder for the min-max crowd, the more casual crowd loses as a result.
Every time I see somebody remind the community of this, I smile a little. One of my major concerns with the direction scenarios have been heading.
Ferious Thune wrote:
That being said, I think it's important to remember that Mike, Mark, and John just made the change to include retraining, and it just took effect last week. I think it's fair to expect that they may want to see how it works out in practice before expanding the rules.
Think about it: in what circumstance would a gamer of the sort you describe want to retrain a trait (or anything else, really)? It's not going to be to correct a mistake, because they did all their planning very carefully. If anything it'll be because a new book came out with a powerful trait in it, but even then, which of their already-uber traits are they going to give up?
Jiggy, I built my wizard around two traits that served me well getting to 12, but now that I am 13.2, serve no purpose whatsoever. From a purely powergaming perspective, it would behoove me to swap out both (and since I have plenty of prestige never having spent much of it at all), it would hardly be a speedbump in my prestige gains. So again, for your specific example, I can give you from my own character selection, a character that would benefit from a pure powergaming perspective.
Your protest feels like a nonspecific "options feed the munchkins" knee-jerk reaction, and I think your fear is unfounded.
Again, day 1 - 3 retrains by those I would consider to be in the peak of the powergaming crowd. My direct experience is entirely contrary to what you're suggesting.
The word "knee jerk" is thrown about lightly, but I've watched these players, and I know what kind of shenanigans get pulled. There is no functional reason for somebody not invested in finding out how to improve their character to retrain, so regardless of the crowd, it's not something I like to see.
Plus, none of your arguments really deal with my fundamental hatred of retraining. As I said before, it's a rule now, I'll enforce said rule, but I don't have to like it, and I will vocally decry expanding on it.
Except that I sat down to a table of 6 of them on day one of the new rules and two retrained, and third couldn't due to not having the book. So my actual experience is very different.
IMHO Retraining is nothing more than (another) tool used primarily (not always, but primarily) by those more interested in tweeking out every last ounce of power out of their character rather than just playing. Having watched them grow more powerful with each release (and subsequently watched my fun playing at those tables go down), seeing more tools available for those kinds of players doesn't make me happy. In fact, in your specific example of traits, I find them to be primary examples of what defines a character. So while retraining of feats, classes, and even hit points irritates me to no end, I find it abhorrent to allow trait retraining because it damages my verisimilitude.
So your examples of why it wouldn't hurt gameplay mean nothing to me, because they do not address a fundamental issue I have with the rules in general.
Retraining is a phenomenon from the MMO world, and frankly it's one I think PnP gaming can do without. It'll never be allowed at my home table, and while the decision has been made for PFS, I'll be happy to enforce every last rule involving retraining to the letter to try to minimize it from occurring. We already have enough custom rules in PFS, we do not need a custom rule for this.
I'm quite happy that retraining of traits isn't allowed. I'll be honest, the retraining rules already have me bristling, so anything that limits it to rules exactly as written from the book gets my thumb's up.
So I had somebody walk up to a table with a 4th level continual flame cast on an ioun torch from another player at a previous game day. According to the guide, this appears to be a legal option so that's not the question, the question is intent. The player in question had this marked on a previous chronicle with GM initials. What he did not have listed on the chronicle is the class and character level of the continual flame caster.
I'm thinking about a specific scenario, one where perhaps this continual flame gem could be dispelled (hell any scenario with a guy with deeper darkness and the ability to cast dispel magic). What is the appropriate response once you do decide to dispel said spell (since as a GM I'm going to do that after my first tactics mandated deeper darkness fails)?
a) Have him go back and get this information entered on his chronicle, knowing full well that the player that cast it may not be available, and we may never know.
b) Assume it's Caster Level 7 (thinking said character was a wizard), and using a DC of 17 to perform dispells.
c) Something I'm not considering.
I couldn't be happier with the new between-tier rules.
I sat down with a table after the rules went into play that tried to game their table into playing up 10 ways into Sunday before giving up and disappointedly sitting down for a 7-11 at 7-8. Their reason for playing up was solely for more coin (they'll say a challenge, but the whining that ensued with several near deaths at the low challenge level proved it wasn't really the case).
The sheer amount of complaining when I handed out chronicle sheets was a good indicator that this was a good idea.
EDIT: I am not be facetious. I mean it. Getting a bunch of powergamers who try to figure out ways to "beat" the system for their own gain, fail under the new rules, and then complain about how it's all broken was very much worth it.
Random tidbits stike me as odd, as you could potentially know the details of their special abilities without even knowing that it's undead.
Jiggy, I think you misinterpreted. You hit the DC on the head and I tell you "It's a ghoul, an undead creature that enjoys feasting on flesh" or "it's a Xill, a type of evil outsider that lives on the etheral plane". It's the rolling 5-higher tidbits that I'm changing.
Bringing this topic back up.
I've been one of the GMs that does what Doug originally indicated, I used to do the "ask me X questions about it" line.
Problem is, with certain groups of players (not all players mind you, but you'll know the ones I'm talking about) this just turns them into walking death machines because they always know how to pinpoint the weakest point first.
So that ends yesterday (yes literally yesterday).
From here on out I'll look at the creatures before hand, identify how many "useful tidbits" you can find in their stat block, assign each a number, and randomly roll for it.
So, while you still don't know the specific values, you'll reveal something random your research has identified such as normal attacks, defenses, even mating habits (which is sometimes VERY useful knowledge to know). I'm cutting out the problems I've begun to see with the question/answer method.
Kyle Baird wrote:
This is not a this year Gen Con phenomenon either.
Three years ago at Paizo Con the entire convention was balanced across the board for both high and level play equally. The thought was that since it's Paizo Con (you know, where us fanboys go to play) that we'd completely fill those higher level tables. The exact opposite was true. I wound up cancelling one of my high-level slots and running another with four pregens and the one person that showed up.
Andrew Christian wrote:
And frankly, it is the responsibility of the leadership (myself included) of the campaign to make sure that players are being educated on the rules. Based on what MisterSlanky said, it appears that the veteran players and GM's and the V-O's (including MisterSlanky when he was V-C of the Twin Cities) were lax in making sure this was taught correctly.
I would like to point out they were all new players from after my era. ;-)
Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
"To the nearest whole number" does specify which way you round. You round "to the nearest whole number." The nearest whole number to 3.5, according to mathematical standards, is 4.0.
Depends on of you use the ROUNDUP() or ROUNDDOWN() function. :-)
I had a very interesting experience this weekend, and one that was eye opening (I haven't done this in a very long time).
I ran the Blakros Matrimony and prior to play I asked for character sheets and chronicles of all the players at the table. I did this not as an audit, but rather in an attempt to a) get a sense of whether players had participated in the Blakros quests to increase the interaction in the scenario and b) make sure that I tempered <redacted climax> to their level of capability fighting that specific creature(s).
It turns out that in 5 of the 6 cases (the 6th being a set of chronicles I personally supervised), the contents were consistently a mess. One character accidentally (truly accidentally, he was apologetic and corrected it on the spot) bought a weapon he did not have the fame to own. At least two of the characters were missing key critical chronicle information (such as PFS/character number and/or name). Several did not have any of their gold expenditures listed on the right side of the page and only one actually had all equipment purchased listed on their chronicles. Finally not all chronicles earned were present. All-in-all, due to both GM and player inaction, both the chronicles, and player character sheets were questionable. I ran the game anyway, but it did concern me.
I've not been ultra-vocal about concerns, but I have indicated that I'm worried about the extra time this could/would add to the game day. While I'm still up in the air on that side of the topic, the state of these chronicles has turned me from opposed to the new system to fully in support. If my random spot audit of five players yielded 80% poor results, the change was/is needed, even if this was an outlier. In fact, it turned me on to even the possibility of more frequent spot audits as well (perhaps one a game day). We as both players and GMs need to get better with this recordkeeping, and I see that now.
Rather than airing his name, it would have been more appropriate to e-mail your concern to email@example.com. You may not get an immediate reply (due to Gen Con), but if this is an issue, I am sure he would be your most valuable resource.
This is exactly what I understand now.
Mark Moreland wrote:
This is the number-one priority after everyone gets back in the office from Gen Con. Until then, see this post from John clarifying how to handle the distribution of Prestige Points in pre-Season 5 scenarios prior to that document's release.
Mark, I just read that post and either I'm very dense or just not getting it.
I am running a season 0 on Thursday. It says that faction missions are no longer giving credit, but then describes performing faction missions and provides no indication of what the secondary objective is for the season 0.
What am I missing?
I'd push for revising this rule for one reason.
Player creativity in displaying their Pathfinder logo in another format only causes people to come up and say "where did you get that awesome X". That causes a discussion that may not have otherwise involved Pathfinder. It's still shown prominently (for advertising purposes), and it meets the spirit of the rule.
Case in point. I've considered (if my sewing skills were actually up to snuff) taking my too-large Andoran shirt, cutting out the logo, and making a big "You're getting bard song" banner for my Andoran bard which I'd pull out and hold whenever bard song was active. If somebody did that at my table (or something like that), I'd sure as hell give him/her the reroll.
TL;DR - I'm with the others, if the home game group is down with it, go for it. I'd suggest that you do not show up at a PFS game with this character though.
I want to add one other thought though even for the home game. From a roleplaying perspective, would your group actually adventure with you? This has come up in a number of games I've played (very notably, Shadowrun). While your concept may seem interesting, what are the real chances that 1) your going to survive long enough in the wilds against horrible creatures and 2) due to the risk of (1) to their own hides, that the adventuring party is going to want to adventure with you. If you're that sub-optimized, even an everyday home game adventuring party will look at your mangy little self and say..."uh yeah, we're going to go talk to that wizard over there in the corner, good luck...".
My person verisimilitude in a game is broken just as much by the completely inept adventurer or completely unethical companion simply because I as an adventurer know I'd rather be surrounded by the best and brightest that are there to help me as much as I'm there to help them.
Something to consider.
1. What would be a good source for information about the game world and character backgrounds? I got rather attached to the Half-Orc Sorcerer I made for the last game I played, so I would like to give him a proper background for roleplaying purposes. Background generator in Ultimate Campaign is amusing, but its result tend to be... well, a bit random.
I might suggest the Inner Sea World Guide as a start. It's the de-facto source of general information about Golarion in general.
2. Does it sound feasible to organise Pathfinder Society sessions among a bunch of friends when all of us have participated in up to four games of PFS but have more a few years of experience about Dungeons & Dragons tabletop gaming? There are no regional coordinators in the region I live in, but I'm not sure if it would be preferable to gain more experience about the system via online games or some other (hopefully inexpensive) means before trying to GM a session on my own.
It's not only feasible, but it's likely the preferred method. When I picked up PFS locally 4 years ago (has it been that long!?), we started with a home group where we all rotated GM responsibility. Experience ranged from extensive 3.5 experience to general RPG experience. We had fun, and that's what counted. That was the experience I came from when I took up the VC mantle (which I've since passed on).
So yes, I'd suggest you do exactly what you stated. ;-)
Michael Brock wrote:
I'm writing into the new Guide that it is all magic items that need to be recorded on the sheet. Mundane equipment does not need to be recorded. mundane equipment can just be listed on the Chronicle. Since there isn't a GM initial box on the Inventory Tracking Form, the GM should initial to the left of the entry line. Thanks for the input.
I'm absolutely not going to complain since this means less paperwork for me (as the GM).
Evan Whitefield wrote:
It doesn't say the GM has to initial but it does say that they have to be there and, as Nebten pointed out, they should wait until the player make all purchases and spends their prestige, then they check the players math before signing off on the chronicle sheet.
A couple of things. I wish things were as easy as the guide sometimes makes them out to be.
Regardless of what the guide may or may not state, in my experiences everywhere from Gen Con and PaizoCon to local play (including some notoriously by-the-rules GMs), the consensus has been that you don't have to review the purchases. I can name exactly zero times I've been asked to have my purchases reviewed as I make them in well over 150 sessions of play. As a GM, while I personally make sure that in-game purchases are on the sheet (typically by adding them myself), I stop there because I know most players are going to make their decisions after they get home and think about it a bit. So from a theoretical standpoint this may be a great idea to increase accountability, but in a practical sense, it hasn't happened to-date and I really doubt it will happen moving forward.
Additionally, in reality, how often does it happen that it's feasible to get the signatures? If you have a store that closes promptly at 11:00 with a game start of 6:00, or you have a tough game at Gen Con and are finishing up just as the next session is getting set up, the group may literally be in the process of being shuffled out the door the moment the last dice hit the table. In those cases GMs may barely have time to get all the chronicles handed out, let alone wait for the extra time needed to review and initial off on all purchases. With seasons 3-4 this has become a bigger problem due to the slightly longer run time of the scenarios. I know GM time management is important, but sometimes the reality of the situation is that you just don't have time.
Finally, the old wording was vague. The old guide never stated that the specific session GM had to be present to do the sign-off, it just said "a GM". The form wasn't well designed to indicate that sign-off was required (no initial spot on equipment) Further confounding the problem is that if you don't make any purchases but have GM credit then it was implied you reviewed your own record. In essence, the vagueness of the whole thing set a ball in motion that's going to be very difficult to stop.
I'm not saying I won't follow the new guide, but rather, it's going to be impractical in the long run, and certainly not fun (do any of us really enjoy doing more paperwork)?
Evan Whitefield wrote:
That's a very different statement than "The GM has to initial it". If you think about it, the old form itself didn't lend well to the idea that the GM had to initial it either. GM initialization slots were present for Gold earned, PA earned, and the overall form, but there was nothing for the purchases line.
To be honest, if I trust the player, I really don't want to spend my free time after the game waiting around for the player to hem and haw over what equipment to buy just to do a sign-off.