I don't disagree that anyone can recognize spellcasting. I think I likened it to a loud ringtone in a quiet setting.
However, if John says that spellcasting is common enough on Golarion that even commoners can tell the difference between hostile and benign spells, then there needs to be something he can point to that supersedes the Core Rulebook. Perhaps that blog he mentioned...
I'm going back to the first page, because apparently I've missed something in the days since I started following this discussion.
Talking on the phone in public is normal. Typing on the phone in public is normal. Sure, I'm entitled to a sense motive check (at DC 20) to try to get a "hunch" about the situation. Let's see... I'm a low level commoner or expert who hopefully hasn't dumped Wisdom, so I'm rolling at maybe a +6. That gives me a roughly 35% chance to get any kind of read on them at all, even if he looks to be typing very angrily.
I reject your assumption than magic is common enough in Golarion that someone casting a spell in the street has risen to the same level of normalcy as that of someone in real life talking on the cell phone. I reject it flat out. The rules do not lend themselves in any way to that assumption, or else the Spellcraft DCs would not be so high, Spellcraft would not be a trained only skill, or Commoners would have it on their class skill list. People fear what they don't understand, and people do not, mechanically, understand magic. They are not able to tell the difference between a calmly cast detect magic and a calmly cast fireball until it's too late.
If answering a phone call at a big, fancy dinner is considered rude (it is still considered rude, isn't it?), then how much more so would it be to start casting unknown spells around people who have no way to identify said spellcasting as non-hostile? If you have money and power you protect yourself from mundane weapons by hiring your own bodyguards and/or by preventing people from bringing their weapons near you. If you want to protect yourself from magic, would it not make sense to hire your own magic "bodyguards" and to prevent/restrict spellcasting around you? Would it not make sense to be suspicious of people casting magic you didn't recognize?
I'm not talking about going from friendly conversation, to baring steel. I don't think anyone here is. I'm talking about going from friendly conversation to cautious, from indifference to suspicious, and perhaps even from unfriendly to hostile. If I already don't trust you, spellcasting might be just the thing to make me decide I've had enough. Going back to my "I see someone draw a gun" post, I'm not going to wait to see the results of unannounced spellcasting before I start taking action to protect myself from the unknown. Not all spellcasting is equivalent to drawing a weapon, but if I have no reliable way to tell the difference, why would I just assume the best? And unlike a mundane weapon being drawn, the spellcaster is not (by RAW, at least) allowed to make a Bluff or Sleight of Hand check to mask the spellcasting. It's blatantly obvious that a spell is being cast, like a loud, gaudy ringtone going off in the middle of a solemn church service.
So no, not every NPC will react the same, either by getting angry or by not raising an eyebrow. It's up to the situation and the GMs discretion. And if, in the GMs discretion, spellcasting triggers a fight, then hopefully you will be more cautious in the future.
Given the relative rarity and probable reputation of freelance adventurers, and even known Pathfinders in some regions, how are the bystanders to know if you plan to clean your clothes or get revenge on the careless driver? The people likening spells to mundane objects, even ones like knives that can be used as weapons, are forgetting one very important, glaring thing. Knives, hammers, crowbars, cellphones, and the like can all be identified on sight without much in the way of training. Sure, you might not know the difference between a Gerber or a Winchester pocket knife, but you can look and easily see that it's a pocket knife. An NPC, especially a commoner, is not likely to have ranks in Spellcraft. Without at least one rank in Spellcraft, you can't tell the difference between an offensive or utility spell. You can't tell the difference between a divine spell and an arcane spell. Arguably, you can't tell the difference between a real spell, and someone pretending to cast one.
If all you know is "magic" then you don't know enough to determine if it's hostile or benign. Why do so many feel that the NPC more likely to assume it's benign, all else being equal?
Hmmm... I may indeed have missed something in the discussion, then. I was responding to the idea that, magic being common in Golarion, the average NPC will not mind if someone starts casting spells around them, or even at them, because the average NPC will either knowor assume that the magic being cast is benign. I find that idea preposterous enough to keep arguing agInst it, even if no one is arguing for it any longer. :)
Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
Organized Play isn't everybody's thing. Campaign management is dedicated to preserving the feel of the Golarion setting, and what you propose just isn't it.
Whiskey Jack wrote:
I would say it is sad if you are only fielding a single table for a public game and saying to the fifth player- "No". Is there a reason you don't want to take that 5th player? Honestly, the sweet spot for me is actually 5 and I loath to go to 6 (or 7). Depends on your goals as an organizer, I suppose... if you are trying to build a PFS community, not sure why you might turn away a 5th... is there more to this story?
Well then why stop at 7, or even 8 or 9? Every GM has a limit, and it would be much better to turn away a 5th than for the original 4 to have a bad time because the (volunteer) GM (who is hoping to have fun and provide a fun game) got stressed out and overwhelmed.
Trying to get used to a new phone. Should have hit preview first.
I'm not sure I understand the logic here. Law and medicine are common to everyone in the US and arguably all of Western Europe, but every household doesn't have lawyer or doctor as an occupation.
Perfect example. If I walk up to you and try to force you to swallow a pill but don't tell you what it is or what it's used for, are you going to swallow it? Millions of people die every year from preventable med errors made by people who do know what their doing, why would you trust someone you have no reason to?
If I walk up to you and tell you the law says I can take your stuff, are you going to hand it over on faith, or are you going to be suspicious? Maybe even hire your own mage... er... lawyer to check me out?
Yet somehow we're expected to believe that the average person, who mechanically knows exactly as much about magic as the average person in the real world knows about medicine or law, would just let anyone they met cast random spells at or near them without batting an eye? It's not like they can put the spell components into google to get a rough idea.
You may have seen Brother Thomas cast healing spells a hundred times, but the first time the village is attacked and he lets loose with a flame strike you're never going to look at him the same way again.
N N 959 wrote:
1. Spells to fertilize fields. Plant growth
I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but these utility spells already exist, and most of them are one cantrip. If magic was really as common as so many want to believe, why isn't every houskeeper with an average intelligence a level 1 wizard?
I could go on. Now ask yourself how many of the things on the list could be accomplished with existing spells? If it's more than half, do you think that my say something about how common magic use would really be? Is it possible that using wands in public to clean your clothes, or having an adept casting spells might even be seen as an indicator of social status?
If you want to make your character a good gardener, would you make it the best gardener you could, or a crappy gardener? Unless your character's "story" is to be bad at everything, your "story" character should maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses just like the so-called powergamers you complain about.
Your ability to make an effective character, and your ability to make a character with a well-rounded backstory, goals, etc. are not mutually exclusive. Please don't insult those of us who do not ascribe to that fallacy by claiming that our characters are somehow less valid than yours because we want them to be good at what they do.
I suppose my real question is: What is the order of operations, and where is this found in the rules?
You are subject to an effect -> You save against the effect -> You know whether the affect was harmful or harmless.
You are subject to an effect -> You know whether the effect was harmful or harmless -> You save (or not) against the effect.
So there is no way to bluff or coerce a character into accepting a harmful spell? An NPC always instinctively knows the difference between a helpful and harmful spell?
And the snakebite is a poor comparison. When's the last time you saw someone willingly fail a save against rabies, or snake venom? And yet, the rules allow it.
Well, I noticed in the FAQ that a character is still allowed a save against a harmful potion, even if they believe it is a helpful potion. It doesn't specify, but I would assume you're still not required to make a save if it turns out to be harmless. I suppose next they'll rule that if a creature voluntarily lowers its spell resistance to receive a harmless spell, the caster will still have to make a CL check if he lied. :eyeroll:
So, apparently the designers do intend people to be able to somehow innately tell the difference between harmful and harmless spells even when there is no spellcasting involved. Personally, this runs counter to how I do things in my home games. This being PFS, though, I supposed it makes an argument against the position of magic automatically being considered rude/hostile.
Thread in rules forum for FAQing, if there's interest in this rabbit trail.
For all situations, the receiving creature has no ranks in Spellcraft or Knowledge (Arcana):
1) Fact: If I cast inflict light wounds on a hostile target, they get a will save for half damage.
2) Fact: If I cast cure light wounds on a target (hostile or not) they are allowed a will save for half healing.
3) Question: If I cast cure light wounds on a non-hostile target, are they considered to be voluntarily failing their save, or do they not get a save at all?
4) Question: If I tell a non-hostile target that I am casting cure light wounds, but I instead cast inflict light wounds (and succeed on a Bluff vs. Sense Motive check), does the answer to number 3 still apply?
5) Question: The FAQ states that the drinker of a falsely labeled cure potion would still get a save against any harmful effects. Presumably they are not forced to save against non-harmful effects, so how is it they know the difference? How does this affect the answer to number 4?
Lets try this another way. You're making a claim that all sanctioned modules can be played with a "home game" character. Since you're the one making the claim, maybe you could cite your source? As has already been pointed out, the Guide to Organized Play doesn't allow "home game" mode, unless it is a sanctioned AP, or one of the new modules like Dragon's Demand.
Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
Whenever someone proposes more GM rewards, a number of people argue that since PFS is the first campaign to give the GM rewards that it does give, everyone should just be happy with what they're getting.
I think this whole discussion falls flat because it's based on the idea that GM rewards are static. In fact, GMs now get quite a bit more now than they got in Season 0, and Gms now get more than they did in Season 4. Whether you feel that the GM rewards are too much, too little, or just right, you have to at least acknowledge that Paizo has put worki into increasing and varying the rewards they offer.
Spellcraft isn't a "Knowledge" skill, and even if it were, "common" knowledge only lowers the DC by 5. Identifying a "common" spell as it is being cast would, under your house rule, be DC 10+spell level. Still to high to be used untrained except on cantrips, which is reasonable.
Identifying a spell that just targeted you is a DC 25+spell level Knowledge (Arcana) check. A "common" spell might only be DC 20+spell level. Seems like the rules don't want people to be able to identify magic without training. Seems like maybe the average Joe doesn't have much of a chance to identify even common spells like the cure light wounds the priest just cast to fix his broken leg.
Thanks for the heads up, I am going to run this one on Sat. Where there any other bumps you ran into?
The Irrisen Guard Doll is only Caster Level 3, so it's inflict serious wounds ability does 3d8+3 damage (not 3d8+5, which is normally the minimum for ISW). Also don't forget that it's Tiny and has no reach, so it must enter the opponent's square (provoking as normal) before it can touch them. That encounter can be rough on first level characters.
The optional fight is rough at high tier because the goblins are so fragile. You might consider skipping it, but it really makes the PCs work to protect the little cretins. Definitely run the optional fight if any of the gobbos manage to swallow an alchemist's fire. Having one explode when attacked will be remembered by the players for quite a while.
Really play up the social aspect of the last fight. When the jig is up, have Enrik do his best to convince the players not to get involved. Make him seem reluctant to kill fellow humans. After all the "fun" it's good to remind the players that most people have good reason to hate and fear goblins. If you can make them question their commitment to protecting the goblins, you're doing it right. :)
Seems to me, as a brand new player, I'd rather learn in my first adventure:
Better to learn some of these lessons the hard way with a brand new level one than that level three I've put 30 hours into playing. Seems to me some players get off easy and develop some bad habits that come back to haunt them later in their careers.
Yes, but you have to ask yourself if throwing grenades into melee is really in the spirit of "Cooperate." I love my alchemist, but I wouldn't play him if he didn't have Precise Bombs, Splash Weapon Mastery, and a good Dex. Even with all that, I try to aim my bombs so they don't hit party members and try to work with my party to make sure everyone has a chance to engage the target with the least risk possible. And if I do significant damage to a party member, I heal them using my own resources.
Dieben, most of those spells already exist. They're covered by prestidigitation. That doesn't mean that prestidigitation is so common that the average Joe will recognize it on sight. Perhaps the average adventurer, but really that's the purview of the spellcraft skill. Spellcraft wouldn't be "Trained Only" if they wanted everyone to be able to tell the difference between a harmless cantrip and a fireball.
The first GM is correct. You receive a chronicle sheet with 0xp, 0 Prestige, 0gp earned. You must record all purchases and items sold or expended. You must also clear any conditions that would have to be cleared in a "normal" scenario, or the character will be reported as dead. It's all of the risk for none of the reward.
Edit: This is found on page 20 of the Guide to Organized Play.
Taking the time to level during the module would be a disaster for convention play. For home play, it would take away from time spent actually playing the game, and would break immersion. I don't think the possible gains (survivability) are worth the losses in time, confusion, and more rules required to explain how/when to do the level-up.
And when the fireball takes out everyone in the tavern, the lone survivor says "He told me he was casting a spell to clean up a spill!"
Cars are more dangerous than guns. More people die every day from automobile accidents than from gunfire. Cars are considered "safe" because we use them every day. Spells aren't "safe". They're flashy, intrusive, destructive things that only certain people can understand or use. That's not something the average commoner is going to feel "safe" around, even though nothing happened "this time". Your assumption that the average Joe will be okay with random spellcasting doesn't take into account basic human nature, the fear of the unknown. Look at all the people in the world who don't trust modern technology, modern medicine, modern science... And yet you continue to think that magic would just be commonly accepted? Please.
In someways, I view casting spells as modernday firearms on Earth. Some people wear them openly and no one bats an eye (police, military, etc.), while if you draw a weapon while waiting in line at Star Bucks or at a recpetion with VIPs, then the reaction may be a wee bit different.
I think that's a decent analogy. In some parts of the world, civilian ownership of firearms is completely forbidden, just as the Laws of Man prohibit deity-granted spellcasting. In the US, civilian ownership of firearms is very high, but even in some parts of the US it is illegal (or practically so). Even in the parts of the country that embrace firearms, the majority of people hide the fact that they are armed. As someone who regularly openly carries a firearm, I can tell you from personal experience that the majority of people won't notice or care that you have a gun. However, the ones who do care, care very deeply and aren't afraid to vocalize their support or derision. If a spellcaster walks through your typical marketplace, most people won't notice or care that they have a spell component pouch. But those who do care probably care very strongly. Magic has probably affected them very deeply, for better or worse. There are probably large portions of the population who would support measures to curb magic use. None of that is likely to come up in your typical PFS scenario, so it gets glossed over.
As for casting magic at or around NPCs, lets continue the gun analogy. If I see you from across the room pull a gun and point it at me, I'm not likely to stop and think "Is that a tazer? Is that loaded? Are they blanks, or rubber bullets, or live rounds?" No. I'm going to take cover and draw my own gun before I take the time to ask you your intentions. Spellcasting is the same way. At best, casting magic without warning is rude, akin to fondling your gun in the checkout line. At worst, even casting detect magic could be enough to put you into initiative in an otherwise friendly encounter.
If a GM wants to apply penalties to my character for being the unwitting target of a spell (other than the stated effects of the spell, of course) he's going to have to show me where he found that in the rules. If being the unwilling target of an aligned spell makes you shift toward that alignment, then there will be a lot of Lawful and Good demons running around by the end of Season 5.
Chris Kenney wrote:
Excuse me? If he hasn't played his character since the Undead Lord archetype was banned, then he can certainly rebuild that character into anything he wants, including one of the playtest classes. He's most certainly not "stuck as a standard cleric". Mike was very reasonable (I would say generous) with the rebuilds he allowed when those archetypes were banned. What leads you to believe he will be anything but when the playtest ends? Why don't you just play the classes, see how you like them, and see what happens if changes are made. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
I don't see a problem with that. So long as they are applying the credit in chronological order, aren't adjusting their character mid session, and aren't holding credit until they "see who needs it" or whatever, I think its within the spirit of the rules. In the case of character death, I would certainly rule whichever way allows the character to come back to life.
If I had a level 2 with exactly 3 chronicles, this is how I'd handle it:1 Sep- begin pbp with character. That character is locked in and cannot be played until the pbp is finished.
1 Oct- report session, and assign to character as chronicle #4. Make NO changes to character in play. Purchase no items, spend no prestige, not even add the gold to the sheet.
1 Nov- Assign chronicle to character as chronicle #5. Update character sheet and ITS with any purchases.
If the GM chronicle would force the character out of Tier, then I would apply it to a different character.
The classes nowadays have so much versatility that the lines between the "four party roles" hardly exist. Pick one thing and do it well, pick another thing and do it passably, and you should be welcome in any party. Redundany can be a good thing. Remember the old saying "Two is one and one is none." When that first cleric drops, they may wish they still had a second.
They are different because they aren't the same. An Animal Companion is a (roughly) balanced statblock that is flavored like a certain animal. It's a class feature, so each companion has to be close in power with the other choices. So in this case, it looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, but it's really an animal companion, so it probably won't have the same stats as a duck. ;)
Thanks for that, Eric, but how do you mesh that with Jason's statement that the "ship has long sailed" on subbing out any of these classes?
On first blush most of these classes look really good, but some strike me as "meh" at best. It's a little off putting that even if the playtest response is universal dislike, the class will still make it to print.
I agree. If the problem is not having enough experience playing at high level, the solution is certainly not to quit playing. If you have a way to take a break from Society and play some high level home games, that might be a good compromise. All in all, I would have a word with the organizer and see if there's a way you could play high level without so much pressure to get it "perfect" from the other players.
June Soler wrote:
To say that others don't see it another way is ignoring the many threads on this feat in which this issue keeps popping up.
People ignoring a posted speed limit doesn't make that speed limit "vague" even if millions of people do it. If you are ignoring the meaning of the words simply because you don't agree with what those words, in that order, mean, then it isn't "vague".
I don't understand why this needs to be so complicated. It is really very simple. If you don't like a GM don't play with him.
Not much of a choice there. What if it's a small venue and there is no other GM, or all the other tables are full?
-Play with a sub par GM.
Death is a condition that must be cleared by the end of the session. The party may split the cost of bringing a character back to life, but other than that you may not transfer wealth between players. All of this is found on page 22 of the Guide. As for your transferring wealth between characters, since this can only happen intra-party, and only in the case of death, you would have to have two different characters in the party at the same time, which is against the rules (Guide p. 20).
So, as a story thing, if you want to spend the gold/prestige to have a resurrection cast there is nothing stopping you. However, the original character will remain unplayable because the death was not resolved by the end of the session.