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Contract Devil

Sebastian Hirsch's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2015 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,899 posts (2,249 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 9 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Silver Crusade

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Well good luck, nice to see someone take the issue of recruiting new players seriously ^^

Best wishes to you and your family.

Silver Crusade

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TetsujinOni wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

@Jack: While it is always nice to see players willing to GM boons are a pretty rare thing, and I really would strongly advise against starting to GM at a convention.

Talk to your VL or your VC, they should be able to help you.

Just to be a contrary voice: If you want to GM and think you can run a fun table that rolls with the players and shows people a good time, and there's a con that wants GMs - go for it.

(I started my 3.x GMing career by running an APL 10 game in Living Greyhawk in one of the high-crunch regions. Nothing much that PCs come up with these days seems shocking...)

I guess this is one of those YMMV situations, when I think of conventions it's usually in the terms of large rooms with a lot of tables in them. Other loud tables are certainly an issue.

That said PFS only events should be far better than convention tables, where some or all of your players have limited/no experience with the D20 system and just want to try it.

---

Oh and before I forget it, in the last 10 years of visiting conventions I had some awfully terrible games and GMs. To badly paraphrase Order of the Stick "A cup of really terrible coffee makes you remember all the times you actually drank good coffee. Your Brain is pretty much trying to remember everything that is not the "coffee" you are currently drinking".

So yeah, even if you come to the conclusion, that your first GM experience was a complete and utter fail... there will still be plenty of worse GMs out there ^^

However GMing requires a certain amount of preparation (bringing the chronicle sheets is pretty much the most important part) so you might want to devote some time to your preparation...... ..... .... is this a bad time to mention that I arrived at the last convention with no less than 4 bags (one of them on wheels)?

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:


5) At this point I'm pretty down on Mythic. A few folks in particular on these boards really wore me down and made me really frustrated and unhappy wiht how Wrath turned out. A classic case of the vocal minority having a STRONG influence on things, as it were. I suspect we'll continue to use mythic on monsters now and then, but at this point, I'm like 98% convinced those rules belong to the GM and not to the players. That, and the fact that there really wasn't a lot of thought put in during the playtest about how mythic impacts high level play, which was PRECISELY what I wanted it for, was frustrating. Yeah, I am indeed bitter about it.

Yeah sorry about that, I and a couple of other players really fell in love with the idea of mythic, and they way it was executed (as an additional system that can be added to low and/or high level play).

Unfortunately this (IMO) made it pretty hard to balance, since it ended up working as a kind of multiplier, it worked fine for groups with a moderate amount of system masters, but could spiral out of control when players had high system mastery. I guess that is just the nature of the beast, one size fits all doesn't really work (of course reducing point buy, XP and mythic tiers is always an option).

As written mythic definitely works for monsters and can help GMs like me to create memorable encounters.

It is also a very nice option to replace high level options for those GMs/players who don't think that those high level spells fit their particular game.

With a bit of hindsight (I haven looked in that corner of the forum in quite some time, and I have discovered PFS several months ago and could not be happier) I think that WotR is thematically one of my favorite adventure paths, and I can recommend part 1 without hesitation (the writing and the NPCs really work for me). The other parts do benefit from some tweaking, but that is true for almost all things including my own cooking and similar epic enterprises.

Mythic adventures (a book I ended up buying several times for my players) is a good tool, but isn't all that easy to use, and could use some fine tuning. Since I create all the characters for my home group with my players, this really was not an issue for me, and I have always felt empowered to limit options and make rulings when things are unclear.
Giving the choice of mythic to the GM certainly will works for some groups.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you and a couple of designers find yourself with a couple of days of free time (after developing a books went exceedingly smooth and quick), we would certainly appreciated something like a 2-3 page pdf to attempt to balance the exploding numbers a bit.

I really liked the implementation of mythic in Iron Gods, and I am looking forward to trying the PFS scenarios with it.

---

I feel the need to apologize again, for all the drama in the WotR area, and hope, that you can find some solace in the fact, that the only reason that this exploded in the way that it did, is the fact that this meant a lot to a large number of people. The ability to make people care so much, shows that Paizo has a way to tell some very compelling stories, and create fun rules material.

My previous WotR group is on permanent hiatus (has nothing to do with mythic, I can't just get that group to play often enough) but I am actually still willing to give this another try.

Sometimes system work and sometimes they don't and I appreciate the fact, that Paizo is still willing to try even if it doesn't end up working perfectly every time. I feel that this was a learning experience for everybody involved, and that current products are already benefiting from the lessions learned.

---

So just keep up the good work, I have to go back to preparing Emerald Spire. I will be running it as a kind of Dungeon Run at a local convention this weekend, and while it is unlikely that they will reach your level... I prefer to be ready ^^

EDIT:PS I love the pawns, I recently managed to use PFS as a reason to buy all the Bestiary Boxes, the NPC box and the Inner Sea Box (love the fact, that I now have the ACG pregens as proper pawns, in my experience pawns have a very positive effect on new players).

Silver Crusade

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In cases like this it is pretty useful to cite the source of the rules item in question, this creature seems to come from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes.

Since you are not arguing to allow the CR13 version in into the game lets compare

Cat, Big from the CRB wrote:

Cat, Big

Starting Statistics

Size Medium; Speed 40 ft.; AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d6), 2 claws (1d4); Ability Scores Str 13, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 10; Special Attacks rake (1d4); Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.

7th-Level Advancement

Size Large; AC +2 natural armor; Attack bite (1d8), 2 claws (1d6); Ability Scores Str +8, Dex –2, Con +4; Special Attacks grab, pounce, rake (1d6).

and

Warcat wrote:

Source: Hold of the Orc Hordes

Starting Statistics

Size Medium; Speed 40 ft.; AC +4 natural armor; Attack bite (1d6), 2 claws (1d4); Ability Scores Str 15, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 5; Special Attacks rake (1d4); SQ low-light vision, scent.

7th-Level Advancement

Size Large; AC +2 natural armor; Attack bite (1d8), 2 claws (1d6); Ability Scores Str +8, Dex –2, Con +4; Special Attacks grab, pounce, rake (1d6).

It is compairable to the CRB big cat, the different stat allocations really are not that relevant but the +4 natural armor bonus really kills the idea.

Big cats are already pretty awesome, and I would be hard pressed not to take the Warcat every time, even as a hunter where the animal companion's wisdom modifier is kinda relevant.

And while d20pfsrd doesn't seem to mention a racial limit, I assume that these cats are supposed to be an Orc only option.

Silver Crusade

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DM Sothal wrote:

Don't know as much about the rest of the companion, but I LOVE the back inside cover: "Combat options overview"!

Detailing what is what type of action, and detailing the differences between those: Free action, swift action, attack action, melee action, standard action, and full-round action.

That page alone is a heaven-sent.

Printing out this one for my players and myself...

Damn, that actually sounds terrific.

Silver Crusade

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kinevon wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
David Higaki wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Naked: We're going to need to see your social security number sir...
But I'm a vow of poverty monk!
Oh that is a totally different case, you just get sanctioned under the mental health act until your delusions stop ^^
I thought that they got the full cavity search to make sure they don't have anything they aren't supposed to have, like a bankbook from the Bank of Abadar, secreted on their person...

And if they still don't trust you... they give you stuff to take away your poverty powers

Mergy wrote:
David Higaki wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


Naked: We're going to need to see your social security number sir...
But I'm a vow of poverty monk!
Hey, if you want to have a vow of poverty, you had better own a copy of Ultimate Magic. No poverty without property.

slow clap

But also begs the question, you don't actually own the pdf, you more of less have a license to use it, so can VOP characters own licenses, patents or rights? Can the hold a copyright?

Silver Crusade

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Andrew Roberts wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Please note that the first FAQ opening up this issue, and the second one closing this unintended loophole were done by the Pathfinder Rules team, not the campaign leadership.

Essentially this is like changing something via Errata and then changing it back in the next one.

Emphasis mine.

To say it was unintended would be false. There was a specific phrase on the old FAQ that said they understand exactly what was going to happen with that FAQ.

Oh why did I post, I have plenty of scenarios and Emerald Spire to prep . ;(

I said unintended cause this specific way to qualify for prestige classes and feats like arcane strike, were never intended by the authors of those prestige classes.
EK didn't require a BAB (unlike Arcane Archer) since previously we had not class or race that could get early entry.
And considering the reaction of James Jacobs when it came to the possibility of early entry into the Evangelist class, I am pretty sure, that this he didn't intent it either.

It is quite likely that the person(s) who made this decision, had a reasoning to do so, but I don't think everyone at Paizo was thrilled by it.

That is not a value judgement regarding the "lacking?) power of prestige classes, rather than... sometimes they cause a mess.
I remember that it took quite a number of CRB Errata editions to remove that "elf only" requirement from the arcane archer, months after they mentioned it on the forums.

BigDTBone wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Please note that the first FAQ opening up this issue, and the second one closing this unintended loophole were done by the Pathfinder Rules team, not the campaign leadership.

I simply do not understand how the word "loophole" reconciles with this statement:

PDT wrote:
The design team is aware that the above answer means that certain races can gain access to some spellcaster prestige classes earlier than the default minimum (character level 6). Given that prestige classes are usually a sub-optimal character choice (especially for spellcasters), the design team is allowing this FAQ ruling for prestige classes. If there is in-play evidence that this ruling is creating characters that are too powerful, the design team may revisit whether or not to allow spell-like abilities to count for prestige class requirements.
Can you explain it to me? How can someone read the FAQ and come to the conclusion that early entry wasn't the intention of the PDT?

If could argue that they realized that this causes a weird situation regarding the default minimum character level for prestige classes and they even mentioned it in the FAQ. Whether this counts as a loopwhole or not, is really more a matter of definition.

Thank for quite it btw, since this shows that apparently even they didn't know all the possible results of this change (the vast majority of FAQs don't include this language).

I really don't know what caused the first FAQ and what caused the second one (although telling James Jacobs that he is not a rules authority in this case... most likely has an effect).

Silver Crusade

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trik wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It was explicitly in the FAQ.

Well, that's a pretty bad FAQ entry then and probably should have never existed in the first place. That's someone not doing their job... at least not well.

However, the part that I fundamentally disagree with remains. Not placing fun as the primary objective of a game, including Pathfinder, is my objection. I understand that not everyone will be happy with every decision, but essentially screwing over a segment of the gaming population when other alternatives exist in which no one would feel cheated goes completely against the entire purpose of a game.

That said, it's not exactly this specific decision (it doesn't even affect any of my characters), but the entire philosophy of decision making. If fun isn't held as the absolute most important part of the game, who's to say that future decisions won't stomp all over my fun?

Well I think you are forgetting the large number of players who were not happy with that FAQ.

Want to play a Mythic Theurge, and Eldritch Knight etc. better be from a rather small subset of the available races and or classes .. if you don't well people will call you out on it "Why aren't you [enter option], your way to build this character is just stupid".

Not unlike the problem summoners have with haste.

Some players really don't like their viable options limited like this.

Silver Crusade

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I would prefer a solution that does not marginalize melee characters, with combat trained animals, animal companions (I am playing a hunter, and more often than not the other melee characters like having it there, if only to soak a couple of hits) and summoned monsters.

So yeah, I haven't seen this as a problem yet, so I am a bit on the fence if we really need a ruling on this. Of course those animals offer some interesting information when it comes to PVP and don't be a jerk.
Like a wizard fireballing the enemies and having to target the animals since they aren't clever enough to avoid it, and the user doesn't bother to spend the action to order them to retreat.

Also there is at least one scenario with enemy spellcasters with dominate animal.. fun for everybody^^

EDIT: I really would like a large tiger as a mount, but that doesn't seem to be an option outside of having an animal companion.

Silver Crusade

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Ok I really have to ask, what character is "ruined" ? It seems that most of those characters will be about level 3-4 with a suboptimal stat allocation.

So at this point they have two choices, either continue on their path to MT or retrain one level, and have slightly less than perfect stat allocations (and not even that if you go Oracle/Sorcerer, or Cleric/Sorcerer with the right bloodline).

That is really not ruined, I recently played with a sorcerer/rogue/arcane trickster and that player had to go through a valley of suck to get there.

It might be quite bad for your proposed concept, but from a mechanical point of view, the character is hardly "ruined".

Silver Crusade

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Hrothdane wrote:
I would probably be fine ruling that a brawling mithral breastplate works in a home game, but there is definitely table variation on it in PFS. It's hazy enough that a GM might (and I have seen one do so) say it doesnt work.

Yeah, but to be honest there are a number of unclear topics where you might hit table variation, obviously this is one of them.

I would accept it as PFS GM, but I am certain that a couple of others will not, especially once they understand, that this armor enhancement improves damage.

Imbicatus wrote:

Bracer of armor are armor, and are light. A bracer is a synonym for vambrace, which is piecemeal armor for the arms. I know there is no rules connection between bracers and light armor, but Bracers are able to accept armor enhancements, and are the lightest of light armors because they are not encumbering at all. I know this is not RAW. This is personal opinion, nothing more.

That said, Mithral armor is still Medium for proficiency. It doesn't make sense that an enchantment that only works on light armor would work on armor that is only light for the purposes of penalties, but still requires medium proficiency.

No they are not, a monk can't even use a haramaki or similar armor, and bracers of armor don't appear on any list of armors.

And regarding your second point, you would have not problem with an elven chain, but a mithral chainmail is a no go ? (The difference is 1000 G and it does not even require the proficiency).

Silver Crusade

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I am currently working at some kind of setup for conventions, I plan to offer a table at [http://cavecon.de/]Cave-Con in Aschaffenburg, Germany[/url] and to give the players the chance to brave the emerald spire as deep as they can get.
The level of RP from my side will quite likely be minimal, unless the group likes or requires it for a better experience.

I hope to get a table for about 12-14 hours and plan to give the players about 15-20 min to level and shop between the separate maps. Since this would seem like an opportune time for old players to drop out, and for new players to join (no idea how often this will actually end up happening), I decided to post some kind of scoreboards in the public area, so others can see our progress.

Page 19 has an excellent picture for that sheet, I will have to alter it a bit, and I currently expect, them not to reach level 16. That may be possible in 3 days but not in my currently planned time slot. And since my VO will quite likely be there,directing complaints about me to my VO will be quite easy ^^.

In any case I will share it once it is done, even if I have to replace the picture from the AP with something ridiculous.

EDIT: Found a picture of the spire in this blog Paizo Blog - Behind the Emerald Spire.
So I assume that I will be able to share it.
@Schattenstern: Could you maybe enable private messages?

Silver Crusade

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Disclaimer: Thus far I have successfully avoided getting a player boon by virtue of not going to many conventions.

That said, after playing for a couple of months, I noticed that the nature of chronicles leads to some ... unpleasant results. Since researching chronicle rewards before you play a scenario is regarded badly (personally I expect it to lead to some unfortunate group compositions, when suddenly everybody is an archer trying to get the keen longbow).

And while GMing the scenarios is a solution for a small number of players, obviously many of us can't actually offer a scenario in some areas.

The following player boon ideas could benefit players who have been unlucky enough to have their group slip into a lower tier (despite their own character fitting into a higher tier), and in those cases where a very attractive item is on a chronicle owned by a character, that will never buy it.

Upgrade Chronicle - Shopping wrote:

A great number of stories change in the retelling, the monsters become fiercer and the traps more deadly.

Chose a previously earned chronicle, if you didn't get access to all the items on the chronicle sheet, you can expend this boon to gain access to all purchase able items on the sheet.
This doesn't allow you to reset the purchase limit on limited items, but it will allow you to buy the items your party missed in the scenario and those locked to a higher tier of play.

This boon does not improve other rewards on the chronicle (like the limited use of an item for a scenario etc.)

Requiring GM changes/documentation on this boon and the original chronicle.

Improved Rewards wrote:

You can use this chronicle when you finish a scenario, or use it later with an additional 5 point PP cost.

If you successfully finish the scenario, but boons aren't unlocked on the chronicle sheet (due to your tier), you can expend this boon to modify that chronicle sheet, to give you the rewards of finishing the scenario in the highest tier.

Shopping party wrote:

Choose a chronicle owned by another (living) character under the same PFS number (add a field for the GM to add the character number and chronicle number), you may buy items from that chronicle sheet as if your character had earned the chronicles herself.

It is quite early in the morning so the grammar could use a lot of work, but I really didn't want to further procrastinate this post. And obviously I didn't include all the necessary caveats to properly protect those boons against abuse just yet, in any case I doubt, that I have the necessary experience with the available chronicle sheets.

In any case, I am sure that you have other awesome ideas for boons, and I would be delighted to hear them.

Silver Crusade

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Well considering that drawing a huge sword from a sheath on your back, does not provoke an attack of opportunity and can pretty much always be done as a move action, realism left the building some time ago. So that argument really should not bother us too much.

-

Then lets look at staffs, rods and wands. Staffs quite often can be used as quarterstaff, and in the cases where it is not case, the reason seems to be more fluff based than based on a mechanical advantage.
I have serious reservations regarding GMs asking for intent, and penalizing players based on that intent.

There should be no mechanical difference between a character drawing his +1 quarterstaff with the intent to hit someone (if only to get the benefit of combat expertise) and a character drawing a staff to obliterate her enemies with the power of the fire spirits.

The same should be true for rods (at the very least those that can be used as proper weapons, but then again there should be little appreciable difference, and retrieving it from something like your belt or a sheath should pose no problems.

Wands are specially called out in the original documentation, but compare quite well to daggers, and some of the blunt monk weapons.
Obviously since even using a wand does not provoke an attack of opportunity, I would argue that it is fair game.

I am not entirely happy, that we don't have and item like a wand bracer - and while the spring loaded wrist sheath currently serves to give easy access to usually no more than 2 wands, is uses a swift action, and seems so good and under priced to be almost mandatory.

-

The quick draw feat is similar, but covers a different area, and no one actually asks to let characters draw things like potions as a free action.

-

This really question really only applies to characters taking a move a action, and considering the number of move actions on page 183 of the CRB, in some cases there should be no added problem (remember that you can draw a weapon with any of these, if you have the BAB, that fact is not currently under discussion):

Move: Obviously I have a pretty high BAB, since have quite often retrieved my phone from my jacket or pants pocket without stopping moving. While you walk somewhere and have re required number of hands, why not, unless you have to interact with a container like a scroll case (with more than one scroll in it).

--

I thin the really relevant part of the rules consists of:

quote wrote:

Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat, or putting it away so that you have a free hand, requires a move action. This action also applies to weapon-like objects [b] carried in easy reach, such as wands./b] If your weapon or weapon-like object is stored in a pack or otherwise out of easy reach, treat this action as retrieving a stored item. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may draw a weapon as a free action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw two light or one-handed weapons in the time it would normally take you to draw one.

If a character e.g wears a bandolier or a bandoleer like the adventurers sash, with a loop tho secure their wands, I would call that sufficiently easy access. Of course this means that those items are also prime target for certain combat maneuvers, namely dirty trick, sunder and steal.

That seems like a fare exchange.

Also I would like to add the following item to this discussion:

Efficient Quiver wrote:

Efficient Quiver
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th

Slot —; Price 1,800 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Description
This appears to be a typical arrow container capable of holding about 20 arrows. It has three distinct portions, each with a nondimensional space allowing it to store far more than would normally be possible.

The first and smallest one can contain up to 60 objects of the same general size and shape as an arrow. The second slightly longer compartment holds up to 18 objects of the same general size and shape As a javelin. The third and longest portion of the case contains as many as 6 objects of the same general size and shape as a bow (spears, staffs, or the like). Once the owner has filled it, the quiver can quickly produce any item she wishes that is within the quiver, as if from a regular quiver or scabbard. The efficient quiver weighs the same no matter what's placed inside it.

Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest; Cost 900 gp

While it should not be required, this would deal with the argument of drawing something from a sheath. However, not unlike the gloves of storing, this item is also priced as an extra dimensional container.

--

Regarding ammunition and shuriken, I just want to point out that I can flurry and throw a pretty high number of tangleshot shuriken per round ... so moving while drawing a proper tanglefoot bag and throwing it doesn't seem unreasonable.

Silver Crusade

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Matthew Morris wrote:

*shrug* I've no PCs impacted by the ruling, but it makes sense.

As to the Tiefling/Aasimar thing...
** spoiler omitted **

Though the idea of a pit spawn bard, who takes spell focus enchantment and specializes in those kind of spells, is funny. "I can't help it I'm good at making friends and seducing people... succubus blood."

Edit: I am sad that it closes the rogue/arcane strike trick. (minor magic/major magic, not racial SLAs) since they could use the damage bump and a pure rogue has little use for swift actions.

Essentially you have the benefit of two race boons each, and in some regions they are a bit hard to get, so you will always have the option to remake that character into something else, but new players lack that option.

Silver Crusade

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Andrew Christian wrote:


Now is the future.

If this is the future, where is my hover-board, and my jet pack?

Silver Crusade

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Kifaru wrote:
BretI wrote:
The person who wears a dark cloak over them and doesn't want anyone to know what race they are is still not a good idea.
I see comments like this come up on a regular basis in this thread. I completely agree that a player that came to the table and refused to reveal any info about their character would be annoying and disruptive to the table. But I've never actually seen a player try to pull something like this. Has anyone actually seen this? The people I see in this thread talking about their "deceptive" character are usually pretty upfront about the general roll and tactics of their character, and are only vague on a few of the particulars. Now, some may still find this annoying or even unacceptable, but it is not really fair to equate a player that is reluctant to share the mechanics of how their character works to "a cloaked stranger that refuses to communicate in any way" kind of player.

Well I think the example with the Dhampir PC upthread is as bad as it gets, and even in that case the chance of killing a friendly character with a CLW is pretty remote.

The nasty part of me actually hopes that this happens some day, only to read the "Is this PVP" discussion in the PFS boards. Seems like prime popcorn time ^^

Silver Crusade

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Flutter wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Gamerskum wrote:
To put it simple you are using the blood of devils to call upon the very powers of hell to strengthen you .... what god or power of good would be cool with that?

You can use a potion of unholy water, so that would be just evil, rather than you know hellish.

Also I regularly use the power of bovine blood in my rare steaks to use the power of wild animals to strengthen me ... so far I have felt no longer lasting alignment changes (just a certain sense of self loathing when I am on a carb free diet)^^

*tap tap tapss pointy stick*

.... I get amazing rates on carnivore feed, and I share with my large cat... she can't eat aspis agent every day. Those are a sometimes food.

Silver Crusade

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Kifaru wrote:

From the majority of comments I've seen in this thread, it really looks like society games are primarily a mechanics based war game.

When I first started playing D&D way back in the day, the DMs I played with actively discouraged showing anyone else your character sheet. Part of the roll playing process was learning about the other characters. You were encouraged to interact with each other in character to learn more about who you were playing with. When the other characters in the game are reduced to a pile of stats and attributes, they are kind of diminished. Suddenly it like "why interact with that guy? I already know everything about him."

Sorry, but you have just been ordered to join 3-4 other characters on a mission with at least a 95 % chance of combat and you are likely never to see those people again after that mission. You need to know their tactical capabilities right now to increase your chance to survive the mission...why would you not try to get as much relevant information as prossible?

Ye olde school D&D and PFS are two very different things.

Silver Crusade

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Jiggy wrote:

I used to tell people my PCs' classes.

With my first character, I used to say "I'm a fighter". But then people kept assuming he was stupid, despite his 13 INT and 12 WIS.

With my kitsune arcane duelist bard who has no ranks in any Perform skills, I used to say "bard". But then people would keep getting in front of me and blocking me from attacking. I switched to saying "arcane duelist bard", and it helped a little, but I'd still have people ask "And are you still singing?" even though the character has nothing to do with music at all and I literally howled out loud at the table to initiate Inspire Courage. Eventually I switched to just saying "arcane duelist" and hoped they didn't ask what that was.

With my melee cleric of Iomedae, I used to say "cleric", but then (like with the bard), people kept trying to relegate me to the back rank, even when I had the highest AC and attack bonus at the table (which did happen sometimes). Then I tried saying "melee cleric" or "battle cleric". Not much changed. A couple of times, I tried just introducing him as "Thomas the Tiefling Hero!" and giving a physical description with emphasis on armor and weapons, and relying on short attention spans to get people to move on without noticing I hadn't mentioned his class. Those were sometimes my smoothest games, despite occasionally being referred to as a paladin.

I'm still trying to decide how best to introduce my bloodrager, so I've been defaulting to "bloodrager". Then I get weird looks when I act like a human being and have the best Diplomacy at the table, and occasionally even have people preemptively trying to protect NPCs and/or their personal property against the reckless destruction they seem to assume will be coming out any second.

Some of the people in this thread say it's not "cooperative" to withhold your class name from your tablemates, but my experience says that only applies if you're playing the same tired cliches that people lazily associate with each class. Play anything else, and...

... if in doubt just hand them your character and let them read. Or be useful and describe your character in a way, that is useful for other characters.

Something like: I am playing a fighter, and since he somehow is the most intelligent character in the group, I am the leader. Who wants to argue with the guy with the big sword? ^^

Or: I am playing a kitsune arcane duelist buffer, I am a frontline character and might inspire your characters with my awesome heroics. If you are standing in front of me, chances are that I won't be able to have heroics to inspire you, so please be considerate.

Or: I am playing something like a warpriest, I can heal in combat, but I really don't want to, so don't try to force me by ruining your AC. My character is confident in her ability to enter melee and support the other front line characters, and will actively try to support you there.

Or: I am playing a very nice character with apparently some serious anger problems and some kind of bloodline. I can use a useful range of wands from level 1, and might even be able to use surprise our enemies with my cool bloodline powers. Please don't assume, that I will fit the cliche of the stupid unlearned barbarian, cause that will not be me.

Something like this, but I think the bigger issue is not answering properly to straight questions.

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This might be unpopular, but I would like to judge people based on their actions.

If my paladin and another player's character are in melee combat, he gets hit (even better when said character didn't wear armor for RP reasons) and cries for healing, so my paladin has to drop her sword, take out her wand of CLW and heal the other character.

So far no real problem there, it only becomes one, if/once I learn that said player is actually playing a cleric and could have used his own wand/resources to heal. But of course hitting people is more fun, especially while not wearing armor to show everyone your physique (it worked for Conan the Barbarian apparently).

It this case I am less inclined to be helpful.

As always I don't require every player to have read and memorized all the basic powergaming documentation, but when your behavior threatens the group...

Other corner cases could come up when, e.g. a player character can't receive divine/arcane spells and the bard/cleric turned out to be a cleric/bard.

Oh and quite often, it turns out that characters with obscure class abilities are doing something wrong.

Disclaimer: This hasn't actually happened to me, usually when I ask a player a direct question, I get a direct answer. However, if someone lies to my character in character about his ability to use that scroll of raise dead.. that has OOC consequences.

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Shisumo wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
- The parry roll, does cost an attack of opportunity (with isn't ideal for STR based Swashbucklers) but is in fact not an attack of opportunity.
It might as well be. Anything that applies to AoOs applies to the parry as well. "The swashbuckler makes an attack roll as if she were making an attack of opportunity."

After doing some research and finding a developer commentary, I am forced to agree with you. I have no ideal why they decided to go this way.

I can't name if right now, but I would not be surprised to find some feats that give frankly outrageous bonuses on attack of opportunity attack rolls. I know that there is this:

animal focus wrote:

Snake: The creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls when
making attacks of opportunity and a +2 dodge bonus to AC
against attacks of opportunity. These bonuses increase to
+4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.

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Ascalaphus wrote:

Let me go a bit into detail on the ACG classes that I like the most: the Investigator and the Slayer. The pair of them are a proper solution for "the Rogue Problem".

Thank you for that very insightful post.

snickersimba wrote:

Well, that depends on the sanity and local law enforcement and regulations about assault with hammers in the area Mr. Hirsch.

If Germany is incredibly lax about beating people to death with hammers and hammer vandalisim, then that is one hell of a place.

Your straw man argument fails explicitly.

Well, I guess in the US and a number of other countries you would have to change it to:

If you give someone a tank/drone, chances are he will use it when you tell them to get groceries/bring out the trash ^^

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The old versions are no longer available.

And it is worth mentioning, that only select portions of that module are available in PFS, you will have to fill in the blanks with other scenarios/modules.

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deusvult wrote:

When ACG first came out, my provisional opinion was:

We get classes that are essentially an X/Y multiclass? Well, what's the point, we could already multiclass X and Y. If they're no better than the multiclass, the book is a waste of money. If the gestalt hybrid is better than the multiclass, then we've got bloat. The book's very premise is a lose/lose proposition.

6+ months on, my opinion has become:

There's a few neat ideas, sure. IMO those gems would have been put to better use in a rebooted CRB. As it is, ACG is just another example of rules bloat.

Rebooting the CRB - outside of a PF2, to clear up some of those old sacred cows and assumptions - doesn't seem to be a great idea, since so much would have to be reprinted.

The good thing about those new classes, is that they work.
Player wants to be a battle priest - just hand them the warpriest.

And of course GMs outside of PFS are empowered to remove any number of options from their game.

Before the ACG was published, the shopping experience was something like this:

Customer: Hi, I would like to kick and headbutt people and get some of those funky shurikens.

Sales Clerk: Well we have this wonderful Monk package right over there, it comes with kicking, some funky weapons and the ability to wade naked into combat, also you get spiritual power, the ability to stun people, become immune to alcohol .... (this continues for quite some time)

Customer: What.. what? Why would I even want all that, I only want to kick people until my my foot imprint replaces their memory of their mothers face... I don't really want all the mystical stuff.

Sales Clerk: I am sorry but we only have the one bundle, however we as a store pride our self on customer satisfaction.
He bows down under the counter and comes up with a massive stack of forms
Well let me tell you about the number of archetypes we offer, I am entirely confident, after perusing the available number of options, we should be able to find a solution, or at the very least a legal combination of options that ..... (this continues for several minutes)

Customer:..... has left the store some time ago

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Well season 5 has an NPC that first introduces herself as a VC, and while she reallllly isn't human, she is still my VC of the year.

Also Ambrose Valsin might be a pretty well disguised stone golem..^^

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I have't run into a situation like this just jet, but it seems like that particular group would have been better suited for a meat grinder like bonekeep.

However, most scenarios tend to go for a combination of combat and non-combat challenges (and break up those, so buffs tend to run out), it might be a learning issue.
Of course, some scenarios might not be so forgiving, of course when players are unwilling to engage in RP/invest into it... they get beaten into submission by huge elven curve blades...

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snickersimba wrote:

Correction, my players and I forgot the investigator existed.

Because that class is just odd. No one wants to play an investigator.

Also, they really don't seem to like the arcanist, but eeh. Arcanist is one of those aquired tastes, I can't figure out how they cast spells first of all.

Yeah, investigators really need a player who is invested in the concept and has read the class a couple of times, certainly not an easy class to master.

Since me and most of my players dislike the traditional vancian style of spell preparation, the arcanist really hits the spot (it also happens to be very very similar to the spellcasters in the WOW rpg).

Disk Elemental wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
My question would be, is it really that bad? Do they consistently outperform other characters / break scenarios?

There's a few issues here.

Firstly, yes. Most of the ACG classes are straight up superior to the classes their based on. A Swashbuckler will kill a Fighter in a straight up fight, baring triplock shenanigans from the fighter. Skalds are better than Bards in nearly every way. Bloodragers are just another option for the two-handed combat monsters PFS players seem to love so much. Brawler loses 1 good save in exchange for full BaB, d10 HD, and the ability to wear armor. To say the ACG is hideously unbalanced is an understatement.

Secondly, it's the book itself. As Esquin said, the book is really, really sloppy. There are obvious typos, things are poorly formatted, it's just a mess. Paizo tried to do too much, too quickly (I'd be willing to bet Paizo rushed it out at Gencon so that they'd have something to compete with 5e), when the book really could have benefited from having half the content cut, and spending a bit more time in editing.

Lastly, it's rules fatigue. There are ten new classes in the book, the amount of content you have to process in order to GM for ACG parties is insane. In a homegame you can ban it, but PFS requires you to GM for the table, regardless of the party comp, so there's no way to avoid learning the mechanics.

Frankly, PVP really does not concern me, D20 never really did do class balance with that in mind, and most classes have sweet spots.

Also those classes are quite different, one has class abilities, that work all day, every day never getting better or worse, and never running out of steam. This makes fighters pretty hard to balance against spellcasters and other classes with limited ability pools. Adventure design has to compensate for that, that is the reason, why scenarios/adventures with only 1 fight per day, are rather rare. If spellcasting stamina never matters, they will always be better.
Swashbucklers are in an interesting situation with their recharging resource pool, if you assume, that the pool will always be full, obviously they are very good, but that assumption should not be realistic.
And of course the level is relevant, Swashbucklers are quite limited by weapon choice, and immunity to critical hits really lowers their damage potential. Ranged combat and two handed weapons are a bit tricky, and I really would not be surprised to learn that players are using opportune parry and riposte wrong.
You have to indicate that you want to use it, when the enemy announces a melee attack against you (before the roll is made), that alone already cost a point of panache and an attack of opportunity, and only if the parry roll works (remember the -2 per size category) you can make the riposte as an immediate action.
It is great against melee enemies with a limited number of attacks, it doesn't scale great once they attack several times per round, and if your enemy has greater reach than you... well that riposte isn't an option.
The Swashbuckler certainly does what he does rather well - in his niche - but the class has definite weak points... and let's not argue that all fighters are created equal (ignoring all existing archetypes would obviously be unfair).

Do you have some more specific examples from actual play, where a Swashbucker performed significantly better? I suspect, that once you play 7-11 scenarios, that the inability to deal precision damage to a number of enemies will be an issue. (Valley of Veiled Flame has a pretty nasty encounter for Swashbucklers).

Skalds get different class abilities, I suspect, that the level by level comparison has winners and losers, and obviously the Bard has a higher number of archetypes. What I have learned is that the rage performance can be pretty good in some groups, and a complete waste of time in others.

Well there is a reason that AMBARBARIAN is a Barbarian (and bloodragers lose the d12 for the d10 when it comes to HD) and some rage powers are really really good. Bloodragers are different, but I have seen no reason to believe, that they are strictly better (see below).

Brawlers are good at hitting people, not really that much more, but I think the comparison to the Monk is worth examining. Fact is that the monk gets a lot of class abilities, that you as a player, don't necessarily want. We have plenty of archetypes that replace them, and those seem to be pretty popular.
And it bears saying, that the monk is in a really weird situation at lower levels, without mage armor he can be quite vulnerable, with it, he often ends up being the character with the highest AC.

As mentioned above, if a class gets class abilities, that you don't particularly care for, and another class doesn't give you those balance is difficult to argue.
If the GM in your home campaign never uses traps, rogues and other classes with specific advantages against them, have will come to the conclusion that their class feature is wasted.

Regarding sloppy edition, as I mentioned above, I do agree in principle, but would argue about the scale of this problem.

Rules fatigue seems to be a real thing, but as I mentioned above, using the resources at the table - the other players - seems like a nice idea. One of my players has the job to deal with initiative using a Paizo combat pad, and it makes my job far easier.

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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:


Of course, you would have to find something that is evil... since in my time playing pathfinder, I have killed things, set fire to things, messed with ships, helped prisoners escape from prisons, infiltrated an embassy...

What amuses me is that the typical "good" Pathfinder character of decent level has killed more intelligent creatures than the worst of real life serial killers many times over. But its still good because they were evil.

I know RPGs are not seminars in moral philosophy, but Jesus!

Context matters. In the Pathfinder case, a lot of those intelligent creatures are already dead/abominations, or simply impossible to captures alive.

And my sympathies for the hire killers, who are trying to me and those I hold dear, is rather limited.

Since I am a German, living in Germany... I do have an opinion. Killing Nazis in WW2, good idea, shame so many of those bastards managed to escape to south america. My sympathy for the common soldiers of that time (both sides) is however far greater, however the end result was a lot of death.
These days, Nazis are pretty much like zombies when it comes to popular fiction, games and movies - you can kill them in unlimited numbers without feeling the tiniest shred of regret.

However a couple of years ago during a construction project in my city, a man died, killed by a WW2 bomb. A tragic loss of life any way you look at it, and a discussion about evil doesn't even start.
(Americans might have to deal with the ethics of drone strikes in the future).

Sometimes I would like the option, not to kill an enemy, but since this requires significant resources, and causes further risk to my friends...

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deusvult wrote:
Undone wrote:


In PFS to be completely honest they should call those suited to the job. In story it's mindbogglingly stupid that venture captains keep their jobs sending 4 barbarians to a wedding to represent the society or sending 4 paladins to infiltrate a cult. In real life the VC's would have been outed for such behavior in an instant.

You see the problem, but you place the blame in the wrong place. The society doesn't want (or need) Neurosurgeons; an EMT fills the bill just fine, especially since they expect the EMT to handle other duties as well.

It's not the Society's fault that 4 agents are all carbon copies of an overspecialized build.

That goes for both OOC and IC. ICly, Agents are supposed to be well rounded generalists. OOCly, the encounters are balanced with the assumption that characters are not optimized.

You want to optimize anyway, and roflstomp the encounters? That's your kind of fun? Ok, but don't say it makes no sense when ROFLSTOMPERS get put on missions they can't handle.

And since writers are assuming a non-optimized stance for characters, making wider and better use of skills is the point of the thread.

The barbarian and paladin example seems like a straw men argument, but matter of fact is, that this can happen. That is just a reality of the organized play format. Of course you could always suggest people to play pregens, but that is a really different issue (you know the whole having a character at that level bit) and does not solve the problem.

Pathfinder as a gaming system really does to reward generalization, and recent scenarios really don't cater to it. Most 7-11 scenarios I have played are pretty tough, and even in a 1-2 that DC 18 diplomacy check, to convince that racist cleric is not something I would want to give to the fighter with a rank in Diplomacy and CHA 12.

I approve of the concept of giving creative solutions and unusual skills a chance to shine, if the adventure can accommodate it. However once secondary success conditions depend in the characters having ranks in profession sailor... well once you do that, characters might just stop trying to be proficient in at least a couple of core skills and just go full murderhobo.

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Honestly I am completely unwilling to even discuss the notion, to split perception into search and spot again. Just try to explain to players why there are two skills for pretty much the same thing, is gets annoying rather fast.

That said, perception is good, but I really don't see a problem with it .
And while I understand your complaints (and the Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate split doesn't make a lot of sense) requiring more obscure skills really doesn't help anybody.

And why should things like appraise have such a huge effect on the adventure? How often is it really relevant, how expensive an item is?

I appreciate the fact, that some classes have more skills points that they need, but a lot of classes already suffer from a low number of skill points, and take several levels to just put a single skills point in each class skill. Oh and pet owners usually max handle animal anyway , I really could not justify it for other characters, considering how much use I got out of wild empathy on my hunter.

The sometimes obscure knowledge skills, are a bit complicated, if it is a class skill and you are an Int based character, it is quite easy to get a +10 without much investment.
Considering the random nature of PFS groups, adding to many specific checks could make it impossible to succeed for some groups.

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Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

While the addition to Bonekeep was good, only BK1 is an exclusive. Season 2 EX was Midnight Mauler, 3-EX The Cyphermage Dilemma, 4-EX The Day of the Demon, 5-EX Bonekeep 1.

It might seem like nothing, but it is a difference. I have chronicles for 3-EX not 4-15.

Also, is there going to be a BK4? I know originally there was, but I haven't heard anything about it. I thought they were stopping at 3...

EDIT: Sorry, after reading my post, it sounds very negative. I really like the sheet, I'm just throwing that stuff out there to help it maybe improve. A sheet like that is something I've needed for a long time. :)

:P You sounded like " How dare he!!!!111!111 this cures AIDS and only 3 kinds of cancer... ^^

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Nice one, it is already printed and in my PFS folder^^

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gnoams wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I agree, but your example is a bit confusing to me, obviously there is a baseline for competence, and frankly if the dwarven fighter doesn't have a better AC and damage (than the numbers you mentioned) by the point, that the other char can get levels in horizon walker, something is wrong.

Even with CORE, or alternatively just avoiding the cheesy builds, a a player with sufficient system mastery can get quite impressive results. Combining a paladin with wand of shield allows them to have a high AC and deal plenty of damage with a two handed weapon, simple "hacks" like that help a lot. You don't actually have to use the horizon hunter cheese.

It was an actually happened example, not a hypothetical to best support what I was saying one, so maybe didn't work right. Basically due to the vast amount of customization in the game, it is easy for two people to make two similar characters, but one just does everything better than the other. Call it optimization, systems mastery, or designing a character based on RP choices vs rules strength or whatever. When it comes down to those two players playing together, one of them is going to feel overshadowed/ inadequate compared to the other.

So when one player spends all their money on a magical pony and the other on +5 boots of ass kicking. one one-shots all the encounters and the other cant beat anything in a fight, do we tell them both they're playing the game wrong?

Some games are balanced by the designers, especially in video games where you get minimal choice so that even a badly built wizard can blast fireballs and do OK. But in pathfinder we are given the options of making a wizard who can instantly end encounters with save or die effects, or a wizard that can't even cast a single spell. While we assume players aren't so terrible at character creation as to make a 7 int wizard, there is a huge range of power in the choices available. So we're forcing the players to balance the game themselves.

After a number of years playing to hobby I have come to the understanding, that one size really doesn't fit all. One of my players has a rather different opinion that me when it comes to difficulty. I argue that the players should face a challenge that is set ahead of time, they might use unusual tactics that invalidate part of it, but lowering or increasing the difficulty mid adventure. ( I like to call this the Dark Souls approach). He thinks, that players having fun, and feeling successful is the prime target and this is worth sacrificing adventure integrity for. Players think of a tactic that does't work based on the fact that the e.g. the castle does not have a moat, or the dragon would be to smart, to eat the horde of poisoned cows that suddenly appeared in front of his cave.

While those two approaches are (or at least seem) diametricly opposed we still mangage to play together and GM for each other.

I would argue, that the situation when players with a different level of proficiency is pretty similar, as long as people manage to find at least some level of common ground. For instance I find it very appealing, to built characters with a certain concept (or I am just trying to copy an existing character from other areas), but since those concepts are usually not very optimal for PFS, it requires a certain amount of powergaming to produce a character that is at decent to good.
However I am willing to facilitate other peoples concept only to a point, the character has to be at least viable without the support of another character. Not asking for great, but while most VCs will send the first 4 Pathfinders they happen to meet to a mission, even they would not send a syphilitic leper.

And of course people have to face some of the realities of PFS, like buying consumables, getting the mandatory wand of CLW, and understanding that only you are responsible for your healing (decursing...).

If someone is unwilling and resistant to constructive critique, I am not that inclined to help, and if that means that I will heal the other guy when two party members lie dying...

Overpowered characters are much easier to deal with, they usually understand, why they are overpowered, and should be receptive to the feelings of the other players.
I realize that it might be intimidating for a new player so play with an optimized character, but when the sh°t hits the windmill, they will be happy for their presence.

And I would personally not tell anyone that they are playing the game wrong, unless that results in an adversarial situation with the GM, that is really not acceptable.

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talbanus wrote:


What? Isn't this the equivalent of someone that's accused of a crime, responding with, "Oh, you thought that was breaking the law? Let me show you what breaking the law looks like!"? Instead of getting your back up about a perceived attack on your play style, how about we encourage self-examination and self-awareness? Maybe a thought of, "Why are they reacting to what I'm doing or saying in that way?"

The "breaking the law example" doesn't work for me. It's more like having a slider between enjoying role playing a character and enjoying the tactical approach, and building effective characters. Obviously players find themselves on all parts of that spectrum.

There is a world of difference between your neighbor knocking on your door and asking you to turn down the music please, and him complain about it, making claims of higher authority and threatening you with the police

One of those results in me getting my headphones, the other one results me making an effort to annoy him (Germany has quiet hours, but outside of those the limits are rather lax, and in theory I could blast music (up to a limit) all day long except in those hours. I would take the time to rig a timer and everything to ensure maximum service). Is that an immature response, oh absolutely, but in the case of powergaming and destroying scenarios, we have an issue where players are already condemned of the act, so they might feel empowered to actually do it.

And I actually started a thread about self awareness amongst other areas
feel free to participate.

talbanus wrote:

o, you're inferring that most of the people that knowingly make extremely powerful characters and use them to steam-roll season 0 to 3 encounters are actually already practicing some form of restraint? And that if we threaten to 'take away their toys', then they go out of their way to make something even more broken?! So, we should just not threaten toy restriction, because, then, they'll show us what broken really looks like? Wow. Power gamer terrorism -- apparently it's a real thing now?

Aren't season 1-3 scenarios already a bit easy, my experience with them is actually nonexistant, but I heard that the very rarely posed a challenge to even marginally well built characters and experienced players.

This may shock you, but I would argue, that most players don't actually build those powerful characters to steamroll adventures, there are other reasons for that.
Some just enjoy the mental challenge associated with creating those characters, others really don't want to die and take every available option to decrease those chances, and sometimes killing the enemy fast is the best way to increase survive-ability.

The "taking your toys" example is an immature reaction, but when you feel accusation of power creep aimed at something you enjoy it is hard not to get defensive, after all it feels like a personal critique.
When someone tells me "what you do is terrible, and the way you do it damages the experience of everyone around you" that is a pretty tall order, not that anyone actually said that just yet.
We are on the internet, and while it has advantages, discussions like this rarely work the way they would in real life.

I am really not keen about discussing your terrorist suggestion, since nothing useful can come from it. Its like edition wars, pretty nasty in places and ultimately a waste of time.

So let me just say that those who enjoy building powerful characters and feel forced into, or want to participate in core, will not suddenly change the way they build and play their characters.
However, people should as always try not to antagonize them with "so happy to play core, so all those munchkins can't ruin it with those terrible [insert class I really like] ", that is just basic.

Oh and I have plenty of ideas for characters that do not require non-core sources and are effective enough to be fun for me. ^^

talbanus wrote:

Build =/= tactics. Tactics are making sure you get the rogue a flank, make sure you're in the proper location to maximize the benefit of your channels, etc. However, I do agree with what I think your intended point was - that certain powerful builds will still exist in core (damage machine archers, conjurer's with enhanced summoning, etc). I encourage authors of future scenarios to more often use things that balance out such icons (windwall or gust of wind (forget which), giving baddies a way to dismiss or minimize the impact of summoned creatures, etc).

It is not quite as easy to separate build from tactics, since some tactics only really become effective with the right built. And some tactics are night impossible without rather specialized builds, quite a number of combat maneuvers are a pretty lackluster option without at least some investments.

Some classes just work right out of the box, give a paladin or a barbarian a large blunt object and the class works as intended. Of course if you decide to give the paladin two weapon fighting, you can gain additional benefit from that smite..
There is an appreciable difference between decent and great.

Other classes like monks and rogues really do need a good amount of system mastery, just look at treantmonks guides. Like telling a monk player, that investing to heavily into Dexterity and eschewing the use of weapons or explaining to the rogue that two weapon fighting will not double his sneak attacks, or explaing to the wizard that 7 CON is a bad idea even if that novel character did it.

This kind of discussion is always quite subjective, some argue that their level 7 dwarven paladin with 3 different weapon focus feats is a decent baseline (or just the old iconics), others feel that the system mastery of the new iconics is a good starting point.

And of course the system mastery of the GM is a big issue.

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
No one is asking to not offer cheese pizza. We just want to make sure they make enough supremes even though cheese is the new flavor.
But we aren't ordering takeout, we're baking the pizza ourselves. So it is up to each apartment to hash toppings out with their roommates.

I don't tend to mention this, but I cook .. at lot. So when I invite 20 of my closest friends (happens about once per month^^) and offer pizza, or sushi as the main course, there is a limit. In the pizza example my oven has space for 3 pizzas at the time, that is a rather hard limit.

Sushi is only really limited by my prep time, but if some kind proves to be in higher demand...

What I am trying to say using food based metaphors is that, some people are aware of the limited resources involved: gaming events per week, number of tables, number of GMs and number of players. Each and every one has the potential to fall below a a critical threshold.

Or in other words, if none of my friends are available(or a critical number don't eat carbs that week) neither sushi nor pizza is happening.

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burt schoder wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I feel that the disconnect between people under NDA who have been discussion this issue for quite some time (and as professionals now present a unified front) and everybody else.

A campagin with a very limited rules set seems like a good idea to draw in more people (I personally don't agree, but I understand, that it is a popular idea) but I suspect, that they quickly learned, that such a campaign needs GMs and players. Since a lot of players would not willingly give up all the choices they have grown accustomed to, they added the incentive to replay.

I could be dead wrong, but this feels right.

So those who are happy about this seem to fall in two camps:

- A chance to replay and/or to play more PFS since even if your have not played a normal scenario, this might result in more PFS events.
- A chance to play/GM PFS without class/spell/race/item XYZ and being tired of players roflstomping their scenarios. And are willing to lose a number of welcome options.

Obviously there is some overlap, but I suspect, that the "we want to replay " group, is far bigger.

I think if everyone saw the behind the scenes discussions and debates about this they would feel more comfortable. But NDA so moving on.

I feel i can say that replay is not the sole purpose of this. neither is helping new people. Nor is it trying to lure GM's. It is not even primarily directed at perceived power creep. The Core campaign is about ADDING something new to PFS that HELPS address all these issues. We know they are not going to release another version of PF anytime soon. And a hard reboot would be just dumb. More scenarios = more time and money. So without bringing a hammer down the thought is to introduce something else and let it settle in. If it brings people great, if it hasn't ..... those who enjoy extreme optimization of their characters can still play them. I truly do see this as another path for people to have fun with PFS

I appreciate the honesty, and I suspect, that most of us don't expect any sinister plot behind the CORE idea. It just feels like the discussion is already done, and we didn't get a chance to voice our concerns.

Once some time has passed we will see the results, but some players (me included) are just worried that this will at least partly replace the existing tables.

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My preference would be to just add the languages to the guide, it does not increase complexity or required rules sources by an appreciable amount.

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Kevin Ingle wrote:
Snorter wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
I hadn't really counted on it being quite this powerful and ruining the adventure quite this much. So now I've got a character that I generally like, that's got non-retrainable investments in something that's just too powerful to be fun.

I thought retraining had been opened up in PFS, so if you do change your mind, you can alter your build, though at a cost.

You may not get the free rebuild you'd get, after an ability is errataed into lower-functionality, but in practice those are less common than they should be, since the official line seems to be that if you can still get some functionality, it doesn't warrant a free rebuild.

You can't retrain traits, which it sounds like are the main part of his investment...

It is a bit silly isn't it? We have perfectly good rules for retraining the additional traits feat, but not for actual traits.

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deusvult wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
deusvult wrote:

I get that Paizo has to keep publishing products to stay in business, but I really don't like the creep the game has seen. New options doesn't expand variability; it just introduces a treadmill of a fairly static number of ever more powerful optimized builds/munchkin templates.

A thousand times yes for the option of a "Core Only" reset.

I agree that with more material you get more nasty combinations, but a lot of the new material is really nice, and promises a smother experience than the old material.

Isn't going back to square 1 (the CRB, the source of 95 of my problems with pathfinder) like throwing the baby out with the batwater, just because it just happens to be on fire?

Can't we find an old tough sheriff (preferably only weeks before retirement, and too old for this) to clean up this town, and downright ban/fix some combinations?

If a baby is still on fire despite being submerged in bathwater, it's clearly a demon baby and yes it should be thrown out.

But seriously, attempting to "fix" combos is an option that will please no one. Mike Brock was wise enough to see that, I think. All in or all out are about the only viable ways to adjudicate what's in and what's out.

I hate to break it to you, but that baby has been flaming since conception. Some of the more valid complaints are there since the beta/have been grandfathered in, for the sake of backwards compatibility.

Obviously I would prefer a world where Paizo, let's a couple dozen optimizers take a stab ad a new publication before it goes to print, the same is true for VC/VLs so they can catch instances of unclear language/broken stuff, that will cause undue confusion/table variation in PFS... but alas, that is still a dream.

And putting the entire onus of declawing certain things on the campaign leadership is obviously not a workable solution, this process had to start sooner.

I guess this is a kind of soft reset for the campaign, we get a big boat, while the earth is scoured clean by quite a bit of water. I wonder what will happen, and how CORE players will react, when they leave their bubble for "the real world". ^^

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Mike Bramnik wrote:

Compromise isn't quite an art-form, but it is most definitely *not* a science.

The Core Campaign addresses several items that have been brought up time and again by players, GMs, store owners, and VO/volunteers:

- Running out of things to play / replay
- Power creep
- Rules bloat / overwhelming newer players & GMs
- Cost for players to own resources in order to play

Are any of these addressed in a 100% fix-it-all way? Probably not (though, as with all things, your mileage may vary - some opinions with more vitriol than others).

That said, the Core Campaign addresses parts of each of these. It creates new options without taking anything away from the existing "normal" PFS Campaign. Yes, scheduling might be tricky in some regions at first as a result - but that can easily be overcome by just keeping open communication with your local player-and-GM base about what they want.

The Core Campaign opens up a limited form of replay for playing and GMing, makes a stab at trying to address power creep and rules bloat, is already getting newer players and GMs interested in PFS, and cuts the cost to players down to virtually 0.

If you don't like it - all I can say is don't do it. Most compromises don't make everyone happy, but they do leave everyone with something they can deal with. I'm really sorry to see one or two people say that they're leaving "because" of these new options, but if you really feel that strongly about it...well, there's nothing else to say than take care and all the best to you. For those who are excited to start/rejoin PFS as a result of the new options the Core Campaign presents - welcome (back), and let's start rolling some dice!

Seriously, everyone...take a step away from the screen, take a deep breath, and look at the arguments going on here. Some of this is just silly, and some of it is getting out of hand. It's a game we all (mostly?) love to engage in - Paizo is creating options to try and address things that players have asked for - let's give...

Look I and I suspect a lot of other well intentioned posters really don't want this to fail, but this really seems to be a perception problem.

I can understand, that running out of things to play is a serious problems for a number of players, but why not fix it in a way, that allows more material. Or allow GMs/players to replay if they have at least 50 & fresh players at the table (just my stupid idea).

And while power creep will always be an issue, it comes pretty much automatically once you increase the number of options, unless they are all lackluster and constrained. When I think of power creep, the APG seems to be the worst offender, I am actually pretty happy with the power level of the ACG (that in is in dire need of the upcoming errata).

Rules bloat / cost to play: I never understood this issue back in 3.0, nor do I understand it now, players can decide their own level of involvement.
Obviously sites like d20pfsrd don't help here, but frankly if you go to this very forum (or better the advice part) and state your situation (new player, lack of additional sources and rules mastery) and your concept... they will be able to help you.

I love to repeat myself, but I really can't see myself suggesting a rogue to a new player over a slayer. The new class delivers a more consistent experience, which is pretty important for new players (one or two scenarios as an ineffective two weapon fighting rogue can drive a new player far far away).

Well obviously CORE isn't aimed at me, but neither will it hit my players (who tend to complain about pathfinder a fair bit, and they would prefer a simpler game).
I hope that this will all work out, if I have the choice, I will likely stay in the traditional campaign, but chances are pretty good, that I will try CORE, if it results in additional chances to play and meet new people.

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deusvult wrote:

I get that Paizo has to keep publishing products to stay in business, but I really don't like the creep the game has seen. New options doesn't expand variability; it just introduces a treadmill of a fairly static number of ever more powerful optimized builds/munchkin templates.

A thousand times yes for the option of a "Core Only" reset.

I agree that with more material you get more nasty combinations, but a lot of the new material is really nice, and promises a smother experience than the old material.

Isn't going back to square 1 (the CRB, the source of 95 of my problems with pathfinder) like throwing the baby out with the batwater, just because it just happens to be on fire?

Can't we find an old tough sheriff (preferably only weeks before retirement, and too old for this) to clean up this town, and downright ban/fix some combinations?

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The Masked Ferret wrote:

Yes, I am planning a gnome Barbarian/Paladin/Sorcerer/Draconic Disciple.

I am looking forward to still making the GM quiver in "WTF!!!", even with core only.

Oh if you are mentally flexible, and your GM isn't (which really doesn't apply to mine) some actions like making a lot of noise so the enemies start to buff themselves into the stratosphere, and then just waiting till their buffs run out... can get that reaction.

Or something like a tactical retreat, how often do the enemies decide where the battle takes place ^^

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Nice item, sometimes clerics really need their time to shine, and this item should allow them to feel quite epic.

Good luck in the next round.

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Walter Sheppard wrote:

What the new Core Campaign says to me is "Hey you! Do you want to replay all of those awesome scenarios but only with characters made using the Core Rulebook? It will give you something to do when you're not playing PFS. And since you have been around and only have two scenarios a month you can play for credit, this new option literally doubles the amount of legal play options!"

What I'm hearing people say "But now you won't play PFS as much and it might be harder for me to find tables of PFS!"

Well friends, I haven't been playing PFS as much for the last few months because there are only a handful of scenarios left for me to play. I'm happy to GM or organize PFS and participate that way, but as far as playing goes--that rarely happens these days.

So I'm sorry if you think Core Campaign will make less people play PFS because I am certain you are mistaken. I wasn't playing PFS that much anyway, and neither were a lot of people. Now we get to play again. Core Campaign is letting me and tons of other dedicated volunteers finally play their favorite game again.

That is a good thing.

Sorry, but wouldn't a second replay and chance to get GM credit do exactly the same ? I appreciate the fact, that they want to make it easier for new players to join - you literally only need dice now - but that has never been hard, yes you won't have all the options, but having a number of experienced players with you can make all the difference.

I will still argue, that if a new player tells his character concept to the group (while playing an iconic) it usually results in a satisfying character (hell my current suggestion would be to get the CRB and one other book (pdf) to get your character started (APG and ACG seem great choices)), and frankly the some of the core classes are traps.
I have seen far to many rogues with two weapon fighting not having fun, since sneak attack is a trick, that leads far too many people down a bad path. And frankly I would suggest the slayer class to each an everyone who wants to play a rogue, or a ranger (favored enemy is a terrible mechanic).

@andreww: Sorry about that, I think I agree with most others who have posted here, and my dislike of the rogue and ranger classes is pretty well known. I think paladins are pretty solid with core only, especially if the go into archery.
It doubt that the power level will be all that much lower (animal companion classes help), but I would not be surprised if the level of powergaming and dump stat use will be higher than in "normal PFS" .

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I am quite conflicted on this issue, since I only recently started playing PFS, so replaying old scenarios really isn't an issue for me. But I do tend to notice that on some pfs days the number of players tends to drop a bit, and it seems that is caused by a number of players being unable to replay a scenario. So this issue does affect me.

At the point of writing I have played about 20 scenarios and GMed 2, unsurprisingly I had to play pregens quite often, and while my praise for the new ones is pretty universal, the old pregens are quite often just not very interesting to play/are lackluster when it comes to dealing with certain problems (DR). Chances are, that unless GMs only offer 1-5 scenarios (not all that likely since many might offer specific chronicle generators for their original campaign character - of course this is pure speculation) so the chances are pretty good that I would come have to play those old iconics again (either I lack a character or I bite the bullet to play the bard in an all barbarian party).
And I am really not looking forward to that.... can someone please lock Mark Seifter in a room for as long as it takes to bring the old iconics in line with the new ones... pretty please ?^^

And my biggest bugbear with the whole idea, is that I am pretty much done with the core classes, especially without archetypes. I think that the newer classes offer a better experience (well they are easier to break, no contest there ) and I really can't picture a situation where I would pick an ninja over a slayer.
That doesn't mean, that I would stay at home, if my usual group needs a 3rd player to make the table legal, but I already decided to miss two recent games, where the adventure on offer wasn't attractive enough to justify 2.5 hours of driving.

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Another thing I thought of and don't recall seeing brought up is that this means there are twice as many options for specials since they can be offered both CORE and non-CORE. Areas where a lot of, but not all players, have already played previous season specials may benefit from being able to offer them again in CORE format and everyone can play AND GM for credit. As a bonus, GMs actively trying to earn their 5th star, now have more options to fulfill the 10-special requirement.

My usual group discussed that issue literally yesterday, but I have to ask:

How many of you are just happy to be able to replay some scenarios? (And do not care all that much for the core limit).

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Muja wrote:

No, I he said

"After going up the chain with a complaint I received the recommendations for the game.

It appears to be a legal tactic to do this to your players which to me is disheartening."

I'm wondering why he wants MORE from them when they already told him it was legal.

I assume he want's a FAQ by the rules team that clarifies the situation with limited wish regarding spells with material components over 1000 GP, casting time, range an other factors.

Which would not be a bad thing.

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trollbill wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

Players use gray areas all the time to build nearly unbeatable monstrosities and RAW is thrown in the GM's faces all the time that they have no choice but to deal with it.

I'll leave that comment stand as is.

And here we see the basic flaw in adversarial GMing philosophy. The assumption that, because some players have sometimes been abusive to GMs, then GMs have a right to be abusive to all players.

Don't get me wrong. I can certainly understand the frustration of having to deal with unstoppable cracked out characters. But that doesn't mean GMs have the right to take out that frustration on everyone else.

Trollbill I agree wholeheartedly with that statement, but I have to add something.

Once the cheese reaches a certain level it negatively affects other players, scenarios get harder, DCs rise, and their contribution to the overall scenario success becomes minuscule. There is a very good reason why I actively decided against taking the slumber hex with the characters that have access to it...

However GMs can't play that particular game of escalation, since they have all the advantages, and have the responsibility to maintain a healthy play environment.

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I managed to avoid most of the spoilers regarding the scenario, but the question seems to boil down to: "Can limited wish as a SLA be used to open pandoras box and replicate simularcrum, to create a variant creature without increasing the casting time ?"

I doubt in on a number of levels, but the real question is always should you do so. GMs are empowered to limit unclear player abilities (let's say the designers forgot to print a X times per day limit), and have to deal with the ramifications of a number of intentionally vague rules.

In this case while there is a slim chance that this turns out to be RAW and RAI (we will likely never get a FAQ to this specific issue) I think adding a such a creature to an encounter like this seems like overkill, after all unless I am missing something the new creature could solo most adventure paths fights to completion ... including rise of the runelords.

So yeah this is exactly the same issue as players using simulcarum to get infinite castings of wish.

Pretty pointless to argue that particular issue, but some video games with dungeon creation force the designer to complete the dungeon at least once, and frankly this would likely result in a TPK 99 % of the time.

In this case the GM presented the players with a situation they could not overcome, and while bad preparation and party composition can sometimes result in such an outcome, this tactic seems to actively negate any amount of preparation.

Without knowing what exactly was discussed before the game began, I am unwilling to unfairly judge any participant (not that anybody would care ), but I am willing to say, that this kind of tactic is quite appalling to me, on either side of the table.

It might be my admittedly limited experience with PFS, but it feels like the scenarios are quite challenging when it comes to the preparation and rules mastery required of the players, and consequently many players tend to grab every advantage they can get.

Not sure how to feel about that in this context. I have no problems when MMOs do it, but the consequences for failure are usually much more limited. I really like the hard mode concept for scenarios, since it is a very optional system.

Oh well, it seems most of the players at this table were happy with the result, and no character permanently died, I guess that is a result.

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