|Bob Jonquet Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight|
Admittedly, I'm probably confused on the math, but as this fractional concept is neither described, nor even hinted upon in Pathfinder, I guess I don't have to worry about it.
CRB p.30 wrote:
*emphasis mineThis is crystal clear on how to multiclass. You do not calculate your character level, separated by full/three-quarter/half/etc. advancement. You simply reference the applicable class table and apply what it says. In the example, the fighter-5/wizard-1 would have a BAB of +5. Could that mean the potential of a mid/high-level character with a BAB of +0? Yes, it does. Any other interpretation, no matter how reasonable/logical, is just not supported by the rules. So sorry, fractional advancement is not PFS legal.
David Bowles wrote:
I'm not questioning your personal experiences, but I think there is something afoot if your experience is that many GMs can TPK "almost at will". This is simply not mathematically the case in at least 85% of the tables I have experienced. The NPCs simply lack the damage output necessary for this kind of threat. Again, maybe play in Ohio has evolved into this state.
First, you have to ignore the most exteme outliers. There are some optimized group combinations that can curb-stomp nearly everything. There are also non-optimized, role-play heavy groups that could be evaluated as at least 1-2 (or more) levels below their expected APL. IME, and in general, the vast majority of tables are within a range where the challenges are reasonable. It is those that I reference. There is no set of rules that allows for everyone and every table to always have a challenge and meet their expectations of the perfect fun. Thus, we have to focus on the majority of tables and the game mechanics upon which the Pathfinder RPG is based. Meaning that the CR system, with its flaws, is the best we have to determine challenges in the system. IMO, the key issue is for players to be aware of those dynamics and play to them, not fight against them.
David Bowles wrote:
The optimizers don't want to adjust. They want to rofl stomp and show the table and the authors how badass they are. They usually don't care about their effects on the other players, and so why would they care about the "audience"?
And this is an issue with the players, not the game system. You cannot adjust the game such that these players will get what they want without a ripple affect that has a negative impact on the rest. The needs of the many out-weigh the needs of the few. It goes to the responsibility of the GM/organizer to have one-on-one conversations with game-breaking PLAYERS and help them understand how their decisions are affecting the rest of the players. Remember, organized play is a shared experience. I hate to be unwelcoming, but if you are a selfish player and have no interest in the shared aspect of the campaign, please play something else.
Explore! Report! Cooperate!
Okay, a few points about harpies. First, you need to decide if the song can be maintained as a free or no more than a move action. Many people have chimed in on that point and there will be table variation until/unless one of the game designers decides to comment on it.
Now, if you believe they can maintain the song with less than a standard action, then a coup de grace is not needed. Presumably they would just maintain the song indefinitely while clawing or perhaps feasting. Some might argue that they cannot eat while singing, but if a bard can cast spells with verbal/somantic components while performing with an instrument or singing, then its not unreasonable to say a harpy could feed while performing their song. In this case, the target is still helpless to stop their death without outside intervention.
Alternately, if you believe the latter (take a standard action, or more to maintain the song), then a harpy would never draw a heavily armored/armed melee warrior into a base-to-base situation unless it knew it could kill him with a specific attack like ripping out his throat, which mechanically would be a coup de grace. If this is the case, I do not believe that a CDG would need to be specifically called out in the tactics as it would be a normal action of the creature. Just like if an enemy has the ability to fly, you don't really need to specify that in their tactics.
I agree with Rogue Eidolon that the helpless condition includes text that suggests you would be helpless, but only against the harpy who's song is captivating you.
I feel it should be allowed (even if restricted)
Personally, I would prefer to see it remain banned, but I can understand those who wish to see it restored to legal status. What I would be totally against, is making it legal, but modifying the spell such that it is kinda legal, kind not. I really dislike changing core rules for organized play.
This issue like many others is a matter of perception of what unbalancing is. To many people, apparently including the campaign leadership, allowing permanency is an example of an unbalancing game mechanic when viewed from the perspective of organized play. It doesn't matter what reason they (MJM) give for their view/s, some players will argue that those views are at least misplaced or at worst wrong. But again, that is *your* interpretation of game balance. Many others will agree with the banning and encourage it to remain. We can even play this same "game" with rules that are legal and some thinking they should be banned. In the end, those doing the "arguing" are an extremely small minority of the player-base and may not represent the community at large.
The fundamental issue with permanency is that it can render some spells/effects like invisibility inconsequential. Like it or not, there are many common design aspects that would be rendered useless if a good portion of PCs were running around with permanent affects. Its hard enough to design good scenarios/encounters, we shouldn't be striving to make rules decisions that make it harder on authors/developers. Our leadership has to try and balance making new material as legal as possible without negatively impacting game balance. Personally, I don't really have an issue with things like darkvision since a good number of characters start out with that as a permanent effect anyway, but anything with a limited duration and/or circumstantial usefulness becomes problematic if it is permanent. In a home game where the GM is free to do whatever they want, this is not a problem.
Also, while PFS bans some rules that are considered core, they try extremely hard not to modify rules as printed, allowing or banning material in whole. So the solution of allowing permanency, but modifying its list of allowable effects, is not in the tradition of how game mechanics are judged.
okay so now we will see the yellow tengu (bigbird) with the wholly mammoth companion (snuffleupagus) traveling with Kermit (grippli boon for GenCon 2013). Hell, we could add in a drum-playing goblin (special boon from GenCon 2012) named Animal and a half-orc female bard (Miss Piggy). What's next? Elmo?!? <.< >.> O.O
I am suggesting that if you build a character that is intolerant of other PFS agents, then your character has no business playing PFS. Does that mean you cannot play a paladin or a cleric? No. It just means that YOU AS THE PLAYER is responsible for avoiding extreme character personalities that create conflict at the table unless, of course it is with a group of regular players who are all on board with said conflict
This is not a character issue, it is a player issue. A concept that often gets lost in these types of "arguments" is that your PC joined the society of their own free will. S/he spent a number of years training under the tutelage of powerful society agents prior to being released to perform missions. As a player, you must ask yourself when creating a character, is it a PC that (1) would join the society, and (2) would be accepted by the society. If you have issues with things like undead, taking your armor off for dinner, putting the tenets of the society ahead of your personal ones, etc. then how the hell did you make it through the program to be an agent in the first place? The answer is, you wouldn't.
Pathfinder is about choices, and everyone should be given every opportunity to experience the game in whatever fashion is the most fun for them. However, organized play is a slightly different environment. It is not about YOUR fun, it is about OUR fun. Call it collective fun. If you (or your character) cannot cooperate with other agents in order to complete the assigned missions, then either PFS is not right for you, or your character is not right for PFSOP. It doesn't matter if you are a zealot paladin of [hard-ass diety] or a necro-voking death priest.
Explore! Report! Cooperate!
Like many other ways to potentially "break the mod" don't be surprised if/when you run across a GM that says, "Congratulations, you win. Here is your chronicle sheet. See ya in three hours for the next session."
My advice for society play is, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is and you should carefully consider what effect it might have on the GoodRightFun of everyone at the table, including the GM. YMMV
N N 959 wrote:
How do you feel about playing at their tables compared to other DM's who are less prone to killing PC's?
It depends on the manner of the death. If a killer GM uses smart tactics, takes advantage of player mistakes, and the "little things" like environment, etc., then they are typically well received.
If, OTOH, they always rule against the players, deviate from tactics, and plays enemies well above their intelligence, then those are "bad" killer GMs.
Kyle Baird has killed one of my PCs four times, including once requiring a resurrection not just a raise. And I loved every single time. His reputation is largely "hollywood." He just knows the rules very well and is a good tactician. Most killer GMs fall into that category.
This makes me sad. :-(
As the self-appointed retirement manager for PFS, I can confirm that we do have a plan. Unfortunately, it is a pension, was registered in the state of Illinois, and state employees are ahead of us on the congress docket. Since the state is essentially broke, I would not expect your checks to arrive anytime soon. The good news is that Walmart is still hiring retirees for door greeter :-)
BTW, love the allusion of the thread title. Douglas Adams is the MAN!
EDIT'ed for grammar. words are hard :-)
Blah, Blah, Blah...sorry folks, but this conversation just seems to boil down to one unavoidable thing. Each of us has little to no control over who sits at the gaming table with us for a given scenario and the difficulty of the game is directly related to the party mix which includes character strength/weaknesses, player strength/weaknesses, and GM strength/weaknesses. One person's cake-walk is another's tpk. We will never come to a consensus on which scenarios are too hard and which are too easy. All I can confirm about season four, from my point of view, is that it has given GMs more tools to make encounters more challenging. It still falls to the GM on how/when to use those tools. If you are seeing a significant increase in PC deaths, or tpk's, then maybe *you* need to re-evaluate your GMing style. Easing up does not have to mean soft-balling. YMMV.
increase the chance of mission failure, rather than the rate of death? If scenarios included an option that gave out reduced PP, Gold and/or XP if certain conditions were not met (The hostage not saved, the PCs arrested after losing the final battle, etc.)...
We already have that, its just that players refuse to run away when the challenge is too much for them. Gamers, by their nature, want to "win" as was stated above. When players seem to be over-matched and are deciding what to do, I often hear the GM say that running away is an option, but I have never seen that option taken. That would be a failed mission, and might involved lower gold, fame/prestige, and may even a loss of the XP award depending on how far into the scenario they progressed.
Have authors and developers actually begun approaching each encounter with Kill Someone in mind? Have GMs begun approaching them that way?
IMO, no. It just seems that way because they are starting to use the same skills/powers/tactics that PCs use against them. If my uber-archer build can stand in the back of a few blockers and destroy the baddies, sounds like there just might be an evil guy somewhere who develops the same idea. Players love powerful builds...until they are used against them. So, I don't think the authors/developers are specifically aspiring to boost the death-toll, but it is a by-product
First let me say, "stop being a whiner" :-)
IMO, the biggest change in late season three and four scenarios is the expansion of using all the available options. The first few seasons were tailored primarily with the CRB and the idea that *we* don't want to make every game a death-fest.
Over time, there has been an ever increasingly loud call for more challenging encounters. The rate of prestige being earned was much higher than originally intended and the death rate of PCs seemed to be much lower than expected, certain GMs aside look around for the Care Baird :-)
Now that authors have been given seemingly free-reign to put whatever they want into a scenario without it having a negative impact on word-count, things are ramping up. I see it as a player influenced arms race rather than one being pushed by PFS. The options to make more capable, even game-breaking characters were given to the players first and they rightfully used them. Now, authors are doing the same thing and the "baddies" are becoming more capable of standing their own than ever before.
That and while I have not done any analysis, it "feels" like the average ECL is roughly +1 higher than previous seasons. Couple that with the above along with more specialized PCs (ie have exploitable holes in their build) and things are largely harder than before. YMMV
David Bowles wrote:
Why can't authors make interesting, challenging encounters without resorting to CR 18 or save or die? It's not that hard. It really isn't.
If you know your specific audience (players/characters) I would agree. However in PFS there are too many variables as Nani pointed out. Are you seriously suggesting that anyone is good enough to make a universally challenging encounter that is fair to every possible build and party mix across our 20,000+ player-base? I think not. One man's cake-walk is another man's epic challenge. The authors can only do so much and they (along with the development team) do an awesome and, IMO, under appreciated job at providing us with diverse, fun, and yes challenging scenarios.
In my mind, I would have the Bestiary trump the stats in the scenario of Season 0
Actually, the Guide instructs you to only use the Pathfinder version of the monster if the CR is the same between v3.5 and Pathfinder. It doesn't matter if they are undead or not. If the CR are different, you are to run the monster using the v3.5 stats. They are available for free online.
As far as who the [redacted] is... the player who's character is casting IE on a character who's player has asked him not to is being a [redacted]. A player asking someone not to use IE on his character while not providing an alternate method to heal him in place of it is also being a [redacted]. If one player is being a [redacted], it won't make the other player less of a [redacted] if he ignores his wishes.
Hey guys, can we chose a better word than [redacted] to reference badwrongfun players? I'm sure there are some minors that read the messageboards and we can at least pretend to be sensitive to their youth. The Guide uses "jerk" and is much more acceptable in a public forum. Thanks
A concept that seems to get lost in all the talk about optimization, power-gaming, social gaming, RAW, etc. is that (1) all of us chose to play, and (2) we know the general level of difficulty of the average scenario. So, when building your character, keep that in mind. If your PC will "break" the game because it is too powerful, or too "gimped", or too specialized, whatever, then take a moment to consider how it will impact everyone's fun-o-meter. Take into account the GM's limitations with the RAW expectation.
I am always befuddled when presented with a PC that is an extreme build (good/bad) that makes it impossible for the GM to RAW without it becoming an auto-success/failure fest. Even moreso when the player clearly knows their PC is what it is and seems to take pleasure in, or has no empathy for, ruining everyone else's fun.
As players, we have a lot more control than some seem to suggest in assisting the GM with the RAW expectation. The rules to make game-breaking characters are there. Just ask yourself if the character you built is going to be disruptive or "steal" the fun from other players.
Explore! Report! Cooperate!
It would be very clear if the designers added another simple spell descriptor, "control." If the spell is tagged as a controlling spell, the ProtEvil would block it. If no tag, doesn't work. Even if that descriptor did not extend to monster stat blocks, at least we would have a thorough list of included/excluded spells to reference to adjudicate supernatural/spell-like abilities.
if you only ever mark the acts you perceive as evil then you only see the one Evil act I perform per scenario , not the 12 insanely Good acts I performed in the same scenario
IMO that uses the fallacy that alignment is somehow a balancing system where each act of evil can be "washed" by an act of good. I think we are talking more about extreme acts of evil, not kicking a puppy or stealing a few bucks from the offering plate on Sunday (although that could also be perceived as chaotic). We are referring to extreme acts like murder of an innocent, rape, torture, etc. Things that are more likely to immediately strip a paladin of her powers. You just cannot balance that by carrying groceries for the elderly, or saving a kitten from a tree. True evil is typically not something you do on a whim.
If I understand the OP, the PC simply murdered GMT's guards because they were an unintentional impediment to him getting to the assassin. I'm not sure if that means they were physically in the way or if he only knew one was the assassin and didn't know which. Doesn't really matter that they were guards, could have been a commoner, etc. The issue is that they were not acting to injure/kill the PC, he just decided that the quickest, easiest path to "get what he wanted" was to disregard them, kill them, and move on. Sounds pretty evil to me and I certainly would (1) warn the player, and (2) immediately shift his alignment to evil. It would be up to the player to decide what course of action (atonement, etc.) he wished to take at that point.
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
You do whatever you want. In the absence of an official clarification, I'm going to continue assuming that the explicit language in the scenario means exactly what it is obviously meant to mean.
I have to disagree. The scenario was released under the leadership of Josh Frost and he did COMMENT regarding this issue.
I'm a little confused by the Special Reward Note. The implication is that the gp reward increases the maximum reward, but the adventure record stil gives a maximum of 467 gp.
Joshua J. Frost wrote:
The chronicle sheet will always trump unfortunate development errors when it comes to available gear and max gold.
Neither Hyrum, nor Mike have commented on this issue, nor made any rulings that would contradict the most recent ruling, that being Josh's. Therefore, anyone who is granted extra gold above what the chronicle sheet indicates is in error. This is important because it could cause issues if the character is audited.
Castilliano, that has been discussed quite a bit lately and remains an issue of table variation. Some argue that the sudden action of activating a spring loaded wrist sheath would damage the scroll. Still others say the list (The sheath can hold one forearm-length item, such as a dagger, dart, or wand, or up to five arrows or crossbow bolts) is an exhaustive one and scrolls are not on the list. And there are those that classify all the items as "weapon-like" and equate that status to scrolls as well.
When the dust clears, it is up to your GM to decide if its legal or not. It is a good practice that if you are playing a character that uses a wrist sheath containing a scroll of breath of life you ask the GM about their opinion before the game starts so there are no surprises later.
In my opinion, and by no means official or binding, I do not think the RAW supports loading the scroll. However, I allow it because its a smart tactic and nobody, well most of us at least, don't really like PC death.
I do not expect this issue to be settled short of a game-designer comment and I do not expect that to be forthcoming.
As digital media continues to increase in relevance, I cannot foresee anyone being able to restrict electronic devices from the table. If it improves search speeds, increases the accuracy of in-game adjustments like buffs, and cleans up the game-space (not cluttered with books) then why not use them? However, I will still caution *you* to have a printed copy of your character sheet and maybe all relevant rules. I have already seen one case of a laptop crashing at the table. Sorry, but if you do not have a legal character (ie character sheet) you cannot play. And no, you cannot run your PC from memory. A pregen might be an alternate possibility but it depends on how far into the session you are. Its just good practice to have a printed copy. YMMV
I'm sorry, but any interpretation of reach and movement that allows someone to "game" the system and approach through a diagonal to avoid the AoO is ridiculous.
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Can you provide a link?
Mike Brock wrote:
Racial spells found in Avanced Race Guide are for the specified race only. Any future books will also have the same restriction. Books that came out before Advanced Race Guide are open for all as outlined in Additional Resources.
Mike Brock wrote:
Mike Brock wrote:
Alternate racial traits, racial archetypes, racial feats, and racial spells are only available for characters of the associated race. Racial equipment and magic items can be purchased and used by any race as long as the specific item permits it (for example, only halflings can purchase and use solidsmoke pipeweed).
I hope that will suffice and put this topic to rest.
If characters are not going to be able to use animal companions, then that should be made clear in the introduction and the player should be given a chance to swap characters.
If the entire scenario would preclude the animal companion, then I would agree. If you are going to spend the entire session in a cramped sewer or if it a mostly social scenario taking place inside someone's house, then it would probably be unfair for the Venture-Captain assigning the mission to ignore the fact s/he summoned an agent with a companion.
OTOH, if it is only one or maybe two encounters that will "nerf" the PC, I don't feel it is the responsibility of the GM to encourage the player to change characters. There are a lot of scenarios that have encounters that could completely neutralize a PC's skill-set. Sorry, but that is life. Sometimes, the player should take it upon them self to consider their choice of PC. Taking your oracle of flame or fire elementalist to the Citadel of Flame might sound cool, but if you consider that some/many/all of your enemies will be fire-using creatures and probably have at least resist-fire if not immunity, it might not be the best choice.