|Bob Jonquet Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight|
I still have the APG pregens that were used before UC was published and I occasionally use the level one versions. Usually in the case of an experienced play, with no low-tier PC, having/choosing to join a table at the last minute. Sure s/he could use a standard pregen, but maybe wants to take the opportunity to try something a little more exotic, like an alchemist. Since it is a 1st level PC, the fact it is referred to as a pregen doesn't really matter. However, I would not offer them to a brand new player. In fact most of the time, I don't even offer the UC pregens to a brand-new player and its never been a problem.
I could even see myself allowing an existing player to use a level 4/7 pregen from the APG if the subject came up. There is nothing wrong with the pregens themselves. They are legal, from a game mechanics standpoint as they always were. Its just that in order to help promote UC, they were dropped in favor of new pregens. Well, I'm sure the push to sell UC is past and it probably represents no more of the market than the APG. In any case, I wouldn't see if as a huge issue, but as I said, the subject has not come up. YMMV
It is generally considered poor form to buy/sell chronicle boons. However, players are encouraged to trade them. In fact there are even messageboard threads discussing who has what available and what they are looking for in trade. Kitsune are still available at some conventions, so check the schedule in your area for details.
As far as the goblin boon is concerned, it is a highly restricted boon with only a few dozen released at GenCon last year and that was for a limited number of players from an exclusive, one-time-only event. Goblins are not expected to be made available again in the future.
Okay so it might be crazy after four, maybe five days of gaming, but many of us remain in town after GenCon on Sunday and depart for home on Monday. If you are one of these people AND you are interested in playing any post-convention PFS, here is the place to make yourself heard. Time and location TBD of course...
I would support a special chronicle that grants the player to start a new PC at level two (3XP) with 1500gp (plus the starting 150gp), but no fame (sorry, ya gotta earn that). Sort of a "booby prize" of sorts if your character was perma-killed during an event. Wouldn't apply to a 1st level character death, of course.
james maissen wrote:
There's nothing about permanency that is troubling to an organized campaign
That's clearly an opinion and you are entitled to yours. However, there are many who disagree and at this point, I doubt that many, if anyone, will be swayed from one side to the other, in either direction.
Feel free to debate it ad nauseum, just don't presume that your opinion on the effect permanency would have on organized play is the only right one.
james maissen wrote:
Clearly, we are talking about PLAYER options here, not monster rules. Unless I am mis-reading and from what I can tell, fractional BAB/saves is only used when advancing racial HD of monsters or creating entirely new monster races. It is not used if/when you apply class levels to a monster race, which is what we are talking about here.
It doesn't say anything about using tables either.
I'm sorry, but that is just intentionally ignoring what the rules are in order to create some ambiguity that just isn't there to justify your opinion on how things ought to be. As I have said, IMO from a conceptual perspective fractionals are an interesting idea that merits conversation. However, claiming that the rules (as intended) already permit or even suggest that fractionals are a player option is just not correct. After 5 years, and 26,000 events, this is the first time that fractionals have come up. I have to imagine they would be described more thoroughly, somewhere, anywhere, in Paizo material if they were even intended to be alternate/optional rules. The concept of fractional BAB/saves for Pathfinder Society Organized Play is not a legal option.
Interesting. So if a party blindly stumbles into a trapped door and many of them die (and recover) from some BOOM! effect, they get credit for encountering and OVERCOMING the trap. However, if a party decides to use dim door or shape stone or whatever to pass through a section of wall prior to encountering the trap, technically (and unknowingly) they did not encounter it, so did not overcome it, therefore, no XP. Hmmmm...
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!
The Red Ninja wrote:
I have no idea. I can only assume that your players are not as skilled at tactics and/or optimization as the ones I am used to dealing with
Actually, my admittedly anecdotal experience is based on over 300 tables of PFS as a player, GM, or organizer, most of which occurs at conventions, thus making few of the players "mine" from the perspective of repeat play.
The Red Ninja wrote:
I stopped GMing PFS games because of the frustrations mentioned here- the mods were too easy and I couldn't challenge players. I had no power to improvise or create. I felt like a drone mindlessly carrying out what was put before me despite my numerous problems with it. Running "The God's Market Gamble" was the final straw
Your experience is not necessarily typical. I have found GMG to be very effective at challenging players. Can it be cake-walked? Sure, but no moreso than other scenarios. IMO, there is a very specific concept that most seem to fail to grasp. In organized play, the expectation is that all players will have similar, shared experience. Some will claim that you cannot have that, but I disagree. We are not advocating the EXACT same experience, but a similar one that can be shared from table to table. In order to do that you have to limit the presentation of the game. That means the run-as-written expectations. There are some adjustments that can be made (playing up/down, "softballing," maximizing environment, etc) by the GM. Compare that the players who have virtually unlimited options. If the game is sooo easy, then why do soo many GM's have little to no problem tpk'ing almost at will if we so choose?
The issue comes with the disconnect in expectations. If we know the expected difficulty/challenge that exists, we as players are the problem, not the system if we are making characters that can function far beyond, or far below, the power-expectations of the scenarios. That's not to same that power-gaming, optimization, role-playing or any of the other buzz-words equate to BadWrongFun. In general, all styles of play are fine, but it is the player's responsibility to know their "audience," meaning what the game will provide them.
If I know I will be playing in a low-magic campaign, I cannot expect my PC to become Raistlin or Mordenkainen or whatever other uber powerful mage you choose. If I do, its ridiculous to argue later that the game should be changed to fit my character.
We know the level of challenge in PFS. If as players we continue to create characters that are soo optimized that we cake-walk everything, then WE need to adjust. The same can be said for players who's characters get killed regularly--build better characters. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
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.
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
She's also a pushover. I WISH she was a straight sorcerer.
Why would that make a difference? Another level of sorcerer does not gain her any additional spell levels and I hardly see how stoneskin and strength of the abyss is a challenge-changer. IMO, she is a very circumstantial enemy that depends on a lot of things going her way. Changing one level of class progression won't have much of an impact. Perhaps if she was draconic or elemental and gained a blaster effect at 9th, it might be different.
Personally, I don't like the sunder rules for PFS, and wish there was an actual "cost" for sundering. Granted I have not seen a single sunder PC at a PFS table except for mine who (1)just recently gained the ability, (2) has never had a chance to use it, and (3) will soon retire. I have only recall one NPC/enemy being specifically trained in sundering and the tactics were very specific on how/when to use it. So, I have no reason to complain about a rule that never comes up during play.
If permanency was legalized, I would want it to be as printed in the core rules, AND subject to all the risks. If you are an enlarged human, guess what, that just might draw the attention of spellcasters with dispel magic. If that means you just lost your expensive, (semi-)permanent buff, oh well, you knew the risks. Feel free to pay the costs associated with having it re-cast.
james maissen wrote:
So are you saying that you're against the limitations that PFS places on such spells as masterwork transformation, ever-burning torch, et al?
Am I against it? Not really. Do I agree with them, not really either. I understand why the decisions were made in regards to those spells. I support the rules and our leadership's Wisdom in such matters. I just don't blindly agree with all their decisions. Nor do I waste my breath railing against them once a decision has been made.
james maissen wrote:
getting rid of arcane/divine designations for scrolls has no organized play reason for existing.. it is a normal complexity of the game)
I disagree. If we adhered to the specifics of spell type in organized play, it would make it much more difficult to provide scroll access as a reward. In a home game, the GM can designate the scrolls however needed to cover the classes involved in the game. However, OP GM's do not have such a luxury. It just makes good sense to hand-waive the spell type for the sake of equal rewards and balanced play. Of course, this is largely an opinion-based argument and I doubt that either side will sway the other.
james maissen wrote:
While under normal conditions I would agree, wouldn't/couldn't/shouldn't permanency impact that? Should a simple, level one spell (reduce person) be able to completely dispel the effects of a level five spell? Doesn't really "feel" right. That makes it more effective than the 3rd level spell, dispel magic, since no caster level check is needed.
I would probably rule that it temporarily countered the enlarge for the duration of the reduce with the target reverting to the permanent effect afterwards. "Feels" more "fair." YMMV
since many like myself go around with detect magic turn on all the time
Aside from my personal opinion that this is a lame meta-gamish tactic and should slow down the group's progress, it occurs to me that it might not be as effective as many people expect.
If the spell initially only registers the presence/absence of magical auras within the cone, it would be quite ineffective unless the wizard was in the scout position. Otherwise, s/he would constantly be picking up the auras from the magic emanating from companions and new auras would not change the status quo. Placing your squishy, arcanist in the lead is probably not the best idea. YMMV
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.
This is not correct, however
I disagree. You may have received special approval to offer the chronicles after their official time window, but that does not invalidate the intention that they are not to be used outside of the original Beginner's Box Bash event. My original comments were directed at the general membership.
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
As I recall, the "special" boons with the no cost raise dead ("Death Walker") was specifically for those who played/GM'd all four Beginner Box delves/demo's during the product release "bash". It was not intended to be used after that. Furthermore, it was limited to one chronicle per player/GM. Of course, I could be wrong, but that is what my understanding was/is.
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
Sometimes I think we forget the original term "player-character." Meaning that when you play, there is a melding of the player and the character, especially when it comes to the mental aspect of the game. A "smart" player with a "dumb" character being denied things based on a meta-game objection makes for BadWrongFun. A "dumb" player with a "smart" character denied a die roll to solve a challenge is likewise having BadWrongFun.
In a home-based game, you can have a much more lengthy and detail discussion regarding how the character relates to his environment and how his player affects that with a different set of ability scores. However, in organized play, we just don't have the time nor the circumstances to resolve deep characterizations. As GMs, we largely have to just let players play and occasionally provide tips/clues to keep the game progressing regardless of "smart/dumb" players or characters.
If this just boils down to an objection to extreme ability scores leading to some unwanted level of optimization, we could just make a hard-cap of 18 for any ability score at character creation (regardless of racial adjustments) and a hard-minimum of 10, or 9, or 8, or whatever. Alternately, we could reduce the point-buy from high fantasy (20) to standard fantasy (15). Either/both would reduce, but not eliminate, the occurrence of extreme ability scores. Personally, I like 15 point-buy, but most don't. I doubt either change would have any impact on the overall GoodRightFun of the community.
What I am concerned about, what I stated, was that I would not feel comfortable sitting through a game...
I disagree with the characterization. IMO, you should have a small bit of that feeling all the time. You (read:all players) should enter every session with the expectation that they will be audited. If so, there's no problem when it does happen.
Also, for those who are posing specific "what if's" they don't help the discussion. Like any other rule or function of gaming, we are talking about the general case and top-down rules. Sure there are times when something unusual occurs and the GM will have to make a ruling, on the fly, how to proceed. The fact that those things happen does not nullify the general rule/policy.
Contact your regional leadership, i.e. your Venture-Officers. They can work with you to recover lost chronicles. How I would handle it would depend on the situation. If someone came to me at a convention and asked what to do, I probably wouldn't punish them for their misfortune. However, if we're talking about chronicles that have been missing for months, the player had plenty of time to try and correct the issue, I might rule differently.
james maissen wrote:
If a level 3 character can pull the weight of a level 5, then let them play at level 5. Likewise if a level 7 character can only pull the weight of a level 5, then let them too play at level 5. Both can then likely get what they want out of this game of ours with the opportunity not to step on the others toes.
This is predicated on the idea that players can accurately judge the strength of their characters and choose the correct tier to play. My experience says we are not able to consistently do that. In fact, I believe that by allowing players free reign to chose their tier regardless of actual level, we will see even more cases of "calk-walk" and "killer" sessions.
N N 959 wrote:
How do you afford getting raised four times? Saved money before hand? Team chipped in? Sold gear?
Twice with prestige, twice with gold (one including some party gold). Keep in mind these all happened when the level loss associated with being raised was hand-waived. Doing it now would cost quite a bit more.
james maissen wrote:
if you sit down at a completely random tier 8-9 scenario you have no idea that the characters putting you in that tier carry that weight, nor do you really know for certain the real level of challenge you are going to face
I fail to see how your proposed solution would change that. IME, the vast majority of players cannot accurately measure their own character's abilities with respect to a scenario of which they have no idea what to expect. Regardless of what system of tiering we use, you, as a player, will still have no idea if the players you sit with can pull their weight or not. Unless of course you play with them regularly, in which case, again the tiering system matters little since you'll know when to play up and when to play down.
The end result is neither side is happy
This is being waaay over-emphasized by this thead. PFS is the biggest, and fastest growing OP RPG on the planet. Even the people who yell the loudest here in the messageboards about having a "bad" experience with too easy/hard scenarios, good/bad GMs, blah blah blah keep coming back. Does anyone really think that this issue is sooo huge that we have to take extreme actions to correct it? I don't really think so. I have attended roughly 30 conventions and participated in over 300 tables in the past four years and I can count on one hand the number of "problem" tables to point of requiring action to be taken.
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.