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Congratulations Kristen. 5 stars is quite a feat considering you have to deal with Seth not only at conventions and gamedays, but at home as well. To overcome that handicap and achieve the success you have is a testament to your dedication and perseverance.
I hear construction of the women's dorm on five-star island is coming along ahead of schedule. The wet bar is being stocked as we speak and the two-way mirrors in the locker room are being removed. Nice try Baird ;-)
I have an unpopular opinion and one that Seth has picked up on. Based on my interpretation of the RAW*, as Steve quoted, the rules specifically prohibit KILLING another player. It says nothing about hitting, spelling, combat maneuvering, etc. them. Because they repeatedly reference KILLING, I assume it is for a reason.
First, we have to assume by Player vs. Player, they meant Character vs. Character since we are playing a game after all and the former is quite illegal.
There are two rules involved here; the one concerning PvP and the (don't be a) Jerk rule. I do not force players to retract their actions even if they involve friendly collateral damage unless it directly results in a character's death. Players should never have to gain the permission of other players to perform in-game actions. It may be considerate, but short of required. I also do not interpret collateral damage as PvP.
That being said, it is usually fairly clear when a player is being a jerk. There are times when most/all of the actions people have posted above have their place in the game. There is some amount of table variation with this issue. However, if the player is being a jerk, I will address that directly and out of game as it has no place.
There is also a lesson to be learned by some players. Don't play intentionally confrontational PCs, especially if you are doing it just to get the GM or other players attention. Cooperate is a focal point of the campaign (IMO, the most important) and you should be actively doing things to further it. If your PC is such that it will often want to rage-kill NPCs or will be provoked by other characters, please use it in another campaign.
*since sooo many like to shove RAW down my throat as a justification for their actions/opinions, I feel it is only fair I am permitted the same
Thank you for being a mentor, a master GM, and a friend. Your exquisite maps, dedication to storytelling, and player-enabling style has inspired us to push our GM skills to the limit and beyond.
Watching Doug run Mists of Mwangi cold, and without any printed material (completely from memory) at Origins 2010 was awe-inspiring and proof of his awesomeness.
Thank you for showing us the best ways to organize a local/regional convention. Your methodology is the foundation of how most conventions are coordinated. It is always amazing to see the things convention organizers do and think, "Doug did that first." The methods were shared by the lucky few of us who worked for Doug at a con he organized to others who attended our cons or who we had discussions with. Even GenCon has been impacted by the things he pioneered.
Doug, words fall short of the thanks you deserve. Congratulations on 500 and best wishes for 500 more!
It was not intended to be a "put-down" and I probably should have emphasized that the same methods of rules-lawyery analysis applies to both sides of the argument. And I certainly think using words like "dishonest" are significantly stronger than saying something is silly.
With the advent of the FAQ I fail to see how a strict application of plain-English reading applies unless we all want to completely dismiss that the concept of "rules as intended" even exists.
Before the FAQ, it seemed, at least in my experience, that most would not make a change in carrying capacity due to the way it was worded in the CRB. The majority of those people also agreed that it was silly to say a significant reduction/increase in Strength wouldn't impact other related mechanics than the ones listed in the (arguably) non-exhaustive list.
It appears (to many) that the FAQ was meant to clarify the non-exhaustive nature of the original rule and that carrying capacity would be affected. But, that is interpretive. Because they used "bonus" and not "modifier" is probably just an over-sight, but we have no confirmation of that. It certainly seems counter-intuitive that increasing/reducing your Strength score would not have an impact on everything that uses it as a basis for modification. It is even more counter-intuitive (and IMO ridiculous) to think that we would apply a bonus, but ignore a penalty.
After the dust clears, all we can really expect regarding this topic is table variation and hopefully players avoid lengthy arguments with the GM during gameplay.
Folks, let's not get all bent out of shape over the .5 thing. Players have very little choice when it comes to playing up/down anymore. I don't think it hurts anything to grant them the minor boon to choose which way to round X.5. Just don't pre-round to get to X.5 and then round to an APL. Try to remember that its not about trying to kill the PCs, so don't be too quick to push them up. Just have fun!
Explore! Report! Cooperate!
IMO, the intent is that damage often occurs during the heat of combat and rather spend a lot of time reworking all the PC's stats, they provided us with a quick play rule.
Drain and/or permanent ability changes are generally occur during less intensive times of the game where a player has time to make appropriate adjustments.
That being said, any significant (and sometimes minor) change in strength whether bonus or penalty should impact encumbrance, lifting, breaking things, etc. To argue the nuances of the words in some rules-lawyery way to say a penalty/bonus to Strength wouldn't affect carrying capacity, but most/all other aspects is just silly. Again IMHO.
Despite the FAQ, there still appears to be some ambiguity to the specifics of the rules, so expect some table variation.
I have seen some re-rolls being granted at local cons for various reasons. Buying a convention t-shirt, buying a goblin plushie from a vendor at the con, donating to whatever charity is being supported by the convention, etc. are all things I've noticed.
These types of things are by no means "official," but not a problem, IMO, as it supports the convention or a good cause. A table GM is, of course, within their right to deny said re-roll. Technically, I have never found anything in the rules that would preclude a GM from granting a re-roll (or a circumstance bonus/penalty) using whatever logic they deem appropriate.
Of course, sometimes players are confused by what is official and what was table variation. It can make for some uncomfortable situations at future games. Organizers/GMs have a responsibility to notify a player whenever they are granting an unofficial re-roll.
Congratulations Andrew!!! I am excited for the Pittsburgh area to get such a passionate organizer and an all-around great person.
For those who don't know him, Andrew is a fantastic GM and hilarious player. If you get the opportunity to game at his table, either as a fellow player or GM, jump at it. You will not be disappointed!
Of course there will be a few problems here and there, but that wont make it a full time job
If the forums, especially the rules forum, are any indication, it might be more than a full-time job. Ignoring the massive number of requests for clarification (warranted or not), whoever takes on the responsibility of answering has to thoroughly research the impact of their response. We see time and time again how a simple response can have enormous ripples. And with our preponderance to point out every little flaw or inconsistency in the rules, I don't blame them taking their time to answer, or sometimes not at all.
To be honest i think its more important to have working content then new, cool content. You could have 100 classes but if 90 are broken, what use are the 90?
True, but I hardly think the extremely rare rules issue is represented by a 90% failure rate. I'm sure your number was just for effect, but the occurrence of problematic rules are just not that prevalent. Sometimes, it just seems that way due to the nature of the forums.
It would only be a full time job if the initial printing of content was very badly done. For example lets say you release a new class with tons of vaugely, badly written class abilities. Well of course you are going to get swamped by FAQ requests, thats a simple result of releasing something broken.
That's kind of simplistic. With the HUGE amount of content available, its a bit unreasonable to think there won't be at least a few rules inconsistencies or ambiguities. Not to mention the ones that are intentionally left with a modicum of "gray" area.
Come on now. Even you have to admit that's a bit too "the sky's falling." I think
Edit : I just found the ask james jacobs thread after some searching. Turns out its in the off-topic section...not exactly the place you would expect to go for official paizo responses to game issues.
To be fair, he is more of the "lore" designer than the mechanics designer. While his opinions on the rules may not technically be binding, at least he responds and gives us some insight into what the designers are thinking.
Too often we complain that they are not answering our questions and then when they do, we pick it apart, telling them how wrong they are. In fairness, I'm sure if that happened to you repeatedly, eventually you would limit your responses or stop answering at all. They can't please everyone, every time and considering Pathfinder's position as the #1 RPG, I think the model is working.
Question, I think most of us would like to have a forum like that, but to be honest, I would rather the designers spend their time coming up with more cool content. It would be a full-time job to answer all the questions that come up in forums. That being said, they do monitor the forums, especially the rules forum and the "Ask James Jacobs" thread. You can often find answers there.
True, the answers are not technically binding, but it can help your own understanding and adjudication to get the thoughts and analysis from other players. We have to remember that PFS is only a portion of the Pathfinder world, and there are quite a few rules that are intentionally left vague so GM's in non-PFS games do not feel bound by the specifics. The designers have essentially said that on quite a few occasions. Sure, it causes some inconvenience for us in PFS, but most rules issues can be worked out if both the player and GM approach it appropriately.
To the GMs out there, BE NICE! Don't make the player feel like its a you vs. them relationship. We are there to facilitate their fun. Sure, sometimes you have to rule "against" the player to maintain the bounds of reasonable gameplay, but that doesn't mean wielding the rules heavy-handed. Try to let the player do as much as possible to fulfill their character's schtick while maintaining some sense of consistency.
To the players, BE NICE! Don't surprise the GM in the middle of a heated encounter. If you know there is something about your character that is ambiguous or unclear, approach them before the game starts. Give them time to review the printed material and any online support so they can make a reasonable decision. And remember, not all GMs have the same level of comfort, so if s/he rules a bit more strict than you like, don't freak out, thrown a tantrum, etc. A GMs job is challenging enough without having to deal with an unreasonable or pi$$ed-off player.
In general, John's comments should be the way all of these issues are resolved. I encourage everyone to approach rules discussion that way. And remember, while its not the best solution, if a player or GM is just being an unreasonable jerk, walk away from the table. This is a game and suppose to be fun. If you're not enjoying it, do something else. I like strategy board games, miniature wargames, and long walks on the beach ;-)
change fireball to 1d4 damage
I understand what you are saying and don't want to make lite of it, but honestly, this is not a great analogy. No one is saying fireball is a broken mechanic. OTOH, it is fairly common for players to admit that crane style as it originally existed, especially with respect to level dipping, was over-powered. I'm not saying that player should have known better, but it's not really a stretch to say we could see errata was warranted.
It really is no different to other game mechanics than are widely considered "broken." If there is a lot of complaints/outcry from the community, it shouldn't really surprise anyone when it is errata'd. As such, we really don't have a lot of basis for complaints. There is some inherent risk using ambiguous or out-of-balance game rules. As players, we really need to take some responsibility in that.
As I've said, I have a crane style master of many styles. He is not broken, but he is also not of the level dippers that the errata seems to be directed towards. Am I happy about the errata? Nope, but it does not surprise me and I'm willing to retire the PC or make some adjustments to his build. And yes, his entire persona was based on the ability to avoid being hit/not taking damage.
I'm glad to hear you are not quiting PFS entirely as we need good players/GMs.
IMO, in most cases if you just read the boxed text, the players are more inclined to drift off, especially if its a lengthy read. And since you are looking at the paper (no eye contact) the player may not listen as well. As long as you get all the important info out, there is really no reason you cannot ad lib a bit. As Eric said, you can paraphrase the text without violating anything. Feel free to experiment with your presentation. This can be especially helpful during older seasons where the VC's kind of be jerks towards the PCs.
How is the fact that the campaign doesn't use sunder against PCs something that can be taken advantage of by using sunder against NPCs? What advantage? How is sunder against NPCs improved by the fact that it doesn't go the other way? I don't understand what you're trying to communicate when you talk about taking advantage of the lack of sunder tactics by using sunder.
Oh come on. You're smarter than this. Sunder is clearly a good tactic to use. The only reason it is not seen more often is because the campaign is intentionally avoid it so they're aren't complaints about "the GM broke my stuff." Clearly there is a portion (and not a small one) of the community that does not want to see sunder used as a tactic.
So, if players use it, it becomes an advantage in that they do not have to face the same. It would be the same if authors/developers avoided the use of power attack, or any other legal game mechanic that provides an advantage over the opponent.
There are a lot of times when the NPC/monster build is such that sundering would be a great addition, but it is not used. If players use it, then its not a stretch to think it is an "okay" tactic and therefore should be available to use against them and therefore the appearance of it as a tactic in the scenarios would increase.
I am not trying to encourage the increase of sunder, nor continuing to maintain the status quo, nor making an assessment of the good/bad value of sunder. Just trying to impart some insight into why things are the way they are and what might happen if we change it.
How does PCs using sunder "take advantage" of NPCs not using sunder? Aren't the two completely independent of each other?
Not taking advantage of the NPC's, taking advantage of the fact that the campaign is intentionally avoiding using sunder against PCs. Fundamentally, yes they are two different issues, but if player use of sunder was to increase, I would expect it to become a tactic used more often against players. Most of us would agree that sunder is a great tactic to gain advantage vs. your opponent
As a GM, I have no problem with sundering. However, many do. I think there has been a concerted effort not to have sundering enemies in the scenarios because players will complain if you destroy their favorite [enter item here]. And there seems to largely be an understanding that as long as players don't take advantage of that situation by doing a lot of sundering themselves, GM's and the campaign as a whole will avoid using it. However, if players increasing use sunder, and it is recognized to be a valid tactic, there is no reason to expect GM's and authors not to use it as well. IMO, we are better off staying away from it to prevent hurt feelings.
I'm trying and failing to imagine how such a build is possible.
I agree. My monk was heavily dependent on it and it was the thing that made his personality work, but by no means is it a character that cannot be "fixed" and continue to be a playable character. From a mechanical aspect, there is very little chance someone can convince me a crane-focused PC is neither playable, nor fixable. Now, if its more of a role-play, meaning something that cannot be fixed with retraining, etc., I can buy it, but even then the player has complete control over that aspect of the character and just need sot formulate a way to adapt.
Another fantastic con! Thanks to all the GM's that made my experience a good one.
And special thanks to Chris Bonnet and Jim Crase for organizing the event. Great job guys!
An honorable mention for the other volunteers who helped Chris/Jim with coordinating HQ and for Cactus Jack (Mike Costello) for overseeing the Diamond City special.
I especially enjoyed the author's seminar with Mike Shel, Mark Garringer, and James Wilbur. Getting insight directly from the minds of those who are providing us the very content that dazzles our minds is soooo cool!
As far as errata in general, if you go back and compare the VAST amount of new content that has been released over the years vs. what has been changed/clarified/nerf'ed/whatever, I think you'll find that this issue in minor as best and more likely insignificant. Their are always a few players that are affected by rules changes, but it really is a small number. The designers and PFS leadership have to do things from the "greater good" perspective. Personally, I don't agree with complete rebuilds being granted just because of a single change, but I understand why some would want it. It would be nice if leadership granted the free change to extend down to the crane style feat in addition to the others, but with how cheap it is to dump it, I don't really see this as being an issue.
I am affected. I have a PC that is largely unplayable at the moment because of the changes to the crane style feat tree. However, I just don't understand all hub-bub about it. With a few minor changes and some retaining, he'll be fine. I seriously doubt this new errata makes a character both unplayable AND uncorrectable.
Everyone seems to be stuck on the prestige cost of retraining. Spend some money people! Its only 5 days to retrain a feat. That's only 50GP X PC level. So even if you're level 11, its only 550gp to dump crane style. Is anyone really trying to say that is unreasonable? By mid-levels, most players are dumping much more than that in expandable resources in most combat encounters, and retaining is a one-time cost. Let's not continue to try and make this sound like a meaningful impact on wealth-by-level.
Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
I just realized this thread was moved from the PFS forum to the rules forum. That's disappointing :-(
The question was directed towards organized play. I never go to the rules forum for a home game because I can just rule in whatever way I see fit.
Sometimes, if the player is just being unreasonable, you have to address it out of game. If the actions are clearly jerkish and impacting the other players with little to no in game justification outside of insanity or evil, the GM should not feel compelled to whip out a bunch of stat blocks and further derail the scenario. Either just stop the game and have a conversation with the player or just cinematically describe the local law enforcement coming in force and in waves until the PC is over-whelmed. The severity and/or repeated nature of the incident will determine if the player needs to be kicked from the table or the PC reported dead.
Remember, RAW does not mean the GM is prevented from taking appropriate action at the table to address unacceptable gameplay.
Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
And that's why there appears to be some ambiguity here. There is some language that seems to indicate magic items "self"-adjust to the size of the wearer, but I'm not sure that is the intention. Since there are specific rules in the CRB for buying armor for non-medium creatures with applicable price adjustments, there is at least some evidence it would not simply change size.
Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
An interesting question arose this weekend and after searching the forums, I was unable to find an official answer. What happens to the equipment for an animal companion when it grows? For example, at level seven, a large cat (medium) grows to large size. If it was wearing +1 mithril chainmail barding, does the armor "magically" grow with the animal? Or does it have to be immediately sold for half-price and repurchased at full price including the adjustment/increase to account for large size? Or maybe you only have to play the difference?
Sure, the easy and harshest answer is the former one. It makes the most sense. However, this is a fantasy world where not everything makes sense. Maybe for PFS, you only have to pay the difference. The armor magically changing size seems the least likely action.
Do we have a VC organizer for Origins this year? If so, will there be a call going out for tier one judges, or whatever we are calling them? Are tier one judges eligible for a free-shared room and badge? If so, should they register/pay for a badge now or wait? Just wondering what the convention coordination looks like for this year.
Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
Whatever. You can nitpick all your want, but the reality is Bonekeep is now more available that it was before. No longer will you be required to attend a convention with 50+ tables to enjoy it. That is bonus. Period.
And there is now a boon available that was not available before. Clearly that is a reward to the hard working GMs who provide YOU the fun experience YOU have come to expect. Or else why would anyone keep playing?
Of course no one is "running down that chronicle," it just came out and it was pulled down to correct an error.
I am just a narrator, telling the story and mediating the combat encounters. As such, I have never killed a single PC. Those pesky monsters and their evil NPC handlers, on the other hand, are brutal and seem to really enjoy killing as many of your innocent characters as possible. Its very troubling to be honest and I am considering a change of profession. Observing all this death and destruction is very depressing.
Seth Gipson wrote:
If you are interested in GMing, you will need to go here, and submit the Judges Form found there. Instructions for where to submit it are on the form itself.
I refuse to comply. It is a trap to integrate us into the collective.
It is my great honor to announce Seth Gipson as our newest five-star GM, earning it this past weekend at Winter War gaming convention in Champaign, IL
Seth is not only a great GM, always providing his players an awesome experience with challenging encounters and fun role-play, he is the Venture-Lieutenant for Southern Illinois in Carbondale, IL. His tireless efforts are an inspiration to all organizers. I had the pleasure of first meeting Seth a few years ago at one of his local events and despite his "newness" as an organizer and PFS GM, it was a great experience. Ever since, it has been an honor to be among his friends.
I encourage anyone traveling through the Carbondale area to attend one of his events. You will have a great time. And if you see him on the GM roster of a convention, sign up to play at his table. It will be a memorable experience.
Thank you Seth for your continuing commitment to the Pathfinder Society and congratulations on earning your 5th star!!!
Another Winter War has entered the annals of history. Fun was experienced by all, at least I hope so. IMHO, the best one yet. It was our largest turn-out to date and nearly broke the convention's records for single event (Siege of the Diamond City) on Saturday and total attendance for one game system. We were only 16 seats short of what LG did back in the day. If not for bad weather rolling in up north forcing some to leave early, I am confident we would have set the new record. I look forward to the challenge of making PFS bigger and better next year!
There are sooo many people that deserve a HUGE thank you for making it a big success this year.
Don/Susan McKinney, the convention owners, are great to work with and they have both helped me maintain my sanity with the planning of the event and they have been very accommodating to my numerous requests/wants/needs. Don and I had a great conversation on Friday and have some interesting ideas to improve the registration system for next year. He indicated the hotel has some ideas how to expand their space for us to accommodate more growth. It is looking very promising for next year.
The hotel was sooo helpful. They provided a (nearly) never-ending supply of ice water, semi-private restrooms, and a TV monitor so we could use the digital video enhancement that accompanied the Siege of the Diamond City special. They were readily available and responsive to our requests for more tables, garbage removal, etc. And the staff was genuinely happy to help, not just because it was their job. Every year it is one of the very best hotel experiences I have with the various ones I visit during conventions.
Our players were outstanding. I didn't hear of any rules arguments, hurt feelings, etc. and everyone seemed excited when they entered/left the room during breaks. It kept me charged despite working on very limited sleep. I received a number of compliments about our GMs. The only issue we had was keeping the thermostat consistent, but it wasn't bad and didn't seem to negatively impact anyone. And we are honored with six new Venture-Captains thanks to a well-played group of Eyes of the Ten'ers.
As always, the GM pool were rock stars! Their skills are dazzling and players were always interested and eager. Lots of "hoots" and "howls" as enemies were defeated and rewards were earned. When we had to adjust the schedule due to the weather, everyone was very accommodating and willing to pick up a game to cover a GM who had to leave early. I am always amazed and thankful for the level of support I get and their willingness to do anything necessary to provide the players a funtastic experience.
Many of my Venture-Officer cohorts made the trip and were instrumental in Gming the many tables we offered as well as ambassadors of the game. I am proud to belong to such a group of organizers and just flat cool people.
If I was to list the names of everyone who made this convention such an awesome event, it would likely be a wall of text and probably include everyone who attended. However, I did want to mention the efforts of one particular attendee...
Until next year Winter Warriors, I bid you adieu :-)