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deusvult's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 1,178 posts (1,335 including aliases). 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 18 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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Sovereign Court ****

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trollbill wrote:
I am still amazed at how often I have to remind people they can't full attack in the same round they took a move action.

In all fairness, it's rather counter-intuitive if you play other RPGs besides PF/3.X.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
People need to ease up on raw a little bit.

BNW, I'm going to take your quote a little out of context and segue it into my own recurring pet peeve with special relation to PFS:

Just because a player insists a certain reading of the rules is RAW*, it doesn't mean the GM has to agree with that reading if his differs or if he believes that RAI indicates something else.

*=obviously I'm talking about situations where no FAQ or clarification is had from Paizo people.

Sovereign Court

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I have another "back in the good old days" tale of not so much terror, but complete failure.

Me and some of my gaming pals tried out the then-new Call of Cthulu game in the 1980s. Now at that time I had not yet read any of the Lovecraftian stories and only had a vague idea of the gist of the mythos. Of my pals however, the one who claimed to be best versed in the lore volunteered to GM.

The GM created our characters for us, and I received a WWI vet with some kind of magical machine gun. It was psychically awakened by the horrors of trench warfare or some such- I honestly don't remember the GM's explanation at this point. Nor do I remember what anyone else played, as the session devolved into anarchic failure in only one session.

The other players successfully goaded the GM into throwing monster after monster at us, which my magical machine gun just kept cutting down. Again, I didn't know all that much about Cthulu, but I was pretty sure that hack-n-slash was not at all the correct playstyle for the genre. Either way, I was a pawn/spectator in the battle of wits and wills between my pals.

Eventually the GM was sufficiently exasperated by my trolling friends to throw Cthulu itself at us in toe to toe combat. My friends then engaged in spurious logic to convince the GM that the Elder Gods would appear and kill Cthulu on our behalf.

It has gone down as the most surreal experience in my long career as a gamer, which I suppose is a sort of success for the Call of Ctuhulu game, but not at all in a way that should have been appropriate.

I suppose the moral of my story is while it was hands-down the worst case of GMing I've ever seen, it required jerk players to occur. So let's remember there's two sides to every terrible GM story....

Sovereign Court

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What's worse about Combat Expertise:

It's a feat tax

It doesn't let you dump Int on a martial

I suspect alot of the hate in the thread is about the latter. I don't share any of it. I consider it less of a mistake to put points in intelligence than to dump the stat. If you don't have 18s in your other stats it's not the end of the world, afterall.

As for the former; I do agree. The rules don't need both Fighting Defensively and Combat Expertise. For that matter, the game doesn't need what could/should be universal attack options reserved to feat slots (looking at you too, Power Attack)

Sovereign Court

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
icehawk333 wrote:
Explosive runes.
Requires reading, not just looking.

if they're written in a language the looker comprehends and he sees them, the way language centers in the brain work is the looker cannot "not read" them.

If you see it, the brain automatically processes it. You can NOT turn it off and see "I prepared Explosive Runes" as a series of nonsignificant scribbles if they are in fact the written form of a language you can read.

Sovereign Court

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Mexican Standoffs are indeed hard to adjudicate if you ignore everything that isn't RAW.

That's just another example of why you shouldn't limit the rules to (what you say is) RAW.

I can definitely see a role for Bluff and Sense Motive in resolving whether you can get the jump on someone you've been interacting with in a non-combat manner.

When Han Solo shot first, Greedo clearly failed his Sense Motive and gave up the Surprise Round.

Sovereign Court

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How's this for a wrinkle?

I make players roll initiative immediately after each fight or crisis situation. That way initiative scores are already generated for the next fight, as well as everything that occurs outside of combat before that point.

Why do you need initiative scores outside of combat?

I find them useful for avoiding spotlight hogging. You get to do one thing, then I go on to the next person, and so on. Initiative gives some sensible order other than clockwise/counterclockwise around the table.

I'm also big on GM tradecraft. If you declare "roll for initiative" players abandon diplomacy and just begin shooting. Players feeling their characters' ambiguity as to whether or not combat is about to begin is hugely beneficial.

Sovereign Court

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I think the critical point that the entire thread is ignoring is that the GM didn't inflict the Head of Vecna on his players.

He only allowed the players to inflict it on each other. He didn't even come up with it.

Hell yes I'd allow that, provided I was allowing PvP in the first place.

Sovereign Court ****

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Quote:
Quote:
What's a suitable CON score?
12 at the very least. I recommend 14 as your very least for a con score.

I will +1 this.

12 is the bare minimum a character should have, and that's if you're considering CON a "dump stat".

If you can't get your 18s or 20s in your prime stats if you're keeping that 12 or 14 CON, so what. It's PFS; you don't need an 18 or 20 in your prime stat to be successful.

With respect to the OP, his document has great advice but it advocates too much munchkinism for my palate. Forget what he said about being wrongbad if you can't solo the entire encounter by yourself in 3 or 4 rounds; you still have an entire party to help. And their players will be bored/resentful if you DO build a character that can solo the fights.

Focus instead on his good advice about being prepared and not falling into the trap of being one dimensional.

Sovereign Court

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When both parties are wary of combat that about to begin, neither should begin the combat flat footed. Both are expecting combat, but as TOZ points out the structuring of a combat round doesn't interact well when both sides are banking held/readied actions.

In the case of both parties expecting the action (and the action does indeed prove to be on those expected terms) the rules don't make alot of sense. For example, if two teams of gladiators are waiting for the start bell to begin their match, whoever goes first shouldn't be catching the other side flatfooted. Fights don't happen in nice orderly turns, the combat is all simultaneous. Initiative order only serves to see what is resolved first. But Komoda is correct in that rules rules say exactly this. The only time such a scenario (both parties expect combat, and the combat begins as expected) makes sense starting combat flat-footed is in formal duelling where one is actually standing there being as still as possible prior to the action, like a gunfight at noon in the wild wild west or a samurai iaijutsu duel. Yet some other formal duels, like jousting, make absolutely no sense at all if the 2nd party is considered flat footed when taking the first attack.

The rules about initiative & flatfootedness really only make sense in the scenario of two parties encountering each other and neither was expecting the fight as it actually occurs. Of course that's a really common scenario, but it's awkward that the rules presume that's how EVERY fight starts.

Sovereign Court

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Having played & GMed pen and paper RPGs since 1981, I've been exposed to more than a few different styles of game, not to mention rules engines.

With that in mind, my complaints with Pathfinder include:

#1: The player empowerment paradigm. I'm not just old school, my favorite game is Paranoia where the players aren't even allowed to know the rules. I don't enjoy "Player, May I?", I'm all about the "GM, May I?" approach that so many Pathfinder players object to. And yes, this includes whichever side of the GM screen I'm on. When I'm playing, I want the GM to run the game. I don't want to tell a GM his business, and I especially don't want my peers to dictate the game to the GM. Pen and Paper roleplaying games are gems because of the uniqueness that non-computer, human GMs bring in presentation. GMing is an art form; let the artist work. If you cajole the GM into doing things the way "you want", then you're cheating yourself of the unique presentation you otherwise could have enjoyed.

#2: Characters' capability being tied to magic gear. Having played plenty of other games where one's power is not defined by one's lootz, it's a bitter pill to have to swallow in Pathfinder (or any version of D&D). Paizo (and 3.0) made an admirable effort to diminish this quality, but it goes all the way back to D&D's core. You can't get rid of it without a complete break from tradition, which Paizo is probably unlikely to do.

#3: Particular to Paizo's Pathfinder as it is today is rules bloat. Holysplatbooks, Batman! It was due for a reboot after APG, and it's only gotten criminally overdue since then. It's not necessarily a critique of Paizo... RPGs have lifecycles. They make money by issuing new books, and issuing new books introduces power creep and rules bloat. If they're trying some experiment to keep "everything you've bought can always be used!", I can point to other game companies' past attempts to avoid reboots. They always end up having to reboot. Paizo, keep your Unchained and give me 2.0 instead. I'd rather give you money to rebuy books than to keep a dying beast on life support.

Sovereign Court ****

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In my area there are about half a dozen game stores that host PFS. It's convention around here that each participant at a store-hosted session chip in $2 "entry fee", and the pot goes to the store in the form of credit for the GM.

Sovereign Court

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The problem with world peace is that humans would have had to have been changed into something that's unrecognizable. Or coppertop batteries living in a robot-run matrix. Or simply extinct.

Never read/seen Watchmen, but I'm guessing that's the gist it was getting at.

Sovereign Court

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A scroll of Darkvision.

Sovereign Court

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Tacticslion wrote:
I wanted to add, however, that (unless I'm mistaken) it was ruled for PFS (which is it's own and different creature) that they did not count as evil acts (and [good] spells did not count as [good] acts). Please do feel free to correct me if I mis-remembered, however!

I'm pretty sure that PFS ruling was more "house rule for this campaign" and less clarification about how it's supposed to work.

Inside or outside of PFS, however, forcing an outsider into your servitude isn't meaningfully different than slavery, which is difficult to argue as "good" under any circumstance.

Sovereign Court

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Fergie wrote:
deusvult wrote:
If a Pathfinder player has a great idea, it should work. It shouldn't be hostage to the outcome of a d20 roll.
Do you apply that to opposed roles such as in a combat situation? Or is it a more general statement about dictating the story? Perhaps an example might help?

To invoke a third example: Pathfinder isn't Amber Diceless Roleplaying, either.

I share most of the same goals listed upthread. As a GM I just make a point of ignoring the dice when the dice get in the way of fulfilling those goals. As a player, I expect the GM to know when to throw the dice (or even the rulebook) aside for the sake of the game. We're not playing a video game adjudicated by a computer, we're playing a Roleplaying Game run by and for real people.

Sovereign Court

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Fergie wrote:
* GM, and even player "Cheating" (i.e. ignoring dice rolls) is a highly debatable topic. Like all issues, discuss it beforehand, and come to a consensus on how your group views it.

Paranoia is a RPG where the dice are ultimately meaningless; the GM is not only allowed but expected to ignore them at his whim.

Hackmaster is a RPG where "the dice fall where they may". They are sacrosanct and not even the GM may fudge dice.

I'm not going to say that people who play Pathfinder like it was Hackmaster are doing it BadWrong, but I will say I don't subscribe to that mindset of "letting the dice fall where they may". Both Hackmaster and Paranoia have opposite extremes on that view and paradoxically end up in much the same place: the player has little agency.

I prefer to view Pathfinder as being somewhere in the middle of the continiuum on the "sacredness of dice". Players can't ever ignore them, of course, but the GM can. And Should, on occasion.

If a Pathfinder player has a great idea, it should work. It shouldn't be hostage to the outcome of a d20 roll.

Sovereign Court ****

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A paladin "should" be roleplayed as being reluctant to accept Infernal Healing.

But if the paladin is not roleplayed that way, there is no sanction in PFS.

Sovereign Court ****

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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.

Sovereign Court ****

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Jeff Merola wrote:
deusvult wrote:

I'll take it that step further. I WILL say the kind of play described in the OP is badwrong, at least in the context of playing Pathfinder.

Pathfinder (PFS or otherwise) is not a tactical simulation game; it's a roleplaying game. It's far less work (and more fun) to play games already designed for that kind of fun. I play a few of them myself. But if what you're looking for is Warhammer or Panzer General, then it's better to play Warhammer or Panzer General than to try to bend Pathfinder into some sort of approximation.

Really? What if they're having fun (and also have a GM that's having fun)?

It should be obvious that's not the scenario in the OP.

If everyone is having fun, who cares what rules or conventions are being followed and which are broken, ineed. I'd agree with MAD MAD World. The GM should strive to tailor the game to meet the preferences of the players.

I'm adding the thought that it goes both ways; it's a two way compromise not a one way accomodation.

Sovereign Court

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Since a vigorous slapping wakes up the victim of magical sleep (spell or hex) it's not unreasonable to say that being submerged in water satisfactorily meets this threshold for waking.

Of course, if one was already asleep (close enough to unconscious for most people) when one's head slipped under the water, there's potentially that first constitution check to avoid instantly going to -1 hit point as the choking victim awakens (or not, as the case may end up being)

Sovereign Court ****

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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.

Sovereign Court

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Claxon wrote:


I mean, these days metal strips embedded into money are a form of security tag. Are you saying that just because it's a security means, that the ability to print a very good facsimile also means you have the means to recreate the metal security strip?

If you want to make a successful forgery you should have that ability, but just because you can print well doesn't mean you can make a complete forgery.

Yes, as I mentioned upthread, to use modern parallels the Linguistics skill (if used in a hypothetical Pathfinder Modern campaign) WOULD include mimicking anti-forgery technologies as appropriate to the setting. If your Linguistics check is successful, the forgery is successful. But in order to be successful, it logically MUST mimick those anti-forgery tricks (seals in faux-mideval times, what-have-you in modern times)

Sovereign Court ****

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Bill Dunn wrote:
deusvult wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I don't like DnD alignment system in general, and the CN "do whatever I want clause" just makes it worse. Some GMs talk tough on here, but I've never seen a PC marked evil; not even for killing NPCs who wanted to surrender.

"I do whatever I want" isn't CN.. it's CE.

No it isn't. It's evil if what you want to do, and actually do, are evil. "I do whatever I want" is really just the basis of any chaotic alignment and pretty much requires an understanding of what parameters operate around "whatever I want" to make any further judgment. "whatever I want" doesn't have to be evil at all.

I'm not replying to you to quibble, I'm just pointing out that you appear to have missed my larger point of that quote (and you perhaps ironically helped me make it- alignment definitions vary from gamer to gamer)

Sovereign Court ****

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I'm currently prepping this.

I can't resist but pointing out that the writer missed an obvious gem.

While the PCs are having their social encounter with Praetor to convince him of their worthiness, Amersanus should have totally reminded him Pathfinders are called "murder hobos" for a reason...

Sovereign Court ****

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Chris Mortika wrote:

So, are people inviting friends to "come back to Pathfinder Society" and focusing on Core Mode?

There are a few grognards in my area that I'm hoping the replay benny will attract back to active play.

But what I'm more looking forward to is my expectation that more people will be willing to take a stab at GMing b/c of the shorter learning curve involved.

Players who learn to GM in Core are only going to benefit Vanilla PFS.

Sovereign Court ****

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David Bowles wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Really? No one sees forcing a friend and trusted companion to die for you because you're too lazy to do it yourself as an evil act? There is a mechanic for that...
I've never seen this enforced. That makes it a non-rule. Give the druid some temp neg levels or SOMETHING.

There is that rather severe "something" he quoted right from the CRB. (you don't get another AC to replace it, oh or any more spells either. Ever.)

Sovereign Court ****

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It'd be easy enough to add appropriate languages as being always available in the PFSGOP.

If they want to get Core running before season 7 and the next guide, it'd even be easy enough to add an erratum to the current guide to that effect.

It's so obvious it should be done, and so easy to do, this should be a non-issue.

Sovereign Court ****

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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.

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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.

Sovereign Court

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With respect to #2:

Welcome to the byzantine world of feudalism and vassals.

Your minion's minions are not loyal to you per se, just as Akerlof asserted. If your minion ends up betraying you, his minions will follow his lead and ignore your orders to seize the traitor.

Sovereign Court ****

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That's willfully misreading Jiggy's post, fakebrock, and you know it. You saw his clarification that shouldn't have been necessary. Quibbling over gotchas doesn't add anything to the conversation.

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58. Have to talk like a Pirate.

closely related to the classic:

59. Have to talk in rhyme.

obviously both curses are most fun when the player is forced to deal with the curse even in OOC table talk.

Cursed PC's Player "Hey, does the door appear locked?"

GM: "I can't hear you."

Cursed PC's Player "..."

Cursed PC's Player "The door, present before me: Locked, seem it be?"

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Sounds like your players are tailor made for railroad storyline adventures.

All aboard the Plot-Train! Whoot-whoot!

Once they begin to get bored of or chafe at structure limiting their options, you can begin to re-introduce decision points, and eventually maybe even getting them into sandbox style adventuring. But sounds like they're either not ready for it right now, or simply not interested in it.

Sovereign Court

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One word:

Panopticon.

Then imagine what could be done with that idea in a world where one can bind critters that never sleep, eat, excrete, or even blink to service as guards.

It'll be pretty unbreak-out-able.

Sovereign Court

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My attitude is that a player isn't completely free in what he can do with his character.

The foremost and most unbreakable rule for character conduct is that the character's actions must be furthering the story of the party. No player has a right to break off from the party and hog the spotlight. No player has a right to use "but it's what my character would do" as an excuse for behavior that is detrimental to the party.

When you tell the players that you have those rules, even evil alignments can be rewardingly played.

Sovereign Court ****

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N N 959 wrote:
You're convoluting the discussion. The GM can add circumstance modifiers when applicable. There is no rule about how you smell in Pathfinder, just as there is no rule that you are thirsty. When's the last time your character took a drink in a scenario? The GM suddenly decides your throat is parched and you get -2 penalty on Diplomacy...no.

That's what we call a logical fallacy. Specifically, the Non Sequitur.

Just because it makes no sense that being thirsty negatively impacts Diplomacy it doesn't mean it makes no sense that being Smelly negatively impacts Diplomacy (in certain settings. Heck, being CLEAN might negatively impact Diplomacy with Gully Dwarves..)

Yes, Pathfinder is a game and not a reality simulator. However, Pathfinder doesn't give rules to lots of common things (like what exactly are the effects of being thirsty, or unwashed, or not having had a bowel movement in a couple days, and an infinite number of other circumstances) and instead leaves such things to the GM to decide. PFS doesn't reverse that paradigm; to insist that a PFS GM can't decide circumstantial situations when the rules reserve that responsibility to the GM simply because PFS says the GM can't make up house rules isn't just living up to the worst stereotype of a rules lawyer... it's Bad rules lawyering as your argument isn't even valid.

Quote:


The GM has to work within the rules. The Guide makes that clear.

And you'd do well to remember that the rules deliberately don't cover infinite circumstances that can plausibly come up in play and instead leave them to the GM's imagination to resolve. And the PFS Guide prohibitation against table GMs instituting their own house rules does not prohibit a GM from adjucating a circumstance that has no rule.

It's frankly ridiculous to argue that since the rules don't cover going to the bathroom that your character doesn't go to the bathroom, or that the GM cannot impose a circumstantial penalty to your Perception check during your all-night watch due to your bladder pains since you loudly and repeatedly insisted you never go to the bathroom.

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I'm going to go ahead and agree that it's not only heroic to go save your loved one, but also disagree with Kelsey that it's unrealistic for a fantasy character to do the "professional thing" and recuse oneself.

Recusals over conflicts of interest is a sort of modern world concept that just doesn't transplant well into a faux-medieval world fantasy settings are based upon. It's the same reason even though magical flight is a thing you still see castles looking like castles, rather than bunkers ringed with AAA sites. It doesn't *feel* right.

A magistrate stepping aside to allow another uncompromised agent deal with a threatened loved one just doesn't make sense in a setting where there are no laws against police brutality and there is no actual oversight on law enforcement.

Seriously, it's often the case of "the law is what I say it is". And not just in chaotic evil society exceptions, either.

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Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Christopher Rowe wrote:
I don't know, man. It seems analogous to an archer having not thought to buy arrows to me.
Most archers don't have to deal with over a hundred different bows, half of which don't require a specific arrow purchase.

Huh... I guess all those archers who want to carry 50 of every arrow type don't exist then.

I mean adamantine, silver, blunt, cold iron, tanglefoot, normal...

I had one archer claim he was carrying 300 arrows and had access to all 300 in combat.

I'm like, uh no.

If he accounted for the encumbrance, why not? There's not a clear mechanic in Pathfinder for how you carry your gear, just that you do carry it.

10 quivers is not any more ridiculous than 2-3 pole arms, an earthbreaker, a great sword, a battle axe, a bow and quiver, and 4-6 daggers. Oh, and a shield.

In home games, I draw the line at 1 pole arm. Can I do that in PFS, too?

Yes, yes you could, depending on what "drawing the line" constitutes. You even mentioned why: the rules don't cover how/where your gear is carried. Thus, it's up to the GM to adjucate cases when necessary, and it remains solely the GM's opinion of when an instance has become "necessary".

Now, It's probably not wise to pick that particular battle to fight, as "winning" has serious downsides with minor upsides, but pedantically speaking, you certainly COULD insist that a PC carrying gear with no physical (or magical) way to manage can be restricted or penalized in some way that you choose, even in PFS (and still be technically in the right).

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In home games I ban the "my parents were killed when I was little" backstory. I flat out don't allow it.

I make you be more original than that.

I'd go even further than that as a blanket policy statement. I'd say that depending on the campaign it's not only appropriate for a GM to influence the PC's backstory, but aspects of the mechanics of the character.

For example: if the campaign is written to follow the exploits of a band of knights in service to a March Lord, allowing the players to make a bunch of elfin wizards will just muck everything up.

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Small populations of Golarion is less of an affront to suspension of disbelief than cultural and technological stases lasting thousands of years.

It takes some difficulty to accept that arms and armor interred in tombs in ancient Thassilon or Taldor's Armies of Exploration are sufficiently similar to "modern day Golarion" counterparts as to have comparable stats. If I can accept that, I can accept population sizes.

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Kchaka wrote:
What are the odds of rolling 10d10 and at least one of them be a 10?

The odds of rolling 1d10 and having it not be a 10 is 9/10, or 90%.

The odds of rolling 2d10 and having no 10s is 9/10 of 9/10, or 81%.

The odds of rolling 3d10 and having no 10s is 9/10 of 9/10 of 9/10, or ~73%

You see the pattern.

The odds of rolling 10d10s and having no 10s is ~35%. If no 10s is ~35%, then the odds of rolling 10d10 and having at least one 10 is therefore ~65%.

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"I'm my own Ally!" needs its own song. It'd even be an epic cover.

I can already hear the chorus now.

"it sounds funny I know,
But it really is so!

I'mmmm my own aaallyyy!"

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Ideal party composition:

Someone who can sufficiently compromise with others so as to handle phoning in a pizza delivery and getting all the toppings correct.

Someone who is willing to be the mapper.

Someone with sufficient playing space to host the event.

Someone who enjoys being detail oriented to be the party record keeper.

An original thinker who can imagine novel solutions to seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

I think that about covers it.. no matter what character classes they play, the party is primed for success.

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I don't want to devalue Jeff Merola's comment above (because I agree with it), but I'm going offer a divergent substantive opinion.

What I see in the sentiment behind the OP is itself a problem. What do I see? The "RAW IS LAW!" stereotype.

The problem with that "RAW IS LAW!" view is the one expressing it sometimes:

1: Doesn't acknowledge that there are sometimes several ways to define "RAW".

2: Doesn't acknowledge the possibility that their cognitive understanding of the rules in question could be flawed.

Now, I'll stress that I'm not accusing the OP of EITHER of these failings. The problem is when you go down the "I'm right and you're wrong!" road you subject yourself to suspicion of failing one or both of those.

What the "RAW IS LAW!" stereotype virtually always is guilty of, however, is this:

Despite PFS being a single campaign with a single (but large and diasporic) leadership, it's still a roleplaying game. It's not what video gamers imagine when they hear "roleplaying game". The distinction is a discussion worthy of another thread (if not forum) but I'll stress for the purpose of this discussion is that roleplaying games, even PFS, are collaborative. You're never "right" when you insist "My way is the only right way!"

So, specifically with regards to the scenario of the OP, there is really one realistic outcome. Accept table variation. If the OP wants to allow Detect Magic to locate subjects of invisibility spells, great. Just don't insist that your understanding of RAW as superimposing another GM's understanding of RAI. Your table, your rules. His table, his rules. Accept it.

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Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
deusvult wrote:

if humans don't dominate the campaign, then the bonus feat isn't good enough.

If the campaign is supposed to be distinctive in that humans are not the (far and away) dominant race of the world, then that begs all kinds of interesting discussions. But your standard world where the norm is human and every demihuman place is special for not being human, it doesn't make sense for demihuman racial advantages to overtake human ones.

That assumes PCs should be reflective of the population as a whole, however.

Actually, it doesn't. The CRB provides races that are more or less balanced against each other. PCs are equal, but they are equally exceptional.

The default assumption for Pathfinder is that humans dominate the setting. Normally that assumption is based upon some idea that humans are noteworthy among all the sentient races at being so flexible- they can adapt to anything and generally drive innovation. This is the reason for the stereotypes that hobbits halflings live in the shadows of human cities, elves and dwarves are stuck in their decaying realms because of their stubborn sticking to outmoded ways of life, orcs and goblins don't threaten to overrun the world (without outside help leading them) because they too are too uncreative, etc.

If a setting takes the focus off humans (i.e. quits defining everything by how they compare to humans) it'd be a neat idea for a fresh look at racial abilities. But so long as humans are the literal center of the game/setting, and that center is based on being adaptable/ambitious, humans' racial abilities giving them the most flexibility is pretty appropo. It's just my own opinion that humans should dominate a party- that's completely separate from whether or not humans should dominate a setting. (they just usually DO)

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if humans don't dominate the campaign, then the bonus feat isn't good enough.

If the campaign is supposed to be distinctive in that humans are not the (far and away) dominant race of the world, then that begs all kinds of interesting discussions. But your standard world where the norm is human and every demihuman place is special for not being human, it doesn't make sense for demihuman racial advantages to overtake human ones.

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Star Wars operates on the rule of cool. It always has. (look at the physics of dogfighting starfighters for example)

Whatever problems a light-crossguard might have, and however negligible its benefits might be, it still looks cool. That's all it takes in Star Wars to "work".

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On the players' side of the GM screen, I don't have any fun at all when combats are a DPR contest between players rather than a true test of survival between the players and the NPCs. Rape is a harsh word to throw out there, but it does have an accepted definition as:
an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation:
"the rape of the countryside."

Looking at rape in that usage, I don't have fun (on either side of the GM screen) when the players rape the combat encounters. Or to take that potentially triggering word out of the discussion, I don't have fun (even as a player) when the players roflstomp the opposition.

The players don't have to feel a mortal threat for their PCs in EVERY encounter, sure. But neither should, IMO, any combat last less than 3 rounds. Especially BBEG fights. When you're creaming the opposition in 1 or 2 rounds, what fun is being had besides showing off one's skill at munchkining? Being a munchkin is one kind of fun, and PFS GMs aren't there to judge one kind of fun as being more valid than others. But the problem with munchkins is their fun necessarily impacts other kinds of fun in a negative way.

When the entire party subscribes to the munchkin mindset, then that's fine and dandy for the GM to provide monsters to do nothing more than get torn apart like so much wet tissue paper. But how often is that really the case? I know it's never the case when I'm on the players' side of the GM screen. I cannot be convinced that PFS GMs do not have a duty to look out for the non-munchkins who want to do something other than roflstomp every encounter.

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claudekennilol wrote:


PRD, CRB, Combat wrote:

Initiative

At the start of a battle, each combatant makes an initiative check.
You can't go into initiative outside of combat.

Actually, that's not what that means.

What that means is you can't go into combat without an initiative roll.

That's a fairly important distinction, since you appear to be saying combat can't happen until after initiative rolls happen.

That's demonstrably not the case. Example:

Party A and Party B are fighting. Party C is in the next room attempting to gain access into the room in which parties A and B are fighting. All Party C is doing at this point is attempting to open a door.

While Party C is attempting to gain access, some of Party A decides to go on overwatch and thump whoever is coming in through the door. This is completely within the rules, and combat doesn't "reset" just because party C has joined the combat. Party C is just rolled into the preexisting combat.

Some appear to be arguing that characters in Party A cannot have overwatch going on while party C is attempting to open the door unless Party B is also there fighting them. That's obviously ridiculous.

So, if one is going to stick literally to the rule that readied actions cannot happen "outside of combat", then what is "combat" must include a very broad definition that is more akin to "crisis situation". And that's not opinion, that's really a Must.

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I ran Paths We Choose for a party that was all 7th levels, with one 3rd level Magus who was an (ex) Scarnzi.

The poor 3rd level magus was thrust into the Exchange's faction quest geared to challenge the 7th levels. Not only did he survive, he shone.

Being the only player who's character was in that faction(s), the other players took the opportunity to zone out and let him struggle through the puzzle to find Gueril.

Once they did locate the ambush, he won initiative and was the first to escape the rowboat and get aboard the shipwreck to join Gueril's side. The devilfish went next, and stymied the rest of the party from immediately joining him.

Thanks to the programmed tactics, the NPCs ignored the level 3 and focused on Gueril, eventually dropping him. But by then the rest of the team began to get aboard, and proved much more dangerous than the magus and drew attention.

It still took the magus' player to coordinate the team (focus on the $%^& damn caster, people!) to turn the tide, all while he kept reviving Guaril and subsequently peeling assassins back to re-knock the scarnzi faction head below zero HP.. and staying close enough to prevent cheapshot coup-de-grace's (or rolling him overboard into the water to drown)

The magus even kill-stole the doomspeaker with a chintzy ranged hit (after the 2 zen-archer monks did the heavy lifting) and then bravely provoked an AoO from the last assassin in a futile attempt to grapple him and prevent an apparently coming suicide CDG. But eating the AoO allowed Guaril (who was delaying at that point, prone, weaponless, and staggered at 0 HP) to snatch back up his dagger and do an attack from the ground while benefitting from flank from the magus' position after surviving his brave grapple attempt.

TL;DR: Level 3 magus not only survived the high tier Exchange encounter in Paths We Choose, he was an MVP. And I wasn't even pulling punches on him, either.

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