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I too 'wasted' a replay under the impression that the replays would refresh the first day of every Gen Con. Had I known at the time that my replay wouldn't refresh, I wouldn't have spent it. I'd have rather played at that table for no credit and save the replay for a special boon or chronicle item for a character that could really make great use of it.
I suppose it's better to use a replay than never use it because you save it forever.. but mark me down as one of those who think it SHOULD refresh every year.
Just a curiosity, but why do so many people swear by the Point-Buy system? I understand that it is THE system used in Pathfinder Society, but why would anyone use it outside of organized play?
I'll see your complaint about min-maxing with a complaint about 'lucky' stats.. and raise you a complaint about intrinsic power level-disparity between characters of wildly different stat values.
We're just hell bent to disagree on everything each other says, it would seem.
Oath Against Fiends' wrote:
Bold text=emphasis mine.Banish what you cannot kill is 'clearly' RAI to be more accurately: Banish fiends that you can banish, but cannot kill.
For both in- and out- of game reasons, the PFS paladin MAY not kill the familiar. Important difference from CAN not. I stand by my assessment because either way destroying the imp is 'not within the paladin's power'. He can attempt to persuade the spellcaster from using the imp for the duration of the paladin's presence. He can opt to have nothing to do with the spellcaster. (Passive-aggressive 'PvP' IS still technically legal. "I can't hurt you or your imp, but neither do I have to heal either of you...")
If the paladin can't come to a happy place where he feels he's still in-character while still not trying to kill the imp, he shouldn't be playing the archetype. Perhaps, as you say, thats a 'trap' a new player might fall into. But, the perspective of the OP is 'am I being a jerk by having an Imp familiar'. No, he's not.
Here's another thought, before someone accuses me of wistfully missing the heady days of GMing Paranoia (because it's true ;)
Ruby Phoenix Tournament:
I played this yesterday in a 5 table, all day gala event. My table included 2 ranged characters that were each able to output 90-100 or more damage per round. 2 melee characters who could do almost as much. A tank with AC approaching 40, and getting 2 AoOs per missed attack on him. All of it PFS-legal.
Arrayed against us were numerous combat challenges. Pretty much exclusively, actually.
Now the important part of my example comes next.
Another player, at another table, told me how they all nagged their GM until he doubled the opposition they faced. Once he finally relented, they began being challenged. They even had a ton of fun. They still had an easy enough time of it however, that they had time to 'waste' actions gallavanting and playing up to the crowd in the scenario's performance combat.
Let's go back to my table. Our Gm ran strictly as written, as PFS dictates. I wish to hell we thought of convincing him to just double our oppposition like the other table did.. but we didn't. We quickly realized that if we wanted to earn any scenario specific victory points from performance combat, we'd only have 1 or 2 combat rounds to do so. We weren't competing with the opposition (because there WAS no competition).. we were competing with each other to see who can defeat the most NPCs the fastest. I mean.. tons of ranged DPR.. and none of the monks have deflect arrows? It was a turkey shoot.
Not only that, teamwork was disincentivized. The 'fun' aspects of playing up to the crowd was pretty much out of the question, since you didn't have any time for it.
So, to sum up (and to make a spoiler-friendly recap for those who don't want to be spoiled):
I spent 10 hours playing the adventure under a GM who ran-as-written, as PFS says you should. Had some intrinsic fun, sure, but it was a pretty dissapointing experience. While on the other hand, players at the table where the GM scaled the opposition to be more appropriate, they had a blast.
Ran as written: 10 hours of ho hum.
Just sayin'. Deviations aren't always improperly done and aren't always a detriment to PFS experience.
Some ideas for School on Wheels themed boons:
Volunteer Tutor: Spent time in-between pathfinder assignments tutoring the underprivileged. Pick one Knowledge Skill to become a class skill.
Little Brother/Little Sister: Your reputation for sponsoring the less fortunate preceeds you. Once per session, you may call upon a youngster in the local town to assist on a knowledge/local or gather information check.
Jason S wrote:
I'm pretty unapologetically on the side of "GMs can/should 'tweak' PFS scenarios."
Not only will the notion of restraining oneself not appeal to a sizeable portion of players.. that PFS has the opportunity to play up tiers means there's very real and tangible benefit to making optimized characters as ruthlessly efficient as possible.
In other words.. finding a happy medium in the arms race between optimized characters and written scenarios is not likely to work by putting the onus on players playing reasonable characters.
If giving Bob a fighting chance at resisting being grabbed and drug off WHILE keeping it secret from the rest of the party is the goal, here's an idea.
Once the grue begins its assault on Bob, you don't even mention it. You just keep a mental tally of how much in-game time is elapsing before the party realizes Bob is gone or under attack in the rear.
Once they realize it, they're free to take whatever actions they like to find Bob. Once they do, you don't tell them what they see. You put them in Time Stop and bring Bob back to the spotlight. He's left to his own devices to deal with the Grue for however many rounds it took the PCs to come to his rescue.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
I wouldn't be so hard headed about this if I actually could see the merit of opposing argument.
This is what I understand the counter argument to be:
GM rule Zero wrote for this case:
I don't see a single thing more to the argument than that. It simply boils down to a GM not only deciding he doesn't 'like' the concept, that he'd prefer to arrogantly insist his understanding of pharasmin canon is superior to the player's. Furthermore that he'd prefer to ruin that player's game rather than make it fun for him.
What am I missing?
Bob Jonquet wrote:
The problem is Bob, that the only way to avoid the 'fringe' cases is to know the mind of your GM. It approaches possibility for local play, but is extremely unlikely if there's a big enough population of players. And completely impossible for big cons.
Well, not unless you only play the stock characters.
Dumb fighter brute.
Skanky elf rogue chick.
Bleeding-heart healer cleric.
Sound like anyone you know? Well, mebbe calling Merisiel a 'skank' was uncalled for...
If no rules are being violated, what good is being served by a PFS judge saying 'no, I know things you don't know, I'm better educated, I'm more experienced, I'm more privy to VCs and M&M, etc'.
Let's put it another way by spinning it around.
Let's say *I* am that GM and someone comes to me with something that while being perfectly legal, seems to just not have a reasonable justification. Maybe a Paladin who worships Asmodeus (not intending to start a new flame war with anyone who might play one ;)
Perhaps he has some story I deem an 'excuse' that revolves around Cheliax and Hellknights, mebbe throwing in some Mendev Crusade, etc etc.
Andrew says I have the right to say "Not at my table, you're not."
I say I have an obligation to find the best way for everyone at the table to have fun. Not impose my view of Golarion on that player. The more invested in the game (particularly when LITERALLY invested monetarialy) the less inclined the player will be to 'reason' with me. I'm pleased we've kept it civil as we have in this thread for as long as it has.. but I think we all know that so often it devolves into Ross or someone else deleting posts and locking threads.
And that's about purely hypothetical issues that don't have a right here, right now impact.
If that player has spent hundreds, maybe more dollars to play a frikking RPG game, how are they going to take your decree from the ivory tower? Let me be clear, I'm speaking hypothetically and do not mean to imply threats, but if it were me being such a douche I'd honestly fear a violent reaction. Even if people keep their tempers in check, what the hell was the point? Did you have fun ruining that player's game? Probably not, or else you wouldn't be GMing for long as complaints mount. Did that player have any fun? Sure as hell, no.
Which is such a stupid approach when there are ways to resolve it where everyone still gets to enjoy the game.
I'm curious why you'd think this. Really.
A dhampir is not undead. Furthermore, for whatever resemblences a dhampir has to the undead, he didn't become one by dabbling with forbidden magics. He was literally born that way and has no control over whether or not he's a dhampir any more than an elf does being an elf.
You like analogies? Here's one.
During the Cold War the CIA and KGB taught their spies about each others' languages/societies/etc. Why? To make them into Commies/Capitalist Pigs? Of course not. So that they could better understand and operate against them.
Asmodeus might grant the Demon subdomain for similar reasons. Not to subvert his own clerics into the arms of his enemy. Come on, now.
It's just one idea for why Pharasma might grant the Undead domain.
Saying Pharasma would never ever under any circumstances grant Undead domain is the same thing as saying spies should never be taught the ways and languages of their enemies. It's pretty frikkin nonsensical ;)
Andrew Christian wrote:
Personal bias is completely the point. I just admit that mine has no legitimate place behind a GM screen. I may assume that every player of a halfling cavalier plays one just to use a medium sized mount underground/indoors, no matter what background story or roleplaying reasons they insist they have... But it's 100% legal and I'd sincerly give someone the benefit of the doubt before saying "not at my table, munchkin!" at a home game. And I'd be completely in the wrong to ban it at a PFS table.
To say that the Undeath Domain is completely verboten based on your interpretation of Pharasma's edicts/taboos/dogma is perfectly acceptable... for an in-character portrayal of an NPC. For a referee, it's simply personal bias and unbecoming of someone in the position of trusted authority.
Again, for what reason would Pharasma never ever grant that domain? All I'm hearing is "Because *I* say so." What's the logic? We all agree that Undead creatures are anathema to her and her faith. So what? What's that have to do with the Undead domain, besides the name? Is that all this is about, thinking Pharasma not only hates the Undead, but anything with 'Undead' in the name? A GM worthy of the responsibility should be able to look beyond that incredibly simple view.
Sure, it's obvious that she wouldn't grant it normally. That's why it's not a regularly available Subdomain, requiring the archetype to take. But as a neutral deity, (neutral) clerics of hers can already freely channel negative energy. If you're basing your opinions on that use of negative energy is an abomination against her faith, you're just simply mistaken. So what's the big unforgivable difference with the Undead domain? I say there is none.
I guess this is just destined to turn into a Pharasmin dogma debate thread.
How have I thrown Pharasmin canon under a bus? She grants the frikkin' death domain. Undead is a SUBdomain of a domain she grants. In Paizo's own canon. She virtually grants the undead domain even without using the archetype.
Where's this link that ties undead domain intrinsicly to the creation of undead? Why is it so impossible to study the nature of your foe so you understand them better, to be able to destroy them better?
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Well, since this is for PFS play and there is nothing in the Core Rules that says no, at least not until the Advanced Race Guide comes out, then this is not something Mike and Mark are likely to rule on til then. So as long as the character is mechanically legal and is not breaking specific Pharasmin laws like creating/controlling undead, then a GM should not be allowed to deny the player.
The undead domain does give Animate Dead as a domain spell, but then again so does the vanilla death domain. And Pharasma grants the death domain.
There's a blog where Paizo says that since Pharasma is 'not your typical' Death goddess.. and Animate Dead is such a no no in her worship, one may trade out Animate Dead domain spells for Speak With Dead. (Only for Clerics of Pharasma) It's even PFS legal.
So, leaving aside the question of whether one MUST trade out Animate Dead or not, since I do, what's so bad about the Undead Domain? Really?
Game Mechanics-wise, I wanted it for the touch attack. "Lol, now you have the negative energy reversi just like me! I can channel heals to my party and you can't piggyback! And it doesn't even need to be selectively channeled!"
Roleplayingwise? There's bigger stretches that are every bit as legal under the Seperatist Archetype. Heck, picking Undead is barely even using the archetype.. its a subdomain of a domain Pharasma already does grant. But for example the Fire Domain? For Pharasma? Really? Oooook... makes no sense whatsoever but sure, be a Pharasmin cleric who can cast burning hands...
Sure. To some degree there's a 'you can't be serious' reaction to be expected at the combination of 'dhampir cleric of pharasma with undead domain'. And in light of that, I feel that I had an obligation to ensure I had a solid rationale behind it. *shrug* honestly, I think I came up with a logical explanation.
And yeah, the Godsmouth Heresy was such a fun time that this character was thought up in its aftermath. :)
What's so unreasonable about it? It's not Animate Dead can't be swapped for Speak With Dead for Pharasmin clerics with the Death domain (of which Undeath is a Subdomain), which I already have anyway from my other Domain, so it's not like I'm optimizing a munchkin here.
Is it that there can't possibly be a story?
Parents: Ew. Wow. Leave this freak of a baby of ours on the steps of the church. Those Pharasmins will know what to do with him, if anyone will.
Clerics: Grow! Learn! Revere Pharasma in all her aspects!
Me: So, what's with this undeath thing that she hates so much? Why am I half that?
Clerics: Don't go there. It leads to the Dark Side.
Me: I am intrigued by this 'dark side' and wish to know more.
Clerics: Get out.
Me: Hey pathfinders, need a healer?
I mean, it's not like I'm playing a halfling cavalier that has absolutely NO possible roleplay justification ;)
I play a cavalier and have had good success 'without' a mount.
I do in fact use the mount.. it's just rarely riding it. I took the trait to make UMD a class skill & have a few scrolls of spider climb and reduce animal so that the horse is able to join me effectively even on underground expeditions (not sure how often that happens in CR, though)
Once you get enough levels to boost the mount to int 3, you can teach it Teamwork feats and synergizes rather well with your tactician ability. (mount is flanking and knows same tmwk feats you do, don't need to burn a use of the ability!)
One doesn't have to invest in the mounted combat/ride by atk/spirited charge feats in order to play a cavalier. The class abilities you get for free already make you a viable mounted combatant.. and if you pick feats that work whether mounted or not, you're not hamstrung in the majority of time it is impossible (or inappropriate) to ride. I went with the power attack chain.. two handed weapon hits with cavalier's challenge.. things don't stay up for long and I'm not built around a mounted charge.
I also like the amount of skill points. My cavalier is equal parts melee combatant and 'face' character for a party.
Kudos to you for not wanting to play a halfling or gnome cavalier ;) Down with cheese! Play regluar sized cavaliers at every turn!
An idea that might work is to have some sort of a station.. and most importantly.. TIME set aside prior to game slots scheduled start. Probably need to be run by someone OTHER than the GM(s) so that they can still prep as normal... and have someone to run the audit station while the inevitable lateys trickle up.
Why would a player subject himself to the scrutiny? Well, as you thought, some might appreciate honest criticism. But another idea that I'll throw out is piggy-backing off the t-shirt reroll idea.
Allow anyone who got their character audited a free reroll in the session.
Negative Energy Affinity (Ex) The creature alive, but reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead—positive energy harms it, negative energy heals it.
It seems pretty cut and dried that B is the correct answer.
Aka, yes the NEA (or Oracle of Bones, or any other 'reversi' character) count as alive in all ways except when subject to channeling, when he's considered undead instead.
So... When channeling, the creature counts as undead. So with positive energy, a heal simply ignores the Dhampir. (a dhampir cleric can channel positive energy for a heal and doesn't even need to exclude himself, he'll just be ignored by the effect) A harm undead channel harms him, even though he's living. With negative energy, an undead heal heals him. With a living nuke, he's ignored.
I'm more than familiar with the paladin LOH/NEA thread.. I'm the 'muchkin/rules laywer/or worse' who started it.
Even I'm not saying LOH can heal undead (or dhampirs) anymore, in light of the admission that while RAW it might work, the RAI was that it did not (and that the rules could be written a ton more watertight).
The LOH and NEA thread is here.
The Dev's perspective (and a NEA/Healing sister thread) can be found here.
I find that the question that still is unresolved and FAQ-worthy is whether heals that don't say they're positive energy besides LOH are ALSO considered positive energy. Can a dhampir heal via goodberries? Monk Wholeness of Body? Celestial Sorcerer bloodline ability? etc, etc, etc.
The more Paizo appeals to people who are not socially inept, white, male, and pubescent-young adult in age, the better it is for them and the RPG hobby, and in turn for all of us who enjoy the hobby.
They have walked a fine line so far.. presenting some "oh by the way, X is gay"s for sake of inclusiveness.. without "rubbing it in the reader's face"s. If one is of a mind to prefer X isn't gay afterall, it's easy enough and no rewriting of adventures or material is necessary. It's a matter of delicacy.. if they give the subject too much attention and they'll inevitably end up causing more mess than it's worth to deal with.
If a GM wants to run a Pathfinder game in Golarion where, for example, homosexuality is caused by demonic influences but can be cured via Remove Curse... more power to him. Paizo doesn't have to go on record as whether that's how it works in Golarion or not.. GM Rule 0 will trump such a clarification anyway. If the players are offended, they can find another game. Paizo gains nothing by saying anything one way or the other.
This just in:
Famous adventurer Lamey McWeakSauce escaped from Prince Humperdink's dungeons using naught but his adamantine sewing needle!
Internet-witness news reports that McWeakSauce left a 5' wide tunnel, burrowed through the 20' of solid stone castle foundation to reach the inner bailey.
Mord, head gaoler, is at a loss to explain the miraculous escape. "Well, uh, Mord no know whut happen. Me suppose Lamey McWeakSauce convinced GM that adamantine ignore all stone hardness.."
The prince's CSI (Corerules Stretching Incident) detectives have been more forthcoming. They report that the 20' thick stone wall had something called 'hit points' in a total value estimated at around 3600. They furthermore believe that Lamey McWeakSauce used the needle hidden somewhere upon his person to dig at the wall in units of time they refer to as 'rounds', which this reporter is informed to be roughly 6 seconds. Furthermore detectives stress that they have no proof, but believe that the sewing needle was 'wieded two handed' for something called 'one and a half strength bonus'. Even managing only '1 hp per round' of damage, CSI detectives estimate it took about 360 hours of attacking the wall, or roughly 15 days of work. Mord has gone on record to state that 'it good thing Lamey didn't have adamantine katana instead.'
Prince Humperdink has not commented on the escape, except as follows. "If Lamey McWeakSauce were as good a regular lawyer as being a rules lawyer, he never would have found himself convicted and incarcerated in the first place..."
I love to reward players who take profession skills. One that comes right to memory is when PCs were searching a dockside warehouse for some macguffin in some crate, I let one of them use his profession/laborer skill check in place of a prodigiously lengthy search via a mundane perception check. After all, as a professional laborer he'd know how crates are organized in a warehouse, especially ho to differentiate piles of crates just offloaded from crates waiting to be loaded.
Not only did he get to have some use for an obscure skill, he ALSO saved the party tons of time by bypassing the search check time based on area (an entire warehouse) and degree of details involved (full of thousands of crates).
Adamantine weapons ignore 20 hardness. Yes, it's a rule.
However this is also a rule:
Ineffective Weapons: Certain weapons just can't effectively deal damage to certain objects. For example, a bludgeoning weapon cannot be used to damage a rope. Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer.
One can argue till one is blue in the face about how an adamantine weapon (katana or not) should carve through stone as easily as butter, but the GM is perfectly within his rights to say a sword of any kind will never do any damage to a stone wall, excepting superficial scratches. He doesn't even need to use the default "GM is always right" rule.
Not saying every GM should rule such a way, just pointing out that a GM MAY rule that way and arguing against such a ruling is expressing sour grapes at best. If you love the idea of an adamantine katana slashing through castle walls and bank vaults with the greatest of ease.. my point is keep in mind it won't fly at every table. Best to ask your GM his view on the topic before you commit.
If you don't draw a distinction between fantasy & space opera, David Weber's Honor Harrington series fits the bill of what you're looking for.
It's actually less science-fiction-y than you might think at first glance.. it's nearly a reskinned telling of the napoleonic wars from the perspective of a young british (make that manticoran) naval officer.
Once upon a time during a Seventh Sea campaign, I played a brash Eisen who suffered from a disadvantage that granted the GM the ability to force the player to take a course of action that the player discusses as an option during table-talk.
We started an expensive, impressivly produced adventure path style boxed set. The planned story arc first exposes the players to the arch-villain during a gala ball, importantly set many stories high up in a gothic structure.
As me and the other players talked out-of-character about how this obese, pompous NPC coming into the ball was obviously our future villain, I said how funny it would be if we just threw him out a window here and now.
And the GM decided to trigger my brashness disadvantage, and committed my character to the ill-advised idea.
With no time to plan something smartly, as if murdering a prominent member of high society in front of hundreds of witnesses ever COULD be smartly planned.. I simply introduced myself and invited his portliness to accompany me to the fine buffet table, conveniently near giant stained glass windows.. and in front of the horrified party and assembled guests, heaved the not-yet-revealed-yet-suspected-nonetheless villain out to his messy end a hundred feet below.
Luckily for me the highly cinematic nature of the game system allowed me to survive the immediate fallout of my character's brash actions, but the GM was then forced to figure out how to play the rest of the expensive, spiffy boxed adventure after he made me literally throw the planned story arc out the window...
I'll throw in.
I accept their rulings, of course.
Agree with and fully support? Well, the latter definately. The former, mostly. The difference between mostly agree and completely agree is literally another thread.
At any rate, what they're doing is an example of good customer service, so that's to be commended.
Well there's rules as written and rules as intended. (RAW vs RAI). I said how I thought it was RAW. As far as RAI, it's not just wishful thinking.
How else would a feat represent the ability of someone skilled in stealth to direct (and time) the moves of his less skilled comrades, to include providing distractions to compensate for glaring mistakes of Sir Clanks-alot? Surely something along this train of thought could be done, and it's not by any means a stretch to say it could be done. A feat worded the way I say it is (RAW) would do exactly this.
As far as the (yet unvoiced, but suspected to be harbored) opinion that it'd be overpowered... it doesn't even work unless all members pay the rather steep feat tax.. or be given out via a tactician (who are prone to be Sir-Clanks-Alots to begin with and unlikely to be giving it out anyway..)
Ultimate Combat wrote:
Stealth Synergy (Teamwork Feat)
Working closely with an ally, you are able to move like twin shadows.
While you can see one or more allies who also have this feat, whenever you and your allies make a Stealth check, you all take the highest roll and add all your modifiers to Stealth.
So, unless I'm mistaken, there's several ways to interpret that. Let's use an example.
Let's say Valeros has +2 Dex modifier, no ranks in stealth, and -6 armor check penalty. Merisiel has +4 Dex, 5 ranks in stealth, and -1 armor check penalty. Alain has +1 Dex, 1 rank in stealth (but it's not a class skill), and a -5 armor check penalty.
So let's say Alain uses tactician to give everyone Stealth Synergy to sneak past some orc sentries or something.
Valeros rolls a 20.
The first part is easy. We'll discard the 10 and 6 and keep the 20. The tricky part is what comes next. There's two ways to read "you all take the highest roll and add all your modifiers to Stealth".
Way #2 (and naturally the way I want it to work)
So which is it? If anyone is even using teamwork feats.. and it seems few are.. which way are you using it at your tables?
You get Hit Points, which as you level up are mainly an expression of how good you are at defending yourself from harm.
Consider a 10 point hit from a sword:
Lethal at 6HP.