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+1 to the not-evil cleric of a evil deity detecting as evil, as he has an evil aura. +1 to the not-evil cleric not suffering effects of smite, as smite triggers on actual alignment, unlike Detect Evil. +1 to the possibility of a Paladin "detecting" evil, only to find out smite doesn't do anything. The converse is also true.. an evil character under effect of misdirection won't detect as evil, but smite will still work.
By extension, someone that is not-evil but under effect of Infernal Healing is also immune to smite for all the same reasons.
Not at all. In fact, given the complexity of what's legal for PfS, having a legal outlet like retraining is necessary, or else people will just cheat and illegally retrain choices that aren't working out.... if they have no legal way to do so.
I think we're having a big disconnect on what counts as an exorbitant price. 1PP/day is imo not exorbitant. Only time you can't afford that (once) is level 1, when you have infinite retrains anyway. By the time you're mid-to-high level, you're usually swimming in prestige with nothing to otherwise spend it on but vanities. You can easily afford a handful of retrains even w/o dipping into savings for raise dead.
Well, I don't think retraining should be a common assumption in builds. You can do things via retraining that you simply cannot do without retraining.. feats are just the tip of the iceberg. I'm pleased with the balance struck... retraining is still available to legally correct/undo regretted investments, but it's expensive enough that retraining shouldn't cause a power divide in PFS characters.
I'm saying I feel the prestige cost DOES fix the abuse/loophole. If you really want to do the change, you'll pay the cost. If you just want to fit some build together that only works via retraining... probably not so much.
The loophole/potential for abuse only exists due to the disempowered nature of GMs in PFS. In regular play the GM can always just not allow the retrain to happen... but to allow that veto in PFS is to make major changes to PFS with implications far beyond retraining.
While I emphasize...and even approve of the retraining rules' inclusion in PFS play....
There's a world of difference between realizing you would rather have had Power Attack and retraining to grab it, and retraining to get it on your level 2 that didn't qualify for it at lvl 1. Not only do you now have to not wait until level 3 for PA, at level 3 you already have PA plus whatever else. Retraining lets you retroactively qualify for/ignore prerequisites, and unless retraining is kept rare it literally breaks game balance.
Appropriate or Excessive?
If I have to pick between the two, I'd pick Appropriate. If anything, the 1PP/day price is too low.
The "true" cost for retraining, as given in Ultimate Campaign, is the downtime that keeps your PC off adventures. In PFS, you get infinite downtime between chronicles at no cost. If it were just a couple hundred gold for the cost of retraining, given that there's no GM enforced "sanity check" for rebuilds... well it'd be ugly to combine a retroactive qualifiction dimension to "character builds". For example, if there weren't a Prestige cost, the only level 10-11 level Witches with any non-Major hexes would be owned by those players who lack the "system mastery" to retrain all their hexes gained from levels 1 to 9.
I'm going to offer some advice that is provisionally counter to what's been said above about "not changing things".
First of all, "not changing things" is a fuzzy concept in PFS scenarios. You can't change stats/numbers/equipment/feat selections, but you can change basically everything else. It's a well known "exception" to not changing things that you certainly can (and may) alter specified tactics should the players' actions render them ineffective/moot. From the mouth of Mike Brock, you can invent entire encounters such as town guards to deal with players' actions that sensibly require their presence (the party rogue insisted on stealing from a shop keeper, and then got caught..). So, the "don't change things" rule should more accurately be summarized as "don't change things*" with a big ole asterisk.
Continuing on that topic, sanctioned modules are not written for PFS's assumptions about GMs "not changing things*". For example, when I run Master of the Fallen Fortress I include an entirely self-made-up VC briefing stage where the players are told that Balenar has gone missing while exploring the Fallen Fortress and their mission is to rescue him or recover his body, and finish his chronicling of the site. If I don't make such a "change" to the module, the PCs are simple non-pathfinder explorers who by the end of the module are invited to consider joining the society. Nonsense for PFS play where you are mandated to play Pathfinder Field Agents. I'll tell anyone, up to and including PFS brass, that this kind of change fits fairly within the asterisk and is therefore not only fair game, but expected of us to do as a GM meeting our obligation to strive to provide the best play experience for the players.
With regards to The Harrowing, I was also troubled by Biyo's timeline when I prepped the module. I also had to wrap my mind around what would happen if the players simply made him accompany them everywhere... the module seemed to be written with the assumption that the players would just go "thanks info spigot NPC, go along your merry way now!"
I will go ahead and concur with the advice given upthread that making him actively but secretly work against the players isn't a good idea.. but perhaps I'd say so for a different reason. In my view, the module already has a written-in mechanic for the tyrant becoming aware of the PCs' presence via their cumulative successes over several scenes so for THAT reason it's difficult to fit such a change within the asterisk.
As for the ultimate goal of making the dragon more of a challenge... you probably won't need to do anything to "plus him up". Unless the PCs can somehow enter the keep and make it all the way to his observatory without raising any kind of ruckus (about impossible, in my view) his called-out tactics, iirc, are already to be invisible and just roflstomp the party after they enter. With his mage armor buff, SR, immunities, and good saves, the party will be sufficiently challenged to defeat him as-is. The written-in card mechanic is meant to give them the fighting chance.. if they blew it early, then they blew it.
The way I see it, that worry is not a big deal. Players will know a monster has DR upon striking it w/o the "correct" damage without benefit of a successful knowledge check... so what's the harm in learning about SR in an analagous way?
However, with respect to the OP, there's nothing wrong with rolling SR checks for the players. Honestly, there's nothing saying the players are entitled to make their own d20 rolls to hit, to save, etc. If you want to take the burden on yourself to roll something on the player's behalf, bully for you. Just keep in mind that having to ask "do you have spell penetration?" renders moot any obfuscation you're trying to achieve. If you want to roll in secret on behalf of the players, you need exceptional familiarity with the PCs.
The answer depends on how exactly your spider-man web slinging works. Do your webs count as entangling, or pinning?
As if entangled? Then "no", no CDG b/c the entangled victim does not meet the criteria for "helpless".
As if pinned? Then "yes". However, putting the pinned condition on someone via ranged attack is immensely powerful... if your GM is allowing it I'd expect him to revisit that decision once you start winning fights just by succeeding on a single ranged atrack.
Edit: It may be illustrative to point out that basically every "web" ability in the game (certainly all the ones that are coming to my mind at any rate) apply the entangled condition, and not the pinned condition. Of course, what happens in your game may vary.
I accidentally gave one of my players 20000 gold at level 2 what can he buy in the small village of torch?
He can buy the attention of all the nearest-by thieves who wouldn't have too much problem knocking over a level 2 PC.
But if you don't mind if he blows WBL assumptions out of the water for your campaign, maybe consider some kind of (minor) staff being available. Those things are uber expensive, and arguably overly-so.
Bill Dunn wrote:
I suspect you (and Wei Ji the Learner) are bending over backwards to find reasons to disagree with me. I can't otherwise comprehend how you can fail to see how playing in ways so as to deliberately undermine the party's ability to successfully complete the scenario is NOT being a jerk.
Implicit vs explicit. And by implication via other rules. Also, remember context. These "rules" (with hindsight I wish I used the word "expectations" instead) were listed in support of why a player may not play a pregen in a self-destructive way.
3) if an Agent is incompetent, then that Agent wouldn't have been kept on duty. Ergo, you are expected to not be useless to the team. Rules-speak, because that'd be a systematic violation of "Don't Be A Jerk".
4) violation of versimilitude, and rules regarding mandatory removal of afflictions (see below). Field Agents have a ton of agency. You are expected to not be playing someone being forced to be a Field Agent against his will because if your PC doesn't want to be one, why doesn't he take advantage of the infinite possibilities to bail on the Society that arise in the field? You may not say he's being magically compelled to serve either, because of the rules regarding mandatory removal of afflictions, even if you were to somehow insist your character has been Geased or whatever. Heck, an entire third of your mandate to "Explore, Report, and Cooperate" precludes even the possibility of playing someone who wants to undermine or otherwise not be fully in support of furthering your assigned mission for the scenario.
It's a meta rule that there's no evil allowed. In universe there is no such rule. In fact, I'm pretty sure certain high ranking NPCs are evil. And that's even before touching on the shady behavior of the Decemvirate..
As for the field agents... the in-universe mechanic that weeds out evil agents is simply the normal bureaucratic processes.
*Asmodean Cleric who's turned evil goes to his performance review*
You're unlikely to get a Paizo Person to comment in any thread where you ask them to, but you can point your friend to the rules for Natural Attacks on pages 301-302 of the Bestiary. Neither slams nor any other type of natural attack make use of the 2 hand rules damage rules, so there's literally no such thing as a 2 handed natural attack.
In fact, in place of the usual bonuses to-hit and damage, you use the special rules for natural attacks. That should pre-emptively silence any possible "but the rules don't say they DON'T use two handed weapon rules..." rebuttal.
I didn't realize that PFS brass was the source of the conflating griefing with the rules change.
All I can assume is that they see something I (and apparently several others) haven't. Since they have access to reporting numbers, I suppose they've seen enough 1st chronicle perma-deaths reported more frequently than other perma-deaths that they felt retroactive pregen assignment was the best explanation and addressed it accordingly.
I still like the change. It just rubs me as abusive to be able to sign in to get credit for an invested PC, then retroactively change your decision later on if you don't like the outcome of the adventure. IMO doing so to avoid paying off a death is as "wrong" as to re-assign a boon/magic item availability to another pc after seeing the chronicle.
I heartily agree with the calculus voiced upthread that when playing a pregen your choice of "risk" or "no risk" being something you have to make ahead of time is a fine and appropriate mechanic. If people refuse to play because of it.. well people will always refuse to play over rules to which they sufficiently object. I refused to play PFS for over a year (partially) because I didn't want to play with the glut of Kineticists going though the level pipeline at the time. People do what people do.
So, I asked before I'll ask again.
What's wrong with just using the tools that are already there to deal with other kinds of griefing, culminating with the "nuclear option" of kicking them from the game, before they get someone's invested PC killed?
From my POV, the worst case scenario is the non-griefers have to continue through the rest of the adventure short handed. (and even that can be mitigated by several GM tactics, including but not limited to strategic fudging of NPC die rolls to tone down the opposition to address the party's undermanned state, or having a non-griefer or even the GM continue to run the pregen as a productive member of the team in the griefer's absence).
If I decide I want to play Mirisiel as Suzzie Suicide to the detriment of the party, how does the rule change stop me?
Well, from my point of view is the question is a non sequitur. Rules about sign-in/credit assigning don't HAVE to cover this topic, since other rules already do.
PFS provides limitations on what GMs are allowed to do, and everyone is aware of this. I suspect that matching limitations on what players are allowed to do is being overlooked in this thread. If you're playing Merisiel as Suzie Suicide you are NOT playing her in accordance with the motivations/background provided to you on her NPC pregen handout. You don't "get" to play her as Suzie Suicide, and if you try you're likely violating the "Don't Be a Jerk" rule and imo subject to being booted if your behavior is sufficiently detrimental to the other players' play experience. Like getting their invested PCs killed from afar by pregen death.
Seriously... look at what players are required to do with their roleplaying in PFS:
1) Not allowed to be evil
Some scenarios toss these assumptions aside and let you play things like Goblins or Aspis agents, but in my experience those have cautionary sidebars for the GM to explain to the Players that the game is still a PFS game, and still subject to all the other rules... especially those regarding player behavior.
You can't retroactively change who you're playing/giving credit to under any other circumstances, so why allow it in the example of playing a pregen.... it's bad/inconsistent policy to allow a retroactive reassignment.
I also agree with the thinking about players being incentivized to play responsively if they're assigning credit to an invested PC.
Also, based on my anectotal-yet-fairly-substantial experience with PFS, I don't think griefers are a serious threat. I'm convinced (but prepared to hear why I might be mistaken on this) that GMs simply enforcing the "Don't Be A Jerk" rule takes care of any threat from griefing.
Not having ever seen the described griefing tactics described in this thread actually occuring as opposed to theoretically being possible, I have a sincere question for those who have had to deal with it:
Doesn't just kicking them from the table, handing them their short chronicle, and moving on without their influence fix the problem?
Regardless, I'm heartily in support of a rule where you sign in with a PFS character number and may not retroactively change it in the event of a pregen death.
For me, the weirdest part from a writing aspect was why just the one (undead crusader) theme had the macguffins. I presume it's a patch to allow/encourage social resolitions with the minions of that theme (and maybe even with the BBEG) but it seems like a bad patch if this is the case... because you're likely to come to a final resolution upon making the encounter... either you try and succeed, or try and fail and then kill the minions, or don't even try and just kill them on sight. It seems to me that the GM has to contrive things so that the minions are not decisively dealt with prior to doing the macguffins, or else there's no point to doing the macguffins.
That's my negative criticism I guess.... but please don't take that as harsh criticism. I love the bold new direction PFS is experimenting with and despite having a minor quibble with one aspect of the design, I think you did a laudible job of designing both a skeleton and a corpus of options for fleshing out that skeleton.
Heather Vigil wrote:
The entire concept of using macguffins for the undead crusader storyline is something I'm still not entirely sold on. Seems to me that 99 times out of 100 the players will just kill the minions upon encountering them. Ditto for the BBEGs, for that matter. I worry that the extra work to fit the plot macguffins in is just a waste of time 99% of the time.
See my post upthread about how I handled it... I gave the minions tactics to minimize the odds the PCs could kill them upon first encountering them and therefore render the entire miniplot moot... I had the shadows take advantage of incorporeality perform a hit and run campaign against the PCs that the players not only found unfun, would have left me painted into a corner if they didn't/couldn't complete the macguffin quests. Plus it ate lots of clock, which is a significant drawback on a timed game slot. Not sure I'd go with that angle again.
Honestly, doesn't seem like a big loss to just drop the whole miniplot from a presentation using the undead crusader theme.
The spells are deceptively light on details like "does delivering a touch spell provoke an AoO?" because such rules are given once so thay each spell doesn't have to restate them in their own descriptions. Certainly review the beginning of the chapter... it answers lots of questions, probably even a few you didn't know you had!
So yeah, as mentioned above, usually it's just one roll deliver a Bad Touch spell: the melee touch attack itself.
In the event you can't cast and then step up, it's still only two rolls. Either:
Some quick questions and a bigger one (about character engagement, when I, the GM, might have screwed myself over)
I partially agree, but I want to voice the disagreement aspect.
If destroying 30% of an enemy's power is as simple as succeeding on a CMB check versus the opponent's CMD (which is very often lower than AC anyway), why wouldn't you?
Now, granted, there are two important caveats and they're responsible for the degree to which I agree with Sundakan.
1) The NPC can't just be tapping the GM's omniscience and has to have a good in-character reason to know what to try to sunder.
2) It shouldn't just be a spite tactic to do before one dies. If it's early in the fight and the NPC thinks it might help ensure that the NPC wins the fight, so long as #1 is met it's a fair game tactic to destroy part of your opponent's power to engage in combat against you. Doing it as a NPC's dying attack at single digit HPs is normally just spiteful GM-ery. Unless of course the NPC isn't really facing imminent death (is a graveknight, has magical contingencies, etc)...
You can say what you think Murderhobo means. I can say Murderhobo means killing people to take their stuff. Since it's a made up word, we can agree to disagree or try in vain to prove the other wrong. I'll go with the former.
I don't mind grognard, either. I too embrace it as a badge of honor to reclaim the word (and it WAS a badge of honor in original use anyway).
Murderhobo doesn't particularly bother me either... to me using the term is more of a criticism of the way d20 rules predicate character capability on the loot they've accumulated than it is criticising player behavior in greedily grabbing every loose bit of magic not
I've even used another word for it that's caught on with my players.. "Greyhawking" is shorthand for searching the dead for valuables. "Let's Greyhawk up these prisoners." To the DM: "We Greyhawk the room." When I get to play, I even get some occasional enjoyment out of stating that my character is searching the "pockets" of slain monsters like snakes and swarms.
I'm another one who started as a wee tadpole not yet out of his first decade in life. My first D&D stuff was the 1981 basic set with the iconic Erol Otus artwork on the cover, quickly followed by the soon-to-be released red boxed set and eventually the AD&D hardback books you used to be able to buy in Toys R Us for $9.99 each...
The above is a decent example of what I was talking about.
Actually, you're not giving yourself enough credit. I did indeed see your referenced post. I didn't quote you but I was indeed responding directly to it. (Apologies for any confusion on failing to quote-wasn't trying to imply your view was without value by contradicting it). I felt a countering/divergent opinion had its place, coupled with an explanation.
I'd have thought someone espousing the virtues of playstyle relativism wouldn't be absolutist in one's own view ;)
people talking about "builds" does truly rankle me because it makes it sound like the mechanical choices made about what abilities to select are the most important aspects of a roleplaying game persona.
I may be old fashioned but I still think background stories and motivations are instead the most important aspects of a character.
Well, what's tHe point of bothering to go thru finding three macguffins, figuiring out that they ARE plot items, and then figuirng out how to use them (imo about impossible w/o some guidance) in the other two undead arc BBEG themes?
I ran this last night with Michiko. I had the shadows creeping out and taunting the party for a while from (incorporeal) safety from within the walls. Noone thought to even try to diplomacize or intimidate, which I don't blame them. I'd have been surprised if they even thiught it an option.
I assigned tHe (combat) encounter to the linked set of 3 rooms with the same description.. the violated halls of names in the Lastwall setting I was using. I used the tactics of shadows ambushing the tail end charlie each time the party left each room, only to escape back into the walls when the party converged back to pritect their tail. AFter the second time the shadows did this, they started voicing OOC frustration that the shadows aren't standing and fighting to the death. I dropped my first hint by telling them "maybe there's another way to deal with them."
When they found the Pharasmin shrine, I decided to go ahead and include a Noisoi like I was considering upthread. The players ended being told by a little bird, literally, about the existance of the 3 plot macguffins and the shadows' background as former heores. THe party immediately tried talking the shadows down but narrowly failed the DC. THey set out and then did the macguffin quests, managing to find and complete all 3 before stumbling over where I seeded Michiko. (However, despite my efforts to describe how the suitable location to perform the lamp ritual looked to the players, noone put two and two together. I ended up giving everyone a wis check... "hey guys, remember that Tien folktale your characters remember? Here's a statue right next to a paladin painted on the wall... any bells ringing NOW?)
Once they did all 3 mini quests, I retroactively applied their bonus to the earlier talk-down attempt and quit having the shadows torment the party.
New order of busines: I put the rift in Michiko's room, since it said she likes to "be near it". I was afraid the negative energy would make her too tough, but the players did perform tactically well to recognize and compensate. THey focused on her mook armors first, then the 2d6 per round heal she was getting by standing next to the rift wasn't enough to compensate for an entire party's combined damage per round.
John Napier 698 wrote:
.... Any party without a source of Divine magic is seriously hamstrung. Your party will spend more time resting between fights than actual adventuring.
That's not necessarily a bad thing if a party spends 3 or 4 days resting up in camp after each life or death confrontation. You'll burn thru supplies faster, sure... but managing challenges like "do we have enough trail rations to keep staying out here" is part of the charm of low level adventuring that you lose as soon as you get so much as a wand of CLW. Or maybe that's the old school grognard in me speaking....
I'd expect that I'd enjoy playing with anyone through which I've slogged through a spirited "forum discussion". It'd be healthy for most of us, I think, to be able to have some personal experience with our verbal sparring partners beyond a faceless, "this guy who doesn't know how wrong he is AGAIN" internet persona.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Highly evil characters can simultaneously be highly honorable. There's no contradiction there. The caricature of the "Black Knight" is predicated upon this being so. See also basically every samurai villain, ever.
My -1 character is a Cavalier. I didn't particularly build around mounted combat, focusing on being a hybrid fighter/party buffer that happened to have some niche bonuses while mounted. So I was happy to leave my horse (anyone who makes a cavalier with any mount other than a horse or camel is a filthy munchkin ;) ) behind on entire scenarios.
with this "meh" level of enthusiasm for mounted combat I didn't get my first oppprtunity for a mounted charge with a lance in hand until level 7. By then I had enough to-hit bonuses that a hit would be all but assured, to boot. I also had the rare occurance of getting to charge something that wasn't already engaged in combat with buzzkilling partymates, which was a big deal for my Order of the Cockatrice challenge bonus.
Of course, I rolled a nat 1.
Another question, this time directed towards the GMs familiar with this scenario:
What avenue do you plan to use to drop hints that players may attempt social resolution to the undead crusader encounter arc? I mean, absolutely the possibility of a social resolution should be on the minds of players in the raiders arc. ALmost as much so on the dragon arc, and it's unlikely but within the realm of possibility that they'd consider a social resolution with orcs.
But with undead? Only way I can see the notion even crossing players' minds is if they're using meta knowledge of the scenario's other arcs all allowing for a non-combat resolution.
I'm thinking about adding a CR2 Noisoi psychocomp to the Pharasmin shrine room as a potential information spigot npc. An NPC that would just stay invis and if need be fly away from the PCs if they're disrespectful of the shrine. Adding encounters is normally taboo, but that rule exists to minimize table variation. THis scenario bends over backwards to maximize table variation in the name of replayability... so is it still unacceptable to add a spigot encounter in this case?
Super pedantic question for the writer/Paizo people, regarding the Lastwall Undead Crusader combination:
In the VC briefing stage the PCs learn the sisters lived in the 37th century. The general's epitaph in area B1 dates to the 39th century.
Is that a discontinuity, or did the locals not bury the tomb until centuries after the sisters' death and BBEG's fall to corruption?
Well, kicking your familiar around like a slave invites a tangential discussion about why doesn't it then decide to quit being your familiar... but that's worthy of a different thread.
If that's the angle you want, why not just buy some actual slaves to do the same thing? As I said upthread, the difference is in which player or GM is in control of the character. If being able to issue one's own "other person's" wish is the sole reason to stick with the familiar route, then there's the potential for a problem with rules abuse.
Either you don't play a lot of PFS, or PFSers in your area are much less inclined to tell each other how they should be doing their jobs better than they are in mine...
Or why might players not want Haste besides ignorance (real or percieved by the wishcrafter's player)? Maybe they don't want it NOW and would rather the wishcrafter's player save it for a future encounter.
Ah, but that's not my example. The matials' players had oppprtunity to make the wish during their turns and did not do so. Noone wished for Haste. If everyone again declines to wish for haste via free action when prompted/reminded during the wishcrafter's turn, then I'm saying it's inappropriate (or even abusive of the restrictions in the wishcrafter archetype rules) for the wishcrafter's player to use his alternate character (the familiar) to bypass the requirement for "someone else" to voice the wish.
Fair enough. I withdraw the example, yet I belive the priciple still stands that the wishcrafter's player shouldn't be deciding wishes for the other players without the direct involvement of at least one of those other players.
Edit: fine. Here's an example. Same setup as before, only the wishcrafter goes last in init order.
"Hey, how come none of you martials wished for Haste? I think you need it even if y'all don't.. so my familiar wishes for it so now I can grant you the wish I wish you had made."
Citation on taking free actions when it's not your turn? Especially if you haven't acted yet this combat?
The PRD doesn't define a free action as being possible when it's not your turn in the way it does for immediate actions....
Besides. Examples are besides the point. Fuzzy-wuzzy made the point much more eloquenly. Wishcrafting is "supposed to be" an interaction between players. The same player making the wish and then granting it via two different characters is just inherently inappropriate. In my opinion.
Not to mention the "Inappropriate weapons" rule on damaging objects. A crowbar is great for prying open doors, but even an adamantine crowbar will end up doing automatically 0 damage per attack on a door if the GM wants to rule that way... rendering its ability to ignore hardness as being situationally table-dependent as well.