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.
While what you say is true, it's also a non-sequitur. Animals aren't expected to act morally, because they lack the intelligence to HAVE morals.
Obviously, animals do not set an appropriate bar for the ethical behavior of PCs. Let alone Lawful Good PCs. Let alone paragons of Lawful-goodness (paladins).
That being said, the question on hand is this: Is drinking blood (no matter who you are, whether Paladin, Dhampir, or anyone at all) always evil?
Obviously, it is possible to drink blood and not be evil. So, the answer to the question at hand is "No."
Whether it is appropriate or compatable with a Paladin's class restrictions are two other questions entirely. Another poster mentioned the chaotic aspect of drinking blood- this goes against many cultures' rules about not desecrating corpses. THAT is a bigger hurdle for a Paladin than the question of whether or not it is an evil act.
Are vampire bats evil?
Speaking in purely game-speak, they're always neutrally aligned (as in, non-evil) and yet they drink blood every chance they get. So, demonstably, the act of drinking blood does not require an evil alignment.
To the Original Poster:
Don't give up just yet. Especially not until you've had a chance to play with some new people/cliques/groups.. not that there's anything intrinsicly wrong with playing with the same group of people, but it sure does color PFS.
And, contrary to many vocal opinions, a PFS scenario is not reduced to being a human-judged MMO instance. For example, the belief that PFS GMs may not fudge dice is common but demonstrably incorrect. (to head off any 'Nuh UH!'s from said believers, check CRB pages 402-403, then show where PFSOP says they are removed from OP rules in any potential replies.)
My advice on reconciling the 'straitjacket' that comes with organized play is this: While you may not customize the scenario itself, you're certainly still allowed to tailor the players' experience of said scenario.
There are those who believe that to a tee. (I see that labelling that viewpoint after a prominent poster didn't tickle his funny bone.)
There are those that also believe that a slavish, robotic, complete adherence to the module as presented in every way as being incompatable with an enjoyable D&D/Pathfinder/D20 experience. That's another thread however, so I won't belabor the point.
If, hypothetically, a NPC cleric has the chance to reallocate his spells before the climactic showdown with the PCs.. and has the plausabile in character reason to be aware of the one dimensional trip monkey's capabilities, then in my own opinion there's no reason he can't change his spell list the morning before the fight to include Blessing of Fervor. And then the NPCs in that encounter will not be overly impacted by the awesome-O trip monster by standing up as a swift and w/o provoking AoOs.
I haven't noticed someone mention it, and it's definately not for everyone..
But a PFS Gm is allowed to fudge dice rolls at his own discretion. If you're there at the table in the heat of action and you can't think of anything better, that die roll you dropped can legally be a 'nat 20' any time you want it to be. 46 AC or not, you can hit the PC any time you feel the need.
Naturally, it's not an option that should be used often, as a player who correctly deduces that you're fudging dice to hit him will not Have Fun. However the odd hit here and there may keep the player on his toes and play his character conservatively.
Another suggestion that shouldn't offend the Jiggies of the board:
I use willpower checks to see if sentries fall asleep at their posts. Although, so long as players arrange for shifts that I deem resonable, I don't bother. "2 hour watches? No worries. Oh, you plan on staying up all night doing the watch yourself? And you honestly believe that your saying 'I won't fall asleep' makes it so?"
Then again, I use willpower checks for any repetitive thing that players find it easy to declare but characters would find tedious to carry out. Staying up for hours while sleepy, always searching every wall/ceiling/floor for secret doors/traps.. always casting detect evil/magic..
Yeah. easy for you to say "always", not so easy to actually keep focus every second of every minute of every waking hour.
I believe this thread gives some interesting and relevant insight onto the topic at hand.
Boiling it down for those who don't want to read 3+ pages of angry posts:
In PFS does a GM have the right to overrule a player's view of what is and is not canon?
If so, SHOULD he?
To editorialize, in my view the GM is no more priveleged than the players. None of us own golarion. In fact, it is only a matter of circmstance that any GM has any referee authority at any given table. The roles between people could and would quite easily be reveresed at another table/slot. So if there's differences of opinion about what is and is not canon, the GM has a duty to consider accomodation first and exclusion ONLY after reasonably ruling out accomodating.
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.
If the paladin couldn't handle the presence of an imp or someone who'd bind an imp to his will, he can't handle being a productive member of the in-gameworld Pathfinder Society.
And that means that the player roleplaying his paladin as having intolerable issues with your imp familiar IS inarguably badwrong. Because he can instead choose to roleplay his paladin as NOT having intolerable issues with your imp familiar.
For the most part, a druid is limited to hide armor or light armors.
Not sure what book wooden armor is in, but you can check that book's entry in the Additional Resources to see its legality for PFS.
Ironwood spell is not available, not unless you're prepared to pay for it over and over every adventure. By PFS rules, the ironwood spell expires after every scenario.
Since starting to GM PFS Scenarios, I've come to the conclusion that the most positive aspect of faction-quests is to give players a tangible reason to fully explore scenarios.
I'd like to see more faction vs faction stuff going on, but keeping that from denigrating into player vs player is imo largely impossible. At least within a regular, recurring system.
I used to be a big Legend of Five Rings fan, loving the 'what happens in tourneys/games affects the game world' angle. Until I realized that the company wasnt about to have anything actually bad happen, because they didn't want to alienate fans of those factions. The moment that killed L5R for me was when a story arc put up my chosen favorite faction as a potential for 'winning' L5R. Will they rule the empire, or will everyone else gang up to stop them? Let the players decide!
Yeah, doesn't take a crystal ball to know which way that one was gonna go. Not only can nothing permanently bad happen, nothing permanently good can happen. Not unles you're truly willing to take off the kid gloves.
Knowing your faction (and potentially, more importantly your PA) is on the line and potentially going to be obliterated makes for a different Society than one where you know that whatever bad things happen, the writers won't let my faction/PA go away.
Suggestions for how to run either depend on which sort of game M&M want to run.
When I ran it I told them that the real world 4 hour time slot was the in-world deadline for when...
the BBEG's army would move in. Yes, the army is sooo big the lot of you have no chance to repel them. No, we won't roleplay it if you try anyway.
I didn't tell them this part, but of course the above doesn't preclude the fun three way showdown with said army the PCs get to enjoy with the walking dead.
It did a wonderful wonderful job of keeping the the players focused on the mission goals & racing to keep on track/on time.
I honestly thought the events in Dalsine Affair were a prize awarded by faction performance reported in PFS up to that point.
It kind of takes the magic away to realize it wasn't.
So if I were the head of PFSOP, that's how I would do it. Once per year or so, issue a scenario revolving around how the winning faction makes the losing faction suffer.
Dan Luckett wrote:
Fair to me means rolling in the open where everyone can see where the dice lay when they're done rolling.
That's a valid view. I wouldn't complain if a GM at my table shared it.
OTOH I believe that there's a Goldilocks principle to aspire for.. If the scenario is proving, for this particular table...this particular time, to be too easy or too hard then something needs to be fudged or nudged to bring the experience back closer to the 'just right challenge level' that was intended by the writer.
This may be another discussion, but it's my assumption that the players are expected to be successful in PFSOP scenarios. Not just most of the time, damn near all the time. As in, players failing to complete the mission or characters suffering a TPK is an even bigger failure on the part of the GM than it was the players'.
To elaborate: In my view, and I'm sure there's those who will gnash their teeth and wail about how wrongbad it is, survival/success isn't pegged to some ratio like rate of PA accrued. No, we don't assume players will get 2.0 PA per adventure, the assumption is closer to 1.5. 100% expectation of success/no TPK is obviously too high, but IMO its intended rate is close enough to 100% to be pointless to argue about how many percentages (or fractions of percents) shy of 100% the expectation is.
Girdle of Opposite Gender" wrote:
I don't know if the scenario uses a different version, but assuming it's a 'normal' one, there's the rule. Yes, you can take the belt off. No, your gender won't change back. Not without curse-removing magic, anyway.
the x3 is the crit multiplier.
The +4 shows that it gets one attack, at +4.
3 attacks each at +4 would have been annotated +4/+4/+4
However, depending on the feats involved, it IS possible to start getting a ridiculous # of shots per round with a bow. 3 is tamesauce, in comparison to how far it could be taken.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Non sequitur, Bob.
Neither of those examples are of a GM fudging dice. They're both of a PLAYER fudging dice. And not even I was saying that's PFS-Kosher.
A more accurate gist of what I was saying is perfectly legal and Vinyc wants to see explicitly made illegal is this:
I may not increase a BBEG's bonus to hit or to save by +X or -Y.
I may, however, fudge my dice rolls for the BBEG so that I get that same +X or -Y, with the caveat of a modified 'natural' range of 1-20, obviously.
Disclaimer: 'I may' does not mean that in practice 'I should routinely', 'I must always', or 'I think it's funny to'.
Nosig, my point was that *I* don't like that option either, and I prefer the option which has a legality that Jiggy and I disagree on.
We disagree about what falls under "explicitly forbidden." What I say does not, you say does.
In reality? no.
In your choice of how to interpret the priority of M&M's/PFS rules, you have the following where you think the BBEG needs some 'help' being something memorable and/or more than a yawner of a challenge.
It IS legal to make sure the BBEG wins initiative, and always hits for max/near max damage.
It is NOT legal to make sure a mook or two from earlier in the mod ran to the BBEG for protection and be present for the climactic showdown.
Me, I think that the latter is a ton less offensive to the 'integrity' of the scenario/experience. And more in spirit of what M&M would want from me as a GM.
Jiggy, when we play "guess what M&M Means when they say "Don't do anything *I* wouldn't do..", we draw the line in different places. You're not any more wrongbad than I am.
Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
The difference we have is that you call fudging a die roll cheating, under any and all circumstances, and cite 'do not cheat' as justification for 'do not fudge die rolls'.
I on the other hand, consider occasional fudges good GMing. And there's plenty of posts I could also cite about making sure you're a good GM.
Let's remove 'cheating' and 'good GMing' from the question and just focus on GMs fudging die rolls in PFSOP.
I submit this thread..
Furthermore, this thread.
Let's not forget page 403 of the CRB. I quote:
And, since that text is NOT omitted from the PFSOP rules, you have it quite literally in black and white that a GM may fudge dice. You're definately not supposed to over-use the tool, but it's a legitimate tool. Even in PFS.
And in my case, the way I see it is that if I may fudge dice, there's no meaningful difference between that and padding a solo BBEG's HP total, for example. Or even deducting from it, if the case warrants. Just because you deviate from script or fudge a die roll, doesn't mean it's to make it harder on PCs.. sometimes they just deserve a break.
"Oooh, wow.. comes down to this.. the BBEG is gonna finish mopping the floor with you guys unless this spell works..
Huzzah! The BBEG falls under your spell..."
Mark, I don't think you'll be able to get such verbage unless you're also prepared to state that in PFS play that GMs may or may not fudge dice rolls, for example.
Once you start going into detail, you need to keep going into ever more detail. It's like the coastline paradox- the more finely you define things, the more you the need to define more acutely.
I'm switching from Asmodean-style 'devil's advocate' to 'manager's lackey' here.. but I hope that the new assumption you have for writing PFS scenarios is going to fix alot of issues. Yes, season 0-3 won't directly benefit, but once you have a working, better system for season 4 it's easier to just chalk up any issues in 0-3 as relics of an inferior system and more easily accepted- since we know the new ones 'won't have those issues'.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Because I vocally stick to my side of 'the line' doesn't mean I think the as-is PFS rule needs to be replaced. I've said it before, I think it is worth repeating again. The current rule is the least bad approach. It may be bad, but everything else that comes to my mind is even worse.
One example of tweaking that I think is perfectly fine under certain circumstances, making clear that I don't mean all the time
Hypothetical scenario X features yet another solo BBEG. Lo and behold, like so many other times, he's geting destroyed without putting up any challenge. In fact, looks like he'll be dead before he even gets to his first attack. I fudge his HP total so that he lives to his initiative turn to make one glorious attack before death. I rewrote the script, is another way to say it.
Maybe I shouldn't have. Maybe my threshhold for changing things was too sensitive. Maybe in that one glorious attack he shouldn't have had, he kills someone. OTOH, maybe the players get a thrill out of seeing what creation the writer was able to come up with. Maybe they enjoy seeing a solo BBEG that 'for once' was more than a punching bag.
How can you make comprehensive rules for when that's appropriate and when it isn't? Even if you could, it'd be paragraphs in length. Not to mention the forum discussions that any one such rule might be obsessed over.
And that's one example of how a GM might deviate, there's literally infinite others.
Honestly, 'Don't do anything *I* wouldn't do..' has its issues as a rule, namely the disagreements over what is and what isn't kosher, but the alternative is a massive increase in the overhead of the PFS ruleset.
And really, so long as we're all adults about differences in opinion about what is or is not allowed in the form of tweaking/deviating/fudging/improving.. and importantly that the GMs are keeping the players' interest in mind, what's the harm if everyone is having fun? Obviously, incompetant GMing will drive away players, whether they run strictly, robotically by the script or not.
Mark, I'm not sure whether I detect a whiff of passive-agressiveness or not from your post. I'll assume it's not, and I wish to stress that I don't intend to give off that aroma, myself.
I think your recent announcement that 4th season scenarios will start assuming 6 players in the writing will be a huge improvement and cut down rather often on what I was perceiving as 'slightly burned fries'.
Nosig your analogy is an example of a script change that was obviously botched, which everyone agrees is Not Good.
I would be interested to hear what you think that burgerflipper should do when the fries are only slightly burned, and the manager says serve them anyway.
I'd be even more interested to see discussion on another thought from earlier in the thread. Something completely different than the restaraunt analogy.
If you KNOW a player is improperly acting on foreknowledge of a scenario, obviously you may kick him off your table.
What if you only SUSPECT a player is acting on foreknowledge? Is it acceptable to change things solely for that reason, or is your only option to kick him off your table for mere suspicion of impropriety?
Brother Mortimer wrote:
Indeed. The rule about not altering anything is in actuality 'Don't do anything *I* wouldn't do.'
The arguments that come up in threads such as this one boil down to differing opinions about just what would Mark and/or Mike not do. The obvious stuff is easy.. and rare. Stuff so obviously an issue/potentially an issue won't make it into publication. Stuff that wasn't spotted ahead of time is quickly fixed, as Kyle pointed out.
Going back to the fry example.. when the fry machine is making fries that are only slightly burned.. enough (in your perception) to be noticable but not so much as being 'out of guidelines' and the manager doesn't want to pay to fix it.. those gray areas make for the disagreements.
I see my point was perhaps understandably missed. I meant 'what you're expected to do' as being presenting the best experience for the players you can. NOT to mean that your first and/or only tool in doing so is to deviate from written script.
I understand the rule. Like that McDonald's employee, I have a couple choices. If the manager insists I serve customers burned/stale/etc food, I can:
1. Do so, and advise my friends not to eat here.
Additionally, in my case there's option 4: Strive to use those OTHER tools mentioned more often and 'picking out the bad fries' less often. Maybe I can do the maintenence myself on the fry machine so that it makes less burned fries.
But even with that approach, it's just simpler and more expedient to just pick out the bad fries now and again. Not to mention, oh lordy the names you get called and gnashing of teeth you cause by trying to fix things the manager (or his lackeys) don't think are broken.
Edit in light of Mark's response:
And no, I don't mean to call specific people lackeys. Your analagous counterparts in the McDonald's example are the manager's lackeys, is all ;)
OTOH, I'd consider adding a mook or two to a lone BBEG who, given my experience with the players, their characters, and their demonstrated capabilities over the course of the scenario, will be blown away in 1 round of anticlimactic combat.. the same thing as picking out a burned french fry or withholding the loogie from their Big Mac.
it not only improves the consumer's experience, it's what you're expected to do.
Disclaimer: I'm not advocating that as a first option, nor am I arguing with being 'creative' without changing anything being a better way to go about it most of the time. I just won't shut up on the topic because I find it so ridiculous.
I feel like that McDonald's worker who's being told to 'leave the burned fries in there.. you're wasting company money by picking them out'. Not only that, you're denying the customers the full McDonald's experience by denying them the burned crisps. You're being serious!?!
Indeed. In fact, Alex's restaurant analogy is a good one: tampering with the scenarios in organized play is like a chef getting a job at McDonalds and then thinking that all those people who got something different than they ordered are going to be happy about it. If you want to cook up something creative, do it in your own kitchen and without telling people it's a Big Mac.
I'm willing and more than happy to rebut within the restaurant analogy.
Yes, the cook at McDonalds may not substitute his own recipes, but neither is he required to fail to pick out the burned fries from the bin, put fresh(er) burgers under the heater waiting for purchase, etc. There are bad aspects of the fast food experience that are completely avoidable (he needn't give the 'traditional' loogie in the burger, for example) while still holding completely to the corporate ideal of profitability (this analogy's version of 'staying RAW')
You're assuming that someone who orders a Big Mac not only MUST get the loogie, burned fries, etc, that he knows it's coming and shouldn't expect not to get it.
I'm saying that the cook can actually take pride in his work and present a product better than the cook at the McDonalds up the street. Either way, you're still eating a Big Mac at either restaurant.
Michael Brock wrote:
As a GM with lots of PFS under my belt, I feel all f the GMs' pains with scenarios that prove to be cakewalks when there are 5-7 players at the table. This is the first change to help GMs also have an enjoyable experience at the table. We are listening, I promise, and Mark and I will continue to strive to make PFS an even better experience than it currently is. I want to thank everyone in advance or your patience. It does take time as it is a slow process, but if you stick it out with us, I think the large majority of you I'll be happy where we are headed and were we end up. As always, our feedback, thoughts, suggestions, and ideas are always welcome as it makes improving the campaign that much easier.
It's not the GMs who suffer when it's a cakewalk, it's the players who are bored with anticlimactic fights.
At least, in my experience.
Anyway, I'll echo my appreciation for you guys not only recognizing that there's a problem, but attempting to fix it.
Well first of all, the materials you need can all be purchased via .pdf here on Paizo's site. I don't know what billing is like outside the US, but the digital copies are signifigantly cheaper than hard copies.
Furthermore, in PFS you must run sanctioned scenarios & adventures. Those are also available in .pdf format and there are 200-ish available.
There is a calendar here on the site to advertise & publish your events as well. You may have to rely on other means to advertise to your local players as well, unless they're already paizo devotees of the site here. But additionally, you'll need to have your event registered in order to report it for player & gm credits.
I'd click the Pathfinder Society button on the left of the screen and explore around.. read what you see, by all means download the free Organized Play Rules .pdf.
Welcome to PFS!
You guys just had the job of showing up with min/maxed 11th level...
I hope I didn't come across as ungrateful for your and the GM's efforts.. that is not at all the case nor what I meant to convey. I didn't mean to make the impression that it was a waste of time to attend. Very sorry if it came across that way.
Anyway, I don't mean to perpetuate the RPT as an example.. I just thought that a mea cupla might have been in order, and definately a statement of appreciation of the effort that was put into it.
Trying to change the topic:
One time I saw a GM tell a player who wouldn't quit arguing about a rule that until he closed his book, the NPCs will focus all attacks on him. Is that 'good gming', in getting the game back on track, or is it 'going off script' by altering the tactics? I say good-gming. But I can see how someone would call it rewriting however, either tactics or the game rules themselves.
Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
I'm not sure we're on the same page.
Without amping up the difficulty, the players at my table may as well have gotten a free chronicle all filled up and spent 10 hours doing something else instead.
The boon isn't much to write home about, so if I didn't get it I wouldn't have minded. Secondly, doing 'alot' of damage qualifies for a performance check, and dishing triple digits of damage in a round counted at our table. No want for victory points.. we just wanted for anything besides nuking the hapless opposition.
Example aside, there's people who will never agree that there's ever any reason to modify or tweak a scenario. I respect that. I was just saying that I disagree with that view, is all.
I think a point that's far more interesting to discuss is players abusing foreknowledge, and whether changing what's written is appropriate in those cases as an alternative to kicking him off the table.