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I notice that the scenario write-ups for Season Six scenarios don't include the blurbs that Season Five did calling out applicable scenarios as having opportunities to further a faction(s) goals. Is this a deliberate change in policy for this season or should someone who's neither read nor played the scenario still know what factions have opportunities for special boons in said scenario?
I normally expect players to ask questions they should think to ask, but I recognize that's a standard that isn't ideal for new players.
Even in the case of veteran players, I don't expect them to tell me that they maintain their arms and armor, feed their animals, and all the other routines and general chores related to equipment maintenance that are necessary for adventurers to perform. I, and I presume most GMs, assume that's all done as a manner of course during "camp".
In the case of new players however, I treat the legwork phases of an adventure a little like the downtime. The players may not think to ask around or do their research, but I can assume their characters that are presumably professional adventurers would do those sorts of things as a manner of course, just like maintaining their equipment.
EOD Pathfinder wrote:
The problem referenced wasn't about applicability of weapon finesse (which it can use, as you correctly pointed out) but the applicability of piranha strike, which will not work with a one handed weapon such as a rapier.
And before someone asks about gunslingers and guns, they have an explicit rules exception that Deadly Aim works with firearms.
I haven't heard that, and it sounds too good to be true. Can you cite a ruling? (or were you just pointing out it works with guns when they're not using touch attacks, such as beyond the 1st range increment?)
As a rule of thumb, when I know someone has run, read, or played the scenario I tell them, in front of the rest of the players, that they are banned from making or suggesting decisions. Those are my terms to play at my table if you have prior knowledge of the scenario.. your character goes along with whatever the majority of the rest of the table wants to do. When I (and the plot-spoiled players) know something dicey is up and potentially can be broken in-combat by their knowledge (that encounter you're talking about, but also others like the BBEG fight in Master of the Fallen Fortress and so on) I force them to ask the table about what they want that character to do.
So, in a case like the one described in the OP, I make the plot-spoiled player ask the remaining unspoiled table what they want his character to do. If it's to do something that the spoiled players know is a bad idea, then so be it.
I consider the god(s) a character worships is as important a descriptor of his personality as the alignment is.
Consider the implied differences in the values of two PCs or NPCs of the exact same class and the exact same alignment, yet one worships Erastil and the other Abadar.
So, yeah. A character's faith has a ton of relevance in describing the foundation of that character's personality... even for the non-divine classes.
Kyle Baird wrote:
Deserves a +1.
When I ran this at a Con, that's what happened. At 90 minutes before the end of the slot, they still hadn't yet hit X hour, even though they hadn't prioritized Sal's rescue and thus moved X hour up by 2 hours. I had to abort the hippo encounter just before they started with the sending from the Lodge.
I played a Cavalier through PFS to retirement who didn't have mounted combat and only used a lance as a flagpole. I figured things like mounted combat and spirited charge would only work while mounted, but things like power attack and weapon focus work whether you're mounted OR on foot.
I smashed for 11 levels with a heavy flail and it worked out great, both on and off my horse.
Misprints happen. Editing mistakes happen. You said/suggested that yourself.
When mistakes happen, are they inadvertently canonized until correction? You seem to be saying yes. I'd say that is definitely not the paradigm of a (human run) roleplaying game. That's what happens when computers run things. Humans are expected to look at what may be erroneous and consider the possibility that other humans made a mistake somewhere in writing, editing, printing, etc.
I'd say, that when the writers' intent does at least suggest that the written example may not be right, the RAW then may not be right despite it being RAW. Not always, not even usually, but Sometimes.
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
I guess I'm not done, long enough just to point this out.
Just pointing out that reasoning is a logical fallacy. Specifically the False Choice.
There is indeed at least one choice you're ignoring: that players and Gms stop insisting that their own personal view of what the code allows applies to anyone else's paladin.
And for seriously. Now I'm out.
Animals that are mistreated stick around only because they don't have any other choice. An evil druid in Pathfinder isn't keeping his wolf penned up in a dogfighting kennel. It'll leave the second it wants to if it's not treated sufficiently well. Animal Companions are not magically compelled to stick around and take mistreatment like a summoned critter is.
I think I'm about done here.
My parting advice: focus on the meat and potatoes of the code. "Act with Honor". The rest of the code, as described in the CRB, is a rough guidline of what it means to 'act with honor'. Rough guideline. We're in PFS, where the true GMs work at Paizo and we're all nothing more than deputized 'lesser GMs' without the power to change the rules. Like, namely, what is and is not a paladin code violation.
So don't quibble over the garnish.. that's the rest of the code beyond "be Lawful Good" and "act with honor". Does "don't lie" mean never ever lie under any circumstances.. or is it never lie without undue reason? Tish tosh. Is the Paladin acting with honor? Yes? No? That's it. Don't go down into the weeds beyond that unless you're in a home game where you're free to define what exactly is and is not a violation of a code.
And yet at the same time, what's the AC's motivation to run around with some humanoid? It isn't to be used as a tool for the humanoid's ends.
I respect your opinion.
However, sometimes.. and not every time, but sometimes.. and maybe this time, RAW goes against RAI and RAI is what's actually right. Hence my support for FAQ candidacy for this particular rules interaction.
Uhhh.. no it doesn't?
FAQ: Does casting evil spells cause an alignment infraction? wrote:
Casting an evil spell is not an alignment infraction in and of itself, as long as it doesn't violate any codes, tenents of faith, or other such issues. Committing an evil act outside of casting the spell, such as using an evil spell to torture an innocent NPC for information or the like is an alignment infraction. For example: using infernal healing to heal party members is not an evil act.
So, infernal healing is not just implicitly but explicitly not an evil act. No evil acts or intentions are going on. In fact, healing one's allies is about as Paladinly as Paladinly comes. So what code, tenet of faith, or other such issue is factoring in?
The ruling we both linked goes on to call out infernal healing as an explicitly not evil act when used to heal. So, by all means, Mr Paladin, take the healing. It won't do anything to you or your code. heck, the Paladin could even UMD a wand or scroll of it on someone else without consequence.
This kind of behavior is exactly WHY the paladin class has such a bad rap in the first place; it grants the players who want to exert an undue level of control over the game the bludgeon required to allow it.
The don't be a bully rule obviously applies both ways. I'm not sure how I'm the guy saying it doesn't apply to paladins. I never said that, but yes, paladin's can't force other people around just like people can't force paladins into choosing between mission failure or loss of class abilities. No bullying either way. I think we can agree on that?
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
ive seen problem gms as well as players, all over the country. ive seen players use the code as an excuse to act the fool, and ive seen gms use the code to restrict player options. i don't think a good solution is to ignore the problem until it goes away, which is essentially what you are proposing. is there a way we can convey the society's intepretation of the code?
That is a problem based on the players and GMs, not on the class. That's the exact same problem as GMs allowing players with rogue PCs to steal from the party because "it's what my character would do".
And when invoking RAI, one could just as rightly say they're supposed to.. unless and until a FAQ is issued. Until such time I likewise have no issues if you want to houserule that they may not use it at your tables.
Well, to be honest it sounds like your problems you've observed have been through overly-narrow interpretations of what is and what is not a code violation for a Paladin.
Once you (or the problem GMs you've observed) get past the notion that a paladin's code of conduct does not prohibit things like chicanery and subterfuge and cooperation with unpleasant allies, I think the problem resolves itself.
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
if they accept infernal healing, help from evil summoned creatures, help from animated undead, help from worshipers of evil gods, in instances where such help is not in service to any particular "greater good" they break their code. seeing as how "greater good" is entirely subjective and open to GM/player interpretation, this potentially leads to more conflicts. as a gm, reading that the society is a neutral organization i would assume most of the time the missions they are sent on are not for any sort of "greater good".
Actually that's not true.
Casting a spell with the evil descriptor is not an evil act, so benefitting from it certainly can't be.
A paladin won't fall from getting an infernal healing, either. He "should" roleplay not wanting it/feeling dirty for having received it, but mechanically there is no consequence.
I hope you'd do the same then if people are pulling the "I'm gonna act out against your interests, Mr Paladin, and you can't stop me because then it'd be PVP!" act. I was just illustrating what a Paladin could do back to such a jerk-hole while still remaining legal. Assuming of course the PFS GM didn't shut it down in the bud to begin with.
It's up to the GM to draw the line, but there are lines you can't cross if you want to keep your AC. You can't torture it and expect to keep it, for example. Most would agree you can't amputate parts of it for eating and expect to retain the loyalty of the animal. Some would say "how would it know that it's own leg you're eating!?!" But, for sanity's sake, most GMs would say that if you're a big enough douche to treat your AC that way, it'll come across in your personality and the AC will sense it and abandon you.
Is using your AC as a landmine detector on par with using it as a walking larder? I'd say yes, but my table isn't everyone else's table. Draw your lines where you will.
Did ACG simply have an editing mistake that left out an explicit rule that swashbuckler levels count as gunslinger levels as well as fighter levels when qualifying for feats? It's probable. Don't know for sure, but likely enough that it's "reasonable" to allow a swashbuckler to take the feat.
Another way to look at it is would the feat, had UC been published after ACG rather than vice versa, still be worded that way? If you sincerely believe that it would, then go ahead and ban it at your table.
If the player intends to make that his standard procedure then I'd make, at minimum, the inquisitor teach his AC a special 'trip trap' trick via handle animal and make it count against the cap on that companion's known tricks.
I'd also work in some plots about having to work to retain the trust of the critter he keeps trying to get killed.
You and I certainly have disagreed before about what's common sense and what isn't. Let's agree to agree that a FAQ should be issued.
I don't think the ACG feat that replicates the paladin class ability was banned because it replicated a class ability...
I think it's more likely it was banned because it was simply too good to not take... and/or it would prove to be so commonplace that the DCs of traps and spellcasting would have to be tweaked upwards to compensate, punishing those who don't take the feat and feeding a vicious cycle of the feat becoming more and more common.
Furthermore the creepy stuff that's banned isn't banned because Paladins would have a hard time cooperating with them.. they're banned because they're evil. More than just paladins would have a problem with witches cooking people in to potions, and etc.
Necromancers get a 'nerf' because of the rules around organized play. Doesn't do to allow them to animate dead in last week's adventure and still have those zombies and such as an available resource in this week's. It's the nature of the campaign.
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
I haven't played at your tables (far as I know) but I have played some of those adventures. I'd disagree with your view and suggest (while remining mindful that I wasn't there) that it is more likely that it was the Paladin's player and or the Game Master who couldn't find appropriate ways to roleplay/allow roleplay to happen.
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
As soon as the Paladin announces his intention to take the captive, it's PvP and/or bullying on behalf of the murderhobo to violate those desires. Even if it's the entire rest of the party that wants to murderhobo.
So no, it's not the Paladin that's being the problem in those examples.
Direct PvP is not allowed, and neither is bullying. Those rules prevent a Paladin from taking action to 'redeem' evildoers that happen to work alongside a Paladin.
A Paladin IS still allowed however to roleplay any attempts to convince such wayward folk to the obviously superior ways of the higher moral ground. You just can't FORCE them or punish them for noncompliance. That's a roleplaying challenge that a player deliberately takes upon himself when he picks the class. There are potentially issues in a player being new to PFS not realizing this, but that can't be legislated against. The PvP and bullying rules are there up front; if you don't realize the implications, that's on you.
All that being said, passive aggressive PvP is completely legal in PFS. Does that Chelaxian spellcaster with the Imp require healing? Well, there's no rule saying YOU have to be the one to do it. You're completely in your rights to judge anything at all as being more pressing, up to and including passing on your turn while you "make sure your boots' laces are tied" while the devil-dealing evil-doer bleeds out.
"I can't kill you, but I don't have to save you..."
There are also other effects out there that are "RAI" positive energy that damage the living, such as Holy weapon enhancement and the Searing Light spell. Lay on Hands wasn't listed in the CRB as a positive energy effect, and I'd like to think it only became Positive Energy in the FAQ because I pointed out it technically wasn't typed that way, some other Paladin powers like Smite could also be typed as Positive Energy, and they very much don't heal Dragons and Devils and such.
the thread in TL;DR:
Is Negative Energy a force that heals or damages its target based upon whether the target is living or undead?
Is Negative Energy a descriptor for damage and healing, where many (but not all) Negative Energy effects have a reverse effect clause in their rules for when affecting undead?
Seems like the former is what most posters support, based basically upon the undead creature type rule saying they "can be healed by negative energy" actually meaning "will be healed by all forms of negative energy".
Obviously, I disagree, and point out that there is no universal "energy type" rule for Negative Energy so I sincerely question the logic in automatically turning damage in the form of negative energy into healing in the form of negative energy for undead.
Well, I suppose it depends on which adventures you've played as to whether "all" of season five had demons. I can think of a few that had no evil outsiders at all. I can think of some that had evil outsiders, but no actual demons.
I'm betting that since demons are pretty schlock for fantasy, and so much of the plot of season 5 revolved around the World Wound, there was more demonic encounters and story in season 5 than there will be numerian tech in season 6.
The overarching plot of Season 6 appears to be tracking down the lost pieces of the Sky Key. They can be anywhere, and probably most if not all will be outside Numeria. Finding macguffins that have some technobabble backstory doesn't mean that they have to be defended by techno-bad guys.
The complaints about unconventional scenarios like Assault on the Wound and Library of the Lion is evidence of the hazards involved in writing adventures that deviate from what's come to be expected as the vanilla recipe for a PFS scenario.
Personally, I think lots of players don't like being outside their comfort zones. Since we generally can't replay adventures anyway, I do appreciate the off-the-wall scenarios now and again. There are certainly those who disagree, whether they are a majority or merely vocal (or both).
The Advanced Class guide has a spell that directly applies to the crux of my question:
Advanced Class Guide, Spell "Stricken Heart" wrote:
Of critical importance is that this spell, like inflict spells, deals negative energy damage but unlike inflict this damage is without a special rule for the damage being healing instead on undead.
So, if one casts Stricken Heart on an undead, what happens? I'd argue that exactly nothing happens. If the negative energy damage is converted to healing instead.. that's not only adding rules that are not there, that's potentially breaking rules that say the undead are immune to death effects.
So, what happens if the spell is cast on a Dhampir or a Cleric with the Death Domain? They're not immune to death effects, but I still don't see any reason they'd be healed by the negative energy damage*. To say they would be is to insert rules that are not already there.
*= this is the crux. "Negative Energy Damage" is not the same thing as Negative Energy. Instead I am saying the rules say that it is Damage that happens to have the Negative Energy descriptor.
I ran this at a con- a couple of thoughts and observations I had:
The players thought it was a horrible idea to leave the book unattended in the vault and insisted on carrying it around with them. I began to churn ideas about wtf to do with the siege. Would the league agents even be homing in on the vault if the book's not there? Would there be a siege at all or would the hammer just come down on the PCs directly wherever they are when zero hour strikes? Luckily when they rescued Rand I had him boggle at their insistence of carrying it around and he convinced them the security of the secret vault was superior to the security of the anonyminity of their backpack.
The players also discussed "why don't we just teleport back to Absolom with the book and our stupid agent now that we've rescued him?" Luckily I didn't have to resort to nudging them as grand lodge and exchange players correctly divined that they weren't gonna get their faction mission boons if they just let the league run willy nilly over the export facility (and the secret pathfinder lodge therein). If it wasn't for the self-interest lobby of those players however, I do fear that they would have just cheated themselves of most of the adventure. Had it happened and they blamed the story for not being as smart as they were, I would have certainly pointed out their initial mission briefing did explicitly tell them to defend the place. But I wasn't going to remind them of that order in game.
There was some grief after the game as players complained that there wasn't enough time to do everything. I had been gleefully suggesting that they split up during the game, knowing all the while they'd disregard any suggestion from a giggly GM that was "for their own good". I got to give them an "I told you so..." to answer their complaint on that. I rather like that there are a few adventures out there like this one and others such as
Spoiler:that reward the players for splitting up to accomplish the mission. Make that "never split the party" rule less concrete, and things get interesting!
Library of the Lion
With apologies to AC/DC, this is the song I'm having the bard singing to kick off the siege:
Thunder, thunder, thunder, thunder
That song can sound pretty impressive on a stringed intstument :D
There's also Rogue talents that make in-combat and/or diplomacy as a standard action possible, as well. But "everyone knows" rogues suck and thus aren't relevant to a discussion about what's broken in a good way :)
Diplomacy still takes a minute to attempt to use.
That's 10 rounds of rampaging hostile attacks while you're doing nothing but sweet talking.
Also keep in mind that Diplomacy works both ways. Your amazing bonuses won't scale as impressively when the NPC uses diplomacy on you to force you to be friendly towards his own goals.
Bolded the relevant, ugly part of the rule that kills your otherwise beautiful idea.
Stoneskin is on the Wizard spell list, so there's no exception given.
1. So long as you had declared a power attack at the beginning of your activation that round, you are not only allowed to use power attack on your sunder, you're forced to.
2. Sunders do not require their own standard action and can be used in place of a 'vanilla' attack. So, yes you could use them on an AoO just like Trip or Disarm.
It was a bundle of laughs and I had a great time...
Then the GM was successful. That's the primary rule: fun is had.
You are correct in that there are potentially issues at play in this scenario.
The best way, imo, to handle it is talk with the GM now that the game is over and done with. Talk with the guy (or gal) about your concerns NOW, rather than at the table when you have a dog in the fight. It could well be that there were simple mistakes made. You might learn that they were done in the interest of expediency rather than looking up every single rule. If you give the rules lawyers their way, the game will bog down and not get done in the allotted time anyway if every rule has to be looked up every time they disagree with the GM on every little thing.
If it turns out that the GM was "plussing up" the encounters to make them more challenging (and it happens often enough with the season zero games) that'd be a great time to point out that his alteration of the encounters cost you mechanically, and that such changes are not allowed under the PFS Organized Play rules. Hopefully he won't do that again, and might even offer to edit the session reporting to give you the benefit of the doubt (POSSIBLY.. don't demand this)
And as previously mentioned, it could have just been a mistake in which subtier was presented. I've made that mistake more than once.. I pretty much double (or triple, as appropriate) check I'm on the right statblock whenever the PCs start to look like they have their hands full. I've made mistakes before that thankfully have never gotten anyone's character killed, but I have made mistakes that cost them Prestige. There's been two occasions I didn't realize it until after I gave chronicles out. In those cases I was fine with assuming the PCs would have been successful if not for my mistake and correcting their chronicles after the fact.
someone might want an apocalyptic dieoff in order to remove easy labor to facilitate greater acceptance of magic without being a necromancer, too.
I could see a Nethysian, fanatical wizard believing that engineering a massive die-off is a means to a Good* end.
*= Where 'Good' is completely debatable, and much more like a Huxley-ian "Brave New Arcane World"
*beginning evil mastermind logic*
In the end, greater use of magic by everyone would make for a utopia for everyone left alive! Those who'd have to be removed from the picture to make it happen surely wouldn't begrudge the better lives those who survive them will get to enjoy!