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Terry Thambipillai wrote:
I'unclear on the point you are making. You might have cared more if you assigned the credit to character 99 deady mcdead ?
Hilary explained it well, but in a nutshell
Prior to the ruling : Nothing to lose, something to gain. I was well engaged with the character.
After the ruling : Nothing to lose, nothing to gain. I found it much harder to get engaged with the character, especially in terms of caring about the Secondary Success Condition
I am NOT trying to reopen the discussion as to whether these rules should be changed. We know that the rules stay as they are for at least 6 months.
But the Blog certainly implied that the PTB are interested in feedback. So, I'm starting this thread to give actual feedback from experience, not theory crafting.
I played in The Serpent's Ire yesterday. Having heard that this could be fairly deadly and having seen how questionable my character build was I decided to assign credit to a brand new PC.
I was the only player out of 5 to do so. The other 4 were assigning it to real characters.
The one thing that I really noticed was that I found it very, very hard to care about the secondary prestige for the character. I wanted to complete the mission successfully and I enjoyed the little bit of role playing the character that the scenario allowed.
But I almost completely ignored the "mission letter" and its hints as to what I was supposed to do. I just couldn't bring myself to care when there was NOTHING on the line for me and it seemed like an in character diversion (my character was supposed to put the main mission first).
Knowing that there was NOTHING on the line made character engagement worse. So, for me at least, the attempt to make me care by putting character resources on the line had the exact opposite effect.
Edit: I should explicitly point out that I have experience with other scenarios where I have played pre-gens (eg, Serpent's Rise) and so am comparing actual play experiences before and after this ruling
I agree that the primary fault for that particular scenario was the scenario itself. But it is just a particularly egregious example of the basic problem.
As to people saying "It is a player issue". Of COURSE it is. And OF COURSE one cannot come up with rules to completely solve the problem.
But the problem is significantly exacerbated by the rules system. When the rules allow such a HUGE power discrepancy between two characters that, on the surface, are essentially functionally identical (lets say mid level characters designed to blast their foes into oblivion with area of effect damage) there is a fundamental problem in the rules.
Andrew Christian wrote:
[Total Aside and Rant]I REALLY wish that Paizo would consult that chart more often when assigning CR numbers to monsters. There are SO many outliers where the listed CR is just obviously wrong. In a recent scenario the CR 12 monster was in almost all ways weaker than the CR 10 monster. And they were both monsters of the identical type published in the same bestiary.[/Total Aside and Rant]
I agree with all the above.
Take the time where the scenario had an absurdly over complicated end boss using all sorts of rules that I don't know well. I spent well over an hour (likely over 2 hours) preparing that encounter.
And it was a complete cakewalk by the players. Other than knowing Initiative and AC all my preparation was irrelevant.
Maybe you enjoy wasting 2 hours of time but I don't
Andrew Christian wrote:
One comment to the OP. It isn't table variation (up to how a GM rules) or a GM being pedantic, for them to follow the rules. That's simply not a fair statement to make. Especially in PFS.
I think its fair to expect table variation. How wild armor applies to shields is VERY badly written, sufficiently badly that I think it quite reasonable for a GM to read it as "obviously, wild armor on a shield preserves the shield bonus. Anything else is ridiculous". I also think a GM is quite within their rights to say "No, it is ridiculously overpriced but a shield only adds the enhancement bonus, despite that being impossible"
One idea that conceivably could help would be to have GUIDELINES stating where approximately characters "Should" be at various levels for various kinds of builds.
Something to at least allow players a chance to self police themselves if they were so inclined.
Not enforced. Just rules of thumb.
At least some of the time the problem is that the player doesn't know whether a +10 to hit at level 7 doing 1d8+6 damage while maintaining an AC of 25 is poor, decent, good, or massively overkill.
Creating any such guidelines would be difficult and filled with disagreements but I suspect the Collective could come up with recommendations. Including suggesting some things that should never be used (dazing fireball would be high on my list, for example :-))
I completely agree that over optimized builds are a huge problem. They cause lots of scenarios to be ROTFLstomp snooze fests. They have also caused Paizo to raise the difficulty of scenarios so that quite a few low tier adventures are far too difficult for new players (while still being easy for experienced players creating over optimized characters).
I have no clue what the solution is. Core IS a partial solution, I play it quite a bit online and it has made things much more challenging even with experienced players.
But, locally at least, new players don't like Core so it has died. New players want to play with all the toys from their new book. And who can blame them?
But this proposal isn't a solution. Far too many things to police, far too impractical to do so.
Svonar Djaeldsen wrote:
Oh no. Who will protect the Trees?
I think that this may have been addressed but, if so, I couldn't find it.
Serpent's Ire uses specified level 8 pregens. Which leads to two questions. Note, I'm not trying to reopen the whole pregen death issue, I genuinely don't know the answers to these questions. And I may have an opportunity to play Serpents Ire this week.
1) Is it still the case that the character that I apply this to must be L7 or lower? On the one hand, the guide says it must be applied to a lower level character. On the other hand, my 8th level character cannot play this scenario so the usual reason for that restriction doesn't apply.
2) If my character dies and I chose to apply the chronicle to a real character how much is that real character supposed to pay? The guide tells me what to pay for a L7 pregen but this is NOT a level 7 pregen.
Jeffrey Reed wrote:
Would level 21 even be a legal character level? Nothing in the normal rules allows that.
Well, you can create a L21 character however you want. Given that any audit as to its legallty will come when you try and PLAY him and that you can't PLAY a L21 character then I think the character is in a perfect Quantum Entangled state and is simultaneously legal and illegal.
I'm definitely not trying to discourage discussion and I didn't intend my posts to come off that way.
But I guess I strongly prefer discussion that is more than a glib "What is the problem?".
My intent was to get Jeff to give reasons for his opinion, not to dismiss his opinion. I guess I could have gone about that more politely and effectively (:-)) and for that I apologize
Edit: If I come across as even more grumpy than usual I'll point out that I have no air conditioning and the current temperature is 95.4 F ( Humidex of 108) :-(
Don't know, but I'm betting that it is related to
Andrew Torgerud wrote:
Only thing its missing is one of the newest gencon boons
I apologize. Arguments that seem to hold one readers interpretation of the words up to some holy RAW standard that all players MUST follow get me irked and I thought your post was one such.
I obviously misunderstood you and apologize. I had thought you were saying that one could NOT rule that one could set the targets at the beginning of the session. If you're saying that there will be table variance on whether you can or not then we are in violent agreement.
Jeff Hazuka wrote:
There are probably literally over a 100 posts (I haven't counted) explaining why people think this is an issue.
Just stating that you don't see a problem without explaining why at least some of those reasons are wrong isn't a positive contribution to this conversation. It comes off as just a dismissive remark, essentially saying that the rest of us are just being silly.
I have no idea if that is your intention, of course.
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Remember, the forums are not representative of the tens of thousands of PFS players. The campaign staff through the V-O's have much better data on this than we do here. If they say there's abuse, I'm willing to believe it's a problem.
I'm willing to believe that it exists. Less willing to believe its a problem.
I'm sure they've heard some anecdotal evidence. But I think that there is a very real chance that they've blown the problem out of proportion. Without very rigid analysis that is exactly what people tend to do, blow anecdotal evidence out of proportion.
And, of course, many of us think this solution won't fix the problem anyway.
There is one person (SinsofAsmodeus, I believe) who said that he has seen abuse.
I'll accept that there IS abuse but it seems clear that it is not common as we now have LOTS of people from LOTS of areas who have never seen any.
Completely wrong. The current situation is unclear so the GM HAS to decide.
Please don't reply with a long complicated argument showing that your interpretation is 100% crystal clear. It isn't clear. Reasonable people can disagree.
Mitch Mutrux wrote:
Here too. And the online community (at least the subset where I mostly play) seems pretty good about it too.
Ironically considering this thread, the one time I didn't contribute was when I was playing a Pregen and so couldn't :-). I was REALLY glad that I couldn't, too. The player was new but playing his character like an idiot. He was REALLY upset when his character died. He basically guilted the rest of the group into contributing (my sense of the table is that most of the people thought his character deserved to die). I most certainly did NOT want to contribute to his raise dead, I'd have only done so because of a probably misplaced sense of obligation (I don't think the player ever returned anyway).
That is actually another consequence of this ruling that I hadn't thought of before. Previously, there was almost no social pressure to contribute to the raise dead of a pregen. Now there is. Not sure that is a good thing at all.
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
No I'm really not. I KNOW that whatever I do will not affect the chances of my character playing with that character. The pregen survives regardless of what happens. It is the unknown character that dies.
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Yeah, it does. I've been at several tables where people chipped in when a character died. Lots of factors seem to contribute to peoples decision on whether to chip in, including how much the characters like each other and how well built and played the character is.
At some real level, paying to save the character who died saving my life is different than paying to save the character who wasn't even at the table.
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Nah, that isn't punitive enough. I think that if a pregen dies your character should be killed and then raised as undead AND taken to another plane. So you have to pay for a resurrection AND a body recovery.
That should teach you that this game is only fun if its really, really dangerous.
[Obvious]Given the nature of the net, I'll explicitly point out that the above is sarcastic. There are lots and lots of people who find the new rules far, far too punitive. Making them worse would be, uh, worse[/Obvious]
I'd always assumed that, for PFS at least, one picks the character to be served at the beginning of the session. There are similar things (eg, a Mascot Familiar) that work the same way. I've seen it ruled that way a couple of times (including by the author of the PFS Animal companion blog)
I wouldn't be surprised if there is some table variation on that but its not as if a different interpretation of a single trick is going to be a huge deal anyway :-)
Andrew Christian wrote:
First, I'd like to join the people above explicitly thanking you for what you're trying to achieve, especially when you don't yourself agree with all of this change. I understand the goal of making sure that the language is clear.
But it sort of feels like you're trying to hijack this thread. This thread seems to me to primarily be a place where people who don't like the new rules are explaining why and arguing with the few who do like it. We're arguing whether this change should be made at all. That presumably has value to Tonya, John et. al. We may be raising points that they hadn't considered OR we may be indicating considerably more antipathy to the change than they were expecting, either of which may cause them to reevaluate their position.
There is what seems to me a secondary set of conversations going on (primarily but not only between Nefreet and you) aimed at clarifying HOW this change should be worded to achieve its desired effect. Obviously, assuming the change continues to happen, a good idea
May I please respectfully suggest that you start a new thread with the purpose of discussing the wording and the implementation of this change while we keep this thread for discussing whether it is a good idea or not.
Andrew Christian wrote:
It is hard to have that dialogue when we don't know what the new rule is intended to accomplish.
I'm NOT picking on you here as I know that you're just passing on what you've heard (and I suspect you don't actually like what you've heard) but you've now given us two different reasons
To address the second I'd like to know WHY they think that there should be a risk .
Let us now assume the far more normal circumstance of a player playing a pre-gen fairly well. Probably they're a newish player. But things go bad and the character dies.
They already have lost the chance of improving their character, they've lost the chance of ever playing that scenario again. Why should they take a higher risk?
I know that many people (rightfully or wrongly) consider it virtually a failure to just come away with less than 2 prestige and/or with less than 100% gold. Now they're paying MORE than that
Up here it is fairly common (and even mildly encouraged) for a new player to play pregens several times before making their own character. Get a feel for the rules, get a feel for what characters they like, etc. That new player now gets to lose ALL their chronicles if one of their attempts fails?
Up here while I try and steer new players to the mechanically better pregens I'll LET them play Harsk or the ninja if they want. With the new change, I think that I'll probably omit them from my pregen binder.
In the case of a scenario where you must play pregens I'd be very, very, very seriously peeved if I played one of the provided pregens in Dawn of the Scarlet Sun or Risen from the Sands only to find that my reward for playing an incredibly badly built pregen was to have my own character die.
My constructive suggestion is to just NOT do this. It isn't a language issue its just fundamentally a bad idea.
If you REALLY want to punish people then give the player a choice of :
If you want to be more actively punitive make that a chronicle with 1XP, 0 Gold and 0 Prestige.
I can only speak for myself but now I'll be strongly tempted to put my Serpent's Ire etc chronicle on a new character. Hopefully the fact that I now have ZERO incentive to succeed will not make me play more carelessly but, of course, it likely will a little.
And I'll most definitely NEVER play a Free RPG Day Module while assigning the credit to my actual character. Ok, to be honest, I've only ever run these on actual Free RPG Day but I'm betting the experienced players who have made up part of every Free RPG Day table I've ever run will be less likely to show up now and will play more cautiously. Maybe not MUCH more likely but clearly the new rule encourages them staying away or playing worse.
Andrew Christian wrote:
Except as many people have pointed out this solution really doesn't seem to address this problem. If I'm going to play stupid (and I don't think its stupid so much as deliberately being a bad player that is the issue) I just assign to a new character.
Edit: I know that I'm repeating myself but when a thread goes on this long repetition can be a good thing as people tend to start at the end :-)
GM Lamplighter wrote:
It doesn't take ten minutes per player, and takes 5 minutes total for the table.
I suspect that if one actually measured the time across several GMs that the time would be more than 5 minutes but WAY less than 10 per player (NOT saying you are misstating anything, I just don't trust peoples subjective estimates of time). AFTER the players were trained to ALWAYS bring at least their latest chronicle sheet all filled in.
But even 5 minutes is significant if the scenario is running at all late which they often do. As the GM I already am often the last person to leave the table since I have to pack my stuff after doing the current bookeeping. I'm tired and want to go home.
And I'm an experienced GM with a reasonable grasp on scenario timing and experienced at doing the bookkeeping. New GMs find the bookeeping confusing.
Luckily, in Serpent's Rise, you can simply sell all of your Pregen's gear to cover your Raise Dead ^_^
No idea about Serpent's Rise but I just want to point out that there are plenty of scenarios where buying a Raise Dead and two Restorations (lets remember those when saying its no huge deal) is NOT as bad as it gets. Some scenarios you'll need a body recovery, some you'll need a resurrection, etc.
Playing with a Pregen (in general, there are exceptions) increases the chances of Party failure and of Party TPK. Serpent's Rise can be difficult with inexperienced players at a 6 player table.
Hmm. I just thought of another wrinkle. Once when I ran Serpent's Rise one of the characters died about 2/3 of the way through the scenario. The players perservered and won. But if they were risking their actual characters in a situation where a TPK would clearly mean a body recovery (As in Serpents Rise) they'd have been very, very likely to have turned back at that point. Certainly, the argument that they weren't really risking anything was made.
I'm not saying that I'm entitled to an answer or that I expect one. I am sure that Tonya and John had reasons for what they did and I absolutely trust their good intentions.
But I also think that they're human and are known to make mistakes from time to time. And, absent any new information, this certainly looks like a mistake to me. And to what appears to me to be the significant majority of posters to this thread.
Tonya and John have both publicly stated that they WANT feedback from us. This thread has been pretty respectful and reasonable with people posting reasonable arguments why they see this as a bad change.
For those who possibly think I'm being serious in my whinging, I should point out that Andrew was being nice and killed my familiar instead of a PC.
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Very much agreed. With particular emphasis on how this is supposed to fix the problem
I am not sure but I think they all started with the by the book WBL for their level. So just take 1/2 of that (+- a little if they have cash or used consumables)
Pink Dragon wrote:
I'm repeating what I've said before, but I just don't see how the rule change addresses the issue. Those players just assign the credit to a 1st level char and continue to play like jerks
Andrietta Ebonfeather wrote:
Probably right. But almost everybody I know allows intimidate to aid diplomacy (the old good PC / bad PC thing). And the modifier is the same :-)
Davor Firetusk wrote:
Very few pregens actually have a skill that would allow them to make a Day Job, however. And even less are at all optimized in that skill.
Lem and perform is about as good as it gets :-)
The free healing is nice but its really no biggy. In non Core my first CLW usually lasts me through most or all of my career. In Core, its a little worse and I think my level 12 went through a little more than 2 wands.
I'd also like to address the "Well, not all Pregens suck" argument others have used.
1) Very few people bring pregens. So, they generally get to choose from the ones that the organizer brings. As an Organizer, I do NOT bring all 90 odd Pregens to all events. Every now and then I go through and print out more copies of pregens that are missing to replace the ones that went walk about or got written on or got too grubby to use. But I certainly don't do it every week. And I didn't even start from a complete set :-). So, there is not a complete set available.
And I certainly don't have multiples. Not everybody gets to play the L7 Arcanist (which, in fact, I consider SO good that I don't bring it)
2) Even the quite decent pregens generally suffer from a lack of equipment and a narrow focus. This can really hurt in the skill heavy scenarios that we've been seeing a lot of in this season
3) As many people have said, it is the rare player who will play a pregen as competently as they will play their own character. So, the pregens WILL be underplayed to some extent
4) If a character that I built dies because of a flaw in the character build (either a deliberate flaw that I put in or a flaw because I screwed up) then my reaction is pretty much "Fine. My choice/my mistake. I should pay for it". But if my character dies because the pregen doesn't have any way to deal with swarms or because it has a ridiculously low con for its chosen role or for some other reason that seems to me to be basically a badly done pregen then my reaction is pretty much "Darned incompetently built pregen is at fault. That sucks".
Whether that latter is fair or not really doesn't matter. Its a human reaction. I AM going to resent it when what I perceive as an incompetently built pregen dies and MY CHARACTER ends up paying for it.
The Pregens that I've seen for specific scenarios have generally been quite well created. In the hands of an experienced player who understands the class they are fine for the job. Not always, though. The Pregens for Free RPG Day have generally been utterly atrocious for the scenario they're designed to go through.
At level 7 it isn't too bad as I can sell enough stuff so that I'm only paying a small price. At least my actual character is reasonably unlikely to actually lose money (still easily can, of course, since a character dying greatly increases the chance that we won't be getting all the rewards for an adventure). But at lower levels I am very, very likely to be losing money.
This change is a bad idea and I'd like to respectfully ask for it to be changed.
I have never seen the pregen abuse problem that people allude to. But I accept that others have and that it is a real issue for some areas.
But I don't see how this solves the problem at all.
[TLDR]The ONLY effect of the new rules will be to make things worse[/TLDR]
If I am the kind of player who is going to abuse the pregen then I'm kinda assuming that I
So, with the new rules, I just assign the pregen to my brand new 1st level character. NOTHING HAS CHANGED
But lets assume that I'm now a slightly different person.
With the old rules, I had an incentive to play the pregen carefully (more likely to get the rewards for the scenario). Now, I have a choice
So, the ONLY change in behaviour that I see this rule change creating is to make some set of players now play more recklessly.
Edit: Rereading the above, I am overstating things a little, making people too binary. There will be people who were planning on playing reasonably carefully who will now play a bit more carefully. But the people who were really abusing things won't change their behaviour and there will definitely be people who will now not care who used to care (because they now choose a new pregen). I believe the latter category will far outweigh the ones who now play a little more carefully
Sin of Asmodeus wrote:
I'll be asking to see the certs of the character they are assigning the pregen too before mod starts. If it's a 7 to 11 I'll be assigning it to their highest level character to enforce this new rule.
What the heck are you talking about? You most certainly do NOT get to decide which of my characters I'm assigning the pre-gen credit to.
The more I think about this the worse it gets. There is now a very strong incentive to irreversibly assign the pregen credit to a brand new character. Which means MORE people won't care about the result, not less. Which will tend to INCREASE any abusive play that occurs, not reduce it.
Uh, specific performances ARE arguably visual and others audible.
Countersong : Each round of the countersong he makes a Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing) skill check
Distraction: At 1st level, a bard can use his performance to counter magic effects that depend on sight. Each round of the distraction, he makes a Perform (act, comedy, dance, or oratory
I admit that this isn't crystal clear but it is certainly clear enough for me. Given that I don't believe in RAW I'm not trying to convince you that the RAW clearly support my interpretation.
However, given the question was wrt PFS I'll emphatically state that, at the least, you should expect Table Variation. Because, at any table I'm running,
1) I'm using that list to decide which performances are audible and which visual
I find the arguments given above profoundly unconvincing. As I stated above, I believe that "A bard is trained to use the Perform skill to create magical effects" means that he is, uh, using the Perform skill.
Or to play it but assign the credit to a new character.
Add me to the list of people uncomfortable with this change. I'm guessing that there were enough people abusing the pregen by playing really stupidly or recklessly but I'm not sure this is the solution.
As people have said, some of the Pregens are quite competent but others are complete trash.
Amrel>> That's true... no full attack in surprise round. Suppose that mitigates somewhat.
Only really a little. Buff, Scry, and kill is a time honoured tactic.
It is broken as all hell (it lets the surprising group punch WAY above their normal level) but it is legal and time honoured.