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There are skill requirements too. So level 4 is the absolute earliest one can get in.
Note that there have been various rumblings recently that the early entry via SLA may change.
Others have answered your other questions.
Herolab is correct the vast majority of the time but it does have bugs. And it lags behind official changes a little.
Its a VERY useful source, especially for looking for things. But it can't be trusted 100% while additional resources can be (well, almost. Very, very occasionally Mike Brock will make an official ruling a couple of weeks before additional resources is updated)
How is it easier to look at the ITS than the character sheet?
Especially since these items do NOT have to be on the ITS (some aren't purchased with money and some were acquired before the ITS became mandatory)
As far as I'm concerned the ONLY definitive record of what a character has is their character sheet. Even in the ideal world where all players keep their chronicle sheets and ITS rigorously up to date that would be true. And it most certainly is true in the world that I live inn where lots of players paper work is more than a little imperfect.
Vincent The Dark wrote:
There is the horse master feat, but that is only useful for cavaliers who multi class (especially good for Battle Heralds)
But in general there are a gazillion ways to improve animal companions once you buy their intelligence up to 3 and open up almost all feats
I kinda object to the term shenanigans. I think the ruling was a bit wrong, but I waited until it was crystal clear what the ruling was and that the developers intended it to be what it was before I built a Mystic Theurge.
My primary objection isn't the power level, its that the ruling practically forces one to play Aasimar or Tieflings (PFS) for all sorts of characters.
I disagree with this. PFS rewards versatility. You'll be better off building your druid so that it can do a decent job at BOTH melee AND spellcasting. Not in any particular scenario, admittedly. But over the career that versatility will really pay off.
All the guides tell you to specialize. While probably good advice for a home campaign it is NOT good PFS advice. Spread your stat points, feats and purchases around.
In some scenarios my druid (lion shaman now retired at l13) was the party tank, in some she was the healer, sometimes the scout, etc. Her role varied a lot depending on what else was at the table.
Disk Elemental wrote:
I wouldn't go that far in general. In my experience, most experienced players want some risk and are comfortable with death when the dice go really south.
What I find bugs people much more is when the character loss seems unfair. Many people hate
Spoiler:for exactly that reason.
The Dalsine Affair, especially at low tier
I'd most certainly fudge to save a new players character, and softball first.
Playing up does change things a bit. I'd REALLY encourage a level 1 to not play in a 4-5, especially a front ranker. And at some point playing up has to have increased risk. At some point (depends a lot on player and circumstances) I'd stop fudging and play hardball.
The thing that annoys me most about the use of numbers as in character knowledge (mostly hp, but not limited to) is that it makes certain in game things meant to overcome these difficulties completely useless, ie deathwatch, a spell designed to tell a healer how close to death his teammates are can be rendered null and void by saying "I'm down 15 of 20 hit points." Essentially making it a spell that no one ever prepares because "why would I ever prepare that if I can just ask what your hp is at?"
Except, of course, deathwatch doesn't do that either. Its granularity makes it almost useless for a healer tracking his companions
Michael Eshleman wrote:
The problem is with players who decide to aid the high roll but roll their own check with the low roll.
So I try and make sure that everybody knows who is doing what before the dice hit the table.
There are scenarios that require audits???? That is SERIOUSLY bad news.
I admit that my bookkeeping is sometimes imperfect. The one thing that is guaranteed to be up to date is my herolab character sheet. If you want to know what my character is carrying that is where to look.
Note that most of my characters predate the ITS so you can NOT expect the ITS to have everything. And for chronicle sheets I often did things like misc: 200 to cover potions, scrolls, wrist sheathes, etc etc etc
From my point of view as a store coordinator a huge amount of flexibility is lost when you go below 4 tables. Ie, the size of the local community greatly effects things.
I pretty much need to run a low tier every week for the newcomers. Often 2. That really limits the number of modules, high tier, etc that I can schedule
This is a very good point.
The example up thread was the GM not wanting the players to compare diplomacy scores. But, in world, they are BOTH making arguments trying to convince the person. The only issue is how to resolve that mechanically which, by definition, is at the rules level.
Chris Mortika wrote:
How do you manage to do this within the limitations of PFS play?
Note : I am genuinely seeking advice. I've had times when I wanted to do this and couldn't figure out how. In a home game one can add/alter stuff to do this but that route is closed in PFS.
Another thing that annoys me is when players just assume they know something in character. Like for example, when the tongues cursed oracle meets a young girl and a cleric is doing some tests on her to see what's wrong with her and why her body temperature is so cold, the player is like "OH she's a black-blooded oracle, her blood is black runs cold and she's got a negative energy affinity as if she were undead" like being a level 3 oracle gives him an automatic 30 on all oracle related things. Then when I say he needs to make a roll and he gets a 29 (rolled a 20 and had a +9 bonus), as I decided that black-blooded oracles are DC 30 to know about outside of the darklands, he got even more mad trying to say no DC can be higher than 25, forcing me to pull out the book to show him the DC can be as high as 30. Which, yeah me being the GM should have made the 30 DC okay, but he thought he shouldn't have needed the roll in the first place, he's not going to accept an impossible at his level DC.
In fairness, one place where people disagree greatly is in how much of the world/rules characters know.
Practically speaking it CAN'T all be reflected in knowledge skills since some characters just don't have the skill points to buy what their character "should" know. And what skill is "know in character what druid archetypes exist and what they look like?" anyway?
I personally handle the issue by giving significant circumstance bonuses based on character background. I'd likely give an oracle at least a bit of a bonus for knowing about oracles.
1) thanks James2) I like that analogy
James Jacobs wrote:
One thing that is very unclear to me is how many people know that the cult of Razmir is a fraud. An entire country worships him, after all. And certainly the module Masks of the Living God strongly implies that it is a fairly widespread belief that he is a God.
Dan Simons wrote:
And many times you've been traveling with them for weeks.
In the real world experienced people gauge another's rough ability very quickly. When a stranger sits down at your table how long does it take for you to have a pretty good idea how experienced they are?
I'll definitely admit that it is hard to differentiate between small differences. But its easy to tell a +5 from a +10
I agree that I prefer in character discussions where possible. But "really good" is pretty meaningless amongst strangers.
And, again, in real life one gets a quick feel for where people are relative to each other.
I disagree that your approach is more realistic.
I strongly suspect you're far less rigid than you're coming across as. Because if you're as absolute as you say I'd expect you to have received considerable negative feedback. I'd certainly have told you why I'd never play at your table.
Edit: I just saw your post above. As I suspected, you ARE a lot less rigid than I was interpreting you as.
One thing that annoys me is DMs who make announcements about their DMing style when you sit down at the table. Such announcements invariably end up being some warning to the players about how the DM strictly adheres to something. In theory, the DM is being polite by making this announcement. In practice he is making all the players paranoid about their behavior and I do not find paranoia conducive to fun. Strictly adhering to something in a home game where everyone is on the same page is fine. But in organized play, where there is a huge variety of play styles, strictly adhering to anything to the point you feel it is necessary to make an announcement is bound to drive players away, or at the very least, make them feel uncomfortable.
I find this very interesting. I'm one of those GMs who announces stuff before hand. I honestly can't see where anything I say would cause paranoia, but obviously I'm biased.
Could you please give some concrete examples of "bad" things GMs say?
Dan Simons wrote:
While I sympathize with you I strongly believe that you are wrong.
With hit points, a healing sort needs to know how many points you are down in order to decide how to heal you. In world, whatever the heck hit points represent to you, surely the experienced combat medic magically empowered by the gods would have a pretty good idea if you need a cure moderate or cure critical.
And hit points mean so many different things to different people that there is no way that somebodys description is going to be meaningful to somebody else.
Similarly with skills. A group of adventurers traveling together are soon going to know who is better at what skills. Especially in a PF world where the differences between characters are vastly greater than in reality.
The characters see a lot more than do the players and interact a lot more. Having the players know their character numbers is necessary in order to partly bridge that gap.
I prefer to err on the side of character competence.
The only real advantage that airwalk has is that you can battle-train a mount to use it, and thus have a flying mount.
Air walkers don't have to make fly checks to hover or to make sharp turns. Quite useful for people in heavy armor with no fly skill
Also, there are characters who can run faster than they can fly. My dwarvren cleric with speed 50 in medium armor prefers air walk to fly (he tends to memorize both, mind),
I agree with all of the above (Especially the first). However, there are an immense number of characters that, purely mechanically, are best done by an Aasimar or Tiefling. And some of the early entry prestige class characters all but require them (I have a Mystic Theurge who is Aasimar from necessity. I'd much prefer for her to be human).
I'm enough of a power gamer to dislike knowing that an Aasimar bard is significantly better than my Human bard. It bugs me that I had to pay a price to be human.
If I do a quick audit the information I want is actually fairly hard and time consuming to acquire.
Total money gained
That is the information I'd like to see tracked
Jeff Mahood wrote:
I was at Jeffs table and I think I was the one who said that :-)
My character was the only one with knowledge engineering, and only at a +6. And with only the 4 characters there was no "spare" to play with the lamps. Might easily work better with more players. Smashing the statue just looked like a much better use of the action economy.
My biggest single issue was with legendary magic. I had to constantly delay and make very quick decisions to decide what to cast. Even with an experienced player limiting himself to CRB spells it took time and was frustrating since I "knew" I was making seriously suboptimal choices.
The power disparity between the character using the book, the 2 of us using the chronicle sheet, and the pregen using the template was also obvious.
Although (at tier 3-4 with 4 character adjustment) the fights were less tough than I expected. A group of 4 well built and well played characters could likely have succeeded without mythic power.
I'd second Jeff's opinion that it didn't really feel mythic. The chase scene had the most potential but some really bad die rolls on my part stopped that. Its hard to feel mythic when (after the surge) you're still failing to make progress with trained skills :-(
Druids are definitely a very powerful class. Up to about level 8 or so they're probably a contender for the most powerful class (only a contender, its very arguable).
But beyond that, while still staying very powerful, they pretty clearly start to lose ground to the other full spell casters. Wizards and sorcerers still pretty much rule, especially if twinked out.
I know that the OP absolutely loathes animal companions and I think that is slanting his opinion. Especially now that oracles, sorcerors, etc can all get companions these days.
One place where they DO excel is in how easy it is to build a good druid. Obviously system mastery is still rewarded but it is pretty hard to build a druid who isn't quite decent.
The Mighty Grognard wrote:
There is no such restriction as far as I can see. Certainly there is NOT that restriction in the prd nor in my bestiary in the universal monster rules. Where are you finding this restriction?
Prince of Knives wrote:
On the subject of paladins (but why is this in the rules forum?) I found something that the BoED said about Good and sexuality to be fairly profound; while individual dogmas may differ, what Good as an alignment/planar faction cares about is that sexual relationships are defined by consent and mutual respect. A paladin being sexually active, hiring a lady of negotiable affection, or being such a lady doesn't preclude that requirement at all, since all it's really asking is that you remember that the person you're with is a human being with wants, needs, and fears - and that you remain sensitive to that.
I like this, but it has some interesting complications.
It strongly implies, for example, that while the paladin would have no issue with a courtesan who voluntarily chose that life he would have significant issues with somebody who was essentially forced into prostitution to survive, or with sex slaves, etc.
"consent" is not a trivial thing to define. As is shown by countless court cases in the real world. Clerics and paladins are often going to be in a position of real authority, further complicating things.
And gray is so much more interesting than black and white, even with paladins.
Many of us are saying that you can only do that if the player of the tank agrees to it.
I don't think anybody has any problems as long as the player agrees
Don Walker wrote:
Never noticed that.
Its rather silly. Almost everybody up here falls into 1 of 3 categories
1) playing a pregen
Matthew Morris wrote:
If they'd done that I'd have quit PFS as I presume the power gamers would be able to build absurd characters at lower levels than they currently can.
I"m guessing the current boon isn't a huge deal. At worst translates to trashing one encounter per character. I don't like that but its less problematic than some of the season 4 boons.
I think PFS has far too much power differential between experienced and inexperienced players already and vehemently oppose things making it worse,
Maybe I'm just lucky in our players but I've NEVER seen any actual problems up here. We tell new players "no PVP without player permission" and people accept it. They don't ask exactly what we mean, they don't try and push the limits, they just cooperate. People only ask to do something that might be considered PVP if they have a good reason, people generally say yes for precisely the same reason.
Is all this discussion just theoretical? Or are people semi-regularly seeing actual problems?
Michael Lehofer-Chavez 865 wrote:
I'm not BNW but I would like to point out that PFS is perhaps not the best venue for getting people to challenge their characters views of how Pathfinder defines good and evil, let alone how the player views it.
The bar AFTER the session seems like a much better place to me.
The Morphling wrote:
There is a complete lack of understanding by most GMs regarding the "PvP" rules. I've had a GM flat out tell the Alchemist they can't throw bombs into combat, even with Precise Bombs, because they "might miss" and splash on other players.
The rules are (deliberately, I presume ) fairly open to GM interpretation.
Up here, we generally interpret them as "the target has veto power over things that can harm it done by fellow PCs". We tell that to new players. I have NEVER seen a case where there has been an issue. One player will ask the other player if they're OK being fireballed OR a player will volunteer that they're fine being fireballed because they have evasion.
Just having them rule means it never comes up :-)
When the players actually understand math things like that which were intended to limit spells really made them significantly more powerful. Toss in some resist fire spells and suddenly a single fireball cleans out entire dungeons.
I have actually heard that said by players who are still power gaming but to a significantly lesser extent. They still make powerful builds but no longer make absurdly overpowered cheese builds.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Golarion is often described as a "kitchen sink" world where one can play out all sorts of different kinds of adventures.
Given that, it is not remotely surprising that people like some parts of the world far more than other parts. Most people are going to be seriously LESS interested in adventuring in some parts than others.
Numeria is one of the larger departures from "normal" fantasy in Golarion. Hence, it is likely to see a reasonable number of people who find it an area not to their tastes together with a reasonable number of people who are excited by the idea.
I think that is all you're seeing right now
Bbauzh ap Aghauzh wrote:
No, they take the feat that currently exists in the game that allows them to do unarmed damage. You can't use a trick to replace a feat.
You have nothing left to stand on.
RAW, they can take the feat if they are physically capable of taking it. Nothing about mental states in RAW. They are physically capable.
The game has lots of races capable of using unarmed strikes AND natural attacks so the one doesn't preclude the other.
Real world, animals can be trained to do non lethal unarmed strikes.