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Painlord's What to Expect at a PFS Table


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Qadira ***

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Greetings Mortals--

Back in the ol' days, in a realm far, far away called Living Greyhawk, a player named Ken Jenks posted what was an epic diatribe about what he expected other players to be able to do when he sat down with them at the LG table.

The post helped me during my LG days and it still haunts during some games as I remember what I should be doing and what I should be able to do. PFS and LG as similar, but not identical. Ken's point was excellent: at certain points within the PFS game, your character should be able to do certain things and handle certain encounters.

Here is my updated version for Pathfinder Society Play. Ignore at your leisure...but if you can accomplish the stuff below, I bet you're a pretty good, balanced player.

What I expect:

After your first mod:

After your first mod, I expect you to have a Potion of Cure Light Wounds and have the foresight to mention to your traveling companions wherein it might be found on your body. The only person responsible for healing you is you. (When you have 2 PA, I expect you to get a Wand of CLW.) Everyone should be able to easily stabilize another party member.

I expect you to have a way to deal damage at range: a ranged weapon, scrolls, wand or whatever.

You should have a way to deal with swarms. Of course, alchemist flasks are the easiest, but you may want something else. You know and I know that PFS mods are swarming with swarms...find a solution that fits your character.

I expect that you have a smokestick/fog effect and a way to create fire and light. Sure, a few tindertwigs and a sunrod or light spell. If you're prone to poisoning, I expect you to have antitoxin.

I expect that melee characters will have a back up weapon and spellcasters have a backup spell component pouch/holy symbol in case something happens to the primary.

After 2 chronicles, I expect every player to contribute to group healing...even if it's just handing off a Wand of CLW. Responsibility for your healing does *NOT* reside with any other character other than yourself. I expect you to be able to help in the healing...if the party happens to have a character who actively assumes the role, that is different. Never expect that it is someone else's job.

At level 3:

I expect you to be able to play your character efficiently with whatever role you choose. I expect that you will do something to help the party every round even if it is just using the Aid Another action or casting Guidance. *ALWAYS DO SOMETHING.* I expect that you will be able to properly use the Delay and Ready actions to align your character with the actions of others.

If you have a knowledge skill to identify a monster, I expect that you make that roll before you do anything else on your turn.

Melee types: I expect you to have a magic weapon or a way to get your weapon magicked (have scrolls of Magic Weapon to pass out). I expect you to have a secondary weapons of cold iron and silver. I expect you to be able to overcome DR to slashing, piercing, and blunt. (My personal favorite is a silvered morningstar: silver, piercing, and bludgeoning.) I expect you to be able to deal non-lethal damage.

Ranged types: I expect you to have a magic weapon or a way to get your weapon magicked (have scrolls of Magic Weapon to pass out). I expect you to have ammo of both cold iron and silver. I expect you to have a back up plan to handle close combat and overcoming DRs to slashing, piercing and blunt.

Caster types: I expect you to have the beginnings of a spellcasting library in scroll form so that you can handle some of the different and random situations that might come up. I expect that you will have a solution to help the party deal with swarms and invisible foes...you are the best equipped to handle them, regardless of your class. Your library should have some spells that scale nicely on a scroll: Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Comprehend Languages, Endure Elements, Faerie Fire, etc.

I expect you to know how to use your basic spells in combat and have your spell descriptions in front of you *before* you cast the spell. I expect you to know how staple spells work: Magic Missle, Glitterdust, Spiritual Hammer, Grease...whatever your butter is, be able to spread it. I expect you to know how your area of effect spells may be placed...know what a cone looks like and the area effect of a Silence.

At level 5:

Every character should have the ability to fly...even if it's just a potion of fly. Sure, levitate works, so might spider climb. But have something. Nothing is more saddening than watching Thongar the Barbarian sulk because his prey took to the air. A prepped player should have a potion of fly so he could become *THONGAR*, Master of Airborne Pain and Suffering.

Every character should have a way to both breathe and fight underwater. Learn the basics of underwater combat and have a solution ready.

I expect you to be able to overcome magical darkness, like the effect from a drow or derro.

I expect you will start building a nice utility scroll/potion collection to handle things that might happen or could face: Protection from Evil, Lesser Restoration, Remove Blindness, Cure Disease, Restoration, etc. Included in that collection should be elemental protection as well (Resist Energy, Prot Energy) for when you know you're walking into the Dragon's Lair. What else is in your collection?

At level 7:

I expect every character will have a few "get out of jail" cards at their disposal...some magic item that will get them out of a jam when something goes wrong. Potions of Fly and Gaseous Form work pretty well in this regard and are 'free' (2 PA). Have ways to save yourself from needing to spend 16 PA on Raise Dead.

I expect that players will start sharing magical items with their companions, especially items that amplify abilities. "Mr. Mage, I have here a few scrolls of Enlarge Person and a pair of Pearls of Power 1. I like to be enlarged and if there is time in or before combat to make it happen, it would make me happy. I have potions of Enlarge Person as well if you don't have the chance." "Mr. Fighter, please wear this platinum ring...I'll wear it's companion and take some of your damage in the upcoming fight." "I have an old magical Cloak that I don't wear anymore...does anyone need it?"

I expect players to have a Potion of Invisibility or a way to sneak effectively when needed. Yep, even those wearing 50lbs of Plate Mail should have a way to sneak. There are times when sneaking when is a reasonable and fun solution to an encounter...or sometimes one just needs another escape option.

I expect all characters to begin to formulate a plan to tackle demons and devils, elementals and constructs, blobs and oozes. Each player needs to begin working on ways to bypass various DRs, SRs, and special defenses.

I expect players to begin to think about solutions to being grappled or helping others who are grappled. Melee types should have easy access to a light weapon, casters easy access to magical solutions (scrolls of Grease, Freedom of Movement, etc.).

At level 9:

Weak willed types: About now, I expect you to have solutions (or reasonable resistance) to mind influencing, mind control, and fear effects. At higher tiers, these are more prevalent and only YOU are responsible for being ready. I don't care if it's Iron Will, Improved Iron Will (or PFS faction shirt), Circles of Protection, or properly outfitted Wayfinders with Ioun Stones, find a solution. There is nothing worse than having the big beefy fighter turn against the party.

I expect all players to have a plan to tackle demons and devils, elementals and constructs, blobs and oozes. Each player needs to have ways to bypass various DRs, SRs, and special defenses.

After reading all that, I remember again the axiom from LG: about 10% of your gained wealth should go into consumables. Looking above, it still seems to be correct. Between spending PA and gold, about 10% of your income could be consumables.

Ken ended his post with following (which I think is still poignant): "As you can see, I have high expectations. What are yours?"

My characters aren't perfectly aligned with the above...but after typing this post, I'll begin to take steps to get more prepared. I expect a lot from my characters. Some of my characters, for roleplaying reasons, may or may not have some of the above...but I'll know that and accept that. In fact, I heartily accept and admire different expectations based on roleplayin.

What about you? What do you expect?

-Pain

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for a few good chuckles. Most of what you list are great ideas, however, listing them as "expectations" is humorous in this setting.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I only have one expectation of my fellow players. I expect that you'll try to have a good time, and respect me desires to have a good time too. Nothing more, nothing less.

Osirion ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

While I do agree with your post, I gotta laugh. You'd hate to play with most of my players. Heck, I got a 9th level sorcerer who has no concepts of cones and who's first spell in combat is magic missile. I really wish I was joking, but I'm not.

We have paladin's who can't sneak, and have no concept that they play lawful stupid. We have rangers who can't track, we have rogues who can't search worth a damn, and... well, you get the idea.

Heck, in our entire group of 20+ players, only me and the other DM play dedicated clerics. Can't count the number of times I've had to save the entire party from TPK.

Oh, and my "get out of jail" card? A scroll of word of recall set to the Grand Lodge of Absalom.

Taldor ***

I'll be honest, man. I thought Ken Jenk's 'guide' was garbage back in Living Greyhawk. 10% of your wealth on consumables? Oh, please...

There is, however, one much more appropriate, universal expectation that renders Ken Jenk's guide close to null:

I expect you to know your role, to know what your PC can do and what your PC cannot do.

I expect you to let the AoE-focused arcanist blow up the swarms. I expect you to let the archer shoot down the flying creatures. I expect you to let the PCs who are built to handle the situation handle it.

And that's 10% of your wealth that you can now spend on doing what you do, better.

-Matt

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, all of this is really good advice, if a little tongue-in-cheek and pointed. I might see if I can soften it a bit, print it out, and hang it up on the wall at the local venue. I've broken a few of the commandments myself, but I make it plain up front to the table that I don't have those things and if they're needed, I may need to start borrowing some if we aren't going to get a chance to shop first.

Qadira ***

Mattastrophic wrote:

I'll be honest, man. I thought Ken Jenk's 'guide' was garbage back in Living Greyhawk. 10% of your wealth on consumables? Oh, please...

-Matt

Matt--

I still have the entire discussion and your responses to the post. Very interesting reading and interesting discussion.

Glad you made it to PFS.

-Pain

Taldor ***

Painlord wrote:

Matt--

I still have the entire discussion and your responses to the post. Very interesting reading and interesting discussion.

Glad you made it to PFS.

-Pain

Interesting? Thanks, man. I'll admit, I think I was kinda in my "angry gamer" phase when I made those posts. I guess that's what happens when you have to get up for work at 5AM...

Never again,
-Matt

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Netherlands—Leiden

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Painlord wrote:
What do you expect?

I expect you to not wonder off during combat to complete your faction mission.

I expect you to finish the current encounter before triggering the next.

Andoran *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

But..

No one Expects the Inquisitor!

Taldor ***

Expecting someone to know the rules is even a stretch. PFS says that you should have a core rule book - but that isn't the case, and at Vegas Game Day I will not turn you away for not having a book. Heck, one of my players doesn't have the core rule book, he has is own version. He's separated all the pages and printed his PDF and bound it by sections, inserting APG Classes, spells and other areas into his 'core rule book.'
But others do not even have the book - and for those that don't have the book, they can borrow my extra one for that purpose.
Furthermore, most of the players I know, don't even access the Paizo forums, much less the PFS Section. I am happy to have just gotten them to register their characters.

As a GM the only thing you can expect from me when I play Goldfrapp the Naked Taldoran Trebuchet is that I will get naked. At 8th level, he has 5 different classes - with the expectation of taking at least one more. Thus, he's not very powerful in any thing. I wouldn't expect me to even be prepared for a ready or delayed action and preparing for me to make it easier for me or even for my party.
As a player, my only expectation is that I have fun and try to help the GM and other players have fun at the table as well.

However, with all that - I like the ideas and think they are wonderful. I haven't considered 90% of those ideas or options. I have been saving my PA to get me Raise Dead and Resurrection, but I haven't needed it yet - so maybe I should use some of it for furthering the goals of the party.
Thanks for the post and I'll take the ideas with a grain of sugar.

Be Well. Be Well Expected.
Theocrat Issak

Cheliax *

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Having played Living Greyhawk (The Bandit Kingdoms, no less), I can understand where a lot of those recommendations (and that list you reference) comes from.

But on another token, I agree with Chris and some others that it A) Needs to be softened a bit and B) I think just expecting a party member to fulfill their role is good enough. Do I love it when people do these things? Yes. Do I strive to do many of these things? Hell yes. A Cleric with Scribe Scroll was my favorite setup in LG and I always consider the necessity of contingency planning.

But please do not come to a table with a laundry list of expectations on if they are a "good, balanced player".

My biggest pet peeve in Org. Play has been when at the start of a session, being criticized because my character is not "good enough" or "min maxed" enough to meet their standards. And then the implied "you shouldn't be at my table" comments that come with it. This has happened to me on several occasions, so far as for one person expect me to have a certificate attainable only at Origins/GenCon and be told "well, if you're going to play [Organized Play], you need to go to big cons". This was only more laughable by the fact that I was 17 at the time. Not exactly swimming in cash. Sometimes this criticism was on base; I've played some off things. Other times it was just because I wasn't the optimized build for that role. But I've never brought a character to a table that cannot contribute.

I shrugged this off because I was used to people taking Organized Play a bit too seriously. But if someone newer comes and sits down and is handed/told a list of ways they're "doing it wrong", that's probably going to be a rather discouraging event and might make them reconsider playing PFS.

Andoran ****

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are some good tips in there for a serious player. But if everyone was that prepared, the game would seem bland.

I expect each player to have a reasonably good idea of what thier character can do. I hope they have a cool backstory that can add some flavor to the game. I hope we will all work together to solve problems and win fights.

I expect each player to have fun and allow others to have fun as well. I expect to laugh with my fellow players and be challenged and entertained with the scenario.

I expect to roll a 20, 5% of the time.

I prefer a Mountain Dew, but will accept a Mellow Yellow.

I expect I will have to use the bathroom at least once during the scenario.

I hope that my buddy from Ireland will not make fun of my lame attempt at an accent.

I expect a loud "Huzzah" or cheer from the table when we defeat the big bad guy or figure out a critical clue.

I hope you will wear clean socks.

That's about it.

Qadira ***** Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Raleigh aka Omega Man

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My primary expectation is that everyone at the table has fun.
All the rest is gravy.

At a convention, I also believe in the 3-2-1 rule...

3 hours of sleep a night (minimum)

2 meals a day

1 shower (for the love of god, adhere to this rule)

Qadira ***

bdk86 wrote:

But please do not come to a table with a laundry list of expectations on if they are a "good, balanced player".

I've of two minds about this, bdk86.

I agree that having high expectations is a two edged sword. However, you can read my thought about what I think is really important when playing PFS. I think being fun and present and roleplaying is infinitely more important than whatever cheez you think you are bringing to the table.

However, there are some players who are newer to this game and may want to discuss how how and *when* to be better prepared...and that's where I was when I first read Ken's post long ago. It gave me a goal and an ideal to shoot for when I built my own characters...if I wanted to.

-Pain

Qadira *****

If everyone has fun and no one smells like a dead rat I'm ok. If the players aren't having fun then it's pointless -- one would hope as a GM that the player would state his unhappiness be something with the module or my GMing style.. the dead rate smell .. well one can only hope it's not Kyle sleeping under the table again hehe.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Thea Peters wrote:
If everyone has fun and no one smells like a dead rat I'm ok. If the players aren't having fun then it's pointless -- one would hope as a GM that the player would state his unhappiness be something with the module or my GMing style.. the dead rate smell .. well one can only hope it's not Kyle sleeping under the table again hehe.

That only happened at Origins!.. twice.

Qadira *****

Kyle Baird wrote:
Thea Peters wrote:
If everyone has fun and no one smells like a dead rat I'm ok. If the players aren't having fun then it's pointless -- one would hope as a GM that the player would state his unhappiness be something with the module or my GMing style.. the dead rate smell .. well one can only hope it's not Kyle sleeping under the table again hehe.
That only happened at Origins!.. twice.

I know .. next year I'll have a sharpie handy -- thinking Kyle with a hot pink mustache and a purple goatee could be interesting

Osirion ***

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My only expectation as a gm is that when I tell you that you are wrong, you will not pout. And you you will not counter GM me.

Yea, it happens....

Sigh...

At Gen Con no less...

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Griffin-Wade wrote:

My only expectation as a gm is that when I tell you that you are wrong, you will not pout. And you you will not counter GM me.

Yea, it happens....

Sigh...

At Gen Con no less...

Don't worry, I'll only counter GM you when you're wrong. ;-)

Cheliax *

Painlord wrote:

However, there are some players who are newer to this game and may want to discuss how how and *when* to be better prepared...and that's where I was when I first read Ken's post long ago. It gave me a goal and an ideal to shoot for when I built my own characters...if I wanted to.

And that is something I love a list like this for, as we've all been there.

Qadira *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I do like the list. I wouldn't call them expectations per se, but it is nice even for showing to an experienced player to think "Oh crap I should buy some of that stuff!" That being said I do want to correct one misconception:

Spoiler:
You can't buy a Wand of Cure Light Wounds when you only have 2 PA unless you found one in a mission. You actually need to wait until you've gained 9 PA or found one on a chronicle. The 2 PA through faction doesn't bypass the gold limit as far as I know.

Now time to go spend some PA on characters for a few consumables that wouldn't be a bad idea...

Taldor *

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alizor wrote:

I do like the list. That being said I do want to correct one misconception:

On the first page of the "Shoping with Prestige Points" thread Josh answred that the PA purchase limit did not apply to items purchased with PA. In other words if you gain 2 PA in your very fist mod you can cash it in at the end for any single item up to 750GP.

Qadira *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just looked up said post, and I agree that Josh said this. However...

Spoiler:
I really really think things like these need to be incorporated into our living document, the Guide to Pathfinder Society. I just reread the latest guide to make sure wording hadn't been changed since ~January 2010 to indicate/clarify that total PA max gp does not apply to this kind of purchase. No wording was added to clarify this.

Even a simple FAQ section at the end of the document would suffice (and no I don't think a FAQ on the messageboards is an option... many people I know barely even know how to get to Paizo.com to get the Guide let alone read a messageboard FAQ.


Personally, I wouldn't expect a player to understand how the (AD&D) spell Spiritual Hammer works, but maybe my expectations are just too low. :-)

Does anyone have a link to the original post on the WotC boards?


Alizor wrote:
I really really think things like these need to be incorporated into our living document, the Guide to Pathfinder Society. I just reread the latest guide to make sure wording hadn't been changed since ~January 2010 to indicate/clarify that total PA max gp does not apply to this kind of purchase. No wording was added to clarify this.

So you don't feel that note 3 on table 11-1 is not clear enough?

Quote:
Once per scenario, you can acquire any single item of this cost or less from your faction by spending the appropriate PA.

**

Painlord wrote:
Here is my updated version for Pathfinder Society Play. Ignore at your leisure...but if you can accomplish the stuff below, I bet you're a pretty good, balanced player.

Thanks, I personally find these suggestions helpful. I've got some points covered, but I'll think about the others.

This reminds me of a useful LG guide:

http://www.tassek.anang.com/creation.html#buy

Taldor

[bookmarked].

After playing a level 2 witch and being the only player in a party that included a lvl 1 fighter (I'll give her a free pass), a lvl 4 monk with abysmal AC, a lvl 4 fighter, and lvl ? gravity bow archer, I can fully understand the frustrations you listed, especially with regards to the spoiler regarding a person's ability to heal themselves. I burnt through 27 charges on my precious PA-acquired CLW wand in one session due to no one having ANY form of healing on their person.

Please take it as a complement when I say that I am going to print out the issues you have raised so that certain events never repeat themselves during a PFS session that I am participating in.

In hindsight, I do believe playing a witch in PFS to be a trial in frustration, do the the number of undead, elementals, and other miscellaneous monsters that have an immunity to mind-affects.


Painlord wrote:

Greetings Mortals--

Back in the ol' days, in a realm far, far away called Living Greyhawk, a player named Ken Jenks posted what was an epic diatribe about what he expected other players to be able to do when he sat down with them at the LG table.

First a nit pick, you get a knowledge roll when you first see a creature rather than needing to wait until your turn in the initiative.

Secondly, managing consumables is a very fine talent that can make a difference in what your PC can achieve as much as any degree of optimization up from the iconic level.

Towards the second I would add that consumables should be viewed in 3 categories: everyday, special situation, and panic button.

The first (everyday) you use whenever the need comes up without much consideration.

The second (special) you save for just the right moment to really swing an encounter.

And the third (panic) is your get out of dodge thing that you bought but never wanted to use.

Now this is the important part, as you level things change categories. The scroll of command undead that perhaps started as a dire emergency at 1st level, became a special situation by 2nd or 3rd level, and by 6th-7th level becomes an everyday whenever you encounter a big mindless undead that you don't want to fight. Likewise the potion of fly that you spent 2PA to get started as an emergency escape at 2nd level (your 3&4thPA points spent), then became situational around 6th level, but by 10th its something that you use when the situation calls for it.

Anyway, I have found that with a decent set of consumables a PC is far more effective than without them.

-James

Qadira ***

james maissen wrote:


First a nit pick, you get a knowledge roll when you first see a creature rather than needing to wait until your turn in the initiative.

Agree and disagree. While I agree with your statement as RAW, I disagree on the timing at times. I think it is more polite/fair/nice/roleplayed if one can has a chance to act/take turn before asking for such.

Again, it's just a quibble with your quibble. I think if I'm teaching a new player to play the right way, I think it should be part of your "What to do on your first turn checklist" rather than "interrupting immediately when the bad guy shows his face", however, it's really minor and I'm not really unhappy unless the check just isn't even attempted.

-Pain

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Painlord

Thanks for sharing. I guess the biggest issue as mentioned by others are the wording. Expectations are a strong word . It reminds me of a quote I recently read.

Happiness means to have someones own expectations fulfilled. The best way to happiness therefore is to lower your own expectations.

Man - with the guide as written this would make you a very unhappy man at the games Table.

This aside - it is very useful and gives quite a few suggestions to new players. I just feel there is one aspect that is missing from PFS play - the factions with their missions as well as craft/profession to make money.

The guide right now only deals with overcoming monsters or odds. Doing missions is another important part of the game. So if you are a Taldoran you should probably have invested into knowledge nobility by level three. That's just part of being a Taldor faction member. Don't complain if you get a mission and don't know about dealing with the different houses because you have no clue which is which.
No diplomacy for an Andoran is likely as bad. It only occurred to me while reading the guide - but there are key skills - some of them different dependent on faction - that you just should invest as part of the PFS play.
There is more to PFS as slaying the monster in the most efficient way or to survive. The guide shouldn't miss that aspects of a good PFS play.

Thod


Painlord wrote:
james maissen wrote:


First a nit pick, you get a knowledge roll when you first see a creature rather than needing to wait until your turn in the initiative.

Agree and disagree. While I agree with your statement as RAW, I disagree on the timing at times. I think it is more polite/fair/nice/roleplayed if one can has a chance to act/take turn before asking for such.

Again, it's just a quibble with your quibble. I think if I'm teaching a new player to play the right way, I think it should be part of your "What to do on your first turn checklist" rather than "interrupting immediately when the bad guy shows his face", however, it's really minor and I'm not really unhappy unless the check just isn't even attempted.

-Pain

I guess I see it up there with asking for a spot check. I don't have to wait to see the bad guys until my turn.

For example, if I have combat reflexes I might be taking an AOO against them before that. It might be very prudent for me to know some of its abilities (say any non-reach attacks deal damage to the attacker, it's immune to X, etc).

In LG I encountered table variation where people didn't believe that you could know about the creature until your turn. This both contradicts the RAW and goes against common sense.

But in an organized play environment its good to quell propagating errors like this.

-James
PS: Rather than 'interrupting' its better DMing to know what knowledge skills the party has available to them and simply ask for them when describing something that they see. Depending upon the roll you can alter your description/choice of words.

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I also tend to allow the check only when the character first acts, not because they wouldn't have the knowledge before then, but because I wouldn't allow them to communicate the information until they act.

As to the original list... my only expectation is that people come to have fun in a non-confrontational environment.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

Mattastrophic wrote:

I expect you to let the AoE-focused arcanist blow up the swarms. I expect you to let the archer shoot down the flying creatures. I expect you to let the PCs who are built to handle the situation handle it.

And that's 10% of your wealth that you can now spend on doing what you do, better.

Like everything else, the important concept is balance. Someone who tries to do too much and fails is as useless as a "one trick pony" who sits in the corner when his niche expertise won't work.

I have one expectation from those I play with: Use your ingenuity and don't give up. Nothing frustrates me more than someone who moves his character away from the fight because "I can't do anything" while another PC is in the thick, struggling to help her comrades when she's down to her last 2 hit points. The creature is invisible, shrouded in darkness, flying, underwater, has damage resistance, or a high armor class? So what?! Find a way to help the party anyway: Cleverness and "grit" can find ways to achieve seemingly-impossible results.

I don't mean that surrender or retreat aren't options: Sometimes "swords will not avail here" and all you can do is fall back or yield. My point is that superior play can often turn the tide, even when the odds are against you.


Sir_Wulf wrote:


I have one expectation from those I play with: Use your ingenuity and don't give up. Nothing frustrates me more than someone who moves his character away from the fight because "I can't do anything" while another PC is in the thick, struggling to help her comrades when she's down to her last 2 hit points. The creature is invisible, shrouded in darkness, flying, underwater, has damage resistance, or a high armor class? So what?! Find a way to help the party anyway: Cleverness and "grit" can find ways to achieve seemingly-impossible results.

This is fine, so long as you are with players who think quickly. For players who are used to being able to sit in a home game and think for several minutes to come up with something they can do, getting into a more time-restricted environment like at a con or an event in a store where they do not have that kind of time available will often do nothing when what they could do is not obvious. Sure, some players will learn to think faster when playing, but many others will more likely give up and not participate as much during the scenario. This is the only real issue I have with the usual 4 hour time limit.


K Neil Shackleton wrote:

I also tend to allow the check only when the character first acts, not because they wouldn't have the knowledge before then, but because I wouldn't allow them to communicate the information until they act.

I disagree with this.

Characters can speak outside of their turn. Now you can limit how much is reasonable for them to say, but I think its wrong to deny them the ability to do so.

-James


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Sure, some players will learn to think faster when playing, but many others will more likely give up and not participate as much during the scenario.

That's fine the first time it happens, but if they don't adapt based on that afterward then they are letting others do the heavy lifting for them.

It's one thing to say 'I don't have anything that can deal with swarms' but after that module they should look into things like alchemists fires and the like. If they don't and the next time it comes up still say 'I don't have anything that can deal with that still' then I have issue with them.

Having a list of things that are nice things to have with you as an adventurer of X level is a good thing as it can pre-empt the 'I can't cope with that scenario'.

Imagine if you were actually your PC- risking life and limb, wouldn't there be some things that you would look into doing to help prepare for it?

-James

Grand Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
K Neil Shackleton wrote:

I also tend to allow the check only when the character first acts, not because they wouldn't have the knowledge before then, but because I wouldn't allow them to communicate the information until they act.

I disagree with this.

Characters can speak outside of their turn. Now you can limit how much is reasonable for them to say, but I think its wrong to deny them the ability to do so.

-James

I do allow them to speak outside of their turns, but not until they have acted (ie not flat-footed). I rule the same with other Free Actions.

And I do remind them that they have 6 seconds, including spellcasting, moving, fighting.... hard to convey much information.

But I certainly do not think that it is wrong to play differently.

*

james maissen wrote:
It's one thing to say 'I don't have anything that can deal with swarms' but after that module they should look into things like alchemists fires and the like. If they don't and the next time it comes up still say 'I don't have anything that can deal with that still' then I have issue with them.

What if your character has never encountered swarms yet in his/her career, but as a DM you have, would it be reasonable to assume that the character has heard about their abilities and prepare or is this metagaming?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

That's an excellent question, and the answer I think varies from campaign to campaign and character to character. Society characters, save those just getting started with Master of the Fallen Fortress, have the benefit of belonging to an extensive organization that keeps crazy, detailed notes of all that its members have accomplished. I don't think it's unreasonable for Pathfinder Society characters to be well-read and well-prepared for things that they have not personally encountered.

That said, Ansley Greenshields, a wide-eyed shepherd lass that I play in an online non-Society game, doesn't know much about anything save sheep, the few wolves that she has fought off while protecting sheep, and now the things that she has encountered: insane birds of prey, goblins, and insane shifters. I'd be willing to venture that she has a far from cyclopedic knowledge of even those things, and she certainly hasn't found a reason to buy alchemist's fire; her quarterstaff and sling are working just fine.

NeoFax wrote:
james maissen wrote:
It's one thing to say 'I don't have anything that can deal with swarms' but after that module they should look into things like alchemists fires and the like. If they don't and the next time it comes up still say 'I don't have anything that can deal with that still' then I have issue with them.
What if your character has never encountered swarms yet in his/her career, but as a DM you have, would it be reasonable to assume that the character has heard about their abilities and prepare or is this metagaming?

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Tucson aka Sir_Wulf

exile wrote:
Ansley Greenshields, a wide-eyed shepherd lass that I play in an online non-Society game, doesn't know much about anything save sheep, the few wolves that she has fought off while protecting sheep, and now the things that she has encountered: insane birds of prey, goblins, and insane shifters. I'd be willing to venture that she has a far from cyclopedic knowledge of even those things, and she certainly hasn't found a reason to buy alchemist's fire; her quarterstaff and sling are working just fine.

There's nothing wrong with roleplaying that, up to a point. I've played with characters who had all sorts of quirks, and some self-imposed limitations can really make games more fun. Some of my favorite PCs have been rather bizarre or limited, such as a half-ogre who could barely speak common, a deranged monk, and an arrogant patrician spellsword.

Unfortunately, I've also played with some that went beyond reasonable roleplaying. In Living Greyhawk, I played with someone whose mercenary character refused to fight without being paid, even as his fellow travelers were cut to pieces by ambushing assassins. "Nobody paid me to risk MY neck here." Another refused to wield any weapon but his family's ancestral bastard sword. A third refused to heal characters of races his PC disliked. If the character's sheltered background causes a few problems, that's cool; if it gets half the party killed, that isn't so cool. There has to be a line between an amusing roleplaying quirk and a crippling inability to function in dangerous environments.

A player should ask himself, "If I were one of those other guys, would I be willing to adventure with this PC?" If the answer is no, the PC needs to change (or the player needs a new PC).

Shadow Lodge **

Remember too we aren't JUST a party of adventurers. We are members of the Society and as such some things override preference/quirks.

Lugg doesn't bring along anything for swarms. He knows what's needed, he just feels there are those who are better equipped at handling it, and it'll just confuse him if he tries to keep track of everything. However, he DOES bring along a couple spare wands for his healing/enlarging, a potion of gaseous form, etc.

And of course if someone hands the idiot a flask, he certainly uses it. Unless it's from painlord...

Taldor ****

:wails:

But I want to spend my hard-earnt pay on a fabulously velvety cloak that will help me shrug off spells, not a wand that only heals me a quarter of the time I pronounce the command word correctly. Is that so much to ask?

Grand Lodge ****

Mosley Oakland wrote:

:wails:

But I want to spend my hard-earnt pay on a fabulously velvety cloak that will help me shrug off spells, not a wand that only heals me a quarter of the time I pronounce the command word correctly. Is that so much to ask?

Well, hand it to someone who knows how to use it then! They can't keep it due to the prohibition of giving away items, but they can use it for the length of the scenario. Better, just have it taped to your back so the cleric just has to run up, grab it, say the command word and be off. Odds are you'll have a divine caster in the party, just not one that wants to spend all of this spells and consumables on *you* instead of herself.

*

Mosley Oakland wrote:

:wails:

But I want to spend my hard-earnt pay on a fabulously velvety cloak that will help me shrug off spells, not a wand that only heals me a quarter of the time I pronounce the command word correctly. Is that so much to ask?

Not sure if you're joking or not, but you can spend 2 PA on a wand of cure light wounds, no gold needed.

Qadira ***** Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Raleigh aka Omega Man

Jason S wrote:
Mosley Oakland wrote:

:wails:

But I want to spend my hard-earnt pay on a fabulously velvety cloak that will help me shrug off spells, not a wand that only heals me a quarter of the time I pronounce the command word correctly. Is that so much to ask?

Not sure if you're joking or not, but you can spend 2 PA on a wand of cure light wounds, no gold needed.

And the 'fabulously velvety cloak that will help me shrug off spells' doesn't help you much if you're dead.

The 2PA is such a negligible cost that its almost a freebie.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hm... A lot of the earlier stuff (my highest-level character is a Fighter 3, freshly-leveled) I gradually gleaned from gameplay and/or perusing the boards. Most seem like at least semi-reasonable guidelines... especially the ones that are basically elaborating on one central idea: your character is your own responsibility.

As for details, I confess I do not yet have a magic weapon. 2k gold is a lot, especially given that the only immediate benefit (aside from a potential DR bypass) is a single point of extra damage. My gold so far has been going toward armor, mostly. I have a MW melee weapon (300-ish gp), a +1 buckler (1,162 gp), freshly-acquired +1 full plate (2,650 gp), a Cloak of Resistance +1 (1,000 gp if memory serves). That's about 5,000 gp after six sessions. I wouldn't even have that much if I hadn't played up due to table size a few times. With sub-tier 1-2 generally giving you about 500 gp and change each time, you can really only count on about 3,000 gp by the time you hit level 3. Get a magic weapon by then and you'll be buying almost nothing else. Now, a magic weapon by the time you *finish* level 3? Much more reasonable.

Qadira *

Jiggy wrote:
As for details, I confess I do not yet have a magic weapon. 2k gold is a lot, especially given that the only immediate benefit (aside from a potential DR bypass) is a single point of extra damage.

I agree, but you still need a way around DR/magic and incorporeality. Oils/scrolls of magic weapon will do the trick until a +1 weapon is affordable.

Cheliax ** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka drayen

Jiggy wrote:
As for details, I confess I do not yet have a magic weapon. 2k gold is a lot, especially given that the only immediate benefit (aside from a potential DR bypass) is a single point of extra damage. My gold so far has been going toward armor, mostly. I have a MW melee weapon (300-ish gp), a +1 buckler (1,162 gp), freshly-acquired +1 full plate (2,650 gp), a Cloak of Resistance +1 (1,000 gp if memory serves). That's about 5,000 gp after six sessions. I wouldn't even have that much if I hadn't played up due to table size a few times. With sub-tier 1-2 generally giving you about 500 gp and change each time, you can really only count on about 3,000 gp by the time you hit level 3. Get a magic weapon by then and you'll be buying almost nothing else. Now, a magic weapon by the time you *finish* level 3? Much more reasonable.

This comes down to how you envision your character. As a fighter, you decide to be offensive or defensive. Spend your money accordingly. I had a regular player who couldn't hit worth a damn, but he always stepped up into combat and happy to stand in the doorway to bottleneck enemies because of his high AC. His aim was defensive and he spent his money on armour first.

Grand Lodge ***

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I have to wonder if the OP also gives pop quizzes at his tables as well.

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