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Errata in the Middle of a Campaign


Advice

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1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Here's the situation. I'm running a campaign that's just about to end. We use all Pathfinder content (hardcovers).

I will say that everyone at the table (myself included) dropped the "errata ball." That is to say that we usually don't keep up with the printed errata as it usually doesn't affect game play that much.

Well now that's come back and bitten us in the collective rear end.

We have a party mage that has the metamagic feat Selective Spell (APG168). On at least three encounters he's cast a selective black tentacles, and at least two selective acid clouds.

When he did this, my BS detector went off, but as I read and reread the feat in the first printing of the APG, it appeared to be legal. So when I went to build a caster for a different campaign, that feat was the first one on the list to take. But when I read it on the SRD it was worded differently. Then I checked and saw that it had been changed via errata.

I advised the player of this and his solution is to keep the feat as usual (pre errata) until the end of the campaign (we're in the last adventure). My solution is to change it immediately, and offer him the chance to change the feat out if he wants.

I want to keep him at the table as he's an excellent player, but there needs to be a middle ground here.

This feat pre errata is very difficult to deal with in the current campaign without a lot of DM fiat. My current solution is to alter the feat so that the first round it acts pre errata, then after that it acts post errata. That essentially gives the players one free round of actions before being affected.

Does anyone have any other thoughts on fair compromises to keep him at the table?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Your offer to replace the feat, or use it post errata sounds very reasonable. Any character concept based solely on one feat alone is a poor concept. If you feel rather generous, you can offer to allow him to recreate his character from the ground up. Let him know that as errata effects players, it also effects NPCs and monsters. Fair is fair.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Your offer to replace the feat, or use it post errata sounds very reasonable. Any character concept based solely on one feat alone is a poor concept. If you feel rather generous, you can offer to allow him to recreate his character from the ground up. Let him know that as errata effects players, it also effects NPCs and monsters. Fair is fair.

Thanks for the reply BBT. This is a level 13 campaign currently and rebuilding just about ANY character from the ground up is a very time consuming process for the last adventure. I'd like to avoid that option if at all possible. And honestly his character is extremely viable even without the feat. I think part of the problem is just getting him to realize that.


It is the end of the game, but at the same time I am a GM, and if something is an issue I don't like to deal with it.

Would the player think it was fair if you used the pre-errata version against the party? I am not saying do so, but I am not saying don't do it either. If he complains about turned table then I would suggest he get rid of the feat. Either it is fair for everyone to have the feat or nobody should have it.

If you are less than 3 sessions away from ending the game I might metagame a little and have the bad guys be able to not be affected by some spells, by dispelling the spell or teleporting out of it. Giving them high saves is also an option. Having a counterspelling caster is also an option. He pretty much burns up his spells.

Things like scrying and having bad guys escape can help with that.
---------------------------------------------------

I would be willing to accept the feat change because I would see it as cheating otherwise. If he isn't going to take the change I am going to assume he has never GM'd before. I see no reason to get mad about something he never should have had anyway.

I will also suggest not allowing anything that seems to good, and making a houserule that errata always take precedent so that if someone get something that is too good they can't cry foul later on.


wraithstrike wrote:

It is the end of the game, but at the same time I am a GM, and if something is an issue I don't like to deal with it.

Would the player think it was fair if you used the pre-errata version against the party? I am not saying do so, but I am not saying don't do it either. If he complains about turned table then I would suggest he get rid of the feat. Either it is fair for everyone to have the feat or nobody should have it.

If you are less than 3 sessions away from ending the game I might metagame a little and have the bad guys be able to not be affected by some spells, by dispelling the spell or teleporting out of it. Giving them high saves is also an option. Having a counterspelling caster is also an option. He pretty much burns up his spells.

Things like scrying and having bad guys escape can help with that.
---------------------------------------------------

I would be willing to accept the feat change because I would see it as cheating otherwise. If he isn't going to take the change I am going to assume he has never GM'd before. I see no reason to get mad about something he never should have had anyway.

I will also suggest not allowing anything that seems to good, and making a houserule that errata always take precedent so that if someone get something that is too good they can't cry foul later on.

Lesson learned as far as errata is concerned. I'll have to stay on top of it, and for the next campaign if errata is found, it takes effect immediately. It just hasn't really impacted the campaign very much until now.

Really, all I'm looking for is a decent compromise so that we can do more playing than debating come game time.

Using the feat against the party would be pretty cheesy at this point I think. It would drive the whole thing home, but really wouldn't be fun for any of the players.

And though we're on the last adventure we're definitely more than 3 sessions away from finishing the whole thing.


I honestly agree with your player. If it is indeed the last adventure, just tough it out and start any new things with the "corrected" version.

If things have truly been allowed to go for a while with no one noticing (and honestly, checking errata is one of the first things that should happen when something seems "too good"), then it is really is unfair to switch gears in the middle of a campaign. Even allowing retuning is not a viable solution, as the player could have constructed the entire character with the vision that this should be his specialty.

If you really feel the need to, try this "Ok, we'll roll with it as is, but in order to be excluded, they have to be inside the spell effect when it happens. Ergo, no casting Tentacles, excluding 4 people, and then them running in. They have to be INSIDE the AOE of the tentacles when it happens."


Robb Smith wrote:

I honestly agree with your player. If it is indeed the last adventure, just tough it out and start any new things with the "corrected" version.

If things have truly been allowed to go for a while with no one noticing (and honestly, checking errata is one of the first things that should happen when something seems "too good"), then it is really is unfair to switch gears in the middle of a campaign. Even allowing retuning is not a viable solution, as the player could have constructed the entire character with the vision that this should be his specialty.

If you really feel the need to, try this "Ok, we'll roll with it as is, but in order to be excluded, they have to be inside the spell effect when it happens. Ergo, no casting Tentacles, excluding 4 people, and then them running in. They have to be INSIDE the AOE of the tentacles when it happens."

Thanks for the post Robb :)

A couple of things. First, you're right I should have checked the errata the very first time he cast it. I failed in that regard.

The only issue I have with "toughing it out" as is is that it's rather powerful and potentially game breaking at this level. As far as retuning, or respeccing the feat, I think his 13th level caster is MORE than a one trick pony. He's perfectly viable without the pre errata feat. Convincing him of that may be a different story, but the feat just puts it over the top, so to speak.

As for your exclusion suggestion, he purposefully places the spell after everyone gets in the AOE. One of the main drawbacks of a battlefield controller character is trying to not catch your allies in the spell. I think it's one of the things that balances the tactic. The feat pre errata makes it a little too easy to bypass that IMO.


SithHunter wrote:


Lesson learned as far as errata is concerned. I'll have to stay on top of it, and for the next campaign if errata is found, it takes effect immediately. It just hasn't really impacted the campaign very much until now.

Really, all I'm looking for is a decent compromise so that we can do more playing than debating come game time.

Using the feat against the party would be pretty cheesy at this point I think. It would drive the whole thing home, but really wouldn't be fun for any of the players.

And though we're on the last adventure we're definitely more than 3 sessions away from finishing the whole thing.

Ask the player to think of something reasonable or let the group as a whole vote on it. You don't have to tell them you are not going to use the pre-errata version, but strongly hinting that way should let you know if they really think it is balanced or not. I personally think that a person should always follow the "what's good for goose is good for the gander" train of thought when picking an ability.

If you have to deal with this for a few more months I think it should be changed.

For me it would depend on how many more session I had to go through dealing with it. For me 3 is the magic number.

You can also allow him to continue to have his fun, just make sure the final fight is not so easily influenced by the ability.


wraithstrike wrote:
SithHunter wrote:


Lesson learned as far as errata is concerned. I'll have to stay on top of it, and for the next campaign if errata is found, it takes effect immediately. It just hasn't really impacted the campaign very much until now.

Really, all I'm looking for is a decent compromise so that we can do more playing than debating come game time.

Using the feat against the party would be pretty cheesy at this point I think. It would drive the whole thing home, but really wouldn't be fun for any of the players.

And though we're on the last adventure we're definitely more than 3 sessions away from finishing the whole thing.

Ask the player to think of something reasonable or let the group as a whole vote on it. You don't have to tell them you are not going to use the pre-errata version, but strongly hinting that way should let you know if they really think it is balanced or not. I personally think that a person should always follow the "what's good for goose is good for the gander" train of thought when picking an ability.

If you have to deal with this for a few more months I think it should be changed.

For me it would depend on how many more session I had to go through dealing with it. For me 3 is the magic number.

You can also allow him to continue to have his fun, just make sure the final fight is not so easily influenced by the ability.

All good points, wraithstrike. I really don't like using DM influence (ie, using the power against the players, or using DM fiat to "balance" it)to metagame overpowered feats away. My position is that it should be either changed or respecced. I'm hoping to find other options if those don't work.


Just out of curiosity, is this a homebrew, or is it an adventure path?

The reason I ask is because, if it's homebrew, there are lots of things to get around it. Freedom of Movement, Cleric domain abilities, Ring of Counterspells, (Greater) Dispel Magic, Dimension Door... all of these things are things that the party should be probably be encountering at this level anyway.

If it's an Adventure Path, your options are of course more limited.

However, rest assured that any NPC caster I ran who encountered (and successfully spellcrafted) a Selective Black Tentacles's response would be "Eff that noise." You are well within your rights to meta the crap out of that.

As for the "feel like you're picking on" aspect... that's what BBEGs do. They identify your weaknesses and dependencies and try to take them away from you.


I think the best idea I have seen on this thread is to have the selective aspect only work on the first round.
Because really: You are only supposed to be able to use it on instantaneous spells...
If the character is used to using it on a non-instantaneous spell, just represent how that would work.. i.e. the tentacles are summoned up in an area, minus a certain number of squares. Then by the next round the 'instantaneous' selective metamagic has worn off, and the tentacles spread out to the remaining squares as they take control.
Makes thematic sense, not unbalanced, and to me it seems very fair to the player.


Robb Smith wrote:

Just out of curiosity, is this a homebrew, or is it an adventure path?

The reason I ask is because, if it's homebrew, there are lots of things to get around it. Freedom of Movement, Cleric domain abilities, Ring of Counterspells, (Greater) Dispel Magic, Dimension Door... all of these things are things that the party should be probably be encountering at this level anyway.

If it's an Adventure Path, your options are of course more limited.

However, rest assured that any NPC caster I ran who encountered (and successfully spellcrafted) a Selective Black Tentacles's response would be "Eff that noise." You are well within your rights to meta the crap out of that.

As for the "feel like you're picking on" aspect... that's what BBEGs do. They identify your weaknesses and dependencies and try to take them away from you.

Agreed. In a homebrew campaign this would be less of a problem. But this is an AP I'm running, and I want to keep the flavor as much as possible.


Interzone wrote:

I think the best idea I have seen on this thread is to have the selective aspect only work on the first round.

Because really: You are only supposed to be able to use it on instantaneous spells...
If the character is used to using it on a non-instantaneous spell, just represent how that would work.. i.e. the tentacles are summoned up in an area, minus a certain number of squares. Then by the next round the 'instantaneous' selective metamagic has worn off, and the tentacles spread out to the remaining squares as they take control.
Makes thematic sense, not unbalanced, and to me it seems very fair to the player.

Well that was one of my ideas. I was hoping for others, but confirmation that this is the best way is also good. Appreciate the post Interzone :)


Interzone wrote:

I think the best idea I have seen on this thread is to have the selective aspect only work on the first round.

Because really: You are only supposed to be able to use it on instantaneous spells...
If the character is used to using it on a non-instantaneous spell, just represent how that would work.. i.e. the tentacles are summoned up in an area, minus a certain number of squares. Then by the next round the 'instantaneous' selective metamagic has worn off, and the tentacles spread out to the remaining squares as they take control.
Makes thematic sense, not unbalanced, and to me it seems very fair to the player.

Is the errata not reflected in the PRD? I see nothing that would restrict Selective Spell to instantaneous spells.

PRD wrote:

Selective Spell (Metamagic)

Your allies need not fear friendly fire.

Prerequisite: Spellcraft 10 ranks.

Benefit: When casting a selective spell with an area effect, you can choose a number of targets in the area equal to the ability score modifier used to determine bonus spells of the same type (Charisma for bards, oracles, paladins, sorcerers, and summoners; Intelligence for witches and wizards; Wisdom for clerics, druids, inquisitors, and rangers). These targets are excluded from the effects of your spell. A selective spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.

Spells that do not have an area of effect do not benefit from this feat.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The PRD does not have it.


Cheapy is correct. The website is normally updated when the errata is. I guess it is time to inform them(Paizo) that the errata is missing.


It is on the PFSRD however. I believe that's how I found the changed wording.

Osirion

Personally, I'd let the player continue to use the feat as he has been until the end of the campaign. Why?

If it was really an issue of being "too good" for play, then the dm should have addressed it a long time ago. By allowing him to use it up to this point, the dm has basically implied that while it's really good, it isn't game breaking. As a player, that's what I would have gotten from the situation. After all, if it was game breaking, then the dm would have told him that he couldn't use the feat. Just like many games run concerning leadership.

So if it's not "too good" for play, and just a very good ability, then it's not game breaking to allow him to use it until the end of the campaign.

At that point, I might tell everyone to use the srd when designing their characters and that any errata will be implemented immediately. That way, you won't have this issue come up again.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's gamebreaking enough such that there was official errata to get rid of that loophole.


I can see both sides of the argument but in the end if it was my character I would go with the change. Especially since you offered a feat change to compensate for the errata. I believe you are being more then fair.

Cheliax

[QUOTE="SithHunter"
Does anyone have any other thoughts on fair compromises to keep him at the table?

I'm inclined to side with the player on this. If the adventure is almost over, I don't see any reason not to continue as it was. If he's kicking too much ass, your opposition isn't tough enough anyway.


Magicdealer wrote:

Personally, I'd let the player continue to use the feat as he has been until the end of the campaign. Why?

If it was really an issue of being "too good" for play, then the dm should have addressed it a long time ago. By allowing him to use it up to this point, the dm has basically implied that while it's really good, it isn't game breaking. As a player, that's what I would have gotten from the situation. After all, if it was game breaking, then the dm would have told him that he couldn't use the feat. Just like many games run concerning leadership.

So if it's not "too good" for play, and just a very good ability, then it's not game breaking to allow him to use it until the end of the campaign.

At that point, I might tell everyone to use the srd when designing their characters and that any errata will be implemented immediately. That way, you won't have this issue come up again.

Thanks for the reply MD. Actually I thought it was too good when he first used it, but when I checked the APG (1st printing) I thought it was legit, so I let it go. Unfortunately I didn't think to check the errata and I'm noticing that I seem to have to adjust more and more for the pre errata feat. I don't blame the player mind you. He's using the rules as they were printed.

Just imagine being able to cast AOE clouds, debuffs, etc without ever having to worry about your companions. I think if the feat had remained that way, it would be a must have for every caster. Thus the errata.

Also, an excellent suggestion on using the PFSRD for character creation! I'm definitely going to do that from now on.


Narrater wrote:
I can see both sides of the argument but in the end if it was my character I would go with the change. Especially since you offered a feat change to compensate for the errata. I believe you are being more then fair.

I'll chalk that one up to the "a feat respec is enough" list. Appreciate the reply Narrater.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
SithHunter wrote:
My solution is to change it immediately, and offer him the chance to change the feat out if he wants.

This seems perfectly reasonable to me - after all, if the pre-errata option is balanced, he's not losing anything since he can switch in something of 'equal power' right? I think your group should definitely be clear on what your 'errata policy' is going to be going forward - that seems to me to be the important issue.

Having said that:

Quote:
Does anyone have any other thoughts on fair compromises to keep him at the table?

FWIW, I would just let him keep it. I'm presuming (since you didnt mention them) that the other players arent objecting to his keeping it. That means they're all having fun, so everything is working as it should.

In my view compromise is just 'doing what nobody wants'. When hit with conflict of interpretation, I always err in favor of the players. If you think it's all a bit easy for them, I wouldnt rebalance things by targetting that specific feat, but might consider beefing up encounters slightly (with more hit points, more or better positioned minions, etcetera).


In my opinion, it's the player's responsibility to know the rules for their character's abilities. The DM cannot be expected to have a complete and encyclopedic knowledge of the game, and he's doing enough work already without checking out every feat he's not sure about in detail. If a player takes a feat without checking errata/faq on it, he deserves to have it come back to bite him. If I did something like that my DM would laugh at me and certainly not be so kind as to allow a respec unless I begged him (Not because he's mean, but because we enjoy trying to out-lawyer eachother and it's something of a game between us).

So I would say allow a respec if he's going to kick up a stink about it, but it's in no way your fault, as it's something he should've seen when he made the character (and I wonder if he did and just chose not to mention it).


Another option that reduces the effectiveness of the feat while still maintaining the original use that you guys played with:

The caster gets X rounds of immunity to the spell, divided by the targets he chooses. So if it's just the party fighter who goes in the spell area, he gets essentially the full effect as you've been playing. If the whole party wants to run through the spell, the duration of their immunity will be shorter.

Just an idea.


This isn't really an issue of Errata, its just tricking you into thinking it is.

This is an issue of the DM finding something to be too powerful and finding a decent fix for it, and trying to get the player to cooperate with the fix without blowing a gasket.

I am of two minds about this. Generally- the player should always be receptive to the DM trying to fix problems. Now that may mean convincing the DM he is wrong, or it may mean changing the ability. But they should be receptive and listen and try to work things out.
Your situation has a fairly big caveat in it though. You have one adventure left. Why not just let it play out as it has been for the last however-long-its-been-since-he-took-the-feat and then apply the errata for all future campaigns?

Otherwise- if the PC doesn't cooperate.. basically change it anyway. Some changes, for the good of the game and group, have to be done whether the player(s) like them or not. I understand this is fairly heavy handed but Someone has to "settle disputes" when there is a dispute. And that person is the DM.

Alternatively- talk to the group. Find out if they think the feat is an issue. Find out how they may be willing to fix it, if they think it needs a fixing. (of course this only works if you think they'll answer truthfully rather than in their own immediate self interest- since as written pre-errata the feat is fairly strong).

Don't let the fact that the errata showed you a better way fool you though- this is an issue about finding a method to tone down something you think is too powerful. Whether your better way is errata or something of your own creation is really just a red herring.

-S

Cheliax

I am a late comer to the post but if it's the last game... Let of go and before the next new game go over the errata.


As one more suggestion: Give him the option to continue using it as is, but make it two spell levels higher, or go with the errata in effect at the normal +1 level.

At a minimum, you should give him the option to instantly re-prepare spells as well.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Some interesting opinions here - and quite kind to the player. If I was GM my take would be "you've been able to use your feat in its incorrect incarnation for most of the campaign, lucky you. Now we know the errata-ed rules, and we'll be using those from now on."


I think most of the kindness is because the game is about to end.


Middle ground: Use old version, increase level adjustment for the feat.


Personnaly I side with Selgard. This isn't a question of errata yes or no, but of how to handle a too-good-to-be-true character feature.

Well, as this campaign is about to end there should be no need to compromise especially because the player seems to feel uneasy with it.
As DM you should have planned accordingly, so encounters so far had this feat considered, yes?

That argument to check out erratas immediately and constantly (as player and/or as control-freaked DM) and to change rules on the fly might be acceptable IF all players are internet-junkies.

BUT: There are such things as written Rulebooks, so in my experience players are mostly still relying on these. And I may add that paizo make it not very easy to find erratas (why no direct link on these?)...

So I would rather not punish a player for an errataed feature unless it is utterly broken and surely not at the end of a campaign. As DM I feel free to righten any stuff I don't like errataed or not if the players agree of course (house-ruling). Most players are willing to argue and listen so compromising is rarely an issue.

My advice: let it be as it is and increase CR or enconter tactics slightly.


Steve Geddes wrote:
SithHunter wrote:
My solution is to change it immediately, and offer him the chance to change the feat out if he wants.

This seems perfectly reasonable to me - after all, if the pre-errata option is balanced, he's not losing anything since he can switch in something of 'equal power' right? I think your group should definitely be clear on what your 'errata policy' is going to be going forward - that seems to me to be the important issue.

Having said that:

Quote:
Does anyone have any other thoughts on fair compromises to keep him at the table?

FWIW, I would just let him keep it. I'm presuming (since you didnt mention them) that the other players arent objecting to his keeping it. That means they're all having fun, so everything is working as it should.

In my view compromise is just 'doing what nobody wants'. When hit with conflict of interpretation, I always err in favor of the players. If you think it's all a bit easy for them, I wouldnt rebalance things by targetting that specific feat, but might consider beefing up encounters slightly (with more hit points, more or better positioned minions, etcetera).

Thanks for the post Steve :)

As far as the other players, they are of the mind to alter the feat in some way to make it balanced for the remainder of the campaign.

If I were to alter encounters and/or have a bad guy use the feat on them, they know how powerful it would be. I'm not really for making things more difficult for everyone to balance things out. I would rather attack the source if possible. In this case, the feat itself.

Andoran

If it was a problem with the other players, I would likely change it immediately. If he doesn't like the errata'd version, he can swap the feat. The DM's job is to make sure all the players have fun, not just one of the players, and no amount of prior mistakes (say letting in the un-errata'd version for however long) will over rule that job.

If it was just a DM problem, and if I hadn't had objections to it before, I'd be in a bit of a quandry. I, like Steve, would probably let the pc keep the feat and just adjust the encounters a bit to compensate for it. I'd also make it a rule starting with the new campaign errata always has precedence even if discovered late.


Selgard wrote:

This isn't really an issue of Errata, its just tricking you into thinking it is.

This is an issue of the DM finding something to be too powerful and finding a decent fix for it, and trying to get the player to cooperate with the fix without blowing a gasket.

I am of two minds about this. Generally- the player should always be receptive to the DM trying to fix problems. Now that may mean convincing the DM he is wrong, or it may mean changing the ability. But they should be receptive and listen and try to work things out.
Your situation has a fairly big caveat in it though. You have one adventure left. Why not just let it play out as it has been for the last however-long-its-been-since-he-took-the-feat and then apply the errata for all future campaigns?

Otherwise- if the PC doesn't cooperate.. basically change it anyway. Some changes, for the good of the game and group, have to be done whether the player(s) like them or not. I understand this is fairly heavy handed but Someone has to "settle disputes" when there is a dispute. And that person is the DM.

Alternatively- talk to the group. Find out if they think the feat is an issue. Find out how they may be willing to fix it, if they think it needs a fixing. (of course this only works if you think they'll answer truthfully rather than in their own immediate self interest- since as written pre-errata the feat is fairly strong).

Don't let the fact that the errata showed you a better way fool you though- this is an issue about finding a method to tone down something you think is too powerful. Whether your better way is errata or something of your own creation is really just a red herring.

-S

Thanks for this insightful post, Selgard.

The only thing I would point out is that if this were a feat that I personally thought was too powerful and I was 'houseruling' it, that would cause more friction because I'm moving away from the guidelines (rules). In this instance, the rules (errata in this case) support what I'm doing.


ShadowcatX wrote:

If it was a problem with the other players, I would likely change it immediately. If he doesn't like the errata'd version, he can swap the feat. The DM's job is to make sure all the players have fun, not just one of the players, and no amount of prior mistakes (say letting in the un-errata'd version for however long) will over rule that job.

If it was just a DM problem, and if I hadn't had objections to it before, I'd be in a bit of a quandry. I, like Steve, would probably let the pc keep the feat and just adjust the encounters a bit to compensate for it. I'd also make it a rule starting with the new campaign errata always has precedence even if discovered late.

The only reason I allowed it is because I though it was legit by the book. I *felt* something was off with it, but never thought to check the errata.

But I know if I were to use this tactic on the players, I doubt it would be a fun encounter.


Personally I agree with selgard. Even if without errata I have done things like this. I do believe that if you are going to change a rule you should give a player a chance to completely re-spec his character, not just replace the one thing you changed. Because sometimes it really can make a huge difference.

People might say that one feat doesn't make or break a character, but sometimes it does. Look at something like dervish dance. That is a single option that makes a certain character concept(pure dex one handed fighter) possible. Without it, it isn't possible. If you were using it and decided it needed to be changed or removed, the player should have the option to rebuild his character or create a new one.

I have in the past changed or removed rules in my game without errata and that is what I did. I simply explained to my player that X combo was making it difficult to challenge the party without going overboard, and that he had to stop using it, but could make changes to his character as he see's fit to move around a new concept, or retool for the same one.

And really like others have said the issue is how far you are into the game. I wouldn't be thrilled as a player about having to make a change to my character in the 6th book of an AP, but if it really is a problem talk to the player again and explain that you feel it is neccassary. And next time, if your 'too good ometer' goes off, dont wait for errata to help you fix it. Get it handled sooner.


In my game when I notice such an oversight I give the player the choice to fix the problem immediately or wait till the adventure is finished. Why wait for the end of the adventure? Because everything is already finished and we are playing through it. To stop and retool his PC and any places I may have used the same trick in the adventure mid adventure is too much of a time killer.

After the adventure he gets a rebuild if he wants to swap the feat out for something else. By rebuild I mean altering any choice directly tied to that feat barring class. So if it was part of a chain of feats he could swap out the full feat chain.


Kolokotroni wrote:

Personally I agree with selgard. Even if without errata I have done things like this. I do believe that if you are going to change a rule you should give a player a chance to completely re-spec his character, not just replace the one thing you changed. Because sometimes it really can make a huge difference.

People might say that one feat doesn't make or break a character, but sometimes it does. Look at something like dervish dance. That is a single option that makes a certain character concept(pure dex one handed fighter) possible. Without it, it isn't possible. If you were using it and decided it needed to be changed or removed, the player should have the option to rebuild his character or create a new one.

I have in the past changed or removed rules in my game without errata and that is what I did. I simply explained to my player that X combo was making it difficult to challenge the party without going overboard, and that he had to stop using it, but could make changes to his character as he see's fit to move around a new concept, or retool for the same one.

And really like others have said the issue is how far you are into the game. I wouldn't be thrilled as a player about having to make a change to my character in the 6th book of an AP, but if it really is a problem talk to the player again and explain that you feel it is neccassary. And next time, if your 'too good ometer' goes off, dont wait for errata to help you fix it. Get it handled sooner.

In this case, I think his caster has a LOT of different options other than just this feat. And respeccing this late in the AP just seems inefficient at this point as it will take up a lot of time, either in or out of game.

As far as the 'too good ometer' statement, those are words to live by.


SithHunter wrote:

In this case, I think his caster has a LOT of different options other than just this feat. And respeccing this late in the AP just seems inefficient at this point as it will take up a lot of time, either in or out of game.

As far as the 'too good ometer' statement, those are words to live by.

While respeccing is ineeficient the player should have the option to do it. He should have to do the work ofcourse (this isn't your work, he has to choose to do it himself). But it isn't fair to change a rule that he may or may not have been hinging his strategy on, and not let him change things. Ofcourse he has lots of options, but there are always specific circumstances that make options important.

For instance, in my group there is one player that ALWAYS prioritizes initiative. He always wants to go first and will always rush up into the fight when he does. Insert me using the 'wrong' version of selective spell so I can continue to use battle field control spells even when my allies are in the thick of things. If I couldn't do this, then my caster might not be able to focus on battle field control given the group, and the party mentality.

The above actually does come up alot in my group. Its a big group (9 people total), and there are always several combatants, and at least a couple focus on going first. So area effect spells become problematic. Most battlefield control spells are area spells. If my party is always getting in the way, not because they are being malicious or stupid but just because they are doing what their character does (fight the enemy hand to hand) then it becomes very hard to focus on those sorts of spells. Selective spells original printing obviously makes that possible and could easily be the catalist that direct my wizard's or sorceror's whole spell list. Where as without that feat I might choose very different spells (and even possibly different other feats like not taking spell focus conjuration for instance).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Since it the last chapter of the AP, I would allow the feat to stand as is, since in essence, you have been living with it up to now and the campaign is in the home stretch.

That said, this is what I would do to deal with the issue if the feat is really the burr under your saddle. Modify some of the encounters (not all, just what you consider the important ones) by adding a spellcaster or two with Dispel Magic or replacing a meat shield or two with a spellcaster or two with Dispel Magic.

Then when the 'Selective' spell like Black Tentacles is cast, have the spellcaster(s) dispel the effect. In that way, the player get to enjoy the feat but has to work for the win instead of the Selective spell being a 'free pass' to win that encounter.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it's important to give consideration to the fact that the GM is running an AP. To me, this means that the group as a whole has signed on to "go through an adventure path" as opposed to signing up for "Sith Hunter's encounters as he sees fit".

It' my opinion that the player has a significant responsibility to the group, including to the GM, to help ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone. More so in an AP, where the GM is trying to stick to "as written".

Therefore, one player holding out for personal benefit in a situation where the game encounters can't really be changed all that much, is unacceptable. If the group will still play without that person, and that person will actually quit over this issue, then let them go.

Also, I agree with everyone who said its the players responsibility to know all of the rules (errata included) for their character, and adjusting for errata should be a non-issue.

+1 to Black Moria's idea of adding an "anti-selective spell" spellcaster to some encounters, if you can accept that.


I like your suggestions (replace the feat or allow it to apply to the first round only), but I'd let the players vote on it. If they were all happy with the too-good-to-be-true old version, I probably wouldn't be a killjoy and insist on nerfing it.

Andoran

SithHunter wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:

If it was a problem with the other players, I would likely change it immediately. If he doesn't like the errata'd version, he can swap the feat. The DM's job is to make sure all the players have fun, not just one of the players, and no amount of prior mistakes (say letting in the un-errata'd version for however long) will over rule that job.

If it was just a DM problem, and if I hadn't had objections to it before, I'd be in a bit of a quandry. I, like Steve, would probably let the pc keep the feat and just adjust the encounters a bit to compensate for it. I'd also make it a rule starting with the new campaign errata always has precedence even if discovered late.

The only reason I allowed it is because I though it was legit by the book. I *felt* something was off with it, but never thought to check the errata.

But I know if I were to use this tactic on the players, I doubt it would be a fun encounter.

If something is too good to be true, rather by RAW or not, you shouldn't let it in the game, or let it in the game on a trial basis only.


OP, Your solution is perfectly fair and reasonable.

OTOH, I usually ban Black tentacles, not because it’s too powerful, but because it takes too much table time.


Kolokotroni wrote:
SithHunter wrote:

In this case, I think his caster has a LOT of different options other than just this feat. And respeccing this late in the AP just seems inefficient at this point as it will take up a lot of time, either in or out of game.

As far as the 'too good ometer' statement, those are words to live by.

While respeccing is ineeficient the player should have the option to do it. He should have to do the work ofcourse (this isn't your work, he has to choose to do it himself). But it isn't fair to change a rule that he may or may not have been hinging his strategy on, and not let him change things. Ofcourse he has lots of options, but there are always specific circumstances that make options important.

For instance, in my group there is one player that ALWAYS prioritizes initiative. He always wants to go first and will always rush up into the fight when he does. Insert me using the 'wrong' version of selective spell so I can continue to use battle field control spells even when my allies are in the thick of things. If I couldn't do this, then my caster might not be able to focus on battle field control given the group, and the party mentality.

The above actually does come up alot in my group. Its a big group (9 people total), and there are always several combatants, and at least a couple focus on going first. So area effect spells become problematic. Most battlefield control spells are area spells. If my party is always getting in the way, not because they are being malicious or stupid but just because they are doing what their character does (fight the enemy hand to hand) then it becomes very hard to focus on those sorts of spells. Selective spells original printing obviously makes that possible and could easily be the catalist that direct my wizard's or sorceror's whole spell list. Where as without that feat I might choose very different spells (and even possibly different other feats like not taking spell focus conjuration for instance).

If he feels the need to rebuild his character for one adventure, I guess he can. That said, one of the major limitations of an AOE Conjuration caster is where to place his spells to greatest effect, and without harming his allies.

Selective Spell (pre errata) got rid of that completely. It was too good. It was changed for a reason.


Black Moria wrote:

Since it the last chapter of the AP, I would allow the feat to stand as is, since in essence, you have been living with it up to now and the campaign is in the home stretch.

That said, this is what I would do to deal with the issue if the feat is really the burr under your saddle. Modify some of the encounters (not all, just what you consider the important ones) by adding a spellcaster or two with Dispel Magic or replacing a meat shield or two with a spellcaster or two with Dispel Magic.

Then when the 'Selective' spell like Black Tentacles is cast, have the spellcaster(s) dispel the effect. In that way, the player get to enjoy the feat but has to work for the win instead of the Selective spell being a 'free pass' to win that encounter.

Unfortunately, by adding casters it changes the complexion of the encounters. To me, it feels a little contrived...like I'm doing it to balance what the player is doing (and I am). It also breaks immersion. ANother thing, if I DO add wizards to dispel, that won't be the only spells that they cast. I'm sure the other players won't appreciate that nastiness.


hogarth wrote:
I like your suggestions (replace the feat or allow it to apply to the first round only), but I'd let the players vote on it. If they were all happy with the too-good-to-be-true old version, I probably wouldn't be a killjoy and insist on nerfing it.

My players are of the mind that whatever is fastest so they can play. We only play every 2 weeks after all, so it would be a shame to waste a bunch of time on it debating the issue.


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I've been reading this for a while and thinking about how I would handle it in my own games. I would like to mention that your thread title and the actual problem are not the same. If this was the middle of the campaign, I would enforce the errata. This isn't the case though. You are at the end and have already dealt with the feat up to this point. As GM, you have adapted already. I would let him keep things the old way with the understanding that future characters will follow errata as it comes out and that if these characters are played in the future, then he will have to deal with the errata at that point.

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