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Complaint / petition for a rules change - Playing Up


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Taldor ***

Let it be said I would never allow level 1 characters to participate in subtier 4-5 session, ever. That, in fact, should be shunned and disallowed. That's something that'll disrupt the wealth curve. Nor would I allow a 7th-level character come and spoil the fun of a subtier 3-4 session.

Can't you really see what's wrong with a 2nd level character being disallowed to participate in a subtier 3-4 (Tier 3-7) scenario but allowed to get butchered in a 4-5 subtier (Tier 1-5)? This is what I find inconsistent; you allow a character to attend a much harder subtier, but not one that's only slightly above the suggested level.

What's the benefit? What are getting at? I see a lot of people defending the issue, yet I see nothing meaningful from the point of view of a player and gamemaster.

This upcoming weekend I have one Tier 5-9 scenario planned, and a rarely playing player wishes to attend. He only has a level 4 character. Refusing to allow him join with his own character and instead slab a 7th-level pregen would more likely drive the player away, especially since he plays very rarely, maybe once every three months. The other players have played most of the lower tier scenarios, and I don't have time to prepare another scenario. Of course during season 0 there were no problems like this at all, since the characters stayed in the comfortable Tier 1-7 scenarios.

None of this makes sense!

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Deussu wrote:


This upcoming weekend I have one Tier 5-9 scenario planned, and a rarely playing player wishes to attend. He only has a level 4 character. Refusing to allow him join with his own character and instead slab a 7th-level pregen would more likely drive the player away, especially since he plays very rarely, maybe once every three months. The other players have played most of the lower tier scenarios, and I don't have time to prepare another scenario. Of course during season 0 there were no problems like this at all, since the characters stayed in the comfortable Tier 1-7 scenarios.

This is the very reason we changed credit for using a pregen. We didn't want people to be excluded from playing with their friends and also lose credit for playing the scenario with a pregen. On P. 4 of the Guide, it advises he can use a pregen and then apply the Chronicle to the character once his 4th level character hits 5th level. He gets the enjoyment of playing with his friends, he receives credit for playing the scenario, and he can apply it to his character once they reach 5th level since he has no other characters of levels 5-9. Does his character lose out on experiencing that particular scenario? Yes. Does the player lose out on experiencing that particular scenario? Not at all.

Let's take a real world example. Let's say you have a child in second grade. You are confident they could do the work of a third grader, and probably even a fourth grader. Do you show up at the school the next morning after coming to that conclusion, march them through the school, and sit them in a fourth grade class? No you don't because the structure of the organization (in this case the school) groups children together by grades. Now, if you feel that the rules of the organization should change because your child is especially gifted and could handle the work of third or fourth graders, along with several other children, you formulate a plan, put a proposal together, and offer it up for consideration. However, you don't keep marching the child into the 3rd or 4th grade class every morning because that is how you feel it should be. You abide by the rules set forth until they change.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Deussu, forgive me for asking, but under what justification would you turn down a legal PFS character playing in a legal tier?

If the only way to make a legal table is for the 5th-level wizard to join with the team of 1st- and 2nd-level recruits, then there we go. The powerful character doesn't have to "spoil the fun". (It's something that the GM and player should watch out for, of course.)

***

I've been following this discussion, but haven't chimed in because I don't have an answer... it's one thing to complain, but another to have a suggestion for a correction.

That said, there is one observation I wanted to share... the current system works pretty great when you have dozens of people available at a convention or large public game and can mix-match to get right mix/levels for each table. It breaks down a bit when you are only seating one table and you have a group of people with characters of disparate levels because they are not leveling at the same rate (i.e. some members are missing games and as such have fallen one or two levels behind the main group or you are introducing new players).

It may just be that PFS rules apply really well for organized play with large groups of people but don't work quite as well in certain circumstances*. And in those cases, the small groups which cannot muster in a way that doesn't violate the PFS rules may have to consider other options- not playing PFS style at all or as part of the larger community. (The later part of which I find interesting as I like to think of PFS organized play as a way to network/grow the hobby and would dislike seeing those groups "turn away from the fold" as it were.)

WJ

*and its likely that these circumstances lead folks to make the kinds of posts we have seen of late.

Taldor ***

Chris Mortika wrote:

Deussu, forgive me for asking, but under what justification would you turn down a legal PFS character playing in a legal tier?

If the only way to make a legal table is for the 5th-level wizard to join with the team of 1st- and 2nd-level recruits, then there we go. The powerful character doesn't have to "spoil the fun". (It's something that the GM and player should watch out for, of course.)

Thankfully I've never come across such a situation, thankfully. In the event a 1st-level character would join up in a subtier 4-5, I'd probably propose the other players to either pick a lower level character, and if it encounters objection, I'd propose the 1st-level character's player to pick a 4th-level pregenerated character instead. This way the player can contribute more, and the others don't need to babysit a fresh pathfinder agent through all the dangers.

So no, I don't have the justification, but I'd do everything in my power to avoid the situation. I hope I made that clear.

Qadira *****

Fromper wrote:

Which is pretty close to what I suggested, except that my suggestion takes it one step further and allows PCs one level outside the tier to play if they're within one level of the subtier.

ie Subtier 3-4 of a 3-7 adventure would allow anyone between levels 2 and 5 to play. Subtier 6-7 would allow any PC between levels 5 and 8. But levels 3 and 7 PCs would never meet, because they're just too far from each other.

Unless a scenario is written with a level range of 1-20, there will always be sequentially adjacent levels that will not be able to play in a scenario together.

Your example of a subtier 3-4 scenario being playable by levels 2-5, well level 1s and 6s can’t participate. The example of a subtier 6-7 scenario being playable by levels 5-8, would leave level 4s and 9s ineligible.

What happens if you offer the above two scenarios at an event and have to seat a level 6 and a level 4 together? That table wouldn’t be able to run either scenario. On the surface this suggestion appears to be just as flawed as the current tier/subtier system the campaign is using.

Coordinators need to find scenarios/modules that allow all of their players the opportunity to play. If they are having trouble they need to ask their players to step-up and start helping keep the event organized.

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:
Deussu wrote:


I see absolutely no benefit in enforcing a rule that is so inconsistant and arbitrary.

This is not an inconsistent and arbitrary rule. The tier structure has been in place since PFS started. Not playing outside your tier has been place since the start. As far as I know, the language has never changed in any iteration of the Guide and was in place long before I arrived,

From p.25 of the current Guide:

Tiers are a level restriction for play. If a PC's level does not fall within the level range of a scenario's tier, that character can not legally play in that scenario. For example, a 5th-level PC is legal for play in scenarios of Tiers 1–5, 3–7, and 5–9; a 1st-level PC can only legally play in a Tier 1 or Tier 1–5 scenario

This wil not be changing anytime in the foreseeable future.

Mores the pity, because I believe it is. Does it not make more sense for a player to be able to play a subtier closer to his own level? I just guess I don't understand why you don't understand that.

I'm not saying the rules have changed, and that the subtiers have changed (though they have slightly with the 1-7's), I'm saying they NEED to change. I'm not recommending you change the way you write scenarios. Keep the sub tiers the same, and keep writing them in those groups. But restricting a character from playing a scenario who is only 1 level away from the minimum seems arbitrary when they can play a secnario that is two levels higher.
The APL should still fall within the subtier however. For example, 4 or 5 level 2's should not be playing a subtier 3-4. But 6 level 2's should be allowed. That's an APL 3 party.

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:

The tier system is set and has been in place for three and a half years since PFS started. Unless we hit the reset button on the campaign,make everyone start over at first level, and revamp PFS from top to bottom, the tier structure will remain the same.

If we allowed a one level outside the tier to be played (2nd levels and 8th levels in a 3-7 scenario), then it would evolve into people requesting two levels outside of tier to play. Besides, do you really want 8th level PCs to have access to the same adventures as 3rd level PCs? There has to be a line drawn somewhere and I choose to keep it where it has been since we have a 3.5 year library of scenarios for players and GMs to pull from.

As Fromper points out, it would possibly cause the release of less scenarios when everyone wants more scenarios. A change in Tier structure would also pretty much invalidate all previous scenarios.

It makes sense if you eliminate the tier, and keep the subtiers. All I want is to be within 1 level of the subtier. You guys write a scenario that is for APL 3-4 (low) and 6-7 (high). So the low should be open to PCs level 2-5, and the high should be open to PCs level 5-8, provided the APL of the party in question is within 3-4 or 6-7. If the APL comes out to be 5, then they really should plan for a different scenario (like a sub tier 4-5 or 5-6). In a convention setting this may create issues, with the mustered players not having an APL within the correct range for the scenario, but usually you can shuffle players or characters around in those situations because you have a larger pool to begin with. In a home setting you can pre-muster your group and tell ahead of time if it will work or not, and change your scenario based on that.

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:


Let's take a real world example. Let's say you have a child in second grade. You are confident they could do the work of a third grader, and probably even a fourth grader. Do you show up at the school the next morning after coming to that conclusion, march them through the school, and sit them in a fourth grade class?

I did something like that. I spent 1st semester in 4th grade and second semester in 5th. Graduated 2 months after my 17th birthday. And I know a LOT people that have skipped grades entirely.

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
Fromper wrote:

Which is pretty close to what I suggested, except that my suggestion takes it one step further and allows PCs one level outside the tier to play if they're within one level of the subtier.

ie Subtier 3-4 of a 3-7 adventure would allow anyone between levels 2 and 5 to play. Subtier 6-7 would allow any PC between levels 5 and 8. But levels 3 and 7 PCs would never meet, because they're just too far from each other.

Unless a scenario is written with a level range of 1-20, there will always be sequentially adjacent levels that will not be able to play in a scenario together.

Your example of a subtier 3-4 scenario being playable by levels 2-5, well level 1s and 6s can’t participate. The example of a subtier 6-7 scenario being playable by levels 5-8, would leave level 4s and 9s ineligible.

What happens if you offer the above two scenarios at an event and have to seat a level 6 and a level 4 together? That table wouldn’t be able to run either scenario. On the surface this suggestion appears to be just as flawed as the current tier/subtier system the campaign is using.

Coordinators need to find scenarios/modules that allow all of their players the opportunity to play. If they are having trouble they need to ask their players to step-up and start helping keep the event organized.

Players don't sign up random scenarios. If the proposed "subtier priority" system would be put in place, then the signup would have to state "Among the Gods, Low tier" for example. The Tier ceases to be the restriction, the subtier is. Because, the subtier is what sets the challenge rating of the game anyway, not the tier.

Qadira *****

Chernobyl wrote:
Players don't sign up random scenarios. If the proposed "subtier priority" system would be put in place, then the signup would have to state "Among the Gods, Low tier" for example. The Tier ceases to be the restriction, the subtier is. Because, the subtier is what sets the challenge rating of the game anyway, not the tier.

What happens when you have to seat a level 4 and a level 6 at the same table? It's not like you can have the 6 make a new level 1 and play up to 3-4, nor can the level 4 character play up to a 6-7 high-subtier table. You would have to find an entirely new scenario to play that would allow both the 4 and 6 to play.

Setting the level range by subtier like you suggest doesn't eliminate the issue you are complaining about. If you have a small group with a wide level range between the players, you are going to have a problem mustering tables regardless of the Tier/APL system you use.

The current tiering system has been in place since the start of the campaign, and no one has been able to suggest an alternate that is an improvement. Without an improvement there isn't a reason to change it.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chernobyl wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:


Let's take a real world example. Let's say you have a child in second grade. You are confident they could do the work of a third grader, and probably even a fourth grader. Do you show up at the school the next morning after coming to that conclusion, march them through the school, and sit them in a fourth grade class?
I did something like that. I spent 1st semester in 4th grade and second semester in 5th. Graduated 2 months after my 17th birthday. And I know a LOT people that have skipped grades entirely.

You're missing the point. Your parents didn't just throw you into the 5th grade class. They petitioned the school for approval.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:

Deussu, forgive me for asking, but under what justification would you turn down a legal PFS character playing in a legal tier?

If the only way to make a legal table is for the 5th-level wizard to join with the team of 1st- and 2nd-level recruits, then there we go. The powerful character doesn't have to "spoil the fun". (It's something that the GM and player should watch out for, of course.)

If I have a table of 4/5 characters and a 1st level, I ask the 1st level to play a level 4 pregen and we play sub tier 4-5.

If I have an equal number of 4/5's and 1/2's, I ask them to play sub tier 1-2 whether or not they could "handle" the scenario at sub tier 4-5.

It's not so much of a wealth curve issue as it is a "participation" and "earning your keep" issue.


Bob Jonquet wrote:


There has to be some structure for what scenarios a character can play and when. This has the feel of "do whatever you want" with respect to the players choosing what they can play. With all the variations for party mix, optimization, etc., I have little confidence that such an open rule-set could be successful in an organized play environment, but you are welcome to write up the specifics of how such a system would work and submit them for critique and consideration.

Personally I see it fall under 'don't be a jerk'.

The more arbitrary restrictions that you place in a system the less people will respect them and move towards justifying to themselves in ignoring them.

Meanwhile the higher that you set the bar in expectations of maturity the less like screaming children people tend to behave.

The rules would be simple:

1. The scenario posts its tiers and what the rough challenge level for each is. This is to be weighed as objectively as possible rather than the variation between 'cake walks' and 'grinders' that occurs when a given CR range is all that is listed.

2. The table sits down with the GM. The group of them decide together which of the available tiers is most suited for them. The group decides what will fit their exact situation the best, partially with the GM giving advice should they think that the scenario was rated a little off, or might be for the mix of PCs at the table.

3. At the end of the scenario each PC is rewarded based on their level rather than whatever tier may have been played.

If player is being a jerk, then you address it just as you would for any other instance of them being a jerk.

It's simple, streamlined and caters to multiple different playstyles. It does not have people telling others that they have built their PC 'wrong' or 'wrong for PFS' but rather lets them self-evaluate. This last evaluation is then auto-corrected by the fellow players.

-James

*

Michael Brock wrote:
Deussu wrote:


This upcoming weekend I have one Tier 5-9 scenario planned, and a rarely playing player wishes to attend. He only has a level 4 character. Refusing to allow him join with his own character and instead slab a 7th-level pregen would more likely drive the player away, especially since he plays very rarely, maybe once every three months. The other players have played most of the lower tier scenarios, and I don't have time to prepare another scenario. Of course during season 0 there were no problems like this at all, since the characters stayed in the comfortable Tier 1-7 scenarios.

This is the very reason we changed credit for using a pregen. We didn't want people to be excluded from playing with their friends and also lose credit for playing the scenario with a pregen. On P. 4 of the Guide, it advises he can use a pregen and then apply the Chronicle to the character once his 4th level character hits 5th level. He gets the enjoyment of playing with his friends, he receives credit for playing the scenario, and he can apply it to his character once they reach 5th level since he has no other characters of levels 5-9. Does his character lose out on experiencing that particular scenario? Yes. Does the player lose out on experiencing that particular scenario? Not at all.

I do certainly appreciate the new rules for credit from playing pre-gens and I know that this is the reasoning behind your decision, if I were in the situation of the player in the above example, The new pre-gen credit rules would not fix the problem and I would still have to walk. Even though the new rules would allow me to enjoy the game at the same time as my friends, I'm still not playing my character. So I would argue that the player does lose out on experiencing the scenario, since they have to experience it essentially with someone else's character. So unless they are willing to just take the stats of the pre-gen and play those stats with the personality of their proper character (which I would find too jarring to do) or try to weasel their way into a re-play for no credit (which I'm pretty sure is never legal) they have indeed lost most of the experience of the scenario. I can't possibly be the only person who feels this way.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

For those who are petitioning essentially for the abandonment of the tier system and using sub-tiers as the focus, you would actually create a more restrictive system.

Currently, tier 1-5, there are five levels worth of characters that can play together. If you change the focus to the sub-tier 1-2 / 4-5 with a +/-1 attached, then the 1's and 2's can no longer plan with the 4's and 5's. Now of course we really don't want them too, but what you have done creates more play options for the 6, at the expense of all the 1-5's. That just does not seem to make sense. Sure there is a break in the system at the 6 level, but what you propose essentially creates a break at all other levels and could impact smaller groups to being able to play their own characters together and force either more pregen play or players to walk away from tables due to incompatibility.

***

Its almost impossible to be at a level range where you cant play with your friends (assuming a 3 level gap maximum and honestly why would you want to play with a 4+ level gap as you cant contribute as much to the team in general)

Level 1-2 plays 1-5 scenarios (friends levels 3-5)
Level 3-4 plays 3-7 scenarios (friends levels 5-7)
Level 5-6 plays 5-9 scenarios (friends levels 7-9)
Level 7-11 plays 7-11 scenarios (friends levels 7-11)

I dont see the problem with the current tier system, or a reason why you would have to play outside it to play with friends within a reasonable level range within 3 levels.

If your friends are outside a 3 level range of your character get them to start a new one closer to your level (and start reserving characters to play with each other rather than playing them at cons and out leveling your friends).

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Entropi wrote:

...Now, I could prepare a tier 5-9 scenario, and we would either run it at tier 5-6 if only a few turn up, or we could run it at tier 8-9 if a lot can make it. Both options are less than optimal. Tier 5-6 is gonna be a boring walkover even with only four or five players at lvl 6-7. Tier 8-9 might be okay for a large group of lvl 6-7 PCs, but it might also be overwhelming, and the rewards are too large for their lvls.

...

FYI

Entropi's game, Rebel's Ransom, was played as planed, at sub-tier 8-9.
Character levels spanned from 5-8.
2 of 6 characters perished. It was extremely challenging since the party cleric bailed out that night, but the party prevailed through a good mix of guile and luck.
It could easily have become a catastrophe, but that was fortunately averted.

***

I was wondering how the game (Entropi's) went. Thanks for posting a brief summary of how it went.

*

It was Rebel's Ransom, one of the more challenging scenarios (according to the reviews), it was bound to happen. Probably would have been slightly too easy at 5-6, but it probably would have ran fine also.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Spoiler:
Death 1: Due to Blackfire trap - killed an Osirion faction undead bloodline sorcerer that had been flirting with death from session 1.
Death 2: Killed by the Oracle - another Osirion character; 7th lvl monk.

Both characters returned as Risen Guards after the game, which they both had been looking forward to. I played the monk.

There are some tough encounters in that scenario and a poorly balanced party may have a very hard time. But it is one of the best scenarios.

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bob Jonquet wrote:

For those who are petitioning essentially for the abandonment of the tier system and using sub-tiers as the focus, you would actually create a more restrictive system.

Currently, tier 1-5, there are five levels worth of characters that can play together. If you change the focus to the sub-tier 1-2 / 4-5 with a +/-1 attached, then the 1's and 2's can no longer plan with the 4's and 5's. Now of course we really don't want them too, but what you have done creates more play options for the 6, at the expense of all the 1-5's. That just does not seem to make sense. Sure there is a break in the system at the 6 level, but what you propose essentially creates a break at all other levels and could impact smaller groups to being able to play their own characters together and force either more pregen play or players to walk away from tables due to incompatibility.

If I was a 5 I wouldn't want to be playing with 1's and 2's in a 4-5 scenario. They would barely be contributing to the mod's combats, and would make it harder all around. I wouldn't mind running with a 2 in a 3-4 though. Its all about playing the more appropriate scenario APL.

"So what's our muster look like for wed. night?"
"well, we've got levels 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, 5."
"That's an APL 4.5 party."
"Hm..that makes it hard for the level 1. Could he switch to judging a 3-4 or run a different character?"

See? Its all about planning ahead. You can make allowances for the game either way the system works. Having the sub-tier have priority however lets groups of more appropriate levels play together, rather than disparate power levels (like a 1 playing up in a 4-5, not to mention the wealth imbalance from a 1 playing up in a 4-5)

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

Chernobyl wrote:
See? Its all about planning ahead. You can make allowances for the game either way the system works. Having the sub-tier have priority however lets groups of more appropriate levels play together, rather than disparate power levels (like a 1 playing up in a 4-5, not to mention the wealth imbalance from a 1 playing up in a 4-5)

I agree that this is all about the organizer and how they adjust, but that is not what the proposer of this alternate system was espousing (at least IMO). We were attempting to accommodate the level 6 who is in limbo. That is just as much an allowance as the current system, it just limits a different, and in this case larger, group.

Strictly from the perspective of balance in party level, the sub-tier system has merit, but there is more to consider. Some areas are just so small that they need the ability to seat a wider range of levels together. By changing the system we would be necessarily making it better, just different, shifting the location of the break.

And, btw, as more of a "purist" player, I think the sub-tier would have been slightly better if used from the outset, but now it would create more issues than the one it solves. YMMV.

Qadira **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Michael Foster 989 wrote:

Its almost impossible to be at a level range where you cant play with your friends (assuming a 3 level gap maximum and honestly why would you want to play with a 4+ level gap as you cant contribute as much to the team in general)

Level 1-2 plays 1-5 scenarios (friends levels 3-5)
Level 3-4 plays 3-7 scenarios (friends levels 5-7)
Level 5-6 plays 5-9 scenarios (friends levels 7-9)
Level 7-11 plays 7-11 scenarios (friends levels 7-11)

I dont see the problem with the current tier system, or a reason why you would have to play outside it to play with friends within a reasonable level range within 3 levels.

If your friends are outside a 3 level range of your character get them to start a new one closer to your level (and start reserving characters to play with each other rather than playing them at cons and out leveling your friends).

First, before I say anything else, I want to say that I like the tier system as is.

However, people shouldn't assume that friends are going to have a 3 level maximum gap. I have two friends who go to conventions with me and we have characters in pretty much every tier. Three of our friends at home only play very occasionally. They have one character each and their levels are 3, 3, and 1. The three of us who go to cons have made lower level characters to play with these friends at home, but at this point have actually run out of 1-5s, 1-7s, and 3-7s that we haven't already played. So there's not always a workaround to play with your friends, except for the new option of them playing a higher level pre-gen and getting credit later when their character is the appropriate level (which is nice).

*

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The sub tier priority wouldn't be perfect. Either way, you're going to be excluding people in some games. I just think its more appropriate to keep the PCs playing the scenario closer to the subtier being played (ie, within 1 level).

Andoran

Deussu wrote:
I see absolutely no benefit in enforcing a rule that is so inconsistent and arbitrary. And the sum of gold received from a scenario fluctuates a lot between scenarios, so playing up might not yield more gold than some other scenario in the appropriate tier.
Additionally, having excess gold at low- or mid-level doesn't mean you can actually spend it on anything you want (due to prestige requirements).
Deussu wrote:
Let it be said I would never allow level 1 characters to participate in subtier 4-5 session, ever. That, in fact, should be shunned and disallowed. That's something that'll disrupt the wealth curve.

See above. What would +3000gp actually get a baby-level character? A cloak and some minor doodads earlier? A +1 weapon earlier? ...OK, he's now 5% better a few mods earlier than most PCs his level, but risked non-recoverable character loss to get it.

By 7th+, a 3000gp difference between PCs fades into bell-curve white-noise.

Andoran ***

Mike Schneider wrote:
Deussu wrote:
I see absolutely no benefit in enforcing a rule that is so inconsistent and arbitrary. And the sum of gold received from a scenario fluctuates a lot between scenarios, so playing up might not yield more gold than some other scenario in the appropriate tier.
Additionally, having excess gold at low- or mid-level doesn't mean you can actually spend it on anything you want (due to prestige requirements).
Deussu wrote:
Let it be said I would never allow level 1 characters to participate in subtier 4-5 session, ever. That, in fact, should be shunned and disallowed. That's something that'll disrupt the wealth curve.

See above. What would +3000gp actually get a baby-level character? A cloak and some minor doodads earlier? A +1 weapon earlier? ...OK, he's now 5% better a few mods earlier than most PCs his level, but risked non-recoverable character loss to get it.

By 7th+, a 3000gp difference between PCs fades into bell-curve white-noise.

Not if it is done as a frequent event, that 3K can cascadeinto larger and larger amounts, until the difference is significant even at higher levels.

Assuming someone plays up every time that they play, at 1st into 4-5 or 3-4 (from older 1-7s), 2nd into 4-5 as well, then at 3 into 4-5 or 5-6, etc.

Assuming that, how much would that character have accrued in gold by the time that they are no longer able to play up, at 10th level? (Assuming not playing up in modules, which they can continue to do by that point...)

Andoran

If they play up that frequently, the odds they kak long before having sufficient prestige should be quite high. (And they'll continue to die afterwards, and eventually eat into cash, killing all the gains with even a single hit into money before 8th or so.)

(Note that said scenario also requires the perpetual acquiescence of several other players and GMs continually freighting their generally useless butts along in higher-level play.)

Quote:
Assuming that, how much would that character have accrued in gold by the time that they are no longer able to play up, at 10th level? (Assuming not playing up in modules, which they can continue to do by that point...)

I'm sure it'd be quite a bit from the perspective of a low-level character, but not from the perspective of a high-level one (since the biggest percentage differences are at low levels. Not crunching a single number at all, let's guess it'll be around 25k at 12th. OK...what's that buy which will make a whiz-pow-blammo! super-noticeable difference at that level? Most realistically, the extra money is spent in disparate small chunks along the way, and the character has a few extra pieces of seldom-used junk in his haversack and a +2 back-up weapon instead of a +1.

Silver Crusade ***

Seconding suggestions by Deussu, Fromper, Chernobyl et al: allow characters within one level of the subtier to join a scenario, whatever the tier of the whole scenario, as long as the APL falls within the subtier (or in the gap, in case of scenarios with one). Likewise, disallow characters from joining if they are not within one level of the subtier, regardless of the scenario tier.

Basically, this change would do away with the concept of the scenario tier as it's currently understood. The subtier would become the sole indicator of the level of difficulty that the players should expect.
That would simplify the rules for determining a legal table, making the life of GMs and players a bit easier. As every scenario out there already includes subtiers, no changes whatsoever would be required to the old scenarios, not even a retrofitting rule in the Organized Play Guide.

Andoran ***

Mike Schneider wrote:

If they play up that frequently, the odds they kak long before having sufficient prestige should be quite high. (And they'll continue to die afterwards, and eventually eat into cash, killing all the gains with even a single hit into money before 8th or so.)

(Note that said scenario also requires the perpetual acquiescence of several other players and GMs continually freighting their generally useless butts along in higher-level play.)

Heh. In a recent recruitment thread for a game I saw: "Tier looking at 3-4 so characters lvl 1-3 considered"

'nuff said.

And there are many things of mid-high cost at 12th level that can make serious difference.

Gloves of Dueling
Boots of Speed
Celestial Armor
Wands of higher level spells
Stat boosting items
Better Wayfinders
Stat boosting books

As to dying more often? Possibly, but not totally likely.

Ranged characters, for an example. 1201 for a full batch of (always available) adamantine arrows.

Tanks using the money to get that (fully legal without any Fame) Adamantine Full Plate +1 (+10 AC plus DR 3/-). Not off of a single playing up, although they could get +1 Full Plate from that 3k GP you mentioned, which makes a significant difference in upping their survivability, until they can afford the adamantine version.

Spellcasters with tons of 1st level scrolls.

1st level potions galore

+1 weapons or armor

Early on, the results of playing up once can make it easier to survive playing up again, which helps improve your odds on playing up again.

At some point, that person always playing up will have achieved the Fame to get better stuff, which he can afford more of, and so forth.

Heck, even if they spend just the "normal" Wealth by Level on permanent equipment, and anything extra on just consumables, they would have a lot of situational materials which can improve survivability.

Tanglefoot bags, alchemist's fire, holy water, potions of 1st level spells, all in abundance.

5 Fame gets you potions of 2nd level spells, and nasty one-shot items like the Feather Token, Whip (look at it, if you can afford it for frequent use, it is competitive with a purpose-built PC at that level)

9 Fame, and enough money to afford a bunch of potions of flying and a fairly good ranged attack is going to skew those scenarios, again. YMMV.

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