Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

I really hate double-checking PC sheets!


Advice

1 to 50 of 56 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Sovereign Court

I often encounter a very irritating problem during my games, especially at the begining or at the middle of a game of 5th level or higher usually.

One or two of my players are working on their new characters, then their start braging what nice combos they can do with feats and spells. I check these feats and I point them they are wrong with how they interpret or read the rules. They start over again and again. Its easy with low level but once I got 15th level and it was horror. I lost so much time to just check if all the feats met their previous prequisits at the correct time, when they got their stats advancment.

I would like to find a sollution because I'm pretty much fed up with the stress I'm getting when the player thinks that he is right rather than carefouly rereading the rule word by word.

I tried to send them electronic messages with advice to give the rules a closer look, I tried to talk to them that we all make mistakes and there is nothing bad with admiting to one, I expressed my displeasure for their lack of research but I'm still forced to double check.


My solution is to have all characters made in Hero Lab.

If any of the feats or whatnot doesn't meet its prereqs, it immediately alerts you to the error.


It is just something we have to deal with as GM's at times. What I have done before is to do an audit every so many levels. Doing one at 1, 5, 10, and 15 works. If the game goes to 20 do another one at level 18.

If the players plan ahead then look at the combos they plan to take so you can handle it before it gets that far.

PS:I also tell them to write down the exact name of the feat, and not some shorthand for what they think it should do.


My advice is to keep the "Official" copy of their character sheet. They may take a copy home, but you pass out the official one at game time. If they level in the middle of playing, they tell you the changes, you approve them and add them to the character sheet, or if they level after the session, they can email you the changes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hero Lab is a good suggestion as it will do the work for you. Of course it costs money, so that may or may not be a viable option.

You should have character creation and leveling up done at the table since this seems to be a problem. If you aren't creating high level characters then just checking one feat or a special ability or two per level shouldn't be too onerous.

There will always be some players that will interpret the rules to their best advantage and you'll unfortunately need to ride herd on them lest they become overpowered.


Are there players with a better grasp of the rules and how to use them?

I am not at all rule-focused as a player, and do not know all of the feats and rules. Thus I always level up with the help of another group member who is DM in another campaign, and is very good with the rules. I don't want to make mistakes or misinterpretations. I am not fond of rules and stats, that should be my problem, not the problem of the other people at the table.

Anyway, what I was trying to say is: if possible, delegate. That is, if you have a trustworthy and rule-savvy player in the party.


I basically only play online now, but it works just as well for a home game for between sessions, if not during.

Everyone posts their sheets online. There are plenty of forums where you can make a campaign thread and have them put up their characters. That way, the entire group can look them over and notice inconsistencies. Someone noticed something's odd, he tells you, you look into it. So much easier to have more eyes on the information.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Obsidianportal is a good place for this. My group uses it.


I have found that Herolab will save a great deal of stress. It is a sound investment.

I have gotten to the point where I do not take care of character sheets. The group is old enough to do that. If I take care of it then I am responsible. I figure if they want to play that is the least they can do.


I have to check my PF party sheets from time to time. Some of my players have problems with rules (one is serious "can't add three numbers to save one's life" case, other shows strong inability to remember d20 rules), rest just suffer from the usual "was that different than in 3.5 or did we missed the change when moving from 3.0 to 3.5". That the same group also plays 3.5 is not helping. For simplicity I just try to forget 3.5 rules and focus on PF - because of this I play simple healing-focused Favored Soul with Vow Of Poverty in 3.5.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

http://www.obsidianportal.com is a good option. Herolab is cool, but is a little bit of an investment.


The issue I've found with Herolab is that.. you still have to go back and double check the sheet because sometimes it has odd little errors.

So you are really paying to still have to double check the math.
(I still love the program, and use it alot, but you do have to double check it)

There really isn't a good solution for you cept what's been provided above.. Ask for copies of their sheets at 1 5 10 15 or whqatever, and sit down and go over them.

Alternatively, every single level ask what feats they are taking so you can make sure they are correct. This is probably the less time consuming one overall (since they only get 2 feats at a time max, generally speaking) and is only maybe 5 minutes out of game time when you do happen to level.

As for the DM keeping my character sheet? No. Never, ever. My sheet is mine. If he wants to look at it during the game, or wants to make a copy (or me to provide one) or whatever I'm fine with that.. but the original comes home with me, and its my responsibility to bring it to the next game. Clearly though, your opinion on that issue might vary :)

-S

Liberty's Edge

I use Hero Lab and own all the sheets for my players. All leveling up and changes go through me. I print out new sheets for everyone before each session and do all the XP, gold, and treasure additions after each session. It works out pretty well for everyone and I've had no complaints. That said, it's a lot of work for the GM (and printing costs can add up).

I also have a private Google website (free) for our campaign where I post up PDFs of the current character sheets as well as the Hero Lab portfolio file for anyone who wants to look at them between sessions. d20pfsrd.com has a template you can use to easily get a site for your group up and running.


Herolab is not perfect, but it is really good. Checking the math is a lot easier to me than doing everything.


Meh. It occured to me that I will have to check their sheets on next session, they just reached 5th level...

Sovereign Court

My group keeps a shared Dropbox folder for "player information," which includes character sheets.

We also use my form-fillable PDF sheets which do a ton of auto calculation for players.

Between the two, the GM just has to keep an eye on feat-combos, and how their players are interpreting them. I think that's something you're not going to be able to automate though.

freeAgent makes a valid point about Google Sites. They're free and relatively easy to setup. If your players prefer spreadsheet style sheets, you can find a few that are supported by Google Docs. From there, just make the sheets in Google Docs their primary sheets so you can track changes via Google's tools. You can also directly link to the sheets from a Google Site. Add a text document for background info and insert pictures, and you'll have a neat little customized character portfolio on a website for each player too! You could even setup an "adventure journal" for each individual PC as well... if they're into that sort of thing.


Why check anyone's sheet at all? Life is too short to stress over these kinds of things. Errors come out eventually, and when they do you make the correction(s) and move on.

/ it's called trust...


loaba wrote:

Why check anyone's sheet at all? Life is too short to stress over these kinds of things. Errors come out eventually, and when they do you make the correction(s) and move on.

/ it's called trust...

I agree. It's something that will happen with a ruleset as big and complicated as Pathfinder, so why give yourself headaches by spending extra time on error checking that'll take the fun out of things as you become the GA( Game Auditor) rather than the GM.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

loaba wrote:

Why check anyone's sheet at all? Life is too short to stress over these kinds of things. Errors come out eventually, and when they do you make the correction(s) and move on.

/ it's called trust...

To make sure things are right? So people don't take combinations that don't work?

There are all kinds of trust, and trust isn't always a good idea. In particular, trusting to many players degree of system mastery is frankly a stupid plan. Especially new players.


I usually take a look at all my player's sheets before the day of the game to make sure everything is right. During the game I don't stress about it, but I like to make sure it's all correct before the game.

I had a player once who I didn't check before the game and the numbers on roughly half the sheet were wrong. Some low, some waaaay to high, and the character suffered for it.

Grand Lodge

+1 on the Herolabs.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:

Why check anyone's sheet at all? Life is too short to stress over these kinds of things. Errors come out eventually, and when they do you make the correction(s) and move on.

/ it's called trust...

To make sure things are right? So people don't take combinations that don't work?

There are all kinds of trust, and trust isn't always a good idea. In particular, trusting to many players degree of system mastery is frankly a stupid plan. Especially new players.

1. I play with adults

2. If you pay attention to what people do, you determine if they are using some kind of broken combo.
3. Again, it's called trust. But hey, I guess that makes me stupid. O.o

The Exchange

its annoying sometimes dming. there is work in creating advdentures. or financial investment in in modules, you build a world and unfortunately everyone that is in your world needs you to cehck on them. luckily your npcs will not be trying to sneak in every RAW and RAI combo that was never intended to be used. when i dm i let people level up there characters but i always keep a master loot sheet. i always double check there spell lists and yeah i hold there hands while they level. its not what everyone wants to do as a dm. its what i do to make the game move smoothly.
letting someone play there broken build for a little bit then say oh sorry we need to fix this and then they have a fit.


sozin wrote:
+1 on the Hero lab.

+5. I keep adding books to my copy of hero lab and I still want more. It has made my time in making a character and in leveling up a breeze. And it tells me if I missed something critical in the creation process.

I highly recommend this for anyone regardless of how long they have been playing.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

loaba wrote:
1. I play with adults

So do most of us, I expect. On the other hand, Pathfinder isn't the only game system some groups (mine for example) play, and thus (after, say, over a year of not playing it) many of the players are unfamiliar with the system, and find some oversight on whether what they're putting on the sheet properly reflects the character they wish to play quite useful.

loaba wrote:
2. If you pay attention to what people do, you determine if they are using some kind of broken combo.

Sure...but what if it's not broken? What if they're just not getting enough benefits from the combination of stuff they took? That kind of misunderstanding can result in some serious imbalances in party capabilities, and potentially slow down gameplay as well.

It goes a lot smoother if the GM just actually knows what each PC has and can realize immediately when something is being done wrong.

loaba wrote:
3. Again, it's called trust. But hey, I guess that makes me stupid. O.o

Trusting people to do the opposite of what they have previously done on numerous occasions isn't what I'd call smart. Maybe you trusting your particular group to know the system inside and out is smart, I don't know them. My group? Could mostly use a little oversight, and trusting their degree of system mastery weould indeed be stupid.

Now, my group is only one example of a situation where some serious GM oversight on the PCs' sheets is warranted. There are certainly many others, and your attitude is extremely dismissive towards those who are in such a situation and feel that need.

Now, in fairness, there's certainly such a thing as caring too much about that sort of thing...but it's hardly a universal attribute of people who occasionally check the party's sheets to make sure everything works right.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:
1. I play with adults
So do most of us, I expect. On the other hand, Pathfinder isn't the only game system some groups (mine for example) play, and thus (after, say, over a year of not playing it) many of the players are unfamiliar with the system, and find some oversight on whether what they're putting on the sheet properly reflects the character they wish to play quite useful.

There's a difference between people who return to a system and make mistakes accordingly and the scenario described by the OP.

If you're playing with adults, by that I mean people who respect themselves and the other people at the table as well, then you should be able to trust that any mistakes are honest ones.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:
2. If you pay attention to what people do, you determine if they are using some kind of broken combo.

Sure...but what if it's not broken? What if they're just not getting enough benefits from the combination of stuff they took? That kind of misunderstanding can result in some serious imbalances in party capabilities, and potentially slow down gameplay as well.

It goes a lot smoother if the GM just actually knows what each PC has and can realize immediately when something is being done wrong.

You don't need to check their sheet, rather you need to have a conversation about the character and what the player wants to do or thinks it already does.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:
3. Again, it's called trust. But hey, I guess that makes me stupid. O.o

Trusting people to do the opposite of what they have previously done on numerous occasions isn't what I'd call smart. Maybe you trusting your particular group to know the system inside and out is smart, I don't know them. My group? Could mostly use a little oversight, and trusting their degree of system mastery weould indeed be stupid.

Now, my group is only one example of a situation where some serious GM oversight on the PCs' sheets is warranted. There are certainly many others, and your attitude is extremely dismissive towards those who are in such a situation and feel that need.

Now, in fairness, there's certainly such a thing as caring too much about that sort of thing...but it's hardly a universal attribute of people who occasionally check the party's sheets to make sure everything works right.

When I was in high school, sure there were cheaters. Now I play with good people who I trust. It kind of boggles my mind that you'd play with people who consistently fail to learn the rules or flat out ignore them etc.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

loaba wrote:
There's a difference between people who return to a system and make mistakes accordingly and the scenario described by the OP.

Not notably. At least not based on the info he actually gives. He says they lack sufficient system knowledge to create mechanically legal characters that do what they want...I'm not sure what beyond that you're getting from his post.

loaba wrote:
If you're playing with adults, by that I mean people who respect themselves and the other people at the table as well, then you should be able to trust that any mistakes are honest ones.

I do. Absolutely. I wouldn't play with anyone who'd lie about that kind of thing. But honest mistakes can still be extremely disruptive to the game for everyone. Checking cuts down on those quite a bit.

loaba wrote:
You don't need to check their sheet, rather you need to have a conversation about the character and what the player wants to do or thinks it already does.

Possibly. Certainly, if you're another player. If you're the GM, I think you've pretty much got a right to look over the PCs' sheets so as to plan encounters around the group you've actually got, if nothing else, and looking at them to make sure everything's legal seems entirely reasonable.

loaba wrote:
When I was in high school, sure there were cheaters. Now I play with good people who I trust. It kind of boggles my mind that you'd play with people who consistently fail to learn the rules or flat out ignore them etc.

I think you're making some pretty messed up assumptions here. I've never played for any length of time with anybody I thought would cheat but that is far from the only reason to look over a sheet. And as for system mastery, learning the basics is expected, but when your group bounces between half a dozen systems, detailed knowledge of what is likely the most complex of those should probably not be expected to be universal.

Nor should instant knowledge if we're talking about first time gamers, or hell, getting all the math right for people who are bad at math. Having someone check things over in all these situations (and many others I don't even bring up) isn't demonstrating a lack of trust in people's integrity, just their likelihood of getting everything correct...which is, IME a reasonable worry.

Now if, as in the OP's case, you want to cut down on this kind of checking due to its inconvenience, that's a perfectly reasonable goal...but that doesn't mean the basic idea of checking is inherently wrong or should be abandoned entirely. Or signifies a lack of trust in the integrity of those you game with.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:
There's a difference between people who return to a system and make mistakes accordingly and the scenario described by the OP.
Not notably. At least not based on the info he actually gives. He says they lack sufficient system knowledge to create mechanically legal characters that do what they want...I'm not sure what beyond that you're getting from his post.

Seems that A.) he's starting the game at higher levels and b.) this is a routine issue for him.

Does he routinely play with new players or people who have been away from the game for a long period?

I don't think so. I think he plays with people who are building characters at higher levels and having problems putting pieces together.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
wouldn't play with anyone who'd lie about that kind of thing. But honest mistakes can still be extremely disruptive to the game for everyone. Checking cuts down on those quite a bit.

What's more disruptive and insulting then the GM checking your sheet for inaccuracies?

Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:
You don't need to check their sheet, rather you need to have a conversation about the character and what the player wants to do or thinks it already does.
Possibly. Certainly, if you're another player. If you're the GM, I think you've pretty much got a right to look over the PCs' sheets so as to plan encounters around the group you've actually got, if nothing else, and looking at them to make sure everything's legal seems entirely reasonable.

If you're the DM, say from 1st level, then what's worth more to you? Having their sheet, or having actually run sessions with them?

You want the sheet so you can check up on your players. I don't know, but you're sounding kind of controlling here.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:
When I was in high school, sure there were cheaters. Now I play with good people who I trust. It kind of boggles my mind that you'd play with people who consistently fail to learn the rules or flat out ignore them etc.
I think you're making some pretty messed up assumptions here.

Really? Let's talk assumptions...

1. you assume I'm stupid to trust the people I play with.
2. you assume that a GM needs to regularly review players character sheets for accuracy and possible violations.

If you trust the people you play with, then post the sheets to Dropbox and forget about it. :)


mistakes are easier to catch at level 1 I think. Do you have one player that might enjoy checking sheets that is rules minded to help you check them over. And then show you potential problems.

Star Voter 2013

I think the OP is more concerned with making sure his players gain a fundamental understanding of the game. I play witha 45 year old man with mild dyslexia whom has played since 1st ed and I sometimes have to go over his sheet for him, he still hasn't completely grasped a TWF attack routine, which is hard because he always makes rangers.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My Dm has actually appointed me (more or less) the position of sheet checker for our less rules savvy players. Having things like a online database of the character sheets makes this much easier, and can point my Dm to potential problems.


doctor_wu wrote:
mistakes are easier to catch at level 1 I think.

This, I think, may very well be the core issue.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

loaba wrote:


Seems that A.) he's starting the game at higher levels and b.) this is a routine issue for him.

Does he routinely play with new players or people who have been away from the game for a long period?

I don't think so. I think he plays with people who are building characters at higher levels and having problems putting pieces together.

Indeed! My point is that the reasons why they are having problems are immaterial. What's important is how viable the chosen solution is, both in this case and in general.

loaba wrote:
What's more disruptive and insulting then the GM checking your sheet for inaccuracies?

See, almost every game I've ever played, with a dozen different GMs (ranging from wonderful to awful) and more systems than I can count, the GM looked over the sheets, both for inaccuracies and, more importantly, to get a good idea of the character's strengths and weaknesses. Of who the character was.

Not in the middle of play, obviously. That would be disruptive.

And I'm deeply unclear on why a blanket policy like this would be insulting, even if targeted exclusively at catching errors. I mean, books have editors for a reason, everyone makes mistakes.

loaba wrote:
If you're the DM, say from 1st level, then what's worth more to you? Having their sheet, or having actually run sessions with them?

False dischotomy. You can have both, so why does which is more valuable even matter?

loaba wrote:
You want the sheet so you can check up on your players. I don't know, but you're sounding kind of controlling here.

Maybe a little, but I've never had any complaints, even from people new to the group who were experienced gamers outside it, so I must be doing something right.

loaba wrote:
Really? Let's talk assumptions...

Sure. Let's.

loaba wrote:
1. you assume I'm stupid to trust the people I play with.

No, I assume the OP would be stupid to trust the people he's playing with to suddenly and miraculously start getting things right, when they've been getting them consistently wrong. Which is what you seemed to be advocating him doing.

As I said in my second post, implicitly trusting every member of your group's system mastery might be a smart move. I don't know your group, so I can't say. Though if so, you're lucky in that respect.

loaba wrote:
2. you assume that a GM needs to regularly review players character sheets for accuracy and possible violations.

No, I assume doing so isn't some horrible crime against gamers everywhere, and, indeed, a legitimate tactic to ensure accuracy. If you don't need to do so and your game is going great, more power to you.

There is no one true way, and, indeed, it's your insistence that there is in this area I'm disputing.

loaba wrote:
If you trust the people you play with, then post the sheets to Dropbox and forget about it. :)

If you like. But it's not the only appropriate response.


When playing a game becomes too much like work - which is what will happen if I ever need to to audits of my seven player group's character sheets - then I am going to rapidly lose interest in gaming. I spend a great deal of my work life doing medical chart audits - not fun I assure you.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
My point is that the reasons why they are having problems are immaterial. What's important is how viable the chosen solution is, both in this case and in general.

His solution, much to his irritation, is to constantly check their sheets. It's clearly not working as evidenced by the fact this is a regularly occurring issue for him.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
See, almost every game I've ever played, with a dozen different GMs (ranging from wonderful to awful) and more systems than I can count, the GM looked over the sheets, both for inaccuracies and, more importantly, to get a good idea of the character's strengths and weaknesses. Of who the character was.

Back in the day, this was true for me as well. The current GM who I play with has never even looked at my sheet. That's not say we haven't talked numbers or feats or character motivation. He has never studied my sheet or checked it for errors. He's far to busy DMing the best game ever.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
And I'm deeply unclear on why a blanket policy like this would be insulting

You're telling your players that you don't trust them, right out of the gate. You're assuming some mistake will be made. I say wait and see. Actual game play will determine if someone is cheating or doing something wrong.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
False dischotomy. You can have both, so why does which is more valuable even matter?

One is much less insulting than the other, and I think you know that. IF you want my sheet, it's there with everyone elses. But really, if there is a problem or something you don't understand, then be a man and have a conversation with me.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:
You want the sheet so you can check up on your players. I don't know, but you're sounding kind of controlling here.
Maybe a little, but I've never had any complaints

That's awesome, glad to hear it.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

loaba wrote:
No, I assume the OP would be stupid to trust the people he's playing with

And because you said that in response to my post, you were implying that I must be stupid, as I do trust the people I play with.

Your post was too long and I don't feel like cutting and pasting, so I'll close by saying that you'll get much farther with your group by talking to them outside of the game. Pulling a character sheet and fact checking it is certainly one way to do it, but it's not the only way.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

loaba wrote:
His solution, much to his irritation, is to constantly check their sheets. It's clearly not working as evidenced by the fact this is a regularly occurring issue for him.

True. But you didn't just say he shouldn't do it because it's problematic for him (a reasonable enough statement) you said that anyone who did such checks was wrong by definition. Which I disagreed with. Strongly.

loaba wrote:
Back in the day, this was true for me as well. The current GM who I play with has never even looked at my sheet. That's not say we haven't talked numbers or feats or character motivation. He has never studied my sheet or checked it for errors. He's far to busy DMing the best game ever.

Congratulations. My experience has actually tended in the other direction, with the people who only give it a cursory lookover as opposed to a more in-depth analysis being the worse GMs.

loaba wrote:
You're telling your players that you don't trust them, right out of the gate. You're assuming some mistake will be made. I say wait and see. Actual game play will determine if someone is cheating or doing something wrong.

No, I'm really not. Usually, I'm helping them create their characters, a process that's generally appreciated.

And it won't necessarily come up if they're just missing a particular +1 on something, or neglecting to use an optional Feat (like Power Attack).

loaba wrote:
One is much less insulting than the other, and I think you know that. IF you want my sheet, it's there with everyone elses. But really, if there is a problem or something you don't understand, then be a man and have a conversation with me.

I don't find people looking over my character sheet insulting, nor does anyone I've ever played with. Nor should they.

Frankly, the idea that they should find it insulting is alien to me. It smacks of hubris, of the idea that the person who made the sheet is so good (unlike basically everyone else I've ever played with) that they can make everything perfect. It's the same attitude that people take towards their writing when they say they don't need editors, and it's not a good attitude.

I'm not trying to say you need to start religiously checking sheets, but finding the very idea insulting? That's...odd.

loaba wrote:
That's awesome, glad to hear it.

Indeed.

loaba wrote:
And because you said that in response to my post, you were implying that I must be stupid, as I do trust the people I play with.

Not my intent, if you read the original post I said that expecting people to suddenly change their behavior or gain vast systemic skills they did not possess was stupid. I then repeatedly noted my original intent, a fact which you appear to be ignoring.

loaba wrote:
Your post was too long and I don't feel like cutting and pasting, so I'll close by saying that you'll get much farther with your group by talking to them outside of the game. Pulling a character sheet and fact checking it is certainly one way to do it, but it's not the only way.

And here we get to those insulting assumptions again. I've been playing with the same group for years, all but one (the new guy) of which I consider close friends and hang out with regularly outside of game. Including people I've been friends with since pre-school. So out-of-game communication? Not exactly a problem.

Just because I apparently don't game exactly as you do doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong or the group dynamic isn't fun and enjoyable.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
And here we get to those insulting assumptions again. I've been playing with the same group for years, all but one (the new guy) of which I consider close friends and hang out with regularly outside of game. Including people I've been friends with since pre-school. So out-of-game communication? Not exactly a problem.

I was actually addressing the OP. Looking back on my past, that wasn't clear. My bad.

/ You said earlier that your players have no complaints and I believe you.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Just because I apparently don't game exactly as you do doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong or the group dynamic isn't fun and enjoyable.

I never said anything to suggest that, nor did I call someone stupid for advocating trusting their fellow players. ;)

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

loaba wrote:


I was actually addressing the OP. Looking back on my past, that wasn't clear. My bad.

/ You said earlier that your players have no complaints and I believe you.

Okay, sorry. My bad. See what I mean about everyone needing an editor? I sure could've used one about here...

I'm gonna take a deep breath and get some sleep, I think. Or at least not deal with this thread specifically for a while.

loaba wrote:
I never said anything to suggest that, nor did I call someone stupid for advocating trusting their fellow players. ;)

As stated, not exactly what I meant...


In our game, we have two players who are pretty good at the game, myself (I feel my system mastery is 99% accurate), and a fairly new player.

The DM offers assistance to the new player (since she's playing a Summoner, going over the Eidolon's stats and evolutions is nearly a MUST), but he let's the rest of us do what we want.

One of the players (my brother) has made a couple errors that have come out in the open when a particular combo is attempted. Being his brother, I've taken to taunting him with comments like "Know your dang character!"

We do leave a copy of our character sheet with the DM, but that's mostly so that if one person can't make the game, we can continue gaming (with their permission) without having to metagame that PC being absent.
It also helps having more than one copy if someone loses their info (some of us have them on computer, and over the years computers have failed at least a couple times).

I've never run into a group with players who were very keen on power gaming, but who's system mastery was so bad that they kept screwing up. If I were DMing such a group, I'd probably just try and be involved with the player's character designs (I would be normally anyways). I'd figure I'd hear about any weird combo-of-awesomeness early enough on to prevent having to give bad news a few levels down the road.


I've also noticed a trend that loaba seems to like to argue with skull avatar people. ;)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
loaba wrote:
I never said anything to suggest that, nor did I call someone stupid for advocating trusting their fellow players. ;)
As stated, not exactly what I meant...

Fair enough. :)

Kaisoku wrote:
I've also noticed a trend that loaba seems to like to argue with skull avatar people. ;)

That is a disturbing trend, isn't it? lol

We have our sheets on Dropbox (free 2 gig cloud storage), so it's not like they're top secret or anything. Like you, they're largely there in case someone can't make it.

For the OP, errors on the sheet aren't the issue.


I use Hero Lab but any form fillable sheet or other character software can help as well. I've seen and heard of several that might help. The biggest reason I use Hero Lab is that it has all the Paizo material I want plus a lot of flexibility and a very active community that inputs a lot of extras.

I also agree with loaba's point of don't sweat it too much. If they are off on a few skill points things aren't going to come crashing down. If you are worried about feats, you can do what I do and have everyone level up at the same time. It shouldn't take all that long to level up. If it happens during a session, take the 30 minutes and make sure that everyone takes feats they qualify for and their spells and skills add up just fine.

Just be proactive and don't get worked up over a few little things.


I find PF/3.5 needs some doublechecking sometimes, my friends would rarely if ever cheat (though they are not beyond metagaming), but since we have less time to game and less time to spend exploring our rulebooks and the like with busy jobs and families they are more prone to making mistakes.

I do doublecheck characters both to familiarize myself with them as well as point out errors and possibly suggestions to enhance the sort of character they want to play, having them send their characters to you by mail every once in a while with updates helps, and only takes a fraction of the time I spend preparing the actual game, mistakes are usually easily corrected by giving some feedback by mail as well.

It is useful to know alignments and ranks in skills in particular, as well as making sure treasure I 'drop' will be useful, to mediate if a single character slacks behind the others a bit too much. Knowing a thing or two about their characters helps run the game more smoothly eventually when they are overwhelmed by the numbers, items and feats on their character sheet.

If I would not be sucker for houseruling I'd use herolabs as well, I still use it to create NPCs that are easily adjusted it is pretty good really.

Sovereign Court

Gentelmen

I will try to visualize a few particular situations that happend or that I prevented from happening due my error checking.

The Bad:
Player: Ok I make full attack (rolls)
GM: Good your 2nd attack had slain the lizard.
Player: Fine then I cleave the second lizard.
GM: Wait, you did'nt said it was a cleave action and on top that you used a full attack. CLeave doesn't wqork that way.
Player: What no way, show me this.
10 minutes later
Player: Damn, my character isn't good at utilizing standard actions i need to change it fast.

The Worst:

Player: (after using divine bond 7th level on a +2 sword.) Ok I slash the ogre. Lets see power attack , smite, holy. XX dmg
GM: Wait how did you get Holy there?
PLayer: Well With divine bond my sword is now +3 so I reshaped it into +1 Holy.
This took 30 minutes out of a session to explain how this actually works.

The Good:
The player made a mid level rogue with a lot of AC enchancing items. I calculated everything he bought , checked if the bonuses all stacked up. After that I came with the following.
GM: Ok I saw 3 items that don't give you AC because they stack and did you know that there exists a Feint Manouver which could rended you're riddiculously high AC useless?
After 2 hours of online arguing.
Player: Why did you said that? If I came with that character you would totally drop a bomb at me.

As you can see, not only, do the mistakes of my player rob my group from our precious play time but also me form, my time which I could spend on adding content to my campaign. Sometimes I even feel that they dilibretly make mistakes to present no legal , more powerful versions of their characters. They even refused to roll for Atributes or Hit points which would be so good if they did because I wouldn't need to calculate how many points did they spend.

One thing to add, we are all adults and these two players tend to be more rules heavy than the rest of the party. I only recently made them go to me if there is some ambiguity with the rules or post their questions in the 'rules question messageboard' but still it takes a lot of my play time to double-check or correct the errors during the game.

Sovereign Court

HappyDaze wrote:
When playing a game becomes too much like work - which is what will happen if I ever need to to audits of my seven player group's character sheets - then I am going to rapidly lose interest in gaming. I spend a great deal of my work life doing medical chart audits - not fun I assure you.

For this reason, I generally treat audits of my players' sheets like a drug test from your employer: it's random.

I do one audit sometime on the day of each session, and it's just a roll of the die to see who gets it. If they fail once, it's a slap on the wrist with a warning to fix something. If they're habitual: I find a creative way to kill their character intentionally.

It might be an evil way to solve an issue, but it gets the point across I think.

Star Voter 2013

Hero Labs is my preferred method for checking things over. They are correct in calculations 99% of the time, it's only when you have a wonky ability that things get weird. As time has gone on, they've been able to fix a lot of the wonkyness by adding things in the "In Play" tab like Deadly Aim, Haste, Point Blank Shot, etc. so the numbers keep coming out correct again.

Some feats are listed as not being implemented yet, and they are accompanied by big bold statements int he feat. This is fine by me, as they generally don't have a major influence in the game, and if they do, I can usually modify the character under Adjust or Personal to apply bonuses in a large number of areas.

I recently started running PFS games, and that's kind of a drag in that you must look over every character sheet to make sure it's legal. Recently had a problem with a character wanting to play a Word Caster. I asked if it was legal and he said it was after looking up the list of allowed material. Just the other day, I looked at it again (trying to memorize most of what's legal and not) and realized he'd lied, or misread the part about Words of Power not being legal for PFS. Now he's got to do a rebuild on his character. Which is fine, because he was disgruntled with the character in that every spell he had was fire based and the scenario happened to use some creatures, like Fire Beetles, and he meta-gamed thinking they were immune to fire, so he thought his spells would have no effect without actually casting one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
loaba wrote:

1. I play with adults

2. If you pay attention to what people do, you determine if they are using some kind of broken combo.
3. Again, it's called trust. But hey, I guess that makes me stupid. O.o

I don't think trust has anything to do with it for many people. I trust my players to do what they feel is right within the rules, but with Pathfinder - sometimes old habits die hard. We, as a group (of adults, all over 30), are all learning a new-but-the-same game system where some nuances come out during character creation. Mistakes and misinterpretation of rules is only natural. Now, if you mistrust your players and believe some are cheating - that's a whole different story. One that I thankfully have little experience with in an RPG setting. (other tabletop games, on the other hand...)

Double checking character-sheets is NOT about trust to me, but it's about learning and growing as a group - together. I'm not out for a 'gotcha' moment, but a learning experience. Maybe *I* (as the GM and character-sheet reviewer) thought something worked differently and was able to learn from my player's experience. Even if the player made a mistake - correcting it can only be healthy for everyone involved. Everyone makes mistakes, correcting them is the adult thing to do. Ignoring them or presuming that noone makes mistakes is very un-adult like IMO.

Also, another big advantage of 'double checking' character sheets in the knowledge gained about a character's abilities. There are a lot of little-used feats, domain powers, archtypes, etc across several books. If you know what your players are using which may be a little out of the norm - then the entire game session can go smoother. As a GM, I dislike having to ask constantly "what does that do again?"

Lantern Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Another option for online character sheets, Myth Weavers has a decent character sheet. It only does the basic math for you, though.

Shadow Lodge

A lot of people have mentioned Hero Lab, and it looks pretty neat, but I'm on a Mac. Any software suggestions for me?


Grandmikus wrote:

Gentelmen

I will try to visualize a few particular situations that happend or that I prevented from happening due my error checking.

The Bad:
Player: Ok I make full attack (rolls)
GM: Good your 2nd attack had slain the lizard.
Player: Fine then I cleave the second lizard.
GM: Wait, you did'nt said it was a cleave action and on top that you used a full attack. CLeave doesn't wqork that way.
Player: What no way, show me this.
10 minutes later
Player: Damn, my character isn't good at utilizing standard actions i need to change it fast.

This isn't an error in the mechanics of the build. It's an error in understanding how the ability works and no amount of double checking will catch this. It is important that the players and GM understand (or are at least in agreement) how abilities will work.

Quote:

The Worst:

Player: (after using divine bond 7th level on a +2 sword.) Ok I slash the ogre. Lets see power attack , smite, holy. XX dmg
GM: Wait how did you get Holy there?
PLayer: Well With divine bond my sword is now +3 so I reshaped it into +1 Holy.
This took 30 minutes out of a session to explain how this actually works.

Again, this isn't an error in the mechanics of the build. See my above statement to address this problem.

Quote:

The Good:

The player made a mid level rogue with a lot of AC enchancing items. I calculated everything he bought , checked if the bonuses all stacked up. After that I came with the following.
GM: Ok I saw 3 items that don't give you AC because they stack and did you know that there exists a Feint Manouver which could rended you're riddiculously high AC useless?
After 2 hours of online arguing.
Player: Why did you said that? If I came with that character you would totally drop a bomb at me.

This is something that double checking the character will find. As GM I would discuss the AC stacking and costs but I wouldn't worry about telling the player which abilities would bypass their AC unless they mention something to me about why they made those choices. If they said that they took Shield Specialization to help them with their AC against incorporeal creatures, I would let them know why that may or may not work the way they think.

Quote:
As you can see, not only, do the mistakes of my player rob my group from our precious play time but also me form, my time which I could spend on adding content to my campaign. Sometimes I even feel that they dilibretly make mistakes to present no legal , more powerful versions of their characters. They even refused to roll for Atributes or Hit points which would be so good if they did because I wouldn't need to calculate how many points did they spend.

I think you may be taking it personally and you need to realize that it's just a game. Discuss the issues with them. Don't accuse them of cheating. Don't rank them by quality (good, bad, worst). Just sit down with them and talk to them about their characters. Make sure that they understand how their abilities work. You may have to put some extra work in at first by prompting them ("So you are going to move up and attack the troglodyte. There is a second one there, did you plan on using cleave this round?"). Eventually they will tell you their full intentions.

The other thing you can do is create a blog or something where you discuss the intricacies of an ability that a character has. Make it like the Rules of the Game blog. Be open to other interpretations as well. If there is an ambiguity and any of the ways to read it are roughly equal, I tend to favor the players.

1 to 50 of 56 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / I really hate double-checking PC sheets! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.