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Rules and Guidelines: There is a difference.

Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I want to touch on this subject because I am seeing a lot of people on these boards not being able to separate the two.

The most famous of these has to do with magic items, cities, magic item shops, scrolls, and NPC Wizards.

There are some people who just can't seem to understand that the section on this stuff that's in the corebook are not RAW, well certain parts are, but actual guidelines.

The cities vs magic ratio in the back of the corebook is for those DM's who honestly don't feel like coming up with their own cities and magic ratio in those cities. They are by no means RAW. Finding Wizards and buying spells off of them is not RAW. The RAW kicks in "if" the DM establishes said Wizard, you find him, and he agrees to sell you some of his spells. This is when the RAW rules for buying and copying spells comes into play.

I believe that too many players read the back of the corebook and expect it to happen what the book "suggests" and then gets mad when it doesn't and blames the DM for not telling them it didn't work that way. Last time I checked, there was nothing written that told you to expect the world to operate that way to start with.

those are no more of guidelines than archtypes, traits or prestige classes are.

Silver Crusade

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
those are no more of guidelines than archtypes, traits or prestige classes are.


PS: Purchasing Magic Items
Magic items are valuable, and most major cities have at least
one or two purveyors of magic items, from a simple potion
merchant to a weapon smith that specializes in magic
swords. Of course, not every item in this book is available
in every town.
The following guidelines are presented to help GMs
determine what items are available in a given community.
These guidelines assume a setting with an average level of
magic. Some cities might deviate wildly from these baselines,
subject to GM discretion.

just as community sizes are optional yet commonly used.

so are archtypes, traits and prestige classes.

they are so commonly used that people assume that they are RAW. but truly, they are optional.

you don't even need a bestiary either.

The Exchange

They are indeed guidelines.

However the power curve of the game assumes that on average, your towns and cities will give your players around the stated amount of access to these resources. Yes, some areas of a world may have more or less but if you change the players access to spells and magic items by a huge amount then you need to consider the knock on effects.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
those are no more of guidelines than archtypes, traits or prestige classes are.

I'm gonna nitpick here. Archetypes, Traits and Prestige Classes are optional game mechanics. They aren't guidelines at all. If you choose to allow these mechanics into your game, then they work as written.

example: if you allow Ultimate Combat Archetypes, but then make changes to Urban Barbarian, then you're altering the RAW. When you allowed the stuff from UC, you accepted it into the "rules".

Magic item procurement, in the manner that Shallowsoul is talking about, are guidelines. There aren't rules for those interactions, so there's a wealth of example and base-line material for the GM.

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