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Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Aravan wrote:
TOZ wrote:
That's good.

Except that it isn't good at all, assuming you were responding to Cydeth. Pathfinder Society is a lot of fun and I have met an amazing group of people in my home town because of it. I also traveled to PaizoCon and had an amazing time, largely due to PFS. Having read this thread I can understand why someone who had never played PFS might come away with a negative opinion of it. There were statements to the effect of 'I would take the photocopy from them and tell them they would have to play a pregen or not play at all.' At least half the posts on this thread have a very draconian feel to them, making PFS sound like an organization with strict rules, severe punishments and place where we like to publicly shame those who intentionally or accidentally break a rule. Yet my experiences both in my home city and at PaizoCon tell me that nothing could be further from the truth.

In my opinion as players, and as GM's (I haven't GMed yet but am scheduled to in the next week or two) we shouldn't be the judge/jury/executioner but rather we should be fellow gamers enjoying a hobby with other gamers. Now I am not so naive as to believe there aren't any cheaters, or people who will try to steal Paizo content but I believe they are the exception rather than the rule.

I also think when you create rules and policies to prevent or expose cheaters but those rules also harm or turn away legitimate players who are trying to enjoy PFS you have in the end done more damage than a cheating player ever could have. Talk to players, explain that they should buy a copy of whatever product they are using but if they have a way of showing you the rules, even if you aren't sure how legitimate it is give them the benefit of the doubt and let everyone have fun at the table.

This is what I'm meaning. I've considered playing PFS. If my work schedule permitted, I'd actually considered even trying to start getting PFS organized in my local area. But when I see some of the hardline stances, and think about some of those players I've had? No. Just no. If my friend can't carry his books with him, and doesn't have a laptop, so even if he had the PDFs, he couldn't bring them with...why is he in the wrong to make a photocopy of his book? And no, this is not a theoretic thing. I have a friend who is very into gaming, who had a tank run over his transport while in the field. He can barely walk, let alone carry a half dozen books. Even the CRB would be pushing it for him.

I'm not siding with people who pirate stuff. I'm siding with the people who have physical copies, but can't bring 15+ lbs. of gaming books with them for every character they have. Is that at the more extreme end? Yes. But it's also what I typically carried with me when I was playing in Living Greyhawk, among others. (I didn't actually use most of them...I was just obsessive at the time.)

So yes, when I see 5 star GMs espousing that they'll take away photocopies of someone's book, and not let them play that character, even if this hasn't come up? I'll choose not to support organized play at all, rather than risk my fun, or that my friends might have their fun ruined because of it. When it becomes too much like work, forget it.

I'll add that it got up my ire quite a bit, so I walked away overnight to consider further before commenting on this at all. Anyway, good luck with PFS, everyone. Maybe I'll change my mind someday, but I doubt it'll be today.

Andoran

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Dang, you know how heavy those books get? And do the book owners also have to buy pdfs if they don't want to drag their books along? Sheesh, people just need to lighten up.

If someone has a feat that the GM is not familiar with, It is expected that a reference can be quickly produced. If he doesn't have his book with him, but someone else has it, or someone has a copy of it ((No I'm not going to ask to see a frikin watermark on that copy)) then it's just fine by me.

If no one can produce a copy of this feat: Sorry, it's just not working today - Final Answer.

The spirit of PFS is to have a great adventure with your fellow gamers, not to be the Nun with the Ruler.

I'll gladly pass on that table any day of the week.

Actually most of us here would pass on that table, so if you run such a table please put a big RED flag on your table so that gamers who are looking for a fun game know where NOT to go.

I forgot my Core Book the last game I played at.
I was slightly embarrassed at having to borrow a book to reference but no one at the table was a jerk about it.

Some people just need to chill.

When I GM I plan a fun game, not a player inquisition!

Shadow Lodge ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cydeth wrote:


This is what I'm meaning. I've considered playing PFS. If my work schedule permitted, I'd actually considered even trying to start getting PFS organized in my local area. But when I see some of the hardline stances, and think about some of those players I've had? No. Just no. If my friend can't carry his books with him, and doesn't have a laptop, so even if he had the PDFs, he couldn't bring them with...why is he in the wrong to make a photocopy of his book? And no, this is not a theoretic thing. I have a friend who is very into gaming, who had a tank run over his transport while in the field. He can barely walk, let alone carry a half dozen books. Even the CRB would be pushing it for him.

This is one of the reasons behind my stance on the issue - I myself can limp around without a cane or crutch most of the time, but I have a friend who's in a wheelchair and she loves gaming but can't carry a stack of books (no idea if she's got a tablet or something, but I know she does own quite a few hardcover books).

Cydeth wrote:
I'm not siding with people who pirate stuff. I'm siding with the people who have physical copies, but can't bring 15+ lbs. of gaming books with them for every character they have.
Cydeth wrote:

So yes, when I see 5 star GMs espousing that they'll take away photocopies of someone's book, and not let them play that character, even if this hasn't come up? I'll choose not to support organized play at all, rather than risk my fun, or that my friends might have their fun ruined because of it. When it becomes too much like work, forget it.

I'll add that it got up my ire quite a bit, so I walked away overnight to consider further before commenting on this at all. Anyway, good luck with PFS, everyone. Maybe I'll change my mind someday, but I doubt it'll be today.

As has been pointed out, a situation coming up where a GM might threaten to take away someone's printed pages is a corner case, one so rare that I hadn't even heard of anyone thinking of doing that to a player until I read it on this thread here. I'll admit that it got me a little agitated as well, which is why I've been silent on this topic for a few days.

I'd hope that a GM wouldn't look at a player with crutches or in a wheelchair and say "well, you don't have the physical books with you, so I'm not going to allow a print-out." If a GM tried to do that at an event I was running, I'd be more likely to ask the GM to leave and take over running the scenario cold, than I would be to stand behind that call.

In my experience with PFS, it's a great venue for playing in the world that Pathfinder boasts - the richest and most involved one I've ever read or played in. It's also made me several new friends in a very short amount of time all across the country, and especially in my local area.

One of the best things about PFS is the "module" nature of it - some players might not like the fact that each game is a dungeon-crawl or delve or one-shot-type-deal, but it allows for people with real life schedules to make it when they can, and not be penalized for "missing games".

For people like us, who think that the "other extreme" is really too much, the best way to work against that is probably not to argue endlessly on the forums (which is highly unlikely to change the minds of people who are dead-set in their ways, from new GMs to five-star GMs, from brand new players to venture-captains), but to get people involved in the game who will bring their own take on it "to the table", so hopefully a happy medium can be found.

I still firmly believe that a GM's job, as a volunteer for Pathfinder Society, is to run games such that everyone at the table has fun. If one GM decides to be more strict on one thing or another, that falls under the "table variation" bit in the Guide.

If you're at a convention and you see you're going to be at a table with a GM who you've had a bad experience with, going up to an event coordinator or GM who's handling table muster and saying that you don't want there to be any drama, but could you get a different table would probably solve the problem, and then everyone can be happy.

In short, just because a few players or GMs (regardless of their length of time/experience in Pathfinder Society) hold views that you don't, isn't a reason to discount the whole thing as a loss or a waste of time.

You've got to make the decision about PFS that's best for you, of course, but I just wanted to join in with some others above with whom I agree - this sort of thing is *very* rare, and really probably not worth all the discussions or arguments that have been put into this thread.

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aravan wrote:
TOZ wrote:
That's good.
Except that it isn't good at all, assuming you were responding to Cydeth.

Yes it is. It is better that Cydeth NOT play PFS it is not something s/he would like. It is better that every player in the Society enjoys himself than for some to not be enjoying themselves. Not everyone has to be a part of it.

*** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

JohnF wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
JohnF wrote:

Or you always have the option of pointing out that they really should get their own copy, rather than relying on somebody else providing it for them - one of these day's they'll end up at a table where nobody has the reference material present in one of the permitted forms. But, fortunately for them, as I have PDFs of all those heavy rulebooks right here on my tablet, I can let them use the ability. That's what I'd do today if Thea or Fromper showed up at my table with just a photocopy.

John,

I too have all the PDFs on my mini, but if I'm running, I will have the adventure, the CRB, the Bestiary(ies) and (after learning my lesson) the Herolab PDFs for any NPCs. If player A doesn't have the text for trait Y from Book Z, my mini's processor is too overtaxed to pull up another PDF to look it up, let alone "I don't know what book it's from, my brother Billy who's not here suggested it."

None of which apply here. There's a photocopied page in front of me that shows me exactly how everything works. If I'm satisfied with the explanation I get from the player, I'm prepared to believe that's identical to the text I'd find if I were to search the PDF on my tablet.

Whether I'd ask Billy's brother not to use the trait is a whole other issue. If he can't tell me what rulebook it comes from, I'm not going to search through every PDF on the tablet. And while I have all the hardbound rulebooks on the tablet, I don't have all the softcovers there, so if the trait comes from something like "Seeker of Secrets" or "Qadira: Gateway to the East" I'm not going to find it anyway.

We may be talking past each other. I focused on the section "you always have the option of pointing out that they really should get their own copy, rather than relying on somebody else providing it for them - one of these day's they'll end up at a table where nobody has the reference material present in one of the permitted forms."

If, to use the examples given you or Bunnygnome bring photocopies from your hardback copies, it's a different issue than with bringing prints from *someone else's PDF* or not having the material at all (for example, grabbing it off the PRD) and relying on someone else to show the GM how obscure power X works.

Aside: If I take the niece and nephew* to Origins next year, and print stuff off for their characters it's going to be from my PDFs. I'll include my phone number. You want to question them, call me. You want to disallow them, they'll call me and I'll get to do my cranky ogre act.

*

Spoiler:
And now official godkids since our sister's abandoned her duty.

Silver Crusade **

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I have read this thread, and all I can say is this: I am ashamed of this community for the rancor that has appeared here and that it is driving players away. Shameful. Utterly *shameful*.

Silver Crusade **

Cydeth,

The draconian stance laid out here by some GMs is not indicative of PFS as a whole. In my area, such actions would be condemned. I highly encourage you to give PFS a chance. Find a good FLGS, get a group, and see where it takes you. Again, I apologize that this thread has turned you away from PFS. Hopefully, you can see the rest of the community for what it is: a positive encouraging place where gamers come together for fun.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Aravan wrote:
TOZ wrote:
That's good.
Except that it isn't good at all, assuming you were responding to Cydeth.
Yes it is. It is better that Cydeth NOT play PFS it is not something s/he would like. It is better that every player in the Society enjoys himself than for some to not be enjoying themselves. Not everyone has to be a part of it.

I am of the opinion that some of the posts in this thread can be taken as heavy handed by people who read them. Such a perception of PFS does not match with the reality that I have experienced. In fact I have played with a lot amazing GM's who do their best to create a great gaming experience for the players. Our VC is a great guy who tries to make sure all are included and have fun. I don't want someone to read this thread and make a decision on whether or not PFS is for them based on a few statements made on a message board.

Now PFS is not everyone, I agree with you on that. I have known players who didn't enjoy their experience and I have played with people who I didn't enjoy playing with. I can accept this because I understand that organized play allows anyone to join which at time creates its own set of problems. However I don't think we should risk turning people away who might be great PFS players or GMs by posting blanket statements claiming that to even play in a game that someone GMs you must have a unquestionably legitimate copy of source that you used to build your character.

I for one spent some time reading the PFS boards before I decided to take the jump and go to a local session. It was with some trepidation that I went to my first PFS session mostly due to some preconceptions about organized play, but in part because of some harsh posts on message boards. What and how we say things is important, and driving potential players away because of a heated message board topic is self destructive.

Osirion ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A part of me wants to drag all my books, hardcover and softcover because I use bits and pieces from everything for my characters with me to the table I'm playing at now. I'll stack them ALL on the table next to me, because there is no way I am putting things on the ground where they can be stepped on. Sure, they'll take up a lot of room, and they might get in the way, but NO ONE can turn me away for not having a physical copy, right?

Grand Lodge *****

Gornil, if it's a small table you might have to stack them all in front of you as you might be sitting shoulder to shoulder. Another option is to leave them in your bag/pack/box/(suit)case and pull them out as needed.

For those put off by the extremists in this thread, understand they are few and far between. And more often than not, it's more bark than bite.

As for 5-star GMs posting this way, it just means they have run lots and lots of PFS games (150+) and have had the good fortune of running a good game once when they were evaluated for their 5th star. If they didn't make it the first time, nothing kept them from trying again until they had a good run and were accepted. So don't let that 5th star throw you. If you avoid their corner of the world and the major conventions, you will never have to meet them.

****

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As I see it, the intent of the rules is to encourage players who are using Additional Resources to buy a copy of the required resources and support Paizo, and to ensure that the rules for the ability is available at the table.

I often travel about 1600km to conventions, and I completely sympathize with people who supply the required rules and have some evidence to suggest that they paid for the sources. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I would think that if you can show the rules, and have bought the required books, then you should be able to use it. How you prove this really depends on the GM, but I don't believe that Paizo wishes table GMs to take a hardline stance on this.

Personally, I generally keep photocopies of the required pages from with my characters, and try to bring the hardcovers, but I don't always take all of them out of my car. When traveling to conventions, I occasionally leave a book or two at home.

The original post arose after I had GMed a game where a player brought a character that used seven or eight non-core sources copied from d20pfsrd. When I asked if she owned the books, she told me that she didn't. How should that situation be handled?

Shadow Lodge ****

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Threads like this are the reason people ask for the option to NOT display their GM stars.

Qadira ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

TOZ wrote:
Threads like this are the reason people ask for the option to NOT display their GM stars.

I disagree, it it threads like this that make stars matter more.

Everyone can have their own opinions.

Some individuals have experience that we can learn from.

I like Chris Mortika, I have had the pleasure to play under him. I have seen him audit players. If he asks someone to leave his table he has his reasons, I will personally, from my experience with his audits say they are valid, he has allot ot dignity and experience.

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chris Bonnet wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Threads like this are the reason people ask for the option to NOT display their GM stars.
I disagree, it it threads like this that make stars matter more.

I said the OPTION. So they could choose whether or not their status is displayed.

Qadira ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis aka Red-Assassin

Sorry tri took your comment out context.

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No problem Chris, I think stars are important too. But I can see how they color the conversations and how some people might wish they could hide them to avoid altering perceptions of their arguments. The developers and RPG Superstars and 3PPs get it enough as is.

Cheliax ****

TOZ wrote:
Threads like this are the reason people ask for the option to NOT display their GM stars.

I can do that? lol Sweet. Goodbye Stars, I never really cared ;)

[edit: awww, I just realized I can't.]

*****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Don Walker wrote:
As for 5-star GMs posting this way, it just means they have run lots and lots of PFS games (150+) and have had the good fortune of running a good game once when they were evaluated for their 5th star. If they didn't make it the first time, nothing kept them from trying again until they had a good run and were accepted. So don't let that 5th star throw you. If you avoid their corner of the world and the major conventions, you will never have to meet them.

I'll address this more when I have proper access to a keyboard, but for now, if you don't have a clue how something actually works, then don't post pretending you do.

Osirion

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

The Superscriber tag means I've been around since Day One, and by definition, have a hardcopy and pdf of everything in the catalogue.

So I don't have a problem printing anything from a pdf, in support of any PC I bring.

However, even I would run into problems, if I were to be held to the definitions of some GMs on this thread.

What is the official stance, about those rules which have been FAQed, or addressed in the errata, but have yet to make it into a revised physical print (and updated pdf)?*

Does a printout of the errata count as a valid resource?

*eg Summoner's Life Link, which doesn't work as intended (ie, as an interrupt), in the form it's written in the APG.

Lantern Lodge ***

This appears to be a very touchy issue for many folks, with varied thoughts on the matter. I feel many of the points made are justifiable, but this is my own personal view, which is admittedly relaxed:

Those of us who play this game love this game. We are part of this PFS community (even new arrivels such as myself) because we find structure, joy, and fun in being part of that community. We want this company and this community to succeed and grow so we can continue being part of this experience for as long as possible. To that end, I believe confidently that the vast and overwhelming majority of this community devote as much money into this hobby as they can responsibly afford for their individual circumstance.

To that end, I am not interested in preventing anyone from playing the character they want to play simply because they just couldn't reasonably justify purchasing an entire book for a single feat. I am confident the vast majority of such folks have spent enough money on other books that I do not feel they are "cheating" paizo of money for their products.

I strongly believe the reasoning for requiring print of additional resource material is not to police product legality, but to provide visible clarification on game mechanics so that everyone at the table can stay on the same page without complication. At any table I ever run, I would have no problem accepting a photocopied page, or a pdf printout from a friend of the player.

Is it possible such an item could be from a pirated source? Yes. And if so, that makes me a little sad. But I am more concerned that everyone at my table walks away with an enjoyable experience with the character build they want to run than I am at policing a player's moral decisions I have absolutely no way to verify the truth of.

If Steve prints his buddy Greg a page of the Quain Martial Artist talent from the Dragon Empire Primer for his friend's character, I see absolutely no reason to get up in arms about this. All I would add was that if it was a friend who had printed pages for me, I would kindly pull my GM aside before gameplay began and give him the courtesy of saying upfront a friend had provided the copy of a pdf for me for a given issue on my character sheet and ask my GM if he or she took issue with that. If they take issue, it's their table and their call, but I personally maintain that no one in this community is served by such attitude.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

After looking over this whole thread a bit this morning, I think that while this is most certainly something people feel strongly about, that the issue is kind of going in circles between people who are on either extreme of the spectrum, with lots of people caught up at various points in the middle.

Tempers have been flaring in semi-regular cycles (I'm guilty of this myself on this thread), and I'm not sure if that's really healthy for any of us, or PFS in general (see above posts about this argument literally driving players away).

After everything, the general consensus seems to be three things:

  • 1 - Expect Table Variation, YMMV.
  • 2 - If you will be at a table with a GM who's hardline about this, you can seek another table.
  • 3 - This sort of thing actually happening is *rather* rare outside of hypothetical situations.

Can I submit a request that we quit/lock this thread so we can keep tempers from flaring back up again?

Qadira ** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Snorter wrote:
The Superscriber tag means I've been around since Day One, and by definition, have a hardcopy and pdf of everything in the catalogue.

<nitpick>Actually, the "Charter" tag means you've been around since day one, the super subscriber tag means you are subscribed to a lot of stuff. </nitpick>

Andoran

Alexander_Damocles wrote:

Cydeth,

The draconian stance laid out here by some GMs is not indicative of PFS as a whole. In my area, such actions would be condemned. I highly encourage you to give PFS a chance. Find a good FLGS, get a group, and see where it takes you. Again, I apologize that this thread has turned you away from PFS. Hopefully, you can see the rest of the community for what it is: a positive encouraging place where gamers come together for fun.

Hear hear,

Alexander is quite right, and to the credit of PFS, I have not encountered any PFS GMs with a (pardon my french)
not nice:
stick up there ass
.

Maybe it's a good idea to start carrying receipts around with a xerox copy of xtra-feats etc...

And on a HUMAN level, in the case of a scrapping college student, or one of the many Out-of-work people in today's economy... well once they have money again, perhaps they'll support Paizo by buying more books, but I'm Damn well not going to kick anyone out of my table...
Nuff Said.

As for closing this thread because it's getting a tad heated... well, that will just lead to the start of the thread all over again, won't it?

Let's just hash out what has to be said in calm rational, and pleasant tones... and once again, please pardon my earlier use of French - lol

Can we just all get along :?)


I would just like to remind everyone that you can make a great many characters out of nothing but the core book.

At that point you need to bring nothing but your character and some dice to the game.

Grand Lodge *****

Kyle Baird wrote:
Don Walker wrote:
As for 5-star GMs posting this way, it just means they have run lots and lots of PFS games (150+) and have had the good fortune of running a good game once when they were evaluated for their 5th star. If they didn't make it the first time, nothing kept them from trying again until they had a good run and were accepted. So don't let that 5th star throw you. If you avoid their corner of the world and the major conventions, you will never have to meet them.
I'll address this more when I have proper access to a keyboard, but for now, if you don't have a clue how something actually works, then don't post pretending you do.

I'm not sure what to make of your comment.

I'm definitely NOT the type to pretend that I know something AND to post about it if I don't. I believe my explanation above is correct albeit not complete.

To clarify, I'm not implying that any 5-star GM has not earned their stars. Every single one has devoted a tremendous amount of time and money to the campaign and deserves all the recognition this service rank denotes.

What I am saying is that just because one is a 5-star GM, it does not mean they speak for Paizo, know every game and campaign rule, or even fully understand the laws that apply.

Also, I am not a lawyer, but I don't believe there is any authority by which a GM has the right to confiscate materials possessed by a player.

Lantern Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Spokane

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Ok, since this thread has not been closed, I am going to weigh in on this issue. As a relatively new GM, I am continually in the process of learning and have found the guidance of those here on the message boards to be very helpful, and encouraging making my choice to GM Pathfinder a very good choice. With that being said and seeing a thread like this, I can understand those who get discouraged from running or participating in a PFS group. Am I not correct in the fact that providing a play experience that is fun and a character that they can play anywhere since the rules are standardized is our primary objective. I did not think we are supposed to be the copyright police and are even allowed to force someone to surrender anything if they want to play at the table in order to GM. Doing this, in my opinion, defeats the purpose of what I believe to be what organized play is all about for the player or the GM.

On the topic of references for anything not known, my stance is if someone comes to me with something I am not familiar with and it is in something like a word document, that player better be able to come up with a published source that can be referenced or it will more than likely be "turned off" as someone stated in an earlier post. If they bring a photocopied page from a published Paizo book or a page printed from a Paizo published PDF, I am going to accept it and move on with the game.

With the 5 star GMs, playing at one of their tables or drawing anything from their experience would be welcomed. The time and effort they put into not only getting to that 5th star but they would have a lot of knowledge to draw from with seeing their GMing style. How many of us have seen a GM do something at a game and say to yourself that you really need to adapt that to your play style?

Ok, end of my two cents worth. Thank you for listening and to all those who have helped me in my journey to become a better GM.

Andoran

And I agree with the last three posts too :D

Andoran

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In re-reading this thread to refresh my head, - and -

Mekkis wrote:


The original post arose after I had GMed a game where a player brought a character that used seven or eight non-core sources copied from d20pfsrd. When I asked if she owned the books, she told me that she didn't. How should that situation be handled?

I'd have to ask myself why I stuck my nose into that in the first place.

I'll have to go with Bill Clinton on that one with "Don't ask, don't tell"

It's not going to help out you, the prospective player, PFS, or Paizo.

If Paizo thinks it's important, you will know when the black uniformed men goose-stepping down the hall with red P/P armbands come to the table and ask to see everyone's papers.

Make your table comfortable, pass out some chocolates, and have a great game.

You will thank yourself, and your players will thank you.

:D

Hope your thread has helped you realize your place within the world of PFS

Andoran

DSXMachina wrote:

Hmmm, well I wonder if individual pages ripped out of a book are allowed. It doesn't prove individual ownership but it does save on weight space.

*Carries on musing*

Oh, and that is quite cute too - lol

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dennis Baker wrote:
<nitpick>Actually, the "Charter" tag means you've been around since day one, the super subscriber tag means you are subscribed to a lot of stuff. </nitpick>

Ah, OK, I forgot what order they were given out, but the fact remains, I do have the full catalogue, with the exception of the pdf fiction.

I still have PCs reliant on rules that have been fully explained, FAQed, and have had personal discussions with the designers, throughout Beta and final products, to confirm the rule's intent.

Yet they still haven't got round to changing the books, pdfs or PRD.
If the GMs I sit with won't accept a printout of the errata, from these boards, then it makes at least one PC 'unplayable'*

Do I have to put such a PC on indefinite hold, or is there a consensus among GMs, whether errata printouts are valid sources?

*Hyperbole alert. Yes, I can still play, but not as the designer intended, by losing a main core feature.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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There doesn't have to be a consensus among GMs, Snorter, because there's a directive from the campaign coordinators: official errata and FAQs are to be followed, and so are ex cathedra posts, providing that the GM has seen them.

*** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Snorter wrote:

The Superscriber tag means I've been around since Day One, and by definition, have a hardcopy and pdf of everything in the catalogue.

So I don't have a problem printing anything from a pdf, in support of any PC I bring.

However, even I would run into problems, if I were to be held to the definitions of some GMs on this thread.

What is the official stance, about those rules which have been FAQed, or addressed in the errata, but have yet to make it into a revised physical print (and updated pdf)?*

Does a printout of the errata count as a valid resource?

*eg Summoner's Life Link, which doesn't work as intended (ie, as an interrupt), in the form it's written in the APG.

Again, speaking for me alone. You bring me a Print of the Errata and I'll be fine. If I've my mini, looking up the FAQ is annoying but fine.

I still hold that if I'm Gming, and I need to know how feat X works (and I think you're making it up when you tell me) I need to see it. If you're asking me to look it up, or don't even know what book it's in, then I'll find it in the 'Big Book of stuff that doesn't work today.'

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Don Walker wrote:
I'm definitely NOT the type to pretend that I know something AND to post about it if I don't.

Then why say:

Don Walker wrote:
[5-star GM's] had the good fortune of running a good game once when they were evaluated for their 5th star. If they didn't make it the first time, nothing kept them from trying again until they had a good run and were accepted.

This is not how it works, nor has it ever. See this post for how it really works. Perhaps you're making the assumption based on your own hopes for your 5th star? There ARE people out there who have run 150 scenarios, 50 different scenarios, 10 exclusives/specials and still don't have their 5th star. Is a 5th star a definitive measure of quality? No. But should someone who DOES represent Paizo's organized campaign (at least in some small regard) promote avoiding major conventions and at the same time disparage the reputations of the most dedicated volunteers?

Don Walker wrote:
What I am saying is that just because one is a 5-star GM, it does not mean they speak for Paizo, know every game and campaign rule, or even fully understand the laws that apply.

So just say that.

Andoran

Matthew Morris wrote:


Again, speaking for me alone. You bring me a Print of the Errata and I'll be fine. If I've my mini, looking up the FAQ is annoying but fine.

I still hold that if I'm Gming, and I need to know how feat X works (and I think you're making it up when you tell me) I need to see it. If you're asking me to look it up, or don't even know what book it's in, then I'll find it in the 'Big Book of stuff that doesn't work today.'

I concur, it's best when players have all there 'ducks lined up' and everyone is ready to play.

When play is constantly stopped to look things up, the game becomes a drag :P

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

This post continues a derailment from the topic of players not bringing materials to the table. Sorry 'bout that. I would also note that I'm speaking as a friend of people like Bob, Kyle, Doug, and other 5-star GMs, and of people who are working hard to earn their 5th stars. The accident that allows me into their company shouldn't suggest that I'm in their league.

Don Walker wrote:

As for 5-star GMs posting this way, it just means they have run lots and lots of PFS games (150+) and have had the good fortune of running a good game once when they were evaluated for their 5th star. If they didn't make it the first time, nothing kept them from trying again until they had a good run and were accepted. So don't let that 5th star throw you. If you avoid their corner of the world and the major conventions, you will never have to meet them.

Don, this is false, both in the facts, and the implication.

Two of the requirements for 5-star GM keep it from being just a person who has run a lot of sessions.

1) The requirement for 10 runs of the Exclusive or Special scenarios. Specials are almost always run at large conventions. Running the same Exclusive scenario over and over requires the GM to meet with many different groups of players. That means the GM is plugged into running at conventions or game stores.

In either case, somebody with a reputation as a poor GM will have a very difficult time meeting that requirement, because the community of convention organizers will be reluctant to have him or her run games.

2) The requirement for 50 different titles keeps the prospective 5-star GM plugged into a variety of scenario types. A 5-star GM has had experience with mid- and high-tier play, because there just aren't enough Tier 1-5 scenarios. The maintenance requirement of 10 scenarios from the current season keeps 5-star GMs in the loop when it comes to campaign arcs and themes.

Also, if the Venture Captain reviews for a prospective 5-star GM are consistent and negative, "the good fortune of running a good game once" won't cut it. I'm guessing that Mike's decision whether to award a fifth star or not is subjective, but I'm sure that "a single good day" won't win his approval. So, there is something that keeps a prospective 5-star GM from "trying again until they had a good run and were accepted:" common sense and the campaign coordinator's judgement.

When Paizo set up the star system, Eric Mona advertised that 5-star GMs would be the cream of the crop. By denigrating the five-star GMs, you say "well, the 'cream of the crop' isn't so hot", and that diminishes the organized play program as a whole. And you're doing so as a Venture-Captain.

So, it's my guess that that's what Kyle found objectionable.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Wow. After reading through 187 posts I am really really glad I never got into Pathfinder Society play. Last I checked this was a freaking game. Not some facist rule. If someone is doing something hinky....tell them it isn't going to happen. I understand there are rules, but man this is ridiculous.

Osirion *

Thefurmonger wrote:

I would just like to remind everyone that you can make a great many characters out of nothing but the core book.

At that point you need to bring nothing but your character and some dice to the game.

Unfortunatly I am forced to carry a full binder of paperwork just to support the core rulebook, after having a disagreement with a VC over how certain core rulebook feats functioned.

I was right, but lacked a full set of FAQs at the table to support my position. As a result of this disagreement I now carry all FAQs and errata for all books, printouts of selected forum posts by developers, and all materials that are part of the core assumption.

I wish it were as simple as showing up with a core rulebook character and my dice. It is not.

Lantern Lodge ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My opinion has always been this.

The GM should always have a physical copy of the first three books, CRB, APG, and Bestiary 1. The first two for those players who have a rules issue, in which case I hand them my copy and invite them to look it up.

I do carry a digital version of my library with me, but I encourage people to bring sources of the noncore material they wish to use. If they bring non-watermarked photocopies, I'll take their word of honor that they have the original themselves, as part of their household, or something they will get soon. And then carry on with the session.

*

TClifford wrote:
Wow. After reading through 187 posts I am really really glad I never got into Pathfinder Society play. Last I checked this was a freaking game. Not some facist rule. If someone is doing something hinky....tell them it isn't going to happen. I understand there are rules, but man this is ridiculous.

This does not really reflect PFS "on the ground", so to speak. I have never seen a DM choose to make a scene out of a player's format of source material.

Cons might be another beast altogether, and this sort of draconican enforcement might happen. I guess you would have to be careful depending in whose table you landed at, since even if you had identified DMs you don't want to be seated with beforehand using the boards, you don't really have the ability to avoid playing with them


Edit: Bleh, hadn't hit refresh for a while, so I missed a whole bunch of follow-up posts. The original version of this post is no longer relevant as the follow-up posts clarified what was intended by the comments and it doesn't sound as bad as I first read it to be.

Lantern Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, South Dakota—Rapid City aka Black Powder Chocobo

Don Walker wrote:


Also, I am not a lawyer, but I don't believe there is any authority by which a GM has the right to confiscate materials possessed by a player.

I imagine the only time that could be valid would if the item was a pdf print out of a product that was watermarked for the current bearer; that would be a violation of Paizo's terms of use for their pdfs. However, more than likely the best course of action would be to write down the name and email address on that pdf and report it to let Paizo take care of it (something that will not end well for the original owner of the pdf). That alone should be a deterrent for sharing the pdf's.

As a minor follow up to the d20pfsrd.com print outs, the only viable use from that as a source would be to have copies of FAQs/notes from thread that are put up there occasionally. Trying to use that site for any other material as legitimacy for a PFS should be frowned upon and the player directed to either get the book or a legitimate pdf as noted much earlier in this thread.

*****

Caedwyr wrote:

... and you should take what they say as representative of the intent of PFS."

If I'm wrong in how I'm reading this exchange, please let me know how.

I haven't seen that statement be made ... that is I think where your post falters for me.

*

Black Powder Chocobo wrote:
I imagine the only time that could be valid would if the item was a pdf print out of a product that was watermarked for the current bearer; that would be a violation of Paizo's terms of use for their pdfs. However, more than likely the best course of action would be to write down the name and email address on that pdf and report it to let Paizo take care of it (something that will not end well for the original owner of the pdf). That alone should be a deterrent for sharing the pdf's.

I assume that you meant not water marked, because otherwise your statement is literally the opposite of what is true.

Also, we have been over several permissible ways to be using a PDF with a different name on it, like using a family member's PDF, so you would be wrong to rat on anyone to paizo if you are not 100% sure.

The only watertight way to know that someone is doing something wrong is if they have an unwatermarked PDF, which is just really stupid to show to a DM.

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:

... and you should take what they say as representative of the intent of PFS."

If I'm wrong in how I'm reading this exchange, please let me know how.

I can kind of see where he got that from the juxtaposition of Kyle and Chris Mortika defending the difficulty of getting a fifth star and the post about being driven away from PFS, but it is really, really reading between the lines.

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TClifford wrote:
Wow. After reading through 187 posts I am really really glad I never got into Pathfinder Society play. Last I checked this was a freaking game. Not some facist rule. If someone is doing something hinky....tell them it isn't going to happen. I understand there are rules, but man this is ridiculous.

This is also a forum discussion and not an actual Pathfinder Society event. You may want to differentiate between the two before you decide organized play is not for you.


Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:

... and you should take what they say as representative of the intent of PFS."

If I'm wrong in how I'm reading this exchange, please let me know how.

I haven't seen that statement be made ... that is I think where your post falters for me.

I hadn't hit refresh for a long time, and posted in response to some earlier comments that were later clarified and expanded upon to have a less unfavourable meaning. Sorry for the confusion.

Shadow Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Saint Caleth wrote:
The only watertight way to know that someone is doing something wrong is if they have an unwatermarked PDF, which is just really stupid to show to a DM.

Or if, should I ask why the name on the PDF doesn't match, the player were to tell me he downloaded it from a file sharing site ...

*

JohnF wrote:
Saint Caleth wrote:
The only watertight way to know that someone is doing something wrong is if they have an unwatermarked PDF, which is just really stupid to show to a DM.
Or if, should I ask why the name on the PDF doesn't match, the player were to tell me he downloaded it from a file sharing site ...

Fair enough, but I assume that if someone would torrent the book, they'd probably lie about it when asked by a DM.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

JohnF wrote:
Or if, should I ask why the name on the PDF doesn't match, the player were to tell me he downloaded it from a file sharing site ...
Saint Caleth wrote:
Fair enough, but I assume that if someone would torrent the book, they'd probably lie about it when asked by a DM.

I would have assumed so, too, but I've been surprised by players' honesty. Either they think it's actually okay to download material off such sites, or else they know it's wrong but think that the Pathfinder Society community knows its happening and doesn't mind.

And this is why I do feel comfortable taking a player's word for it when he says owns a book, or the PDF signature is for his wife.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TClifford wrote:
Not some facist rule.

Having the opinion that a player should be able to provide a legitimate copy of the resource materials for every* character option they've chosen is not facist.

*beyond Core Assumption.

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
TClifford wrote:
Wow. After reading through 187 posts I am really really glad I never got into Pathfinder Society play. Last I checked this was a freaking game. Not some facist rule. If someone is doing something hinky....tell them it isn't going to happen. I understand there are rules, but man this is ridiculous.
This is also a forum discussion and not an actual Pathfinder Society event. You may want to differentiate between the two before you decide organized play is not for you.

This is a forum discussion between what appears to be high level members of the society dictating the rules. I understand that the 'local' level and non-society games aren't probably like this. I also understand with a cannon as large as PF there has to be a little rules on what rules you can use. But if this the the kind of decision making that is being done on the convention level....you can keep it.

I mean we aren't talking about National Championship card games and such where the winner makes actual money. We are talking about pen and paper and dice game. Most of which is played in the mind. Yea dealing with rules monkeys can be a hassle, but that is why you got into the convention for free and in some cases got room and board.

I've run games, demos, and booths for other companies and I really can't believe the dictatorship role that is being shown on these boards. Personally I think this thread and the actions of some of the GMs on here have hurt the society as a whole more than helped it.

Guess I am not glad I never got that second interview for the Venture-Captain position in my town.

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