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In game stealing


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

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Exactly. I seriously thought that this thread would be full of ideas on how to let the player have fun without derailing and preventing fun for the other players. Not on how we should label it an evil act.

Andoran *****

JohnF wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
But what if A squared + B squared = C squared, and C squared = -1 and you wanted to know what C was?

Are you trying to derail the thread into a discussion of imaginary problems?

Either that, or it was subtle commentary.

Andoran

RainyDayNinja wrote:

I'm really trying to understand where the disconnect lies here. Earlier I presented this syllogism:

Premise 1: Hurting people for your own pleasure is evil.
Premise 2: Stealing hurts people.
Conclusion: Stealing for your own pleasure is evil.

You obviously disagree with the conclusion. So which of the premises do you disagree with?

Sorry Ninja, I believe your logic to be flawed. And different ACTs in the name of a FACTION//Pathfinder-Society doesn't change it one way or another.

Stealing is a lot 'Less' 'evil' than torturing someone in the name of a Faction-Mission.

I had a good character that couldn't stomach what some factions demanded.

-So, Aladin (generic thief) blissfully goes around stealing things left and right. It may hurt some, and it certainly does NOT hurt some others.
-Aladin is ignorant of the ramifications of his theft - his own background gleens little of socio-economics in his mind.

If you say that stealing in itself for your self is an 'Evil' act... Then some of the Pathfinder-Factions are E-V-I-L.

So, no.., You may NOT penalize a thief in PFS for doing what thieves do.
After the scenario is over, any 'unused' stolen-booty gets crossed off the character sheet.

Nuf-said - lol

Andoran *****

The terminology in the rules about Evil saying that those who purposefully hurt others can be considered evil, are more talking about physically hurting them (or maybe spiritually hurting them if you have the right level of demonic powers or spell casting).

Theft does not overtly hurt someone in most cases.

Lets take the Rom (some call them Gypsies) for example. The romantic tales that we read about in fiction, are copied for various different peoples in different fiction series, and romanticized on screen, are of a people who have little to no notion of ownership. So if they "steal" your sword, even if you losing that sword "hurts" you on a financial, or even survival level, it isn't evil. They have no concept of ownership.

Again, even if done for fun and profit, it is not necessarily, automatically an evil act.

Stealing for fun and profit is definitely a selfish act. It is definitely greedy. It is definitely not a lawful act.

But lets stop trying to curtail character actions by constantly calling the actions evil.

If this player is disrupting the flow of the game with having his character perform these stealing actions, then those need to be dealt with out of character. Not by penalizing the character with some arbitrary or ambiguous definition of evil.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Christian wrote:


If this player is disrupting the flow of the game with having his character perform these stealing actions, then those need to be dealt with out of character. Not by penalizing the character with some arbitrary or ambiguous definition of evil.

Exactly!

In-game character play is great, but bogging down game-play is bad news :D

We don't penalize a player for playing his character, unless he's monopolizing the game, and detracting a lot of time from the other players.


Petty theft or scenario altering theft outside of missions seems obviously creating an imbalance in the PFS plan. A player might do such things. When some Player says: "I can take/do anything and you can't stop me", the GM is presented a challenge. While it might be fun to RP, it can likely result in serious changes in the game, including a player monopolizing scenario time. This applies in so many ways other than materialistic gain. And what consequences if caught? Jail time? Lost scenario time, perhaps enough to cause the team to fail? Lose the scenario points, pull the player from the time frame (perhaps send him away from the table) and let the team play down one PC? NPCs can hurt PCs, even if they use the guard, the government or an annoyed Pathfinder/Faction VC to do so. Noting Evil Act on the character sheet seems a mild rebuke.

In the conclusion that there cannot be any Evil Act because Fighters Gotta Kill or Thieves Gotta Steal seems to be game breaking. Evil Acts can eventually get your PC kicked out of PFS in game. Alignment changes happen. GMs have to draw the line at game breaking. If you as a GM believe that Evil Acts are fun, great. However, have consequences for them. Chopping off body parts or losing faction/scenario points could be fun consequences. GMs can be creative.

Qadira ****

Ha! I figured if I went away for a few hours this thread would return to something more than another difference of opinion on Alignment Interpretations.
Thank you all!

back to the original post. If the player is derailing the adventure - tell him he is. Or just bull thru - like it sounds like you did. Or if you want to be creative, note what he steals and put a note on his chronicle that his "Day Job" money came from "petty thieft".

Player: "But an Alchemist Flask is 20 gp and my day job roll was only 5 gp!"
Judge: "well, there's the overhead that goes to the Fense, then there's thieves guild dues to the local guild, protection money paid off to the local watch, and taxes, always got to pay your taxes." Remember to smile while you say it...


Lab_Rat wrote:
Exactly. I seriously thought that this thread would be full of ideas on how to let the player have fun without derailing and preventing fun for the other players. Not on how we should label it an evil act.

I think the idea of treating it like a day job roll is probably the best (but most boring) solution. It's not really any different from using the Perform skill in the middle of a module to make money (which is not allowed), except the consequences for failure are much more distracting.

*****

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hogarth wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
Exactly. I seriously thought that this thread would be full of ideas on how to let the player have fun without derailing and preventing fun for the other players. Not on how we should label it an evil act.
I think the idea of treating it like a day job roll is probably the best (but most boring) solution. It's not really any different from using the Perform skill in the middle of a module to make money (which is not allowed), except the consequences for failure are much more distracting.

I have a character with the Thieves' Guild vanity who literally uses Sleight of Hand for a Day Job. She generally steals mainly in order to perfect her skills and test people's perception (she'll give them back more than she took in return if they catch her and explain how she messed up), since she was once an NPC pickpocket in a PFS scenario who got caught trying to lift from a monk PC with insane perception, and he paid lots of gold to have her sent and trained at his monastery. She is on a pretty strict regimen of self-perfection in a variety of skills and martial techniques.

But she definitely picks people's pockets after every scenario, using a vanity written into the Field Guide (she usually gets around 50 gold per shot, so that's some pretty good pocket picking!). I wonder if the people who are saying that stealing should remove a character from play for being evil had thought about that vanity?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
I wonder if the people who are saying that stealing should remove a character from play for being evil had thought about that vanity?

Actually, no. Guess I'll have to change my viewpoint. Alright, so "standard fare" theft is not evil. Got it.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

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My druid often turns into a hawk and flies around NPCs we come across, landing on their shoulder and picking through their pockets or squawking and harassing them as he searches for potions, scrolls, and wands.

I wouldn't say he's evil when he makes off with a potion of CLW and drops it into the fighter's backpack. He's just a d**k.

Qadira ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Walter Sheppard wrote:

My druid often turns into a hawk and flies around NPCs we come across, landing on their shoulder and picking through their pockets or squawking and harassing them as he searches for potions, scrolls, and wands.

I wouldn't say he's evil when he makes off with a potion of CLW and drops it into the fighter's backpack. He's just a d**k.

he's a duck? I thought you said he's a hawk? I've got to get a hearing aid...

Andoran

PCs turns him in/he gets caught: fine equal to the cost of the item (PC gets to keep the item). (authorities turn him over to the Pathfinders and your next mission is to somewhere realllllllly cold.)

PCs convince him to return it or pay for it: Item paid for (PC gets to keep the item) OR returned (PC got to use the nonconsumable item for the course of the scenario)

PCs can't convince him or don't want to turn him in: Same thing happens with everything you don't pay for at the end of a scenario, just with less fun roleplaying behind it. It vanishes!

Unfortunately/fortunately for organized play, there are just some things you can't do that you could in a home game.

It adds some roleplaying, and/or it still gives the PC with sleight of hand something for his time. otherwise...Don't be a jerk Mr. Clepto.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

nosig wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:

My druid often turns into a hawk and flies around NPCs we come across, landing on their shoulder and picking through their pockets or squawking and harassing them as he searches for potions, scrolls, and wands.

I wouldn't say he's evil when he makes off with a potion of CLW and drops it into the fighter's backpack. He's just a d**k.

he's a duck? I thought you said he's a hawk? I've got to get a hearing aid...

but...there's no stats for those in Pathfinder >.<

quack

Qadira ****

he's a duck reskined as a hawk?! I thought there was no reskining! or would this be re-feathering... or re-billing or... shesh. my head hurts.

Shadow Lodge ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lab_Rat wrote:
In addition, a lot of cultures consider stealing a dead mans things to be an evil act and really bad luck on top of that. How do you feel about gaining loot and gold at the end of scenario?

I've played a character that believed you couldn't get into the afterlife while carrying any worldly possesions. It was his responsibility to remove every item from a body, so that it could move on. His encumbrance was a pain though.

Silver Crusade ****

thistledown wrote:


I've played a character that believed you couldn't get into the afterlife while carrying any worldly possesions. It was his responsibility to remove every item from a body, so that it could move on. His encumbrance was a pain though.

That sounds like a character that the Pathfinder Society wouldn't accept as a member. Far too disruptive.

People often forget that the Pathfinder Society does NOT accept any and all applicants.

As a GM, I would NOT give that particular character any script immunity. I'd watch their encumbrance and carefully monitor the time it took to strip off the armour, weapons, etc. I wouldn't artificially introduce problems but I wouldn't artificially remove them either.


ITT: Kenders and any other character that takes a relaxed view on personal property concepts will over time and levels start to show up as evil as devils, demons, and other metaphysical embodiments of evil.

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pauljathome wrote:


That sounds like a character that the Pathfinder Society wouldn't accept as a member. Far too disruptive.

People often forget that the Pathfinder Society does NOT accept any and all applicants.

And yet pathfinder society has both Lawful good zealots and Demon worshipping Wizards. Sounds like removing items from a body for the purpose of passing over is a very mild personality in the pantheon of society members.

Heck I have a 450 lb LN Bloatmage who cares only about power and drinking the blood of otherworldly creatures. I walk around covered in sweat dirt and leaches and don't wear a shirt. I waddle, curse, belch, fart, and eat fried chicken all while slinging a ridiculous number of spells per day. If you need to cover a battlefield in black tentacles and spiked pits...Im your man. But don't distract me because if I loose count of how much blood I have made and consumed I may just flip out and kill you all!

Qadira

Andrew Christian wrote:

Who determines what’s evil in a society?

The people?
The Gods?
The victorious?
The downtrodden?

Is it a pig with lipstick?

Or is evil, evil, and regardless who calls a wolf a sheep, the duck is still a duck? (love mixed metaphors).

Is evil more a state of mind? The why of something, rather than the action itself?

If that’s the case, and you steal the meal that will keep a starving orphan alive, fully knowing that orphan will die, simply because you want to… then your wanton disregard for life, and your egomaniacal nihilism is probably more what makes you evil, than the simple act of stealing.

If you kill because you enjoy watching someone else suffer, and this is what causes the serotonin and endorphin levels in your brain to rise and give you a sense of pleasure, then it’s the sociopathic sadism that’s evil, and not the act of killing itself.

So in other words, let’s not be so black and white as to an action, and rather look at the motive behind it before we start marking evil on someone’s chronicle.

I judge morality on act+target+motive+ expect-able outcome. If you steal from a poor man for fun knowing that it might leave him unable to pay for rent and food it is evil. If you steal the keys from the guard so you can get to his evil boss, so you can spare the innocent guy just doing a job it is good.

Silver Crusade ****

Lab_Rat wrote:
pauljathome wrote:


That sounds like a character that the Pathfinder Society wouldn't accept as a member. Far too disruptive.

People often forget that the Pathfinder Society does NOT accept any and all applicants.

And yet pathfinder society has both Lawful good zealots and Demon worshipping Wizards. Sounds like removing items from a body for the purpose of passing over is a very mild personality in the pantheon of society members.

I'm not saying that the society would have ethical problems with him. But, practically speaking, a character who insists on taking several minutes over every body to strip off all the armour and who then walks around grossly over encumbered would very often be a serious impediment to society missions.

I KNOW the following isn't practical in an organized play environment. But it really is what the society SHOULD do.

Characters should be monitored for behaviour that is egregiously outside that expected of a Pathfinder. Offenders should be expelled from the society or, at a minimum, put on probation (similar to the no evil there should be a No Stupid non Pathfinder behaviour rule). I've been in scenarios where the result really should have been a character expelled from the society.

There also should be more restrictions on what characters could be part of the society. At a minimum there should be a rule that all characters had to pass some basic mental, social and physical tests (eg, at most one stat below 10 or so AFTER racial adjustments). The background fluff is that there are lots of applicants. Some should be turned away :)

And yes, it sounds like your bloatmage wouldn't qualify (from the description it really sounds like he has a Cha of 7 or less). Given that the society is theoretically very concerned by its image that actually makes sense to me.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Caedwyr wrote:
ITT: Kenders and any other character that takes a relaxed view on personal property concepts will over time and levels start to show up as evil as devils, demons, and other metaphysical embodiments of evil.

But Kender ARE evil. Just by being.


SlimGauge wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
ITT: Kenders and any other character that takes a relaxed view on personal property concepts will over time and levels start to show up as evil as devils, demons, and other metaphysical embodiments of evil.
But Kender ARE evil. Just by being.

The key here is, will they show up as evil as metaphysical embodiments of evil such as devils and daemons, and if so what variety of evil would they be considered? Devils have the corruption of the soul, demons corruption of the body, daemons destruction of all so where would we slot Kenders? I'd like to suggest corruption of the mind due to their propensity to cause psychotic reactions in others.

Taldor *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This thread is actually about 2 different discussions now....

In regards to the primary question, should stealing be allowed in the PFS: probably not... do I want it to be an option (because it is fun and thematically distracting)... hell yeah!

Reasons: PFS games are meant to be planned for 4 hours session, have moderated gear and options available, and are meant for group cohesive play.... Does cat burglary or potentially being arrested fit any of these PFS scenario concepts?

"In Game Stealing" I super fun, but not likely suitable for PFS play. As a skill sleight of hand etc is still exceptionally useful, but should be limited to mission-orientated circumstances that do not risk potential law enforcement issues, unless it is ***directly*** related to a mission goal.

The second divergent part of this thread seems to ambled into the mine field that is alignment related actions. This is a never ending debate, and one that really cannot be answered by looking at single instance examples. If you are interested in an alignment. After you have seen a character in action for at least a session... Open up your core rulebook to page 167, and see which of those descriptions best fit the character you saw in play. Judging a character on a single instance will only slow the game and cause debate. Once the game is done, if you feel a character is acting out of alignment, step back and have a good look at page 167.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

pauljathome wrote:
There also should be more restrictions on what characters could be part of the society. At a minimum there should be a rule that all characters had to pass some basic mental, social and physical tests

This exists, actually. It's called "using the point buy system". That puts the post-racial minimum at 5 instead of the 1 it would be with rolling.

Perhaps your real issue is with people roleplaying their stats lower than what they actually represent. (I've seen this myself - 7 INT/WIS does not mean you have no sense of self-preservation, but I've seen it played as such.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Havent' read the entire thread, but stealing something is a chaotic act, not an evil one. The argument could be made (not by me) that charging money for something is inherently evil or at least immoral as it 'unfairly' limits who is allowed to have what. Stealing when you know the end result will lead to suffering or death is another thing entirely.

As always, I refer to the I-Ching, which is Joss Whedon's Firefly, and direct everyone to the Train Job episode. Theft begins as a chaoic act which the crew is fine with, turns out to be an evil one which they're not.

Taldor *** Venture-Captain, Oklahoma—Tulsa aka Rob Duncan

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We steal stuff in faction missions all the time. (Taldor!)

I think it's chaotic, not evil.

If this happened at my table with four iconics pregens playing, there would likely be this discussion:

Merisiel steals something.

Kyra would probably ask "Why did you steal it?"

Ezren would probably say "This will just attract attention."

Valeros would probably say "Could you steal more?"

If it was stolen, I'd put it on the sheet just like anything else you found in the course of the scenario and dump it at the end.. and then midway into the scenario there would be a quick encounter:

"You are approached by a courier who delivers a note. A quick glance at his livery indicates he works for a firm often used by the Pathfinder Society to quickly deliver messages. The note reads:

Items found missing, shopkeeper paid off to keep quiet. Instructions are to "explore, report, cooperate" not "loot, attract attention, create paperwork". Sticky fingers don't hang on to their wayfinders.."

It's hastily scribbled and signed by the venture captain who assigned you the missions. You do not need a linguistics check to realize that it was very forcefully written.. perhaps in anger."

****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Robert Duncan wrote:

We steal stuff in faction missions all the time. (Taldor!) The note reads:

Items found missing, shopkeeper paid off to keep quiet. Instructions are to "explore, report, cooperate" not "loot, attract attention, create paperwork". Sticky fingers don't hang on to their wayfinders.."

It's hastily scribbled and signed by the venture captain who assigned you the missions. You do not need a linguistics check to realize that it was very forcefully written.. perhaps in anger."

Because the shop keep would automatically know who stole the item??

The whole point of being a good thief is that people don't know it was you. Inserting deus ex machina notes seems heavy handed. especially in PFS where characters are often among the higher level characters and there may not be some one better.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Mesa aka TriOmegaZero

tlotig wrote:

Because the shop keep would automatically know who stole the item??

The whole point of being a good thief is that people don't know it was you. Inserting deus ex machina notes seems heavy handed. especially in PFS where characters are often among the higher level characters and there may not be some one better.

I'm pretty sure the Decemirate has agents keeping tabs on Pathfinder activities, agents that are certainly able to spot such activity.

Qadira **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Amsterdam aka Seraphimpunk

i leave you monkeys for a week, and look what you do!

no, but really i think i wanna have a character steal some +2 weapons and potions each game now, he'll return them at the end of the scenario. or if he loses or breaks them. =D

*

This is a thread for reasonable GMs who can balance player fun with rules while not allowing game breaking. Your hyperbole need not apply.

Spoiler:
I won't be held responsible for hurt feelings by those without access to detect sarcasm on their spell list

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If players want their PC to try stealing things from NPCs, I assume they would build their PC to be a steal monkey. And of course, most of the NPCs they would try to steal from are unstated. So the GM is well within their rights to say that action is not possible ...

OR

to determine a DC for the attempt using whatever circumstances they wish. Who's to say the shopkeep doesn't have some sort of magic alarm system or scrying device.

This thread has mostly assumed the theft would be successful, but on a failed attempt I would certainly back up a GM that decided to lock up the errant PC for the duration for the adventure and any other party member who objected. If any PCs arguing against the arrest chose to resist arrest, ie fight, there is no need to have an improvised battle. The GM could just narrate the capture of the PCs in question and mark them as dead. Since attacking the local watch and probably killing some to make their escape would turn them into wanted fugitives from the Law. Thus making their characters no longer playable or at least no longer Pathfinders as they would be washed out of the Society. This could easily be accomplished under the irredeemably evil PC process.

Players need to understand the full consequences of a disruptive action they might take. Sure, go ahead, try to steal something. But if you fail, you are done for the rest of the adventure. If you resist, your PC is out of the campaign until one of the higher ups overturns that GM ruling.

Actions gotta have consequences. If failing the roll doesn't mean anything, why roll in the first place?

Taldor ***

Jiggy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
So if an imaginary number of people stole something for fun and profit, would evil equal -1?
More importantly, the motive of an evil PC is usually a -1.

More importantly, how have you gotten away with this terrible pun for so long?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Mason Whitlark wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
So if an imaginary number of people stole something for fun and profit, would evil equal -1?
More importantly, the motive of an evil PC is usually a -1.
More importantly, how have you gotten away with this terrible pun for so long?

Because apparently you're the only one with ranks in Sense Motive. Glad someone finally caught it!

Taldor *** Venture-Captain, Oklahoma—Tulsa aka Rob Duncan

tlotig wrote:
Robert Duncan wrote:

We steal stuff in faction missions all the time. (Taldor!) The note reads:

Items found missing, shopkeeper paid off to keep quiet. Instructions are to "explore, report, cooperate" not "loot, attract attention, create paperwork". Sticky fingers don't hang on to their wayfinders.."

It's hastily scribbled and signed by the venture captain who assigned you the missions. You do not need a linguistics check to realize that it was very forcefully written.. perhaps in anger."

Because the shop keep would automatically know who stole the item??

The whole point of being a good thief is that people don't know it was you. Inserting deus ex machina notes seems heavy handed. especially in PFS where characters are often among the higher level characters and there may not be some one better.

I agree that it's heavy handed. It's supposed to avoid this:

hogarth wrote:
I'm less worried about stealing from a shopkeeper being evil than I am about it turning into a mini-adventure for one PC while the other (lawful) PCs sit around doing nothing except pretending not to notice.

As for the higher level sneakthieves.. well.. maybe that shopkeeper is really some outrageously powerful mage who has lots of scrying stuff from being a former Pathfinder and is quick to tell the local VC that his stuff is getting stolen.. or maybe he's a lowly clerk who may have just been putting stuff away, realized a bottle/flask/item/whatever was there a second ago, is not there now, realizes that neither are his previous "customers".. and puts two and two together. Maybe there's a "clean up crew" of alternate Pathfinders keeping tabs on you like in Mission Impossible. Perhaps a locate item spell on something designed to attract thieves (honeypot)..

However you want to justify it, it's just one of many workable solutions to Hograth's OOC problem.. this one just happens IC and avoids a Player/GM conflict. ^_^

Grand Lodge ****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Don Walker wrote:

If any PCs arguing against the arrest chose to resist arrest, ie fight, there is no need to have an improvised battle. The GM could just narrate the capture of the PCs in question and mark them as dead. Since attacking the local watch and probably killing some to make their escape would turn them into wanted fugitives from the Law. Thus making their characters no longer playable or at least no longer Pathfinders as they would be washed out of the Society. This could easily be accomplished under the irredeemably evil PC process.

Again I would object to this tactic by the GM. Marking a character as Evil, an thus unplayable, is an extreme reaction and should be reserved for the most heinous of acts. There are a few scenarios where there are options for the party to go up against the authorities.

Spoiler:
The Dasline Affair and The Devil We Know, Part III:Crypt of Fools come to mind

There is usually some punishment for those actions but none of them result in expulsion from the Pathfinder Society.

A campaign ruling to standardize the response/penalty would remove the abiguity and put everyone on the same playing field. If the scenario does not specifically cover the situation, adding a condition gained like "caught stealing" or "resisting arrest" with predefined penatlies would be useful.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.
1970 Zombie wrote:

There are a few scenarios where there are options for the party to go up against the authorities. ** spoiler omitted **

There is usually some punishment for those actions but none of them result in expulsion from the Pathfinder Society.

Also, 'Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch'.

It would be great if the Sczarni -- a faction revolving around organized crime and theft -- has a boon you could purchase with prestige, that would allow you to mitigate the effects of being caught and imprisoned.

Oh, they do?

So, the game allows for PCs to be caught and imprisoned. (And not marked as dead.)

Andoran *****

Slavepits of Absalom also has something written into it if you clash with the local authorities.

Spoiler:
if you tussle with the local guards, you will get captured, sold into slavery, and reported as dead. I'd assume the Andoran vanity that recovers you from slavery would recover a character in this case.

*

Chris Mortika wrote:
1970 Zombie wrote:

There are a few scenarios where there are options for the party to go up against the authorities. ** spoiler omitted **

There is usually some punishment for those actions but none of them result in expulsion from the Pathfinder Society.

Also, 'Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch'.

It would be great if the Sczarni -- a faction revolving around organized crime and theft -- has a boon you could purchase with prestige, that would allow you to mitigate the effects of being caught and imprisoned.

Oh, they do?

So, the game allows for PCs to be caught and imprisoned. (And not marked as dead.)

I know that there are a few scenarios that have the option for character imprisonment

Spoiler:
Ghenet Manor Gauntlet being one
How does a GM handle that outside of scenarios that specifically call for it? If a player gets caught and imprisoned I asume that I would note this on their chronicle. I assume the player can not do anything until they get out of jail. So how does the character get out of jail without the Sczarni boon?
Andoran *****

Lab_Rat wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
1970 Zombie wrote:

There are a few scenarios where there are options for the party to go up against the authorities. ** spoiler omitted **

There is usually some punishment for those actions but none of them result in expulsion from the Pathfinder Society.

Also, 'Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch'.

It would be great if the Sczarni -- a faction revolving around organized crime and theft -- has a boon you could purchase with prestige, that would allow you to mitigate the effects of being caught and imprisoned.

Oh, they do?

So, the game allows for PCs to be caught and imprisoned. (And not marked as dead.)

I know that there are a few scenarios that have the option for character imprisonment ** spoiler omitted **How does a GM handle that outside of scenarios that specifically call for it? If a player gets caught and imprisoned I asume that I would note this on their chronicle. I assume the player can not do anything until they get out of jail. So how does the character get out of jail without the Sczarni boon?

Here’s how I would handle it:

Scenario 1) Major offense, but not so major to cost the player their right to play the character.

Imprison them for the rest of the scenario. If that means they don’t complete 3 encounters, that means they get a chronicle with 0 XP and 0 GP and only Faction Mission PP, if any. If this means they complete 3 encounters, then only dock them the gold from the encounters they missed, and if they miss their faction PP, they don’t get that.

Scenario 2)Horrible offense, major enough, in my view, to cost the player their right to play the character.

Imprison them, and report their character dead. Then send an email to the player (if I have his email address), coordinator, V-O’s in the region it happened (and players and mine if different), and Mike Brock. Then let them all decide if the death should be permanent.


Don Walker wrote:


to determine a DC for the attempt using whatever circumstances they wish. Who's to say the shopkeep doesn't have some sort of magic alarm system or scrying device.

This thread has mostly assumed the theft would be successful, but on a failed attempt I would certainly back up a GM that decided to lock up the errant PC for the duration for the adventure and any other party member who objected. If any PCs arguing against the arrest chose to resist arrest, ie fight, there is no need to have an improvised battle. The GM could just narrate the capture of the PCs in question and mark them as dead. Since attacking the local watch and probably killing some to make their escape would turn them into wanted fugitives from the Law. Thus making their characters no longer playable or at least no longer Pathfinders as they would be washed out of the Society. This could easily be accomplished under the irredeemably evil PC process.

Frankly, that sounds like an abysmal way of handling, well, anything.

Andoran *****

Funky Badger wrote:
Don Walker wrote:


to determine a DC for the attempt using whatever circumstances they wish. Who's to say the shopkeep doesn't have some sort of magic alarm system or scrying device.

This thread has mostly assumed the theft would be successful, but on a failed attempt I would certainly back up a GM that decided to lock up the errant PC for the duration for the adventure and any other party member who objected. If any PCs arguing against the arrest chose to resist arrest, ie fight, there is no need to have an improvised battle. The GM could just narrate the capture of the PCs in question and mark them as dead. Since attacking the local watch and probably killing some to make their escape would turn them into wanted fugitives from the Law. Thus making their characters no longer playable or at least no longer Pathfinders as they would be washed out of the Society. This could easily be accomplished under the irredeemably evil PC process.

Frankly, that sounds like an abysmal way of handling, well, anything.

This is actually the correct way to handle it though. As a GM, I’m not there to cater to a player-driven sandbox adventure, where they get to do whatever they want without consequence. The Scenarios are not written to accommodate such actions, or to accommodate repercussions (usually).

Therefore, as a GM, to bring everything back on track, so those players who don’t want to be jerks to the author, campaign, coordinator, GM, and mostly the other players, can continue the scenario, you have to be able to solve the situation quickly.

Couple warnings, then you go into narration mode, and let the player whine if they want. But don’t be a jerk and screw up the scenario for everyone because you wanna be a jerk head.

Sczarni * RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Chris Mortika wrote:

It would be great if the Sczarni -- a faction revolving around organized crime and theft -- has a boon you could purchase with prestige, that would allow you to mitigate the effects of being caught and imprisoned.

Oh, they do?

So, the game allows for PCs to be caught and imprisoned. (And not marked as dead.)

As a Sczarni sympathizer, I love this. Especially because the goody-goody player in me doesn't want to steal and derail a scenario, but that boon seems to specifically allow me to escape the consequences of doing so. Then it's a matter of what GP amount I could conceivably steal to only require that boon, rather than that boon and the Regeneration to heal my severed hand.

But seriously when we're already --

Specific Sczarni faction mission:
cutting people's tongues out

--it's hard to envision why theft is going to ping our evil radar. Especially when it can't be part of our permanent character sheet anyway.

We have rules that dictate the availability of items in different settlement types, can we just leave it to to some die rolls and a warning that "this might mean you miss the entire scenario, netting you zero PP and zero XP for an item you can't keep. You still in?"

((I say this as a thought exercise, never having actually done this in a scenario before.))


Andrew Christian wrote:

This is actually the correct way to handle it though. As a GM, I’m not there to cater to a player-driven sandbox adventure, where they get to do whatever they want without consequence. The Scenarios are not written to accommodate such actions, or to accommodate repercussions (usually).

Therefore, as a GM, to bring everything back on track, so those players who don’t want to be jerks to the author, campaign, coordinator, GM, and mostly the other players, can continue the scenario, you have to be able to solve the situation quickly.

Couple warnings, then you go into narration mode, and let the player whine if they want. But don’t be a jerk and screw up the scenario for everyone because you wanna be a jerk head.

I'm going to assume the thread's been derailed somewhat from the original question:

"So, I had a character that wanted an alembic/flask. Instead of going into the general store and buying it, he went in, used sleight of hand and stole it."

Actually, re-reading Don's comment, it appears he's advocating the above kind of reaction for, indeed, stealing an alembic...

...that can't be right, surely?

Andoran *****

Funky Badger wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

This is actually the correct way to handle it though. As a GM, I’m not there to cater to a player-driven sandbox adventure, where they get to do whatever they want without consequence. The Scenarios are not written to accommodate such actions, or to accommodate repercussions (usually).

Therefore, as a GM, to bring everything back on track, so those players who don’t want to be jerks to the author, campaign, coordinator, GM, and mostly the other players, can continue the scenario, you have to be able to solve the situation quickly.

Couple warnings, then you go into narration mode, and let the player whine if they want. But don’t be a jerk and screw up the scenario for everyone because you wanna be a jerk head.

I'm going to assume the thread's been derailed somewhat from the original question:

"So, I had a character that wanted an alembic/flask. Instead of going into the general store and buying it, he went in, used sleight of hand and stole it."

Actually, re-reading Don's comment, it appears he's advocating the above kind of reaction for, indeed, stealing an alembic...

...that can't be right, surely?

No, I believe he's referring to if you continually derail the adventure by stealing, going off the rails, and then start flouting the authorities and then fighting the towns guards.

But if you go steal an alembic for some reason, I don't think anyone's going to put your character into a situation of give it back or lose control of your character forever.


That's what I was hoping :-)


So, Robin Hood: evil or evilist?


Pscycopath who hates people called Norman?

Grand Lodge ****

Stealing's bad, mkay?

But that's not the point. The point here is what kind of GM thinks a shop has a set up which allows your average customer to handle the merchandise at will? Your common flask and similar items are kept in a crate under the counter or in the back room. You you tell the shopkeeper how many you want, he asks for your money, then he goes and gets them. For an open market, only produce and stuff not worth stealing is out on open display (mostly because it's fake). The general store or average shop in a city doesn't operate like a Circle K or 7-11.

But if stealing was the point...

There's a regular player in our local PFS group who likes to steal from every NPC he comes across. In many cases I just nod, say he steals stuff, and I'll add it into his final GP award, which ultimately isn't any different from anyone else's. He's just stealing for flavor. In the case he manages to steal anything of any real use, then I mark it on his Chronicle as if he purchased it. Sure, he stole it, but he isn't getting paid by the Society to steal from local shops (and so doesn't get paid by the Society when he does).

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