|Steven Huffstutler Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith|
|Jeff Mahood Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle|
Alekto Winterborn wrote:
The most annoying spotlight hog I've run into was a bard who would easily fulfill all of the Lamplighter requirements. You couldn't do anything: Talking to be done? He was there shoving you out of the way with his +10 diplomacy and +9 intimidate. Skills? Already rolled. Spelunking? His stealth was pumped up so he scouted ahead and then messaged the sorcerer to bring the rest of us. Combat? He stealthed past the supporting mooks and solo'd the BBEG from behind while the rest of us attacked from the front.
The closest I've gotten to failing a mission was with a group of 6 PCs, each of which would almost certainly make 6/8 requirements to be a Lamplighter, but we got mauled by an earth elemental. The wizard finally plinked it to death with a wand of magic missiles after it killed two clerics and was getting ready to one-shot the rest of the party. There are places for damage hogs, the game and a lot of the scenarios are designed with the expectation that we'll have them in the party.
It sounds like you want a "people who are fun to play with" group more than a "this is what Pathfinders really are like" group. Which is a good idea and one I can get behind. I certainly know who I enjoy having at my table in my area, and it would be really cool to be able to go to a convention and have an inkling of which people I want to sit with as well. But I think you have to drop the attempt at making an objective test of character mechanics to qualify, instead focus on developing a way to spread word of mouth recommendations for players across the Internet.
If the focus is, instead, on trying to mechanically create characters who fit the fluff of Pathfinders in game, that's not really much interest to me. The first thing I though when I read them was that fighters weren't invited to the club: 2 skills per level, and all of the focus is on social and knowledge skills, leaves them with no room to build up actual class skills. (Intimidate was explicitly nixed by several people upthread: Don't want to portray the PFS in a bad light, after all.)
Garble Facechomper wrote:
It isn't? But I am both illiterate and a Pathfinder. Perhaps you weren't trying hard enough to hold onto the traditions of your tribe in the face of Aram Zey's harsh words.
(OOC: True Primitive archetype grants Illiteracy)
Kyle Baird wrote:
Nothing forces Garble to read though. :-) The party briefly discussed going to a library in Abasalom to look something up. Then they looked at Garble.. "You stay here."
I just love how Memory can't read his faction missions. He always sighs, "I asked Major Maldris to send this to me in some other form..." Somehow, handing the mission over to the person in the party with a holy symbol of Sarenrae to read to him has actually earned him true readings of the letter and successful missions so far (well 3/3 anyway), but I expect to start losing them real soon.
I think it is epic to have self impossed handicaps on yourself. Honestly I think that is awesome Garble can not read.
I refuse to buy wands of cure light because they make the game too easy, and one of my friends told me he was going to do that. I told him that is the second stupidest thing I ever heard. He asked what the first was and I said me not buying them.
You play for fun and what you did proves it kyle. Thats the game right there. For fun.
To be fair, Master Garble chooses not to observe the stolen words of others.
Garble did finally buy a "stick that makes goblin belly burn but makes blood go away" (wand of infernal healing). Unfortunately since buying it, he hasn't found another character that can use it. Bad luck I guess. Although I *did* toy with the idea of taking a few ranks in UMD. Being a non-class skill with a 5 charisma means that I need to get 3 ranks in there before I have a 50/50 shot of making the wand work before I roll a natural 1. :-)
He also has potions of makes teeth extra pointy (magic fang) and make goblin like giant so he can bite big things (enlarge person) and the list goes on..
I've also been working on his song, adding a line or two per scenario/module. By 12th level, character introductions are going to be really long...
Alekto Winterborn wrote:
I agree one hundred percent that is why I have stopped Adveturing as much as I used to to focus on my Painting.
I always seemed to steal the spot light and it just was not fair to the others in my Party, they should get a chance to do something and feel like they are a valued member. Truth be told it bothers me when I arrive to advenrture and I hear "Oh look Alex is here I guess we can go home" I want the others to enjoy my company not resent it.
I know it's a minor thing, but rather than having X skill levels or X modifier, maybe so they can 'take 10 auto success aid another' in diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, sense motive and maybe knowlege(s)? (can you aid another on knowleges?)
So that puts all 'mental' stats at 10, and 8s can be overcome with between 1 and 5 skill points.
This makes the Lamplighter useful (that +2 might send the main character over the threshold) without stealing from the main character's spotlight.
I do agree that there should be no mechanical benefit to being a Lamplighter. OTOH, it would be nice to see some method of tracking if the Lamplighters cost their membership a chance for faction points. (formally or not)
For example, if Rey gets a mission of "do X without anyone noticing" and Rey feels this conflicts with his beliefs, he won't do it. If the mission conflicts with the lamplighter creed "Dear Rey, please burn that pathfinder's journal as it has embarrassing poetry I wrote as a kid." "Dear Rey, it is better that the Society never know about the runes of X, please obscure them or elsewise make sure they don't get discovered." Then he has to choose.
If enough faction missions get 'hosed' by Lamplighters sticking to their moral guns, then the factions should adjust or perish.
I can see several situations in which aiding another on knowledge would make sense. I wouldn't want it in combat, but I could see two individuals with knowledge(arcana) sitting around and chatting while examining a burn mark. "It could be alchemist's fire....", says one, then the other says, "Or a fireball spell." "No, I don't think it's a fireball, the outline isn't uniform." "Yeah, but if it were an alchemist's fire, there'd be some glass."
Etc. etc. etc.
Also, many crimes are solved with insights from multiple people. So, aid another checks on knowledge skills can make sense assuming that there is not an urgent situation. (The burn mark example is a good one. Different people may have different perspectives on a piece of evidence.)
OK, so here is a second draft of the Lamplighter's Creed. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas, suggestions, criticisms, etc.
First, I've come to view the Creed as guidelines that the Pathfinder strives for, not as a minimum set of requirements for entrance. Anyone who tries to live by the Creed and what it represents is welcome to join the Lamplighters and wear the badge, even if they do not meet every criteria. So, there's the "in" for anyone who has already designed their character and doesn't meet the requirements. Several of my characters won't, yet... but because of the wording they can strive towards that goal, should they desire to. (Several won't.)
Second, I modified the last two points about "group first" and "no secrets" to avoid excluding certain factions wholesale, since this figured prominently in their M.O.s.
The Lamplighter's Creed v2.0
* A Lamplighter is a member in good standing of the Pathfinder Society, sound of mind and body. Any physical, mental or social deficiency which would interfere with her duties as a Pathfinder is offset by appropriate training or magical aid.
[OOC: Ideally, no negative modifier for having low ability scores. In cases where negative ability penalties exist, they must be completely offset by skill ranks, feats, traits, specialized equipment, or magical effects, for every roll which depends on them. For example, a character with a -1 due to a low Strength score would need to offset this with a +1 in their Climb and Swim skills from some source (climbing kit, skill ranks, even potions of touch of the sea), as well as something that gives +1 to melee attacks and damage. They'd also need a masterwork backpack. Other dump stats would require a combination of bonuses to offset all relevant skills, attack rolls, saving throws, etc. (Yes, this makes some dump stats harder to deal with than others.)]
* A Lamplighter is skilled in diplomacy, tact, and effective communication.
* A Lamplighter is well-trained, knowledgeable, and resourceful.
* A Lamplighter is always ready for combat, and is trained and equipped for both hand-to-hand and ranged fighting.
* A Lamplighter is well-equipped for any eventuality, and ready to travel at a moment’s notice.
* A Lamplighter keeps no secrets which would endanger their comrades or the success of the Society's mission.
* A Lamplighter shall share details of the Lamplighter's Creed with any who inquire about it, or as appropriate while on active duty for the Society. However, a Lamplighter shall not force the Creed or memebrship in the Lamplighters upon unwilling Pathfinders.
The badge of the Lamplighter shall be of gold, with a stylized letter "L" in the common Taldane alphabet, with a candle or lamp flame emanating from the top of the "L" and rays of light spreading from it in all directions. [OOC: I'm working on this as a physical piece of jewelry, so I'd like to keep it similar to this - but it needed be any sort of formal design. Anything that fits the description would work. Also, as jewelry, it retains its total value and doesn't need to be sold for 50% if you need the cash. I suggest a 2gp brooch or cloak clasp would be about right.]
The Lamplighter's badge may be obtained from Kaleel's Curiosities in the Foreign Quarter of Absalom, and from whatever other vendors choose to offer it. It may also be commissioned as a personal item by the wearer. [OOC: fluff - you can buy it from my character's business in Absalom, or wherever you want.]
on several other threads I have asked for Judge rulings from the general posting public on what skills you can Aid Another on. Knowledge skills seemed to have biggest "swing" with several multi starred judges saying "Never" and several others (lesser stars) saying "outside of combat - sure, why not?"
I have always felt that you should be able to do it even in combat... realizing that Aid Another is an action. If two Pathfinders are fighting some wierd creature it could go like this:
Re Aid another.
Ok I thought it was a DC 10 check, so you could just take 10 in non-stressful situations. I guess the social skills wouldn't count.
As to knowlege, I see people 'aid another' in real life all the time.
"I think it's X."
On top of myself thinking so, I've had many other players say that my character is the weirdest, most versatile Ranger/Druid they've ever seen. That alone should qualify me! That character has a low charisma because he stays back and watches, preferring to remain outdoors. He never really talks to people. His main attack is a bow with various arrow types, but also carries both a one and two handed sword, a whip, and a spiked gauntlet. He also has a versatile vest with various bottles of liquid attached and a backpack full of useful items. He is ready for any situation, in or out of combat, except talking. But it's because he's a loner, self-sufficient, and doesn't need to talk to people. He isn't a "pathfinder" so much as a path maker...
My only comment is if you qualify for 3/4 of the goals you have the spirit of this group without making it a simple multi class group. Diplomacy, combat, knowledge, and training. Sure my Magus rogue arcane trickster fits the bill as written. Yet my cleric can't do the skills without multiclassing. My barbarian will never meet the 3/4 - lacking knowledge and diplomacy.
Scott Young wrote:
I still don't think this is going to work with the OOC. With a simple 9 CHA you have to not only apply a skill rank (or several) to Diplomacy and Intimidate, but also Bluff, Disguise, Handle Animals and Use Magic Device? I can see wanting a fighter to be Diplomatic and Intimidating, even if he's not friendly, but expecting him to spend time learning how to make Wands work (poorly) is silly.
Also does this mean that someone with a 9 INT has to buy ranks in /every/ Craft and Knowledge skill?
Mahtobedis hit it in the black for me.
Any organization has standards. Not everyone is going to meet them. The factions are the exception, because joining them is player choice. Cheliax won't refuse a Paladin, but clearly a Paladin is going to suffer slow prestige being Chelaxian.
The Lamplighter concept is the opposite. Anyone can sit at a table and 'claim' to be a lamplighter. Anyone can attempt to hold up their creed. But not everyone is going to be part of the organization.
And that's fine.
Little Timmy Tiefling, with his 8 charisma, may never have the points to put in all those skills (especially if he's a cleric, or a fighter). That doesn't keep the concept of little Timmy Tiefling trying oh so hard to be a lamplighter viable.
What I don't understand is that a lot of people in this thread seem to be saying, "Well, I like the concept, but my character doesn't qualify under your criteria, and as a result, I feel like it's too exclusive and judgmental."
Frankly, I always wanted to be an Olympic rower, but damn those coaches and their looking for people who were athletic, dedicated, and over six feet tall.
I'm not trying to put words in people's mouths, here, but this is the general feeling that I feel permeating the thread from those who disagree with the criteria. I thought the original criteria were pretty reasonable - they required a certain dedication to the concept at character creation, and maybe a few levels of skill points before one qualified, especially as a fighter or cleric. But that's kind of the point - if you don't want to build that kind of character, then don't. Not being a member of an unofficial, in-character group that gains no mechanical advantage and doesn't get you anything except an opportunity for more role-playing is not a punishment.
I applaud Scott's flexibility - and his thick skin - in opening a discussion like this to the public forums. Had it been me, I'd have just posted "Here's my unofficial group. Anyone want to join?"
When I walk up to a table and sit down with a group of strangers to play an adventure, one of the first things I do is check to see what the rest of the people are playing. Most people will tell me. (Some don't - but that is a topic for a different thread.) The reason I do this is I run a lot of different PCs. Each bring a different set of skills to the table. So I can run the PC that fills the gaps in what our team can do. I realize many people do not do this, and I am a bit of an exception in doing this, but as I am able to do it, I feel it adds to our ability as a group to complete the assignment. We get a better rounded team by doing it.
This game we play is at it's base a story about a group of specialists who each have a part to play. Each PC should have something he really shines doing - be it cutting monsters in half, or talking a witness into giving up that little bit of info or whatever. Not many players want to run the guy who is second (or third or fourth...) best at everything. An adventurer who is "just along for the ride" - the guy running the back-up character.
The concept of the Lamplighters appears to be an attempt to insure that "all the bases are covered" ... by ensureing that all characters can cover them. What? If I sit at the table and we have no "face" character - I'll pull a PC that owns face skills. I may not have the skill to open a lock, or kill a monster, or even tell what killed the body we just found - especially if someone else said their PC brought that to the table. And how are you going to feel when you fail your primary reason for being there, because you invested in a skill my PC "owns"? If you failed to make that Heal check by one, because you stuck that extra point in Diplomacy? (When my PC takes 10 and does better than you can possibly roll?)
Lamplighters - just be sure you do your "schtick" the very best you can. You cover your part, I'll cover mine, and together we are MUCH better than if we both try to cover it all (and spread ourselves to thin).
Thank you for your time...
Taking another look at my last post, I think I know what I really am concerned with.
If a person has a negative in a stat, he should be required to overcome every aspect that he would be required to make a roll in if he had a 0 modifier. 'Trained Only' skills should not be part of this requirement. YOu don't expect a Int 10 fighter to have knowledge Arcane or Spellcraft. Similarly you would not expect a 10 charisma fighter to have Use Magic Device.
I think this is my only real objection. Alex, with his 8 Charisma, would be more than happy to overcome this penalty for any untrained skill he might take (He doesn't have them all yet, but he'd be willing to work on it. Even Perform.)
Alex Longfeather wrote:
I think Scott's proposal already takes this into account, as he says you need to negate the penalty for every roll that depends on it, and you can't make rolls on trained-only skills untrained.
That said, even something like a scroll of tap inner beauty (if you can use such a scroll) for an emergency involving Charisma would suffice.
Can't use Tap Inner Beauty, but if I really wanted I could use a Wand of Eagle's Splendor.
So, lots more feedback - thanks again! I think when I post the "final", it will not include the OOC descriptions, providing even more latitude for those who really feel they want to join but don't qualify. Although, it's interesting that a lot of people don't seem to like the idea in the first place, but also want to join?! Not sure I understand that.
nosig makes some good points - but not everyone has multiple characters at every level. In fact, in my experience most don't - they start a new character when their main one gets to level 4-6 or so. Having multiple characters at a give subtier with different abilities is actually just the meta-version of the Lamplighters Creed extended to players instead of just characters!
To clarify: yes, you don't need to counteract a penalty on a trained-only skill that you don't have ranks in; and no, you only need one Craft or Profession skill to have a balancing bonus in to offset you Wis/Int penalty, as applicable.
And again - if you think that Pathfinders should be versatile, resourceful, well-equipped, and able to function without total dependence on other characters, and you strive to live by the Lamplighter's Creed, then you are a Lamplighter. If you think that Pathfinders are more effective as specialists in a hand-picked team, you aren't a Lamplighter, and that's fine.
It's been a great discussion, and thanks to everyone for keeping it more-or-less civil and productive. I now return you to your regularly-scheduled faction missions!
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Not being a member of an unofficial, in-character group that gains no mechanical advantage and doesn't get you anything except an opportunity for more role-playing is not a punishment.
This. Thanks, Jeff, for making this point. I would love to see other groups like this start up - it can give a lot of background for roleplaying. So can not being a member, or being opposed to the Lamplighters' very existence... whatever you want to do, run with it!
Thanks for posting "Lamplighter's Creed" I have made a copy for myself.
I would like to impress upon those I game with that being Pathfinder should be about "diplomatic" ways on reaching a solution. I kinda feel awful how I handled dealing with the situation at the end of "Frostfur Captives" just because we got riled up. I can always start with the next mod.
Jiggy: Hah! I don't believe in summoners, so I'd have to say no, but if they want to join, it's fine by me.
Vladimir: you're welcome, feel free to spread the word!
Garble: Like you've been waiting for *my* permission to bite lamps! I have been watching you, I know you have been practicing... I suggest putting the lamp out before biting it, though.
[ooc: This seems like an excellent concept, something my character could really respond to.
If I may have an opinion, my good Sir. I say the qualifications should be open to anyone simply of sound judgement. Perhaps a continuing qualification that one return here after each adventure and report their exploits that show their contribution towards the Lamplighter Code.
I hate dump stats too. So, change Pathfinder rules - no value for a negative stat on a buy build. That way, they only show up in die rolled characters or someone who is really into rollplaying with a character concept.
Sometimes dump stats make sense. But I never go more than a single 8.
I love playing my 5 strength gnome. I feel negative stats define a character more than high stats.
If you could not have a dump stat character would mean that the society would reject people that are not atleats average in every category. A kind of eugenetics. I am not sure if that follows the pathfinder credo.
I Like this idea of the Lamplighters, but the "no stat below 10" thing would exclude the only one of my characters who would want to join in character. My inquisitor has a 7 in Cha, but I chose an I qui sitcom that allows me to use Wis of Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate. And my Wis is 16.
I'm surprised nobody suggested a signature-based entry requirement. One or two other lamplighters approve the character is close enough to the requirements and the player is playing the character in such a way that others notice his tenacity? and induct him into the lamplighters. Yes it's more official that way and it takes time to manage, but it becomes a more idealized organisation.