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The Lamplighters - discussion forum


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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****

As requested by several folks, a centralized place to provide feedback on the Lamplighter idea I pitched in the Faction forums. Please offer your suggestions, comments, and improvements tot he Lamplighter's Creed or any other aspect of the idea.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Well, out of character and to get at the nuts and bolts of the issue, I think that this meta-faction is a great idea, but that it needs to be relaxed a bit, rules-wise. As I understand it, there are two main tenets to the Lamplighters: Versatility and an appreciation for the social side of the game as well.

Therefore, what if the REQUIREMENTS were simply the following:

1) At least a +5 in one of the four social skills (Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, Sense Motive.)

2) A way to cover any shortcomings of your lowest stat (for my example, a caster with low STR, I have potions of Touch of Sea and Spider Climb. Conversely, a character with low WIS may overcome the Will loss through Ioun Stones, Cloaks of Resistance, etc.)

3) A plan (Either at current or higher levels) for dealing with the following common threats:
* Swarms
* Haunts
* Flying enemies
* Invisible enemies

4) At least one alternative way to assist in combat if your main plan does not work - if you are a melee class, examples might include a ranged attack, a trip attack, buffing, causing status ailments against the enemy or healing.

5) A defined personality and backstory - not necessarily a long one, but there must be some identity to the character beyond numbers.

Taldor

I personally really like the idea of this kind of group and like what it represents. I've often been annoyed sitting down at a table to find that it tended to lack anyone who wanted to play a Pathfinder beyond myself. Everyone is entitled to have fun their own way of course so it is good not to have any benefits associated with it and have it be more of a loose creed just for fun.

I especially like the stat requirement. I'm working on building a character by the guidelines to try and get back into PFS with.


The +x requirements should probably have some sort of sliding scale - having a +1 in Knowledge(anything) at level 10 is almost useless, expecting the 2+Int classes to have x ranks postpones when they can join.

I do like the idea of a group trying to focus more on the values of the Society then on the "kill things, get loot".

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Well, alternatively, we could look on these requirements as guidelines. This is, I would assume, a loose federation of Pathfinders, and as such, strict adherence to rules and regulations is not necessarily advantageous to our goals.

Alternatively alternatively, perhaps a list of rules - so long as your character hits, say, 5 out of 10 of them, they meet the guidelines.

Grand Lodge *****

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Garble want to be lampbiter too!

***

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I personally think that the requirement of no stat below ten is going to knock a lot of character that are built around social interactions right out. Dervish Dancing builds often only have 8 str, and I know a lot of people who for role playing purposes have made one of their stats an 8.

Silver Crusade **

This sounds like the list of requirements that got me kicked off the island.

OOC:

In a word, no.

Building a jack of all trades character will, for most classes, leave you as a master of none. A +2 to diplomacy is only marginally different than a -2 when the DC is 20. They are identical when the dc is 25.

I'm all for versatility. Between Conan here and his pet druid if I'm sitting at the table you have a serviceable tank, melee dps, trap spotter, sneak, scout,healer, blaster, buffer, trap removal, tracker, with a smattering of knowledge skills with a cherry on top.

Is it really that much to expect that someone else in the party is the party face? Is it really fair to try to be the focus of every scene, or should I let people do the jobs they specialize in?

I don't enjoy playing someone with an average charisma. Someone that fades into the background isn't fun to play for me. Someone that can wheel and deal is fine, but I would much rather play someone that is comically inept to the point that the wolves that raised him are ashamed of his behavior than someone's whose presence you will forget in a heartbeat.

I'm quite frankly insulted by the idea that I'm somehow not playing a "real pathfinder" because my druid who was raised on an island completely removed from normal golarion civilization doesn't know which way to hold a tea cup.

Andoran **

*squawk* Hesh drunker than I am.

The enormously wide brimmed hat of the tengu almost manages to hide his beak under a span of well battered leather with an equally enormous feather sticking out of the top. He tips it back a bit and takes his head off the table.

"You ever tend bar?"

The tengu rumages around in his bag and takes out a few bottles, a chipped ruby red shotglass, a mismatched set of teacups, and a slightly larger gourd cup. Clawed hands deftly pick up each bottle and give it a quick tip into two containers as he names them, all without spilling a drop.

"Varisian Vodka. Irisian Vodka. Andoran Vodka. Chelaxian Vodka. This is the party you're trying to make. Different, but more or less the same thing with the same flavor.Its a good drink. It will get you drunk, it won't curdle your tongue, but mix it how you will its always going to be just vodka.

He pours some fine black pepper, tomatoes, a stick of celery, as well as some unidentifiable red liquid that bubbles and hisses as it tries to eat its way through the glass. "Now, you wouldn't want to make a drink with just any of these, specially that stuff on the end there, trust me. You gotta mix them. Yes, It doesn't always works sometimes you'll burn your tongue off. Some nights you'll have a lot of time in the privy to peruse some chronicles. But when it does work... ahhh, that perfect blend of concordance and opposition, the flavors competing against each other and blending into a symphony of flavor worthy of the accidental Gods own mug." he lays the hat out on the table and pours the ingredients in, using a feather to stir it together.

"So what'll it be lad, gonna stick to the same old thing or try for something great? "

OOC:
. FYI this is still Doyles player, Just so people don't think I'm trying to use alts to gang up.

Corvus here plays as Scotts ideal pathfinder. He has reasonable trap finding/disarming,can switch between melee and ranged,carries a gold bag of situation ally useful arrows, and despite his 7 Cha score, still has a very good diplomacy and bluff scores thanks to his conversion inquisition... but he wouldn't meet the requirements


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Underlying many of the requirements is common PFS build advice:

  • PFS has random teams, so have a backup combat role
  • PFS is about more than combat, so have some out of combat abilities

Whatever the Lamplighters end up being, I think it should be less "build versatile characters" and more "build Pathfinders, not combat-monkeys".

**

I like the idea of this, in theory.

However, it is nice to have a few Big Dumb Fighters (with smart tactics) in the party when the big fights occur. And if you are the well balanced face, you help those folk with their faction missions because you want them to have access to the good stuff.

I'm sure everyone here has played both sides. You need a range! My balanced bard isn't going to cut it against constructs or horrors from the worldwound. My pummeling monk aids diplomacy by not opening his mouth. Sometimes, my monk helps diplomacy by pulling an unconscious bard out of harms way so he can start talking again after I dump a potion down his mouth and then grapple the offended party until cooler heads prevail.

I have to admit in 5 years of playing I can count on one hand the number of times I've talked my way out of a fight in PFS.

Still, my one character who qualifies will join up!

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston aka Rogue Eidolon

Tangaroa wrote:

I like the idea of this, in theory.

However, it is nice to have a few Big Dumb Fighters (with smart tactics) in the party when the big fights occur. And if you are the well balanced face, you help those folk with their faction missions because you want them to have access to the good stuff.

I'm sure everyone here has played both sides. You need a range! My balanced bard isn't going to cut it against constructs or horrors from the worldwound. My pummeling monk aids diplomacy by not opening his mouth. Sometimes, my monk helps diplomacy by pulling an unconscious bard out of harms way so he can start talking again after I dump a potion down his mouth and then grapple the offended party until cooler heads prevail.

I have to admit in 5 years of playing I can count on one hand the number of times I've talked my way out of a fight in PFS.

Still, my one character who qualifies will join up!

Interestingly enough, since fighters don't have as much magic to back them up, my fighting characters are the only ones I have who actually do qualify as Lamplighters, since my Fighter and Barbarian both have at least 10 on all mental ability scores. Now, granted, the Barbarian can't read and probably shouldn't be a Lamplighter, but he meets all the requirements I think (and the Fighter, as a Lore Warden, easily meets them).

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

You may only be able to recall one time in which Diplomacy has avoided a fight, but what about a situation where it has aided the overall mission? Diplomacy can often be used to get an idea of what you're going up against. This helps you know if you need to purchase special weapons to avoid DR, whether or not there is some sort of mortal weakness of the boss, etc.

That being said, admittedly, the vast majority of PFS scenarios can be beaten by simply smacking everybody with a sword. There are only a handful which can't. I am glad to see, though, that it seems to be something which is improving - multiple season 3-4 scenarios pose a risk of failure if the social side of the game is ignored entirely. This is a Good Thing.

That being said, I also think that we need to get beyond the idea that only a person with good numbers should be doing all the talking. Maybe they should be the *primary* party face, but that doesn't mean that other members shouldn't interject when they have a good idea. Consider, if you will, Grandmaster Torch. With his hideous, burned visage and gruff personality, he likely has a very low CHA score. However, he is one of the most influential Pathfinder leaders because he manages to use his intellect to devise cunning plans and manage an impressive spy network.

The take-away here is this - just because you are good at combat doesn't mean that you can't be good socially, too. Just because you are good socially doesn't mean that you don't have a combat role. As I see it, this organization is about people who aren't simply one-trick ponies.

Osirion ***

I'm all for this group. With my main being a bard, I was starting to get a bit tired of showing up at tables and having everyone basically looking to me to do their faction missions (some didn't even bother reading the thing). I've also lost a character to a wizard acting more like a barbarian than a thinking class. And I disagree with the idea that "a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none". If you build the character right, they can excel at many things and suffer very little.

As a side note, and a bit of a complaint, I think that Survival should be allowed on the list of 'one of these skills'. It just makes sense that a Pathfinder and a Lamplighter can be able to track through and survive in the wilderness. Many of the locales we travel to are in the middle of no where.

**

Tangaroa wrote:
I have to admit in 5 years of playing I can count on one hand the number of times I've talked my way out of a fight in PFS.
Netopalis wrote:
You may only be able to recall one time in which Diplomacy has avoided a fight,

Hey now, I have 5 fingers on my one hand. I can can count AT LEAST 5 times!

Sure, diplomacy may occasionally affect the overall mission sometimes, but not often. Can you name a few adventures where diplomacy/social prowess (or lack of it) was a game breaker?

old modules:
Decline of glory? Convince the Taldor soldiers to fight with you?

Some of the Heresy series? Don't get murdered by the authorities?

Frostfur captives, to get past the troll?

I'm sure there are others, but I'm not recalling them.

I can think of a module with mechanic that depend on Animal Handling or Profession(sailor), with no options to hire folks if you don't have the skills in the party. *shudder* Not fun.

Anyways, we can always petition for modules where diplomacy has a greater impact.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

A few scenarios where Diplomacy is important:

SPOILERS:

God's Market Gamble - Social failure can lead to entire mission failure.
Severing Ties - Failing at the diplomatic situation in the first part AND in the skill-based event thereafter results in mission failure.
Throaty Mermaid - The mission will get you there even if you really suck, but you really lose a lot.
Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible - Ideally, the BBEG should be talked past. With the exception of one encounter, all other combat situations can either be ignored or talked through.
Rise of the Goblin Guild - Diplomacy can affect the BBEG fight heavily.

These are just a few scenarios off the top of my head. I have only been playing for a month and a half, so my exposure to scenarios is limited.

Shadow Lodge **

Mourne wrote:
And I disagree with the idea that "a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none". If you build the character right, they can excel at many things and suffer very little.

This varies a LOT by class. If you have a front line fighter you want a good BAB. This is going to seriously limit your skill points. Is there any point in being less effective in combat to get a diplomacy score that's not going to let you succeed on a dc 25 check anyway?

There is a huge difference between being a one trick pony and pulling off the rather arbitrary requirements listed above. While i haven't played the one trick "Grrrr kill!" character yet, i've noticed that the combat portion of the missions tends to rely heavily on their presence.

Shadow Lodge **

Netopalis:

Diplomacy is definitely important, but its not important on every character. Usually the barbarians nose picking tendancies have as much effect on the bards ability to talk to an npc as a paladins low dex has on a rogues ability to pick a lock.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Well, you say that, BNW, but have you never sat at a table with a low CHA player who insists on barreling forward and insulting people? It's very frustrating. I once sat at a table where we had just finished talking to a very important NPC, when one of the group broke away and went back to him, threatening him because this PC interpreted his actions as evil and unlawful. They were neither - he was one of the few GOOD characters in the scenario, and his actions were lawful in the area we were in.

Shadow Lodge **

Netopalis wrote:
Well, you say that, BNW, but have you never sat at a table with a low CHA player who insists on barreling forward and insulting people? It's very frustrating. I once sat at a table where we had just finished talking to a very important NPC, when one of the group broke away and went back to him, threatening him because this PC interpreted his actions as evil and unlawful. They were neither - he was one of the few GOOD characters in the scenario, and his actions were lawful in the area we were in.

That is a problem with the PLAYER. All the +'s to diplomacy in the world won't help that.

Qadira ****

Hi folks,

Sorry for the delay - had a lot of faction boards to check! Thanks for all the interest and feedback thus far. I'm going to speak out-of-character here, to get some of the background info out to everyone.

First, a few things to clarify. This is NOT a result of being a RL Venture-Captain - this is an unofficial, in-character thing only. I was surprised that "The Decemvirate" posted in the boards - I did run it past Mike Brock to make sure it wouldn't conflict with anything they might have planned, but that's it. This is not going to turn into a faction, it has nothing to do with the meta-plot, it is just something this particular character of mine has been seeing and is his response (since he's a take-charge organizer-type guy).

Second, I've already been convinced that the "no stat below 10" thing is inappropriate. I still like it myself, but it excludes a lot of existing characters. Something that focuses on the skills rather than the underlying stat is probably a better way to go - then any character, even if they don't qualify right now, could after spending a few more skill points.

Third, I'm not advocating that everyone be a generalist (although I can see how it could be read that way). I'm advocating that no one should be so specialized that they are useless in a whole bunch of situations outside their comfort area. I've seen players say, "well, there's nothing I can do here... pass" when their initiative comes up. I've seen casters who don't have a weapon at all, I've seen archers that can't do anything but gobs of damage, I've run groups that have no knowledge skills at all, or no healing at all, or no way to fight a swarm at all... and all of them either break the scenario, or break the party.

So really, this is a boy scout "be prepared" type thing. That's it.

Next post will re-post the starting point of the Creed; then I'll respond to suggestions (which are great - keep them coming!)

Qadira ****

ORIGINAL DRAFT - starting point for discussion.

The Lamplighter's Creed

* A Lamplighter is sound of mind and body, with no physical, mental, or social deficiency which would interfere with their duties.
[ooc: No ability score below 10 except those reduced by racial penalties.]

* A Lamplighter is skilled in diplomacy, tact, and effective communication.
[ooc: A Diplomacy skill of at least +2, whether through ranks, high Charisma score, or other permanent, inherent bonus . Bonuses from magical items do not qualify.]

* A Lamplighter is well-trained, knowledgeable, and resourceful.
[ooc: At least a +1 bonus in at least 5 of the following skills: Appraise, Disable Device, Handle Animal, any Knowledge skill, Linguistics, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Use Magical Device. The bonus can come from any source, so long as it is a permanent, inherent bonus and not a temporary effect.]

* A Lamplighter is always ready for combat, and is trained and equipped for both hand-to-hand and ranged fighting.
[ooc: Proficiency in and ownership of at least one ranged and one melee weapon, even if the character is primarily a non-combat type.]

* A Lamplighter is well-equipped for any eventuality, and ready to travel at a moment’s notice.
[ooc: More of a philosophy than a requirements, since it depends upon budget and prestige. At least some healing that they can use themselves, a back-up weapon with a different damage type, and so on.]

* A Lamplighter puts the success of the mission and the well-being of her comrades ahead of personal gain.

* A Lamplighter keeps no knowledge secret from their Venture-Captain or their comrades.

Qadira ****

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Ideas from suggestions (in no particular order):

No dump stats - I think it's safe to say this should go. I was thinking of people making new characters, not existing ones, but I don't want to exclude characters. What's important is, they can overcome their deficiencies through skills, feats, items, etc. I still think we should put in a guideline recommending no dump stats for newly-created characters. But maybe not.

Diplomacy - everyone needs this. 4 skill ranks max if you took Charisma as your dump stat. Besides the meta-reasons, this is one of the whole points of the in-character proposal - making sure that even the soldiers can cast the Society in a positive light.

Training - we can discuss the number and types of skills; this was just a starting point.

"Sliding scale" of qualifications - I'm torn on this. Yes, it makes it more meaningful; but it would require a system to be devised, and someone to oversee it, and I really want there to not be a "leader" of this movement. It's not something conveyed upon you; it's something you take on yourself. In some ways, it's a code of conduct. I think the Creed should be the starting point, aimed mostly at new-ish characters, and so be fairly easy to achieve. Yes, it will become less meaningful at higher levels, but frankly by then, there are many other options for PCs to overcome personal shortcomings. So at first glance I suggest the Lamplighters have no "tiers" of qualification. We just light the lamp; it's your job to make the light brighter as you can.

Interface with factions - full disclosure: I hate the faction system. I have a bit of a reputation at home for my ooc reply to most fo the faction missions I receive: "Suck it, Trade Prince!" It totally takes over the game, and players start working on their faction mission before the V-C briefing is over. Yes, I know it's required to be an effective character. So the Creed is written by a guy who routinely isn't at his maximum prestige because he doesn't choose to do all of his faction missions.

The last 2 points of the creed have the possibility to cause problems with faction missions, and with some factions more than others. The secrecy one especially can be a pain. But from an in-game perspective, the point of being a Pathfinder in the "old tradition" is that you were a *Pathfinder*, not a Chelaxian or an Osirion or a Sczarni or whatever. rather than requiring Lamplighters to choose from a fwe or just one faction, I thought it best to keep it open. But hiding stuff from your V-C or your comrades goes against the third tenant of the Society - Cooperate. So it has to trump any directive from your faction leader.

To me, if a faction leader tells a Lamplighter, "do this without anyone knowing", the Lamplighter either says no, or "gets caught" anyway, and loses out on the prestige. This is probably the biggest problem with this, but I just don't see a way around it that doesn't invalidate the entire concept of bringing back the "glory days" of the Society.

Use of items to make qualifications - how do people feel about this? I don't really like it, since if you get caught and imprisoned, your items are unavailable, and there are situations where you just can't use them. Being prepared gear-wise is important, though, so where does the line get drawn?

Again, thanks for the responses - this should be a great discussion!

Grand Lodge ****

To address the point regarding secrecy, I am a member of the Shadow Lodge. The Shadow Lodge is a reform organization, seeking to ensure that the Decimvirate treats Pathfinders' lives with dignity and respect. They realize that occasionally, deadly missions must be undertaken, but they encourage the Society to choose appropriately experienced Pathfinders for appropriate missions. There is NO reason for a group of fresh recruits to be sent out to tackle a truly important and highly dangerous mission. The Shadow Lodge also seeks to hold its leaders accountable, and would strongly prefer that the Decimvirate removed those masks and dealt with the Society just like the rest of us have to.

These goals occasionally put us at odds with completely being truthful to the Venture Captains. These goals, we would argue, are also more in line with the glory days of the society than some of the current missions on which we are sent.

I am primarily a member of the Pathfinder Society; I just have a different idea of what the Pathfinder Society is and should be.

Taldor *

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Sounds like these Lamplighters would be excellent attendees for a certain wedding... :)

Grand Lodge ****

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Sounds like these Lamplighters would be excellent attendees for a certain wedding... :)

I shall be present with bells, whistles and other garish accoutrements! I shall be in attendance on Sunday and am *greatly* looking forward to it. After all, a wedding is the perfect scenario for a Gnome who ESPOUSES the Punnish language.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston aka Rogue Eidolon

Scott Young wrote:

Ideas from suggestions (in no particular order):

No dump stats - I think it's safe to say this should go. I was thinking of people making new characters, not existing ones, but I don't want to exclude characters. What's important is, they can overcome their deficiencies through skills, feats, items, etc. I still think we should put in a guideline recommending no dump stats for newly-created characters. But maybe not.

Though Cordelia was the one invited here, I'll post as myself since it isn't the in-character forum.

Barring a lengthy analysis of various situations, one reasonable replacement would be to require the ability to achieve a non-negative modifier on all skills, attack rolls, and saves, including the use of a contingency item that the character possesses on their person as necessary. So basically, if the situation warrants it, the character can be at least as good as a character with 10 in the stat, if not better. A character with "Trusty Buddy" the +4 crowbar, spider climb, touch of the sea, ant haul, and a high enough base attack could handle any strength based situation with greater ease than a 10 Strength character who didn't. I would certainly include items in this requirement. One problem here is that it would reject a character with +10 in all skills except Intimidate but -1 Intimidate whereas it would accept a character with +0 in all skills.

Quote:
Diplomacy - everyone needs this. 4 skill ranks max if you took Charisma as your dump stat. Besides the meta-reasons, this is one of the whole points of the in-character proposal - making sure that even the soldiers can cast the Society in a positive light[i].

Agreed.

Quote:
Training - we can discuss the number and types of skills; this was just a starting point.

The starting point was fine here, though a lowish bar as some have said. I agree that Survival is a good addition.

Quote:
"Sliding scale" of qualifications - I'm torn on this. Yes, it makes it more meaningful; but it would require a system to be devised, and someone to oversee it, and I really want there to not be a "leader" of this movement. It's not something conveyed upon you; it's something you take on yourself. In some ways, it's a code of conduct. I think the Creed should be the starting point, aimed mostly at new-ish characters, and so be fairly easy to achieve. Yes, it will become less meaningful at higher levels, but frankly by then, there are many other options for PCs to overcome personal shortcomings. So at first glance I suggest the Lamplighters have no "tiers" of qualification. We just light the lamp; it's your job to make the light brighter as you can.

Maybe the requirements increase by 1 at level 4 and then 1 more at level 7, the same level as the pregens? Following that pattern, they could increase a third time at level 10.

Quote:
Interface with factions - full disclosure: I hate the faction system. I have a bit of a reputation at home for my ooc reply to most fo the faction missions I receive: "Suck it, Trade Prince!" It totally takes over the game, and players start working on their faction mission before the V-C briefing is over. Yes, I know it's required to be an effective character. So the Creed is written by a guy who routinely isn't at his maximum prestige because he doesn't choose...

If almost any of my characters receive a mission that requires secrecy, they will still risk exposure in order to reveal any information to their fellow Pathfinders that might decrease risk or help in the success of the mission. I think that as long as a Lamplighter is willing to hold to that standard, it should be OK to withhold information that is irrelevant to the other Pathfinders. Here's an example--let's say that Zarta Dralneen sends a letter that ghouls have stolen pages from her private diary. She wants no one to learn of the diary and to have the pages returned to her or destroyed without being read. Assuming the main mission did not mention ghouls, if the Pathfinder receiving that mission informs the other Pathfinders about the ghouls, the diary's presence is irrelevant to the mission's success or their well-being. Of course, any faction mission that could endanger the Society's main mission (I can think of several, especially Cheliax in Wonders in the Weave II) should be refused.

Quote:
Use of items to make qualifications - how do people feel about this? I don't really like it, since if you get caught and imprisoned, your items are unavailable, and there are situations where you just can't use them. Being prepared gear-wise is important, though, so where does the line get drawn?

Gear should definitely be included. The number of times you can't use your items at all is pretty rare. It should probably be filed away with such rarities as having to fight in a completely anti-magic zone (at which point the tactically-smart wizard is reduced to aid another checks, which are more likely to help than attacking directly)--and that wizard can't really be blamed for being limited to aid another in those areas, since there's no reasonable way to build a wizard who can fight a CR-appropriate melee enemy in such a place successfully.

Grand Lodge *****

Master Garble insists that we should converse less and bite more.

*whispers* Surprise, I know...

Silver Crusade **

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Young wrote:

Interface with factions - full disclosure: I hate the faction system. I have a bit of a reputation at home for my ooc reply to most fo the faction missions I receive: "Suck it, Trade Prince!" It totally takes over the game, and players start working on their faction mission before the V-C briefing is over. Yes, I know it's required to be an effective character. So the Creed is written by a guy who routinely isn't at his maximum prestige because he doesn't choose to do all of his faction missions.

The last 2 points of the creed have the possibility to cause problems with faction missions, and with some factions more than others. The secrecy one especially can be a pain. But from an in-game perspective, the point of being a Pathfinder in the "old tradition" is that you were a *Pathfinder*, not a Chelaxian or an Osirion or a Sczarni or whatever. rather than requiring Lamplighters to choose from a fwe or just one faction, I thought it best to keep it open. But hiding stuff from your V-C or your comrades goes against the third tenant of the Society - Cooperate. So it has to trump any directive from your faction leader.

To me, if a faction leader tells a Lamplighter, "do this without anyone knowing", the Lamplighter either says no, or "gets caught" anyway, and loses out on the prestige. This is probably the biggest problem with this, but I just don't see a way around it that doesn't invalidate the entire concept of bringing back the "glory days" of the Society.

Here's something that may seem like an off the wall notion, based on the stuff I just quoted: Perhaps we should lobby for the Lamplighters to actually become an official faction!

Think about it: Rather than getting a different faction mission with every adventure, you'd have the same mission every time: Help your allies and make the Pathfinder Society look good. ie Make sure your overall mission is a success, make sure nobody in your group dies, make sure any civilians you meet see the Pathfinders in a positive light, and (here's the weird one) make sure all your allies complete their faction missions. That last one may seem strange, but maintaining the balance of power in the secret factions seems like the best way for the Lamplighters to promote unity in the Society as a whole. So if everyone survives, and everyone else in your group gets 2 PA, then you get 2 PA for that adventure, without having to do a contrived faction mission every time.

Or perhaps what I just described is what the Grand Lodge faction should be.

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Fromper: Try Shadow Lodge. For more information, see my above post.

Andoran **

This sounds like a good idea on many levels.

Pathfinders are supposed to be trained and resourceful. I do think that for some types, the skills will be a challenge. (I would not have minded if Pathfinder had increased the number of skills for all characters as fighters might have a hard time for this challenge. Alternately, perhaps put in Craft or Profession as a skill. Sometimes, one of these skills is useful on a mission or will help a party with a cover story.)

Lantern Lodge

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"Honored Aram bin Kaleel," the voice of Slow Sure Fist has a pleasant deep timbre, even though his measured voice carries the distinct accent of those that call Tian Xia home. "If you allow, let me make the following suggestion for amendment to the Lamplighter's charter: provide a stringent set of requirements, as much or more than the original you cited, but then add that, for example, a character qualifies if he meets 6 out of the 8 criteria."

I think the notion of meeting all requirements is what is causing the trouble. Making the requirement being to meet a subset of qualities makes the group far more friendly to interesting character concepts.

Sczarni * RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I am a big fan of the Lamplighters as an organization of better Pathfinder-ing as a whole, but not a new faction or just a spin-off of the Grand Lodge. With that in mind, I really want it to apply across the factions, which I feel like must include keeping secrets when it comes up. This is the game that has been presented to us, and I want to focus on that. I can point to a HOST of Sczarni faction missions that I enjoy and make for great character opportunities and fun role-playing, but that I am specifically NOT supposed to let the Society know about.

For me, I'm happy when characters are designed so that they can complete faction missions on their own. As long as they can do that, I'm not sure I'm looking for more restrictions. Can the barbarian make the checks their faction requires? Great. Keep it secret if you want to, or tell the world about it. But people should create characters that can attempt checks, not just fight.

In that sense, what I want from the Lamplighters are not a group of Generalists, but a group of Robust Pathfinders. They don't always have to be able to do everything, but they should be able to hold up their end of the scenario in every single scene. If you ever have to say "Well, there's nothing I can do here," then you aren't holding up your end. I don't have to intentionally make a total support character who can do everyone's faction mission for them just to be a "good" Pathfinder.

Sczarni * RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Consider some application questions.

Rather than say "Which Social skill of yours has a +3 bonus at 4th level," say "How does this character benefit the group in a social situation? Feel free to explain at length."

Rather than say "Which weapons are you trained with in combat," say "What will you do during combat against a large group of enemies? What about a group of darkness-dropping archers? Can you spot an ambush coming? What will you do against a flying dragon? How do you spend the first six seconds of a routine combat?"

What about more questions like "If you get separated from your party, how can you make your way back to them?"

"Name two situations in which your character is a liability?"

"How can you best support the goals of Explore, Report, Cooperate?"

"If your party refuses to help out, how will you best serve your faction?"

Allowing for some creativity in responses will get past the issues we're seeing in requirements. Build a set of tiers (1-4, 4-7, 7-11), and make the questions tied to expectations from those tiers. That doesn't have to mean there's an application process, but if people can't answer these questions at any level, then they aren't what I would consider a Robust Pathfinder.

*

I don't think theres anything wrong with stringent requirements - the concepts behind them are spot on IMO.

The only requirement I would change is the stat tank'ing requirement... Allowing one stat to dump to eight would follow the concept - and allow flavor

As for the greater society as a whole... not everyone
a) should qualify
b) in character will want to...

Of the three characters i have, only one would consider joining such a group.

***

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Personally I think it is best if we get something solid for the definition of a Lantern Lighter. We should focus on definite things such as having +5 ranks in diplomacy.

Honestly I thought the original criteria was really good except for the no stat below a 10.

Osirion ***

I think the no dump stat thing should only be an issue if the character doesn't take steps to counter the dump in some way, like a low charisma character having a few points in diplomacy or a low strength character having muleback cords and a trusty buddy. If a player gives themselves a dump stat for flavor, they shouldn't be punished for doing that. It's only if a player sees dumping a stat as a way to minmax a bit more elsewhere is when they shouldn't be a Lamplighter.

As for items, I support them being included. Paizo just released a whole book about equipment (the number of things in there borders on ultimate =) ) and characters are expected to use them. I would say you're not being a Lamplighter if you're NOT prepared for your mission. A player should be rewarded for thinking ahead and getting a masterwork thieves tool to help open locks better or a magical item to help themselves and their party.

Last input I have for this post is faction. Personally, I like the idea of the factions when everything is played well. They add a bit of flavor to each mission, and keep players on the lookout for something beyond the next combat. I don't like them when it comes down to "I enter the room. IS MY PAINTING HERE? No? Okay, next room. ANY PAINTINGS???". Is that a problem with the author or with the player? I don't know. But I know I'm going to keep doing the missions given to me, like them or not. It's all a part of the game. =)

Taldor **** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

I've found that, with a lot of those faction missions, things can be resolved by paying attention to "who" and "where" in addition to "what".

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

I think this is a good idea with some inappropriate filters in the default proposal, that Arkos has a good angle on addressing.

(Skipping discourse on Gunvaldr's personality and relationships with certain other Pathfinder agents, and his not-lamplighter-but-not-BDF skill distribution.)

Taldor ***

Because I wondered how this questionnaire would go for Lady Gabrielle...

Arkos wrote:
Rather than say "Which Social skill of yours has a +3 bonus at 4th level," say "How does this character benefit the group in a social situation? Feel free to explain at length."

"Well, the answer is rather simple," the lady replies, fluttering her fan as she speaks. "When I am around, the group does not have to say a thing."

Arkos wrote:
Rather than say "Which weapons are you trained with in combat," say "What will you do during combat against a large group of enemies?

"A large group? Well, that depends on what sort of enemy being referenced. If I am attending a Qadiran festival, I simply have to play nice. If I am on a battlefield... that has yet to be a problem. Usually, the unintelligent Pathfinders who sleep with their gigantic weapons are quite happy to be there. The most intelligent thing to do then is to simply not get in their way."

Arkos wrote:
"What about a group of darkness-dropping archers?"

"Now why would an archer crave darkness, anyways? Unless he can still see in darkness? I would not know the answer to this one, beyond that I believe there is an appropriate spell. Not as if it has mattered; I can't recall ever meeting an archer who was not a Pathfinder, much less had one ever be cross with me."

Arkos wrote:
"Can you spot an ambush coming?"

"Well, it would be a pitiful attempt at an ambush if I could. I assume the best thing to do would be to anticipate the ambush, and avoid the most likely locations for one."

Arkos wrote:
"What will you do against a flying dragon?"

"Take cover. It would be foolish to engage a dragon in the air or in the open."

Arkos wrote:
"How do you spend the first six seconds of a routine combat?"

"Now that is a rather unsettling question. I would prefer to assume that no combat is routine. Only a bloodthirsty mercenary would think that pain and death are routine."

Arkos wrote:
"If you get separated from your party, how can you make your way back to them?"

"Well, I would have to be paired with rather incompetent Pathfinders for that to happen in a hostile environment. But in an urban one, I would rejoin them by horse-drawn carriage."

Arkos wrote:
"Name two situations in which your character is a liability?"

"I prefer to believe that my practiced mind is a boon in any situation."

Arkos wrote:
"How can you best support the goals of Explore, Report, Cooperate?"

"In the past, I have certainly proven to be quite adept at showing others the most efficient methods of exploration, either by my own knowledge or by deferring to the true expert. As for reporting, I have people for that, so that's all taken care of. Cooperation is simply a matter of the incompetent listening to the competent, the lesser knowing his place. What is the appropriate folk saying? 'Too many cooks?'"

Arkos wrote:
"If your party refuses to help out, how will you best serve your faction?"

The lady appears puzzled. "I am uncertain as to what you are referring to. Do you mean the Swords, Spells, and Scrolls? Or have the various Venture-Captains engaged in competition with each other? Have the Ten turned on each other without having the manners to inform us? You will have to enlighten me."

So you see, Lady Gabrielle is the model of a Robust Pathfinder. She can hold her own in any social situation, her loyalties are as clear as day, she possesses plenty of wisdom regarding handling exotic hostile environments and their denizens, and she knows that the essence of cooperation is to let the experts do what they're best at.

Andoran **

Slow Sure Fist wrote:

"Honored Aram bin Kaleel," the voice of Slow Sure Fist has a pleasant deep timbre, even though his measured voice carries the distinct accent of those that call Tian Xia home. "If you allow, let me make the following suggestion for amendment to the Lamplighter's charter: provide a stringent set of requirements, as much or more than the original you cited, but then add that, for example, a character qualifies if he meets 6 out of the 8 criteria."

I think the notion of meeting all requirements is what is causing the trouble. Making the requirement being to meet a subset of qualities makes the group far more friendly to interesting character concepts.

This would seem to be reasonable as well, and give people more flexibility.

Silver Crusade **

William Ronald wrote:
Slow Sure Fist wrote:

"Honored Aram bin Kaleel," the voice of Slow Sure Fist has a pleasant deep timbre, even though his measured voice carries the distinct accent of those that call Tian Xia home. "If you allow, let me make the following suggestion for amendment to the Lamplighter's charter: provide a stringent set of requirements, as much or more than the original you cited, but then add that, for example, a character qualifies if he meets 6 out of the 8 criteria."

I think the notion of meeting all requirements is what is causing the trouble. Making the requirement being to meet a subset of qualities makes the group far more friendly to interesting character concepts.

This would seem to be reasonable as well, and give people more flexibility.

Yzarctihstab (my character who volunteered to join the Lamplighters in the Taldor thread) still wouldn't qualify. :lol:


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One thing that the Lamplighter proposal downplays that is required for a return to the "Glory of Old" is "Explore". All too often the game plays out like Munchkin - kick open door, kill monster, loot room. Curiosity and wonder may not be things you can point to stats to show you have, but they are an important part of being a Pathfinder.


I like the idea of no dump stats. Choices and consequences, after all...

(Is there going to be a Scalphunter's Guild as well?)

**

Netopalis wrote:

A few scenarios where Diplomacy is important:

** spoiler omitted **

These are just a few scenarios off the top of my head. I have only been playing for a month and a half, so my exposure to scenarios is limited.

Alright, your list was good. I've only played two of those that you listed as being diplomacy heavy; of those two, one I thought of including as a diplomacy heavy mod, but I was basically told by the DM that our actions were, in fact, irrelevant. The other I played too long ago, but basically I remember the party using brute force to power through the adventure.

I still stand by my viewpoint that generally diplomacy is of secondary importance in the adventure, beyond faction missions.

Silver Crusade **

Yeah, there are a few adventures where diplomacy is an option, but not a necessity. There's actually one adventure from season 1 (I think mentioned earlier) where you can avoid all but one fight through diplomacy, but most groups go in guns blazing and have 4 or 5 combats.

Qadira ***

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I resently played Race for the R.C.K. with a strong Face character, and we side stepped much of the fighting. At one point our judge gave us a half hour brake, as we finished before the rest of the room, and couldn't proceed until they had finished thier fights.

Grand Lodge *****

What if I only has bite skill? Stupid longshanks no like talking with Garble. Can I still be lampbiter?

** Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

These Lamplighter meta-faction requirements dovetail quite well with some of the "Hurt Me Plenty" PFS meta-rules from about a year ago over here. Off to build a character meeting both sets!

*****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
nosig wrote:

I resently played Race for the R.C.K. with a strong Face character, and we side stepped much of the fighting. At one point our judge gave us a half hour brake, as we finished before the rest of the room, and couldn't proceed until they had finished thier fights.

OMG, no way! No way Tim and I designed a scenario to be solved in multiple ways with the easiest way being NOT to fight everything...

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