Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

Local culture vs. PFS culture, or, am I just asking about "table variance?"


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

1 to 50 of 121 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
*

Hey there. I'm new to GMing Society games and am newish to the game (played once a month for about a year, then dropped it for a year, now I'm in with a group playing about five times a month.)

I stuck my oar in the GMing waters to give the guys who were doing most of that work some relief despite my relative inexperience with the system. I own .pdfs of all the hardcovers except the Bestiary 3 and am slowly adding physical copies to my library (so far it consists of the CRB, the Bestiary, the APG, Ultimate Combat, and the Pathfinder Society Field Guide.) I also have literally dozens of other .pdfs from the various product which I was reading for pleasure during my year away from the table, and I read this boards closely.

Anyway, that's all background.

What I want to know is what you do when your ideas about Society play, about rules (sometimes quite specific rules), and about culture clash with those of one or more players, especially when those players might swing more weight than you socially at the local level.

I'll explain. I think my own approach to Society play is pretty conservative and very much in line with what I sense is the national and/or convention "norm." I play by the campaign and game rules, as best as I understand them.

The local group I play with is mostly populated by players who do the same. But there are several regular players who I'd describe as "local norm" rather than the national or convention norm.

Maybe this would be best described, and maybe I'd get the most out of you good people's answers, if I asked specific questions.

(1) When your local group seems never to have even heard of a character sheet audit, would you do one?

(2) What things would you look for in a five minute audit of a character sheet?

(3) How would you deal with a player who never keeps Chronicles, saying that she's "only going to play here anyway," when none of the other local GMs seem concerned about it?

(4) Is it ever appropriate to ask casters to hand over a list of spells prepared at the beginning of play so you can kind of go along and check things off with them as they go? Is your answer the same if you'd be the only person in the local pool of GMs who did such?

(5) Getting specific now, do you use the Ride and Mounted Combat rules with summoners who ride their eidolons? Do you think that eidolons that can be legally ridden should have saddles, and if so, do you impose the Ride check penalty to mounted summoners who don't have them?

(6) Similar to the spells question, do you keep track of the number of times that characters with minor "times per day" powers (that come from things like a wizard's school or cleric's domain, for example) use them?

(7) How much do you care about skill checks? By which I mean, it seems unwieldy to write down every character's skills before the game starts, but when everybody at the table suddenly seems to have Knowledge (Engineering) right when the need arises, do you check?

(8) This is a big one. What do you do with players who don't own the Additional Resources they use to build their characters in Hero Lab at all, quite proudly in fact, much less bring along hard copies or print outs of watermarked .pdfs? What if there were three or four local GMs and you were the only one who cared?

That last one is the one that really gets under my skin, so I guess I'll stop there.

Cheers,

Christopher

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

When I'm at a large convention, here are my policies:

(1) Have, and do.

(2) For 3-6th level:
Traits.
Feats.
Skills that I know are going to come up during play.
How many charges still remain on their wands?
Have they written in all their purchases and gotten GM signatures?

(3) You need them to play at my table.

(4) That's my standard operating procedure, after running into too many Schroedinger's Casters.

(6) I check to make sure *they're* keeping track. When I play a PC, I keep track with poker chips.

(8) If the actual resources are at the table, we're cool. If not, then they don't get to play the non-core material.

At local game days, it's tougher, because there *is* a common culture. But you could start by being a good player. Offer your PC to the table GM to audit.

I see you're in Kentucky. What's your local Venture Captain's advice?

*

Chris Mortika wrote:

At local game days, it's tougher, because there *is* a common culture. But you could start by being a good player. Offer your PC to the table GM to audit.

I see you're in Kentucky. What's your local Venture Captain's advice?

I've actually done that (offered my character sheet up for an audit), and I always tell them in advance what non-core material I'm using and offer to show them the printouts supporting my character choices. None of them have ever taken me up on it.

My local Venture Captain is something of a mysterious figure to me. He's never responded to my e-mails, and I've been told that he's just recently moved to the area and is going to be really busy with work for a few months or something like that. But I'll write him again, sure.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Quote:
(1) When your local group seems never to have even heard of a character sheet audit, would you do one?

I wouldn't do one just because they havent heard of it. I do it when I believe their character has been built wrong (most of the time, its not maliciously)

Quote:
(2) What things would you look for in a five minute audit of a character sheet?

Five minutes is actually quite a lot of time. Basically, make sure they have 20-point buy stats, they are keeping track of gold in their chronicle sheets, make sure their AC is built correctly, and they don't have items over their fame level. Those are the most common mistakes I see.

Quote:
(3) How would you deal with a player who never keeps Chronicles, saying that she's "only going to play here anyway," when none of the other local GMs seem concerned about it?

"howdy. Here is your Pregen for today, since that character is not legal." Honestly, though, I think this player is being rude to the GMs.

Quote:
(4)Is it ever appropriate to ask casters to hand over a list of spells prepared at the beginning of play so you can kind of go along and check things off with them as they go? Is your answer the same if you'd be the only person in the local pool of GMs who did such?

I never do this, but I have thought about it. Remember, GMs are not the police. Players who want to cheat, will.

Quote:
(6) Similar to the spells question, do you keep track of the number of times that characters with minor "times per day" powers (that come from things like a wizard's school or cleric's domain, for example) use them?

It's the player's responsibility to keep track, not the GM. Again, you shouldn't assume people are cheating, just trust your players. No reason to do this unless you suspect foul play.

Quote:
(7) How much do you care about skill checks? By which I mean, it seems unwieldy to write down every character's skills before the game starts, but when everybody at the table suddenly seems to have Knowledge (Engineering) right when the need arises, do you check?

See cheating above... sounds to me that if you are having recurring problems with this you need a new gaming group.

Quote:
(8) This is a big one. What do you do with players who don't own the Additional Resources they use to build their characters in Hero Lab at all, quite proudly in fact, much less bring along hard copies or print outs of watermarked .pdfs? What if there were three or four local GMs and you were the only one who cared?

This is honestly the hardest of your questions. What I would do is approach the player cordially, and let him know the rules states he has to own the resources. Most GMs will not enforce this rule as long as the material in question is present at the table, but if the player is being openly admitting he doesnt and will not buy the books/PDFs, I would begin to tell him he needs to have a legal character or pregen.

The last thing I want to do as a GM is turn someone away from a table or PFS in general. But from a lot of your questions, you seem to be very concerned about people cheating and ''bending' the rules. Honestly, if this is the case, it might be time to contact your local VO and see if he is aware or if there is anything to do.

Seems to me this specific group of players would have a much better time playing as a home game instead of PFS if they have this much disregard for the PFS rules.

Liberty's Edge *

1 - Explain to them what an Audit is. Most people automatically assume if a character is being audited that it's because the GM thinks you are cheating. I do Audits for two main reasons. To familiarize myself with character items and abilities from resources I don't readily have. Also to make sure new players have done their math right.

2 - I count the Chronicle sheets and make sure they are numbered properly. If I have time I go over the dates and make sure things are sequential - asking if anything odd pops up.

3 - While I didn't have this situation exactly, I did have a friend, in one of my home PFS games, show up with out his Chronicle sheets. He apologized for loosing them, we set him up with a pregen, and I made sure he knew because I had tracked all the Chronicle sheets I could replace his missing ones. (The Importance of GM reporting of sessions!)

4 - I normally just ask my players "Anything Funny or wacky memorized? They know I am checking for spells from alternative resources. If they have memorized something out of the ordinary, I then ask "is it complicated". If it is, I quickly go over it. If it isn't, I trust them to be able to tell me how it works. (And if it sounds off I'll check it when it's relevant.)

5 - If they fall unconscious while riding an Eidolon and they do not have an exotic saddle, they fall and take damage. Not having a saddle is risky. It could kill your butt bad.

6 - Only if I've suddenly said to myself "is that the 10th time he's used that 3/day ability?" One way I have considered dealing with this is coming to game with beads or poker chips. Pass them out to players with points or X/per day abilities. When you use the ability - you pass in a chip. When you rest, you get your chips back. Mistakes in math can happen, this method makes it easier for book keeping.

7 - I tend to let players handle their own skills. The exceptions being the occasional stealth or perception. Honestly it really boils down to what the session will require.

8 - This is a tough one. If they can't provide the additional resources according to the rules, they can't play the character. If other GMs don't care - maybe it is something you should mention to your VL or VC. The rules are in place for a reason. And yeah - it would get under my skin too.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Personally, I don't audit unless there is something that is CLEARLY wrong. It takes up a lot of time, and more often than not, any mistakes that were made are both minor and unintentional.

In regards to the additional resources, I have only denied a player the right to use something from it one time. I had a player who wanted to use Burning Disarm, but had no idea what it did or what book it was from - he had just heard about it. I told him where he could get it, but that we wouldn't be using it for that particular session. I generally only check if it's something particularly unusual and I have reason to believe that the person doesn't know what they're talking about. In the boasting situation above, I would likely check.

*****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey Christopher,

All of your questions come down to one question...what do you do about players who are not quite on the same page as you when it comes down to rules compliance?

First of all, auditing characters is very time consuming, and I almost never do it at cons. For local play, quite frankly a lot of times these things are not a big deal if they are one-time occurrences. I've forgotten my chronicle sheets before to a game day after work. But it sounds like you perceive these to be chronic occurrences with a certain few players.

It's a hard balance to strike, and you don't want to be perceived as a jerk or have all of your games sucked up by time-consuming audits. I would begin by telling your players, kindly, what the rules are, and how you expect them to be enforced. I wouldn't ban players or force them to use pregens, but remind them every time. Again. And again. Set up an expectation at your games. And use your fellow GMs (if you have them) to try and set up a consensus about rules.

Hope that helps!

Silver Crusade ****

I think Nani has the right of it. The least "jerk" thing you can probably do is be a nag. You don't want people to hate you, but they should be doing what's right. You could hard ball them, but that's not the gentle way to go about it.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Christopher Rowe wrote:
(1) When your local group seems never to have even heard of a character sheet audit, would you do one?

Whether someone's heard of it or not is irrelevant. I don't audit without cause (either something seems fishy, or they're a newbie who wants/needs verification that they dotted all their i's). If I do decide to check something, then the player being confused or offended or whatever won't stop me.

Quote:
(2) What things would you look for in a five minute audit of a character sheet?

Depends on why I'm doing an audit in the first place (see above). If something seems fishy, I'm checking that thing. If I find an error there, then I quickly deduce where else they might have made errors (based on what types of thinking patterns/false assumptions/etc would produce the original error and what other errors those same faulty thoughts could produce) and check those things.

If I'm checking to make sure a newbie's all set, I'm checking the "common pitfalls": point buy, weapon proficiency (an elf cleric is NOT proficient in the elven curve blade), feat prereqs, spell save DCs, attack/damage mods, AC, saves, etc. The basic stats and their math.

Quote:
(3) How would you deal with a player who never keeps Chronicles, saying that she's "only going to play here anyway," when none of the other local GMs seem concerned about it?

How do I know they never keep chronicles? This goes back to auditing. I don't have the time to ask each player to show me their chronicles, so if the game simply goes smoothly, I'll never know. If something comes up (like they try to use a boon from a chronicle sheet, like a holiday boon) and they can't produce their paperwork when needed... Well, it's never come up, so I don't know what I'd do. I guess they'd have to switch to a pregen. But in any case, just like the first question, whether the player feels like following the rules is irrelevant.

Quote:
(4) Is it ever appropriate to ask casters to hand over a list of spells prepared at the beginning of play so you can kind of go along and check things off with them as they go? Is your answer the same if you'd be the only person in the local pool of GMs who did such?

I've had one GM do that when I've been playing. Didn't bother me a bit. I don't feel the need to do it myself when I GM, but it seems reasonable as a proactive measure. To answer the "subquestion", if the "local pool" has a problem with different GMs having different methods, the issue is bigger than gaming. ;)

Quote:
(5) Getting specific now, do you use the Ride and Mounted Combat rules with summoners who ride their eidolons? Do you think that eidolons that can be legally ridden should have saddles, and if so, do you impose the Ride check penalty to mounted summoners who don't have them?

I actually haven't seen anyone ride their eidolon yet. But just like with auditing, I would assume they took the necessary steps to enable what they're doing unless something started to look fishy. But I do (or rather, would, if I ever encountered a mounted PC while I was GMing, which I haven't yet) follow mounted combat/ride skill rules.

Quote:
(6) Similar to the spells question, do you keep track of the number of times that characters with minor "times per day" powers (that come from things like a wizard's school or cleric's domain, for example) use them?

Nope, I have enough to worry about. If I were to get the impression that an ability was getting used an awful lot, I might start to track it, but not by default. As a player, I don't think I've ever used up all my daily uses of such a power, so I'm not sure how much this even really comes up.

Quote:
(7) How much do you care about skill checks? By which I mean, it seems unwieldy to write down every character's skills before the game starts, but when everybody at the table suddenly seems to have Knowledge (Engineering) right when the need arises, do you check?

You're probably picking up the theme by now, but again: I don't check until something's fishy. If I ask for Kn(engineering) and the whole table rolls d20's, I might ask for a look at some character sheets. But I'm not looking into things that don't seem out of whack.

Quote:
(8) This is a big one. What do you do with players who don't own the Additional Resources they use to build their characters in Hero Lab at all, quite proudly in fact, much less bring along hard copies or print outs of watermarked .pdfs? What if there were three or four local GMs and you were the only one who cared?

If the game runs smoothly, I wouldn't know they didn't have their resources in the first place. If I'm unfamiliar with something and ask to see the source, they'd better have it. If they don't, but someone else does, I'll inform them they need to bring it next time and go ahead and continue with the game using the other player's resource. If no one has it, then the ability doesn't exist (unless we're in a store and they want to go buy it RIGHT THEN).

---------------------------

In short, run the game on trust. If something's fishy, investigate. If it turns out something's not right, gotta fix it or remove it regardless of what other GMs might do.

Liberty's Edge *****

Wow, that’s both a really easy set of questions to answer, and really difficult.

Let me explain.

It is easy, in that you should not be shy or ashamed to follow the rules and enforce them at the tables that you run.

It is difficult, in that if your entire community of PFS players and GMs don’t care, then the fear is that you risk alienating yourself from the entire local community.

Ultimately, I would indicate that you gotta follow the rules set forth by the campaign, while at your table. Set the precedent at the next table you run, and just let folks know that when you are GM'ing, they will be expected to follow the rules. Then the next time enforce the rules.

1) I have never done an audit outside of making sure a newby's character is correct. There have been a couple local situations that required one, but fortunately I wasn't put in the awkward position of requesting or doing one.

2) Stats used the 20-pt buy system correctly (this is the most common mistake), right number of feats, no overlapping archetypes, no equipment too expensive for their Fame.

3) Keeping chronicles is the whole basis of organized play from the very beginning of organized play. Sorry, if you don't have chronicles, you can't play that character. But I would make sure that I would do everything I could to help them get all the chronicles for the sessions they've played so they could play that character at a later date.

4, 6, 7) I trust the players know how to play their characters correctly, and that they won't be cheating. Until they prove otherwise, I don't bother looking at these things. The only time I will look at a character sheet, is to determine something that the plot of the scenario requires, so as to not ruin the surprise in the moment that thing comes to fruition.

5) Absolutely. Eidolons don't automatically come with a prefitted saddle, and you still gotta know how to ride and such. Just because they are a custom pal, doesn't mean that they don't follow the rules of the game.

8) This is the most difficult one to answer. I would go with what Chris Mortika said. Especially if the local community is close knit and tends to share materials between them alot. However, I would NOT allow the PRD, d20PFSRD, or Hero Labs to equate to having material. If there isn't at least a book or watermarked PDF handy for the table to use, then they don't get that ability.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Christopher,

Hey, it's good to see you so active on these boards and with the Lexington PFS scene these days (if a little weird that we use the same icon). You need to come down and visit us in Somerset again sometime soon.

1. Here in Somerset, we have a pretty tight-knit group, so we mostly audit one another (e.g. "Hey dude, I was at a con the other day and one GM there was pretty strict about what animal companions can and can't do; what tricks exactly does your tiger know?).

2. If I were to do a character audit, I suppose I'd look mostly at extreme outliers (e.g. "How exactly did you get a 42 AC? How in the world are you doing so much damage? A +32 on your Diplomacy check! I don't think all of those bonuses stack. Let's look this up.).

3. In a game at my house, where the person is presumably a friend, I'd probably shrug and be like "your loss, really; I'd love it if your cleric could join us for Gen Con this year, but some GMs are really strict about this kind of thing." At an open game day with complete strangers, I'd probably let them play that session, but ask them to put together a collection of chronicles for the following session. I would go out of my way to help them do this, but I'm a softy.

4. I trust my casters to keep their own spell list. If they were to spam magic missiles and empowered magic missiles all adventure long, I might say something along the lines of "how many of those things do you have anyway?".

5. This hasn't come up in our group so far.

6. Pretty similar answer to number 4.

7. I don't check skills beforehand. Again, we're a pretty tight-knit group, so we usually have most skills covered by someone with some redundancy where the more important skills are concerned.

8. I own pretty much all these books as does at least one more of our regulars, so I usually don't call someone out for not owning a book; that said, we don't really have players who brag about doing everything on Hero Lab and not buying the books. If someone has a glaring hole in their collection, I sometimes try to fill it as a Christmas or Birthday gift.

Scarab Sages *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I was very Lucky... I was able to build my Local PFS community from the ground up and make sure things were done correctly so people would not run into problems if they played out of town.

It would drive me crazy if I moved into a community like you described *Though part of that is I am wiling to admit I am used to being in charge ;)*.

I would suggest easing them into doing things correctly. Start off reminding they are part of a larger community and not just a separate distinct culture that don't have to worry about the larger community. That they should expect outsiders from time to time that expect certain 'rules' in common that hold the community together and set a common basis for everyone to follow so that is possible.

Talk to the coordinator about easing the group into common expected rules.

The only issue you may have is that it is normally the 'Leader' of the community that sets the tone, and if it is the leader that set this culture like it is then you have very little chance of changing anything unless you can somehow put yourself in that position or convince him to change it himself.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, California—San Diego

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(1) When your local group seems never to have even heard of a character sheet audit, would you do one?

I have and will do character audits when it seems that one is necessary to ensure the health of the local gaming community.

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(2) What things would you look for in a five minute audit of a character sheet?

If I am doing a full audit of a character this is not a 5 minute thing. I recommend bringing a laptop (or lots of paper) and a buddy to double check you.

If I am doing a quick look at character sheets in prep for a scenario then I know what I am looking for (languages, feats, skills, etc.) and make notes accordingly.

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(3) How would you deal with a player who never keeps Chronicles, saying that she's "only going to play here anyway," when none of the other local GMs seem concerned about it?

If they don't keep chronicles then they need to play a pregen.

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(4) Is it ever appropriate to ask casters to hand over a list of spells prepared at the beginning of play so you can kind of go along and check things off with them as they go? Is your answer the same if you'd be the only person in the local pool of GMs who did such?

Yes this is appropriate, sometimes.

In general I tend to trust players until they give me a reason not to. If someone has degraded my trust of them I would feel very empowered to ask them to give me a list of their spells or I might just take a picture of their character sheet for my own reference.

If I am running at a convention depending on the scenario I might also ask for the PCs list of spells before hand (especially if a specific spell makes a huge difference in the way the game urns).

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(5) Getting specific now, do you use the Ride and Mounted Combat rules with summoners who ride their eidolons? Do you think that eidolons that can be legally ridden should have saddles, and if so, do you impose the Ride check penalty to mounted summoners who don't have them?

In order to ride an eidolon without taking the -5 to ride checks from an 'ill suited mount' they would need to have taken the mount evolution.

Advanced players guide wrote:


Mount (Ex)

An eidolon is properly skilled and formed to serve as a combat-trained mount. The eidolon must be at least one size category larger than its rider. This evolution is only available to eidolons of the quadruped and serpentine base forms

If they didn't have an appropriate saddle they would incur another -5 penalty.

The ride rules don't change depending on what you are riding.

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(6) Similar to the spells question, do you keep track of the number of times that characters with minor "times per day" powers (that come from things like a wizard's school or cleric's domain, for example) use them?

Again this is a trust issue. If I have flagged you as a problem player or if I am running in a non-local convention setting I might track this level of information. I have been known to track current HPs of a character and confirm it in combat when there might be fudging involved.

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(7) How much do you care about skill checks? By which I mean, it seems unwieldy to write down every character's skills before the game starts, but when everybody at the table suddenly seems to have Knowledge (Engineering) right when the need arises, do you check?

If there is a vital skill check in the game I generally have PCs make this roll ahead of time. I commonly make 3x cars that list all of the information I need for a game. I ask for the modifiers for skills, initiative, saves and have the players pre-roll a number of d20s as appropriate. This can become a bit more complex when things like the tactics domain are used in play but these can be handled as exceptions.

Having this information up front prevents the everyone making every roll every time and keeps the mystery when there are occasions that PCs shouldn't even know what they rolled (like appraise checks).

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(8) This is a big one. What do you do with players who don't own the Additional Resources they use to build their characters in Hero Lab at all, quite proudly in fact, much less bring along hard copies or print outs of watermarked pdfs? What if there were three or four local GMs and you were the only one who cared?

If they are new they get warned. If they are not new they get to choose to play a pregen or play their PC without the abilities that they do not have the documentation for.

****

Christopher, based on the posts you've been making recently, it seems like you're the kind of guy who takes rules very seriously. This is not a bad thing. However, PFS is on the honor system precisely because there are so many people doing things in so many different ways that there will inevitably be some problems.

My advice to you is that you should enforce any rules that it becomes your place to enforce. You don't need to go looking for rules violations, but once you see one, you should speak up. It's a lot like the forum clarifications--you have to honor them if you're aware of them, but you aren't obligated to go looking for them, either.

To a few of your specific questions:
1. Routine audits take a lot of time and, in general, simply aren't necessary. If there's something suspect about the character, explain an audit and then do one. Otherwise don't sweat it.
3. If the player doesn't have her chronicles with her, she can play a pregen. The keeping of chronicles is not optional. If other GMs don't seem to care, okay, she can go play with them. But you should not let this slide, in my opinion.
4. Falls under #1.
6. Not unless someone gives me a reason. I have better things to do.
7. If you call for a skill check and you think people are cheating, just stand up and lean over and look at their sheets. No need for a full audit, and certainly no need to write everything down.
8. As Eric said, give them a warning, then stop allowing it. If the other GMs don't enforce it, that doesn't mean you shouldn't.

As regards your VC, if he's not responding to your emails, move up the ladder, presumably to Mike Brock. Just explain that you're having trouble reaching your VC and could he give you a hand. If your VC has legit stuff to deal with in his life you aren't going to get him in trouble, but I don't think he's supposed to just ignore his email for a few months without making alternate arrangements. (Yes, being a VC is a volunteer position, but it comes with both responsibilities and privileges; one can't simply blow off the former while keeping the latter.)

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Coraith

Hello. My name is Steven Huffstutler. I will be your GM today, if you have any questions or anything you think I should know about please tell me at an appropriate time like map drawing or before the briefing begins. I ask you to roll out in the open and respond in an organized fashioned when I call for Initative/saves/perception checks rather than all at once. I encourage anyone that would like to cheat to do so, I will respond in kind and as a GM I'm certainly better at it.

If you disagree with any of my rulings feel free to speak to me privately after the game unless it deals with an impending character death at which time I will be happy to take a moment to hear your concerns. If you would like to be assigned to a different table due to your dislike of me or what you perceive as my play style please let me know. If you would like to leave the table mid combat due to unforeseen difficulties(other than a medical emergency) please be aware I will try to get your character out alive from the scenario but there are no sure bets. Lets begin and good luck.

That is an approximation of my beginning blurb to the players.

As to the person showing up without sheets, if they sit down at your table you can give them a freebie with a warning that you will let them play this time but next time they will be ineligible for play at your table unless they have their chronicles with them.

As to an Audit of a persons character. They do not have to submit to one at any time for any table GM. You have the option of asking them to leave your table and they have the option of sitting somewhere else. As someone has said before it is not the GMs job to be the police that is why we have Venture Captains and Lieutenants for, they get to be the bad guys so everyone else can have fun.

For your concern about people using materials they do not own. If it's something minor like a trait I usually let it slide. If it is a piece of equipment, feat, or spell that you are not familiar with you should ask to see the description. You do not have to accept the PRD or d20pfsrd, and can call for the player using the questionable material to show you their copy/.pdf.

I hope this helps you in some way.

Sovereign Court ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Dragnmoon wrote:
Blah blah blah...

Don't listen to Dragnmoon. He's always trying to get everyone's s%@! together. d-:

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Coraith wrote:

I encourage anyone that would like to cheat to do so, I will respond in kind and as a GM I'm certainly better at it.

.....
If you would like to be assigned to a different table due to your dislike of me or what you perceive as my play style please let me know.

You actually say those things?

If I were at your table for the first time and you said that first line, I'd be terrified that if I did something you didn't you didn't like then you'd assume I was "cheating" and then retaliate.

If I were at your table for the first time and you said the second line, I'd probably wonder just how common it is for people to get so fed up with the way you GM that they resorted to bailing out, to the point that you decided it was common enough that you should mention it up front.

If I were a new player, your little speech would scare me away from the game forever.

**

If a GM wants to audit 6 PCs at a table even at only +/-5 minutes per, I'd ask them why they want to waste so much of the game slot doing audits.

We came to play, not do accounting. There is enough wasted time during game slots already without adding a half hour of essentially non-game time.

If something is fishy on a PC, it is obvious through play. A GM asking for clarification on the existence of owned resources or the *existence* of all PC chronicle sheets during a slot is perfectly fine. Anything more than that is wasting the other players' time.

Auditing does not belong during a game slot. Period. If the GM is convinced that a player is cheating so badly that it interrupts the game, then I could see a diversion for THAT PC - but even then not time for a full audit while everyone else waits.

Making players sit for a half hour at the beginning of a slot waiting for the GM to correct everyone's math? I'd rather watch reality TV. (and I hate reality TV)

I also wonder why a GM would want to waste their own time. It is not solely the GMs job to police the game.

The other players are just as responsible for policing other players as the GM is. If something is wrong with a PC, someone will notice and it is their responsibility to point it out to the player (and I have done so as a player more so than as a GM - in fact, never as a GM and only as a player).

The day we start making audits S.O.P. during the game slots is the day I look to another game system or group. See one of my previous posts about playing under suspicion.

If you want to audit everything I have/do/am do it on your own time, not the table's.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Some Random Player wrote:
...stuff...

I had a GM at gencon this year audit everyone at the table. What he did is take your character sheet and chronicles, and do a once-over. Check we were summing gold, and not just putting down "Belt of dex +2 -> 1,000gp" and things like that. It honestly took around 4 minutes for a 6 person table. I had no problem with it, and we proceeded to have a great game afterwards. One of the many good GMs I had at the event.

"Audit" can mean many things.

Dark Archive ****

1-7 At our local games, I rarely audit, and in those times I do it's because a player insists his character has something I'm sure his character cannot have (past examples include a large sized weapon and 7000+ gp of gear on a 1st level character). Daily uses of anything including spells, I only bring into question on their 5th use or so, then I just ask them how many they have left, and if the number seems to high I ask them why. Nothing else hear really comes up.

8 is a fun one for me though, as I see it constantly. My rule here is as long as the player can tell me the book and page number his resource is from, and that resource is a pdf I own (and have on my laptop which I have every game) they are fine. If they bring their own copy, even better. As it stands, I'm only missing three books, and those are the newest. If they can't give me the book and page number, it's usually because they don't own or have ever seen the book and just used HeroLab or similar source. I've informed more than one player HeroLab isn't in the list of available resources. I've also informed more than one player that things from non-core resources that are legal for play are only legal for play when accompanied by a printed copy of the resource.

**

CRobledo wrote:
Some Random Player wrote:
...stuff...

I had a GM at gencon this year audit everyone at the table. What he did is take your character sheet and chronicles, and do a once-over. Check we were summing gold, and not just putting down "Belt of dex +2 -> 1,000gp" and things like that. It honestly took around 4 minutes for a 6 person table. I had no problem with it, and we proceeded to have a great game afterwards. One of the many good GMs I had at the event.

"Audit" can mean many things.

You and I don't disagree then. But some of the things being listed above for a full table cannot be completed in 4 minutes.

I'm all for accuracy, but even that has a time and place. An "audit" to me is more than simply checking to see that "Hackmaster +12" is not appropriate for character level.


I've never come across a character audit in what's probably getting on for 5 years of playing PFS. The closest its ever got is "How do you get you AC/skill-check etc. that high" then a 5 second explanation.

I've occasionally pointed out to GMs before games if there's any new or weird stuff I'll be trying, particularly if its stuff I'm not 100% sure how it works (post intra-session levelling normally).

I keep my own log of expended resources

I've also started designing characters based on minimising the number of bloody books I have to carry around with me...

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Coraith

Jiggy wrote:


You actually say those things?

If I were at your table for the first time and you said that first line, I'd be terrified that if I did something you didn't you didn't like then you'd assume I was "cheating" and then retaliate.

If I were at your table for the first time and you said the second line, I'd probably wonder just how common it is for people to get so fed up with the way you GM that they resorted to bailing out, to the point that you decided it was common enough that you should mention it up front.

If I were a new player, your little speech would scare me away from the game forever.

1. Yes, I say those things, usually also say something about working on the honor system.

2. Then you'd make sure not to cheat and avoid the retaliation all together.

3. But you'd also know that I'd do my best to take care of your character even if you wont.

4. You get afraid of some words said with a great deal of humor to the point you don't want to play pathfinder? You weren't going to make it as a pathfinder... You should probably thank me for saving you some time.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Coraith wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


You actually say those things?

If I were at your table for the first time and you said that first line, I'd be terrified that if I did something you didn't you didn't like then you'd assume I was "cheating" and then retaliate.

If I were at your table for the first time and you said the second line, I'd probably wonder just how common it is for people to get so fed up with the way you GM that they resorted to bailing out, to the point that you decided it was common enough that you should mention it up front.

If I were a new player, your little speech would scare me away from the game forever.

1. Yes, I say those things, usually also say something about working on the honor system.

2. Then you'd make sure not to cheat and avoid the retaliation all together.

Making a statement like what I quoted from you makes it sound like you're looking for cheater, and that simply not cheating would not guarantee safety from retaliation. Especially if I were new the PFS and didn't already know that most GMs are pretty cool.

Quote:
3. But you'd also know that I'd do my best to take care of your character even if you wont.

I don't doubt it, but I don't see anything implying this in your speech that you gave. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Quote:
4. You get afraid of some words said with a great deal of humor to the point you don't want to play pathfinder? You weren't going to make it as a pathfinder... You should probably thank me for saving you some time.

Wait, what? There was humor in there? Might want to edit in some smiles and chuckles to your text, then, because just reading what you wrote evokes images of a large, growl-voiced GM glaring down and cracking his knuckles.

**

I have had many of the quick "how did you do that?" or "how does that work?" things come up too, which I believe is how they should all be handled. But I have had some experience with (more or less) "real" audits too.

It has happened to me at a table three times, though none of them on/about my own PC, at least as a catalyst. One of them I pointed out an impossible bonus on someone's PC as another player (a younger player in a lower level game) and the GM (Chris M, I believe) stepped in and did an adjustment for the issue on the spot, with additional information exchanged with the player after the slot.

The other two were not warranted by anything since they occurred at cons and the GM didn't appear to know anyone at the table. Therefore, there was no "probable cause" as they say.

I'd say the average of both times was about 20-30 minutes and they both started at least 10 minutes after scheduled slot start times -- it was a con and it is often difficult to start on time anyway. One audit session left us scrambling in the last encounter. The other essentially prevented us from finishing the event. I'll never sit through audits during the slot again, whether it be mine or others' PCs.

I'd rather leave/find a different table or GM than perpetuate the micromanaging. There are just better uses of time to be made.

Funky Badger wrote:

I've never come across a character audit in what's probably getting on for 5 years of playing PFS. The closest its ever got is "How do you get you AC/skill-check etc. that high" then a 5 second explanation.

I've occasionally pointed out to GMs before games if there's any new or weird stuff I'll be trying, particularly if its stuff I'm not 100% sure how it works (post intra-session levelling normally).

I keep my own log of expended resources

I've also started designing characters based on minimising the number of bloody books I have to carry around with me...

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Coraith

Jiggy wrote:


Making a statement like what I quoted from you makes it sound like you're looking for cheater, and that simply not cheating would not guarantee safety from retaliation. Especially if I were new the PFS and didn't already know that most GMs are pretty cool.

Quote:
3. But you'd also know that I'd do my best to take care of your character even if you wont.

I don't doubt it, but I don't see anything implying this in your speech that you gave. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Quote:
4. You get afraid of some words said with a great deal of humor to the point you don't want to play pathfinder? You weren't going to make it as a pathfinder... You should probably thank me for saving you some time.
Wait, what? There was humor in there? Might want to edit in some smiles and chuckles to your text, then, because just reading what you wrote evokes images of a large, growl-voiced GM glaring down and cracking his knuckles.

I am ALWAYS looking for a cheater. I am skilled enough to pick out people cheating from people just making mistakes, but as a GM it's my job to make sure everyone is following the rules.

I clearly say "If you would like to leave the table mid combat due to unforeseen difficulties(other than a medical emergency) please be aware I will try to get your character out alive from the scenario but there are no sure bets."

If you wanna come sit at my table you will notice I am a Growl-voiced GM glaring down at people, I also frequently crack my knuckles... I don't add happy faces and what not to a forum posts cause I'm not a 14 year old who desires to let everyone know I'm playing around. Its not important, what is important is the blurb, which I was giving to inspire him to make his own blurb.

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Coraith

Anyways Mr. Rowe sorry for the derail, but it is your table you can run it how you like. People don't have to play at it if they don't want and you don't have to let people sit at it that you don't want.

I have a GM who's table I do not appreciate sitting at, wont do it unless there is no other choice and even then I double check all rules as they come down.

*****

Coraith wrote:


I am ALWAYS looking for a cheater.

Joking or not ... that is a poor attitude to have ...and makes me a little sad


Coraith wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


Making a statement like what I quoted from you makes it sound like you're looking for cheater, and that simply not cheating would not guarantee safety from retaliation. Especially if I were new the PFS and didn't already know that most GMs are pretty cool.

Quote:
3. But you'd also know that I'd do my best to take care of your character even if you wont.

I don't doubt it, but I don't see anything implying this in your speech that you gave. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I am ALWAYS looking for a cheater. I am skilled enough to pick out people cheating from people just making mistakes, but as a GM it's my job to make sure everyone is following the rules.

I'm with Jiggy here. Maybe you are skilled enough and cautious enough to never err on the side of thinking someone is cheating if they're not, but if I don't know you I don't know that. Someone who's always looking for cheating might find it even when it isn't there.

If you think I'm cheating, tell me. Let me defend myself. Kick me out of the game if you must. Don't escalate by cheating back at me.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Concur with those thinking this might be a bit extreme. For instance, think a level 1 character can't have +15 Diplomacy?

Wrong.

Theoretical sorcerer at level 1:
20 Charisma (18+2 racial): +5
Shadow Diplomacy Trait: +1, makes it a class skill
1 rank: +4, (+3 for the class skill)
Thrush familiar: +3 (Arcane bonded familiar using the Arcane bloodline)
Gift of tongues: +1 (Gnome racial trait)
Religious Pilgrim: +1 (Feat)

Total: +15 Diplomacy

Admittedly, you have to be specialized...but not THAT much. I came close to that at level 1, even if I didn't go quite so whole hog.

*****

Netopalis wrote:

Concur with those thinking this might be a bit extreme. For instance, think a level 1 character can't have +15 Diplomacy?

Wrong.

Theoretical sorcerer at level 1:
20 Charisma (18+2 racial): +5
Shadow Diplomacy Trait: +1, makes it a class skill
1 rank: +4, (+3 for the class skill)
Thrush familiar: +3 (Arcane bonded familiar using the Arcane bloodline)
Gift of tongues: +1 (Gnome racial trait)
Religious Pilgrim: +1 (Feat)

Total: +15 Diplomacy

Admittedly, you have to be specialized...but not THAT much. I came close to that at level 1, even if I didn't go quite so whole hog.

Honestly you can have +19 with a human, using Persuasive and Skill Focus as your feats and Illuminator as your trait instead of Shadow Diplomacy. But your point is still a very good one--it's always better to ask the player to explain how they got it than to assume cheating. If you ask it in a "hey, that's awesome you got so much diplomacy! let me in on your secret" kind of way, many players enjoy explaining it.

***

Christopher Rowe wrote:
Stuff

1) Just because you can do an audit does not mean that you should do an audit. If the players are unaware of them, you can point out the provisions for them in the Guide to Organized Play.

2) The basic things to look for on a character sheet are if the ability scores and HP have been correctly calculated. This is much easier if you can simply glimpse at an array and see if there is a problem (either way). I have played with players who mistakenly had an extra point of Strength or Dexterity as well as those who whose PCs were only built on 17-18 points by their ability scores.
If you have serious reason to suspect a problem, chances are it has to do with character wealth. That means effectively calling the player out for cheating, so be tactful about how you conduct that audit. And discuss things with the local Venture officers (if possible) about what to do with such a player.

3) If a player is engaging in OP games (which PFS is), he or she is required to abide by the rules of it. Not reporting events is troublesome to Paizo, but not keeping Chronicles means that there is no hard copy track of the character's legitimacy.

4) Yes, but I would caution any judge on which kind of players need this treatment. Many players won't see a problem with this, but I've never checked them off as the PC cast them. My concern has always been to curtail (almost always newer) players who feel a need to somehow always have 'just the right spell' at hand and memorized.

5) I have never had a Summoner at any of the tables which I have judged attempt to ride his or her eidolon. Seeing as how an eidolon is effectively shaped to the Summoner's will, I would think (thematically) that an eidolon purposely used as a mount would have been shaped to allow riding (unlike every single animal ever!). I need to review the rules on this one if I am going to continue to be honest.

6) I just pay attention. It gets difficult if the table has the dreaded seven players, but if at any time you are unclear, ask. Most judges will ask clerics about how many channels they have used or have left at some point during a scenario, especially if the cleric has to burst in consecutive rounds.

7) I have never had a problem with players cheating in regards to which skills they have selected (and that covers over 150 games for four different OP campaigns). Sometimes the players have the skills needed. Things like Perception and Diplomacy should never surprise the judge. When the Half-Orc Sorcerer with INT 8 has max ranks in Sleight of Hand and (seemingly) another skill...yes, it is time to check the character sheet. But that can be done in game, and quickly. Just correct the error (if there is one) and get back to the actual playing.

8) I personally think that the requirement to have the book on hand (rather than simply being able to access the rule via tablet, smart phone, etc.) is BS. I get that we are all supposed to buy the books to support the company (and that is what most of us do), but I have a real and desperate feeling that a roleplaying game should never be one where the player can buy his or her way to a better character. That is what 40K and Magic: The Gathering are about.
Having written that, the campaign is quite clear on what is required for players to make use of additional materials. If the players cannot comply with those rules and you are of the mind to enforce them as strictly as possible, the consequences should already be understood.

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Coraith

I find it amazing everyone that has quoted me assumes I just "Oh I see you managed to roll two natural 20s, time for that NPC to take full attacks on you roll all nat 20s and confirm on all nat 20s. Of course that person MUST be cheating." Couldn't possibly record things as we play, confirm on their sheets, and give them warnings before taking any actions on their characters. I must just on a whim determine people are cheating... its more fun that way. /sarcasm

At the local shop we have had two people cheat. One by rolling 18-20s on every combat round. To combat this we gathered information on them, talked among us GMs, and then finally mentioned it to that player. They no longer play with us. The other just cued up their rolls before their turn and was inconsistent in applying the modifiers to dice in the same way each time. They would figure out the AC of the creature and then apply their modifiers in such a way to maximize the number of hits. I just pulled this person aside and told them if they continued to do this the AC of the monster would be neigh impossible to hit. They now declare which dice is their 1st through X attacks and apply modifiers correctly.

The threat that cheating will be severely punished is enough of a deterrent to keep people from doing it. I am vigilant about it, everyone should be, doesn't mean you have to check their sheet every time they roll a dice. If someone is cheating its fairly noticeable. A level 1 character that attacks a creature and gets a 35 to hit... Could you break that down for me, oh you can, everything checks out... Awesome! congratulations you hit, roll damage. If they do it every turn of combat in a scenario... something may not be quite legal and I'll want to do a more in depth check, if somethings wrong you inform them of it. Next week if they sit down at another persons table and do the same things, pull that GM aside and inform them of it. They have been warned to fix something(if something is indeed wrong) and failed to do so. Absentmindedness maybe, cheating... could be that too.

Point being always keeping a look out for cheaters will keep people honest, especially if they know you are looking for them.

I have said all I need to say on this and will not be changing my point of view on the matter as I am certain it is the correct one for me. Jiggy and Purple I respect that you may view it as an overly harsh method to ensure compliance with a no cheating environment and when you come play at the local shop I'll be glad to talk with you about it and let you influence how I run my tables, but until that time; I am going to stick with what works.

*

Thanks so much for all the responses. I'm still thinking about what I'll do, though writing the local Venture Captain again is certainly on my to-do list.

Really, the three biggest issues I'm having, I believe, are these: (1) the Chronicles not being kept/tracked, (2) willful ignorance of and/or ignoring of certain rules, like the mounted combat/ride skill rules as applied to eidolons, and, by far the biggest, (3) the, yes, prideful flouting of the requirement to have legal copies of the Additional Resources or even the Core Assumption materials.

Anyway, as intimated, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Right now, I'm thinking that next time I GM, I'll start out by showing everyone a copy of the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play and reminding everyone that it outlines the rules of the game that we're playing, and that there's a word for people who don't play by the rules.

I'll pretty much leave it at that for now. Except for enforcing the Ride rules. ;)

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Ok...first of all, changing the monster's AC is EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.

Second of all - unless you know *how* the player was cheating (loaded dice, for instance), retaliation is improper because you don't know for a fact that they are cheating.

Third, I have never seen anybody attempt that sort of switcharoo at any table I have been at. The simplest solution is to just watch the player roll the die and see the result - it's not that difficult. If the modifier keeps changing during the game, ask what the modifier is and why.

Shadow Lodge ** Star Voter 2014

Netopalis wrote:

Ok...first of all, changing the monster's AC is EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.

Second of all - unless you know *how* the player was cheating (loaded dice, for instance), retaliation is improper because you don't know for a fact that they are cheating.

Third, I have never seen anybody attempt that sort of switcharoo at any table I have been at. The simplest solution is to just watch the player roll the die and see the result - it's not that difficult. If the modifier keeps changing during the game, ask what the modifier is and why.

See, the guy gave you two cases where after a good amount of investigation he (and several other people) concluded that the players were, in fact, cheating and you're lecturing him about how he shouldn't arbitrarily accuse someone of cheating. I'm a little confused by this... It seems you may have skimmed over his mention of the evidence that convinced him that the players were cheating. He did precisely what you're "suggesting" that he do, so you might want to back off of the guy a bit. You sure seem to make a lot of assumptions about Coraith not paying attention at his own tables...

Also, just because you've never seen a variant of cheating doesn't mean people don't do it.

I am neutral on the AC call though. Your point makes sense, but that kind of response to cheating has the advantage of not being as confrontational, keeps the game going, and doesn't spill side effects of cheating into the rest of combat. Personally, I'd probably ban them from my tables if the warning didn't stick rather than wasting their time.

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Coraith

Netopalis wrote:

Ok...first of all, changing the monster's AC is EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.

Second of all - unless you know *how* the player was cheating (loaded dice, for instance), retaliation is improper because you don't know for a fact that they are cheating.

Third, I have never seen anybody attempt that sort of switcharoo at any table I have been at. The simplest solution is to just watch the player roll the die and see the result - it's not that difficult. If the modifier keeps changing during the game, ask what the modifier is and why.

1. Cheating is also EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.

2. We kept records. 90% of rolls over the course of 4 sessions with 3 different GMs in the range of 18-20 before open rolls enforced, after open rolling enforced began rolling average. Enough to get you kicked out of any casino in Vegas.
3. You are lucky and we began enforcing open rolls due to the high roller but as anyone can tell you, you cant see every dice being rolled.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

I don't know what sort of information he gathered, but it looks to me like this:

Poster: "He keeps rolling 18-20s every time!"
GM2: "Yeah, he does the same to me!"
GM3: "And the same at my tables!"

And that was the information he relies on. I mean, I don't really know what sort of other information could be adduced regarding a player who has suspiciously high rolls. If he doesn't know how these rolls are happening, though, confronting the player is inappropriate.

As for the monster's AC and the modifiers thing...it could be different attacks, or different combinations of attacks or whatever. I am sometimes surprised when I hear a modifier being claimed - but it does generally check out. That is why I suggested talking rather than acting.

And yes, I haven't seen all forms of cheating...I just find that each of these stories could have a perfectly legitimate explanation that doesn't involve anybody cheating. I apply Occam's Razor as a GM.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Coraith wrote:
Netopalis wrote:

Ok...first of all, changing the monster's AC is EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.

Second of all - unless you know *how* the player was cheating (loaded dice, for instance), retaliation is improper because you don't know for a fact that they are cheating.

Third, I have never seen anybody attempt that sort of switcharoo at any table I have been at. The simplest solution is to just watch the player roll the die and see the result - it's not that difficult. If the modifier keeps changing during the game, ask what the modifier is and why.

1. Cheating is also EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.

2. We kept records. 90% of rolls over the course of 4 sessions with 3 different GMs in the range of 18-20 before open rolls enforced, after open rolling enforced began rolling average. Enough to get you kicked out of any casino in Vegas.
3. You are lucky and we began enforcing open rolls due to the high roller but as anyone can tell you, you cant see every dice being rolled.

Cheating is expressly forbidden in the rules, yes. The rules lay out your potential remedies. Modifying a monster's AC is not among them. Why?

A) You potentially hurt other, non-cheating players at the table.
B) It is an arbitrary modification that may or may not overpower the effects complained about.
C) Most importantly, you are the GM. You are not a player. Ergo, you are held to a higher standard of rules applicability. You are supposed to be above all of this.

*

So, his own observations, as confirmed by two independent witnesses, are codswallop? I don't know exactly what you're trying to say here Netopalis.


Coraith wrote:

I find it amazing everyone that has quoted me assumes I just "Oh I see you managed to roll two natural 20s, time for that NPC to take full attacks on you roll all nat 20s and confirm on all nat 20s. Of course that person MUST be cheating." Couldn't possibly record things as we play, confirm on their sheets, and give them warnings before taking any actions on their characters. I must just on a whim determine people are cheating... its more fun that way. /sarcasm

At the local shop we have had two people cheat. One by rolling 18-20s on every combat round. To combat this we gathered information on them, talked among us GMs, and then finally mentioned it to that player. They no longer play with us. The other just cued up their rolls before their turn and was inconsistent in applying the modifiers to dice in the same way each time. They would figure out the AC of the creature and then apply their modifiers in such a way to maximize the number of hits. I just pulled this person aside and told them if they continued to do this the AC of the monster would be neigh impossible to hit. They now declare which dice is their 1st through X attacks and apply modifiers correctly.

The threat that cheating will be severely punished is enough of a deterrent to keep people from doing it. I am vigilant about it, everyone should be, doesn't mean you have to check their sheet every time they roll a dice. If someone is cheating its fairly noticeable. A level 1 character that attacks a creature and gets a 35 to hit... Could you break that down for me, oh you can, everything checks out... Awesome! congratulations you hit, roll damage. If they do it every turn of combat in a scenario... something may not be quite legal and I'll want to do a more in depth check, if somethings wrong you inform them of it. Next week if they sit down at another persons table and do the same things, pull that GM aside and inform them of it. They have been warned to fix something(if something is indeed wrong) and failed to do so....

That description is great and sounds like a good way to handle it. What you said in your initial post, paraphrased as "If you cheat I will cheat back and screw you", is entirely different and would scare me off if I didn't know you .

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Netopalis wrote:
Third, I have never seen anybody attempt that sort of switcharoo at any table I have been at.

(raises hand) Sadly, I have.

There's a type of player out there who is risk-adverse and doesn't like it when his character is in danger. And he does what he can to help things along.

One of the most common happens when a PC has several attacks at different Attack Bonuses. (Like iterative attacks, or attacks with primary and secondary natural weapons, or ... whatever.) The player guesses the AC that he's shooting for, rolls all the dice at the same time, and then collects the dice either (a) so that the lower Attack Bonus rolls use higher dice results to compensate, or (b) the lower Attack Bonus rolls get the really low dice results.

Sometimes the GM has to tell a player to roll each attack individually. It slows things down, but -- unless the player voluntarily color-codes his dice -- it's the solution.

Shadow Lodge ** Star Voter 2014

Netopalis wrote:

I don't know what sort of information he gathered, but it looks to me like this:

Poster: "He keeps rolling 18-20s every time!"
GM2: "Yeah, he does the same to me!"
GM3: "And the same at my tables!"

And that was the information he relies on. I mean, I don't really know what sort of other information could be adduced regarding a player who has suspiciously high rolls. If he doesn't know how these rolls are happening, though, confronting the player is inappropriate.

As for the monster's AC and the modifiers thing...it could be different attacks, or different combinations of attacks or whatever. I am sometimes surprised when I hear a modifier being claimed - but it does generally check out. That is why I suggested talking rather than acting.

And yes, I haven't seen all forms of cheating...I just find that each of these stories could have a perfectly legitimate explanation that doesn't involve anybody cheating. I apply Occam's Razor as a GM.

I'm glad you have faith in people, but as a personal witness to the cheating in question, I'm afraid I must tell you that you're wrong on this call. I played with that person several times, and he rolled dice under the table, and when asked to do it on top of the table, he made a scene and then deliberately bought dice that were hard to read, and still constantly rolled 18-20. And as a player I can say this behavior took the fun out of the scenario. I am glad that Coraith and the other GMs at our store stood up to this person on a regular basis, and I am glad he doesn't play at our store anymore.

If that's not good enough for you, then the only thing I can say is that it may seem that he wasn't actually cheating because you weren't there to see it.

It's really not productive to relentlessly assume that a GM is being a dick for no reason after being given evidence of the contrary.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston , Marathon Voter 2014 aka Netopalis

Ah, well, if it was that obvious, then I concede the point. Based on the post, I didn't think there was any evidence more than "always rolls 18-20" and "other GMs had same experience."

I still think that raising monster AC, though, is a poor reaction to a cheating player. Make them roll in the open, boot them or report them, but don't prejudice the other players at the table due to one player's poor behavior.

****

Christopher Rowe wrote:
(3) the, yes, prideful flouting of the requirement to have legal copies of the Additional Resources or even the Core Assumption materials.

Again, the core assumption is assumed. You don't need to police it and players don't actually need to own it. It's the additional resources that need to be presented at the table.

Coraith wrote:
1. Cheating is also EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.

Oh? Where?

*****

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

Unreadable dice, people actually moving a die after it's been rolled, people doing fuzzy math on their hit points, never running out of smite evils, spells, potions, scrolls, wand charges. I've seen it all, and mostly... I don't care. Why? Because that's what those people need in order to have fun. I can still have fun as the GM, especially when they're cheating and still not that good. :-)

(see avatar)

Liberty's Edge *

If you find a player cheating - don't play with them.
Do not respond with more breaking of the rules. It sets a bad example for other players. If you are comfortable enough to threaten a player with 'high ac', then you should be comfortable enough to tell a cheating player to stop cheating or leave the table.

You have the right to tell a person they can not play at your table.

*****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Coraith wrote:
1. Cheating is also EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.
Oh? Where?

Page 21 of the GtPFSOP.

Quote:
Do not falsify rolls, do not falsify your chronicle results, and do not add mysterious new items to your inventory. Do not lie to a GM under any circumstances.

*****

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

I find that many of peoples' questions would be answered if they'd just RTFM.

****

Kyle Baird wrote:

Page 21 of the GtPFSOP.

Quote:
Do not falsify rolls, do not falsify your chronicle results, and do not add mysterious new items to your inventory. Do not lie to a GM under any circumstances.

Well, shucks. I wasn't thinking about the Guide. I even searched the PRD before I posted to make sure there wasn't something tucked into the opening chapters. Then I was going to dispute "implied by having a ruleset" vs "expressly stated," because I'm pedantic like that.

Way to ruin my pointlessly snotty fun with your encyclopedic knowledge, Kyle. :P

1 to 50 of 121 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / General Discussion / Local culture vs. PFS culture, or, am I just asking about "table variance?" All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.