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Handling of changing rules: Why has it been getting harsher?


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

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I have been trying to phrase a post like this for a while, especially since the last Adventurer's Guide updates, but I figure putting something out rather than trying to be perfect is probably warranted.

I've been playing Pathfinder Society since 2009, and it's obvious that there has been significant player growth in that time. There have been several distinct times when rules have changed, and how these rules changes have been handled.

However, one thing that is strange is that the handling of these changes has been getting stricter, and definitely more of a burden to the players affected by them.

In the beginning, there was 3.5. When the Core Rulebook was released, everyone was forced to rebuild with a fixed player wealth. This did mean that players who were consistently playing up were slightly disadvantaged, but back then, there were fewer than 10000 players, so the number of affected people was pretty low.

Fast-forward a few years, and Ultimate Magic was released. It included several archetypes that were considered by Paizo too disruptive to remain in the game, most notably the Synthesist Summoner and the Vivisectionist Alchemist. At this point, a free, full rebuild was mandated to handle this.

With the release of the Inner Sea World Guide, several items and prestige classes were no longer available. These were grandfathered in for characters who had already taken them.

Shortly afterwards, Ultimate Equipment was released, and with it, the staves in the Advanced Players Guide were made unavailable (as they were incorrectly costed). However, characters who already had them were able to continue using them, without paying any surcharge.

When items later changed (some after a temporary hiatus, like Bracers of Falcon's Aim), they were able to be sold back at full cost.

The release of Pathfinder Unchained offered several options: partial (class-level-only) rebuilds were offered to characters of the Summoner, Rogue, Barbarian and Monk classes, while grandfathering was available to Summoners who had already advanced past their first level.

In each of these cases, the impression that Paizo was portraying was "If you've legally built a character, we won't disadvantage you when new material becomes available". I'm not sure whether or not this was the officially stated, but I personally trusted them on this. There are, even now, a few options where two printings have different rules text, and they are currently both legal.

As an aside, there is often the statement that "People who visit the messageboards are a vocal minority amoung Pathfinder Society players". This may be the case, but these same people also get cast as bearers of bad news when Campaign Leadership does something unpopular. We should not be ignored because "we are a vocal minority".

The release and subsequent rulings regarding changes in the Adventurer's Guide throws all of this out the window. We have several archetypes (including an archetype that is flavoured to be Pathfinder Society-specific) that are getting substantially changed and several items are being weakened. And the handling of this by our Campaign Leadership seems to be harsh, almost punitive, leaving players with characters that are in some cases ineffective, in some cases significantly weakened from no fault of their own.

I do not feel comfortable going to my local group and telling them that the characters who were previously legal now need some leadership-decreed modification, and I am worried that future changes will be similarly handled.

Is it possible for our Campaign Leadership to let us know if this handling of changes will be the new norm? Or better, to reverse their decisions regarding the Adventurer's Guide and officially state what they had previously implied: "If you've legally built a character, we won't disadvantage you when new material becomes available."

Shadow Lodge *****

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I think an important datapoint is missing. When slashing grace got the errata people effected got full? Nearly full rebuilds.

The Exchange ***

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Several of my characters are walking errata abominations. I don't play many of them now because it too much a headache to deal with.

I liked the old guide errata rules.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka UndeadMitch

As a point, characters affected by the UM archetypes that got removed only got to retrain levels of the classes affected. Not really a full rebuild. Items changed from AG are still able to be sold back for full.

Shadow Lodge *****

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I think an important datapoint is missing. When slashing grace got the errata people effected got full? Nearly full rebuilds.

I wish. I've still got a character trying to recover from that debacle, but every possible mitigation keeps getting left out of Additional Resources.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Have you looked at the composition of the team between then and now?

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

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In Dutch we've got a saying: "Zachte Heelmeesters maken stinkende wonden", which roughly translates as: "Gentile healers cause stinking wounds.".

Characters used to retire, so grandfathering would only last a couple of sessions (max 33). With slow play, play above tier 11, and people 'banking' characters, any grandfathered option will fester the campaign till the end of days.

I believe in fair rebuilds, but these are very hard to codify. (Hmm, don't like my ninja any more, I'll just add one level of lorewarden and do a total rebuild!)

****

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Auke Teeninga wrote:
I believe in fair rebuilds, but these are very hard to codify. (Hmm, don't like my ninja any more, I'll just add one level of lorewarden and do a total rebuild!)

That's an interesting point. However, I don't see what's wrong with being more liberal with rebuilds.

The fact is that when rules change, someone at Paizo has made a mistake, either by printing something unbalanced, or by allowing such an option to be added to the Additional Resources.

With previous changes, I don't recall anyone constructing their character to "take advantage" of an upcoming rebuild as you describe.

I would rather give one hundred characters free rebuilds based on a shaky premise than leave one character worse off due to changes adversely affecting the character.

*****

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Mekkis wrote:
I would rather give one hundred characters free rebuilds based on a shaky premise than leave one character worse off due to changes adversely affecting the character.

Because you wouldn't abuse them. If everyone was like that, we would have fewer problems in the campaign.

As to Paizo making "mistakes" by letting overpowered rules into the campaign: the simple solution is, nothing gets sanctioned for PFS until it's been in the wild for a year. Then any bad apples will become evident, and it will never be a problem in PFS - no rebuilds required. Somehow I don't expect that to fly, either with players or with Paizo's management who know that 80,000+ players all buying a book when it comes out is a good thing.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Mekkis wrote:
I would rather give one hundred characters free rebuilds based on a shaky premise than leave one character worse off due to changes adversely affecting the character.

Because you wouldn't abuse them. If everyone was like that, we would have fewer problems in the campaign.

As to Paizo making "mistakes" by letting overpowered rules into the campaign: the simple solution is, nothing gets sanctioned for PFS until it's been in the wild for a year. Then any bad apples will become evident, and it will never be a problem in PFS - no rebuilds required. Somehow I don't expect that to fly, either with players or with Paizo's management who know that 80,000+ players all buying a book when it comes out is a good thing.

However, if it comes to the point where folks *aren't* buying things because it takes a year+ for things to be sanctioned and they are waiting to buy the items, that might make for an interesting data point?

Paizo Employee ***** Organized Play Lead Developer

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Mekkis wrote:
I would rather give one hundred characters free rebuilds based on a shaky premise than leave one character worse off due to changes adversely affecting the character.

Because you wouldn't abuse them. If everyone was like that, we would have fewer problems in the campaign.

As to Paizo making "mistakes" by letting overpowered rules into the campaign: the simple solution is, nothing gets sanctioned for PFS until it's been in the wild for a year. Then any bad apples will become evident, and it will never be a problem in PFS - no rebuilds required. Somehow I don't expect that to fly, either with players or with Paizo's management who know that 80,000+ players all buying a book when it comes out is a good thing.

However, if it comes to the point where folks *aren't* buying things because it takes a year+ for things to be sanctioned and they are waiting to buy the items, that might make for an interesting data point?

While that would be an interesting data point, I am not interested in instigating a policy that I believe would result in negative feedback and reduced sales for the sake of Science(TM).

Shadow Lodge *****

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First no uranium volleyball and now THIS


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I mean seriously, there can't be that many lore wardens.

Shadow Lodge *****

I don't know if its been getting harsher, or just that things that are (or are planned as) less central to a characters build are getting released instead of big fundamental keystones that absolutely can't be removed.

***

Mekkis wrote:
I would rather give one hundred characters free rebuilds based on a shaky premise than leave one character worse off due to changes adversely affecting the character.

I am glad I do not have to differentiate between the one player who wouldn't abuse this and the 100 who would. Synthesists, aasimar factories, peacock-something-or-other: I am looking at you!

In my experience, a character who is that adversely affected by a ruling change, is not that fun to play with. (Please note 'character' not 'player' :) Even honest players making an honest character using a unbalanced/broken/oversight rule, manages to upset the rest of the game's balance. That affects the rest of the table's builds (and--in my opinion--fun).

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GM Lamplighter wrote:
Mekkis wrote:
I would rather give one hundred characters free rebuilds based on a shaky premise than leave one character worse off due to changes adversely affecting the character.

Because you wouldn't abuse them. If everyone was like that, we would have fewer problems in the campaign.

Do you honestly think that a person who's going to abuse a "free rebuild" is going to care about whether the "free rebuild" is actually legal? It's nigh impossible to prove that a player has rebuilt their character between sessions anyway. If this much abuse is really going to happen, it's already happening.

Pathfinder Society is already based on the assumption that people aren't going to be jerks.

Curaigh wrote:
In my experience, a character who is that adversely affected by a ruling change, is not that fun to play with. (Please note 'character' not 'player' :) Even honest players making an honest character using a unbalanced/broken/oversight rule, manages to upset the rest of the game's balance. That affects the rest of the table's builds (and--in my opinion--fun).

I don't disagree that some character types that have been later disallowed were not fun to play with. I built a Synthesist Summoner at the onset of Season Three, and was very glad when they disallowed the archetype and gave me the opportunity to rebuild him into someone who I could have more fun playing.

Disallowing or modifying archetypes that break the game is not a bad thing. It takes balls to admit that you made a mistake.

However, I don't believe that forcing players to continue to play a character they don't like is conducive to good management. Either allow them to continue to play the character unmodified (grandfathering), or be lenient with rebuilding so the player isn't left paying for your mistake.

Liberty's Edge *****

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I've lost track. What are the current rules for Lore Warden rebuilds, and where can we find them?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Curaigh wrote:
Mekkis wrote:
I would rather give one hundred characters free rebuilds based on a shaky premise than leave one character worse off due to changes adversely affecting the character.

I am glad I do not have to differentiate between the one player who wouldn't abuse this and the 100 who would. Synthesists, aasimar factories, peacock-something-or-other: I am looking at you!

In my experience, a character who is that adversely affected by a ruling change, is not that fun to play with. (Please note 'character' not 'player' :) Even honest players making an honest character using a unbalanced/broken/oversight rule, manages to upset the rest of the game's balance. That affects the rest of the table's builds (and--in my opinion--fun).

How was the Lore Warden unbalanced ?

It has been out for quite some time now. I honestly do not remember it being a target of calls for redesign but then I was quite out of the loop for a long time

If ANY component currently allowed can be negated tomorrow no matter its perceived innocuity, it creates a huge uncertainty for PFS players. Not sure how that helps PFS

Liberty's Edge **** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Indianapolis

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There are really two different issues here, as I see it.

The first is when the Pathfinder developers change a game component to the game itself. Sometimes a game component doesn't work as intended, sometimes a component requires clarification, and sometimes a component is just plain bad.

The second is when the Pathfinder Society team looks at a game component (class, archetype, equipment, feat, etc.) and how it impacts the Organized Play Campaign. This is a much trickier exercise. Having chaired the Additional Resources Task Force for two years (the team of VOs that reviews new publications and makes recommendations to the Team as to what should be included in the Additional Resources Document and what shouldn't) I can tell you that it's no easy task. You want to balance the inclusion of new material with the interests of the players (and GMs). What can be included that doesn't upset the balance? I don't envy John, Linda and the rest who make those decisions.

And, for all of the many players who do innocently pick up some item that turns out to be a game-breaker for everyone else, where that single player can steal the fun from everyone else, there are those players who deliberately build characters to exploit an unclear, vague, or otherwise ambiguous rule. There are. I've seen them. And so, when confronted with those issues, the Team has to decide what to do.

Yes, it doesn't feel good to build your character only to have the core of it taken away in a later FAQ or clarification. I am not going to argue that. But, for the overall health of the game, it is sometimes necessary.

And, on the question of things like grandfathering, rebuilds, etc. A number of people have demonstrated that when the Team tries to soften the blow, when they try to accommodate players, they just take advantage of the Teams generosity. Many may not remember the great Aasimar/Tiefling issue of a few years back, but when the Team said "hey, no more of these characters after a certain date unless they were played at a certain level before, and we do not expect people to now just run out and start making new characters in a rush to qualify for grandfathering" that's exactly what people did. They created a bunch of Aasimar or Tiefling characters, and ran them through speed runs of Master of the Fallen Fortress, doing exactly what the Team expressly indicated they didn't want them to do.

It's a no-win proposition. Someone will always be on the downside of one of these rules. And I don't think it's a result of a conscious decision by the team to be "harsh," nor do I think that is a remotely fair characterization of what they do.

The reality is that the vast, overwhelming majority of players options (classes, archetypes, equipment, feats, etc.) remain perfectly legal, as written, for Society play. I don't envision that ever changing. We are talking about an exceptionally small number of things which are either banned or changed or whatever, and an even smaller number being done so after the fact, where it impacts such a small number of characters. And yet, characters built with those items can have a tremendous impact on a single game table.

These decisions aren't designed to be punitive, but rather (as I see it) to help improve the overall play of the Organized Campaign.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

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Mark Stratton wrote:


And, on the question of things like grandfathering, rebuilds, etc. A number of people have demonstrated that when the Team tries to soften the blow, when they try to accommodate players, they just take advantage of the Teams generosity. Many may not remember the great Aasimar/Tiefling issue of a few years back, but when the Team said "hey, no more of these characters after a certain date unless they were played at a certain level before, and we do not expect people to now just run out and start making new characters in a rush to qualify for grandfathering" that's exactly what people did. They created a bunch of Aasimar or Tiefling characters, and ran them through speed runs of Master of the Fallen Fortress, doing exactly what the Team expressly indicated they didn't want them to do.

Except that is NOT what happened. I know that is now the accepted wisdom but that wisdom is flat out wrong.

What happened was that Paizo told us in advance that 1st level characters WOULD be grandfathered and that it was perfectly acceptable to create a "reasonable" number. They also REFUSED to answer the question several of us asked as to what "reasonable" was. Lots of speed runs then ensued (which got tptb SERIOUSLY irked, it seemed to be the speedruns that were the main issue) and then people got all pissy because their notion of "reasonable" (the one they'd refused to share) wasn't the same as others.

The whole Aasimar thing was a mistake that could easily have been avoided.

I'm firmly in the camp that believes rebuilds should be very liberal. The cheaters and abusers will cheat and abuse but that is a better cost than having honest players lose.

*****

As a different data point about 6 years ago when int 3 animal companions changed from not needing to be commanded to needing to be commanded there was no rebuild at all.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Pirate Rob wrote:
As a different data point about 6 years ago when int 3 animal companions changed from not needing to be commanded to needing to be commanded there was no rebuild at all.

That wasn't a change it was a clarification. Clarifications have a sliding mass of the whamhammer based on how powerful, obvious,build centric the rulings are. For example, double dipping dex on gunslingers was given a full point to the fences and swing "no rebuilds" but you were allowed to sell back +3 bows you bought with the expectations of werewolf hunting.

If you were relying on fluffy's 3 int instead of handle animal, you can get yourself up to a +9 with 1 rank and a 200gp item. Pretty easy to fix.

Liberty's Edge *****

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I have to admit that the Adventurer's Guide has made new grouchy for a couple of reasons. One is that I've got both a Lore Warden and an Enlightened Bloodrager, both of which are now in an uncertain status of not working and/or requiring the annoyance (at best) of a rebuild, as both archetypes have changed substantially.

I've got a couple of other fledgling characters that use archetypes from either Player's Companions or Campaign Settings. I'm thinking I should abandon them while they're still first level, and go to longstanding base classes from the hardback RPG line. Otherwise, I don't know which things the Pathfinder design team is going to decide to rewite for reprinting in a future hardback. Given that (as I understand it) the design team doesn't have much to do with rules that show up in the soft cover books, it doesn't seem reasonable to plan on those rules staying the same in PFS (where there is no possibility of houseruling an old version). Most all never be touched, but there's no way to know which ones will be noticed.

The Exchange ***

rknop wrote:
Given that (as I understand it) the design team doesn't have much to do with rules that show up in the soft cover books, it doesn't seem reasonable to plan on those rules staying the same in PFS (where there is no possibility of houseruling an old version). Most all never be touched, but there's no way to know which ones will be noticed.

Campaign Clarifications for softcovers: It's not Errata™

Silver Crusade *

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rknop wrote:
I've got a couple of other fledgling characters that use archetypes from either Player's Companions or Campaign Settings. I'm thinking I should abandon them while they're still first level, and go to longstanding base classes from the hardback RPG line. Otherwise, I don't know which things the Pathfinder design team is going to decide to rewite for reprinting in a future hardback. Given that (as I understand it) the design team doesn't have much to do with rules that show up in the soft cover books, it doesn't seem reasonable to plan on those rules staying the same in PFS (where there is no possibility of houseruling an old version). Most all never be touched, but there's no way to know which ones will be noticed.

Yup. The current nerf policy has seriously undermined my confidence in the product.

I cannot understand the difference between the way that Paizo treats hardcover product and softcover product. I expect the same standards of 'quality control' to apply throughout. Is that unreasonable? (I'm not at all suggesting that the softcover products are of lower quality; I am afraid that that's the message that I'm getting from PDTs deployment of the nerf bat though).

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Paul Jackson wrote:
What happened was that Paizo told us in advance that 1st level characters WOULD be grandfathered and that it was perfectly acceptable to create a "reasonable" number. They also REFUSED to answer the question several of us asked as to what "reasonable" was.

The listed example for unreasonable was ten. I sat down and made sure I had one extra tiefling and aasimar apiece. Some people did ten.

Sovereign Court *** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I can appreciate that Paizo doesn't want speedruns of anything. They want to make adventures that people play to enjoy that adventure itself, not as a necessary evil to grind enough XP.

I think with the lorewarden they've painted themselves into a corner. It's still allowed to make old-school lorewardens as long as the AG doesn't go live on the PRD. If they announce "when we finally put up AG on the PRD you can get a full retrain", that would open the door to slap a level of lorewarden on any old character you have that you no longer like or that has some other problem, and then just put it back into the fridge until the time is ripe. On the other hand, right now you've got a bunch of lore warden characters with no indication of when the axe might fall, and what will happen when it does.

My prediction: either lorewardens will get a very miserable retrain, or they'll get a full retrain but it'll be very sudden with no warning, "if you were a lorewarden before [today] you can retrain".

Dark Archive ***

I know I certainly see more then a few Aasimars and Tieflings floating around. There is still at least 1 chained summoner locally which is crazy since I've played with him close to half a dozen times in high tier. I don't believe that particular player has done any seeker content either so that character will be around for awhile yet. So that should add some flavor to the argument that grand fathering in reality leads to other issues. I don't know that this means the current response is harsher, but as a system nearly a decade in there are a lot more moving parts, and I think there is a lot more entropy in the system in the sense that just because of the number of options out there a lot more characters can have access to a problematic option then 4 or 5 years ago.
My reasoning there is that the original system was very much designed to be a single class favored system. And while that may still be true, between hybrid classes, feat options that open up multiclass combos, and archetypes that give hybrid like characters there are just a lot more routes to getting certain character options. Like say Dex to damage (at least before the erratas started).
Bottom line it leads to the possibility of more characters being affected (along with more characters existing then 5 or 6 years ago) and the affects being harder to anticipate.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
My prediction: either lorewardens will get a very miserable retrain, or they'll get a full retrain but it'll be very sudden with no warning, "if you were a lorewarden before [today] you can retrain".

I'm hoping for full rebuild if you had lorewarden levels before the release of the Adventurer's guide.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I can appreciate that Paizo doesn't want speedruns of anything. They want to make adventures that people play to enjoy that adventure itself, not as a necessary evil to grind enough XP.

I honestly don't understand why they'd care. People are using the products they've bought to maximize their enjoyment.

And speed runs are still a thing (and will remain so). Lots of Emerald Spire 1 runs where everybody has played/run it before intended to just get characters to level 2.

A huge part of why people do this, of course, is that level 1 is just no fun for so many characters. Many characters only become actually reasonably effective at level 2 or 3. Paizo inherited a lot of what caused that but they've added bunch more (investigators suck in combat at level 1, for example).

As long as everybody in the speed run is in the know I don't see an issue. Unknowingly joining a speed run would, indeed, suck.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Because the thing was banned because there were too many of the things in the game. Speed running 50 of the things effectively unbans them for some people.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I still have no clue about what criteria were used to assess that the Lorewarden needed heavy redesign, and thus zero way to predict which components are likely to be banned in the future

At least in most examples given of previous big changes that did affect builds, it was pretty easy to see how they could be unbalanced. In which case anyone using them knew that there was a high risk of a future nerf. Not so for the Lorewarden IMO.

So an honest assessment of something being rather balanced is not enough anymore and we can only make wild guesses about what lines the next design changes will follow. Reasonable anticipation does not work anymore

That is beyond frustrating

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Just because "speedruns" happen and are technically legal per RAW does not mean they are in the spirit of healthy gameplay or RAI. In fact, I would posit they run contrary to it. If one of my local locations scheduled a "speedrun" with the intention of simply farming a 3XP chronicle for those involved in the quickest possible time window, I would consider putting a stop to it. That is not the community I wish to see operating and not the way the game is played. Do something productive for those 3 XP. GM a mod or some scenarios for players who don't ordinarily get the play those events. Offer GM101/201 and teach some new GMs who will help spell you from time to time while earning those XP. Etc. I don't like/want to play 1st level PCs either, but I don't bastardize the system exploiting loopholes to get rewards either. Its just not healthy for the campaign.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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The Raven Black wrote:
How was the Lore Warden unbalanced?

I don't really think this is a relevant question anymore. Some say it was, some say it wasn't. Either way, the design/development team decided to make some changes to it and did so. Generally speaking, PFS follows the rules as published really only deviating when a game mechanic is not compatible with the logistics of OP. In this case, the compatibility of Lorewarden has nothing to do with it. The fact it changed just means we have to deal with the effect. That Paizo has not finalized how we are going to deal with it yet seems to show they are concerned with making the best decision possible for our community and that decision seems to be extremely hard to arrive at. In the end, some people are going to be unhappy. IMO that is unavoidable. I kinda wish they would just make a ruling, post to the AR and be done with it. The sooner we peel off the band-aide the sooner we can heal the wound and move on.

**

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The Raven Black wrote:

I still have no clue about what criteria were used to assess that the Lorewarden needed heavy redesign, and thus zero way to predict which components are likely to be banned in the future

At least in most examples given of previous big changes that did affect builds, it was pretty easy to see how they could be unbalanced. In which case anyone using them knew that there was a high risk of a future nerf. Not so for the Lorewarden IMO.

That's because it was a Fighter archetype. It was overpowered for a Fighter archetype but overpowered for a Fighter is still ridiculously mediocre. Also, its worth pointing out that most of the mechanics from that book are kind of on the strange side for Paizo.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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The Raven Black wrote:

I still have no clue about what criteria were used to assess that the Lorewarden needed heavy redesign, and thus zero way to predict which components are likely to be banned in the future

At least in most examples given of previous big changes that did affect builds, it was pretty easy to see how they could be unbalanced. In which case anyone using them knew that there was a high risk of a future nerf. Not so for the Lorewarden IMO.

So an honest assessment of something being rather balanced is not enough anymore and we can only make wild guesses about what lines the next design changes will follow. Reasonable anticipation does not work anymore

So, this is a Paizo Designer commenting on why the Lore Warden was unbalanced way back in 2013.

Sean K. Reynolds explains the Lore Warden's issues

*****

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As usual, SKR explained it very concisely. The CMB bonus is killer, and also explains why I didn't think it was unbalanced: I don't ever use combat maneuvers.

Liberty's Edge *****

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

The CMB/CMD bonus was pretty powerful, and much better than the armor training you give up for it. Still -- did people see CMB-abusive Lore Wardens out in the wild?

This could also have been fixed very simply. Change the bonuses from +2/+4/+6/+8 to +1/+2/+3/+4. Nobody has to rebuild anything, nobody's concept changes.

I think the real issue is that when things get reprinted in the hardback line, the design team is going to take the opportunity to redesign stuff. This is fine for home games -- although the strength of their nerf bat remains rather surprising. In any event, it's a living game, the design team wants to redo stuff, things change... but if you're in the middle of a game, you can keep your character as is if the GM agrees.

BUT, for PFS, the change happens, you have to rebuild, which is at least a pain, and potentially enough of a nerf to deflate your desire to keep playing the character. This undermines any confidence we might have in building a character based on even old-enough-to-be-considered-stable options from a Player Companion or Campaign Setting book.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to set aside any other first-level characters I have in the wings that depend on archetypes not from an old RPG book. I have been burned, and don't want to risk again getting them to level 6 only to discover that the archetype has been fundamentally changed.

Liberty's Edge *

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rknop wrote:
This could also have been fixed very simply. Change the bonuses from +2/+4/+6/+8 to +1/+2/+3/+4. Nobody has to rebuild anything, nobody's concept changes.

This would have been the change I would have hoped for. The bonus to CMB/CMD really was the only issue. Even back in 2013 SKR was overselling the abilities gained versus their trade offs, while not even factoring in some of the things a lore warden loses, like armor proficiency. Now you also have to compare the loss of bravery and armor training with options like advanced armor/weapon training and feats that work off of bravery.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks to all for the info on the balance issues of the Lorewarden

Sczarni *****

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Just because "speedruns" happen and are technically legal per RAW does not mean they are in the spirit of healthy gameplay or RAI. In fact, I would posit they run contrary to it. If one of my local locations scheduled a "speedrun" with the intention of simply farming a 3XP chronicle for those involved in the quickest possible time window, I would consider putting a stop to it. That is not the community I wish to see operating and not the way the game is played. Do something productive for those 3 XP. GM a mod or some scenarios for players who don't ordinarily get the play those events. Offer GM101/201 and teach some new GMs who will help spell you from time to time while earning those XP. Etc. I don't like/want to play 1st level PCs either, but I don't bastardize the system exploiting loopholes to get rewards either. Its just not healthy for the campaign.

Quit it. This demonization needs to stop. It's nothing more than accusing other players of "badwrongfun". If you don't want to play that way, then don't play that way. It's statements like this that are truly what I see as "not healthy for the campaign".

I enjoy sitting down to a regular 4-5 hour slot and genuinely roleplaying/rollplaying a serious character and earning my 1xp as much as the next person.

But I also enjoy getting together with 2-3 other veteran players, grabbing an Emerald Spire flipmat, running over to Denny's at 1am and speedrunning 0xp PCs to their 2nd level while chowing down on Moons Over My Hammy.

Call it insomnia, boredom, system mastery, whatever; I and many others out there call it entertainment, fun, socializing and challenging. But don't go home sit down safe behind your computer and attack others for having fun.

THAT'S what will drive away players.

**

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Nefreet you know that isn't what people are talking about right?

*

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Add me to the badwrongfun demonization train, then, since that's apparently what we're doing today.

Call me bitter if you'd like, but having to spend hundreds of dollars for the privilege of possibly getting to play a single tiefling character entitles me to a little bitterness when others abused their way to a fat stack of them.

The Exchange ****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
MadScientistWorking wrote:
Nefreet you know that isn't what people are talking about right?

Oh, I don't know. Nefreet seems prettying spot on.

Scarab Sages *****

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The demonizing is not for a speed run for fun here and there. The demonizing is for the blatant disregard and disrespect for campaign leaderships leniency and request for reasonable action. And that isn't about badwrongfun, but rather selfishness that leads to fellow players not being able to have nice things anymore.

*

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The problem is that so much of the campaign is built around restrictions. And most people by nature push at boundaries like that. The entire boons for races situation is by its nature unfair. If even one person is allowed to make a goblin, anyone else should be who owns the ARG. If an option has a reasonable enough power level to let it into the campaign, there is no reason to deny it to anyone who wants it.

Scarab Sages *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Redelia wrote:
The problem is that so much of the campaign is built around restrictions. And most people by nature push at boundaries like that. The entire boons for races situation is by its nature unfair. If even one person is allowed to make a goblin, anyone else should be who owns the ARG. If an option has a reasonable enough power level to let it into the campaign, there is no reason to deny it to anyone who wants it.

I don't think you'll ever get me to agree to this opinion. But this isn't the place to hash out our thinking on boons and such.

That being said, this is probably one of the most permissive campaigns I've ever played in. So my experience of 33+ years of gaming does not jive with the restrictive comment at all.

Sovereign Court *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

While I was once pretty vehemently anti-boon, I've been very impressed by Leadership's efforts to make boons available through alternative methods (such as the GM incentive thing). I've softened my stance pretty heavily as a result. ^_^

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Redelia wrote:
The problem is that so much of the campaign is built around restrictions. And most people by nature push at boundaries like that. The entire boons for races situation is by its nature unfair. If even one person is allowed to make a goblin, anyone else should be who owns the ARG. If an option has a reasonable enough power level to let it into the campaign, there is no reason to deny it to anyone who wants it.

At the same time, though, as an organized campaign, there is a burden upon leadership to ensure that there's a reasonable spread of races and that everyone isn't appearing to take the same race. This is what I believe the concern was with the tiefling/aasimar retirement (along with a convenient story-line behind it).

I missed the Great Speedrun window, and every time I sit down at a table with someone I don't know who pulls out an aasimar, my immediate gut reaction is Are you one of THOSE people, or were you responsible? along with a certain tier of jealousy.

I used to have those thoughts about tiefling, but after GMing at one point they were the GM boon, so I managed to have access to that race, so the gut reaction is mitigated there.

It's not a perfect system, but it is better than a complete ban on non-Core races, and leadership HAS been gradually working other races in as they've been vetted for play over the years. I've not seen the abuses of any of the 'Tian Xia' races nor the 'Elemental-blooded' ones.

This is unlike the 'aasimar thing', where I have seen some people be downright abusive not only to the GM and their fellow players, but to the scenario/module that is being played. Not enough to get them bounced from a table, but grating enough that I've added them to my list of people I'd rather not play with.

That can be damaging in a smaller venue with limited tables going off.

Back onto the original topic.

I suspect that the reasoning behind the 'harsher' feel is because things that made sense and/or were flavorful one-off type items have now been potentially smote with the 'badwrongfun' hammer, when they really *haven't* been EDITall that abusive?/EDIT

I've only seen two Lore Warden incorporated builds in play (for example), and they were a joy to sit at the table with. Not because they overpowered a scenario, but because the players weren't abusing the trust and respect of their fellow players or the GM.

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