Pathfinder Society (second edition) Character Options

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Greetings, Society Members!
Earlier today, we revealed the next round of sanctioning for Starfinder Society—including the Attack of the Swarm! and Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Paths Chronicle Sheets. If you missed that blog, you can catch up here!

Now it’s Pathfinder’s turn. The team finished their review of the products and consulted with our community’s Additional Resource team about what best fit the Organized Play environment. Instead of waiting for an updated web page with formatting, we decided to get everything into our players’ hands. That doesn’t mean a new site with better layout isn’t coming, we just didn’t want to hold things up any longer waiting our turn in the web queue. All the rulebooks and Lost Omens products, up to and including Pathfinder Lost Omens Gods & Magic, appear in this update, so there is plenty to choose from. Apologies for the length—If you want to find a particular section, we suggest using control + F and the name of the book you’re looking for.

We made a few changes to the layout and structure of the character options, as well as how we look at what we include in the campaign. To help players understand what goes into character options, as well as the parameters and criteria in how we address concepts, we included a new section at the top of this document. Some of the items in this section include core assumptions, table policy, and access. This information is being migrated to the guide and will appear there with the next update.

You’ve waited long enough, so without further ado, here is the first batch of Pathfinder Society (Second Edition) character options!

I’ll see you next week for our beginning of the month update on Society!

Until then – Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Manager


Character Options

Legal Sources and Table Policy

Character options from the following books can be used in Pathfinder Society.

  • Rulebooks Line
    • Pathfinder Core Rulebook
    • Pathfinder Bestiary
    • Gamemastery Guide
  • Lost Omens Line
    • Lost Omens World Guide
    • Lost Omens Character Guide
    • Lost Omens Gods & Magic
  • Adventures Line
    • The Fall of Plaguestone

To use an option from any source other than the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, the Pathfinder Bestiary, or the Lost Omens World Guide in Pathfinder Society play, you must bring any one of the following to your game table:

  • A physical copy of the book you wish to use
  • A name-watermarked PDF copy of the book
  • Name-watermarked printouts of all relevant pages you wish to use from the PDF
  • Access to the rules you wish to use in the form of either electronic access to the Pathfinder Reference Document (paizo.com/prd) or a photocopy of the relevant pages, along with proof of purchase, such as a receipt from a game store or a screenshot of your My Downloads page on paizo.com.

The following do not satisfy this requirement:

  • A photocopy of a physical book with no proof of purchase
  • Printouts from electronic character builders such as Hero Lab
  • Content reproduced in other sources under the Open Gaming License (such as an online reference document or a homemade omnibus)

Family members, significant others, or other members of the same household (such as roommates) can share resources if they are playing at the same table, rather than requiring a separate copy of the same book for each person. A group of friends that always plays together at the same table fulfills this requirement, as long as all the necessary materials for each character's options are present. Members playing at separate tables must each supply their own materials as normal.

In addition to the copy of the rules themselves, you must be able to provide an electronic or physical copy of the below Additional Resources page for that source to show that the options you have selected for your character are legal for play.

Rarity, Access, and Availability

Character options for Pathfinder Society play have one of three levels of availability: standard, limited, or restricted.

Standard: These options follow the standard rules as printed in their respective sourcebooks. If a character wants to take this option, they must meet all its prerequisites as usual. If the option is uncommon or rarer, they must also have access to the option. Characters can gain access in a variety of ways. They can gain access by virtue of their origin, religion, or their membership in certain organizations (see below sections). Selecting certain common character options can give you access to other, rarer ones; for instance, a gnome who takes the Gnome Weapon Familiarity ancestry feat gains access to uncommon gnome weapons. Specific boons—such as from the Achievement Points system or Chronicle Sheets—can also grant access to these options.

Limited: A limited option is rarer in Society play, but not unheard of. A limited option can be selected only if specifically allowed by a boon—whether from the Achievement Points system, a Chronicle Sheet, or another other option from a Pathfinder Society source—even if the option is common or if the character meets the normal prerequisites or access requirements printed in the option’s source.

Restricted: A restricted option is one that is not generally appropriate for all tables or conducive to the Pathfinder Society's shared campaign setting, such as a one-of-a-kind weapon, a horrific spell used by only the most evil magic-users, or player options that require high degrees of GM adjudication. Such options will generally be made available for Society Play in only a very few special cases, such as via boons given out as part of charity events, if at all.

Character Origin

When you create a character, you can choose their origin, including their ethnicity and nationality/region of origin. These choices might allow your character to take certain character options. For instance, humans of Jadwiga ethnicity descend from the witch-queens of Irrisen, and they can take the Irriseni Ice-Witch feat to represent this connection. Similarly, characters from the Broken Lands have access to the Aldori dueling swords that are iconic to that region.

If your character is of mixed ethnicity or comes from multiple regions of origin, then for the purposes of game balance, you choose one ethnicity and one region of origin that your character can use to satisfy prerequisite and access conditions for character options. This affects only the character options you can select, and in no way limits your character’s identity or story.

Certain boons, such as Home Region or Multicultural Training, can allow you to change or expand your character’s origin for the purpose of qualifying for character options, to reflect their life experiences.

Religion

When you create a character, you can choose their religion or philosophy. If your character is of a class that directly interacts with the divine, such as a cleric or a champion, you must make this choice at first level as part of gaining your class abilities. However, characters of any class might be allowed to certain character options based on the deity they follow. For instance, all followers of Abadar gain access to Abadar’s flawless scale, a magic item considered holy by the faith.

Characters can worship and gain mechanical benefits from any deity listed in the table of gods on page 437 of the Core Rulebook or detailed in Lost Omens Gods & Magic, so long as their alignment matches one of the deity’s listed follower alignments. Note that some deities, such as Rovagug or Urgathoa, allow only evil followers; as Society characters cannot be lawful evil, neutral evil, or chaotic evil, these deities cannot be worshiped to gain benefits in Society play. Characters can also be agnostic, atheist, or can follow the tenets of philosophies (Lost Omens Gods & Magic 94–101) rather than deities.

Your character can participate in the rituals and cultural aspects of a deity’s faith without being a worshipper of that deity; for instance, citizens of the diabolic nation of Cheliax might participate in state holidays revering Asmodeus, the Prince of Darkness, but only lawful evil followers are true worshippers of his faith.

If your character worships multiple deities, then for the purposes of game balance, you choose one deity that your character can use to satisfy prerequisite and access conditions for character options. This affects only the character options you can select, and in no way limits your character’s identity or story.

Pantheons

Characters can also follow pantheons (Lost Omens Gods & Magic 92) instead of specific deities, in which case they gain the benefits of the pantheon as a whole. Characters in Society play must choose a patron deity when following a pantheon. They can use both their patron deity and the pantheon as a whole to satisfy access and prerequisites, but not any other deities in the pantheon individually. For instance, a lawful neutral cleric could worship the Godclaw, with Iomedae as her patron deity, in which case she could take options related to both Iomedae and the Godclaw, but this wouldn’t automatically allow her to take options related to Torag, Irori, Abadar, or Asmodeus.

Edicts and Anathema in Society Play

Several characters, such as clerics or champions, must abide by the edicts and anathema of their deity to receive divine powers from that deity. To allow a wide variety of characters in Society play, the rules around edicts and anathema are slightly relaxed. It is generally assumed that all characters can participate in Pathfinder Society adventures without running afoul of their deity’s edicts and anathema—attempting to perform the primary objective of an official Pathfinder Society mission by itself will not cause a character to fall out of favor with their deity. For example, Pharasma prohibits robbing tombs, but a cleric of Pharasma can accept a Society mission to retrieve an artifact from a pyramid, confident that the Society has gone through the proper channels to secure the right to retrieve the artifact.

While edicts are valorous actions praised by a deity, a character does not need to perform their deity’s edicts to the exclusion of other activities, or if doing so would prevent the smooth progression of play at the table. When considering anathema, note that a character must actively and personally commit an anathemic act in Society play to incur consequences with their deity, and is not liable for the actions of their party members. For instance, a champion of Sarenrae could not personally lie to a guard when infiltrating a city, but they do not need to force the party’s rogue to tell the truth (though they might look on disapprovingly)

Remember that edicts and anathema exist to create roleplaying opportunities at the table for your character, and should not be used by the GM to pressure PCs, or by PCs to pressure other members of the table toward specific styles of play.

Uncommon Ancestries

Because your ancestry is the first thing you pick about your character and it is not possible to retrain your ancestry as you might retrain other options, the only way to select uncommon or rarer ancestries is with a boon that allows you to create a new character of this ancestry.

Organization Membership

Through the course of your character’s adventures, you might meet influential members of other organizations and have the opportunity to learn from them. The Secondary Initiation boon can be used to gain membership in an organization and access to its character options.

Books

Pathfinder Core Rulebook

Rarity and Access Adjustments

Please use these rarity and access adjustments in Society Play, instead of the rarity and access printed in the original source.

Languages: Note that the adjustment to regional languages (page 432) detailed in the Rulings and Clarifications section below expands some characters' access to Erutaki and Varki.
Items: All characters have access to the scholarly journal, scholarly journal compendium, survey map, and survey map atlas (page 291).
All characters have access to the wayfinder (page 617).
Spells: All characters have access to raise dead (page 362).
Rituals: All characters have access to atone (page 409) and resurrect (page 415).

Option Availability

Standard

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

General Feats: Connections (page 260).

Restricted

None

Rulings and Clarifications

Please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • The level 1 version of summon plant or fungus (page 376) can be used to summon a leaf leshy (Pathfinder Bestiary page 218) that has the weak adjustment (Pathfinder Bestiary page 6). This is an exception to the rule that summon spells do not normally allow you to adjust the level of the summoned monsters by applying adjustments or templates to them
  • The Experienced Smuggler skill feat (page 261) allows you to Earn Income using Underworld Lore with tasks of your level –1, instead of the normal level –2.
  • Add the following regional languages to the options listed on page 432. As with other regional languages, a character hailing from the region listed below automatically has access to these languages.
    • Erutaki: Saga Lands
    • Varki: Saga Lands

Gamemastery Guide

As the Gamemastery Guide primarily contains tools for GMs, new subsystems, and rules variants rather than direct player options, all content from this book is of limited availability. However, Organized Play will be drawing from the rules options in this book in creating future adventures, boons, and other content.

Lost Omens World Guide

Note that your ethnicity, area of origin (nationality), or membership in certain factions might grant you access to options in this book. See the Character Origin and Organization Membership sections above.

Rarity and Access Adjustments

Please use these rarity and access adjustments in Society Play, instead of the rarity and access printed in the original source.

Archetypes: [Updated Feb 7] All characters have access to Pathfinder Agent Dedication and all Pathfinder Agent feats (page 21).
Characters with the Living Monolith Dedication feat have access to Ka Stone Ritual (page 59).
Characters from the Mwangi Expanse have access to the Magic Warrior Dedication feat (page 95). This feat should be uncommon (see Rulings and Clarifications, below)
All uncommon organization options are available to members of the associated organization.
Items: All characters have access to the archaic wayfinder (page 17).
Characters from the Broken Lands have access to the Aldori dueling sword (page 28).
All characters of 10th level or higher who are from the High Seas have access to black pearl aeon stones (page 63).
Orcs and half-orcs from the Mwangi Expanse have access to blessed tattoos (page 92).

Option Availability

Standard

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

Feats: Eye of the Arclords (page 81)
Items: Golden Legion epaulet (page 124)

Restricted

Archetypes: Red Mantis Assassin Dedication and all Red Mantis assassin archetype feats (page 71).
Items: Pesh (refined) (page 52).

Rulings and Clarifications

The following rulings and clarifications are based on upcoming errata for this product.

  • The Aldori dueling sword’s (page 28) price should be 2 gp, not 20 gp.
  • Magic Warrior Dedication (page 95) should have the uncommon trait.

Additionally, please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • The Prerequisites entry for Living Monolith Dedication (page 59) is “Osiriani language, trained in Crafting” rather than “Ancient Osiriani and Sphinx languages, trained in Crafting.”
  • The Prerequisites entry for Ka Stone Ritual (page 59) is “Living Monolith Dedication” rather than “Living Monolith Dedication, a sphinx or living monolith with this feat performs a ritual with you”.

Lost Omens Character Guide

Note that your ethnicity, area of origin (nationality), or membership in certain factions might grant you access to options in this book. See the Character Origin and Organization Membership sections above.

Rarity and Access Adjustments

None

Option Availability

Standard

Ancestries: All ancestry options are of standard availability. As the hobgoblin, leshy, and lizardfolk ancestries are uncommon, this means they are limited to boon access through Chronicle Sheets or the Achievement Point system (See Uncommon Ancestries above).

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

None

Restricted

Ancestries: Chosen of Lamashtu (page 38).

Rulings and Clarifications

The following rulings and clarifications are based on upcoming errata for this product.

  • [Updated Mar 05] The design and development teams have clarified that the ancient elf heritage (page 25) requires an elven lifespan (a feature that half-elves do not have) and thus cannot be selected by half-elves using the Elf Atavism feat (Core Rulebook 58), only by full elves. Clarifying text has been added to the errata for this book.
  • Eclectic Obsession (page 33) should be a single action and have the one-action symbol accordingly.
  • Hobgoblin Weapon Familiarity (page 50) should contain fewer weapons. The updated text should read “You are trained with composite longbows, composite shortbows, glaives, longbows, longswords, and shortbows
  • Leshys with the fungus leshy heritage (page 53) do not have the plant trait listed in the leshy base statistics sidebar, but have the fungus trait instead.
  • [Updated Jan 31] The seedpod ranged unarmed attack granted by the Seedpod feat (page 54) has a range increment (not a flat range) of 10 feet.
  • Add Amurrun to the list in the lizardfolk base statistics sidebar (page 57) of additional languages you can choose if you have a positive Intelligence modifier.
  • Impassable Wall Stance (page 90) should have the stance trait.
  • The key spellcasting ability for the spells granted by Invoke the Crimson Oath (page 95) is Charisma.

Lost Omens Gods & Magic

Remember that your religion might grant you access to options in this book, even if you are not a cleric or champion. See the Religion section above for more information.

Rarity and Access Adjustments

Dieties: The Pillars of Knowledge, Prismatic Ray, and Wards of the Pharaoh pantheons that originally appeared in the January 21, 2020 Paizo Blog entry, “Friends in High Places” are available for Society play and can be selected following the normal rules for pantheons.
Items: Characters from Numeria have access to the polytool (page 121).

Option Availability

Standard

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

Deities: Achaekek (page 52).
Spells: Time beacon (page 111)

Restricted

Deities: All archdevils (page 124).
All demon lords (page 124).
All outer gods and great old ones (page 130).
Walkena (130).
All queens of the night (page 132).
Feats: Splinter Faith (page 8).

Rulings and Clarifications

Please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • GMs cannot enact divine intercessions.
  • Remove the final sentence of Syncretism (page 105) that specifies the feat’s benefit if your cleric doctrine is not cloistered cleric or warpriest. Organized Play will reexamine this feat when additional cleric doctrines are released.
  • For the purposes of Society play, remove the final clause of Evangelize (page 105) that states “at the GM’s discretion, a target that genuinely changes its perspective to support your faith as a result of the argument is also otherwise unaffected.”
  • As Mortal Healing (page 105) requires you to specifically use the Treat Wounds action, it does not apply when used with other actions related to medicine or healing, such as Battle Medicine.
  • When using Sanctify Water (page 105) use your proficiency with simple weapons to determine your attack bonus when throwing the blessed container of water. If you give the container to another character for them to throw, they use their proficiency with improvised weapons instead.
  • For the purposes of Society play, remove the Prerequisites of Numb to Death (page 105) that states “you have died at least once.''
  • The temporary tool spell (page 111) can be used to create only simple tools, and therefore cannot create kits, which are complex objects made of multiple pieces, or objects made of any specific precious material.
  • The Targets entry for winter bolt (page 112) should be “1 creature”, not “1 creature or object.” This change is based on upcoming errata for the Pathfinder Core Rulebook
  • The Targets entry for withering grasp (page 112) should be “1 creature or unattended object”, not “1 creature or object.” When used on an unattended object, the object takes persistent damage on your next turn.
  • For the purposes of Society play, remove the final sentence of remember the lost (page 119) which states “A creature that truly knows no one who died with any sort of grievance to that creature is immune to this effect.”

The Fall of Plaguestone

All sanctioning for this adventure occurs through the Chronicle Sheet for this adventure, which can be found in this free PDF download.

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Pathfinder Society
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Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

zeonsghost wrote:
Biggest complaint I hear from my players week over week is that things feel really locked in outside of a few cases. I can only speak to what I hear from them. Most of our other PFS GM’s quit locally (many over complaints on how restrictive 2e was).

How much is this caused by people comparing 2e to 1e?

5/5 5/55/55/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Michael Sayre wrote:
As I dug into it more and more, I discovered that there were two major sources of this well-poisoning: toxic community members and people who had been taught that PFS was the source of every errata they didn't like ruining the game.

When I see a negative opinion of Organized play, it usually takes the form of

-Can't be an x or use Y (most often complaint is a specific race)
- Not allowed to role play or be creative and the related...
- Absurdly strict rules lawyering only.

I don't think the latter two are endemic to PFS as a whole, but sometimes I see why people think that way.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

Encouraging the use of common sense in regards to rules doesn’t really feel like “stop having fun”.

You need to interact with people to heal them, only Elves can take the Heritage that plays off their long life span. *shrugs*

I mean hitpoints are such a large abstraction that the common sense ruling is that it will never make any sense to matter what.

2/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I fail to understand how 2e is restrictive?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Encouraging the use of common sense in regards to rules doesn’t really feel like “stop having fun”.

You need to interact with people to heal them, only Elves can take the Heritage that plays off their long life span. *shrugs*

I mean hitpoints are such a large abstraction that the common sense ruling is that it will never make any sense to matter what.

There's a difference between common sense and realism.

And don't get me started on Bulk...

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gamerskum wrote:

I fail to understand how 2e is restrictive?

2nd Edition can be depending on (1) current availability of options, (2) how they're implemented with the lore, and (3) how options are restricted.

As an example for the first instance, I cannot make my barrel-wielding brewmaster alchemist in 2nd Edition because we currently do not have options to offset the crippling improvised weapon penalty.

As an example of the second instance, there's a number of issues with Gods & Magic that contradict the lore of the setting. Bladed scarves are no longer finesse weapons. You cannot worship Apsu unless you're Lawful Good despite the fact he's the deity of all good-aligned dragons. Some of the deities have domains with focus spells that violate their edicts. Etc.

As an example of the third instance, I got really excited for a character concept involving a tribal defender-of-the-wilderness warrioress champion that threw spears at enemies that harm her allies. I found an obscure Vundrani deity, Chamidu, that was absolutely perfect for the concept and the campaign I was playing her. After I statted up the character and got her ready did I realize that Retributive Strike is restricted behind Lawful Good champions. Chamidu does not allow LG champions. Glimpse of Redemption, the only valid option, totally contradicts Chamidu's MO. I got so frustrated that I scrapped the character entirely.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
We couldn't do that in PF1 because of the idiotic optimization that flooded the game.

I agree with the first part that I didn't quote.

But I disagree with this. You could build characters based on concepts with depth and personality in PF1 and, at the same time, optimize them to the appropriate level for the campaign one was playing. You never HAD to produce twinked out monstrosities if you didn't want to other than in a small number of campaigns where hyper optimization was the norm.

Now, admittedly in PF1 the potential power difference with optimization was much higher than in PF1 so there was more temptation to optimize and the effect of said optimization was a lot more noticeable. But one didn't have to give in to that temptation and many players didn't.

In fact, PF1 supported quite a few concepts that PF2 doesn't yet support (as is to be expected when comparing the huge volume of PF1 vs PF2). And PF2 is more constrained in many ways so that a lot of (arguably quite overpowered) concepts expressable in PF1 will probably (hopefully) NEVER be able to be expressed in PF1. Hopefully we've seen the end of CoDzilla and God Wizards.

2/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gamerskum wrote:

I fail to understand how 2e is restrictive?

The things I hear the most from my players come in two broad categories.

1. Is that the math is so tight that a being even a bit suboptimal is crippling with how challenges scale. I can see where they are coming from having run some 3-4 tier tables. A suboptimal character is not only incapable of making some of the DCs even if they’re trained, they also add to the challenge points making it harder for everyone. This has created some awkward social pressures and has scared a few players away permanently.

2. There are some classes that just feel locked into certain paths. Nobody is playing caster clerics because the general impression is they just die. All the alchemists take wizard dedication at level 2. Half the sorcerers take champion dedication at 2. A plurality of martials, clerics, and druids all have field medic as their background. No one plays stock elves because they have an HP deficit. I think most tables I’ve run consist of humans and dwarves, with the odd goblin thrown in. I’ve yet to see an elf and there’s been a few halflings.

And I get that we’re early in the game, with the second wave of content now seeing society play. I think they did a good job in being pretty open with options. I think rolling it back at this point would be counter-intuitive pending something that trivializes encounters.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

They're not rolling anything back though.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Columbia aka Xathos of Varisia

zeonsghost wrote:
Gamerskum wrote:

I fail to understand how 2e is restrictive?

The things I hear the most from my players come in two broad categories.

1. Is that the math is so tight that a being even a bit suboptimal is crippling with how challenges scale. I can see where they are coming from having run some 3-4 tier tables. A suboptimal character is not only incapable of making some of the DCs even if they’re trained, they also add to the challenge points making it harder for everyone. This has created some awkward social pressures and has scared a few players away permanently.

2. There are some classes that just feel locked into certain paths. Nobody is playing caster clerics because the general impression is they just die. All the alchemists take wizard dedication at level 2. Half the sorcerers take champion dedication at 2. A plurality of martials, clerics, and druids all have field medic as their background. No one plays stock elves because they have an HP deficit. I think most tables I’ve run consist of humans and dwarves, with the odd goblin thrown in. I’ve yet to see an elf and there’s been a few halflings.

And I get that we’re early in the game, with the second wave of content now seeing society play. I think they did a good job in being pretty open with options. I think rolling it back at this point would be counter-intuitive pending something that trivializes encounters.

I'm looking at my fourth level Elven Wizard and wondering why some people are having such a hard time playing Elves. Again, I think it comes down to people with a DPS mentality. I see caster clerics all the time in the Online region. I see every one of the races and every one of the classes in the Online region. Granted, we probably have the widest variety of players due to the scattered nature of the region, but we are having a blast playing these characters of every class and race. I am enjoying running sessions for them as well.

I really do not see suboptimal characters. I see players creating and playing characters they want to play. They don't need a 16 STR at start when a 14 works pretty good. I have yet to see a character not be able to make the rolls for skill checks due to their ability scores. If they have not trained them, that's another story and that is by design.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Columbia aka Xathos of Varisia

Rysky wrote:
They're not rolling anything back though.

That's a good thing.

2/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think this sense of what is best to play is a local thing not overall like people seem to sometimes think.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

10 people marked this as a favorite.
zeonsghost wrote:
Nobody is playing caster clerics...

They aren't? There's a bunch of them in my region, including my -2001. I think you're projecting your lodge onto the system as a whole.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Maryland—Hagerstown aka Z...D...

3 people marked this as a favorite.
zeonsghost wrote:


2. There are some classes that just feel locked into certain paths. Nobody is playing caster clerics because the general impression is they just die. All the alchemists take wizard dedication at level 2. Half the sorcerers take champion dedication at 2. A plurality of martials, clerics, and druids all have field medic as their background. No one plays stock elves because they have an HP deficit. I think most tables I’ve run consist of humans and dwarves, with the odd goblin thrown in. I’ve yet to see an elf and there’s been a few halflings.

Probably because you have some members who like to state to newer, more impressionable players, "you need to have battle medic" or "this is a mandatory 2nd level feat" or even "don't play this because it will not survive".

I've seen two of the last three multiple times in the past month.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Compounded by the issue where one GM tells you to choose Battle Medicine, and then the next GM tells you it's unusable =\

4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
zeonsghost wrote:
Gamerskum wrote:

I fail to understand how 2e is restrictive?

The things I hear the most from my players come in two broad categories.

1. Is that the math is so tight that a being even a bit suboptimal is crippling with how challenges scale. I can see where they are coming from having run some 3-4 tier tables. A suboptimal character is not only incapable of making some of the DCs even if they’re trained, they also add to the challenge points making it harder for everyone. This has created some awkward social pressures and has scared a few players away permanently.

2. There are some classes that just feel locked into certain paths. Nobody is playing caster clerics because the general impression is they just die. All the alchemists take wizard dedication at level 2. Half the sorcerers take champion dedication at 2. A plurality of martials, clerics, and druids all have field medic as their background. No one plays stock elves because they have an HP deficit. I think most tables I’ve run consist of humans and dwarves, with the odd goblin thrown in. I’ve yet to see an elf and there’s been a few halflings.

And I get that we’re early in the game, with the second wave of content now seeing society play. I think they did a good job in being pretty open with options. I think rolling it back at this point would be counter-intuitive pending something that trivializes encounters.

Awesome! I am nobody! (One gnome cloistered cleric and one cavern elf rogue with wizard dedication in PFS. And my martial is not a field medic, just has medicine training)

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Encouraging the use of common sense in regards to rules doesn’t really feel like “stop having fun”.

You need to interact with people to heal them, only Elves can take the Heritage that plays off their long life span. *shrugs*

I mean hitpoints are such a large abstraction that the common sense ruling is that it will never make any sense to matter what.

There's a difference between common sense and realism.

And don't get me started on Bulk...

Not in this case unless you want to argue that you can put a band aide on luck damage. Hit points were originally just a catch all for anything that could change the tide of battle.

This does remind me that I have to remind my friend that Kyra is cloistered. Cloistered is fairly good. Only issue I ever had with it is most of the core deities are ok.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gamerskum wrote:
I think this sense of what is best to play is a local thing not overall like people seem to sometimes think.

One might call this the barbarian syndrome: "Forgive him, Theodotus, for he is a barbarian, and thinks the customs of his tribe and nation are laws of nature." -- George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

2/5

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To all the people who think I'm trying to speak for the whole game, my first line was this:

zeonsghost wrote:


The things I hear the most from my players come in two broad categories.

I am only giving feedback from the people who are playing locally to me and the experiences they relate to me. I cannot and am not speaking to other locations. I'm not even speaking as a player, because I've had a limited chance to play. If you have a different experience, I'm glad to hear it works better elsewhere.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

zeonsghost wrote:


The things I hear the most from my players come in two broad categories.

1. Is that the math is so tight that a being even a bit suboptimal is crippling with how challenges scale. I can see where they are coming from having run some 3-4 tier tables. A suboptimal character is not only incapable of making some of the DCs even if they’re trained, they also add to the challenge points making it harder for everyone. This has created some awkward social pressures and has scared a few players away permanently.

2. There are some classes that just feel locked into certain paths. Nobody is playing caster clerics because the general impression is they just die. All the alchemists take wizard dedication at level 2. Half the sorcerers take champion dedication at 2. A plurality of martials, clerics, and druids all have field medic as their background. No one plays stock elves because they have an HP deficit. I think most tables I’ve run consist of humans and dwarves, with the odd goblin thrown in. I’ve yet to see an elf and there’s been a few halflings.

And I get that we’re early in the game, with the second wave of content now seeing society play. I think they did a good job in being pretty open with options. I think rolling it back at this point would be counter-intuitive pending something that trivializes encounters.

Your comment makes me think that people who min/max are the ones who feel 2e is restrictive. And they would. If the min/max folks what to do min/max, play a home game. 2e is a balanced game and PFS is even more balanced.

And to comment on your your points, I have a cleric who is a pure healer so that means he cast spells. I have an alchemist, an elf btw, who didn't take wizard dedication, but did take field medic because I saw how important it would be if there was no "caster" clerics in the party.

So not everyone is doing the same thing. Painting with such a broad brush tends to cover-up what is really happening.

Building characters with flaws make the character fun. I am part of a party so I don't need to be able to do everything.

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Gary Bush wrote:


Building characters with flaws make the character fun.

At the sake of being pedantic, I thought that in particular was disallowed by OrgPlay rules?

Namely, that the only 'flaw' one could take is if a given Heritage had one? No 'trading down' stats for 'extra points'?


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Organized Play Guide, PFS 2nd Ed, Player Basics, Character Creation section wrote:

Generate your Pathfinder Society character’s ability scores using the method detailed on page 20 of the Core Rulebook. Your character may also take two additional ability flaws to gain one additional ability boost as described in the Voluntary Flaws sidebar on page 26 of the Core Rulebook.

Link here.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

That rule is a key part of flexibility for race/class combos, letting you build whatever you want without having your primary math messed up.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you for the clarification!

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:


Building characters with flaws make the character fun.

At the sake of being pedantic, I thought that in particular was disallowed by OrgPlay rules?

Namely, that the only 'flaw' one could take is if a given Heritage had one? No 'trading down' stats for 'extra points'?

Well, I didn't know about the flaws allowed under the Guide. I was talking about not building the "best" or "Optimal" build that was being suggested.

But now that I know, maybe flaws are interesting....

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Encouraging the use of common sense in regards to rules doesn’t really feel like “stop having fun”.

You need to interact with people to heal them, only Elves can take the Heritage that plays off their long life span. *shrugs*

I mean hitpoints are such a large abstraction that the common sense ruling is that it will never make any sense to matter what.

There's a difference between common sense and realism.

And don't get me started on Bulk...

Not in this case unless you want to argue that you can put a band aide on luck damage. Hit points were originally just a catch all for anything that could change the tide of battle.

This does remind me that I have to remind my friend that Kyra is cloistered. Cloistered is fairly good. Only issue I ever had with it is most of the core deities are ok.

Yep.

As soon as Paizo implements Luck Damage they will also implement ways to heal said luck damage.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky wrote:

Yep.

As soon as Paizo implements Luck Damage they will also implement ways to heal said luck damage.

Hopefully.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Presumably, this will involve luck dragons.

Or maybe luck golems.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

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...or maybe luckprechauns

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

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Rysky wrote:
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Encouraging the use of common sense in regards to rules doesn’t really feel like “stop having fun”.

You need to interact with people to heal them, only Elves can take the Heritage that plays off their long life span. *shrugs*

I mean hitpoints are such a large abstraction that the common sense ruling is that it will never make any sense to matter what.

There's a difference between common sense and realism.

And don't get me started on Bulk...

Not in this case unless you want to argue that you can put a band aide on luck damage. Hit points were originally just a catch all for anything that could change the tide of battle.

This does remind me that I have to remind my friend that Kyra is cloistered. Cloistered is fairly good. Only issue I ever had with it is most of the core deities are ok.

Yep.

As soon as Paizo implements Luck Damage they will also implement ways to heal said luck damage.

I mean they kind of made that mechanics core. I know this community is famous for not exactly understanding it's an abstraction but still it's clear.

Edit:
Also, I'm being a bit unfair. It's just that Assurance has the same exact issue if not worst and it's frustrating. It's either moderately useful or so functionally niche to be useless. And unlike Battle Medicine there is evidence to rules.

Dark Archive 2/5

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Michael Sayre wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
So you may take offense to people complaining about society nerfing things into oblivion, but that is a well earned reputation from years of PFS 1e doing just that.

Nope, that's just a wrong and ignorant idea spread by people who don't know what they're talking about and taking statements out of context. PFS runs into issues more often than home groups and uncovers issues sooner,but FAQs and errata come from the design team because they're the correct decision for the game, not because of PFS-specific issues..."

I disagree with you, which doesn't make me wrong or ignorant. If you truly believe that I'm wrong then it points to an optics issue derived from the deafening silence that follows many of these changes. It should be some kind of indicator that the community literally has a term for it (i.e., "Stealth Errata") that Paizo as a whole has done a bad job of communicating decisions/rationale to the community. You're pushing all the blame and accountability for decisions to the Design Team and honestly I find it hard to believe that the 'Paizo' Design Team accepts literally zero input from the 'Paizo' PFS team in every single FAQ or Errata.

You should realize that there are multiple facets to why people dislike rule adjustment in PFS and there isn't one 'posion pill' that the community swallows. One part is the change of rules to an existing allowed item/feat/ability. This is like moving the goal posts and will generally be disliked by those who play (some % will agree with the change and some % won't). All players off TTRPGs accept this as part and parcel to playing (home game GM's disallow something or ask players to tone down styles of play all the time). But that is only one part of the picture. The bigger issue is the degree to which these changes are made. Again, here are just a few examples of content that was overnerfed (both PFS and in the base ruleset):

- Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier - Needed to be nerfed, but was made essentially useless given that PCs will be buying a +1/+2/+3/+4/+5 Ring of Protection.

- The controversial Lore Warden and Dusty Rose Ioun Stone nerfs - Pretty questionable if one of the few options making the very difficult to execute combat maneuvers was really required. It was also one of the few archetypes that helped fix the tragic fighter = no skill points problem.

- Flip Flops on SLAs qualifying for Prestige Classes - There are entire troves of Prestige Classes that PFS players barely use, but this change prevents a 1-2 level earlier access into the class for certain builds.

- Clear Ioun Stone - Again needed to be nerfed, but now it lets you cast proc evil 1/day (way to far a swing to the realm of useless) when for 99% of PFS people have food/water and it is simply hand-waived away.

Another kinds of change that people dislike are options that were allowed into PFS then were removed from PFS but not changed in the actual wider game:

- Access to various races (e.g., Aasimar, Tieflings, etc.) were given then taken away.

- Various Inner Sea World Guide revisionisms to the Campaign Setting line of books.

- The after the fact clarification that the Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest does not qualify to take the Advanced Weapon Training feat in PFS.

Another kind of thing people dislike is the options allowed in the standard game that were never fully allowed in PFS and are clearly decisions from the PFS play team:

- Most gun based archetypes never being sanctioned despite the existence of the entire gunslinger class.

- Various things that were stripped from sanctioning but then handed back out to boon hunters to farm (e.g., Thessalonian/Spell Slinger Wizards, Gravewalker Witches, learning Androffan as a language via linguistics).

- Ioun stone resonance powers for cracked/flawed ioun stones.

I've just given you a bunch examples where I'd expect the Paizo PFS team to of had a range of input from 20-100% into the decisions. Going to the Additional Resource page (https://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/additional) and searching for the keyword "except" gets 392 results. Searching for "are not legal" gives 52 results. The community at large isn't ignorant and many have had countless options change/nerfed on them in PFS causing fundamental changes to characters that they play. Stating that we don't know what we're talking about is, at its best, disingenuous or, at its worst, gas-lighting.

Silver Crusade

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The act of disagreeing doesn’t make you wrong, but a lot of things you said are wrong and/or ignorant.

The PFS team most likely does have talks with the design team, but the design team is the one that makes the decisions on errata and publications, not the PFS team.

On certain Races/Ancestries allowed certain seasons/certain boons, that’s honestly not an issue as I see it. Different seasons have different themes. You don’t like that you have full access to everything in PFS, that doesn’t mean it’s an issue or problem however.

And I kinda chuckled when you brought up SLA early entry, since the original FAQ said they [design team] would be closely monitoring it and reverse the decision if it proved too problematic. Which it did. So that wasn’t sprung, it was outright stated ahead of time.

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You're conflating sanctioning and errata.

If you don't like the sanctioning choices, that is not a problem with the system but rather an opinion.

Many of the design changes/errata, I can see the base game reasoning. That you ignore it or do not recognize it is not a problem of PFS.

Scarab Sages

Red Griffyn wrote:
The controversial Lore Warden and Dusty Rose Ioun Stone nerfs - Pretty questionable if one of the few options making the very difficult to execute combat maneuvers was really required. It was also one of the few archetypes that helped fix the tragic fighter = no skill points problem.

My favorite PFS 1E character was a Lore Warden that I played even after the nerf.

The nerf didn't reduce his skill points or make him worse at combat maneuvers.

The nerf did clarify language and make the archetype less attractive for those who were only dipping, which was good.
It also made the 'Know Thy Enemy' ability useless until level 15, which was bad.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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The only complaint that I have with 2E so far is a lack of oracles (and that the oracles in the Playtest lost some of that amazing flexibilty of being able to mix curse and mystery in different ways...) I know the other races are coming. I am looking forward to playing some of them when they eventually become available.

But there are tons of choices and options in the core rulebook alone, and I really appreciate that.

Hmm


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Just a quick question that came up while trying to build a character from Cheliax. The regional languages on page 232 don't include Infernal, despite the Lost Omens World Guide saying citizens of Cheliax speak it. The Guide to Organized Play also fails to list it as a cultural language that's available to anyone. Is this another oversight like Erutaki and Varki, or is it not intended to be available to PFS characters from Cheliax?

Dark Archive 2/5

I provided multiple clear examples of 3 categories that rile up the greater pathfinder community. I provided more examples because the single example in my original post was ignored/overlooked and held up as evidence that I, like the nebulous community at large are ignorant. Here are the three categories:

1.) Errata and FAQ Changes

These are fundamental game design changes that impact home games and PFS alike. These are largely Design Team Driven, but I would be surprised if the PFS Team who works at the same company has 0% input or communication with the Design Team. I expect they have around 20% of the input and obviously don't make the 'final' decision. Clearly Half-Elf-->Ancient Elf is an example of a primarily 'Design Team' decision.

2.) PFS Sanctioning Changes

These are changes that either remove or fundamentally change previously allowable sanctioned materials. I would expect the PFS team has closer to 80% control of the input into these decisions, and expect they are partially informed by the Design Team in addition to developing game meta that the PFS team wants to curtail.

3.) PFS Sanctioning that Never Occurs

This is the troves of content that is never sanctioned or held back and provided as boons for select scenarios, charity, volunteers, cons, etc. These decisions are 100% the PFS Teams decision and exclude thousands of viable options in 1e across many source books. Some of them are campaign based (i.e., evil PCs worshiping evil gods doing evil things in a public campaign). Many of these are on shakier ground (i.e., we want some guns, but only 50% of the gun related feats/archetypes/weapons/etc.). Others are just completely indecipherable without some kind of rationale (often which is missing from the PFS team). For me this is the largest source of negativity in the community. The MONTHS of waiting for sanctioning only to be told you can't use that cool thing and all the theory crafting you did in the interim is useless.

The post I originally responded said the following:

Michael S. wrote:
"I have a huge problem with the fact that very frequently when org play is the first one to announce a pending FAQ or errata, we start seeing all of these folks across multiple forums claiming that org play is getting things that were fine in home play nerfed into uselessness; that is not now, nor has it ever been, true."

The point I made in my first post was that all PFS decisions (whether that is category 1, 2, or 3) have downstream impacts on all of the pathfinder community. It is incorrect to assign all blame for people's negative associations with PFS to category 1. All of my home game GMs only allow PFS materials and rulings even though they don't need to be that strict. I expect many more GMs follow a similar type of home game sanctioning style because it is simply easier than doing their own custom one off sanctioning due to the volume of 1e material available. By extension assuming all problems stem from category 1 and that the PFS team has 0% input into category 1 leads to the incorrect conclusion that the community is ignorant/toxic to the PFS Team. IMO, this isn't the whole story and it shows a lack of accountability. Even if this were the case, it points to an optics issue that Paizo needs to resolve and that doesn't get fixed by calling the greater community ignorant.

I'm also not going to sit here and try and reverse catalog the hundred to thousands of decisions over a 10 year campaign that I only joined in season 6. I pointed out a variety of examples in each category to clarify my point. Cherry picking one off examples and talking past the 'point' I'm making is bad faith arguing.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Dude. Stop digging deeper.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

@Red, Do you honestly not have anything better to do than revisit this thread constantly to stir embers?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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And, like, who is your target audience?

It's clearly not Campaign Leadership
It's not the home game GMs you say are being influenced
It's not the Design Team
And it's not the majority of veterans who read these Forums

That's a lot of time spent communicating with yourself.


It is now March. Time to release the Acp system so we can use those sweet ancestries right?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

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No point in brow-beating them about it. Its not gonna happen until the IT/tech team figures out what's wrong with the programming scripts, so its not like they are holding up the AcP arbitrarily. I'm sure when its fixed, they will be as excited as we are and will tell us right away.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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I would rather have it released when it is working versus having it when it is not.

1/5 5/5

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Also, right now it looks like they are breaking things to fix things, so I'm still patient. Without knowing a lot, I can say safely from a layperson's perspective that legacy code is hard.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:
No point in brow-beating them about it. Its not gonna happen until the IT/tech team figures out what's wrong with the programming scripts, so its not like they are holding up the AcP arbitrarily. I'm sure when its fixed, they will be as excited as we are and will tell us right away.

Is having the chronicle print out that much easier/surer to check than looking at someones play history (that the player prints out and brings) and eyeballing "yeah this guy should have earned a lizard person by now..." ?

If the tech solution isn't working you can adjust the policy.

2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

The 'problem' with eyeballing play history is the scaling they added to the points. Player A's play history and Player B's play history can look completely different and still both qualify for X points.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Columbia aka Xathos of Varisia

Let's not forget they didn't have a website manager until December. That person had to catch up on almost 5 months of work and then implement plans and solutions for current and future projects.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
No point in brow-beating them about it. Its not gonna happen until the IT/tech team figures out what's wrong with the programming scripts, so its not like they are holding up the AcP arbitrarily. I'm sure when its fixed, they will be as excited as we are and will tell us right away.

Is having the chronicle print out that much easier/surer to check than looking at someones play history (that the player prints out and brings) and eyeballing "yeah this guy should have earned a lizard person by now..." ?

If the tech solution isn't working you can adjust the policy.

They have already said they are going to use the fame / infamy of hobgoblin PCs to determine their roll in PFS going forward. I assume the same will probably apply to the other races.

That means that the web site needs to issue the chronicle, applied to a character, so they know which characters to follow.

Besides, their chronicles / play history won't tell you if they can afford it, because it won't tell you what else they have already bought.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Blake's Tiger wrote:
The 'problem' with eyeballing play history is the scaling they added to the points. Player A's play history and Player B's play history can look completely different and still both qualify for X points.

Can't you see where the games are played to adjust for that scaling?

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:
The 'problem' with eyeballing play history is the scaling they added to the points. Player A's play history and Player B's play history can look completely different and still both qualify for X points.
Can't you see where the games are played to adjust for that scaling?

Do you know by heart which events in Russia or South-Africa were rated regular and which ones Premium? I mean, they have the same RVC so this should be stuff everyone in that region should know right?

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