Lord Soth

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RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,830 posts (22,360 including aliases). 57 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 28 Organized Play characters. 7 aliases.


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Shadow Lodge

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
I'm not sure there has ever been a religious monarchy in Golarion, where churches and faiths almost never hold any real political powers.

Roguerouge was referring to the divine right of kings, not theocracy as such. And the divine right of kings is the ruling political ideology throughout most of the Inner Sea region.

As for actual theocracies and/or church states on Golarion, currently we have Mendev, Lastwall, Nidal, Razmiran, Riverton (in the River Kingdoms), Nemret Noktoria (in Sekamina), and Po Li. Cheliax (both imperial Cheliax and modern Cheliax) may count as well, given that it formerly depended on the patronage of Aroden for its ideological legitimacy and to some extent its material reach, and today depends on Asmodeus in much the same way, but YMMV on whether this makes it a theocracy or merely strident in claiming divine right.

The divine right of kings is a belief that rulers are automatically exempt from the normal mundane laws and rules, because they are placed in power directly by one or more deities, and only those deities may remove them. It doesn't exist in Golarion or Pathfinder unless the church has the ability to remove rules from power with ease or to otherwise punish rulers. For instance, no one would say "We can't conquer Cheliax, because Asmodeus himself placed Thrune on the throne, and thus it is his will that they rule, no matter what". They might say that it's basically impossible, but probably not going to say it's because they are Asmodeus' chosen rule.

I think you, (and that article), are simply referring to legitimacy. A theocracy, on the other hand is where a single church/religion is the government, like in Nidal or Razmiran. It is not the same thing as having a large central religion(s) or religion being prominent.

Shadow Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
DM Beckett: The brave clergy of Asmodeus fighting to free the poor, downtrodden people of Cheliax from the horrible Thrunes? Right. Cheliax is a theocracy of Asmodeus. It is what he wants it to be. It is, after what it's called in the books, an engine for damnation.

House Thrune and the Clergy if Asmodeus have different goals, and House Thrune isn't too loyal to Asmodeus.

Sissyl wrote:
Further, you missed one. Nidal. A land of shadow where torture and pain is divinely mandated.

Ok. Good Catch. So there is actually one thing that Roguerogue was talking about in the setting.

Sissyl wrote:
And no, the one making the claim that something exists absolutely has the burden of proof. "accepted belief" is nowhere near a relevant concept.

Yes, the one making the claim. The claim being that the gods don't exist/are not actually gods/are not worthy of worship. Acceptable belief, or benefit of the doubt, in this case that the gods are actually, you know, gods in the setting, is held until proven otherwise. That's how that works.

Shadow Lodge

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thejeff wrote:

And I return to my previous request: Define deities in in-world terms.

Without that the claim that Iomedae is a deity, but Razmir is not is meaningless.

Interesting. Wasn't that what everyone was asking, (the general) you to do?

Speaking only of in setting terms, it's a bit hard. Not the question itself, but rather because different deities have come to power in different ways, while comparing it to say Razmir is going to be different than to Pun-Pun, the level 21 Arch-Imp.

Some by stealing some sort of essence from others to elevate themselves, some seem to have just been born (or created) that way, some by rising through the ranks, others through the Starstone. But there are so many deities, (monstrous, dead/forgotten, etc. . .) that we don't know.

The few rather definitive ways I would say are access to some sort of divine, immortal realm to which they have near absolute control, the ability to hear (and answer) prayers, divine relics that either only work for, or are amplified only for the faithful, a specific chosen weapon, divine spells and domains, and a variety of non-mortal alliances/avatars/planar allies, etc. . .

Some of those things people like Razmir can mimic, lie, or emulate, at least to a degree, but I also do not imagine that the rest of the world is stupid. Razmir's "clerics" might be able to do a few "Clericy" things, but it's kind of odd how they seem to always burn out so much faster than any other Cleric, even ones of significantly less experience, wisdom, or mastery.

Spells to contact the god Razmir himself, or to travel to his Divine Realm, even by followers of other faiths all seem to just not work, for some reason.

Similarly, there just seems to be some things that are simply beyond them, that every single priest of another, any other actually, deity can just do.

And why is Razmir so interested in money. Can't he just, I don't know, make it or something?

One sort of key thing, though it's never really been described in any detail, is that when someone does succeed at the Test of the Starstone, the people just know they have become deities.

Shadow Lodge

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roguerouge wrote:
Because they believe in the possibility of a better world here, rather than believing that this world is nothing more than a short-term, elaborate test that determines how your real existence will be for eternity. It makes your entire life nothing more than selfishness and fear, rather than have legitimate choices without the coercion of judgment for all eternities. Every good act is nothing more than a move to improve one's lot in the afterlife, rather than being based in altruism or solidarity.

So, only Atheists can have good/benevolent/altruistic intentions, and everyone else is deceitful, ultimately responsible for every evil in existence? Honestly, this is extremely offensive real world or in game, and basically boils down to demonizing others and blaming them for everything as if they are all the same.

roguerouge wrote:
Because the religious model of Pathfinder mimics the system of serfdom, in which the threat of (eternal) punishment lingers over the populace to compel obedience policed by the quislings known as clerics, warpriests, paladins, etc. The central message that unifies all religions is: Obey, or Else.

Um, huh? No it doesn't. In fact I would say it's the exact opposite, and that essentially every single religion, and the model with or without religion, (remember some things are simply universal facts beyond the deities), do what you and you will be rewarded in what way best fits you, including "atheists". No, the religious model actually instead encourages people to be better, according to different beliefs.

roguerouge wrote:

Because religion also justifies the hierarchy of the various hereditary monarchies based on the divine right of kings and queens, which destroys the right of people to self-determine their own paths and have a meaningful input into the path of their nations as citizens.

So, faith makes one into a serf without meaningful choice, twice over.

More likely, exactly like in the real world, it's much more evident that citizens, governments, politics, factions, and whatever utilize whatever means possible to get power and influence to do what they want and manipulate others into doing things, even borrowing from and twisting religious (or secular philosophical or atheistic teachings).

So it is rather people, humanity that tries to make slaves/serf of others and deny meaningful choice to all. Not religions.

roguerouge wrote:
Because, after a millennia of failure, the value of religion and monarchy in guiding the fate of the world should not be taken as the best or only way to run the world. Yet that is precisely the role of religion: to justify the status quo of eternal battle and the fetishizing of power as natural, required, or, at worst, the lesser evil.

I'm not sure there has ever been a religious monarchy in Golarion, where churches and faiths almost never hold any real political powers. So, in fact again, the exact opposite, and if there are styles of government and leadership that are not the best, that would be the secular variety. The closest few I can think of, for any length of time would be Mendev, who actively opposed hordes of the Abyss from spreading and corrupting the world, Asmodeus in Cheliax fighting against the tyranny of House Thrune, Torag trying to keep his people alive and strong in adversity, and perhaps, in a vague sense, Razmir, who as the only non-deity, actually does exactly what you are blaming on others.

roguerouge wrote:
And, of course, all the myths and stories of the divinity show a never-ending war of all against all, using weapons of might, spell, and guile. The idea that the afterlife is somehow better or different from here is dubious at best, suggesting that those stories are either fictions to justify the world as it is rather than as it might be or truths that the divine beings are no better at managing their affairs than their servants are at managing this world.

So, here is the thing. These things are all part of the nature of the universe, and have nothing to do with deities/churches/faiths. The constant conflict of the Elemental Planes, Angels vs Azatas vs Demons vs Devils vs Proteans vs Inevitables would all be the exact same if there was no deities at all, no religions. Similarly, the afterlife, as far as we can reasonably guess, would sill be the exact same as it is, save it would likely be a massive unorganized mess as powerful demons and devils tried to get as many souls as they could.

roguerouge wrote:
Razmir is so offensive to the religious because his lie shows the truth of the system's exploitation and arbitrary nature of divinity. Why is Razmir the fake and Cayden Cailean, of all people, the true divinity? If granting divine spells is the true test of a god, why are we to ignore the oracle who casts divine spells without needing "worship" and "servitude"?

No, Razmir is exactly the thing you are trying to blame on everyone else. It is so offensive because out of character/setting/game, everyone knows it is false. He is not a deity, he failed the Test of the Starstone, he manipulates people to mug, rob, swindle, extort, others of their money, actively hinders real faith's of their attempts to help others or do good things because it's based on the lie that everyone else is lying. Razmir, and his followers actively charm and dominate people into the cult, and do not have a problem with murdering, black mailing, or ruining others, all in the name of pretending to be a religion.

roguerouge wrote:
Most of all, atheists ask: what if we believed in each other with the same fervor we believe in the powerful? What might we accomplish with the resources and infrastructure we grant to religions and monarchies? What kind of society would develop where compulsion wasn't its central and defining trait?

I both doubt that all atheists give a crap about anyone else and all, or even most religious people do not also believe in and want to raise others. This is all in all, like with your first point, very offensive, and nothing but an attempt to demonize others.

roguerouge wrote:
People of the world, unite. Believe in each other, not the powerful.

This has nothing to do with following or not following a religion.

Shadow Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
Let's not go into a real world "Who has the burden of proof in atheism" debate. At least not here. We can take it to Off-Topic, where it can be nicely locked on Monday. :)

Like Lemeres posted, I was meaning within the context of the setting. The burden of proof that the deities are not actually deities or not worthy of worship would be with those making that claim.

Shadow Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
See, if someone claims that something exists, they are the ones with the burden of proof. Until that has been settled, there is no reason to assume gods exist.

No it's not. The group making the claim in contrast to the "accepted belief" bears burden of proof until they can prove it. Not the other way around. Atheists can provide possible alternatives, but can not actively disprove deities/supernatural, or have thus far failed to do so, (due to the nature of the disagreement).

Shadow Lodge

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Origonally, yes, but it was changed so that you have to pick one as your patron (for spells and abilities), but can worship/respect/follow all.

Thats true for all, anyway, where you can worship the Dwarf pantheon, or whatever, but still need to pick a single patron.

Shadow Lodge

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Dαedαlus wrote:

Well.... humans aren't always rational. And they can be very stubborn. People believe things that simply don't add up in the end.

And in-world, my understanding of atheists is that they simply don't feel like just because someone has a big stick doesn't mean that they should bow down to a cosmic mob boss.

Which is fine, I'm just wondering where the suppossed line is drawn.

My understanding of Rahadoum, for example, is that they know full well that the deities are deities, and "worthy of worship". They just choose not to, anyway.

Razmiran, on the other hand, or rather those that believe in the faith, believe that all of the other deities are actually false, and only their's is a true deity, having passed the Test of the Starstone.

Shadow Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
Aldizog wrote:

I played alongside one of those "atheists" who tried to deny that the gods were gods, by setting up a strawman definition of godhood.

"Those beings are just very powerful outsiders who can grant spells, they're not gods" sounded to me like saying "Hill giants are just exceptionally large and strong humanoids, they're not giants."

Who says that gods must be infallible? Or (in-world) that there must be a clear line between a Mythic being and a deity?

"They're not worthy of worship" is at least logical; the nay-theist perspective. Creating your own definition of godhood and claiming the deities fail to meet it is not reasonable.

But you need some kind of in world definition of godhood if you want to claim some beings have it and others don't.

Otherwise Razmir is a God. He's powerful, he claims to be, so why not?

Therein lies the problem. What makes one worthy or unworthy of worship? Particularly when it is rather easy to get definitive answers from something like a summoned outsider who would likely tell you that deities, no matter what you call or think of them, are actually deities, across all alignments.

The powerful outsiders, but not gods/worthy of worship idea just doesn't hold water.

Shadow Lodge

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For me, I dislike some of the flavor/theme mechanics. I felt far too much Occult Material was based on Know Arcane or just Arcane when to me Religion and Divine seemes more appropriate and related, particularly in areas like undead, spirits, various planes, and things like that, but Divine seemed almost completely absent from the book, which ultimately has odd implications on rules and setting consistency.

I also didn't like that they categorized psychic style magic as "Occult", which to me is more in line with both what Arcane and Divine represent.

Overall, it was a product I didn't really feel was needed, or particularly desired as much as one that they just really wanted to do, which is fine. Im not particularly for or against it, and only got it to keep up with it at least passingly, but am not terribly interested in it.

Shadow Lodge

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


However, that was in a setting of a previous edition of the World's Finest Roleplaying Game, not Pathfinder.

True, true. . . <Pats Wei Ji on the shoulder>.

Yes, Pathfinder has so, soo far tongo, but one day it will get there. One day, Pathfinder will give up on these stupid things and get there. One day.

Shadow Lodge

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There have been plenty of fantasy stories about mortals either killing or fighting against deities, so I'm not sure that's true, either.

Legend of the Twins comes to mind.

Shadow Lodge

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

Evil also always has the strategic advantage in any contest. Good only wins with numbers or individuals that are overwhelmingly powerful compared to the evil guys (despite how the stories go). This is because for every option a good guy has to use against the bad guys, the bad guys have several more options. Good needs teamwork and numbers to win. Anything less just isn't enough.

Interestingly, looking at the purpose of various morality from an objective evolutionary standpoint (ignoring divine intervention possibility), a system of morals is what allows a group to work together effectively. Without morality, there is no trust and therefore no teamwork, resulting in everyone working alone and for only themselves.

More trusting individuals act as the glue, holding a group together as untrusting individuals are more likely to work together with a trusting person, yet the untrusting people are more likely to spot hidden dangers and betrayers.

In fact, it seems to me that morality is an individual's answer to how to balance the needs/desires of the individual vs the needs/desires of the group.

In psychology they ask questions like this (with no satisfactory answers yet, just various theories), and my personal take on it, is that people have several conflicting drives, and as we grow we find resolution to these conflicting drives, the end result is the core of our personalty and our actual "alignment" (I say actual, cause some people believe in one thing but don't act on those beliefs. I.E. they believe hypocrisy is bad, but yet are hypocrites anyway.).

I'm not sure that's true. One of the divine philosophies I really loved about the Dragonlance setting was the concept that "Evil turns upon itself, Good redeems its own". Evil has many superficial advantages, but ultimately they are fighting against everyone.

Evil works together, too, but it's always a secondary effect to a greater purpose, allowing someone stronger to do the work for you or weaken themselves enough so you can take over. Or they are only loyal until you run out of money, others have a better offer, or whatever the real goal is, is reached or failed.

Good is generally the opposite, willing to help defend others, go into hell or the abyss itself to rescue each other, and even if they don't agree on some things, willing to fight together and help each other out anyway, just because it's the right thing to do.

Evil believes that there can be only one, and sees it as strength to feed off of those that don't make the cut, while Good cares just as much about the strongest one as they do the weakest one. Good is also much, much, much more willing to risk self sacrifice for a better overall outcome than Evil (or Neutral).

I would argue that while it may seem that Evil has most of the advantages, it's generally the exact opposite, although, because of plot/story fiat, and the way the game system works, this is something that doesn't really come up too often.

Shadow Lodge

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I agree, and that's kind of why I don't really see much of an argument for "If it's stated people will kill it". So what. I mean, if you are playing that high level, and that's what the players want to do, why not.

Personally, for a fantasy setting like D&D or PF, I find the "You Lose", they are plot devices, and similar things very boring. That essentially makes them Pet DM NPCs. It doesn't add anything cool to the setting or game, it just tells people "No, you can't, just because".

I also get it that there are a lot of folks here very against it, and to them, I'd ask they not be those bad apples that ruins something they don't like and can easily ignore/not use for everyone else. Now, that being said, I know Paizo has no interest in doing such a book, and I know that man of the deities really are their Pet DM NPC, (or something kind of close to it), so I'm not really certain I'd want Paizo to do such a book.

Shadow Lodge

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Adding Cha, or using it instead of Wis for Will Saves would only make the class significantly more dippable for other classes, and in general, I'm against this tactic because I've seen too much cheese from swapping stat basses around. In particular when it comes to Cha, or Dex.

One of my house rules is that everyone, once they get multiple attacks from BaB, can sacrifice the later attacks to take an additional 5ft Step. Fighters get it at the level that they get the extra attacks, while everyone else gets it one level after.

So a character with 3 attacks (from BaB), could 5ft Step and attack x3, 10ft Step or take two seperate 5ft Steps and Attack twice, or 15ft Step/5ft Step x3 and Attack once. It would still be a Full Attack, (if they want) so Haste, TWF, or whatever could still apply, but it helps with Mobility, and also allows for safer approaches through Reach.

Maybe something like this, though I'm not sure I would want it to be Swash only.

Shadow Lodge

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Razmir pays Oracles 1,000pp a day. Witches get 1,000 gp, and Bards 1cp a day, but tend to be true believers.

Shadow Lodge

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While not New Orleans specifically, Karcau, Ustalav has a lot of aspects in common with Cajun Country, La in general, and wouldn't be too hard to make more similar to New Orleans, by dropping the Opera aspect in favor for other music and dance styles.

There is also a large tension between the proper citizens of the area and the "swampers" local barbarians and country folk that live out in the swamps, that are looked down upon by the city dwellers, but have a knack for curses and witch-doctory.

Shadow Lodge

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I would enjoy it, and in past editions of D&D, I have often liked such books more than most others.

Some folks are against it for various reason, generally because they don't want deities to die. Personally, Im ok with that, and would love to see some high level play focused on, but I am not terribly partial to Golarion or it's deities.

Shadow Lodge

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||CORE Rotating DM ||Fingerprints||King Xeros ||Serpent's Skull||
Eladrian wrote:
GM: These effects are really awesome. Could you please PM me and let me know how you are doing that?! I would love to use that on my own maps.

For anyone that is interested, you can copy/paste or load Gifs on Google Slides/Drawing just like pictures.

I have two sites that I linked in my DM Profile for easy access that I use often:
HERE
and
HERE is my Google Drive one

For some reason, lately, my Drive one does not copy over the animations now, so I'm not sure what the issue is.

But, you can also search for "GIFs", and sometimes get lucky. That's what I did for the Hellraiser Puzzle Box.

For some reason, when you copy GIFs, it will also add another box, similar to a Text box on Google Slides. I just delete it, (and it tends to be rather large), but as far as I can tell it does not seem to be too harmful.

After that, once the GIF is up, either Right Click or search the Menu bar for "Image Options", where you can reduce the Transparency so that you can also see the map and grid lines.

Also, make sure that you drop the images near the bottom layer, just above the map itself so that the player and npc tokens can move around without moving the GIF, (click on the GIFs, CTRL + SHIFT + Down Arrow and then CTRL + Up Arrow once).

Shadow Lodge

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CorvusMask wrote:
I think reason why good outsiders ask payments is part of the "if we did everything for mortals, mortals wouldn't have freedom as they would be essentially our pets" thing? I might be wrong about that

Sure, but contrast that to a powerful arch mage or a mouth piece of a deity in the world is calling on incredibly powerful power just to ask for your aid, and that just doesn't hold up very well.

These are not simple summoning spells, but rather prayers only used when stuff has really, really gone sideways.

Shadow Lodge

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CorvusMask wrote:

So this is something I've been thinking about a lot since old Book of the Damned volumes... And its not just because there are far more fallen celestial than redeemed fiends. In a lot of paizo material, like some of Heaven Unleashed articles(certain judgmental flying helmet...), some good aligned outsiders are portrayed as arrogant judgmental jerks.

This struck to me as weird since aligned outsiders are representatives of their alignment.
...so logically Good aligned outsiders should be good and moral more than any mortal could be, but reading about Celestials, it doesn't really seem like they are any less fallible than mortals are, they can fall from grace due to arrogance, self-delusion, tragedy, cynicism just as easily and they have as much prejudice as mortals do.

I think this is largely true, but in addition to what Tacticslion mentioned, there is also a lot of issues with writers just not really knowing how to represent Good Outsiders without having them come off as highly self righteous, arrogant, unquestioningly devoted, and harsh in a way that really comes off, in my opinion as much more LN or even N than any form of Good.

The other thing I think is a major factor is that I don't think Paizo, perhaps subconsciously, wants to definitively define Good, and probably has a lot of individual authors that have very different views on what would be right.

This is also somewhat reinforced by the rules, as spells like Gate or the Planar Ally spells require a payment, (aside from game balance), seems very wrong to me. Good Outsiders shouldn't need payment (or even a favor/rewards/sacrifices) for doing their job, if a Good caster is asking for their help. Granted, I am aware that it says "However, if the task is strongly aligned with the creature's ethos, it may halve or even waive the payment.", but the only time I've seen that come up is when it's a plot device. To me, it just seems counterintuitive.

Shadow Lodge

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Razmir, the Living God wrote:
hellatze wrote:

i think he is.

i am serious, this guy manage to fool people, creating empire, and a very powerful spell caster.

not a good dudes. but if he reach the immortality, he become a god.

he even have a cult.

he put (almost) all god into a shame, because he become god by sheer effort.

This is all true.

So, . . . second rate Irori?

Liberty's Edge

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HP: 25/27, AC: 15, T: 12, FF: 13, CMD: 14, F: +5, R: +3, W: +7 Init: +2, Perc: +11, <3rd Cont. Flame/Blindsense 20>, CG Male Human Cleric 4, Bladed Scarf: +4 (1d6+1) 20/x2
Night's Star:
13/13 || AC 17, T 16, FF 15 || F +2 R +4 (Imp Evasion) W +6 || Perception +12 (LLV/Blind Sense 20), Stealth +14

Torrel will join with Lilianna, power high-fiving as they channel life giving energies into the area to erode the darkness within the undead and unloving.

Channel Energy DC 14: 2d6 ⇒ (6, 3) = 9

Shadow Lodge

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No, Im honestly curious. In medical, we have a concept called triage, essentially a way to help the most people, based on needs and resources.

The Goblins Alignment shows that as clearly Evil, as far as I can tell.

Shadow Lodge

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What benefit does this concept bring that is better then the one from the CRB?

Two factors that come up in Alignment debates/discussions that I don't think this will really help at all with are that people have different ideas about what Good or Evil mean when it comes to specifics, but also when circumstances are involved. The other is that people try to apply modern or political standards to a system that is more a guideline, but is also meant to be universal, (not allowing for individual interpretation, regional variance, etc. . .).

The other big issue I see is that this actually seems to muddy the waters, especially if, as you say the intent is to codify how things like Detect Good or Smite Evil work. Is someone that volunteers quickly to "help" others so that they can get into a good position to murder them when the time comes or to fool people into trusting them Good? By this measure, yes, or worst case scenario, maybe. But a person that just, completely selfishly just wants to appear as benevolent, someone people can trust, and to get support, while not having any particularly evil intentions, except to get wealthy and powerful. That person, in this system should absolutely beam Good for spell detection. Right?

Having not read Goblins, I just don't really see what the benefit of this as a system is?

Shadow Lodge ****

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I fall somewhere in between. It can be frustrating when characters trivialize encounters, especially when I put in a lot of work to build them up, personalize them if I can to backstories, or it is clearly intended to be a good fight. Its less because it makes me angry, per se, as much as it feels very anticlimactic, but also because it leaves the rest of the players just sitting there and not getting to do things or enjoy the encounter.

The big difference for me is that there are so many other culprits that do this more often, consistently, and/or worse than Combat Maneuvers. A single Archer taking out 4 out of 8 enemies, including the miniboss in the first round before the rest of the party can even get to their first targets. Im not angry with the character or player, but they are incredibly difficult to challenge.

Color Spray, Grease, Glitterdust, or a few other spells that just shut down encounters, even into Seeker levels+. Just about any class that gets a combat pet essentually gets two very strong characters, in addition to extra perks like Scent, but large cats are just way too good. Like outdoing dedicated frontline warriors of higher levels too good, and they typically also have caster support from the player's "other" character.

Gunslingers are sort of like Archers with an extra x0.5 boost. Dervish Dance Magus, (ie the Magus), almost soloing entire scenarios with little threat.

To me, and yes, obviously this is just my opinion/experience, these are some of the things that tend to ruin encounters, (making them trivial or severely hindering the challanges), that should be the focus of nerfs. Combat Maneuvers are just not really in the same league, again in my opinion, (generally speaking. Specific one trick pony types might be an uncommon exception). From my perspective, many of these have pretty long histories of people requesting they be looked at and toned down because they are too good or abusable, (as far as ruining encounters consistantly). The Monk with Hummingbird Ring, is another good example, and while it does speak to Combat Maneuvers some, it is because it unfairly twists the system to boost them rather than the Combat Maneuvers being overly strong, (and DPS is still better anyway).

Shadow Lodge ****

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I really don't have much issue with CMs, honestly. I find they tend to grow progressively less powerful overall, and so while they might be strong at the lower level range (strong being somewhat subjective), they are also generally fairly circumstantial.

Probably the single worst offender for Combat Maneuvers in the hands of the players would be through pets, but, it's generally because of abilities like Grab that allow basically the attack and then a free CM with it. However, in this case it's the pet itself, the fact that they get the free CM attempt, the fact that they can much more easily get into the larger sizes (and thus not be affected by the larger sizes of enemies), and other factors like that that significantly boost them (ie they cheat).

Now, I'm certain there are other cases, but I've not personally heard of them, or not heard of them being particularly severe outside of maybe a single Scenario, (which can kind of happen with anything). This also does not mean that I assume my experience, or my word are the one and only true way, it's simply what I've encountered in my fairly long history of the game(s).

I've seen a Grapple focused Monk hold down a mini boss, and then realize that they where effectively stuck in place while the rest of the enemies ran right passed them unimpeded.

I've seen a Tripper not get to basically do anything of any value an entire scenario against flying enemies, and I've seen a tripper, (might honestly have been the same player in a different scenario) be asked by the rest of the table to stop because it was making their ranged attacks miss consistently enough.

I've seen a Bull Rusher/Overrunner play Bowling against a small group of enemies and do dang well, but generally speaking they where very limited on when they could actually pull off their tricks because of charge or movement lanes.

I personally, due to a crit with max damage, have sundered the BBEG's weapon and left them effectively powerless in the first round of combat. But, I also think If I would have continued with that character, the rest of the party likely wouldn't have been very happy with the tactic, (which is why I stopped), and in all reality, most likely just hitting him, (20, 20 confirm, four 6's on 4d6, plus Power Attack plus two handed Str), they probably would have been dead anyway.

I would probably say that the outright worst overall, (in the sense of ruining encounters for the group), might be Disarm, simply because PFS generally does not have the space to include a lot of backup gear in their NPCs, and secondary weapons tend to be ranged, leading to very defenseless or severely weakened encounters once that one weapon is removed. There will still be plenty of encounters that the CM does not apply, but that's something that applies to all CM.

In my experience, players that focus on different Combat Maneuvers do not significantly render themselves immune to those Combat Maneuvers when used against them either, though they do get some noteworthy bonuses.

Liberty's Edge

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HP: 25/27, AC: 15, T: 12, FF: 13, CMD: 14, F: +5, R: +3, W: +7 Init: +2, Perc: +11, <3rd Cont. Flame/Blindsense 20>, CG Male Human Cleric 4, Bladed Scarf: +4 (1d6+1) 20/x2
Night's Star:
13/13 || AC 17, T 16, FF 15 || F +2 R +4 (Imp Evasion) W +6 || Perception +12 (LLV/Blind Sense 20), Stealth +14

I believe I had heard something about +5 Holy, Everything Bane Bladed Scarfs, a Staff of Life, and Rings of Wishes dropping for this encounter.

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pjrogers wrote:

I'll admit that I've only been playing PF for a little over a year after a considerable break from the world of tabletop RPGs. However, I've never seen this sort of dire situation. I have seen cases where one character that has 2+ levels on the others does save everyone's butt (usually in level 1-5 scenarios), but that's due to level difference rather than optimization.

Rather than observing OP characters as being needed for the rare situation described above, I've generally seen them trivializing encounters or overshadowing the efforts of other, often newer, players.

To the degree that nerfing helps reduce the number of OP characters and discourages obsessive optimization, I think that's overall a good thing for PFS in general.

I believe that what BNW is saying is that there are different expectation sin PFS (or really any sort of Organized play) where 3-7 completely random characters could all get sat together to play versus the more traditional table of players that commonly play together.

It's not that PFS requires/expects characters to be more "OP", but rather it is significantly better for everyone if each player puts some effort into being able to cover potential gaps in the party, should none of those random players happen to have, say an Arcane Caster.

Not that they need to be both a Barbarian and also be so good that they are basically a Wizard also, but that they devote a little bit to maybe having some Int or ability to use wands/scrolls themselves, just in case.

Similarly, a table that just happens to have 4 Wizards might have a really hard time if none of them can survive a few good hits, and at least one of them might have to bite the bullet, so to speak, and keep enemies off of the others long enough for them to cast a few offensive spells without getting killed for doing so.

In a home game, for instance, you already know you have a Barbarian, Sorcerer, Oracle, and a Bard, and it will not take long to figure out it's most likely going to be either the Sorcerer or the Barbarian "dealing" with traps and locks. You also know that you could take a level of Rogue, and overall it will not be wasted, because you can talk to the other players about it.

In PFS, your next game might be with a completely different set up, though. (Or it may not).

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

What I hope is that we can create an environment where everyone can discuss these changes without tearing each other apart. Sometimes, we successfully advocate for changes of our own -- especially when once banned items, spells or abilities are allowed into the campaign. I see it grow and change in both directions.

Hmm

While I normally agree with this, I think, in this case, there has been too many band aids applied, and the wounds have just been left to fester for too long. There is a time for peace and a time for war, so to speak.

In regards to how to proceed forward, and what we would like to happen, I would outright concur that errata such as with happened with the Boots of Earth, Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier, and now the Ioun Stone, the changes are simply unreasonable, and following suite should simply be out of the question. In the case of the Jinasa, for instance, adding something like 10,000 to the cost might have been another appropriate option.

We have, at this point, had plenty of time to evaluate the benefit of these changes, and it honestly might be time for PFS to take another good look and see if those prior choices where actually in the communities best interests, or the best decision that could be made. If not, what else could be done to improve it.

I'd like to see Aasimar and Tieflings reintroduces as freely playable options, (though maybe not the various different versions). I think we are at a point now that the vast majority of the issues people had with them are no longer reasonable, (native outsiders, darkvsion, spell-like abilities), and it's been a long enough time, and there are so many other options that I do not believe that they would skyrocket in popularity as they did when they where the only two special options.

I'd really like the focus of all further decisions to really, really focus in on a few key points, like keeping in mind that different people enjoy the game differently, and that even if we don't understand it, we don't have to, because they are not wrong.

We really need to get out of this mindset that there is a best or better way to play the game.

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LINK

John Compton wrote:
We also recognized that these conditions would enable however many people to exploit the system and create a dozen new native outsider characters for a rainy day. In a way, that's a feature and not a bug. Although I scratch my head a bit at stockpiling aasimars, I'm also aware that the campaign serves a wide range of play styles and interests, so if someone is wild about aasimars and wants to play a bunch of scenarios in a month, that's his or her business.

So, while it's I guess possible to read the Blog post as "10 is too much, don't do it", I think this, from that same thread makes it clear that that was the intent. Secondly, it also tells people that above ten, "a dozen", is ok, IF THAT"S WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO DO.

LINK

John Compton wrote:

I've tossed around a few numbers over the past week mostly to give a sense of what is appropriate in my estimation as a participant in the campaign. Making more aasimars than that may make me as a person less comfortable, but in few cases would it make me as a developer lay out official guidelines of how many is too many. It's important for me to be able to separate (or at least distinguish between) my feelings as a gamer and my feelings as a developer, such that my way of having fun is not the only way of having fun (i.e. "badwrongfun").

In that way, Mike and I haven't laid out precise numbers of how many native outsiders one can create over this month, and we recognized going in that there would be some statistical outliers who might make 5+ additional characters. As many have said or alluded to upthread, "how much is too much" is largely a matter of individual judgment. So long as folks are following all of the other campaign rules and are having fun while playing the game, I think it's in the campaign's and community's best interests that we let this play out and avoid passing judgment on others' play styles.

. . . interesting. But even more so if you read upthread a little bit and someone was suggesting that the blog emphasized 1-3, and also that 10 was too much.

But perhaps most interesting here, is the literal name of that thread.

I know there is one more, where they specifically mention that people that desire to make a bunch of Aasimar or Tieflings freely may, but realistically, due to the limitations on the amount of playable scenarios, would ever really be able to play a small handful past level 3 or so, which is kind of self defeating.

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Im looking for the info. Its been years, but I have a feeling I know where to find it.

But, something I want to point out is that, reading the exact same blog, you walk away with "10 is outrageous", and I see "10 is fine". Just for the record, I had 2 Aasimar, and no Tieflings. I ran one table for others to get one.

And I absolutly agree, I think for some people facts don't matter, it's all about shouting over others, case in point.

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Tallow wrote:
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.

Look, this is an outright lie, and misinformation like this really needs to be killed off. What actually happened was that PFS Leadership decided to remove the Aasimar and Tiefling races from play, allowing for people to get some grandfathered in by having hit level 2 before a date. THEY ACTUALLY SUGGESTED STOCKPILING. People innocently asked, multiple times, what a good number would be, not knowing if the races would become Boon options later or if they would just be essentially off limits thereafter, and PFS leadership responded, with something like 10-20 was fine.

They even explained that while they knew some folks would want to stockpile that many, in all reality it wouldn't matter, because with the rather limited number of scenario's available, they would in reality only have the option to level up a small handful of those stockpiled, and it might sound excessive, it just wouldn't really matter.

Sounds reasonable. Now, something to keep in mind here, these where the first two non-Core races to be allowed for play without a Boon, which where pretty hard to get much of the time in those days. There was no Online Campaign, and there was also a large amount of hoarding them for Gen Con only type conventions. Another massive factor worth considering was that at the time, following the rules from 3.5, Spell-Like Abilities could allow you to count as a Spell Caster, and in particular allowed people to access the Mystic Theurge Prestige Class in time to actually benefit from it. It was still rather sub par, but it was basically the only viable option, and there where a few other corner cases along those line, (generally in the same boat, it allowed it to be a viable option, but not a great one).

Another massive consideration we need to keep in mind is that a lot of people purchased the Blood of Angels/Fiends books specifically to allow for options to be made legal, and essentially pulling out the rug from under us really felt cheap, but also had absolutely nothing at all to do with the ongoing storyline within the campaign's seasons.

So, back to the history lesson. Once again, people had reasonably asked for more clarification, and the answer had been given, specifically that while 20 or more was expected, it had already been considered in full and there was no real worry about it. And then, all of the s#!# hits the fan after some group, (singular here, not plural), "brags" about doing speed runs to get their lodge a stockpile of Aasimar and Tiefling characters, mentioning that at some point (assumed later into the over the week run) they had even gotten to the point of doing Master's of the Fallen Tower in under half an hour.

I mean, to me, that honestly sounds like said group should have been commended. It really come off to me as though a few DMs put in a lot of work to help multiple people out when there was a lot of confusion of the subject. Ultimately, though, what really happened here was that PFS leadership essentially stabbed people in the backs, saying one thing and then condemning us as a whole for a tiny portion actually doing it.

From there, it has essentially been this ongoing lie that Players can not be trusted, because PFS leadership gave them an inch and we took a mile, even if it was very, very small minority of us. Now, there are also a lot of folks that personally disliked the two races, A.) because in introduced something they like to call the "cantina effect", which is frankly a way of accusing others of having badwrongfun because humanoids should outnumber everything else, <You might also notice how absent this argument has become with some of the clearly not human-like races out there, Kitsune, Tengu, Elemental Touched, etc. . ., and it is not that hard to tell what the real motivation behind this was>, and B.) the false notion that Aasimar and Tieflings are too good, which has been disproven multiple times in comparison to just straight Humans, which granted, is somewhat subjective.

Now, keep in mind, this was also the first time that for many, many people that a Non-Core Races was ever an option, so it makes sense that there would be a sudden influx of the races in play.

Since then, the unofficial rule had been that new races would be in circulation for two seasons and then swapped out, but, essentially excluding only the Aasimar and Tiefling, they have all been now designated as indef and likely not to be removed. Some of this was due to the argument that Blood of Animals had recently come out, (which sort of spilled salt on the wound for Blood of Angels/Fiends).

So that is what actually happened, and as I recall, those individuals that had done the "speedrun" had actually done so over an entire week, (not weekend) putting in extra hours to get folks at their lodge a chance to have one or a few Aasimar or Tiefling options before the deadline, which eventually got to the point of running the module like 30 mins, (and lets be honest, Masters of the Fallen Fortress is not a long Module, shorter than many scenarios minus the maps). I'm sorry, to me that seems both innovative and very much like people trying to help others out that is very much in the scope of what PFS is about. I do not remember the speedrun table incident that well, but I do remember being pretty ashamed of the way PFS Leadership and some of the more vocal haters acted towards it. I mean heck, I feel like that with The Confirmation, and would love to speed run through it like 20 times just so I don't have to sit through it again.

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It's a highly contentous book that has caused people to loose trust in the company and/or products, put many people on edge, and is making a lot off fans angry. ("A lot" is hard to quantify, but the overwelming idea I hear onlone and in my area is we would just be better off without the book existing, and sure, stuff about vocal minority blahblahblah, or hyperbole).

Call that an opinion if you want, but if people thought the Lore Warden was/is OP, I'm highly concerned that things like the Herald Caller, or other option that technically fail this rediculous criteria will be nuked as well.

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To be honest, I really hope that the entire Adv. Guide itself is simple banned in PFS. The book is bad for the community.

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Marc Radle wrote:

Worse than the three prequel films?

Come on!

Yes. TFA was terrible, and while the Prequels have some issues, I still rewatch them and enjoy it.

TFA just trashed the setting. The story would be forgettable if it where not a s$!+ty remake of a great one. The characters are boring. Especially Rey, who is just better at everything than everyone, just because. And how dare you grab my arm when you spot danger and want to keep me safe! Oh the outrage!

Even the antagonists are meh, barring maybe Rey falling to the dark side, effectively retconning out of existence the entire New Order thing, Ren, and Snoke and becomming the big bad. Better if that all happens in the openning scroll.

Hearing that, after TFA, they are potentialy allowing JJ to touch the setting is genuinely depressing.

Liberty's Edge

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HP: 25/27, AC: 15, T: 12, FF: 13, CMD: 14, F: +5, R: +3, W: +7 Init: +2, Perc: +11, <3rd Cont. Flame/Blindsense 20>, CG Male Human Cleric 4, Bladed Scarf: +4 (1d6+1) 20/x2
Night's Star:
13/13 || AC 17, T 16, FF 15 || F +2 R +4 (Imp Evasion) W +6 || Perception +12 (LLV/Blind Sense 20), Stealth +14
Seren's Seven wrote:
Ride: 22 = 22

Nice!!! It seems like we are just mopping the floor with this scenario, and I'm happy to have a good, well rounded group. :)

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Rysky wrote:
From Dictionary
grope wrote:

1) feel about or search blindly or uncertainly with the hands.

2) feel or fondle (someone) for sexual pleasure, especially against their will.

There is something right between "uncertainly with the hands." and "2)", that you seemed to have left out.

"Informal", meaning that 2) is not correct or not the official meaning, but is often misused in a given context.

Again, people are adding context to the OP and putting words and intentions into their post needlessly. There was no indication that said player was making anyone uncomfortable, and the question was obviously not asking for advice. We have no indication whatsoever how the group, in or out of character, feels about this. In fact, it seems to have been implied or stated more than once that that is not at all what the topic is about, and people keep insisting on trying to hijack it to be about that.

If there is an issue with players, (who gives a crap if they are male or female!!!) are having issues, that's a different story, but not one that this thread was about.

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I mean, the whole world saw massive space dragons come through a magical portal above New York, and probably do not think Thor is an "alien", (and we know that kids in Europe are familiar with him via YouTube).

Dragons and a magical city shouldn't be that unbelievable, and Matt could have simply added in a "Um, guys, he is either not lying or he can beat my magic lie-detector".

The main issue is that the main premise of the show is that Iron Fist has to act like an idiot, and be there primarily as a plot device key. I have a really hard time believing that he is one of the best martial artists in the world(s) and that Electra both gave him a challenging fight while also "tricking" him (so contrived) into opening the way up.

I'm sorry, that was just stupid and really unduly detracted from the Iron Fist character that was already on thin ice. Again, I'd argue it wasn't the actor or the character, just the overall terrible way that both Iron Fist and the Defenders handled the character overall, telling us he is supposed to be _______, but constantly showing us very much the opposite. <the or one of the best martial artists, wise, meditative and patient, etc. . .>

I think the main issue comes down to having JJ in the show. Both Dare Devil and Luck Cage had already really drove in the fact that those two characters, as a very large part of their personality/motivation are doing it for the "little guy on the streets". Jessica kind of does, too, but is mostly out for herself, sort of.

If they also made Iron Fist very conscious of all the innocent bystanders as a part of his character, that would have reduced a great deal of the potential tension and conflict between the characters, but also basically made it three males against one female, which is something I think they wanted to avoid at all costs. That sort of leaves Danny, being the late-comer, with no real character foundation.

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Both of those seem very high for what the spell does. Like stupidly, ridiculously high and nothing close to what similar items are, which should be our first guideline to look at. This would not be on par with a Staff of Power, for instance, or two Holy Avengers.

Dragonchess' breakdown seems ridiculously over priced, and more of a way to effectively make it impossible.

More realistically, I would think more along the lines of the Ring of Telekinesis, where it is not constant, but rather something you can call on at will, because it does offer Temp HP.

The Ring of Telekinesis is also pretty much the perfect ring for comparison purposes, though 1 spell level higher, so that's a good benchmark to aim for. Just short of 75,000, but higher than the 40,000 Ring of Freedom of Movement, (which is constant, but also substantially better).

Maxing the CL is going to ramp the cost up significantly, but will probably not be that worth it, honestly.

Spell Level (4) x Caster Level (12) x 750 x2 for Unlimited Charges = 72,000, which is about spot on.

Or, if you must 4 x 20 x 750 x2 = 120,000 for a Caster Level version with Infinite Charges. +2 Att/Damage/Str checks, and +8 Temp Hp just isn't worth 48,000gp in the difference, though.

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Lady-J wrote:
so besides the fact the the devs have stated the god tenants replace the normal code of conduct your gona say that there's nothing to back up my claims?

Just to be clear, the devs have stated both ways, some saying they replace, and some saying they add on to, so there is no clear answer.

As written, (and also as intended by some), they add to the existing code, and do not replace it.

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||CORE Rotating DM ||Fingerprints||King Xeros ||Serpent's Skull||

Yah, a Standard Action is fine. BUT,. . . a Dwarf without a "Dwarven Lockpick", WTH? :P

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10/10 || AC 17, T 16, FF 15 || F +1 R +4 (Imp Evasion) W +5 || Perception +11 (LLV/Blind Sense 20), Stealth +14

It seems that talk of the Blakros Museum was just what it takes as the small bat hanging from Torrel's scarf seems to stir, blinking it's little black eyes and beginning to stretch from her hanging position.

"Squeek, squeak."

Torrel rolls his eyes, not approving, but knowing she will not assist without her "superhero costume", he places a miniature hallowing-style mask over the bat's face, designed to look like a comically childish skeleton, plus a tiny riding saddle with bags, bat-goggles worn atop her head, and her own tiny holy symbol.

This has absolutely no effects, it's just a tiny mask, saddle, smoked goggles, and holy symbol for fun. Night's Star is really not a combat Familiar, but does have Blind Sense and Low-Light Vision.

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Tallow wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
Tallow wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:

I mean, it does make some sense, but at the same time, there really is no logic or consistency to the overall D&D/PF economy, and trying to make something like this conform to that non-existant system is very odd and counter productive.

If a larger sized item is going to have an dissociated extra cost, it should also have extra benefits.

you know, it could have absolutely zero to do with the economy. It could simply be that even if the design team originally intended it to work the way many have been doing things. And then decided recently, based on 9 years of playtest, that they felt it was unbalanced for things to cost the same. And so rather than changing the entire economy system, they created a quick, but imperfect fix, that does what they need it to do.

Stop people from kitting out their large and huge pets with ridiculous ACs.

I was replying to this:
burkoJames wrote:
Ive pointed out before, and I will point it out again, any time someone says this makes sence due to "more material' being used or some such nonsense.

But, as for what you said, A.) Ive nevery really know this to be an issue, not on the players side, at least, and B.) it sort of fails to do very much for Large sized pets, still making "rediculous" ACs mostly still possible in a certain range thats comparable. All it really does is seem to overly screw over everything that is not Small to Large size, and really makes things on the DM side very wonky.

Being that spells like Mage Armor are unaffected, and really all it is doing making it worse for everyone thats not a caster and making spells like Mage Armor extra beneficial.

I don't discount your experience. My experience is that Pet AC gets really gross when you start buying Mithril or Adamantine full plate for your large companion.

Why is that an issue? Said characters are, regardless of this ruling, splitting a huge amount of their wealth between themselves and their pet or mount. Even before all other investments. And this is for a mount or pet that, being extremely generous, will probably be sitting out half the game as they do not fit, are not allowed in, or wouldn't make sense to bring inside.

And yet, once again, it basically has no affect on casters and overwelming effect on non-casters.

This is a poor decision that does not make the game better for anyone, plain and simple. And this is coming from someone that does not have a single character affected.

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Tallow wrote:

This is pretty much it. And one of the reasons I haven't GM'd hardly anything for PFS since November of 2016.

I'm a huge fan of PCs and a huge fan of players getting to enjoy their character's abilities. But I'm also a storyteller. And part of telling stories in roleplaying games, is experiencing the encounters. When all the hard work I put into those encounters to help tell a riveting tail goes for naught, because players constantly build characters that can't be hit, kill in one shot, and...

The solution to this is to outright ban all Arcane classes, all Occult classes, Alchemists, Druids, Archer builds, and anything that gets any sort of pet, (except maybe, maybe Mount). Additionally, all Combat Maneuvers.

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It's not that "something" else is also problematic. It's that wide scopes of things, even CRB things are far more problematic, and the Lore Warden was at best questionably so, and even then, hardly comparable to a base class like the stock Wizard that can do more and affect more enemies.

My take on the Lore Warden "update" was that it was done simply to fulfill someone's personal preference for the class to get it official, which doesn't align with most folk's preferences.

While I don't have any Lore Wardens myself, I personally dislike the sort of mentality that I suspect was the grounds for the reprint. I could be wrong, but that's what it sort of reads like to me.

On the other hand, I do have some second-hand personal investment in this. The wifey has/had a Lore Warden/Rogue that was waiting for our friends to catch up to do the Seeker Arcs. At this point, she just walked away from PFS, because it's not worth it.

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