A fellow we have locally has said he felt the best way to do it would be that once a character reaches 12, the chronicles it had are unlocked for play. Its an interesting idea.
I think that having GM star replays reset each season rather than getting the one replay for GMing at a con would be better solution though. It both encourages GMing and provides a decent limited reply (5 per year maximum). At worst you get an explosion of GMs trying to get replays, which I mean I don't think anyone is going to say that's bad.
I'm not talking about a single skill check = win.
I'm talking about adding more things in like the library encounter in the Ancients Anguish if you're familiar with that. In the library, you're required to go through a wide variety of skills, some of which spellcasters aren't going to be good at generally like the strength check and fort save required to move the heavy stone tablets around without getting tired. Unless they absolutely knew there was this library in there, no caster of the appropriate level is going to have all the spells needed to solo the encounter. This is made especially true in that in order to get it all done before time limit imposed, it required the whole party to basically be working on the 7 different shelves.
Things like that make everyone useful. If done in similar ways to this, it doesn't dramatically increase spellcasters/skill monkeys beyond making them more useful in what would otherwise be a dungeon slog where most of their skills wouldn't come into play. Will there be situations where casters can break the game with certain spells? Yes. They can also just as easily "break" combat encounters with certain spells. I've seen a simple "Entangle" spell make many encounters trivially easy compared to what they should have been.
I guess what I'm saying is that I don't agree or see how it "vastly increases their power" beyond what it already is.
Finally overpowered characters themselves. Let's get real. A lot of stuff should never be in the AR to start with and a lot stuff in the AR should be removed. I know Paizo wants to sell books. But Paizo wants PFS to be healthy and at the rate its going it won't be for much longer. A lot of flavor options could be left in while a lot of the obvious power stuff could simply be banned. Sure the whiners will whine if stuff starts getting banned. How is that different than it is now? People whine for banned stuff to get unbanned, people demand that stuff get approved faster, people whine that AP's that should never have been sanctioned get sanctioned. Do a bunch of the worst stuff in one fell swoop like ripping off a bandage and get it over with. Make PFS more attractive to the more casual player who...
Hm... I agree with a lot of this but at the same time, what could you ban? In my experience, the biggest culprits of combat optimization are pretty basic feats like "Power Attack" and basic items like "Belts of Giant Strength" and powerful weapons like Greatswords made of adamantine (doubly so if over-sized). Said character (even without a Belt and Adamantine) will basically 1 shot 90% of enemies they come across at level 1. Couple that with high initiative bonuses and encounters will generally end before they start and no amount of GM futzing will address that. But is the right answer really to ban those things? I don't think so (unless we are talking about Celestial Chainmail, then burn it to the ground...). I think there are two "simple" (simple in my head anyway) fixes to some of the problems.
The first one is that the level cap mostly being at 12 removes a lot of the late game consequences for early game hyper optimizing. It's easy to make the choice to be a Hunter 1/Inquisitor 5/Barbarian 1/Titan Fighter 5 because the late game consequence of all those level dips (lacking high level abilities) never comes into play. If scenarios went all the way to 20, you would cause players to consider the long term consequences of hyper optimizing for early game. That said, I understand why there aren't scenarios going all the way to 20. Alternately, there could be a rule limiting the number of classes one could take to like 2 or 3 to prevent the really powerful early game builds from coming to fruition as easily while still allowing people to dip into what they need to enter various prestige classes.
The second one, which was already suggested in this thread, is to make scenarios less combat focused. I feel the majority of scenarios should be something like 2 combat encounters and one skill based encounter with the Secondary Success Condition generally hinging on how the skill encounter goes. This would cause players to consider their stats more closely as it may fall on them to make a diplomacy check if they don't have a good charisma-based character around. Maybe a 6 Charisma isn't the best choice anymore for optimization since the environment the player finds themselves in is different.
With all of this, what I am getting at is that banning stuff isn't going to help the situation I think, you're just limiting options. What if the party wants that hyper-optimized death machine for something like Thornkeep, Emerald Spire, or even Bonekeep? I think i agree with many of the others in this thread that making more of the flavorful/skill based stuff more useful and prevalent is a better solution than a large banning sweep.
since grapple is not size-restricted.
You know, I never realized that it didn't have a size limit. It's never really come up on my Brutal Pugilist.
I can see the issue, but you also have to consider things like smaller creatures that are made to grapple like brain spiders.
I feel like a simple fix to it would be that you can grapple a creature of any size, but if it's two categories larger, you can't pin it and it can still move at like half speed without having to make a grapple check (Edit: Or they have to win an opposing strength check to move rather than a grapple check)
It could still be ridiculous later on when you have medium sized creatures grappling colossal ones, but by the point someone could do that consistently, they'd basically be Herculean anyway. They should be able to do things like that in 16+ range I'd say.
In terms of scenarios I had the most fun playing:
Season 0: #5 The Mists of Mwangi
It's a classic, it really is. The monkey transformation has some hilarious results, especially when a caster gets affected!
Season 1: #40 "Halls of Drunken Heroes"
I played a Hellknight in this scenario and the clash between borderline lawful evil and chaotic good was great!
Season 2: #2-02: Before the Dawn—Part II: Rescue at Azlant Ridge
Piloting the Adamantine golem made this the most memorable of a season that from me was relatively forgettable.
Season 3: #3-01: The Frostfur Captives
One of the first scenarios I played, I got mind controlled by the doll while scouting then shived our druid from full to 0 in one hit.
Season 4: #4–11: The Disappeared
We played this with a full group of halflings from Andoran, pretending one of us was an Andoran Ambassador here for the party. We spent more time trying to liberate our halfling brethren than trying to find out what happened to Zaarta. We also cast all sorts of protections spells before entering Zaarta's bedroom, not for fear of monsters, but because we believed it was dirty XD
Season 5: #5–07: Port Godless
I played this only last week and it is probably my all time favorite now. We came up with a plan to infiltrate the base by casting silence and having my barbarian sunder the door open. We burst in, my frothing at the mouth, Rovagug Worshipping barbarian screaming with no sound coming out. The guards noticed and went for the alarm bell, but I made it there first, bit the pole to sunder it in half than proceeded to beat the guards to death with the alarm bell.
Season 6: #6–13: Of Kirin and Kraken
Lord RYBOS. That is all.
Season 7: #7–08—To Judge a Soul, Part 2: Karma Reclaimed (So far! Though Abducted in Aether looks good!)
In part 1, I spent most of the game flirting with the elf woman ninja. When she rejected me, my half-elf Field agent was like "She'll come crawlin' back." In part 2, she comes to the PCs through a snowstorm and I'm all like "Couldn't resist eh?" It was worth it all just for that lol
Ultimately, the actions of other players are suppose to be moderated by the GM not the other player characters largely.
That said, I have noticed a lot of issues like the op mentioned when it comes to the Chaotic Neutral alignment playing with more good aligned characters.
Season 7-04 "The Ironbound Schism" spoilers ahead!
7-04: The Ironbound Schism:
I was playing a lawful good inquisitor/golden legionnaire at the end of the Ironbound Schism. The character is a member of Liberty's Edge. We also had a character who was a chaotic neutral rogue and a member of Liberty's Edge as well. We got to the part with the enslaved ogre's at the end and I used Burst Bonds to free the normal ogres and was working on knocking down the two-headed ogre with non-lethal damage. The rogue moved over and started trying to do lethal damage to the the two-headed ogre after being asked not to. My character was a bodyguard specialist so I just used Bodyguard/In Harms Way to take all the damage while reprimanding the rogue in character.
I think one of the major challenges I've not been able to find a good answer to is what to do about a character's actions that don't necessarily violate an alignment but run counter to their Faction or the Society's general mission as mentioned in the example above. A chaotic neutral character trying to kill an enslaved creature isn't a violation of their alignment really, especially if those creatures are threatening them first. But a member of Liberty's Edge killing a slave without trying to free them first is a clearly in opposition to the mission of their faction.
There just isn't a system in place to deal with something like that. I feel there should perhaps be something like a faction infraction like alignment infractions for folks who do things like that.
Andrew Christian wrote:
Use eagle's splendor, Kyra!
As for the OP's bard cannon, I'm just confused by it. A core bard with 18 Cha is gonna do... what exactly? Sure their DC's are high, but like bards don't have whole lot of offensive damaging spells, especially not in the core book only. They'd be a good controller maybe?
I would always recommend at least a 12 con.
He's right to a certain extent however. Often times it doesn't matter at low-levels though as lucky crits are almost always instant death or unconsciousness in low tier games. My level two Fire Druid for core died last Saturday with a 14 Con. I was full HP and was crit with a longbow by a ranger with favored enemy human (was human). Died by 2 points.
Needless to say the Loincloth Cayden Cailean and the Apple of Norgorber did nothing to save me.
If you're GMing, the easiest way to get her into the fight would be open attacks on the Oracle every time when possible.
But she sounds less like a true pacifist and more like a bodyguard for the oracle. A true pacifist would at least try to stop violence maybe with a high diplomacy skill or by using enchantment effect to end battle.
Though if she doesn't want to accept an OOC discussion about how her character is impacting everyone else, have your character express how they would feel. I imagine a group of Pathfinders would be quite angry to have someone being a detriment to their team by refusing to help anyone of them but her betrothed.
*wades into the thread, crawling through muddy trenches*
"Hey! Anyone seen Rasputin?" shouts the gnome!
But seriously, wouldn't it be great if there was like an official PFS Character sheet app for tablets and phones with inventory tracking sheets and everything! It doesn't like generate characters or anything for you, just a simple character sheet! Someone should get on that and give me full credit I say!
Dragonhide Armor isn't illegal, you just need a Chronicle Sheet with it on there. There are one or two scenarios where you can get it. I think the restriction on it has more to do with availability more than it being evil to dragons or something.
As for cannibalism, I'm fairly certain eating another humanoid in general would be "cannibalism" in my book even if it isn't traditional consumption of the same species. I would say eating anything intelligent would still be evil if not cannibalism.
I remember GMing a game not too long ago where it came up. This person was brand new and playing the pregen Barbarian and they kept trying to cut off and eat fingers of other humans (fallen Pathfinders no less). I was like "Yeaahhh no, cannibalism is evil and not allowed." Then later they killed some derros and tried to do the same thing insisting it wasn't cannibalism because they weren't humans. I still didn't allow it then.
Different dieties have different codes also that would be worth looking in to. For example, a Paladin of Torag can lie freely if telling the truth would bring greater harm. A paladin of Sheyln is suppose to avoid killing anything or anyone that can potentially be redeemed. This is in addition to normal Paladin stuff. I think the codes are in Inner Sea Gods and some of the player Companions. I know the Paladin Code for Abadar is in "Faiths of Balance."
Ultimately, what constitutes an alignment infraction is up to the GM at the table. For example, if at my table a paladin of Sheyln just started trying to murder-hobo the evil cleric of Rovagug without asking for their surrender and trying to talk first, I would consider that breaking their code but I wouldn't consider the it breaking the code for a paladin of Sarenrae, whose faith holds the only unforgivable act to be worship of Rovagug.
Get to know your diety and act like a follower of that diety should and you should be fine.
So, a question was brought to me in relation to the Busker bard archetype:
Heroes of the Street wrote:
Flexible Performer (Ex): A busker can attempt Acrobatics, Disguise, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks to earn money instead of Perform checks. He can use his Bluff modifier in place of his Diplomacy modifier on Diplomacy checks.
Additional Resources wrote:
...a bard with the busker archetype can use Acrobatics, Disguise, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth for Day Job checks....
So a busker bard can use Stealth to perform a day job check. Ring of Invisibility makes someone invisible which provides a +20 to +40 bonus on stealth checks for 3 minutes but can be recast indefinitely. Does the bonus from Ring of Invisibility add to a Busker's Day Job Check?
I allowed it at the table because the person in question couldn't possibly get less than a forty even without the ring and I thought by the time anyone could afford a Ring of Invisibility, they probably could already max out this Day Job roll easily anyway.
Has anyone else run into this? Thoughts?
Ahhh this is a good one in relation to bull rush, trip, and grapple vs a mounted character in general that I've seen ruled different ways at nearly every table.
Some say that you can't trip the rider because they are mounted, so you have to trip the horse (which kinda makes sense). Others disagree and say you "trip" the rider by knocking them off the horse where they go prone in an adjacent square (which makes more sense, but then also seems more like a bull rush than a trip at that point). Yet another said they go prone but IN the saddle like they were awkwardly knocked off kilter on the horse equating to a trip penalty (ehh... questionable at best). Others still say the only way to dismount a rider at all is with the Unseat Feat.
Edit: Or uh... you know the mount going the way of Old Blanchy
Yeah, James Jacobs said it was an error and wasn't sure how that got in there, but it was never documented outside that forum post.
Just the other day I told someone who was a paladin of Apsu that he didn't grants spells and would need to change dieties. If I hadn't found his section in Inner Sea gods and then did some research on it, I wouldn't have been able to correct my mistake.
It's a good candidate for clarification in the book for PFS play.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Faiths of Purity; Page 18
....You might come from any class (except cleric or paldin, for Apsu does not grant spells);....
It's been stated that this was some sort of weird error by James Jacobs in this thread. This might be a good candidate for the book for some official clarification!
I've noticed a lot some of the occult classes (namely Mesmerists) struggle in some of the older scenarios I've GM'd, particularly ones with undead only or a plethora of creatures that are immune to mind affecting abilities. I've not played a mesmerist or any occult class personally so I'm not sure if it's the player's not constructing them correctly, but it seems a sort of universal issue.
I'm not sure if this is an oversight or not but if you want a legal gun-archetype, the "Savage Technologist" barbarian archetype from the Technology guide is legal for play. You get firearm proficiency off the bat. It'll be a bit of slow start before you can put it together though as you'd have to get Gunsmithing and save up some gold to buy your gun, but there you have it!
I think the problem most people have with pregens is it kinda defeats one of the major selling points of a table top game which is the liberty to make creative and unique characters of your own.
It's one of the reasons I dislike all the special scenarios that require a pregen. They can be fun and quirky, but it's not as interesting. To some extent, I feel a little punished for not playing the season 6 aspis special, because now things like The Bronze House Reprisal scenario, make virtually no sense.
This and the pregens aren't optimal in any capacity, and in the more dangerous later seasons (6-7), they can be a liability. It isn't as noticeable at early levels, but the 7 pregens might as well be a detriment save like Kyra.
I found something relevant on the FAQ!
So in PFS your MUST be within one step of your chosen deity to be considered a follower and pantheon worshipers only gain benefit from one deity in their pantheon at any time. So there you have it.
I think it's kinda silly they call it "atheism" in pathfinder which is essentially disbelief in the existence a of god. I don't think many in the Pathfinder universe lack belief that the gods are real entities. They generally either actively oppose gods like in Rahadoum (anti-theism) or they don't care to worship any of them (apatheism).
There is a guide here on what Gods are legal for PFS that is used in the FAQ if I'm not mistaken.
Under the rules, Aroden isn't a deity officially listed on anything as has been pointed out so he technically isn't a legal deity for play, but he's also technically not a "deity" at this point in Golarion history either.
I'd say it's probably something similar to the Prophecies of Kalistrade, a secular philosophy based on the teachings of Aroden's old church. That same is probably also true of people who "worship" Razmir as the actual echelons of Razmir's church are aware he's not a god and use the idea that he is one to control people.
This could get tricky though as then people could claim to only be "following the ideas" of say nascent demon lords and not worshiping them which starts to dip into a gray area.
I'd say it's legal though.