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Organized Play Member. 237 posts (238 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 Organized Play characters.


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Grand Lodge

Shooting a ranged weapon or ranged attack could provoke an AoO.
Casting a spell of any kind (unless quickened) could provoke an AoO.
Using a spell like ability could provoke an AoO.
Using a spell completion item could provoke an AoO.

While none of these are guaranteed to cause an AoO, they could because a person standing next to you threatens you. They threaten you because they have many ways and options to attack you if you let your guard down.

That simply does not exist in PF2E.

Grand Lodge

DM_Blake wrote:

Hey, now that most PCs and most monsters can't even make AoOs anymore, why would anybody be distracted when they're flanked?

After all, that rogue behind can't even attack me for at least another 6 seconds. The Barbarian in front of me will go first so I'll watch him and ignore the rogue, then after the barbarian goes I will give the rogue my full attention. In between, I can take my turn, cast spells, shoot ranged weapons, drink a potion with my eyes closed, pick my nose, and they can't even hit me.

So why should I lose AC from being flanked now?

Unless one of them is a fighter, in which case, I need to worry about him the whole round so I would be distracted on the other guy's round but not on the fighter's round.

Makes sense to me.

(Of course that's now how it's written or how it's intended to work, but hey, without AoO, flanking doesn't seem at all scary anymore).

This is another really good point. You used to threaten because you were capable of making an attack against the target being threatened if they weren't careful. Now, that's not a thing really.

Grand Lodge

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

What experience did you have with 3.0/3.5 D&D when you made that PF1e Fighter?

PF2E is a much bigger change from 1e to 2e than the change was from D&D 3.5 to Pathfinder.

I went to GenCon the year 3.0 came out. I created my very first 3.0 character the night before the first game. It took about 45 minutes, maybe an hour. It took me 2 and a half hours to create a dwarven fighter in PF2E and I missed several things and had to go back and fix things.

Playing 3.0 at first level: I move, I swing, I hit or miss, maybe roll damage, my turn is pretty much done. PF2E, every character has 3 actions, maybe it's a Strike, maybe it's a move and a Strike, maybe it's something else. It's a lot more complicated and not nearly as simple as D&D 5E.

PF was an expansion of the 3.5 rule system, sure. That made it pretty easy for those of us who came from 3.5 to get into it. But it was also pretty simple just in and of itself. PF didn't become overly complicated until they got about 15 books into the system. That bloat killed Pathfinder. With the way the rules are structured in 2E so far, it seems like we'll quickly have the same bloat and complications on top of this already complicated rules system.

Grand Lodge

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Albatoonoe wrote:

I disagree. There are so many things in PF1 with completely bespoke functions. Different things might operate on different numbers or different actions (which can only be traded down except for swift actions, remember). Often, spells and effects would reference a different effect, as well.

By contrasts, everything uses the same numbers. If you know how this one thing works, you know how most things work. Actions are completely interchangeable, as well. And now there is a standardization of effects and powers, making referencing them easier.

Add on top of that the clear formatting how each action functions rather than buying it in a paragraph. PF2, while not perfect, is much simpler than PF1. I just don't see what you are talking about, my dude.

As other have pointed out, part of the issue with PF2E is that it's just new. But when a single combat in 2E takes well over an hour, even at low levels, that's an issue. In PF1E, low level combats would take maybe 20 to 30 minutes, tops.

Speaking from a personal perspective, I was able to create a new 1st level fighter at a Con for my very first PFS game in almost no time, maybe 30 minutes. Now this was way back when you only had the core book so I didn't have to worry about 30 books worth of bloat... I mean options. I tried creating a 1st level fighter in 2E and it took way longer, maybe 2 hours because of constant page turning and trying to find how things worked. I also missed several things because they weren't clearly called out.

So far, PF2E seems to be a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

Grand Lodge

shroudb wrote:

the reach part is speaking about reach weapons. "when wielding a reach weapon blahblahblah" it's not "expanding" on the first part.

as for the example:

i already agree that the RAI isn't to threaten with ranged weapons, but the strict RAW doesn't make a distinction. That's why i've posted this on the errata thread like 2 weeks ago but it went unoticed there.

But it is expanding on the first part. Not all monsters, or characters for that matter, wild weapons. Some monsters and characters have ZERO reach, others have a reach out to 10 feet or more.

Clearly the rules need to be better written and more clearly defined.

Grand Lodge

shroudb wrote:

The rules for threatening, which is the only thing that matters for flank (apart from obvious positioning) is:

wielding a weapon
can attack target

The second sentence of "threatening" seems to disagree with this since it says you threaten out to your reach. Certain melee weapons will extend your reach, but ranged weapons do not.

It's like part of the rule is missing.

As for the example, the could have easily put a bow in someone's hand to help illustrate how someone with a ranged weapon could threaten. But between the wording of the rule and the example, it's like they didn't think through the whole "threatening with a ranged weapon" part of this rule and it's only a half step in that direction with no clear rules one how it works.

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shroudb wrote:

I've posted about this in the Errata thread a while back.

RAW you do flank with bows, but that just seems... weird.

I mean, if you can "threaten" with ranged, why even bother with the extra sentences for Reach. "wield a weapon" should have been sufficient to cover them as well.

So, I expect that's just a F up and they meant only melee by RAI.

To me, the rules for flanking and threatening do seem to heavily imply that it's melee only, but the lack of calling that out opens this up. Paizo really needs to come out and say if it's melee only or if you can use a ranged weapon, out to what range can you threaten and how do those rules work.

Grand Lodge

Miy2Cents wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
And again, let's keep this to a discussion of the rules in game, real world examples don't really mean anything in a game of fiction and fantasy.

Sure how about this -

Consider an encounter between 4 Players with bows attacking a goblin NPC with a bow. The players get the initiative and move to surround the goblin moving 40ft distance the goblin at the centre. To me the goblin would feel "threatened” and be “flanked” by the players as they have split his attention and now moved to surround him from opposite sides.

Better?

What page talks about the rules for feeling? I don't see any reference to the emotional state of a creature coming into play here based on the rule I posted above (which seems to be the only rule written for "threatening") and I don't see any reference to "feeling".

Grand Lodge

Miy2Cents wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
, if they were 60 feet away they are outside of their reach. So where in the rules for threatening does it say you can still threaten with range? And if you can threaten at range with a ranged weapon, I ask again, out to what range?

The rules currently say - "Threatening – this means you both must be wielding weapons" no mention of the word REACH just wielding a weapon. The term "threaten" is predicated on the attackers ability to inflict damage not the defenders ability to strike back.

As to Range I'm just pointing you at the page and passage as you asked - I never said I agree with the mechanic.

Here, lets look at the full rule, not just the first few words;

Both you and the ally have to be THREATENING that enemy: this means you both must be wielding weapons or ready to make unarmed attacks and not under any effects that prevent you from making attacks. If you have reach, you determine whether you are flanking creatures out to the distance of your reach because you threaten all of those squares.

So as you can see the rule clearly mentions reach. What it doesn't mention in at all is range. As near as I can tell ranged weapons don't have reach and you don't determine your reach based off your range.

So, if you have found something I haven't, please point out where in the rules it says out to what RANGE you threaten an enemy. Also, it has nothing to do with your "ability to inflict damage". Or are you saying that a creature you can't bypass the damage reduction of you can't threaten? If so, where are the rules to back up that point of view?

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Miy2Cents wrote:

Max range - P179 - For example, a shortbow takes no penalty against a target up to 60 feet away, a –2 penalty against a target beyond 60 feet but up to 120 feet away, and a –4 penalty against a target beyond 120 feet but up to 180 feet away, and so on. Attacks that would take a penalty greater than –10 due to range are impossible.

I still maintain that a Range weapon can be considered a Threat and would split a creatures attention.

While it's true that the person would have a weapon in hand, if they were 60 feet away they are outside of their reach. So where in the rules for threatening does it say you can still threaten with range? And if you can threaten at range with a ranged weapon, I ask again, out to what range?

And again, let's keep this to a discussion of the rules in game, real world examples don't really mean anything in a game of fiction and fantasy.

Grand Lodge

Miy2Cents wrote:
You asked for other points of view or perhaps clarity - I'm just saying how I read that particular passage. In the end we will all get to read an Errata or the 2nd ed of the core rule book and it will become clear. (I hope)

Let's try to keep examples and opinions limited to the rules in the game.

Grand Lodge

Matthew Downie wrote:

Taking prisoners is what nonlethal damage is for.

It's probably meant to be something similar to the 5e rule: "Most DMs have a monster die at 0HP rather than having it fall unconscious... Mighty villains and special nonplayer characters are common exceptions."

Things like bandits tend to drop dead instantly, to prevent the "should we execute the prisoners" dilemma.

I agree, but the rules should just come out and actually say this instead of using weak, open to many interpretations, language.

Grand Lodge

master_marshmallow wrote:
Double Tap

Still got no clue what you're talking about.

Grand Lodge

Miy2Cents wrote:

End of the day your GM will make a call then just move on, we will see who was right at the end of the playtest once the rules are updated.

FLANKING (p313-314)
P313 – “To flank a foe, you and your ally must be on opposites sides or opposite corners of the creature.” – There is No mention of a max distance 5ft, 10ft or 100ft in this passage. So you draw a line and if it passes through “either opposite sides or opposite corners of the enemy’s space.”, you are Flanking.

p314 – Threatening – “this means you both must be wielding weapons or ready to make unarmed attacks and not under any effects that prevent you from making attacks”. That’s it, there is no other definition anywhere else in the rules, “both must be wielding weapons or ready to make unarmed attacks”. Wielding weapons, with NO clarification as to Type of weapon so General wins here as there is NO Specific to overrule it any were else in the book. Note you don’t have to Trained just “wielding”.

p178 (onwards) – Weapons – The types mentioned are: “IMPROVISED” (Treat it as a simple weapon), “SIMPLE MELEE”, “MARTIAL MELEE”, “SIMPLE RANGED”, “MARTIAL RANGED”, “UNCOMMON SIMPLE MELEE”, “UNCOMMON MARTIAL MELEE”, “UNCOMMON EXOTIC MELEE”, and “UNCOMMON MARTIAL RANGED”, with hands and feet counted as Simple weapons.

p314 – “If you have reach” – This is an example of Specific over General, as the passage specifies additional info about REACH weapons....

For starters, I am the GM and I'm trying my hardest to go into this Playtest and run it just based off the rules as written. Second, like you pointed out the rule for "threatening", which is a prerequisite to flank someone, heavily implies that you have to be using a melee weapon because they talk about unarmed attacks and reach but they never specifically call out range (ranged weapons don't have reach, they have range) and as someone else pointed out, even if you have a bow or crossbow in hand you can still always make an unarmed attack such as a punk or kick or even headbut.

So lets go to an absolutely silly scenario, you have one archer on the battlefield 200 feet away from 5 different BG. This archer has 5 friends that are all engaged in melee with a different BG and because of maneuvering and such, you can now draw a line between the center of the archer's square and the center of each allies square and it passes through the opposite sides of each BG square. If we're saying that ranged weapons can threaten out to their maximum range (which is NOT listed anywhere I can find) then one character can now threaten 5 other characters and not be threatened themself.

This doesn't seem right to me.

Grand Lodge

master_marshmallow wrote:
Rule 2.

You're going to have to be more specific here. I have no earthly idea what you mean by this.

Grand Lodge

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
To be fair, thus far flanking and getting the benefits of flanking seems to work rather well for ranged weapons. After all threatening someone with a loaded weapon really is not that different from threatening them with a knife right?

Okay, so let's say you can threaten someone with a ranged weapon.

1) What if you don't have an arrow or bolt loaded into your ranged weapon? Do you still threaten?

2) And again, per my original series of questions, at what range do you threaten? Does that mean you can threaten someone just by being present on the battlefield? Even if 300 feet away from the enemy?

These rules need to be better written so that these kinds of questions don't need to be asked.

Grand Lodge

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So, is it just me that finds the rules for Flanking and Threatening insufficient? Or do we all agree that Paizo needs to either flesh them out a bit more or just rewrite them to be clearer?

Grand Lodge

So has anyone found any clarifications for my original post?

Grand Lodge

Xenocrat wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:


I would assume that you DO threaten with unarmed attacks, since everyone is proficient in them.

Wizards are untrained in unarmed attacks.

According to the Rules Update doc, all classes are trained in Unarmed Attacks.
No, that's unarmored defense. A ctrl-F on "unarm" only finds that reference, and there are no modifications to the Wizard class section for their proficiencies.

Doh! You're right. My bad.

Grand Lodge

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Agreed, this table is kind of a pain but it's not the worst thing in the Playtest.

Grand Lodge

Xenocrat wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:


I would assume that you DO threaten with unarmed attacks, since everyone is proficient in them.

Wizards are untrained in unarmed attacks.

According to the Rules Update doc, all classes are trained in Unarmed Attacks.

Grand Lodge

ShadeRaven wrote:


Ranged weapons don't threaten, just reach weapons (which they discuss in the Flanking section).

Actually, it doesn't. At least not that I could find. If you have a page # to reference that would be great. But from what I can tell, it just says you have to have a "weapon" to threaten. It doesn't specify melee or ranged.

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So I have a question about this. I'm going to try and make this setup easy, there's a medium sized bad guy (BG) with a medium sized good guy (GG) on opposite sides of it. If both GG have melee weapons out they both threaten and flank the BG. That part is easy and obvious.

But here are some other possible situations;

GG1 has and axe while GG2 has a shortbow, are they flanking the BG?

GG1 get's disarmed but GG2 still has his shortbow, are they still flanking?

Both GG1 and GG2 are disarmed, are they still flanking?

GG1 is adjacent to the BG but GG2 (with the shortbow) is 15' away but still directly opposite of GG1, are they still flanking?

These questions came up in our playtest because the section on Flanking and threatening on page 313 and 314 don't really answer these questions, or at least not clearly.

More Specifically, I'm wondering;

Can you threaten an area around you with with a ranged weapon (such as bow, crossbows, etc)? If so, to what distance?

Do unarmed attacks let you threaten an area around you automatically or do you need special training to threaten with unarmed attacks?

If unarmed attacks do let you threaten an area, do you need to "ready to make unarmed attacks" (as per the rule on page 314) to actually threaten with an unarmed attack?

If you're holding an object in one hand and unarmed attacks let you threaten, do you threaten with only one hand free?

What if you're holding an object that requires two hands to hold and unarmed attacks let you threaten an area? Can you still threaten with unarmed attacks?

Thanks for the help!

Grand Lodge

Two weapon Rend feat would be the most strait forward way to do it.

Grand Lodge

JDLPF wrote:

I had the same question about Freedom's Call from the Liberation domain, but there appears to be nothing in the rules about what action it is to maintain the effect.

I suppose it's up to the DM whether it's a free action like bardic performance or a standard action the same as activating it or concentrating on a spell.

This does seem like a fairly major oversight and something that should be FAQ'ed.

Grand Lodge

I've been looking because I thought I remember there being something about what kind of action (standard, free, etc) it is to maintain these kinds of powers but I can't find anything.

This is kind of frustrating.

Grand Lodge

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How is this supposed to work. Say that you have the Cleric Domain Power Aura of Destruction. It's a supernatural ability that takes a standard action to turn on. And lets say that you also have the Elemental Wall spell-like ability from the Evocation School that is also a standard action to turn on.

My question is this, since both of these abilities say that they go for a number of rounds and those rounds don't need to be consecutive, what kind of action is it to maintain these powers? Do you have to concentrate on them each round (spending a standard action each round to do so)? Or do these powers and others like them run automatically until you either run out of rounds or you dismiss them, spending another standard action to stop them?

Any insights you can give me would be appreciated.

Grand Lodge

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Andrew Christian wrote:

This is where you keep putting words in my mouth.

I never said you were wrong in that you disliked the scenario.

I'm saying that your trashing of the scenario instead of placing at least much of the blame on your GM for why you disliked your experience, is what's wrong.

This is what is irksome to many of us who are posting opposite you in this discussion. You are getting defensive like we are saying that you are somehow faulty for having a bad experience. That couldn't be further from the truth.

We are merely trying to explain to you, that the reason you did not have a good experience with this scenario has absolutely nothing to do with the way the scenario was written.

And here you go again. You were NOT at my table, you don't know what happened yet you keep saying my interpretation of what did happen and my impression from the scenario are wrong. For all I know the GM bent over backwards to make the scenario play as well as it did for us. For all you know this was the best GM in the universe that ran this for my table and it still wasn't enjoyable. Or it's possible that the GM was the problem but your insistence that my lack of enjoyment couldn't be anything but the GM's fault and certainly not the fault of the scenario is ridiculous. You keep trying to invalidate my thoughts and feelings on this scenario by saying that the GM was the problem or the table was the problem, or the weather was the problem, or the alignment of the sun and moon was the problem. Anything was the problem but the scenario, because this scenario could never have possibly been the problem. You don't know, you weren't there. You had a different experience than I did. Yours was good, I'm happy for you. I'm not going around saying, "oh, yours was only good because of x,y, or z reasons". I accept that your had a good time. I did not. Please just accept that. Unless you can time travel, watch the game play out and see exactly how it happened please quite trying to tell me my impressions are wrong.

Let me be clear. I did NOT like this scenario. I thought it was poorly conceived and poorly executed. The major part I did not like is the sudden and radical change to social interactions. Maybe, if I had been aware of these changes to the core rules and could have read up on them ahead of time I wouldn't feel this way. But this felt like a gotcha game to me (I know Andrew, I'm 100% wrong in how I feel and any negative feelings I have toward this scenario are 100% wrong. I accept this so you don't need to point it out yet again. We will just have to agree to disagree that I have a right not to like this scenario) and I did not have fun with the new rules.

Grand Lodge

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Andrew Christian wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Here's the thing though, the influence system / verbal dueling isn't really doing anything new in the same way that mass combat is.

It opens up uses for more skills. Skills that characters have always had access to. It's just now that they're getting more chances to be used.

But it does change things because in stead of rolling a knowledge skill or profession skill to get a bonus on a diplomacy roll (the way it should work in my opinion), you are rolling a knowledge skill or profession skill IN PLACE of a diplomacy skill and the DC for doing this was reduced. So that is a fairly fundamental change.

But it isn't a fundamental change to a pretty standard Diplomacy DC, which you could still use. My +8 at 1-2 did very well.

If you went into this on just diplomacy, you were at standard DC's. I'm not sure how it's unfair that other skills were easier.

I'm really glad that you and your diplomancer did great at the low tier, but you need to accept that your experience at the low tier and my experience at the high tier were NOT the same experience. We did not do well and we failed the entire mission because we could not make the diplomacy checks.

I'm sorry that you feel that my table's failure and my dislike of this scenario and sincere hope that they let players know ahead of time if they're going to feature non-standard rules in future scenarios somehow diminishes your enjoyment of this scenario. That's not my intent. But your insistence that I'm wrong in the fact that I did not like this scenario and that there's no reason I shouldn't love this scenario is getting a little irksome. You need to accept the fact that we did not have the same experience and the results were polar opposite of each other. I never once questioned why you enjoyed it or that you and your table succeeded in this scenario, I don't know why you feel the need to continuously question that I didn't have fun, and that our table didn't succeed.

Grand Lodge

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nosig wrote:

I have re-reviewed most of the 300 so posts on this and I notice something...

The OP said "I was at a table with four other players and we were told this would be a social scenario. We had a social paladin, a social fighter/rogue another fighter, a sorcerer and a couple others I don't remember. We utterly failed in this adventure because we didn't have the right knowledge skills or profession skills." -

so, if I am reading that right, his judge couldn't have run this correctly. If there were two characters described as "social XXX"... how did they fail the checks? I can only come up with four ways....

1) the judge (incorrectly) restricted checks to only those PCs that first passed the Knowledge/Profession checks - or perhaps only allowed PCs with those skills to make checks. (the "social" characters weren't allowed to make the check)

2) the judge (incorrectly) penalized diplomacy checks made by those PCs or groups that did not first make/pass the Knowledge/Profession checks (the "social" characters using Diplomacy only suffered a major minus to Diplomacy Skill checks)

3) the players rolled poorly. (perhaps because they didn't know/weren't allowed to "Take 10"? - but that's just nosig being nosig).

4) the OP doesn't know what a "social" character is...

I think the most likely answer is #2 - which means this entire thread is about someone (the judge) who doesn't know the (new) rules, enforcing what he thinks they are... Or am I missing something?

I did clear this up at some point but when I say we had social characters that means we had characters with more than one rank in diplomacy, bluff, intimidate and sense motive. But not all of those skills were max ranks for all characters. The best we had in any given skill was a +10 I think and most were around a +7 or +8. This was at tier 4-5. So we were not the super uber social skills out the wazoo table but we were no slouches either and these were characters that, after talking with the other players, had been successful in other social scenarios. We did hit DC 20 and fail at diplomacy, we did hit DC 30 and told we barely succeeded. We were able to do some discovery but because we didn't have the right knowledge/profession skills to use in place of diplomacy we had to use diplomacy and intimidate which were "harder" to use. We did not use bluff because we, as players, didn't want to risk getting kicked out or making negative progress if we failed the check. We did ask about taking 10 at one point and were told that we couldn't and I don't think it came up again. But we as players were completely unfamiliar with the Ultimate Intrigue Influence system so none of us knew how it was supposed to work outside of what our GM told us.

So, could this have been a GM problem, sure, but I don't like to put the blame on a GM unless I know they did something wrong. In this case, I don't know. So, the scenario ends up getting the blame along with poor implementation of new rules that people were not familiar with. If I could go back in time and read a blurb that said that the Ultimate Intrigue Influence rules would be featured in the scenario I would have read up on how they work and what to expect form them. Even if we'd failed then I likely would have had a better time because at least I'd have known what I was getting into.

Grand Lodge

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Rysky wrote:

Here's the thing though, the influence system / verbal dueling isn't really doing anything new in the same way that mass combat is.

It opens up uses for more skills. Skills that characters have always had access to. It's just now that they're getting more chances to be used.

But it does change things because in stead of rolling a knowledge skill or profession skill to get a bonus on a diplomacy roll (the way it should work in my opinion), you are rolling a knowledge skill or profession skill IN PLACE of a diplomacy skill and the DC for doing this was reduced. So that is a fairly fundamental change.

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Mulgar wrote:

It's not purely a bad gm problem. I also see it as a player issue. People are saying "This scenario wasn't what I expected so you should have warned me" Which is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. Should I expect to be told a scenario uses incorpreal foes so I can avoid it? What if climb or swim is required? Better tell me, I won't have fun if I bring that full plate guy. Heaven forbid I run into hardness or dr\-, better tell me so I can bring that beats tick with an adamantine gteatsword.

What I see a large portion of the complaints being is "I didn't get my 2 prestige so you should have told me so I could avoid it." I get so tired of the whining from people that complain unless they "win", whatever it is that winning means to them. Some of my most memorable scenarios are the ones I wasn't always successful in them.

Nope, there's no need to tell people there might be incorporeal creatures, creatures with DR, swim checks, climb checks, or any other specific check or monster because pretty much all of that is part of the Core game, the rules for incorporeal and DR are right in the CRB even.

But if you're going to feature a completely new way to do something like the Ultimate Intrigue Influence system then it should be noted in the blurb that those rules will feature in the scenario. It's not unreasonable to know going into something what rules mechanic will be used. And like someone else said, no one is asking for a list of monsters that will be fought or specific skill DC's that are going to be faced to be in the blurb. But the number of people who've told me this was all a GM problem is why I brought up limiting these scenarios to big Cons or 5 Star GM's.

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:

You don't have to say how they're being used, how they relate to the story being told or anything like that, just like the blurb doesn't tell you what monsters or opponents or classes or races you will encounter. It seems like a simple solution that will help the game, I still can't see how this would hurt the game in any way.

So you want to ruin the GM experience by giving the player's the exact tactics they need to run rough shot over the scenario? And yeah before you actively complain that Im exaggerating there are simple hard counters to a lot of newer classes that you wouldn't be able to tell normally and would be easy as all hell to do if you had your goofy warning.

Um... what? How does saying "This scenario features Ultimate Intrigue Influence Rules" or "This scenario features Ultimate Combat Mass Combat Rules", give anything away to the players other than what variant or new rules are going to be featured and "ruin the GM experience"? Please explain.

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Andrew Christian wrote:


Creating language in the blurb just so people can either A) choose to avoid a new mechanic or B) choose to avoid for fear of having a bad GM, is what sets the bad precedence. Play a scenario if you want to play it. The mechanics inside should be relatively immaterial as long as a GM does their due diligence and creates a great atmosphere for people having fun.

If they don't do that, it doesn't matter what the blurb says or what they are told in the scenario.

So what if someone truly doesn't enjoy a non-core game mechanic? What if someone really hates the mass combat rules or something? Should that person have to not have fun because they didn't know ahead of time that a scenario would feature those rules? If your answer is yes, then I don't know what to say. Not everyone enjoys what you do and trying to force what you enjoy on someone seems wrong.

If it was only the Core rules that authors could use people would have a generally good idea of what they're getting into in any given situation but people like a variety of things and limiting rules doesn't seem like the right way to go about this either. So why can't we just have a spot in the blurb saying, this scenario uses the Ultimate Intrigue Influence rules, or Ultimate Combat Mass Combat rules, or Ultimate Campaign Downtime Rules, etc?

You don't have to say how they're being used, how they relate to the story being told or anything like that, just like the blurb doesn't tell you what monsters or opponents or classes or races you will encounter. It seems like a simple solution that will help the game, I still can't see how this would hurt the game in any way.

But if you're dead set on saying that this is purely a "bad GM" problem then maybe we should limit these scenarios to big Cons or 5 Star GM's only like the old EX scenarios were.

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Andrew Christian wrote:
Declaring some new mechanic in the blurb sets just as bad as precedent.

You'll have to explain this to me. How does calling out a new mechanic that fundamentally changes how the core rules work in the blurb of a scenario set "just as bad a precedent" as a bad GM playing a gotcha game and trying to rack up TPK's?

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TheFlyingPhoton wrote:

This scenario is getting a lot of backlash from people because they happened to have poor party composition for the kind of scenario it was. And are now demanding that we get told/warned exactly what we have to do/get/roll to win future scenarios before sitting down, or that PFS no longer make any skill-heavy or social scenarios.

Six months ago, I played a game that resulted in a TPK. It was a combat-heavy scenario and we came up against something with DR 5/- in the middle of it. We couldn't get past it because there was no way to bypass it without fighting it and the character with the highest Str was my cleric with a 14, who was also the only healer, so I was doing double-duty while the others couldn't contribute effectively. This is not our fault for having poor party balance nor is it no one's fault because sometimes you're just unlucky at the table - it is clearly the writer's fault and the campaign leadership's fault. Therefore, I demand that all future scenarios have full monster stat blocks posted in the scenario blurbs or that there never be a combat in a PFS scenario ever again.

We had social characters. But the problem is, is that the Influence system changes how social interactions work. There was no warning that the change was happening so while we had characters that would have been able hamdle a normal PFS social scenario, this scenario we were pretty much useless (or at least that's how it felt).

Not knowing what monsters you will fight is normal, not knowing what NPC you are going to negotiate with is normal. Having the rules suddenly change on you is NOT normal. Think of it this way, what if you were playing a PFS game that suddenly used the Wounds and Vigor rules out of Ultimate Combat. It's a change to how the Core game works and without giving the players a heads up it can be a jarring experience.
I really don't see how calling out a new rule that changes how the Core rules work in the blurb is a bad thing, but in my opinion it's a very good thing.

Grand Lodge

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Mark Seifter wrote:


Hey there DarkKnight. I wasn't involved with this scenario at all, but did some of the development on the influence rules themselves in Ultimate Intrigue. I've been watching this thread as well and have been very interested in your feedback and experience here. Thanks for giving it! I know this wasn't your most recent post I quoted above, but one thing I noticed in it is that it seems like your GM was actually giving you guys information that was supposed to require discovery checks for free, but in a way that seems to have colored a lot of the other dialogue here. I thought I'd clarify the mechanics slightly:

In the influence subsystem, there is a chart by level with suggestions for the "normal" DC. This is the DC you would have for typical skills that were a normal choice, and it's where Diplomacy usually ends up, since it's the normal choice for social situations. There's also...

We didn't get the Discovery information for free. We were told that the "normal" social skills would be harder to use and we should try to discover what alternate skills would be easier. We did manage a few of those Discovery Checks but knowledge and profession skills that were chosen were skills none of the characters at the table had (we had knowledge local and a random non-standard profession). We had talked a little after the event and it turns out that if we had chosen to bring our "combat" characters instead of our "social" ones we likely would have succeeded in this scenario because we would have had the right skills. The one time that knowledge local would have helped us, we had all decided to try and get information on our host and we were never allowed to make a knowledge local check again on anyone, we "missed our shot". When we tried our diplomacy or intimidate checks to influence the NPC's DC 25 was making it, DC 20 wasn't. Add to that that you only have one shot per round to influence each NPC no matter how many people are interacting with them makes the specter of bad dice rolls an even more powerful opponent than the NPC's.

So again, all I ask is that if a new rule is going to be heavily featured in a scenario (like these Influence rules, Mass Combat rules, etc) that it's clearly stated in the adventure blurb so people can prepare for it or choose not to play it.

This used to be done. Back in the early years there were EX scenarios that you could only run at a major Con or if you were a 4 or 5 star GM. These scenarios features the Chase rules for the first time, new classes that were complex to run, and other rules that were new and a little tough to get a handle on. I don't see any reason that the introduction of a new rule like the Influence rules can't be introduced like that.

It will improve player experience and make for a much more successful introduction of new rules.

Grand Lodge

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John Compton wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
Tony Lindman wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
And it is the scenario and scenario writer's fault that this was a poor event. The writer was the one who made this such a convoluted mess that it was and if a scenario that takes ~4 hours to play takes 8 hours, 10 hours, or more to prep that is poor scenario design. Especially if you then have to spring a new set of rules on the players that make the Core...
"complicated mess" is extremely unfair. Yes, it is complex. However, I honestly can't imagine ever running a scenario that I spent *less* than 4-6 hours preparing, and I happily spend 10 or more if that is what it takes. I *want* my scenarios to require some work for the GM. That work then shows in the resulting game.

No, it's not. It's completely FAIR. This scenario was a mess. Penalizing social skills because you want to shoehorn in new rule that not everyone even knows about is ridiculous. From top to bottom this scenario a waste of time, not worth playing and horribly written and conceived, at least from my perspective, and again, since I'm only going off of my experience (because I can't experience this any other way) my calling this a mess is how I feel.

But please, continue to ignore my criticisms and tell me that my perception of my experience playing this disaster show of a scenario is wrong and unfair.

I don't think people are ignoring your criticisms—at least I'm not. They are (to generalize) saying "Hey, our positive experiences don't align with your negative one, so we're uncomfortable with your insistence that this adventure was a 'horribly written and conceived...disaster show of a scenario.'" Just as you don't want your perceptions to be dismissed by them, they don't want their perceptions to be dismissed out of hand by you.

Like most things published for and critiqued by the organized play campaign, my take-aways for this adventure are nuanced. After all, there are some people who have strongly disliked this adventure but also...

Despite how I'm sure it comes across, I'm not one of those people who want all combat all the time. One of my biggest complaints with PFS is that I can't tell one scenario apart from another because the story takes a back seat to the combat in far too many scenarios. But that being said, when I read that this is a social scenario and I bring a character that has 4 or 5 ranks in each of diplomacy, bluff, intimidate and sense motive (and knowledge local, not that it's really a social skill) only to find out that those skills are penalized or just have arbitrarily higher DC's because of some new rule that I wasn't told was going to be featured in the scenario that favors using knowledge x,y or z, or craft this and that, or profession whatever in place of social skills, I feel like I got cheated. Now I'm not saying that the character that I played was some super social character but getting penalized for trying to use the core social skills felt like a kick in the gut.

So I stand by my original statement. Something needs to change. I'd LOVE to see the scenario blurbs state what new, not commonly used rule, will be featured in a scenario (like Ultimate Intrigue social rules, Mass Combat, Words of Power, or whatever) so that I can either read up on those rules or chose to avoid those scenarios. Also, if a scenario is so complex to run (like people have been implying) because of the new, special, rule that's being used, I really think that these kinds of scenarios should be limited to Cons that have PFS leadership oversight or are limited to 5 star GM's to run. While I don't normally like the idea of any scenario being limited like that, for the scenarios that use these kinds of rules that require special setup/prep to run and a 30 minute rundown of the rules to the players, I think I'd be okay with these being limited until the rule is either widely adopted throughout the entire campaign or at least used enough that every player is comfortable with the new rule.

Grand Lodge

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Tony Lindman wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
And it is the scenario and scenario writer's fault that this was a poor event. The writer was the one who made this such a convoluted mess that it was and if a scenario that takes ~4 hours to play takes 8 hours, 10 hours, or more to prep that is poor scenario design. Especially if you then have to spring a new set of rules on the players that make the Core...
"complicated mess" is extremely unfair. Yes, it is complex. However, I honestly can't imagine ever running a scenario that I spent *less* than 4-6 hours preparing, and I happily spend 10 or more if that is what it takes. I *want* my scenarios to require some work for the GM. That work then shows in the resulting game.

No, it's not. It's completely FAIR. This scenario was a mess. Penalizing social skills because you want to shoehorn in new rule that not everyone even knows about is ridiculous. From top to bottom this scenario a waste of time, not worth playing and horribly written and conceived, at least from my perspective, and again, since I'm only going off of my experience (because I can't experience this any other way) my calling this a mess is how I feel.

But please, continue to ignore my criticisms and tell me that my perception of my experience playing this disaster show of a scenario is wrong and unfair.

Grand Lodge

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Andrew, that's simply not true. There were several skills required to succeed, at least three knowledge skills (not K(local) that didn't ever really come up) and one profession skill. We had knowledge local and it only came up once and never again. We had sense motive and that never helped us. We failed more than a few diplomacy checks even when we hit DC 20. This was an extremely poorly done scenario and a gotcha scenario since you were penalized for using diplomacy, bluff or intimidate.

Also, while I haven't read it, the number of people who say that you need to have a GM who has spent a lot of time prepping this scenario to run it right lead me to believe that it's poorly written, organized and executed. If it wasn't then the time it takes to prep it shouldn't be longer than it takes to run it.

Now if you're claiming that all of my problems were completely on the GM then maybe, just maybe, this scenario should have been reserved to only be run by 5 star GM's or at PaizoCon/GenCon/etc because of how complex it was. Obviously I'm not the only one who's had problems with this scenario.

Grand Lodge

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Andrew Christian wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:

For those who feel the DCs were too high:

** spoiler omitted **...

Here's the problem that some people don't seem to understand, while we were a somewhat diplomatic table the highest diplomacy at the table was maybe +10. We did not have any super diplomats at the table. But we could not do any of the discoveries because we didn't have and of the right knowledge skills or profession skills. We were told that you needed multiple success (2 or more) to influence the 5 people and with the Diplomacy DC's being 25+ (as near as I could tell this was what we needed for every roll) only two of us could have even made those on our own so the others were stuck assisting. On average, we succeeded one out of every 2 or three checks or so. We completely failed this because of dice rolls and lack of Knowledge/profession skills. That is NOT a "fun" way to loose and scenarios should NOT be written to require specific skills to "win".

Like others have said, the discrepancy in skills between classes is vast and needs to be taken into account when writing scenarios like this.

It appears as though you just aren't listening to folk. A +10 diplomacy at low tier makes the check every time (100% of the time) if you take 10.

It's commendable that you trust your GM so much that you are ignoring all the good info people are giving you. And I'm sorry you had a bad experience.

But it's likely that your experience was bad due to a underprepared GM.

I didn't play this at "low tier". I was at the 4-5 tier and checks of 17 to 20 were failing. Checks of 25+ were succeeding.

And it is the scenario and scenario writer's fault that this was a poor event. The writer was the one who made this such a convoluted mess that it was and if a scenario that takes ~4 hours to play takes 8 hours, 10 hours, or more to prep that is poor scenario design. Especially if you then have to spring a new set of rules on the players that make the Core social skills useless to use in favor of knowledge checks and profession skills. That's not fun, creative, or in anyway good.

I'm glad you managed to have the right characters to make this fun for you, but if PFS is going to start requiring specific character builds to succeed, it will mean the death of PFS.

Grand Lodge

pH unbalanced wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Also, something scenario writers don't seem to have taken into account (or they really hate people) is how the odds on multiple checks work.

If the DC is 20 and you have a +12.

Your chance of making 1 check is 65%
Your chances of making 2 checks is (.65^2) or 42%
Your chances of making 3 checks is a mere ~27% , about one in 4.

Test of kuar tuata comes to mind, with multiple checks at bad odds

Six tries? No, you have once chance per round and could only influence one person per round. So unless you're specked with all those "social" knowledge skills and professions you're not taking 10 and getting more than once success, and even getting one success per round is not guaranteed. We had two rounds were we didn't get any successful influences.

As for modifiers, I think the best we got was a +2 with two of the four people. So, yeah, lot of help there.

Bottom line, our table failed the mission because we had social skills but not those pesky social knowledge skills or social profession skills and that's not right or fair.

Grand Lodge

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We had a 5 person table and three of us had Knowledge Local and the ONLY time we could have used it, we all focused on one guy and we were never able to use Knowledge Local again.
When it comes to creatures and fighting (again something like 70% to 90% of all published material focus on these things) it's not really a surprise that you come across a creature with hardness or DR or is incorporeal. Those are core concepts of the game (the definitions are in the Core Rulebook even).

But when you throw an entirely new ruleset at players and say it's a social mod but then penalize the Core social skills it's a bad move and will sour players all because you want to show of a shiny new rule.

I stand behind my call that this kind of thing needs to be called out ahead of time so that people know what they're getting into and can avoid these kinds of situations. A table should never fail because they lacked a skill, class, race, or item. That's a failure of the writer and of Paizo in the creation of the scenario.

On a side note: anyone who puts a 100 HP swarm (that can't be hurt by weapon damage) in any adventure is just being a d*ck and is out to kill PC's.

Grand Lodge

Assuming that the others had succeeded their checks on diplomacy. Not everyone what +9 or +10. One guy didn't have diplomacy, he had intimidate and sense motive (I think) and the others were +5 to +7 so the three of them did occasionally fail their assist rolls meaning that we were not guaranteed a success. And since we would have a few failures, the person making the check would roll (to try and get higher than a 10) and would occasionally fail the roll. We also felt a need to split up the party to try and get multiple people influenced (We didn't know if it would take 2, 3, 4, or 5 successes to win over someone, we ended up with one person at 3 successes, one at 2, two at 1 and one at zero (because they couldn't be influenced by us, according to the rules in the scenario, or at least that's what we were told).
And all along we were being told, "Oh, you're using diplomacy... well, it will be harder than if you used Knowledge skill "x" or Profession "y".

Grand Lodge

Ferious Thune wrote:

For those who feel the DCs were too high:

** spoiler omitted **...

Here's the problem that some people don't seem to understand, while we were a somewhat diplomatic table the highest diplomacy at the table was maybe +10. We did not have any super diplomats at the table. But we could not do any of the discoveries because we didn't have and of the right knowledge skills or profession skills. We were told that you needed multiple success (2 or more) to influence the 5 people and with the Diplomacy DC's being 25+ (as near as I could tell this was what we needed for every roll) only two of us could have even made those on our own so the others were stuck assisting. On average, we succeeded one out of every 2 or three checks or so. We completely failed this because of dice rolls and lack of Knowledge/profession skills. That is NOT a "fun" way to loose and scenarios should NOT be written to require specific skills to "win".

Like others have said, the discrepancy in skills between classes is vast and needs to be taken into account when writing scenarios like this.

Grand Lodge

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Maybe it was the GM's fault, maybe it wasn't. I don't typically like to ask the GM if I can read the scenario unless I'm sure that they got something wrong and since I had no way of knowing that this scenario was going to use the Ultimate Intrigue rules I couldn't study them before I played. As for getting it myself, that won't happen. I refuse to let Paizo think that this is a successful kind of scenario by spending my money on it. So I can only go by what was presented to me.

But that doesn't change the basic premise of my original post. If a scenario is going to use non-core rules (like Ultimate Intrigue, Mass Combat, Words of Power, etc) there should be a disclaimer at the beginning of the scenario so people who don't care for those alternate rules don't have to play those scenarios. There have been one or two other scenarios that have done this (used special, non-standard rules) but nothing was as poorly executed as this scenario was (for a refresher I'm referring to #7-22 Bid for Alabastine). And in scenarios like this I really, truly believe that the GM should be empowered to look at the characters that are present and if there's no way for them to actually succeed (because they don't have the required trained only skills, like #7-22 requires) then they should be told this ahead of time.

Look, I'm glad that the people who liked this scenario were lucky enough to bring the right kind of "social" character to this travesty and had a GM that helped make this fun, but that wasn't the experience I had and it sounds like I'm not alone. I did not have fun, I did not enjoy this scenario, and this is the only scenario I've ever thought of just getting up and walking away from mid game (and that's in 18 years of playing Living and Organized Play games).

Grand Lodge

TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
This is a semi-tangent, but a few people are complaining about what happened when they brought characters with no Knowledge skill investment to the game and I have to wonder why anyone has a PFS character with no ranks in any Knowledge. When you build a character, you build it for the campaign you are playing (you wouldn't build a Ranger with favored enemies Drow, Duergar, and Wayang for the Giantslayer AP, a Paladin for Hell's Vengeance's villainous campaign, or a desert-focused character for Skull & Shackles). PFS is a campaign centered on an organization of Indiana Joneses. That doesn't mean all of our characters must be bards, but every character should have some form of Knowledge-based expertise. If you don't have many skill ranks available to you, pick one Knowledge skill for your character to specialize in. I have a Barbarian with max ranks in K(Arcana) even though I never made it a class skill through traits or multiclassing, because I chose that to be his Knowledge specialty for character reasons (and only a single rank dropped into Nature). I also have a 7 Int fighter with a number of ranks in K(Dungeoneering) equal to about half his level (and none in Engineering, his other Knowledge class skill), because every character needs a Knowledge skill decently invested in.

My character has nearly max ranks in diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, sense motive and slight of hand. He has max ranks in perception, stealth, and disable device and K(local). He was useless in this scenario because hitting a DC 25+ was ridiculously hard. Now if I was missing these (anti)social checks by one or two, that's one thing, but when I roll a 15 or 17 (on the die) and miss by 5 to 10 points that's not right.

Grand Lodge

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Quote:
so that I'll know which skills I should have going in when I play
Why should the scenario tell you what character you need to play? Sometimes we fail missions. It probably should happen more often than it does. Sometimes you just won't have the right skill or ability to "win."

For game/story reasons. "Hey Pathfinders, we've chosen you to take this very important mission. We need you to succeed in this mission to make inroads with the leadership." That's basically the setup for this scenario. But after playing this, it strikes me that the Decemvirate and Venture Captains would not send people on a mission that they're guaranteed to fail. And if you're telling me that the Decemvirate and Venture Captains don't have records on which Pathfinders excel at what tasks then you're lying to yourself and me.

From a metagame standpoint. When you have ZERO chance of success because you don't have the skills necessary to succeed it makes for a scenario that is ZERO fun to play. If we fail because of bad choices or dice rolls, that's one thing. But when we fail because we were not every going to succeed it sours you on the whole Pathfinder Society game.

Grand Lodge

GM Lamplighter wrote:

We're Pathfinders. ALL scenarios will have some social aspects, so if you can't contribute to that you should at least understand that it will happen to some degree in every scenario.

There are plenty of combat-only scenarios already and no one is complaining that we should have special rules requiring GMs to tell us we might get into a fight in this one.

I think the issue is, there has been more and more demand for scenarios that actually make sense for the campaign background of the Pathfinder Society, instead of scenarios that could as easily have been handled by a group of mercenaries who met in a tavern that day. People who sued to be able to just run combats now have to deal with the rest of the campaign, and frankly it's a part that many of us like/love, and are glad to see it making a comeback.

The other issue may be, that many GMs are used to running with little or no prep, and the scenarios are becoming more complicated. I've always said that no one should ever run cold, and scenarios like 7-22 show why.

People don't complain about "Combat Scenarios" because combat is expected. At least 70% of all Pathfinder books written are focus on Pathfinder combat (it's probably more like 85% or 90%). If someone wants to write a social scenario, that's fine, I actually hope that there are more social scenarios or at least social interactions that matter, but I pray that none of them are EVER like this piece of junk scenario was. Knowledge skills and profession checks are NOT social skills. And if you're going to use the Ultimate Intrigue rules (or mass combat rules, or any other special rules like that) then there should be a warning in the blurb and one given by the GM at the start of the scenario.

How would you feel if you were told that you were going to be playing a scenario that is magic user friendly and then they pull the rug out from under you and say "if you're a traditional caster you will have a harder time, but if you use Words of Power then you will have a much easier time".

Grand Lodge

Tineke Bolleman wrote:

I recently played this and had no trouble with my cavalier that had just knowledge religion and a little bit of diplomacy.

If you say, 'social paladin' I take it you mean one with Diplomacy.
Diplomacy is perfectly usable in this scenario. The checks are just a little bit harder then the profession or knowledge checks.

We were told by our GM that the penalty for using Diplomacy was severe, not the exact number mind you but when I managed to hit a 30 Diplomacy with a few assists and just barely made the check, that's ridiculous.

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