GM PDK wrote:
It sounds like the rules were followed correctly, then, unless I'm missing something here. They showed up with no resources, they played pregens, they had fun. Success.
GM PDK wrote:
If the game is in a store and opened to the public, inclusion trumps enforcement. Plain and simple. We are all human beings worthy of a basic level of respect. Rules and enforcement are there to protect the playing community from abusers and not meant as a wide-ranging, encompassing of the entire gaming population repetition jackhammer.
Do you have anything to back this assertion up, just out of curiosity? Quotes from Leadership, that sort of thing? Because otherwise, it sounds like you're assigning intent where none is provided.
We don't let someone play a 40-point-buy kineticist with the prana ghost template because "it'd take too long to fix the character and he just wants to play". (Actual local example.) While that's a bit more extreme than "forgot Chronicle sheets", I don't really see why we should give repeat offenders a total pass either.
GM PDK wrote:
I can't help noting the irony of "A little enforcement goes a long way" and your avatar's name "Tyrant Princess" :P
It started out as a joke, admittedly. Now, I use it more ironically - the idea being that enforcing rules like "have your Chronicle sheets and sourcebooks on hand" or "don't select a religion trait from a deity you don't worship just because nobody ever calls you on it" makes me the most oppressive form of tyrant.
You're right that it's no reason to "kick or ban" people. It is, however, a very good reason to keep a well-stocked folder of pregens on hand for them to play.
My local store used to work like that before I showed up. Then I started auditing people. Now everyone has their Chronicles on hand and character sheets in order. A little enforcement goes a long way.
I'm always interested to discover that the correct answer to "someone's not following the rules" is "they deserve a pass because it would be mean to enforce the rules".
I have a local guy who shows up with characters that have literal monster templates because of this logic prevailing under the previous local VO.
Some GMs will be willing to houserule, some won't. Some GMs will have houserules they're not willing to bend on for the purpose of accommodating your character concept, some won't. Some GMs will limit the sources you can use options from, some won't.
If you don't like it, play in a different group.
As for the tactic of shouting "strawman" at dissenting opinions, I hope your own words don't qualify for that ever-nebulous description.
Diego Rossi wrote:
It's even worse than that. Remember, if the GM has any specific flavor in mind for specific character options, it's oppressing the player and destroying their ability to make any character at all. Having flavor attached to options just turns characters into puppets without any meaningful sense of choice. Or so I'm told, anyway.
For the record, when I ran The Lion's Justice...
The Lion's Justice:
I actually ran the Spring Attack tactic as written, rather than by RAW. Since there was conflict between two "absolute rules" (RAW vs. Run As Written), I made my decision based on what would be most fun and engaging for the players at the table. It made things tense and interesting without being overly deadly or resource-consuming.
(That whole part of the scenario was interesting for other reasons. The party split up to look around, and the one investigating the kitchen was a halfling paladin/order of the paw cavalier with some... interesting philosophical leanings.)
watches her thoroughly oppressed players polish her +5 adamantine throne of fiat
...sorry, I wasn't listening. What are we talking about?
I'm a bit ambivalent about this. I've obviously been a longtime supporter of GM authority, but I understand the feeling of those who've been abused by terrible GMs.
To my mind, the GM's role (especially in PFS) should be to make sure everyone has the most fun possible. If that means letting someone do their awesome thing, so be it. If that means interpreting an ambiguous situation in the enemies' favor to give the PCs a worthy challenge, so be it. If that means having to counterbalance multiple players' differing desires... well, do your best. As long as you're not actively violating PFS rules in the process, Rule 0 really should be another tool in the best GMs' toolbox.
I would not consider "a number of people, none of whom possess authority to make rulings, decided that it works in the most beneficial manner" to be "hashed out" to a degree worthy of citation.
At the very least, I recommend citing that with an asterisk that notes that no official ruling took place. Presenting an unofficial discussion in an ambiguous way that could be interpreted as claiming an official ruling (to those who don't pore through the thread) would make me somewhat uncomfortable with taking further claims from the same player on faith.
It further bears noting that Accomplished Sneak Attacker was designed by a freelancer (I want to say Alex Augunas), with no relation to the design of the vivisectionist. (Like most game content, as it happens.) I'm not even sure there's that degree of coordination.
It's possible that was the intention back when vivisectionist was released. Off the top of my head, it's the first example of its kind, so they may have been playing conservative or trying things out. The PDT also underwent a major change in the intervening years (SKR > Seifter), so policy shifts may also have played a part.
Just for completeness's sake, your sneak attack dice wouldn't "go dormant" at all. There's no general rule that restricts your sneak attack dice from exceeding half your level, only a specific restriction placed by the Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat (and thus, only applying to those with the feat).
It doesn't look like it can be #1, at least based on the ifrit racial trait (I haven't seen the Chronicle). Fire Affinity applies to all sorcerer spells and class abilities (logic and design intent notwithstanding).
Fire Affinity: Ifrit sorcerers with the elemental (fire) bloodline treat their Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Ifrit spellcasters with the Fire domain use their domain powers and spells at +1 caster level.
If the Chronicle is worded similarly, it looks pretty certain that they will stack.
Looking at the Archetype Stacking FAQ again... that argument might actually be correct. (Nobody is ever really prepared for how strict that FAQ is.) I'd completely forgotten about that familiar-arcana line.
The text isn't as easily parsed as more recent books, which have made a stronger effort to delineate "altered" class features... but it's definitely something to think about.
Pathfinder Society Guide to Organized Play, Table Variation, page 13 wrote:
As a Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild GM, you have the right and responsibility to make whatever judgments, within the rules, that you feel are necessary at your table to ensure everyone has a fair and fun experience. This does not mean you can contradict rules or restrictions outlined in this document, a published Pathfinder RPG source, errata document, or official FAQ on paizo.com. What it does mean is that only you can judge what is right for your table during cases not covered in these sources.
I don't have plans for a dervish magus, for this exact reason. I don't like working in this sort of gray area, unless the result is interesting enough to me to justify the potential headache. That said...
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Let's be fair. Having a GM rules against the build does nothing other than remove a few points of extra damage. That is hardly Invalidating a character. Functionally, nothing changes in how the character is played.
I don't think it's quite that simple, for one big reason:
Scimitars aren't finessable.
A magus built around Dervish Dance who can't use it loses access to his attack bonus as well as damage. Even if he had a backup rapier, he can't be expected to invest in it to an equivalent degree. A bladebound magus literally can't have a backup black blade. Unless the GM allows him to pretend his scimitar is an identically-designed rapier for the scenario (which is extremely sketchy for organized play), he's in pretty serious trouble.
I have one confirmed kill and two honorable mentions.
I almost killed a young girl's character with a critical hit from a gearsman. She was down 8 points past her Con... the only reason she survived was because I had bought enough to get the table to the enhanced benefit.
I almost killed my VC in my first game with him. Half-fiend mimic smite good crit, very nasty.
As for the real kill... a fighter ate a one-two punch of forbiddance and blade barrier. What's more, his body was in the blade zone long enough that he needed a full resurrection spell to be revived.
Oh! One last question. I see that PFS has first level wizards getting Spell Focus instead of Scribe Scroll (because of no item creation, which makes sense). As an Air Elemental specialist, is an elemental "school" a valid target? Or do I need to take one of the traditional schools of magic?
Unfortunately, you will have to choose a traditional school. (Though it would be interesting if, in the future, Elemental Focus were offered as an alternative.)
I note that they both appear at their high-tier level of improvement on the Chronicle, even though the bow is only +1 at low tier. That, along with the language about appearing in the available items below, suggests that they must be purchased as presented.
As for the boon, in the absence of in-text explanation (and barring clarification), I'm inclined to give it to PCs who completed the scenario. This includes the hornbow, even if they didn't experience the optional encounter.
Additional Resources wrote:
As such, in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, only members of the kitsune race can select the racial paragon vigilante talent.
In addition, this line from the racial paragon talent may be of interest:
Blood of the Beast wrote:
The vigilante must meet all the feat’s prerequisites.
Deciding that your power for an ex-cleric with the Channeler of the Unknown archetype (or, I believe, an oracle or shaman*) comes from an entity otherwise unsuitable for divine spellcasters in PFS should be fine, as long as you're not trying to justify gaining access to specific game content/benefits/etc. or otherwise "worshipping". The original post was ambiguous enough that it seemed like it might be making a different argument; one which would be pushing the envelope a lot more.
*I'd have to check the Guide again to make sure what is and isn't on the list.