A 1e race has at least 4 of the first level 2e feats as well as a heritage.
+2 Dex +2 Cha -2 Con which is how I translate those ability boosts and flaws makes for a surprisingly fragile doggy. Unless the shoony has ambitions to join you in lichhood (the natural ambition with those stats) you might want to alter something there.
That is exactly how they're meant, I'm afraid-- they're pugs, basically. They have squashy-faces, which doesn't just do horrible things to breathing-- the wrinkles are REALLY prone to infection.
That these are the breed that Aroden chose to bring to life...
(Well, the cleric who turned out to be Aroden reincarnated: "One great idea doesn't excuse f+$&ing it all up... I'm working on the faces, but I'm not sad about the society!")
(He's still waiting for the elf conjuror to make him a straw big enough to suck the Eye of Abengo back in...)
I'm working on learning the system and trying to judge difficulty. Mostly, I'm starting to get the hang of it but I'm not 100% sure about some things. The current issue I have is the Drow Rogue ranged attack:
Ranged [one-action] hand crossbow +10 (range increment 60 feet, reload 1), Damage 1d6 piercing plus lethargy poison
Does this mean that every bolt is poisoned, and the lethargy poison doses are just for the shortsword? The bolts aren't listed as being poison bolts, though; does the rogue have to poison each of the bolts in turn?
The former seems to be RAW, unless I've misunderstood the rules-- which is why I'm here.
Flipping it the other way around, if I was making a Drow Rogue PC from scratch, unless they have a feat I'm missing, I don't think they could do that-- at least, I can't find a poison bolt like in 1e, where they were 25g per bolt, or 3.5, where drow poison bolts were 100g per bolt.
I guess the question comes down to-- is this a case of a specific rule overriding the general mechanics for poisoning a bolt, and hence presuming that they have poison bolts that they use freely; have I missed a feat or mechanic somewhere; or do they only get the two shots and/or have to coat them, too?
...asked too many questions at once and overloaded my brain...
For my own time-management reasons and to help with the way this website quotes text, please condense and repost your questions so that they're one per post.
Well, that's my embarrassment meter through the roof. Shortly followed by the heat-to-skin ratio on my face. I'm sorry.
I've been trying to re-condense this all evening and it keeps inflating through clauses and conditions. Too much time spent personally playing a paladin of Abadar, probably. Uh, the closest thing I can think of that's at the core is-- how developed and specific are the legal codes of Mendev and the Crusade, especially in regards to cults?
I wish smite evil worked on hypotheticals. Or conditionals. They are eating my brain.
What does Skeleton Summoner do to the effects of the Summon Monster spells in terms of descriptor-- and hence alignment of the spell? Summon Monster says the following:
"When you use a summoning spell to summon a creature with an alignment or elemental subtype, it is a spell of that type."
Well and good. Not going to have evil wizards summoning hound archons or good conjurors summoning succubi without deliberately exposing their magical selves and possibly their very souls to the raw planar energies of good or evil aligned outer planes. This has always made sense to me, contrary to some internet arguments; if the outer planes are moral and ethical soulstuff/personality magnetism poles, using that sort of energy is going to have a consequence, even if you use, say, Protection from Law to fend off an Inevitable while still being LN and on a contract.
But the feat Skeleton Summoner says:
"Benefit: Add “human skeleton” to the list of creatures you can summon with summon monster I and “human skeletal champion” to the list of creatures you can summon with summon monster III. Once per day, when you cast summon monster, you may summon a skeletal version of one of the creatures on that spell’s summoning list (apply the skeleton template to that creature to create this monster)."
Under the skeleton template, it says that you give them the Undead type, and the Undead type says it replaces all alignment subtypes.
If I'm reading it right, that means that a character with Skeleton Summoner can use Summon Monster to summon the undead without it being an inherently evil act by spell type. Is that right?
My reasoning is: no matter what I apply that template to, or whether it's the original context of human skeletons or human skeletal champions, that summoned entity isn't going to have the alignment subtype of the original-- whether that's a celestial or fiendish creature, or potentially, even weirder, something like, well, a succubus or a hound archon. It's going to have the undead subtype, which does not make the spell (evil) or (good) or whatever.
This doesn't cover whether or not the use of Summon Monster in this way is an evil act for other reasons, of course. I'm not sure where these particular skeletons are coming from; the description of the feat just says they "answer your call." That makes it a bit harder to adjudicate. Obviously, summoning them to go stomp on the Champions of Light or a bunch of fleeing foolish fools who told you you were mad at the PTA meeting that went really bad, sure, that's an evil act.
But if a neutral or even good spellcaster obtained this feat and used it towards good ends in the sense of fighting evil, then... not so sure.
I suppose this is probably several years out of date, but it's worth a shot. I know that much of this is up to me as the GM, but I'm trying to get a feel for what sort of society Mendev was pre-turning of the Age, and what sort of society Crusade Mendev has become.
In Wrath of the Righteous-era, as I understand it, because Mendev's civil society has more or less collapsed into a loose federation or even confederation, there's a lot of leeway for regional commanders, even those who are outright loyal to Galfrey. So when the PCs are acting out of Drezen in Demon's Heresy:
1) How much legal and paladin's code leeway would a Paladin of Iomedae PC-- and Irabeth, as regional governor/town commander-- have to deal with Ayavah's Cult of the Redeemer Queen?
2) If all of the participants are human, tiefling, or otherwise not actually demons, how would this interact with the Oath against Fiends?
2) Would Ayavah gaining a Cleric 1 level with the Redeemer Queen domains Artifice and Revelry, ie, powers that could be used to demonstrate good faith in the matter, potentially, be evidence of non-evil?
3) Would personal guarantees from Iomedae and Milani, delivered by Commune, high-ranking outsider-- potentially the Hand of the Inheritor, the matter is serious enough-- be considered sufficient evidence of non-evil on the part of the cultists?
4) How much would the honest fact (which would be included in a brief from Iomedae) that Nocticula is not redeemed but working on it change those?
I'm mostly trying to see just how hard and fast the actual laws of the Crusade and Mendev are on the matter. The PC paladin is an aasimar with an 'anyone can be good if they're given support and work very hard at it' attitude. But she's also extremely dedicated to the law of her goddess and her queen, and a roleplayer first and foremost. I know my world is going to depart increasingly from core Golarion (you should see what's up with Aroden) but I'm trying to start from the same basic principles first.
My original instinct was that the Mendevian Crusade and Mendev even prior to the death of Aroden hardly spared much legal language on the matter of demon worship; 'trafficking with dark powers be punishable by most severe chastisement, and death if they be not brought back to the light' for Mendev, and 'We are the forever enemy of the Abyss. Our weapons and our souls are forever pointed at the black heart of the Wound, and we will brook only the mercies of surrender and repentance for those who have become soiled in sin.' The character's player is concerned that there'd be a direct legal code that specifically bans worship of a demonic entity.
I've only skimmed the Return of the Runelords books. In my version of Golarion, Nocticula has been for various reasons probing at the concept of redemption for millennia, on and off. Nocticula was fed-up with demonic 'society' in general and her brother in specific centuries ago. The art, faith, and persistence of the Redeemer Queen Cultists touched even her wicked heart, though her nature as an incarnation of near-deity sin has made it very hard for her to actually commit. Finally, more coldly, she has both noticed that the good deities get along together better, and that acts of redemption seem to naturally tie with acts of ascension.
She developed a detente long ago with Aroden, but that... didn't really work. For a while, under Aroden, Milani was her sponsor, but the process was slow and full of pitfalls. Eventually, between the problems Nocticula had maintaining her position (and existence) put on her pathway to redemption, and Aroden's neglect and withdrawal put Milani in a place where she didn't feel safe continuing-- and Nocticula didn't blame her. It was put on hold; Nocticula's own attempts have been ongoing, prodded gently by her appreciation for the Redeemer Queen cultists' faith, perseverance, and artistic inspiration, but have been stymied for centuries.
Recently, though, Nocticula put out a few feelers. With Milani a deity now, and partnering with the Inheritor, Nocticula has been hoping this time the process might work. It has and hasn't. Iomedae has taken the process under her wing and her protection, but she and Nocticula butt heads along the way and it's caused further stumbling blocks. Milani has been extremely busy as well, and so has had to leave some of the philosophical work to Iomedae, which turned out to be almost a non-starter.
Nonetheless, Nocticula's made more progress in the last few decades than she has in the last few millennia. On top of that, recent PC activity has put matters in a place where things are sort of avalanche-snowballing towards redemption.
So this is big, serious crisis-time important for Iomedae, but yet-- what is the law on the ground to deal with?
Two levels of alchemist for vestigial limb and a feat for the extra discovery gets your arms back without needing a particular race. Also a very intimidating mini to place on the table.
There are more ways to increase the bonus further, but at lvl 7 or 8 a +4 from inspire courage and +2 from the Flagbearer feat and BoAK you have moved your martial team members up three to four levels in damage.
My goal would be to find a way to buff the spellcasters next. Hexes are a good way to improve the rate of more valuable top level spells succeeding.
Heh. Fair enough; but of course if I don't have to do anything other than strap them to the same pole (and beg my team to make sure no one with a sunder-ish bent gets close), that's more room for other things, or taking, indeed, Witch or Shaman levels.
I'm not sure how worth it would be, but looking through various banners and flags, I was wondering a few questions about the Banner of the Scarlet Rose and the Banner of Ancient Kings:
First, can they be wielded together? The Banner of the Scarlet Rose:
"This flag bears an image of a red rose on a silvery field. Made for the Scarlet Rose’s standard-bearers, these flags offer protection to the wielder and inspiration to her allies. To grant any benefit, a banner of the Scarlet Rose must be held firmly in one hand by a woman."
Banner of Ancient Kings:
"This tattered white canvas banner looks like an old piece of sailcloth, or perhaps a winding shroud—a 4-foot-by-6-foot rectangle with loops that can fit over a spear haft or pole running up one side. If mounted on a longspear or pole at least 8 feet in length, the banner shifts in appearance to match the heraldry or coat of arms of the person who attached it."
"As long as the longspear or pole to which the banner is attached is firmly wielded in two hands..."
Flying multiple flags together-- especially since the latter would shift to fit the heraldry that is appropriate to the wielder, and therefore functionally complementary to the former-- on a single staff is, of course, a long-standing tradition. Which flag goes above which depends on many things like seniority, etc., so it seems like at the very least, the Banner of Ancient Kings could be attached to the pole upon which the Banner of the Scarlet Rose is flying, as long as it's 8' long.
The only exception I can think of is the two hands / one hand thing, but being firmly held in two hands doesn't make it not firmly held in one of them. Is this valid, or does this violate some reductive rules principles?
Which brings me to question two. What is the Banner of the Scarlet Rose, specifically, and if it's just the banner, are there rules on what it can be attached to?
The description of the Banner of the Scarlet Rose is just concerned with the banner proper. The picture by it in my copy of the Adventure Guide shows it with a spear-like spar off the finial, or well really, just below what looks like a crudely cut-off pole or even a quarterstaff. But the description does say that the _banner_ has to be held.
I think by the pic, it's clear that it doesn't mean that the BotSR isn't just waved around in the character's hand around the border. But since the text doesn't describe, could it be flown off a longspear, too?
Which leads to the last question. I'm pretty sure I'm on solid ground here, but much like an amulet of natural armor, actual natural armor, and a suit of enchanted plate would stack all four types of AC, the sentence "This benefit does not apply to spells that grant competence bonuses, nor does it stack with other item effects that increase competence bonuses," does not seem, to me, to conflict with the Banner of Ancient Kings' "A bard who carries a longspear or pole to which a banner of the ancient kings has been attached is treated as four levels higher than his actual bard level for the purposes of determining the bonuses granted by his inspire courage bardic performance ability."
Am I right on that? Even if you can't wield both on the same pole, if you've got a woman from that four-armed species in the interplanetary book, presumably you could have her wielding both. Presumably then, since the Ancient Kings bumps her level by 4 and the Scarlet Rose is concerned with the competence bonus itself, they would stack.
I'm aware that it's 36,000 gp and may leave you only capable of combat with Improved Unarmed Strike, but it _would_ still leave our bard capable of casting via free action switching between holding a pole in one hand or two without losing the shield bonus, but I'm honestly more struck by the visual of the Scarlet Rose banner below a longspear's point, followed by some complimentary heraldry-- perhaps the facial scar pattern of the woman bearing it with some runic extrapolation?
Without having actually re-calculated it, I don't see anything you're doing wrong offhand. You'd care about the damage dice if you went for the Vital Strike line of feats, but if you're not going there you can just concentrate on the statics.
And that's why if this was coming from one of my mythic PCs rather than me for their nonmythic backup I'd say no, I suppose. I'm not even 100% sure what this would look like in practice- a long pole with some weird weighting, perhaps. Sliding mass in a reinforced hollow core long pole? Does seem to indicate that there's some funkyness in the basic rules that should be watched for, but that gets into Homebrew territory.
I'm working on an NPC fighter-- not a cohort, but the players have cultivated her to the extent that she follows them when it makes sense IC-- that's allied to my PCs. It's a mythic game, and I've upped defenses to suit, so I'm trying to optimize to make her relevant (mostly in terms of hitty, but I'm working on some maneuvers too). She's nonmythic.
As a result, and since I'm the GM and don't care about being cheesy too much, I'm poking at weapon design to specifically enhance her usefulness. They haven't seen her for 5 levels, so she's had time to retrain and so forth, but the basic character was a Str 22 two-handed fighter. I'm not sure if I'm getting this right, because the results seem out of proportion to pre-existing weapons.
Martial Weapon. Starts at 5 DP, M, 1d3, x2, B (I think this is the most likely to be useful-- dealing with demonic and magic-made creatures mostly), Price 5gp
Fighter Weapon Group: Polearms
Hands: 2 (+3 DP, net 8)
Additional Design Points x3 (+45 gp price, +3 DP; net 50 gp, 11 DP)
Improved Critical Range 1 (-3 DP, +1 threat range, net 8 DP, 19-20/x2 crit)
Improved Critical Multiplier 1 (-6 DP, +1 multiplier; net 2 DP, 19-20/x3 crit)
Weapon Feature: Reach (-1 DP, net DP 1)
At this point, I could: (1) go Exotic and add another feature-- probably Brace or Trip, though I'm dubious that's worth a feat-- (2) stay Martial and go to 1d4 damage, (3) go Exotic and jump to 2d4 damage (again, not sure that's worth the feat)
As I'm expecting her to be 15th level and having Improved Critical, Power Attack, and Str 28 (including MI), it seems to me that additional damage is worth the most, rather than core damage dice. I'm also presuming every crit confirms for simplicity, but even with the enhanced levels, I doubt she's going to miss much even when power attacking. With ImpCrit and x3, range moves to 17-20/x3, which means that 20% of hits will do triple damage. As opposed to 18-20/x2 becoming 15-20/x2- 30% of hits doing double damage-- 28/20 > 26/20.
So, 20% of the time, she's getting x3 backswing-- not sure if that means 9*6=54, 9*5=45, 9*1.5~13*6=78, or 13*5=65 extra damage, but either way she swings it, that's substantially more than even a greatsword's max-- 36-- crit one time out of twenty. The power attack would be either 54 or 45 again, depending on whether multipliers are additive or multiplicative. I've been doing the former but I'm starting to wonder. Then there's weapon enhancements, buffs, etc.
Am I seeing this wrong? Is there any reason to care at all about the base damage die for a high level fighter who can expect to either overwhelm or bypass DR?
Someone in my group wanted to make a neon sign for their bar, which kicked off a whole debate on "if it's not paizo published, it's not real" regarding the laws of physics and if people are actually made out of "real-world" atoms and if oxygen, helium, neon, etc actually exist in pathfinder. Arguments thrown up were "what if everything's made of anti-oxygen," etc. Super dumb. I'm saying that at some level, everything in pathfinder has to follow at least some laws of physics and be made of atoms or else we wouldn't be able to comprehend the game, at least not without a really odd ruleset.
People made some good points about handwaving and player knowledge vs. character knowledge, which honestly should shut down most of it, even if you're playing in Numeria-- glowy bits there do not appear to release toxic gas.
But to answer the question about the laws of physics, et al, I would say the answer is, "Yes, except where it conflicts with the rules as written. Then the rules win."
A roleplaying game simulates many things-- a story, lives, etc. It abstracts some things, and hyper-concretes others-- your barbarian does not actually move 40' over 6 seconds in-character. Sometimes she moves 38; sometimes she moves 42, and so forth. It's just that saying "move 20+5d6" would be incredibly awkward and frustrating for the *game* side of things-- and would still be far too coarse-grained to simulate actual movement. Your wizard's spell formulae don't really take exactly one page per level, and you don't just get advancement at certain points.
You're still describing a world, and it's one where the laws of physics-- unaffected by either abstraction or preternatural effects-- are close enough to our own to be familiar, so whether it's "anti-oxygen" or whatever doesn't matter-- it works. The scientific method, for example, is in many ways actually strengthened by magic-- you do x, you get y repeatable results in z range. _How_ it does that may be weird-- the mass goes to the ethereal plane, the bleedout energy from the sudden stop filters out along the magical backdrop of reality, etc.-- but presumably, if someone REALLY studied it forever, they'd be able to figure out a how, even if it was, "negotiating with the protognomes who pull strings behind the veil of so-called reality."
Of course, that's part of why a neon tube probably won't be created unless the character is a refugee from a standard earth with a nostalgia kick. People don't just randomly say, "Cars. What a neat idea." They either say things like, "Okay, I know how a carriage works and wheels does. I know how fuel powers things like steam engines. Is there a better fuel for this? Can I apply it to make my carriage go very fast and without muscle power?" or "This is an interesting property of this gas I was poking with the scientific equivalent of a stick. I wonder what cool things I can do with it?"
In character, if your PC wants "big lighted letters and signs for my advertising campaign," why would he default to, "A gas I don't know about or have only encountered as a hazard in little tubes?" when he has cheaper, more standard options? Continual flame as per the others just _works_. Illusions may be more efficaceous yet more expensive, but that's why you leverage a bit of both magic and conventional tech-- pre-made shapes that are limned by the continual flame.
This, incidentally, is why the asylum doctors getting cranky about divine magic in Strange Aeons sort of makes sense. Yes, sure, potent divine magic could heal a *given* patient. But not everyone can afford ringing up the Bishop or the Matre or the whatever. Enough people with money have, though, which reduces the amount of funding and political will to look for treatments that -- presumably -- would work without having to make Sunday's post-sermon afternoon tea being a queued event. In turn, people just saying, "Oh, lock them up until a generous cleric has time," would frustrate the BLEEP out of someone with a passion for it, which is why they whine over a wand of bless.
Funnily enough, this gets back to the leveraging-- just like the glassmaker or the smith or the jeweler can make reflective/light-distorting technological products (in the sense of "things we make to do things we can't with our basic biological chassis"), so too-- theoretically-- would a scientific understanding of the mind and insanity help with magical cures. If you knew that a given series of soothing lights and sounds could help alter the brain enough to reduce and potentially even remove an OCD trigger, or a phobia, or whatever, then you could get away with Silent Image, Auditory Hallucination, and so forth, with some Heal checks. So there's also reason to keep looking other than "not everyone paid for the Temple of Pharasma's nice new gothic organ, complete with spooky sounds and orangutan-adjustments last year."
Anyway, tl: dr version is-- try to find out why the character wants it or would even know what to look for and push from there, and ask players to keep metagaming within your comfortable norms.
Blunt weap only, which I think is still good for your flail? This is the big one, I'd say, since if you use the AOE-- which at a 5' spread and similar shouldn't be TOO hard to leverage-- you can trip any sized creature.
Don't know how much you have spare cash for pumping into your cohort's trippin' stick, but there is also:
As a caveat, I'd like to note that too much arguing with your GM is a mug's game. Past a certain point, it's like asking why my wife didn't want me playing Occult classes in her first AP: she didn't want to for reasons of personal comfort. In her case, it was to prevent rules overflow for her first time behind a PF screen; for your GM it could be ny reason. Pushing at that either runs into a Rule Zero loss, or your GM starting a lethal+ type of game like Mythic thinking of your character as the one he didn't want and you as the player who badgered him into a rules change. You don't want that, needless to say.
So I recommend you approach the subject politely, cautiously, and respectfully. And honestly if try three doesn't work, drop it and figure something else out.
That said, your GM is house ruling and misinterpreting punpun-- dramatically, in the latter case.
Textually, calling an effective size increase and a physical size increase the same thing is like saying a racial bonus to will save and a resistance bonus don't stack because they both start with r and don't stack internally. The FAQ clarifies that, basically, no matter the source, all size changes are "size bonuses" and all effectives are "effective size bonuses" and while neither stack with themselves, they do stack with each other. He's layering a rule on top that requires extra reading.
That said, that's his right, so I would not suggest leading with that argument unless he's signalling a willingness to negotiate. Telling you to find a text exception to a rule that isn't in the book is a "go away and don't make me hard no you" social maneuver.
What I would suggest is asking him if he's concerned about punpun actual, or punpun as a shorthand for powerful synergy. Punpun actual is where you get reassuring: the problem with punpun is that there weren't any limitations on how high his strength bonuses were to start, and very quickly, on any attribute, then on getting any ability, period. Like an arbitrary end to a magic the gathering loop, the only controls were when punpun decided to stop buffing and start doing, and time to buff.
If his concern is that, your best opening offer is to say you're sticking with your two sources, period. Possibly even promise you'll stick with a net of +2, no questions asked and everything else goes in different directions. Write a contract if you need to, just make sure that your position that you won't be a jerk if he is willing to work with you, THEN go with "and this is why it works RAW."
If he's using punpun as a shorthand for "powerful synergy" then I'd go with both a written/emailed agreement that you won't keep pushing this, and point out you're still playing a martial character with few tricks for flexibility; there's really only so far you can go prior to the point when other direct damage types are one hit killing, anyway.
But, like I said to start, take a hard look at whether or not you want to pay the price of putting a target on your PC's back, potentially even after losing anyway. He's functionally said no twice. It may be a better idea to look for a different way to add oomph.
I forget who said it upthread, but I think-- within a more-or-less standard Golarion/Pathfinder game-- that the person who said that it was story mechanics, not game mechanics, was right. The spoiler about a certain AP is the genesis of millenia of actions, and who knows what happened before that? Rovagug is only tangentially divine; he's an alien Outer Thing that exists in some manner as an agent of elemental destruction, but the same rules apply-- and virtually apply to his Spawn. The aboleth whose Starstone attack had spent countless aeons trying to deal with the god problem, and while those deaths were more or less side effects, the aboleth didn't entirely control the whole incident and the divine deaths were more or less voluntary.
I think it would be better to think of the god as not an encounter to CR, but an adventure with goals to be completed. The Ring must go into Mount Fate (after millenia ago Norgorber forged his identity and power into it to protect and magnify it) and only then can the shadow be seen and destroyed. If PCs are a part of it, it should be as the crest of the wave, and then the change, death, usurpation, etc. is either inevitable or resolved through some true abstractions.
Just plain thwarting such an entity or pursuing their goals is again, a matter of shaping the mechanics. They don't directly interfere and the amount of attention their mortal allies-pawns-proteges can put is limited within the scope of all the other things that are needing to be done.
What makes a god within the universe is basically 'functions as a minor GM'. They exist on some fundamental level that, while they can be thwarted or stopped, they cannot be simply directly confronted directly. To go back to the Olympians, even so much as viewing Zeus unveiled in his true self could fry a mortal.
They simply operate on such a substantially different scale that you could be a level 2000th conjurer/Tier 100 Archmage and not really dent them directly (though thwarting might be easier or even harder, depending on how the rest of the gods see directly stopping -you- vis a vi mortality.). You simply don't have the tools for a direct confrontation; you have to complete it like any other fundamental shift in the world: adventures and consequences.
1) If someone's roleplaying a concept well, not annoying the party, no fishmalkery, etc., but they're flagging behind everyone else, I'll add a feat to tweak. You'd be amazed what Gang Up did to a newbie dwarf rogue player's enjoyment, especially since they put stuff into Dwarfy and Socially things. I may need to push a couple of encounters, but since my version of caveat emptor is "all monsters are individuals" I haven't had a lot of complaints about the bodaks with +2 to attacks, saves, and ACs, since the party support is done well.
2) If I want to push a plotline, like "YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE!" and there are feats I want to represent that, even if it's down level, Also discoveries, talents, etc. - if I'm pushing things a certain way, I don't want my players feeling like they have to pay for it. I'll also tweak their effects-- had a witch PC once with a cat familiar who liked the familiar benefits; when an Empyreal Lord rewarded the party, she got Improved Familiar and a silvanshee, but it still granted her the cat bennies of a standard familiar.
For 1 & 2 these are always feats -I- choose. Occasionally, if there's good RP, I might surprise someone with "you got an achievement/story/etc. feat you didn't know you had!" but I think of that as just rewarding good roleplay.
The biggest issue I've had is my "be a fair dude" GM on #2 means I may sometimes overfeat. #1 isn't a problem; nobody in about 6 of 7 groups objected to a newbie getting a nice little feat that made them fit the party and their ideas a bit better, and by that point, they knew what to do better next time. But if I'm giving out an award feat, especially a PLOT award feat, I feel obligated to get one to all the players. That being said, if it's a reward already, that's easy; if it's plot threads I'm making up in the background, sometimes, searching for feats or equivalents has been very helpful in coming up with storylines and weaving the characters in.
3) Finally, occasionally, I will offer a choice of feats (with my veto) as a story reward. IE, YOU PLEASED THE GODS! YOU BATHED IN THE LAMBENT LIGHT OF AN EXPLODING DEVA AND SURVIVED! The fires of the dragon's blood have changed you...
If I do that, though, I'll already be tweaking up the game to match. I believe in trying to ensure player survival whenever possible and not breaking the mutual arc of the player and my creation, but I also don't believe that the players are armored riding lawnmowers with frontmounted pushmower cattle "catchers" and the enemies should always be the zombies.
Of course, I flat double skills and certain other things in the first place. It may not be too hard to tell that I came to PF from GMing Exalted (the GURPS heritage is more subtle)
Greetings IsawaBrian, and welcome to the PFS Forums!
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read the Guide to Organized Play. I know it's a daunting read at first for new players. That's probably why you missed the section at the beginning outlining what races are legal for play.
There's some backstory to this. The PFS campaign has been around for quite some time. Originally, only the Core races were allowed. It made sense that, for a new campaign, you'd only allow what the Core Rulebook had to offer.
That made Race Boons, which were/are handed out at Conventions, all that more special. You could open up Dhampir, Tiefling, Aasimar, Kitsune, and a whole host of other races just by winning a boon at a Convention. It was pretty neat!
Then 3 new races got added to the Core list as "always available": Tengu, Tiefling, and Aasimar. Story-wise, they were the most prevalent of the non-Core races, and the most likely to be recruited by the Society. For two years now we've had completely open access to them.
And, in the ever-evolving PFS campaign, something new and exciting happened this summer: 3 more races got added to the list. Now you can create a Wayang, a Nagaji, and the ever-popular Kitsune. It may seem like a downer that Aasimar and Tiefling are no longer part of the Core assumption, but they're still available via a Race Boon, just like the other dozen or so non-core races that are out there.
You've just happened to stumble across PFS after it's been around for 6 years, so you've missed the growing excitement that has already taken place. I can understand why it may seem like a downer that not all options are open from the get-go, or that you just happened to miss out on a couple options. My suggestion would be to jump in with what you're allowed. Surely you have more character ideas than just a Goblin Cavalier, right? If you give it some time, who knows what new races will be opened up!
Speaking as someone who has 20 characters at the moment, and ideas for more, your...
Heh. Well, barring the creations of playing when I was 4 and got the red box and the 1st edition AD&D books at the same time, and played a character where my 6 year old GM let me talk my way into beating a Solar and taking his wings (they had only two at the time, like the onions in our belts, it being the style) and absorbing his powers... ;) I've gotten quite a few since then that actually _involved the rules_ and not looking at the spells per level tables and saying, "Oh, that means how many new ones I get at each level, right? Wow, I get lots of these fast!"
But that's not the point, I suppose. I can understand that they're opening them up, but it seems rather doofus to say "These are well known creatures in our world, we're calling them Featured, but, uh... can't play that." I understand that Goblins don't integrate -easy-, but I'd've expected nearly the same about a nagaji or a wayang from the fluff. In short-- especially with the Racial Points thing, why not simply say "The budget for your RP must be under this much. You may achieve a higher budget by doing y. Z characters fit the world but are inappropriate for play because they're all possessed by the go'ald..." and then list ways to get exceptions. If I knew I had something I could work for, I'd be more enthusiastic about trying after hitting two crashes and burns.
Plus I'm really attached to Sir Bru of the Fehz*. I looked at the online games here and most seemed to already be called or midstream; I looked on Roll20 and it was about the same way, with looong gaps between recruitment posts, and I'm already running a game for my wife (plus GMPCs... probably not a good idea outside of F&F roleplaying). I was hoping PFS would work, but I'm feeling a bit gunshy.
*Name comes from looking at the Orders, realizing Sword won't work because Cha 5, Dragon is neat, especially with the options for the mount, hmm, this guide says OoD is "Your Bro" Order, I don't like bro culture, but hey, there was that BroFace comic strip...
Sir BroFace was christened, or whatever it is Sarenites do.
When it says race options, it doesn't mean options OF other races it means options FOR other races... IE blood of angels has a lot of options for aasimar. The advanced race guide has nifty options for tengu including the ability to glide etc.
Ahhhhh... ok. That's disappointing. haha So then how do I get, idk, permission? How would I get permission to play as a Dhampir or one of the other featured races from the advanced guide?
"You get a boon. Primarily you get a race boon from Dming or playing at a convention large enough to get con support. (which for me makes it a big convention). You can try to beg for one on the Boon trading thread, but its pretty unlikely unless you have your own race boon trade. (ie, I tried to get a kitsune boon for a painted mini: time waiting 1 year 3 months. Once i had an ifreet boon i had three responses in 28 minutes)
For a Dhampire, Kitsune, The four elemental races (oread slyph. air thingy, Ifrite) and a few others they were fairly common when they were handed out. Getting any other boon should let you trade for one.
Goblin boons were handed out as a one time thing. You're NOT going to pry those out of someone's cold dead hands with or without a crowbar. "
Holy cow, that's immensely disappointing. I've recently been brought into PF-- this being literally my first post-- and was debating PFS as a way to get RP in between sessions since I'm really burnt out on GMing, but I think I'll be sticking to non-society play when/if I can get it, then.
Strike one for me was reading a post while searching for ideas that Aasimar were out; I've always liked the holy/prophetic types and a blood tie to the Celestials (beyond just the Bloodline powers, which feels like pigeonholing too much for me) and the resultant backstories have always seemed neat to me.
After that, I said, 'Hmm, let's make some characters and see what sticks.' I looked around, thought about the Cavalier, checked a few guides and figured that a Small race would be best so that mount and character could fit into more potential environments. I like playing unusual characters, so I came up with a Goblin Cavalier, Order of the Dragon and Beastrider, devoted to Sarenrae.
Smart and tough for his kind, he realized that Goblin life, as it is, is terrible for Goblins, and that part of that comes from being cruel gits who eat people. He self-trained himself and out of most of his cultural assumptions (though he's rather bitter and cranky) and badgered a missionary of the Dawnflower to teach him about deities that didn't eat and torture their followers and this whole 'civilization' thing. Learning about writing was the worst part, but he figures that's the god's job to protect him from.
Now, he wants to civilize his own kind, except for one problem: he's an uncharismatic and short-tempered type. He means well; it's more along the lines of, "You give that boy his toy back or I will STAB YOU IN YOUR DOG-RAMMED EYE," but between that and being stuck between two worlds, he knows it's going to be hard for him to convince any of his people to change. Which means he needs a 'face'-- someone tough enough to impress other goblins but who's good at this whole... organizing... talking... getting people to -agree- with you thing. Hence, Pathfinder Society. He gets a chance to meet people, and if he's careful (ie, I have no intention of using the background/temperament as an excuse to disrupt table play), he might be able to find his "face of the revolution."
So I did a quick skim of the stats building rules, made sure I wasn't looking at any third party choices, and then made the character. Around the time I was going to work on his mount and equipment I remembered the whole reason I hadn't gone with my first blush, and checked back up at the top. "Huh. That's a limited group of non-Core races," I thought, "What's this race boon/Chronicle stack thing?" Strike two, I grit my teeth and look around
Which began my search. They aren't referenced in the character generation rules or the quick guide other than that one line, and they aren't called by that name anywhere in the PDF; ctl-f found me nothing. I read through the GM's section, and figured that it must mean things you get access to via Section U on the Chronicle sheet. By this point, I was already getting irritated that there wasn't a spelled out way to get access to stuff that's restricted but apparently sort-of legal, in the sense of a fairly normal fantasy race that, as near as I could tell would only be of concern if Rogue Stealth had become a gamebreaker.
Then I do searches, and here I am. "Nope, core plus four forever, especially the one you've got a backstory you like for." I know that the rules committee or whatever isn't specifically targeting the latter, but it seems so arbitrary to me when the wayang, for example, are permitted, and it's just a continuing frustration coming to a head. The fact that it isn't spelled out that "No, actually, you're really not ever going to get access to the majority of these characters, don't even bother looking," feels worse, like the conditions are being deliberately hidden.
I can kind of understand, especially since it seems like there's an economy in them, that there'd be concern over player anger over giving new access to rare PC types. To me, though, as a new player, it really discourages my interaction to know that I can't even work towards this as a goal. That functionally, the idea of privileging it to create an economy like this in the first place was a poor decision, and the obscurity of it when transitioning from Pathfinder as a rules system to Pathfinder as organized play really makes it burn worse.