Mike Lindner's page

***** Pathfinder Society GM. 796 posts (808 including aliases). 2 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 30 Organized Play characters.

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I'm making this a separate post because I feel it is a sufficiently separate topic. Please reconsider how PFS specific changes are made. Currently when looking at a character option I have to:

0) look at the original source (book)
1) look at the guild guide
2) look at additional resources
3) look at campaign clarifications
4) look at the FAQ
5) search for bulletin board changes by campaign staff

This makes building any character with non-core options more complex than it needs to be. I have seen many characters locally that, honestly, didn't know about one or more of the above sources of information. IMO I shouldn't have to go through a 6 step process for each and every character option in order to determine whether I can play that character in society play.

I think this leads to the perceived complexity that can push new or casual players away from the game; that is that they can't just buy a couple books and play the game as published.


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Xathos of Varisia wrote:

I like the idea of using the Achievement Points to earn more PFS1 Replays. That's a good decision.

As far as the Chronicle Sheet goes, there are no spots for Achievement Points, Infamy, and Downtime. Will these be digitally tracked on the Paizo site only? I do realize that DT will not accumulate so that may not need a tracking system, but I think it might be something that should be listed on the sheet if it has different rates of earning for slow progression vs. normal progression.

I really feel that AcP should be listed on the Chronicle Sheets for similar reasons.

I fully agree. Every number that a player needs to keep track of should be on the chronicle sheet. I don't like the SFS faction system where you may have to look through your chronicle stack to figure out how much prestige you have earned with a particular faction.

What it comes down to is that I think every accumulating number that a player has to keep track of should be on the chronicle sheet. If that is 10 numbers then there should be a field for each and every one of them. If that is problematic then I think that is an indication that tracking that many numbers is problematic. If supporting keeping track of it is a problem that I would argue that it is problematic inherently.

While I generally like the new chronicle design I strong feel that the amount of numbers players are expected to track ignores key "human factors" design elements, i.e. that people will be turned off by the amount of "math" that the campaign expects of them, even if it is simple addition.


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Will Huston wrote:

So as part of being a prepared PFS gm at a local gaming store, my GM kit includes a little baggie with my 10 reserved organized play numbers that I'll hand to a new player. I tell them to go to paizo.com, register an account and use the confirmation code, etc. A lot of people play one or two games, decide "hey, maybe this isn't for me" and never do it. A lot of people take the card, make an account and claim their PFS number. Neither of those groups have an issue with this system. But there's a third group of people who take the card, make a character and play regularly but have never made paizo account and never have used the confirmation code.

Now, they've definitely lost the card with the confirmation code on it. How will it work for them if they want to play PFS2e? Should they start over with a new PFS number? Is there a way to give them that number without the confirmation code?

Here's one idea. Print two copies and write the person's name on the copy you keep. So long as you are around you can always go back and provide that confirmation number when the player finally gets around to wanting to register online.

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

People waving the flag about weight over bulk should look up the idea of cognitive load.

Bulk has way less cognitive load than weight, and requires you to look up a separate table to work out their carrying capacity.

Every item you pick up you have to look up the weight (is this the straw that breaks the camel’s back?)
Every time you get a bull’s strength, strength mutagen or other temporary strength enhancement its back to the table.

The cognitive load of large numbers is real. So encumbrance is the rule that gets skipped or ignored the most. Which enhances the value of melee dexterity builds.

You personally might find encumbrance very easy to track. Bully for you. However, you aren’t everybody, and for my players encumbrance has always been easier to track. I already houseruled something similar in my game and while dexterity builds were still popular, strength/heavy armor builds started seeing more play again.

I think the bulk system doesn't and can't fix one thing you mentioned: having to keep an eye on your encumbrance when you are near the limit. If I am at 9+B out of 10 max I still have to check everything I pick up to see if it will put me over the limit. Players who push up against the limits are going to have to pay close attention to those limits, no matter how they are expressed.

I will agree that the current PF1 encumbrance system is far too fiddly.

From the Adventuring Gear Page From Air Bladder to Bell there are 11 unique weights listed among items.

For Bulk the majority of those would be considered Light Bulk (or 0.1) or 1 bulk (maybe 2 bulk for Alchemist's kit). Which means that if you're at 9 bulk you're either going to pick up small stuff, or only one Bulky item and be done. And it's fairly intuitive to guess what kind of bulk an item is based on what it is.

Right but 10 light items equals 1 bulky item, the same as Starfinder if I understand correctly. So if I want to pick up 3 light items I still have to pay attention to whether I already have 8 light items, since that would add another bulk. So those near the limit still have to carefully track everything they have. They still have to add up every single thing on their character sheet.

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Tangent101 wrote:
That said, I do hope they have Alchemists making coffee. That would just be entirely too amusing. I could very well see a line of Goblin-run restaurants named Sparkbucks and offering coffee that will grow hair on your fingernails, peel paint from a house ten feet away, and keep you...

I do not want to go to your Pathfinder Sparkbucks. "That will be 4 silver pieces and a small skin sample." "What?!" "You did ask for the special, did you not?"

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graystone wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Moreover, this immediately does away with the problem for Small characters where we had to remember to divide the weight by 2. Instead, bulk is the same, it just fits automatically with character size.
Is this actually a boon of bulk or starfinder?

I have played a number of small characters in Pathfinder. I am also particular enough to carefully track encumbrance even when no one is paying attention. This is absolutely an improvement. Take a look at the tables in the books. Some items are 1/4 weight, some are 1/2 weight, some are full weight. Many items are not clear at all whether the weight should be adjusted for small characters (hello magic items). Then you also have to take max encumbrance and multiply by 3/4. It sucks, a lot. Even as careful as I am, probably more so than 95% of PF players, I am sure that my calculations have at least one inarguable error in them.

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Bruno Mares wrote:
What about call the "general feats" as feats, and the "class feats" as (the name of the class) talents? Just like rogue talents, cleric talents, fighter talents... Seems more player-friendly.

First off, please do give them different names. I like talents instead of class feats since it's familiar to existing Pathfinder players as a type of class feature.


What is more important for me than naming though is the uniqueness of class feats. Distilled down what I really want are for class feats to be truly iconic for that class. A small, selective list that won't end up being available to many other classes, if any others, ever. I hope that the general feats, gated via the proficiency system, will cover almost all of what are class features in 1E. When half a dozen classes end up with access to the same class feature it no longer matters as much what class one chooses, and this is a shame.

Smite evil is something I would see as a paladin class feat (or talent if using that name). In contrast channel energy would be a general feat with a proficiency requirement. Channel energy doesn't belong as a class feat as evidenced by how many 1E classes now have access to it - it is hardly cleric specific. Even domains are available to plenty more classes than just clerics, so while having domain abilities might be a general feat a cleric might power that up with a cleric-only feat that has the domain feat as a prerequisite.

Why all this? For one example I compared a sorcerer with the psychic bloodline to the psychic class and in my estimation the sorcerer was generally a better psychic caster. In that comparison there wasn't anything about the psychic class that made it stand out as something unique to me, worth playing with its own class identity. Every class should have a unique identity that doesn't (and won't in the future) get eclipsed or subsumed by some other class.

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I played a human spacefarer envoy (phrenic adept) in the first part of Dead Suns yesterday. The archetype is what I needed to make a character concept a reality. So far I'm liking it and don't feel that I'm giving up too much for the archetype. I went with the clever feint envoy improvisation at first level which worked out well - it allows making an enemy flat footed to everyone's attacks for a round. During combat I asked whether the party would rather I attack or use clever feint and the answer was always feint. Hopefully that still holds up as we level up and I start missing out on more improvisations for abilities that don't benefit the party as a whole. On the other hand having a party face with telepathy may end up being very useful.

So while the archetype does remove a lot of the meat from most classes I do think it can make certain characters possible.


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I finally bothered to write up my own process for printing maps so I figured I'd share it.

This is my method for printing Pathfinder and Starfinder maps. This involves saving the maps as individual PDFs with the image scaling information so that they can be printed at the correct scale automatically. I normally print them spread across multiple pages, trim the edges off, and tape them together. This has also worked successfully for taking the PDF to a print service that does large format printing such as Office Depot.

Extract the image from the adventure
- Open the adventure PDF in Acrobat Reader
- Select the map
- Edit > Copy (ctrl-C)

Open IrfanView [1]
Edit > Paste
Calculate the DPI for the image
- Select a large area, lining up the edges of the selection to the grid lines on the map
- Look at the title bar to find out the number of pixels you selected
- Count the number of grid squares you selected on the map
- Divine the number of pixels by the number of grid squares. Make sure to do the calculation for both the horizontal and vertical directions as they are not always the same. This is the DPI (pixels per inch).
Update the DPI for the image
- Image > Information...
- Change the DPI from the default values and click the Change button.
- Click OK
If you only want to print part of the map you can adjust that now. I use the crop tool to cut off unnecessary edges for example.
Save the image
- File > Save as...
- Enter a file name
- Change the file type in the "Save as type" dropdown to "PDF - Portable Document Format"
- Click Save
- If an additional dialog appears, simply click Save

Print the map
- Open the PDF you created in Acrobat Reader
- File > Print...
- In the Page Sizing & Handling section click the Poster button
- Adjust any other printing settings as needed
- Click the Print button

[1] http://www.irfanview.com/ This is a freeware image viewer with some basic image editing built in as well. You can download the zip file if you don't have admin privileges to install it normally.

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There's the open question of whether one can ready to interrupt a spell as it is being cast.

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Technomancers get spellshot (8th level) to deliver an area spell with a ranged weapon, seeking shot (11th level) to hit people with cover or concealment, phase shot (14th level) to shoot through barriers.

I'm going to make my first character a technomancer sniper, hopefully it works out in play.

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VampByDay wrote:
Just forcably wake casters up every six hours. Can't regan spells. For technomancers you just take their spellbook thingie away from them and they're out. I mean, I know the book says they can make a new one, but I as a GM would say that pre-supposes that they can get their hands on. . . Well, anything useful. I mean I'd rule that you can't make a spellbook thingie out of a fork tine and a bar of soap.

A technomancer does not need to have a spell cache (I assume that's what you are referring to) to rcast a spell. It simply allows them to cast an extra spell per day similar to a Pathfinder wizard's arcane bond.

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Guild Guide page 18 wrote:
If the PCs buy an item using pooled money that they do not use during the adventure, one PC may purchase the item at the end of the adventure, paying the item’s full cost. If no PC wants to purchase the item, the PC must sell the item back for 10% value, reimbursing each PC for half of what she paid into the pool.

The way I read this if no one wants the item one PC is forced to buy the item at full price, sell it back at 10%, then reimburse the other PCs. This doesn't make sense though. Either a) more than the purchase price ends up being paid for the item, if the pooled money isn't refunded when one PC individually buys the item at full price; or b) the money the other PCs is refunded since one PC is paying the full purchase price, but then the language about reimbursing them for 50% doesn't make sense.

The other way to read it that "the PC must sell" is a typo and should be "the PCs must sell", that is, they sell it back collectively. However, this doesn't work because it is impossible to reimburse 50% of what people paid when only 10% is recovered. Maybe this is a typo as a result of copying language from Pathfinder and it's supposed to be that the item is collectively sold back and 10% of what people paid is reimbursed.

Let's do some math.

3 PCs pool money to buy an item with a price of 1000:
A puts in 500
B puts in 300
C puts in 200

The item isn't used and no one wants it. If one PC has to buy the item, someone has to buy it for 1000 and sell it back for 100, losing 900, then in addition reimbursing the other PCs 50% of what they originally put in. Even if that buying for 1000 includes the pooled money it still ends up being an uneven split.

If PC A buys it:
A ends up being out 650 (130% of what they originally put in); spent: 500 original commitment - 100 recovered from sale + 150 reimbursing PC B + 100 reimbursing PC C
B ends up being out 150 (50% of what they originally put in)
C ends up being out 100 (50% of what they originally put in)

If PC B buys it:
A ends up being out 150 (50% of what they originally put in)
B ends up being out 550 (183% of what they originally put in); spent: 300 original commitment - 100 recovered from sale + 250 reimbursing PC B + 100 reimbursing PC C
C ends up being out 100 (50% of what they originally put in)

If PC C buys it:
A ends up being out 150 (50% of what they originally put in)
B ends up being out 100 (50% of what they originally put in)
C ends up being out 500 (250% of what they originally put in); spent: 200 original commitment - 100 recovered from sale + 250 reimbursing PC B + 150 reimbursing PC C

This seems like a bad rule to me. If no one wants the item it shouldn't be forced onto one PC to buy it then reimburse the other PCs because that can result in them being out even more money. No one is going to want to be the person to take the financial hit of reimbursing the other PCs. This is only going to create confusion in understanding the rules due to the uneven result, and strife between players as arguments erupt over who should have to pay more than their original commitment.

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David knott 242 wrote:

My headcanon says that, during the Gap, somebody actually solved the mystery of Aroden's death despite a conspiracty by all of the deities to keep the details of that incident secret. Once that secret was discovered, the gods decided that they needed to wipe the memories and records of anyone who knew that secret and the proceeded to do the same with any memories or records that would permit that secret to be learned again.

It turned out that there was some incontrovertible evidence in the matter on Golarion that could be concealed only by removing Golarion itself from the known universe.

Maybe Aroden escaped whatever prison he was in and finally returned to Golarion. His long delayed promise to start a golden age of humanity. The other Gods didn't want humanity running rampant and said "sure, you can have your golden age on Golarion, but you don't get to do it around here." Poof off to a pocket dimension sealed away at the end of the universe.

Is Rovagug an active deity in Starfinder? Maybe he managed to escape so they got rid of the entire planet and wiped memories to prevent anyone from finding out what happened to it - and letting Rovagug out from his new prison.

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Gilfalas wrote:

OK so the largest starships average in at shy of 3 miles long but are only about 8000 tons?

By way of real world comparisons, the newest US carrier the Gerald Ford is only 1,092 feet long and it displaces more than 100,000 tons.

Has lightweight super materials really gotten that good or are there some 0's missing in that chart? :-)

Easy, weight depends on gravity. Clearly those are Starfinder tons, not Earth tons.

Did you just assume my gravity?


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I would prefer that Paizo release less rules and setting books altogether, not just one or the other. I feel that from the get-go Pathfinder development has been primarily focused on getting books out the door quickly. There's two aspects to this: quality and quantity.

In terms of quality just look at the rough edges in the rules in the CRB for example. I've read some of the commentary about its development where there were areas they wanted to improve but couldn't without delaying its release. Every GM and player continues to be impacted by those decisions coming on a decade later and the whole product line suffers as well. The adventurer's armory debacle should have been a wake up call. In the years since there have been a number more books, some flagship hardcover books, that have had serious quality issues showing that these lessons aren't been taken to heart.

In terms of quantity there are quite simply too many books to even read. I remember seeing a quote from one of the main developers who said that even they don't read every Pathfinder book because there are just too many. No game publisher can provide a consistent product, consistent in lore as well as self-consistent rules, when no one publishing it can keep track of everything. The fact that multiple books have been published covering the exact same topics shows a lack of cohesive vision in game design where even setting lore has to be corrected.

My desires are selfish. I don't care how much money Paizo makes so long as they stay in business. While the ship seems to have sailed for Pathfinder, with Starfinder offering a chance to reset things I want them to use a more deliberate method of creating both rules and setting books, with a slower pace of setting and rules books releases. I also want what's broken fixed through errata, not publishing optional rules in later books that change fundamental aspects of the game. Especially considering that society play, the games public marketing, will never use those fixes, e.g. changes to the Pathfinder stealth rules.

All that said, I do really like Pathfinder the game system as well as the setting. The Inner Sea World Guide is a great book for example. I'm hopeful that Starfinder finds a better path forward.


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The character idea that I'm most excited to play is a grippli vigilante (faceless enforcer) who dual-wields kukris. The idea of a very small hellknight whirling around with 4 inch blades amuses me too much.


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I simply buy my wands of infernal healing from wizards with eschew materials.


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The simple solution to the boon needing to be the first chronicle is to number it zero.


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I think this is a good compromise between the original language of star replays recharging every year (that never actually happened) and the boon existing but being hard to come by for many GMs. A definite step forward in further rewarding GMs for doing what they do without opening up replay too far.


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Drogon wrote:
Sandra Wilkinson wrote:

How about you can only get the boons once...but get the exp, prestige and item access on subsequent runs?

Items are often a bigger problem than boons, to be honest.

I don't think repeat GM credit is necessary, but if it was implemented I think this would be a decent way to do it. Any GM credit after the first does not grant access to anything, boons or items, but only provides XP, PP, and GP.


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When this is clarified I think it should go in the direction of having the held chronicles applied, even if the character is then out of tier.

With this option, I don't see any way to "game the system." It is more flexible and forgiving for those who don't carefully keep track of their held credit. This is quite possible for someone playing pregens enough to trigger such a scenario.

By restricting it, you can end up causing players to lose held credit which would only serve to disenfranchise players. When that player is already someone playing a pregen, it is quite possible they are already on the edge of fully participating in PFS.

Given that there are two options where one is more player friendly without being harmful to the player or campaign, then that is the one that should become the rules.


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1) Read through the PDF electronically highlighting skill checks, stuff I think I'll need to quickly find while running, etc. as I go through. I don't pay to close attention to combats on the first pass, only the morale sections to know whether they start out actively attacking or try to talk to the party.

2) Take a mental break (a day or two if I have the time).

3) Study the combats, looking up any mechanics I don't understand.

4) Print the scenario, any bestiary pages not included in the scenario, maps, and chronicles.

5) Pick out minis for the NPCs and monsters.

6) GM.

7) Realize how many things I screwed up while driving home.

Edit: Missed one. 2.5) Read the GM thread on the forums. I only do this around half the time, usually when a scenario seem particularly tricky.


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TOZ wrote:
Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
I'd like to tell you all about the wonderful item called Talisman of Life's Breath... So worth it for frontliners who don't want to deal with the hassle of demanding the cleric use a scroll on them.
A pity it occupies the neck slot.

If you wear (or can wear) armor, then the determination armor special quality may be of interest. It is cheaper than the greater talisman and has the same effect.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
The problem I have with mandatory reimbursement is you can effectively tax other players. Someone goes unconscious. Use a heal scroll (instead of simply stabilizing them). The target has to pay for it even though they had no choice in whether it was used on them.

Is anyone suggesting mandatory reimbursement under ridiculously contrived conditions?

If yes, please quote them.

If not please stop pretending this is a plot to screw people over.

I don't see how this is at all contrived. The player using the scroll may have done so with only the best intentions. That doesn't change the fact they would effectively be spending the other player's gold.


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Like others in this thread I can see both sides.

When I played Eyes of the Ten there were, to the best of my recollection, at least 2 or 3 scrolls of heal and a breath of life used on my PC. I would like to have had the option to reimburse the other PCs for it. As it is I could only keep taking the hits for them.

At the same time I am concerned this would turn from an option to a de facto requirement.

On the whole I am in favor, possibly with some restrictions. Those restrictions may just be firm language regarditg the optional nature of it.


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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I also had the pleasure of running a scenario for a player with a build like this, first unbuffed (and without Piranha Strike - apparently there is a discussion of this works without a manufactured weapon but ignoring that for the moment, and excluding traits)

** spoiler omitted **...

I think this is a case where instead of banning the item because a few people use it in extreme ways, you can just tell the player "you won pathfinder, good job. Please stop making the game un-fun for everyone else at the table." I don't see how this build would be hugely different just drinking potions of reduce person.

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My chief concern with the reworking of the vigilante class is that for characters who don't want to go down the renown path, there is little real choice in social talents. In particular for PFS where an area of renown will be difficult to maintain. Here is my detailed take on the non-renown dependent social talents, from the perspective of playing a vigilante as a PC in PFS.

Case the Joint (1) - Very situational, especially in PFS. You don't often have time to split from the party (to avoid them knowing both identities) and spend an hour investigating after you figure out where the objective is. I've only attempted something like this once so far (without the talent), and even though it proved useful, I still felt like I was somewhat detracting from the overall fun of the table due to going off to do my own thing while the rest of the party stuck together.
Double Time (1) - I like it for flavor even if it would do very little in PFS due to the general ban on crafting. But it's not PFS legal regardless.
Everyman (11) - Nice ability, but I can't see it being useful very often.
Gossip Collector (1) - Without renown this is a very weak talent. There are few scenarios where the difference in time spent gathering information would have any effect.
Immediate Change (13) - Not available in regular PFS play due to the level requirement.
In Vogue (5) - Worth taking for flavor, if not the day job check bonus, unfortunately not PFS legal due to the dependency on Double Time.
Many Guises (5) - A nice talent that could be very useful for many vigilantes.
Mockingbird (5) - I love this talent generally, but the fact that it is limited to only the social identity via the default limitation is my biggest disappointment in the change from the play test. I wish this explicitly stated that it can be used in both social and vigilante identities, or that it was a vigilante talent.
Quick Change (7) - A solid talent, useful for most any vigilante.
Safe House (1) - Very little utility in a wandering campaign like PFS, especially forgoing renown.
Social Grace (1) - Very good, an obvious choice at first level.

In summary, for the 11 levels of normal PFS play a full-classed Vigilante will end up with 6 social talents. However, within those levels there are only 8 PFS legal social talents forgoing the renown chain, with several only useful on rare occasions. I think this will lead to most PFS Vigilantes having a very large overlap in social talents, which is a disappointment. I think this illustrates a gap. Maybe Inner Sea Intrigue will be able to fill this.

My biggest issue with renown, PFS or not, is that it assumes you want both of your identities to be famous: "The vigilante becomes known for deeds and abilities regardless of his current identity." Several of the other renown-based talents emphasize the social identity as a well known person even more. This immediately makes it unsuitable for characters who want their social identity to be an unremarkable, everyday person. The best cover identity is a person that no one gives a second thought to, not a famous figure, as that just invites scrutiny.


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p-sto wrote:
I feel like "really has heart set on class X" is the one I'm having the most trouble with. We have a player who decided to model his PC on the ninja pregen because he really wanted to play a ninja. He took the character to level six before anyone pointed out to him that pregens aren't meant to be a guideline for character creation. I feel bad that the error managed to slip by us for that long but sometimes things happen. ...

I don't think this is all that bad. I would assume that this player had a lot of fun doing "ninja stuff." That they were enjoying it is the most important, regardless of character optimization.

Heck, some of the most fun I've had is when my character was completely ill-matched for the scenario.

If they have reached level 6, then I think the player should have enough experience with the game to to lead into a good conversation about character effectiveness. A first character doesn't need to be optimized until level 12. If it gets the player engaged and progressively learning more about the game, then it has gone right. At that point you can guide them to make character progression decisions that ensure the character remains fun, even if it isn't always particularly effective.


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Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Hmm wrote:

Someone once listed everything that can be found in a spell component pouch and concluded that you can live for days off of what you could eat in one... I concluded that they must be truly extra-dimensional in capacity despite not being inherently magical.

Don't worry about weights and measures. Accept this for what it is, a way of making the game more convenient for casters without agonizing over time-wasting trivia.

A GM can rule that the Spell Component has been used up, you know.

It specifically has things which can fit inside, and has a listed weight of 2 lbs. Given a medium character requires 1lb of food per day to avoid starvation, a spell component pouch can be argued to contain no more than 2 days worth of food for a medium character.

It also lacks any refrigeration ability.

It's not extra-dimensional, and can be considered consumed whenever the GM determines is reasonable (not unlike any other mundane equipment).

In a single PFS session, this still will unlikely come up, but it can be an issue for non-PFS play.

If your GM is picking so many nits that they are paying attention to the amount of material spell components you use that would be contained in a spell component pouch, then I say it's time to have a conversation with the GM concerning Pathfinder as a game. Games should be fun. There are other games for those who want to play spreadsheet wars - Pathfinder is not one of those. It is a game for being awesome. Failing that, perhaps it's time for a new GM.


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John Theodoropoulos wrote:
I have an idea I'm not sure is PFS legal with the crafting restrictions. I play a Gunslinger with ranks in craft Alchemy and Profession: Sapper. My thought, if I carry kegs of black powder, bullets, pellets, caltrops and Keros oil, can I make a craft/profession check to combine the items into a barrel with a simple fuse for a bomb?

The simplest way to do so that avoids table variation is to take one level of alchemist and use craft (alchemy) to make PFS-legal alchemical weapons.

From there it sounds like fuse grenades or the related pellet grenades are what you are looking for. These are available in Ultimate Equipment.

Kahel Stormbender wrote:

Best I can figure out, it's the following:

Short answer, no.

Long answer, no way in PFS. Crafting skills can't be used to make items in PFS, just as day job checks. Craft Alchemy regardless of ranks can't be used to scavenge materials then craft alchemist fire, for example. An alchemist's bombs aren't true crafting. There is the occasional exception. An alchemist can use craft alchemy to get alchemic supplies like alchemist's fire cheaper between sessions, but can't make a day job check if they do.

There's also a boon that allows limited crafting during sessions. It's also a single use boon, so once you use it you can't craft anymore during sessions.

This is incorrect. Alchemists can craft alchemical items in PFS per the normal crafting rules. It does not replace the day job check.


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I understand the desire to reward the consistent local GMs that make games happen week after week and I think adding such a system has merit. I also believe in simplicity.

Having been a tier one GM at Gen Con twice I also understand the significant time and financial cost plus the stress of doing so, so I agree that these GMs getting an exclusive boon is appropriate.

Putting these together I can get behind a system that rewards GMs with boons based on the number of GM stars they have, though not at the level of those tier one GM rewards. By not introducing additional tracking mechanics while still giving those consistent GMs something I think this is a reasonable compromise.


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Feast of sigils has a lovely dining experience complete with that after dinner feeling of "I can't believe I ate that."


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I also go with everything there is space for on the character sheet from the CRB should be listed. Feats and such need not have all the text, but at least the names of them, and hopefully a very short indication of what they do. Don't forget your traits and any alternate racial traits. Simply put: anything that has a mechanical effect on the game, whether than be numerical or otherwise.

Off topic:

Muser wrote:
My pet peeve is people who do not count their boni together beforehand but instead start this tedious 1+2+3 when I ask for a ranged attack roll. . .
Ascalaphus wrote:
. . . By then you're often adding five or more different boni to your attack roll, and they change every other round as buffs and debuffs come and go.

The plural of bonus is bonuses.


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Making any assumptions about how PCs are geared leads to uncomfortable situations.

For the "standard" gear you mention, I think the only decent assumption is that for someone whose primary action in combat is doing physical damage they can bypass DR/magic via a +1 or better weapon. Especially considering all the great alternatives in the shoulder, neck, and ring slots there are many characters that do not use the defensive items you mention.

As others have done, here is the gear of my high level non-seeker characters for reference. Many of my lower level characters don't use the standard items as much as these.

bard (archaeologist) 10:

Combat Gear
fortunate charm,
scroll of acute senses,
scroll of comprehend languages,
scroll of erase,
scroll of feather step,
scroll of glitterdust,
scroll of honeyed tongue,
scroll of innocence (CL 2nd),
scroll of lesser restoration (5),
scroll of liberating command,
scroll of memory lapse,
scroll of remove fear,
scroll of see invisibility,
scroll of share language,
scroll of solid note (CL 2nd),
scroll of tongues,
scroll of undetectable alignment,
wand of cure light wounds (50 charges),
air crystal;
Other Gear
mithral chain shirt,
mwk buckler,
arrows (20),
darkwood shortbow,
mithral dagger,
autonomous cartographer,
belt of incredible dexterity +2,
boots of striding and springing,
circlet of persuasion,
cloak of resistance +2,
cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
dream journal of the pallid seer,
eyes of the eagle,
field scrivener's desk,
gloves of swimming and climbing,
handy haversack,
headband of vast intelligence +2,
ring of protection +1,
ring of sustenance,
rope of climbing,
unguent of timelessness,
vest of escape,
belt pouch,
masterwork backpack,
masterwork thieves' tools,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
scroll case,
scroll case,
scroll case,
sewing needle,
spell component pouch,
spider's silk rope (50 ft.),
thread (50 ft.),
trail rations (5),

alchemist (mindchemist) 11:

Combat Gear
boro bead (1st level),
boro bead (2nd level),
boro bead (2nd level),
boro bead (2nd level),
elixer of elemental protection,
elixir of spirit sight,
elixir of tumbling,
potion of cure light wounds,
potion of deeper darkness,
potion of inflict light wounds,
potion of lesser restoration,
potion of reduce person,
universal solvent,
acid (3),
alchemist's fire (2),
alkali flask,
fiddleback venom (3),
holy water (2),
liquid ice;
Other Gear
mithral chain shirt,
blowgun darts (20),
mithral dagger,
mwk blowgun,
poisoned sand tube,
belt of the weasel,
cloak of resistance +1,
dream journal of the pallid seer,
elixir of darksight,
elixir of hiding,
elixir of swimming,
feather step slippers,
formula alembic,
gloves of reconnaissance,
handy haversack,
headband of vast intelligence +4,
hybridization funnel,
lenses of detection,
preserving flask (1st level),
ring of inner fortitude (minor),
robe of infinite twine,
traveler's any-tool,
alchemist's lab,
alchemy crafting kit,
formula book,
masterwork thieves' tools,
scroll box,
scroll case,
sewing needle,
spell component pouch,
spider's silk rope (50 ft.),
travelling formula book,

monk (zen archer) 11:

Explorer's Outfit
+5 Adaptive Impervious Composite Daikyu (+2 Str)
Katana, double walking stick [UC]
Wakizashi with false pommel
Cage (diminutive, bamboo) [AA]
Canary [AA]
Belt Pouch
Bird Food
Scroll Case
Inquisitor's Monocle [UE 226] +5 competence to Sense Motive
Headband of Inspired Wisdom +2 [CRB] enhancement bonus
Belt of Mighty Constitution +2 [CRB] enhancement bonus
Cloak of Resistance +3 [CRB] resistance bonus to saves
Ring of Protection +1 [CRB] deflection bonus to AC
Amulet of Natural Armor +1 [CRB] enchancement bonus to nat armor
Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier [AP 52] +1 luck bonus to AC
Slippers of Spider Climbing [CRB]
Cracked Pale Green Prism Ioun Stone [SoS] +1 competence bonus to saves
Signet Ring
Efficient Quiver
Arrows (20)
Grappling Arrow [AA]
Arrows, Cold Iron, Blunt (20)
Smoke arrow
Whistling arrow (20)
Arrows, adamantine blanched (10)
Arrows, blunt, adamantine blanched (10)
Arrows, silver blanched (10)
Arrows, blunt, silver blanched (10)
Handy Haversack [CRB] magic pockets; retrieve as move action without provoking
Ioun Torch [SoS]
Hammock [AA]
Piton [CRB]
Caver's Hammock [Second Darkness Player's Guide]
Blanket, common [AA]
Mirror, small steel [CRB]
Rope, spider's silk (50 ft) [APG]
Sewing Needle
Thread (50') [AA]
False-bottomed Cup [AA]
Parchment (sheet)
Dream Journal of the Pallid Seer [AP 27] (600 gp) reroll death
Rations, Trail
Noble's Outfit
Light War Horse [AA] (900 lbs)
Military Saddle (30 lbs)
Powder [AA]
Wand of Cure Light Wounds
Potion of Cure Light Wounds
Vermin Repellant [AA]
Unguent of Timelessness
Alchemist's Fire [CRB]
Smokestick [CRB]
Oil of Magic Weapon
Oil of Align Weapon
Potion of Endure Elements
Potion of Jump
Potion of Lesser Restoration
Potion of Mage Armor
Potion of Fly
Potion of Feather Step
Potion of Touch of the Sea
Air Crystals


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Divvox2 wrote:
For fun, I like to age my character a year every few levels to represent the concept that one only gets these wacky quests dozen times a year at most.

Time passes on Golarion at the same rate as here on Earth. So characters age one year in game for every real year. Though perhaps your PCs like to hang out with time dragons when not adventuring.

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Since the wording is "spells you cast to ensure peace or force aggressive creatures to become peaceful" I would say that spells which simply provide a penalty on attacks would not qualify.

I would allow the bonus on sometimes yes, sometimes no spells based on the specific situation.

I find the guiding idea of "when in doubt, side with the players" to be pretty good. It certainly makes for a more pleasant gaming atmosphere.

On the general topic, there are lots of effects in the game which require the GM to rule within the context of the current game. That's why we have GMs. Oddly enough I agree with the rulings more often than effects with no room for interpretation. Perhaps because they have to actively think about it and often talk it out with the players to gain some consensus.


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Great news.

My one suggestion is that the faction cards be made in the same physical size as a chronicle, 8.5x11in, so that they can seamlessly be kept with chronicles in binders or whatever. Half or quarter sheets of paper are too easy to lose. Maybe even use a general chronicle/boon design, just without the right or bottom portions.


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Here is the one I use in Excel and PDF formats. This prints on 4 8.5" x 11" pages. It should be current with all sanctioned content.


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James Krolak wrote:

Bead of Newt Prevention
1,000gp, UE pg282
Negates failed save vs hostile polymorph effect, consumed when triggered. Useful at higher levels when you might encounter a Baleful Polymorph.

Sure, this might seem great but there's nothing like a story of being turned into a squirrel.


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Excellent elixirs to use with alchemical allocation:

  • Elixir of elemental protection 1,800 gp Scintillating colors swirl through this liquid. The elixir grants the drinker 100 points of protection from the first type of elemental damage he takes after drinking it. Unused points of protection dissipate 1 hour after the liquid is consumed. [Dragonslayer's Handbook]
  • Elixir of darksight 1,200 gp This dark, syrupy draught doubles the range of the drinker’s darkvision and also enables her to see through deeper darkness when using darkvision. The effects last for 1 hour. [ARG]
  • Elixir of spirit sight 1,000 gp For 1 minute, the drinker gains the ability to see invisibility (as the spell), and his weapons and armor are treated as if they had the ghost touch special ability. [AP39]
  • Elixir of the peaks 2,450 gp When imbibed, an elixir of the peaks gives the user the ability to scale and survive in mountainous terrain with great skill. The imbiber is treated as if acclimated to all high altitudes lower than a death zone, and gains a +2 competence bonus on all Survival checks made at elevations of above 5,000 feet. She also gains a +10 competence bonus on Climb checks and Survival checks in mountainous terrain (these bonuses stack with the altitude-based bonus above). Finally, the imbiber gains the benefits of an endure elements spell. The effects of this elixir wear off after 8 hours. [RotRL AP6]
  • Elixir of hiding 250 gp
  • Elixir of swimming 250 gp
  • Elixir of tumbling 250 gp
  • Elixir of vision 250 gp


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You will need to level up at the con. You cannot play a character that is not the correct level for the amount of XP it has. I suggest bringing a copy of the character already leveled up, then just making any adjustments from gear purchased, boons gained, etc. while at the con.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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I am not allowed to try to bribe city guards, even if the townsfolk regularly do so.


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Rushley son of Halum wrote:
When asking "what could possibly go wrong" the answer is always "treachery demons."

While fleeing from one combat, I am no longer allowed to run back to another room really quickly to grab some evidence we left behind. Although running from two combats at once certainly does make the day more exciting. Especially when triggering a third combat in the process.


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Jayson MF Kip wrote:

...and the store has to close due to lightning striking the transformer outside.

This is better than the lightning frying your car (and other cars, and the store's computers, and breaking the store's front window...).

My answer: ... the player in the last game who didn't know how their character's mechanics worked and refused to accept they were wrong is the GM for the next game.

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It looks like an investigator cannot legally take brew potion. That seems like an oversight. I'm not suggesting the class get it for free the same as an alchemist, but I think that they should be able to take it as a feat at 3rd.


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I disagree that GMs should be expected to take on more players than they are comfortable with. The GM should be able to have a good time too and they shouldn't feel pressured to run for 7 players if 5 is the most they can handle. I believe that almost every 7 player table I have run would have been noticeably better if I had limited it to 6 players.

There may be a cost to telling someone to come back next time rather than cram them into a table, but there's also a cost to putting too many people at one table. I firmly believe that every player needs to take the initiative to be responsible for themselves. If there are options to sign up ahead of time and the player chooses to just show up then that is their own fault - not the GM's and not the organizer's.

I feel it's especially inappropriate to label a GM a jerk because they honestly believe it's in everyone's best interests to turn a player away rather than go beyond what they can handle.

It goes against the spirit of PFS to create a miserable experience in the name of inclusiveness.


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CRobledo wrote:
Aaron Mayhew wrote:
Dredging this up one more time for a quick question. Can you use summon monster spells to summon elementals from other bestiaries, or just the ones from Bestiary 1?

For PLAYERS the official answer is only Bestiary 1.

For Krune? I dunno. I'd allow it since all 3 bestiaries are GM assumption.

I disagree with this. The exact same spell shouldn't be better just because the GM is using it. Plus it's unclear anyway since the only direction I can find is from James Jacobs who contradicts himself. link1 link2


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Personally, I feel that Pathfinder Society probably allows even more (in sum) than most home games even should. There's a huge breadth of material that Paizo has published and much of that won't be appropriate, flavor-wise, to any given campaign.

The hard-cover books plus any books on topics directly related to the campaign you are running should present plenty of choices for characters while reducing the overwhelming amount of stuff out there. There are also certain things that PFS disallows that a home game need not, such as item crafting since you can directly monitor how it affects the game.

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