Yeah... Hopefully this will just take a hand-wave and be approved. Seems pretty obvious to me... But that's just me.
Thanks guys. I knew it was going to be a gray area. I will agree that this is another question (in a long line) that needs to be added to the FAQ.
I am just hoping that this is 'approved' for use in PFS. The Pei Zin Practitioner gives up a considerable number of skills and revelations when selecting this archetype... it would be sad to see players unable to use this ability to create the limited number of 'natural' or 'plant -based' items it PFS.
Just want to clarify that it appears that since the Archetype is approved and that 'Herbalism' can be used in place of Alchemy to create alchemical cures, found in the PCC: Alchemy Manual (assuming the Pei Zin Alchemy section only), that a Pei Zin Practitioner appears to be able to 'craft' certain alchemcial items for use in PFS just like an Alchemist and/or Investigator.
@Serisan... I understand the 'Golf-Bag' but my comment was more on just how things 'look' rather than how they actually work from a game mechanics point of view.
I guess 'carry capacity' is the simplest way to deal with the issue, it just has few holes in it IMHO. But like I said, its more about pointing out how ridiculous looking it is rather than wanting to redesign the whole Pathfinder Core Rules from the ground up.
It's a game... I get that... But at times it does give me a headache...
Technically... I guess having a detailed understanding of how various ancient and medieval weapons were carried and deployed on a historical battlefield has 'skewed' my opinion.
If you call something a Sarissa and give a pseudo-historical description of it in various rulebooks and/or supplements (and the same goes for other weapons) then its not completely ahistorical. There is a specific point of reference with an actual historical item(s). But thanks for the dismissive nature of your comment anyway.
My problem isn't so much with carrying 96 pounds (with super-human strength and all), but more with weapons that have lengths of 6, 8, 10 and 15 feet carried in multiples and being 'quick drawn.' The sarissa being 'listed' as 15 feet does take into account the shortest known version of the weapon (Early Macedonian period of the mid 4th century BCE), but 'strapping up' various polearms does seem rather ridiculous.
Like I said, this wasn't about rules or 'if you can.' It was about how practical it would be if Pathfinder wasn't a 'fantasy' campaign setting- which just happens to incorporate all kinds of actual historical stuff (like weapons and armor)- of which we have ancient and modern examples of and points of reference for.
This is not a 'is it legal question.' Its more of a rant against an oddity that is becoming more and more common in our local area PFS game(s).
I call it the 'I have one of those' character builds.
Last week I was running a game where a 3rd level fighter was utilizing six (that's right...six) two-handed weapons in a bizarre 'max it out' style of build.
So here is the list for your amusement: Greatsword (8 lbs), Guisarme (12 lbs), Heavy Flail (10 lbs), Lucerne Hammer (12 lbs), Halberd (12 lbs) and a Sarissa (12 lbs).
That's right and he was decked out in an Masterwork Agile Breastplate with armor spikes. Just in armor and weapons, the character was pushing 96 pounds...
Being a professional historian (yes, really) and a prudent GM, I asked- how does your character carry all that stuff? His answer was simple, " I have an 18 strength and a Masterwork Backpack!"
I said, "No, how does your character actually 'carry' all that stuff?" The players answer made me chuckle, "In my backpack or strapped over my shoulder." I said that's great but just from a game mechanics point of view don't you think this is RIDICULOUS? He said, "Nope." He added, "I can get to it all really quick... I have Quick Draw, so I just drop them as I go and pull out another one if I need to." I just shook my head and said, "Ok, let's get back to the game." The player responded, "It's TOTALLY legal and I have several characters who do it."
Oh Pathfinder... sometimes you give me a headache...
I was happy until a few minutes ago when I re-read the section on Combat Maneuvers- calculating CMB and noticed the last sentence.
Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.
So that would apply to the inclusion of range modifiers.
Drats, foiled again!!!
Actually that is a really good point... and I would add the only limiting factor to the trip (per RAW) would be that the range (max) could not be greater than 50 feet. Hmmmm... makes bolas a reasonable choice again.
Paul Jackson wrote:
I tend to agree with these sentiments. I just hate dealing with players who grab a new book, make up a new character and really don't know the rules for their newly created 'Min-Max.'
I am just wondering if any of the good folks at Paizo are reading this tread...
Comments like, "Yeah, I let everyone slide on any rules for PFS that I don't like," must make them want to stop supporting PFS or making any resource available to the community for free.
I guess I might have less players, but I am going to start being more diligent in this aspect of my duties as a VL and GM. Not because I like doing it, in fact I don't, but if longtime players and GMs aren't doing it why should Paizo keep supporting us?
For the average scenario that I run (if I have never prepared it before), it takes me 3-4 hours to read through it a couple of times, refer to various Bestiaries, make notes and put together any minis I might need. If a player can't put in some time of their own to get their character in order so I can easily inspect it and ensure they have the necessary reference documents... well, maybe they should go play at someone else's table.
From pretty relaxed to militant in the course of one forum... way to go!
Its like a rookie cop pulling someone over for driving 66 miles an hour. Yes the sign says 66 and yes the book says on page 11,974 paragraph 6 subsection d-9 that the speed is 65 but practical reality and culture is not to do that for a lot of good reasons.
Based on this I would think you don't know too much about cops (rookies or otherwise). You might want to stick to analogies you have in depth experience with.
I don't why you are so resistant to the thought of having good record keeping for your characters. I have level 10-12 characters myself and that's when keeping tract of every bit of information becomes even more important than ever. But hey that's me. Might be time for you to put yourself through an extensive self-audit to make sure things are 100% valid on your end.
Adventures explore ancient dungeons (crypts, temples, wilderness areas, etc.) kill random stuff and take any treasure they might find.
Mercenaries get paid first (at partially) to go into the same places and kill specific stuff then collect the balance of their pay.
Bandits look for rich people...waylay them and take their treasure.
Venture Captains recruit subordinates to go and kill specific stuff and loot specific treasures and then give it to 'Society.'
Hmmmmmm...starting to think I want to be a bandit.
If you can't show you own it in 5 minutes or less I am sure someone else would be more than willing to take your spot at the table.
BTW, I never even mentioned a full audit. I merely mentioned that having a player show (either in print or on a tablet) is a good way to make sure the necessary materials are on hand for easy reference.
@BigNorseWolf- maybe as you build/design/advance a character you should have some notations on your character sheet to let you know where the more obscure traits/equipment/feats are originating from- I mean you obviously are consulting the resource(s) when you design and advance your character right?
Jack Brown wrote:
The one thing, though, the GM can do, is ask for use of the additional materials that the player is using to look things up for themselves. If the player does not have the occult adventures book with him, for example, then the GM does have the right to disallow the character, since they cannot look up the answers to questions.
This exactly where I went...thanks Jack Brown
And regarding the young man (GM) in question. He has never GM'd anything above a 3-7 level scenario (low tier). I have spoken to him and told him my prior decision stands... he has to suck it up and let anyone who has the proper materials play at his table.
With that said, I also told him he can ask to see 'each and every' supplement being used by the player/character in question to be sure that if the need arises for him to reference a power/ability the player has it handy. Not from the PRD or OGC website... on their tablet with a watermark or in hard print.
He seems to be OK with that...
You know before this thread I have only done a few (less than 10) character audits in my entire time as PFS GM. With that said, the amount of "I never check" and "I don't care" has me somewhat perplexed.
As GM's it is our job to pay some attention to the books and supplements outside CORE that our players are using. I know there are shenanigans going on, but as a GM in PFS you understand the 'if you don't own it you can't use it' rule right? It's not a suggestion...
As a VL (or VC or VA) this job (duty if you like) is spelled out for you in rather plain detail. Now I am not encouraging anyone to become the 'Paizo Supplement Police' but adopting a fully apathetic attitude towards occasionally checking player resources does seem to be dropping the ball.
Here endth the rant.
While I am not a mind-reader... I think the 'roll with it' idea is what he has trouble with. I don't know if is a personality thing or not, but he does seem rather 'structured.'
There is the additional concern of 'making' him do something he is uncomfortable with. I don't want to lose an energetic (if less experienced) GM because he feels he is swimming in the deep end of the pool and not treading water.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I will spend some time at (or near) his table for the next few sessions he GMs and help him with the rough spots.
I recently had a rather interesting question put to me by a rather new(ish), but good GM- high energy, great prep and the players really like him. So here it is...
If they (the GM) doesn't own or otherwise have access to a particular supplement or Paizo product can them limit or 'not-allow' a particular character class(s) at their table. I was inclined to say that they had to allow any player with the proper reference materials at their table, but they further explained that they do not own either Occult Adventures or Ultimate Intrigue and for that reason don't feel "comfortable" or "knowledgeable" enough to GM when parties contain characters utilizing either of these books. He explained that it slows games down when he has to either borrow the book from the player in question to double-check a power or ability and feels that because of this he is often second-guessed by players.
I mentioned that he might want to just GM Core- but frankly there isn't that much (if any) call for Core games in my particular area. I am putting this out there go get some feedback from the community. Ultimately, he is volunteering his time and I can't 'force' him to do anything against his will... but I was wondering if anyone else has had an issue like this before and wouldn't mind sharing some of their wisdom.
For those bringing up the issue of promoting the 'Cooperate' component within PFS, I fully support and understand that line of thinking. I also realize that there are some classes (Cleric and Fighter for example) that tend to have less skill points per level than other classes.
But maybe...just maybe if penalties were assigned to aid another checks, some players would be less inclined to dump stats like Wisdom or Charisma and be inclined to take traits which give them access to bonuses to Diplomacy or other non-class skills- often making them a class-skill.
For example the Fighter takes the 'Friend in Every Town' trait and makes Knowledge local a class skill (or Diplomacy) and gets a +1 bonus on those skills. Even with base stats of 10 in Charisma and Intelligence the character can be reasonably certain to help the party out in certain situations... rather than taking Reactionary or some other 'in combat' usable trait.
Or maybe...again just maybe, some players look at utilizing Archetypes which give them more class skills and skill points, such as the Tactician or Lore Warden.
Just a few thoughts... nothing in stone.
Kevin Willis wrote:
Ok. So are you of the opinion that the only person who can 'blow' the roll for a Diplomacy check is the person actually making the roll (the main character)? Why not just make EVERY character who is interacting with said NPC make their own individual rolls and adjust reactions accordingly?
I do agree with the 'role-playing' requirement as well as having the appropriate languages, etc. necessary to interact properly, but that isn't actually a requirement of the rules either. So in effect, that could be considered changing the rules also. I am not trying to be snide, but the rule for aiding another is rather broad and the last sentence does leave it rather open (to the GM).
If PFS added a guideline for Diplomacy that required actual role-playing by each participant, I would support that as it begins to break down the idea of Meta.
I will be brief, but a few weeks ago I was GM'ing a group of fellow PFS members, a few of whom I didn't know very well. The group contained a total of 5 players. A Bard and Cleric with fair to good Diplomacy skills, etc. and 3 other players who had each dumped their Charisma to 7 or 8.
Normally this wouldn't be a problem and I am sure we have seen these type of character(s) before. Not every character needs (or should have) a high Diplomacy skill, but I was then confronted by the 'Meta-Gamer.'
While the Bard (who has a +8) Diplomacy skill is trying to persuade an NPC to allow them to enter into a restricted area (blah, blah). The Cleric then adds, "I will also tell the guard about the importance of our mission, can I aid the Bard?" I respond yes and the Cleric (at +5) then rolls and obtains a result of 15 or so- successfully aiding (vs. 10).
Before I begin back with the NPC, one of the other players immediately pipes up, "Hey I am going to aid too!" Then proceeds to roll dice and tell the player next to him to roll also. I ask them if they really want to do that and the first player responds, "Yeah it doesn't matter anyway, even if we fail." I then advised them while that might be true in some situations, in this particular case, if they missed their aid another check by more than 5, then I would impose a -2 modifier to the overall result. I explained that Diplomacy relies not just on saying the right things, but also not saying the wrong things, as well as there being a particular mechanism for a particularly bad roll (for Diplomacy). Needless to say, neither successfully aided, while one of the players actually failed by more than 5 (the target roll was 10).
I was then told for the next 5 minutes how I am the only GM to ever have interpreted the last sentence of the aid other (when applied to skills) the way I did- i.e. 'The GM might impose further restrictions to aiding another on a case-by-case basis as well.'
This gets me to my point regarding the very common META of PFS. Should we (collectively) assign some limitations/guidelines to the use of the Aid Another action in addition to those found in the Core Rulebook? I think skills like Diplomacy and Bluff (and a few others) should have consequences for failed aid attempts. What about other skills? Perhaps saying that only a character with a +0 or better can aid? This was suggested by one of the players. I for one, wouldn't like to see it, but there does seem to be a huge amount of 'aiding-another' going on. Maybe some guidelines on how many players can aid? There seems to be a wide array of table variation within PFS... which is often good, but this might be one of those occasions where might need to tighten things up within PFS.
This is just food for thought and to initiate a constructive discussion... I can't be the only one out there who has thought about this before.
Boom Stick= any firearm, which must be proceeded by, "This is my..."
Blaster= an arcane caster designed to do as much damage as possible with spells, most often destroying a large area and numerous enemies, as well as the occasional PC.
Dice Monkey= The player who sits next to his best friend. That friend coaches (pushes) them through every aspect of the game... repeating the following phrase, "Don't worry about that, just roll the 20 sided die."
Auto-Pilot= a scenario that appears to drive the characters in a particular direction, no matter how often they really screw it up or try to go off on a tangent.
From the players perspective...
"I can give YOU money to buy an item that WE can all use? But I can't give you money for other stuff? And if YOU don't use the item that WE all helped you pay for, you get to keep it and YOU CAN'T pay us back any of the money that WE ponied up in the beginning?"
"Yeah, you want me to pitch in 500gp for that scroll...Nah, I don't think so."
As a GM, I see the sometimes very fragile 'Cooperate' component of Pathfinder Society dropping right into the toilet.
If we want players to explore and work together, we need to have rules that encourage cooperative play. This might just be one of those instances.
Left over scrolls and potions. I can see this really causing a problem in game. Some players may want their 'money' back, while other players don't care. Can the party 'sell' it back for full or half price? I am inclined to allow a full remittance to all party members given the spirit of cooperation- but that is not RAW, so I will go with half resale value for now. I can see this being a constant issue with some groups, while it may never really be an issue with others... expect table variation (GM joke).
This might need a clarification sooner, rather than later.
This is really quite simple. If you commonly play a build type that is subject to both an 'A' and 'B' interpretation be prepared to play it both ways.
Unless the GM or another player is totally unaware of the rules or a particular FAQ(which can happen), it is YOUR responsibility to be flexible, not theirs, especially when you know there are 2 (or sometimes more) commonly accepted ways to interpret a particular issue or power combo, etc.
DO NOT ARGUE. Ask, listen and present your understanding of the rules and then understand that ultimately the GM's ruling is final. Don't get fussy... Don't illicit other players to advocate for you... Don't authoritatively press an ambiguous issue... Don't phone a friend who agrees with you and ask them to explain it the GM (this one actually happened to me once). Just be ready to be flexible.
"From a reality point of view, it makes little to no sense that a well trained animal wouldn't be able to take a nice safe route to a flanking position."- Paul Jackson
Actually Paul, there is very little in the way of 'reality' to believe this to be the case. I have worked with both Military and Police K-9 teams for many years and there are fundamental limits on they type and intensity of 'attack cues' that you can train a dog to act upon. Dogs (and by extension other animals trained to attack) are target driven. It is relatively easy to train a dog to attack a particular region (body part, such as an arm), but a very different thing to have them undertake 'maneuvers' when engaging a target. Also, while it can be done, it is also fairly hard to train a dog to readily recognize various weapon types- simply put, dogs (attack breeds) are aggressive and direct attackers.
In regards to dog trials and circus animals... typically those breeds (species) are not 'overly aggressive' and will typically run away (or bark from a distance) rather than engage and target. In regards to Lions, Tigers and Bears... oh my!, I would have to say I have NOT seen any that have been trained to operate as attack animals that will obey a humans direction- just some food for thought.
And with sheep dog trials... those courses rely upon specific markers indicated for the dog to react to as well as audible and visuals cues. If they are removed, the dog will not 'run the course' that they can not react to or perceive. Sure, you can train a dog to perform certain tricks and behaviors, but the more complex... the more time and often failure you will have.
But in the end, this is Pathfinder, not the 'real world' and its for exactly that reason that I enjoy the game. I would just caution folks from invoking the 'in the real world' justification in regards to most rules questions or complaints. The Pathfinder system is Fantasy... as are the concept of animals companions who magically follow around their druid buddies.
Protoman is 100% correct on this one. Stars or no stars, the choice to allow a player to replay a scenario is the GM's alone.
I am glad to see some of the restrictions removed for players who have wanted to play elemental races. With that said, I am somewhat disappointed. As someone who was working on getting a Oread boon so I could play a Suli, I am wondering if any boons like this will still be given out? I have a feeling they won't be.
I guess I am in the minority, but I for one would like to see races cycled in out out every couple of seasons, so if the Kitsune and others went away for a couple of seasons that wouldn't bother me in the slightest. It might actually encourage some folks to broaden their pool of characters.
*Looking at the Kitsune only people!*
As far as my home (non PFS) game I am very happy with much of the content of Ultimate Intrigue. In PFS, much less so. Need a caster who can spam ranged energy attacks as well as use them in melee? Just call on your friendly warlock. Need a rogue or fighter- just pick your version of Vigilante and call it a day.
I see far too many 'guys trying to break it' with Ultimate Intrigue to make it a good fit for PFS- particularly given the nature/structure of scenarios.
Just my 2 cents.
To be even more clear. PFS GMs have the right to refuse digital character sheets and can require physical ones. This is, however, a choice on the part of the GM and few exercise this right. But I recommend you prepare for this possibility, especially if you are planning on playing with groups/GMs you are not familiar with.
This is absolutely the case. In fact, as a GM, I am more inclined to want a printed copy of a character sheet in games with players I don't know vs. those who attend local events quite often. Simple rule- you can never go wrong with printing out a character sheet.
I know that really active GMs out there can find it hard to locate (and play) a scenario they haven't GM'd or played, but replays are a awkward subject, particularly when the GM-now player has too much knowledge which can be a drag for other players also. I know that no credible GM would use inside knowledge to 'win with ease' but it is often hard not to remember that in the center of the room of encounter number 2 that there is a pit trap.
Hopefully we can push paizo towards make more seasonal scenarios and help eliminate this problem once and (hopefully) for all.
I don't like to sit next to a smoker or vaper either. In a few cases I have asked to move to another seat and when asked I didn't pull any punches and said, "I really hate the smell of cigarette smoke and you smell like the Marlboro Man." But in fairness it has to be a ripe smell, as I can normally handle a casual smoker.
I guess it really comes down to how much initiative you want to take as a GM. As for me, I trust my training and experience to determine if someone is sick enough for me to ask to leave a table. If I am told that 'we can't do that' by event staff, so be it. I will just not GM or offer my services in the future. It really is that easy.
Am I going to reserve my 'booting' to the most extreme cases, very likely. Is it going to bother me to do it? Not at all. Are a bunch of folks going to call the PC police? Sure. Are the players at my table going to thank me? Silently yes, outwardly who knows?
@ Trollbill. By the way of correction, someone with an active and productive cough is most likely contagious- thus the term 'productive'.
We were discussing the 'obvious case' and while I know folks would like to live in the world of minutia, this really comes down to facilitating an environment for play that respects others.
Now that we have had this thread going for awhile, I am somewhat shocked by the numerous folks who think 'we can't ask them to leave' or worry about offending someone. You are ill, here is your entry fee, hope you fill better. No we won't be covering your other expenses.
This isn't about driving a car or other spurious examples, this is about being in extended close (and personal) proximity with someone who is visibly ill (not just a few sniffles), the fact that issues such as this are debated at nausea makes me ever the more often want to decline as a GM at events. This is a social gaming event, not an arms treaty summit. If you are sick, stay home. That's that.
@ Wei Ji. If the 10 foot odor isn't at your table, I would say that you can address it with the event organizer or their designated representative. But, I am inclined to say that 'yes' someone who is obviously foul (not just a little stinky) should be asked to leave and then return when they have corrected the issue.
By the way of an extreme example, a few years back I was a 3 day gaming convention where someone had driven out on Thursday, gamed Friday and Saturday and by Sunday smelled so foul that it had to be addressed by the tournament organizers. Needless to say, the person in particular didn't really seem to care about their own hygiene- but when they were asked to leave suddenly got the message.
Far too many people seemed overly concerned about how the 'foul person' feels or may react... what about the 2 dozen or more other attendees who complain (directly or indirectly) about it? We ignore them? We would rather be talking about 'that foul guy back in 2008' for the next 7 years?
My rule in life is this... be an adult, don't worry about the small stuff and when you are confronted with a real issue, address it... and sure someone might get their feelings hurt, but that is life among a social species.
If they are obvious sick (coughing, sneezing, etc.), as a GM you have an obvious right to ask them to leave the table. A few sniffles are one thing, but the example given in the original post was of someone who was obviously having a productive episode- as far as sputum and other particulates.
This falls in the same lines as the 'really smelly and foul from 10 feet' person who just doesn't get it. Ultimately you are the GM and who sits at your table is your choice.
Being rude is one thing. The guy who farts and laughs about it or chews with his mouth open- we can deal with that level of immaturity and awkwardness.
If you are obviously sick, stay home. There are relatively healthy folks at the Con, but also kids and folks who have less than perfect immune systems... If you show up at my table and you are on death's door- I will be asking you to leave. Any organizer that doesn't back a GM when making a call of this type is a very poor organizer IMHO.
Kinevon- you are only partially correct. The second sentence states a blade, which is my point. By way of clarification, the term should have been weapon, but 'blade' has a specific definition in the English language.
BTW, I am not saying that you are incorrect as I am aware of an official FAQ which backs your assertion, but my point was reading the RAW (and without further clarification being made), the GM described in the original post was not obviously incorrect in his/her interpretation (or grossly so). You may want to argue that he/she is, but that is an argument we can discuss as a virtue of technical/legal writing at another time.
My point was that the original poster had a duty to bring the appropriate source material with them in order to clarify their assertion. A GM is under no obligation to know every rule and corresponding FAQ.
And by the way, a rapier is any single or double edged weapon designed primary to used with thrusting attacks- in fact many do in fact have one or more keen edges while some (rarely) have no edges at all.
Regarding the OP. I don't see an issue with a GM denying that a whip fails to qualify as a 'Black Blade' per the RAW- barring any official clarifications to the contrary.
From the Black Blade description (second paragraph):
A black blade is always a one-handed slashing weapon, a rapier, or a sword cane. The magus chooses the blade’s type upon gaining the blade, and once chosen, it can’t be changed. As a bladebound magus increases in level, his black blade gains power.
The important word is in the second sentence- it specifically states upon receiving the blade. A whip is not a blade and thus if a particular GM feels it falls outside the RAW- that is fine.
In reference to the original post. If you have an official FAQ that explains why your selection is valid, then be sure to bring it with you. If you show up to a game with no printed support or research on your position, this is not a clear cut case of the GM being wrong. For example- per the RAW, the weapon can not be a short sword or star knife either.
Really? Is that what you tell the families of the approximately 360,000 Union soldiers that lost their lives during the American Civil War? Fallacious statement-"at no time in Earth's history were there ever large-scale organizations (or nations) that opposed cruel slavery as there are in Golarion."
But this is why the game is fantasy. History is harsh, but then again by any real usage of the word, so is slavery. But hey let's role play it anyway and make a light-hearted joke out of it.
I would offer that some folks may be conflating what slavery is (or was) by trying to draw distinctions where they might not have existed historically.
While the most recent examples of chattel slavery do come from the United States, there are some folks in this thread that are trying to state that more ancient forms of slavery weren't as bad or cruel. I think this is largely a historically unfounded view. In the Greek, Roman and later Byzantine eras, slaves were largely treated as their owners saw fit. While the traditional 'House Slave' may have been treated 'considerably well' that description is very biased and normally originates with the owning cultures view. Most ancient slaves were not 'House Slaves' and were forced to toil in fields and/or participate in heavy labor such as mining or construction. In addition we do know that slaves in the Classical Era were subjected to mis-treatment, beatings and death.
By way of example, in the Roman Republic and later Empire, Slaves were solely property, not persons under Roman law. A slave had no rights and no moral standing. Typical punishments including flogging, branding and also hobbling (shattering the ankle) and eye gouging. Slaves also had no control over their bodies sexually (we won't discuss this any further). With a few notable exceptions, such as the Emperor Claudius, few lasting reforms were ever undertaken in Rome to improve the treatment of slaves. Many modern depictions of classical slaves as well-treated house slaves is largely exaggerated, and even house slaves were subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment. During his reign, the Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD) attempted to outlaw the execution of slaves by their masters, but this did more to curtail the practice than to end it entirely.
From my own study, there doesn't seem to have been any age when slaves weren't fully abused, mis-treated, tortured or killed. To argue otherwise is to do so in the face of a large body of historical evidence to the contrary.
I am sure the build of your particular animal companion(s) is not the sort we were talking about. But a large Gorilla and a Roc can be overpowering by most standards. I didn't see too much of a problem with the hunter's wolf, but then again he was only level 3.
Like I said we were just brainstorming and seeing if anyone else has experienced similar issues, which I see some have and some haven't.
I understand the issue regarding familiars, but my point in particular- regarding level adjustments and such was regarding animal companions. I think it is rather odd, considering the cap we (in PFS) place on the size of a table there is no convention(s) regarding animal companions. Maybe in my particular neck of the woods the folks playing AC classes tend to min/max the combat aspect of their pets, but I (we) can't be the only ones seeing it.
This is a little tongue and cheek but at the heart of it there is a point which I think should be made. A couple of weeks ago at a regularly scheduled PFS game, a group of 6 players (level 3-4) sat down to play a scenario. 4 of the characters had familiars or animal companions. We had an Inquisitor with an animal companion, a hunter with an animal companion, a druid with an animal companion and a wizard with an bad-ass familiar (with the mauler archetype). Each of these players is reasonably experienced, but OMG the lag it created in the game was almost unbearable as we got into combat, with each turn seeming like an eternity. I started to feel bad for the GM as the numerous attacks, movement, delays and what not were being adopted by the players and their companions.
My cleric (no companion) was free to sit back and watch (no lie, I just kept holding my action) as the rest of the party and their companions tore threw each encounter in relative short order.
So as a few of us sat and talked afterwards, it was generally agreed on that companions and familiars are a very fun part of Pathfinder and PFS. But what also found was the general style of play makes companions rather tough. We each agreed that in general companions are often nearly as good as an additional character and can really take away some of the gusto from the rest of the party (particularly if they don't have a pet). So we thought in regards to play balance that some mechanic should be built into PFS to include the combat and support that companions provide (not familiars). These were a couple of our ideas:
#1 That every 2 full animal companions at a table count as a player. So if a table had 2 characters with animal companions then only 6 players could play at the table (max). More of an acknowledgement of more difficulty on the part of the GM to handle more stuff going on.
#2 That a character with a companion counts as 1 level higher than their actual level when calculating APL only.
#3 (Similar to 2) That half of the total number of companion levels (for all companions present) be added when calculating the APL for a given scenario. For example a party of 5 players (levels 3, 3, 5, 4, 4) have 2 animal companions of level 5 and 3, the APL would be calculated as 3+3+5+4+4(+4)/5 rather than 3+3+5+4+4/5 as normal. This would occasionally knock a group up, but not always.
Like I said, these are just a few of our initial thoughts, they are by no means meant to be exhaustive on the subject- but we just wanted to put them out there and see what the rest of you thought. We can't have been the only players to ever have experienced this...
Why does Big Norse Wolf always seem to be right? A voice of reason amidst the chaos...
Again, this might be more of an issue with scenario construction and clarity than it is about the particular abilities of the average GM.