Bob Jonquet wrote:
Can this be goblin pins that have have red eyes that light up? :)
Mike Bramnik wrote:
Well, if there's a substantial amount of table variation expected, it sounds like a prime candidate for a section in this document :)
Well, if they're a level 13 Wizard, hopefully they're using level 7 spells :)
But, I remember having a conversation about this earlier in the year with my local gaming group. After season 4, I'm not certain that a spell caster with level 7 spells actually appears in PFS Seasons 5 or 6 and from what I've played from Season 7 there isn't one either.
So while level 6 spells should be available, I don't think they appear all that often in society.
Tarma, compared to some of the stuff that I have seen, 13 min damage is not that impressive. The problem is characters who do 20+ damage with a d4.
Nohwear, I know that 13 damage is not on the high end of damage at level 1/2. My point is that brand new players that have no experience with any role playing games can come in and still completely one hit kill anything they run into for 6 scenarios.
Having a min-maxer crush everything in their path is one thing. But when new players can do it too, then there's other issues at play.
A few more observations to add to this:
1.) Damage output tends towards random rather than fixed.
Pathfinder clearly rewards you for having fixed damage bonuses, but a lot of enemies in PFS still rely on variable damage. Higher levels do have this issue more than lower levels, but it is there. A level 11 rogue does 6d6 sneak attack damage, which on a high roll is bad. But averages out to 18. It's worse for spell casters.
Let's take a level 10 caster that has fireball. With 10d6 without any additional effects on the fireball, the average is 30 damage. Again, a high roll can be bad, but that is part of the game. At 30 damage, a level 10 Wizard who has a 10 con and no other modifiers to HP can not only survive that hit, but they can also still remain conscious. If they make their reflex save, they're in even better shape. Now, they're not happy, but they're still able to act in combat and are probably going to unleash on whatever attacked them with a fireball.
Now if you have someone who has put a little effort towards having decent HP regardless of class, 30 damage is barely a third of their life. And that fireball was likely the NPC's biggest hit and only action.
2.) There are a lot of magic items that greatly nullify PFS difficulty.
There are a lot of items that are really powerful that are available for PFS, that's part of the appeal of the game. But there are a lot of items that are really powerful, potentially even over powered, that mitigate difficulty.
There are a LOT of items that do this, but I think perhaps the most egregious example of an over powered item are the Boots of the Earth. This is an item that will let an entire party of 6 people heal up fully after every fight, with no restrictions. There are no faith or attunement requirements for the item.
So let's go with our fireball example from above and be generous and say 30 damage takes everyone down to half HP. After combat you can heal up the entire party, meaning that unless you completely killed in combat (which is always possible, but I think this chat is in agreement that death is rare these days) you are back to fighting shape.
Now, not only is after that fight but you can do that after EVERY fight in the encounter. That not only takes away most of the challenge in the scenario, but it takes away the cost of needing consumables for a character as well. That is just insane.
That is not the only item that is overpowered, but it is one of many. Items like that are absolutely destroying anything that could be a challenge in Pathfinder Society.
I don't think that this is an accurate statement at all. The min-maxer argument always comes up, but it's not just min-maxers that this is happening too.
Within the past two months I have seen new players come in with no role playing experience and have characters that can easily crush low level scenarios. One new player had a Barbarian that could reliably do 13-17 damage an attack at level 1. Are we supposed to tell the player that the Barbarian they made their melee character wrong?
I believe that most people want a challenge, but they want a fair challenge. Most of the stories that people share are when they either have close encounters with equally tiered creatures or maybe even encounter something that is even a little higher CR than they should be fighting. What I don't think players want is a scenario where if you fail a DC 35 Appraise check you lose all your gold and 2 prestige. That's not a fair challenge.
And, how many times have you heard players share a story about how they did a scenario and were done in 40 minutes?
Looking to split this conversation off from the Mythic discussion. While it was stated that Mythic would be over powering for PFS as a whole, I sincerely believe that difficulty in the Pathfinder society as a whole is almost completely a non-issue.
For this discussion, please note that there are a few outliers to these points which I hopefully will address in this point.
The following are some observations as to why difficulty is practically a non-issue in PFS.
1.) Scenarios as of late are extremely binary.
By this I mean that many scenarios recently have their difficulty based around one specific threat. For example: Can someone in your party deal with sudden darkness? Can your party make a certain check? If your party can deal with the threat, then it's a cake walk. If not, then you might be in trouble. But often times the threats are fairly common threats.
2.) Enemy creatures are simply outnumbered in combats.
While this has been getting better as of late, anything other than an even number of enemies suddenly puts the NPC encounter at a major disadvantage. Let's assume that the big bad can throw out a pretty hefty spell such as fireball or disintegrate. Worst case scenario, a party member might die. But then the other three to five party members will proceed to demolish the heavy hitter. And with at least 3-5 attacks compared to their one, it doesn't bode well for the creature.
More enemies isn't always the answer either, as it means their individual CR has likely been reduced for parity. But as anyone who's ever played with a Barbarian at level 1 knows, a baddie with 4 HP just doesn't stand a chance against a power attack.
3.) NPC's wealth isn't at parity.
For this and the next issue, I can't say what the policy for Season 6 and 7 has been, but for past scenarios when an NPC has a PC wealth their CR increases. This means that at the same level, an enemy NPC is already outclassed. Where a PC might already have a +2 or +3 weapon, the NPC's they are facing may only have the wealth for a +1 weapon and potentially +1 armor before looking at increasing their versatility with potions or scrolls.
If you up the wealth of a NPC, the CR goes up and then reaches the cap for the scenario. Which is then a tough spot. Does the party increase a similar level but equal CR creature, but then leaving out lesser creatures to annoy the party? Or do they just fight a higher leveled but equally geared NPC? Either way, that lowers the amount of creatures that a party fights.
4.) NPC stats are not on a 20 point buy.
Again, this is only going from past scenarios as I can't say what the policy is for Season 6 or 7. But in past scenarios, when an NPC has not been on a 15 point buy, their CR has increased. But when their CR increases, they have fewer creatures in the encounter. Adding to that, even if their CR increases by stat parity, their wealth has not. So you can either have a NPC with equal stats or a NPC with equal wealth. But even with that addition, that would mean that an NPC with equal stats and wealth to one PC would have an increase of at least 2 CR, meaning that while they may be on par with one PC, they would still be completely outnumbered by the party.
This turned out to be longer than I had intended, but I will end this post here before getting into items that are making scenarios much easier. And obviously, there does need to be some guide bar. Subtier 1-2 shouldn't be facing fireballs or getting disintegrated. Or facing Pit Fiends. But there has to be something that can be done in order to normalize difficulty a bit.
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
That's just the thing, we're ok with many other broken items but not mythic? That just seems odd.
We're ok with Slime Grenades even though they are ridiculously cheap for what they do?
Boots of the Earth will bring a party back up to full health after every fight, as long as no one actually dies in combat. Dire collars are really pretty powerful for what they do, but we've decided that we're ok with them too.
So if that small selection of items is acceptable, why is bumping your fireball from d6's to d8s suddenly breaking the game completely?
I'm not saying that the entirety of mythic should be allowed, things like Mythic Feather Fall and Vital Strike need to be considered seriously before being added. But even for the example of Mythic sleep that was given earlier, Heavens Oracles can already do that with the same non-mythic spell. Why is it acceptable for a Heavens Oracle to do that, but not a mythic character?
(Quick correction: I was referring to Color Spray, not sleep with the Heavens Oracle. But the outcome is very much the same)
How could they get any worse? It's pretty easy to completely one shot almost any creature you encounter in the game as is, add someone who only kind of knows what they're doing and they can end encounters with one spell.
If difficulty of PFS scenarios wasn't an issue enough as is, I'd agree that mythic would throw things out of whack. But if we don't feel that a sleep hex witch, dazing fireballs, and any zen archer ever ( :P ) are ok, then Mythic really doesn't change the balance of power all that much.
John Compton wrote:
May I ask why you feel that Mythic rules do not have a permanent place in the organized play campaign? Is it from a purely power standpoint? If so, there are plenty of ways to completely tear about Pathfinder scenarios as is and have a completely unstoppable character, mythic would just provide more options for players to do so. For example, for the mythic scenario that is available, I honestly believe that it can be done by non-mythic characters pretty readily with minimal causalities.
Would certain abilities have to be banned like any other book? Of course, but I don't think that allowing mythic would be suddenly game breaking.
(Note: This is an attempt to have an open dialogue about Mythic and potentially gain some insight as to what gets allowed for PFS play)
Since it's not certain if there is a backlog on the additional resources at the moment or not, is there any intention of making any of Distant Shores legal for PFS?
If there is anything from Distant Shores that will be legal, two follow up questions:
1.) As it stands now, is the Pact Servant trait likely going to be legal?
2.) If Pact Servant will be legal, will the trait allow for Asmodean paladins?
I like the idea behind this character and I'm currently creating concepts for the character.
I'd like to see how far I should go in the concept phase for this character before any actual work gets done on it :)
Seth Gipson wrote:
The Terminator timelines eventually wound up adopting the concept that certain events would always happen, just altered. Hence why Judgement Day always occurs, it's fated to happen. Skynet will survive just as much as John Connor will.
This could be an interesting route that PFS takes.
Something that gets over looked is that the Shadow Lodge was incredibly difficult to explain to new players.
New Player "So the shadow lodge is looking out for the members of the lodge and fellow Pathfinders? Awesome! I'm in"
GM: So you're adventuring and you get attacked by bandits wearing shadow lodge emblems!
New Player" But they're my faction! I can't attack my fellow faction members!"
GM: "Well, they're a uhhh, different group of the faction! See, this shadow lodge wants to attack the Grand Lodge and destroy it!"
New Player" So, they want to attack the Grand Lodge, but they're also a part of it????" *Confused look on face* "I'm just going to go with the grand lodge"
Finding another table is not always an option, especially if you have a smaller turnout. If there are only three people at the table and you tell someone to go find another table, you're out a table.
And pre-gens don't help the situation if you're playing a 7-11 scenario. Since the highest level pregen is level 7, you don't gain anything by swapping out for a pre-gen.
There have been other threads on proposed rule changes but the threads seem to have been derailed a bit, so I wanted to request that a change in language be made allowing parties that hit exactly the float level (3,5,7,9) can choose to play up if they desire.
What I have noticed happening quite frequently lately is that at tables of four players have three players that would fit in the higher tier, but because of one lower level player they fall exactly in the middle and then have to play down.
In a 1-5 scenario, four level 3 characters and one level 1 character puts the APL at 3.25. That means that their average APL is 3 and they play down. The same applies for 3-7 scenarios with three level 6's and one level 3 (APL 5.25), 5-9 scenarios with three level 8's and one level 5 (APL 7.25) and 7-11 scenarios with three level 10's and one level 7 (APL 9.25).
By the current rule, that party must play the lower tier, yet the three other players are two levels higher than the sub tier was written for. So obviously, the party crushes the scenario and gains out of tier gold. But often times the players themselves feel let down, since they were able to annihilate everything in their path. And some times, the players even feel cheated because the higher tier players could have gotten full high tier gold instead.
For the reasons listed above I propose that the rule be amended to let let people exactly at the float/middle level play up in a sub tier calculation if they choose.
Expert Craftsmanship: Through it's many newly acquired allies, the Pathfinder Society has obtained the services of the best crafters across Golarian. These crafters are able to make belts and headbands unlike any other found in the realm. By paying the following fee, you can add an enhancement bonus of different statistic that does not much the original bonus for the belt.
4,000 (+2) 16,000 (+4) 36,000 (+6)
Example: If you have a Belt of Giant Strength +4, you can pay an additional 4,000gp to add a +2 constitution bonus to the belt.
Note: A similar themed boon could allow for ways to allow players to get a +6 weapon.
Michael Brock wrote:
Season 4 Mega Spoiler:
Opening up Sin Magic from Waking Rune
Season 5 spoilers:
Chronicles that open up spells to all characters, such as Weapon in the Rift and Port Godless
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Actually, you don't have to focus on Divination spells as a divination wizard. All the school gives is powers based on your school and an extra bonus spell of that school. You can (and I've seen) many divination wizards who focus on Evocation or conjuration.
You actually don't have to focus a lot to get a Charisma based caster up to a high imitative. You can easily get a +10 without Improved Initiative, you can easily take Scion of War (which if you are going for initiative, is a MUCH better choice because it scales with relative power increases) and then take either spell focus or toughness later on.
By mid level, with Scion, you can get a circlet of persuasion for an extra +3 to initiative. A little expensive, but it's a good fit for those scenarios while your waiting to improve a headband or belt.
As for Combat Casting, I'm not sure that I've ever seen a situation in which someone cast a spell only because of combat casting. Casting defensively is only really difficult around levels 1-3, and once you get beyond that it becomes laughably easy to make the check. At level 5, a caster with a +3 mod needs a 13 to cast a third level spell defensively, and most casters probably don't have that low of a mod at level 5. And with the range of most spells or the ability to cast touch spells from afar and then use them as a free action means that most spellcasters should never be in a situation where they HAVE to cast defensively.
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
I disagree with this statement somewhat. For example, taking the issues with Gunslingers aside, most built Gunslingers are likely to have something in their Dex score, just to help them hit. While I have seen Gunslingers without a Dex mod, they're already going to have to a decent initiative bonus before they get a +2 just for leveling.
If you pick Divination school, you can easily just select what your two opposition schools will be. And they'll likely be the spells you weren't planning on casting anyway. Charisma based casters are much worse. Part of character building is picking and choosing what things your character will be good at. Generally, having a high casting stat means that there's an exchange for something else. But with one feat at first level (and let's face it, there's not many feats that first level sorcerers take anyways), you can easily have a +4-5 initative modifier along with more spells and higher save DCs.
I'm not saying that the character isn't focused somewhat on initiative, but it doesn't take that much of an investment in order to get both high spell DCs and high initiative.
Two comments to this thread:
1.) Having played at Kristen's tables for years, I can't think of a situation where not having a re-roll has led to a character death. The deaths that do happen generally rely on a monster getting a crit or someone burning off the re-roll to avoid an earlier baleful polymorph.
2.) I don't think that the issue with save or suck spells is the rerolls, I think the issue is that in general PFS save DC's are incredibly low. When higher level spells start appearing (such as Phantasmal Killer) the DC's are generally around 19-20, even though that is a really easy DC to hit at higher levels.
That is an inherent risk with save or suck spells, but since the DCs are so low it's really easy for players to figure out their likely odds of making the save or not way before a GM even asks if they want to use their re-roll.
On a related note, how about something similar for scrolls?
Arcane Genius: For a fixed gold cost, you can add one metamagic feat to a scroll you purchase.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Tarma, it was clarified by John in the past that 5 pp in that scenario can get your body recovered.
It's not the body recovery that I'm disputing. It's the thing that specifically states that normal ways around the condition don't work. Was that part covered in the thread as well?
Jeff Merola wrote:
While I would expect some table variation, I'm not so sure there.
He's dead, Jim:
Obviously Wish and Miracle are out for tier 4-5. But even with the body recovery, I'm not so sure that you'd be able to find a cleric of Lissala willing to undo one of the sacrifices to his deity.
Making matters worse:
It's only on high tier, but yes. What's really rough is that it also specifically says that if they are sacrificed that way that they can only be brought back by wish or miracle outside of certain circumstances. And you are not likely to have those circumstances.
In my neck of the PFS woods (Denver), I had heard and was told by VOs and other higher-ups not to do CdGs unless the scenario specificly says so (which I've never seen).
I am aware of at least one.
Low tier scenario with CdG tactics specifically called out:
Severing Ties has a creature that specifically calls out for a CdG. This is the only one I know of off the top of my head.
I think some of the frustration comes from the amount of playable races that actually exist in Pathfinder, compared to what's legal for PFS. There are at my count 47 total playable races in Pathfinder as a whole, but only 10 races that are playable without boons. That's only around 21% of what's available.
Yes, some of these races are clearly never going to be playable, like Drow and Orcs. But there are a lot of other playable races that don't seem overpowered that could be made available through other means.
I understand why the race boons are limited in the manner they are, but perhaps there could be tiers of race boons that are provided out. The more esoteric/powerful race boons could be kept for larger conventions and others be given out for game days, etc.
For example, the Lashunta and Syrinx could be for local games days, while the Trox and Ratfolk can stay for larger con boons. Something along those lines maybe?
Michael Brock wrote:
Fair point. Although they are options.
I seem to remember at last year's Gen Con there were some unique items in the charity auction. What if that were to be expanded to items that couldn't normally be acquired in lower level play, for example: A scroll of limited wish? Access to a cohort or the leadership feat? A shark with Shadowdancer levels? :)
Michael Brock wrote:
What about options to allow story feats or even more ways to gain mythic abilities? As of right now, these both from two hardcover books that are of limited use in PFS play.
Well, that's not entirely true. For example, if the area you live in doesn't have any charging stations (like mine), a free electric car isn't all that great. ;)
But there are a lot of situations in which a free magic missile would be great. I have seen several buffing based characters have wasted turns because once their buffs are up, there isn't much for them to do. A bard is a great example of this at higher levels: Once they have a song and haste/slow, there isn't always something for them to do in later rounds.
This would also be good on summoners who have their eidolon do most of their fighting. After buffing the eidolon and doing everything else they can, there isn't always something for the actual summoner to do in rounds 2 or 3.