Cleric of Iomedae

albadeon's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber. Organized Play Member. 305 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

On a more general note, something is clearly going very wrong at an organizational level in society at the moment that they have been unable to update and fix the still very much beta-looking guide in more than six weeks, with the previous updates also being mostly cosmetic in nature.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Step 1: Obtain access to a spell. Usually, that will be by either purchasing a scroll, but it can also include scrolls received through the Society schools, scrolls or spell books looted during the scenario, and currently, there is nothing in the rules preventing you from even sharing your spellbook's contents with another friendly wizard in your party.

Step 2: Attempt to scribe the spell. This uses the "Learn a Spell" exploration activity as described on p.238 of the CRB. Technically, it could be argued that RAW you cannot actually do this in society play (and thus any wizard would be prevented from obtaining any additional spells outside of leveling up), since the DCs listed are guidelines and the actual DC is meant to be set by the GM. However, I've yet to meet a GM or player in PFS who expected any DCs but those listed to be used. Of course, this thread is likely to change that... :).

Step 3: Documentation. After you have rolled the check under the watchful eyes of your current GM, he records the results for each spell attempted on your chronicle, and deducts the appropriate amount of coins as well.

Step 4: Enjoy your new spell (or wait for the next level-up to try again).

Seems fairly straightforward.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gisher wrote:

My instinct is to use the same rules as for a Shifting weapon.

CRB, p 585 wrote:
The weapon’s runes and any precious material it’s made of apply to the weapon’s new shape. Any property runes that can’t apply to the new form are suppressed until the item takes a shape to which they can apply.
So melee-only runes wouldn't work when a weapon is thrown.

I'm not convinced that that is the case. The Shifting rune really only interacts with damage type dealt (at least with the currently published runes), so as to prevent a bludgeoning weapon causing persistent bleed or having it cut off a head, etc, since you can only shift a one-handed melee weapon into another one-handed melee weapon with it (or two-handed into another two-handed).

With thrown weapons, there's really no fundamental reason why it would be illogical for a thrown knife, e.g., to have the same effect as a melee knife when applying any of the currently available runes. The only reason I can think of is power balance, but that's a totally different issue from the shifting rune, so I don't buy the "it must work the same way" intuition just yet :).

As an aside, using the same logic, the shifting rune in general interacts weirdly with (not only) the thrown/ranged issue: Apply it to a bastard sword, turn it into a dagger, throw the dagger, it turns back into the bastard sword en route to the target (since it's no longer a melee weapon when thrown). If you're a rogue untrained in the bastard sword, what attack roll modifier do you use? How much damage is done on a hit? Does the bastard sword stop flying in mid-air?

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
multi attack penalty wrote:
You take this penalty on all attacks after the first on your turn.

Seems pretty clear, why should Cleave be an exception? It doesn't mention being an exception anywhere. It makes an additional strike attack on your turn => it adds to your MAP.

The addition in Twin Takedown and Flurry of Blows is likely in there to clarify that despite it being two attacks in a single action, you still need to increase the MAP after the first strike. Because it's a single-action "double-attack", people might otherwise mistakenly assume that the same MAP applied to both attacks.

With cleave, that wasn't neccessary to specifiy, because cleave is only one attack in the one (re-)action.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CRB Errata v1.0 wrote:
Page 280: Under the Ammunition heading, add the sentence “Using ammunition destroys it.”

First of all, thank you for the clarification!

However, I think it would be helpful to standardise the language used:
You have introduced a "consumable" trait for the purpose of marking items that are destroyed on use, so why not use that, i.e. "All Ammunition has the consumable trait"?

Instead, you say essentially the same thing using different terminology. Yes, we all still understand what it means (probably more clearly than with using traits), but if you're not using the trait system then why have it in the first place?

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yes, throwing weapons across the room makes them significantly less melee. While I understand that people are unhappy with this clarification in the errata, personally I think it makes sense to treat thrown weapons like ranged weapons here (and actually, my dex-based gnome rogue has always used his 8 str instead of his 18 dex to calculate damage whenever he was throwing one of his daggers around even before the errata document was published).

If you wanted to apply the bonus to thrown weapons, why not ranged weapons as well?

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
xyxrt wrote:
Based on how we both seem to be reading it, the gm has to combine the organized play scaling with the in scenario scaling.

Err, I think the scenario scaling is meant to replace the OP scaling. You don't apply both.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So, e.g. let's take a +2 greater striking anarchic corrosive standard grade cold iron longsword:

* precious material cost: standard-grade cold iron weapon; Level 10; Price 880 gp + 88 gp per Bulk (CRB p.599)
* +2 greater striking weapon; Level 12; Price 2,000 gp (CRB p.600)
* anarchic rune; Level 11; Price 1400 gp (CRB p.583)
* corrosive rune; Level 8; Price 500 pg (CRB p.583)

So overall:

Level: 12 (CRB p.580:"The level of an item with runes etched onto it is equal to the highest level among the base item and all runes etched on it")
Price: 4868 gp (for 1 bulk)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Level: highest
Price: combined prices of weapon and all runes.

The question of whether or not you need to consider the cost of crafting is not clearly answered in the book, but for a wepaon to be found in game, I likely wouldn't.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This has been discussed to death in another thread, let's not get it started again...

In short, there was no agreement.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well, the level-2 rule is not my house rule, but an official rule for society play. Organized play needs to simplify and codify these aspects a lot more, to provide for a similar level of income across all different tables independently of individual GM-decisions. And of course, these higher level tasks are available only because there are higher-level people looking for them - who are in turn better qualified and would be hired preferentially for these tasks :).

The CRB has a soft limit for available tasks at the settlement level. Exceptions are possible, but not the norm, so players should not always easily be able to find higher-level earn income tasks. And level 10 is already the upper limit of settlement levels given for all but the largest cities in the world (level 8-10 is "metropolis or capital").

But like I said, if a GM decides to routinely offer better earn income possibilities than the available settlement levels, that's his decision. But by doing that, he's deliberately devaluing the crafting that would be able to compete well if he were to mostly stick to the given limits.

Personally, as a GM, I try not to punish my players for choosing some playstyle over another. If someone wants to invest into crafting feat-wise, I'm happy to give him a reasonable treatment. Other players may choose different feats instead and get their advantages in a different aspect of the game.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
randall s. wrote:
since she is only an npc who won’t be seen much of during the campaign.

If you're building an NPC, those don't have to follow the rules for leveling PCs. You can basically just create them with whatever feats and abilities you wish.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The delay action just moves your turn to a later point in the initiative order. Anything you do during the turn, even if the turn was delayed, will still be during your turn and thus subject to the MAP rules.

If you were thinking of a readied action instead, in that case the CRB specifically mentions that MAPs still apply here as an exception to the general rule.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CRB p.446 wrote:
The multiple attack penalty applies only during your turn, so you don’t have to keep track of it if you can perform an Attack of Opportunity or a similar reaction that lets you make a Strike on someone else’s turn.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
larsenex wrote:
I dont mind having spells rare like this I just wanted to know the method for the player to learn or acquire the spell.

Actually, if you as the GM want to allow the spell in your campaign there is no need to have any special way of obtaining access to it. You can just declare the your player's cleric can have access to it and that's that. Now, if you WANT to turn gaining access to it into a quest, no problem. But it wouldn't be neccessary. The official paizo material just assumes that players have access to all common things but not neccessarily to any or all uncommon things. But there is no set way of gaining access other than "GM decision".

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As a GM,

- if a champion character has acted according to a new alignement sufficiently much to warrant a change of his alignment (very much a GM-decision), I'd not let him use his alignment specific powers anymore until he has retrained to the new cause, and

- I'd not let him retrain until he has actually changed his alignment.

So, in all, changing your cause will come with a period of being able to use neither your old nor your new powers.

I'd probably not require any additional "reconfirmation", though most players I know would likely want to go on a cause-specific quest to act out this change of mind roleplaying-wise.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
As a side note on the paralysis caused by the gelatinous cube. The paralysis has the Incapacitation trait, which means that if the PC is higher level than the ooze (yes, level 5 vs. CR 3) then you treat save results as one step better. So a failure on a fortitude save becomes a success. You need to roll a critical failure, downgraded to a normal failure, to be paralyzed in this situation.

Thanks for that explanation, Lau, none of us were aware of that rule. That would have made a difference in the final fight. Getting proficient in the new system is definitely a learning experience... :)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The CRB quite clearly has the written rule that GMs are the final arbiters of how a rule is meant to be interpreted and quite clearly advises the GM to use the rules as intended (however the GM interprets the intention) instead of the rules as written whenever there is doubt. In any hypothetical disagreement about a rules interpretation between a player and the GM, the GM wins by default, that is part of the RAW. The player is entitled to have a different opinion but that opinion has no effect on game play.

Since that is part of the core rules, and there are no specific society rulings against it, this "GM is the ultimate arbiter on the rules" principle holds true in society play just as much.

Unless the society comes up with a specific ruling for this particular case, just go with your best interpretation, and you will always be in the right for your table.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SuperBidi wrote:
can a doubling ring "enchant" shield spikes


The 5th-level pregen Valeros makes use of this, his sword runes are doubled onto his shield boss, so definitely yes.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Whenever your class gives you a trained proficiency in a skill you already have from your background, you get to chose another one that you're not trained in yet.

That's true for all combinations. Rogue gives you trained in stealth and (depending on your subclass / "racket" thievery e.g.). But if your background already gave you one of those, you don't get to go to expert immediately, you just get to pick another one to make "trained".

Your level one char is just not that proficient in anything yet, it'll get there soo enough! :)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Baarogue wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

You are mixing 2 non-correlated things. Ammunitions can be poisoned even if they are not weapons. There is a rule, which uses some mechanics with some words and then there's the in-game translation.

Like when you say that you Strike with your bow. The rules use the word strike, but in-game you shoot.

It's the same here. When you poison a bow, you obviously poison arrows.
Considering arrows as weapon only modifies the application of the rule, not the in-game actions and description.

That's actually how I read it originally. If that's what you and albadeon are arguing, I'm fine with it, provided one can poison multiple ammunition ahead of time if they choose.

Well, not quite.

I'm arguing that
- a bow is a weapon, whereas an arrow is not (but rather ammunition, a separate item type that is meant to be used as a projectile with a weapon)
- the rules (specifically the rules on injury poison) only mention weapons as the way to apply injury poison. I think this is intended to include other "piercing/slashing" injuring forms of applications, such as via arrow or trap. But as it fails to mention that, it could be read as excluding those. And if it can be read like it, someone will read it like that. Depending on your POV, that would be either an abusive GM who wants to prevent your wonderful ranged poisoner PC from working, or a horribly obnoxious player who wants to keep your traps from doing the amount of harm they are meant to do after he triggered them. Both suck :).
- until the text is clarified, I'm ruling for any table where I'm the GM that that is the RAI and apply it as such, i.e. you can apply poison to arrows/bolts even ahead of time
- using "poison the bow" as a substitute works acceptably in most cases, but needs additional clarification, i.e. one arrow per dose of poison, not continouusly poisoning all arrows shot from the "bow of poison", etc.
- The one case where this does not work is where you obtain bow and arrows as two seperate things, i.e. you get a bow, you "poison the bow", then you move to the next room, you pick up the arrows there and fire at something. Poison damage or not?
- So, really, I'm going to stay with poison being applied to the arrow, even though that is not in itself a weapon.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So you chose to ignore the part that said you had to use the Craft action (trained) to apply your purchased rune to the weapon? That it takes a day, but comes with a chance to critically fail (and thus take up more days, further reducing the downtime available to earn income), and in the case of transfering a rune from another item (which, unlike transfer from a runestone, would cost 10% of the rune's cost) could cost additional money?

Did you do that check and subtract the time it took from your available downtime or did it just get hand-waved by the GM? People always argue that PFS-play has to stick as closely as possible to the RAW, and that quite clearly is RAW, even though I agree that I don't like it much.

And don't people get hirelings for just these cases, where you don't have a skill that you need or would like to have, so you hire someone to do it for you? Even in the few PFS2-scenarios that are available at this point, I've played with people using (and paying for, usually via the faction boon system) hirelings for trained access to various skills from athlectics to stealth. How is obtaining acccess to the needed trained crafting skill any different?

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The obvious answer seems to be, "have the target make the save against the DC specified by the poison". I'm not sure what else you would expect.

That is assuming the arrow that hit actually had poison applied to it. One dose of poison is enough for one attack, so if you only poisoned one arrow, the poison only works when you shoot that arrow, obviously. Again, "poisoning the bow" will not get you more than one use out of that dose of poison. I'd rule that as poisoning one arrow, not poison all arrows shot by that bow (or even all arrows in the quiver).

Which leaves the question what happens with the arrows that missed, since poisoned melee weapons retain their poisoned status until they hit for the first time. However, since I would expect a missed arrow the get stuck in something, either the ground, or a tree, or whatever, or break if it shattered on say a steel plate, I'd probably rule against reusability.

If someone was trying to argue that an injury poison that has been applied to an arrow (and not technically a "weapon") is not activated and therefore does not work, because ammo is not mentioned in that paragraph I would over-rule that someone, as I've said before.

I would apply the same logic to an injury poison applied to a trap, which is also not technically a weapon according to the RAW, btw.

Other than that, I'm not sure what you're trying to get at.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Using player knowledge versus character knowledge is always a difficult issue to determine. And hidden cratures is just a tiny part of it, much more signifikant is knowing details about creatures from the bestiary and adapting your strategy to fit that, even though the character has never encountered that creature before and noone has correctly recalled some information on the creature.

Example: I play an Amiri-type barbarian wielding a big sword and come up on a black pudding. As a player and frequent GM I know that hitting that thing with my sword might not be the best choice, but Amiri has never encountered that monster before and hitting things with big swords is what she does. So, rage, charge, smash, trouble ensues...

As long as players make an effort to play their characters according to what would be reasonable behavior from a characters point of view, it's perfectly okay for them to sometimes accidentally do something that would also be optimal if they had all the player knowledge. If a character always "accidentally" gets "lucky", the player might need a stern talking-to.

But sorry for the detour, continue please!

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just to clarify, the scroll is NOT wasted when you fail to scribe the spell (or even when you succeed), you just cannot try to scribe that particular spell again until after your next level-up.

That said you need to both purchase or otherwise obtain access to a copy of the spell (scroll or another wizard's spellbook) AND provide materials worth a few gp (6gp for a 2nd level spell, half is lost on crit success or crit fail, all is lost on regular success) to actually use the Learn A Spell trained action to scribe the spell into your spellbook.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well, even if some GM had signed off on it initially (and well, if you really want to, you can probably find a GM somewhere to sign off on it, maybe because of not paying attention, or maybe he's their boyfriend, or whatever - the requirements to become a low-tier GM for PFS are really kind of non-existent), the next GM can still always not accept it, or declare it ran off permanently, or killed its rider, or whatever.

If a 2nd level player using a tamed bulette as a mount showed up at my table, he would not have that mount at the end of the session anymore. There's just no way...

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Okay, let me rephrase that: "there are NPCs in published official material that use pre-poisoned ammo." Those were the two examples that came to my mind, I didn't do a thorough check to see if there were any others. However, use of poisoned weapons isn't super common and in the limited number of official PF2 adventures published, I wouldn't expect to find too many examples of it.

Still, I think even those two examples are sufficient to show that the clear intention of the rules is to allow ammo to be poisoned (and pre-poisoned) and the fact that the injury poison entry doesn't mention ammo despite these two examples to the contrary is an oversight and not a deliberate limitation.

I think the Ekujae entry is just not precise enough as it is not expected that the party will fight them. I read it as them having a number of doses available but not applied to any weapon, but should they use it, it's intended to be used on the arrows (and then add the appropriate effect to a ranged hit) rather than their daggers. But yes, it's just not made as clear as in the other examples.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
K1 wrote:

-they are on the list even as shield bash. So it is false that there are only boss and spikes.

Except that the description of shield bash specifically says it's not a weapon. There is no weapon entry for the shield alone, as it is no weapon.

K1 wrote:

-They have their weapons crit specialization

There are three entries in the "shield" weapon group where this might apply: the shield bash (which is explictly NOT a weapon), the shield boss and the shield spikes. The latter two are weapons, yes. They are however clearly a separate weapon from the actual shield, if you read entry for the "attached" trait that they both have.

K1 wrote:

-they can be used to attack without improvised weapon penalty

They can explicitly be used to make the special shield bash maneuver, which is a pseudo-attack specific to shields that does the damage listed under that entry in the weapons table, but which is unfortunately not very well explained. Why would the rules use this otherwise unusual construct, if the intention was to just let them be used as weapons, in which case they could just use the regular strike action? Answer: because the unmodified shields are not meant to be weapons!

K1 wrote:

The rules are definitely unclear regards the addons. It is like saying that a Pick is a modded club with a Pick head at the end. So the base item is a club. The Pick Head is a mod.

That would only be true if there were an item "Pick head" with the "attached to stick" trait. Which is exactly what the shield boss and the shield spikes are. Unlike the Pick head, they are meant to be relatively easily detachable and replacable.

K1 wrote:

It is simply stupid and forced wanting to consider shields not weapons in a fantasy scenario. Imagine consider only the spikes part of a shield the weapon.

A shield rules-wise is considered a shield. It's its own category, different from armor and different from weapon. It has some aspects that let it be somewhat similar to armor and some aspects that let it be somewhat similar to weapon. Yes, you can use it to protect yourself with. Yes, you can use it to bash someone with it, doing some damage. But that does not make it either weapon or armor.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
tivadar27 wrote:
I'd probably rule that a melee attack, whether it hit or missed, would make it obvious which square the enemy was in.

Still depending on circumstance, I'd say. If the fighter runs behind the wide wall where someone was hiding and attacks him there I wouldn't agree, if the rest of the party cannot see the fighter. I'd require an additional action to call out the exact position.

If instead someone is hiding behind one of the trees in the forest and the fighter goes to that tree and attacks him there in plain view of the party it'd be a different matter.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SuperBidi wrote:

The issue with RAI is that you can't bring it around a PFS table. So, RAW, you have to apply an injury poison to a weapon. Around a PFS table, any other use would be invalid.

Could you point to where it says that PFS explicitly excludes the RAW parts in the CRB that say e.g.

"If a rule seems to have wording with problematic repercussions or doesn’t work as intended, work with your group to find a good solution, rather than just playing with the rule as printed" (CRB p.444, Yes, the RAW literally include using RAI instead of RAW!)


"As the GM, you are responsible for solving any rules disputes. Remember that keeping your game moving is more important than being 100% correct. Looking up rules at the table can slow the game down, so in many cases it’s better to make your best guess rather than scour the book for the exact rule." (CRB p.491)


"As Game Master, you have the final say on how the world and rules function, and how nonplayer characters act." (CRB p.483)

and others as well, I'm sure.

Every single PFS2-table I've sat at, online or offline, has recognized that PF2 is a new system and some rules as written are flawed or at least unpolished and the GM needs to sometimes make rulings along the lines above. No GM I've ever met would seriously consider the bit about injury poisons only being activated by being applied to a weapon (and not including ammo here) as anything but an oversight on the part of whoever wrote that section.

Similarly, on the occasions where NPCs use poisoned arrows/bolts that I quoted above (official PF2 content, if not PFS2-content for now), no player would seriously argue that the poison had not been activated (as it had not been applied to a weapon but rather ammo) and thus should be inactive.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Regarding shifting to a shield, that is clearly not an option:

The shifting rule quite clearly states that the weapon can be shifted to "another melee weapon that requires the same number of hands to wield."

However, Shields are not weapons:
- They are listed in their own section in the equipment chapter, seperate from weapons.
- The shield table does not even list the number of hands needed, the shield bash action is listed in the weapon table as using "-" hands. (Yes, use on one hand/arm is easily assumed, but that doesn't make it a 1-handed weapon).
- "A shield can be used as a martial weapon for attacks,[...]" on p.277 is not the same as " a melee weapon". Just like the jousting and two-handed traits don't turn a weapon into a 1- or 2-handed weapon just because it "can be used" as such.
- The above sentence continues "[...]using the statistics listed for a shield bash[...]". The description of shield bash on p.286 quite clearly says "A shield bash is not actually a weapon, but a maneuver in which you thrust or swing your shield to hit your foe with an impromptu attack." That also quite clearly differentiates a shield from a weapon that would use the strike action to attack instead.

So no, shields are not weapons and thus no weapon can be turned into a shield using the shifting rune.

Now what is listed as a weapon are the shield boss/spikes themselves, which have to be attached to a shield to be used. Those are listed as 1-handed weapons and you could turn your dagger into a shield boss. But that still wouldn't come with a shield that it's attached to.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rysky wrote:
NPCs are not built the same way PCs are in P2.

Yes, I know, and I'm not saying the character is breaking any rules. But it still seems odd to me that an NPC that comes across as somewhat similar to a PC has attributes that much higher. I don't have the book on hand right now, but I think CHA 22 and DEX 20 with no dumped stats as an essentially 7th level NPC. That just seems way more "heroic" than the actual heroes.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The entire twin thing ist just a bit goofy. The party's intended to meet the same guy twice in different places, the first time he annoys them but ultimately leaves, the second time around it gets violent. Since both encounters need an active antagonist, the adventure needed a solution in case the party goes full murder-hobo and kills him during the initial encounter. So instead of coming up with a really creative idea, the adventure "solves" this by having them meet his identical twin, with the same stats, same gear and almost identical name instead.

It was probably intended to be funny, but for me it came across as just lazy writing and somewhat lessened the enjoyment of this otherwise well done antagonist. (Though looking at his stats, he's some kind of superhero, no PC is going to get his attributes nearly as high even by level 20. Those design decisions always kind of rub me the wrong way...)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You approach the game very much like a tactical battle simulation, being very focused on the numbers and math, with those being openly available for everyone. The most important reason why I don't like this playstyle (and again, that doesn't mean it's wrong, just ... very different) is that Pathfinder really is not a tactical battle simulation. It's essentially a rules system about how to roleplay a heroic journey through an epic story. Yes, that involves combat rules, but they are not meant to be balanced like an Axis & Allies or whatever game but rather for each combat to provide challenges of varying difficulty for the party that can ultimately be overcome. Part of the GMs job as the story's "director" is to balance the encounters, both combat and non-combat, in a challenging but not impossible way. Some important balance options here include "non-numerical" balances, which I feel you totally skip over.

A good example is the way you allow the paladin to be run. Paladins get a number of very powerful abilities that are balanced by various non-numerical restrictions: They have to be lawful good, they have to pick a deity (currently from the list provided in the CRB, though that list is likely to expand later) and then follow the tenets of this deity in addition to the tenets of good as well as the paladin cause's own tenets, zealously wield its favoured weapon and strictly avoid any actions anathema to the deity, etc.

Now, I'm not sure which deity your player's paladin picked, but he is pretty much not acting like a paladin at all:
- No deity that I'm aware of has the flick-mace as its favoured weapon.
- Despite being tasked by a lawful government to find and return a known arsonist to be brought to justice, that arsonist (and hostage-taker, and rogue openly interested in becoming a teacher in an assassin's school according to your version of the story...) is instead allowed to join the party, equipped with magical gear and allowed to fight alongside them, giving him plenty of chances to escape, e.g. during the battle of Guardian's Way in the woods.
- In your last session he essientially seems to befriend a manifestation of a chaotic evil deity, based on the technicality that that manifestation really hadn't done anything wrong recently (not that he didn't want to, but he wasn't able to due to being imprisoned).

Yes, there are no fixed rules when exactly his alignment would have changed sufficiently by acting as what I would probably describe as chaotic neutral.
Yes, nowhere does it say specifically that he should not ally with or befriend evil NPCs.
Yes, there is no listed penalty for never ever zealously fighting with his deity's favoured weapon.

But even without fixed rules, these are important balancing aspects of a paladin.

If you as the GM allow the player to play the paladin like that without any in-game consequences that's fine for your group but it's likely the least paladinly paladin that I have ever seen. And by removing all these balances, the character becomes very much OP.

Now, powergaming and min-maxing certainly have a long tradition in rpgs and also in Pathfinder specifically. Still, the more I read your posts, the more I wonder if you and your group aren't one of the few people that would be best suited by 4th edition D&D. Most people I know that went to Pathfinder from 3.5 initially did that because most importantly they didn't like how 4th ed. tried to turn the rpg into a tactial battle simulation. Maybe you and your group are the exception. And PF2 is very much NOT trying to be an improved version of D&D 4.0, which I feel is what you're really looking for.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Your write-up makes for an interesting read, though in a big part because it is so very different from what I would choose to do as a GM (and honestly how I'd enjoy playing it as a player). Of course, as long as GM and players are enjoying themselves, every way of playing it is the right way.

I was wondering though how exactly you go about being transparent about the mechanics of an encounter. Do you actually provide the players with a list of possible actions along with their associated DCs and consequences of each result (crit fail, fail, succeed, crit succeed)?

Say, during a social interaction where the party is trying to talk someone into something, do you tell them "you can either use a DC 20 society check or a DC 16 Smithing Lore check" or is it more like "you meet this guy what do you want to talk to him about?" and only with a previous gather information check (or a good percetion check about the soot under his nails) do the players even know that talking about smithing might be an interesting option and even then don't know if its better than just society?

Or did they know that trying to intimidate Calmont was only a DC 16 and even on a crit fail nothing too bad would happen?

Because it seems to me that a policy of total openness regarding mechanics of an encounter makes any encounter massively easier, especially if you reveal the exact DC or their relative difficulties to each other (and even more so if you reveal non-obious consequences of failures).

Also, did I read that correctly, you do not roll secret checks, but rather "all rolls are out in the open"?! No actual believable false herrings on critically failed gather information/recall knowledge checks? So the players know which checks failed and which info is true? That too would lower the difficulty quite a bit.

In addition, on the topic of making encounters easier, letting a level 3 rogue and 2 level 2 kobold dragon mages join the 2nd level party as GM-run NPCs (in addition to the intended level 2 Armiger) even though nowhere in Clamond's text does it suggest that he should join the party and the kobold support (while "up to the GM") is suggested as distracting the Cinderclaws, stealing from them, etc (yes, it includes outright attacks, but I did not read that as join the party to spam Electric Arc, much less still being with the party during Guardian's Way) makes any encounter about half difficulty at best. Not to mention your Paladin willingly grouped up with a known arsonist and hostage-taker??

Also, hand-waiving the exploration mode options by letting the player repeatedly do everything mechanically useful without it taking any significant time also strikes me as making encounters that follow easier, though amongst your modifications that is probably the one most commonly used.

Again, all these modifications are all good and well if you and your group are happy with the resulting play-style. Just be aware, you are lowering the difficulty significantly from what it was intended to be, which I guess might contribute to making the initial combats seem like a breeze.

Goblin Squad Member

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I'm opposed to this, not because it was fundamentally a bad idea, but because it takes time and resources to temporarily fix a problem that will only ever be there for a very short period of time. Before long, the market will be flooded with tier 1 gear. Most companies will have a large store available, both to replace loss and to fit new members, while older members move up to tier 2 gear. Once the economy starts up, beginner gear availability is not going to be much of a problem. There are much more serious issues that need adressing.

Goblin Squad Member

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Goblin Squad Member

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I'm absolutely in favor of waiting longer to get a more finished product. Imho, companies, a full map and (proto-)settlements are a necessity for mvp. If they need more time to get it done, I'd like them to take that time much rather than throwing a less-than-viable-product on the market. I have waited for like 20 months since the second kickstarter and I can wait another one (or even more,) if needed... I think it's amazing what gw has accomplished on such a tiny budget compared to the industry's giants and feel they shouldn't make the mistake of rushing and stumbling shortly before the (first) finish line. Anything like the proposed 1/3 map with a few npc setlements should be part of an "extended alpha" if you will, NOT mvp.

I realize that money may well be running out and they need to secure some form of income source. Still, rushing the product to market unfinished is not the way to go...

Goblin Squad Member

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There will always be a bit of each due to the necessity to adapt your character concept to game mechanics. To me, the relevant question is, what takes precedence, when the two conflict?

IE, I play a dwarven cleric of Torag with a nice big hammer as a weapon. Now, in game, I happen to loot a bow and find that bows are seriously op.
As a role player, I stick with my hammer.
As a non role player, playing the game as intended, I take up the better weapon.
As a meta-gamer, I look through the internet to find which bow has the best stats and go look for that one.

Goblin Squad Member

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Wall of text ahead...

I've been going over the numbers for the WotT in my head, and they just don't seem to add up. The way it's currently set up, I somewhat doubt that there is going to be any actual fighting over any towers just because there's going to be more than enough for all of us...

Here's what we know (based on today's numbers):
- Total number of (player) settlements in EE: 33
- Total number of towers on map: 320 (approx.?)
- Total EE accounts sold (kickstarter, gw store, etc.): some 6500 (?)
- Total number of players participating in land rush so far: 1507
- Of these, 1279 are currently in a "land rush guild" set for a settlement spot
- Only one PC per player initially
- Each PC can only be in one company
- Each company can only hold one tower

Of the 33 settlements, the bottom 14(!) settlements have less than 18 members (and going all the way down to 7), i.e. even if they divide up into companies evenly, they have less than 3 players holding each of the "primary towers" directly adjacent to their settlement, much less expand their territory outwards. A full half have 30 or less, so just 6 companies of 5 PCs max. And let's not even start with the "expected company size" of 20-50 that was mentioned somewhere.

Even Talonguard and Golgotha as two of the "big shots" currently have less than 100 members, i.e. less than 10 companies of 10 players each. And with 320 towers for 33 settlements, 10 towers would be just above average. And that's for #2 and #3 of the settlements!

Unless we are going to be seeing a huge influx of new players very soon (which we can only hope for with these numbers), I don't expect the WotT to be an actual fighting war. Even if all the settlements grab as many as they reasonably can (and additinal benefits from more towers surely will hit some sort of soft ceiling), there will barely be any need for conflict. There's just enough there for all...

Even if we suddenly double the number of actual players in EE (i.e. say 3000 instead of the current 1500 land rush participants), there'd barely be 10 players per tower over all! And imho even that number would be highly optimistic to expect, at least in WotT/early EE! Quite a few who bought an account through kickstarter will not be interested in playing the game anymore, for any number of reasons...

Am I the only one concerned by this? Am I mistaken somewhere? Have the devs somehow seriously miscalculated the expected number of players? Or are we just expected to split up into *very* small companies for the purpose of the WotT?

What could be done to alleviate this? It's probably to late for changes to the system without a lot of outcry, but I would consider seriously reducing the number of settlement spots and the number of towers at least by the same percentage (preferably more). Force the players to form bigger settlements, with bigger companies competing over fewer towers. Even if these are further apart than originally planed. Or just make only a smaller part of the current land rush map initially available.

It has been repeatedly said that small settlements will be untenable and will also not be able to offer anything better than the starter settlements during EE, i.e. will not easily be able to effectively attract new members. I would actually expect quite a few of the settlements at the bottom of the list to effectivly become abandoned husks, yet indestrucible due to game mechanics of EE. So, why not require a minimum number of players to effectively claim a settlement? Say, 50 or so. Or just cut the number of settlement spots in half? Sure, some small groups will have to give up the dream of their own home. But then again, they could just grow during EE in a community with others and later set out during OE to find their own place with the numbers to support it...


Goblin Squad Member

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+1 for long term quest lines, both for individuals and small groups.

Aside from me personally liking the idea a lot, it would also go quite a long way to give the game a somewhat more Pathfinder-table top-feel. Well, maybe not quite, but I think it would appeal greatly to those who supported PFO initially due to their love for the tt game and who now feel somewhat screwed by the development towards an almost complete predominance of PvP.

Factions and some individual prominent NPCs seem like the obvious quest-givers. Player-made quests should indeed be possible already to some extend. Also, the tavern comes to mind as a stereotypical source for quests, that would maybe provide some additional incentive for pc to visit those.

Rewards should imho not primarily be loot. Instead, the possibility to learn rare skills or recipes, reputation increases as a sort of "redemption" (sure, you've been raising the undead, but you also rescued the princess, that's gotta count for something...), an increase in faction standing, or maybe just a fancy title seem better to me.

Goblin Squad Member

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Just some ideas regarding "meaningful interaction", especially with regards to "criminal behaviour" (I'm thinking raiding, waylaying, killing, etc.).
One of the big problems I see in the game is the relatively minor consequences a criminal is facing compared to his victim.

Let's take outpost rading as an example:
In real life, something similar might be robbing a liquor store. Here, both sides face serious consequences: the owner faces both potential loss of property and life, if the robber is armed.
But the owner might also be armed, so the robber also faces possible loss of life and there is of course the risk of being caught and serving time in prison. Fairly serious for both, but also fairly even with a bit of a disadvantage for the bad guy (property can be restored over time, time spent behind bars is mostly wasted).

Compare that to PFO: Loss of life is no real issue, as every PC gets an easy respawn and permanent character deaths don't happen. Loss of property is a serious risk for the victim(s), both in terms of resources invested in building and running the outpost (which can be completely destroyed by the raider), resources harvested and stored there, as well as stuff carried around in their inventory (as they don't know they are going to be robbed). But what risk does the raider run? He knows he's out to raid, so he will only carry the necessary items and those he can afford to lose. He does not face permanent death and there is no prison.

So the worst possible outcome for the raider here is a respawn some distance away (i.e. really nothing serious). The worst possible outcome for the owner of the outpost is a respawn some distance away AND serious loss of resources/property. This lopsided distribution of consequences tilts the system here quite a bit in favor of the "bad guy", making evil (or at least banditry) play much more attractive for those so inclined. It seems highly unfair to disadvantage the "constructive" player in that way.

Is the reputation system going to be enough to alleviate this difference? I doubt it, with "PvP windows" and "feuds" still allowing for repution-safe raiding.

Instead, I believe that PFO might need a prison system :-).

Actually, that should be fairly easy to implement. Let's say, raiding, robbing, murdering gets you a "wanted" flag for a limited amount of time (say, a week). If during that time you are caught(i.e. killed) by someone who would be expected to turn a criminal in (i.e. PCs with LG, NG, LN alignments, possibly others?), your wanted flag is exchanged for a "prisoner" flag, for starters, let's say for one week. While you are marked as a prisoner your respawn point (including the spawn point when you initially log in to the game) is fixed to a completely enclosed area somewhere (aka the prison) that you cannot leave. Effectively, the character is taken out of the game for a limited time. To me that seems a much better way to handle meaningful PvP-interaction, that does actually carry meaningful consequences for BOTH sides!

That very basic system should be easy to implement, yet also could in the future be expanded:
- bounty hunters could play a role, the robbed company/PC could post a bounty; in order to collect, the robber must be turned in
- time served could be dependend on the actual crime (theft 1 week, murder 3 months)
- interactions between prisoners might still be possible, maybe even intra-prison-play could be a way to pass the time (or find future partners in crime)
- the prison could be placed, say, below the keep in the good aligned starter city, with well executed jail breaks from the outside a (remote) possibility
- for even more serious consequences, make a character undeletable while imprisoned and limit the amount of characters an account can have

Really consequential meaningful interaction - the PvPers should be delighted! Opinions? :-)

Goblin Squad Member

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I still haven't decided whether or not I like this WotT-development. What bothers me most is that it does force the good-aligned settlements into violent conflict with their neighbors, where you can either choose to play according to your alignment choice and suffer from stunted growth, or to actually fight the (mostly also good-aligned) neighbors over the towers.

Much of it is a matter of numbers, though:
- How many towers to you need for unstunted settlement development?
- And as related note, how far do you expect someone who plays from day one to be able to level up during the time of the WotT, and how many towers would a settlement need to control to train him to the max throughout WotT (or to support the max. training he got somewhere else if he's not in one of the roles the settlement's training focuses on)?
- How big are the bonuses from auxiliary structures (or whatever the name will be) going to be, depending on the settlement's final "tower score"?
- Does the total number of towers at the end of the WotT matter or is it a progressive score accumulated over time?
- How fast does the PVP-window grow with each additional tower?

I understand much of this may still be tbd, but it depends on many of these answers if playing as part of a good-aligned settlement during WotT can be done satisfactorily. E.g., there are 9-10 towers per settlement on the map. If that is mostly sufficient for reasonably successful growth and decent auxiliary structure bonuses in the end, no problem. You could probably work something out that involves little or no actual good-vs-good combat. But if you need like 20 or more for decent development and a good start after WotT, most of the successful settlements will be strongly in the evil alignment range (at least by their actions, if not by their stated alignment) by the end og WotT. Compared to the current alignment distribution, that seems just wrong.

Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

Just to clarify a thing that seems obvious to us but may not be obvious to you.

Settlements are not Companies and Companies are not Settlements.

Lets say we have the Settlement of Ryanhome.

The members of Ryanhome are potentially also members of Companies. They need not be members of the same Company. They may be in Companies with characters who are not members of Ryanhome.

Ryanhome may be indirectly controlling Towers via Companies that are comprised of characters who are not members of Ryanhome. Characters who are members of Ryanhome may be in Companies that are controlling Towers that are indirectly supported by a Settlement other than Ryanhome.

Companies are not Settlements. Settlements are not Companies.

Yes, that seems to be a highly confusing issue. It doesn't help that other terms, such as guild, are being used occasionally (e.g. in the land-rush process, but also during the 2nd kickstarter, where the crowdforger guild pledge level promised "Patrons at this level will be invited to join Early Enrollment as a guild of six in the order that they pledged this level. Patron guilds will receive a Guild Starter Pack of in-game items, and have the right to reserve their guild name." Is that that guild same thing that's now called a company? Or landrush guild? Or something else?)

Let me see, if I got the organisational structure right (and ask for a few clarifications along the way):

- The general organisational structure is PC<company<settlement(<kingdom)
- As a newbie, I start play as a single PC.
- If I meet a few like-minded others, we can group together to form a company (Questions: Are there any limits to company-size? Is this supposed to be more like an adventuring party (4-6 PCs), a military platoon (20-50 PCs) or a map-spanning conglomerate (100+ PCs)? Or any of these? Can I be a 1-PC company? What do I have to do to start a company, i.e. buy a "guild starter kit", or just register with some in-game registrar. Can I be in several companies at once? Can I change them easily?).
- In the towers game, such a company can win and maintain control over a single tower (Possible problems if you can be in multiple companies? Can a company surrender ownership, e.g. by winning a new tower while stil in control of another?)
- If our company would like a permanent "home base", with support structures, etc., we can chose to become affiliated with a settlement, or after OE conquer one or start our own (Is a settlement-affiliated company the same thing that's called a chartered company in the land rush? How do we affiliate? And how do we disaffiliate again? Who owns/controls the settlement, and how does ownership shift to someone else? Can we be affiliated with more than one settlement?)
- This affiliation provides members of our company with the benefits of the settlement, e.g. support structures, while providing the settlement with control of "our" tower. If we leave, we lose the support, but keep "ownership" of the tower, while the settlement loses control over the tower.

Is that correct, so far?

Apparently, an individual PC can also be a direct member in a settlement, regardless of his membership in a company, or that company's affiliation with a settlement. Which one of those is the decisive membership for the PC being supported by settlement structures? If it's PC membership in the settlement, what incentive does a company have to affiliate with a settlement, especially if the companies members are individual members in several different settlements?

I apologize, if all this is clearly stated somewhere and I've just missed it, but at this point, the entire structure/membership thing has me very confused, and I bet I'm not the only one. Thx in advance for taking the time to help me out :-).