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Organized Play Member. 214 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Do I read you right that the potential "charge for access" issue goes away in a month? If so, I'd say feel free to prepare for when that issue goes away, but don't do anything until it fits comfortably under Community Use.

That's my understanding, yes.

Roll20 as an entity doesn't create the character sheets, players do. So RAW, that sounds like Community License.

On the other hand, at present the ability to use character sheets is supporter-only (advanced access, complete with all the bugs that entails, is provided to those who donate). They've announced they plan to release it to all users in May, and it's all of two days old for supporters, so it's a lot more like "beta testers that pay us because they like us" than "pay for access to this system." And there's no plan for permanent charges as far as I can see.

But sometimes lawyers are...well...lawyers. It'd be a little difficult to sue someone for "charging money for providing access [to Paizo property]" when in fact they've charged money for advanced access to an HTML parser and people have written their own HTML code to make PF character sheets. But I imagine we'd all feel better to have your official okay.

Hi folks,

Not sure if you're aware of, but it's a fairly excellent virtual tabletop with an active development team. Seems like a place with Pathfinder Organized Play might be played.

They just announced a character sheet engine that allows HTML/CSS character sheets to be created and shared between players. Was wondering if Paizo would be kind enough to give official permission for a character sheet based off of the Pathfinder Organized Play sheet. Ideally, I'd imagine that it would be identical (with the exception of e.g. auto-roll buttons) so that a player could transition between virtual and physical tabletops with a minimum of confusion.

As it stands, the legal issues are sort of fuzzy at best anyway (the system is open, and it's hard to "copyright" the exact layout) but given that PFS play is *supposed* to use that sheet, could we get official permission for it to exist?

Thank you in advance.

Hi folks,

Going to be running a home game by official PFS rules. Planned on doing We Be Goblins first, because they didn't have to make characters for it and also it'll let them have just a touch of spending money for their first "real" scenario. Plus it's awesome.

...Then what? I was thinking maybe "first steps" but only part 1 remains in play. Is it worth playing that by itself? Is it okay to play that with a character with one chronicle?

I've only played a handful of scenarios, and one of my four players has been at a table and received chronicles for each of the ones I've played, so I'd rather avoid those. What's a good list to take people through say 3rd level? I've seen lists back in 2012 with things like Master of the Fallen Fortress or Scenario #1 Silent Tide, but what do people do now?

Thank you in advance.

Thanks for the advice, guys. Appreciated.


Yes, Cuddles is likely to be a solo encounter. Glad to hear your PCs handled it. Did you use the full +5 / d6+6?


Hrm. Resting. What an excellent suggestion. This might be a case where I even suggest (perhaps by ways of mentioning how much meat there is) the players do that. I'm worried if they are out of bombs that summon swarm is just going to destroy them (though I suppose I could be nice and have it be rats which can at least take damage from normal weapons).

Thanks, folks. Still curious if people use the full "advanced" stats (and if you used the "quick" or the more-precise method).

I've got several players running through WBG using an online virtual tabletop. There's a mix of experience, but most are new to PF and PFS. So far, everyone's been having fun.

Status so far:

Don't know if it was crappy rolling or what, but Lotslegs put a good hurting on them. Reta's sickened from slugs, making her useless, and everyone else has damage penalties... Chuffy "critted" for like 3 damage. Mogsmurch is down to one bomb, which has me worried going into swarm land. Though they do have that potion of firebreath and fireworks, I know none of them has seen a PF swarm before.

As I'm prepping for the second half, I came across two questions:

1) I assume Stomp is not "combat trained" as it's not called out in the description? Probably for the best, as 1.5xSTR would be rough on those hooves.

2) Do people really use the full "advanced" template for Cuddles? It shows the page number for advancement, but an advanced riding dog is CR 2 (not CR 1). As far as I could tell, his stat block would look like this:

Init +4, AC 17 (touch 14, FF 13), HP 17, F/R/W 7/7/3, bite +5 d6+6! + trip at CMB +5

That bite looks *terrifying* to me. d6+3 is into boss territory for these goblins (hps are 13/11/10/10) as no one but Reta has a real chance to take a second hit. At d6+6, Cuddles will one-shot Mogmurch or Poog 50% of the time, and if he doesn't he's almost guaranteed a kill (as in -10) on the next round thanks to the trip - +5 CMB is terrifying to these goblins.

Thoughts? Have you ran this and "forgotten" to advance him, or honestly overlooked that word? Or does he just eat the goblins? AC 17 is no slouch for these poor, poor little goblins. People talk about Longtung killing a goblin every time, but honestly Cuddles looks tougher to me right now.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Can't say I'm particularly happy with the ruling, but I am VERY happy with having it clarified so as to be played the same way at every table. Thank you.

Sneak attack. Pretty well 'nuff said, but here are a few:

Can you SA with spells? (seems yes)
Can you SA with spells that don't do hp damage? (mixed)
If you SA with a spell, what type is the damage? (mixed)
Actually, what type is the damage from an SA?

Todd Lower wrote:

Here is a copy of the post in question.

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
Upgrade by paying the difference.

Just to be sure, you are referring to both the Magical (+1 weapon to +2 weapon for 6000 gp) and the non-Magical (Masterwork Composite Longbow of +1 STR to +2 STR for 100 gp) are both available by paying the respective differences, 6000 gp and 100 gp?

Joshua J. Frost, Tue, Sep 15, 2009, 05:11 PM Flag | List |

here is the link: link

Much obliged.

Todd Lower wrote:
What EA said. Also can upgrade the strength rating on bows in Society play.

Do we have a link available for that one?

Cartigan wrote:
PS, you can already attack with two weapons on your turn.

Doh. Yes, of course you can. You'll just, you know, never hit anything.

[qoute="Cartigan"]Add Int 13 and Combat Expertise to Improved Sunder, Improved Bullrush, and Improved Overrun and we can talk.

I'd be happy if they were, but they do make some amount of sense (see the online/offline discussion).

james maissen wrote:
It is worth a FAQ answer and decision,


Cartigan wrote:
Everyone is inherently capable of "clever" fighting. Your argument falls in upon itself because ANYONE can ALREADY trip or disarm or throw dirt in someone's eyes.

As they can in the rules. Doing it without getting hit is harder.

Anyone can carry two swords (and use them alternating or one for AoO, etc), but with a feat (and an added ability requirement) you can attack with both on your turn. Take the Dex out of TWF and we'll talk.

Mark Moreland wrote:
This issue is on my to-do list after PaizoCon is over. The list is rather long, but one line specifically says "armored kilt clarification". What that will be or where it will appear has not yet been determined, but rest assured, I'm on it.

Excellent! Thank you guys, again, for having a presence in your forums.

One more note:

You will not find text saying that a full-round action takes 6 seconds.

That would be silly. Consider a 1st level trip fighter (combat reflexes). He can trip once on his turn. He can trip four times (in addition) if opportunities are open, and take an immediate action as well. Do those AoO's really take no time at all, and the single attack take 6 seconds?

If I delay (waiting for other characters to act), does that really take no time at all?

No, full-round actions are a portion of the 6 seconds. It doesn't define what portion, but when you see the mechanics for things like 1-round casting times, it definitely makes that clear.

Snorter wrote:

Exactly. So let's get the designers and the community making some new Int-friendly content, tweaking existing content, dismantling unwieldy feat chains, and freeing up PrC-locked existing content into general use.

That's how you encourage high-Int melee PCs. Not by punishing the ones who chose to put 'only' a 12 in the stat.

That's a great idea, but until then, INT 13 chars are rewarded here. And it does make some amount of sense that it be here (see my other posts). "INT 12 is punished" is like saying DEX 14/16/18 builds are punished with TWF, and a neverending path to boot.

Guess I had time after all. At least enough time to retire my participation in this thread.

Kamelguru wrote:
Diplomacy + Bluff + Intimidate covers most everything social.

I guess I just consider this an incredibly pessimistic view of human interaction. It's clear we're not going to agree here. I've tried to make a case that there are times when an ability check is more appropriate than extending skills further than RAW - at this point, it's up to individual GM's to decide how far the skills extend.

Kamelguru wrote:
And I would also like to point out that with skills, basic training and the first ranks give a bonus equal to having an 18 in the relevant stat (+4). Skills is 2/3 training and 1/3 ability. Just how the game is designed.

Assuming class skills, or high levels, yes, of course. Our real argument isn't about how this plays out, though, it's what is covered by skills.

Kamelguru wrote:
I have played since 2e, where charisma was 2/3rds about how many henchmen and how loyal your followers were towards you. Then there was the reaction adjustment. There was no rolls involved beside the initial attitude, and then RP took care of the rest.

Your DM never made you roll CHA checks? Weird...

Kamelguru wrote:
Int, Wis and Cha are first and foremost caster stats as well. Caster: Amazing reality-warping power. Non-caster: skill points, will saves, modifiers to mostly untrained/secondary skills. Same can be applied for strength with combatant vs non-combatant.

We're fundamentally disagreeing, and unlikely to stop. I see stats as the basic mechanic by which you describe your character and his/her abilities. Want him/her to be strong? Put points in STR. Smart:INT. Good with people: CHR. Class abilities such as casting are just that - class abilities - and some/all benefit from one stat or another, true. But character comes before class (class can change, after all).

Kamelguru wrote:
Anyway, point is; secondary stat does little for someone who does not benefit from it through choice of classes... All I am saying is that the difference between Cha10 and Cha16 is a modifier of 3 on social skills, and moving beyond that is a house rule.

I like my ability scores to have meaning, and the text, particularly in the 2e books but also 3.0/3.5/PF, supports that idea. If I was playing a game where the stats were "Melee, Ranged/Defense, Health, Magic A, Magic B, Magic C," I wouldn't be surprised that the only effects were mechanical. But that's not what the stats are, that's not what they've ever been, and removing their meaning as tools for describing the character is also a house rule.

You yourself seemed to go along with the idea that a guy with a 5 or 7 INT isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. I don't quite get the distinction with CHA.

How about: clothing is no longer explicitly excluded from total weight for encumbrance.

Kamelguru wrote:
@Bob: Worn clothes do not count towards encumbrance.

Don't have time to touch the rest of this tonight, but I believe you won't find that rule in PF.

Some call me Tim wrote:
A great response, followed by: The PCs might miss or bypass the horde only to suffer later because of a lake of treasure.

I laughed out loud at that one. Great response, though, really... just an epic typo.

HaraldKlak wrote:

I did a silly build using this. At lvl 20 it was no problem having a high str (+muleback cords and ant haul), so that he was able to carry 9600 throwing light shields(quick draw). All accessible, and throwable. No need for other magic bags or shrinking stuff.

How in the world anyone is going to carry it around seems strange, but encumbrance is the road to go.

The GM would be perfectly in the right to say "how, exactly, are all those items accessible?" Although I know of nothing in the CRB about it, one can pretty well put a limit of one or two "accessible" shields.

Russ Taylor wrote:

Why would I acknolwedge that, when it isn't true?

If there's a bodak in the room, and I fail my save and die on my turn, it makes a lot of difference that the spell completed just before my turn began.

Fine. Let's change it to "at the beginning of his next turn, before other 'beginning of turn effects' are resolved." Happy? I still feel that was a little petty.

Russ Taylor wrote:
I've always wondered how this argument gets past "A spell that takes 1 round to cast is a full-round action", but that's just me.

Mainly because the text goes further than that.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
a nice bit on wizards and encumbrance

Man, that haversack keeps looking better and better.

Hyrum Savage wrote:

I need to check with Mark about this and Mark is out of the office until next week, at which point I'll be out of the office until the following week.

We'll get an answer to this, but it'll take a couple of weeks. :)


Still hoping...

@Aelryinth: What sources are those in?

Kamelguru wrote:

Is not what I am saying. I am arguing that you can compensate entirely for the SOCIAL aspect of the function of charisma. Just like a non-combatant can compensate for low strength with ranks in climb and swim. You will not be able to fight well, just like a cha7 with ranks in social skills won't be able to cast spells and such.

Social interaction is just one aspect of the stat after all.

Out of curiosity only, how long have you been playing? I ask because I started with 2eAD&D (and have some, though limited, experience with the true "red box"). CHR has been described as measuring some combination of force of personality, social grace, and appearance...pretty much since Gygax put pen to paper. It has always has been the "social stat."

CHR-based spellcasting started in 3e. I'll grant you that it's an important aspect now. But, to me, it still feels bolted on. So to me, when I read the sentence that defines CHR (not in the dictionary, in the rulebook), I see the same thing the stat has meant for 20 years. And when I read "compensate entirely for the SOCIAL aspect of the function of charisma," I see "compensate entirely for the function of CHR."

I might be a stick in the mud, or old before my time, but I still feel like the basic thing that CHR measures is social ability, not spellcasting. INT and WIS measure mental ability first, and give bonuses to spellcasting second. Why is CHR so different?

Disclaimer: I'm not trying to imply anything about you as a player if you haven't been playing that long, or if you have and don't share my opinion. I'm just honestly curious how much prior-to-3e exposure you've had. Same goes for Ashiel.

About the wizard ignoring STR:
Regarding the wizard offsetting STR through bags of holding - for less money than you described the wizard spending, a fighter can get a CHR-boosting item (and his wizard friend can craft it for him if he's been carrying the wiz across rivers for five levels). The wizard who uses BoH's remains a fish out of water in melee or an antimagic field, and if he's ever grappled he'd better hope he has prepared for it. While the situations where he feels the lack might or might not be common in any particular campaign, the mechanics will guarantee the result if they come up.

So while I'll agree that he can avoid "most" of it, there are plenty of situations where he can be burnt. From what I'm hearing you say, the only way a fighter with low CHR gets burnt is he can't effectively multiclass into sorcerer...which is hardly a loss, and applies equally to the wizard with low STR (who can't multi into fighter effectively).

And, finally, when you say "I rarely do this, however. Because I cannot relate to weaklings, and thus cannot portray my character properly," you've hit at exactly how the system can encourage well-rounded stats even without much in the way of mechanical penalties. Your 5-STR halfling wizard is a puny weakling. A 5-CHR dwarf is a <something negative>. If anyone wants to play that sort of character, more power to them. But they should go ahead and play that character.

Snorter wrote:
Then Combat Expertise can be led round the back of the glue factory and put out of its misery.

If everything you wrote was done, sure. Until then, it's really the only thing in the core rules that rewards an INT score.

@Ellington - at low levels, yes. Edit: At higher levels, of course that ability drops off, but even then a 12 STR against a 7 or 5 can be life or death when being grappled, antimagic field, silence, etc.

erik542 wrote:
What's the benefit for strong wizards?

Among other things, the ability to participate in melee.

Kaiyanwang wrote:
What about simply remove an asinine prerequisite?

Because as it stands it is the only benefit for intelligent fighters. Skip to the bottom if you want to know why I think that's important. Or see my earlier post on how the way combat works can explain why avoiding AoO's for some combat maneuvers requires "expertise," and most of it mental. Sunder/disarm are a little iffy - I could make an argument to put them in either category and I'm guessing they just put one "remove weapon from opponent" maneuver into each category.

A list of the complaints in this thread:

1) CE sucks, even with high INT
2) CE, and its follow-ups, don't actually "use" INT mechanically
3) Feat trees suck (especially when the pre-req doesn't help down the line)
4) CE is easier/better for casters
5) "12 INT isn't low"
6) "My low-INT fighter should be able to do everything."

The changes I suggested could address most of problems 1-3. You have to be careful, whenever you address 2, to avoid making 4 worse.

5 isn't a great complaint to listen to. If you do, you need to be prepared for

next up:
"11 isn't low"
"10 is still average"
"9 isn't far below average"
"8 isn't really an idiot"
"7 is still a PC"
CE has the lowest ability score prereq in the game, and it's only 3 points in a point buy. It's just not that high of a requirement... unless you're comparing it to a dump stat of 7.

As far as 6, intelligence - the ability to think back on fights and plan different reactions, anticipate your opponent's actions, analyze your opponent's strengths and weaknesses, and use the flow of combat to make your opponent do what you want - does help in RL combat. A lot. In PF, the only benefit is allowing CE and some combat maneuver feats. That's the answer Roy should give: "in RL, a hell of a lot... in this game, not much." If you drop the requirement, and don't give some sort of combat boon based on INT, you will doom the already endangered species of PF fighter with an INT above 7. Do we really need more stupid fighters?

Russ Taylor wrote:
People get too tied up in the turn order of a round, and forget that a combat round is a simulation of a whole bunch of things happening at the same time. Your character isn't standing around like a statue when it isn't their turn, unless they happen to be paralyzed or petrified.

But that fact isn't written down. Instead we have this:

Each round's activity begins with the character with the highest initiative result and then proceeds in order. When a character's turn comes up in the initiative sequence, that character performs his entire round's worth of actions. (For exceptions, see Attacks of Opportunity and Special Initiative Actions.)

When the rules refer to a “full round”, they usually mean a span of time from a particular initiative count in one round to the same initiative count in the next round. Effects that last a certain number of rounds end just before the same initiative count that they began on.

This text would seem to indicate that the "full round" is longer than a character's actions.

Russ Taylor wrote:
No one's disputing there's a difference in casting times. But all these casting times (standard, 1 full round metamagic, 1 round) are still not longer than 1 full-round action. The first casting time longer than 1 full-round action is a casting time of 2 rounds (which, conveniently, requires 2 full-round actions).

See above, but you should acknowledge that changing the wording to "the spellcaster finishes the spell as a free action at the beginning of his next turn" would make absolutely no mechanical difference, except for invalidating your argument. I know the SRD/PRD were not written at that level of detail, there are a thousand examples where one simple fix would make everything clear.

You're still casting after your action (as proven by you being able to be interrupted, and giving up AoOs throughout the round). The casting time is 1 full round, > a full-round action.

Kamelguru wrote:
Hmm, I did something like this...
This is an awesome example of trying to make scores+stats work in roleplay.
Kamelguru wrote: int8 dude maxing engineering would be good at what is covered by his skill... He is not SMART. He is learned. There is a difference.
This is my entire argument.
Kamelguru wrote:
But that said, I am pro-growth as long as it does not affect game balance and mechanics.

But what you and Ashiel propose does affect game balance, in two ways:

1) If all social is handled by skills, above level 3, +1 INT mod > +1 CHR mod for anyone but a CHR-based caster or a performer. And I feel justified putting the "strictly greater than" on that, especially above level 5. At level 20, the comparison is laughable.

2) There are stat boosts every 4 levels, and a variety of magical items. I realize these are rare/expensive - but for game balance, they should be and are more effective than investing skill points. By level 4-6 you could easily be up to average in your stat (from 7). While you "waste" money on a stat-boost item, another fighter with more CHR and less STR is "wasting" money on a better sword to bring his fighting closer to yours. Bam, balance.

Kamelguru wrote:
Someone with cha10 and ranks...has a better chance of succeeding in all fields affecting other people's opinions and perceptions, and should be allowed to act as such.

This character is socially learned, not socially graceful, in the same way that your low-INT engineer isn't smart. Yes, the character might have a better chance of succeeding than an untrained high-CHR character. But through training, not talent - his innate talent is average.

A few examples: a slightly repulsive dwarf with bad hygiene (low CHR) could give such great reasons for his requests that they tend to be granted (high Diplo mod). A quiet, reserved, and all-around forgettable character (low CHR) could be exceptionally good hiding facial expressions (good bluff), and extra scary when angry - precisely because he doesn't show emotion in other settings (good intimidate). Another character might be excellent at all three primary social skills, but <bad thing> holds him back from being as good as his equally-trained comrades.

This approach is balanced, and it's exactly the way all the other stats work. You can either compensate parts of the stat through skills/feats/etc, or you can actually increase the stat. The choice is yours.

Saying that skills entirely compensate for a low CHR:
A) encourages dumping CHR (more than the mechanics already do)
B) effectively gives 2-4 extra ability purchase points to non-CHR-dependent characters
C) by A, leads to characters who at low levels might as well not get involved in social encounters, railroading players into positions where they don't learn and grow as RPs
D) makes it easier for players to dominate all aspects of table time
E) doesn't bother me at all when scores are rolled ("ooh, you got a 5...that sucks, but you gotta put it somewhere"), but bothers the hell out of me if the player chose his low CHR to boost his STR.

Kaiyanwang wrote:
"Matter mechanically" should be more than a prerequisite.

Was it you earlier talking about how comparatively easy the CE feat is for casters? Whoever that was had better watch out if the magnitude of the benefit is linked to INT. Suddenly wizards practically come standard with CE.

I could get behind putting CE back to 3.5 power, or any of the following changes:

CE: add your INT bonus, or some fraction linked to BAB, to AC (no stacky for Monk)
CE: add your INT bonus, or some fraction linked to BAB, to CMB
CE: use your INT bonus in place of STR or DEX for CMB/CMD

Any of those would alleviate Kaiyanwang's above complaint, but you gotta look out for how much it would help casters (and thus make life worse for fighters).

Or you could hand CE/PA to every fighter (or only those meeting original prereqs), and move ability prereqs to each maneuver. But then people are going to want to trade the CE ability (which they don't want) for a feat that they do, and suddenly we have even more archetypes. The current system allows fighters to either specialize in one style (similar to how rangers have to choose between TWF or ranged), but also gives them the freedom to invest in a bit of everything. It's not so bad.

Seems pretty clear-cut:

Full-round action (spontaneous metamagic spell): Spend actions and spell is cast

1-round casting time: spend actions, but still casting until next turn (you can be interrupted after spending your full-round action). This is what makes it clear: you spend your action, but you still aren't done casting (as proven by the fact that you can be interrupted).

RAW: no. RAI: probably still no, unless a dev chimes in.

I have a theory.

The combat maneuvers fall into one of three categories - maneuvers that can be performed "on-line" (i.e., your weapon threatens the enemy throughout, or at least you take your opponent's weapon out of play as part of the maneuver), "off-line" (i.e. your weapon is temporarily out of play), or "combat as chess" (see below, but I don't think people complain about INT requirements on these maneuvers).

Power Attack-based maneuvers are on-line. You can bull rush, overrun, or drag while threatening with a blade, or you take their weapon offline and do the maneuver with your body. Sunder by definition tries to take the opponent's weapon off-line, doesn't require you to get near the opponent, and needs a horrendous amount of brute force. For these maneuvers, the best defense (the way to prevent the AoO) is a good offense.

Combat-Expertise-based maneuvers are either off-line or "combat as chess" types of moves:

Improved Dirty Trick: While kicking sand might be done on-line, the other examples are pretty clearly off-line.
Improved Disarm: this is the weak link in my theory. Also, I've never tried disarm in RL.
Improved Feint: seeing where to threaten to get more effective and easier feints - combat as chess
Improved Reposition: making the flow of combat take the opponent where you want it - combat as chess
Improved Trip: with a trip weapon, you're taking your focus off-line. Without a trip weapon, this could be an on-line maneuver (similar to bull-rush). My guess is that both types were folded here for simplicity.

Performing an off-line maneuver without creating an opening is HARD. It's not about reflexes, it's about prior planning, anticipation, and prevention. That's where the 13 INT comes in. As for CE itself, consider each maneuver an "upgraded" version of CE - no penalty to one particular combat maneuver, with an infinite AC bonus to the AoO caused by it.

Kamelguru wrote:
The other reason I try to broaden the fields of skills is to be more PC inclusive, since most classes barely get enough skill points to do 2-3 things well at all. If I demand that they sink lots of points into over-specialized skills, I limit them further. I would not be adverse to the idea of having more specialized skills if the number of skill points per level tripled or quadrupled.

I, too, sometimes find myself saddened at the number of skill points for certain classes. *cough*cleric*cough*. My focus isn't punishing those that invest in skills, but striking a balance between those that invest in skills and those that invest in unpopular stats.

Kamelguru wrote:
As for your example, sure, I would use charisma if I just wanted to clear it on the spot, but if it was important or did not detract from the game in general, set up a skill challenge using certain pseudo-relevant skill checks, like Sense Motive to learn how she ticks, Disguise to appear more attractive, and Perform (act) to carry himself well etc. Battle of the bards, I guess.

I'd be 100% behind allowing skills to help that sort of check - maybe an appropriate DC skill check per skill to gain a +1/+2 circumstance bonus on the ability check. That's a cool idea, and a great way to reward players for their skill investments without completely overriding stats. Actually, I really, really like this mechanic, and think it works for a variety of social interactions that aren't fully covered by the skills. I'd say it'd do a much better job than a straight diplomacy check for the horrible seduction scenario we keep bringing up - words just aren't all that play into that scene, though they could certainly help.

Ashiel wrote:
kikanaide wrote: want final modifier to a skill to be the determining factor. (of roleplay)
I'd say that's quite fair.

I can definitely understand this opinion. The main problem I see is that it puts your players in a weird place, RP wise, if they don't invest in all social skills equally.

I still think it's fairly reasonable to ask a player to try to show both his stat and his final score in roleplay. I think that asking it, gently and politely, is backed up by the rules. If it results in players considering picking ability scores based on a concept instead of mechanical min/maxing, I'd consider it a win for everyone at the table.

Mind: there are about 50,000 wrong ways to bring it up. Most of them have to do with frustration, and several of them have been displayed in this thread. And no, I can't fairly require success. Only effort.

Final note: I know Kamelguru and Ashiel both think that the definitions of the stats are flavor text and don't matter. I disagree and have a new argument about that, but I'm out of room for this post.

Cartigan wrote:
It doesn't take a skilled tactician to throw a chain around someone's leg.

From personal experience in period fencing, I'd lay better than even odds that mucking about with a stupid chain is a valid way to provoke an AoO. I'll be the first to admit that fencing isn't the full-on combat model that PF is trying to emulate, though my group does allow off-hand weapons/shields/capes, etc. If someone drops their defense to take a leg shot, I counter with a face shot (as theirs is still coming toward me). And with something as unwieldy as a chain, they're going to give me even more time and opening.

In fencing, trying to do something fancy often forces you to take your weapon "off-line" (meaning take it away from the position where it threatens your opponent). During that time, your opponent has a chance to press you with an attack. I'd never realized just how much that mirrors D&D/PF combat, before now.

Thank you for clarifying.

Are both of you opposed to any feat tax in general (including, say, Endurance being before Diehard), or arguing that specifically in this case that the feats CE lead to are not powerful enough to justify the tax?

Hey folks, good responses on how to handle that challenge! That was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

I like perform(model). I'd also be fine with profession(model), but I'd default to raw CHR for characters untrained in prof(model). Nice explanation, Ashiel, for how WIS could be involved (though personally, I'd imagine CHR to be more important).

Turns out to be a little harder to set this up than I thought. If you all will allow me to retract that question with a "well done, and well answered," I have a separate thought experiment:

For fairness to the sexes, let's imagine two female PC's are competing for a male NPC's attention. Wait, suddenly I don't think this example is a great idea...

Ok, fine, two male PC's are competing for a female NPC's attention. Because they are men, and idiots, they've made a bet. The conditions are this: they aren't allowed to speak to her. They are not allowed to physically approach her, or to attempt to woo her with "feats" of strength or skill. Threatening or forcing the woman in any way is grounds for forfeit (and death), and bribing her with anything other than company is grounds for eternal mocking. She is known to favor attractive men, so the men have decided to compete only with appearance and personal magnetism.

How do you handle it? My contention: raw CHR check. Please discuss.

Kamelguru wrote:
I am generally pro-skill as far as it is reasonable. The only stats I frequently ask for ability checks in is Strength and Constitution (for obvious purposes already described in the rules) and Int/Wis for handing out clues when the players come to a grinding halt, and stare slack-jawed at me.

I can see the pro-skill idea, but do you ever wonder if you're favoring certain stats by requiring checks based on some but not others?

Cartigan wrote:
How do the following combat maneuvers have anything to do with either Combat Expertise or having 13 Int? Because someone at Wizards 10 years ago decided to make a feat tree and now everyone has decided to make the argument "That is how it is, so it is good." None of it makes the remotest amount of sense and is obviously a tax on the feat and the subsequent feat trees.

Cartigan, could you briefly define "feat tax" for me? I'm interested if your definition is:

1) "something that makes it so no one build can do everything,"
2) "crappy feats being used to make a 'powerful' feat cost two feats," (whether or not you agree that the feat in question is powerful)
3) "something that shouldn't require a feat at all, and should be available to all characters"

Edit: Or, of course, 4) something else.

Snorter wrote:

What I should have said was; wild swings are seen as a bad thing on martial PCs.

Because, for some reason, casters are allowed to do exactly that, with no derision, or condecension.

FWIW, YMMV, and all that. But in my experience, the difference is the attitude of the player.

Casters who dump STR/DEX/CON are mechanically guaranteed to be worthless in a lot of situations - melee, antimagic fields, creatures with high SR. The character then tries to avoid these situations, but generally dies if he fails. No one need to feel bad if this happens; the player just lost their gamble. When casters dump STR/DEX/CON, they are "maxmax"ing - maximizing strengths, but also maximizing the weaknesses of the class.

Melee characters who dump INT/CHR suffer from a minor mechanical penalty which is easily offset in a way that a low physical score cannot be. Many players feel the "balance" is that you have to play a dumb/uncharismatic character, based on the concept of ability scores and a plain reading of their definitions. Some players refuse, insisting that it isn't explicitly in the rules (see here if you're strong of stomach). They proceed to "play the role" of a character above average in those attributes, suffering only the small mechanical penalty.

This is "minmax"ing - minimizing weaknesses (through selective reading of text and exploiting points of poor system balance), while maximizing strengths. You'll find little love for this on the boards, or at the table. You'll similarly find little love if a caster complains that his STR/DEX/CON dumped character got ganked in melee.

By contrast, if the player of a melee character actually roleplays ("plays the role of") a low-INT/CHR/WIS character, I've seen very little hatred for dumping stats at the table. He's taken what many consider to be the full penalty, and while it might be boring, it can also be awesome. YMMV.

Edit: Added link to insanity.

Kamelguru wrote:
The only disagreement seems to be progressive (All social interaction can be worked into the three social skills to emulate training/development) vs static (skills cannot be used outside narrow interpretation, using unmodified ability checks instead).

Sure, let's have this discussion now. Ok, let's imagine you have the "luck" to be in a situation where several of your players want to participate in the d20 equivalent of a runway competition. They aren't allowed to speak, they just dress up pretty and stand in the center of the room for a minute, and the audience votes based on applause.

I would call this a social interaction. But it doesn't seem to fall under any skill. I'm pretty darn sure it's not covered under Diplomacy (no talking), and Bluff and Intimidate are laughable. You might make a case for Disguise, but you'd have to use the "fluff" text that you hate so much, and besides, most people in these situations aren't putting their own makeup on anyway... maybe Profession(Model), but I'd like to hear how Wis plays into this at all.

My claim: you default to an ability check.

Please discuss.

Kamelguru wrote:
The only disagreement seems to be progressive (All social interaction can be worked into the three social skills to emulate training/development) vs static (skills cannot be used outside narrow interpretation, using unmodified ability checks instead).

This disagreement remains, 'tis true. The misunderstanding was also there.

I'd be happy to, you know, move that particular topic to its own thread. I've got some examples that I feel might move that discussion forward. Or we could continue it here... not like anyone's less likely to read an entire 20-page thread than they are to read a 14-page thread.

Ashiel wrote:
I agree with you Kikanaide. That's not fair. I would never handwave the checks because of a player's oratory skills, no more than I would handwave a survival check because a player has studied the SAS Survival Handbook, or handwave an attack roll because one of my players is really good at fighting. If this is what you thought I was advocating for, then I apologize, because we've been on the same side and getting peppered with friendly fire.

That is more or less exactly what I thought you'd been arguing for with statements like "why should my stats limit my roleplay?" Looking back, combined with this post, it's more like you want final modifier to a skill to be the determining factor. Is that fair?

I suspect we still have disagreements (in fact I know we do), but it's good to know we don't disagree on that example - that's the one that I feel the most strongly about. Apology accepted, and my apologies for anything I said harshly related to that misunderstanding.

Kamelguru wrote:
How do you go about doing this? I cannot think of a single situation where the rules allow you to act outside your limitations if you apply them properly.

You evidently weren't here earlier in the thread. Baboon had several posts where he described a GM replying to a players "great roleplaying" by handwaving checks the character would have failed, because the player did so well. Even granting circumstantial bonuses (which is allowed by the rules) is pretty cheesy if the character wouldn't have done the action that causes the bonus.

Imagine, for example, if the characters are participating in a storytelling conversation, and the GM asks for roleplay. Everything's going ok until a RL theatre major delivers a spontaneous poem written in iambic pentameter that brings tears to the eyes of every player in the room. Unfortunately, his character is 5 CHR and has no ranks in perform.

It's an awesome story, but was it roleplaying? And if it was, what role was he playing?

BTW: Yes, the GM was wrong too. We've been through that.

@People who talk about how great CE is for Wizards

But then they'd be in melee.

Ashiel wrote:
That's part of building a character based on an idea...You're getting caught up in the metagame. For example, it doesn't matter if a halfling rogue learned Disable Device because he was formally trained, self taught picking locks, or innately gifted with taking apart devices. He might have any combination of ranks, class modifiers, Int modifiers, and/or feats that make his mechanics fit. The character doesn't know what feats and/or favored class bonus they're receiving. The character just knows that they're good at something.

So your opinion is that characters don't know that they've gotten better through practice? That they can't tell the difference between their abilities before they started adventuring and now? They have no idea that they've invested time and energy into acquiring feats? They just have a general sense of how good they are, and no idea of the source? What do you base this opinion on?

My position is this: ability scores represent base ability (talent). You can find that in the book ("...that represent his character's most basic attributes. They are his raw talent and prowess."). Ranks represent training/practice (from the book, "Investing a rank in a skill represents a measure of training in that skill."). Racial bonuses, feats, etc. are more open to interpretation, but a character should know (or could find out) that he's better at these particular skills than other people in his peer group (and/or other skills that he's invested equal training in). Feats probably represent intense training (physical feats seem to).

HP? "Hit points are an abstraction signifying how robust and healthy a creature is at the current moment." So higher HP corresponds to more robustness/health - typically, this would be accomplished through training (self-taught or otherwise).

All in all, this paints a pretty straightforward picture (though I'm sure you'll call the definition of HP "fluff" as you called the definition of CHR). That character put effort into the skill that another character put into combat training. Pure, simple, elegant.

I'll address the rest later, this post is plenty long as it is.

Name Violation wrote:
i dont mind the combat exp. pre-req for maneuvers. it keeps people from min-maxing them to the hits at character creation, or at least makes it harder.

I would lay money that this is the reason it's still there. And I like it for that reason. I'd be fine with removing the feat itself as a pre-req, but I'd prefer the INT pre-req be transferred over to the feats.

I'd say Improved Trip is worth two feats - I've certainly read enough guides built on it to make me think some others agree. And I have a trip fighter in PFS. As Jiggy has said, you can get 13 INT, 18 STR, and 15-16 DEX at level 1 with a 20-point buy, though you do need one mild dump stat.

At first level you can trip like a monster (combat reflexes, combat expertise, improved trip), and hit dang near as hard as those with a 20 STR. After those feats, you're free to pick whatever you want (keeping an eye out for Greater Trip). That's...not that restrictive in my book.

Ashiel wrote:
Keep in mind that if human, you can learn at the same rate as a 10-11 Int human if you put your favored class bonus into skill points. 3 skill points per level isn't terrible, and is plenty to round out a character. However, learning is an interesting thing. The Paladin, for example, might not put as much into learning stuff because she's too busy praying or training for martial combat.

If you put your favored class into skill points, and your GM follows Paizo's controversial (but official) ruling that these things add after INT is applied... yes, you can have the same number of skill points.

You've just mechanically demonstrated putting extra effort to learn the same amount as a normal human. In other words, the character has to make sacrifices (ignoring prowess in combat for the sake of achieving learning in other areas) to hit average performance. That's a learning disability. Especially since, if the points are in INT-based skills, the same investment of points results in a worse chance of success.

Ashiel wrote:
See, my thing is, you're saying that it's weak. I'm saying that it's not your choice to decide. It's the owner of the character who decides why the character suffers their mechanical penalty, or decides how they want to describe their mechanical penalty.

Fair enough. But is it maybe fair for us to ask that it make some kind of sense? That it at least attempts to follow the dictates of reason and logic? I'm not talking nitpicking. I'm talking some level of consistency.

Imagine I walk into your game with a 5-INT character. I describe him as "a super-genius, the likes of which has not walked the earth before or since, simply staggeringly smart, who has instructed generals in the ways of war, invented sheep, and finished school - including academy - by age 4." When pressed (and only when pressed) on why he's got a negative modifier to INT skills, I reply "because his mother was one inch below average height." I answer no further questions on the subject, and unilaterally dismiss any attempt to actually make that make sense or have any game impact aside from a -3 on knowledge skills - which I ignore, because I personally memorized the bestiary and thus, my character did too (after all, he's a super-genius). And this is organized play, so no changing the weaknesses of the monsters just to screw with me.

Do you really keep your stance? Do you really sit there and say "wow, that's a great job of playing your character concept"? There has to be a point where you draw the line. It might be further away than mine, it might be further than everyone else on this board, but I imagine you've got a line.

Ashiel wrote:
But let's say you've got someone who isn't very heavy into the RP aspect..

Let's stop there. If he isn't involved in RP, he's not the person we've been talking about this whole thread - the person who uses "RP" (I put the quotes because I disagree with his definition) to ignore mechanical penalties.

Ashiel wrote:
Especially since none of us are playing it right, last I checked.

An interesting and noble sentiment. But you can do it wrong, and if you don't think you can, I envy you your ignorance. Sometimes it truly is bliss.

Ashiel wrote:
Now, I think most of us with a penalty in an ability score will kind of come up with a reason of our own for that penalty.

That is all I've asked.

I don't care how you play your 5 CHR character, as long as there is something there to explain the negative. That means some form of penalty. I leave a lot of leeway as to what the penalty is, but I prefer that it be:

1) Inherent to the character (not external)
2) Related to the stat

All of what you described would fly just fine at my table. The 7 INT from background (external) is a little weak - by the rules, that character cannot learn as fast or as well as other characters even once the character gets out in the world. Instead of playing catch-up, the character is constantly falling further behind... so it should probably be played more like a learning disability. But if the player was new, or had rolled the score instead of point-bought, I'd be fine with it.

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