zeonsghost's page

*** Pathfinder Society GM. 141 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 21 Organized Play characters.


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2/5 **

When I'm teaching new players or starting experienced players who are new to PFS, I advise that a character build should have three things.

1 Primary Combat trick. At the end of the day, Pathfinder puts emphasis on combat. Have something you want to be doing that contributes to combat. PF2E is a team sport. Things like demoralize, knocking things prone, and flanking help everyone win. And yes, big damage can be your combat trick.

2 Things to do in skill challenges. Pick which skills you're gonna progress ahead of time. It helps to make them do different things. Diplomacy for social challenges, thievery for exploring. Society for urban adventures, Survival for wilderness. If everyone can safely cover two bases, they're in good shape.

3 Backup plans. Know what you want to do when the things you're good aren't working. Have a ranged option, have some way to heal in combat, know what skills you're fine at. Well designed scenarios will try to kick you in the dump stat, know what you'll do about it.

I like firearms, I think they're just a bit shy of where I'd like them to be power-wise. It feels like they were tuned to compete with crossbows (simple weapons) and not composite bows (martial weapons). I've had the most fun with them on classes where it's part of their kit rather than being focused on a weapon. I've got an investigator and a rogue/druid with firearms and it feels good to mix them in when the time is right. I imagine a gun-wielding Thaumaturge would be pretty cool.

As for gunslinger itself. It's...fine. I like the utility the class brings. I love the crafting feats that give a different sort of feel and access to a wide array of damage types. One handed firearm builds seem to have a high floor to access and a low ceiling. The ways are where I think the class loses it for me. They...are kind of boring and feel underwhelming in play. The drifter and pistolero need extra feats on top of the Way to hit class fantasy. The sniper is one and done. The vanguard exists. The spellshot one is cool, but takes up an extra feat with an ability that conflicts with other things it does. The archetype its supposed to go into uses cha where it uses Int.

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2E technology guide?

Shut up and take my Skymetals. I am in.

2/5 **

I signed onto the Organized Play portal to put in sessions for next month's tables and it says I have way more AcP than I did last time I looked at it. Same applies for Starfinder.

Anyone else seeing this?

2/5 **

Psilo Anthro wrote:
Thanks! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have the AP or Adventure boons.

I think those are usually in the download for the sanctioning of that mod or AP. For Scenarios, I think its kinda tough luck.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Amazed how many people want to vehemently punish low WIS or low CON characters but are completely fine with Bulwark for low DEX characters.

How do you justify this ?

It's justified by not having mundane means to create these mechanics. Dex gets away with it by being able to hide behind a reasonable armor trait and having specific limitations to its benefit. You can't reasonably expect to apply the same concept to the other two because they are fundamentally different from physical avoidance.

Isn't the OP's idea that it would be a magic item rather than a mundane item? A worn item or rune represents more monetary and opportunity cost than Bulwark does on Full Plate. Making it work like Bulwark also means its not preferable to just having a good wis/con, it just lets you shore it up in a small area. A low Wis character is still going to be worse at perception and a collection of key skills including medicine. A lower con character is still more likely to go down from just raw damage.

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I don't see a problem making a property rune that fills in Bulwark but for Will and Fort. You could even make it so you can only have of the three on a character. A 5-6th lvl armor property rune would be a sizable investment and you could limit it like Bulwark is limited. So Fort saves only vs. Poison or Will saves only against compulsion-type effects. It opens up a lot ancestries that are otherwise hard to work with because things like Elves are just gonna fail every fort save sent their way. It would even open up some class builds that are a little messy like ranged champions, melee/touch bards, and the oracle class in general.

2/5 **

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As a forever GM, my favorite part is hitting the right mix of challenging a particular group while encouraging them to have fun. Those are the sessions I hear them talk about down the line.

2/5 **

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Jared Thaler - Personal Opinion wrote:

Doing that locally is fine, there is no requirement that a location have a VA. That said, if you are acting as a VA, it would be nice to get you the privileges of being a VA, and depending on the area may also open up additional perks for your players as well.

You should contact your local VL or VC and see about becoming a VA.

At this point, the entire approval pipeline is clearing as fast as it fills, so there should be no issue of "clogging up the pipeline."

As far as the process, you contact your VL or VC, they decide if they want you to be a VA, if so, they fill out a form, submitting your name and contact info. From there, you should receive an email within a month or two (they tend to get processed in batches something like once a month) and then you receive an email with further instructions (which are all very simple.)

Nominal VO duties and responsibilities and rewards can be found at the OPF website but speak to your VO, as they can vary by region. (Also due to Covid, some duties are currently suspended.)

Thank you for the information!

2/5 **

I'm not sure if this is too off topic for the thread, but what/where is the process for becoming a VA and does an area actually need one?

Last month ours got into a shouting match with a player who both pulled from all events and aren't responding to emails. I was the only other regular GM so I've just been putting up events on my own for the area. If just doing that locally is fine as far as the org is concerned, I don't feel the need to fill up their queue with more applications. But if someone is "supposed to be in charge" officially, then I probably should start rolling that ball.

I'm playing in a game with it, ran a game and PFS without it. I look at it as a tool for the game. I think for APs where the power level and threats are inconsistent, it helps give the PCs a boost so they don't feel skunked when the balance is off.

For a home game, I've run without it and the PCs weren't noticeably under-powered and any balance issues were addressed in designing encounters with the party in mind. That said, if I wanted to run a higher power level game, I can see using it.

For PFS, it would blow the balance out of the water. Given the limitations of the scenario design, PCs would have a wide array of resources and options to crack encounters open.

2/5 **

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Blake's Tiger wrote:

If there are enough of them, you might suggest running through modules and APs broken up over short blocks. It's still a time commitment to earn the reward of playing tengu/kitsune/etc at a PFS event, but at least they could be playing a tengu/kitsune/etc during that time.

It is still an equivalent suggestion to "just play more," but they'd be playing what they want to while doing so.

That’s not a bad idea. Probably have to be the right AP for it to be easily broken down into scenario-sized chunks. It’s not as plug-and-play as PFS, but its got potential.

Thank you

2/5 **

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RexAliquid wrote:
zeonsghost wrote:

I don’t think getting RVC involved really would address any of the concerns I’ve received from based on the feedback from VOs and other GMs here. Sorry for wasting everyone’s time.

The RVC is there to address your areas of concern as best they can. Right now, that means giving an ACP boost to your region to accelerate the rewards.

With that boost, five people doing a round-robin GMing the introductory and repeatable scenarios can earn an uncommon ancestry in a single quarter's worth of regular play. All it takes is a little patience, an open mind, and a willingness to work with others.

The players walked, came back, checked in, and walked again. What PFS was about to them and what PFS is about to the plurality of its most vocal members is at odds. I’ve already said in as many ways as I can think of that the “just unlock it” argument hasn’t and isn’t selling it to them. Any suggestion or request for “hey, is there something we can do that isn’t months worth of playing a game that isn’t the one they see as PFS” is continually met with “just unlock it”. I’m not sure why that’s repeated like its going to sell them a year after the book dropped. It didn’t sell them at the height of their renewed interest.

We ran 3-4 tables a week in 1E. 2E starts, we lost two tables worth. One to “its not 3.X anymore, I don’t like it” and one to the “the core options aren’t what I liked about PFS 1.0, I’ll come back when I can play those things again.” That first group is gone and that’s fine. The second group is underserved and I’d have liked to serve them something. I feel like I’ved failed them because there’s no solution that isn’t a months long commitment on their part to a version of the game that isn’t what they saw as PFS when they went hard in 5–6 years ago. They were our store’s most enthusiastic players and supporters because of those options and that’s treated as a lack of commitment now.

2/5 **

I’ve tried to largely stay out of the VC drama, but both former VCs in our area say they’d been removed by leadership. I know there were VLs at some point, but they aren’t involved at this point. It’s a hobby, I presume they just moved on. Mostly, I preferred to see to the local group that played at the store and keep out of the organizational leadership above that as much as possible.

I don’t think getting RVC involved really would address any of the concerns I’ve received from based on the feedback from VOs and other GMs here. Sorry for wasting everyone’s time.

2/5 **

Yeah, that was my first post. Whole thing about a grant so folks (like my furry players) could play the sort of characters that got them into society in the first place.

Which was treated with the same dismissive "just earn it" as everything else I've said after. Which is why I described those posts as "deaf chearleading" because to me, that's what it read like. No explanation, nuance, or examples were met with anything other than "well, they can just unlock it".

To be lumped in with someone else was icing on the cake and the final straw.

2/5 **

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Rysky wrote:
P2 is a lot more than a “revision”, way more than P1 was simply 3.75, it’s not DND 3.9. It’s a whole new rule system.

The Game "Pathfinder Second Edition" is basically a new game.

The "Pathfinder Society Organized Play Campaign" is a narrative continuation which builds on stories and characters that were present in the original. It wasn't a reboot with new characters and a reset timeline.
Often one that expects someone to explain to you who or what something or someone is. While its understandable that you can't play an previous incarnation of an option before a new one releases, once that update is out it becomes glaring when what was once openly available becomes restricted. Imagine if they locked an updated class in the same way they locked a previously available to all ancestry.

For example, lets say your favorite class was Oracle (which I believe was among the most popular 1E classes). You played one in 1E into Seeker content, maybe played a few more to try out other mysteries, and you bought a brand new copy of the APG to play the new Oracle in the new system. You go to your local PFS group to make one and the GM has to tell you "no, you have to play weekly for half a year or GM for 3 months before you can play one."

How is locking out a previously always available ancestry option any different than that? I mean, anyone can be a cursed divine conduit imbued with cosmic power (a common class) but you can't be a bird person from a nation full of bird people that you previously could be (because its tagged Uncommon).

2/5 **

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Richard Lowe wrote:
zeonsghost wrote:

For one example, in 1E we could run a whole table of Nagaji and Kitsune back in the day from just the number of furries who used to come around. When 2e came out and it was back to the basics, they tried it out and moved on to something else. To them, that was a big part of Pathfinder Society that was removed and then re-added with restrictions. I don't think treating them as people who weren't invested is fair.
Very true! But that was the result of 10 years of content, much of that open access to ancestries was the result of things that occurred in the Society scenarios, the Lantern Lodge storyline for example. We already are seeing reduced costs for races due to how scenarios turn out (leshies for example), is that not following the same path? Comparing what access was available after 10 years of opening things through story to where PF2 is now seems unfair to say the least.

Stories and content that have already played out and introduced them to the Society and were available to all players for 5 years. If that was the thing that brought you to Society (and lordy it was a lot of folks in our area) it being locked behind a large time commitment remains a hard sell. Those options are in the game again, have been for a year, and I'd love to tell players who check in "hey, can I play a Tengu again" something other than "play twenty games first".

2/5 **

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Richard Lowe wrote:

The simple facts are that without GMs no Society games get run, and lots more people prefer to play then to GM. Putting ancestries behind AcP and offering increased AcP to GMs is simply a lever, one that helps swing things towards increasing the number of people who GM without removing such options from the reach of players.

I suspect that many of the people asking for freer access to ancestries haven't tried to organise cons or regular game nights, and that's fine! But... it's hard, getting enough GMs to cover everyone who wants to play is tough, if something like AcP can be used to help (and it does) without stopping others from getting the same thing (such as the way old con race boons worked, where realistically only a tiny portion of the player base ever got them) then that's a win.

Could there be a better way? Very possibly! But removing levers that help organisers to ensure games get run is not it.

I can't speak for others on here, but I currently help organize tables for our local group with a couple other GMs. In the bi-monthly event I play as a PC, I basically can buy whatever's my fancy by the time it comes up if I want to make something new. I'm advocating for greater access on behalf of current, potential, and former players based on their feedback.

For one example, in 1E we could run a whole table of Nagaji and Kitsune back in the day from just the number of furries who used to come around. When 2e came out and it was back to the basics, they tried it out and moved on to something else. To them, that was a big part of Pathfinder Society that was removed and then re-added with restrictions. I don't think treating them as people who weren't invested is fair.

2/5 **

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Thanks for everyone's help.

Due to some shuffling schedules, it was hard to talk to everyone involved.

Sounds like it was one GM who was running it the "Spend before you know" way a la 1E and a miscommunication as to when it changed. The info in this thread is going to go a long way to restoring peace in our area.

Thank you all!

2/5 **

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Mark Stratton wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:

Here's my conceptual cost suggestion:

20 AcP - regularly interact with humans on Avistan, prolific versatile heritages (e.g., geniekin)
40 AcP - regularly interact with humans on other continents
60 AcP - small pockets of sociable/curious ancestry on Avistan, less prolific versatile heritages (e.g., tieflings)
80 AcP - reclusive or homebody ancestry on Avistan, small pockets of sociable/curious ancestry on other continents
120 AcP - reclusive ancestry or homebody on other continents, rare versatile heritages
160 AcP - universally rare ancestries, normally xenophobic ancestries
200 AcP - mythical ancestry (being a human and encountering one is a story to tell your grandchildren)

Then, of course, cool-factor tax as needed.

I'm not going to venture my thoughts as to where I think existing ancestries might go beyond the couple of versatile heritage examples above because we'd all probably disagree about at least one and it's not up to me. However, if your hope and dream is to make a character with an ancestry that normally avoids humans and/or doesn't like danger (goloma), it's not going to be easy to get your hands on it.

You know what I might be amenable to is a boon that doesn’t necessarily unlock an ancestry directly, but lowers its cost by a category or two or three based on the scenario.

So, for example - Anadi are from Garund and generally reclusive. So, under your list, that would strike me as 120 ACP. But, let’s say you play a scenario that takes part in Garund and/or involves Anadi. Successfully completing the mission might allow you to unlock it at 80 ACP instead. in some ways, that’s like the discount you get for a Shoony if you played at least 1 book of Extinction Curse.

I mean, for me, that’s still not ideal, but it gets a step closer and does so without totally unbalancing the rarities.

I think having boons like that is a good idea. Both as a way to introduce new people to the particular ancestry. I know what little starfinder I've played had the PF core species as boons that let you play them in addition to the SF core options and I thought it was a neat way to handle it.

2/5 **

I started an automata today to celebrate my first time getting to play a PC in a while. There was definitely some rules questions I and the GM went over before we started just so we were all on the same page. I don't think its unreasonable to gate stuff like that, even if the more streamlined ancestries are made more accessible. I think this benefits newer players and GMs. I have definitely played with longtime society members who would bring the stereotypical power gamer, with a rare ancestry and using options from multiple sources and a bad attitude. I'd rather not overwhelm a new GM with everyone having access to things like the constructs, Skinwalker, or Stryx that fundamentally bend the rules of the game. Our local group has a small pool of GMs that rotate through and I can't see getting someone to try it if they had to deal with some of the corner case options.

That isn't to say that all rare ancestries fall into that category, but for those that are outside the normal bounds of play, I get having a solid gate.

I mean, otherwise I think we need to lower the bar to ancestry options. Its one of the best features of the system and they've added a ton of cool stuff.

2/5 **

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:
I don't mind the current AcP costs because I think I understand their pricing system--not because I'm overflowing with AcP; I'm primarily PbP so accrual is slow--but if they adjusted, maybe spreading the races out over more layers (20, 40, 60, 80, 120, 160, 200).

Okay, now that is an interesting concept, especially if Organized Play moved kitsunes, iruxi / nagaji and tengus to the 20 ACP area. As races that were freely available in PF1, I'd like to see them with a cheaper price tag in PF2. The only issue is that if we had that price structure, I'm betting that pixies and poppets would be at the 200 mark because they have so much player appeal. And we'd still be having this conversation every few months.

One of my issues is that no matter what price tag we set, the rarest and most expensive races will always be seen as desirable, because its human nature to hanker after what we cannot have. I expected to see a lot more goblins in Organized Play when they became common, and instead I see far more dwarves and elves. Even though the race has awesome and weird ancestry feats and is a ton of fun!


I think in the case of the current 160 AcP options, many of them are mechanically unique in some ways. Pixies being tiny, the 4 constructs having unique rules, Beastkin kind of just changing how a character works, etc. I think 160 is probably a good number so that a certain amount of system mastery is earned, which benefits both players and GMs in the timeframe we have for scenarios.

In my opinion the idea of an 80 AcP grant works as the best of both worlds. If you are playing Pathfinder because you want to play an ancestry, in most cases its available to a new player. In the cases its not, they're much closer. For players who want to play Core options, they have access to the wide array of boons that essentially get ignored in pursuit of ancestry boons. For GMs, there's still plenty of rewards beyond the grant. If the increased rate past the grant isn't enough, maybe further rewards based on Glyphs earned or the ability to access boons based on Glyphs.

It means that for folks who want to see what Pathfinder has to offer, they can do that more easily. For folks who want to keep the more extreme ancestries limited, not every player is going to use the grant for an ancestry, it gives them more points spend on other boons. Also solves the "well, I could play XYZ in PFS v1" as if Kitsune is their jam, they get back to annoying me with Foxes.

The only points I'd advocate adjusting for in a universe with the grant would be the non-rare versatile heritages. Pay just as much for half the options. If I were to suggest a price-frame I'd say 20 for the Genie-kin, 40 for Aligned-planar Scions, 120 for Beast-kin, and 60 for the rest. Genie-kin were established allies and members of the society and the plot of a whole season.

2/5 **

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Donald wrote:
Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Exceptional situations should not dictate rules, but be foundations for exceptions to the rules.
I missed the part where we decided what are exceptional situations and what is normal and/or average for everyone.
We did not, I did. I was expressing my view on how to handle exceptional situations.

What are the odds that you're probably gonna play and run regardless? That lot of bits next to that name of yours tell me you're not going anywhere if they increased the access. So you're pushing for nothing to the benefit of no one, in a way that doesn't effect if you will or won't play in the event any of the suggested changes were made.

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Rysky wrote:

“This is pretty hyperbolic.”

I wasn’t talking about power.

“Sure, we can buy whatever participation trophies we want and flex on newbies and folks with lives.”

Insults aren’t swaying.

My intention wasn't to insult. Sorry if it came off that way. It was meant as an expression of a pattern of "I got mine" I see from hardcore society members.

Doesn't change the point that huge swaths of the ancestry and heritage system are effectively inaccessible, locking players to a collection of options that are largely an artifact of a different game.

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
All of my previous points being said, I'm full in favor of an AcP/Boon gifting system.

While I do agree 100% that's a good idea, some kind of starting ACP grant is probably more fair and be something nice to show off to new players after guiding them through navigated this not remotely intuitive website. While that system might be abuse-able to just making new accounts, nothing stops someone from just making 4 accounts and giving themselves enough GM credit to get whatever they want as it is.

My stance has been "make access easier and show off what makes Pathfinder unique" not "Monte Hall's All Sprite and Stryx Christmas Special".

2/5 **

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Rysky wrote:

I’m not dismissing your complaints, I’m disagreeing with your push to have the whole campaign system completely changed to suit you, when that would affect everyone as well, so that has to be taken into consideration.

This is pretty hyperbolic. Outside of some narrow examples, ancestries are pretty standardized in terms of power level or mechanical complexity. Within the narrative, very few scenarios are altered by the presence of particular ancestries. At tables I GM (and that's 90% of what I do) the most ancestry related topic that comes up is if the party needs a light source in a given situation. Outside of power gamers (who in my experience play humans or dwarves in 2E), ancestry is largely a personal flavor choice.

Making Orcs, Catfolk, or Gnolls more accessible doesn't "have the whole campaign system changed completely". It lets someone who really likes something that's pretty well integrated jam out with their friends in a casual tabletop game. It's no skin off my back either way, I prefer GMing anyways. I want my players to have fun playing Pathfinder. This try-hard, serious business attitude is a big buzz kill. Sure, we can buy whatever participation trophies we want and flex on newbies and folks with lives. Or we could just do something to give them a taste of what Pathfinder has that isn't ripped off from times when AC counted down.

Society isn't the old HackMaster Association, with competitive module tournaments and prizes for the winners. It's advertised as a low commitment, easy to pick up way to play Pathfinder. Then again, you could play a cannibal elf out of the core book in that with no questions asked, so maybe it was less hardcore than what's supposed to be the casual, come as you are, public game system.

2/5 **

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
zeonsghost wrote:
Not everyone is in the situation to be in a home game, either because of their schedule, location, or life circumstance.

I hear this often and it makes me wonder. How are you able to play society and not a home game?

Are people aware that they can play society scenarios home-game style? The downside is that they don't get society credit. The upside is that there can be no restrictions (ancestry, class, archetype, access, rarity).

Just some examples from our local society group:

1. Irregular work schedule, such as IT or manufacturing work. It makes home games very difficult to participate in. Society is plug and play with no penalty for missing sessions. It was perfect for me working 6-7 days a week.

2. New to town. Just got someone who moved to the area and saw our events on the local store's calendar. Doesn't know anyone in town outside their spouse. Big Pathfinder fan, doesn't have the social structure to just "join a home game".

3. Parent and kids. We've got someone who runs and plays PFS with their kids. He does it for his kids. He can play with them when they've got time in their school schedules. Some family time with minimal schedule and time commitment. (as an aside, one of the kids is a very good society GM).

4. Geographically isolated. We've got folks who drive in 30+ minutes to our games from suburbs or rural areas. We've had a couple drive longer than hour because that's where gaming was. With that distance, its hard to commit to a home game.

5. Don't want a regular group. A home group comes with some social dynamics some folks don't want to deal with.

6. Not comfortable in the homes of strangers. We've had some women in our group over the years who love Pathfinder but aren't comfortable being invited into homes by random folks.

No reason to hold that against those folks or lock them into 80 hours of Lord of the Rings knock-offs to play something original.

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

I don't mean this maliciously, if you want freedom of choice, play a home game. The reasoning for the restrictions are not some arbitrary whim. The restrictions are placed with deliberation and intention. If you disagree (*shrug*) sorry. It happens.

Not everyone is in the situation to be in a home game, either because of their schedule, location, or life circumstance. The official Paizo campaign having a narrow slice of playable options available for ancestries and a whole caged off mechanic in Versatile Heritage is counterintuitive.

That's not to say everything should be available, but it'd be nice to play something less Gygaxian in the year 2021 without having to put in as much time as it takes to beat a longer video game. People talk about Paizo's vision, but in the ancestry column, we're still playing out of the AD&D books. I get that for some folks, they don't want new things but letting a few more toys in at a rate shorter than a decent Mass Effect run seems like a good idea.

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

Maybe it is me, but it defeats the concept of an ancestry being uncommon or rare if they are easily accessible or even accessible (respectively). If an ancestry only really exists in the Mwangi, why would there be a plethora of that ancestry Pathfinders?

I guess I'm weird with wanting a thematic and immersive setting.

I think "less restricted" doesn't mean "not uncommon". The society has lodges around the world and previously had PCs of 15 always available options at the end. Post reboot we have 8, and one of which is unique to Pathfinder (the Leshy). PFS is a marketing tool for the game. The ancestry system is a strong seller. Making more parts of that feature available for PFS is a good way to build interest.

Paizo dropped the best splat-book I've read in a decade and none of the ancestries are legal without 40 hours minimum of GMing. It's not like there's a lack of adventures set in and around the Mwangi. Not making one ancestry option out of there legal or easier to access is leaving money on the table for folks who just play PFS while keeping folks locked into a set of rote options.

It also contradicts the idea that the society is a global organization, which we saw with Kitsune, Nagaji, Tengu, and Wayang in 1e. I'm not sure how Ifrit or Kitsune is more immersion breaking in 2e than it was in 1e. Neither feel less thematically fitting than a party of illiterate pyromaniacs which we're all subject to dealing with.

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I believe the Grand Bazaar book is laid out with each chapter being a different store and each boon corresponds to one of those stores. I'd check which section the item you're interested in is in to find the corresponding store and boon.

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NightTrace wrote:

Then make a cost for the Rare ones, but make it accessible still.

One of the biggest things 2E has going for it compared to competitors is the Ancestries.

It feels like a self own at this point.

Two Votes. Paizo has put out a collection of very cool and unique ancestry options. It's a shame that if one of them is what draws someone to Pathfinder, unless its exactly a Leshy you'll have to play something else for months to even start it once.

For rare things or out of genre things like Android, I get making that something you have to work for. For everything else, its number two thing I've seen turn new players off after learning a new system that isn't 3.X or 5e. If want to play a simple system and a Tiefling, I can go up the road on Sundays and play DDAL. I'd rather not, but I'd like something to work with to expand our turnout.

Heck, I've gotta sit down and explain ACP to new or returning players and how to get into the website to spend them half the time as it is. If there was a carrot at the end of that for them, all's the better. Here's an ACP grant to buy even a selection of ancestry or heritage options. Now that I think about it, while I've seen ancestry boons on the regular at this point, I've never seen a versatile heritage boon at my table.

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I definitely think the ACP costs could use some tuning down for ancestries just given the playtime required to open them up once.

At 4 points/session and about 4 hours a session its 40 hours at a minimum for a player to unlock Lizardfolk, 80 hours for the bulk of them, and 160 at the high end. GMs get there in fewer sessions, but also put in more work. That is a lot of hobby hours to get one shot to play one thing and if I know potential players who either quit after 1E ended production or shortly into 2E because after years of the same core species, playing another one just didn't have any appeal.

On top of that ACP is the currency for things like treating conditions, faction rewards, and death recovery which used to be tied to a character resource. I've put my fair share of PCs in the ground as a GM in 2E and not one of them has gotten out their phone to see if they could buy a Raise Dead boon. Dead PCs just stay dead now. Which reminds me, I need to schedule repeatables for January again.

As to suggested fixes:

1. Your first Uncommon Ancestry/Heritage boon is free or you get a free one once a year (maybe to celebrate New Years or GenCon).

2. Ancestry boons unlock the ancestry to your account, not just a specific character. You really like Orcs, play Orcs. I think this encourages more interesting play as folks with ancestry boons aren't gonna be as precious with them.

3. A free raise boon when your character hits a certain faction reputation level. Reward players for hitting secondary objectives and playing faction scenarios.

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Idea: The Field Commander
The Look: Orc woman in full plate, wielding a long spear with a large bird perched on her shoulder.
Concept: A veteran soldier among warriors who prepares to win the battle before weapons are even drawn.
The Class: Fervor Witch with the Sentinel Archetype. They use magic to control the battlefield and support allies while striking at foes as needed.

Idea: The Professor
The Look: An Elf, dressed in well-made but worn out clothing. They are well-kept and don't seem all that unusual, save for calloused hands.
Concept: A anthropology professor with a past in applied science.
Class: Ranger with a Hand Crossbow who applies their wide array of knowledge to deal with threats to students.

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Paizo will never let wizards have simple weapon proficiency. Wizards have no time to train with anything but that list as they are too busy learning magic in a superior fashion to others to learn all simple weapons.

If a druid can learn how to work a crossbow between editions, a wizard can learn to use a spear (which is different from a staff because someone sharpened one end).

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Squiggit wrote:

Yeah, it really doesn't seem to add much except make it slightly harder to build something that isn't even very good (and therefore not in need of extra hurdles) to begin with.

I'd go a step further and say in general Paizo made proficiency unnecessarily expensive but that's another topic.

zeonsghost wrote:

That said, for the sake of ease of use and consistency, having one class for whom weapons profs work completely outside the "simple/martial/advanced/unarmed" paradigm definitely feels like an artifact and not one that has a positive impact on class balance.

One minor correction, it's not just wizards. Rogues and Bards have a similar issue with being proficient in only some martial weapons (and similarly, it makes it weirdly problematic for them to use certain weapon for basically no good reason).

Technically Gunslinger and Fighter too, but it's more like a special class feature for them since it's proficiency above and beyond everyone else.

Rogue, Bard, and the like at least list Simple among their assets. I think its fine to be Simple + X (for things like favored weapon, etc). They're using a modified paradigm where wizard is just like "Club, stick, dagger, dart. Welcome to 1980"

EDIT: sorry, "Club, Stick, Dagger, and Crossbows." I guess too many wizards lost eyes between classes playing lawn darts.

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Given the proficiency system, if they were trained in all advanced weapons it still wouldn't impact balance a ton standing your 6 HP/level, unarmored goober up there. Though it would make for a fun univeralist wizard.

That said, for the sake of ease of use and consistency, having one class for whom weapons profs work completely outside the "simple/martial/advanced/unarmed" paradigm definitely feels like an artifact and not one that has a positive impact on class balance. Giving them simple makes it easier to teach to new players, easier for record keeping, and if someone wants to make a weapon wizard its not comically hard to do.

I'm having an issue with this class and determining what makes it unique. It feels like three goblins in a trenchcoat pretending to be an investigator. It's gimmick might be more interesting if my players weren't the sort that just regularly bring golf bags full of things to handle weaknesses. As a knowledge character it feels like its only knowledgeable in the exact moment of a fight. Even though it lets you prepare it with research it seems like the ability to use esoteric antithesis falls off if you if you use Find Flaws in a preceding encounter.

It's ability to add damage to something without a weakness limits its support abilities and stack weirdly with Implement Empowerment. You get damage on top of damage in a class that's a step behind other martial characters in hit chance. The theme sections read like "this is the guy who knows how to fight rare creatures" but it seems like you'll struggle to hit in those situations. Comparing it to the investigator (as the other big "know stuff" class) if that's the guy you've got Pursue a Lead tagged on, you're more likely to hit and know their weaknesses.

Comparing it to the things my players normally bring to the table it looks like a hitter that can't hit, a knowledge character who doesn't know anything, and a support character who can't support. GMing for it, I'm not sure what advice to give players.

If I had to propose a fix, make wisdom its key score and swap one of the damage buffs to some kind of hit fix. Everything about "right tool for the job" class screams wisdom to me. Maybe make the antithesis apply an AC penalty to the target if it doesn't have a weakness. Something like the ranger's knowledge feats might work?

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David knott 242 wrote:
zeonsghost wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
I dunno, I'd say the thread where we saw customer service's response times and queue depth drop significantly while working from home is a very good evidence point that they can do their job more efficiently from the office.

Do you know what really hampers response times?

When your staff is off with covid for 2+ weeks.

I can’t imagine they want to pay for testing, cleaning, and more workspace to accommodate best practice safety. Things are as bad as they were last winter. If they can work for home, my coworkers in the ER would appreciate if they continue to do so.

Is Washington actually that much more dangerous than New Jersey at the moment? I suspect that I may actually be at greater risk in this regard than the Paizo folks are.

But most of these issues do seem to involve the tradeoff between spending a certain amount of money now vs. incurring an ever growing risk of truly catastrophic losses later. For example, Paizo never took the obvious step of upgrading their phone system once it became obvious that they would not have everyone back in the office after a month or so. If they had taken care of that, then they would be under less pressure to get the CS folks back in the office.

From what I understand they've got spikes like most of the country and are receiving overflow cases from nearby states that exist in healthcare deserts. Being a good employer and a good citizen means they should have done that or found a workaround. It's not like the whole world hasn't had to make do.

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Cori Marie wrote:
I dunno, I'd say the thread where we saw customer service's response times and queue depth drop significantly while working from home is a very good evidence point that they can do their job more efficiently from the office.

Do you know what really hampers response times?

When your staff is off with covid for 2+ weeks.

I can’t imagine they want to pay for testing, cleaning, and more workspace to accommodate best practice safety. Things are as bad as they were last winter. If they can work for home, my coworkers in the ER would appreciate if they continue to do so.

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Anorak wrote:

The pointy that is getting lost because people being people is that Sara was fired. This may or may not be without cause. In response Diego stepped down as well. Price, as her way, has made this about her instead about Sara.

That is why I am here. To Support Sara and Diego as well as pushing for positive changes/improvements of Paizo. The Stuff with Price is old news and the fish keeps growing in size with each retelling.

As for Jeff, he isn;t homophobic but could be transphobic. Is he? I don;t have any clue. Crystal has aired her grievances. I also don;t like seeing Lulu quietly leaving and hinting it was due to systemic trans related issues.

Definitely seems like a concerted effort to keep it off questions regarding the treatment of CS staff and on someone who seems to be a controversial figure. Firings and departures before your biggest PR days of the year scream mismanagement at the very least. If there's a pattern of transphobia that becomes clearer, my halt on purchases will become a stop.

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keftiu wrote:
Has anything been said about the allegations re: trans individuals being barred from convention attendance/having issues getting hotel rooms? That one has me pretty concerned.

No, the conversation keeps getting driven back to Jessica. All the employment decisions(how this whole thing started) and other concerns have basically been binned in favor of redoing that fight every couple of hours.

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Andy Brown wrote:

He did kind of talk around that one, where he's saying he felt his team was being treated badly, which resulted in them not working effectively with other departments.

I note both Erik and JB point out how hard it is to prove a negative in these cases; not suggesting there's a coordinated response going on or anything...

They'd be stupid not be coordinated. Not gonna say they'd rather talk about developer issues where there's "nothing to prove" than their CS leadership's ongoing ineptitude.

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Guntermench wrote:
GGSigmar wrote:
Can we focus on the topic at hand (Sara's termination)?
She got fired. It sucks, but it happens. If that's all there was to focus on, this wouldn't be a thing, it would (generally) be the Jeremy Clarkson "Oh no... Anyway" meme and this thread wouldn't have almost 600 posts. Or exist probably.

They bring in a new CS manager who fires a well-known staffer, causes at least one other departure, and does this all before GenCon. Folks get fired all the time sure, but it takes a certain amount of ineptitude to clean house before your busiest time of the year. There's a reason WotC fires everyone after X-mas, because no one is paying attention. Putting someone like that in charge of your public facing department speaks to ineptitude up the chain.

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The Painted Oryx wrote:

All these people saying "I'm cancelling all my subscriptions"

I get that we don't want to support the upper leadership of Paizo but there are so many talented and amazing people working for Paizo, the writers and game designers, customer service people, artists etc.

If we cancel Paizo as a whole and stop buying their products, we also make the jobs of the good people more precarious. Not everyone is able of having a Patreon full of content we can support. Paizo as a company provides opportunities to a lot of people. I'm hoping that the company can make a big change because they have done a lot of good in the gaming industry just by being so inclusive with the products they make, if not the company environment itself.

How much of their staff are freelancers that have finished their work on a product by time we see it? Paizo's already let them go chase their literal next meal. A sizable portion of the people who gave Paizo its good name aren't on the payroll as employees to begin with. The folks cancelling today have already paid those people. If the company is concerned about getting those sales back and keeping those jobs, its on them to act.

I feel bad for the people outside leadership whose creativity and passion are being abused and exploited. If they are willing to use them as a shield, it only proves they're trading on the good work and faith of others.

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kayman wrote:

I understand the sadness of seeing such a dear employee get fired in this way. This is one of the reasons why I chose the public service (In Brazil, civil servants have job stability) . But unfortunately this situation is inherent in the capitalist mode of production. That said, what amazed me about this whole situation is Jessica Price's statements regarding Erik Mona, Jason Bulhman, etc.

I ask again.
Is it true that Paizo's Publisher is a Nazi? (Yes that was her intention in associating, in 2021, Theosophy with Nazism).
Is Paizo's President a Homophobe?
If these accusations are true I can't continue playing Pathfinder. But what if they aren't? Are we not committing a terrible injustice?

That's what we'd like to know. I don't think the company's response answers anything.

I think on Theosophy and occultism as it relates to Nazis, that's hard to say. He's definitely been forward about his interest in 19th and 20th century occultism. It's definitely something that can raise red flags if someone knows those connections. I think both can be acting honestly even if they have different versions of events.

I think homophobia is a tougher question. Current employees have said they've not experienced that. Former ones say they had while they worked for Paizo. Both can be true. People change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I think the responses posted by him are a bad look. "Some of my friends are X" is never a good response to criticism because if nothing else it makes you look like the sort of person who uses their friends as human shields.

I think there's no terrible justice asking for transparency or withholding spending pending more information. Given their public presentation, its not unreasonable to ask how true that image is.

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Ruzza wrote:
kayman wrote:

I must ask again.

What is the end goal?

Put paizo out of business.

I don't know anyone that wants that. I would like these problems addressed openly and honestly. I would like people who are in positions of power who have worked to undermine and belittle those under them to be held accountable. I would like to see problems addressed and real change made.

Paizo has shown (at least publicly) that it is capable of making positive change.

I think that's what most people want. Odds are we want to like Paizo, otherwise we wouldn't be here. It would be nice if they did the minimum to make that easy.

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Guntermench wrote:
Pinstripedbarbarian wrote:

Gotta love the conflicting trolls in this thread.

One demands you do NOTHING to support a company if you have any problem with them regardless of circumstance or context.

The other seems to ignore or refuse to believe in the long history boycotting, voicing concern with monetary repercussions, and anything else mildly related to management-employee-customer relations and resolutions.

Can you lot just fight amongst yourselves for a while and just send the winner back? It'd be easier for all of us.

If a company loses that many subs in a single day, in response to an issue that a bunch of its customers are complaining about, that's the customers' statement. They have every right to make it. The company's reactions (or lack thereof) are the response. That's dialog between customers and a business. If customers demand better conditions for the employees and the company reacts by saying nothing and then firing a bunch of those employees, how does that make them look?

Anyway, back to this actual thread: yeah that response absolutely sucks. It addresses nothing. There's a lot of testimonial stuff floating around right now from a lot of sources, and the official paizo response boils down to "Did not!"

Seriously, the public doesn't have a lot to go on in an official capacity, but that tactless response seems better at supporting the accusations than defending against them.

It's basically a he said she said. There is no real response that can be made that will sate the bloodthirsty masses, other than apparently the resignation of multiple staff, even if they're innocent of what they've been accused of.

The response sucks but what the hell else were you expecting?

But its not "he said, she said". It's a lot of people saying things that largely overlap and all follow a similar trend to most tales of mismanagement. On the other end, a guy saying less than nothing. From within Paizo we've seen a better, more thought out response in the form Eric Mona's post on Reddit than the official non-response.

If they're going to sell themselves as inclusive company, they need to be able to prove it better than falling back behind "some of my best friends are X" as a shield if they expect to not get blowback when something comes out.

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Ripley Riley wrote:
Better plan would have been to remain silent. Let the internet rage machine tire itself out. Twitter will move on to the next nontroversy in a week.

Sure, if you think Paizo has the attention of the greater whole of Twitter discourse. I'd bet my bookshelf nobody outside of Paizo fans and maybe some of the larger TTRPG community has even heard about it, much less cares. Most of the D&D community seems tied up in some Critical Role thing. So outside of here, a couple of hashtags, and a handful of discords, nobody cares.

It follows that every sub cancellation is lost money that was guaranteed direct sales. Every lost PFS GM represents lost sales in scenarios, maps, minis, books, and the good will built by engaged GMs. Every beloved employee or freelancer is talent that at best represents lost production value and passion. Every content creator who doesn't wanted to be associated with the brand after silence in the face of multiple accusations is a huge loss in free advertising.

Good will is hard to earn, harder to keep. Silence just confirms that everything damning thing was true to their strongest supporters.

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Davick wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jeff Alvarez wrote:
Accusations that I have used offensive slurs about members of the staff are categorically FALSE. Many LGBTQIA+ members of the Paizo staff are close friends of mine, and I would never talk that way about anyone on our staff or in our community.
Sir, the issue is no matter what, you are only bringing bad publicity to Paizo now. Your empty statement doesnt talk about any actionable steps you or the rest of Paizo are going to take, just what you have done, and one of the allegations is that of taking credit while pushing back on those same ideas. Even if the allegations are false, the doubt will linger in people's minds. When this happens the company needs some kind of change to restore faith. Whether that is an independent investigation of all the claims with transparent reporting of the findings, or a change in leadership that is considered problematic at this time by public perceptions.
Not that I think it's relevant in this situation, but the idea that someone needs to resign over accusations because doubt may linger is a really bad one.

What people are looking for with a resignation is accountability.

As Jeff's presented no plan of action or clarification, then the call for replacements and resignations won't go away quickly with a boiler plate denial and defaulting to "some of my friends are gay".

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Jeff Alvarez wrote:
Accusations that I have used offensive slurs about members of the staff are categorically FALSE. Many LGBTQIA+ members of the Paizo staff are close friends of mine, and I would never talk that way about anyone on our staff or in our community.

Can you get them to issue a statement backing that up?

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