Tiers & Character Levels


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Scarab Sages

-so confused on necro thread that's not linked-

Ok, if I was the low level player in that situation and the gentleman with the high level sat down at the table with low levels...

As a player I would kindly smile and say "I'm sorry, but the majority of us are low level and if we play at the tier your character would cause this session to be, you're committing suicide as well as killing all of us." Then I'd do a head tilt and simply add "I really don't like the idea of dieing and causing you to die because my character isn't as strong as yours, I can leave since I seem to have a problem with the situation... but no matter what, your character is dead in this leveled group. The only difference is mine won't be."

And leave the choice to the guy to remain or go. If he chooses to remain, I go.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Mystic Lemur wrote:


More importantly, if a character dies, they are reported as dead immediately. You cannot keep playing with them.

Mystic Lemur, are you sure about that? Let's say I play at a table where the GM has understood that we have to assign pre-gen credit to PCs before (rather than after) the scenario. I play a 7th-level Valeros in "Terror Under Alkenstar," a Tier 7-11 scenario, and give the credit to my 2nd-level witch. Valeros dies and, having no prestige and only 45 gold, can't be raised.

I had understood that the Chronicle for "Terror Under Alkenstar" would be applied, good or ill, to my witch once she finishes 6th level. It shouldn't be possible for a 2nd-level PC to die in a Tier 7-11 scenario.

--

Deviant Diva,

So you would tell the guy with the high-level PC to take a hike.

Would it make a difference if he had driven 90 miles to the game? Would it make a difference if he'd signed up (on Warhorn, say) before you had?

Grand Lodge *****

Chris,

Unless things have changed in the last few weeks, if you are playing a pre-gen that dies permanently, then you have two options:

1. Report the character that was going to get the Chronicle sheet as dead (immediately).

Or

2. Assign the Chronicle instead to a brand new level 1 PC that has 0 XP which is then marked as dead.

*****

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Don Walker wrote:

Chris,

Unless things have changed in the last few weeks, if you are playing a pre-gen that dies permanently, then you have two options:

1. Report the character that was going to get the Chronicle sheet as dead (immediately).

Or

2. Assign the Chronicle instead to a brand new level 1 PC that has 0 XP which is then marked as dead.

This is still the case Don. There is a FAQ describing the options for a dead pregen.

Silver Crusade **

DeviantDiva wrote:

-so confused on necro thread that's not linked-

Ok, if I was the low level player in that situation and the gentleman with the high level sat down at the table with low levels...

As a player I would kindly smile and say "I'm sorry, but the majority of us are low level and if we play at the tier your character would cause this session to be, you're committing suicide as well as killing all of us." Then I'd do a head tilt and simply add "I really don't like the idea of dieing and causing you to die because my character isn't as strong as yours, I can leave since I seem to have a problem with the situation... but no matter what, your character is dead in this leveled group. The only difference is mine won't be."

And leave the choice to the guy to remain or go. If he chooses to remain, I go.

Here's the thing: one higher level is very unlikely to drag the whole group up. Five second level characters and a level five end up being APL 2.5, which the party could round down to 2. Admittedly, One level 5, one level 3, and four level 2's will do the trick. However, in seasons 0-3 you have numbers advantage, and seasons 4-5 you get the 4 player adjustment. If a couple of those level 2's are martial or pet classes, you are are probably doing okay.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Don Walker wrote:

Chris,

Unless things have changed in the last few weeks, if you are playing a pre-gen that dies permanently, then you have two options:

1. Report the character that was going to get the Chronicle sheet as dead (immediately).
Or
2. Assign the Chronicle instead to a brand new level 1 PC that has 0 XP which is then marked as dead.

And there are some GMs who, despite the rules, won't allow #2.

Is that Legal?:
Yes. We established the precedent a couple years ago, when modules were always on campaign mode (death didn't count, consumables were never used, but you got experience and gold). Painlord would run for players only if they voluntarily accepted that their PCs would lose gold, and maybe even their lives, by treating the modules the same as scenarios.

This is the same sort of situation. The GMs (most likely ignorant of the actual rules) require players to voluntarily apply the pre-gen credit / death to existing PCs.

I understand that the death is irrevocable, but I believe it comes at Level 7, when the credit would be applied. (Of course it gets reported immediately, because the GM has no way of knowing how long it would take the player to get the character up to 7th level.) Re-reading the rules, that seems to be consistent. I think LazarX and his posse of doomed characters are okay. (LazarX, you guys are still able to report adventures for your doomed PCs, yes?)

Can you point to a ruling / FAQ that says otherwise?

Grand Lodge *****

Sniggevert wrote:
Don Walker wrote:

Unless things have changed in the last few weeks, if you are playing a pre-gen that dies permanently, then you have two options:

1. Report the character that was going to get the Chronicle sheet as dead (immediately).

Or

2. Assign the Chronicle instead to a brand new level 1 PC that has 0 XP which is then marked as dead.

This is still the case Don. There is a FAQ describing the options for a dead pregen.

Yes, but based on several recent posts up-thread, it seems that some folks believe otherwise.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Chris Mortika wrote:
Mystic Lemur wrote:


More importantly, if a character dies, they are reported as dead immediately. You cannot keep playing with them.

Mystic Lemur, are you sure about that? Let's say I play at a table where the GM has understood that we have to assign pre-gen credit to PCs before (rather than after) the scenario. I play a 7th-level Valeros in "Terror Under Alkenstar," a Tier 7-11 scenario, and give the credit to my 2nd-level witch. Valeros dies and, having no prestige and only 45 gold, can't be raised.

I had understood that the Chronicle for "Terror Under Alkenstar" would be applied, good or ill, to my witch once she finishes 6th level. It shouldn't be possible for a 2nd-level PC to die in a Tier 7-11 scenario.

--

Deviant Diva,

So you would tell the guy with the high-level PC to take a hike.

Would it make a difference if he had driven 90 miles to the game? Would it make a difference if he'd signed up (on Warhorn, say) before you had?

No, DD did not tell the player to take a hike. DD said that there appeared to be one likely result from a severely higher-tiered PC in such a situation, and that it looked like a probable TPK. DD then offered the 7th level player two options: Switch to a PC in the same general level range as the other players, or DD, personally, would walk from the table. As this was a 5 player table, unless at least two more of the lower level players also left, the table would still happen.

However, as mentioned in the guide and many posts on these forums, a player always has the option of walking from a table because they don't think they would enjoy the experience, whether it looks to them that a TPK is likely, or they have had bad experiences in the past playing with either the GM or other player(s) at the table.

For Cold Napalm: Your scenario involves someone "bullying" one or more other players and/or the GM at the table. Either the 7th level player forcing the table to play up, or the lower level players forcing the table not to make, or the GM giving a fair warning to the players that they are going into a Kobiyashi Maru scenario.

My version, involving discussion, does not involve bullying, but it does involve all the players making a decision, one way or another. Whether it is all the lower levels winding up walking, or accepting the risk, that is their call. If they then find themselves a GM to urn a gamne for them at their preferred level of risk is another thing.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

kinevon,

It is my experience that most players coming to a game day have a single character they're ready to play. (If there's a sign-up site, it usually asks for the PCs' class and level.) There are some exceptions -- usually experienced players with some GMing experience under their belts -- but I've been assuming that the guy playing the 7th-level PC doesn't have another character handy.

You're right, a player always has the option to walk away from the table. I suppose my point is that if that's happening because of the normal flow of play -- a guy brings his in-tier PC to the table -- then the correctly-applied rules are discouraging play in a common situation where it could be encouraged.

Silver Crusade **

Well, if nothing else, I bring a full portfolio of characters ready to go for just this circumstance. I can help bulk up the group if they need it or drag the level down.

Shadow Lodge ****

Chris Mortika wrote:
And there are some GMs who, despite the rules, won't allow #2.

Then those GMs need to have the rule explained to them by someone they will listen to. If that takes Mike Brock getting involved, there is a system in place to have that happen.

Quote:

Can you point to a ruling / FAQ that says otherwise?

This seems pretty clear to me that it is applied immediately in the case of death.

PFS FAQ wrote:

If my PC or pregenerated character dies permanently, what happens?

Player characters and pregenerated characters who do not return to the realm of the living receive 0 XP, 0 PP, 0 gold, and no items or boons. This is marked on their Chronicle sheet along with a note that the character is permanently dead. If a player was planning to hold the Chronicle from a pregenerated character and apply it to a lower level PC once the PC reached the level of the pregenerated character, they must either apply the Chronicle sheet immediately and report the PC as dead or assign the Chronicle sheet to a new level 1 PC (ie a new PC number) and report that character as dead.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Fair enough.

LazarX, bad news. Looks like you'll need to re-assign those Chronicles that you'd assigned to the doomed PCs.

Grand Lodge ****

Mystic Lemur wrote:
This could probably be solved by giving the players back the option to play down but not change the requirements for playing up. But then, some poor player might be "bullied" into playing down with his high level character.

Except of course that the bullying is happening NOW. Instead of play the character you want but down, we have a play something else or don't play at all. Given those two choices, I think the bully to play down is preferable one.

Grand Lodge ****

DeviantDiva wrote:

-bites lower lip and tilts head-

There is no "Good, Better, or Best" answer to the original situation is there? Is said situation an exception to the rule? If it's an exception, must the rule be changed for something that rarely happens? If not, can we chalk this up to "a singular event," and leave be?

-hides-

It's not an exception or a singular event. I have run into this twice now as a GM and three times as a player. And if we count the numerous times where somebody switched characters for the good of the table...well that number is pretty much half of them. So if we have a system where at least one person half of the time is playing something they don't want to for the sake of the table playing in a don't murder us sub tier...I personally think that is a problem. Yes, we have somebody who is nice and accommodates (and yes, I usually do it because I have 6 characters already, I carry them all with me and if need be I can just split off and run a separate table). Just because the system isn't crapping out because we have a lot of nice accommodating people willing to play something else for the sake of everyone else means that this is a good system. It means a flawed system is working because we have some REALLY GREAT PLAYERS willing to step up. I'd rather have a system that did not require that to make work.

Grand Lodge ****

kinevon wrote:


No, DD did not tell the player to take a hike. DD said that there appeared to be one likely result from a severely higher-tiered PC in such a situation, and that it looked like a probable TPK. DD then offered the 7th level player two options: Switch to a PC in the same general level range as the other players, or DD, personally, would walk from the table. As this was a 5 player table, unless at least two more of the lower level players also left, the table would still happen.

However, as mentioned in the guide and many posts on these forums, a player always has the option of walking from a table because they don't think they would enjoy the experience, whether it looks to them that a TPK is likely, or they have had bad experiences in the past playing with either the GM or other player(s) at the table.

For Cold Napalm: Your scenario involves someone "bullying" one or more other players and/or the GM at the table. Either the 7th level player forcing the table to play up, or the lower level players forcing the table not to make, or the GM giving a fair warning to the players that they are going into a Kobiyashi Maru scenario.

My version, involving discussion, does not involve bullying, but it does involve all the players making a decision, one way or another. Whether it is all the lower levels winding up walking, or accepting the risk, that is their call. If they then find themselves a GM to urn a gamne for them at their preferred level of risk is another thing.

Actually as this is a 5 person table, if one person walked, they would play down. 4 players play down when in the dead level APL. But really, your okay with a system that encourages people walking from tables? Because I really am not.

So...your scenario works because all the players are accommodating and make it work. So does MINE. Except in MY case, EVERYONE gets to play what they want...not so in yours. Yours FAILS if there isn't accommodating players as somebody doesn't get to play or at best gets to play something they don't want to. Mine has a minor bully to play down issue. I am failing to see how your scenario is superior to mine in any shape or form.

Silver Crusade **

I don't make characters I don't want to play.

I agree with Cold Napalm from a different angle. I don't think WBL was that big of a thing that it needed "fixing". I don't think the fix is terrible, per se, but I think it fixed a non-problem.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

I haven't seen too many players who want to play a level 5 character in a subtier 1-2 adventure, even with the increased out-of-subtier gold.

Personally I'd much rather seat a table of mostly 1st-level and 2nd-level characters without that level 5 character playing down; I've seen too many tables like that where the 5th-level character has practically soloed the scenario. Sure, the level 1 characters survived; but their players didn't really get to do all that much. For a low-level party that isn't particularly well-balanced a 3rd-level character or two can be very welcome (and can make the difference between a TPK and a successful mission), but mixing 1st and 5th level characters is too wide a spread, IMO.

For special scenarios I can understand GMs asking players to play 'real' characters, not pregens. In fact I have made just such a request for my first run of "Day of the Demon" one week from tonight; it will be my first opportunity behind the screen for an exclusive scenario. We'll be running two tables (our local VC, Azmyth, will be in the chair for the other table), and we'll only be seating six players at each table. It looks as though we'll be able to do that without anybody playing out of subtier, although the level 5 characters may end up in the high subtier.

We'll be running another couple of tables a month later (my co-VL will be playing at Azmyth's table next week, so she'll be able to run the second table next month). That will give most of the other players a chance to play in the scenario.

Grand Lodge ****

David Bowles wrote:

I don't make characters I don't want to play.

I agree with Cold Napalm from a different angle. I don't think WBL was that big of a thing that it needed "fixing". I don't think the fix is terrible, per se, but I think it fixed a non-problem.

You never PLAN on having characters you don't want to play...but they happen. I mean hasn't happened to me per say...but I do know that many players around here have at least a couple characters they just don't wanna play anymore due to various reasons.

Silver Crusade **

I mean there's even a retrain option for "oops feats". I don't know. I found it very useful to have a wide range of PCs in the old tiering system for different reasons, but it's even more useful now.

Grand Lodge ****

David Bowles wrote:
I mean there's even a retrain option for "oops feats". I don't know. I found it very useful to have a wide range of PCs in the old tiering system for different reasons, but it's even more useful now.

Not everything is about the mechanics of it. Sometimes the way the character plays out is just meh. Then again, after some time, you may come up with a fresh new angle to try it out again. In any case, it's just something that happens from time to time. Like I said, the reason is varied...it's not always about opps mechanical choices.

Silver Crusade **

I'm sticking out my dwarf fighter even though he's been basically useless in half of the scenarios I've played him in because of pets or barbarians.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:

Fair enough.

LazarX, bad news. Looks like you'll need to re-assign those Chronicles that you'd assigned to the doomed PCs.

Actually it's not my problem at all. And quite frankly given that I know the players who are doing this and that no harm is going to result, I don't see a reason for me to be Paizo's cop on the beat for this. I'm just a volunteer GM with absolutely no intention of ever taking a Venture position.

I am planning to be at the Wake party though.

Scarab Sages

Chris Mortika wrote:
Mystic Lemur wrote:


More importantly, if a character dies, they are reported as dead immediately. You cannot keep playing with them.

Mystic Lemur, are you sure about that? Let's say I play at a table where the GM has understood that we have to assign pre-gen credit to PCs before (rather than after) the scenario. I play a 7th-level Valeros in "Terror Under Alkenstar," a Tier 7-11 scenario, and give the credit to my 2nd-level witch. Valeros dies and, having no prestige and only 45 gold, can't be raised.

I had understood that the Chronicle for "Terror Under Alkenstar" would be applied, good or ill, to my witch once she finishes 6th level. It shouldn't be possible for a 2nd-level PC to die in a Tier 7-11 scenario.

--

Deviant Diva,

So you would tell the guy with the high-level PC to take a hike.

Would it make a difference if he had driven 90 miles to the game? Would it make a difference if he'd signed up (on Warhorn, say) before you had?

Nope, I would not tell the guy to take a hike, I would say exactly what I stated. You play that character you kill yourself and all of us. I have a problem with this, so I'll leave if you don't. Easy Peasy. Either way, you're dead.

Silver Crusade **

DeviantDiva, what was the exact group again?

Scarab Sages

-takes a breath-

Ok, in a system that allows anyone to play whatever they want permitting some rules to allow for needed structure, we're going to get situations like this.

One cannot take into consideration the inconveniences a player Chooses to Endure to make it to Game Day. I ride the bus because I don't have a car. It takes me 2 hours to get to the nearest gaming stores on my day off. Anyone who lives in Columbus OH knows it rains hard in the morning and I wait 20 min beside an unprotected bus stop. I chose to do this because I enjoy gaming.

Now, when I freshen up and sit down, I take note of the party composition and have on one occasion, smiled, stood up, shook hands, and wished them well because there was no way we were going to survive up tier with our levels/classes but no one was willing to compromise. I was reminded of bickering little brats and I did not come to game to babysit selfish snot nosed buggers in man bodies.

I went home, in the rain, walked my dog, read a book.

And was not turned off by Pathfinder Society in the least.

I've known for decades that the only one I'm in control of is myself, and that's half the time if I'm lucky >.>' I go to game days knowing full well the nature of people and that if I don't like what I see, I can go do something else. I don't expect lieutenants or GM's or anyone to put themselves out there when there's no right or wrong answer, it's just a crap situation. So I use simple logic and when that fails, take my leave. Easy Peasy.

In the end, I'm happy and whether those who aren't willing to bend are dead or not, it doesn't matter, because my characters alive to play a new day.

Still being fairly new, I only have 2 characters. I play pregens when necessary but never put my own pride before the enjoyment of the whole. People can disagree or agree with this, don't really care. What I do care about is playing in a group that wants to succeed and have a good time and has the wherewithal to know when playing a certain character will doom the party.

-Fin-

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Deviant Diva, let me rephrase your statement. I don't want to cast you in an unnecessarily negative light, so please correct me if I get something wrong.

You will tell this guy, "if you play this adventure, you're going to kill your character and all of ours." You will attempt to place blame on him for simply playing his PC, instead of trusting your GM to provide a appropriate, challenging adventure.

(I stand by my position that PFS is tiered appropriately. A good GM can run a mixed high-and-low party through a high subtier without it being a bloodbath.)

It is my opinion that, if the player had driven a long way to the game, or had signed up before you, your challenge will probably lose that player. Likely from that venue, and possibly from the Society as a whole.

I wish you wouldn't damage PFS like that.

Silver Crusade **

DeviantDiva wrote:

-takes a breath-

Ok, in a system that allows anyone to play whatever they want permitting some rules to allow for needed structure, we're going to get situations like this.

One cannot take into consideration the inconveniences a player Chooses to Endure to make it to Game Day. I ride the bus because I don't have a car. It takes me 2 hours to get to the nearest gaming stores on my day off. Anyone who lives in Columbus OH knows it rains hard in the morning and I wait 20 min beside an unprotected bus stop. I chose to do this because I enjoy gaming.

Now, when I freshen up and sit down, I take note of the party composition and have on one occasion, smiled, stood up, shook hands, and wished them well because there was no way we were going to survive up tier with our levels/classes but no one was willing to compromise. I was reminded of bickering little brats and I did not come to game to babysit selfish snot nosed buggers in man bodies.

I went home, in the rain, walked my dog, read a book.

And was not turned off by Pathfinder Society in the least.

I've known for decades that the only one I'm in control of is myself, and that's half the time if I'm lucky >.>' I go to game days knowing full well the nature of people and that if I don't like what I see, I can go do something else. I don't expect lieutenants or GM's or anyone to put themselves out there when there's no right or wrong answer, it's just a crap situation. So I use simple logic and when that fails, take my leave. Easy Peasy.

In the end, I'm happy and whether those who aren't willing to bend are more dead or not, it doesn't matter, because my characters alive to play a new day.

Still being fairly new, I only have 2 characters. I play pregens when necessary but never put my own pride before the enjoyment of the whole. People can disagree or agree with this, don't really care. What I do care about is playing in a group that wants to succeed and have a good time and has the wherewithal to know when playing a certain character will doom...

I'm just asking to make sure the proper tiering rules were actually being followed.

Silver Crusade **

Chris Mortika wrote:

Deviant Diva, let me rephrase your statement. I don't want to cast you in an unnecessarily negative light, so please correct me if I get something wrong.

You will tell this guy, "if you play this adventure, you're going to kill your character and all of ours." You will attempt to place blame on him for simply playing his PC, instead of trusting your GM to provide a appropriate, challenging adventure.

(I stand by my position that PFS is tiered appropriately. A good GM can run a mixed high-and-low party through a high subtier without it being a bloodbath.)

It is my opinion that, if the player had driven a long way to the game, or had signed up before you, your challenge will probably lose that player. Likely from that venue, and possibly from the Society as a whole.

I wish you wouldn't damage PFS like that.

The GM's hands are largely tied in many cases unless you want them intentionally having the NPCs take a dive. As a GM, I can't make that 6D6 lightning bolt not 6D6 at tier 4-5, for example. Players have to trust the authors more than the GMs, I'm afraid.

That being said, it's very difficult to get tiered up to 4-5 without some level 3's who should NOT be getting owned that hard in 4-5.

Scarab Sages

Chris Mortika wrote:

Deviant Diva, let me rephrase your statement. I don't want to cast you in an unnecessarily negative light, so please correct me if I get something wrong.

You will tell this guy, "if you play this adventure, you're going to kill your character and all of ours." You will attempt to place blame on him for simply playing his PC, instead of trusting your GM to provide a appropriate, challenging adventure.

(I stand by my position that PFS is tiered appropriately. A good GM can run a mixed high-and-low party through a high subtier without it being a bloodbath.)

It is my opinion that, if the player had driven a long way to the game, or had signed up before you, your challenge will probably lose that player. Likely from that venue, and possibly from the Society as a whole.

I wish you wouldn't damage PFS like that.

A GM can only pull his punches so often. If that player chooses not to play a pregen in the initial situation, then yes, the blame is on him. If I have a problem with my low level character in a situation where they can be targeted by a high level spell/creature that can one shot it, then yes, I will leave. Is this the GM's fault? No. It's a crap situation with no good answer.

Silver Crusade **

DeviantDiva wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

Deviant Diva, let me rephrase your statement. I don't want to cast you in an unnecessarily negative light, so please correct me if I get something wrong.

You will tell this guy, "if you play this adventure, you're going to kill your character and all of ours." You will attempt to place blame on him for simply playing his PC, instead of trusting your GM to provide a appropriate, challenging adventure.

(I stand by my position that PFS is tiered appropriately. A good GM can run a mixed high-and-low party through a high subtier without it being a bloodbath.)

It is my opinion that, if the player had driven a long way to the game, or had signed up before you, your challenge will probably lose that player. Likely from that venue, and possibly from the Society as a whole.

I wish you wouldn't damage PFS like that.

A GM can only pull his punches so often. If that player chooses not to play a pregen in the initial situation, then yes, the blame is on him. If I have a problem with my low level character in a situation where they can be targeted by a high level spell/creature that can one shot it, then yes, I will leave. Is this the GM's fault? No. It's a crap situation with no good answer.

I'm still not convinced this wasn't math fail still. How many level 1's and 2's are we talking about here?

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Deviant Diva, I remind you that there's a rumor out that the campaign leadership does not want people using pre-gens when they have characters in tier to play. The GM might simply not allow the guy to play a pre-gen.

Silver Crusade **

That's unfortunate, because I find pregens to be a useful tool in engineering tables.

Scarab Sages

-smiles- Then so be it. If simple logic does not work and I'm willing to adjust but others at the table are unwilling, then I'm the odd (wo)man out and I can do something else to enjoy my day. I'm a serious gamer but from my previous decades long experience with various systems before my hiatus, I don't take myself to seriously in situations like that. No matter what, the day is what I make of it and gaming is not my life. For those that choose to walk away disgruntled and b@&~~y, that's their choice, valid or not. -sighs- Chris, I super respect you, you're one of the main reasons why I decided to start GMing and ran my first game last Sat.

But in this case, there are going to be bad situations. It's inherent with freedom to play what you want without the need to take the needs of the other into consideration. It boils down to the people playing the game.

Grand Lodge *****

Chris Mortika wrote:
Deviant Diva, I remind you that there's a rumor out that the campaign leadership does not want people using pre-gens when they have characters in tier to play. The GM might simply not allow the guy to play a pre-gen.

I suppose this leaves room for playing say a level 7 in a 3-7 when you have a level 3... but it seems like they are moving closer to what you have said Chris.

Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play Version 5.0 wrote:
If you play a non-1st-level pregenerated character, you apply the credit to your character as soon as she reaches the level of the pregenerated character played. You may not apply a Chronicle sheet earned with a pregenerated character to a character that was already at the level of the pregenerated character or higher, as you should have used this character for the scenario instead.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Fair enough. I still think you're not giving the GM enough credit to provide a good gaming experience, even with an unusual level spread. (Heck, I've figured out how to make "Dalsine Affair" fun.) But that day, at that store, may be a situation where the campaign directives and the particulars of the scenario are demanding too much from the GM.

As I stated to Kirsten up-thread, any change in campaign rules that makes it harder for people to have fun is, all other things being equal, a bad rule.

But my experience suggests that people do come back and game if the scenario is honestly hard, as long as they think the GM was fair and as long as people have fun. But people do not come back -- your counter-example noted -- if they can't play. Good players don't come back if they're not having fun, and being blamed for the death of the party, before the first dice are thrown, isn't fun.

My experience is anecdotal and may be quirky, but I don't think so.

A person is only responsible for his or her own emotions, true. But that doesn't mean that we can make a situation unpleasant for a fellow player and then claim innocence when he isn't pleased. A good player, and a good GM, try to build a table where everybody is welcome, everybody contributes according to his or her merits and the abilities of his or her character. That's my idea of fun. If I'm completely frank, that's a better experience, even if the party is overmatched and flees to the safety of Absalom after the second encounter. Or even if the party is overmatched and dies.

Grand Lodge ****

DeviantDiva wrote:

-smiles- Then so be it. If simple logic does not work and I'm willing to adjust but others at the table are unwilling, then I'm the odd (wo)man out and I can do something else to enjoy my day. I'm a serious gamer but from my previous decades long experience with various systems before my hiatus, I don't take myself to seriously in situations like that. No matter what, the day is what I make of it and gaming is not my life. For those that choose to walk away disgruntled and b#+!#y, that's their choice, valid or not. -sighs- Chris, I super respect you, you're one of the main reasons why I decided to start GMing and ran my first game last Sat.

But in this case, there are going to be bad situations. It's inherent with freedom to play what you want without the need to take the needs of the other into consideration. It boils down to the people playing the game.

No...the problem is that the system does not allow one to play what they want because of the need to engineer tables. That is the opposite of play what you want. Now if the dead level APL tables got to pick what sub tier they play, then yes, you could play what you want. It would also mean that there is the bully to play up or down again...but better that then the bully to play what you don't want to or not play at all that is happening NOW. In your scenario, would you rather have to have a discussion about what sub tier you all should be playing at...and EVERYONE plays...or have a discussion about one player not playing at all? I for one like the first option MUCH better.

Silver Crusade **

" I still think you're not giving the GM enough credit to provide a good gaming experience, even with an unusual level spread. "

I'm curious: How is the GM to do this with canned tactics for NPCs and the subsequent combat being dictated by mathematics? Lower level PCs with classes with bad reflex saves are asking to be vaporized, if such an NPC exists.

If the scenario says "BBEG uses lightning bolt when the PCs are bunched up" and the PCs happen to be bunched up, it doesn't matter who is GMing.

Grand Lodge ****

David Bowles wrote:

" I still think you're not giving the GM enough credit to provide a good gaming experience, even with an unusual level spread. "

I'm curious: How is the GM to do this with canned tactics for NPCs and the subsequent combat being dictated by mathematics? Lower level PCs with classes with bad reflex saves are asking to be vaporized, if such an NPC exists.

If the scenario says "BBEG uses lightning bolt when the PCs are bunched up" and the PCs happen to be bunched up, it doesn't matter who is GMing.

Kindly remind the new players that they are facing a caster and they are in fireball/lightning bolt formation and let them as a player make adjustment based on your advice. If they aren't new...well what the heck are they thinking?!?

Silver Crusade **

It's not always clear when or where casters will appear. That was just one example. There's also the more rare case of NPCs actually having non-trivial armor class and just outlasting the group. All kinds of weird stuff can happen with level 2's playing in tier 4-5. Granted, it's not as likely in Seasons 0-3.

That being said, I could see a compromise in allowing "dead zone" APLs choose to play up or down. No more APL 2.4 or less playing up for extra $$, however. Keep that part.


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Granted, it is not how the campaign is handled now, but I think that these cases could be solved with less 'hurt feelings' or 'bullying', if figuring the APL was the second level of tier decisions.

The first pass at deciding tiers would be a majority rules per PC level. In the original example a party of 4-4-4-5-7 would be broken down as follows:

5 - between tiers (neutral - no influence on decision)
7 - high tier (6-7)
4-4-4 - low tier (3-4)

With 3 characters in-tier vs one in-tier, the majority would rule (no player-induced hard feelings involved) with low-tier (3-4) run through of the scenario. If there happened to be an equal number of properly tiered PCs high- and low-tiered, then go with the APL calcutaions and let the chips fall where they may.

It seems that this could alleviate the 'forcing' of players into playing characters they don't want to play, while still keeping some structure and not having a free-for-all let the table decide approach.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
Deviant Diva, I remind you that there's a rumor out that the campaign leadership does not want people using pre-gens when they have characters in tier to play. The GM might simply not allow the guy to play a pre-gen.

And there's more than a few people who troll these forums spreading fear and paranoia.

Generally if you do something that's right and not intentionally gaming the system, it should work out.

Besides the whole point of the problem is people not having characters in tier. if 5 people are playing 5th level characters and a sixth shows up with a level 2, he is definitely out of tier with the group. There's absolutely no violation in letting him play a 4th level pregen as long as he's willing to accept the possible consequences. Or for that matter to fill in a healing roll even if he has a 4th.

Using the pre-gens may not be encouraged, but until it's actually written down in Campaign Guidelines or Additional Resources, or in the FAQ, then don't worry about the rumors in this messageboard. If we're going to be that fearful we might as well just pack up our dice and settle for home play.

*****

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
David Bowles wrote:
That being said, I could see a compromise in allowing "dead zone" APLs choose to play up or down. No more APL 2.4 or less playing up for extra $$, however. Keep that part.

APL 2.4 never did have the option of playing up. Season 0-3 6-player tables that averaged 3.33 (with the +1 for group size) did though.

The system works pretty darn well as is. The difference is that the few TPKs/bad experiences that happen aren't a result of the table choosing to play up (except, as Diva points out, collectively they are by the characters they are playing). Thus, "someone" must be to blame, even if TPKs are less common than before.

David, you're asking about the calculation. What we're missing is what season the scenario was from. From the #'s given, it's play up if season 4 or 5 (with 4-player adjustments), or play down if season 0-3. If the table played up without adjustment, then a mistake was made.

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

Chris Mortika wrote:
Deviant Diva, I remind you that there's a rumor out that the campaign leadership does not want people using pre-gens when they have characters in tier to play. The GM might simply not allow the guy to play a pre-gen.

Actually, if you follow that thread a little further, I believe Mike Brock backs away a little from the position in his original post.

He reiterates the rule that you can't apply a chronicle from a pregen to a character of the same level, and further states that in that case the player should have used that character and not the pregen, but seems to leave the door open to playing a higher-level pregen (or to running a pregen of the same level as the 'real' character, but applying delayed credit to a different, lower-level, character).

Silver Crusade **

Majuba wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
That being said, I could see a compromise in allowing "dead zone" APLs choose to play up or down. No more APL 2.4 or less playing up for extra $$, however. Keep that part.

APL 2.4 never did have the option of playing up. Season 0-3 6-player tables that averaged 3.33 (with the +1 for group size) did though.

The system works pretty darn well as is. The difference is that the few TPKs/bad experiences that happen aren't a result of the table choosing to play up (except, as Diva points out, collectively they are by the characters they are playing). Thus, "someone" must be to blame, even if TPKs are less common than before.

David, you're asking about the calculation. What we're missing is what season the scenario was from. From the #'s given, it's play up if season 4 or 5 (with 4-player adjustments), or play down if season 0-3. If the table played up without adjustment, then a mistake was made.

Right. It was just much easier before because six players could come in at APL 1.5, get their +1 from the number of players, be at 2.5, and then round to 3, choose to play up and be off to the races.

So the difference is APL 2.4 and below was far less common until now.

Dark Archive ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

David Bowles wrote:

" I still think you're not giving the GM enough credit to provide a good gaming experience, even with an unusual level spread. "

I'm curious: How is the GM to do this with canned tactics for NPCs and the subsequent combat being dictated by mathematics? Lower level PCs with classes with bad reflex saves are asking to be vaporized, if such an NPC exists.

If the scenario says "BBEG uses lightning bolt when the PCs are bunched up" and the PCs happen to be bunched up, it doesn't matter who is GMing.

Page 32 of the Guide provides for this nicely, David. Table variation will always occur, and while the Guide says 'Run as Written' it also provides for the GM to modify tactics in very specific situations to make sure the game is fair and fun for everyone.

Silver Crusade **

LazarX wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
Deviant Diva, I remind you that there's a rumor out that the campaign leadership does not want people using pre-gens when they have characters in tier to play. The GM might simply not allow the guy to play a pre-gen.

And there's more than a few people who troll these forums spreading fear and paranoia.

Generally if you do something that's right and not intentionally gaming the system, it should work out.

Besides the whole point of the problem is people not having characters in tier. if 5 people are playing 5th level characters and a sixth shows up with a level 2, he is definitely out of tier with the group. There's absolutely no violation in letting him play a 4th level pregen as long as he's willing to accept the possible consequences. Or for that matter to fill in a healing roll even if he has a 4th.

Using the pre-gens may not be encouraged, but until it's actually written down in Campaign Guidelines or Additional Resources, or in the FAQ, then don't worry about the rumors in this messageboard. If we're going to be that fearful we might as well just pack up our dice and settle for home play.

I don't see why anyone would have a problem with the situation outlined above.

Scarab Sages

I can't help but feel the original topic has derailed and I contributed to it.

I believe it's "How to make an unbalanced party enjoy the session during the occasion when tier factor will result in a TPK due to rules that need to be followed where "bullying" is concerned."

Am I mistaken?

Silver Crusade **

Todd Morgan wrote:
David Bowles wrote:

" I still think you're not giving the GM enough credit to provide a good gaming experience, even with an unusual level spread. "

I'm curious: How is the GM to do this with canned tactics for NPCs and the subsequent combat being dictated by mathematics? Lower level PCs with classes with bad reflex saves are asking to be vaporized, if such an NPC exists.

If the scenario says "BBEG uses lightning bolt when the PCs are bunched up" and the PCs happen to be bunched up, it doesn't matter who is GMing.

Page 32 of the Guide provides for this nicely, David. Table variation will always occur, and while the Guide says 'Run as Written' it also provides for the GM to modify tactics in very specific situations to make sure the game is fair and fun for everyone.

From page 32:

"GMs are always encouraged
to reward role-playing and flavor when adjudicating the
reactions of NPCs or the outcome of in-game encounters.
GMs may use other Pathfinder RPG sources to add flavor
to the scenario, but may not change the mechanics of
encounters.
"

This is a discussion of mechanics mathematically overwhelming characters who are out of sub tier, so I don't see how page 32 helps this particular problem at all.

Silver Crusade **

DeviantDiva wrote:

I can't help but feel the original topic has derailed and I contributed to it.

I believe it's How to make an unbalanced party enjoy the session during the occasion when tier factor will result in a TPK due to rules that need to be followed where "bullying" is concerned.

Am I mistaken?

Sounds like the best answer right now is to use pregens to engineer the situation.

Dark Archive ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

Read more of page 32, GMs are allowed to modify tactics in certain situations thus changing the math of the mechanics...

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