Do you have to have a Faction?


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I am GMing a PFS player who, for lack of a better term, would like to play in "Hard Mode". To facilitate this he plans on makeing a charecter that does not take PA, and so can only buy items off his Chronicle sheets. Is it legal to not have a faction or would he need to take a faction and just refuse to take the PA?

The Exchange

Evan Whitefield wrote:
he would need to take a faction and just refuse to take the PA?

that

Grand Lodge

Evan Whitefield wrote:
I am GMing a PFS player who, for lack of a better term, would like to play in "Hard Mode". To facilitate this he plans on makeing a charecter that does not take PA, and so can only buy items off his Chronicle sheets. Is it legal to not have a faction or would he need to take a faction and just refuse to take the PA?

Why must he have a mechanical enforcement for his choice? Weather he earns PA or not, nobody is going to force him to buy gear in accordance with his buy limit. He can always choose to just buy gear explicitly listed off the Chronicle sheets. And yes, you must choose a faction even if you don't plan on completing your missions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Essentially the Decembervirate refuse to trust you unless they know where you stand, and they simply won't accept a choice of "Nobody". It's very much how like Shattrah was in Burning Crusade, until you declared for eithe Aldor or the Scryers a lot of folks in the city itself wouldn't trust you enough to open up to thier own needs.


Two things: one, make sure the player actually reads the Guide to PFS Play to see what PA can be used for and two, in Chapter Four on character creation the very first thing you do is choose a Faction, before stats, race, class, etc.

Sovereign Court

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Two things: one, make sure the player actually reads the Guide to PFS Play to see what PA can be used for and two, in Chapter Four on character creation the very first thing you do is choose a Faction, before stats, race, class, etc.

+1

During these discussions I sometimes forget that these players sacrifice alot more than just the ability to buy stuff. And besides, who wouldn't want to be a member of a great group like the Chelaxians. Friendly and warm. Sorta fuzzy all over, you know. :-0

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Evan Whitefield wrote:
I am GMing a PFS player who, for lack of a better term, would like to play in "Hard Mode". To facilitate this he plans on makeing a charecter that does not take PA, and so can only buy items off his Chronicle sheets. Is it legal to not have a faction or would he need to take a faction and just refuse to take the PA?

Also be aware, if he decides to bring this character to a Con, he won't make any friends there, In fact there may even be players that refuse to play with him.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Virginia—Hampton Roads aka Darius Silverbolt

Dragnmoon wrote:
Evan Whitefield wrote:
I am GMing a PFS player who, for lack of a better term, would like to play in "Hard Mode". To facilitate this he plans on makeing a charecter that does not take PA, and so can only buy items off his Chronicle sheets. Is it legal to not have a faction or would he need to take a faction and just refuse to take the PA?
Also be aware, if he decides to bring this character to a Con, he won't make any friends there, In fact there may even be players that refuse to play with him.

He can have a faction and earn PA. His personal limits are just that. There is nothing forcing him to buy anything he doesn't want.

The Exchange

Dragnmoon wrote:
Also be aware, if he decides to bring this character to a Con, he won't make any friends there, In fact there may even be players that refuse to play with him.

This, I don't get. It doesn't make any sense at all. Can you explain why you think this to be? I think I'm missing your point.

-Pain

The Exchange

Evan Whitefield wrote:
I am GMing a PFS player who, for lack of a better term, would like to play in "Hard Mode". To facilitate this he plans on makeing a charecter that does not take PA, and so can only buy items off his Chronicle sheets. Is it legal to not have a faction or would he need to take a faction and just refuse to take the PA?

It's weird that you're bringing this up.

I've been playing,judging, and coordinating for about 18 months now and I'm getting closer and closer to wishing the entire faction mechanic didn't exist.

With the number of players who actively care more about their faction missions than their Pathfinder missions combined with the bloat and confusion around the factions and PA in general, I slowly begin to question whether they are an overall boon or bane.

I'm still deciding, of course, and I remain hopeful that the upcoming changes correct of the issues that I see (or think I see).

I think the concept that you *have* to choose a faction is one that wears upon me as a player as well. I can see some of my characters wanting and caring, others notsomuch.

Meh...we'll see what happens. I applaud your decision though.

-Pain

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Painlord wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Also be aware, if he decides to bring this character to a Con, he won't make any friends there, In fact there may even be players that refuse to play with him.

This, I don't get. It doesn't make any sense at all. Can you explain why you think this to be? I think I'm missing your point.

-Pain

Really? You really need me to explain this?

PA is important for PFS games making a character that purposely goes against that is counter productive and really just annoying. If you don't like the faction system just don't play, don't force your characters on others and possibly hurt their characters in the process.

If the PC you make decides not to go for that factions mission all the time on purpose that could cause in the process other players not getting that faction mission, which you know what I can't put into words here what I feel about that because I would get flagged.

There are basically 3 levels of a PC not purposley doing a faction mission, some I get some I don't get others are rare and understandable other are just unforgivable and there is no excuse that someone can give that I will except.

the least harmful is a faction being against a PC moral principles, this happens rarely and mostly only to paladins. The player is not making a PC that purposely will not do faction missions, just sometime some missions make it hard or impossible for that PC to do because either of alignment or class restrictions like Paladins.

The next is like what the OP is talking about, making a character that will not do any faction missions on purpose, this may seem like a victim-less crime but by the PC not doing a faction mission on purpose all the time it may cause sometime other PCs to miss that faction mission to because they are of the same faction and either incapable of performing the mission or not in the right place at the right time because they assumed the other player of the same faction had "his Back" I can fully understand how another player at a Con would refuse to play with someone who made a PC like this because they could lose out of PA. At a "Home Game" this could be controlled more because all other players are aware of the situation and may be more understanding but this PC should not be played at Cons.

The worse, and thank god very rare is a player that purposely go out of their way to sabotage faction missions. This should get a player Kicked from games, and I will not hesitate in the least to do so myself if a player insisted on doing this in a game I was running.


I would probably not want to sit with him in a scenario at >5.
I am glad that this is a rare situation. I run 2 characters and one I roleplay more loyal to the society than his faction. While the other tries to get all his PA.

If I dm'd him I would tell him what others may think. Sure he can buy stuff of the chronicle sheet ; I also think most chronicle sheets need more gear included. But it is probably very bad advice to try and get items soley on chronicle sheets.

The Exchange

Dragnmoon wrote:

Really? You really need me to explain this?

PA is important for PFS games making a character that purposely goes against that is counter productive and really just annoying. If you don't like the faction system just don't play, don't force your characters on others and possibly hurt their characters in the process.

I think you're reading too much into his choice. You can make a perfectly fine and well played PFS character without PA.

I don't see anything in the original post that says his character is going to be sub-optimal.

And even if it was going to be sub-optimal...so what? There are lots of intentionally made sub-optimal PFS characters out there. So what?

Dragnmoon wrote:
If the PC you make decides not to go for that factions mission all the time on purpose that could cause in the process other players not getting that faction mission, which you know what I can't put into words here what I feel about that because I would get flagged.

I don't see where he said that his character would be interfering or preventing others from completing his missions. Again, you've too much into this.

Dragnmoon wrote:
There are basically 3 levels of a PC not purposley doing a faction mission, some I get some I don't get others are rare and understandable other are just unforgivable and there is no excuse that someone can give that I will except.

I'm glad we have you as the judge of how others play their characters. Let me give you a tip: how they play their factions has little to do with how much fun or effective they are at the table.

In fact, I'd rather play with a guy who has a strong character concept, roleplays, enjoys the game, knows the rules, than some yahoo who thinks they know how others should play the game. (lol...I guess that statement makes me a hypocrit, huh?...but my point stands!)

Dragnmoon wrote:
the next is like what the OP is talking about, making a character that will not do any faction missions on purpose, this may seem like a victim-less crime but by the PC not doing a faction mission on purpose all the time it may cause sometime other PCs to miss that faction mission to because they are of the same faction and either incapable of performing the mission or not in the right place at the right time because they assumed the other player of the same faction had "his Back" I can fully understand how another player at a Con would refuse to play with someone who made a PC like this because they could lose out of PA.

I don't see the problem here. At all. Yes, it's nice to have backup on faction missions, but so what? I'm not sure how his choosing not to play a faction affects you outside of your own need to get PA. Just pretend he's with a different faction.

If any player is the kind of player who is going to demand that my PC act in a certain way to serve their needs, yeah, maybe finding a different table is the better answer. But understand the problem is that player, not me.

Dragnmoon wrote:
The worse, and thank god very rare is a player that purposely go out of their way to sabotage faction missions. This should get a player Kicked from games, and I will not hesitate in the least to do so myself if a player insisted on doing this in a game I was running.

Agree on this...but I see nothing in this post that suggest this is the case...which is why your point is so...uhm...confusing to me. You seem to be reading something extra and I wanted to know what that was.

-Pain

The Exchange

Red-Assassin wrote:

I would probably not want to sit with him in a scenario at >5.

I am glad that this is a rare situation. I run 2 characters and one I roleplay more loyal to the society than his faction. While the other tries to get all his PA.

If I dm'd him I would tell him what others may think. Sure he can buy stuff of the chronicle sheet ; I also think most chronicle sheets need more gear included. But it is probably very bad advice to try and get items soley on chronicle sheets.

Red-Assassin, I just think we walk into very silly and dangerous grounds when we start valuing power levels over more important things, like character concept, roleplaying, knowledge of rules, etc.

People make sub-optimal character choices all the time for the sake of character and concept. I'd much rather play with an interesting and flawed character than some damagebot off the CharOps boards.

Your reality may vary.

-Pain

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

You are not getting it Pain, and you know what does not matter, I get it it, and I would not want that PC in a game I am playing. I have been in many situations where because of one persons actions I lost out on PA and I am not going to purposely choose to put myself in the situation.

I am not impeding someones Roleplaying, they have chosen to make a PC that should not be in a PFS game, And I will choose not to play with them, it is them not me.

all games have a confines that you need to make your PC, be it a home Non PFS game or a PFS game, if you purposely go out of your way to build a PC outside that confines for "roleplaying" reasons you are not doing it because you want a roleplaying challenge you are just being an ass.

Once again if you don't like factions which is a integral part of PFS don't play.

A Player who makes a PC like this if was just hurting themselves that would be fine, but because it could cause problems for other players, it should not be played.

The Exchange

Dragnmoon wrote:
A Player who makes a PC like this if was just hurting themselves that would be fine, but because it could cause problems for other players, it should not be played.

I think it's very clear where we disagree, D'moon. I'll let others decide how they feel about things.

For my money, I don't see how that player would be causing problems for others. You, however, have a keen sense for what should and shouldn't be allowed at PFS tables and I, for one, wouldn't stop you from getting up and walking away from the table over this while thinking the problem is with 'them'.

I would respect your choice.

-Pain


Well the only problem I would see, would be me playing with him in a higher level game, depending on role his role I didn't really catch. But lets say he is in a level 10 scenario he didn't have a high enough magic weapon to bypass dr and him being a fighter or something. At lower levels 5+ dr can be a problem at this level he may bypass it with special materials.

Yeah, it is interesting thought, trying to purchase all your gear off society sheets, I think that would not be benificial to your partners that may rely on you. I don't think it is about being optimized or anything, magic items are a tool to be used to help you get around challenges.

I don't consider my self an optimized player, but somethings I have used pa amounts to purchase were cloak of resistance and ring of protection +1. I think I have seen the cloak on a couple sheets, but I cant recall seeing the ring of protection I probably missed it. So yeah, I think it is bad advice to buy items soley of character sheets. But that is exactly what it is my advice.

I don't really like even impling how to play a character, I haven't seen players compare PA totals. But, I would imagine if someone makes attempts not to get any PA, some players observing this may get upset. Perhaps a player needs help completing their shared faction mission, or just generally the idea he is squandering a resource.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Painlord wrote:


For my money, I don't see how that player would be causing problems for others.

And that is where your problem is, You can't see it, I can, because I have seen it. I have seen how the actions of one player could cause another player to lose PA, and what the OP talks about can cause that.

Sovereign Court

I have to agree with Painlord, I don't see what the fuss is about.

I've seen a long and consistent stream of spectacularly, mind-bogglingly, sub-optimal choices that players make for all sorts of roleplaying or conceptual reasons, things that leave the party underpowered and risk people dying.

There is such a wide range of reasons why people play the way they do and what enjoyment they get out of the game, it isn't worth getting wound up about one sub-optimal choice over another.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:
Painlord wrote:


For my money, I don't see how that player would be causing problems for others.
And that is where your problem is, You can't see it, I can, because I have seen it. I have seen how the actions of one player could cause another player to lose PA, and what the OP talks about can cause that.

Everyone has a certain "type" they like to game with. Its funny, it is sometimes (not for me apparently, as I'm 40 and single) harder to find a good gaming group, than a girlfriend. In a home campaign, we have the luxury of being very choosy who we play with. Even if you choose to play PFS out of your basement with specific invitees, it is like a home campaign, and you get to choose who you play with.

If you go to a public place to play, you have to deal with some people that for you (figurative, not literal, or perhaps it is literal, I dunno) would be undesirable, but just fine for others. If you put yourself in a position to possibly run into people you want nothing to do with, you can either grin and bear it, or move on.

Telling other people how they should or have to play their character, though, is a big gaming faux pas that happens all too often. I always say, that the most opinionated people I know are Politicians with an agenda, and gamers. Nobody likes to be told how they should do something, or how what they are doing isn't right. Makes people come off as "higher-than-thou" or just plain bossy.

I personally don't care if someone wants to play a character who doesn't give two wits about factions or PA. I always try to look at succeeding at faction missions as a solo thing, and IF I get help, bonus. If someone purposely creates characters that don't play well with others in such a way that it actually impacts the success of overall missions and faction missions, they will most likely find themselves being ostracized from groups. I only know like two people everywhere I've been (and I've lived and gamed for more than a year in at least 6 different cities from coast to coast) that would keep coming back to sneers and jeers.

Eventually you just gotta suck it up and let people play their characters they way they want to, otherwise you'll probably run into more disappointing tables than not.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I actually understand where Dragnmoon is coming from with this, though I wouldn't react as strongly.

The problem is not just that the character is sub-optimal, or lessening the chances of their fellow players. It's that the player is deliberately going against the nature of the campaign to do both of those.

That said, I think that in the long run the player will end up only hurting their own character. As the number of Factions increase, the odds of you sharing Faction Missions will decrease, meaning that each character will have to be more independent in earning PA.

To the OP, I would encourage the player to have another look at the factions. If they still see nothing that appeals to them, they should look again after the new factions are released, and possibly switch then. Regardless, they must make a nominal faction choice to play PFS.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

I would like to make something clear, I am not accusing the player mentioned in the OP of purposely going out to ruin other people getting PA, all I am saying that a consequence of his conscious choice not to ever do faction missions could be other players missing out on faction missions, because of that I think it is a poor choice to make, and something I would not allow a player to do.


K Neil Shackleton wrote:

I actually understand where Dragnmoon is coming from with this, though I wouldn't react as strongly.

The problem is not just that the character is sub-optimal, or lessening the chances of their fellow players. It's that the player is deliberately going against the nature of the campaign to do both of those.

That said, I think that in the long run the player will end up only hurting their own character. As the number of Factions increase, the odds of you sharing Faction Missions will decrease, meaning that each character will have to be more independent in earning PA.

To the OP, I would encourage the player to have another look at the factions. If they still see nothing that appeals to them, they should look again after the new factions are released, and possibly switch then. Regardless, they must make a nominal faction choice to play PFS.

You said what I was thinking as I was reading all the posts since my last one.

You either have a player who makes a character who does not like the Factions and the PA missions and roleplays the character that way or you have a player who hates the Faction and PA system and refuses to put any effort into earning the PA with any of their characters, perhaps to the extreme that it causes other members of their Faction to not earn their PA. The first can be played with and worked with, while the second is pushing dangerously close to breaking the "no PVP" and "don't be a bully" rules.

I have said in previous threads that I am not a fan of the Factions and PA system, and while I would rather put my effort into the actual scenario mission, I would help others if they asked me and I would accept any PA I happen to earn along the way.


I don't particularly care for the faction mechanics. I participate in faction missions, but even if I didn't I don't see how that would prevent you from completing your missions. It would be more likely that an enthusiastic faction missioner could prevent you from completing your mission due to competing goals.

Sovereign Court

First and foremost, the idea of the Factions is to be secret. Second, the Guide Doesn't Say 'You Must' Choose A Faction.
In Guide 1.1 (2008.08.11)it says that PC's are a member of the Society seeking fame and fortune. "At the same time, your character works for one of the five competing nation-based factions, all with their own motivations and secret agendas."
2009.08.01 - Guide 2.0 - PFSOP "also tracks a new statistic called Prestige Award (PA). Prestige Award is what you earn from your chosen faction for accomplishing various tasks for them during a Society mission or adventure. Prestige Award represents your worth to your faction - your renown or aplomb. It also represents your ability to buy new items, both magic and mundane, as your faction gives you much wider access to equipment than does the regular world."
2010.08.03 - Word for Word from 2.0 as above.
All the way to the most latest printing.
Nope, you DO NOT HAVE TO JOIN A FACTION.
It's implied to do so - but it does not state that you MUST. So straight from the very first guide to the most latest. Oh, there are things that say you get boons and if you don't succeed on your faction missions you won't help the faction take over Absalom. But it is clear that you are not to take your faction war outside closed doors and you are not to use it to take advantage of another Society member. In one of the first five modules, there's a Ulfen Longaxe that the Andoran's are trying to get to quit the Longaxes. If there is a Taldan faction member and happens to overhear this persuasion, it would be quite easy for them to offer counter persuasions as to why the Ulfen warrior should not leave the membership of the Longaxes. In this case, neither is hindering the Society's overall mission - and unless one draws a weapon, neither is breaking the overall cooperation aspect of the Society.

Characters like General Goldfrapp the Naked TALDORAN Halfing Trebuchet of the Trebuchet Army in Absalom and his newly crowned faction (Do I really need to post his name again with just 'The' and 'Faction' added?) are supposed to be outside the norm.

The leadership of the Society isn't in favor of the faction missions. It's not like the VC hands out the Society's mission and also hands out the faction missions. In fact, it's a major glaring mistake in the way the modules are written. As it is, it's 'Here - have a faction mission.' Who gives it out? It isn't explained in the Guide that it is the VC, but neither is it, its implied that it is not the VC. The Guide also doesn't explain how the GM is to resolve handing them out. There was a forum posting about how some of us resolve them (when I have fully prepped a mod, I give little backgrounds as to some Halfling slave from Cheliax handing out a mission, a rug merchant from the hated Qadira handing out a mission, etc...).

Further - what's going to happen when the new factions show up? Let's say that there's a faction that is against the idea of the Society. Let's say the Apsis Consortium is a faction. I'm 100% certain that a VC isn't going to be handing out that mission. What about an Absalom faction - and the mission takes place in Cassomir? I can't see Hestia Themis, who loves her some Cassomir handing out a mission to topple a noble from the land.

Thus, the leadership doesn't care if a PC is a member of a faction. In fact, it seems more likely that they'd rather you not be a member. Most of the missions are to the effect - 'Oh, hey, since the Society is sending you to the hated lands of Qadira, and it's their dime - why not kick a bee's nest into the daughter of that water merchant and tell him Qadira sucks.' In no way does that actually help the Society, and it could even make the leaders of that town not like the Society (because unless you're Goldfrapp, you might not be wearing a Huge 'I Love TALDOR' t-shirt).

As far as not wishing to play with the character - unless the player is MetaGaming the character shouldn't know. Yes, your character is sub-optimal. But so is Goldfrapp (3 Rogue, 2 Fighter, 1 Bard, 1 Druid [10Wis, can't cast spells], 1 Cavalier, 1 Battle Herald). I can walk around Naked Real Good. Most people at the table know I'm Way Cool and Under Powered and need some protection. I've only had one GM that had an issue.

Without the PA to purchase items, the character will be very limited to the always available and to some very minor items. A couple of the Devil We Know series don't offer anything for the first two tiers except gold. The character will be limited to what Feats and Traits they can take - no regional or faction based ones. But its no different that me hoarding all my gold and PA for my eventual resurrection. If I don't have a magical sword at 8th level - how would you know until its too late?

Shoot, if you're not TALDORAN, then I'd rather you not play a faction. Anything that hinders someone else furthers the aims of the TALDORAN Trebuchet Army.
Of course, if the whole idea of not being part of a faction is more about being anti-Society and the ideal of Organized Play, then that's a different issue. If it's one character and part of the concept - then by all means, it's a role playing game and the person wants to play a role that otherwise might be irritating to other players, but is within the rules as written.

Have the Character make up their own faction. It's cool and by GenCon everybody will be doing it!

Theocrat Issak for General Goldfrapp (you know the rest).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Theocrat, you are correct about all of the in-character stuff (except the Taldan bias :P).

However, the orgs have clarified in the past that you must take a faction. (ex. here, posts from both Josh and Mark)

Also, in the Guide to Organized Play (pg 13)

Choose Your Faction wrote:

You must choose a faction before

you can begin play in Pathfinder Society.


Theocrat Issak wrote:
[T]he Guide Doesn't Say 'You Must' Choose A Faction.

v1.1, p. 13 "Select your faction and start thinking about how and why

your character works for them."
I'll give you that it doesn't state that the player MUST choose a faction, but it is rather clear that a faction is to be selected.

v2.0, p. 4 (in regards to registering characters) "Your faction is something you’ll choose during character creation[.]"
p. 13 "Step 1: Choose Your Faction
Carefully review each faction in Chapter 3 and make your decision based on your character concept."

Again, while it is clear that a faction is to be chosen, it is not outright prohibited to forgo this step.

v3.01, p. 13 "You must choose a faction before you can begin play in Pathfinder Society."
Hey, look at that. Now there is no way in which a potential player could misunderstand the rules for whether or not factions need to be selected.

Mind you, a character does not have to endeavor to complete any or all of their faction missions. A character may easily fit into the world of Golarion and the Society but not with the existing factions and thus not feel overly driven to accomplish the faction's goals.

I am a little concerned about your statement that regional traits/feats are somehow tied to Factions and not the regions. Because a PC can be from Bellis (in Andoran), thus a native Andoran, and not have to choose Andoran as said PC's faction...and still qualify for those Bellis feats. If I missed an obscure ruling (or even a regular, blatant one) in regards to this, I would like that pointed out to me so I can correct my misperceptions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Timothy McNeil wrote:

I am a little concerned about your statement that regional traits/feats are somehow tied to Factions and not the regions. Because a PC can be from Bellis (in Andoran), thus a native Andoran, and not have to choose Andoran as said PC's faction...and still qualify for those Bellis feats. If I missed an obscure ruling (or even a regular, blatant one) in regards to this, I would like that pointed out to me so I can correct my misperceptions.

The Faction Traits in the Guide to Organized Play are taken by members of the Faction.

Regional Traits like those in the Andoran Companion may be taken by natives of the Region.


I do not actually play PFS but have considered it but from the way this sounds there is a very simple solution for this player. Don't play PFS. For the players that do not want to join a faction, there ARE other options. Adventure paths like Curse of the Crimsons Throne and Jade Serpent Skull for example. These games are for anyone regardless of factions or lack thereof. PFS is for organized faction play. If the rules for PFS are not for you, then do not play PFS. Like Living Forgotton Realms, the big rule for DMs is that they are not supposed to do house-rules for PFS games. Rather, you play it as it is presented.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

To be fair the OP never mentioned the player did not like the factions, the player seems to just not want to do the factions for a "Challenge". And to those who keep saying that they can't see how one player who refuses to do faction missions can ruin it for other players, are not thinking hard enough, because it can happen, I have seen it happen, more then once.

Grand Lodge

Andrew Christian wrote:
I always try to look at succeeding at faction missions as a solo thing, and IF I get help, bonus.

QFT.

Also, back to the original situation there is nothing that says he doesn't have to do faction missions or even earn PA or help his fellow players earn their PA. If all he wants to do is buy stuff off the Chronicles, then his relative TPA doesn't actually matter to his choice to not buy things using that limit.

Silver Crusade 3/5

Jaçinto wrote:
I do not actually play PFS but have considered it but from the way this sounds there is a very simple solution for this player. Don't play PFS. For the players that do not want to join a faction, there ARE other options. Adventure paths like Curse of the Crimsons Throne and Jade Serpent Skull for example. These games are for anyone regardless of factions or lack thereof. PFS is for organized faction play. If the rules for PFS are not for you, then do not play PFS. Like Living Forgotton Realms, the big rule for DMs is that they are not supposed to do house-rules for PFS games. Rather, you play it as it is presented.

My only opportunity to play in Golarion is PFS games so if I want to play a sub optimal character that's my choice. No-one else should have a say in what your character says or does.

The whole point of the Pathfinder Society is you are lumped into a team selected by a Venture Captain. Now that team may be sub optimal but you as a Pathfinder don't get a choice who you work with. Useless character in your group? Tough, live with it.

If you are playing a character who is deliberately sub optimal (like for example I am intending playing a Rahadoumi character who refuses to have any clerical magic cast on him- including healing) then I will make that clear at the table before I play. If people have major objections then I will either find another table or play another character. However this is my personal choice to do this, I should not feel forced to play any character in particular, nor should I feel that my character should have a blanket reject based on the way I want to play.

As for the OP's rejection of PA awards. Cool by me. It's a fun idea and I think it should be allowed. You can play at my table if you want.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Virginia—Hampton Roads aka Darius Silverbolt

I am not really sure why there is a lot of discussion on this topic. Outside the fact the player must choose a faction there is nothing stopping the player from playing in "hard mode" like the op posted.

I don't see why people would have heartache with this at all or wouldn't want to play with the PC. As long as he following the general rule of playing nice with others he should be fine.

Heck I want to know from the OP is the guying willing to to buy +1 armor / weapons or the level 1 potions/scrolls that everyone can get after there first mission.

This hard mode sounds almost like a challenge to me......Time to roll a Paladin it seems.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:
I would like to make something clear, I am not accusing the player mentioned in the OP of purposely going out to ruin other people getting PA, all I am saying that a consequence of his conscious choice not to ever do faction missions could be other players missing out on faction missions, because of that I think it is a poor choice to make, and something I would not allow a player to do.

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

GM: You see the target of your mission...

Player: I ignore it.

GM: You do not, and I will roll your diplomacy as you go talk to them.

I'd get up mid-adventure, walk away from the table, and go complain to the coordinator if you did that to me, regardless of the reason.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

One comment. While I wouldn't take it as far as Dragnmoon, I do understand where he is coming from. That said, it's a lot harder to "hide" your faction than has been described here in some other posts.

GMs may not have enough faction sheets for everybody. GMs may ask for factions before the game. Your two best buddies with different factions might be sitting at your table. Joe Faction next to you may announce his faction, which causes everybody else to announce theirs. In a home-game setting or even a 3-4 table store game setting, it doesn't take long to figure out factions. From an external standpoint alone, hiding your faction is not an easy task.

When I GM at the big conventions I try hard to let players keep factions secret, but I'd say 9/10 of the time so far it's failed simply due to player actions. So while in a perfect world it would be fantastic if we could keep things confidential, in the real-world it just doesn't work. Some players also really want to get all their faction points, and will cajole every player they can find into helping, even if it means doing so on a personal player-to-player level.

Silver Crusade 3/5

This happens a lot:

GM: Anyone want to keep their faction secret?
Player 1: Me
Player 2: Oh so that will be Cheliax then.

It's kind of a running gag.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Todd Lower wrote:
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Two things: one, make sure the player actually reads the Guide to PFS Play to see what PA can be used for and two, in Chapter Four on character creation the very first thing you do is choose a Faction, before stats, race, class, etc.

+1

During these discussions I sometimes forget that these players sacrifice alot more than just the ability to buy stuff. And besides, who wouldn't want to be a member of a great group like the Chelaxians. Friendly and warm. Sorta fuzzy all over, you know. :-0

The Chelaxians at least are HONEST about what they are. As opposed to those who make the pretense of being do-gooders.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FallofCamelot wrote:


If you are playing a character who is deliberately sub optimal (like for example I am intending playing a Rahadoumi character who refuses to have any clerical magic cast on him- including healing) then I will make that clear at the table before I play. If people have major objections then I will either find another table or play another character. However this is my personal choice to do this, I should not feel forced to play any character in particular, nor should I feel that my character should have a blanket reject based on the way I want to play.

A blanket reject, perhaps not. But remember that this is group play and you do need to balance your desires with the fact that you're in a mutually cooperative action with several other people at the table as well.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Andrew Christian wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
I would like to make something clear, I am not accusing the player mentioned in the OP of purposely going out to ruin other people getting PA, all I am saying that a consequence of his conscious choice not to ever do faction missions could be other players missing out on faction missions, because of that I think it is a poor choice to make, and something I would not allow a player to do.

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

GM: You see the target of your mission...

Player: I ignore it.

GM: You do not, and I will roll your diplomacy as you go talk to them.

I'd get up mid-adventure, walk away from the table, and go complain to the coordinator if you did that to me, regardless of the reason.

If a player refuses to do his faction mission and they want to save me effort on running them through. it's no skin off my nose as a GM.

However if there are other members of the faction at the same table who DO want to do their job, it's my discretion as to whether he gets to coast in on the PA award because they did the work and he did not. It would depend on circumstance, especially if he was actively disruptive while they were doing the hard work.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Painlord wrote:

ire faction mechanic didn't exist.

With the number of players who actively care more about their faction missions than their Pathfinder missions combined with the bloat and confusion around the factions and PA in general, I slowly begin to question whether they are an overall boon or bane.

I don't have a problem with players getting passionate about thier faction missions, in fact in a few of the modules the faction missions ARE the main thrust with the mission just being a handy excuse for the factions to get thier dirty work done.

I love the factions, they get the real political "Casablanca" feel that Absalom should have. And compared to Living Arcanis where faction missions could very well put players at cross purposes and PVP, Factions in PFS are "easy mode".

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Andrew Christian wrote:

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

Easy, If I feel the PC the player is playing will be disruptive to the fun of other players, in any case, I will tell the player to either play a different PC or leave my table.

Edit: In this particular case with the OP I would take it by case by basis, if he was the only one of that faction, no harm done, if he shared the faction with others I would look at his faction missions to see if there was a chance his inaction could cause the other players to lose PA, if they could then I would do the above, if there was very little chance of that I would let him play.

The Exchange

Dragnmoon wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

Easy, If I feel the PC the player is playing will be disruptive to the fun of other players, in any case, I will tell the player to either play a different PC or leave my table.

I have a small problem with this, OP is a democracy not a dictatorship; personally given the choice I would choose not to play on that table and if that meant that I didn't play that slot I would be ok with it. I would rather work with a GM that was a bit more flexible and not so rigid.

On the GM side; the player would be noted as not helping with the faction mission and receive 0 PA. But that's what he wanted -- oh noes I gave a plyer what they wanted, no PA.

Bottom line is we all play for fun and for different reasons, there is no reason to turn into a dictator about how another person chooses to make the game fun for them. As a player I have the right to get up and walk away from a table I don't want to play and I know there are a handful of players that I won't play with.. that's my choice. I now have a GM who's table I won't sit at .. different side of the list, but now I have another list.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Thea Peters wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

Easy, If I feel the PC the player is playing will be disruptive to the fun of other players, in any case, I will tell the player to either play a different PC or leave my table.

I have a small problem with this, OP is a democracy not a dictatorship; personally given the choice I would choose not to play on that table and if that meant that I didn't play that slot I would be ok with it. I would rather work with a GM that was a bit more flexible and not so rigid.

On the GM side; the player would be noted as not helping with the faction mission and receive 0 PA. But that's what he wanted -- oh noes I gave a plyer what they wanted, no PA.

Bottom line is we all play for fun and for different reasons, there is no reason to turn into a dictator about how another person chooses to make the game fun for them. As a player I have the right to get up and walk away from a table I don't want to play and I know there are a handful of players that I won't play with.. that's my choice. I now have a GM who's table I won't sit at .. different side of the list, but now I have another list.

This is BS Thea, and you know that..

So let me ask you this, If you knew for a fact the the way a player is playing a PC could or would cause some or all of the players at the table to get pissed/angry/not have fun, you would still let that player play?

I know for a fact that this can happen with what the OP talks about so I would not allow this player to ruin the fun for others, I am sorry if people don't like that but the excuse that he should be allowed the play his PC the way he wants is BS if the way he wants ruins it for others, I will not except that ever.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Personally I don't see a difference between being on a table with a player of my faction that doesn't want his faction points and being the only member of that faction on the table.

As long as the player himself doesn't do something to gaurantee other members don't get their faction points, it's not an issue in my book. If that player was the only one who could have succeeded on that particular mission, I'm still cool with it. Far too much emphasis is put on getting every single faction point as it is.

I agree with the thought that creating a character like this is purposely going against the whole idea of the campaign. I've seen much more agregious things than this.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:
Thea Peters wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

Easy, If I feel the PC the player is playing will be disruptive to the fun of other players, in any case, I will tell the player to either play a different PC or leave my table.

I have a small problem with this, OP is a democracy not a dictatorship; personally given the choice I would choose not to play on that table and if that meant that I didn't play that slot I would be ok with it. I would rather work with a GM that was a bit more flexible and not so rigid.

On the GM side; the player would be noted as not helping with the faction mission and receive 0 PA. But that's what he wanted -- oh noes I gave a plyer what they wanted, no PA.

Bottom line is we all play for fun and for different reasons, there is no reason to turn into a dictator about how another person chooses to make the game fun for them. As a player I have the right to get up and walk away from a table I don't want to play and I know there are a handful of players that I won't play with.. that's my choice. I now have a GM who's table I won't sit at .. different side of the list, but now I have another list.

This is BS Thea, and you know that..

So let me ask you this, If you knew for a fact the the way a player is playing a PC could or would cause some or all of the players at the table to get pissed/angry/not have fun, you would still let that player play?

I know for a fact that this can happen with what the OP talks about so I would not allow this player to ruin the fun for others, I am sorry if people don't like that but the excuse that he should be allowed the play his PC the way he wants is BS if the way he wants ruins it for others, I will not except that ever.

Hey Dragnmoon, as you seem to have taken this so personally, can we have an example of how this di what you say it did. I'm not saying I doubt you, I just want to see where you are coming from.

Unless this person is actively ruining missions, how is he hurting anyone?

The Exchange

Dragnmoon wrote:
Thea Peters wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

Easy, If I feel the PC the player is playing will be disruptive to the fun of other players, in any case, I will tell the player to either play a different PC or leave my table.

I have a small problem with this, OP is a democracy not a dictatorship; personally given the choice I would choose not to play on that table and if that meant that I didn't play that slot I would be ok with it. I would rather work with a GM that was a bit more flexible and not so rigid.

On the GM side; the player would be noted as not helping with the faction mission and receive 0 PA. But that's what he wanted -- oh noes I gave a plyer what they wanted, no PA.

Bottom line is we all play for fun and for different reasons, there is no reason to turn into a dictator about how another person chooses to make the game fun for them. As a player I have the right to get up and walk away from a table I don't want to play and I know there are a handful of players that I won't play with.. that's my choice. I now have a GM who's table I won't sit at .. different side of the list, but now I have another list.

This is BS Thea, and you know that..

So let me ask you this, If you knew for a fact the the way a player is playing a PC could or would cause some or all of the players at the table to get pissed/angry/not have fun, you would still let that player play?

I know for a fact that this can happen with what the OP talks about so I would not allow this player to ruin the fun for others, I am sorry if people don't like that but the excuse that he should be allowed the play his PC the way he wants is BS if the way he wants ruins it for others, I will not except that ever.

If I've never played with the player, I would question them on how they run their character to get a feel for how things will go. Am I going to demand that they play a different character before finding out what I need to know to make the table go smoothly .. no.. If I feel the way they play their character (i.e. purposefully destroying the faction mission objective to prevent others getting pa) I would ask that they consider a different table, or I would take steps to make sure that they weren't given the opportunity to destory other's faction mission. If they just simply choose not to help with obtaining faction; I would let the table know that player A isn't going to be participating in faction missions and therefore will receive no PA and go from there.

Just because you've had bad experiences in the past with players that disrupt the table doesn't mean that ALL players that choose to eschew PA are going to be distruptive and pigeon holeing all players like that into a group, is in my opinion, as bad as lumping all women into a group that cannot ever be a mechanic. Past experiene also does not make something "a fact", it makes it an experience. You are limiting the potential of the player to prove that the character is viable with the way he wants to play it.

Simply put you and I are going to disagree on this. I prefer a more open-minded point of view and you seem to prefer the dictatorship point of view. I'm going to agree to disagree at this point and hope you do that same. I don't want to get into an arguement with someone that isn't going to change either their mind or mine; it's pointless.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
I would like to make something clear, I am not accusing the player mentioned in the OP of purposely going out to ruin other people getting PA, all I am saying that a consequence of his conscious choice not to ever do faction missions could be other players missing out on faction missions, because of that I think it is a poor choice to make, and something I would not allow a player to do.

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

GM: You see the target of your mission...

Player: I ignore it.

GM: You do not, and I will roll your diplomacy as you go talk to them.

I'd get up mid-adventure, walk away from the table, and go complain to the coordinator if you did that to me, regardless of the reason.

If a player refuses to do his faction mission and they want to save me effort on running them through. it's no skin off my nose as a GM.

However if there are other members of the faction at the same table who DO want to do their job, it's my discretion as to whether he gets to coast in on the PA award because they did the work and he did not. It would depend on circumstance, especially if he was actively disruptive while they were doing the hard work.

I understand your point. And this may be something some player tries to do.

However, the OP I think was not describing this sort of action. Rather the player doesn’t want their character to get any PA. So if they ignored the mission, and didn’t take any PA if others did succeed, then I don’t see the problem.

I don’t think the OP’s query had anything to do with actively trying to sabotage faction missions. This to me would be against the “bully” rule.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Andrew Christian wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
I would like to make something clear, I am not accusing the player mentioned in the OP of purposely going out to ruin other people getting PA, all I am saying that a consequence of his conscious choice not to ever do faction missions could be other players missing out on faction missions, because of that I think it is a poor choice to make, and something I would not allow a player to do.

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

GM: You see the target of your mission...

Player: I ignore it.

GM: You do not, and I will roll your diplomacy as you go talk to them.

I'd get up mid-adventure, walk away from the table, and go complain to the coordinator if you did that to me, regardless of the reason.

If a player refuses to do his faction mission and they want to save me effort on running them through. it's no skin off my nose as a GM.

However if there are other members of the faction at the same table who DO want to do their job, it's my discretion as to whether he gets to coast in on the PA award because they did the work and he did not. It would depend on circumstance, especially if he was actively disruptive while they were doing the hard work.

I understand your point. And this may be something some player tries to do.

However, the OP I think was not describing this sort of action. Rather the player doesn’t want their character to get any PA. So if they ignored the mission, and didn’t take any PA if others did succeed, then I don’t see the problem.

I don’t think the OP’s query had anything to do with actively trying to sabotage faction missions. This to me would be against the “bully” rule.

Agreed.

Not doing your missions is one thing.

Sabotaging missions is bullying at the least and pvp at the worst. I'd give the player a chance to choose differently then kick the player and retcon his actions.

Silver Crusade 3/5

Dragnmoon wrote:
Thea Peters wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

How, as a GM, can you "not allow them" to not do a faction mission?

Easy, If I feel the PC the player is playing will be disruptive to the fun of other players, in any case, I will tell the player to either play a different PC or leave my table.

I have a small problem with this, OP is a democracy not a dictatorship; personally given the choice I would choose not to play on that table and if that meant that I didn't play that slot I would be ok with it. I would rather work with a GM that was a bit more flexible and not so rigid.

On the GM side; the player would be noted as not helping with the faction mission and receive 0 PA. But that's what he wanted -- oh noes I gave a plyer what they wanted, no PA.

Bottom line is we all play for fun and for different reasons, there is no reason to turn into a dictator about how another person chooses to make the game fun for them. As a player I have the right to get up and walk away from a table I don't want to play and I know there are a handful of players that I won't play with.. that's my choice. I now have a GM who's table I won't sit at .. different side of the list, but now I have another list.

This is BS Thea, and you know that..

So let me ask you this, If you knew for a fact the the way a player is playing a PC could or would cause some or all of the players at the table to get pissed/angry/not have fun, you would still let that player play?

I know for a fact that this can happen with what the OP talks about so I would not allow this player to ruin the fun for others, I am sorry if people don't like that but the excuse that he should be allowed the play his PC the way he wants is BS if the way he wants ruins it for others, I will not except that ever.

So it's your way or the highway?

So what if the OP doesn't want to do his faction mission? Unless he is actively trying to stop the others doing their faction mission then who gives a toss?

Give me a rational explaination as to why not doing your faction mission would screw over the other PC's or "spoil their enjoyment."

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Thea Peters wrote:
On the GM side; the player would be noted as not helping with the faction mission and receive 0 PA. But that's what he wanted -- oh noes I gave a plyer what they wanted, no PA.

I didn't realize that, as a GM, I could do this: pick and choose which members of a faction get prestige awards. I've been giving full prestige awards to all members of a faction, regardless of which member actually succeeds in noticing / killing / disarming / stealing the doobis.

--

Dragonmoon, I apologize for being dense here, but would you walk me through how the following situations are different:

  • Alvin and Belvedere are both secret agents of Taldor, but Belvedere doesn't care to work for prestige. Alvin needs to complete his faction missions on his own.
  • Alvin is a secret agent for Taldor, and Belvedere is a secret agent for a faction he declines to reveal. Alvin needs to complete his faction missions alone.

How could Alvin lose faction prestige in the first case that he would have achieved in the second case? If my character is technically a Taldan agent but doesn't care about what 'Baron Jacquo' asks me to do, how does that interfere with other Taldan agents?

--

In the new reporting system, however, if a player is by herself at a gaming table and lets the faction missions skate on by, she is indeed lowering the percentage of assigned faction missions that get completed, and she is therefore weakening that faction in competition for whatever cool prizes efficient factions win.

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