Changing Characters To Avoid Conflict


Pathfinder Society

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5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Jiggy wrote:


You're asking how I justify saying that players are the cause of OOC problems?

I'm asking how you justify saying that the wolf/necromancer/whatever is the cause of the conflict here.

Quote:
That's a subtly different statement than the one I was responding to.

I can't see how the blame can go anywhere but to the player who won't play with the rest of the group.

Quote:
As a player you know some people have weird concepts.
Tell me about it. Saturday I was in a party with a ninja named "Big Dog". :/

and Dim sun, the master of the combat waffle iron, my gnome who someday dreams of running his own undead dance troupe with banshee backup singers, cleric/fighter/mages, ... the character really is the one thing the individual players get to put into the campaign world.

Grand Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Tell me about it. Saturday I was in a party with a ninja named "Big Dog". :/

I can top that. Local character names:

Meat Shield (a fighter)
T. Baggins (a halfling)
Magic Mike
Miracle Max
Logan 'The Wolverine' Oakenshield
'Tiger' Bob (a druid with a tiger AC, so we can differentiate his character from his RL brother's druid, also named Bob, who is called 'Badger' Bob).
Lucanis Aviantread (Luke Skywalker...get it?)
Aladdin (A Blackblade Maguc with a sword who is supposed to be the Genie)
A female Dhampir who goes by 'Blade'
Clint Beakwood (a tengu gunslinger)
Arkin Odenson (a Thor knockoff)

There are probably some I'm forgetting. Also, all of these characters (expcet the 'Bob' brothers) belong to players who have GMed for me, most of them on a regular basis...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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/facepalm

Liberty's Edge 5/5

@BNW:

My point, I guess, isn’t coming across well. I’m not really as hard line as my posts seem to make me out to be. I’m also not a lover of Paladins. I don’t have a single Paladin character (yet).

My characters would find a way to get a mission done with just about any other character. That was a conscious choice I made with my characters, and I largely based it on what research I’d done as to what the Pathfinder Society was, and what the organized campaign was about. Cooperate being one of the rules so to speak.

Bbauzh, my Rage Prophet Andoran Sir Captain Eagle Knight hates slavery (he was an ex slave) with a passion. Yet he’s adventured with Chelaxians who had slaves. He tried to convince the slaves to escape and that he’d protect them. Was great fun roleplay (ultimately he was unsuccessfully in freeing that slave). So yes, I agree, that ultimately getting along is a two-way street.

But there is such a thing as creating a character who seems to specifically be built to push buttons. And you can tell by the attitude of the player, when you sit down to play the game. Generally those are the players who will be jerks with normal characters.

And yes, those types of jerks can be roleplaying a hard-nosed Paladin as much as a lucy-goosey undead summoner.

So do you tell the person who’s trying to compromise and yet still roleplay the character choices they’ve made to play a pregen because there are irreconcilable differences, or do you tell the jerk who is just trying to push buttons to play a pregen?

Does that more clearly delineate my stance?

P.S. By no means am I saying that just because you create a character that likes undead or uses undead, that you are immediately a jerk. If you are willing to compromise and enjoy in some good adversarial roleplay, that would be fine by me.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

My Wife’s 2nd character (now 10th level) is an Oracle of Heaven named Merga Troid.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Guys, we've gotten off topic a bit. The point is not about WHY a character change is being considered, but the logistics of HOW it can occur. In my experience, most sessions wind up with at least one player, often more than one, arriving right at or just after the start time. That means that not everyone can have that "what are you playing" conversation. In an effort to get moving (time constraints and all), the VC starts his opening monologue, after which, the players introduce themselves. At this point, everyone should know what everyone else is playing and whether or not the builds will have unresolvable issues, but it can also mean your character is just not suited for the mission at hand. Regardless of the WHY, I was just interested how many would/not allow a character change after the VC into text? Would you allow it after the faction missions were issued?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I figure if you're at a point where nothing would be different yet if the player had brought a different character (i.e., no skill checks made, no interactions with NPCs, etc), then with a good reason I see no major issues with swapping out a PC, especially if it'll make the table run a bit smoother overall.

Sovereign Court

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Guys, we've gotten off topic a bit. The point is not about WHY a character change is being considered, but the logistics of HOW it can occur. In my experience, most sessions wind up with at least one player, often more than one, arriving right at or just after the start time. That means that not everyone can have that "what are you playing" conversation. In an effort to get moving (time constraints and all), the VC starts his opening monologue, after which, the players introduce themselves. At this point, everyone should know what everyone else is playing and whether or not the builds will have unresolvable issues, but it can also mean your character is just not suited for the mission at hand. Regardless of the WHY, I was just interested how many would/not allow a character change after the VC into text? Would you allow it after the faction missions were issued?

Ah, I see why it would be an issue with players arriving late. Hmmm, I'd still say they should go with what they brought, be mature players if there is any inter-character issues. If someone shows up late before the opening box-text, let them go last in the player intros, that way they have an idea of who else is there. If someone shows up late after the opening box-text, usual rule at my gaming places is "sorry, you're too late". (Mainly because we usually have alternates chomping at the bit to play in their stead, haha)

The Exchange 5/5

How do you know what kind of PCs are at the table when you sit down late.
Suggestion/idea - Table tents. How many people use them? Not nearly enough.

The Exchange 5/5

Andrew Christian wrote:
nosig wrote:


...snipping to reduce Wall-Of-Text...

Nosig,

Do you have a viable character at every single sub-tier?

I don’t. I have 9 characters. 2 are level 12, one just hit level 10. I just barely got one of my level 3-4’s into level 5 with GM credit. I have one at level 3 almost 4, and one at level 4.1. I also have a level 2.1 and a level 1.1. Finally I have a level 2 that hasn’t been made yet.

I have about 77 GM credits and approximately 50 player credits.

I can’t imagine how many games you’ve played to make sure you have 2 or 3 characters per sub-tier as you suggest.

Do I have a viable character at every single sub-tier? well, no. For a long time I had more than one for every sub-tier I could play (and still do - sort of).

When I had 5 PC's they were levels 6 and less. When I had 7 "the stars aligned" briefly and I had one at each level 1 to 7. It ment I could not play high tier (only one 7), but I like the lower level games. As I have played more, I endevor to keep two or three in a group. Currently I have only two games I can play below Tier 7-11 (waiting for more to be released, and looking for Mods to play - OH! and judging. And First Steps of course) except one that my wife is playing to run (sometime), and one I wont play due to the title (yeah, I hate Haunts that much). Currently I have 9 PCs above level 1 (Levels 11.2, 10.0, 8.2, 8.0, 7.2, 6.0, 6.0, 3.2, & 2.1).

The gap between the 3.2 and two 6.0 PCs is due to the fact that I have no more scenarios for them to play. So, if I had to play at sub-tier 4-5 I would have to play someone from outside the sub-tier, or a pre-gen.

OH! and I only have 10 more Tier 7-11s to play (until some more are released). But there are new ones every month!

Sovereign Court

nosig wrote:

How do you know what kind of PCs are at the table when you sit down late.

Suggestion/idea - Table tents. How many people use them? Not nearly enough.

OO! I do! I DO! With character name, race, class, my name as a player, and a pic just for some flavour. Amazing how many people still can't spell my characters' names even with it staring right back at them...

The Exchange 5/5

Sior wrote:
nosig wrote:

How do you know what kind of PCs are at the table when you sit down late.

Suggestion/idea - Table tents. How many people use them? Not nearly enough.
OO! I do! I DO! With character name, race, class, my name as a player, and a pic just for some flavour. Amazing how many people still can't spell my characters' names even with it staring right back at them...

Thank you sir! it would be a pleasure to have you at my table (as a judge or player).

Not all my PCs tents have pictures - but many do, and all of them have a tent. And I like to put my Perception bonus and Sense Motive bonus on each - so the judge can quickly see what my PC will get without needing to ask (I always take 10). I also use business cards for some of my PCs (handed out during introductions), or other unique things for each (my alchemist hands out alchemical item cards that say something like "The Toaster loans you XXX...).

The Exchange 5/5

Not exactly on topic, but...

I just remembered another instance of "Changing Characters to Aviod Conflict". I've seen a player switch out of playing a Cleric when she found the scenario took place in Rahadoum... switch to a different PC so as not to run a divine caster there.

Sovereign Court

It's tiring finding a pic for each character. I have a friend who draws characters for commissions, but I can't afford one for every character. So pictures of the mini being used, random art I may find that fits, or something from an online Hero Builder program (as cheesy as those turn out). Just something to fill up the space and make it interesting. Good idea putting those bonuses on there. May have to incorporate. Okay, enough of this tangental post.

Silver Crusade

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Guys, we've gotten off topic a bit. The point is not about WHY a character change is being considered, but the logistics of HOW it can occur. In my experience, most sessions wind up with at least one player, often more than one, arriving right at or just after the start time. That means that not everyone can have that "what are you playing" conversation. In an effort to get moving (time constraints and all), the VC starts his opening monologue, after which, the players introduce themselves. At this point, everyone should know what everyone else is playing and whether or not the builds will have unresolvable issues, but it can also mean your character is just not suited for the mission at hand. Regardless of the WHY, I was just interested how many would/not allow a character change after the VC into text? Would you allow it after the faction missions were issued?

I generally have the players introduce themselves and their PCs before the opening monologue. That's usually when any character switching will take place.


I think a lot of it surrounds how dedicated to RP the group is. For me when I go to a Con I go with the understanding that I have to suppress my RP instincts a bit because Im going to be playing with people that may find it intrusive to their killing, inconsistent to my character storylines, and often I'll be sharing a table with people completely not interested in RP (Ninjas named Big Dog and Fighters named Meat Shield for example, hilarious btw!!!) So I guess when it comes to the Cons I tend to assume my character is adventuring in an alternate reality or something.

However in my regular group where RP is the main focus then I do play true to the RP of my character. To that point, if she ends up meeting characters her RP would run contrary to I will put up a stink... IC! I do me best to keep it IC and that usually works.


At the end of the day ask the players. If they aren't having fun then why be at the table right? Many a group have been split over a GM not allowing a players to work out what they want to play.

2/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Now, in my experience, often the character intros don't occur until after the intro boxed-text. Would you allow a player to switch characters that far into the scenario?

At most tables, we always discuss which characters we're bringing BEFORE we start the scenario. So this situation has never come up so far.

If I was running and someone wanted to change PCs after the PC introductions, I would let him change. He's only changing characters so that his character choice won't be disruptive and unpleasant at the table. The goal of the game is to have fun, so I don't have a problem with this.


Andrew Christian wrote:

One last comment, and as Seth suggested, I’ll leave it alone.

There is an entire faction (Andoran) that specifically hates undead, think they break the rules of freedom that they live by (undead is just a form of slavery to them).

If my NG Rage Prophet Sir Captain Eagle Knight who worships Cayden, said he wouldn’t adventure with someone who chose to summon or create undead during the mission, is my character the extreme character, the intractable one? Or is the one summoning or creating the undead, who knows that most good folk will think it incredibly distasteful, if not outright evil and wrong to do so, the one who is intractable if they choose to summon anyways?

They do what now?

Darn, never realised that :-/

Sovereign Court

Funky Badger wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

One last comment, and as Seth suggested, I’ll leave it alone.

There is an entire faction (Andoran) that specifically hates undead, think they break the rules of freedom that they live by (undead is just a form of slavery to them).

If my NG Rage Prophet Sir Captain Eagle Knight who worships Cayden, said he wouldn’t adventure with someone who chose to summon or create undead during the mission, is my character the extreme character, the intractable one? Or is the one summoning or creating the undead, who knows that most good folk will think it incredibly distasteful, if not outright evil and wrong to do so, the one who is intractable if they choose to summon anyways?

They do what now?

Darn, never realised that :-/

I think I recall reading that. However, I also recall reading:

"A member of this [Andoran] faction should be willing to bend the rules of tyrannical law in order to plant the seed of liberty, even when doing so requires employing questionable techniques."
So it's not too far-fetched that an Andoran would grudgingly work with one such as that to get the job done.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka Yiroep

I think views of undead are far too ingrained in the Pathfinder pantheon, personally. I feel that every other god thinks it's "cool" to hate undead, even neutral ones. It's far too one-sided.


Sior wrote:

]I think I recall reading that. However, I also recall reading:

"A member of this [Andoran] faction should be willing to bend the rules of tyrannical law in order to plant the seed of liberty, even when doing so requires employing questionable techniques."
So it's not too far-fetched that an Andoran would grudgingly work with one such as that to get the job done.

My LG Andoren never had an issue with any undead fluffers. Has recently had a bit of a falling out with Maldris though...

Silver Crusade

The only place I remember hearing about Andorens hating undead is when the PCs meet Maldris in First Steps, part 2.

The Exchange 5/5

They don't exactly hate undead... they hate slavery. And Maldris voices the opinion that being undead is a form of slavery. Persons how have been converted to undead have been deprived of thier free will, have in a way become slaves. So, you can overthrow this form slavery by killing all the slaves! Wait... that didn't come out the way it should have...

O,O?

Sovereign Court

Fromper wrote:
The only place I remember hearing about Andorens hating undead is when the PCs meet Maldris in First Steps, part 2.

Ah! That's where I remember it from! Well remembered.


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If the players at the table cannot come up with a reasonable explanation for ANY PFS legal PC combo with the help of the GM, I say they are being lazy.

The undead creator/animator looks at the paladin and says "these creatures are serving their punishment in a more positive role than their prior existence before I send them to their eternal rest."

If pressed, the cleric can tell the paladin to take it up with Hanspur. The paladin's player does not need to make it an issue, nor does the paladin PC have to forego the mission because of his distaste.

This isn't that difficult. If you are creative enough to come up with a PC that might be offensive to some other PCs (not players - I think the problem with the fake outrage is that players act like their PCs) then you are certainly creative enough to be able to explain your motivations and role towards the mission and/or greater good to that PCs diametrically opposed alignment, role, whatever.


nosig wrote:

They don't exactly hate undead... they hate slavery. And Maldris voices the opinion that being undead is a form of slavery. Persons how have been converted to undead have been deprived of thier free will, have in a way become slaves. So, you can overthrow this form slavery by killing all the slaves! Wait... that didn't come out the way it should have...

O,O?

The trouble with Maldris is... he's kind of a dick.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington D.C. aka Grolick

While I haven't GMed as much as some of you, I prefer getting all of the "oh, my character has issues with your character" out of the way BEFORE I fill out sheets, etc. I tend to hand out faction missions before I start with the box text as well, FWIW. So if I have players who maybe have characters who aren't going to be best friends, either someone changes before I start or they work it out to make it work.

Here's the thing to me. Would a pathfinder really be like "Wow, I got summoned to this mission. Ewww, not with that jerk!?"

Dark Archive

Andrew Christian wrote:

One last comment, and as Seth suggested, I’ll leave it alone.

There is an entire faction (Andoran) that specifically hates undead, think they break the rules of freedom that they live by (undead is just a form of slavery to them).

If my NG Rage Prophet Sir Captain Eagle Knight who worships Cayden, said he wouldn’t adventure with someone who chose to summon or create undead during the mission, is my character the extreme character, the intractable one? Or is the one summoning or creating the undead, who knows that most good folk will think it incredibly distasteful, if not outright evil and wrong to do so, the one who is intractable if they choose to summon anyways?

Yes, your character is the one at fault. The undead summoner has no qualms working with you. You have qualms working with the,

The only person who is breaking the pathfinder rules to work together is your character.

My Asmodean worshiping Sorcerer often times employes a shadow based familiar, and works with everyone, but I have had times where others tell me they wont work with me, because I choose to turn my familiar into a shadow. Heck, I have even had people channel agaisnt my familiar, which is pvp, as my familiar is part of my class and build kit that I have invested into.

So all I can associate it to is, only the people who play LG / NG characters are the ones willing to break the rules, and be jerks because they cant seem to play well with others, even going so far as to start pvp and break other various rules because it's their way or the highway.

It's like the good Captain once said. You can always trust an evil man to do evil things, but you cant trust a goody two shoes, because who knows when they will decide to do something stupid.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 ⦵⦵

OO! I do! I DO! With character name, race, class, my name as a player, and a pic just for some flavour. Amazing how many people still can't spell my characters' names even with it staring right back at them...

Spell?

Heck, I have thought I need a pronunciation guide. There is no "R" in Silbeg. Not the name of a city :P

But, that's off topic.

Granted, I've only played a single PFS game, though I have played many a game at the Con of the North gaming convention... doesn't really matter if you are playing your own character, or pregens... it is the player who is disruptive, not the character.

However, it does seem pretty odd that the Pathfinder Society would choose to assign characters that couldn't get along on the same mission... they would be reading the member's dossiers before assigning (and thus, would give the option to select different characters). As a GM, I'd just let 'em swap out.

Having just played the Penumbral Accords, I was wondering why my Andoran factioned rogue would be working for the slave running Blakros family... but just let it go.

Silver Crusade

Silbeg the Stealthy wrote:


Having just played the Penumbral Accords, I was wondering why my Andoran factioned rogue would be working for the slave running Blakros family... but just let it go.

Heh. I'm reminded of when I played the same adventure. At the mission briefing, we had a lawful neutral monk sitting there going, "So let me get this straight. We're trying to help this Blackros family get out of a legally binding contract that they willingly entered into, then changed their minds?"


Sin of Asmodeus wrote:


Yes, your character is the one at fault. The undead summoner has no qualms working with you. You have qualms working with the,
The only person who is breaking the pathfinder rules to work together is your character.

My Asmodean worshiping Sorcerer often times employes a shadow based familiar, and works with everyone, but I have had times where others tell me they wont work with me, because I choose to turn my familiar into a shadow. Heck, I have even had people channel agaisnt my familiar, which is pvp, as my familiar is part of my class and build kit that I have invested into.

So all I can associate it to is, only the people who play LG / NG characters are the ones willing to break the rules, and be jerks because they cant seem to play well with others, even going so far as to start pvp and break other various rules because it's their way or the highway.

It's like the good Captain once said. You can always trust an evil man to do evil things, but you cant trust a goody two shoes, because who knows when they will decide to do something stupid.

The furthest my LG Andoran has gone is saying a firm "NO" to the executing/torturing of helpless prisoners.

My Silver Crusader won't even go that far. But he is a cleric of Asmodeus...

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Grolick wrote:

While I haven't GMed as much as some of you, I prefer getting all of the "oh, my character has issues with your character" out of the way BEFORE I fill out sheets, etc. I tend to hand out faction missions before I start with the box text as well, FWIW. So if I have players who maybe have characters who aren't going to be best friends, either someone changes before I start or they work it out to make it work.

Here's the thing to me. Would a pathfinder really be like "Wow, I got summoned to this mission. Ewww, not with that jerk!?"

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:
Sometimes, PCs just have problems getting along. Honestly, if some player decides to run their PC as a Zarta Dralneen clone, I would not want to go near that PC. Then again, I have problems running her as a GM when she shows up....

And there are certain local PCs that I find it difficult to play with. Although, as a GM, it can be a bit amusing watching that same PC die. Again. I think he has died at least three times.

And, while I won't play with a certain PC, I definitely won't count the PC as a serious factor for determining what sub-tier I want to play a scenario in. I even switched PCs because we were going to have this PC at 10th, my PC at 11th, and 2 7th level iconics run by other players. I switched to my lower level PC, and we played it at 7-8, instead of getting everyone killed by playing at 10-11 with 2 iconics...

The Exchange 5/5

wow... when I switch PCs, for whatever reason, I normally try to be sure that I DON'T change the Sub-tier. Unless that's the reason for the change.

(in your example above... wouldn't two 7s, a 10 and an 11 be <9 ... so you could have (should have in fact) played sub-tier 7-8 with that mix of PCs, - unless the reason you switched to the lower level PC was to NOT play the higher level PC down...)


This kinda of goes in line with this topic:

As a good aligned character, how do you handle your In Character reaction to another PC that is clearly crossing the line into evil action?

I know its PFS where RP is often a second thought due to time and nature of living campaign play but how do you handle it?

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Re Bob's initial post: I let the players sort out who they want to play. For relatively 'green' pathfinders, I make suggestions if I feel it'll help the discussion. For the more seasoned folk, my usual pre-game blurb includes something like..

"We'll be starting in a few minutes, after I've gotten this first map drawn out. So go ahead and decide what characters you'll be playing. Its a season 4, and you're running with 5 characters, so choose wisely..."

After they've decided, figuring out their APL, etc, I read the briefing. Only if something drastic happens (like a player swaps tables because they realize they've already played a game for credit) would I allow people to mix it up. But I feel like letting people swap around after the briefing is almost like changing to your archer over your cavalier once you find out the game is taking place in Harpy Canyon. =/

As a player, the decision making process I go through with my team when we all sit down at the table is this.
1. Anyone have a character they really wanted to play tonight? Ok, lets work around that.
2. I have a couple different support bros, and a character that loves beating stuff to death, what do the rest of you have?
3. So if we did that, what would our APL be? Alright, that sounds good.
3a. if between subtiers Do we want to play up? I have no problem with a challenge, but it needs to be unanimous.
4. Alright GM, we've got our team, and we'll be playing this subtier. Can we read those faction missions?
----------------
Cooperation is a major foundation of the Society. That said, I've seen lots of PCs not support one another for various RP reasons. An oracle of Sarenrae not dropping protection from fire on a shadowdancer because she had an undead companion, for example. If both players are mature, and go through the RP of it -- it's totally fine for their characters to exist in the same game, making jibes at one another about their various crimes against nature. As long as the players aren't doing it to each other.

In my example, the oracle didn't refuse to use a wand of CLW on the shadowdancer post combat and in fact removed a temporary negative level with a quick restoration. They didn't interfere with each other's faction mission -- it was just some relevant, in character, back and forth. And that's good.

Problems arise when the paladin tries to smite the wizard's imp, or the plant druid refuses to assist the pyromaniac gnome as he slowly succumbs to a nasty CON poison.

So RP your differences left and right, just don't be a jerk about it.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

nosig wrote:

wow... when I switch PCs, for whatever reason, I normally try to be sure that I DON'T change the Sub-tier. Unless that's the reason for the change.

(in your example above... wouldn't two 7s, a 10 and an 11 be <9 ... so you could have (should have in fact) played sub-tier 7-8 with that mix of PCs, - unless the reason you switched to the lower level PC was to NOT play the higher level PC down...)

Indeed, there were two reasons for changing PCs in that case.

One, Callarek, my high level archer, has already played down too much, and is suffering from issues with gold/item availability to play at tier. Too much playing down can lead to a situation where your PC is underpowered, and cannot afford to play at tier, due to that.

Two, as we were already looking at an underpowered 10, and two pregens (some time back, when the pregens ee worse than they are now), having my combat maneuver fighter instead of my archer fighter seemed to work better with the party composition.

End result was that we had a much better time at 7-8 than we would have at 10-11, partly because of power, partly because the GM didn't understand the way the Heal ability worked in that scenario.

Spoiler:
We were playing You Only Die Twice, and the GM would have pretty much TPKed the party with the haunt's 100 points of damage, because he didn't understand that it would have capped at leaving the PCs with 1 hit point, not dead.

Also, the scene with the Pharasman cleric was much funnier with my PC moving up and readying a trip attack that the cleric activated.

Okay, I trip the cleric with X (more than enough). As I have Greater Trip, that gives me an AoO. I use3 that AoO to disarm the cleric. ... roll ... Cleric disarmed successfully. Suince it is Greater Disarm, the weapon goes 3 squares in direction ... roll a 5 on the d8 for scatter ... behind my PC.

The 10th level rogue moves up, picks up the cleric's weapon, and moves up to the cleric, giving him the weapon while doing a (successful) Diplomacy check to get him to reconsider our status as enemies.

Fairly fast combat, over with no one hurt. And, IMO, very amusing. YMMV.


kinevon wrote:


One, Callarek, my high level archer, has already played down too much, and is suffering from issues with gold/item availability to play at tier. Too much playing down can lead to a situation where your PC is underpowered, and cannot afford to play at tier, due to that.

Should balance out with him being an archer, really... :-)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Funky Badger wrote:
kinevon wrote:


One, Callarek, my high level archer, has already played down too much, and is suffering from issues with gold/item availability to play at tier. Too much playing down can lead to a situation where your PC is underpowered, and cannot afford to play at tier, due to that.
Should balance out with him being an archer, really... :-)

Not when he winds up having to serve as the front liner. In light armor. And not built for hit points to absorb damage.

Multiple raises haven't helped his monetary situation.

He should have a bow that is better than +1 Seeking Darkwood Composite Longbow (Str +3), without even teh money available to add Adaptive to it. Yet.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka Yiroep

kinevon wrote:

Not when he winds up having to serve as the front liner. In light armor. And not built for hit points to absorb damage.

Multiple raises haven't helped his monetary situation.

He should have a bow that is better than +1 Seeking Darkwood Composite Longbow (Str +3), without even teh money available to add Adaptive to it. Yet.

Archer Derail:
For my bard-archer, I found that holy was the best enchantment I ever gave him. Not only is it +2d6 per hit against evil creatures, it more importantly gives it the good descriptor. Between his adamantine arrows, silver arrows, cold iron arrows, holy bow, ghost salt, blunt arrows, his oil of align weapon (chaos) and (law) he carries, there's not much DR he can't bypass (well, slashing is a problem...) Bring on the Ghost Bearded Devils with Stoneskin!

I think that holy is very worth saving up for.

Also, if someone told me to front line with him, I'd laugh at them. He may be able to get 30 AC, but with his 67 hit points at level 10, he wouldn't last long. Only died once, though, because he didn't wake up and got coup de graced. I'd say stick to your guns (and your bow).


Just going off the OP here...

I haven't had players change after intros for RP reasons...though on the long drive home from my games, I often wonder, "Why not?" hahahaha.

The largest reason, obviously, is that in becoming a member of the Society, each character (in his/her own way) would be accepting their role in the larger scheme of things. The Lawful Good Paladin, for example know that not every thing that happens in the PFS is lawful OR good (gasp), but by being involved in it he hopes to influence this larger organization to utilize more of its resources in that direction.

That means, at times, working with those who utilize methods he objects to. Heck, it may mean taking on missions he would normally find questionable (how many PF missions bend or break local laws? Hmmm?)

The Guide makes it pretty clear that while factions and individual Pathfinders may be diametrically opposed, those who become PFS agents agree to do so would jeopardize that faction's ability to 'manipulate Absalom to its will'. I reckon the Andoran gets along with the Chelaxian (at least, long enough to get through the mission) because if he just 'passes on that mission opportunity', he's essentially lost a very valuable chance to accomplish significant deeds for his faction (essentially, allowing his enemy to pull ahead). The LG Pally who sits it out because he doesn't want to travel with the CN lust-freak essentially does the same thing.

There is certainly something to be said for those characters who absolutely hold the 'means higher than the ends,' but let's admit it... the Pathfinder Society probably isn't the best arena for such a character to thrive. The society cares little whether the means it uses is seen as lawful or chaotic. And, dare I say, (as a neutral organization), they don't even place that much value on making sure their actions are good! Therefore, a 'means is everything' type of character may have a hard time being a constant adventurer in the PFS. Just thinking!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Walter Sheppard wrote:
Only if something drastic happens (like a player swaps tables because they realize they've already played a game for credit) would I allow people to mix it up. But I feel like letting people swap around after the briefing is almost like changing to your archer over your cavalier once you find out the game is taking place in Harpy Canyon.

I would counter that if there is another, more suitable, Pathfinder in town, wouldn't the Venture Captain want to send him? If the intro gives you a taste/hint as to what you might expect on your mission, choosing a character that has skills better suited to succeed seems to be obvious logic to me.

There doesn't seem to be anything in the rules specifically banning changing a character at the outset, but the language about only playing one PC per scenario "feels" like it might be applicable. Dunno. I certainly don't think that the GM should encourage/dissuade a player from their choice of character, nor do I think a PC change should be allowed once the scenario has commenced. But, what defines the starting point for the mission is a topic that garners a lot of different opinions. I've heard extremes from your choice of PC cannot be changed once the pre-game player intros are complete right up to initiative of the first official encounter.

Dark Archive

In general I guess its whatever the Judge is comfortable with, which for me would be no changing characters after I have started the briefing, but thats more because I like knowing who is playing what so I can try and customise the scenario to the players which is hard if people change characters after the briefing.

I also sometimes do other odd things, like I will sometimes call for initiative rolls during the venture captain briefing (and then save them for the first encounter of the scenario).

Honestly though once you have interacted with the scenario you should change characters


kinevon wrote:
Funky Badger wrote:
kinevon wrote:


One, Callarek, my high level archer, has already played down too much, and is suffering from issues with gold/item availability to play at tier. Too much playing down can lead to a situation where your PC is underpowered, and cannot afford to play at tier, due to that.
Should balance out with him being an archer, really... :-)

Not when he winds up having to serve as the front liner. In light armor. And not built for hit points to absorb damage.

Multiple raises haven't helped his monetary situation.

He should have a bow that is better than +1 Seeking Darkwood Composite Longbow (Str +3), without even teh money available to add Adaptive to it. Yet.

Ouch. Happened to me with my Ranger. Started out as crossbow focused, but was the only front-liner in our semi-regular group.

All worked out pretty well though.

Although I still haven't got precise shot...

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Only if something drastic happens (like a player swaps tables because they realize they've already played a game for credit) would I allow people to mix it up. But I feel like letting people swap around after the briefing is almost like changing to your archer over your cavalier once you find out the game is taking place in Harpy Canyon.

I would counter that if there is another, more suitable, Pathfinder in town, wouldn't the Venture Captain want to send him? If the intro gives you a taste/hint as to what you might expect on your mission, choosing a character that has skills better suited to succeed seems to be obvious logic to me.

There doesn't seem to be anything in the rules specifically banning changing a character at the outset, but the language about only playing one PC per scenario "feels" like it might be applicable. Dunno. I certainly don't think that the GM should encourage/dissuade a player from their choice of character, nor do I think a PC change should be allowed once the scenario has commenced. But, what defines the starting point for the mission is a topic that garners a lot of different opinions. I've heard extremes from your choice of PC cannot be changed once the pre-game player intros are complete right up to initiative of the first official encounter.

Good points Bob. I think we more or less see eye to eye, if only differing in when we consider the game to have officially started.

Honestly, if it were early on, I wouldn't stop a player from swapping characters if they wanted to, but it still feels like a cop out to me. For a low level game, with newer folk, I'd throw them a bone and give them a heads-up if I felt like they'd need one. Otherwise, especially in the 7-11 play, if you head into a game where your character his a brick wall in terms of effectiveness, then that's a wake up call.

You should be able to fly at level 7, if only by drinking a potion. You should have options for darkvision, swarms, blah blah. And because some players like focusing all their resources in one direction (max str, best two-handed weapon, best enchantment, no protection), it would irk me if a super one-sided character realized they would be unfit for a game, and decided to back out or swap to something else.

Like if a blaster caster leaves the briefing, gathers info, and finds out that the next location was full of immune to magic creatures and then decides to swap to a premade rogue. Because in that example, they'd be doing it for no other reason than "it would be hard with that character." That's a pretty lame excuse imo. And maybe that never happens elsewhere, but I've seen it here a couple times before. And it's irked me.

And again, I'm talking about higher level play. In a lowbie game, I wouldn't start the briefing if the party was woefully unbalanced and in for a very rough time. We'd talk about balanced party composition, and I'd see what we could do to fix it.

But I don't know, that's just me. If I'm running a game and it ends up leading the PCs into the Lands of the Linnorm kings, I'd probably let a player swap to his Mammoth Rider if we hadn't gotten into combat yet. Who can say no to mastodons?

It's probably more of a case by case thing than a hard and fast rule. I GM for the same 20-30 people two to three times a week, so we're all pretty relaxed when it comes to situations like this.

Sovereign Court Venture-Captain, New Mexico—Roswell aka Rob Duncan

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I run my tables this way:

1) Everybody says hello and introduces the character they intend to play.
2) I ask if everyone is comfortable with what we have on board or if they want to swap/use a pregen/go somewhere else.
3) Once I say the name of the adventure we're playing, it's on. Your character is there.

I do a lot of training where we grab people out of the middle of their day and have them do stuff; it helps them become adaptable (or learn to keep adequate kit close by). You were planning to do PT and are wearing running shorts? Well, you have a protective detail at a fancy event in an hour. You were planning to go to court in your suit? You just got a call out.

I bet the Pathfinder Society would be like this.. Just because you're a mage and can decipher the secrets of the universe doesn't mean that some VC catches wind of an attempted theft or something and sends you off to go get it because you're the closest Pathfinder there. Likewise, you may be a fighter that can tear enemies apart.. until some very reclusive group decides that today is the day that they're going to try to make contact and work with the Pathfinder and everybody else is busy.

That's part of the fun! Working outside your element, having to adapt and overcome. ^_^

"My character is not built for this.." is a crap excuse. Don't be that guy.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

Robert Duncan wrote:
That's part of the fun! Working outside your element, having to adapt and overcome.

I disagree. That's not fun. If you get thrown in at the deep end by some stressed-out VC because you're the only resource at hand, and the only companions you have for the mission are woefully unprepared, it's your (character's) life that's on the line. If you're telling me that my options are to walk away from the table there and then with an 0XP chronicle, or to take on a suicide mission, that's a pretty easy choice.

My goal, as a judge, is to make things fun for the players. That doesn't include trying to trap them into doing things they don't want to do.

5/5 RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

I once had a complete newbie choose to play the oracle pregen in Citadel of Flame. (REALLY not the scenario for her...) Since that fiasco, I've sometimes suggested that a player bring a different character to a scenario, especially when the player is new.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Archer Derail:
Huh. Sometimes, because of party make-up, he is the only "true" full BAB class member. Heh. One combat, an enemy charged him, rolled a threat, and rolled a 4 to back it up. If the GM had rolled a 5, it would have confirmed. Then again, the damage for the attack, at sub-tier 5-6 in a 5-9, was 1d4.

Tomorrow, my 9th level fighter, who is NOT an armored tank type, is looking like he might be the nominal frontliner.

archer/trapsmith 11
cleric 10
Magus 9
Wizard 8
Fighter 9
Living Monolith 10 or Paladin 9

If I am reading that group correctly, the potential Paladin may be the only tank in the lot. My fighter is a Polearm Master, wears light armor because he wants as much of his Dex bonus to AC as possible, and the ability to move at 30'. He is designed for local battlefield control, not damage in general. Dex 24, Agile Maneuvers, EWP: Fauchard, Greater Trip/Disarm, Combat Reflexes (8 AoOs per round). His AC is base 26, so he is a fairly squishy target in the hittable sense, although he can boost it a bit using Combat Expertise and fighting defensively.

His main schtick, of course, is targeted at humanoid opponents who aren't monks/monk-like. He does have Weapon Finesse and an Agile rapier as a backup, but that won't give him the damage output of a DPS Fighter or Barbarian, just make him less pathetic than his Str 12 with his fauchard for regular attacks.

My archer, on the other hand, is pretty much a one-trick pony, although a couple of feats (specifically Point-Blank Master) and abilities make that trick a bit less dangerous than it might be. He has a couple of useful skills, he had to find ways to take Diplomacy as he is Andoran, and keeps running into those diplomatic Andoran missions, rather than the ones that say, "Kill such-and-so. He deserves it."

The local group was so ... Pathfinder non-savvy that his 1d8+7 (I think that was the damage rating at the time) per arrow damage made him be considered the "go to" guy for damage/taking out enemies in the local scene... On an individual basis, a 1st level PC can be built to out-perform that damage... Pardon my sour grapes.


@Robert Duncan: ""My character is not built for this.." is a crap excuse. Don't be that guy."

"As a player, I won't have fun playing this one of my PCs for this scenario, as it has been explained by the VC or in determining what everyone is playing."

As a GM, I think you can swap out PCs, as long as both PCs would be legal to play in the scenario, until someone makes that first d20 roll, whether it is a Knowledge check after the briefing, or initiative in the first encounter.

While it was not completely obvious from my initial post, you have to realize that that specific PC change was during the pre-game ramp up, as we were discussing who was playing what, and what sub-tier we would be playing at. To be honest, with half the party being pregens played by visiting out-of-towners, I almost backed out entirely.

As the game played, that would have been a shame. That scenario included one encounter that turned out to be one of the most amusing I have played in, although the same PC, in a different scenario, spending most of the scenario being puzzled as to why the clergy of his own deity kept telling him he couldn't go into his own temple was amusing in a different way. And that was another scenario where the "easy" faction mission was completed successfully by everyone, Andoran or not, without our realizing we were completing the mission, until the GM answered our questions later, and explained what we were supposed to do (or not do, in this case).

Explosive Runes!:
The first scenario I mentioned was You Only Die Twice, where my trip/disarm PC, and the Rogue/Bard with a good diplomacy, ended the encounter with the Pharasman cleric with no one taking any damage, and in under a round.

The second scenario was Hall of Drunken Heroes, and the PC I played for that game has Cayden Cailean listed as his deity. And the faction mission was to, basically, not attack the Charmed clerics of Cayden Cailean when they refuse to let the PCs stay in the temple.


I think the only scenario where this really comes up is You Only Die Twice - which can cause some issues for followers of Pharasma...

Each scenario has a couple of paragraphs blurb... I think players should read that, then decide what characters they want to play.

As mentioned before, there's no reason characters can't "get along" with each other, at least to get the mission done.

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