PFS and the Casual Player


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Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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FanaticRat wrote:
GMs will let you do that? Is that a rule? That seems like some table variation type stuff...maybe I could strap it to a belt or something, can you do that?

If a GM tells me that I don't know which pocket contains my oil of daylight or potion of remove blindness, I will point out that I (the player) know which pockets contain my car keys and my wallet and can retrieve them with my eyes closed, and that an adventurer who had the foresight to HAVE an item to be used when he can't see is going to know where it's located on his person. I will point this out once. If the GM sticks with his ruling, I will walk away from the table. I'll conduct myself politely of course, but I won't be finishing that game and I won't be playing with that person again.

1/5

Ok, I was just wondering. See, I play a haunted oracle and have run into a lot of frustration about table variation when it comes to trying to find ways to use items in combat, so I just wanted to make sure I actually had some precedent for being able to do these things.

I still hate darkness and deeper darkness though and plan on learning the spell Daylight next level anyway, just so I can be done with it.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

Jiggy wrote:
FanaticRat, I could be wrong, but I think the scenario from your story earlier was retired due to being too rough. Have there been any other situations where you had to deal with deeper darkness in subtier 1-2?

Nope... still a valid scenario as it is from Season 1. I played it earlier this year. There are about 3 encounters in that one that people complain about:

Spoiler:

Darkest Vengeance, right?

The "bad" encounters are:
The doll
The bat swarms in the boat
and the final deeper darkness coupled with the rogue.

When I played, we were lucky enough to have an Aasimar with us. His Daylight countered the Deeper Darkness long enough for us to really mess up the bad guy... after he was down to minimal hit points, the additional deeper darknesses really didn't matter that much.

I will agree with the Veteran's Vault... ran that a couple of weeks ago, and they had a really rough time with it.

Spoiler:

Darkness went off from the Darkmantle, followed by the Jinkin casting Sleep, which took out 3 of the characters. Only one character had Darkvision (a half-orc), who was the primary target of a lot of stuff, while the others did their best.

Was a long, drawn out battle for them. The worst part was the three players sitting back, watching, while the remaining three tried to fight (took about 5-6 rounds before they decided to try and wake anyone up).

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Jiggy wrote:
FanaticRat wrote:
GMs will let you do that? Is that a rule? That seems like some table variation type stuff...maybe I could strap it to a belt or something, can you do that?
If a GM tells me that I don't know which pocket contains my oil of daylight or potion of remove blindness, I will point out that I (the player) know which pockets contain my car keys and my wallet and can retrieve them with my eyes closed, and that an adventurer who had the foresight to HAVE an item to be used when he can't see is going to know where it's located on his person. I will point this out once. If the GM sticks with his ruling, I will walk away from the table. I'll conduct myself politely of course, but I won't be finishing that game and I won't be playing with that person again.

+1

Silver Crusade 2/5

thejeff wrote:
David Bowles wrote:

With the faq rulings, you're going to see more darkness related deaths and TPKs. Especially at tables where the GMs know the rules for lighting and the PCs don't. Regular darkness is bad enough for tier 1-2, much less deeper darkness.

The incorporeal critter is bad as well.

Can't they just throw in some power attack and cleave at low levels and call it a scenario? I feel these schemes like darkness that authors put in are substitutes for tactically challenging encounters where the NPCs have decent ACs, combat feats, and damage outputs.

It's probably worse when the GM thinks he knows the rules for lighting,but doesn't. Given the complexity and the remaining unanswered edge cases, that probably isn't too rare.

Other than darkvision bypassing it, which won't help most players, are there any ways to deal with regular Darkness that don't also handle Deeper Darkness?
Daylight covers both. I suppose a 3rd level Heightened Continual Flame would work against Darkness, but not Deeper, but who isn't going to hold out for the higher level version.

Daylight still often leaves the group in darkness for an indoor scenario. Whether torches and the like work in the overlap area is up to the individual GM. Fun times.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

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RainyDayNinja wrote:
FanaticRat wrote:

Oh yeah, I didn't realize that. I bought them on the advice of the gm to deal with the deeper darkness from the scenario I mentioned.

Well now I just have to wait until next level to switch out one of my spells for daylight. Man I hate everything. Wait, how would you use oil of daylight either if you can't find where it is in your pack?

A seasoned adventurer should know what pocket it's in, and be able to find it by touch.

Or, as seasoned veteran would have a Handy Haversack, tell it what he wanted, and auto-magically get the Oil of Daylight.

Silver Crusade 2/5

FanaticRat wrote:

Ok, I was just wondering. See, I play a haunted oracle and have run into a lot of frustration about table variation when it comes to trying to find ways to use items in combat, so I just wanted to make sure I actually had some precedent for being able to do these things.

I still hate darkness and deeper darkness though and plan on learning the spell Daylight next level anyway, just so I can be done with it.

That doesn't completely end the nightmare. See my above post. "Defaulting to ambient conditions" is just such a pain for daylight as a solution.

Here is my experience with one of the scenarios:

Veteran's Vault:
My archer ranger had a potion of darkvision so I turned said encounter into a shooting gallery.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston

FanaticRat wrote:

Ok, I was just wondering. See, I play a haunted oracle and have run into a lot of frustration about table variation when it comes to trying to find ways to use items in combat, so I just wanted to make sure I actually had some precedent for being able to do these things.

I still hate darkness and deeper darkness though and plan on learning the spell Daylight next level anyway, just so I can be done with it.

The problem isn't retrieving items, it's Haunted. Haunted really needs some clarification in an FAQ, IMHO.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

What specifically needs to be clarified about the haunted curse that isn't already in the FAQ?

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Jiggy wrote:
What specifically needs to be clarified about the haunted curse that isn't already in the FAQ?

The Haunted curse does not state how it is affected by items or abilities that would change the time to retrieve a stored item. Spring-loaded wrist sheaths and handy haversacks change the standard time, and it is unclear in my opinion whether these items work for haunted oracles. I argue that it would, given that the curse does not affect items in spell component pouches or the drawing of weapons, per FAQ.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Netopalis wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
What specifically needs to be clarified about the haunted curse that isn't already in the FAQ?
The Haunted curse does not state how it is affected by items or abilities that would change the time to retrieve a stored item. Spring-loaded wrist sheaths and handy haversacks change the standard time, and it is unclear in my opinion whether these items work for haunted oracles. I argue that it would, given that the curse does not affect items in spell component pouches or the drawing of weapons, per FAQ.

Aside: The haversack does not change the action requirement of retrieving an item; all it does is remove the AoO.

Anyway, the reasoning given in the two FAQ entries are:
1) For spell components: "Holy eff, are you kidding me? No, hand-wave that."
2) For weapons: "Draw a weapon" and "retrieve a stored item" are not the same action. (Side note from me: using spell components does not involve the "retrieve a stored item" action, either.)

With that in mind, the curse class feature states that you can't remove the curse short of divine intervention.

So if you're using the "retrieve an item" action, and haven't had your curse removed directly by a god(dess), then the curse applies. If you're doing anything other than using the "retrieve an item" action, the curse does not apply.

I'm not seeing what needs to be clarified about wrist sheathes.


Jiggy wrote:

I'm not seeing what needs to be clarified about wrist sheathes.

Do they use the "Retrieve a stored item" action?

1/5

I think we're getting a bit off-topic here...

Liberty's Edge 5/5

thejeff wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

I'm not seeing what needs to be clarified about wrist sheathes.

Do they use the "Retrieve a stored item" action?

Yes. Just with spring-loaded wrist-sheaths, its a swift action instead of a move action.

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston

Andrew Christian wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

I'm not seeing what needs to be clarified about wrist sheathes.

Do they use the "Retrieve a stored item" action?
Yes. Just with spring-loaded wrist-sheaths, its a swift action instead of a move action.

As I read it, drawing a weapon is different because the weapon is in a container that helps you get it out despite your curse. Likewise, the wrist sheath is also a container that helps you get it out. Furthermore, the wrist sheath and the curse conflict - which wins and why? At the very least, I hope that you can see that there is some ambiguity. But this is definitely a derail and I suggest that it be taken to a new topic.

Shadow Lodge

Andrew Christian wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

I'm not seeing what needs to be clarified about wrist sheathes.

Do they use the "Retrieve a stored item" action?
Yes. Just with spring-loaded wrist-sheaths, its a swift action instead of a move action.

Actually, I would say "no", as it's a separately defined action.

1/5 Venture-Captain, Germany–Hannover

Andrew Christian wrote:
Andrei Buters wrote:

You have 4 stars and you consider yourself a casual player? Really?

Casual:
-Hasn't surpassed level 7.
-Plays maybe 2-3 times every month? Less?
-Owns PHB and possibly Advanced Player's Guide, but nothing else.
-Doesn't feel like they could GM if asked.
-Isn't 100% fluent with the metaplot or lore but has a vague idea what's going on. They know Lissala is bad.
-Is blissfully unaware of the powers of Swarms, Incorporeal, Special Materials bypassing DR and Darkness.
-Has 6-7 items in their characters inventory.
-They power attack it.

To me, that's how I'd define a new player, not a casual player.

Mister Slanky considers himself a casual player. He's GM'd more than I have, was the V-C of my region for awhile, and so on and so forth.

I consider casual players, someone who just wants to get together and yuk it up with friends for a few hours on any given afternoon or evening.

They don't spend time specifically to optimize their characters. They make characters they think will be fun and may choose some optimizing features. Such as point blank shot and precise shot for an archer build.

But they aren't going to build the kung-fu boar mount so they can charge over difficult terrain and through allies.

They may not buy tons of consumables, but will buy magic items that make sense for their character.

They may not be totally prepared for lots of stuff, but will be moderately prepared for some stuff (like having rope and a torch).

That defines me as a player.

We've had tons of discussions on the boards about the responsibility of players to be prepared and be able to deal with certain things by certain levels.

You can do almost 100% of that with the Core Rulebook.

So to tailor PFS to make it friendly to Andrei and MisterSlanky's definition of a casual player, we have to dumb down the challenge so that being prepared is no longer necessary?

Or as other players and GM's, do we help the casual player learn what is necessary to be prepared (not...

So i did not read everything in this thread, but i want to comment on this specifically.

I think the term "casual" is coming from some PC and internet games as well as from some tabletop games. There the term refers to games that you can play rather "casually", meaning you don´t have to invest a lot of time (maybe no time at all) to play them and there are no complex rules to learn.
Now at least some know that Pathfinder is derived from a game whose inventors wanted game system mastery to be something you need. Pathfinder follows special rules and there are a lot of them. Pathfinder Society adds some more rules for balance and organization purpose. Even if you only follow the core assumption, there is an amount of rules you should read and know as a player.

I can make a personal example of a casual player i had in my group once and others i gmed for, which i will spoiler.:
Around 2008 we played that homemade campaign shortly after Pathfinder came along here. One player was a freshmen and in the beginning everyone helped him with tipps and explanation. We also helped him develop his characters after his wishes, nothing minmaxing, just the directions and what he wanted to play (ranged, magic, etc) explaining the game for him. Since he didn´t own stuff, he was lent books or got copies for things he needed regularly. This person then managed not to read anything about the class and stuff he was playing over 3 years. At lower levels that was ok. But after some time and at higher levels this was a major nuisance, his character became "unable" and his fun vanished mostly. Why? Because he was a casual player and didn´t bother to prepare himself in any way. Not even read his class description or the description of his abilities. That was in a home game, where we knew the person and tolerated it out of friendship, although it made for many bad words often.

Now in PFS there are beginners, which should begin at low levels and then can learn the game step by step. There are intros for that.
But when a player comes along and has a level 5+ character, who i need to explain what an Aoo is and why he just got some, or who doesn´t know his class abilities or any other stuff, i as a GM take the liberty to send him home and ask the person, if she wants to join again she better invest some time.
PFs is not a casual hangout. The GM´s spend a lot of time preparing the scenarios and there are other people who do the same.
People who refuse to prepare themselves and don´t want to learn the rules have no place in PFS at higher levels, because they slow down the game and put other´s fun and effort to a risk, taking the fun from others. They can play Beginner´s Box.
Casual gamers will also be troubled with managing there characters and chronicles, which is an absolute must.

Now if you play or GM several times a month, you are surely no casual gamer. Casual or not is about knowing the rules and your characters abilities. You don´t need to know every feat or spell, but you should really know what AC, CMD, CMB and such things mean, what DR is and how you counter some things. That´s also easily accessible stuff.

I think there is also a difference between Power Gamers and normal gamers, but that´s another topic.
If someone feels offended by this, i´m sorry for this person. But then you should also reflect about yourself and your expectations and compare it to other hobbies.

3/5

I'm pretty sure I've gotten to the point that I don't really like thread anymore. I caution you all, I plead with you all not to go down the same path as many MMO PC games. Let's not split the player base against one another. Being casual does not have to mean bad.

The definition of a casual player, as seen in this thread, shifts from person to person. It's very appropriate to apply the driver-speed metaphor.

Ben Faulk: I would submit that the story you posted describes a lazy player (and kind of a selfish jerk). Based on my reading, he refused to learn the rules, leaned on the other players / the GM to do his building and playing, and took no advice on how to prepare his equipment. But I think to apply the term "casual" is vague, and because it's not well defined, not appropriate to lump infrequent players, new players, or non optimizers in with bad and lazy players (since the term casual has been used to describe those players in this thread as well).

Players should know their character, know the basics of the rules enough to play and create legal characters, and be open to good advice on how to be at least minimally prepared for common threats appropriate to your level. That said, I'm just afraid that this "casual" argument will boil down to "if you aren't as well equipped and optimized as me, then you're a bad, and your character should die until you wise up build a winning/broken/optimized cookie cutter class/feat/skill build. And if you don't wise up, you shouldn't play PFS." That kind of elitism reeks of the raider/casual vitriol of World of WarCraft, and I abhor its comparison to anything Pathfinder.

This game, along with many other things, is a SOCIAL game. Let's not lose sight of that, folks.

Grand Lodge 4/5 *

I think I am a casual gamer when I play PFS....

Course I have been told I am a terrible power gaming monsters at PFS tables.... Then again, they haven't see what my mages do in shadowrun :P .


Cold Napalm wrote:
they haven't see what my mages do in shadowrun :P .

Your making everyone curious now!

Anyways, I consider myself casual, but I spend a good amount of time on the boards, optimize, and have been playing dnd since 3.0 and some beta pathfinder.

The Exchange 5/5

I'm a casual player.
I almost never wear formal dress for games (unless we're goting to Amara Lees party in First Steps II).

;)

5/5 5/55/55/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cold Napalm wrote:

I think I am a casual gamer when I play PFS....

Course I have been told I am a terrible power gaming monsters at PFS tables....

“If one person tells you you're a horse , they are crazy. If three people tell you you're a horse, There's conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you're a horse,it's time to buy a saddle”

Liberty's Edge 3/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:

I think I am a casual gamer when I play PFS....

Course I have been told I am a terrible power gaming monsters at PFS tables....

“If one person tells you you're a horse , they are crazy. If three people tell you you're a horse, There's conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you're a horse,it's time to buy a saddle”

^

Grand Lodge 4/5 *

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:

I think I am a casual gamer when I play PFS....

Course I have been told I am a terrible power gaming monsters at PFS tables....

“If one person tells you you're a horse , they are crazy. If three people tell you you're a horse, There's conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you're a horse,it's time to buy a saddle”

I have been told I am a horse as well....

1/5

...I'm not actually a horse...

...I'm a broom


Cold Napalm wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:

I think I am a casual gamer when I play PFS....

Course I have been told I am a terrible power gaming monsters at PFS tables....

“If one person tells you you're a horse , they are crazy. If three people tell you you're a horse, There's conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you're a horse,it's time to buy a saddle”

I have been told I am a horse as well....

What if no one tells you you're a horse, but you think you are a horse?

5/5 5/55/55/5

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:

I think I am a casual gamer when I play PFS....

Course I have been told I am a terrible power gaming monsters at PFS tables....

“If one person tells you you're a horse , they are crazy. If three people tell you you're a horse, There's conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you're a horse,it's time to buy a saddle”

I have been told I am a horse as well....
What if no one tells you you're a horse, but you think you are a horse?

Then your player is trying to reskin something.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
What if no one tells you you're a horse, but you think you are a horse?
Then your player is trying to reskin something.

Alternatively, your a horse-like eidolon with a pet summoner. Or crazy. I think you were looking for crazy. Only one guy is telling you your a horse after all.

Sczarni 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:


What if no one tells you you're a horse, but you think you are a horse?

Then your player is trying to reskin something.

Reskining is not allowed in PFS...

scuttles away screaming trololololol


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:

I think I am a casual gamer when I play PFS....

Course I have been told I am a terrible power gaming monsters at PFS tables....

“If one person tells you you're a horse , they are crazy. If three people tell you you're a horse, There's conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you're a horse,it's time to buy a saddle”

I have been told I am a horse as well....
What if no one tells you you're a horse, but you think you are a horse?

Ahh, you met Neigh? The local Cowboy/Druid/Pony? :)

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