Items Stolen and Spending PP to retrieve


Pathfinder Society

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Dark Archive

OK, so here's the situation.

My character was fighting a dragon. The dragon, not particularly liking a flying monk annoying him, decides that it would be smart to take away the flying carpet. So, he does a Steal combat manuever and takes the carpet.

Later, the dragon continues to be annoyed by the party. So it burrows (it has the skill) and drops the carpet deep into the ground, then offers us another chance to pay a surrender cost. The dragon is also threatening to full-attack an already injured back line member. At this point, with a party death and me losing a 20K magic item both at probable risk (The GM said I would lose it permanently if we did not figure out a way to get it back), we decide to surrender and pay the dragon's bounty.

Now, let's pretend that this did not occur; we go ahead and beat the dragon, and now the carpet is effectively unrecoverable. In the handbook, I can pay 5 PP to have my whole body brought back if it is "otherwise unrecoverable". Is it possible for me to pay 5 PP / any level of PP to get it back? The carpet is effectively the cost of 3 deaths, and obviously cost me a pretty penny to get in the first place.

I just want to know the options in case shinanigans like this occur again :).

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I believe that Mike or someone said you could use body retrieval as gear retrieval, but I don't have the time to search at the moment.

5/5

FLite wrote:
I believe that Mike or someone said you could use body retrieval as gear retrieval, but I don't have the time to search at the moment.

They said you got the gear on your body back when you paid for body retrieval.

In regards to the OP, not exactly sure what to tell you...

The Exchange

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Somewhere in Milwaukee, Kyle Baird is drinking a lacrimal tonic right now...

4/5

Body recovery does return all of you gear from anywhere from death.

I don't think you should be punished for *NOT* dying.

PFS FAQ wrote:


Does the generic prestige award to recover a dead character's body include recovery of the character's equipment?
Yes. The 5 PP cost includes recovery of the character's body, as well as all personal equipment the character possessed at the time of death. The same applies to the Shadow Lodge prestige award, No One Left Behind.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I remember when I played this, our GM taunted us for a week or more before hand that the adventure contained the possibility of a "fate worse than death". In this case, she was right...

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Body recovery should work. If the agents started griping about it, you could just hide underground until they found all your stuff.

Oh hey, where did that fourth star come from?

Shadow Lodge

Aw i remember this scenario i lost 30k playing this game, mithril full plate of speed and a couple raise deads :D

The Exchange

This is why the Church of Abadar sells adventurer insurance, folks. It ain't cheap, but when your +3 holy demon-bane longbow gets sundered you'll be glad you were covered.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

*Scribbles down a note to provide an insurance policy as a boon or vanity*

I've also heard of people allowing body recovery to be used just to recover a stolen item. My initial thought is that it would be fine, but I think the question is one to mull over for a bit.

*Scratches out note.* The Pathfinder Society would never pay any of the claims.

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

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That Porter Kid wrote:

Aw i remember this scenario i lost 30k playing this game, mithril full plate of speed and a couple raise deads :D

Funny. I remember this scenario where a very kind GM offered you clemency time after time after time, and all you wanted to do was fight and fight and fight...

:P

4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, because you've never picked a fight with a good aligned dragon intentionally because it pissed you off Walter.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

We baked it a cake!

Silver Crusade

Did your party have a cleric or wizard? Have them summon earth elementals. They'll find your missing carpet. It may take several days of trying, but its totally worth it.

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

David_Bross wrote:
Yeah, because you've never picked a fight with a good aligned dragon intentionally because it pissed you off Walter.

Oh no, I messed that dragon up.

But I was referring to a time That Porter Kid encountered an evil dragon, and refused surrender... more than once.

Sovereign Court

Doug Miles wrote:
Somewhere in Milwaukee, Kyle Baird is drinking a lacrimal tonic right now...

WOW, a word that I had to look up. Cool. Now I just have to find a way to use it three times today. :-)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I would advise that 5 PP not be a "get all my gear back" card.

Now, I'm going to state the following on the presumption that during a lot of scenarios, the GM has to make a call about how dangerous a situation is. The PCs have forced their opponents to move out of the pre-scripted tactics, and the GM is actually running the bad guys during the fight. Let's say that he thinks the fight ought to be dangerous. (The players said they wanted a tactical challenge, maybe.)

So, yes, 5 PP is the price to have the Pathfinder Society body-recovery team retrieve your corpse, along with all its possessions (that is, thing you have on you) at the time of death.

But, look, let's say you run into some villain who demands your stuff. You give it all your worldly possessions. Then let's imagine that you can pay 5 PP (roughly 1875 gp in buying power) and get all your loot back, simple as that.

I predict that, GMs being what they are, there will be far fewer situations where your stuff is imperiled, because that no longer has any bite. It's not dangerous any more. It's a 5-prestige inconvenience. (Kinda like a traffic ticket in real life. The fine is high enough to be a pain; you won't be able to afford too many of those; but it's not going to ruin your life.)

If we tell GMs that the only way to really put the PCs in danger is to emperil their lives, then what do you think will happen?

Dark Archive

Chris, I can't agree with you there. In a home game, if a PC loses half his WBL in a theft, he's expected to get it back. In PFS, he is well and truly screwed. If 5 pp is enough to recover a body and possessions, I see no reason why it shouldn't recover possessions.

Death, at high levels, is a speed bump at 5000-odd gold to remove. Why should a stolen item be more crippling than death?

Sovereign Court

Adam Mogyorodi wrote:

Chris, I can't agree with you there. In a home game, if a PC loses half his WBL in a theft, he's expected to get it back. In PFS, he is well and truly screwed. If 5 pp is enough to recover a body and possessions, I see no reason why it shouldn't recover possessions.

Death, at high levels, is a speed bump at 5000-odd gold to remove. Why should a stolen item be more crippling than death?

How about 5PP, or less, to recover unguarded (abandoned) gear as in the example the OP gave. Items actually taken are unrecoverable.

5/5 5/55/55/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

"they're taking your stuff bob!

"Oh no they;re not! *coup de graces self*

There, NOW I can get my gear back.

Sczarni 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
David_Bross wrote:
Yeah, because you've never picked a fight with a good aligned dragon intentionally because it pissed you off Walter.

Oh no, I messed that dragon up.

But I was referring to a time That Porter Kid encountered an evil dragon, and refused surrender... more than once.

Memories...

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Chris and Adam both make good arguments for each side. I won't say that I've made a decision; my mind's still in scenario development mode. Instead I'll toss around a few thoughts.

There are two situations I see we're dealing with: voluntary loss of an item (even if coerced) and involuntary loss of an item. Here are two brief but spoilered examples.

Rats of Round Mountain, Part 1:
The dragon at the very end demands tribute in the form of valuables. Many groups decide to pay off the dragon with treasure they found earlier (deducted from the earnings) or personal wealth. Either way, the dragon flies off with the goods in a permanent fashion.

Rats of Round Mountain, Part 2:
I observed part of this scenario in which the GM's rakshasa was being abused by an alchemist with a +1 holy composite longbow, so upon assessing that the other combatants were not major threats, the rakshasa performed a disarm maneuver to snatch away the bow. The other PCs rallied and damaged the rakshasa to the point that its morale entry suggested it should flee, so it ran off with the bow still in hand. The PCs won, but the alchemist had lost a~19,000 gp item.

Well, in the case of freely given wealth, I strongly prefer there not be a PP recovery option. I'm not a fan of a character giving away a 20,000 gp item as a bribe (wow!) and then spending 5 PP to send in some Pathfinder buddies to go and mug the recipient in an ally right after the scenario.

I am much more open to the recovery of involuntarily stolen property, as that's a situation in which the player had considerably less control—potentially silly tactical choices aside. However, something seems a little strange about it only taking 5 PP to recover that 20,000 gp item the original poster mentioned from a CR ~14 creature. I suppose it's no different than recovering a body from such a creature in that calculation, though.

The mechanic I've considered for the past few minutes is that item recovery costs 5 PP or the CR of any creature that forcibly took the item away; spending that PP recovers any and all such items taken, so there's no double jeopardy. In that way item recover should not be so horrendous as character death, unless you've been picking fights with national leaders or the like. Sadly, it just doesn't line up with the universal 5 PP body recovery.

Grand Lodge 4/5

I seem to recall a similar discussion thread brought up some time ago. If I recall correctly, the party got wiped out and the GM at that table ruled that they got their bodies recovered for the 5 PP but none of their gear (they got curb stomped by the Apsis in a season 3 scenario, but I can recall which, the GM's logic being the consortium kept their gear)

My issue with this sort of loss is in a tight economy like the society..that is a MAJOR hit to performance. You can literally cripple a players ability to do something. I keep flashing back to a 10th level game where my cleric (this was in 3.0) lost ALL her gear. Including a +2 Flaming Bastard Sword that she had built on her own along with armor, shield, amulets and such. I couldn't keep up with the party and got hammered a lot.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

And yet, if there's a TPK, and the bad guys loot all their stuff, it still costs only 5pp, regardless of the combined CR of all of them.

EDIT: Ninja'd by just under a minute.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

I just wanted to take a moment to thank John for sharing his thoughts regarding this somewhat complex issue.

I don't have any strong feelings on how it should be resolved but am immensely pleased with John's considered post.

4/5

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Nefreet wrote:
We baked it a cake!

For the record, my character, who had already played the season finale,

spoiler:
showed the dragon how to get out of the "back door" of the tapestry into Varisia.

I've wondered if that was legal, but it was my VL's idea.

(So if we do encounter that dragon again, you can all blame a certain halfling opera bard.)

Edit: It was my old VL, not my VC. Want to give credit where credit is due.

Sovereign Court

Mimo Tomblebur wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
We baked it a cake!

For the record, my character, who had already played the season finale, ** spoiler omitted **

I've wondered if that was legal, but it was my VC's idea.

(So if we do encounter that dragon again, you can all blame a certain halfling opera bard.)

The 10% rule. If you prove to be 10% smarter than the scenario it must be OK. Wow, what a brilliant solution. :-)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Thomas Graham wrote:
I seem to recall a similar discussion thread brought up some time ago. If I recall correctly, the party got wiped out and the GM at that table ruled that they got their bodies recovered for the 5 PP but none of their gear (they got curb stomped by the Apsis in a season 3 scenario, but I can recall which, the GM's logic being the consortium kept their gear)

(nods) I was the GM in question. This was a Tier 5-9 scenario where the Pathfinders invaded the Aspis headquarters intent do commit mayhem. It was, in a word, war. I could see the Aspis handing back the bodies (two alive but unconscious, one dead), as if they were prisoners of war, but countries don't also return the captured tanks and planes.

Anyway, that was the reasoning. Mike's decided otherwise, and I'm fine with that.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

I think that recovery of items needs to be allowed in both of John's examples.

The issue is basically quite simple. Is it fun to have a character significantly nerfed by losing loot? Nerfed to the point that the rational response in many cases would be to retire the character.

Prestige points largely exist to act as insurance against a result that is not fun that would otherwise cause a rational person to consider retiring the character or would force them to.

I also don't think that it really matters why the gear was lost. Presumably those groups who chose to bribe the dragon felt fighting it wasn't a viable option. Perhaps the group was a bad mix, perhaps some characters were very poorly built. The exact same factors that would lead to character deaths were the ones that led to characters bribing their way out.

5 prestige points may not be a perfect cost but its not bad. Its high enough that players will still feel like they've lost something significant. Its also affordable.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Chris Mortika wrote:
Thomas Graham wrote:
I seem to recall a similar discussion thread brought up some time ago. If I recall correctly, the party got wiped out and the GM at that table ruled that they got their bodies recovered for the 5 PP but none of their gear (they got curb stomped by the Apsis in a season 3 scenario, but I can recall which, the GM's logic being the consortium kept their gear)

(nods) I was the GM in question. This was a Tier 5-9 scenario where the Pathfinders invaded the Aspis headquarters intent do commit mayhem. It was, in a word, war. I could see the Aspis handing back the bodies (two alive but unconscious, one dead), as if they were prisoners of war, but countries don't also return the captured tanks and planes.

Anyway, that was the reasoning. Mike's decided otherwise, and I'm fine with that.

I don't think it would be a 'good thing' to lose some of the players gear. I know I got one player who has a +1 Acidic Furious (something) Adamantine Greatsword. That's a lot of coin. Lord knows that if my 11th level wizard lost access to her spell book she'd be toast. (Seriously)

Some players aren't as flexible in their PCs builds as others.. and others require a major investiment.. ie.. a spell book


First of all, I love that John is mulling it over with us here. I'd love to see more of that open discussion in the future.

I also do agree with John's reasoning. If the item was forcibly taken away, then I think 5pp is a fair price to pay for recovery. If you voluntarily give up an item, then to me it's the same as if you had just sold it for 0 gold. It was your choice. It was your own decision you fell behind in wealth. If it was me, I would have rationalized that either I blow my WBL or I choose to fight to the death. If I do die, then I paid my price: body recovery and raise dead. Which to me, was less than whichever item the dragon demanded.

In regards to the scenario in question, the challenge is totally beatable. I have had groups come very close to killing her before, and it was only with very clever Bluffs that I was able to get them to surrender and give up cash anyway (mwahaha).

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

I agree that losing gear involuntarily would be un-fun. That said, I know of only one scenario in which one is prompted to give away gear permanently.

Rats of Round Mountain, Part 1:
The dragon demands tribute, but it doesn't demand everything the PCs have. The threshold for safe passage equates to approximately 40% of what the PCs might earn on that scenario's Chronicle sheet, not 40% of what the PC might earn over his or her career.

I have had characters throw far more than that at that dragon, but at that point it strikes me as more of a character choice in selecting the item(s) to give up and how much they cost. If a player gave the dragon his +3 flaming longsword, but the scenario only required the party as a whole to pay ~3,500 gp, I don't know that I would feel inclined to allow the body recovery prestige ability to recover the "donated" gear. They used it as part of the written-in-the-scenario cost of bypassing the encounter.

If I had an encounter go terrifically off the rails and lead to the PCs bartering for their lives in exchange for a magic item, I might be more inclined to let the "body recovery" work because the item was lost as part of a creative solution that was referenced nowhere in the scenario.

I am pretty firm in my stance on not cheapening the referenced encounter by allowing a cheap item recovery, but I am fairly open to item recovery in most other cases. These are the nuances that make it hard to rule definitively and fairly on the matter.

Shadow Lodge

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I love this thread.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

John,

It's my exerience that nobody ever checks encumbrance. If we did, there'd be a lot more hard choices about what to leave behind when the party has to move fast ...

Just sayin'.


I agree with John about the RotR Pt 1 situation, where if you give up the loot, you should have no easy recourse to get it back. At the same time, there is always a hint of danger in a scenario, and if that danger is losing a valuable item that could have been kept thanks to something like say...a locking gauntlet or a weapon cord, then I don't think that item should be returned either. There is a risk with Pathfinder, we shouldn't minimize it.

Dark Archive

And since the module was named, I will say it was Rats of Round Mountain Part 1 that IS the module I played with this in question.

Spoiler:
We initially decided not to pay tribute; but with the risk of a character death and permanent loss of my carpet, we changed our mind and ended up paying double the tribute (the negotiated rate; the dragon originally wanted the cost of the carpet).

For the record, I have no idea if we would have stopped the fight for "just the life", since technically raising is ironically cheaper than the requested "double tribute". This is just more of a discussion on a "what if I end up with an unrecoverable item" so I know if I run into this situation (or put a player in said situation) in the futre.

So in this case, it may a good and fun story, but there are plenty of monsters that can do steal manuevers (if GMs want to be mean); and as in the Rakasha's case (and especially with all the teleporty demons running around the world right now), this may happen more frequently. I just want to know options when it does happen :).

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

John, think about it this way.

The PC is paying 5 PP to bypass 1 encounter (out of at least 4?) in a module that will earn them 2 PP at best.

The cost benefit ratio seems to be fairly balanced against the PC.


FLite wrote:

John, think about it this way.

The PC is paying 5 PP to bypass 1 encounter (out of at least 4?) in a module that will earn them 2 PP at best.

The cost benefit ratio seems to be fairly balanced against the PC.

But the gold cost of those 3 pp lost is like 2,250 gold. Hardly a fair trade for voluntarily giving up a 15,000 gold item.

Sczarni 4/5

Well, if 1 PP is worth around 150 gp, 2 PP around 750 gp, could it be possible to simply rescale PP specifically for item recovery?

1 PP ~ 500 gp worth.

So recovering a +1 weapon would cost 5 PP at least. Recovering a +2 weapon would cost 17 PP, which might be a bit high, but I am just speaking an example.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

Chris Mortika wrote:

John,

It's my exerience that nobody ever checks encumbrance. If we did, there'd be a lot more hard choices about what to leave behind when the party has to move fast ...

Just sayin'.

If you use Hero Lab you have to almost actively cheat to ignore encumbrance.

I definitely keep very careful note of encumbrance. There is a reason that nearly all my characters have Handy Haversack as one of their first purchases :-)

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

All of my Medium sized characters pretty much have to have a Strength of 12 or so. A Haversack doesn't help you with your weapon, your shield, your armor, or any of your worn wondrous items. It really adds up.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Nefreet wrote:
All of my Medium sized characters pretty much have to have a Strength of 12 or so. A Haversack doesn't help you with your weapon, your shield, your armor, or any of your worn wondrous items. It really adds up.

If you're a caster, 1000 gp for a pearl of power and an ant haul spell will have you trucking along nodwick style even with a 7 strength.

Dark Archive

Nefreet wrote:
All of my Medium sized characters pretty much have to have a Strength of 12 or so. A Haversack doesn't help you with your weapon, your shield, your armor, or any of your worn wondrous items. It really adds up.

Perhaps not shield or armour, but I'll disagree on the weapon bit. I can draw any item from my haversack as a move action, and that includes my earthbreaker — just make sure to not carry unsheathed daggers and you should be fine!

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I often use my Gunslinger as an example. She has a 12 Strength, but even with her Haversack she's only a pound a half away from becoming moderately encumbered, which means no "Nimble" dodge bonus to her AC. And she's decked out head to toe in Mithral!

If you're wielding an Earthbreaker, chances are your strength is a bit higher than 12.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

"they're taking your stuff bob!

"Oh no they;re not! *coup de graces self*

There, NOW I can get my gear back.

I actually laughed out loud at this.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
All of my Medium sized characters pretty much have to have a Strength of 12 or so. A Haversack doesn't help you with your weapon, your shield, your armor, or any of your worn wondrous items. It really adds up.
Perhaps not shield or armour, but I'll disagree on the weapon bit. I can draw any item from my haversack as a move action, and that includes my earthbreaker — just make sure to not carry unsheathed daggers and you should be fine!

I wouldn't allow that as a GM. The item has to fit into the opening and I'd argue that a massive weapon wouldn't.

4/5

Thats what she said?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Or *he*?

;-)

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

John Compton wrote:

I agree that losing gear involuntarily would be un-fun. That said, I know of only one scenario in which one is prompted to give away gear permanently.

** spoiler omitted **

I am pretty firm in my stance on not cheapening the referenced encounter by allowing a cheap item recovery, but I am fairly open to item recovery in most other cases. These are the nuances that make it hard to rule definitively and fairly on the matter.

Some sort of insurance policy vanity would be neat to see, John. Otherwise, Big Norse Wolf's CDG tactic becomes the most economical way to get things back, and that seems...off...

Silver Crusade

Chris Mortika wrote:

John,

It's my exerience that nobody ever checks encumbrance.

I check it in detail. I've made sure my character's inventory on hand is precisely below their Light Load carrying limit, and bought a Handy Haversack primarily to allow them to carry more stuff without being slowed down. It was my understanding that playing with Encumbrance rules in effect is part of RAW core Pathfinder, and thus, barring a specific exception to the contrary, part of PFS by default?

Mind you, the item would have been worth the 2,000 GP just for the "retrieve anything from your pile of random junk as a move action" behavior on its own. Have used this to solve a lot of situations with creative tool use in a hurry.

As far as PP for Item Recovery goes: I don't see how 5 PP is trivial. It's affordable, but it's a meaningful ding. That's about as many PP as your character will earn in 3 to 5 games! I think the most fair approach might be something like...

Proposal, PCs may use the Body Retrieval prestige award as a Gear Recovery award instead, with a caveat: The items must have been lost unwillingly. The Society certainly has the resources to screen for that.

"Okay, Ogbur the Bardbarian... you said that monster stole your magic sword."
"Yes."
"Now, by 'stolen' do you mean you gave it to him?"
"No."
"Please repeat those answers inside this Zone of Truth we've prepared, with Detect Thoughts going. Understand that if you are lying to us, we will not be pleased. Not at all."
"Well... maybe me gave it to him as gift after all."

If the Society determines the character willingly parted with the item, they can simply say "Sorry Ogbur, we're not deploying a team to retrieve that sword."

GMs could adjudicate this by making notes on Chronicle Sheets, as they do with other outcomes that require some personalization.

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