PFS Retraining: Practice and Theory


Pathfinder Society


I have some questions about PFS retraining, and some thoughts.

Practically speaking: The first PFS character that I focused on (which is actually #2 but that's not the point) shows very clearly that I didn't know what I was doing: He has two separate level dips away from Paladin, both of which are stupid, and in combination with the vanities I bought and the Raise I got after our Sanctum of a Lost Age run went south, he only has a total of 14PP to his name at level 10. I've been thinking about retraining one or both of those levels back into Paladin to shore up his crappiness, but I'm a little concerned about the PP cost. Since a class level is 7 days--and since neither dip has synergy--it would be 7PP per, thus leaving him bereft. On the other hand, he's less likely to die if I make that retraining happen, so that's something. Basically, have people found retraining worth the effort with the PP cost factored in? It seems steep to me.

Theoretically speaking: I recognize that the "1PP per day" mechanism is to prevent people from accomplishing endless retraining, because the gold cost is fairly low: Days x Level x 10. For the example above, that's only 700gp to retrain a level. My thought is this: For PFS, might a better mechanic be increasing the gold cost? "Retraining in PFS costs 5 times the standard gold" bumps a level 10 class level retrain to 3500 ... even an x10 modifier would be workable; 7000 is a lot of gold but at 10th level it's not unreasonable for something as dramatic as a retrain.

Anyway, I freely admit that I have not utilized these rules yet, so this is all just theoretical. But I'm interested in input on the questions (should I?) and the ideas (should we?), so please have at.

4/5

I have retrained a feat on one character. I'm mulling over retraining on two other characters and I'm saving PP on my ACG character, anticipating changes once the final book is published.

My opinion: the cost is steep but fair. It's a little harder for the older characters (like yours) because they didn't have the opportunity to save PP for retraining. The first PFS character that I focused on (my #4) has been retired since level 5 because I'd done a similarly shoddy job of building him. He's also only got 14 PP to spend. I'm still figuring out what I can do with that.

My advice for you: I'd rather play a character I like and risk his death than play (or not play) a character I don't. Try to save cash for Raise Deads and the like and use the PP to make something you'll enjoy playing.

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

I retrained my 16th level PFS character from 2 levels of ninja to a level of rogue and a level of Pathfinder Delve (before the cha he to not allow retraining into PRCs)

My gnomish monk retrained toughness for bewlidering koan at 4th level so I didn't have to wait till lvl 5. I am planning on taking lvl 5 as paladin, lvl 6 as Champion of Irori and then retraining the 4th level of monk into cleric.

The cost is step enough to prevent casual tinkering and weaving a whole new character but isn't too bad for changing a thing or two.

I think I like it where it is, but I am open to arguments either way.

4/5

Without the prestige cost I would constantly retrain my characters for the benefits I can get. Hit points to say the least. Most campaigns don't have at will downtime, and that is why the cost must be so high for PFS.


David_Bross wrote:
Without the prestige cost I would constantly retrain my characters for the benefits I can get. Hit points to say the least. Most campaigns don't have at will downtime, and that is why the cost must be so high for PFS.

There definitely needs to be some kind of cost beyond the (minor) gold expense. I just think we can work around it. Maybe PP equal to 1/2 of the retrain time, rounded up?


redward wrote:
My advice for you: I'd rather play a character I like and risk his death than play (or not play) a character I don't. Try to save cash for Raise Deads and the like and use the PP to make something you'll enjoy playing.

That's a very good point. I think I'll just go for it.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think the prestige costs are about right. Until an alternative cost comes along, I don't think there's anything better. I've retrained two levels of dipping on two different characters, and I've also retrained feats that no longer made sense after retraining the level dips. One of them is 8th level, and the PP cost is worrisome but lessened a bit by a couple boons. The other is 11th level and still has plenty of gold left over after the retrain. I also mind less if the 11th level dies since I'm doing it on slow.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Once you're doing the 7-11s You can easily bankroll your raise dead out of cash without too much trouble, so you have nothing else touse the PP on except saving 5 back for body recovery. Go nuts retraining.


I do know that I have a concept character, a Bloat Mage that will require a retraining of his single level of Wizard into Sorcerer at level 3. Hmmm, the gold cost will be 150 gp, pity you can only use prestige for items.

Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
David_Bross wrote:
Without the prestige cost I would constantly retrain my characters for the benefits I can get. Hit points to say the least. Most campaigns don't have at will downtime, and that is why the cost must be so high for PFS.
There definitely needs to be some kind of cost beyond the (minor) gold expense. I just think we can work around it. Maybe PP equal to 1/2 of the retrain time, rounded up?

I was going to suggest an XP cost instead of PP, but I realized that could lead to player wealth issues.

Still a boon that reduced it would be awesome, especially if it could be gotten from an appropriately themed scenario.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

There is a trait in the new PFS primer if you're say, a gnome that likes to reinvent themselves frequently

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Patrick, did you have other plans for that 14PP?


Jiggy wrote:
Patrick, did you have other plans for that 14PP?

Staying alive? ;p

I had this grandiose idea when I started the character that he wouldn't accept a Raise Dead, so I spent his prestige on vanities. But then he went and died in a totally unsatisfying fashion, and I realized that I really enjoyed playing him, so I got him the raise after all. I'm still a little conflicted about it, because it messes up my characterization. But I do so enjoy playing him. So ... meh.

Anyway, no, I guess I didn't. I did the math to retrain one of the level dips already. As BNW suggested, I'll hang on to 5 for a body retrieval and plan to spend gold on raises in the future. (I'd love to plan to not need any more, but he is a full-plate front-liner, so that's unrealistic.) He's also got a feat that needs to go, so after two more sessions I'll take care of that. I think I'll leave the one level Ranger dip for now, though; it's relatively useful.


I stopped playing a heaven's oracle a while back because it just felt to powerful. I stopped playing as he would have hit level 3. When the retraining rules came out I trained away a level of oracle to turn him into an illusionist sorcerer and took a level of sorcerer. I haven't played him a lot since then because I still seem to default to color spray as my most effective tactic, and that was the reason I left him in the first place. Eventually I might have enough prestige to get rid of that last oracle level and I won't be tempted to bring the cheese hammer.

Shadow Lodge

I was forced to either continue playing my very underpowered Archaeologist or spend 27 prestige retraining him into a proper character, with some help of some very kind people in the Advice forum.

Since then, the character changed from being near-useless, to an incredibly valuable asset to the team.

27 prestige was steep, and so was the gold cost at level 7 or 8 (about 2500gp off the top of my head), but it was a matter of retrain or retire. Basically, if the character has to risk death on a better-built character because my prestige is gone, it's still better than the alternative.

I'm not great at building characters for high levels, and this is only the first of maybe 3 retrains I'll need to do (another will be a change from a near-useless to an ACG class, the other was my healer-centric cleric with terrible stats and feats).

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Finally used the retraining rules on my paladin to get rid of Improved Shield Bash and take Missle Shield. For the most part it's just too expensive unless the benefits are substantial. I only did this because I haven't ever made a shield bash with him and don't expect to any time soon.


You could build another character along the same lines and play him/her up the way you like, and with the same personality as the previous one.

Shadow Lodge

I have 2 PC's that will be using Retraining

1 will be retraining a cleric level into inquisitor

and my tengu will be moving a feat around

Shadow Lodge

Pink Dragon wrote:
You could build another character along the same lines and play him/her up the way you like, and with the same personality as the previous one.

Anything to avoid having to burn more 1-5 scenarios.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Scenarios assume a certain Fame/WBL of characters. I think leaving the GP costs as they are is fine. Scenarios, however, don't assume a certain PP per character, so using PP as the the throttling factor is more than fine in my book.

* * *

In a year, we will really see how much retraining is a game changer.

Currently, most players are using it for fine-tuning builds or course-correcting characters as players did not assume rebuilds as part of their character-building toolbox.

Now, players with beginning or low-level characters can now factor in rebuilds into their leveling plans and leverage it in cool and unusual ways.

Example:
Previously, if you did Ranger 6/Horizon Walker 3/(other) X, you most likely would not complete the dimensional chain of feats in regular PFS play. Now, with careful planning, you can pick up temporary burner feats that you dump and retrain out of at L9 for most of the dimensional feats...and it's possible to have all the dimensional feats at L11.

In my opinion, this is fine because the player is using a limited resource (PP) and incurring a hefty charge (5PP/feat) to do so, leaving their PP coffers drained.

Personally, I'm happy PFS has implemented the retraining option because it potentially means: A) less abandoned low-/mid-level characters who were "just not working out"; B) greater investment of players into their characters; and C) potentially opens up interesting builds you normally wouldn't see in L1-11 PFS play.

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