Free character retraining after level 1


Pathfinder Society


I know off the bat that the likely answer to this question is "no", but please hear me out.

I played two games at a convention last year, with pregens. This year I started to get into my local PFS games, so I created my own character. I applied the pregen credit to that character, meaning I started out my character with 2xp. My very first game I leveled up to 2, and my second game was played at level 2.

My question is this - is it possible to retrain my character at this point, without using the retraining rules? As I said, I know the general answer to this is "no", but I feel like this situation bears some thought. If I had created a brand new character and started it at 0xp, I would be able to play three games before having to settle on exactly how my character is built. That gives me plenty of time to make sure I like the feel of my character. It also gives me a chance to understand exactly what is expected of a pathfinder character, to make sure I am able to contribute to all kinds of different scenarios.

As it is, starting with 2xp from pregens, I only get to play a single game before I have to finalize my character. I did this, thinking I knew what I wanted, but my second scenario showed me how much I didn't know about my character and how it would (not) be helpful in certain situations. I know I have the option of just making a new character, but I have a really great boon that I don't want to lose now. Since I have only played 2 scenarios with the character I feel like it makes sense to be able to retrain for free still. Having to start over, and losing that boon, feels like I'm being punished for being an inexperienced player.

I feel like this is a prime example of RAW vs RAI. As written I know I cannot retrain my 2nd level character for free. But as intended, being able to play 3 sceanrios to get the feel of my character before making it permanent, I should be able to.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

The answer is "no". I think you are confusing "rules as intended" with "rules as I would wish them to be."

There is, however, a boon that allows you to do what you want. It was available last year, for volunteers who committed to running 8 sessions of Pathfinder Society at Gen Con. (The Tier I boon, as it's called, allows its owner to either rebuild a character for free, or start a new character with a host of racial options.) There may be some Tier I GMs who haven't used their precious boon, and maybe one of them would give it to you.

If you do get the boon, and decide to use it for the rebuild of your 2nd level PC, you'll need your local venture officer to sign off on the rebuild and give it a once-over to make sure the new version is legal.

Sovereign Court ****

Sadly, I would still say the answer is no. I would suggest trying to make the most of your character despite your choices. Failing that, use what you've learnt to make a new character that follows your new ideas.

These rules need to stay in place and be fairly rigid for a reason, and once you loosen the reigns for one person you need to a)do it for everyone and b)people look for them to be loosened further. If not monitored the next thing you have is people looking for free rebuild at 3 etc.

As I say, I feel for your situation, but personally I would just suggest you make the most of it. Either try to enjoy the build you, use the PP for retraining or make a new character. You have plenty of options, even if they aren't the exact one you want.

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You've only played 4 games total, correct? That barely touches the surface of the variety that scenarios can encompass. What makes you feel that your character is "broken"? Can you post your build? As was determined in a similar, recent thread, it's usually not as bad as it seems.

Silver Crusade **

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
You've only played 4 games total, correct? That barely touches the surface of the variety that scenarios can encompass. What makes you feel that your character is "broken"? Can you post your build? As was determined in a similar, recent thread, it's usually not as bad as it seems.

This. It's amazing what can be done with a "broken" character....


I am not saying my character is broken, I am only saying that it feel like I'm being penalized for trying out PFS by playing a pregen, and then having less time to figure out my own character. I understand about not bending/breaking the rules, and I am not trying to make that happen. I am merely saying that perhaps the rules should be "until you have played 4 scenarios" for free rebuilds. In most circumstances it would be exactly as it is. But for those of us who applied pregen credit it would give us the same benefit of being able to tweak our character while it's still new. Especially since this is my very first character, it feels very discouraging.

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Okay, so let's say you were allowed to rebuild after 4 scenarios played. What happens when you reach level 3, and realize something else that you'd like to change? Or level 4? Or level 10?

If you stick with PFS, you can easily get upwards of 20 characters, each filling a different (or similar) role. You're on your first one. Just because you're not happy with it now, doesn't mean you might not change your mind in the future.

Or, work in-character to overcome what you don't like about yourself. In real life we're not all born perfectly suited for the roles we choose. We grow and adapt.

Shadow Lodge *****

Part of playing pregens is also trying out different characters. A couple of years ago we didn't even have the ability to retrain at first level, so you're already ahead of the us there. We had to make sure our character was what we wanted out of the gate and be satisfied with it even if it turned out bad. I know you feel that you deserve a chance to rebuild, but unfortunately you won't get a ruling saying you can. After you play your first game at second level its set without resorting to using the retrain rules from Ult Campaign or the Tier 1 GM boon from Gencon. Sorry.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

All of my PCs have flaws. That's part of the fun of playing them. There really is no ultimate build. Just have fun with what you have.

*****

AriannaMae, first, welcome to PFS!

Like roll4initiative I often intentionally introduce mis-steps into my characters. But even when not intentional, it's usually quite easy to fix or build around them.

Actually, since there's nothing these boards like more than a challenge, I would suggest you post your character as-is, and what you had in mind for your character. There will probably be enough suggestions to completely resolve any issues you have with it by the time you hit 3rd level.


Nefreet wrote:
Okay, so let's say you were allowed to rebuild after 4 scenarios played. What happens when you reach level 3, and realize something else that you'd like to change? Or level 4? Or level 10?

You are REALLY stretching what I am saying here. I am not at all saying we should be able to rebuild whenever we want. If normal characters get to rebuild after playing three scenarios, I just don't think it's that crazy to hope I could also do the same.

I understand if the answer is no, but I couldn't NOT ask. I am also just trying to point out something feels really discouraging to a new player.

*** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I'll pitch in with those suggesting you post your build for others to help you with. Unless you dumped Con or something like that, it's not likely the character is so botched it can't be fixed, especially with the retraining rules in Ultimate Campaign.

Shadow Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think what the OP is saying is that, instead of the current rule which states*

Current Rule wrote:
You can rebuild your character for free as much as you want between scenarios before they are played at level 2.

A newer rule would be more fair, and in line with what was intended when the original rule was introduced.

New Rule wrote:
You can rebuild your character for free as much as you want as long as you have only played it in three or less scenarios. If you applied pregen credit to that character, it does not count against this total number of three.

While I think we'd agree that the second rule is fairer, especially as it pertains to the OPs situation, I still prefer the current rule.

The second rule would require some complicated language for various situations, a unique clause about modules, and add to GM difficulty when autiting characters. I envision situations where people are free rebuilding at level 5, claiming that they'd only played pregens up until that point. And while this is a stretch (and cheaters will always find a way to cheat), I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen at a Con.

At the end of the day, we want to have a system of rules that work for the most people. Rules that are clear and concise, because we don't have the luxury of thousands of Mike Brocks, personally adjudicating every situation that comes up. So yes, as an individual, we might feel slighted by one rule or another but as a whole, the Guide is a very robust and fair document.

Given that, OP, I'd advise that you chalk this up to bad luck and roll up a new PC, or take some other suggestions here and rework your current one as best you can. Ultimate Campaign offers some rules for rebuilding which are legal in PFS. The Guide has more information on that if you're interested. PFS has a lot of awesome things to offer, so don't let this turn you off it :)

*this is a summary of the current rule and not an actual quote

***

AriannaMae wrote:

You are REALLY stretching what I am saying here. I am not at all saying we should be able to rebuild whenever we want. If normal characters get to rebuild after playing three scenarios, I just don't think it's that crazy to hope I could also do the same.

I understand if the answer is no, but I couldn't NOT ask. I am also just trying to point out something feels really discouraging to a new player.

Welcome to PFS!

I get how you feel Arianna. I felt the same way about my character 2 sessions in, and stopped playing it, making a new one. This was before rebuilds. A couple of years, and 3 or 4 characters later, rebuilds were introduced and I went back and rebuilt my first one. While I understand that it can be frustrating to realize that PFS has different needs for characters than you may have originally anticipated (this was actually my issue too), now that I have more experience I think that perhaps I was wrong about my first character not being suited for PFS... well, except perhaps the bloodline he chose >.>.

Anyhow, the other thing you need to realize is that many 'normal' characters don't get 3 played scenarios before they're out of rebuild range either. Many of my characters, for example, start their careers of with modules (1 session for 3xp), We Be Goblins (pregens only), pregens (including from higher level scenarios), or GM credit. I've actually just started being more wary of such starts for exactly the reasons you describe.

If you don't wish to keep playing the character, and want to create a new one, then there's a possible solution to your boon issue. If the boon was a holiday, book, or convention boon... well then you would need to acquire another one (I'm not actually sure you can do this with a book boon), which is unfortunate. If, however, the boon was obtained on a scenario chronicle sheet, perhaps you can GM that scenario before your new character gets out of level range. If so, you can apply the chronicle sheet (along with the boon) to the new character and set all back to how it is now.

My personal opinion, without knowing why you wish to rebuild, is that you perhaps may not be as bad off as you think. But again, if that isn't the case, you may still have options.


Welcome to PFS like Walter above I understand what you are proposing, but I think it would be too open to abuse, too hard to keep track of and I generally just don't feel that the I'd anything wrong with the current system.

4 games really isn't that much. If you dont like your character to that extent you can just start a new one. You may come back to your first character with a new appreciation for them after playing your second or third for a while.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Welcome to PFS!

And I fully understand your situation, I have a couple of characters sitting under the "Is this what I want them to be?" cloud, as the next time I play them, that is what they will be.

One is a PC that I was happy with, played three scenarios, and wound up having the character's archetype removed from legality. So, total; rebuild pretty much forced, but no chance to test the waters as to what would be the best remaining option for this PC.

Another is a PC that I played three times, all at first level, and has wound up with GM credit for a module, followed by full player credit for The Dragon's Demand, leaving me with a PC I played at first level, and have to make a final choice on, at 7th level. Do I just level him up as-is, or change him up?

Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Free character retraining after level 1 All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.