Too many rules


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Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber

I've drifted from PFS a bit since the summer. Starting a new job, I've been busy, and I've fallen off from the PBF games I've been playing in, and haven't played any VTT games or live PFS games. At some point, I'd like to get back into it once I settle into the new job-- probably the Spring. But, I'm finding myself feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of rules. The Advanced Class Guide has some nice classes in it, but it's another big list of classes players might play that a responsible GM will have some familiarity with. And, now, we're going to have Occult Adventures, which adds to that yet more.

I don't think any of these things are bad products. Certainly Occult Adventures adds a nice angle to the game and to Golarion that GMs in home games could take advantage of in a number of different ways. They could choose to focus their games that way, or they could choose to have them show up as strange and hidden additional things the PCs learn about, as described in the introduction of the playtest. However, in PFS, because there will be players playing all those classes, it's incumbent on the GM to have at least some familiarity with what all of them can do.

I'm just starting to feel overwhelmed. The Core Rulebook by itself is a pretty big and forbidding tome, and I can see how a new GM coming to the system would be a bit intimidated by it. But, now, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Yeah, the base rules haven't changed, but the various special rules that players can bring to the table for their classes have gone up by a factor of several since the races and classes chapter in the core rulebook. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that I'm competent to GM PFS any more, where I don't have the freedom to rule out certain books in order to keep the game under control, and where players will be bringing characters from all places and sundry. And I especially don't see how anybody could get started GMing PFS nowadays without extensive playing experience and many, many hours studying the large quantity of player classes and player rules that are available.

Again, I'm not complaining that there are options. Options are good: the Advanced Class Guide has some nice and needed classes in it, and Occult Adventures looks to open up a whole new sort of thing for Golarion. It's just that the weight of all these things, put together, becomes overwhelming for the potential PFS GM. I don't know if there is a solution to this; perhaps the solution is that only those who have the time and tendency to keep up with the rules-explosion system that Pathfinder has become should be GMing PFS.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Don't worry, the players will have gotten familiar with whatever rules they're bringing to the table, so it's no big deal if the GM doesn't know all the latest goodies. :)

Scarab Sages 2/5

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To expand upon Jiggy's statement, one of the biggest reasons for requiring each player to own his source if its an additional resource is so he can bring it and show the GM rules the GM is unfamiliar with. I regularly encounter rules ive never seen and all it takes is a quick discussion with the player and occasionally checking the source to be sure of the wording of the Feat/Class Feature/ect. The entire point of this is so the PFS GM doesn't need to know everything.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Honestly, I wasn't even meaning that. Sure, if an issue comes up where some interaction needs to be figured out, have a look at the source ability. But let's be honest, most of the time it's just a matter of one side or the other rolling a d20 and then applying either some damage or a condition that there's a card for.

No, what I'm talking about is just trusting the person who sorted through the material, designed the character, built the character, played the character repeatedly, and advanced the character; trusting that maybe that person knows how that character works, even if it sounds strange or unfamiliar to the person who has only skimmed parts of the material ten months ago, or who is reading it for the first time, or has maybe never even heard of it.

Now, if a character says they can use a 1st-level spell, except it's an SLA that affects like four times as many types of creatures as the spell, and they can use it at will at level 1, should we maybe question that?

Surprise! It's actually a real ability!

See? Even something that sounds ridiculous might be totally legit. So when the player announces "I do X", do we really even need to say, "Let me read that"? I submit that no, 99% of the time we can just say "Sounds great!"


I share your trepidation and am currently coming out of a similar lull in organized play, OP.

5/5

I tend to trust players to know their stuff - although I often ask (in advance, where possible) to see their characters so *I* can learn it as well. I hate to have second doubts in a game and have to stop things to look stuff up. Although, if it sounds fishy as in Jiggy's example, I do tend to ask.

There was a great thread a while back that was to do with audits at cons, and how to quickly "guestimate" if a PC is within the range of "normal" or not. Stuff like "damage bonus of X times APL" and so on. I can't find it quickly and am heading for lunch, but I'm sure someone will have tracked it down by the time I get back. :)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

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Just GM a PFS sanctioned home game with a regular group. You can limit what's allowed to make it more simple.


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I'm in Jiggy's camp - you just have to trust in an honor system.

It was the same issue with 3.5 organized play campaigns when the system got bloated - there's just no way for one person to meaningfully grasp all the rules and character abilities, so you just assume the player's know what they're doing (and aren't malicious).

And that's probably 90% accurate, which is good enough to keep a sustainable campaign.

It's more of a problem for GMs when running high-tier scenarios, because it requires far more prep, looking things up and reviewing unfamiliar abilities and spells (and planning for their strategic application). The option is simply to not run high-tier.

I'm ready for Pathfinder 2, myself, but until then, I'm just going to let my players do their thing.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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Its becoming an issue. The Occult Play test has some very complicated classes and there are some fiddly bits buried deep in the book (e.g., the rules on psychic spells not having verbal or somatic components was something I completely missed on my first read through).

I trust the local player base to not cheat. I don't trust all of it to get everything right. And I don't trust all of it to notice when something is ambiguous (some players seem to assume that the most favorable to them interpretation is clearly and obviously right).

Not much can be done about it though except to "trust but verify the weird stuff"

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber

My experience, though, is that players not really knowing the rules is distressingly common. It doesn't happen every game by any means, but in a non-insignificant number of the games I've played in, players have come in and tried to do things that they shouldn't be able to do. This is exactly what pauljathome mentions-- they don't always get it right, and when things are ambiguous, they haven't necessarily tracked down to find out the forum, FAQ, or errata rulings (if there are any).

F'rinstance: I once avoided a TPK because the Sorcerer in the group didn't realize that UMD was a trained-only skill. Had the player known that, *or* had I remembered to ask about it, that player wouldn't have been able to use the CLW wand that saved the entire party. (I only found out that UMD was untrained at the very end of the session, when the player asked for advice about levelling up.) (In retrospect, I'm kind of happy that this happened, since I don't want to TPK people, but it *was* a rules violation.) This is but one example; I've seen *lots*. And I'm guilty of this too. I had a minor error in one character once (two traits that were both "Magic" traits), but other than that I'm not aware of a character error. But I have made errors as a GM, which either went uncaught, or that were caught by a player who knew the rules very well. Again, nothing terribly major, for the most part (except for that avoided GPK), at least as far as I know, but it happens. As the number of rules expand, this will only happen more often. Which leads me again to think that perhaps that only a particularly well-versed subset of current PFS GMs should really be expected and encouraged to continue doing it.

It's also fairly common to have players who have carefully read the rulebooks and think they can do something, but who aren't familiar with the errata and so don't realize that what they think they can do they can no longer do. The expansion of errata was already painful, and as the expansion of the rules on which errata are based occurs, it will cascade.

I believe in most players' honor. Yeah, some cheat, but that's a tiny fraction not worth worrying about. The real worry is the players who mean to be honorable but don't remember something or don't know all the rules. Ideally, as GM, we can catch them and keep things straight. But it's getting harder and harder to do so. If my experience had been that by and large the players all knew the rules for what they were doing and always did it right, I wouldn't worry quite as much. However, my experience is that a not-ignorable minority of players come to the table trying to do something that they can't actually do.

So, as a result, I feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of rules out there, and in particular the expansion in the number of base classes and "player" rules that we're seeing this year. (In the previous year, Ultimate Campaign and Mythic Adventures, plus a Bestiary, didn't give me nearly the same sense of feeling overwhelmed, because it wasn't all huge numbers of options that players were able to bring to the table that I feel I should be familiar with.)

Re: GMing PFS in a home group, to me part of the point of PFS is to be able to find games, e.g. VTT games from a group of people who just happen to be able to play when I do. If I've got a group to play a home game with, I won't play PFS at all. (And, indeed, I have a roughly-bi-weekly (although less recently) VTT home game that I GM.) The advantage of PFS is being able to pick up and just play with anybody else in PFS. Relegating it to just a home game completely eliminates that advantage, and thus (to my mind) most any point of playing PFS.

Maybe Pathfinder is just becoming a too-rules-heavy system for me. It is by its very nature rules-heavy, and part of me likes that kind of thing, but the weight that has built up by now is starting to strain me.

Re: Pathfinder 2, it sounds like we're ready for that simply because it would reduce the number of rules back to a manageable level. Does Pathfinder really need a fundamental redesign? I don't think so; sure, lots of things could be made better, but I don't think it needs a reboot. *Except*, of course, that a reboot would give us a breath of fresh air as we would only a Core Rulebook to deal with again. But, then, it's just getting back on the merry-go-round, and eventually there will be too many rules again. There must be a better way.... Maybe the right answer is only to play with out-of-print systems, but at that point you're completely outside the realm of organized play.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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rknop wrote:
My experience, though, is that players not really knowing the rules is distressingly common. It doesn't happen every game by any means, but in a non-insignificant number of the games I've played in, players have come in and tried to do things that they shouldn't be able to do. This is exactly what pauljathome mentions-- they don't always get it right, and when things are ambiguous, they haven't necessarily tracked down to find out the forum, FAQ, or errata rulings (if there are any).

Sure, sometimes a player thinks they can do something they can't. Just like sometimes a GM thinks a player can't do something they really can (ex: "Spell Combat + Spellstrike = two attacks" is still attacked by some GMs as "obviously unintended cheese"). When the GM makes their version of this error, players are supposed to just accept it and move on unless it's like PC-death-serious. Would it be the end of the world if GMs took the same approach to the player version of this error?

What bad things would happen if, on matters not super-serious, the GM just accepted the player's assertion and moved on, even if they suspected it was incorrect?

Shouldn't the "I think you're wrong, but it's not a huge deal so I'll just hold my peace and get back to having fun" thing go both ways?

rknop wrote:
F'rinstance: I once avoided a TPK because the Sorcerer in the group didn't realize that UMD was a trained-only skill. Had the player known that, *or* had I remembered to ask about it, that player wouldn't have been able to use the CLW wand that saved the entire party. (I only found out that UMD was untrained at the very end of the session, when the player asked for advice about levelling up.) (In retrospect, I'm kind of happy that this happened, since I don't want to TPK people, but it *was* a rules violation.) This is but one example; I've seen *lots*.

I would point out that your example has absolutely nothing to do with the expanding volume of player options. It's not even related to a Core class, let alone a splatbook class.

Similarly, I made an error in my most recent GMing session: I thought you could use the "first aid" function of the Heal skill to give 1HP back to a 1st-level PC (which is what was needed to get the only guy who could use the CLW wand conscious again). I let it work, then found out later that the only HP-recovery Heal effect is "treat deadly wounds", which requires a healer's kit (dunno if anyone had one).

I'd have made that same mistake even if it were a CRB-only game. I'd hazard a guess that most real rules errors have to do with Core mechanics, like trained-only skills, the T10 rules, determining cover, interacting with illusions, and so on.

rknop wrote:
And I'm guilty of this too. I had a minor error in one character once (two traits that were both "Magic" traits), but other than that I'm not aware of a character error. But I have made errors as a GM, which either went uncaught, or that were caught by a player who knew the rules very well. Again, nothing terribly major, for the most part (except for that avoided GPK), at least as far as I know, but it happens.

Exactly! They're usually very minor! So minor they might not even be caught! So why not just let it be, and not sweat the small stuff? Like I said at the top of this post, this is already the expectation when a GM makes an error; why not treat player errors (and even suspected errors) the same way?

Quote:
As the number of rules expand, this will only happen more often. Which leads me again to think that perhaps that only a particularly well-versed subset of current PFS GMs should really be expected and encouraged to continue doing it.

First, I'll reiterate my assertion that most real issues/errors are with the Core rules. There's usually lots of hubbub and drama with new books, but in my experience it usually turns out to be a matter of a class/spell/feat/etc letting players do something cool and innovative that's not just a re-packaged presentation of a comfortable staple, and then certain players/GMs scream that that can't be how it works, but then it turns out it really is. (Spell Combat + Spellstrike = two attacks; SLAs for early entry to PrC's; I could list a lot if I wanted to spend the time.)

But actual genuine errors? They're usually Core, and usually minor.

rknop wrote:
It's also fairly common to have players who have carefully read the rulebooks and think they can do something, but who aren't familiar with the errata and so don't realize that what they think they can do they can no longer do. The expansion of errata was already painful, and as the expansion of the rules on which errata are based occurs, it will cascade.

In theory, yeah, but let's be honest: most errata comes with a lot of heated debate and fanfare. Someone is going to know about it, 99% of the time. I'd say that makes this a small enough issue to not worry about.

rknop wrote:
I believe in most players' honor. Yeah, some cheat, but that's a tiny fraction not worth worrying about. The real worry is the players who mean to be honorable but don't remember something or don't know all the rules. Ideally, as GM, we can catch them and keep things straight. But it's getting harder and harder to do so.

For Core rules, that's a good goal. I sometimes wish more GMs invested deliberate time in improving their grasp of the underlying mechanics that form the core system. But again, this has nothing to do with more books being released; like I said, most errors are Core.

rknop wrote:
If my experience had been that by and large the players all knew the rules for what they were doing and always did it right, I wouldn't worry quite as much. However, my experience is that a not-ignorable minority of players come to the table trying to do something that they can't actually do.

For what it's worth, my experience is that the majority of the times that a GM thinks the player can't do what they're trying to do, the GM is wrong.

Here's the tricky thing:
When a player tries to do X and the GM says they can't, the player now has a burden to go find out the truth. After all, they're the one who wants to do X. So most of the time (not always, but usually), it's the player who goes and does the research.

If the player really was wrong, they know about it, because they're the ones who went and looked! When the GM is wrong? It's still the player who finds out. That GM might not see the player again, might never find out the result of the research. So they go on thinking the player was wrong, because they haven't done the research to find out otherwise.

So any given data point of "the player thought they could do X, but they can't" might actually be a data point of the opposite! That is, unless the GM did the research themselves, which is rare.

So when you say that in your experience, X number of players "come to the table trying to do something that they can't actually do", did you verify those instances? Did the players come back and tell you that you were right? Or could some/most/all of the events you're thinking of actually be times when you thought the player was wrong, and you simply haven't been corrected yet? (Please note, I'm not trying to pick on you specifically; just pointing out what I've seen from the other end of the process, where the verification actually happens.)

TLDR:
1) We're already supposed to just go along with possible GM errors when they're minor (and they usually are), and I submit that applying the same philosophy to possibly player errors will relieve a lot of your feelings of being overwhelmed, and do so without a serious negative impact on the game.

2) I submit that most actual errors relate to the CRB, while issues with splatbooks are mostly false alarms. Thus, if you focus on mastering the Core, you needn't be overwhelmed by "splat explosion".

3) There probably aren't as many player errors happening as you think there are, unless you're a GM who goes back and thoroughly researches EVERYTHING that you tell a player "no" about.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber

*shrug*. Maybe it's more perception than reality. But what I do know is that the number of new base classes this year has me feeling overwhelmed and not competent to GM PFS. I'm likely to act on that, and I suspect (but obviously don't know) I'm not alone in this. There are a lot of things I love about Pathfinder, but the rulebook line is starting to feel like just all too much to me, and the standard home game approach (don't use the extra stuff you don't want to use) isn't an option in PFS.

Grand Lodge

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I also feel they are adding too much too fast. The advanced class guide classes at least were mixes of classes that we were already familiar with. These new classes seem to use totally different mechanics which makes it much more difficult to take in (at least for me). I am hoping that not many people make these in my area.

Heck, I am still learning stuff from the core rule book (just learned a piece of minutia from chapter 8 this past weekend). My brain is full!

4/5

I generally trust players to know how to do the things they want to do with their character.

I do find they sometimes need help remembering the restrictions that come with it (like remembering their gun misfires on. A 2 because of the alchemical cartridges they're using to make full attacks).

I made a guide to gunslingers a while back. It ended up being longer than I'd prefer for a quick reference, but I've been thinking about something that gives the bare minimum basics for each class.

Something like:
Here's the pool they have
Here's the typical size
Here's what they can spend points to do
Here's what they can do if they have a point

And:
Here are restrictions or checks they have to make

I'll try to throw something together and post it in the forums for feedback.

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

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Just going to share what I said about this subject on the Facebook group.

TOZ wrote:

You know, I don't even worry about this when I run. It used to be that I knew all the rules better than all but the most dedicated player. (I could quote 3.5 by heart.)

But as more and more Pathfinder books are released, I do find myself losing that edge in knowledge. But I don't really care. Can a player pull one over on me with an obscure rules interaction? Absolutely. Does it really matter in the long run? No.

Those players always out themselves as what they are, in word or deed. And while I may have to put up with them for a table, afterwards I need never see them again. Sometimes I take them on again, and steer them towards being a better community member. But only rarely is it ever a true problem.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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If there isn;'t a mushroom cloud over the field of battle i don't even bother to ask the player how that worked.

Grand Lodge

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I can definitely empathize with what the OP is feeling. I'm encountering tables with over half the characters coming from the ACG, using combinations of rules that seem overly powerful to me. We don't really have time for me to track down all the rules they are using to find out if they are misinterperating something, It would take way too much time. Stores close, people have jobs in the morning to go to, etc...

So the party walks through the scenario, I feel like I didn't do a good job as a GM because there was no challenge, some players feel like their time was wasted because they were mostly just spectators.

I'm actually worried that a lot of the drop off of people willing to GM in our area is because of this. I don't know that it is, but from conversations I have had with other GMs I strongly suspect that it is a factor. I know I'm considering not GMing PFS anymore, and its directly related to the ACG, I haven't even seen anything from Occult Adventures yet.

1/5

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I never even tried to keep abreast of all the new rules...I simply do not have the time. Instead, I lean -- heavily -- on the players to know their own characters. Only if something sounds too good to be true do I typically ask to see the source material. Seems to work well enough, especially since problem players typically make themselves known rather quickly. :)

That said, sure, I wish there were fewer rules add-ons. But they're popular, so I understand why they keep coming.


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Jiggy wrote:


What bad things would happen if, on matters not super-serious, the GM just accepted the player's assertion and moved on, even if they suspected it was incorrect?

I read this.

I scratched my head.
I worried a bit.
I thought about it some.
I mulled it over.
I looked at it from both sides.
I came up with only one word to describe it.

Epiphany.

Sovereign Court

As a newer player, the incredible amount of classes and bulk that's been added to this game since I've started playing (less than a year) has definitely made me reconsider whether or not I want to try GMing in PFS.

I don't know if that's their intention, but it's happening. I'm certain I'm not the only one thinking this way.

Silver Crusade

Quadstriker wrote:

As a newer player, the incredible amount of classes and bulk that's been added to this game since I've started playing (less than a year) has definitely made me reconsider whether or not I want to try GMing in PFS.

I don't know if that's their intention, but it's happening. I'm certain I'm not the only one thinking this way.

Repeating what Jiggy wrote above, learn the Core rules really well and trust your players. You will have fun GMing.

Grand Lodge

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I've lost count of the number of times when some player has pulled out an ability that I've never even heard of and I've just accepted it because I don't want to stop the game.

At this point, someone could probably play a character, make up a bunch of feats entitled something silly like 'Heart of the Walrus' and as a GM I would probably just go 'Yup, sure thing, cool'.

The easiest solution for GMs is not to study books upon books upon books of Pathfinder rules but instead just game with folks they know and trust.

Sczarni 3/5

Jiggy wrote:
rknop wrote:
My experience, though, is that players not really knowing the rules is distressingly common. It doesn't happen every game by any means, but in a non-insignificant number of the games I've played in, players have come in and tried to do things that they shouldn't be able to do. This is exactly what pauljathome mentions-- they don't always get it right, and when things are ambiguous, they haven't necessarily tracked down to find out the forum, FAQ, or errata rulings (if there are any).

Sure, sometimes a player thinks they can do something they can't. Just like sometimes a GM thinks a player can't do something they really can (ex: "Spell Combat + Spellstrike = two attacks" is still attacked by some GMs as "obviously unintended cheese"). When the GM makes their version of this error, players are supposed to just accept it and move on unless it's like PC-death-serious. Would it be the end of the world if GMs took the same approach to the player version of this error?

What bad things would happen if, on matters not super-serious, the GM just accepted the player's assertion and moved on, even if they suspected it was incorrect?

Shouldn't the "I think you're wrong, but it's not a huge deal so I'll just hold my peace and get back to having fun" thing go both ways?

rknop wrote:
F'rinstance: I once avoided a TPK because the Sorcerer in the group didn't realize that UMD was a trained-only skill. Had the player known that, *or* had I remembered to ask about it, that player wouldn't have been able to use the CLW wand that saved the entire party. (I only found out that UMD was untrained at the very end of the session, when the player asked for advice about levelling up.) (In retrospect, I'm kind of happy that this happened, since I don't want to TPK people, but it *was* a rules violation.) This is but one example; I've seen *lots*.
I would point out that your example has absolutely nothing to do with the expanding volume of player options. It's not even related to...

Great post Jiggy, you nailed the point. As a fairly new Pathfinder GM/player myself I found alot of the rules issues I've had with my characters/players resulted from me not knowing the core rules well enough.

In essence, it wasn't about "Can a lvl 5 magus really do 60+ damage in one round?" but more about "does walking into a threatened area from cover provoke an AoO?".

Most new rules are built upon the premise that they interact with said core rule and ergo: merely reïnterpret them.


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I run for my regular PFS group and thats about it. I haven't run anything publicly for over a month now(wow its the end of October, nearly 2 months now), and may be completely over it. Way too much garbage to deal with for me, and I find its much less fun than it was even 6 months ago, and way less fun than a year ago. With the Season 6 issues and all the PF garbage being released I just don't think its worth it anymore.

Sad too, I really enjoyed PFS for many years, but I guess its inevitable eventually. I'm not even enjoying playing that much anymore. Get partnered with that guy who does 200 damage in a 40 foot radius dazing and stunning all enemies for 3 rounds, and he can do so 10 times a day has just ruined it. Unfortunately those builds are becoming the norm not the exception now.

4/5

Though I tend to be a GM that believes that "flow" is more important than most anything else, and I am very sympathetic to the view of Jiggy, I have to point out that PFS is were a lot of people come to learn the rules in the first place. As someone who is the local coordinator (not yet a VL) I feel like a big part of my job is teaching the game while at the same time running the story. I don't think there is any way to denign that the burden of being a teacher of the game who can catch when their students have made a mistake has gotten harder. It's easy to say "just play with people you trust", it is much harder to nurture new players to grow a thriving society.

That is part of the reason I force myself to keep playing new classes as a player, so that I understand more mechanics from personal experience, but that is also now a strategy that can only help so much when there are 35 classes.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Mimo Tomblebur wrote:
I feel like a big part of my job is teaching the game while at the same time running the story. I don't think there is any way to denign that the burden of being a teacher of the game who can catch when their students have made a mistake has gotten harder.

This goes back to what I was saying about how most errors are Core. Teach your players the static Core rules, and you won't have to worry much about the class-specific stuff.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Jiggy wrote:
Sure, sometimes a player thinks they can do something they can't. Just like sometimes a GM thinks a player can't do something they really can (ex: "Spell Combat + Spellstrike = two attacks" is still attacked by some GMs as "obviously unintended cheese"). When the GM makes their version of this error, players are supposed to just accept it and move on unless it's like PC-death-serious. Would it be the end of the world if GMs took the same approach to the player version of this error?

You have to admit that when someone explains how that works they sound an awful lot like someone pulling a complicated rules lawyering shennanigan. They really should have spelled out how those interact, especially with all the virtual limb stuff and monkflurry shenanigans going on at the time.


rknop wrote:
Re: Pathfinder 2, it sounds like we're ready for that simply because it would reduce the number of rules back to a manageable level. Does Pathfinder really need a fundamental redesign? I don't think so; sure, lots of things could be made better, but I don't think it needs a reboot. *Except*, of course, that a reboot would give us a breath of fresh air as we would only a Core Rulebook to deal with again. But, then, it's just getting back on the merry-go-round, and eventually there will be too many rules again. There must be a better way.... Maybe the right answer is only to play with out-of-print systems, but at that point you're completely outside the realm of organized play.

For me, I GM a home game, and all of the new books have seriously made me want to abandon PF for something simpler. I find it hard to design when they keep adding more and more feats, traits, archetypes, etc., etc.!

I also feel they need to go back to the Core book and update it to be more in-line with all the new stuff they've added: point pools; weapons with extra abilities (+2 to sunder, trip, etc.) - things like that. Maybe that's what the archetypes are an attempt to do - to bring the new stuff to the old classes? Plus an attempt to "multi-class" without needing to actually multi-class?

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

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Otherwhere wrote:
For me, I GM a home game, and all of the new books have seriously made me want to abandon PF for something simpler. I find it hard to design when they keep adding more and more feats, traits, archetypes, etc., etc.!

You want something simpler?

CRB only.

3/5

Otherwhere wrote:
rknop wrote:
Re: Pathfinder 2, it sounds like we're ready for that simply because it would reduce the number of rules back to a manageable level. Does Pathfinder really need a fundamental redesign? I don't think so; sure, lots of things could be made better, but I don't think it needs a reboot. *Except*, of course, that a reboot would give us a breath of fresh air as we would only a Core Rulebook to deal with again. But, then, it's just getting back on the merry-go-round, and eventually there will be too many rules again. There must be a better way.... Maybe the right answer is only to play with out-of-print systems, but at that point you're completely outside the realm of organized play.

For me, I GM a home game, and all of the new books have seriously made me want to abandon PF for something simpler. I find it hard to design when they keep adding more and more feats, traits, archetypes, etc., etc.!

I also feel they need to go back to the Core book and update it to be more in-line with all the new stuff they've added: point pools; weapons with extra abilities (+2 to sunder, trip, etc.) - things like that. Maybe that's what the archetypes are an attempt to do - to bring the new stuff to the old classes? Plus an attempt to "multi-class" without needing to actually multi-class?

Might I suggest regular audits of your PCs? You don't have to know all the feats/classes/items except the ones that your players and monsters use.

There's also TOZ' approach. Make your next game / campaign CRB only.

5/5

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Matt Thomason wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


What bad things would happen if, on matters not super-serious, the GM just accepted the player's assertion and moved on, even if they suspected it was incorrect?

I read this.

I scratched my head.
I worried a bit.
I thought about it some.
I mulled it over.
I looked at it from both sides.
I came up with only one word to describe it.

Epiphany.

I call it Blasphemy myself, but to each their own.

*half-wink*

Overall, I agree utmost and entirely with the OP - too many options, and far too fast. I have now not even read over half the base classes that someone might play.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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To be honest, I haven't read them either. I just trust my players to know what the hell they are talking about.

1/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Otherwhere wrote:
For me, I GM a home game, and all of the new books have seriously made me want to abandon PF for something simpler. I find it hard to design when they keep adding more and more feats, traits, archetypes, etc., etc.!

You want something simpler?

CRB only.

I love core only. For me, the appeal of Pathfinder is greatly increased when rule elements are limited.

You can also take things further and model your game on the Beginner Box, just adding the extra content (classes, spells, etc.) from the CRB.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
You have to admit that when someone explains how that works they sound an awful lot like someone pulling a complicated rules lawyering shennanigan.

You bring up an excellent point: most people, even 30-year-veteran GMs, have a terrible sense of whether something seems fishy or not. Yet another reason why GMs should trust players' assertions about their PCs' capabilities: the GM's "hunch" that they have when they first encounter something often can't be relied upon, as evidenced by your example of a completely working-as-intended ability seeming to a lot of experienced GMs to be a shenanigan. Excellent point, BNW!

EDIT:

Spoiler'd for derail:

BNW wrote:
They really should have spelled out how those interact, especially with all the virtual limb stuff and monkflurry shenanigans going on at the time.

Regarding this, they abilities spelled it out from the beginning:

Spell Combat explicitly references the possibility of the spell granting an attack IN ADDITION TO the attack granted by Spell Combat itself, yet many GMs still thought it couldn't happen.

Spellstrike explicitly references the possibility of being used in concert with Spell Combat, yet many GMs still thought they couldn't.

Frankly, most of the "issues" with the magus were either (1) the GM being either unable to read for detailed meaning or unwilling to accept the result, or (2) the GM not having understood the CRB touch spell rules in the first place and all the magus did was bring that fact into the spotlight more than anything else ever had.

Silver Crusade

This seems to be a very common thread, especially among GM's. I'm also getting a headache when I see yet another slew of classes (and classes that I personally have zero desire at this point to familiarize myself with or play) coming into the game.

As a GM, I simply just have to trust the players. After all, it's a game. You hope they wouldn't cheat on purpose and you can hope they got all they're rules correct.

I'm pretty diligent about trying to get the rules right for how I play my characters. I still get some things wrong. I probably average one incorrect action just about every game! And, that's trying to be careful.

I'm curious to know what the Paizo folks think of this. I know the old mantra, Paizo has to make money, therefore, they will keep introducing new content. It's a double-edged sword with one very evil edge. The pool of rules and complexity is increasing and increasing. You gotta wonder if suddenly PF 2.0 will come out and start all over, sort of like D&D just did.

3/5

The Fox wrote:


Repeating what Jiggy wrote above, learn the Core rules really well and trust your players. You will have fun GMing.

QFT. Knowing the core rules, especially the combat and magic chapters front to back, is key. No one's going to be upset if the GM doesn't remember how the ability from some obscure splatbook, or the latest RPG publication, works. What makes someone upset is when a GM forgets that you can take a 5-ft step in the same turn as a move action that doesn't move you any distance, or some other wacky idea.

5/5

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As long as I'm playing with players I know and trust, I don't question anything unless I am *sure* they are doing something wrong.

Maybe what we need is an official "how to deal with rules disagreements in PFS" process, one that deals with rules disagreements without favoring one side of the screen over another.

Something like, "GM makes call --> rules disagreement occurs --> player(s?) gets X amount of time to find reference for GM --> GM reads reference and makes final call --> play proceeds --> appeals process post-game". the time "X" is long enough to look through some books, but not long enough for folks to go for a break.

This leaves the handling of grey areas or conflicts in the GM's purview, yet requires the player to have a chance to make their case. It's how I do it at the table, and so far it only breaks down when someone doesn't like a grey-area ruling I've made.

Would this sort of mandatory process give players more confidence that they can correct GM errors, without forcing GMs to just trust everyone at their table carte blanche?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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GM Lamplighter wrote:
Would this sort of mandatory process give players more confidence that they can correct GM errors, without forcing GMs to just trust everyone at their table carte blanche?

I think if we accept "don't force GMs to trust players" as a goal, we're already doing something wrong.

What we need is not for players to have a process by which to appeal the GM's ruling. What we need is for GMs to identify as the players' peers, open to equal-footing dialogue on any topic and with both parties having equal authority to assert their own ideas and equal responsibility to consider submitting to each other for the sake of the table's fun.

We need for GMs to act like normal people, who can be approached normally with normal disagreements by other normal people.

If we formalize a method for players to appeal a GM's ruling, that fosters a mindset (on both sides) that the GM is on top, is in charge, is someone the lowly player must approach differently than they would approach a fellow human being.

A formalized, mandatory method for how a player can disagree with a GM is as preposterous as a formalized, mandatory method for how my wife can disagree with me.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Jiggy wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Would this sort of mandatory process give players more confidence that they can correct GM errors, without forcing GMs to just trust everyone at their table carte blanche?

....snipping much good stuff....

A formalized, mandatory method for how a player can disagree with a GM is as preposterous as a formalized, mandatory method for how my wife can disagree with me.

Wait, you don't have one? but how does your wife appeal your patriarchal decrees?

Silver Crusade 4/5

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Bruno only need grapple rules.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Jiggy wrote:


You bring up an excellent point: most people, even 30-year-veteran GMs, have a terrible sense of whether something seems fishy or not.

Not quite. Its often a pretty good sense its just never really perfect.

Quote:
Yet another reason why GMs should trust players' assertions about their PCs' capabilities: the GM's "hunch" that they have when they first encounter something often can't be relied upon, as evidenced by your example of a completely working-as-intended ability seeming to a lot of experienced GMs to be a shenanigan. Excellent point, BNW!

9 times out of 10, if the players explanation for why something works is as convoluted as the interaction of those two abilities, they're either pulling something , got a build from someone pulling something, found a loophole or has wandered into a gray area of the rules

This just happens to be the 10th time.

The Exchange 5/5

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yeah, it's like that guy who claims you can take 10 on ... crud.

my heart is just not into it.

I vote with Jiggy here.

We're all friends at the table. Some people just seem to forget that... Let's just play a game together.

Silver Crusade

nosig wrote:
We're all friends at the table. Some people just seem to forget that... Let's just play a game together.

Exactly!

The Exchange 5/5

you know, I gave up keeping track of all the special gimmicks that each of the new PC classes can do back when the Summoner was new. Yep, still amazed by some of the things Witches can do with Hexes... and then they bring in things like Ninja... wow.

If someone were to sit down at my table (or one I'm playing at) and say "I'm playing Sid Bloodnapper, I'm a 4th Circle Deviante Programister with a Twist of Lemon - so I handle Traps and Arcane spells - and I just got Flaming Fudge Death Attacks!" I'd be ok with that. It's no wierder than many other things I've heard.

When one of the players in a game says "I cast Hold Boat" I might ask what kind of save I get for that, or if it's mind effecting... heck I MIGHT ask to read the spell. But I'm not real likely to say... "you can't do that, because I've never heard of it before!".

Rule problems normally pop up when someone says... "No, you can't Take 10 on a Knowledge check" or "I drink my potion of Shield"... heck, I once had a player correct another player on that last one, "you can't get a Potion of Shield - that has to be an oil!" yeah... great...

I started this game of ours back when all the rules were in 3 little tan books that came in a cardboard box...

yeah, there's to many rules! There's been to many rules sense they stuck in that other class! The Thief (Hobbit)!

I've been hearing this, or something like it, sense Elf was a Class

Silver Crusade

Uh...okay...maybe I'm dumb....Potion of Shield is a Target of "You" which is a target of "one or more creatures" (like Enlarge would be)....why would that be an Oil? It totally makes sense as a potion.

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

Personal spells cannot be made into oils or potions.

Silver Crusade

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Personal spells cannot be made into oils or potions.

Hmmm, yes I see Enlarge Person is a target of One Humanoid. I could swear I've seen potions of shield being used. I still scratch my head as to why "personal" targeting spells would be excluded.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Majuba wrote:
Matt Thomason wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


What bad things would happen if, on matters not super-serious, the GM just accepted the player's assertion and moved on, even if they suspected it was incorrect?

I read this.

I scratched my head.
I worried a bit.
I thought about it some.
I mulled it over.
I looked at it from both sides.
I came up with only one word to describe it.

Epiphany.

I call it Blasphemy myself, but to each their own.

*half-wink*

I expected no less.

*half-wink*

Scarab Sages

I vote with the OP.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Otherwhere wrote:
For me, I GM a home game, and all of the new books have seriously made me want to abandon PF for something simpler. I find it hard to design when they keep adding more and more feats, traits, archetypes, etc., etc.!

You want something simpler?

CRB only.

Yeah, for home game, assuming you can convince your players not to rebel, you can limit it to whatever you want. You can also houserule away what you want. Hell, start with the Beginner's Box, and forget about things like flanking.

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