Proposal: remove trained animals from the list of legal options


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Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Compton wrote:

I've read the thread, and I'm familiar with the issue. I'm not yet convinced that we need a new rule, but I'm going to float an idea and see if it has any merit:

Numerous sources allow a PC to purchase an animal to serve as a mount, companion, or combatant; however, a PC can only purchase an animal if its Challenge Rating is lower than that character's level (minimum CR 1).

What would this do? It would allow any PC to buy a horse, a camel, or a riding dog at 1st level (CR 1). Pets and pack animals with fractional CRs are likewise unaffected. It also would mean that a PC could not buy a bison or tiger—combat trained or otherwise—until level 5 (CR 4). Of course, these creatures would still be available through the animal companion class feature. The only gap I see is the heavy horse, which is CR 2 (minimum character level 3), yet a combat-trained light horse is still available right out of the gate.

That sounds like a pretty good hot fix for people who this worries and also helps mark to make leveling feel a bit more interesting. That being said you might want to right just right in an exception for the heavy horse and maybe a small list to help represent some of the other areas in golarion. Like I'd think it would be more weird for a mwangi fighter to have a heavy horse if he's originally from the expanse than say a jaguar.

Shadow Lodge

CR+1 then to include the heavy horse ?

ya that makes a lvl 3 able to buy a Tiger ... but I dont think that would trivialize combat any more than a lvl 5 PC ending up on the wrong side of a scenario at subtier 1-2 with a bunch of lvl 1's

the other Idea I was thinking would be a headache for GM's and thats to calculate subtier with non class feature animals included

5/5 5/55/55/5

Definitely like the fix.

doc the grey wrote:
d light horse is still available right out of the gate.
That sounds like a pretty good hot fix for people who this worries and also helps mark to make leveling feel a bit more interesting. That being said you might want to right just right in an exception for the heavy horse and maybe a small list to help represent some of the other areas in golarion. Like I'd think it would be more weird for a mwangi fighter to have a heavy horse if he's originally from the expanse than say a jaguar.

Thats probably getting too complicated. The complexity of the proposal doesn't add much to it. After all, pcs are pathfinders who usually start in absolom. Horses are readily available to everyone.

Sovereign Court

John Compton wrote:

I've read the thread, and I'm familiar with the issue. I'm not yet convinced that we need a new rule, but I'm going to float an idea and see if it has any merit:

Numerous sources allow a PC to purchase an animal to serve as a mount, companion, or combatant; however, a PC can only purchase an animal if its Challenge Rating is lower than that character's level (minimum CR 1).

What would this do? It would allow any PC to buy a horse, a camel, or a riding dog at 1st level (CR 1). Pets and pack animals with fractional CRs are likewise unaffected. It also would mean that a PC could not buy a bison or tiger—combat trained or otherwise—until level 5 (CR 4). Of course, these creatures would still be available through the animal companion class feature. The only gap I see is the heavy horse, which is CR 2 (minimum character level 3), yet a combat-trained light horse is still available right out of the gate.

<.< *Reads*

>.> *Thinks*

*Abandons previous "Ban"-Wagon*

*Hops on this bandwagon*

\(^o^)/ Wheeee!

Liberty's Edge

I think it is a great fix as it will limit purchased animals so as they are not superior to class ability granted companions at low levels.

I don't think there needs to be any exception for additional creatures, as level 1 non mount classes probably won't have need of more than a light horse anyway.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Wisconsin—Pleasant Prairie aka Brew City Crafter

John Compton wrote:

Numerous sources allow a PC to purchase an animal to serve as a mount, companion, or combatant; however, a PC can only purchase an animal if its Challenge Rating is lower than that character's level (minimum CR 1).

I agree. This seems to be a reasonable middle ground that fixes the issue of purchased combat animals out classing class feature ACs on the low end and also dealing with purchased combat animals trivializing low tier scenarios.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

How about instead of CR going by HD? A heavy horse is still only 2 HD, it just gains the advanced simple template over a normal horse which doesn't add HD right?

Tiger at CR4 has 6 HD, so with max purchase at HD = characterlevel + 1 (which incidently equals the FAQ for the favored class bonus of aasimar/elf oracles revelations with animal companions) :) it's still level 5 before you can buy it.

Or are there animals who'd break this? I'm not awake enough to check all the buyable creatures :)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Damanta wrote:

How about instead of CR going by HD? A heavy horse is still only 2 HD, it just gains the advanced simple template over a normal horse which doesn't add HD right?

Tiger at CR4 has 6 HD, so with max purchase at HD = characterlevel + 1 (which incidently equals the FAQ for the favored class bonus of aasimar/elf oracles revelations with animal companions) :) it's still level 5 before you can buy it.

Or are there animals who'd break this? I'm not awake enough to check all the buyable creatures :)

My suspicion is that CR is going to be a slightly more accurate (not perfect, certainly) measure of the creature's power and impact on the game than its Hit Dice. A creature's attack bonus might be increased to the right point by giving it more Hit Dice or giving it a much higher Strength, and only the first would then modify when a PC could purchase it.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Sounds logical actually.

I only checked the much spoken about tiger and the riding animals: horse / pony / dog.

4/5

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My Nagaji Paladin started off with a pet constrictor snake (he was always planned to be paladin/bard/dragon disciple). I spent precious skill ranks for Handle Animal (and benefited from the racial bonus with snakes from being Nagaji). That snake survived many battles and scenarios - didn't die until I think level 7 or so. (and if I could have found a PFS legal way to get an actual animal companion for him I would have taken it - at least at the time i couldn't find a reasonable way to do that). It was always really fun to play the snake man, in heavy armor, with a pet snake. Sure there were many encounters where being a pet he wasn't particularly effective - but in many others he was indeed helpful - if nothing else for the intimidation factor.

And as a player he was extremely fun to have around - very flavorful for a Nagaji I thought.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

John Compton wrote:

I've read the thread, and I'm familiar with the issue. I'm not yet convinced that we need a new rule, but I'm going to float an idea and see if it has any merit:

Numerous sources allow a PC to purchase an animal to serve as a mount, companion, or combatant; however, a PC can only purchase an animal if its Challenge Rating is lower than that character's level (minimum CR 1).

What would this do? It would allow any PC to buy a horse, a camel, or a riding dog at 1st level (CR 1). Pets and pack animals with fractional CRs are likewise unaffected. It also would mean that a PC could not buy a bison or tiger—combat trained or otherwise—until level 5 (CR 4). Of course, these creatures would still be available through the animal companion class feature. The only gap I see is the heavy horse, which is CR 2 (minimum character level 3), yet a combat-trained light horse is still available right out of the gate.

Seems reasonable, especially since you already have to be level 5 to able able to summon an actual leopard using Summon Nature's Ally III a tiger even requires the level 4 version.

Grand Lodge

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Well I figured I would add my two cents as I am referenced several times in this thread as well as the flatteringly titled “Silliness of buying high CR animals.” Hello Derek, Will and Dan. I started out playing in this area about 4 ½ years ago, I was going to be playing PFS at Gen Con for the first time and wanted to see if I could try to gain a level or two before I went. On my first day ever with this gaming group the other table playing that day had every player killed at the table or as it is called by our GM’s a TPK. So I knew that this was no joke and that things could be dangerous here in PFS. I like animals and using them in Pathfinder, not every class gets an awesome AC but fortunately there are animals you can buy and train yourself. I played this character 6 times before I went to Gen Con, 4 of those times the other table that day had characters die, 2 of those were TPK’s. During the 6th game I played there was a player at our table who had clearly been killed several times over as he was trapped behind enemy lines for several turns, the GM however did nothing about this. Then as we are about to kill the final boss who is lying prone on the ground stands up, ignores the creature attacking it in melee and shoots past his wife at me in the back with 2 Scorching Rays. I point out that he is 10 feet short of the spells range, so he says ok, moves the bad guy forward 10 feet, again this is after he has stood up from prone, and then casts the spell and kills my character. This happens one week before Gen Con. I played at Gen Con 2012 and then didn’t play in this area again for 2 years because of the bad experience. Once I decided to come back I did not want to be in a situation where it is difficult to get a 3rd level character. So I spent my hard earned money and bought more books and after reading them discovered that there were more animals that I could purchase, the two most powerful being a Tiger and a Wooly Rhinoceros. I settled on a Tiger as it was much cheaper and would be able to get to many more places to be usable in combat. So my character that was designed to use the riding dog works just as well for using a Tiger. I have success and don’t die at early levels, there are different GM’s here now but some still like to compare how many kills and TPK’s they have with other GM’s. I have lots of fun; I am now level 7 and want to try out Bonekeep; my party survives! We now have difficulty organizing Bonekeep 2, and I don’t want to level out so I have to make a new character to keep playing PFS. At this point I have had one character the whole time. I have purchased Rise of the Runelords and in my free time had come up with my theoretical party of 8 (4 Main characters and 4 Cohorts). Part of this party’s shtick is that they all invest in Charisma and have animals. So I make the other 7 characters that would make up this party. I want my characters to survive to higher levels if I can help it so I’m going to buy the legal Tiger over the legal riding dog. Now of these 8 characters of mine that I plan on using the Tiger; one is still level 7, one is 6, one 2, one 1 with 2 exp, two are 1 with 1 exp, and the last 2 I have not played yet. So I have played a total of 4 characters where I had a Tiger in the game. I have not gotten to use them in every scenario. I prefer (especially at low level) to use them in case we get into trouble and it looks like someone might die. I know of several occasions where other people were happy that the Tiger was there and we didn’t end up dying. As for the Tiger “hogging the spotlight” I know of only two people I have played with that as PC’s chose to disengage from the game and not contribute because to the Tigers presence, both are local GM’s and both have made comments on this and the previous thread. As for “killing the fun” the only people who have ever mentioned anything negative about the Tiger are the GM’s. I have heard from some of our newer players that they are scared of playing with some of our GM’s because of their propensity from killing them. IMHO a GM should not try to measure their effectiveness by them number of peoples creations they are able to destroy but by how fun they make it for the PC’s, reading the scenario before running it and being prepared can really go a long way in that regard. Now that I have had a chance to address some of our local issues I will address the topic of this thread.

The current rules for purchased animals are broken. I should know; I’ve been exploiting it to give myself the highest survivability possible for my low level characters. There is an easy fix for this and fortunately it does not require a sloppy meat cleaver or “let’s ban everything” as a solution. Under the FAQ for “How many Animals can I have” the first sentence should read “During the course of a scenario, you may have one combat animal up to one HD higher than your character level and as many noncombat animals as you like.” This fixes every problem with purchased animals that the current rules allow.

My fix may not be what PFS decides to implement to fix this problem, and let me reiterate it is a problem, but I will voluntarily be using this for the 8 characters I plan on using purchased animals with. I will even encourage other people in our gaming group to do so as well. This means my two characters that are high enough level will continue to use their Tigers, for all the rest I will be going back to riding dogs.

When I play PFS I want to have fun, I want the other players to have fun and I want the GM to have fun. It would have been nice for the GM’s, people I see once or twice a week, to have consulted me. Instead you went with the much more mature route and I end up having to read inaccurate assertions about me on this O so private forum. I will make sure that I bring up any concerns I have as a PC with you in person, and approach it in a constructive and collaborative manner.

Scarab Sages Venture-Agent, Washington—Ballard aka WiseWolfOfYoitsu

@CipsioN, you my friend need to speak to your local Venture Officer about the GMs. If the players in the area are all scared to play characters without buying these extra animals, then it's an issue that needs addressed by a VO. I'm sorry about your experience at the con, but if these things happen, report them right away to the people in charge of the PFS event. As someone with less than a quarter of the current scenarios left, I've NEVER needed something that isn't a class feature other than a pony. I've seen some player deaths, and am even responsible for some as a GM. I let my rolls happen in the open.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Here's a mean fix: Just write in a few charm animal spells into scenarios with the tactic: uses on tigers and bison if present. After a few tpks from their own animals, players will stop buying em.

But seriously, John Compton's fix seems legit. Just tweak it to make an exception for animals in the core rulebook and then players can have their horses still.

PCs can purchase any animal from the CRB. From any other source a PC can only purchase an animal if its Challenge Rating is lower than that character's level (minimum CR 1).

Grand Lodge

@gnoams let me break down the futility of your mean fix. Now let us examine what Charm Animal actually does. First is the enemy caster or any of its allies attacking the target because if they are it gets a +5 on its saving throw, yes the Tiger would get a saving throw to resist the spell. If it fails that save then its attitude towards the caster is friendly. This means that it continues to treat all other enemies as enemies and friends as friends. In the Attack trick the very first sentence states quite clearly: “The animal attacks apparent enemies.” So its pool of potential targets includes only the remaining bad guys minus the one guy who cast Charm Animal. Charm Animal also states “Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the charmed animal breaks the spell.” So if any of those other bad guys attacks, the spell is broken. Now if you decide as GM you are not going to be bothered with the RULES in your quest for TPK’s and ignore all the previous information I have provided then you would still need to make a DC 10(DC 12 if the Tiger has been hurt) handle animal check with the character that cast the Charm Animal. One last hiccup would be the fact that the tiger is also trained with the Exclusive Trick: “The animal takes directions only from the handler who taught it this trick.” It also goes on to say “An animal with the exclusive trick does not take trick commands from others even if it is friendly or helpful toward them (such as through the result of a CHARM ANIMAL spell).” Now there is clearly a lot of ambiguity in those quotes so I’m sure a creative GM could still find ways to ignore this and get those TPK’s that seem to be your primary concern, as opposed to trying to create an enjoyable experience for the PC’s sitting at your table. I have to say that my original reason for using Tigers was this TPK scoreboard obsession like the one displayed in your comment.

Grand Lodge

I would like to reiterate my position that this problem is easily solved by communication- if, as a GM, you are not willing to communicate with your player, there's an inherent problem. If, as a GM, your goal is to "beat the players", there's an inherent problem. If, as a player, you are unwilling to respond to communication, there's an inherent problem.

I want to believe that everyone wants to have fun. Everyone will have more fun if everyone communicates.

4/5

Thanks, John - this looks like an elegant fix while maintaining the versatility of various character concepts which depend on animals. I support your suggestion whole-heartedly!

4/5

Aside: I love the previous poster who said "reads...thinks... changes mind!" That's the sort of thing we can all do more of on these forums. (At least the first two; it's not a given people will/should change their minds when exposed to new ideas.)

4/5

eternallamppost wrote:
I would like to reiterate my position that this problem is easily solved by communication (...)

I would like to believe that, as well, but I have found through long experience that it is not always the case.

Not all GMs are comfortable confronting a player over this sort of issue, and by the time it has become such a problem that everyone is up in arms the damage has been done. Requiring any GM to be able to do this before GMing will kill your GM recruitment issues (as will having players who do this sort of thing). I can't see a reason to allow a level 1 PC to buy a combat-trained tiger, since it WILL destroy scenarios unless it isn't used.

Liberty's Edge

While communication is always the desirable means of resolving an issue, there are times when unless something is specifically legal or illegal, you will have those who simply dig in their heels and cannot be reasoned with. And if someone is doing something that the rules say he can, you are hard pressed to be able to do anything about it. The "don't be a jerk" rule is far too nebulous and can cut both ways, and really, a person can't technically be a "jerk" if they are following the letter of the law. So sometimes rules must be amended or stricken to eliminated certain problems.

Besides, allowing players access to creatures not only beyond their power level, but beyond that of classes that gain companions as a class feature was a serious oversight in the first place.


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Ultimately what I'm reading is a complaint about GMs being way too lethal for Tiers 1-3, where if a character dies, that's usually it. There's no bringing it back.

Accuse me of being soft, I don't care, but what I do realize as a GM and I quote:

CipsioN wrote:
I played at Gen Con 2012 and then didn’t play in this area again for 2 years because of the bad experience.

This happened at GenCon...GENCON!! The biggest (in my opinion) gaming convention in the US where Paizo and PFS is on the grand stage. It also means that you'll get alot of people who will be either or both relatively new or not as versed in ruleset mastery. Regardless, Tiers 1-3 shouldn't be so cutthroat that you're actively trying to kill players who are incapacitated when there are other threats the NPCs have to deal with.

Do I even need to get into the merits of how this kind of play will generally drive players away rather than retain them?

WiseWolfOfYoitsu wrote:


@CipsioN, you my friend need to speak to your local Venture Officer about the GMs. If the players in the area are all scared to play characters without buying these extra animals, then it's an issue that needs addressed by a VO. I'm sorry about your experience at the con, but if these things happen, report them right away to the people in charge of the PFS event. As someone with less than a quarter of the current scenarios left, I've NEVER needed something that isn't a class feature other than a pony. I've seen some player deaths, and am even responsible for some as a GM. I let my rolls happen in the open.

Nailed it...and I'm right there with you. I've killed low level characters with an unlucky crit against them. I dislike it when it happens and I'm always sympathetic towards the player but its realistic and fair. Of course, I'll ramp up the difficulty gradually once we get away from the knife's edge balance of survivability that typically is levels 1-3. I know players can usually take a few good hits before dropping plus there should be enough resources available to recover from permanent debilitation or death if need be.

Incidentally, how did that caster get up, move 10 ft, and still get a ray spell off on the same turn? Sounds like an illegal turn to me unless it was spread across two turns. That makes sense.

Scarab Sages Venture-Agent, Washington—Ballard aka WiseWolfOfYoitsu

Tsriel, could also be a swift action "Quickened" cast. I doubt it at the lower levels, but at 5+ this is a possibility.

Grand Lodge

@Tsriel No my original death happened in my home area right before Gen Con. I've loved every Gen Con, I can't wait for this years. I agree communication can always help. A few sessions ago we were at an effective character level of 7. The lvl 8's didn't want to loose money and play down if possible and I as a lvl 6 wasn't opposed to playing up and making a little extra, but I wanted the GM's opinion before we decided. He told me that when he had played he played as a Pregen and that they had not had any difficulty. I asked him again if this was a deadly mission and if he thought we would be likely to survive if we played up because I didn't want people to die. He said yes it shouldn't be a problem, so I figured this would be a more RPG & skill focused scenario. So we decide to play up based on this information. In the second combat of the adventure we first come try an empty building and so were confident the bad guys are in the next building. We break in the door since we have to capacity to open locks. We roll initiative. I have a -2 Init and rolled poorly so I was going last. One of our party of 5 moves in and attacks one of two techno golems. He is then attacked by an invisible guy with sneak attack and is dropped to 0 so he is staggered. Our next player moves forward to cure so HP. Our next player comes in tries to attack another golem but misses(this player is playing a Pregen, he had hoped to play with a lvl 5 character but was one exp short, he chose to apply it for this character). The next player casts Haste on us. The GM now casts Phantasmal Killer from the sorcerer and the Pregen fails his rolls, I gave him my re-roll and he fails again so he dies. He then has the golems attack. They kill our first character. Now my turn. So our party of 5 is down to 3, we have no way of seeing invisibility or canceling it. The rest of my team are both lvl 8's at full health. I yell out retreat and start to fall back to look for town guards and aid. The two players who are dead are packing up to leave already, they have no way to raise themselves and do not need us to recover their bodies. Now back to top of the Init for turn 2. The GM's invisible guy 5 foot steps forward and drops our character who had moved forward to heal. The guy is 2 HP from flat out dead. The other player ends up with no way to save him and retreats as well. So before any of us had a second turn 3 people are dead and the other two are running for our lives. He then spends the next hour trying to convince us to stay and fight them again. I told him that I would not, it was a death sentence. He finally let us go. I barely survived. The 3rd character to die was able to be raised after receiving assistance from the GM and myself. After the adventure I asked the GM why he said what he said at the beginning when this was clearly a deadly scenario. His reply was that when he had played he had this other player that was able to shut down the fight that had obliterated us singlehandedly. He went on to inform me that it's not his responsibility to inform us if a mission is dangerous. This is the same GM who is past 30 PC kills I believe and likes to say well I still don't have as many as this other local GM. So communication can help but it has to be honest communication. I had a Tiger for this mission, there were no complaints about the Tiger. I still think the rules should be changed.


WiseWolfOfYoitsu wrote:
Tsriel, could also be a swift action "Quickened" cast. I doubt it at the lower levels, but at 5+ this is a possibility.

I thought of that too, just not at Tier 4-5. Maybe 6-7. It's a big stretch as we're looking at a 6th level spell slot being used to cast a quickened scorching ray. The only other alternative would be a metamagic rod which the lesser version of Quicken Spell is very spendy at 35k.

...Yeah...don't think I'd see that on a Tier 4-5 or 6-7 chronicle sheet anytime soon.

5/5

Tsriel wrote:
WiseWolfOfYoitsu wrote:
Tsriel, could also be a swift action "Quickened" cast. I doubt it at the lower levels, but at 5+ this is a possibility.

I thought of that too, just not at Tier 4-5. Maybe 6-7. It's a big stretch as we're looking at a 6th level spell slot being used to cast a quickened scorching ray. The only other alternative would be a metamagic rod which the lesser version of Quicken Spell is very spendy at 35k.

...Yeah...don't think I'd see that on a Tier 4-5 or 6-7 chronicle sheet anytime soon.

It could have been a class/feat based ability. I know of one creature in a recent 5-9 capable of casting quickened scorching ray 3 times per day and it appears in both tiers. You pretty much cannot avoid meeting it although combat is not inevitable.

Spoiler:
Valley of Veiled Flame. It's CL11 too so she gets 3 bolts.

4/5

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Folks, this is a thread on a proposed rules changes - we're straying into some pretty tangential discussions here. Detailed discussions about a game in the past deserve their own thread.


*cleans up the table I previously flipped*

I retract from the GenCon thingy then.

Hmmm... *frowns* That's a bummer. It's legit, and players were warned. If playing up on a 5-9 with lesser leveled characters, it just runs the higher risk of someone getting killed. Not that I don't appreciate the challenge when I'm the lowbie, but I also have to consider my own abilities and potentially how much I can contribute.

Not exactly sure which scenario that is, but my mind is already coming up with a few solutions. Not that I would expect people to always have See Invisibility, Glitterdust, or a few other well timed control spells ready like Grease on the golems or Create Pit. I never see enough fighter-types with potions of Displacement. Mirror Image is good for that too.

Quote:
He went on to inform me that it's not his responsibility to inform us if a mission is dangerous.

I would strongly disagree with that GM but then again, I do see his point. I just assume any mission I undertake is going to be potentially lethal and try my best to be prepared as such.

Another thing to consider, what worked for one group won't always occur for the other.

5/5

CipsioN wrote:
snipped for brevity

It would really help if you occasionally hit the enter button when writing your posts. Giants walls of uninterrupted text don't help you get your point across.

5/5

Tsriel wrote:

Not exactly sure which scenario that is, but my mind is already coming up with a few solutions. Not that I would expect people to always have See Invisibility, Glitterdust, or a few other well timed control spells ready like Grease on the golems or Create Pit. I never see enough fighter-types with potions of Displacement. Mirror Image is good for that too.

Mirror Image is personal, it cannot be a potion. Displacement can but they are 750gp/2pp a pop which is pretty expensive. They only last 5 rounds as well so that pretty much means you have to take your first turn using them.

If your group has an arcane caster and access to level 2 spells then its hard not to pack glitterdust at the very least. Even the odd scroll is useful for showing up invisible enemies and frankly there are quite a few golems and constructs which will fail the Will save even from a scroll.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

@CipsioN: I've sent you an email; please feel free to give me a call. I'd like to discuss this with you.

-- Steve Mulhern, Venture-Captain, Milwaukee WI

Grand Lodge

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GM Lamplighter wrote:
Folks, this is a thread on a proposed rules changes - we're straying into some pretty tangential discussions here. Detailed discussions about a game in the past deserve their own thread.

I will tell you that in a region I will proudly proclaim as one of the most munchkinny, power gamey, gamist, whatever you want to call it, in the land, I see almost no purchased animals. Truthfully using the handle animal rules correctly they are about as powerful as just charging with a Barbarian. And more interesting frequently to boot.

It seems that you're offended by the NPC beating the adventure status of them, but honestly if a PC wants to allocate resources into winning combats with vulnerable outside help that will not attack monsters in general then more power to them. I'll stick to my Power Attack.

I enjoyed playing the Necromancer in Diablo 2, I'm sure some other players enjoy that feeling as well. And as being a real necromancer is possible but difficult and expensive in PFS, this may be the closest thing for them. Some may just be worried about winning the rocket tag of level 1 in order to ensure fun games where no one dies for no good reason as CipsioN is here. Others may just like cool animals. Honestly unless you can pull up numbers that this is a widespread problem that is affecting tons of players, I can't really see the bad outshining the good in this case. And like others have brought up, it is largely a player problem. It can be fixed or they'll move on to something else.

I don't see how banning these things solves any issues. Although for consistency sake I wouldn't mind if John did staple on the previously mentioned restriction. That would be keeping in line with the previously established ruling on Animal Companions. I wouldn't like it terribly, but it is what it is. That being said I have no horse in this race, merely wanted to drop my two copper in.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Wisconsin—Pleasant Prairie aka Brew City Crafter

To CipsionN,

First, you seem to have missed the point of the thread. The point is to close a loophole, which you yourself admit that you're exploiting, to return balance to low tier scenarios. It isn't a personal attack on you, though, by your own post, you seem to have quite the chip on your shoulder.

Second, as far as your concern about the "attitude" of local GMs only being concerned about the body count. You are painting with a very wide brush and risk covering everything with paint. In other words, lumping all of your local GMs together is a very risky move. Lucky for you I am not easily offended, but I won't speak for everyone else.

Third, in the fourteen tables that I've run in the last six months, I've only had one character death, and that was just two weeks ago. I roll all of my attack rolls and damage rolls out in front the screen so everyone can see. While I may not always agree with the RAW, we are required to adhere to as PFS GMs, it is what it is. I try my best to be fair with the tactics that I use and every player who sits down at one of my tables knows that character death is always a possibility. The dice can sometimes go your way and other times not. That is just part of the game.

Liberty's Edge 3/5

I recently started playing with a local group where one of the players is well-known for purchasing combat-trained tigers for his characters. I played a 1-5 higher tier scenario with his level 2 character. First round of combat, his tiger dealt some 60ish damage to one of the large dire animals, slaying it right then and there. Naturally, this cut the difficulty of the fight, but from then on he had the courtesy of allowing the other players their chance to shine in future fights.

While I don't know if an entire ban is warranted or not, it at least helps to make sure such players are aware of how boring it might be for their ACs to steal all the glory (I'm sure that this player may have been informed about it at some point).

Dark Archive 4/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Upper Midwest aka Silbeg

All the being said, I think John's solution is quite elegant. In fact, I personally don't see an issue of not being able to get s heavy horse until past the first few levels, but wouldn't have an issue if a specific exception were made for this and only this creature.

I would support it wholeheartedly!

It keeps purchased warbeasts at a level appropriate to the APL, and even gives some advantage (I think) to class features over purchased critters, which Is also good.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/55/55/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Silbeg wrote:

All the being said, I think John's solution is quite elegant. In fact, I personally don't see an issue of not being able to get s heavy horse until past the first few levels, but wouldn't have an issue if a specific exception were made for this and only this creature.

*snort* So I'm getting fat now am I?


GM Lamplighter wrote:
Folks, this is a thread on a proposed rules changes - we're straying into some pretty tangential discussions here. Detailed discussions about a game in the past deserve their own thread.

Mkay.

*takes a look at trained animals*

Hmm, so 500g gets you a combat trained large sized tiger.

Spoiler:

Tiger CR 4
XP 1,200
N Large animal
Init +6; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +8

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +3 natural, –1 size)
hp 45 (6d8+18)
Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +3

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +10 (1d8+6 plus grab), bite +9 (2d6+6 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks pounce, rake (2 claws +10, 1d8+6)

STATISTICS
Str 23, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +4; CMB +11 (+15 grapple); CMD 23 (27 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Acrobatics +10, Perception +8, Stealth +7 (+11 in areas of tall grass), Swim +11; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics, +4 Stealth (+8 in tall grass)

On paper, this look formidable. I can see a few holes though. One, it's AC isn't great which is expected for a large sized creature. Two, it doesn't have reach on account of being a quadruped. Three, it's Will save is terrible, thus making it quite susceptible to all those fun control spells such as Glitterdust (sorta evil) or Murderous Command (really evil). Four, as with all animal companions, the Handle Animal skill check.

To be up front, the only thing I really don't like about it is it's cost. It somewhat balances itself out as you're definitely not going to be able to afford one on your first adventure and possibly not your second unless you're making some sacrifices. As several pointed out, it'll lose its luster by not being able to keep up as you level.

My take for PFS, players shouldn't feel like they have to hide behind a trained mount in order to survive at low levels. Again, that mostly falls back on the individuals responsible for a fun and entertaining game. Oh, and the "don't be a jerk" rule. If I had to make a judgment call on the matter, it would be to simply raise the cost of unusual mounts to a level more appropriate for PFS, not ban them outright. I can't speak for your own experiences, however mine both locally and online, have never had to worry about this. As a result, I'm biased to think that this is for a very small minority that are using these mounts.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Tsriel wrote:
If I had to make a judgment call on the matter, it would be to simply raise the cost of unusual mounts to a level more appropriate for PFS, not ban them outright. I can't speak for your own experiences, however mine both locally and online, have never had to worry about this. As a result, I'm biased to think that this is for a very small minority that are using these mounts.

How do you feel about John's proposal, which doesn't ban them outright but rather restricts how soon you can purchase them?


CipsioN wrote:
stuff

I have told you personally to your face, I do not enjoy playing with someone when they bring a bought tiger to the table. I said I prefer the player character to get the glory.

I agree some GMs are blood hungry and I knew the DM that cheated you was wrong and even I said so then. I was dming the other table and could feel the emotions from the across the room. I have seen that same DM do some silly tactics form what I can only assume to punish other players at the expense of tactics and what not. I agree making a powerful character protects you and the group.

Although toting a tiger on a low side of a 1-5 to five wrecks any challenge for me and I am actually tempted to sit the game out.

You handle the trained tiger well most of the time. Because of what people saw and were told what your tiger could do. I had a table a 1-5 with 4 people with trained tigers. No one knew how they worked. They slowed my game to a stop and I had to fight people of the rules. 2 of them did not have handle animal ranks so I told them their animals stayed at the lodge. Another was a druid with an AC as well. So I spent the first 45 minutes teaching people how handle animal works vs playing the game.

They would not have done this silly stuff if the tiger was more balance and not insanely obviously over powered.

I honestly do not see how having a tiger really makes the game more fun.

I am sorry you are bitter at me for bringing this thread up. I also told you I did not think the tiger should be legal. I used you as an example of what makes me enjoy the game enough to considering quitting PFS. You have every right to use every legal rule in PFS to make your characters how you want. I have no right to tell you how to build your character as long as it is legal. So I took action to remove what I found out as no fun. I never once tried to imply you in a negative light. You were completely in your legal right to do everything you did.

I have decided will walk away from any table where the most powerful ally is something anyone can buy. I would also consider walking away at other situations with things liek that too.


Jeff Merola wrote:
Tsriel wrote:
If I had to make a judgment call on the matter, it would be to simply raise the cost of unusual mounts to a level more appropriate for PFS, not ban them outright. I can't speak for your own experiences, however mine both locally and online, have never had to worry about this. As a result, I'm biased to think that this is for a very small minority that are using these mounts.
How do you feel about John's proposal, which doesn't ban them outright but rather restricts how soon you can purchase them?

Honestly, not terribly thrilled by it. Mainly because of my own personal stance that CR isn't the best of indicators for a challenge rating. Also, while it is limiting, it does so in such a way that a player would only get a few adventures out of it where it could contribute in combat before it starts falling off. In the case of the tiger, a first or second level character running with that is likely too soon. By levels 6-7, it's more of a vanity than something you can consistently rely on.


Tsriel wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Folks, this is a thread on a proposed rules changes - we're straying into some pretty tangential discussions here. Detailed discussions about a game in the past deserve their own thread.

Mkay.

*takes a look at trained animals*

Hmm, so 500g gets you a combat trained large sized tiger.

** spoiler omitted **

On paper, this look formidable. I can see a few holes though. One, it's AC isn't great which is expected for a large sized creature. Two, it doesn't have reach on account of being a quadruped. Three, it's Will save is terrible, thus making it quite susceptible to all those fun control spells such as Glitterdust (sorta evil) or Murderous Command (really evil). Four, as with all animal companions, the Handle Animal skill check.

To be up front, the only thing I really don't like about it is it's cost. It somewhat balances itself out as you're definitely not going to be able to afford one on your first adventure and possibly not your second unless you're making some sacrifices. As several pointed out, it'll lose its luster by not being able to keep up as you level.

My take for PFS, players shouldn't feel like they have to hide behind a trained mount in order to survive at low levels. Again, that mostly falls back on the individuals responsible for a...

Those short falls are easily fixed. Hecka nature oracle can bump it's saves to the best at the table. Mage armor can defend it well. The pounce rake makes up for most as well. Then if the player buffs it. good bye bad guys.

Scarab Sages Venture-Agent, Washington—Ballard aka WiseWolfOfYoitsu

One thing many people probably don't really realize is that these combat trained animals will only attack natural creatures. This means they will only attack Humanoids, Monstrous Humanoids, Giants, and other Animals. They will not attack anything other than these without a DC 25 Handle Animal check. In the low tiers this can be rather difficult. A character with a 12 CHA at level 2 will have a +6 with 2 ranks of Handle Animal. Say you spent the 550 gold to get the tiger and a masterwork tool to help handle the beast, you still need at least a 17 on your D20 roll.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Wisewolf:

I think that was already covered (maybe in the other thread) There's a somewhat questionable use of the bridle of tricks to give the creature the attack trice twice. (not that i can blame them, those rules are tricky and gray)

-from,

notsowisewolf

Dark Archive 4/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Upper Midwest aka Silbeg

Tsriel wrote:
Jeff Merola wrote:
Tsriel wrote:
If I had to make a judgment call on the matter, it would be to simply raise the cost of unusual mounts to a level more appropriate for PFS, not ban them outright. I can't speak for your own experiences, however mine both locally and online, have never had to worry about this. As a result, I'm biased to think that this is for a very small minority that are using these mounts.
How do you feel about John's proposal, which doesn't ban them outright but rather restricts how soon you can purchase them?
Honestly, not terribly thrilled by it. Mainly because of my own personal stance that CR isn't the best of indicators for a challenge rating. Also, while it is limiting, it does so in such a way that a player would only get a few adventures out of it where it could contribute in combat before it starts falling off. In the case of the tiger, a first or second level character running with that is likely too soon. By levels 6-7, it's more of a vanity than something you can consistently rely on.

And I would state that is the exact reason why John's proposal works! Maybe CR isn't perfect, but it is close. A cheap purchase 75gp, even 500gp, especially with 2PP, is cheap) should not outclass a class feature (druid animal companions). This makes sure that the critters are "level appropriate ". It is my assumption that it is prevalent in some areas because it is so overpowered. If it were of do appropriate, fewer would want it, right?

However, if a 5th level character bought one, it is far less of a deal! at this time, they'll have the skill ranks to actually use a combat trained tiger!

Scarab Sages

I would be miffed if I bought the supplement for the main reason of getting a trained animal just to find out it just got banned. I have a tiger as well, in a four player table it comes along (Level
7 PC), a six player table I'll take my riding dog instead. Five player depends if party make up is short on melee. That being said I maybe played that PC only 3-4 times last year.

I believe in earlier organized play campaigns the animals added to the average level of the table, so even a bunch of 1st level characters would be playing a higher difficulty level if they brought a menagerie of animals with them

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Flutter wrote:
Silbeg wrote:

All the being said, I think John's solution is quite elegant. In fact, I personally don't see an issue of not being able to get s heavy horse until past the first few levels, but wouldn't have an issue if a specific exception were made for this and only this creature.

*snort* So I'm getting fat now am I?

offers Flutter a couple of fresh carrots

No, but a couple of the rogues complained, they feel a bit outclassed by you, especially when it comes to the social skills^^

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/55/55/5

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Flutter wrote:
Silbeg wrote:

All the being said, I think John's solution is quite elegant. In fact, I personally don't see an issue of not being able to get s heavy horse until past the first few levels, but wouldn't have an issue if a specific exception were made for this and only this creature.

*snort* So I'm getting fat now am I?

offers Flutter a couple of fresh carrots

No, but a couple of the rogues complained, they feel a bit outclassed by you, especially when it comes to the social skills^^

Tsks. I keep telling them they need to practice on oozes before they move up to something truly spineless, mindless and slimy like politicians.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Flutter wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Flutter wrote:
Silbeg wrote:

All the being said, I think John's solution is quite elegant. In fact, I personally don't see an issue of not being able to get s heavy horse until past the first few levels, but wouldn't have an issue if a specific exception were made for this and only this creature.

*snort* So I'm getting fat now am I?

offers Flutter a couple of fresh carrots

No, but a couple of the rogues complained, they feel a bit outclassed by you, especially when it comes to the social skills^^

Tsks. I keep telling them they need to practice on oozes before they move up to something truly spineless, mindless and slimy like politicians.

Some people really have a problem with the carrot and stick approach. It can work even on politicians, but it is pretty vital not to forget the very existence of carrots, and replacing the stick with a spear doesn't help either^^

Also, spring for some animal food, your trusty companion can only eat so many aspis agents before he get a little queasy... and dungeons are usually not filled with hay golems, sugar elementals or giant vegetables... at least until I finish my adventure proposal:

"Excursion into the pony paradise, the quest for the golden carrot"
Don't let the name trick you, I am pretty sure that the players will have to face either a horse swarm or a giant duck - if only to settle an internet argument.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Winks Blastum wrote:
I believe in earlier organized play campaigns the animals added to the average level of the table, so even a bunch of 1st level characters would be playing a higher difficulty level if they brought a menagerie of animals with them

That's not true. Or at least, I've never seen this done.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Baltic

pH unbalanced wrote:
Winks Blastum wrote:
I believe in earlier organized play campaigns the animals added to the average level of the table, so even a bunch of 1st level characters would be playing a higher difficulty level if they brought a menagerie of animals with them
That's not true. Or at least, I've never seen this done.

I'm quite sure this was true for Living Greyhawk!

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:


"Excursion into the pony paradise, the quest for the golden carrot"
Don't let the name trick you, I am pretty sure that the players will have to face either a horse swarm or a giant duck - if only to settle an internet argument.

Have I mentioned lately that you are my new favorite forum person?

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