Save or Die: Helpful or Harmful to PFS?


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Shadow Lodge 4/5

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redward wrote:
I play to earn the feeling of success or accomplishing something.

And that feeling is an illusion, as rolling dice never earns you anything.


Nick Greene wrote:

If I want to participate in a story with no consequences for failure, I'll just read a book. I prefer my skill (or lack of skill) to matter in my success level. Otherwise, I have no reason to improve. I also believe that the dice should matter. Otherwise, why roll them at all? I believe that without the ever-present fear of death, victory ceases to have the savor. There's nothing better than dropping the big bad knowing your fighter can't eat another full round, or waiting with baited breath as the die slowly stops spinning to land on that 2 for the bad guy's saving throw, and knowing that it could've gone either way. And there's nothing like GMing a table that's on the cusp of utter defeat when someone pulls out just the right scroll or has the right spell prepped, or makes the right call and jukes left when his instincts should be telling him to dodge right and pulls out a win. The players are excited, everyone's blood is pumping, and you get to share in the celebration.

And sometimes, there's nothing like a crushing defeat to remind you how far you still have to come. We had what we thought was a perfect table for Waking Rune in hard mode, and by the end, it wasn't about winning, it was how many body retrievals we were gonna have to pay for. Died like a boss when my superstitious barbarian/fighter failed 2 fort saves in a row. That's not supposed to happen. But that's why we roll dice, folks. Sometimes, the good guys lose. And it was one of the best gaming experiences I've had. We had a phenomenal GM and great players, and I wouldn't change a moment of it.

I understand how you feel, but please remember you don't speak for everyone.

A solution for those who want to succeed could be having more reasonable dcs on info about the bad guys. PCS aren't allowed everything that the NPC has access to. Mostly armies of minions for the NPC to waste valuable spells on. Also I like point out that probably is against anyone PC compare to amount of NPC they face. Simple one day in one game you will rule a 1 on the save or die spell and it is over. That could be months of work or be your first session. NPC don't face this. They scale with the PCS, and they will be there next week or next decade.

Monster and Enemy NPC are designed to harm the PCs the best they can. The only true way to counter this, since again PCs aren't allowed an army of minions, is to be prepared the best they can for that type NPC.


redward wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
redward wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Crits can be managed by simply having them not confirm or doing min damage. Yes this is fudging die roles, but game needs to be challenging not one shot kills. NPCs aren't spending money on books.
You pay to play, not to win.
You pay to play. You play to get the feeling of success or accomplishing something, IE winning.

I play to earn the feeling of success or accomplishing something. If I wanted a story where my character always succeeds I would just write an uninteresting book.

I'll tell you what. If you sit at my table and tell me that you expect to win, and that you think I'd be a bad GM if I didn't fudge the dice to save your character, I would a) thank you (sincerely) for your honesty and b) hand you a completed chronicle sheet and send you on your merry way.

First off I never called anyone a bad GM. If you think that is what I am saying then you need to reevalute your style of GMing.

Second I just posted a statement of how the probably of the dice are never in anyone PC favor. So I simply ask you who do you think gets to a thousand roles to hit in a career of a PC, the PC or the hundreds to thousands of NPCs and Monsters that one PC faces? Based on that answer do you think you are being completely fair when you allow a PC to die off a fluke dice roll? Remember you do have the power to change it so they don't die outright if you chose to, but that is all up to you.

Third Personally I expect to succeed. I expect my party to succeed. If you take that as only to win then again reevaulate your personal style of GMing.

Lastly The NPCs have all the advangates to begin with. My suggest on Save or Die spells, which is different than crits, is more reasonable dcs on knowing that NPC is using said spell. You seem to either ignored this comment or only took offense to crit comment. The point is that the more you allow a PC to prepare, like the NPC already have, then more likely they will live and succeed. No one gurantees just higher probability.

4/5

TOZ wrote:
redward wrote:
I play to earn the feeling of success or accomplishing something.
And that feeling is an illusion, as rolling dice never earns you anything.

I disagree. I feel that we've earned it when we put ourselves in a position to win*. A bad die roll can still snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I walk away happy if I feel we played a good game. Conversely, when a hail mary natural 20 saves the day, I don't think we've earned it. I think we got lucky. Can still be fun, just not the same thing.

*unless you're saying we're not earning anything because we're all just playing a game, which I won't argue**

**but if you're saying nothing that involves a degree of random chance is earned, we'll have to agree to disagree***

***this footnote left intentionally blank.

4/5

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jtaylor73003 wrote:
Third Personally I expect to succeed. I expect my party to succeed. If you take that as only to win then again reevaulate your personal style of GMing.

I don't know how to square that with this:

jtaylor73003 wrote:
You play to get the feeling of success or accomplishing something, IE winning.

Anyway...

jtaylor73003 wrote:
again reevaulate your personal style of GMing.
jtaylor73003 wrote:
do you think you are being completely fair when you allow a PC to die off a fluke dice roll?
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Lastly The NPCs have all the advangates to begin with.

My personal style of GMing is to 1) attempt to foster a fun and immersive atmosphere and 2) act as an impartial facilitator of the story I've been given to tell (the scenario)

I usually fail at 2) because I want the party to succeed. I roll my dice out in the open, so I can't (and won't) help them with fudging dice but I'll bend over backwards to try to help them with tactics when they've gotten themselves into a pickle.

I think letting the PC die to a fluke die roll is the dictionary definition of fair. Especially since, contrary to what you say, the NPCs have none of the advantages to begin with. Encounters (with some exceptions) are intentionally scaled so that PCs will succeed a majority of the time. PCs have better point buy, more money, prestige, traits, boons, access to rerolls, one-sided Diplomacy and Intimidate rules, and are controlled by someone who (hopefully) knows the character inside and out, rather than by someone who has a few hours of familiarity and the responsibility for a dozen other creatures.


redward wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Third Personally I expect to succeed. I expect my party to succeed. If you take that as only to win then again reevaulate your personal style of GMing.

I don't know how to square that with this:

jtaylor73003 wrote:
You play to get the feeling of success or accomplishing something, IE winning.
Anyway...

IE: means for example. IE winning is an example of success but not the only way to succeed. If you choose to ignore that, go ahead that is your choice.

redward wrote:


My personal style of GMing is to 1) attempt to foster a fun and immersive atmosphere and 2) act as an impartial facilitator of the story I've been given to tell (the scenario)

I usually fail at 2) because I want the party to succeed. I roll my dice out in the open, so I can't (and won't) help them with fudging dice but I'll bend over backwards to try to help them with tactics when they've gotten themselves into a pickle.

So you don't see the players as your enemies to crush without mercy good to hear. Again I never called you a bad GM, or anyone else a bad GM. I think you are taking this too personal.

redward wrote:


I think letting the PC die to a fluke die roll is the dictionary definition of fair.

I completely disagree. Probability disagrees with you. In the end it is still your choice on how you handle this, just stop expecting everyone to agree with you.

redward wrote:


Especially since, contrary to what you say, the NPCs have none of the advantages to begin with. Encounters (with some exceptions) are intentionally scaled so that PCs will succeed a majority of the time. PCs have better point buy, more money, prestige, traits, boons, access to rerolls, one-sided Diplomacy and Intimidate rules, and are controlled by someone who (hopefully) knows the character inside and out, rather than by someone who has a few hours of familiarity and the responsibility for a dozen other creatures.

So NPC don't have minions or armies to help them out, home turf advantage, all access to spells and/or abilities that are limited IE channel, designed with narrow purpose which is to hurt the PCs, full hit points for their level, and etc of anything I couldn't think of that give a NPC an edge because I don't know how Pathfinder Society builds it NPC compare to how one would in 3.5.

You are saying that NPC don't benefit from any of this, while the PCs had to go through 3 or 4 combats to fight the final encounter. Really?


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Some of the best and worst moments I have ever had on a PFS table have come down to a save or die roll

Would not have it any other way

(7032 other words to fill space)

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I think just about everyone here agrees that it really isn't fun to die to some fluke out of left field in the first encounter, and be stuck with no way to play for the rest of the session.

This has some implications for the way you set up scenarios. That doesn't mean early encounters should be risk-free, but there should be some way of either preparing for it, or recovering from it.

If the first encounter has SoD in it, but the PCs can see it coming ("look at all the petrified people!") and can take steps to mitigate the risk, then that's okay with me.

Likewise, if recovering from it is a possibility ("should any PCs die, the clerics in this town actually have a scroll of Raise Dead for sale") that's also a way of keeping it playable.

As PCs go up, the amount of things that they're responsible for preparing against, goes up. At level 8 I think it's fair to expect the PCs to have a Remove Curse ready, for example. First Aid Gloves are also a thing.

5/5 5/55/55/5

redward wrote:


I disagree. I feel that we've earned it when we put ourselves in a position to win*.

I feel the same way, but thats one of the reasons i kinda dislike save or die. Save or die effects (generally spells) are a matter of initiative (a die roll) and a saving throw (another die roll) There's no positioning, wrangling, strategy, or action on either side. You or the enemy is dead while they're standing there like a lump of lead unable to act. There's no skill and worse, no personality involved there except going first and make sure that thats also going last: something incredibly easy to do.

Strategery, skill, and anything resembling a clever plan usually take a few rounds of actions to pull off.

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

jtaylor73003 wrote:


redward wrote:


Especially since, contrary to what you say, the NPCs have none of the advantages to begin with. Encounters (with some exceptions) are intentionally scaled so that PCs will succeed a majority of the time. PCs have better point buy, more money, prestige, traits, boons, access to rerolls, one-sided Diplomacy and Intimidate rules, and are controlled by someone who (hopefully) knows the character inside and out, rather than by someone who has a few hours of familiarity and the responsibility for a dozen other creatures.

So NPC don't have minions or armies to help them out, home turf advantage, all access to spells and/or abilities that are limited IE channel, designed with narrow purpose which is to hurt the PCs, full hit points for their level, and etc of anything I couldn't think of that give a NPC an edge because I don't know how Pathfinder Society builds it NPC compare to how one would in 3.5.

You are saying that NPC don't benefit from any of this, while the PCs had to go through 3 or 4 combats to fight the final encounter. Really?

NPC's can be encoutered in groups, but ususally these groups are not larger then the party size. Encountering a group of more then 6 NPCs is rare.

There is only one scenario where an army comes into play. But that scenario has special rules for this. Basically you also have an army.

Home turf advantage rarely happens. PFS have few monsters that take advantage of terrain. Higher ground bonus can happen, but its not exclusive to NPCs. The only real home turf advantage would probably be underwater encounters with an aquatic creature. But I have not encountered one of those yet.

I have never seen an NPC have access to spells and/or abilities that are limited. Casters still have normal spell progression are are not equiped with a plethora of 'death' spells. Most NPC casters have several utalitarian spells prepared, alongside their combat spells.
There are mosnter feats and abilities that players will never be able to choose. Because players will (hopefully) never have six tentacles with pincers attached to them.
Your example of channel makes no sense. A NPC cleric can channel. If they will depends on what is written in their tactics, and the situation. But any player cleric can channel too. And they are not stoped by a little blurb in their stat blocks called 'tactics'.

NPCs most certainly dont get full hitpoints. I have just copied this from the scenario I am prepping:
hp 63 (7d8+28)
So, if this NPC would have full hitpoints, he would have 84 hitpoints, not 63.

NPC's are build with a purpose for hurting you. Just as you build your character to hurt them.
NPC's dont have the advantage of scaling as new and more powerfull options are released for the game. They will always stay the same, while players can make more and more powerfull characters.

Also, scenarios take into account that players expend spells/resources/other items coming up to the big bad guy. Those losses are factored into the fight, and sometimes the encounters leading up to the final one actually help prepare you for them. (finding specific scrolls or potions that help against things the bad guy does)

But I dont know. You seem awefully convinced this whole game is made just to get you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
trik wrote:
I believe that most people do not enjoy punishing loss in their entertainment. At the end of the day, most people want to "win" in their entertainment. They want to have a good time with other people looking to have a good time. I see a "casual mode" attracting a lot more players and that IS the goal of PFS in the end, isn't it?

Not at the cost of not making the game worth playing. The game IS about risk. The chance that when you set out, you won't be making it back.

Whether you die from an SOS, SOD, or because you get turned into mulch by the opening encounter of a high tier Elven Entanglement is all the same. It's death that's the real topic here, not so much it's means. Weapon damage, slam damage, crit damage, can one-shot a PC as well in the right combination of circumstances.

Do we really want to eliminate death in the game, entirely?

1/5

LazarX wrote:
trik wrote:
I believe that most people do not enjoy punishing loss in their entertainment. At the end of the day, most people want to "win" in their entertainment. They want to have a good time with other people looking to have a good time. I see a "casual mode" attracting a lot more players and that IS the goal of PFS in the end, isn't it?

Not at the cost of not making the game worth playing. The game IS about risk. The chance that when you set out, you won't be making it back.

Whether you die from an SOS, SOD, or because you get turned into mulch by the opening encounter of a high tier Elven Entanglement is all the same. It's death that's the real topic here, not so much it's means. Weapon damage, slam damage, crit damage, can one-shot a PC as well in the right combination of circumstances.

Do we really want to eliminate death in the game, entirely?

I have nothing against deaths that have a counter. If proper tactics or a well placed spell can stop someone from dying, but isn't applied, so be it. SOS even have counters. It's the straight SOD that really isn't fun.

That said, I do actually believe that a mode that didn't penalize death (at least not harshly) and pretty much guaranteed success in the end would become very popular over time. I called it a "casual mode" earlier. I am certain that PFS drives off players that aren't willing to lose time invested upon character death, especially when you sit at a table with strangers and some one is playing a pregen terribly. When a portion of your party is not helping in any way and it ends up costing you months of time put into a character... part of the game or not, I'd prefer it wasn't.

If there were a play mode that allowed you to continue playing a pregen after your character was killed (and another pregen if that pregen was killed and so on), that only punished the player with something like no Prestige/Fame gained for the death, it would attract a much larger audience to PFS and Pathfinder. I don't suggest changing the current campaigns, as I understand that a lot of people that already play are interested in a challenge and are more or less ok with player death. This is only because that's how the game has always been and many of the current players have been playing since before it was called Pathfinder. Attracting families and curious individuals to the game with a more relaxed "casual mode" isn't a terrible thing. Those same players may decide they'd like to give the "hard mode" campaigns a try once they have a solid grasp of the game a tactics involved. Some players may just enjoy playing for a few hours and being part of the story, without the potential of real failure. Yes, maybe it's easy mode, but most video games offer an easy mode. I'd probably also recommend changing the replay rules for a "casual campaign" to the same character can't play the same scenario twice, but repeats are fine with different characters. It's not like having played it before is going to provide much of an advantage... you pretty much can't lose anyway.

If such a campaign existed, I'd probably play some fairly unoptimized characters in it that had fun builds, but builds that just didn't cut it for the more demanding PFS and Core PFS campaigns. I'd also continue playing optimized characters in the other campaigns. Harsh death penalty simply puts an emphasis on not dying. Not dying places an emphasis on maximizing power to minimize loss potential.

I want to reemphasize that I'm not advocating taking anything away from anyone. I'm simply saying that providing a more casual option would likely reach a much wider audience, who would all be purchasing Paizo products. Influx of resources for Paizo means Paizo has a lot more available to make the game you love even better. It seems like it makes sense to me, even if some people would hate such a play mode, they would have the option of not playing it. Options are only bad if it makes the management unmanageable.

5/5

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trik wrote:
LazarX wrote:


Do we really want to eliminate death in the game, entirely?
I have nothing against deaths that have a counter. If proper tactics or a well placed spell can stop someone from dying, but isn't applied, so be it. SOS even have counters. It's the straight SOD that really isn't fun.

I don't think that there is a single save-or-die effect that doesn't have a counter. If a PC is extremely paranoid, there is a significant array of divinations to determine whether one is upcoming, and a 4000gp item will be able to protect against almost any of them you'll encounter in PFS play.

We have Death Ward, we have Freedom of Movement, we have True Seeing, we have Mirror Image (to avoid the attack rolls), and, for the totally paranoid, a scroll of Antimagic Field is only 1650gp.

Once you add in the rerolls routinely available to PCs, it's pretty obvious why save-or-die effects really don't affect PCs that much.

One interesting thing that this topic has brought up seems to be that some GMs (perhaps even a representative sample) are less likely to regret taking out a powergaming PC than one who is less optimised.

I personally find topics like this very adversarial. Generally, a reasonable GM doesn't enjoy killing a reasonable PC.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

PFS is an ongoing process. a couple of years back we got a vocal movement claiming that the Scenarios were too easy, so Paizo ratcheted up the lethality for Season 5. Then we got the vocal response that the Scenarios were too lethal, so they were adjusted back, and further adjustments were put in for 4 player tables. With all the problems PFS is having with a Core/Classic split, I don't think we need another splitting factor, especially if it winds up becoming a Core/Core Casual/Classic/Classic Casual split.

1/5

LazarX wrote:
PFS is an ongoing process. a couple of years back we got a vocal movement claiming that the Scenarios were too easy, so Paizo ratcheted up the lethality for Season 5. Then we got the vocal response that the Scenarios were too lethal, so they were adjusted back, and further adjustments were put in for 4 player tables. With all the problems PFS is having with a Core/Classic split, I don't think we need another splitting factor, especially if it winds up becoming a Core/Core Casual/Classic/Classic Casual split.

Personally, I wouldn't split Core that way. It would be a Core/PFS/Casual. That said, I did specifically mention that something like that had the potential to make management more difficult, just as the Core/PFS split had. However, with the experience gained, it could be assumed that another campaign type would be much easier to implement as it's already been done once.

I'm not specifically saying that this the best idea ever or that they should immediately move to implement it. I'm saying that if it were available, I would make some characters (that focus more on fun builds than power builds) to play in it and I believe it would significantly increase the accessibility for market segments that the current PFS/Pathfinder does not reach. My assumption is that any business wants to increase their potential market size by as much as possible, but I don't specifically know the strategies pursued by Paizo.

At this point, I've moved away from the original topic, but it's an idea that was inspired by the responses, so...


Save or Die is more bark than bite in PFS, most PCs have a reroll and generally in the rare fail of a save or die the reroll saves their bacon. In particular there was a vampire mod which looked very scary at first but with rerolls was not too threatening. I actually felt sorry for the vampires who probably could not understand their complete inability to charm an enemy.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

At the same time, when my Holy Vindicator went to make his Will save, he rolled a 2. Then rerolled into a 1.

4/5

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jtaylor73003 wrote:
IE: means for example. IE winning is an example of success but not the only way to succeed. If you choose to ignore that, go ahead that is your choice.

i.e. means "that is", as in a further explanation. So when you say "You play to get the feeling of success or accomplishing something, IE winning." you are saying "You play to get the feeling of success or accomplishing something, that is, winning."

You're thinking of e.g. Hence my confusion.

Dark Archive

Funniest use I've seen of SoS spell application? PC was using SoS spells but their own will save was pretty crappy (they could only save against their own spells with a 20), so scenario BBEG used Suggestion to ask the PC to please get that obnoxious Paladin to calm down for a bit. Nothing like turning a DC24 will save spamming machine (who had thus far managed 0/5 attempts to get through SR) against their allies.

4/5

Save or die/save or suck is going to happen. Phantasmal killer, slay living, disintegrate, etc are viable tactics for NPC casters. For that matter, so are color splay, hold person, and enervation at somewhat lower levels. As long as we aren't facing power word spells I'm OK with it.

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

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This whole argument seems a little silly to me, just because those of us that have GMed any amount know the disadvantaged the NPCs really are. Those mooks that they've hired are just speed bumps to the PCs, and, in the end, they are often left alone to defend themselves against the murder hobos.

Their array of spells are not optimized for combat... In fact, often half of their spell slots are utility spells. Often, they don't even get the chance to cast their first buff before they are accosted. So, they definitely don't hold all the advantages. Ever.

I would say that save or die spells in the first encounter might not be the best design decision for scenarios, UNLESS there is an option to overcome the effect (be it death, petrifaction or polymorph), if only that there is the chance for a player to be out too eRly in the story.

However, I don't think that the BBEG ever needs to be the toughest encounter... Shouldn't he be hiring guards that are tougher than he is? Otherwise, why bother? ;-)

Finally, I am of the camp that if PCs can use s trick (slumber hex, color spray, guns, etc), then the bad guys should get to do it, too!

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

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Finished a great high level game last night (13-15).

While the BBEG hid somewhere cinematic, he goaded us with a projected image. This caused one of our players, a blaster wizard, to toss a fireball at it. This angered the BBEG, who responded by slapping a destruction on the wizard. Wizard failed the save.

One true resurrection and a few hours later, we found ourselves staring down the BBEG--no illusion this time. After a rather epic battle, we killed him. Alas, our victory was short lived as moments later he came back from the dead--calling forth a mighty planar ally to aid him in defeating us. A second battle erupted, tooth and nail as we fought for survival. After a couple brutal rounds, the called creature fell. And as he did, the wizard saw his opening.

A quickened true strike followed by a disintegrate saw the BBEG de-atomized this time, as he failed his save or suck.
--------------------
Save or sucks can be loads of fun, if handled appropriately.

Our GM played up the roleplaying of the BBEG obliterating the wizard to the point where the player was actually laughing when his character died near the start of the game. The GM then kept the wizard in initiative, roleplaying with the player what his character was experiencing as he began to explore Pharasma's Boneyard. Even the character's true resurrection was a fun experience, as the GM had us all roleplay it out.

Shadow Lodge

I think save or die effects should, in scenario design, really be limited to the final or maybe penultimate encounter - for exactly the reason trik mentioned in the OP.

Showing up to a game and getting w00ped in the first encounter is a problematic experience out of the game. You went there for a good time and got screwed too early by an unlucky roll.

That still makes it "part of the game" and keeps everyone busy playing for the duration of it. Arguing that it should come earlier than that is wanting to play the game on hard mode.

4/5

Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes bad guys are smart and have a significant threat as their door warden, instead of a speed bump. Sometimes PCs willfully ignore defense in favour of offense and then complain when they fail saves that are totally within the expected CR range. Sometimes the dice go bad twice in a row (since if it is early in the scenario, everyone will have a reroll).

Out of game, as a GM I have had a lot more time "sitting out" due to scenarios being stomped than I have ever had as a PC that died early. With some groups, all preparation beyond "Before Combat" tactics is wasted. So, if the powers that be decide to pull back on save or die spells because it's unfair to make someone sit out, I hope we will also see a huge list of newly-banned PC options as well.

Of course, I don't think either of these need to happen - I think people need to become more comfortable with the uncertainty and risk and excitment of being a Pathfinder in-game, and stop thinking of it as a time management exercise out of game.

1/5 Venture-Captain, Germany–Hannover aka Hayato Ken

Oh there is a Tier 1-5 scenario where two "foes" have 8 color sprays together with medium DC. So depending on party positioning...
And they are the first encounter there, but not hostile and meant to be as a diplomatic encounter that even can contribute to solving the overall mission.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

If you look at from the NPC's point of view, as others have noted above, they are usually very outclassed. There are only a few truly "killer" scenarios. This game has always a random element of luck to it, all the way back to the 1970's.

Given that players usually have no issue with stomping the bad guys with every overpowered trick they can come up with I see no reason with the bad guys shouldn't.

Cagey players try to make sure that they have their bases covered and apply sound tactics and teamwork to succeed. Others want the GM to attack them with Nerf bats. Embrace the fact that you can and will occasionally fail scenarios, maybe even die. That's why Prestige should be treated like an insurance account.

Parting piece of advice, if you see an enemy spellcaster you should probably spread out a bit.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Readied attacks on enemy spellcasters is a great tactic. Typically its hard to make a 10+damage+spell level concentration check.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Yeah, a certain Runelord found that out the hard way, when me an' Vera waited for him to cast. Gittin' hit by 460 grains of lead while you're tryin' to cast ain't gonna be fun. Me an' Vera liked doin' that, and a certain judge we face never got his nasty spell off, neither. Me an' Vera, we make a purty good spellbustin' team.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online

GM Lamplighter wrote:
(since if it is early in the scenario, everyone will have a reroll).

Why is that an assumption? I don't have any rerolls.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Lots of people think that everyone buys a reroll item like they do. I've been traveling with plenty of Pathfinders who don't, lately.

4/5

It's extremely rare in my area (and in most non-local games I've played) for people to not have one. Still, lots of people do, which helps minimize the effect of a single bad roll. If you make *two* bad rolls, well... I fell less bad when my luck is bad twice than if it is just a fluke.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online

I guess the concept bugs me the way other metagame concepts bug others. Why does the character have a reroll because of something the player purchased? It would be different if it were a PC ability that granted the reroll.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Michael Hallet wrote:
I guess the concept bugs me the way other metagame concepts bug others. Why does the character have a reroll because of something the player purchased? It would be different if it were a PC ability that granted the reroll.

Every out of game purchase of a folio comes with an in game rabbits foot purchase?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Michael Hallet wrote:
I guess the concept bugs me the way other metagame concepts bug others. Why does the character have a reroll because of something the player purchased? It would be different if it were a PC ability that granted the reroll.
Every out of game purchase of a folio comes with an in game rabbits foot purchase?

And what good did that foot do for the rabbit it came from?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Michael Hallet wrote:
Why does the character have a reroll because of something the player purchased?

The character doesn't. The player does. If it was the character that had the reroll, other characters that player ran wouldn't have it.

4/5

I will attest that it is extraordinarily common around my area to have a reroll, so much so that some people will raise an eye if you don't have something for it, lol (unless they are new of course).

Grand Lodge 2/5

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Michael Hallet wrote:
I guess the concept bugs me the way other metagame concepts bug others. Why does the character have a reroll because of something the player purchased? It would be different if it were a PC ability that granted the reroll.

Seriously? This is what gets you? In a game with magic, dragons, undead, walking plants, animals that talk, goblins, pixies, shapeshifters, etc, this is what bugs you?

On a more serious note, it's not the character rolling dice. It's the player rolling dice. That's why--because I as a player bought something that let me as a player reroll a die.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Michael Hallet wrote:
I guess the concept bugs me the way other metagame concepts bug others. Why does the character have a reroll because of something the player purchased? It would be different if it were a PC ability that granted the reroll.

If you look at it like Metagaming, it may bug you. If you look at it as Marketing, it is a fairly innocuous form of it. Both are necessary evils in RPGs.

Silver Crusade 2/5

I have a Year of the Risen Rune T-Shirt, and also a few character folios that I can hand out at a session for new people who don't have one. If they find they can use one and like it, I could let them have it or they might be excited enough to buy one of their own.

I hope this isn't like drugs: The first one is always free.

1/5

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To all of the "that's how the game is" replies, yes, I think everyone is aware of how the game is. The very fact that the game is currently that way is what leads to conversation surrounding how the game is. Repeating that the game currently is a certain way does nothing to strengthen the position of the "this is how the game *should* be". If you like the game exactly the way it is, great! Saying that you like the game the way it currently is does contribute to the conversation. However, implying that people having differing opinions is a player issue is simply incorrect.

It is entirely possible that there are parts of the game that could be better. Save or dies seem to split people in general, so I'd say there is a strong possibility that there is a better solution that would result in far less divide. Then again, maybe it's easier to simply accept that people enjoy different sorts of things and to gear different play modes at different people. There are people that like punishment in their play. There are others that prefer to play through the story and want to be a powerful hero that doesn't end up dead. Neither is wrong because a personal preference can't really be wrong.

4/5

Since PFS is one of the most successful OP campaigns ever, the "way it is" seems to be pretty popular.

I agree that different people like different experiences. There are some people quite happy to play games on "god" mode and never take any damage. Similarly, there are folks who play Call of Cthulhu and die every session, and like it. There's nothing wrong with either approach, for that player.

The problem arises in the interactions of these play styles in a shared campaign. For those who like danger, they *cannot* choose their preferred play experience, when the other five players bring one-round-killers that destroy combats. For these danger-loving folks, save-or-die spells may offer the *only* significant threat in a scenario at all. Removing these infrequent dangers completely turns away a segment of the population, from every scenario.

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

LazarX wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Michael Hallet wrote:
I guess the concept bugs me the way other metagame concepts bug others. Why does the character have a reroll because of something the player purchased? It would be different if it were a PC ability that granted the reroll.
Every out of game purchase of a folio comes with an in game rabbits foot purchase?
And what good did that foot do for the rabbit it came from?

Thats why I take the whole rabbit!

Grand Lodge

trik wrote:

To all of the "that's how the game is" replies, yes, I think everyone is aware of how the game is. The very fact that the game is currently that way is what leads to conversation surrounding how the game is. Repeating that the game currently is a certain way does nothing to strengthen the position of the "this is how the game *should* be". If you like the game exactly the way it is, great! Saying that you like the game the way it currently is does contribute to the conversation. However, implying that people having differing opinions is a player issue is simply incorrect.

It is entirely possible that there are parts of the game that could be better. Save or dies seem to split people in general, so I'd say there is a strong possibility that there is a better solution that would result in far less divide. Then again, maybe it's easier to simply accept that people enjoy different sorts of things and to gear different play modes at different people. There are people that like punishment in their play. There are others that prefer to play through the story and want to be a powerful hero that doesn't end up dead. Neither is wrong because a personal preference can't really be wrong.

In PFS, the medium more often than not cripples story. Want to follow the saga of The Pathfinder Society's interactions with Grandmaster Torch from

Grand Master Torch Spoilers:
useful information broker to seditious traitor/dishonoured exile
? Better throw in a few extra completely unrelated scenarios so you can reach the level 7-11 scenarios, make sure your character has a reason to care about these things, that said character doesn't die in the middle leaving you with half the chronicle sheets highly restricted for replay even with other characters, and a laundry list of other limitations.

In short "Pathfinder is a cooperative storytelling game" runs into an inordinate number of speed bumps in Pathfinder Society. These issues (mostly, but some are arguably avoidable by either player or PFS team decisions) are given consequences of making things work for organized play.

This is what it is, but it is also a shame that what PFS delivers is so far and away from what the Core Rulebook promises.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Ms. Pleiades wrote:
In PFS, the medium more often than not cripples story.

What you have to understand is that you do not experience the story in PFS as a single character, but as an organization of characters. No single Pathfinder can uncover all the threads of the myriad plots that the Society entangles itself in. You have to see it from multiple perspectives, from multiple characters learning and sharing what they know.

Grand Lodge

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
In PFS, the medium more often than not cripples story.
What you have to understand is that you do not experience the story in PFS as a single character, but as an organization of characters. No single Pathfinder can uncover all the threads of the myriad plots that the Society entangles itself in. You have to see it from multiple perspectives, from multiple characters learning and sharing what they know.

So... Like Resident Evil 6's campaign?

And then there's the issue that in all of my PFS experience, there has been regular frowning upon different characters knowing what the others are up to across scenarios.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

No idea. Last one I played was 3.

Ms. Pleiades wrote:
And then there's the issue that in all of my PFS experience, there has been regular frowning upon different characters knowing what the others are up to across scenarios.

Any time I get that response, I just look at the speaker incredulously and ask "do your characters never TALK to each other?"

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, New York—Manhattan aka Natertot

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

No idea. Last one I played was 3.

Ms. Pleiades wrote:
And then there's the issue that in all of my PFS experience, there has been regular frowning upon different characters knowing what the others are up to across scenarios.
Any time I get that response, I just look at the speaker incredulously and ask "do your characters never TALK to each other?"

Or read Pathfinder Chronicles of the exploits of other Pathfinders?

Nate Meyers
NYC PFS GM/Player

Grand Lodge

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

No idea. Last one I played was 3.

Ms. Pleiades wrote:
And then there's the issue that in all of my PFS experience, there has been regular frowning upon different characters knowing what the others are up to across scenarios.
Any time I get that response, I just look at the speaker incredulously and ask "do your characters never TALK to each other?"

1. RE3 is a good place to stop in the franchise, but RE6 has punching zombies as a perfectly viable tactic that's loads of fun.

2. I'll keep that in mind in the future, although some of my characters would despise one another and wouldn't talk to one another. (A Liberty's Edge druid that's been killed by undead and an undead-controlling hedonistic halfling dark archivist are probably the two most opposite characters despite both being neutral.)

Silver Crusade 2/5

Natertot wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

No idea. Last one I played was 3.

Ms. Pleiades wrote:
And then there's the issue that in all of my PFS experience, there has been regular frowning upon different characters knowing what the others are up to across scenarios.
Any time I get that response, I just look at the speaker incredulously and ask "do your characters never TALK to each other?"

Or read Pathfinder Chronicles of the exploits of other Pathfinders?

Nate Meyers
NYC PFS GM/Player

Even if the exploits don't make the Chronicles, which are published for external consumption, there are internal reports. They may be heavily redacted for rank-and-file Pathfinders, but they still serve to inform of current events and specialized tactics for dealing with situations that have come up.

Remember, there are specific groups that not only train beginners for the Society (The Swords, Scrolls and Spells), but who also work towards the continuing professional development of Pathfinders.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

No idea. Last one I played was 3.

Ms. Pleiades wrote:
And then there's the issue that in all of my PFS experience, there has been regular frowning upon different characters knowing what the others are up to across scenarios.
Any time I get that response, I just look at the speaker incredulously and ask "do your characters never TALK to each other?"

Not to mention, that I assume that characters have read the Chronicles.

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