"Chronicle fishing". What is it, and why it is a bad thing?


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Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

blackbloodtroll wrote:
gnoams wrote:
So are special chronicle rewards like unique items, special mounts/animal companions, tech, etc considered to be mainly there as GM boons? I go out of my way to GM certain scenarios, especially when I play one and think I'd really like that on a different character. I've even retrained a character to use an item from a GM credit. Or is that also considered bad form?
At this point, it seems benefiting at all from a Chronicle Sheet, borders on bad form for some.

Hopefully, what you'll encounter is that most GMs are much more laid back than we appear on the boards, and are willing to work with you.

Having the appropriate PC for the scenario is not a crime, nor having the "right" PC for a boon or reward. Sometimes, just the blurb will make what might be a "good" PC for the scenario obvious. Sometimes, you are just lucky.


TimD wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:
I would be careful about making this another convention only boon. Those are starting to really aggravate some/many players. At least in my area, most of the players even very active players simply do not attend conventions.

Valid concern.

What would you think about maybe something akin to the generic GM star boons at 2 or 3 stars?

-TimD

That would be better, since any participant in PFS would have a chance at it and you would know what you have to do to get it (instead of a low random chance).

But it still doesn't seem right. Those are rewards for helping out the community.
This isn't or at least doesn't seem to me like a reward thing. This is acknowledging an issue and providing a solution. Why should the solution be restricted to only a small number?


I have read every single post on this thread and I still ultimately do not understand why "chronicle fishing" is bad. The fact that it even has a term to define it baffles me. Is this really a big enough problem that it has to be identified and named??

Here is my comparison.

When a player sees or hears about something in a book that is "good for their character" they get excited as a result, and purchase the book. In fact they HAVE to purchase the book if they want to use it in PFS.

Is that "meta-gaming"? Why would this comparison not extend to scenarios? Monetary investment? Are we looking to punish players who try to improve their characters for free sometimes?

My biggest problem with continued condemnation of "meta-gaming" has nothing to do with rules. It has to do with calling players out on intent. Since it is literally impossible for a human to know another humans intent, I take issue with that.

Some of us play this game differently than others. I use the rules to express my character and develop them. I come up with a mechanical concept I like and then decide what kind of person would develop those type of skills in their lifetime. As the character levels with mechanics, they level with personality. I don't know their whole life story when I make them; the mechanics dictate the way they act, and the way they act dictates the mechanics as they grow. For me, there is beauty in that.

When someone then accuses me of meta-gaming or intentionally abusing the rules of the game, the reason I might be offended is because this character that I crafted over time is being unfairly identified as a symbol of greed and ill intent. Every character I make has a tiny piece of myself imbued within it, and when someone tells me it represents something bad and tries to take it away I'm going to defend it. I'm sure there are plenty of others who feel the same way.

When is comes to meta-gaming as a term to define rigorous pursuit of elevated mechanics for personal gain exclusively(which I myself don't identify with), there *IS* a mature and responsible way to go about that too. Someone else said it better:

Quote:

Jason Wu wrote:

"I for one optimize and minmax my character something fierce. I am happy to accept the label of powergamer. Been doing it since the 70s.

However, there is one general rule of behavior I try to adhere to.

If I am going to ride the cutting edge of build design, I should have the good grace not to whine when that edge sometimes cuts me.

It happens. It will happen again. It is just part and parcel of pushing the limits on rules. There is really no point in extended complaining about it. Either accept the hit as an inevitable function of the min max metagame, or in the worst case shelve the character and move on. Plenty of other builds out there to try out.

-j

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

IQuarent wrote:
I have read every single post on this thread and I still ultimately do not understand why "chronicle fishing" is bad. The fact that it even has a term to define it baffles me. Is this really a big enough problem that it has to be identified and named??

Consider this happening from another organized campaign. The situations are slightly different, but the idea remains the same.

In this example, replay was allowed. Players could do the same adventure with different characters. So you saw players sign up for the same adventure, with the same players, taking spots from new players who had not played yet. The goal was to get those choice items from the certificates the adventure granted. GMs even reported that players told them "we've already played this, you can skip the boxed text".

Chronicle fishing is just a variation of this 'module farming'. The dynamics are different, you don't have the horrors of replay stagnating tables, but the stigma of "he is just playing for the item/boon/cert" remains. And yes, it has been a big enough problem in the past to earn such a name. The rules of the campaign are in place in order to head such meta play off before it develops here too.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
At this point, it seems benefiting at all from a Chronicle Sheet, borders on bad form for some.

That's rather pointless hyperbole.

To answer gnoams, GMing a scenario after playing it is highly encouraged, so there really isn't any problem with doing it for the boon. So long as the GM isn't treating the players badly with an attitude of 'I'm getting mine and don't care about you'.

I understand it's a hyperbole.

I suppose I just trying express my feeling on some of the highly negative responses this discussion has brought forth.

I am still, a little taken aback, by just vicious some of the responses have been.

I understand, that may not be what I get in person, but it's enough for me to find it disconcerting.

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka Michael_Hopkins

Also, aside from the revealing of items/boons/perks, it takes away the surprise factor of sweet, sweet rewards that are unexpected. I like getting perks without the knowledge that I'll be getting them. Frankly, the only reason as to why I don't mind some meta gaming at the table, is mostly when the advise of more experienced GMs letting the newer GMs in on a few tidbits of how some creatures or spells work.

The biggest rule that I follow, is to not be a jerk, as to which I believe chronicle fishing is quite the jerk maneuver.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, if one is not ruining the surprise for others, then who is it hurting.

If just reading a Chronicle Sheet is "jerk behavior", then who is being a jerk to?

4/5 5/5

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There are a couple strong reasons chronicle fishing bothers me.

First it is a sense of fairness (as defined by me). I like people being on a mostly level playing field, so I would prefer that the people going in blind into any given adventure would feel about as rewarded as players who knew of the boon before hand and targeted it. That certainly isn't entirely possible, but it does ruffle my feathers when another player recommends a season 1 scenario as low a level as possible not because it is a fun scenario, but purely because it provides a useful boon. I feel this is more on PFS rules to handle because even if you were reading chronicle sheets for boons, I won't act like society isn't full of people who will point you to the adventure where you can get the broken intelligent weapon, all of it's stats, where you can get it fixed all before you sit at the table for the adventure.

Second is just because when I notice someone chronicle fishing, they are making the adventure worse for me. I very quickly get the idea that they don't give a single care about the adventure except for the sheet of paper at the end. The strongest memory in this line is that "branding of a random prisoner for a +1 to a stat boon" I mentioned. There may be causes of chronicle fishing that I haven't noticed and that doesn't bother me nearly as much just because this is only about how disruptive any given players is in play. If they don't ruin the game for me or the other players, I don't care as much that they really really want to have an axebeak as a mount.

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka Michael_Hopkins

It is being a Jerk to one's self, but that's how I feel. I know that everyone doesn't has the same mentality, but it's one I go by.

4/5 5/5

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Well, if one is not ruining the surprise for others, then who is it hurting.

If just reading a Chronicle Sheet is "jerk behavior", then who is being a jerk to?

This isn't the same, but it does give a bit of the feeling I have.

I have a fighter with strong emphasis on disarming. It just happened that way. I can still do other things with the character, but if I go through an adventure without anyone to disarm, I don't have as many interesting tricks with the character to fall back on.

Given that, I could peak at the adventure ahead of time and get a quick head count of creatures that use spell and claw compared to things that draw blade. I don't have to pry deep read plot or tactics. I might even be able to do this from just the chronicle sheet. At this level, if there is no +2 weapon on the sheet, then there probably isn't a major weapon wielder in the adventure. With that knowledge I would know if I can go in with disarm master or another character I have within those tiers. It doesn't dramatically affect anyone else at the table, it primarily changes how much I'm using my own mechanics and having fun with those mechanics on my character.

However other people who don't read through adventures don't have that same luxury. They might bring their diplomatic master into a dungeon crawl or their enchanter into an scenario with exclusively undead, vermin, and oozes.

That is a bit where I feel about reading chronicle boons and targeting them. You aren't necessarily cheating, but does mean you are avoiding a penalty other people might have to go through by not knowing what is on the chronicle before hand. The same way the above I could avoid less rewarding experience with my fighter by knowing generally what is within the adventure.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Who is it a less rewarding experience for?

...and please, nobody is talking about actually reading the scenario, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain an in-gain advantage, through metagaming.

Let's not keep bringing those things in.

It's misleading.

4/5 5/5

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Who is it a less rewarding experience for?

...and please, nobody is talking about actually reading the scenario, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain an in-gain advantage, through metagaming.

Let's not keep bringing those things in.

It's misleading.

Which is why I made the first note saying it isn't the same. But from my experience it is close for myself since all my experience of knowing what is on a chronicle sheet prior to playing in a scenario is generally because I happen to have run it before. There aren't elements I really separate. In those cases I try to put aside which of my characters would be more optimal for the scenario or get the best boon and which I just rather play or fits best with the group. But honestly I do equate running an adventure for a boon with running an adventure with a character that will be awesome in the situation.

If the last convention dropped my into a Library of the Lion table, I know which character would have contributed little to nothing and which one would have had no problems at all doing the adventure by himself even without changing my normal preparations or metagaming in anyway beyond deciding which character I wanted to play.

And I tried to note and failed that it isn't a less rewarding experience for anyone (unless one takes actions to make the session worse).

blackbloodtroll wrote:
...and please, nobody is talking about actually reading the scenario, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain an in-gain advantage, through metagaming.

I thought that was what was being discussed.

We are talking about reading the chronicle, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain a in-game advantage, through metagaming. Albeit, for chronicle boons, the advantage would come into play a later game rather than the current game.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Blazej wrote:


blackbloodtroll wrote:
...and please, nobody is talking about actually reading the scenario, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain an in-gain advantage, through metagaming.

I thought that was what was being discussed.

We are talking about reading the chronicle, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain a in-game advantage, through metagaming. Albeit, the advantage would come into play a later game.

No more than all the items and spells that the player knows, but the PC would not, yet, selecting them for the PC.

What out-of-game knowledge, is actually being used in-game?

Is that not what metagaming is?

In the end, it's buying an item, from a Chronicle Sheet, that benefits a PC.

What is being argued, is that knowing that potential item to be purchased, before completing the Scenario, is a form of cheating.

4/5 5/5

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Blazej wrote:


blackbloodtroll wrote:
...and please, nobody is talking about actually reading the scenario, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain an in-gain advantage, through metagaming.

I thought that was what was being discussed.

We are talking about reading the chronicle, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain a in-game advantage, through metagaming. Albeit, the advantage would come into play a later game.

No more than all the items and spells that the player knows, but the PC would not, yet, selecting them for the PC.

What out-of-game knowledge, is actually being used in-game?

Is that not what metagaming is?

In the end, it's buying an item, from a Chronicle Sheet, that benefits a PC.

What is being argued, is that knowing that potential item to be purchased, before completing the Scenario, is a form of cheating.

Are you saying deciding which character to play in which scenario doesn't count as knowledge being used in-game? For me, deciding what character to play within a scenario is certainly an in-game decision. One likely is getting an item only because they played the right character in the right scenario. That is an in-game reward for metagaming to me. I wouldn't jump to call it cheating though just considering the nature of how PFS works currently (see: ask any prolific GM about getting Gamin), but I do think it is a bad thing.

If we not talking about determining which adventure we will or will not use characters on, then I would just say it is a bad idea to know what is on the chronicle sheet. Glancing through chronicle sheets on one character: this adventure has an enemy cleric of some sort, this one has a genie we can try to help, this one has enemy archers with specialty magic arrows, and there is a basilisk in this adventure. I'm not reading the adventures, I'm looking at what stuff the chronicle sheet grants and I can tell those elements are probably in the adventure. I can read chronicles and get a strong indicator of what to expect from enemies and NPCs, not just the chronicle's rewards.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

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blackbloodtroll wrote:
In the end, it's buying an item, from a Chronicle Sheet, that benefits a PC.

This leads me to believe that the chronicles you've seen (possibly from earlier seasons?) are the ones that only have items on.

Recent scenario chronicles I've seen include 'boons' with the following info:
- details of ongoing negative effects from a rash action taken in game (which might sway a player from taking that action)
- the secret identity of an NPC (major plot spoiler) and the effects of befriending/killing them
- hints to a semi-secret goal for one of the factions, and the benefit of doing it

Many chronicles contain in-game spoilers that are not much different from reading the handouts or looking at the full scenario map (with secret doors on). They may not be part of the scenario proper, but they are still generally for the GM's eyes only (before the game).

Having said that, it is well-recognised that there are valid reasons why people might already have that information before playing in a session, and many examples have been given above.

Hopefully this helps to explain why people want to dissuade players from seeking out knowledge of chronicles in advance.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
In fact, with the pure vitriol, spewed by some
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Seriously, the pure open disgust, torch and noose shaking, that has come from discussing this, has me genuinely worried.
blackbloodtroll wrote:
I am still, a little taken aback, by just vicious some of the responses have been.

I assume these abusive messages have been deleted by the admins, as the posts here have been quite civil (especially compared to some of the other areas of these messageboards).

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Florida—Jacksonville aka Baronjett

If you play 2/3 of the time and GM 1/3 of the time after a while you will end up with a lot of cool chronicle sheets that fit perfectly with your existing characters. Another reason why GMing and helping out the local community can benefit your own characters.

We could open up a whole new thread about people we know that tend to only GM sessions that have the very best boons....but let's not. :)

I think this topic is a good one because it lets experienced players and GMs give their thoughts about what is "right and fair."


Paz wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
In the end, it's buying an item, from a Chronicle Sheet, that benefits a PC.

This leads me to believe that the chronicles you've seen (possibly from earlier seasons?) are the ones that only have items on.

Recent scenario chronicles I've seen include 'boons' with the following info:
- details of ongoing negative effects from a rash action taken in game (which might sway a player from taking that action)
- the secret identity of an NPC (major plot spoiler) and the effects of befriending/killing them
- hints to a semi-secret goal for one of the factions, and the benefit of doing it

Many chronicles contain in-game spoilers that are not much different from reading the handouts or looking at the full scenario map (with secret doors on). They may not be part of the scenario proper, but they are still generally for the GM's eyes only (before the game).
...

I admit, I have very few chronicle sheets with things like you describe. I asked a few people. There are apparently a lot more of them out there that I don't know about.

But please look at what many of you guys are writing. If the problem is really the above information being known before playing, then don't put that information on the chronicle sheet.
That sounds like "I am tired of bandaging the crying kids that skin their knees on the playground, so we have made bandages illegal."

If you don't want people having that information on sheet, don't put that information on the sheet. That addresses the actual problem. It is also something that really can be controlled. Right now we have a situation where many people 'say' chronicle fishing for character specific rewards is cheating. But it constantly happens anyway. Most everyone ignores it as long as someone isn't too obvious about it.

But apparently they really mean reading the clues that might be on the chronicle sheet is cheating. So address what you actually mean, rather than something else that is just kinda related to it.
.
.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
At this point, it seems benefiting at all from a Chronicle Sheet, borders on bad form for some.

That's rather pointless hyperbole.

To answer gnoams, GMing a scenario after playing it is highly encouraged, so there really isn't any problem with doing it for the boon. So long as the GM isn't treating the players badly with an attitude of 'I'm getting mine and don't care about you'.

I understand it's a hyperbole.

...

I don't believe it is necessarily just hyperbole.

EX:
When it came out, everyone was taking about the boon for the special animal companion. You could not avoid knowing about it.

I discussed making a tengu character specifically to get that boon. (I knew at the time, I would probably have to GM it for newer players since it was run at several tables a week until most everyone that wanted it had GM'd and/or played it.)
I got bunches of comments about the 'gray edge of cheating,' chronicle fishing, munchkinism, etc... for talking about making a character specifically for the boon that they told me about.

I dropped the concept rather than deal with that in my PFS community.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Contributor

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Muser wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Muser wrote:

I hope the bragging will be worth it.

By bragging rights, are you referring to pure bragging rights, in-game rewards, or the upcoming Special The Sky Key Solution?

Oh just to the bragging about successfully catching them all under the same character. The joke is that it's not much of an achievement.

Thanks for the references to sky key parts by the way. They've been a big help and only From Under Ice's description has lead me astray.

Working as intended.

1/5

You know, reading through the Organized Play Guide, can anyone point out where it says don't read chronicles and if you do, you need to tell the GM? The applicable rules seem to be:

Do Not Cheat wrote:

Do not falsify rolls, do not falsify your Chronicle sheets, and do not add new items to your inventory without buying them properly. Do not lie to a GM under any circumstances. Keep good records of your character and make sure to bring all of your Chronicle sheets to every event or session of Pathfinder Society Organized Play. If you forget your Chronicle sheets, you will be unable to play your character, though you may be able to play a pregenerated character or start another character within Society rules. GMs rely on accurately kept Chronicle sheets to keep the campaign honest, fair, and fun for everyone. So keep your records safe, keep them accurate, and keep them

with you when attending Pathfinder Society Organized Play events. (We suggest a binder that can be completely sealed between scenarios.)
Replaying Scenarios wrote:

In certain circumstances, a player may need to replay a scenario he has already completed, or play a scenario that he has already run as a GM. The following rules determine when replaying Pathfinder Society Scenarios is legal, and what benefits you may gain from replay.

- If you have already played a scenario and wish to replay to help make a table legal, you must inform the GM that you have already played the scenario. Some GMs may not be comfortable running an adventure for players who have foreknowledge of what is to come. If your GM is not comfortable with you replaying a scenario, the GM has the right to deny players the opportunity to replay a scenario for any reason. All GMs are encouraged to be as flexible as possible when replay is the only option that allows them to seat the minimum legal number of players at a game table.
- If you spoil the plot for the table, the GM has the right to ask you to leave the table. Be very careful about character knowledge versus player knowledge. If you’re concerned about possibly spoiling something during the course of play, take the GM aside and ask how she would like it handled. Remember: the goal of replay is to make sure fun gaming happens, not to remove the fun from gaming.

Is reading a Chronicle really considered "replaying" a scenario? If it is, it is completely by RAI and not RAW. These rules specifically address complete scenario replays and don't ever mention having to tell the GM if you have read the Chronicle ahead of time. By RAW, this "chronicle fishing" that has some of you up in arms doesn't seem to be against the rules. However, they do mention that the GM can kick you from the table if you spoil the plot using any information you have, which would include knowledge obtained from reading a Chronicle.


Reading the chronicles ahead of time is a grey area. Most of the time it is pretty benign but on occasion you can gain some insider info into the scenario that you shouldn't have. This does two things:

1) It ruins the surprise! You just broke rule #1 of PFS - Have fun.

2) It puts you in the awkward position of balancing player vs character knowledge.

You chose to read ahead and as such you should let the GM know what you know before playing at that GMs table. That may be nothing or it may be that you know what choice need be made to gain a boon. Then it is the GMs choice to decide what to do with you. They may still let you play but decline your input on said decision when the time comes. You now know what choice must be made but can not voice your opinion on that choice. What if the table decides to go the other way on it? Where is your fun now? It could also end up with you not playing at said table because there is already a waiting line for seats and the GM would rather fill it with players that don't have said knowledge.

If you keep things secret from the GM, you may get away with it. However, a GM is much more likely to go to an extreme of punishment when they find out about it. Aka Banned from their tables and depending on the organizers feelings on the issue maybe even banned from said event in total.

Grand Lodge 5/5

I thought Don't be a D**k was rule 1?

1/5

Lab_Rat wrote:

Reading the chronicles ahead of time is a grey area. Most of the time it is pretty benign but on occasion you can gain some insider info into the scenario that you shouldn't have. This does two things:

1) It ruins the f#$!ing surprise! You just broke rule #1 of PFS - Have fun.

2) It puts you in the awkward position of balancing player vs character knowledge.

You chose to read ahead and as such you should let the GM know what you know before playing at that GMs table. That may be nothing or it may be that you know what choice need be made to gain a boon. Then it is the GMs choice to decide what to do with you. They may still let you play but decline your input on said decision when the time comes. You now know what choice must be made but can not voice your opinion on that choice. What if the table decides to go the other way on it? Where is your fun now? It could also end up with you not playing at said table because there is already a waiting line for seats and the GM would rather fill it with players that don't have said knowledge.

If you keep things secret from the GM, you may get away with it. However, a GM is much more likely to go to an extreme of punishment when they find out about it. Aka Banned from their tables and depending on the organizers feelings on the issue maybe even banned from said event in total.

Regarding #1, you are assuming everyone enjoys the same aspects of PFS that you do. That is an incorrect assumption.

Regarding reading a Chronicle, the rules do not say you need to provide the GM with that information. If you have played the scenario before, you must tell the GM. They say nothing about telling the GM that you have read a Chronicle in advance.

Also, some interesting cases. What if you read your friend's Chronicle because they were showing you the awesome boon they received? What if someone shows you a Chronicle because you say "What?!?! How'd you get XYZ?"? There's no less information known by people in those situations than the person that just reads the Chronicle at the end of the scenario.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

ElterAgo wrote:

But please look at what many of you guys are writing. If the problem is really the above information being known before playing, then don't put that information on the chronicle sheet.

That sounds like "I am tired of bandaging the crying kids that skin their knees on the playground, so we have made bandages illegal."

If you don't want people having that information on sheet, don't put that information on the sheet. That addresses the actual problem. It is also something that really can be controlled. Right now we have a situation where many people 'say' chronicle fishing for character specific rewards is cheating. But it constantly happens anyway. Most everyone ignores it as long as someone isn't too obvious about it.

But apparently they really mean reading the clues that might be on the chronicle sheet is cheating. So address what you actually mean, rather than something else that is just kinda related to it.

The problem is that the 'spoilers' and the 'goodies' are often exactly the same thing. And having them on the chronicle is a good thing. It's a nice reminder of what happened in the session when you look at the chronicles months later. Hell, if a PC has done something memorable, GMs are even encouraged to write more spoilers on the chronicle when they hand it out!

If players really can't be trusted to not seek out information from chronicles for scenarios they've not played, then the only solution would be to blank them entirely, and just have the XP, PP and gold down the side. That doesn't sound good to me.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Its not necessarily a huge problem if you know you have a broken sword and a way of fixing the broken sword but every other piece of information you would have to go through to randomly find that out adds up to some pretty big spoilers.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

Quote:
Regarding reading a Chronicle, the rules do not say you need to provide the GM with that information. If you have played the scenario before, you must tell the GM. They say nothing about telling the GM that you have read a Chronicle in advance.

Hopefully this thread (and John Compton's message in particular) have enlighted you on this topic, given any perceived ambiguity in RAW.

trik wrote:
Also, some interesting cases. What if you read your friend's Chronicle because they were showing you the awesome boon they received? What if someone shows you a Chronicle because you say "What?!?! How'd you get XYZ?"? There's no less information known by people in those situations than the person that just reads the Chronicle at the end of the scenario.

It's all about intent. For example, I know that a certain scenario contains a certain sword; I've not sought that information out, it's just been mentioned on these boards a lot (without proper use of spoiler tags). If anything, I'd prefer not to have things spoiled in this way.


trik wrote:
Regarding #1, you are assuming everyone enjoys the same aspects of PFS that you do. That is an incorrect assumption.

True. It is my opinion not an assumption.

trik wrote:
Regarding reading a Chronicle, the rules do not say you need to provide the GM with that information. If you have played the scenario before, you must tell the GM. They say nothing about telling the GM that you have read a Chronicle in advance.

While I agree with you that it is not specifically stated that doesn't necessarily mean that it couldn't be lumped into the Don't cheat rule by GMs. In the end, a GM has the right to decide who plays at their table. If in their opinion your knowledge of the chronicle is a bad thing then they could prevent you from playing.

This is how I handle this issue as a GM:
Knowing that a player read the chronicles before hand I would probably not let you play at my table if I had other players in wait. This of course depends on the chronicle, as some chronicles are very benign. If I let them play at my table I would ask them to refrain from voicing an opinion on any decision that the chronicle hints at. I would also ask them to stop reading the chronicles as it may impinge on their ability to play at my table. I would also be very much on the alert in regards to that players decisions during the game. I don't truly know how much of the scenario you know about. If I can't handle this then I would not GM for them at all. I would ask my organizer to seat them at a table with a GM who didn't care. The organizer may have their own opinion on the situation and further requests / punishment could be doled out to the player. If said organizer had issues with my choice I could always GM at a different location or decide not to GM.

EDIT: I hold GMs who are playing post-GMing in the same way. In the background I am questioning how well they can separate player vs character knowledge. If they can't then I will not GM any scenario they have already GM'd. I have not had to do this yet and hope that I never have to.

trik wrote:
Also, some interesting cases. What if you read your friend's Chronicle because they were showing you the awesome boon they received? What if someone shows you a Chronicle because you say "What?!?! How'd you get XYZ?"? There's no less information known by people in those situations than the person that just reads the Chronicle at the end of the scenario.

Don't ask how they got it. Asking them how is making a choice that you want inside info in regards to the scenario.


Paz wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:

But please look at what many of you guys are writing. If the problem is really the above information being known before playing, then don't put that information on the chronicle sheet.

That sounds like "I am tired of bandaging the crying kids that skin their knees on the playground, so we have made bandages illegal."

If you don't want people having that information on sheet, don't put that information on the sheet. That addresses the actual problem. It is also something that really can be controlled. Right now we have a situation where many people 'say' chronicle fishing for character specific rewards is cheating. But it constantly happens anyway. Most everyone ignores it as long as someone isn't too obvious about it.

But apparently they really mean reading the clues that might be on the chronicle sheet is cheating. So address what you actually mean, rather than something else that is just kinda related to it.

The problem is that the 'spoilers' and the 'goodies' are often exactly the same thing. And having them on the chronicle is a good thing. It's a nice reminder of what happened in the session when you look at the chronicles months later. Hell, if a PC has done something memorable, GMs are even encouraged to write more spoilers on the chronicle when they hand it out!

...

That's not what you and the others are saying. You are all talking about the other stuff. That says who, did what, and why?

Paz wrote:

...

Recent scenario chronicles I've seen include 'boons' with the following info:
- details of ongoing negative effects from a rash action taken in game (which might sway a player from taking that action)
- the secret identity of an NPC (major plot spoiler) and the effects of befriending/killing them
- hints to a semi-secret goal for one of the factions, and the benefit of doing it

Many chronicles contain in-game spoilers that are not much different from reading the handouts or looking at the full scenario map (with secret doors on). They may not be part of the scenario proper, but they are still generally for the GM's eyes only (before the game).
...

I don't see how a list of "this scenario has a +2 Vicious Halberd available for purchase" will likely ruin anything for anyone.

Paz wrote:
... And having them on the chronicle is a good thing. It's a nice reminder of what happened in the session when you look at the chronicles months later. Hell, if a PC has done something memorable, GMs are even encouraged to write more spoilers on the chronicle when they hand it out! ...

I can agree with that and like it. But I personally don't have a problem with minor spoilers on the sheet since I can keep myself from operating using that knowledge.

Since so many of you are so much more upset about someone possibly seeing that information, you should be wanting that information gone.
I am quite sure with a little bit of thought, most of the scenarios could have a reminder that is a bit more extensive than the product description, yet still doesn't spoil anything critical.

Righting your own reminder notes on your own personal copy of the scenario sheet is also perfectly acceptable. I do that all the freakin time. No one is talking about stealing your personal copy of the chronicle sheet.

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

To the campaign leadership:

Please consider a convention boon that would allow a player to "transfer" a boon from one character's Chronicle to another PC of commensurate level.

grrrrrrrr

Oh, hush! You Con-hater, you.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

ElterAgo wrote:
Since so many of you are so much more upset about someone possibly seeing that information, you should be wanting that information gone.

I'm not upset about someone possibly seeing the information, I'm irritated by people deliberately seeking it out.

I'm quite happy to have an information-rich chronicle. The easiest solution is for people to exercise self-control.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

ElterAgo wrote:
I don't see how a list of "this scenario has a +2 Vicious Halberd available for purchase" will likely ruin anything for anyone.

'Ruin' is your word, but it's still a spoiler.

Most interesting loot on a chronicle is there because an enemy in a scenario drops it. For example, if you read in advance that one of the items is a wand of fly, you can reasonably assume you'll be facing a (non-winged) flying enemy.

Liberty's Edge

John Compton wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

To the campaign leadership:

Please consider a convention boon that would allow a player to "transfer" a boon from one character's Chronicle to another PC of commensurate level.

Definitely something I'm investigating

Right, because all those folks that play and don't attend conventions have no desire for functional utility for their characters either.


Paz wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:
I don't see how a list of "this scenario has a +2 Vicious Halberd available for purchase" will likely ruin anything for anyone.

'Ruin' is your word, but it's still a spoiler.

Most interesting loot on a chronicle is there because an enemy in a scenario drops it. For example, if you read in advance that one of the items is a wand of fly, you can reasonably assume you'll be facing a (non-winged) flying enemy.

This exactly. Items on the chronicle are items used against you. That +2 Vicious Halberd hints that one of the major bad guys is 1) A meleer 2) Has hitpoints to spare or a way to counter HP loss due to vicious 3) has reach. So maybe a barbarian. I can now as a player buy things to mitigate that. Maybe my own reach weapon. Maybe I choose a feat earlier than I would have that helps me mitigate reach. Maybe as a spellcaster I make sure to memorize will saves and not a fort save spell.

As a GM I am always analyzing your in game purchases and choices and comparing them to the scenario at hand. If you start buying stuff to counter tactics that you shouldn't know about in the scenario yet, I get mighty suspicious.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Fomsie wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

To the campaign leadership:

Please consider a convention boon that would allow a player to "transfer" a boon from one character's Chronicle to another PC of commensurate level.

Definitely something I'm investigating
Right, because all those folks that play and don't attend conventions have no desire for functional utility for their characters either.

It would work much better as a scenario reward. Thematically something to do with the archives, treasure vault, sky reach, or more experienced characters training less experienced ones.

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

ElterAgo wrote:
If you don't want people having that information on sheet, don't put that information on the sheet. That addresses the actual problem.

That is not an actual solution, as the sheets have already been released. The campaign can't just go back and censor every such item on chronicles people have already earned.


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Hmm...

I've been rereading a few of my posts and I want to clarify a potential mistaken impression I may be giving.

I do understand that there is a policy against 'chronicle fishing.' I have not been so verbose in this thread to excuse my own 'chronicle fishing' activities. Ever since I learned of it, I have been trying to abide by it as best I can, given my current understanding of this rather nebulous 'bad' thing. Personally, I think I abide by it better than some of the most vocal people in my local area have done. I will continue to follow the policy as long as it is the policy.

I have been verbose, because I would prefer the policy to change. It at least slightly hampers my enjoyment of the hobby. I personally, would prefer to have my character win the XYZ of Koolness that he can make use of by his own actions.
"Ok, we were down to only 3 of us upright and I only had a little bit of life left. But I bullrushed the tyrant off the ledge, Jim kept the slope greased so he couldn't climb back up while Julie turned him into a pincushion. I claimed the XYZ as my share. It was close, but we managed to ..."
That is fun to remember and think about it.

Yes, I can GM the scenario to get the XYZ of Koolness. But to me, that doesn't have the same ring.
"Yeah, I wanted the XYZ for this PC so I ran it for some yahoos that really didn't know what they were doing. But whatever, I got the XYZ on this PC now."
Not so fun and memorable. Don't get me wrong, I GM when my schedule permits and enjoy doing so. But getting the XYZ in that manner makes it seem less not more special. At least to me.

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fomsie wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

To the campaign leadership:

Please consider a convention boon that would allow a player to "transfer" a boon from one character's Chronicle to another PC of commensurate level.

Definitely something I'm investigating
Right, because all those folks that play and don't attend conventions have no desire for functional utility for their characters either.
It would work much better as a scenario reward. Thematically something to do with the archives, treasure vault, sky reach, or more experienced characters training less experienced ones.

No, that puts you right back in the same situation you were in before.

If you want to give an actual utility function of some sort, either just give it to everyone, or use a system similar to the faction cards (much, much better idea than static boons, by the way). This way the player maintains control over what they can achieve by means of playing the game, as opposed to just showing up for a particular event.

Leave convention boons for your shiny Whosits and snazzy Whatsits or whatever you feel the need to use as enticement... but let things that effect player functionality rest in the hands of the players, in the course of the game, and on equal footing.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fomsie wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

To the campaign leadership:

Please consider a convention boon that would allow a player to "transfer" a boon from one character's Chronicle to another PC of commensurate level.

Definitely something I'm investigating
Right, because all those folks that play and don't attend conventions have no desire for functional utility for their characters either.
It would work much better as a scenario reward. Thematically something to do with the archives, treasure vault, sky reach, or more experienced characters training less experienced ones.

So, a Fame reached boon? Say (assuming 4 fame a level) Fame 12? Fame 15?Something along the lines of:

Collaboration (15 Fame/ 2 Prestige):
You have gained enough notoriety in the society to gain access to the discoveries of others, and to have others benefit from your discoveries.
You may spend two prestige from this character as well as two prestige from another character with this vanity that you possess in order to gain access to the boons and items of a chronicle sheet in that character's possession on this one. Said chronicle sheet must be present at all times.
This vanity cannot be used to gain access to races.

3/5

blackbloodtroll wrote:
This whole business has left a very bad taste in my mouth, and has given me my first real disappointment, with the PFS community.

I know how you feel, I had a similar issue with the whole aasimar / tiefling thing (still do, actually, and probably will for years and years to come).

Sadly, that's the problem with holding groups in a high regard: individuals within the group are far too capable of ruining your opinion of the group as a whole and, for PFS at least, those in charge often have to make difficult decisions that are mutually exclusive to the fun of different folks. I'm pretty sure that's one reason why John & Mike prefer not to make sweeping rulings any more often than they have to - PFS is not a single culture of gaming, but several different styles, biases, and gaming preferences all under one wide umbrella of Pathfinder house rules.

-TimD

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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John Compton wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

To the campaign leadership:

Please consider a convention boon that would allow a player to "transfer" a boon from one character's Chronicle to another PC of commensurate level.

Definitely something I'm investigating

While I agree that something not tied to a specific scenario is the best option for this, I wish it was open to more than just the players who can get to a convention. Especially since this is an opportunity to improve the usefulness of boons and the quality of the game, could this instead become a part of the Guide with a simple prestige cost? Call it Boon Retraining, and add it into the Retraining rules?

Something like "BOON RETRAINING: A player may transfer a boon from one character to a new character. The new character must spend a number of prestige points equal to the lower range of the tier in which the chronicle was originally applied. For example, if the boon comes from a 7-11 scenario which was played at Tier 7-8, then the new character must spend 7 prestige points to transfer the boon." Since it's part of retraining, it also costs the 100 gold per PP, and days of practice, and all the rest. And then purchasing some items might cost even more...

Boon reassignment doesn't seem like a very common need, but it is clearly popular enough that we can't stop talking about it this week! And it would make Organized Play better. I feel like everyone in this thread might agree with that, at least.

EDIT: I totally got ninja-ed by Twitch!


Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fomsie wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

To the campaign leadership:

Please consider a convention boon that would allow a player to "transfer" a boon from one character's Chronicle to another PC of commensurate level.

Definitely something I'm investigating
Right, because all those folks that play and don't attend conventions have no desire for functional utility for their characters either.
It would work much better as a scenario reward. Thematically something to do with the archives, treasure vault, sky reach, or more experienced characters training less experienced ones.

So, a Fame reached boon? Say (assuming 4 fame a level) Fame 12? Fame 15?Something along the lines of:

Collaboration (15 Fame/ 2 Prestige):
You have gained enough notoriety in the society to gain access to the discoveries of others, and to have others benefit from your discoveries.
You may spend two prestige from this character as well as two prestige from another character with this vanity that you possess in order to gain access to the boons and items of a chronicle sheet in that character's possession on this one. Said chronicle sheet must be present at all times.
This vanity cannot be used to gain access to races.

NICE.

I like how you have to spend prestige from both characters. Some form of game restriction is needed however so that you don't trade a 7-11 boon to a lvl 4 character. Maybe a scaling fame requirement based on the tier of the chronicle with the boon.

4/5

ElterAgo wrote:
I have been verbose, because I would prefer the policy to change.

To clarify, are you saying you want it to be explicitly allowed for players to read chronicle sheets so they can be aware of rewards prior to playing a scenario?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:


Collaboration (15 Fame/ 2 Prestige):
You have gained enough notoriety in the society to gain access to the discoveries of others, and to have others benefit from your discoveries.
You may spend two prestige from this character as well as two prestige from another character with this vanity that you possess in order to gain access to the boons and items of a chronicle sheet in that character's possession on this one. Said chronicle sheet must be present at all times.
This vanity cannot be used to gain access to races.

Nice.

I don't understand what you mean by "gain access to races," since the receiving character can't retrain her race, and a 1st-level PC can't have 15 Fame. Could you walk me through an example of what you're trying to avoid?

Sovereign Court

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Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:


Collaboration (15 Fame/ 2 Prestige):
You have gained enough notoriety in the society to gain access to the discoveries of others, and to have others benefit from your discoveries.
You may spend two prestige from this character as well as two prestige from another character with this vanity that you possess in order to gain access to the boons and items of a chronicle sheet in that character's possession on this one. Said chronicle sheet must be present at all times.
This vanity cannot be used to gain access to races.

I can think of a certain set of rather notorious boons in season 4 that might be abusable with this proposal.

Not to say that this isn't a good start though, just gotta point out corner cases.


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redward wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:
I have been verbose, because I would prefer the policy to change.
To clarify, are you saying you want it to be explicitly allowed for players to read chronicle sheets so they can be aware of rewards prior to playing a scenario?

Hmm... That is probably stating it to strong.

I would prefer fore knowledge of chronicle sheet rewards to not be a thing that is addressed at all.

But particularly, I would like for someone to be able to say something like "Hey I heard there was spear that gives a shield bonus. Which scenario is that?" and get an actual answer rather than being verbally flayed alive.

I see nothing wrong with the lists that some people have started with items/boons that can be found in scenario whatever.
(I really disagree with the people that say knowing X item is on the sheet gives someone a tremendous advantage in the scenario. That is really reaching to try and find something wrong.)

I would like for people to not be looked down on and accused of cheating (at least in spirit), because they want to get something with the character that can use it.


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ElterAgo wrote:

But particularly, I would like for someone to be able to say something like "Hey I heard there was spear that gives a shield bonus. Which scenario is that?" and get an actual answer rather than being verbally flayed alive.

-snip-
I would like for people to not be looked down on and accused of cheating (at least in spirit), because they want to get something with the character that can use it.

This, this, a thousand times this.

Sadly, not very likely to happen.

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

If you play through a scenario and think: "rats, the ____ on this chronicle would have been perfect for character X!" you can always step up and GM that scenario, applying credit to character X.

It is not a perfect solution, but one that works in 9 out of 10 cases.

4/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

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I think it would be really great if at a certain point one of the standard uses for Prestige were to transfer unique boons. That would nicely take away much of the incentive to peek at rewards ahead of time and allow you to move a unique reward to a character that can use it. It would need to be carefully worded and should be a transfer -- the old character no longer has that boon.

For those who don't think that peeking causes any problems, please consider if the majority of people did this. In that case, you could easily get into a situation where you have a whole table of arcane casters (as an example) because the unique boon is only useful to them. If no one at the table was willing to shift characters, it could result in the unbalanced group failing and no one gets the boon.

It is much easier to have a civil discussion about who should shift characters to help the group be more balanced if people don't have foreknowledge of any unique rewards on the chronicles.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Who is it a less rewarding experience for?

...and please, nobody is talking about actually reading the scenario, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain an in-gain advantage, through metagaming.

Let's not keep bringing those things in.

It's misleading.

Let's say you have a group of 10 friends who all play together on a semi regular basis. You and two others farm chronicles for the exact correct boons, while 5 dont because they either like being surprised or dont like the ethics, while two have no idea this is a thing to do.

By 12th level when everyone is getting ready to play Eyes if the Ten, three of you have rock in characters with all the appropriate boons, unique items and stuff, while the other Eight are decent but dont have all the extra help only perfect boons and unique equipment bring.

They end up feeling overshadowed because you have all these bonuses and "get out of jail free cards".

How is that fair?

1/5

BretI wrote:

I think it would be really great if at a certain point one of the standard uses for Prestige were to transfer unique boons. That would nicely take away much of the incentive to peek at rewards ahead of time and allow you to move a unique reward to a character that can use it. It would need to be carefully worded and should be a transfer -- the old character no longer has that boon.

For those who don't think that peeking causes any problems, please consider if the majority of people did this. In that case, you could easily get into a situation where you have a whole table of arcane casters (as an example) because the unique boon is only useful to them. If no one at the table was willing to shift characters, it could result in the unbalanced group failing and no one gets the boon.

It is much easier to have a civil discussion about who should shift characters to help the group be more balanced if people don't have foreknowledge of any unique rewards on the chronicles.

A wonderful discussion that leads to players thinking, "Damn it, I should have played my <insert class here> like I was planning on!". People leaving a game feeling cheated is pretty much the opposite of my objective when playing PFS games.

Andrew Christian wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Who is it a less rewarding experience for?

...and please, nobody is talking about actually reading the scenario, or using out-of-game knowledge, to gain an in-gain advantage, through metagaming.

Let's not keep bringing those things in.

It's misleading.

Let's say you have a group of 10 friends who all play together on a semi regular basis. You and two others farm chronicles for the exact correct boons, while 5 dont because they either like being surprised or dont like the ethics, while two have no idea this is a thing to do.

By 12th level when everyone is getting ready to play Eyes if the Ten, three of you have rock in characters with all the appropriate boons, unique items and stuff, while the other Eight are decent but dont have all the extra help only perfect boons and unique equipment bring.

They end up feeling overshadowed because you have all these bonuses and "get out of jail free cards".

How is that fair?

They all had the same opportunity. That's kind of the definition of fair.

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