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


Pathfinder Society

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

They did not. The chronicle farmers had insider knowledge to get better stuff, unless you're suggesting that everyone had an equal opportunity to engage in a behavior called out as cheating.

Not to be unduly harsh. I think going after a chronicle boon is kinda like drunk in public. Special occasions are find but it really shouldn't be a habbit.

Liberty's Edge

trik wrote:
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

... prepared fo

Reading the chronicles, for no other reason than to fish for what you want, is the same as reading the scenario so you can make sure you are prepared for what's in it.

That's cheating.

Choosing not to cheat and then having to be overshadowed by those who do, or who skirt the very thin line, is not fair.

Let's stop prevaricating here. Reading chronicles for the sole purpose of getting the boons and equipment most appropriate for your characters is cheating. And doing do hurts the players who follow the rules.

Grand Lodge

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Andrew Christian wrote:

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?

Just as a point of note, it is possible for no one to Chronicle Fish and 3 of the players to end up with the same stuff they would have as if they had Chronicle Fished. These people would no less overshadow their companions than the people who deliberately Chronicle Fished.

For what it's worth, the chronicle boons I have seen, with very rare exceptions, simply aren't that powerful. And certainly if I were to go Chronicle Fishing it would be for the coolness/flavor of the item, not the power. While I have seen plenty of power disparity in characters that have played Eyes of the Ten, what they had on their Chronicles was a drop in the bucket compared to how they built their characters.


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trollbill wrote:
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.

I'll be on board with this never ever being a convention boon. The local convention gives boons to players if they roll a natural 20 during a called out roll off mid-session, one attempt per scenario. If other players locally have convention boons, it is because I gave them my own. I want these boons to be much more available that that.


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My suggestion and I seriously advise you to take it.

Walk away from this thread and let it die.

As it is looking at the chronicles is a grey area. That means that for special occasions, aka I want my axe beak, we as GMs can look the other way.

If this thread continues, Mile will probably visit and lay down the law. That law will most likely be that knowledge gained about chronicles through means other than GMing is cheating. Then you can't have nice things. This is not a guess, it is a pattern. Some of the rules in the guide are due to threads like this.


TimD wrote:

What the Season 6 Guide says about cheating:

** spoiler omitted **

... I note the complete lack of anything about reading Chronicles before playing. If a new player reads this they will NOT know that "Chronicle Fishing" is a thing and many consider it cheating.

I also don't recall it saying "don't read the entire scenario to see if you like it before playing" either, it does talk about just alerting the GM when you have run prior and have knowledge of adventure and to make certain to not negatively impact the game with that knowledge. Both are things you learn from running the adventure or even casually chatting with friends about games.

Lab_Rat wrote:
If this thread continues, Mile will probably visit and lay down the law. That law will most likely be that knowledge gained about chronicles through means other than GMing is cheating. Then you can't have nice things. THIS IS NOT A GUESS, IT IS A PATTERN.

Why if this thread continues? Is this something he is unaware is happening if not for this thread? I don't think the hammer is going to be brought down if people continue talking about this.

It has been the case that people talk about the boons they have gotten on various adventures and where they have gotten them from, I don't see any ruling ever changing that.

I don't believe this being a grey area is not a good thing as each person will draw their line of what is acceptable and I don't think it is a particularly healthy way for this to be resolved. How are people going to know about which adventure contain axe beak like boons if they don't check? When I join any given table should I ask the GM, "I was planning on playing my wizard, but should I be playing my sword and board cavalier?"


Blazej wrote:


Why if this thread continues? Is this something he is unaware is happening if not for this thread? I don't think the hammer is going to be brought down if people continue talking about this.

It's a threshhold thing. Mike has been very willing to overlook threads while we as a community try to come to an agreement. However, that can change if things continue, and the issue snowballs and doesn't resolve. Mike has in the past come into threads like this one and drew the literal line in the sand. This but NOT THIS. No grey area. No exceptions. Thou shalt play PFS in this way.

Let it die. Let it be a grey area in which GMs can work with players and hint at what scenarios might work for their characters.

EDIT: Just because you want the line drawn doesn't mean you will like the repercussions of that line.


Lab_Rat wrote:
Wisdom about how PFS actually works

Valid. Out.


Lab_Rat wrote:
Blazej wrote:


Why if this thread continues? Is this something he is unaware is happening if not for this thread? I don't think the hammer is going to be brought down if people continue talking about this.

It's a threshhold thing. Mike has been very willing to overlook threads while we as a community try to come to an agreement. However, that can change if things continue, and the issue snowballs and doesn't resolve. Mike has in the past come into threads like this one and drew the literal line in the sand. This but NOT THIS. No grey area. No exceptions. Thou shalt play PFS in this way.

Let it die. Let it be a grey area in which GMs can work with players and hint at what scenarios might work for their characters.

EDIT: Just because you want the line drawn doesn't mean you will like the repercussions of that line.

I don't like several things in society, I'm not going to hide for fear of a line being drawn that I might not like. How in the world is a GM going to know which of my characters might like an intelligent, but not super effective in combat, sword? Or a intelligent shield? Ring? An weapon that is effective against the Aspis Consortium, but can't be weapon finessed? Axebeak, owlbear, regeneration for spent prestige points, my Trusty Buddy, or what have you. I don't know what players want on their characters and I would fail the majority of the time if forced to guess.

This is a pretty big grey area that I don't think helps out society play. Them drawing a line isn't going to stop people from looking at chronicle sheets or table chatter about which boon came from where. Pretending this isn't any sort of issue will just mean some people will continue not knowing what the scenarios grant, and therefore get near nil for special rewards while others will always get fun and thematic character boons because they were there beforehand.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Drawing a line will require us to enforce that line, however, and those who are just trying to make sure their characters can use the boons they receive will feel that enforcement the same as actual cheaters looking for an edge.


Yeah, but how do you set that up?

A new rule saying don't read scenarios or chronicles unless you are going to run in the immediate future? That is already sort of in place.

Never talk about any adventure you have been on else you might spoil a reward? That would make adventure conversations pretty awkward and that isn't going to happen except among the truly serious.

I'm not saying we would ignore the rules, but I just don't see any effective way to enforce rules dealing with boon knowledge especially on the more fantastic and unique abilities the chronicles grant.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Blazej wrote:
Yeah, but how do you set that up?

I prefer to not find out how Mike will set it up. But I am fairly sure he would find a way, and it would not be one I would like. I base this on previous cases of him doing so.


In all the games I've played, I have had exactly 1 boon on a chronicle sheet that fit the character perfectly. None of my characters have purchased anything from a chronicle except wayfinders and one other light giving source. For boons to be interesting, there needs to be a mechanism for getting them to characters that would actually like to have them.

On a separate note, I don't see how it is possible to effectively police a "no chronicle fishing" policy. The only way of knowing for certain whether someone fished for a boon from a chronicle is if he/she blabs or someone else rats. Policing that just makes the fishers go underground and creates hard feelings and spoils the game for many people. Policing that will make many GM's uncomfortable.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hence why I fervently wish there is no ruling made on this.

Sovereign Court

I'm skeptical that things are as broken as some participants in this thread would suggest.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.


It be clear, I don't want a ruling on this, but this is very closely tied to wanting to make sure specialty boons don't get stuck on characters that would never use them when a player has other characters that would completely use that item they really would enjoy. That is what I would like to eventually see some love for.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh, I heartily support that. I have a character who earned two intelligent items he will likely never use due to them not being halberds.


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While I can certainly imagine that many specialty boons may be difficult to transfer, I would love to have some way to be able to purchase unique items from other character's chronicle sheets. It is certainly a bit disheartening to finish a scenario and look at an item or boon that would be loads of fun to have... if only you played the scenario on another character. A vanity that allows you to pay prestige or money to gain access to another character's boon does seem like a nice way to allow for some more flavorful characters without encouraging behavior that could detract from other players' experience. In the name of balance, it would probably be best to have the receiving player meet certain fame thresholds to access said items, but that's a discussion for another day.

Community & Digital Content Director

Removed some posts and closing this one for the weekend at least so people can cool off.

EDIT: Unlocking.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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One of the nicer aspects of the PFS Organized Play campaign is that the leadership (Mike, Jon, venture officers) give us opportunities that could be abused, and trust us not to abuse them. (Until such time as some players abuse them, at which they are restricted.)

For example, if I were dead-set to check out boons ahead of time, "legally," I could organize a CORE Mode campaign" using pre-gen PCs, which would spoil the adventure (encounters, boons, everything). Afterwards, I could decide which "real" PC is best suited for the adventure.

Legal, but grotesque. And, if abused, probably no longer legal.

So, please, let's keep the topic on "what would best serve the community" rather than "what's the edge of legality, that I can get away with."

I would advance the position that we are best served by having as many players as possible go through a scenario and discover things about it as they go. The blurbs give a good idea about faction boons that crop up; that seems a good precedence here. If the campaign leadership wanted us to know about a cool animal companion boon available through an adventure, thenwe should expect to see that information in the blurb.


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Chris Mortika wrote:
I would advance the position that we are best served by having as many players as possible go through a scenario and discover things about it as they go. The blurbs give a good idea about faction boons that crop up; that seems a good precedence here. If the campaign leadership wanted us to know about a cool animal companion boon available through an adventure, then we should expect to see that information in the blurb.

I agree that what a player should know going into the scenario should be limited to the blurb.

However, I do think that the issue of ending up with a boon on a character who can't use it needs to be fixed.

I think you could mention that the scenario has a boon and give a very general idea of what the boon is. There is probably a way to balance that without giving away too much info about the boon.

The other option, which I actually like more, is some form of prestige mechanism for transferring boons to another character.

Maybe a combination of both. That way if the table dynamics allow it you would know what type of player to play in the scenario but if the table is skewed you can play a different character and still be able to transfer the boon over.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not sure I want to see information about boons showing up in the blurb (especially if it's not information that you could expect to be included in the VC briefing at the start of the mission).

On the other hand I'd like to see a little more information about the type of challenges we could be expected to face (subject to the same caveat). There has been more than one occasion when I've ended up in a party where we just didn't have what was needed to overcome one or more obstacles because the blurb seemed to imply this was a combat-oriented scenario, say, while in reality it was 80% social encounters (or vice-versa).

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

John, we already have information about what faction boons appear in the adventure, although that's information outside the purview of most VC briefings.

If I know that it's a good idea to bring my Dark Archive PC to go on patrol in Mendev, I might know that it's a good idea to bring my cavalier on a mission in Tian Xai.


Chris Mortika wrote:
I would advance the position that we are best served by having as many players as possible go through a scenario and discover things about it as they go.

I agree with you, but I believe there are players who really don't enjoy being surprised.

Some people find it hilarious when their dumb-as-dung-and-smelling-worse barbarian is forced into being the face of the party. Others find it humiliating or infuriating (or both).

---

I think boons were initially envisioned as a very small, often situational perk. There have been a handful since that are of genuine benefit, and maybe that's what's skewed the perception of them. I think of it like a holiday bonus. Some people budget for it. Some try to avoid making any assumptions about it. Both may be disappointed if they get stiffed, but one's in better shape to deal with it.

---

Maybe one solution would be to stop offering boons that benefit one class more than another? Or only offer vanity items without a mechanical value?

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
redward wrote:
Maybe one solution would be to stop offering boons that benefit one class more than another? Or only offer vanity items without a mechanical value?

I like what they did in 6-21 Tapestry's Toil. There is a boon there that is an excellent permanent boon for a very specific type of character, but for everyone else it is an above-average single-use boon.

Silver Crusade

pH unbalanced wrote:
redward wrote:
Maybe one solution would be to stop offering boons that benefit one class more than another? Or only offer vanity items without a mechanical value?
I like what they did in 6-21 Tapestry's Toil. There is a boon there that is an excellent permanent boon for a very specific type of character, but for everyone else it is an above-average single-use boon.

Having the chronicle sheet in question in front of me, I agree very much with you. One if the reasons I asked for a boon/way to trade boons between your characters.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
redward wrote:
Maybe one solution would be to stop offering boons that benefit one class more than another? Or only offer vanity items without a mechanical value?
I like what they did in 6-21 Tapestry's Toil. There is a boon there that is an excellent permanent boon for a very specific type of character, but for everyone else it is an above-average single-use boon.
Having the chronicle sheet in question in front of me, I agree very much with you. One of the reasons I asked for a boon/way to trade boons between your characters.

Sure, but what I meant was that when I ran this yesterday, nobody qualified for the "greater" version of the boon, but 2 different players talked about how happy they were with the "lesser" version.

So I was impressed with how they balanced the boon to make it worthwhile even if you brought the "wrong" character.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
John, we already have information about what faction boons appear in the adventure, although that's information outside the purview of most VC briefings.

I'd think faction leadership have their own sources of knowledge, so it seems eminently reasonable that they'd take steps to make sure they get their own agents onto missions that could have significant consequences for the faction (even if the Decemvirate aren't fully aware of that).


pH unbalanced wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
redward wrote:
Maybe one solution would be to stop offering boons that benefit one class more than another? Or only offer vanity items without a mechanical value?
I like what they did in 6-21 Tapestry's Toil. There is a boon there that is an excellent permanent boon for a very specific type of character, but for everyone else it is an above-average single-use boon.
Having the chronicle sheet in question in front of me, I agree very much with you. One of the reasons I asked for a boon/way to trade boons between your characters.

Sure, but what I meant was that when I ran this yesterday, nobody qualified for the "greater" version of the boon, but 2 different players talked about how happy they were with the "lesser" version.

So I was impressed with how they balanced the boon to make it worthwhile even if you brought the "wrong" character.

My question is this: If you had a character that could use the greater version would you still be happy with the lesser?

My main hope is that if we can find some mechanism for assigned boon transfer that people would stop wanting to look at the chronicle before play. I would also like to see this mechanism allow for the transfer of unique items. This is something that I wouldn't expect to be hinted at in the blurb but could see players wanting to look ahead so that they can get said item on the right character.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Lab_Rat wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
redward wrote:
Maybe one solution would be to stop offering boons that benefit one class more than another? Or only offer vanity items without a mechanical value?
I like what they did in 6-21 Tapestry's Toil. There is a boon there that is an excellent permanent boon for a very specific type of character, but for everyone else it is an above-average single-use boon.
Having the chronicle sheet in question in front of me, I agree very much with you. One of the reasons I asked for a boon/way to trade boons between your characters.

Sure, but what I meant was that when I ran this yesterday, nobody qualified for the "greater" version of the boon, but 2 different players talked about how happy they were with the "lesser" version.

So I was impressed with how they balanced the boon to make it worthwhile even if you brought the "wrong" character.

My question is this: If you had a character that could use the greater version would you still be happy with the lesser?

My main hope is that if we can find some mechanism for assigned boon transfer that people would stop wanting to look at the chronicle before play. I would also like to see this mechanism allow for the transfer of unique items. This is something that I wouldn't expect to be hinted at in the blurb but could see players wanting to look ahead so that they can get said item on the right character.

As a GM, I had a choice of characters to apply it to. One of them could have used the greater boon. I applied it to a different character.

So, yes.

Don't get me wrong -- I also want to see a boon transfer mechanism. But I think they're getting better at implementing the underlying boons.

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