Can a GM outright forbid a character that is otherwise legal?


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
LazarX wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
You can truestrike whip trip can't you? Thats far from ineffective thats outright nasty.
So you spend a first level spell slot to give yourself a +20 to hit for 1d3 non lethal damage? That's still not going to help you with your rather pathetic CMB roll if tripping is what you're looking to do.
It will, in fact. Combat maneuver checks are attack rolls. CRB, page 199.

Yes, but you've already spent your +20 to hit in the first place. That's it... the spell is done. You don't get that bonus again on the trip attempt.


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You can just cast and make the trip attempt. You don't have to attack to make a trip attempt.

Though I would recommend a Scorpion Whip over a whip honestly unless your wanting the extra reach.

3/5 5/5

LazarX, I think you may be confused about how the trip special weapon property works. It does not work like the trip ability that some monsters have on their natural attacks, like wolves, where you make an attack roll and if it hits you get a free trip attempt.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

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pauljathome wrote:

The timing of things matter too.

If you spring some weird thing in the middle of combat, especially something not crucial to your build, the GM is perfectly within their rights to say "uh, no. I haven't time to look at this now, so right now you can't do that. We can discuss it later"

This is why when I have players sit down at my tables with whose characters I am unfamiliar, I ask the player, "Hi Player! What are you playing today?" followed by "What do you do that's cool?" There are several reasons I do this.

First is to see if the player can tell me how his or her character works. How fine of a grasp do they have on the mechanics of their character. The question I ask most often is, "What's that do?" Also, it allows me to ask questions that I might already know the answer to and gauge whether we agree on how something works. If there is a disagreement, I usually will ask how that feat or class ability functions, eg, "I thought that was a standard acton?" which is usually enough to prompt the player to grab their resource the item in question is from. Naturally I ask how something works when I am completely ignorant of a feat or ability as well.

The second is to avoid the situation quoted above. The littany of questions I ask at the beginning of the session gives me an idea of how each player will respond in combat situations. I don't do it to glean an advantage, just so that I don't get frustrated during a game. If you have Step Up, please tell me. Don't just reach across the table and move yer mini when I have the spell caster take a 5' step back and when I look at you funny then tell me, "Oh, I have Step Up."

Ideally, the player who's character likes to get large with a reach weapon tells me this before the game starts. This way we can hammer out any areas of disagreement before the game starts.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Maryland— Baltimore aka DrParty06

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
LazarX, I think you may be confused about how the trip special weapon property works. It does not work like the trip ability that some monsters have on their natural attacks, like wolves, where you make an attack roll and if it hits you get a free trip attempt.

Whip doesn't actually have the trip special property. Though you are right in that you can still just make a trip attack by making a CMB roll with the whip gaining the +20 from True Strike, since Combat Maneuvers count as attack rolls (no need to make another attack roll first and no damage is dealt). Not having the trip special ability forces you to fall prone yourself if you fail at the trip vs. CMD by 10 or more (rather than drop the weapon).

Scarab Sages 5/5

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At low levels I actually just combined true strike with the whip for dis-arm actions. Then, the unseen servant with the standing order to "get any weapon dropped near me and bring it to me" would rush over and pick up the dropped weapon and remove it from the opponents reach...

Liberty's Edge

I have taken care of several bad guys by the combination of vanish, get into position, truestrike, Bull Rush.

Sure it took 3 rounds, but since my whip does 1d3–2 nonlethal damage, that was probably faster than direct damage.


DrParty06 wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
LazarX, I think you may be confused about how the trip special weapon property works. It does not work like the trip ability that some monsters have on their natural attacks, like wolves, where you make an attack roll and if it hits you get a free trip attempt.
Whip doesn't actually have the trip special property. Though you are right in that you can still just make a trip attack by making a CMB roll with the whip gaining the +20 from True Strike, since Combat Maneuvers count as attack rolls (no need to make another attack roll first and no damage is dealt). Not having the trip special ability forces you to fall prone yourself if you fail at the trip vs. CMD by 10 or more (rather than drop the weapon).

What whip are you looking at? The whip pathfinder has up on the PRD is a trip weapon

prd wrote:
Whip 1 gp 1d2 1d3 ×2 — 2 lbs. S disarm, nonlethal, reach, trip

5/5 5/55/55/5

DOesn't really matter for the magus in this conversation. The only thing the trip property does after the clarification a looong time ago is let you drop it instead of going prone if you miss your CMB roll by 10 or more.

If you cast true strike, then miss a CMB by 10, your next spell should be expeditious retreat anyway.

The Exchange 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:

DOesn't really matter for the magus in this conversation. The only thing the trip property does after the clarification a looong time ago is let you drop it instead of going prone if you miss your CMB roll by 10 or more.

If you cast true strike, then miss a CMB by 10, your next spell should be expeditious retreat anyway.

or teleport.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

jon dehning wrote:


I don't do it to glean an advantage, just so that I don't get frustrated during a game. If you have Step Up, please tell me. Don't just reach across the table and move yer mini when I have the spell caster take a 5' step back and when I look at you funny then tell me, "Oh, I have Step Up."

That requires a fair bit of player trust that you won't metagame. Some GMs do better than others in NOT acting on knowledge that their characters wouldn't have.

I admit that I wouldn't think to mention Step up at the beginning of the session. Not for any gotcha but because it is common and unambiguous in how it works. I volunteer weird things (especially combos) or things that I know have table variation.

I wonder if one "trick" that I do would annoy you (genuinely curious). I do it completely for the comedic effect and absolutely would only pull it on an experienced GM.

I have a dwarf in plate mail. At some point I'll essentially teleport him across the battlefield (just pick him up and put him down) and then take a single attack. GM splutters. I point out that he has 50 feet of movement and ignores difficult terrain (barbarian with mithral plate/cleric with travel domain/longstrider). If the GM asks me to count out the squares I ALWAYS have enough movement to do what I did.

4/5

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pauljathome wrote:

I wonder if one "trick" that I do would annoy you (genuinely curious). I do it completely for the comedic effect and absolutely would only pull it on an experienced GM.

I have a dwarf in plate mail. At some point I'll essentially teleport him across the battlefield (just pick him up and put him down) and then take a single attack. GM splutters. I point out that he has 50 feet of movement and ignores difficult terrain (barbarian with mithral plate/cleric with travel domain/longstrider). If the GM asks me to count out the squares I ALWAYS have enough movement to do what I did.

See, this is just trolling the GM. You're trying to make it look like you did something you didn't, just to provoke a reaction from the GM and then be able to show him/her you're "right". Poor form.

You do say you only pull it on an "experienced" GM, but all this would accomplish at my table (since we've never payed together that I know of) is I'd put you on the list of "PCs who I have to double check everything on, since they're playing the PC vs. GM game".

EDIT: I somehow missed the point where you also said players need to trust the GM not to meta-game. If you really mistrust your GM like this, you completely misunderstand the GM-player relationship in PFS and doom your table to an adversarial relationship.

Please be careful of this sort of "surprise the GM" tactic, because we used to just audit PCs before every game, and that was a real pain. Tell your GM what you can do at the beginning of the game, so that valuable game time isn't wasted stopping a dramatic fight every round to resolve mechanical issues.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

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pauljathome wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


I don't do it to glean an advantage, just so that I don't get frustrated during a game. If you have Step Up, please tell me. Don't just reach across the table and move yer mini when I have the spell caster take a 5' step back and when I look at you funny then tell me, "Oh, I have Step Up."

That requires a fair bit of player trust that you won't metagame. Some GMs do better than others in NOT acting on knowledge that their characters wouldn't have.

I admit that I wouldn't think to mention Step up at the beginning of the session. Not for any gotcha but because it is common and unambiguous in how it works. I volunteer weird things (especially combos) or things that I know have table variation.

I wonder if one "trick" that I do would annoy you (genuinely curious). I do it completely for the comedic effect and absolutely would only pull it on an experienced GM.

I have a dwarf in plate mail. At some point I'll essentially teleport him across the battlefield (just pick him up and put him down) and then take a single attack. GM splutters. I point out that he has 50 feet of movement and ignores difficult terrain (barbarian with mithral plate/cleric with travel domain/longstrider). If the GM asks me to count out the squares I ALWAYS have enough movement to do what I did.

The only thing I would do is ask you to chart your course in case of traps or invisible critters you might not be aware of. Other than that, ain't no thing with a chicken wing.

The step up bit is a common courtesy. Any PC I play that has it and/or the chain I make the GM aware.

Scarab Sages 5/5

pauljathome wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


I don't do it to glean an advantage, just so that I don't get frustrated during a game. If you have Step Up, please tell me. Don't just reach across the table and move yer mini when I have the spell caster take a 5' step back and when I look at you funny then tell me, "Oh, I have Step Up."

That requires a fair bit of player trust that you won't metagame. Some GMs do better than others in NOT acting on knowledge that their characters wouldn't have.

I admit that I wouldn't think to mention Step up at the beginning of the session. Not for any gotcha but because it is common and unambiguous in how it works. I volunteer weird things (especially combos) or things that I know have table variation.

I wonder if one "trick" that I do would annoy you (genuinely curious). I do it completely for the comedic effect and absolutely would only pull it on an experienced GM.

I have a dwarf in plate mail. At some point I'll essentially teleport him across the battlefield (just pick him up and put him down) and then take a single attack. GM splutters. I point out that he has 50 feet of movement and ignores difficult terrain (barbarian with mithral plate/cleric with travel domain/longstrider). If the GM asks me to count out the squares I ALWAYS have enough movement to do what I did.

But some of us actually do do the teleport thing (Dim Hop actually), but I am more likely to offer the BBE a beer than attack. OH! and ask "Tell me, are you currently involved in a long term relationship? Would you like to be?"

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

jon dehning wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


I don't do it to glean an advantage, just so that I don't get frustrated during a game. If you have Step Up, please tell me. Don't just reach across the table and move yer mini when I have the spell caster take a 5' step back and when I look at you funny then tell me, "Oh, I have Step Up."

That requires a fair bit of player trust that you won't metagame. Some GMs do better than others in NOT acting on knowledge that their characters wouldn't have.

I admit that I wouldn't think to mention Step up at the beginning of the session. Not for any gotcha but because it is common and unambiguous in how it works. I volunteer weird things (especially combos) or things that I know have table variation.

I wonder if one "trick" that I do would annoy you (genuinely curious). I do it completely for the comedic effect and absolutely would only pull it on an experienced GM.

I have a dwarf in plate mail. At some point I'll essentially teleport him across the battlefield (just pick him up and put him down) and then take a single attack. GM splutters. I point out that he has 50 feet of movement and ignores difficult terrain (barbarian with mithral plate/cleric with travel domain/longstrider). If the GM asks me to count out the squares I ALWAYS have enough movement to do what I did.

The only thing I would do is ask you to chart your course in case of traps or invisible critters you might not be aware of. Other than that, ain't no thing with a chicken wing.

The step up bit is a common courtesy. Any PC I play that has it and/or the chain I make the GM aware.

While you might think Step Up is fairly clear, I once had a GM not allow me to take the 5' step because the opponent moved lateral, and he read me the quote where it said that if the opponent took a 5' step back then I could use Step Up. Since he didn't I could not. I was not happy.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

GM Lamplighter wrote:


EDIT: I somehow missed the point where you also said players need to trust the GM not to meta-game. If you really mistrust your GM like this, you completely misunderstand the GM-player relationship in PFS and doom your table to an adversarial relationship.

Man, is that a gross overreaction to what I said.

GMs are human beings. Human beings are really bad at not using knowledge that they have. Some are better than others but NONE are perfect.

In all honesty, as a GM I'd prefer to NOT know that a character has something like Step Up until it comes up. I don't want to know about Emergency Force Sphere. I don't want to know about who has combat reflexes. Etc. It could subconsciously affect what I do.

As both a player and GM I don't think things like that are the GMs business until it comes up in play. If they ask I won't push the point but I'm certainly not going to volunteer the information. Especially since many of my characters have LOTS of abilities that you may or may not think fall into that category.

At the start of the game I'll definitely tell the GM about weird things and things that I know have table variation. But beyond that? Only if the GM explicitly asks.

Quote:


Please be careful of this sort of "surprise the GM" tactic, because we used to just audit PCs before every game, and that was a real pain. Tell your GM what you can do at the beginning of the game, so that valuable game time isn't wasted stopping a dramatic fight every round to resolve mechanical issues.

The dwarf "teleport" is done in the "play a prank on a friend" sense. Not a gotcha.

At least according to the messagaboards, almost nobody audited PCs before every game :-). And those who did it were looking to catch errors and not weird things.

But if a GM wants to look at my character sheet they're welcome to. If they want to ask about specific things they can. But they certainly shouldn't expect me to read their mind and describe all the things that they might think strange.

But unless the GM asks I'm most certainly not going to spend 15 minutes before game explaining what my character can do.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

jon dehning wrote:


While you might think Step Up is fairly clear, I once had a GM not allow me to take the 5' step because the opponent moved lateral, and he read me the quote where it said that if the opponent took a 5' step back then I could use Step Up. Since he didn't I could not. I was not happy.

Experience has shown that ANYTHING is subject to table variation somewhere :-).

I've never had that experience and that is the first time I've heard of it. But I'll now try and remember to tell the GM as it falls into the "table variation" category. I'll probably fail, mind, since the character hasn't actually used that feat for something like 4 levels :-) (it was used a lot at lower levels but much less often at higher levels)

As to your "traps and invisible opponents" comment - perfectly fair.

Silver Crusade

outshyn wrote:


Fromper wrote:
I'm sorry, but anyone who has that big a problem with demons and devils in a game shouldn't be playing Pathfinder. Period. There are plenty of role playing games that don't have that aspect. Play those instead.
You might be right from an intellectual "does this make sense" perspective, but obviously if Paizo had "no Christians" as official policy, it would be a PR disaster of epic proportions. I think all we can do is decide if something actually caused disruption or not, and decide if we are OK with that or not.

I never said "no Christians". I said people who have a problem with devils and demons being part of a game. I've played with plenty of Christians, and none of them have ever had that kind of objection to that part of the game.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

pauljathome wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


While you might think Step Up is fairly clear, I once had a GM not allow me to take the 5' step because the opponent moved lateral, and he read me the quote where it said that if the opponent took a 5' step back then I could use Step Up. Since he didn't I could not. I was not happy.

Experience has shown that ANYTHING is subject to table variation somewhere :-).

I've never had that experience and that is the first time I've heard of it. But I'll now try and remember to tell the GM as it falls into the "table variation" category. I'll probably fail, mind, since the character hasn't actually used that feat for something like 4 levels :-) (it was used a lot at lower levels but much less often at higher levels)

As to your "traps and invisible opponents" comment - perfectly fair.

Keep this in mind if you have step up and play with the other VC from MN.

grrrr...

My Hellknight made great use of Step Up and Strike.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

pauljathome wrote:


At the start of the game I'll definitely tell the GM about weird things and things that I know have table variation. But beyond that? Only if the GM explicitly asks.

...

But unless the GM asks I'm most certainly not going to spend 15 minutes before game explaining what my character can do.

If you play at my table at GenCon and/or PaizoCon you just might. ;)

I'll use myself as an example. I have a character most of our locals know who is nigh unhittable. This unholy amalgamation is a Fighter/Aldori Swordlord/Duelist. His AC starts at 39 and can go as high as 50. I don't even bother rolling acrobatics checks to avoid AoO due to Mobility and Enhanced Mobility. They stack.

I have so many weird class abilities that I must explain all of them to a GM. With a Str of 10 I put out d8+22 damage per hit. I can disarm you and apply damage while doing it. I can parry attacks. I have an ungodly amount of AoO. My initiative modifier is in the high teens.

Simply put, I have a lot of bonuses and abilities that I need to explain otherwise there can be a lot of frustration from the GM when ever I pull off some insane stunt.

Grand Lodge

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To bring this back to the original post:

Zelda,

Bottom line up front: if its in the rules and its allowed, they can do it, and you can not stop them.

I have had to change my mindset of: this doesn't make make any sense.. to: its in the rules, and its legal.

As much as I want to try reason why would the Pathfinder Society ever bring in a priest or inquisitor of Asmodeus, Shax, or Norgorber into the Society, I don't have leg to stand on. The justification; priests can be one step off the deity's alignment... That means the player is CNNNNNNNNNN or LNNNNNNNNNN repeating(chaotic/lawful neutral). Bottom line the Pathfinder Society's alignment is; Neutral.

Yes I was frustrated enough that one of the venture officers had to pull me aside give me a well deserved dose of reality. It just.. is that way. The same holds true for power gamers.

I have seen both fights of the argument, and before someone starts up, let me stop the insanity... Zelda there will always be players that can see the optimization between the lines, some players just have that ability. There are others that read (troll) the optimization forums. Again as much as you might disagree with them... let it go, you will only get frustrated. I ran 5-17 Fate of the Fiend, with two blade bound magus, zen archer, bard and a sorc, all optimized. I wanted to shake my head in disbelief of how fast they went through the fights, it felt wrong, but.. its legal.

Next, there will always be players which will pull the "gotcha". As a (now a three star) GM, players will pull things out of their "fourth point of contact" and completely break a fight or even a scenario, it happens.

The last piece of advice I can give you is this: be very careful auditing or calling players out. This is a bad habit of mine. It will get you in hot water fast with the local venture officers if you do it frequently. While it is in the new rules of organized play (and roleplaying) looking over a players character because you think something is fishy will really invoke some mistrust when you are the GM which may get some nastygrams sent to the local venture officers..not a good thing. Trust me on this.

Hope this helps.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

jon dehning wrote:
I'll use myself as an example. I have a character most of our locals know who is nigh unhittable. This unholy amalgamation is a Fighter/Aldori Swordlord/Duelist. His AC starts at 39 and can go as high as 50. I don't even bother rolling acrobatics checks to avoid AoO due to Mobility and Enhanced Mobility. They stack.

I have not encountered this character, thank goodness.

I have on the other hand encountered the 'table variation' of certain GMs in the area. ( :) In case he sees it)

Silver Crusade

Arnvior wrote:
...be very careful auditing or calling players out. This is a bad habit of mine. It will get you in hot water fast with the local venture officers if you do it frequently. While it is in the new rules of organized play (and roleplaying) looking over a players character because you think something is fishy will really invoke some mistrust when you are the GM...

There is a right way and a wrong way to ask a player about questionable abilities of their characters.

The right way: "Ok, I'm not familiar with that ability, it seems really powerful. Would you mind showing me how it works?"

If it works as the player believes it does: "That's really cool. Nice build."

If it doesn't work as the player believes: "I disagree that it works the way you think it does, and this is why..." (At this point, I sometimes allow the player to use the ability as they believe it does in this particular instance, but inform them that it won't work that way for the remainder of the session, and we can discuss it more after the game if they are interested.)

If it works, but with some caveats: "That's a pretty cool ability. There is a little room for interpretation here, though. It doesn't explicitly say so, but this ability seems to be a language-dependent mind-affecting ability, so I am going to run it that way. Does that seem fair?"

When I GM, I usually like to have these conversations before the game starts instead of during the game. So I ask any players with characters I haven't seen before, "do you have any interesting or particularly powerful abilities that I should know about before we get started?"

And then I also try to err on the side of permissiveness at the table. I have told more than one player, "I'm really not sure that works, but since I'm also not sure that it doesn't work, I will allow it. But we should research it some more after the game, okay?"

Silver Crusade

Keith Apperson wrote:
jon dehning wrote:
I'll use myself as an example. I have a character most of our locals know who is nigh unhittable. This unholy amalgamation is a Fighter/Aldori Swordlord/Duelist. His AC starts at 39 and can go as high as 50. I don't even bother rolling acrobatics checks to avoid AoO due to Mobility and Enhanced Mobility. They stack.
I have not encountered this character, thank goodness.

I would LOVE to see this character. It sounds really fun!


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The Fox wrote:
There is a right way and a wrong way to ask a player about questionable abilities of their characters.

At... hmm... some California PFS convention whose name I've forgotten, I sat down at a table about 15 minutes early. The GM smiled and said he would need to see everything from my character -- inventory tracking sheets, chronicles, character sheet, and a full book check for every ability. I laughed but he was serious. I thought he's only doing this because I sat down 15 minutes early, and so he has time. Since I am borderline Rainman about this stuff, when I realized he was serious I took out books, got out sheets, and walked him through everything. He even recalculated my ability scores and saving throws, to make sure I did the math right. Everything was perfect, zero issues.

Then it was game time. I was annoyed by the extensive obsessive character review, but maybe it was my bad for showing up early. Whatever. Let's play.

The GM turns to the next person who had arrived, and said the same thing he said to me. That person sat there like a deer in headlights, before finally opening up a bag, and getting out piles of books & folders. The GM proceeded to review, fully, every single character. The game started an hour late, after repeated protests from all the players each time he would say, "And do you have the book, and is it open to the page that explains this ability?"

I learned a really important lesson that day, but I didn't learn it right at that moment. Instead, the lesson was learned about 2 or 3 hours in, then again at the conclusion. Here's the thing: after cutting nobody any slack at all, and assuming that every player was cheating from the outset, and starting so late that it was clear we wouldn't get a good game, fully zero of the players were willing to cut the GM any slack in return. So when he started to get off-module the players were howling with frustration. It was obvious even without reading the module -- the GM had a convenient "nope the enemy counters everything you do" excuse, no matter what we tried to do, until it got to the point of being absurd. So one player actually had a tablet out mid-game, with a browser open, and the purchase page for the module up. The player was like, "You understand that I'm going to book-check you back, right? I am going to find every place you cheated or ran it unfairly, and I am going to have the VC overturn everything you do."

Because we started so behind, the game ran late. However, there were other games to attend, so the GM couldn't run long and had to rush like crazy at the end. And none of the players were going along with it or helping out at all. They were like, "Yeah, you have a problem, you screwed up." I have never seen a table of players turn on a GM like that. At the end, the entire group walked over to the VC, and explained to the VC what had gone wrong. The GM fled out the door before the VC had even heard everything.

The lesson? I was surprised about how players can turn on you. I mean, I understood my own personal "this sucks" feeling when I got book-checked. But I did not understand what a table full of angry players who are not giving the GM any slack would look like until I saw it. If your players are upset with you, you will lose control of that table, and it will be ugly. Every decision you make will be second-guessed. Every action you take will be viewed in the worst possible light, and then that "worst possible light" is going to be reported to your VC.

I personally feel it's important to check characters, especially at conventions where you are not necessarily dealing with your home town buddies who get the rules right. The strangers you meet could have never played, or could have some weird quirk of their local game stores that caused them to overlook or never use a rule correctly. So I want to check. But man do I not ever want to have my game go bad like that one GM did. I vowed at that game that I would only ever do spot checks and that each spot check could only last about a minute per player. Even as it is, I worry that I could set the tone for animosity just from a single check of a single thing.

But then again, I do catch a mistake almost every time. I once caught someone with no tracking sheets, no chronicles, and not even a character sheet. Just a blank sheet of lined paper and an assurance that he had memorized the character and it would be fine. I caught someone with a 40 point buy for ability scores.

There's good reason to check, but keep it quick. You don't want the wrath of your players.

Silver Crusade

outshyn: Yikes!

Yeah, it is far better to trust your players. Most players know the rules for their characters. My earlier post did not capture that sentiment.

Thanks. :)

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

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DrParty06 wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
LazarX, I think you may be confused about how the trip special weapon property works. It does not work like the trip ability that some monsters have on their natural attacks, like wolves, where you make an attack roll and if it hits you get a free trip attempt.
Whip doesn't actually have the trip special property. Though you are right in that you can still just make a trip attack by making a CMB roll with the whip gaining the +20 from True Strike, since Combat Maneuvers count as attack rolls (no need to make another attack roll first and no damage is dealt). Not having the trip special ability forces you to fall prone yourself if you fail at the trip vs. CMD by 10 or more (rather than drop the weapon).

Ummm. As mentioned by another poster, whip does have the Trip property.

And, along with the ability to just drop it instead of falling down yourself, that also means that you can drag and reposition with the whip.

Combat Maneuvers Blog
There is a special exception to the above rules. If you’re using a weapon with the trip special feature, and you’re attempting a drag or reposition combat maneuver (Advanced Player’s Guide 321–322), you may apply the weapon’s bonuses to the roll because trip weapons are also suitable for dragging and repositioning (this also means we don’t have to add “drag” and “reposition” weapon properties to existing weapons).

Overall, this means that whips are not, necessarily, the weak sauce they would at first appear. Especially if you take the Whip Mastery & Improved Whip Mastery feats. Then again, as the defender with a reach weapon, I just love to mess with enemies charging me.

Charging!:
In short, unless you cannot be tripped, and use only your natural weapons, never, ever, charge an enemy with longer reach than you.

It doesn't matter if they don't have Improved Trip or Improved Disarm, if you cannot reach them when they provoke for trying to trip or disarm you.

And it gets even worse if they are actually built for those maneuvers. Greater Trip and Improved Disarm are just ugly for the charger, since there is now a good chance (remember, penalties to AC, likethe -2 for charging, also apply to CMD) that he is now prone, and without a weapon while being inside the threatened area of an enemy. Especially since that enemy is likely to have Combat Reflexes and a fair Dex...

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Logistically it can be a pain, I think I was carrying around something like 20# of books+ over GenCon -- my -1 has things from UE, ACG(+Errata), Core, APG, UC, ARG. My -10 (which was the only other one I was playing) thankfully only had one spell from UM.

But the look on the GM's face when they say 'Do you have the source material for that' and I pull out the STACK and set it on the table gently tends to quiet most concerns.

No, I'm not a tablet person. I'd lose my job from the distraction, and then my rent money, my internet, and my computer.

Sovereign Court

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jon dehning wrote:


I'll use myself as an example. I have a character most of our locals know who is nigh unhittable. This unholy amalgamation is a Fighter/Aldori Swordlord/Duelist. His AC starts at 39 and can go as high as 50. I don't even bother rolling acrobatics checks to avoid AoO due to Mobility and Enhanced Mobility. They stack.

I have so many weird class abilities that I must explain all of them to a GM. With a Str of 10 I put out d8+22 damage per hit. I can disarm you and apply damage while doing it. I can parry attacks. I have an ungodly amount of AoO. My initiative modifier is in the high teens.

Simply put, I have a lot of bonuses and abilities that I need to explain otherwise there can be a lot of frustration from the GM when ever I pull off some insane stunt.

Oh, god no. I would ban this character from my table, and alternatively you as a player for good measure because you would definitely be owning the spotlight from the entire table with this rules monstrosity. This isn't a character, this is a spreadsheet you are passing off as a character. I'd give you a chronicle sheet and show you the door. You WIN Pathfinder, but the rest of us are here to PLAY.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

outshyn wrote:
There's good reason to check, but keep it quick. You don't want the wrath of your players.

Honestly I mostly bookcheck:

Stuff that is from obscure sourcebooks. (Blood money will allways get a book check)

Anything that is listed using the d20pfsrd alternate name. (Blood mage instead of bloatmage, grand marshall instead of shieldmarshal, etc)

Anything I have never heard of (I might want to use it myself some time. :) )

kinevon wrote:
Overall, this means that whips are not, necessarily, the weak sauce they would at first appear. Especially if you take the Whip Mastery & Improved Whip Mastery feats. Then again, as the defender with a reach weapon, I just love to mess with enemies charging me.

Tactical reposition with a whip could be brutal. Better hope there are no cliffs nearby. (I wonder what happens if you have tactical reposition, and ready an action for "If he charges with that lance, I'll reposition his friend into the charge lane." Would it follow the rules for Tactical repositioning someone into a trap that has an attack roll?)

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FLite wrote:


Tactical reposition with a whip could be brutal. Better hope there are no cliffs nearby. (I wonder what happens if you have tactical reposition, and ready an action for "If he charges with that lance, I'll reposition his friend into the charge lane." Would it follow the rules for Tactical repositioning someone into a trap that has an attack roll?)

And suddenly, for some strange reason, this music comes to mind...

Raiders of the Lost Ark Theme

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

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RoshVagari wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


I'll use myself as an example. I have a character most of our locals know who is nigh unhittable. This unholy amalgamation is a Fighter/Aldori Swordlord/Duelist. His AC starts at 39 and can go as high as 50. I don't even bother rolling acrobatics checks to avoid AoO due to Mobility and Enhanced Mobility. They stack.

I have so many weird class abilities that I must explain all of them to a GM. With a Str of 10 I put out d8+22 damage per hit. I can disarm you and apply damage while doing it. I can parry attacks. I have an ungodly amount of AoO. My initiative modifier is in the high teens.

Simply put, I have a lot of bonuses and abilities that I need to explain otherwise there can be a lot of frustration from the GM when ever I pull off some insane stunt.

Oh, god no. I would ban this character from my table, and alternatively you as a player for good measure because you would definitely be owning the spotlight from the entire table with this rules monstrosity. This isn't a character, this is a spreadsheet you are passing off as a character. I'd give you a chronicle sheet and show you the door. You WIN Pathfinder, but the rest of us are here to PLAY.

I disagree firmly with this. Firstly, high AC characters rarely steal the spotlight for their AC (we have a holy vindicator locally who has similar ACs.) Secondly, a fighter who has mastered the aldori dueling sword and become nigh unhittable is not a spreadsheat, it is a very genre concept. Third, there are all sorts of things that you can do to someone like this that completely bypass their AC.

Funny story about the holy vindicator:
There is a module where you confront a holy vindicator and several of his friends, in one of these "it could be a fight, it could be diplomacy" encounters. The party turned it into a fight, and through a hilarious concatenation of failed spell saves and grapples, everybody on both sides was incapacitated, except for one cleric, who thanks to a suggestion spell was unselectively channeling to keep everyone alive. The two vindicators decided to call it a draw and go back to diplomacy because they could only hit each other on natural twenties, and every time they got a natural twenty, the cleric channeled.

Silver Crusade

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RoshVagari wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


I'll use myself as an example. I have a character most of our locals know who is nigh unhittable. This unholy amalgamation is a Fighter/Aldori Swordlord/Duelist. His AC starts at 39 and can go as high as 50. I don't even bother rolling acrobatics checks to avoid AoO due to Mobility and Enhanced Mobility. They stack.

I have so many weird class abilities that I must explain all of them to a GM. With a Str of 10 I put out d8+22 damage per hit. I can disarm you and apply damage while doing it. I can parry attacks. I have an ungodly amount of AoO. My initiative modifier is in the high teens.

Simply put, I have a lot of bonuses and abilities that I need to explain otherwise there can be a lot of frustration from the GM when ever I pull off some insane stunt.

Oh, god no. I would ban this character from my table, and alternatively you as a player for good measure because you would definitely be owning the spotlight from the entire table with this rules monstrosity. This isn't a character, this is a spreadsheet you are passing off as a character. I'd give you a chronicle sheet and show you the door. You WIN Pathfinder, but the rest of us are here to PLAY.

I assume you are joking?

One can play an extremely powerful character without "owning the spotlight."

One can play an extremely powerful character without it being "a spreadsheet you are passing off as a character."

So much logical fallacy.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

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RoshVagari wrote:
jon dehning wrote:


I'll use myself as an example. I have a character most of our locals know who is nigh unhittable. This unholy amalgamation is a Fighter/Aldori Swordlord/Duelist. His AC starts at 39 and can go as high as 50. I don't even bother rolling acrobatics checks to avoid AoO due to Mobility and Enhanced Mobility. They stack.

I have so many weird class abilities that I must explain all of them to a GM. With a Str of 10 I put out d8+22 damage per hit. I can disarm you and apply damage while doing it. I can parry attacks. I have an ungodly amount of AoO. My initiative modifier is in the high teens.

Simply put, I have a lot of bonuses and abilities that I need to explain otherwise there can be a lot of frustration from the GM when ever I pull off some insane stunt.

Oh, god no. I would ban this character from my table, and alternatively you as a player for good measure because you would definitely be owning the spotlight from the entire table with this rules monstrosity. This isn't a character, this is a spreadsheet you are passing off as a character. I'd give you a chronicle sheet and show you the door. You WIN Pathfinder, but the rest of us are here to PLAY.

WOO! I WIN! And I didn't even use crane wing!

If I ever played this character at your table you would likely remember only the ceaseless Swan Boat advocation.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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I must say that Jon's character definitely has a personality that he plays quite well. He also plays well with others. The high AC character could be used to WIN if the player wanted to, and that's a player issue. Jon wields his great power with responsibility, and Taco is fun to have at the table.

Silver Crusade

Andrew Christian wrote:
I must say that Jon's character definitely has a personality that he plays quite well. He also plays well with others. The high AC character could be used to WIN if the player wanted to, and that's a player issue. Jon wields his great power with responsibility, and Taco is fun to have at the table.

Exactly!

There are no problem characters, only problem players.

The Exchange

FLite wrote:
Funny story about the holy vindicator:

I have a character inspired by a holy vindicator:
Was this Venture Captain Nikolai? His AC was no joke. Played this high tier 4 person hard mode as a lvl 9 character. That scenario was scary but fun.

I ended up building a paladin oracle who just started holy vindicator. Pretty tanky but I don't really do much damage myself or anything. At a certain point the AC just doesn't matter because anything beyond the enemy only hitting on a 20 is wasted anyway.

Silver Crusade

So maybe this should be its own thread, but since you guys are talking about high AC characters, what exactly do you consider high AC?

I think I remember reading that 20 + level as a general formula for what a front line tank should shoot for, though that's just baseline if you're not sacrificing everything else to go insanely high AC.

What level is Jon's PC with the 39 AC that goes up from there?

Silver Crusade

Fromper wrote:
So maybe this should be its own thread, but since you guys are talking about high AC characters, what exactly do you consider high AC?

Here was my first draft of various benchmarks. I have altered some of them in my mind, which is discussed later in that same thread.

I have a character that I consider to have a very high AC. At level 7, her AC ranges between 30 and 46, depending on various factors. At upper levels—I'm not sure exactly when that will be—I suspect her AC might even push 60. She is very much a team player and has a very well developed personality.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Personally I hate wasting the gm's combat prep(been on both sides of that) and so don't shoot higher than 19+lvl. At the other end, I start to worry at 14+lvl, but sometimes your choice of gear/combat M.O(e.g raging) can exhaust certain avenues on that front.

Anyhow, I ran Rats of the RM Part 1 in just 2 hours. I prepped that thing for days. Urgh...


The Fox wrote:
Fromper wrote:
So maybe this should be its own thread, but since you guys are talking about high AC characters, what exactly do you consider high AC?

Here was my first draft of various benchmarks. I have altered some of them in my mind, which is discussed later in that same thread.

I have a character that I consider to have a very high AC. At level 7, her AC ranges between 30 and 46, depending on various factors. At upper levels—I'm not sure exactly when that will be—I suspect her AC might even push 60. She is very much a team player and has a very well developed personality.

AC is definitely not the measure of I win character brokenness. Its just one of many defenses. If you have a high AC then you are probably susceptible to something else. I have a lvl 12 barbarian who actually bumps every other form of defense but AC. When going all out has an AC of 12. Sure, you can hit him anytime you want but he will hit you first every time. A lot of GMs find it hard to play lets trade HP with a 200HP Barbarian.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Fromper wrote:

So maybe this should be its own thread, but since you guys are talking about high AC characters, what exactly do you consider high AC?

I think I remember reading that 20 + level as a general formula for what a front line tank should shoot for, though that's just baseline if you're not sacrificing everything else to go insanely high AC.

What level is Jon's PC with the 39 AC that goes up from there?

Taco just went through Eyes.

FWIW, I hit him regularly in Storval Stairs.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/5

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Andrew Christian wrote:
Fromper wrote:

So maybe this should be its own thread, but since you guys are talking about high AC characters, what exactly do you consider high AC?

I think I remember reading that 20 + level as a general formula for what a front line tank should shoot for, though that's just baseline if you're not sacrificing everything else to go insanely high AC.

What level is Jon's PC with the 39 AC that goes up from there?

Taco just went through Eyes.

FWIW, I hit him regularly in Storval Stairs.

Yep, level 13.2. But, he was around AC 37 from level 10 or so. Once I got the money for an Int headband it went to AC 39.

Yes, I did get my ass handed to me at the Storval Stairs. In fact, I think it was the last time I took physical non-energy spell damage. It took me a couple hits to remember how to play my character.


Yeah. Storval is a nasty piece of work at high tier.

Spoiler:
I think that Storval was the only standard scenario (hard core waking rune not included) I have seen that had my lvl 11 wizard dropping a lvl 6 spell in the first round of the first encounter.

The Exchange 5/5 5/5

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The Fox wrote:
Keith Apperson wrote:
jon dehning wrote:
I'll use myself as an example. I have a character most of our locals know who is nigh unhittable. This unholy amalgamation is a Fighter/Aldori Swordlord/Duelist. His AC starts at 39 and can go as high as 50. I don't even bother rolling acrobatics checks to avoid AoO due to Mobility and Enhanced Mobility. They stack.
I have not encountered this character, thank goodness.
I would LOVE to see this character. It sounds really fun!

What do you want to know? Taco is here to answer your questions. Taco has the time since he was ungraciously told to leave a table upthread. grunt Taco not spreadsheet, Taco Taco. Spreadsheet was Hellknight.

Key to life is to fight defensively as full round action. Taco become much harder to hit (AC 46). If Taco REALLY think critter very dangerous, then Taco's combat expertise is utilized (AC 50).

Now, Taco is a ton of fun to play but it SUUUUUUUCKED playing levels 1-5. I could hit quite often for d8 damage. That is what a Str of 10 gets you. The looks on people's faces when I told them I was playing a fighter with the aforementioned strength was priceless. The Duelist PrC levels is what made this character stupid broken.

The Exchange 5/5

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Whenever I read a thread like this, it kind of troubles me.

Starting rant - please excuse the following...

I know that deep down we all know this, but perhaps sometimes we forget it. People, this game is not all about the combat. It's not just a dungeon crawl - where you go from room to room fighting monsters. (though some Judges & Authors present it that way.) It's also about the Rogue who insures we don't fall in that pit, about the fighter who just happens to also be a carpenter - because he likes to build things, not just brake them. It's about my matchmaker dwarf trying to fix up the barbarian PC with "this little lady down in the Puddles district, you should meet her!" It's about a bunch of people sitting around a table having fun.

One of the worst things I ever heard at a table (because it's often true) is when an "old hand" explained to a "young kid" that he should put his skill points into combat skills - cause the Judge is going to give you the other information anyway. "if you need to find the bandit camp, just wonder around in the woods - the Judge wants to play too, and the only way we get a fight is when we find the bad guys". And to him this game was all about the fight. You know, the kind of guy who is "only there for the fights", and spends the rest of the game in his phone APPs.

I can recall something I heard at a table a long time ago. A Max Damage player was complaining that in his last scenario they had spent almost 30 minutes "chatting up the bar-maid" and had cut into "his fight time". At that time, I resisted pointing out that he had just taken 30 minutes "dancing with the mooks" and had cut into my bar-maid chatting time. It wouldn't have done any good you see, 'cause to him, this game is all about rolling dice and splatting monsters. The challenge's he sees are all combat related. That's where he get's his fun. To him that's all there is...

Sure, you can have a character who dominates combat. I like playing with those kind of PCs at my table! If you kill the beasties in 0.666 melee rounds, it'll give me more bar-maid time. And I'll try my darnedest to ensure we find those fights for you! I'll run the investigator that does the Gather Info rolls, that removes the traps that warns the BBEG, that ensures we get the right guy and get paid for it. But then I would have as much fun if the Judge just said after Init is rolled "Everyone just mark off 20% of you HP and 10% of you consumables and we'll hand-wave this encounter". After all, some Judges do that to the RP encounters (even having the term "RP encounter" vs. "Combat encounter" makes my mind hurt - like they are two different things).

sorry about that, it's just that sometimes I think this is too much of a combat simulation ...

Ending Rant - thank you for your time...

Silver Crusade

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Hey nosig, I agree with you that the game is not a combat simulation. I like to talk about builds, but that doesn't mean that I play the game the way you describe.

Let me tell you about Juniper Berrythwaite, my halfling with the high AC. She is a paladin of Apsu and a chimney sweep. She wears mithril full plate, but is covered in soot. Like all halflings (and all chimney sweeps), she is very lucky to have around. If you shake hands with her at the beginning of the adventure, some of that luck might rub off onto you (she can give you a luck bonus to AC if you are standing next to her).

Because she has a high AC, and because she can boost the AC of her allies, that allows us to treat the game as something other than a combat simulator.

She has, more than once, stood in a bottleneck during combat taking the Total Defense action round after round while the diplomat in the party was behind her trying to convince our opponents that we were friendly. Because Diplomacy takes 10 rounds to accomplish, it is usually difficult to pull off. Juniper makes it a little easier.

But in the end, there is a lot of combat in this game, and it is okay to talk about it.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Southwest

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The Fox wrote:
There are no problem characters, only problem players.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ This! A thousand times this. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

A person creates problems at the table by their actions.

A PC is just a bunch of writing on a page and by itself, without a problem person playing it, does nothing at all.

A problem person playing any PC build can, and most likely will, cause problems.

If you deal with the PC you will not change the problem person's behavior.

If you:
- confirm there actually is a problem for more people that you
- talk to the problem person as privately and kindly as possible to let them know the specific behaviors of theirs that are causing specific problems
- let the problem person know that their behavior is not acceptable
- let them know what type of behavior that does not cause she specific problems listed before that would be acceptable
- present them with the consequences of what will happen if they don't change their behavior
- and then give them a chance to change their behavior

If you do these things, then you have a chance of changing a problem player into a vital contributing member of your gaming community.

Address the issue not the symptoms.


I have found Society GMs to be fairly forgiving, especially of newcomers. If you go to your local PFS group I'm sure they'll seat you the first night and discuss any problems they see with your character at the end of the night.

The Exchange 5/5

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Eric Brittain wrote:
The Fox wrote:
There are no problem characters, only problem players.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ This! A thousand times this. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

A person creates problems at the table by their actions.

A PC is just a bunch of writing on a page and by itself, without a problem person playing it, does nothing at all.

A problem person playing any PC build can, and most likely will, cause problems.

If you deal with the PC you will not change the problem person's behavior.

If you:
- confirm there actually is a problem for more people that you
- talk to the problem person as privately and kindly as possible to let them know the specific behaviors of theirs that are causing specific problems
- let the problem person know that their behavior is not acceptable
- let them know what type of behavior that does not cause she specific problems listed before that would be acceptable
- present them with the consequences of what will happen if they don't change their behavior
- and then give them a chance to change their behavior

If you do these things, then you have a chance of changing a problem player into a vital contributing member of your gaming community.

Address the issue not the symptoms.

yeah, and (IMHO) we can all be that problem player sometimes. we all have a little problem player inside, trying to get out.

repost on this:

PCs don't kill players fun....Players kill (other) players fun.

if you have someone who is a jerk and give him an Iconic, he is still a jerk. He can still ruin everyone's day. (and sometimes we can all be a jerk). If everyone at the table were to pass their PCs one player to the left... you would still get jerk players being a jerk. He'd just be doing it with someone else's PC. And most likely complaining about it. And the food/weather/noise/etc.

Let's all try to NOT be that jerk player. Does this mean we should quit building (yeah, I'm using the hot button term) Min/Maxed PC's? nope. Give a Min/Max PC to a great player that is fun to play with an' you know what? everyone has a fun time. Give a Sub-Par PC to a Jerk, and he'll find a way to reduce the fun at the table... it's part of being a jerk. (and I repeat, we all have a little of that jerk in us, really).

Let's all play nice. Have fun. Be someone everyone at your table enjoys playing a game with.

Please.

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