Hypothetical Situation: Pathfinding Abroad And Additional Resources


Pathfinder Society

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

A thread of pure theorycrafting, since I am far too poor to actually be able to afford traveling abroad to play PFS, but the thought has occurred to me on several occasions.

At a convention or at a game day, a player comes to your table you haven't seen before. They introduce themselves and explain that they're from abroad (or in the case of the US, another state) and happened to look up if there was PFS in the area. Having noticed there is, they decided to show up, since they happen to have their character sheets on them or perhaps uploaded online. What they don't have is the half-dozen hardcover books and ten-odd softcovers their characters have stuff from, since they weren't expecting to attend an event while traveling.

Do you:
A) Allow the benefit of the doubt and let them play their character, provided they are able to do so (they have the full texts of their abilities available somehow, f.ex. on Archives of Nethys or something)
B) Tell them they can only play a pregen
C) Other (what?)

Bonus round: What do you do if the player does not have the chronicles of their characters with them, but has the ability to, say, log onto Paizo to show you what adventures have been reported on the character, or the ability to IM a Venture-Agent in their area to vouch for them?


We've had out of staters show up on occasion and they usually have everything but their chronicle sheets on a device so it wasn't a problem.

If it was a one time thing and the character wasn't completely over the top I doubt anyone would do a full audit locally. We try to be welcoming.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Let em play their real character.

3/5

The normal rule is "play a pregen".

There have been efforts in the past to try to find another way to prove ownership, but they have effectively been stifled to this point due to a fear about "altered photocopies" and the belief that it's somehow much more difficult to dummy up a digital counterfeit than a physical one.

It's one reason some of us rarely play PFS at the conventions we attend, despite owning a considerable amount of PF source material and having a large # of PFS characters - it's not worth the drama / effort.

That said, it may be something that Tonya is willing to look at as it was last explored by Mike Brock, but I find it unlikely.

-TimD

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

You realize that you're asking us to publicly state that we'd violate the explicit rules, right?

I'll just point out that I'm a Canadian and that Canadians have a fairly well deserved reputation for being polite and welcoming people. And that I'd think it fairly rude and not at all welcoming to force a visitor to play a Pregen.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Paul Jackson wrote:

You realize that you're asking us to publicly state that we'd violate the explicit rules, right?

Nope. DM can ask to see additional resources. Nothing says I have to. An actual audit for that with most characters would take half an hour.

If you want to go all crazy lawful, he can slide a penny to the player next to him with the dead tree library to rent the books for four hours....

5/5 5/55/55/5

TimD wrote:
It's one reason some of us rarely play PFS at the conventions we attend, despite owning a considerable amount of PF source material and having a large # of PFS characters - it's not worth the drama / effort.

You're missing out. PFS is a blast at conventions.

in 4 or 5 different cons I don't think anyone has ever asked for an additional resource. As long as you've got either a tablet or ye olde bag of geek supplies with some paizo stuff sticking out of it you should be good even if your entire library would require three nodwicks and a mule to carry. I have to take public transport and walk to conventions, so a few of the hardcover books usually stay home and I think some of my soft cover books have grown mold thats a CR above my paygrade

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Virginia—Richmond aka Slothsy

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When I'm planning on playing PFS in an area that I don't know everyone, I bring all of my books and/or print outs from the PDFs. If I know I'm going to be tight on space, I'll probably leave, say, my occultist at home, since he requires 3 books that I only own in hard cover in favor of my cavalier, who I only own PDF resources for. Basically, as a player, I prepare (and am always prepared) to follow the rules, especially in an area where no one knows me and doesn't know that "Oh, Rigby just forgot their copy of Ultimate Breadsticks again, but that bard can definitely cast Wall of Breadsticks". If it's a spur-of-the-moment "omg PFS!" experience, well, I probably don't have my character binders with me anyway, so that's a moot point, and I'll happily take on a pregen.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

Paul Jackson wrote:
You realize that you're asking us to publicly state that we'd violate the explicit rules, right?

Just putting out feelers on what I should expect were this situation ever to arise. Here at home, we're a small enough community that everyone knows everyone and most people know who has what. I'm also one of those people who uses electronic (and in fact online) character sheets only, so it's easily a plausible occurrence.

Also for the record, I'd be fine with either A or B. Sure, I'll probably sigh once over having to play a character that isn't my own, but I'd pick up a similar pregen and roll with that.

5/5

I'd likely be fine with a travelling player not having their additional resources with them (I rarely audit sources unless something seems off already), but the missing chronicles would be a bit of a bigger deal. Not being able to double check on whether or not they've earned a boon they might try to use, or whether they can actually purchase an item that's not normally available, etc. is problematic, and due to that I'd likely ask them to play a pregen.

2/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rigby Bendele wrote:
"Oh, Rigby just forgot their copy of Ultimate Breadsticks again, but that bard can definitely cast Wall of Breadsticks".

Will also have my local Olive Garden searching for Additional Resources.

3/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You're missing out. PFS is a blast at conventions.

I sometimes GM at Cons, I just don't play - again, it's not been worth the potential drama that a GM would audit, and at the larger cons, such as DragonCon, it's not worth it to me to haul around an extra 50+lbs of gaming stuff.

Of course, this was far more true when I was average 3-4 PFS games a month in more local play, but I've slowed down a bit now and have been pondering more convention play, but dreading having to play CORE...

5/5 5/55/55/5

TimD wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
You're missing out. PFS is a blast at conventions.

I sometimes GM at Cons, I just don't play - again, it's not been worth the potential drama that a GM would audit, and at the larger cons, such as DragonCon, it's not worth it to me to haul around an extra 50+lbs of gaming stuff.

Of course, this was far more true when I was average 3-4 PFS games a month in more local play, but I've slowed down a bit now and have been pondering more convention play, but dreading having to play CORE...

Just talk to the DM before hand. Or bring a few things to show that you're actually buying paizos stuff. This is a silly reason to miss out on getting to play, especially if you're running a lot of the games.

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

TimD wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
You're missing out. PFS is a blast at conventions.

I sometimes GM at Cons, I just don't play - again, it's not been worth the potential drama that a GM would audit, and at the larger cons, such as DragonCon, it's not worth it to me to haul around an extra 50+lbs of gaming stuff.

Of course, this was far more true when I was average 3-4 PFS games a month in more local play, but I've slowed down a bit now and have been pondering more convention play, but dreading having to play CORE...

Usually, I don't audit PCs, and only ask to see something for a power or ability I don't know that well, and want to verify my memory, or see it for the first time.

Also, as long as someone at the table can provide the rules citation, I wouldn't disallow you, just request that you make sure it is available id you play with us in the future.

Fighter, Gang Up, Infernal Healing, Bladebound Magus? Usually no problem.
Any of the Occult classes? Probably, since I don't own that resource, and the hearsay on them confuses me...

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

I tell all my regular and new players how additional resources work, and that they have to own the books to use those options.

But to be honest, that also means that I can usually trust my players, and that some checks and reminders are enough.

It is also, and unfortunate fact, that I don't do enough audits, I hardly have the time find all the mistakes and cases where characters take an illegal option (which is which I often offer to assist players with their character creation, when I am not supposed to run a scenario).

Auditing source material is a rare luxury, and if a player from another region comes to me, wishing to find a game in my area, I will do everything within the rules, to make this possible (this might include talking to their VO, or looking at a pretty picture in of them in front of their hardcover collection).

We recently had to pleasure of having a player from the US in Frankfurt, and while the issue of additional resources was not an issue, in special circumstances like those, you make it possible somehow.

And again, I usually don't have the time to do a full audit, and even if I have the time for one, I would rather take the time to check all the characters. Of course if the player wants to use something, and the source is not available, he can't use it (I have almost every Pathfinder PFS on my tablet though).

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

On a slight tangent, I will be traveling to PaizoCon in May.

I will be flying. I do not have the financial resources to purchase a tablet and the .pdfs of all the Additional Resources my characters might use, though I have hard-copy.

In total, my book-pile is in the 20-30 lb. range. If I pare it down to minimums (Thank goodness for Ultimate Equipment) I might get it down to 15-20 lbs.

Would it be possible to take a picture of all of my books, and photocopy the pertinent pages out of said books?

I OWN the books, bought as the budget has permitted.

I have a horrific time reading .pdfs for some reason, books are much easier for me to read.

Alternatively, should I try to set up some sort of way to *ship* my books to PaizoCon, and then *ship* them back afterwards?

Dark Archive

It's hard to do a full audit at the venue when players are showing up barely on time or slightly late, which happens more than I would like. I try to be there over an hour before the game starts to prep our play area, draw maps, help any newcomers or regulars with questions, and make sure my paperwork is in order. I also don't want to make it seem like I'm singling people out by only auditing those who might be on time. I do attempt to do spot audits, and if players ask me about how their obscure, niche spell from the handbooks works, I ask them to show me the text. This is a good way to determine ownership of material. However, if someone owns it, and I can reasonably associate them with other players(such as a high school teacher and the student(s) he brought, or a known couple whom share books), I'm going to allow it. I'd extend the same courtesy to anyone visiting, with maybe no need to connect them to the owning player as I'm happy to have visiting players to break up the monotony. Chronicle sheets are a must, though. I don't leave home without them.

When I travel, I like to plan out what I'm going to play ahead of time and reduce my book count. I keep a list of books for each characters so I can pack the bare essentials. I know it's not always practical when traveling to cons since events might fill, but I can generally ignore a third of my collection when it comes to traveling.

Grand Lodge 2/5

As a commercial pilot, I occasionally find myself with unexpectedly long layovers in unexpected cities. I play Society exclusively due to the unpredictable schedule and lifestyle that I have. I've had the pleasure of playing at a small shop in NJ, at a multi-table event in Pittsburgh, at RavenCon, and twice in the Netherlands - all during trips. Everyone has always been very welcoming and accommodating, especially once I explain my situation.

I've played my own characters from scans I keep online and printed out at the hotel, and I've also played pregens. I don't keep scans of chronicles online, though I suppose I could. I've never been audited or asked for chronicles or source books (though in my defense, my characters aren't crazy powerful, and were all low- to mid-levels.) I also use the Android Masterwork Tools app, which in my case covers the vast majority of my characters' features and options. Of course, that only addresses the "what does that do?" issue, not the legality of actually owning the source material.

I've never had any issues when traveling, and everyone has always been most welcoming. But I've also made sure to either address their questions and concerns, or just play a pregen when I've had to. Ultimately, it's about getting to play and meeting new people, not automatically expecting to be able to play *my character.

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