Handling ambiguously legal characters.


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Liberty's Edge 5/5

I would actually prefer that the campaign leadership make a hard ruling on this and other gray areas. There's lots of content I end avoiding purely because I hate dealing with table variation. More hard rulings would provide protection from the occasional super conservative GM.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Feral wrote:
I would actually prefer that the campaign leadership make a hard ruling on this and other gray areas. There's lots of content I end avoiding purely because I hate dealing with table variation. More hard rulings would provide protection from the occasional super conservative GM.

you're asking them to lock down every gray area. I don't think we've made a wall that big since the great wall of china.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think working on the ~157+ ambiguous rules elements would be more beneficial in the long run.

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

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Nefreet wrote:
I think working on the ~157+ ambiguous rules elements would be more beneficial in the long run.

Yes, but this is something the designers should really be working on. Not the PFS staff. We are looking for PFS solutions.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
you're asking them to lock down every gray area. I don't think we've made a wall that big since the great wall of china.

It wouldn't be that hard. Just make a stickied thread 'PFS Gray Area Rulings'. People post their questions and one of the campaign leadership or someone vetted as knowledgable makes rulings. If he/she has a change of heart later or an official errata comes down later, they update the sticky as necessary.

Yes, you're going to end up with unhappy people and people that have to rebuild now illegal characters but that's always been the case and neither group are cause for maintaining the status quo.

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Or something you have no idea is a gray area until you sit at the table.

While I agree that's a problem, the proposed solution of having optional build character sheets doesn't really solve that one as I am unlikely to have an optional build for a character I didn't know was gray area in the first place.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
trollbill wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
I think working on the ~157+ ambiguous rules elements would be more beneficial in the long run.
Yes, but this is something the designers should really be working on. Not the PFS staff. We are looking for PFS solutions.

The PFS staff begs to differ.

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

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Let me elaborate more on this notion of players having to expect problems with table variation with gray area characters. When PFS came out, the powers that be did not add table variation to the campaign because they thought it would benefit the campaign. If anything, table variation hurts it. No, table variation exists as an unfortunate side effect of organized play. And as a result, so do the problems of gray area characters. You don't see these problems in home campaigns because they do not benefit the game and the GM has the absolute power to do something about it without huge amounts of work.

Let me repeat this. TABLE VARIATION IS NOT AN INTENDED BENEFIT OF PFS, IT IS A DETRIMENTAL SIDE EFFECT. So with that in mind, I have to again ask why players have to expect problems with gray area characters if there are solutions that at least remove or minimize the problems caused by it even if they may not actually reduce table variation?

Now, admittedly, the best solution is to eliminate table variation. But considering how much work that would take, even if the design/PFS team did do this, its going to take a while. A temporary solution would therefore benefit the campaign.

5/5 5/55/55/5

I think you do see rules disagreements in pathfinder in homegames, and sometimes it does hurt the group either through arguing abut a character or a rule or a fight. Lessening that is always a good thing (if not quite so handy as for pfs)

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

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
I think you do see rules disagreements in pathfinder in homegames, and sometimes it does hurt the group either through arguing abut a character or a rule or a fight. Lessening that is always a good thing (if not quite so handy as for pfs)

Agreed. I guess the real difference is that once you've had this particular argument once, and the GM has made a decision, you don't have to have the argument all over again next week (and a potentially different outcome) because the GM changed.

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

trollbill wrote:


Let me repeat this. TABLE VARIATION IS NOT AN INTENDED BENEFIT OF PFS, IT IS A DETRIMENTAL SIDE EFFECT. So with that in mind, I have to again ask why players have to expect problems with gray area characters if there are solutions that at least remove or minimize the problems caused by it even if they may not actually reduce table variation?

John Compton dissagrees with you.

The Guide disagrees with you:
While the goal of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign is to provide an even, balanced experience to all players, doing so would require all PCs to be exactly the same and all GMs to be restricted to a stiflingly oppressive script. We understand that sometimes a Game Master has to make rules adjudications on the fly, deal with unexpected player choices, or even cope with extremely unlucky (or lucky) dice on both sides of the screen.

See my profile for more thoughts on good table variation vs bad table variarion.

Table variation is something to be managed and limited, not eliminated.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

So here is my general approach to grey-area builds when players approach my table, and I find that this works really-well at tables in our local area with the repeat players, and helps prepare convention players for encountering this issue in the future:

I let the player know that I can see an argument against how their build works. They then let me know their argument in favor of their build. I may make counter-points, but I do not let the debate last more than a minute or two. So that play is not detracted from, I make a decision in the moment to either allow the player's interpretation or I negotiate a middle-ground. And move on with the scenario.

I let the player know that between this session and the next, that they should do some research on Paizo to provide some documentation to back-up their build. If it winds up being a true grey-area, then they should come to the next table prepared to talk about their build with the GM. My preference is that the player give me a quick summary of the argument for their stance on the grey area, the argument against it, and that they propose a compromised version of what they believe is fair or balanced - I will then let them know before the game begins how I would interpret the grey area in most situations, and resolve to reach a middle-ground with the player that works best for them but is still in line with the flavor of the game and RAI.

At a convention, I stress to the table before I begin that I should be made aware of any shenanigans, grey-areas, and loop-holes that anyone is using. If a grey area then comes up, I inform the player that at their next table, they need to make the GM aware of that grey-area before the game and to ask that GM for their variation so that no-one is caught by surprise in the middle of the game. I also suggest that after the convention, they research their build and bring some documentation with them to their next convention.

Is this the best solution? No, but it does allow for the game to continue as soon as possible. When I am stuck in between on an issue, I tend to rule in favor of the player, even if it is part of a compromise - completely voiding a character's shtick or major build-point detracts the fun of the game from most everyone. I have witnessed rules-debates break gaming groups apart, sunder a scheduled game day, and even banish the GM or enough party members to make continuing on an impossibility. I find that it is best to carry-on and correct the potential issue before or after the game.

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

Finlanderboy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

Ok, now you are starting to become antagonistic again. Please stop attacking me just because I may have made a mistaken statement. I am not a computer or an encyclopedia and cannot possibly know every rule perfectly all the time. If someone shows me text that shows I'm wrong, I'm a reasonable person, and will follow the rule.

Please stop asserting that I'm one of those unreasonable GMs because I may have gotten a rule wrong while arguing from my phone while in bed at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning.

The topic is not about GMS who has made egregiously been wrong. The topic is about reasonable people coming to a reasonable consensus on how to deal with grey areas at the table.

You are playing a false victim. You had almost 7 hours to fact check my statement. But you and your 5 stars are so omniscient on the rules and an authority you NEVER took the time to double check my statement.

To be fair I did check it, and frankly this is one of those areas where the formatting of the CRB is less than ideal.

Uncanny Dodge wrote:

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 4th level, a rogue can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A rogue with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against her.

If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

When you read this ability, it is easy to read this as "you are immune against the negative effects of being flat-footed when someone attacks you" caught seems to be the culprit here.

The condition description in the back of the CRB doesn't mention it againt, if this issue comes up again show them the following text on page 178 of the CRB:

page 178 wrote:

Flat-Footed: At the start of a battle, before you have had a

chance to act (specif ically, before your f irst regular turn in
the initiative order), you are f lat-footed. You can’t use your
Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) while f lat-footed. Barbarians
and rogues of high enough level have the uncanny dodge
extraordinary ability, which means that they cannot be
caught f lat-footed. Characters with uncanny dodge retain
their Dexterity bonus to their AC and can make attacks
of opportunity before they have acted in the f irst round
of combat. A f lat-footed character can’t make attacks of
opportunity, unless he has the Combat Ref lexes feat.

EDIT:Posted my reply before reading Andrews's post.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Not everyone is aware that their build is contentious when they create it. People may play several sessions before finding out that their understanding isn't universal. This may come as a surprise, given my time here in the forums, but when I initially built and played my grappling snake character (and my Life Oracle w/ Eldritch Heritage Familiar), I did not see any problems with either. The first couple times I heard someone say "that doesn't work" was akin to someone saying I've been doing Power Attack wrong.

So my solution to have two versions was not how I've always been doing things. I get the impression from posters in this thread that that's the belief. It was actually suggested to me by the GMs that saw my builds as problematic.

Let's stop with the "you shouldn't build grey area characters" rhetoric. That's not what this is about, and as has been clearly evidenced recently, nearly anything can be interpreted as a grey area by someone.

Scarab Sages

A good example of grey area is the Swarm of Fangs spell. The spell is clear how it works, yet also leaVes enough room to infer it needs a stat block.

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

Lorewalker wrote:
A good example of grey area is the Swarm of Fangs spell. The spell is clear how it works, yet also leaVes enough room to infer it needs a stat block.

Just looked at his spell for the first time... ... yeah I see your point, especially since it lacks a distraction DC.

It's works more like blade barrier than a real swarm...but a swarm bane clasp should protect you... yeah definitely a grey area.

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

Common grey areas:
Greater Trip: Do I and my allies get our AoO on a prone target, or is he still standing at the time of the AoO?

Does the first shot of a ranged full attack using Manyshot provoke once or twice since it uses two arrows but one attack roll?

Does a 7th level caster provoke once, twice, or three times when casting Scorching Ray?

Does a charging character provoke when moving through the threatened area of a target with reach? How about moving past an enemy to a charge target farther back?

We won't even go into the misunderstandings already demonstrated on these boards for Take 10, Take 20, and rolling a 1 on a UMD skill check...

Does the recent FAQ for things like Wild Armor while Wild Shaped affect someone using Mistmail in mist form? Does he still have the ACP and ASF from the armor while it is in mist form?

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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kinevon wrote:

Common grey areas:

Greater Trip: Do I and my allies get our AoO on a prone target, or is he still standing at the time of the AoO?

Does the first shot of a ranged full attack using Manyshot provoke once or twice since it uses two arrows but one attack roll?

Does a 7th level caster provoke once, twice, or three times when casting Scorching Ray?

Does a charging character provoke when moving through the threatened area of a target with reach? How about moving past an enemy to a charge target farther back?

None of those are grey, just places where its easy to make mistakes,

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

Robert Hetherington wrote:
kinevon wrote:

Common grey areas:

Greater Trip: Do I and my allies get our AoO on a prone target, or is he still standing at the time of the AoO?

Does the first shot of a ranged full attack using Manyshot provoke once or twice since it uses two arrows but one attack roll?

Does a 7th level caster provoke once, twice, or three times when casting Scorching Ray?

Does a charging character provoke when moving through the threatened area of a target with reach? How about moving past an enemy to a charge target farther back?

None of those are grey, just places where its easy to make mistakes,

The Greater Trip one is definitely grey, otherwise there wouldn't be such a long thread on it.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

IIRC there are something over 100 entries in the FAQ list. Pretty much all of those are grey areas.

I totally agree with Nefreet. There are LOTS of grey areas that even those of us who spend an inordinate amount of time on the boards don't realize are grey areas.

And those newer players, or the experienced players who don't spend time on the boards? There are way, way, way more grey areas than they realize.

Shadow Lodge 1/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jared Thaler wrote:
trollbill wrote:


Let me repeat this. TABLE VARIATION IS NOT AN INTENDED BENEFIT OF PFS, IT IS A DETRIMENTAL SIDE EFFECT. So with that in mind, I have to again ask why players have to expect problems with gray area characters if there are solutions that at least remove or minimize the problems caused by it even if they may not actually reduce table variation?

John Compton dissagrees with you.

** spoiler omitted **

See my profile for more thoughts on good table variation vs bad table variarion.

Table variation is something to be managed and limited, not eliminated.

Nothing you quoted supports your position that Table Variation is an intended, BENEFICIAL feature of PFS.

John's post does not support that position, it just lists Table Variation as one of many aspects of making a player decision.

The post only acknowledges the existence of Table Variation, John does not make a statement supporting or decrying Table Variation. Thus, based on the post you linked, John neither supports nor disagrees with trollbill.

Please do not make an appeal to authority as a basis for your position.

~

The Guide simply states that it will happen, and that the only SURE cure would be to make everything identical.

The Guide does not make a statement of support for Table Variation. Conversely, the Guide doesn't decry Table Variation.

In point of fact, the Guide makes an attempt to limit Table Variation by providing a very specific list of allowances and limitations for GM table rulings (Table Variation).

more from the Guide wrote:
As a Pathfinder Society GM, you have the right and responsibility to make whatever judgements, within the rules, that you feel are necessary at your table to ensure everyone has a fair and fun experience. This does not mean you can contradict rules or restrictions outlined in this document, a published Pathfinder Roleplaying Game source, errata document, or official FAQ on paizo.com. What it does mean is that only you can judge what is right for your table during cases not covered in these sources. Scenarios are meant to be run as written, with no addition or subtraction to number of monsters (unless indicated in the scenario), or changes to armor, feats, items, skills, spells, stats, traits, or weapons. However, if the actions of the PCs before or during an encounter invalidate the provided tactics or starting locations, the GM should consider whether changing these would provide a more enjoyable play experience.

The Guide does seem to disagree with you, in that it attempts to limit/remove Variation, not nurture it.

The position I have always seen from the Campaign Leadership has been an attempt to reduce/eliminate Table Variation as much as possible.

Scarab Sages

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kinevon wrote:
Robert Hetherington wrote:
kinevon wrote:

Common grey areas:

Greater Trip: Do I and my allies get our AoO on a prone target, or is he still standing at the time of the AoO?

Does the first shot of a ranged full attack using Manyshot provoke once or twice since it uses two arrows but one attack roll?

Does a 7th level caster provoke once, twice, or three times when casting Scorching Ray?

Does a charging character provoke when moving through the threatened area of a target with reach? How about moving past an enemy to a charge target farther back?

None of those are grey, just places where its easy to make mistakes,
The Greater Trip one is definitely grey, otherwise there wouldn't be such a long thread on it.

That's because people tend to forget the core rule of AoOs. They are reactive, and happen just as the thing that caused them happens and is thus resolved before the thing that caused them is resolved. For instance, creature A tries to move out of a square threatened by Brawler B. B gets an AoO and tries to trip A. A, after being successfully tripped, falls prone in the square he attempted to leave since he could not successfully leave it.

This is true for greater trip. A trip happens, and at that moment AoOs are triggered which happen before the tripee's fall resolves. Thus, he is not prone. This is also why you can greater trip and then vicious stomp.
This is why you can interupt a spell casting with an AoO. If it happens after the spell is cast, you could not interupt it.

But, it is more beneficial that trip AoOs not function like they do for every other AoO, as you get the bonus to hit afterwards. So people want it to be so, and timing of AoOs is mostly inferred. But it is always consistent in examples working as I've described.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Its not just the players. DMs can throw curve balls too

Scarab Sages

kinevon wrote:

Common grey areas:

Greater Trip: Do I and my allies get our AoO on a prone target, or is he still standing at the time of the AoO?

Does the first shot of a ranged full attack using Manyshot provoke once or twice since it uses two arrows but one attack roll?

Does a 7th level caster provoke once, twice, or three times when casting Scorching Ray?

Does a charging character provoke when moving through the threatened area of a target with reach? How about moving past an enemy to a charge target farther back?

We won't even go into the misunderstandings already demonstrated on these boards for Take 10, Take 20, and rolling a 1 on a UMD skill check...

Does the recent FAQ for things like Wild Armor while Wild Shaped affect someone using Mistmail in mist form? Does he still have the ACP and ASF from the armor while it is in mist form?

1) Explained in a previous post. Not truly grey by the rules, but due to a preference to gain the maximum benefit.

2)You only provoke once for any action. Firing two arrows with one action is only one action and only provokes once.
3) 2. One for casting and one for ranged no matter how many attacks granted.
FAQ
4)If you move through a threatened square, you provoke, but only once per threatening creature per move(total move per turn, not per move action). It doesn't matter who your charge target is. It only matters the squares you move through and if they are threatened or blocked. This means you can potentially be tripped or disarmed on your way to the target. Charge does not give you an out for the normal rules of movement.

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

Lorewalker wrote:
kinevon wrote:

Common grey areas:

Greater Trip: Do I and my allies get our AoO on a prone target, or is he still standing at the time of the AoO?

Does the first shot of a ranged full attack using Manyshot provoke once or twice since it uses two arrows but one attack roll?

Does a 7th level caster provoke once, twice, or three times when casting Scorching Ray?

Does a charging character provoke when moving through the threatened area of a target with reach? How about moving past an enemy to a charge target farther back?

We won't even go into the misunderstandings already demonstrated on these boards for Take 10, Take 20, and rolling a 1 on a UMD skill check...

Does the recent FAQ for things like Wild Armor while Wild Shaped affect someone using Mistmail in mist form? Does he still have the ACP and ASF from the armor while it is in mist form?

1) Explained in a previous post. Not truly grey by the rules, but due to a preference to gain the maximum benefit.

2)You only provoke once for any action. Firing two arrows with one action is only one action and only provokes once.
3) 2. One for casting and one for ranged no matter how many attacks granted.
FAQ
4)If you move through a threatened square, you provoke, but only once per threatening creature per move(total move per turn, not per move action). It doesn't matter who your charge target is. It only matters the squares you move through and if they are threatened or blocked. This means you can potentially be tripped or disarmed on your way to the target. Charge does not give you an out for the normal rules of movement.

1) Arguments for both sides do have some weight. I play it and run it as trip, AoO while still standing, but I can see the other side of the equation, and it isn't just cheese.

2) Not true, as there are things that can provoke multiple times, like casting a ranged attack spell.
3) Nope, 3 could be argued, one for casting, and one for each ranged attack, like an archer provokes for each shot of a full attack.
4) But the rules state, and this is where some of the greyness comes from, that charging does not provoke AoOs.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
kinevon wrote:
3) Nope, 3 could be argued, one for casting, and one for each ranged attack, like an archer provokes for each shot of a full attack.

^ this is how I'd rule it, and for the stated reason.

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
kinevon wrote:
3) Nope, 3 could be argued, one for casting, and one for each ranged attack, like an archer provokes for each shot of a full attack.
^ this is how I'd rule it, and for the stated reason.

Ditto.

Scarab Sages

kinevon wrote:


1) Arguments for both sides do have some weight. I play it and run it as trip, AoO while still standing, but I can see the other side of the equation, and it isn't just cheese.

2) Not true, as there are things that can provoke multiple times, like casting a ranged attack spell.
3) Nope, 3 could be argued, one for casting, and one for each ranged attack, like an archer provokes for each shot of a full attack.
4) But the rules state, and this is where some of the greyness comes from, that charging does not provoke AoOs.

1) If someone runs AoOs that you hit prone after a trip, then they can not also say you can interrupt a spell casting with an AoO. As that would be contrary rulings. Also, you could not drop an archer with an AoO before he releases his arrow.

2)No, because casting and then ranged is two actions. The ranged attack is just a free action which happens after the casting. Not one single action. AoOs are defined as only being able to trigger off one action/event once. That is definite and unarguable without saying the Pathfinder rules are wrong.
3)I posted a link to a FAQ that says specifically that you get only two AoOs off of a spell like scorching ray. I will post the text here, as it seems you did not visit the link.
"
Ranged Touch Attack Spells and AOOs: When you cast a spell that allows you to make a ranged touch attack (such as scorching ray), and an enemy is within reach, do you provoke two attacks of opportunity?
Yes, you provoke two attacks of opportunity: one for casting the spell and one for making a ranged attack, since these are two separate events.
(Note that at spell that fires multiple simultaneous rays, such as scorching ray, only provokes one AOO for making the ranged attack instead of one AOO for each ranged attack. It still provokes for casting the spell.
This answer originally appeared in the 9/11/12 Paizo blog.
"
This is unarguable.
4)It's true that a table does list the 'charge' action as not provoking. But charge comes with movement, and movement does provoke. It should be clearly spelled out in the description for charge that its movement does not provoke. I can agree that there is some grey here.
Edited...
Unless you read the whole table...
The attack of opportunity column has a 1 by it. That is defined as...
"1 Regardless of the action, if you move out of a threatened square, you usually provoke an attack of opportunity. This column indicates whether the action itself, not moving, provokes an attack of opportunity."

Scarab Sages

More on 1)
More FAQ

"Trip: When a prone character stands up and provokes an attack of opportunity, can I use that attack to trip the character again?
No. The attack of opportunity is triggered before the action that triggered it is resolved. In this case, the target is still prone when the attack of opportunity occurs (and you get the normal bonuses when making such an attack). Since the trip combat maneuver does not prevent the target's action, the target then stands up."

Community Manager

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Removed some heated posts and their responses, along with off-topic posts. While the earlier hostility was dealt with amicably, it bears repeating that in a text-based medium such as these forums, it's easy to draw the wrong conclusion or read something that wasn't intended. Assuming the worst about the other posters doesn't help foster the kind of discourse we want on the forums, and taking a step away from the keyboard for a while might be in order.

Dark Archive

I can kinda see both sides of this issue. My personal stance is that the player should try to avoid gray areas when they can. Making a hyper specialized character who's core concept relies on how an ambiguous rule is adjudicated is fine for a home campaign. But for PFS, maybe you should go with something less complicated that has rules that are clearly understood by everyone?

That said, I'll admit that when I first got into PFS both my home campaign's group and PFS lodge organizer ran Gather Power wrong for kineticists for a few sessions. To be fair though, the book had JUST come out a couple weeks previous. The rules were still mostly unfamiliar at that time. And in the playtest gather power did allow you to reduce the cost of kinetic healing.

Even now, I've had to go back through my copy to figure out "exactly how does this ability work". I've also had to hand a printout to the GM a few times so they could read through an ability and figure out exactly what it does.

IMO gray area issues aren't things to do with your character build. But things to do with how your abilities interact with other abilities or unusual situations. Me and a lodge member ask the GM for a PFS session if his hydrokinetic and my aerokinetic can use our combined basic kinesis abilities to improve the travel speed of our sail powered river boat? That is a gray issue that the GM needs to adjudicate. Nowhere has such a situation been described in the rules (to my knowledge). And no two GMs are forced to make the same ruling for this situation.

Can an aerokinetic use Gusting Infusion dealing zero damage with his air blast to make a ship travel even on a calm day? Again, I could see different GM's ruling this for or against. I know how I'd rule it, but others may not agree.

"Can I force six AoO with my tiny form improved trip combat reflexs shape shifter", that's not a gray issue. If there's a clear set of rules that deal with the situation, it's not a gray issue.

Also, I fall firmly on the side of "no, you can't have two versions of your character that you chose between based on the table."

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kahel Stormbender wrote:
I fall firmly on the side of "no, you can't have two versions of your character that you chose between based on the table."

I don't think anyone's actually arguing in favor of that.

The distinction is important.

You've brought a perfectly legal (in your opinion) character to a PFS event, and you encounter a GM who feels differently. Having encountered previous, similarly-minded GMs, you come prepared with a version you know they'll accept. Some minor twerk, like Weapon Focus in place of [that one feat].

It means you still get to play the character you love, rather than a Pregen. After the game you and the GM part ways, and you go back to using your original build (until and if you encounter another similarly-minded GM).

Edit: added more context.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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Nefreet wrote:


You've brought a perfectly legal (in your opinion) character to a PFS event, and you encounter a GM who feels differently. Having encountered previous, similarly-minded GMs, you come prepared with a version you know they'll accept. Some minor twerk, like Weapon Focus in place of [that one feat].

I'm not certain that this is either a legal or desirable outcome.

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

How about whether you can use False Focus to substitute for alchemical power components to buff your spellcasting?

Obviously, it is clear that False Focus allows you to cast spells up to X value of your (Un)Holy Symbol, but would it also allow you to use it for Alchemical Power Components, the ones listed as additional Material Components? Obviously, a "No!" to the ones that list as Foci, but how about the ones used as additional Material components, instead?

False Focus: Inner Sea World Guide, IIRC
Alchemical Power Components: Adventurer's Armory and Alchemy Manual, IIRC.

Which also gives rise to the "substitute Fase Focus for multiple material components at once, if the value total is less than the cost of the (Un)Holy Symbol" question.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Robert Hetherington wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
You've brought a perfectly legal (in your opinion) character to a PFS event, and you encounter a GM who feels differently. Having encountered previous, similarly-minded GMs, you come prepared with a version you know they'll accept. Some minor twerk, like Weapon Focus in place of [that one feat].
I'm not certain that this is either a legal or desirable outcome.

I'm not certain why people keep claiming this is illegal.

It's a necessary adaptation for dealing with table variation.

I'm not going to play a Pregen, or leave a table, simply because a GM and I differ on what's legal.

I'm going to make it legal in their eyes, for that table, and go about playing the character I love, in the scenario I wanted to play them in.

The alternative is harmful, and benefits nobody (except maybe the ego of the GM in charge).

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

If presentation is what matters, then do it this way:

Sit down and ask the GM [ambiguous rules question]
They answer with [interpretation A or B]
Reply with "Perfect!" and bring out [interpretation A or B]
Game begins without a hitch

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Lets try this again.

Pirate Rob wrote:
I'm not certain that this is either a legal or desirable outcome.

I'm not sure that option you've chosen is legal. (That also means I'm almost not sure that it's illegal).

I reject the premise of your arguemnt.

I don't believe it is necessary to deal with table variation.

We have several options available (play a different charater, play a pregen, go have a drink).

I acknowledge that those options can be 'meh'. They exist, and are clearly legal even if you don't like them.

Just because we don't like the options available to us doesn't mean we get to make up our own rules for dealing with the situation.

I don't think allowing players to have multiple versions (even in very specific limited situations like this) of their characters is desirable for the campaign, even though it fixes this particular problem for you.

Dark Archive

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Nefreet wrote:
Kahel Stormbender wrote:
I fall firmly on the side of "no, you can't have two versions of your character that you chose between based on the table."

I don't think anyone's actually arguing in favor of that.

The distinction is important.

You've brought a perfectly legal (in your opinion) character to a PFS event, and you encounter a GM who feels differently. Having encountered previous, similarly-minded GMs, you come prepared with a version you know they'll accept. Some minor twerk, like Weapon Focus in place of [that one feat].

It means you still get to play the character you love, rather than a Pregen. After the game you and the GM part ways, and you go back to using your original build (until and if you encounter another similarly-minded GM).

Edit: added more context.

And you just described exactly what I said I'm against. You have two different versions of the same character. You're choosing which to use based on the table you're sitting at. You aren't spending prestige each time to retrain. And you're claiming both are the current build of your character.

So, which version is your actual character? Is it the one with Option A which you selected knowing it's ambiguous and may not always work the way you want it to? Or is it the one with option B which everyone knows and agrees on how it works?

Or in other words, are you having cherry pie or apple pie? You can't have both in the same crust. If you want to switch from cherry pie to apple pie, you're going to have to bake a new pie (retrain). If you then want to go back to having cherry pie from having apple pie, you'll need to bake a new one again (retrain once again).

If the GM says "no, I don't think your gimmick works that way" and you absolutely can't stand the idea of having your gimmick but it not working the way you want, do you have other characters you can use instead? Probably. If not, there's always playing a pregen. Or if possible find a new table.

Pulling out a second character sheet for the same character, but just a "legal if my gimmick isn't accepted" build isn't one of those options. If you want it to be an option, I'd say you should be willing to pay for retraining each time you pull the alt build out, then retrain back to your normal build.

Or maybe just not use that gimmick that isn't always allowed to work how you want.


Nefreet wrote:
Robert Hetherington wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
You've brought a perfectly legal (in your opinion) character to a PFS event, and you encounter a GM who feels differently. Having encountered previous, similarly-minded GMs, you come prepared with a version you know they'll accept. Some minor twerk, like Weapon Focus in place of [that one feat].
I'm not certain that this is either a legal or desirable outcome.

I'm not certain why people keep claiming this is illegal.

It's a necessary adaptation for dealing with table variation.

I'm not going to play a Pregen, or leave a table, simply because a GM and I differ on what's legal.

I'm going to make it legal in their eyes, for that table, and go about playing the character I love, in the scenario I wanted to play them in.

The alternative is harmful, and benefits nobody (except maybe the ego of the GM in charge).

Honestly, I don't really know why people are so opposed to this either. It seems perfectly reasonable. Hell, it seems downright responsible. It's the player taking proactive steps to avoid extended confrontations that would take away from the fun of the experience as a whole.

(Fun being the entire point of the whole thing in the first place, why would you want to do that?)

And this solution doesn't even involve you rolling up to the table with two alternate reality characters that just happen to share the same name.

Having said all this, I'll be the first to admit, I have never played in PFS, and so don't really know much about how it works. (Wandered over here while looking for build advice.)

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Robert Hetherington wrote:
Nefreet wrote:


You've brought a perfectly legal (in your opinion) character to a PFS event, and you encounter a GM who feels differently. Having encountered previous, similarly-minded GMs, you come prepared with a version you know they'll accept. Some minor twerk, like Weapon Focus in place of [that one feat].
I'm not certain that this is either a legal or desirable outcome.

And I'm not sure how this isn't exactly what the guy said he felt was illegal.

You cannot do this Nefreet. You can still play the character though, just without the gray option.

4/5

werewolf435 wrote:
Honestly, I don't really know why people are so opposed to this either. It seems perfectly reasonable. Hell, it seems downright responsible. It's the player taking proactive steps to avoid extended confrontations that would take away from the fun of the experience as a whole.

This is exactly how I feel about this. Someone who wants to intentionally cheat and completely change their character every time (not just gray areas) is not even going to care what we say here. What we are discussing is for players who truly care about their characters and wish to play them in a way that is fair.

Having said that, I probably would not make a character if the vast majority of GMs in the area did not agree with my interpretation. I would consider making it for areas where the vast majority of GMs in the area agree, regardless of what the Paizo boards discuss (unless there is an official ruling).

Really, I think the responsible thing to do is make sure your community agrees with you (and don't be pushy if they don't). If you go to a convention or go out of town, maybe expect to have problems with certain characters. While the player is not always aware of the gray area, I think most of the time they know.

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