When did we become hired mercenaries?


Pathfinder Society

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Grand Lodge ***

Having played Pathfinder for a few years now with a handful of characters built, it occurred to me, my characters are al just hired mercs!

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Pathfinder society has us running around the fantasy world, paid on commission for the work we do. Take it... the adventures rarely ever start "Ok everyone, your in a tavern and a mysterious woman comes to your table! What do you do?", instead we have venture- captains sending us on errands. Don't get me wrong, I like playing Pathfinder, but how many times has anyone finished a scenario or module feeling victorious! You survived, you get paid and then what? Next scenario?

I always felt... if I can't play an evil character, then I play good. Hero vs. villain...right? I don't feel like society makes us the hero though, more like a hired mercenary.

I just finished Game Mastering Rise of the Runelords "Burnt Offerings" and for the first time in years I got to look across the table at the players and call them heroes of Sandpoint! They all loved it! After all, isn't this why we play good characters? To start our characters at level one with an idea of how we want to shape them... fighting abilities, skill use and our own imagination.

Too many times do I sit as a player and watch a group of players play these op character builds, where all they can do is spit out damage rolls but couldn't diplomacy themselves out of a card board box. Roll play is dead, players power through these scenarios with ease, giving the GM no power to tweek stats or abilities, according to society rules. It gets boring when the same players run killer hobo style, finding ways to break their characters. Where is the fun in this? Where does the line get drawn on a table of six who no longer worry about having a healer or rogue, they all just run melee fighting classes. I don't know if its different in other parts, maybe it's just the society players here. Optimizing is great, but if all your different character builds are the same way but with a different class... why play anything different then?

Back to topic, as a GM, I see some players who take their time in the character build and mold them into something great and other players who just put a notch into their level.
As a players, I just feel like we play to level up a character. There is no end reward, there is no " wow I hit level 12 and saved all these cities and people from the wrath of evil... there is no "I am a hero in this town"....

It's just another payday!

it's just a payday.

Grand Lodge ***

Having played Pathfinder for a few years now with a handful of characters built, it occurred to me, my characters are al just hired mercs!

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Pathfinder society has us running around the fantasy world, paid on commission for the work we do. Take it... the adventures rarely ever start "Ok everyone, your in a tavern and a mysterious woman comes to your table! What do you do?", instead we have venture- captains sending us on errands. Don't get me wrong, I like playing Pathfinder, but how many times has anyone finished a scenario or module feeling victorious! You survived, you get paid and then what? Next scenario?

I always felt... if I can't play an evil character, then I play good. Hero vs. villain...right? I don't feel like society makes us the hero though, more like a hired mercenary.

I just finished Game Mastering Rise of the Runelords "Burnt Offerings" and for the first time in years I got to look across the table at the players and call them heroes of Sandpoint! They all loved it! After all, isn't this why we play good characters? To start our characters at level one with an idea of how we want to shape them... fighting abilities, skill use and our own imagination.

Too many times do I sit as a player and watch a group of players play these op character builds, where all they can do is spit out damage rolls but couldn't diplomacy themselves out of a card board box. Roll play is dead, players power through these scenarios with ease, giving the GM no power to tweek stats or abilities, according to society rules. It gets boring when the same players run killer hobo style, finding ways to break their characters. Where is the fun in this? Where does the line get drawn on a table of six who no longer worry about having a healer or rogue, they all just run melee fighting classes. I don't know if its different in other parts, maybe it's just the society players here. Optimizing is great, but if all your different character builds are the same way but with a different class... why play anything different then?

Back to topic, as a GM, I see some players who take their time in the character build and mold them into something great and other players who just put a notch into their level.
As a players, I just feel like we play to level up a character. There is no end reward, there is no " wow I hit level 12 and saved all these cities and people from the wrath of evil... there is no "I am a hero in this town"....

It's just another payday!

it's just a payday.


Mainly I am a hero and a merc, since my characters are motivated by good more than money, but the game makes money(loot) something you need to survive.

As for playing styles it will vary by group and player. There is no one way things are done. You just have to find a group of people you enjoy gaming with.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been a merc my entire professional life.

I do the job; I get paid.

-Skeld

Dark Archive

I have a CN hunter, he's with the exchange faction and is a merchant with that as his profession. He uses the PFS as a way to travel to areas he wouldn't normally be able to go to on his own and acquire and sell exotic goods. While he can come across as cruel to his enemies at times when he has no use for them, he recognizes that his reputation is very important if he is to continue his career as both a pathfinder and a merchant. He will complete his mission as it was stated and intended and help those in need, because lets face it, grateful people give rewards and spread word that you are trustworthy and that leads to even more reward. I'm not very good at roleplaying but I enjoy playing him.


It's pretty much essential for PFS. There's no other practical way to handle the "Sit down at table. Play random unconnected adventure" approach. For that matter, you don't actually get paid in PFS, right? The money for the scenario represents the treasure you found, not a cash payment.

It's convenient for modules in general, for much the same reasons. The module author doesn't know your characters and what they've done or what motivates them - "you've been hired" is a simple shortcut.

APs are another story. They don't have to take that approach and often don't. As you discovered in Rise of the Runelords.

*

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Get your facts straight please: we are not hired mercenaries.
We are murderhobos.
There's a huge difference there.

:P

Dark Archive

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thejeff wrote:
It's convenient for modules in general, for much the same reasons. The module author doesn't know your characters and what they've done or what motivates them - "you've been hired" is a simple shortcut.

Exactly this, IMO. The writer of the scenario can't be expected to devote limited wordcount to coming up with motivations for both altruistic characters *and* mercenary characters (although many of the scenarios I've played have darn good reasons why a good-guy would want to get their hands on the McGuffin before some worse-guys do...).

Ideally, an altruistic Pathfinder should be coming up with their own motivation, like, 'This organization, on the whole, does more good than harm, and this specific mission will help prevent bad thing X from happening, or powerful item Y from falling into the hands of bad people, like the Aspis Consortium, or being sold off to someone who will use it to oppress people or whatever.'

The Pathfinder Society has never been advertised as a 'good-guy organization' like the Harpers of the Realms, but more of an 'Adventurer's Society.'

In the end, it's a collaborative game, and the player bears some responsibility for fitting their character into the prepackaged scenario, not vice-versa. (The opposite may be the case in a home game run among friends, in which the GM can tailor a session, campaign or even entire world-setting around the characters that their players want to play, eliminating or embracing entire cultures, classes, races or alignment categories to best suit their players preferences. A GM running a PFS scenario lacks that sort of power.)


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Rogar Valertis wrote:

Get your facts straight please: we are not hired mercenaries.

We are murderhobos.
There's a huge difference there.

:P

Not all of us play Andoran characters.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

MorBere wrote:
Pathfinder society has us running around the fantasy world, paid on commission for the work we do. Take it... the adventures rarely ever start "Ok everyone, your in a tavern and a mysterious woman comes to your table! What do you do?"

How do you propose to make that work when you have a different group at every adventure, with no connection or common history, and the GM knows nothing about their backstory?

Actually, this is one of the things I appreciate about Pathfinder Society. I usually find the "gathering the party" scene in most RPGs to be forced and awkward, and it usually only works with a significant amount of metagaming. (The opening of Rise of the Runelords is a brilliant exception to this: the reaction of the tow forces the party together in a smooth and natural way.)

The "Mission Impossible" opening ("I have a mission, let me assemble my team") eliminates all the weirdness of working new players into an established group, swapping characters out, etc.

And you can add your own roleplay to establish your own motivations. For example, when the Venture Captain says "There's a town that's under siege", you can jump in with "We must go rescue them!" The VC continues with "and we need you get one of our agents out." You respond with "Yes, yes! And rescue the rest of the town!"


Just depends on how you play the game. In my current campaign the players have had their moments when they were hired for an adventure, but that was when they were lower levels. Now that they're higher levels they can do most anything they want. Sometimes it makes designing an adventure a little more of a challenge or the reward for being hired must be pretty high. In the adventure I plan to run today, one of their party won't be able to participate (the player is absent because of death in the family). I'm going to have his character be held by a vampire coven. If the players want their friend back unharmed, they'll do what the evil undead want.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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My Life Oracle would object to being called a mercenary, rather than Pharasma's agent on this plane.

My Efreeti bloodline Sorcerer would object to being called a mercenary, as he is using the resources of the society to grow his own power and influence.

My Fighter/Rogue would probably agree with you about the mercenary part, but hey, have you heard of Veteran Caravan Services and Freedom Consulting? You need something moved on Golarion, no finicky mages involved, he's your guy.

My Inquisitor of Keltheald would disagree with you, as the society helps him find unique vistas to witness for the glory of his lord.

My Holy Vindicator of Abadar would tell you to stop causing so much trouble among the initiates, it's bad for group cohesion.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A bunch of jaded, cynical CN sellswords is where the fun is at.


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We have corrected our GM when he refers to the party as "our heroes" in our last session
recaps. At best the PCs are "our protagonists"


Gorbacz wrote:
A bunch of jaded, cynical CN sellswords is where the fun is at.

Conan would agree.*

* if he could read


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Quark Blast wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
A bunch of jaded, cynical CN sellswords is where the fun is at.

Conan would agree.*

* if he could read

Man, too many people get Conan wrong. Several occasions he abandoned a huge treasure in favor of rescuing some damsel who was only in danger because she ignored his advice. And about his reading ability...

Robert E. Howard, The Servants of Bit Yakin wrote:

'Remembering something, Conan drew forth the roll of parchment he had taken from the mummy and unrolled it carefully, as it seemed ready to fall to pieces with age. He scowled over the dim characters with which it was covered. In his roaming about the world the giant adventurer had picked up a wide smattering of knowledge, particularly including the speaking and reading of many alien tongues. Many a sheltered scholar would have been astonished at the Cimmerian's linguistic abilities, for he had experienced many adventures where knowledge of a strange language had meant the difference between life and death.

The characters were puzzling, at once familiar and unintelligible, and presently he discovered the reason. They were the characters of archaic Pelishtic, which possessed many points of difference from the modern script, with which he was familiar, and which, three centuries ago, had been modified by conquest by a nomad tribe. This older, purer script baffled him. He made out a recurrent phrase, however, which he recognized as a proper name: Bit-Yakin. He gathered that it was the name of the writer.


bodhranist wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
A bunch of jaded, cynical CN sellswords is where the fun is at.

Conan would agree.*

* if he could read

Man, too many people get Conan wrong. Several occasions he abandoned a huge treasure in favor of rescuing some damsel who was only in danger because she ignored his advice. And about his reading ability...

Robert E. Howard, The Servants of Bit Yakin wrote:

'Remembering something, Conan drew forth the roll of parchment he had taken from the mummy and unrolled it carefully, as it seemed ready to fall to pieces with age. He scowled over the dim characters with which it was covered. In his roaming about the world the giant adventurer had picked up a wide smattering of knowledge, particularly including the speaking and reading of many alien tongues. Many a sheltered scholar would have been astonished at the Cimmerian's linguistic abilities, for he had experienced many adventures where knowledge of a strange language had meant the difference between life and death.

The characters were puzzling, at once familiar and unintelligible, and presently he discovered the reason. They were the characters of archaic Pelishtic, which possessed many points of difference from the modern script, with which he was familiar, and which, three centuries ago, had been modified by conquest by a nomad tribe. This older, purer script baffled him. He made out a recurrent phrase, however, which he recognized as a proper name: Bit-Yakin. He gathered that it was the name of the writer.

What can I say; I'm a sheltered scholar. *shrug*

BTW - I've seen a Grognard's collection of old Conan RPG stuff and IIRC one module had his alignment at CN.


He was listed as CN in an old 1e supplement, as I recall.

The Exchange

Totally agree. With. Every. Word. Time for some variation.

Silver Crusade *****

This belongs in the PFS forum (I've flagged it).

In PFS you're not necessarily do gooders but you can be a lot more than mercs just in it for the money. But PFS explicitly is NOT a good vs evil campaign. If that is what you want perhaps PFS is not the appropriate choice


We aren't allowed to use the "m-word", for contract purposes.

Just embrace it. It's adventure! Plus killing. For hire. :)


MorBere wrote:
I always felt... if I can't play an evil character, then I play good. Hero vs. villain...right? I don't feel like society makes us the hero though, more like a hired mercenary.

In seriousness, though, this seems apt to me. If you can't play a villain, you should get to play a hero. It's not always that engaging to be shunted into "that neutral person over there".

Liberty's Edge **

This is a part of organized play. If anything "Special" happens for your character it has to be available to happen for everyone else's, which makes it much less special. The organized play is fun but it can't give a player what a home campaign can. On the flip side you can miss several games of Pathfinder society and jump back in and pick up where you left off with little problem, if you skip too many sessions of a home game you might be looking for a new home game...

It's a compromise you make for easy access to a game you can take or leave.

**

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MorBere wrote:

my characters are al just hired mercs!

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Some people felt that way in the past and scenarios in season 4+ have certainly been a lot more heroic. Having said that, PFS is a neutral campaign.

MorBere wrote:
Pathfinder society has us running around the fantasy world, paid on commission for the work we do.

Ummm... actually most of the time we're not paid, this is volunteer work. lol. We just sell our enemies loot.

So yeah, your character should really want to be part of the Pathfinder organization considering you're working for free. Or else you'd be doing something else (in which case you should roll up a new PC that actually wants to be a Pathfinder).

MorBere wrote:
Take it... the adventures rarely ever start "Ok everyone, your in a tavern and a mysterious woman comes to your table! What do you do?"

Sometimes this does happen but this tends to make the game start slowly, PFS wants faster introductions because games need to fit into a 4 hour time slot. What you're looking for is an old fashioned campaign.

Not sure why anyone would compare PFS to a campaign. If you want a campaign, play a campaign.

MorBere wrote:
how many times has anyone finished a scenario or module feeling victorious!

Lots. In recent scenarios, rescued elves from being incubated with demons, rescued humanoids from being sacrificed and bleeding out, stopped pirates who robbed locals, brought a murderer to justice, destroyed a lich who killed others to attain immortality, stopped cultists from awakening a powerful evil wizard, destroyed a vampire who was killing and feeding off villagers. That's in less than 8 scenarios.

PFS is plenty heroic. Maybe your GM is not informing you. Maybe it's a state of mind. Maybe you see the gold and XP on the character sheet and don't see the big picture. Or your GM doesn't say "Congratulations heroes!".

MorBere wrote:
Too many times do I sit as a player and watch a group of players play these op character builds, where all they can do is spit out damage rolls but couldn't diplomacy themselves out of a card board box.

The need for Diplomacy (the skill) is extremely common in PFS scenarios, not sure which scenarios you're playing.

I've played lots of PFS at conventions, and my enjoyment at the table has nothing to do with how optimized a PC is. When all PCs are horrible and you're carrying a table, that's more of a problem.

MorBere wrote:
players power through these scenarios with ease

Not some of the scenarios I've been playing. When someone finds something really easy, most of the time they didn't make the PC within the rules, or the GM doesn't know the rules.

There are a few broken common builds and some rare ones, but they are exceptions. Most people optimize enough to be effective, not broken. Maybe your local situation is different, in which case you can talk to your coordinator or maybe the other players.

MorBere wrote:
Where does the line get drawn on a table of six who no longer worry about having a healer or rogue, they all just run melee fighting classes.

You seem to want to see old school parties with fighter / rogue / wizard / cleric. I'm personally ready to move on from that. Why not just let people play what they want to play and be happy?

Just an FYI, ranged classes are much more effective than melee classes. The melee classes get messed up at higher levels, they will wish they were playing archers.

MorBere wrote:
Back to topic, as a GM, I see some players who take their time in the character build and mold them into something great and other players who just put a notch into their level.

Not everyone plays the game the same way. Not everyone wants to play the game the same way, but it doesn't mean you can't.

MorBere wrote:
As a players, I just feel like we play to level up a character. There is no end reward, there is no " wow I hit level 12 and saved all these cities and people from the wrath of evil... there is no "I am a hero in this town"....

It's a state of mind. Or you're playing season 0-3 scenarios? Maybe you're just not seeing it. My characters have done lots of good things.


The worst thing about Pathfinder, in my mind, is PFS. I think even Adventure Paths are more restricted than they should be, so they might possibly be registered for PFS play. Even if they're not, it becomes difficult for scenarios to deviate from a culture of roleplaying that I don't see anywhere else:

- Heavy preference towards RAW
- Modules and scenarios that are carefully designed for specific levels, with encounters that are designed to be overcome by a very specific power level.
- Modules and scenarios with specific methods of overcoming the encounters. Far less freedom to innovate and open-endedness than in many other games.
- Linear modules and scenarios. You can't accidentally jump ahead to higher challenges.

Of course, all these things are possible to overcome and there are exceptions; but it is less 'normal' to see open-ended scenarios and a more free-wheeling approach to the system than in other games. I think this has a lot to do with the expectations built around PFS which requires standardized play across hundreds of groups. It's kinda crazy and I honestly think it hurts the game experience (but probably not the business).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Um, I don't really see those as problems.


And your point is?

Wait... You didn't know before?

*

I see the agents more as troubleshooters and field scholars, mainly the first. The Pathfinder Society is not a hiring agency for mercs. The missions are related to the society itself, although it may involve the exchange of favors. I believe that your "problem" is more a state of mind. It may also be that PFS is simply not a good fit for you. I hope that you are able to find a game that is to your liking. Good luck and good gaming.


Rysky wrote:
Um, I don't really see those as problems.

Exactly. That's the typical response. Many PF players think it's normal, whereas it's the exception in terms of roleplaying games. I think only 4th Ed is more rigid in these respects. (I think the Burning Wheel system is also rigid, but in different ways...)

Before you or anyone says "play another game", there are many other aspects of PF that make it worthwhile to play for me -in spite of- the dominant PFS-esque culture. It has taken some unlearning for the longtime PF(S) player in my group though.

I'm not speaking for everyone - just my POV.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
He was listed as CN in an old 1e supplement, as I recall.

No, after a lot of thought and digging through the memory banks, his stats, which I think were in an issue of Dragon Magazine, had him at CE. I remember my friends and having a long debate about this and finally deciding Dragon had it way wrong.


thejeff wrote:

It's pretty much essential for PFS. There's no other practical way to handle the "Sit down at table. Play random unconnected adventure" approach. For that matter, you don't actually get paid in PFS, right? The money for the scenario represents the treasure you found, not a cash payment.

It's convenient for modules in general, for much the same reasons. The module author doesn't know your characters and what they've done or what motivates them - "you've been hired" is a simple shortcut.

APs are another story. They don't have to take that approach and often don't. As you discovered in Rise of the Runelords.

Good points all around.

Personally, I really dislike playing mercenary characters. I get why it's done, but it feels like a cheap device to me.
Plus, in a game like Pathfinder where wealth is tied directly to level, it creates a weird situation where the mercenaries get the exact same amount of money they would have gotten if they worked "for free."


Been playing Pathfinder Society for little over a year now, and after a weekend at Pacificon, I was feeling the same. I played a Ranger for the first time, instead of my usual Cleric, and I, too, felt more like a Mercenary. There was only one situation where we actually used Diplomacy to get out of fighting.

Dark Archive

137ben wrote:
Plus, in a game like Pathfinder where wealth is tied directly to level, it creates a weird situation where the mercenaries get the exact same amount of money they would have gotten if they worked "for free."

That's always fun.

Miserly Max "I check their teeth for gold filings. I prybar up the furniture to resell, shoving it in my bag of holding or lashing it onto the mule I bought. I magically clean and magically mend the torn tapestries and moldy books to make them resellable."

GM "You sell everything for 250 gp."

Smash McBash "I touch nothing, pick up nothing and break or burn stuff randomly. I didn't waste money on a backpack, belt pouch or waterskin, since it doesn't matter what I carry out of the adventure."

GM "You also get 250 gp."

Miserly Max "Wut?" 0_o

I mean, obviously I get why (to not encourage tearing up everything and scrounging for copper and giving bonus loot to people who can magically repair / clean stuff, which would be annoying in a home game, and totally out of bounds in a timed scenario), but it's just funny how irrelevant 'loot' becomes in some organized play I've seen.


If you haven't read On the Origins of the PCs, you should. The PDF version is only $10, and it has the funniest telling of this WBL oddity I have seen.

Dark Archive

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You do realize that in PFS adventuring is your.job? It's literally old school NatGeo or well the Collation equivalent.


We shouldn't work for money says member of a society (unstated assumption: the OP is a US citizen) that often states the only reason to work is for money.

I mean there is an inherent political and philosophical argument just begging to be released with a thread name like that.

Dark Archive

*Golarion*

Damned auto correct


NenkotaMoon wrote:
You do realize that in PFS adventuring is your.job? It's literally old school NatGeo or well the Collation equivalent.

No, I don't know, sorry. I don't know enough about PFS.

Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

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Nohwear wrote:
I see the agents more as troubleshooters and field scholars, mainly the first. The Pathfinder Society is not a hiring agency for mercs. The missions are related to the society itself, although it may involve the exchange of favors. I believe that your "problem" is more a state of mind. It may also be that PFS is simply not a good fit for you. I hope that you are able to find a game that is to your liking. Good luck and good gaming.

At least in PFS the troubleshooters don't have to worry about being declared Commie Mutant Traitors to our friend the COmputer.


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Tim Statler wrote:
Nohwear wrote:
I see the agents more as troubleshooters and field scholars, mainly the first. The Pathfinder Society is not a hiring agency for mercs. The missions are related to the society itself, although it may involve the exchange of favors. I believe that your "problem" is more a state of mind. It may also be that PFS is simply not a good fit for you. I hope that you are able to find a game that is to your liking. Good luck and good gaming.
At least in PFS the troubleshooters don't have to worry about being declared Commie Mutant Traitors to our friend the COmputer.

"I speak without fear of contradiction"

--typical opening line of the last survivor of a Troubleshooter squad.

Grand Lodge *

While many of the scenarios I've played so far start off being neutral or otherwise unheroic, it seems a common theme that things go FUBAR and the party has to step up and become the Big Heroes of the situation. Among the Living is a prime example of this. Let Bygones Be is another good example of a simple task becoming a heroic endeavor. That said...

The Pathfinder Society doesn't exactly pay me a retainer. They pay me a reward for any artifacts I bring back from expeditions, true. But that's only when I go on an expedition. My main income source is selling boots to travelers. Verified pathfinders do naturally get a discount in my store, of course.


Coffee Demon wrote:

The worst thing about Pathfinder, in my mind, is PFS. I think even Adventure Paths are more restricted than they should be, so they might possibly be registered for PFS play. Even if they're not, it becomes difficult for scenarios to deviate from a culture of roleplaying that I don't see anywhere else:

- Heavy preference towards RAW
- Modules and scenarios that are carefully designed for specific levels, with encounters that are designed to be overcome by a very specific power level.
- Modules and scenarios with specific methods of overcoming the encounters. Far less freedom to innovate and open-endedness than in many other games.
- Linear modules and scenarios. You can't accidentally jump ahead to higher challenges.

Of course, all these things are possible to overcome and there are exceptions; but it is less 'normal' to see open-ended scenarios and a more free-wheeling approach to the system than in other games. I think this has a lot to do with the expectations built around PFS which requires standardized play across hundreds of groups. It's kinda crazy and I honestly think it hurts the game experience (but probably not the business).

Where exactly is the problem? Keep in mind that much of these scenarios have to be completed in a 4 hour time slot. That's not exactly a venue to go free-wheeling sandbox mode in.

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

(I'm getting the feeling that this was moved from another forum)

My –2 sees himself as an Entrepreneur, using the Society to travel the world and establish business connections.

My –3 is probably the most Mercenary of all my characters.

My –4 determined that Pathfinders tended to leave orphans in their wake, so her Sarenrite duty became helping them out.

My –5 is a Scholar focused on the intricacies of Time (it's his Witch Patron).

My –6 is a Psychopath seeking power through the guise of being an adventurer.

My –7 views the Society as the enemy of his enemy, and revels in killing Aspis agents.

My –8 is interested in the environmental impact of the Society trampling through pristine wilderness.

My –9 is a Doctor who sees his skills as beneficial to adventures.

My –10 goes wherever the Ruby Prince wishes him to. He's not in it for the money, though. Just a sense of patriotic duty.

My...

(gotta head out the door, but yeah, it looks like 4 of my 30+ characters primarily fall under the title of "Mercenary". 2 are Andoran, 1 is Exchange, and 1 is Grand Lodge)

***** ⦵⦵⦵

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Role play is only as dead at your tables as you make it.

Lantern Lodge *****

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None of us were hired.

We all joined under a unifying banner (the Glyph of the Open Road) for one reason or another. There was no application process, otherwise a good half of us would be on the sidelines (but not the Good half us us). We meet up in a mission briefing because a colleague (the Venture Captain) thinks we would be interested in a side project. So we brave the perils of Heidmarch Manor to find out what daring escapade is lined up for us.

Our rewards are just 'guild shares.'

***** ⦵⦵⦵

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As rants goes this is really sporatic.

Quote:
Pathfinder society has us running around the fantasy world, paid on commission for the work we do. Take it...

This is about the weekly excuse to go on the adventure not being heroic enough. Because the pathfinders aren't the harpers or a do gooder organization they're archeologists. That's intentional.

Quote:
Too many times do I sit as a player and watch a group of players play these op character builds

Complaint about op builds.

Quote:
couldn't diplomacy themselves out of a card board box.

Complaint about over specialized builds.

Quote:
Roll play is dead

Complaint about a lack of role play with more than a side of stormwind fallacy.

Quote:
who no longer worry about having a healer or rogue

If they were fun options people would take them more.

Quote:
Back to topic, as a GM, I see some players who take their time in the character build and mold them into something great and other players who just put a notch into their level.

gamers are different. Who knew.

Dark Archive *

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In a homebrew campaign the party typically feels the need for a healer and trapper for good reason. Namely because there WILL be locked doors, traps, and chests. And if the GM is known for being mean, many of those traps will be either magical in nature, the so-called "inescapable trap" that can only be thwarted by disarming it before it goes off, or both. In addition the number of encounters in a given adventure could be five or could be thirty five. Any number of those could be combat encounters. It all depends on the GM and how they designed the adventure.

In PFS however healing is less vital mainly because there's typically fewer combat encounters. It's still needed, but not quite as make or break. Plus everyone and their brother, mother, sister, and cousin have healing wands. Many of whom can use said healing wands (even if barely). And traps are less of a concern because scenarios don't have many traps in general. Or locked doors you need to get through Right Now without finding a key. Or locked chests that don't have a key.

They're different environments, which breeds a different style of campaign. In a homebrew campaign the players are Big Dayam Heroes (or become such) who routinely Save The World, or at least Save the Nation. If they work alongside the Pathfinder Society it's because goals align.

Conversely, in PFS the players are actual members of the Pathfinder Society. They're wandering scholars, archeologists, and the bodyguards of said scholars and archeologists. If they save the town/nation/world it's a side effect to the quest for knowledge.

Or to put it another way, it's the difference between an adventurer like Conan or Doc Savage and an explorer like Indiana Jones or Laura Croft. Both types will save the day, but the core focus of each of them is different.

Does this mean PFS is a bad campaign style? No, not really. But it may mean it's not right for you if you want to be the Big Dayam Hero all the time.

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

BigNorseWolf wrote:

As rants goes this is really sporatic.

Stuff

Bingo! *hic*

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