A strictly PFS related rules question


Pathfinder Society

Silver Crusade

So this question revolves around rebuilding a character before playing it at level 2, the idea of taking a feat to modify something before you have it, and an unchained barbarian who takes Lesser Beast Totem as their level 2 rage power.

So I have the barbarian in question at level 2, but I haven't played him at that level yet. I'm wondering if it's ok to "re-optimize" the character and take Weapon Focus (claws) with my level 1 feat.

My gut instinct says no, but I'm really not sure and I'm looking for opinions.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

I d vote no, unless theres some weapon out there that can be used likebclaws?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

No.

Because you are taking the feat at level 1 and you do not have proficiency in claws yet. ("Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, base attack bonus +1.")

Once you gain claws, you are eligible for Weapon Focus because you have now have proficiency with them. So, with your L3 feat, you could take WF: Claws.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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I am hoping the guide revision clears up exactly when you can no longer rebuild. Whether that be after actually playing at second level or before gaining second level.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I am hoping the guide revision clears up exactly when you can no longer rebuild. Whether that be after actually playing at second level or before gaining second level.
guide wrote:
Rebuilding: This is the process of changing any aspect of your character except his or her Pathfinder Society Number. Each character may freely rebuild anytime before playing an adventure at level 2 or higher.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

GtOP pg35 wrote:

Level 1 characters may be rebuilt per the rules in Appendix 1: Character Creation. This is not a necessary step to completing a Chronicle sheet after an adventure, but a Chronicle sheet is required in order to confirm the changes. The same is true for retraining, as described below.

Retraining: After 1st level, if you own a copy of Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Campaign, you can use the retraining rules beginning on page 188 to alter your character.

Two conflicting statements.

An argument can be made that rebuild and retrain are two different things. But in such a case, clarification should be made in the new guide so that the intention is clear. Whether that is that characters must finish rebuilding at 1st before adding 2nd, or if the 2nd level can be rebuilt as well.

Consider this post from Mike Brock as well.

Michael Brock wrote:
I will not even consider retraining or rebuilding a character after 1st level, so please do not argue those points. This topic is only about retraining a first level character before it advances to 2nd level.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Well that Mike Brock post is a little dated, since later on it became clear GM babies remained "fluid" until played as a player. It's not exactly reversed, but it's far from the whole story.

The thing is though, whenever you're building a character, you're doing so level-by-level. Like making a cake layer by layer. You can't pick anything for level 2 until you've finished picking things for level 1. You can't pick anything for level 3 until you've finished level 2. And so on.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Unless you can rebuild before playing an adventure at level 2, as Sammy quoted, and supported by this FAQ.

Quote:

Retraining: Can I retrain a feat to replace it with a feat I didn't qualify for at the level I originally gained that feat?

Yes. As long as the new feat is a valid feat for your current character, you can retrain the old feat and replace it with the new feat.

For example, if you are a 3rd-level rogue who took Improved Initiative at 1st level, you can retrain that feat and replace it with Weapon Focus. Even though Weapon Focus has a prerequisite of "base attack bonus +1" (which means you couldn't take it as a 1st-level rogue), it is a valid feat for your current level (3rd), and is therefore a valid choice for retraining.

(Note: Likewise, the fighter class ability to retrain fighter bonus feats does not require you to meet all of the new feat's prerequisites at the level you originally gained the feat.)

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Nothing in what I quoted contradicts what Lau said i.e. you build level by level and you select your level 1 stuff, then your level 2 stuff, etc. You still have to legally build your character in the proper manner as you level up.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

So the question is, "is there a difference between rebuild and retrain".

Dark Archive

Yes. Rebuild is making a new character. Retraining is not.

What you could do is build the second level barbarian and retrain your first level feat before you play.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Citation?

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

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
GtOP pg35 wrote:

Level 1 characters may be rebuilt per the rules in Appendix 1: Character Creation. This is not a necessary step to completing a Chronicle sheet after an adventure, but a Chronicle sheet is required in order to confirm the changes. The same is true for retraining, as described below.

Retraining: After 1st level, if you own a copy of Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Campaign, you can use the retraining rules beginning on page 188 to alter your character.

Citation ^

Lvl 1 characters get rebuilt using the char creation rules.

Characters above lvl 1 get retrained using the retraining rules.

I'm having trouble understanding where your confusion is coming from

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Because the terms are used interchangeably, and the glossary suggests 2nd level characters can also be rebuilt instead of retrained.

(Also, I haven't eaten today and that could be reducing my comprehension. This came up on the PFS Facebook group last month as well.)

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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rebuilds can't build characters that couldn't exist, retraining can.

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

This is ... ambiguous, at best. If you want to do it and know that what you're doing is completely legal, you can use the retraining rules from Ultimate Campaign if you own it. To retrain a feat, it is 5 days and 10 x your level x number of days in gold - so 100 gp. Since this is PFS, you have to pay 1 PP per day for your trainer, so it would be 5 PP and 100 gp to grab that feat instead.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

I see it being pretty simple.

Rebuild is free, training is not (generally).

A player can rebuild for free until being playing and receiving experience as a 2nd level character.

After I have completed the rebuild before gaining an experience point (or half) I now must pay for changing the character using the training rules (provided I own the proper resource).

I have seen free rebuilds given for specific reasons. I rebuilt my monk from chained to unchained is one example. I know there are many more.

Silver Crusade

I don't really need the feat, but it's going to do more for me than Dodge. If I could pick it up "for free" I would do it, but I'm not spending 5 PP on it.

Thanks for all of the opinions.

Dark Archive 5/5

Rebuild until you play at lvl 2. Once you play, then its retraining.

Silver Crusade

joe kirner wrote:
Rebuild until you play at lvl 2. Once you play, then its retraining.

Doesn't at all answer my question.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You don't have claws at first level, so no, you can't take Weapon Focus (claws) at first level.

Rebuilding has nothing to do with this.

Although this question has been asked ad nauseum since at least 2012 (when I started), the answer has always been "no".

At level 2+ you can retrain your 1st level feat to Weapon Focus (claws) since you now have claws. It costs 5pp.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I think Steven is confusing terms. Rebuilding and Retraining are fundamentally different things.

Rebuilding in the Guide to Organized Play sense is just level by level building a new legal character.

Retraining in the Ultimate Campaign sense does allow you to retrain a feat taken at a lower level into any one you qualify for at the time of retraining; even if you wouldn't have qualified for the new feat when you got the old feat. With Retraining you can trade your level 1 feat for one that requires a class ability you get at level 2. (The same principle applies to Fighter combat feat retraining.)

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

^ that.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
joe kirner wrote:
Rebuild until you play at lvl 2. Once you play, then its retraining.
Doesn't at all answer my question.

The answer to our question is on page 39 of the guide, where retraining and rebuilding are defined separately. Since the FAQ I posted only refers to retraining, you cannot rebuild your character into a feat they cannot have taken at second level.

Thanks for everyone's patience, and I'll keep that distinction in mind going forward.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:

So this question revolves around rebuilding a character before playing it at level 2, the idea of taking a feat to modify something before you have it, and an unchained barbarian who takes Lesser Beast Totem as their level 2 rage power.

So I have the barbarian in question at level 2, but I haven't played him at that level yet. I'm wondering if it's ok to "re-optimize" the character and take Weapon Focus (claws) with my level 1 feat.

My gut instinct says no, but I'm really not sure and I'm looking for opinions.

No.. you have to rebuild your level 1 character AS a level 1 character before you apply your level 2 changes to it. Since you don't have the claws at level 1, you can't take the feat at level 1. You finish your rebuild at level 1, and THEN advance the character to level 2.

Now if you want to change your level 1 feat, you can retrain it (which isn't free) provided that at level 2 you now qualify for it.

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