A large swath of character classes are strictly at the GM's mercy to allow and literally banned for play in PFS starting from 1st level


Classes


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Oh my goodness. As it turns out, a large swath of classes force uncommon rarity options on you, and are thus at the GM's mercy to allow, and are also literally unplayable in Pathfinder Society starting at 1st level.

The only powers (as in, Spell Point powers) in the game that are of common rarity are faerie dust, heal animal, and touch of obedience. For that matter, the inspire courage cantrip is uncommon as well.

Therefore, this means that playing any of the following classes forces you to have an uncommon power or cantrip: all bards, all non-tyranny clerics, all non-animal druids, all monks with a ki pool, all paladins, all non-fey sorcerers, all non-universalist wizards.

Page 10:
"Specific choices, such as class features or backgrounds, might give access to certain uncommon elements.
"The uncommon rarity indicates an element available only to those who have been initiated into a special kind of training, grow up in a certain culture, or come from a particular part of the world. A character can’t take these options by default. Specific choices, such as class features or backgrounds, might give access to certain uncommon elements. The GM can grant any character access to uncommon options if she so chooses. The level (or type of element for those without levels) is marked in red."

At no point do any of the power-granting classes actually state that you gain "access" to the powers, which is the wording used for opening up other uncommon options.

Pathfinder Society playtest creation rules:
"Rules for Building a 1st-Level Playtest Character
"Spells: Choose any spells that have a common rarity. Spells with uncommon and rare rarities are not allowed."

Page 193:
"Powers are a special type of spell."

All of the aforementioned classes are strictly at the GM's mercy to allow, and cannot be played in Pathfinder Society starting at 1st level. This really should be fixed.


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So... does the title of this thread qualify as hyperbole? Asking for a friend.


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bugleyman wrote:
So... does the title of this thread qualify as hyperbole? Asking for a friend.

Seems like she found a mistake in the book.Good job, OP.


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I believe the uncommon rule applies more to items and spells than class features. Consider how the only way to get, say, Ki Strike is being a Monk, that makes the power inherently uncommon, because only Monks have access to them. Therefore, it makes sense that unique class features and powers are all uncommon. They fit all the conditions for uncommmon


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You aren't very familiar with how PFS works, are you OP?

Powers granted by legal options are considered legal, despite uncommon rarity. See PF1, where monster feats are banned except for the ones granted by the druid's animal companion ability.

All classes are explicitly legal per John's post.


Mustachioed wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
So... does the title of this thread qualify as hyperbole? Asking for a friend.
Seems like she found a mistake in the book.Good job, OP.

I'm confused...did you intend to reply to me? Because as far as I can tell your post has literally nothing to do with mine...


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The Class feats that give you those powers aren't uncommon, though! So picking them gives you access to the power. The uncommon tag on class powers is irrelevant right now, but might be important later for someone who can learn any powers or something...

Also maybe I missed some joke? But don't want to let this misinformation spread.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

The Class feats that give you those powers aren't uncommon, though! So picking them gives you access to the power. The uncommon tag on class powers is irrelevant right now, but might be important later for someone who can learn any powers or something...

Also maybe I missed some joke? But don't want to let this misinformation spread.

The classes grant the powers, but not access to them as uncommon options, as Weapon Familiarity (Elf) would give for elf weapons.

The rarity rules, like many other subsystems, are a mess.

It would be helpful, perhaps, if Paizo was to actually print a rule stating something like, "If one of your class features or feats gives you a spell, you are considered to have access to it."

No such stipulation currently exists.

Paizo could also make all powers and cantrips common. There is very little reason for any power or cantrip in the playtest rulebook to be uncommon.

Sovereign Court

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You are making an issue out of nothing. You don’t need to gain access a la Weapon Familiarity if you’ve already gained the power. That would just be redundant.

When classes grant abilities, they implicitly grant access. That’s how words work.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
When classes grant abilities, they implicitly grant access. That’s how words work.

Do they now? As far as I can tell, uncommon option access is a separate mechanic entirely.


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So if I give you a sword, and then say "you can't get that sword because it's uncommon", it's irrelevant that it's uncommon because you already have the sword.

The same is true of a power.

Weapon Familiarity needs to give you access to those weapons because it doesn't actually give you the items.

Dark Archive

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From page 10 of the Playtest rules:

Quote:

The uncommon rarity indicates an element available

only to those who have been initiated into a special kind
of training, grow up in a certain culture, or come from a
particular part of the world. A character can’t take these
options by default. Specific choices, such as class features
or backgrounds, might give access to certain uncommon
elements.
The GM can grant any character access to
uncommon options if she so chooses. The level (or type of
element for those without levels) is marked in red.

Emphasis is my own. I take this to read that such features make that uncommon element common for you. The GM may then allow uncommon elements to characters for whatever reason they deem fit on top of this.

An example of this is Dwarven Weapon Familiarity on page 25 in which it states 'In addition, you gain access to all uncommon dwarf weapons.' And this is then further supported by Pg 174 with 'Items with an uncommon rarity can only be bought with special access or GM permission.' Note the 'or' in this statement.

As such, there is nothing wrong with any of these classes or their powers. As some have mentioned, the rarity might come into play in the future with feats or abilities allowing you to pick up other classes powers. It it may be to avoid issues with feats which allow you to pick spells from other classes because technically most of these powers are considered spells. The uncommon classification makes them unavailable except through a class feature or special GM approval.


Darius Alazario wrote:
Emphasis is my own.

I have already covered this above.

Either way, the wording could use some cleaning-up.

Sovereign Court

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Colette Brunel wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
When classes grant abilities, they implicitly grant access. That’s how words work.
Do they now? As far as I can tell, uncommon option access is a separate mechanic entirely.

You are reading way too far into the text. This is a game written in English, not a technical document. There is a distinction between granted access and granted abilities, but not the one you’re making.


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No, they're pretty on the dot here.
By the rules as they are written, several classes are unplayable in a Society setting due to the way they can't even be statted up without taking an Uncommon option somewhere.
They need to either reword the rule, change rarities, or introduce an explicit class feature granting you access to a class's Uncommon options for being a member of that class.

Part of the point of a playtest is to find these sorts of issues and fix them, not to say "yeah but it's obvious it's not supposed to *actually* work that way" like there's nothing wrong.


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Maybe y’all should read the PFS FAQ page. John’s post serves as the sanctioning document for the purpose of the Playtest. It does not make particular note of uncommon powers granted by common class options, therefore the default rules apply. As you can see, that means uncommon powers granted by common class abilities are considered legal and available.


GM OfAnything wrote:
Maybe y’all should read the PFS FAQ page. John’s post serves as the sanctioning document for the purpose of the Playtest. It does not make particular note of uncommon powers granted by common class options, therefore the default rules apply. As you can see, that means uncommon powers granted by common class abilities are considered legal and available.

Does the 1e FAQ carry over to the 2e playtest?


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Colette Brunel wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
Maybe y’all should read the PFS FAQ page. John’s post serves as the sanctioning document for the purpose of the Playtest. It does not make particular note of uncommon powers granted by common class options, therefore the default rules apply. As you can see, that means uncommon powers granted by common class abilities are considered legal and available.
Does the 1e FAQ carry over to the 2e playtest?

Common sense does.


Colette Brunel wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
Maybe y’all should read the PFS FAQ page. John’s post serves as the sanctioning document for the purpose of the Playtest. It does not make particular note of uncommon powers granted by common class options, therefore the default rules apply. As you can see, that means uncommon powers granted by common class abilities are considered legal and available.
Does the 1e FAQ carry over to the 2e playtest?

It does not, in fact. There's different headers for each section of the page detailing what the clarifications below them apply to.

On a related note, such a FAQ for Pathfinder 1e is kinda telling in its own way; they've already been down this road before and didn't have a rule in place to handle it.
Again, I'm not arguing this is the intent because clearly that's ridiculous. I'm arguing the rules need fixed so we won't *need* a FAQ-fix in the future.


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Remember that John Compton is a GM, not a rulebook. This is a GM/campaign problem, not a rules problem. That particular FAQ will be necessary as long as Paizo runs a global campaign and regularly sanctions the rules in their monthly publications for play.

The PFS campaign is continuing, even if the rules aren't, so the campaign rulings carry forward.


I don't get the premise of the OPs argument. You are always at the whim of your GM. If they want to increase the rarity of any spell to uncommon, they could. If they wanted to ban a class like paladin, they could. If they want to set a mindflayer on a 1st level party and kill them all, they could. The GM has ultimate power on all decisions. If your GM is the kind of person that would hamper your ability to have fun at the table, my advice is play with someone else.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So in order to ~select~ an uncommon option, you need to have access to it.

However, if something ~gives~ you an uncommon option, you still have it because you didn't select it.

This is like if a monster fights with a katana, and you kill it and take that katana. You don't have access to katanas - you couldn't go buy one - but you do HAVE a katana and you can use it.

Common class features that give you uncommon options work the same way.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Common class features that give you uncommon options work the same way.

This is obviously the intent, but not how the rule is currently written.

Society play is designed to eliminate as much table variance as possible, and that means deciding things in advance that the DM would normally decide for you.
In this case, because the class does not at any point actually grant access to those Uncommon options, you cannot, by the rules of Society play, select them.

It doesn't matter that in some cases you only select a Common feat that grants an Uncommon reward, you haven't been given access to the Uncommon option, and that means you can't take more than one of them. And because you can't take more than one of them, there are some classes in the game that, as per the currently written rules of the game and Society play, are not legal for play at all.
You would end up selecting more Uncommon options than you're allowed by just statting up normally; there aren't Common options to take in their place.

Again, not arguing this is how it SHOULD work, because that would be ridiculous. Playtest rules just need a fix before the real launch, this is what playtests are for.

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Sydney S. wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Common class features that give you uncommon options work the same way.

This is obviously the intent, but not how the rule is currently written.

Society play is designed to eliminate as much table variance as possible, and that means deciding things in advance that the DM would normally decide for you.
In this case, because the class does not at any point actually grant access to those Uncommon options, you cannot, by the rules of Society play, select them.

It doesn't matter that in some cases you only select a Common feat that grants an Uncommon reward, you haven't been given access to the Uncommon option, and that means you can't take more than one of them. And because you can't take more than one of them, there are some classes in the game that, as per the currently written rules of the game and Society play, are not legal for play at all.
You would end up selecting more Uncommon options than you're allowed by just statting up normally; there aren't Common options to take in their place.

This is total nonsense and not how the rules work.

Edit to try explaining one more time:

FAQ wrote:
If the non-legal options are an automatic part of the archetype, such as a feat that all characters with that archetype gain, the Additional Resources page often provides a substitution. If it does not, that option is legal for your character.

Okay, from the PFS FAQ: If non-legal options are granted by legal options, those options are legal for your character. Uncommon powers granted by Common class feats are an example of this.

In terms of Weapon Familiarity, this is a feat that says "You begin play with an elven curve blade". It doesn't need to grant access, it just gave you the weapon wholesale.

FAQ wrote:
However, if the non-legal options are part of a menu of choices, such as a list of feats that includes one feat that is not legal, the option does not become legal for your character.

This is the part talking about access.

In terms of Weapon Familiarity, if a new "elven chainsaw" gets published as an uncommon weapon (and is banned in PFS), taking Weapon Familiarity (elf) doesn't make that elven chainsaw a legal choice.


KingOfAnything wrote:
This is total nonsense and not how the rules work.

You don't need to defend a mistake brought about by unfortunate interactions of wording likely written by three entirely different people.

This is a playtest, there is a problem, and hopefully it will be fixed in time for the official release.


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Can someone who thinks this is a problem please explain to me exactly how a class ability that states "you gain this power" with no restrictions or provisos is not explicitly and expressly giving you access to that power?

Because I don't really see how that could be any clearer. I mean it's right there in black and white "you gain this power".


dragonhunterq wrote:

Can someone who thinks this is a problem please explain to me exactly how a class ability that states "you gain this power" with no restrictions or provisos is not explicitly and expressly giving you access to that power?

Because I don't really see how that could be any clearer. I mean it's right there in black and white "you gain this power".

Sorry, I can't... because a class ability that explicity states that you get a power, gives you the power, and thus access.

As it was mentioned earlier, these two are reading WAY into the rules. I had a flashback to those old Geico commercials with the old ladies and her "Wall" of vacation photos ala Facebook and the other exclaiming, "That's not how this works! That's not how any of this works!" And then I promised myself I wouldn't post in this thread but alas, I failed that Will save.

The playtest rules could use some cleaning up, which is normal as it's a playtest, but this is definitely not one of those things that's unclear and as someone else also said above... common sense. Sadly it though, it appears that the rarity on that's been changed to Uncommon though.


Pathfinder Society play doesn't use the same rules as your average home-game.
For example, they completely change the way gold and item ownership works, so any class or archetype in PF 1e that grants the Scribe Scroll feat (such as the core Wizard, or the Geisha Bard archetype) instead receives a replacement feat in the form of Spell Focus.
In a home game obviously no one really cares, let the wizard craft their scrolls, right? But the rules don't allow it in Society play, and so rather than banning everything that would grant a crafting feat, they instead replace it.

In a home game this is a complete non-issue. Obviously the Paladin can use Lay on Hands, I mean c'mon, right?
But the current rules for Society play on the PF 2e playtest don't allow that. The Lay on Hands power, which counts as a spell, is Uncommon, and the rule on that is "spells with uncommon and rare rarities are not allowed".
This in turn makes the entire class of Paladin invalid as an option, since there's no rule in place to allow or substitute that disallowed power.

For an example of what I mean, typically a Rogue cannot use an Elven Curve Blade. Not only do they not have martial weapon proficiency, it's an Uncommon weapon.
But if that Rogue is an Elf, they could take the Weapon Familiarity feat and gain access to it, as per the rule "Items with uncommon or rare rarities are not available unless you gain access to them with a character ability (for example, an elf with Weapon Familiarity gains access to uncommon elf weapons)."


They could stand to define this and make it clearer.

If only to avoid people from doing topics like this.


How it differs greatly matters to the alchemist, which would like to create mutagens with advanced alchemy. But it can't. Because mutagens are uncommon and advanced alchemy only works on common alchemical items. So the alchemist has to pay money to use its mutagen class abilities.


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Sydney S. wrote:

Pathfinder Society play doesn't use the same rules as your average home-game.

For example, they completely change the way gold and item ownership works,

That "they" is so telling. You don't have a concept of why the PFS rules are the way they are, which colors how you are interpreting John's PFS building post.

We know what our GM means when he says that spells with uncommon and rare rarities are not allowed. He's speaking our language. We in PFS have had ten years to work out rulings for our unique style of campaign. The FAQ answers the basic question of what happens when a legal option grants banned options versus when it grants access to banned options. It's crystal clear already. Save the wordcount.


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MidknightDiamond wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:

Can someone who thinks this is a problem please explain to me exactly how a class ability that states "you gain this power" with no restrictions or provisos is not explicitly and expressly giving you access to that power?

Because I don't really see how that could be any clearer. I mean it's right there in black and white "you gain this power".

Sorry, I can't... because a class ability that explicity states that you get a power, gives you the power, and thus access.

To clarify, I don't believe it actually gives you access. Like in the case of the pilfered katana, you gain that power without needing access to it.

Liberty's Edge

That's not what that means. In truth, if the ability states it gives you a power, then you automatically have access to that specific power even if it is uncommon. Stealing something does not grant you a power, for the record. Access in that case isn't the same thing as being given access to a power by a class ability that grants that power, but, I suggest people go back a reread the information about the Pathfinder Society Playtest. I think it will clear a lot of this utterly ridiculous misunderstanding up completely. Otherwise, how would there be anything to playtest at all, as all classes have a good deal of 'uncommon' abilities and I did not see where they were being specifically disallowed.


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I don't understand why people are defending unclear wording. How much does it cost to rewrite a few sections of a book to make sure that they make sense? We're all acting as free editors by doing this, so why is it that half of the editing staff doesn't want to correct wording errors?

Silver Crusade

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desuwadesu wrote:
I don't understand why people are defending unclear wording.

Because it's not unclear, and a lot of us take umbrage when people intentionally read an ability to not make sense. I do not want the Devs to take the stance of assuming none of the people reading the book have common sense and thus write it accordingly.

The OP's statement that a "large swath of character classes will be banned in PFS" is a complete and total nonsensical statement. A statement they are making because they are intentionally reading an ability in a way that makes that ability and others shared by a class flat out not work.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
Maybe y’all should read the PFS FAQ page. John’s post serves as the sanctioning document for the purpose of the Playtest. It does not make particular note of uncommon powers granted by common class options, therefore the default rules apply. As you can see, that means uncommon powers granted by common class abilities are considered legal and available.
Does the 1e FAQ carry over to the 2e playtest?
Common sense does.

Ambiguous wording causes most of the argument on the rules forums.

Getting rid of ambiguous wording should be a top priority of PF2e. Anything less is just going to cause further dissent and arguments.

And that is plain common sense.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
Maybe y’all should read the PFS FAQ page. John’s post serves as the sanctioning document for the purpose of the Playtest. It does not make particular note of uncommon powers granted by common class options, therefore the default rules apply. As you can see, that means uncommon powers granted by common class abilities are considered legal and available.
Does the 1e FAQ carry over to the 2e playtest?
Common sense does.

Ambiguous wording causes most of the argument on the rules forums.

Getting rid of ambiguous wording should be a top priority of PF2e. Anything less is just going to cause further dissent and arguments.

And that is plain common sense.

On the flip side, I'm reasonably sure that an attempt to eliminate all possibility of ambiguous wording is what led to 2e's "absolutely everything is a keyword or strictly defined action" mentality, which I am not yet sure I like.

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desuwadesu wrote:
I don't understand why people are defending unclear wording. How much does it cost to rewrite a few sections of a book to make sure that they make sense? We're all acting as free editors by doing this, so why is it that half of the editing staff doesn't want to correct wording errors?

It’s not the rulebook they have an issue with, it is John’s post about PFS. If there were ambiguity in the rulebook, I would be looking for better ways to word things. But the problem here is people not understanding how PFS actually works.


Sydney S. wrote:

But the current rules for Society play on the PF 2e playtest don't allow that. The Lay on Hands power, which counts as a spell, is Uncommon, and the rule on that is "spells with uncommon and rare rarities are not allowed".

This in turn makes the entire class of Paladin invalid as an option, since there's no rule in place to allow or substitute that disallowed power.

This is completely backwards. In PFS, you determine legality top-down from class to options, not bottom-up.

John explicitly said all classes are legal, without substitution or alteration. Therefore all static class features of the paladin are legal. All feats are explicitly legal, so that includes any paladin class feats that grant powers. At no point does a paladin choose spells or powers directly, so the rarity restriction on spells never applies.

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