Want to check on your collective opinions


Pathfinder Society

Liberty's Edge

Before the PFS sessions were set to begin, I was talking with a couple of folks I've known for a while.

We were yakking about a some of our PC's and what were planning for them.
- I have a PC that is getting all the goblin scenarios and the scenarios for the 3 intelligent magic items. He's an idiot that sometimes thinks he's a goblin. And eventually he will have a familiar, and eidolon, and 3 items all telling him what to do. It is certainly not power gaming. Those items and chronicles in general are not all that amazing. Unless I get incredibly lucky on my UMD rolls, I won't even be able to use all the items at the same time anyway. Soo I will be playing with less that full wealth in magic items.
- One of the other guys has a Core wizard that is picking scenarios to try and get as many non-core spells in his spellbook as possible. Plus any non-core magic items that would actually be useful to a generic wizard. He thinks it will be amusing to have a bunch of spells/items that aren't expected at a Core table.
- The last found a couple of improvable light weapons that he was going to get so he would be TWF with a couple of unique items.

All three of us have 10+ PC's and at least a fair amount of time behind the GM screen. All of us know about these things because we already have the chronicle sheets. So to get them on our specific characters, we will have to GM them (well maybe not all of the ones for the core wizard).

Now another player overheard us talking about our plans and got very upset about it. He was very offended that we were playing specific scenarios just for the rewards on the chronicle sheets. He was so upset that he walked out and didn't game with us that day. (I don't yet know if he will be back.)

This really surprised me. Many of the 'rewards' on the chronicle sheets are really only useful if you build a PC specifically to take advantage of them. The odds that you would randomly have a PC built to make use of that item when you just happen to play that scenario are vanishingly small.

Would this bother you if someone at your table or the GM at your table was participating in this particular scenario just because he knows what is on the chronicle sheet?


A relevant thread
Chronicle Fishing

***** ⦵⦵⦵

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It's frowned on but I don't mind it if it's not used for purposes of munchkinry

I'm not sure you can have multiple intelligent items at once though

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

Quote:
I'm not sure you can have multiple intelligent items at once though

Organized Play FAQ says yes (with caveats).

Organized Play FAQ:
What are the rules regarding intelligent items in the Roleplaying Guild?
A PC may own and use more than one intelligent magic item at a time.

A PC can use the Use Magic Device skill to emulate another alignment to avoid incurring a negative level when using an intelligent magic item. A PC must attempt this check at the beginning of the adventure. Whether the PC succeeds or fails, the result applies for the duration of the entire adventure. Furthermore, any intelligent items of that alignment function normally for that PC, barring the PC performing some action that grossly violates the item's alignment or goals.

When wielding an intelligent item with an item with an incompatible alignment—natural or emulated—the item and the PC have a personality conflict (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook 535). If the PC succeeds at the Will save, the item functions normally for 24 hours. If the PC fails, the item compels him or her to store it away for 24 hours.

Intelligent items found in Tier 1-5 adventures (and similar adventures like Tier 1-2 and Tier 1 quest series) typically waive the negative level a PC would otherwise earn upon picking up an incompatible item. Not only does this prevent a 1st-level PC from dying for touching an intelligent item, but it also allows the PCs to enjoy the item during the adventure and make the choice of whether to purchase it (along with its alignment consequences) later.

***** ⦵⦵⦵

Thanks. Was digging through and looking for that.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, I was actually the person who started one of the threads that led to that FAQ back when I started planning my idiot character.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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There have been several related threads and in at least one we’ve gotten specific direction that Campaign Leadership considers chronicle fishing to be against the spirit of the game.

Mark Moreland wrote:
As has been stated upthread, the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign is one in which we hope that players are not reading ahead (either adventures or Chronicle sheets) in order to cherry-pick adventures based on a checklist of monsters they'd like to encounter or equipment they'd like to receive. As such, we consider discussion of such spoilers to be against the spirit of the game.

Liberty's Edge

Hmm...
Ok, I can kinda see the point. But then I would say they really needed to give some further thought to the chronicle sheets. There are a heck of a lot of chronicle 'rewards' that are really only even slightly useful if, after you find out about it, you GM the scenario and apply the chronicle to a character built for it.

There were several in one season that were pretty much 'designed' specifically to be for characters that have the technologist feat. You really think anyone was just randomly going to take that particular (and otherwise useless) feat without knowing there were scenarios during the season that made use of it?

I can't imagine anyone buying any of those unique exotic weapons if their character wasn't already designed to be using those base types of weapons (I don't want to get into the specifics and spoil anything.)

Same for the semi-special animal companions and familiars.

Dark Archive **** Venture-Agent, Finland—Turku aka Tomppa

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Well, there's always the Share the Wealth (equipment) and Share the Wealth (companion) boons to help you get access to the items for another of your characters.

That being said, getting your hands to those isn't always easy. For PFS 2, I would love to see unique/special items having an innate Share the Wealth boon - either so that finding, say, a special unique magical staff (not necessarily even intelligent) would open it as an option for all your characters (maybe with a fame/level limit) Or including a line where you may grant One of your other characters access to it, but then can't use it with the PC that originally found it.

I think it would help with the 'chronicle fishing' because there would no longer be a need to fish for specific items with specific PC's.

I agree that part of the apparent problem is probably caused by (or at least, feels like it's caused by) the fact that most of the unique items are really, really niche (and often kinda expensive for what they do).
For example, a certain special sword. It's the most common type of sword, yet PFS has so many character options that the majority of the players don't necessarily even have a character who uses longswords. Even if you happen to have a character who could use it, there's a chance you happen to play that adventure with another character, leading to the need to GM the adventure to get access to it with the sword-using character. Or, even if you do play it with your swordsman, it's a kind of a weak option when compared to what you could otherwise buy and use.
I think this leads to a situation where most characters who end up using said special swords, have been built with the idea that they'll use the special sword. It's just way too unlikely that a "suitable character" happens to play the adventure by chance.

Apparently, some of the newer adventures have options that open up boosting a special item if any of your characters have it, regardless of which of your PC played it - This is definitely a step in the right direction.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

It's a complicated issue, so expect some table variation.

Personally, since so many chronicle sheets include rewards that are only useful in the right character I don't mind, though I would prefer players not getting spoilered about the contents of the scenario.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, France—Paris

If players play a scenario specifically for the item, it's already metagaming in a sense because of knowing the contents of a scenario, which is clearly not ok. Some might be lenient about this, but others could legitimately throw them out of a group if it is detected. Seeing people trivializing that is what's not sitting well with me.

The player walking out is then not surprising. And it's the kind of softer reaction. Following that logic, that's why I don't like much the trend of opening shareable items too widely without the boon.

Liberty's Edge

Ok, I will agree that metagaming to make a scenario easier isn't good. However, in my opinion, that is a separate issue. There are a whole lot of things you can metagame about well beyond the item on the chronicle sheet your character is built to wield.
All of us are are experienced role players that enjoy playing our characters, weakness and stupidities included. I didn't even have my martial character switch to a blunt weapon for the skeletons because no one in the group said anything about the DR and the GM didn't say the classic "some of the damage doesn't seem to be going through." We certainly aren't going to have our PC's behave out of character to because of what we know from outside the session.

**

On one very specific point brought up about Chronicles only working with specific character features: when you get such a chronicle, you can build toward that feature/boon interaction (e.g. take the technologist feat for your next feat). Nothing says the boon has to benefit you immediately.

End up with access to a unique shield but you're not proficient in shield? Take a level in a class that is or take shield proficiency.

Faction... can't do anything about that, but the blurbs tell you which factions in the later seasons.

My point is that I don't believe the problem is with the Chronicles.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

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Blake's Tiger wrote:

On one very specific point brought up about Chronicles only working with specific character features: when you get such a chronicle, you can build toward that feature/boon interaction (e.g. take the technologist feat for your next feat). Nothing says the boon has to benefit you immediately.

End up with access to a unique shield but you're not proficient in shield? Take a level in a class that is or take shield proficiency.

Faction... can't do anything about that, but the blurbs tell you which factions in the later seasons.

My point is that I don't believe the problem is with the Chronicles.

That is only rarely going to be a practical option. If my character wasn't using a shield then it is unlikely that taking a level of fighter to get shield proficiency is going to be a reasonable thing for that character to do (wow, my wizard will DEFINITELY become a fighter to use a shield. Yeah, right)

**

Paul Jackson wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:

On one very specific point brought up about Chronicles only working with specific character features: when you get such a chronicle, you can build toward that feature/boon interaction (e.g. take the technologist feat for your next feat). Nothing says the boon has to benefit you immediately.

End up with access to a unique shield but you're not proficient in shield? Take a level in a class that is or take shield proficiency.

Faction... can't do anything about that, but the blurbs tell you which factions in the later seasons.

My point is that I don't believe the problem is with the Chronicles.

That is only rarely going to be a practical option. If my character wasn't using a shield then it is unlikely that taking a level of fighter to get shield proficiency is going to be a reasonable thing for that character to do (wow, my wizard will DEFINITELY become a fighter to use a shield. Yeah, right)

And that's up to you (the individual player) to not chase that tangent in your build. But you could if you wanted to.

Or should the very specific scenario that rewards that very special shield only always be played by characters who use shields? And that one very specific scenario that rewards one very specific occult class only be played parties made up of only that occult class?

Or should boons and rewards be so lack-lusterly generic that they can always be applied to any character?

Don't get me wrong. I understand the desire to get the "right" reward on the "right" character. I just don't see the OPF's way of designing chronicles to be flawed in that particular way. EDIT: I assume there's some calculus involved in determining what percentage of characters are going to actually score the reward, and their goal is probably <100% for some things.

Scarab Sages ****

Tommi Ketonen wrote:
For example, a certain special sword. It's the most common type of sword, yet PFS has so many character options that the majority of the players don't necessarily even have a character who uses longswords. Even if you happen to have a character who could use it, there's a chance you happen to play that adventure with another character, leading to the need to GM the adventure to get access to it with the sword-using character. Or, even if you do play it with your swordsman, it's a kind of a weak option when compared to what you could otherwise buy and use.

While longswords may in-world be the most common sword, I don't think that is true at all for PCs. Greatsword would be my guess.

I'll admit to occasionally using a GM chronicle to give an option to a PC that can use it. That includes the certain special sword, which I used a GM-star to GM the scenario for a second time in order to give access to the item to the only character I have who could use it (I probably should have done so the first time I GMed the scenario). At that point, though, I'm not seeking out knowledge that I don't have already in order to find the best option for my character. And that's where I think the problem comes in.

If I play a scenario, and there's an option that would be fun on a different character, then I have gained the knowledge of that option in the normal way. I didn't know going into the scenario. I didn't select a character to play the scenario based on knowledge of the item. And I didn't go searching through the forums to find out that the item existed. So I have that knowledge already. Now I GM the scenario. Of course I'm going to give the chronicle to the character who can use the option if I can.

And at times I have built characters around those options, because I like the story behind them. Not because they are the most effective option. The example I've used before is my Monk (now Unchained). I used GM credit to get him access to a certain neck-slot item that is only available on a chronicle. There's an entire season arc based around that item and using that item at an event. From the first time that I actually played the character (around 4th level), he had the item. His entire goal was to compete at the event using the item. Which he finally did at 12th level, and was victorious.

The item is suboptimal from several aspects. The stock item that has similar, but butter, functionality is in a better item slot. Taking the neck slot item on a Monk that fights unarmed means not being able to take an Amulet of Mighty Fists.

Not huge but would give away where the item comes from:
After winning the tournament, he was awarded a feather as the prize. Since he's a Nagaji and does not have hair to contribute to the braid, he wove the feather into it as his contribution to history.

**

Back to the broader subject, yes, I will apply GM credit to characters who would benefit. For example, when I prepared a scenario with a chronicle that very flavorfully modifies one specific class, I said, "Well, that GM blob is going to grow up to be that specific class."

But I didn't buy or read the chronicle first and then say, "Oh, I'm going to run this so I can have that" (I was actually assigned the scenario at random). Nor did I buy or read the chronicle without running the scenario and then go out looking for or asking my local GMs to run that scenario.

If you're a closed group who has run through a ton of scenarios and knows what's available from a combination of playing and running those scenarios, I don't see anything intrinsicly wrong with GMing what you've played and spending replays to run a fresh group of characters through in the desired order. However, from the outside, in public, I can see how a visitor might feel overhearing such a discussion. Or if you guys basically planned on GMing X scenario 4 times in a row at a public venue so you could each get the chronicle on the right character, which would conceivably be excluding an increasing number of PFS players. Or filling up a venue's 4 tables that week with the same scenario for that purpose. Etc etc.

**

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There are plenty of people who get angry at the smallest things. If you're a seasoned PFS veteran, especially one who's GMd things as well, you're going to have have heard rumors of things on chronicle sheets and consider playing the scenario with someone who could use it.

For instance:

There's a scenario that has a good boon on it for <character type>. The table was run one week, and between then and the next time it was ran, there were murmurs of the boon those people had received (or first hand knowledge of the boon due to playing with those characters at another table) that were circulating around the various tables. Nothing concrete (unless they played with one of the people) and nothing that would in any way impact the choices made at the next table of the scenario - but enough of a "spoiler" that people who had that sort of character would try and get into the next table ran.

It's impossible to play in a vacuum, you'll always be spoiled about something, even if it's just "ah man, there was only 1 combat and it was joke in that scenario..." or " holy smokes we got destroyed in those combats, we almost TPKd!". It's all reliant on the honor system anyways - even if you are spoiled on something, it's expected that you don't act on that or let it influence your decisions.

Life is too short to not make fun characters.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, France—Paris

That depends on where someone places the limit. It sounds logical to not metagame during the scenario but still actively target a scenario because it suits one character better because of an item, or because of the other contents.

Still, on that I disagree because outside of what the blurb explicits (and that I'm fine with taking a character for that background purpose), fun is not above morals, the reverse also being true. Targeting a scenario for a specific item is already metagaming because it is a foreknowledge of parts of the contents of a scenario, which is already no. I might want something, but I'll get it when the time comes. I won't go out of shield to actively get it or unless the GM offers it, or being requested myself to GM it by the VL.

(as a side note I go further, characters should experience every kind of scenarios, not only those suiting most. Hating that cherry-picking, sometimes the value of the character is shown when facing under not perfect conditions. That said, I'm old-fashioned, blood and sweat kind of player)

Liberty's Edge

Ok, further discussion on a couple of sorta related situation.

I have a Nagaji PC that is a Naga Aspirant (druid race specific archetype). His whole personality is trying to emulate the ‘perfection’ of the Naga and trying to convince other Nagaji to behave in the same manner. Had it all planned how he would preach the one true way to them. I have been asking people to let me know if they see a scenario that features any Nagaji or Naga in any capacity. I don’t want any details to give me an edge in the scenario. Just a little disappointed that (other than one Nagaji PC), he is 9th level and has not encountered a single Naga or Nagaji. Found out about a couple, but he was already too high level for those when I learned about them. This has never seemed to bother anyone in my local area, but would this give any of you heart burn?

A friend has been GM’ing a fair amount. He was just telling me he has ‘GM baby’ that is up to 6th level that he hasn’t played at all yet. He doesn’t have any chronicles that say “You made a friend (or enemy) of X.” As far as he knows, none of them have any relation such as “If you took part in Y.” He is now planning to GM him up to Seeker status before he plays it at all. Then he will introduce him as a 12th level character with no memory and no history. To do that he will continue to pick scenarios that have no connections to anything else.  I don’t know if he has told anyone else about this, do you think this is a problem?

Planning to start a PC based on using one particular intelligent magic item. A significant feature of that item is that it encourages the wielder to fight a specific type of opponent. However, I have never seen any other scenario that even mentions that race let alone provides some with whom to interact. Is asking others if they know of any scenarios with that race a ‘no-no’ related to this scenario fishing?

**

That all seems doable based on information that can be found on the scenario title, short summary, and/or cover art, which has historically all been considered acceptable for use in choosing your PC.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Nothing suspicious there, it's pretty apparent from the outside

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