The straitjacket of Rarity in P2E


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Wheldrake wrote:
It's both.

I'll have to disagree 100%. All items/feats have rarity baked in 100%: that starting choice is taken out of the DM's hands. Any change is altering the setting default and NOT the Dm setting their own default.

In effect, the system as is makes more work for the DM: instead of just making a 'ban' list that adds rarity uncommon+ to some items, they now have to do that PLUS making a list of thing that are now common.

Nicolas Paradise wrote:
If it isn't fun change it.

That's not something I can do myself as a player in various different DM's and groups/games. It'd be lobbying for this [and quite a few more] changes each and every time i join a group.


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graystone wrote:
that starting choice is taken out of the DM's hands. Any change is altering the setting default and NOT the Dm setting their own default.

When the default is 'at GM discretion' that's kind of a meaningless distinction though.


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Wheldrake wrote:
These were all things which were handwaved in PF1. It was all up to the DM to determine what was available or not, whether it be powerful spells, powerful items or whatever. Now there is some CRB guidance to help determine what is available.

I feel you've really hit the nail on the head with your comments in this thread.

3.5/PF is a system that gave a staggering amount of control to players. Shifting that back to the GM is alright with me. It's way more fun to do a quest for a cool reward instead of go shopping at the Magic Mart.

The GM is supposed to provide uncommon items as quest rewards fairly regularly. (And for games starting at higher levels, it would be more than reasonable to allow characters to start with a handful of uncommon items.) You just have to discuss with your GM instead of springing some weird build on them.

Sovereign Court

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Ravingdork wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

The only issue I am seeing with rarity is its effect on creating higher level characters -- something that a GM would need to direct you to do anyway, as the default would be to create a 1st level character for a brand new campaign. If you are theorycrafting, you effectively are the GM and can set the parameters in any way that you consider reasonable -- for example, you could assume that a particular character completed particular adventures before reaching the level you are designing them at.

The uncommon items that a 1st level character can afford are mostly weapons that can be accessed via appropriate feats. I would not be surprised if appropriate books make other, higher level items available under particular conditions.

So when I'm the GM of my theory craft character, should I assume that I should pay research costs for all my uncommon spells from the character's starting funds or not? Would the rule that lump sum starting funds can only net common items get in the way?

Nobody really knows, because it's "mother may I?"

If you are the GM it doesn't matter, you can do whatever you want in theorycraft.

Now if the question, is I was pretending to be a GM theorycrafting a character for any game...then yeah it doesn't work.

Edit: The only option that works all the time is just to stick to common items.

Liberty's Edge

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The resistance to having a simple conversation with one's GM in this thread is really weird to me.


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Ravingdork wrote:
So when I'm the GM of my theory craft character, should I assume that I should pay research costs for all my uncommon spells from the character's starting funds or not? Would the rule that lump sum starting funds can only net common items get in the way?

Yes. Yes, unless you choose to ignore rarity. And no, not unless you want it to.

Ravingdork, I understand where you're coming from. It is indeed a valid question.

But if you're already assuming that the X-level character you're theorycrafing survived being level X-1 and level X-2 and so on, then it's not such a huge leap to assume that whatever uncommon spell, item or thingy you want for the theorycrafted character was also the object of DM discussions, quests or whatever.

I would suppose that if your theorycrafted X-level character relies on a couple uncommon or rare spells, items or whatever, all you need to do is note that rarity on your final list of the character. This rarity system is really only a guide for DMs running games, not for forum-dwellers who cook up cool characters in their free time.


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As a GM, I love rarity so much. It saves me a bunch of time figuring out what spells or items might be disruptive to my campaign (which in PF1e I often had to learn the hard way i.e. by having my campaign disrupted), and it gives me neat treasure to hand out that my players will appreciate.

And the vast majority of the time if someone wants an uncommon option at character creation, my answer is just going to me "give me a couple sentences of backstory explaining that."

Like others, I appreciate anything that encourages players to talk to me more; I don't at all see that as a drawback like Graystone does.

Oh, and for anyone wondering the difference between Uncommon and Rare, there actually is a mechanical difference (although it isn't spelled out) - character/class options never give access to Rare things, only to Uncommon things.

EDIT: Also, I don't really get the idea of it being a "straightjacket"; it's not like there is anything in the rules that prevents a GM from just saying "I don't use rarity; treat everything as common."


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Wheldrake wrote:
So, where's the straightjacket?

It's the paralysis caused by the unknowns (see any of my above posts, or threads related to this topic for numerous examples of confusion and frustration). As written many common and iconic character concepts simply aren't possible without a GM to allow it. This is incredibly frustrating for players who don't have access to a GM.

As is we can't even make good baseline assumptions as players. As a new system, there just isn't enough information yet.

MaxAstro wrote:
Oh, and for anyone wondering the difference between Uncommon and Rare, there actually is a mechanical difference (although it isn't spelled out) - character/class options never give access to Rare things, only to Uncommon things.

It's rare that character/class options grant access to uncommon things.

Shisumo wrote:
The resistance to having a simple conversation with one's GM in this thread is really weird to me.

What resistance? A big part of the problem is that some of us don't have GMs and don't know what to do when making characters in advance of having one.

I don't think anyone in this thread has said they would resist the GM or his right to restrict options.

Silver Crusade

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Ravingdork wrote:
This is incredibly frustrating for players who don't have access to a GM.

...


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Ravingdork wrote:
It's the paralysis caused by the unknowns (see any of my above posts, or threads related to this topic for numerous examples of confusion and frustration). As written many common and iconic character concepts simply aren't possible without a GM to allow it. This is incredibly frustrating for players who don't have access to a GM.

This is just mystifying to me. Are there really players who don't talk to their GM about their character concept at all, and just show up at the table with a character?

Why? Why would anyone ever do that?

Sovereign Court

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As someone who has participated in PFS since its inception (and also lots of home games) I think the rarity rules will be a tremendous help in preventing a fast march right back to where we left 1st edition: an unholy mess of too many overpowered combinations and options. At least they are giving the option to GMs to have some control over that, and in organized play this is our only hope as we can't "house rule" diddly squat.

I like it. Seems like the people complaining are mostly the optimizers who want to be able to break the game for a second time, making it a lot less fun for the casual gamer. If you are a GM you can do whatever you want to loosen those restrictions, so I don't see how this really affects you..

Scarab Sages

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Ravingdork wrote:

This is incredibly frustrating for players who don't have access to a GM.

If you don't have access to a GM you aren't a player. You are a potential player.

PF2 has been streamlined for a better play experience. What you are complaining about is that this streamlining has ruined your non-play experience.

Which is something that... just doesn't make sense to me at all.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
So, where's the straightjacket?

It's the paralysis caused by the unknowns (see any of my above posts, or threads related to this topic for numerous examples of confusion and frustration). As written many common and iconic character concepts simply aren't possible without a GM to allow it. This is incredibly frustrating for players who don't have access to a GM.

As is we can't even make good baseline assumptions as players. As a new system, there just isn't enough information yet.

I hear you. And you're not wrong. But I feel that you're exaggerating how severe the problem is. Even though the baseline is that only common stuff can be purchased without DM intervention (barring special skills or backgrounds that explicitly grant access to uncommon stuff), it really doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to theorycraft characters and include a short note or asterisk on non-common spells or items that complete the character.

Would it have helped if there were some examples, like using Underworld Lore or Society (or whatever) in a settlement of a given size for a specific DC off the table in order to acquire uncommon or rare things? Maybe that is the kind of thing we will see in future books from Paizo. Especially if our pals at Paizo perceive the interest in it and usefulness of such examples.


Think what people dont understand is outside weapons gained through ancestery feats theres no difference between uncommon and rare.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It's the paralysis caused by the unknowns (see any of my above posts, or threads related to this topic for numerous examples of confusion and frustration). As written many common and iconic character concepts simply aren't possible without a GM to allow it. This is incredibly frustrating for players who don't have access to a GM.

This is just mystifying to me. Are there really players who don't talk to their GM about their character concept at all, and just show up at the table with a character?

Why? Why would anyone ever do that?

You misunderstand. I would always share my character with the GM. I've been known to share a lot more than other players, or even more than the GM wants me too.

What is terrifying to me, is that the GM might block a half dozen or more characters, or ask for such drastic character changes that the core concept falls apart, all because nobody was on the same page for character creation baseline assumptions. I suppose that could happen anyways, but the way the rarity system was implemented, and not clarified, seems like that would be more likely to happen.

And yes, many players just show up with a character or characters in hand. I've done it, and seen it done all the time. No, most don't try to sneak said characters by the GM.


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Reziburno25 wrote:
Think what people dont understand is outside weapons gained through ancestery feats theres no difference between uncommon and rare.

Languages, also. It's just spells that don't really have a mechanical difference right now.

Scarab Sages

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I think I figured it out.

You enjoyed PF1 via a method that it was not designed for, but for which it was well suited (Making characters without having a game to play them in, ie theorycraft)

In the processes of improving the method for which it was designed (making characters with the intent to play them) it has made it harder to enjoy the product via your preferred method, even though that method is not the one for which the system was designed.

Am I correct in my reading of the situation?


MaxAstro wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
Think what people dont understand is outside weapons gained through ancestery feats theres no difference between uncommon and rare.
Languages, also. It's just spells that don't really have a mechanical difference right now.

For uncommon spells be good if pay money x spell level to buy one then even at start.


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Reziburno25 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
Think what people dont understand is outside weapons gained through ancestery feats theres no difference between uncommon and rare.
Languages, also. It's just spells that don't really have a mechanical difference right now.
For uncommon spells be good if pay money x spell level to buy one then even at start.

I disagree; I much prefer that players talk to me if they want something uncommon, and I don't want to feel like I need to charge them for access.


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Ravingdork wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It's the paralysis caused by the unknowns (see any of my above posts, or threads related to this topic for numerous examples of confusion and frustration). As written many common and iconic character concepts simply aren't possible without a GM to allow it. This is incredibly frustrating for players who don't have access to a GM.

This is just mystifying to me. Are there really players who don't talk to their GM about their character concept at all, and just show up at the table with a character?

Why? Why would anyone ever do that?

You misunderstand. I would always share my character with the GM. I've been known to share a lot more than other players, or even more than the GM wants me too.

What is terrifying to me, is that the GM might block a half dozen or more characters, or ask for such drastic character changes that the core concept falls apart, all because nobody was on the same page for character creation baseline assumptions. I suppose that could happen anyways, but the way the rarity system was implemented, and not clarified, seems like that would be more likely to happen.

And yes, many players just show up with a character or characters in hand. I've done it, and seen it done all the time. No, most don't try to sneak said characters by the GM.

Yeah, I'm afraid I honestly have very little sympathy for any problem that can be solved by talking to your GM before making your character.

I love that the system encourages players to talk to their GM before making their characters.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
Think what people dont understand is outside weapons gained through ancestery feats theres no difference between uncommon and rare.
Languages, also. It's just spells that don't really have a mechanical difference right now.
For uncommon spells be good if pay money x spell level to buy one then even at start.
I disagree; I much prefer that players talk to me if they want something uncommon, and I don't want to feel like I need to charge them for access.

True but your still at mercy of your gm if you want to even get uncommon stuff.


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Ravingdork wrote:

After reading the P2E playtest blogs, it was my understanding that rarity was going to be an organization tool for GMs to more easily control what enters their game. There wasn't going to be any hard rules or mechanics behind it. Simply a bunch of tags and the GM saying "No rare items without checking with me first" or "Since this is an oriental campaign, all items traditionally considered oriental have a Common rating. More western armor and weapons have an Uncommon rating and require my blessing in this campaign." That sort of thing.

Except that's not what happened. Everywhere I look, I'm seeing hard rules that state I can't get this or that Uncommon item, or rather, that I'm limited to Common items and spells whenever I'm able to make a selection.

Uncommon items are not even made harder to get. They simply can't be got. Period.

This might not be such a big issue ...
What do you guys think? Does it feel suffocating to you too?

I would have adapted a different approach.

Simply state: if a spell/item/ability/feat has a ‘U’ the player and GM should be aware that it has to potential to unbalance the core assumptions of the game and they may wish to consider whether it is allowed. If it has the ‘R’ tag we find that said ability/item/spell can easily and frequently overshadows other players or trivializes challenges / encounters even more so than a ‘U’ ability and one should very carefully consider if this is something they want in a campaign.


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Reziburno25 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
Think what people dont understand is outside weapons gained through ancestery feats theres no difference between uncommon and rare.
Languages, also. It's just spells that don't really have a mechanical difference right now.
For uncommon spells be good if pay money x spell level to buy one then even at start.
I disagree; I much prefer that players talk to me if they want something uncommon, and I don't want to feel like I need to charge them for access.
True but your still at mercy of your gm if you want to even get uncommon stuff.

I maintain that's a feature, not a bug.


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Not much difference since as stated before you still require the mercy of gm to allow it by default, if instead it was written that players can grab uncommon but gm may disallow them then that fine.


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All Focus Powers are Uncommon. But, the rules on rarity state that players are assumed to have access to benefits gained by ancestry and class.

"Unless you decide otherwise, the players can choose from any common options they qualify for, plus any uncommon options granted by their character choices—primarily their ancestry and class"

Sooo, any focus power at all is explicitly at the whim of the GM? Fair enough, but seems a waste of time and ink to explicitly call out what's an obviously baked in rule.

Also makes me wonder how Adventure Paths and PFS rules might restrict this stuff =\


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I think one thing that's probably being overlooked here is that the Rarity specified on things in the CRB and Bestiary are the default for the Golarion Campaign Setting.

Rare and Unique typically involves DM intervention of some kind while Uncommon exists in the world and is available without even asking the DM provided you've satisfied some condition that gives you access to it already.

If a condition doesn't already exist for that or you're wanting to bypass the normal conditions then that's where you would talk to your DM about it.

For example, taking the Weapon Familiarity Ancestry Feat for your race gives you access to those weapons. They have already spoiled some of the Archetype Dedications from the Lost Omen World Guide and those are listed as Uncommon. You have the ability to access them if you're from the area they come from. Etc.

If anyone is running their own setting or even the Golarion Setting in a home campaign they can modify the default rarity as desired.

It's nice to know ahead of time how rare something is in a world so you can form expectations around how things work.


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At 1st level, I would just follow the standard rules in building a character.

At higher levels, you are either theorycrafting or joining a specific campaign.

If you are just theorycrafting, you can make up your own rules as to what is allowed.

If you are joining a specific campaign, it is up to the GM to tell you if you can gain uncommon or rare items that you would otherwise not qualify for. Since I rather liked what the playtest did in regard to uncommon items for higher level characters, I would probably allow a single uncommon item not otherwise accounted for at level 5+ and a single rare item for a 20th level one-off adventure. A generic rule like that allow for some interesting builds while limiting what the GM would need to review.


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Halcyon_Janissary wrote:

"Unless you decide otherwise, the players can choose from any common options they qualify for, plus any uncommon options granted by their character choices—primarily their ancestry and class"

Sooo, any focus power at all is explicitly at the whim of the GM?

No, the exact opposite. Taking the class feat gives you automatic access to the Focus Power.


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Thebazilly wrote:
Halcyon_Janissary wrote:

"Unless you decide otherwise, the players can choose from any common options they qualify for, plus any uncommon options granted by their character choices—primarily their ancestry and class"

Sooo, any focus power at all is explicitly at the whim of the GM?

No, the exact opposite. Taking the class feat gives you automatic access to the Focus Power.

If that's the case, then what's the "unless you decide otherwise" clause doing in the statement at all?

If a class focus power (or any other uncommon class or ancestry feature) have identical rules to common class features (in that you gain access to them by leveling up) then the question becomes why make it explicit?

Which is the basis of my concern about how this plays out in organized play.


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One of the things that always frustrated me about P1 is the late arriving PC problem.

A group has been running a campaign for almost 6 months in real time. In that time period the PCs have gone from level 1 to level 6. Andy, a player in the group, has been present for every single session for the past 6 months and has really breathed life and depth into his halfling paladin Haskins.
Bob is an old friend of the GMs and just moved back into town and the group is always happy to have a new player at the table. Bob sits down and rolls up a Human Fighter Mikal.
Because Haskins has only had access to items in loot or the rare opportunity to purchase one of 2d4 magic items in town, he only has a +1 longsword and +1 splint mail. Mikal, being a fresh new PC and given level 6 WBL, has a +2 weapon +2 fullplate, a +2 Str belt and half a dozen consumables.

In P1 since there was an assumption that you have access to everything in the book, even if Haskins got a spell or item as loot, there is nothing preventing Mikal from also having that item or the next leveled up version. It almost feels like Haskins is being punished for playing through levels 1 to 6, where as Mikal is being rewarded for coming in late. With rarity, Haskins, having played ever session of every level has gained access to a dozen uncommon items and spells as loot rewards, giving him a benefit that a brand new PC does not have access to.

Again this is a reward for actually doing the thing, and it doesn't require the GM to break the game by giving you early access to something since that's the only way it's a reward and not just the baseline assumption.

Liberty's Edge

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Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
Also makes me wonder how Adventure Paths and PFS rules might restrict this stuff =\

PFS is going to allow uncommon options via chronicle certs and the Adventure Points system, I believe.

Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
Halcyon_Janissary wrote:

"Unless you decide otherwise, the players can choose from any common options they qualify for, plus any uncommon options granted by their character choices—primarily their ancestry and class"

Sooo, any focus power at all is explicitly at the whim of the GM?

No, the exact opposite. Taking the class feat gives you automatic access to the Focus Power.
If that's the case, then what's the "unless you decide otherwise" clause doing in the statement at all?

The GM could "decide otherwise" by saying, "all uncommon items are available without restriction," for example.


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Shisumo wrote:
Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
Also makes me wonder how Adventure Paths and PFS rules might restrict this stuff =\
PFS is going to allow uncommon options via chronicle certs and the Adventure Points system, I believe.

Which is just a PFS way of saying, "you gain access to the restricted stuff b/c you did the quest." Which is exactly what your home GM is ALSO doing.


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I look askance at the rarity system as its something I'm not sold on, but I understand why people would want it.

But, I absolutely hate the notion that 'Lets go on a quest for this thing' is actually a suggested option to get uncommon or rare things.

These quests require a buy in from the rest of the party at the table, including a willingness to put aside whatever the main plot of the adventure is. Lets do that for the wizard's rare spell, the cleric's uncommon divination, and the fighter's esoteric fighting technique. The rogue can't have anything nice by that point because we're in danger of losing the thread of the campaign.

The GM has to make it. For some GMs that's not a problem, I get that. And its not even necessarily hard, but if a quest is too perfunctory, then its also, 'Why did we even bother?' This stuff takes up time at the play table, and acquiring that is the real quest sometimes.

And if you're playing a Paizo adventure path, you might not even have the time to sidequest at all.
Book 4 of Hell's Rebels took place over 4 days in my campaign, the PCs leveled up 3 times in 4 days. No one has time for a sidequest.
Carrion Crown is a campaign long chase scene. Not once did we ever feel comfortable enough to faff off and sidequest--There's a death cult a step ahead of us.
And so on. You might think that it depends on the how the GM presents such campaigns to you--if you have time for a sidequest, but usually the blowback is from the other players. "We don't have time for that." "Just pick something else, would you?" "Another quest for a rare magic thing? FFS."

For some people, I'm sure its going to work great and everyone is going to have a great time. People will need to find a way to engage with the system that brings them the most happiness, but the notion of having to quest for player options in game feels like a colossal waste of everyone at the table's time.

I could probably tone down the hyperbole a bit, but it reads funnier that way.


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Time-sensitive adventures will knock out almost any use of downtime - or sidequests for rare stuff.

I mean, how often do you actually use table time for shopping? I always hate shopping breaks in the middle of a game session. It feels like a huge waste of time when we could be in combat or investigating stuff or schmoozing around with NPCs.

So in a time-sensitive quest, a discerning DM would have to:
- hand-wave rarity, or
- reduce rarity to a couple die rolls (like Underworld Lore or Society or Diplomacy to Gather Information, or
- serendipitously provide the requested spell or item in loot hauls.

It still doesn't mean the rarity concept is garbage.


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Kelseus wrote:


PFS is going to allow uncommon options via chronicle certs and the Adventure Points system, I believe.

..

Which is just a PFS way of saying, "you gain access to the restricted stuff b/c you did the quest." Which is exactly what your home GM is ALSO doing.

So focus powers are going to be gated behind the adventure point system?

So class features could be gated behind particular quests?

Item rarity makes perfect sense, but my qualms aren't about item rarity.

Shisumo wrote:


Which is just a PFS way of saying, "you gain access to the restricted stuff b/c you did the quest." Which is exactly what your home GM is ALSO doing.

If my home GM is gating the entirety of focus powers behind quests they're quickly becoming not my home GM. (Not that this is relevant, I'm the GM for my group)

This all makes sense for items. It makes a certain kind of sense for mystery games or games that need to block off a portion of play due to where the narrative conflict rests.

My concern is turning blocks of character building into a whimsical benny system for the GM's or a loyalty bonus for long term PFS players.


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Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
Kelseus wrote:


PFS is going to allow uncommon options via chronicle certs and the Adventure Points system, I believe.

..

Which is just a PFS way of saying, "you gain access to the restricted stuff b/c you did the quest." Which is exactly what your home GM is ALSO doing.

So focus powers are going to be gated behind the adventure point system?

So class features could be gated behind particular quests?

Item rarity makes perfect sense, but my qualms aren't about item rarity.

Shisumo wrote:


Which is just a PFS way of saying, "you gain access to the restricted stuff b/c you did the quest." Which is exactly what your home GM is ALSO doing.

If my home GM is gating the entirety of focus powers behind quests they're quickly becoming not my home GM. (Not that this is relevant, I'm the GM for my group)

This all makes sense for items. It makes a certain kind of sense for mystery games or games that need to block off a portion of play due to where the narrative conflict rests.

My concern is turning blocks of character building into a whimsical benny system for the GM's or a loyalty bonus for long term PFS players.

You seem to be either missing or deliberately ignoring the part where the class feat that gives you the Focus spell is NOT uncommon, and thus follows the rule that class features can give you access to uncommon things.

Dataphiles

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Kasoh wrote:
But, I absolutely hate the notion that 'Lets go on a quest for this thing' is actually a suggested option to get uncommon or rare things.

Your characters are generally doing a lot of quests already for various people for various reasons. You have a wizard who is trying to get access to some more obscure spells, "The band of orcs that have been raiding in this area have made their base an old, abandoned wizard's tower..." Oh, hey, look. There might be some old books in that old wizard tower which could help in that research.

The wizard is doing her quest to get access to spells alongside the existing quests that the group is already doing. They just have a side-quest while in the tower to examine any library or old tomes they might come across.


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Chetna Wavari wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
But, I absolutely hate the notion that 'Lets go on a quest for this thing' is actually a suggested option to get uncommon or rare things.

Your characters are generally doing a lot of quests already for various people for various reasons. You have a wizard who is trying to get access to some more obscure spells, "The band of orcs that have been raiding in this area have made their base an old, abandoned wizard's tower..." Oh, hey, look. There might be some old books in that old wizard tower which could help in that research.

The wizard is doing her quest to get access to spells alongside the existing quests that the group is already doing. They just have a side-quest while in the tower to examine any library or old tomes they might come across.

That's not really a sidequest in my opinion, that's just a treasure drop. Which is fine, its a reward for thorough exploration of the adventure site.

If you were going there anyway, its not a sidequest.

Dataphiles

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Kasoh wrote:
Chetna Wavari wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
But, I absolutely hate the notion that 'Lets go on a quest for this thing' is actually a suggested option to get uncommon or rare things.

Your characters are generally doing a lot of quests already for various people for various reasons. You have a wizard who is trying to get access to some more obscure spells, "The band of orcs that have been raiding in this area have made their base an old, abandoned wizard's tower..." Oh, hey, look. There might be some old books in that old wizard tower which could help in that research.

The wizard is doing her quest to get access to spells alongside the existing quests that the group is already doing. They just have a side-quest while in the tower to examine any library or old tomes they might come across.

That's not really a sidequest in my opinion, that's just a treasure drop. Which is fine, its a reward for thorough exploration of the adventure site.

If you were going there anyway, its not a sidequest.

The main quest is to stop the Orcs. I doubt the answer to stopping these new orcs was in the library. Researching the spell in the library is a side-quest.


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MaxAstro wrote:


You seem to be either missing or deliberately ignoring the part where the class feat that gives you the Focus spell is NOT uncommon, and thus follows the rule that class features can give you access to uncommon things.

Your claim makes logical sense but doesn't hold up to the text.

Are there are ways to get focus powers other than class feats and items?

Assiming no, then none of the class focus powers need the uncommon tag, since by your logic class feats invalidate the tag, and items that grant class feats (if they exist) are limited by their own rarity rating.

But, all of the focus power abilities do have the uncommon tag. So while a GM could not disallow the ability to select the feat (could through GM fiat anyway, but that's not a thing the rulebook needs to worry about) but per the book they could bar selecting the power that the feat grants access to.

If only some of the focus powers had the uncommon tag this would make sense; instead all the focus powers have.the uncommon tag.


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Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
You seem to be either missing or deliberately ignoring the part where the class feat that gives you the Focus spell is NOT uncommon, and thus follows the rule that class features can give you access to uncommon things.

Your claim makes logical sense but doesn't hold up to the text.

Are there are ways to get focus powers other than class feats and items?

Assiming no, then none of the class focus powers need the uncommon tag, since by your logic class feats invalidate the tag, and items that grant class feats (if they exist) are limited by their own rarity rating.

But, all of the focus power abilities do have the uncommon tag. So while a GM could not disallow the ability to select the feat (could through GM fiat anyway, but that's not a thing the rulebook needs to worry about) but per the book they could bar selecting the power that the feat grants access to.

If only some of the focus powers had the uncommon tag this would make sense; instead all the focus powers have.the uncommon tag.

You quoted the exact rules text that allows you to use Focus powers already.

"Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
"Unless you decide otherwise, the players can choose from any common options they qualify for, plus any uncommon options granted by their character choices—primarily their ancestry and class"

Taking the class feat allows you to use the Uncommon Focus power. Your Class grants you access to it. There is no other way to gain a Focus power.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Honestly, none of the first-level focus powers look like anything to get really excited about. I don't see a single reason why any DM would deny access to them.

They're uncommon, so you don't get to choose them - unless a class feature, like school specialization, gives you access. Then you get them automatically.

Seems pretty simple to me.


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Thebazilly wrote:


You quoted the exact rules text that allows you to use Focus powers already.
...
Taking the class feat allows you to use the Uncommon Focus power. Your Class grants you access to it. There is no other way to gain a Focus power.

If the only way to get a focus power is by taking a class feat to get it, and class feats cannot be invalidated by rarity tag, then why have a rarity tag on focus powers?


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Wheldrake wrote:


They're uncommon, so you don't get to choose them - unless a class feature, like school specialization, gives you access. Then you get them automatically.

Every focus power has the uncommon rarity tag.

Every focus power is attainable -only- through a class feat.

If an ability is acquired via a class feat, then the rarity tag is invalidated.

Not being sarcastic here, the rules seem to literally contradict themselves.


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

Focus Powers and Spells have the Uncommon and Rare tags because it's possible to search out for someone that has those abilities. For example, if you're looking for a Champion that can heal you using Lay on Hands it would be uncommon depending on the circumstances.

Rarity is also a guide for a DM as to how rare something would be to find.

In the middle of a random village and looking to hire the services of a Bard that can Inspire Courage for your party and maybe help your party travel quickly to another town with the help of their Triple Time performance? Well, those services would count as uncommon so it's up to the DM whether or not they would be available.

It doesn't mean that they shouldn't do it. It just means that it's not assumed to be available.

If you're playing a class that gains Focus Powers then you'll earn them automatically through your class abilities and class feats as detailed in your class. You might notice that the Class Feats that grant those focus powers do not have an Uncommon tag on them.


Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:


You quoted the exact rules text that allows you to use Focus powers already.
...
Taking the class feat allows you to use the Uncommon Focus power. Your Class grants you access to it. There is no other way to gain a Focus power.
If the only way to get a focus power is by taking a class feat to get it, and class feats cannot be invalidated by rarity tag, then why have a rarity tag on focus powers?

I would assume future-proofing, in case a later rule interacts with Focus powers. Or just marking them as not available to be taken as spell options, since they are technically "spells," even if they don't work the same way mechanically.


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Gloom wrote:

Focus Powers and Spells have the Uncommon and Rare tags because it's possible to search out for someone that has those abilities. For example, if you're looking for a Champion that can heal you using Lay on Hands it would be uncommon depending on the circumstances.

Rarity is also a guide for a DM as to how rare something would be to find.

In the middle of a random village and looking to hire the services of a Bard that can Inspire Courage for your party and maybe help your party travel quickly to another town with the help of their Triple Time performance? Well, those services would count as uncommon so it's up to the DM whether or not they would be available.

It doesn't mean that they shouldn't do it. It just means that it's not assumed to be available.

If you're playing a class that gains Focus Powers then you'll earn them automatically through your class abilities and class feats as detailed in your class.

Thank god, someone finally gets the question!

Thanks Gloom, makes perfect sense now.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Uncommon as defined by the core rulebook essentially say there are restrictions or requirements. So maybe your gm could decide that the people who could teach teleport are part of the lollipop guild.

There are feats that give access to uncommon items because x meets the requirement by taking the feat.


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Seen from a different perspective, rocks not falling down and killing everyone is definitely an Uncommon event.


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I love the rarity system. It introduces a satisfying dynamic both in and out of game. Especially after the ridiculous free-for-all that PF1 has been for the past four or five years that was exhausting as a player, not to mention as a GM.

That said, I absolutely understand the concern some people have about it. One of PF2's main design goals seems to be tailoring the play experience for each individual table, which is going to enable, and even encourage in stronger cases, everyone in a particular gaming group to come to the game with wildly varied expectations for the game. In such cases, it's definitely going to require a degree of compromise. That goes both ways, however. The GM should be willing to compromise with the players to allow them to fit their concept to the game (key word being compromise; ie NOT caving in to all requests or demands). Of course, not all GMs are going to relinquish this amount of control.

The system doesn't feel like a straitjacket to me as a player. It's true that I'm more often a GM, though I still appreciate the system as a player too. But I can see why others would feel that way, because if you go into a game as a player with vastly different expectations than the GM, you risk undermining your own character concept, and it can be frustrating if those involved can't reach a compromise that allows everyone to get what they're looking for out of the game.

My perspective is colored by the fact that I don't seek out games with random people. All games that I play these days are with people I know well and that we understand our expectations of what we want from the game. It's a different beast when you're looking to join a new group, and it's somewhat of an obstacle to overcome in that case. How much of an obstacle it turns out to be is going to vary based on each individual member of the prospective group.

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