The straitjacket of Rarity in P2E


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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.

I have never started a campaign below level 3 in PF/D&D, and never the minimum 'power level' in any other system either (always give 1500 to 2000 co at the start of a dark heresy campaign, for example). Low level play is boring, so you just want to get out of it ASAP.


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graystone wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I think the default assumption is not "you need to jump through hoops"; it's "you should talk to your GM".

It sure FEELS like "you need to jump through hoops": the number of things I have to "talk to your GM" about keep growing and growing with this edition and that's not something I count as a feature, pro or boon: it just means more time and effort to get to the starting gate and since I often have different Dm's and games that's adds up quickly. I'd rather see "Giving GMs agency and control" as giving the GM the tools they need if they want to use them instead of baking such rules into the system and make people have to take them out or alter them if they don't work in their entirety.

So IMO I'd rather see the rarity system as a DM tool to control availability instead of the system making that decision for them and making them alter it if they disagree.

Yep, the number of things in this game that say they're up to the GM is rather excessive. The GM sets the DC, As defined by the GM, the GM decides, etc. are all very common phrases, and GMs themselves are given pretty loose guidelines in that part of the book.

I really miss all the formulae and tables that just told you what each thing was so there wouldn't be any ambiguity and you wouldnt have to constantly harass the GM. I don't like it as a GM either, it's just more adjudication I'd have to do on the fly.


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For those who are concerned that you can't really work up your character concept b/c you don't know who your GM will be, therefore you can't ask them, I would say that this is just as likely to happen in P1 or D&D 3/4/5/80000 etc. You might have a GM sit down and say that you're playing in his home-rule setting, and there are no monks. Or its an East Asian themed adventure, or you're all playing talking animals. Nothing about the P2 rarity rules changes the fact that your PC is subject to GM fiat.
I literally had a GM who said that there are no clerics in his setting, and this was back in the APG only days, where there weren't a ton of options to keep a party at full HP.

What this does its it sets a base line to ask first. I had a player in my last game select a spell from a player companion book that I had never heard of before. While it wasn't overpowered or disruptive, I only learned about it when his PC caste the spell. In P2 the baseline rule is that he would have to ask me first as opposed to me stopping in the middle of combat to confront a player about a disallowed option.

It's a baseline of "ask permission instead of beg forgiveness." It also means that if this PC does pick an uncommon option without asking, instead of arguing with him at the table about it, I can very easily say "its uncommon you don't know it," and move on.


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Thebazilly wrote:


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.

In what universe is it more fun to go on a long quest for an item instead of just buying/making it and getting to actually use it for your next long quest?


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Ravingdork, I remember your character-market thread, but I never delved into it. (I'm not a fan of the character-build process, in any edition; it's a necessary evil to get to playing the game, for me.) What did you do about point-buy, since that's one of the things that could vary in P1e? Did you have some characters at 15 point-buy, some at 20, some at 25, etc.?

Silver Crusade

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Ravingdork wrote:


Here are two that I've asked elsewhere:

With or without GM input, are spellcasters expected to pay to learn uncommon spells?

The Learn A Spell general skill is for getting spells outside of those you get from leveling up. You don't pay for those. Using LaP you do have to pay. If you design a character with Access to an Uncommon Spell, either as theorycraft or because the GM said so, you can add that when you level up. Outside of that you use LaP and pay for it, Rarity doesn't factor in.
Quote:
If the GM allows for (an) uncommon item(s), can you buy them when using the lump sum option for character starting funds?

Yes, the GM outranks the book, as the book outright states.

Item Selection wrote:
You should work with the new character’s player to decide which items their character has. Allow the player to make suggestions, and if they know what items they want their character to have, respect their choices unless you believe those choices will have a negative impact on your game. At your discretion, you can grant the player character uncommon or rare items that fit their backstory and concept, keeping in mind how many items of those rarities you have introduced into your game. The player can also spend currency on consumables or lower-level permanent items, keeping the rest as coinage. As usual, you determine which items the character can find for purchase.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:


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.
In what universe is it more fun to go on a long quest for an item instead of just buying/making it and getting to actually use it for your next long quest?

Depends on the quests. Most heroic (or any really) fiction includes elements of acquiring something to accomplish the antagonists goals, whether it be a physical item or skill.

Silver Crusade

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Malk_Content wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:


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.
In what universe is it more fun to go on a long quest for an item instead of just buying/making it and getting to actually use it for your next long quest?
Depends on the quests. Most heroic (or any really) fiction includes elements of acquiring something to accomplish the antagonists goals, whether it be a physical item or skill.

Pretty much this. If we get an item and then the campaign ends its not an item to use, it's mcguffin. If we get it and then use on the next adventure then awesome.

I'm almost always in favor of finding items in the wild or getting rewards than just strolling down to fantasy Costco.


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Eltacolibre wrote:
We really can't do more than that until the Gamemastery guide brings more rules in January.

Maybe the Lost Omens World Guide will have something useful in it? I could have sworn I read statements to that effect.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
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.
In what universe is it more fun to go on a long quest for an item instead of just buying/making it and getting to actually use it for your next long quest?

I prefer to spend my time playing the game instead of waiting half an hour while everyone pores over equipment lists and subtracts gold from their inventory.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My take on this is that the only uncommon spell that really tickles my fancy in PF1 is teleport, which is now meh, I mean, none of my mages would want to take it now. If the party has to go somewhere, everyone chip in and hire a carriage, because I pass on wasting a spell slot on that.

Incidentally, I think it doesn't bother me overmuch because the first character I want to play is a Draconic Sorcerer with champion dedication, so spells are quaternary at best (behind melee, focus and intimidation) and I haven't been looking very close at that chapter. If I ever get to play a wizard maybe it will bother me more.


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Thebazilly wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
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.
In what universe is it more fun to go on a long quest for an item instead of just buying/making it and getting to actually use it for your next long quest?
I prefer to spend my time playing the game instead of waiting half an hour while everyone pores over equipment lists and subtracts gold from their inventory.

Shopping is part of the game, and one of the most fun parts at that. I prefer to not spend my time running off to a bunch of random fetch quests so the party can get items they formerly could have just bought instead.


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All this talk about stealing player agency and GMs having too much power to shut down build ideas feels bizarre given that a GM could and did do the exact same thing whenever they wanted.

The only real difference is that Paizo now has a way to mark which spells and items are considered normal and which are considered esoteric, instead of the GM having to guess.

If anything this will probably lead to less arbitrary banning, which means more consistency.


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swoosh wrote:

All this talk about stealing player agency and GMs having too much power to shut down build ideas feels bizarre given that a GM could and did do the exact same thing whenever they wanted.

The only real difference is that Paizo now has a way to mark which spells and items are considered normal and which are considered esoteric, instead of the GM having to guess.

If anything this will probably lead to less arbitrary banning, which means more consistency.

Yes - this exactly. I don’t understand the perspective that this is somehow more variance when what we have now are base guidelines when before it was basically the Wild West.


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graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Its up to the DM.

*sigh*... SO no guidance is what you're saying... That's the last thing I want to hear. It'd be nice to have some assurance that if I take a monk, for instance, I'd be able to have a default stance as to whether or not I could expect to refill Shuriken without having to instead add it to the ever growing number of questions I have for my next DM [and the one after that, the the next one and the one after all of them...]. I'm going to need a 100 question questionnaire every time I start a new game. :P

I swear, at every turn there's something else that makes me less excited about the game...

MONASTIC WEAPONRY, FEAT 1

"You gain access to uncommon weapons that have the monk trait"


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swoosh wrote:

All this talk about stealing player agency and GMs having too much power to shut down build ideas feels bizarre given that a GM could and did do the exact same thing whenever they wanted.

The only real difference is that Paizo now has a way to mark which spells and items are considered normal and which are considered esoteric, instead of the GM having to guess.

If anything this will probably lead to less arbitrary banning, which means more consistency.

Sorry, I have to disagree. I hate "magic item shops" or the feel that magic items, except for those at a base level, can be bought easily.

But if that's the game you and your players enjoy, more power to you! As long as you're having fun :)

Just adding that I like rarity, but it should be used to reward players, rather than punish, if used correctly IMO

Silver Crusade

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
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.
In what universe is it more fun to go on a long quest for an item instead of just buying/making it and getting to actually use it for your next long quest?
I prefer to spend my time playing the game instead of waiting half an hour while everyone pores over equipment lists and subtracts gold from their inventory.
Shopping is part of the game, and one of the most fun parts at that. I prefer to not spend my time running off to a bunch of random fetch quests so the party can get items they formerly could have just bought instead.

... we gonna disagree.


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Joana wrote:
Ravingdork, I remember your character-market thread, but I never delved into it. (I'm not a fan of the character-build process, in any edition; it's a necessary evil to get to playing the game, for me.) What did you do about point-buy, since that's one of the things that could vary in P1e? Did you have some characters at 15 point-buy, some at 20, some at 25, etc.?

I used 25 point buy, since that what my group used.

Any potential variations from the norm (perceived or actual) were clearly outlined in the very first post of my character thread. That way, anyone using the concepts would better know what they'd need to adapt, if anything.

In P2E, I simply don't know what that norm is. Part of it is because of the newness of P2E, and part of it are because of these gray areas people are professing concern about.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Joana wrote:
Ravingdork, I remember your character-market thread, but I never delved into it. (I'm not a fan of the character-build process, in any edition; it's a necessary evil to get to playing the game, for me.) What did you do about point-buy, since that's one of the things that could vary in P1e? Did you have some characters at 15 point-buy, some at 20, some at 25, etc.?

I used 25 point buy, since that what my group used.

Any potential variations from the norm (perceived or actual) were clearly outlined in the very first post of my character thread. That way, anyone using the concepts would better know what they'd need to adapt, if anything.

In P2E, I simply don't know what that norm is. Part of it is because of the newness of P2E, and part of it are because of these gray areas people are professing concern about.

You've been told several times what the norm is in this thread. The norm is what is presented as baseline in the book. Its why the baseline is there. Unless specified by individual GMs the rule is: All Common, Uncommon with feature access, no rare or unique.


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Also, can we not kick out “talk to your GM” as valid resolution to any perceived problem here? Please keep in mind that talking to your GM is literally how the game is played. You cannot play P2E, P1E, or any other collaborative tabletop RPG without talking to your GM. Talking to your GM cannot be a cop out - it is the game.

Theorycrafting is not playing the game. Uncertain how accepting a table will be to your theorycraft? Disclaim liberties taken with rarities, and offer substitutes.


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Rysky wrote:
The Learn A Spell general skill is for getting spells outside of those you get from leveling up. You don't pay for those. Using LaP you do have to pay. If you design a character with Access to an Uncommon Spell, either as theorycraft or because the GM said so, you can add that when you level up. Outside of that you use LaP and pay for it, Rarity doesn't factor in.

And you don't perceive the following to be an issue?

Bard You choose these from the common spells from the occult list (page 311) or from other occult spells to which you have access.
Sorcerer You choose these from the common spells from the tradition corresponding to your bloodline, or from other spells from that tradition to which you have access.
Cleric ...you can prepare...spells...each morning from the common spells on the divine spell list in this book.

They all read pretty much the same way. Uncommon spells simply aren't available unless you have a GM to say otherwise. Oftentimes, there are other requirements as well, such as the cleric limiting you to spells from the Core Rulebook. When a new book with new cleric spells releases, you can't take those spells, not unless the new book overrides the Core Rulebooks hard-rule limitation.

When I might not get access even with a GM's permission, that to me feels like I'm having to jump through a lot of hoops.

I know various people, official and unofficial, have dropped into this thread and said "the GM can override all that," and I'm thankful for their input, but that still doesn't really help anyone who has to deal with GMs that don't visit this thread and happen to be a rules-as-written-hard-liner.

Malk_Content wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Joana wrote:
Ravingdork, I remember your character-market thread, but I never delved into it. (I'm not a fan of the character-build process, in any edition; it's a necessary evil to get to playing the game, for me.) What did you do about point-buy, since that's one of the things that could vary in P1e? Did you have some characters at 15 point-buy, some at 20, some at 25, etc.?

I used 25 point buy, since that what my group used.

Any potential variations from the norm (perceived or actual) were clearly outlined in the very first post of my character thread. That way, anyone using the concepts would better know what they'd need to adapt, if anything.

In P2E, I simply don't know what that norm is. Part of it is because of the newness of P2E, and part of it are because of these gray areas people are professing concern about.

You've been told several times what the norm is in this thread. The norm is what is presented as baseline in the book. Its why the baseline is there. Unless specified by individual GMs the rule is: All Common, Uncommon with feature access, no rare or unique.

Yes I have. Now I'm mainly focused on getting clarification on some of the more muddied areas of the Rarity rules, and promoting positive discussion in this thread.

Liegence wrote:

Also, can we not kick out “talk to your GM” as valid resolution to any perceived problem here? Please keep in mind that talking to your GM is literally how the game is played. You cannot play P2E, P1E, or any other collaborative tabletop RPG without talking to your GM. Talking to your GM cannot be a cop out - it is the game.

Theorycrafting is not playing the game. Uncertain how accepting a table will be to your theorycraft? Disclaim liberties taken with rarities, and offer substitutes.

I agree. It is a valid solution, and I strongly support your suggestion to "disclaim liberties taken with rarities" to new GMs, adapting or replacing the character as necessary for the fun of all. However, that shouldn't be used as a means of stopping additional positive discussion on the various aspects of the Rarity system in this thread.


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Kelseus wrote:

For those who are concerned that you can't really work up your character concept b/c you don't know who your GM will be, therefore you can't ask them, I would say that this is just as likely to happen in P1 or D&D 3/4/5/80000 etc. You might have a GM sit down and say that you're playing in his home-rule setting, and there are no monks. Or its an East Asian themed adventure, or you're all playing talking animals. Nothing about the P2 rarity rules changes the fact that your PC is subject to GM fiat.

I literally had a GM who said that there are no clerics in his setting, and this was back in the APG only days, where there weren't a ton of options to keep a party at full HP.

This is definitely one of the upsides of playing mostly published adventures, I do at least know the setting ahead of time even if I don't know the GM. Some GMs may not like me bringing a Tian to a Varisian game but at least I'm not trying to bring a Kitsune to a Humans-only game or something.

That said, sometimes the published adventure can be a downside. I mentioned the one who wouldn't even change given weapons to better equip the rest of the party, but even besides that GM there's several who are incredibly hesitant to add even a homebrew quest to a published game. And to add a sidequest for a single party member to gain a single option, let alone adding several for the entire party to get their items? There might be one or two of the, like, dozen GMs in the group that might be willing to do that. For the most part though, it's pretty much down to what's already in the adventure or maybe something easily subbed into the drop list.


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graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
But like Spiked Chains are uncommon, largely because it's kind of an absurd and dangerous-to-the-user thing to use as a weapon so most smiths will have no reason to make them. But if you want one, all you really need to do is find some Kuthites. Kuthites aren't in every random small town, and are certainly going to be hard to find in like Rahadoum, but they aren't that hard to find.

But that's the thing: they ARE everywhere if you happen to have access to them with a feat/ability... Uncommon isn't "it's not literally everywhere, but you can find it if you seek it out" in the least: Once you have access, I can't see anything restricting you from finding it in any place, any time.

If it's uncommon, it's off limits unless the DM allows it or an ability allow it, so it's more a hard gate than harder to find. If it truly was that way, you'd have a higher DC to find uncommon items vs requiring permission.

I figured out how to explain it!

You're right. Uncommon items must be just as ubiquitous and easy to acquire as common items, evidenced by the DC to find them not being higher. The dwarf can go right to the dwarven waraxe aisle at his local weapon shop, while anyone without access could search that shop for days and not find a dwarven waraxe.

What's the difference? The dwarf has "access". These dwarven waraxes are physically present on their own, and it's a status of the observer that changes. So what in-universe phenomenon is "access" supposed to signify?

I think the only thing it can be is a Somebody Else's Problem field. Having access to an uncommon thing means you're no longer affected by its SEP, and you can now observe it and retain memory of having observed it, rather than your eyes resolutely sliding over it.

It makes perfect sense once you invoke the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Though now I have to wonder what happens if a dwarf hid himself behind a stand of dwarven waraxes from people chasing him that didn't have access to dwarven waraxes.

Silver Crusade

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Ravingdork wrote:
When I might not get access even with a GM's permission, that to me feels like I'm having to jump through a lot of hoops.

The GM outranks the book, they say you have access to this Uncommon [thing], you have access to it.

Grand Lodge

Well now all my characters will be carrying towels around their shoulders.


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lordcirth wrote:

MONASTIC WEAPONRY, FEAT 1

"You gain access to uncommon weapons that have the monk trait"

If you'd have read through all my posts, you'd see how that isn't an answer...

Kelseus wrote:
For those who are concerned that you can't really work up your character concept b/c you don't know who your GM will be, therefore you can't ask them, I would say that this is just as likely to happen in P1 or D&D 3/4/5/80000 etc.

I most often find games that that just say 'use any valid rules available online' with any exceptions written out. That's not the same in PF2: even valid, acceptable rules have 'ask your DM' elements in them so even if I follow 'legal' to the tee, I don't know if it'll work out in game. This just increases the workload for DM's and players as more posts have to be send back and forth to get to the same understanding of baseline. Each 'ask Dm' element takes extra time to iron out and this edition seems built on 'ask your dm': This isn't an issue for people with static DM's but for people that change DM's often, it's a chore.

Vidmaster7 wrote:

Or maybe just a good matching system that lets you check off preferences for games.

@ #2. Maybe you can say that but the way you express yourself on the forums...

On #1, the system itself makes a matching system much harder as each area of 'ask your DM' has to be codified and explained and this system has LOTS of 'ask your DM' items. Even 'any legal options' requires further inquiry now.

On #2, the longer PF2 went on, the more negative I got. IMO, it was the result of more and more FAQ/errata going in a way that I didn't like: it started with a good balance of like/dislike in the beginning but slowly slipped into more dislike the last few years. I wouldn't be surprised if it coincided with when PF2 started getting made as the things I disliked seem in line with the new game.

Secondly, I post much more about something I dislike than like: When I like something I'll often not even post and just like favorite someone elses post. It also doesn't help that when you post anything negative, people seem to come out of the woodwork to tell you have bad/wrong you are and you're a horrible/negative person: I don't take that very well and tend to reply when I shouldn't engage: hence people seeing more negating posts.

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Have you tried out Symbaroum? any thoughts on how that system works for you? (given that it is a classless system).

I've never seen anyone offer to run it so the answer is no.


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Tectorman wrote:
I think the only thing it can be is a Somebody Else's Problem field.

Perception filter: it affects the minds of the observers, making them subconsciously look in another direction or pay no attention to the subject, or erasing the subject from short-term memory. [Doctor Who]

It's a common trope for witches in fantasy, aliens in science fiction, and anyone else trying to pass unnoticed among muggles. ;)


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graystone wrote:
lordcirth wrote:

MONASTIC WEAPONRY, FEAT 1

"You gain access to uncommon weapons that have the monk trait"
If you'd have read through all my posts, you'd see how that isn't an answer...

Okay then Gray, how about this as an answer for you. Do not ask your DM. You can only create a character with items, feats, and spells that are Common in rarity.

If you take a feat that states it grants you access to an uncommon item or spell you can select that item or spell as part of your character creation as if it were common.


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I feel like this whole forum (even though it seems like it was not the OPs intention) has partly brought to the front a very old and dangerous concept. The idea of "Player vs. DM/GM".

On one hand we have people who are afraid that with the RAW, players who want to play more unusual character concepts could be easily shutdown by their DMs/GMs just because some of their character choices don't make sense for the setting or their story (ie. are Uncommon).

On the other hand we have people who are afraid that without the RAW, the game will devolve into players automatically choosing the most overpowered and unbalanced options for items and spells

For those in the prior camp, I would say something that has pretty much been said a couple of times. It has been like that for as long as there have been TTRPGs. The DM/GM has always been the "boss" who could set limitations and change rules to his heart's content, because it is his world. However, do I think that the rarity system makes it a little more likely that a DM who wouldn't otherwise limit an option to limit an option? Yes I do. However, you have one ability that the "boss" can never take away. The ability to quit. Just because it's his sandbox doesn't mean you have to play in it.

For those in the latter camp, yes the system does help DMs/GMs veto potentially game-breaking character concepts. However, like I said earlier, DMs/GMs have always had that power, its just now the system has a few more guidelines and justifications for when they use that power.

Games like Pathfinder generally aren't meant to be competitive, but cooperative. Everybody should be able to play the game wanting to have fun and know that everybody else is wanting to have fun also. However, a game like this is more than a game, its also a conversation. That conversation should start before the lights dim and the story begins. DMs/GMs should talk with their players about expectations, desires, and fears and vice-versa. If you realize that you probably wouldn't enjoy yourself playing with them, say so. Its much better to figure that out at the beginning rather than several sessions later. If you don't want to have this initial conversation then, (and I don't mean this maliciously) that is on you and nobody else.

There is an old adage in the community that still rings true today.
"No gaming is better than bad gaming." I hope everyone here can find the perfect DM/GM or player group and experience what they will be able to call "good gaming".

Dark Archive

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Gloom wrote:


These kinds of scenarios were possible in PF1 and no one felt like they were unreasonable or needed some special reference in the rules.

I'm going to pick on this because there is an easy to find and vast number of help my GM won't let me threads and possibly an even larger number of why was this item not included in Additional resources threads that empirically show a large number of people did think codifying flavored campaigns with restricted choices was unreasonable.


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graystone wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
I think the only thing it can be is a Somebody Else's Problem field.
Perception filter: it affects the minds of the observers, making them subconsciously look in another direction or pay no attention to the subject, or erasing the subject from short-term memory. [Doctor Who]

Once you're (say) a monk, you're automatically subscribed to the Monk Mail Order Catalog and can get replacement (say) shuriken, but non-monks can't get on the mailing list. :)

Scarab Sages

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I'm honestly baffled at how many people are fine with just saying "ask your GM."

Empowering the players was the *best* part of PF 1St edition, and it led to more consistent play. I used to leave a game if the GM ever said "I'm God, what I say goes," the rules let me say "not today, that normal Wolf can't jump 30 feet and trip me while in flying and make me die from the fall - it needs a 50 Acrobatics roll, you can't trip someone flying, and fall damage would only be 3d6" and actually play the game I signed up for.

As a GM, who cut his teeth on Dark Heresy, I'll stick to that system if I need to make things up. I thought I was buying a rulebook, not a "PF Wine Kit with 3 corks." Every time the book says "ask your GM" and doesn't have a system or rule, it's a failure. It's either lazy design, bad design, or simply unfinished - and every time someone tells me the bug is a feature I like the game less and less. Which is a shame, there's the bones of a good game in there, now we need to give it some muscles and skin.


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theelcorspectre wrote:

I feel like this whole forum (even though it seems like it was not the OPs intention) has partly brought to the front a very old and dangerous concept. The idea of "Player vs. DM/GM".

On one hand we have people who are afraid that with the RAW, players who want to play more unusual character concepts could be easily shutdown by their DMs/GMs just because some of their character choices don't make sense for the setting or their story (ie. are Uncommon).

On the other hand we have people who are afraid that without the RAW, the game will devolve into players automatically choosing the most overpowered and unbalanced options for items and spells

For those in the prior camp, I would say something that has pretty much been said a couple of times. It has been like that for as long as there have been TTRPGs. The DM/GM has always been the "boss" who could set limitations and change rules to his heart's content, because it is his world. However, do I think that the rarity system makes it a little more likely that a DM who wouldn't otherwise limit an option to limit an option? Yes I do. However, you have one ability that the "boss" can never take away. The ability to quit. Just because it's his sandbox doesn't mean you have to play in it.

For those in the latter camp, yes the system does help DMs/GMs veto potentially game-breaking character concepts. However, like I said earlier, DMs/GMs have always had that power, its just now the system has a few more guidelines and justifications for when they use that power.

Games like Pathfinder generally aren't meant to be competitive, but cooperative. Everybody should be able to play the game wanting to have fun and know that everybody else is wanting to have fun also. However, a game like this is more than a game, its also a conversation. That conversation should start before the lights dim and the story begins. DMs/GMs should talk with their players about expectations, desires, and fears and vice-versa. If you realize that you probably wouldn't enjoy yourself...

+1 to all this. Trust is important on both ways.

Just want to make a little note; my personal problem is that some spells that where quite usual and iconic, like Protection, now suddenly are behind a wall. If this has been used for Blood-Money-kind spell, I would be the first to applaud the rule change. But change some very usual spells from "near all casters, at least PC, and many times nPC, use them" to "default, you can not have it", leaves a bad taste on my mouth.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Davor Firetusk wrote:
Gloom wrote:


These kinds of scenarios were possible in PF1 and no one felt like they were unreasonable or needed some special reference in the rules.

I'm going to pick on this because there is an easy to find and vast number of help my GM won't let me threads and possibly an even larger number of why was this item not included in Additional resources threads that empirically show a large number of people did think codifying flavored campaigns with restricted choices was unreasonable.

If you're going to try and "pick on" something that I said, at least quote it in its context.

Gloom wrote:

Things like this are typically covered before character creation even starts though and is the equivalent of a DM saying something like "This game is going to be a survival/wilderness game with low magic. No casting classes and no magic items to start." or "This campaign will be taking place in a world with no fantasy races, you can only pick Human."

These kinds of scenarios were possible in PF1 and no one felt like they were unreasonable or needed some special reference in the rules.

Low Magic Campaigns, Human Only Campaigns, Survival/Wilderness Campaigns, and many other styles of games have been things that some DM's run.

I'll acquiesce to one part of your criticism though, and update my statement to say the following.

No one reasonable thought that a DM denying character options that didn't fit the theme to the game they were running was unreasonable or needed special references in the rules.

Every time I've played in a game with a DM that has run one of these themes it has always been brought up prior to even being allowed to join in the game. Expectations were clearly stated and it was at that point up to me as a player to decide if I wanted to participate in it.

If you feel that a DM is being unreasonable for running a themed campaign or their own campaign setting where some things are more common or other things do not exist... Then well, we probably wouldn't play well together in a game anyhow.


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Gloom wrote:

Okay then Gray, how about this as an answer for you. Do not ask your DM. You can only create a character with items, feats, and spells that are Common in rarity.

If you take a feat that states it grants you access to an uncommon item or spell you can select that item or spell as part of your character creation as if it were common.

Since I already covered this too [multiple times actually], thanks for the non-answer...

theelcorspectre wrote:
I feel like this whole forum (even though it seems like it was not the OPs intention) has partly brought to the front a very old and dangerous concept. The idea of "Player vs. DM/GM".

I know for myself it isn't "Player vs. DM/GM". I don't mind talking to a DM but I'd rather not have to have a HUGE list of items I have to talk over to understand how they rule on all the 'ask the dm' options in the game. It takes up both our time and if each player has to do it, that's a lot of extra work for the DM.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Angel Hunter D wrote:

I'm honestly baffled at how many people are fine with just saying "ask your GM."

Empowering the players was the *best* part of PF 1St edition, and it led to more consistent play. I used to leave a game if the GM ever said "I'm God, what I say goes," the rules let me say "not today, that normal Wolf can't jump 30 feet and trip me while in flying and make me die from the fall - it needs a 50 Acrobatics roll, you can't trip someone flying, and fall damage would only be 3d6" and actually play the game I signed up for.

I would too.

But thankfully I've never had to deal with a GM like that. Most GMs tend to be reasonable.


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(Sounds to me like the problem might non themed campaigns, which normally dont have all those specifications on what to play.)


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
Empowering the players was the *best* part of PF 1St edition, and it led to more consistent play

It didn't really, though. Tables still had banned items, classes, books and everything in between.

Quote:
I used to leave a game if the GM ever said "I'm God, what I say goes," the rules let me say "not today, that normal Wolf can't jump 30 feet and trip me while in flying and make me die from the fall - it needs a 50 Acrobatics roll, you can't trip someone flying, and fall damage would only be 3d6" and actually play the game I signed up for.

Literally no amount of extra rules is going to make a bad GM suddenly good. This argument is fundamentally nonsensical given the way tabletops work.

Quote:
Every time the book says "ask your GM" and doesn't have a system or rule, it's a failure

I hate to break it to you, but regardless of what the book says 'ask your GM' is a fundamental conceit of the tabletop genre.

Even if there was a hard rule and die chart that gave you chances of finding an uncommon item based on city size, which is a thing in some systems, whether or not you're in a city big enough to make that check is wait for it, GM discretion.

Unless you're playing a premade adventure completely by the book with no adjudication, GM discretion is always going to be a thing. And even then someone wrote the adventure and designed what was going to be in it, it was just someone else, so all you've really done is add another layer to the discretion rather than removed it.

Literally the only way to have this vaguely defined complete autonomy and empowerment is to be designing the adventures yourself or to just never leave the realm of theorycrafting.

Though even in that case, what's in the game you're playing is at the discretion of whoever wrote it, so that could be problematic too I guess.

Scarab Sages

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Rysky wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:

I'm honestly baffled at how many people are fine with just saying "ask your GM."

Empowering the players was the *best* part of PF 1St edition, and it led to more consistent play. I used to leave a game if the GM ever said "I'm God, what I say goes," the rules let me say "not today, that normal Wolf can't jump 30 feet and trip me while in flying and make me die from the fall - it needs a 50 Acrobatics roll, you can't trip someone flying, and fall damage would only be 3d6" and actually play the game I signed up for.

I would too.

But thankfully I've never had to deal with a GM like that. Most GMs tend to be reasonable.

That's personal experience, you aren't "most people" and neither am I. But rules and even laws aren't for "most people" they're for "those people" and being intentionally Gray does everyone a disservice.

Scarab Sages

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swoosh wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
Empowering the players was the *best* part of PF 1St edition, and it led to more consistent play

It didn't really, though. Tables still had banned items, classes, books and everything in between.

Quote:
I used to leave a game if the GM ever said "I'm God, what I say goes," the rules let me say "not today, that normal Wolf can't jump 30 feet and trip me while in flying and make me die from the fall - it needs a 50 Acrobatics roll, you can't trip someone flying, and fall damage would only be 3d6" and actually play the game I signed up for.

Literally no amount of extra rules is going to make a bad GM suddenly good. This argument is fundamentally nonsensical given the way tabletops work.

Quote:
Every time the book says "ask your GM" and doesn't have a system or rule, it's a failure

I hate to break it to you, but regardless of what the book says 'ask your GM' is a fundamental conceit of the tabletop genre.

Even if there was a hard rule and die chart that gave you chances of finding an uncommon item based on city size, which is a thing in some systems, whether or not you're in a city big enough to make that check is wait for it, GM discretion.

Unless you're playing a premade adventure completely by the book with no adjudication, GM discretion is always going to be a thing. And even then someone wrote the adventure and designed what was going to be in it, it was just someone else, so all you've really done is add another layer to the discretion rather than removed it.

Literally the only way to have this vaguely defined complete autonomy and empowerment is to be designing the adventures yourself or to just never leave the realm of theorycrafting.

Though even in that case, what's in the game you're playing is at the discretion of whoever wrote it, so that could be problematic too I guess.

Banned stuff is deviation from an established norm, whereas here the norm is...no norm, really.

As for the nonsensical argument, you're analysis is nonsensical. It's not to make them *suddenly* good, it's to slowly beat the bad out of them until we have a decent GM hammered out.

As for the GM deciding if the city is big enough, that's entirely to stop you from trekking across the globe to reach Absolom just to find out there are no double swords there, and if there aren't and your GM didn't specify different availability then you got leverage to make the game flow in a more fun way.

Being at the discretion of an adventure written by a professional is often infinitely more consistent than a home GM, and has the necessary documentation to define the norms and standards of play. If so much is explicitly unwritten, then we don't really play the same game.


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I think the thing about shopping is- it only happens in downtime. If a Bard can find gigs literally anywhere in order to earn money with a perform check during downtime, I don't think it's unreasonable if uncommon items can be found in strange places that are nonetheless appropriate for downtime.

Like if I'm planning a "shopping trip" for the PCs, I'm going to make sure that there are vendors matching the uncommon items their feats or class features guarantee them access to. I don't have to worry about offering Orc Weapons, Monk Weapons, Dwarf Weapons, Halfling Weapons, Gnome Weapons, and Elf Weapons in every settlement, I can just include the handful of those that people in the party have bought access to.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Just because you don't like the norm, doesn't mean there isn't one. The rules are really quite clear. PF2 just gives encouragement to gms who want to tweak those factors.


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Really missing the days of having to try to explain why Golarion doesn't have a network of teleport and planeshifting spellcasters of levels 9+ in all reasonable cities taking orders for any and all magical goods out of a catalog and fulfilling orders from the City of Brass or Axis for an immodest delivery fee within a week.

Scarab Sages

Xenocrat wrote:
Really missing the days of having to try to explain why Golarion doesn't have a network of teleport and planeshifting spellcasters of levels 9+ in all reasonable cities taking orders for any and all magical goods out of a catalog and fulfilling orders from the City of Brass or Axis for an immodest delivery fee within a week.

I thought Katapesh? Or maybe Quadira? did


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Rysky wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
When I might not get access even with a GM's permission, that to me feels like I'm having to jump through a lot of hoops.
The GM outranks the book, they say you have access to this Uncommon [thing], you have access to it.

Having access to is not necessarily the same as actually having.

I may have access to that fancy new gaming computer at the electronics store, but I don't have it until I pay money for it.

Whether or not I need to pay money for uncommon spells (or perhaps more money) is one of the things I'm trying to clear up.

At least one poster thinks that you don't have to pay for them if the GM says you have access to them. I was kind of hoping for something a little more concrete than one poster's opinion.

Angel Hunter D wrote:
...the rules let me say "not today, that normal Wolf can't jump 30 feet and trip me while in flying and make me die from the fall - it needs a 50 Acrobatics roll, you can't trip someone flying, and fall damage would only be 3d6" and actually play the game I signed up for.

There's definitely something worth saying about the social contract of tabletop roleplaying. Everyone needs to be playing the same game, lest friction arise. The rules in the books are the baseline. After that, it's what the GM says and the players agree to (if they don't agree, they can discuss it like adults or find a different table more suitable to their playstyle). But at the heart of it, everyone should have the same baseline understanding of the game they're playing together. True cooperation is impossible otherwise.

You can't win a baseball game when your team members are all playing basketball.

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