Feedback: PFS (2nd edition) Guide to Play


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:


In 1e, GMs were encouraged to give rewards if the party was creative. I don't see why that principle can't be applied here. However, it is still the GM's call at the end so, in your exampl,e, I can't fault the GM's decision.

The trouble is with table variation, and the guide isn't leading to less of it. Even your "I can't fault the GM" is an example of table variation.

Here's the guide text.

Quote:

In the course of completing a scenario, the PCs are likely to acquire all 10 Treasure Bundles as part of overcoming challenges and inspecting their surroundings. That said, a non-linear adventure might include encounter areas (and treasure) the PCs miss entirely, and there might be small portions of treasure that a group would overlook entirely (such as hidden in a concealed room). As a result, even a capable party might not secure all 10 Treasure Bundles. Taking into account the free consumable items granted to PCs at the beginning of adventures, the wealth earned by Pathfinder Society characters is slightly higher than the standard provided in the Core Rulebook. That means that although missing the occasional Treasure Bundle stings, it’s accounted for in the campaign.

However, awarding fewer than the maximum Treasure Bundles shouldn’t be a punitive tool. Unless recovering a Treasure Bundle is tied to succeeding at key skill checks or making key choices, PCs who overcome an encounter with creative solutions should earn the same reward they would have earned by defeating that foe in combat.

In the text, you gain treasure bundles by overcoming challenges, inspecting your surroundings, and overcoming skill checks. It's implied that you don't have to steal from corpses, or steal from a common room in a tavern to get your treasure bundles, just note them as encountered.

As the second paragraph states rewarding fewer bundles isn't punitive, but punitive for what? Not taking them, roleplaying your character as someone who doesn't loot from their surroundings constantly? There's an inconsistency between the guide, the scenarios (one specifically gives you infamy if you steal) and the outside idea some GMs have that you have to take anything of value you come across to get a treasure bundles.

Silver Crusade

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

Should

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

Exton Land wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:


In 1e, GMs were encouraged to give rewards if the party was creative. I don't see why that principle can't be applied here. However, it is still the GM's call at the end so, in your exampl,e, I can't fault the GM's decision.

The trouble is with table variation, and the guide isn't leading to less of it. Even your "I can't fault the GM" is an example of table variation.

But we really can't get around that. If the GM, after considering everything, felt the bundle was not earned or acquired, that is it.

In your example, the PCs could have pulled the bodies out of the room so they didn't get destroyed. (I don't know the adventure you are talking about so I am kind of shooting from the hip on this one.)

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Premier Event Coordinator

I agree with Gary. The GM has the final say on the events that transpire at their table, but they should be open to feedback and demonstrate the Society tenet of cooperation. Missing a bundle or two over the life of your character is not an issue to get worked up about, but if you find that a particular GM is not open to feedback and continues to make what you would access to be unfair decisions, then you are encouraged to forward your concerns to the local Venture-Officers to investigate. If they agree, they can stop using them as a GM. Or you could just stop playing at their table. If they are being unreasonable about treasure bundles, chances are there are other issues as well.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:


But we really can't get around that. If the GM, after considering everything, felt the bundle was not earned or acquired, that is it.

In your example, the PCs could have pulled the bodies out of the room so they didn't get destroyed. (I don't know the adventure you are talking about so I am kind of shooting from the hip on this one.)

Sure you can. The scenario text is explicit with what earns primary and secondary successes. The guide to play can be explicit about what it means to earn a treasure bundle. If you're arguing the text is clear that's one thing, but you're saying the GM has final say in interpreting the guide, and I'm saying that there shouldn't be a need to interpret the guide and have differing views.

Here's some text from a scenario slightly modified to obscure items and location.

Quote:
Reward: If the PCs search the room for valuables and succeed at a relevant DC 18 Crafting or Society skill check, they locate a Mcguffin (worth 8 gp) and several objects (worth 20 gp). These valuables represent 1 Treasure Bundle.

Do the PCs have to take these items to earn the treasure bundle? In the context of that scenario the items are property of someone who isn't their enemy or aggressor. It'd be out and out theft. In this scenario its a treasure bundle (in another infamy), do PCs know its their loot by virtue of it being valuable?

As I originally said, the word aquire is problematic in the text of the field guide as it isn't well defined, and scenario loot says 'represents' without really explaining to players in game they should consider it theirs now and they should take it.

If acquire means satisifies the skill check, or overcoming the encounter, or out and out spots it and could take it then a different wording is needed. If acquire means possessing it there become several problems I won't go into yet as I dont think that's what the guide intends.

TwilightKnight wrote:
I agree with Gary. The GM has the final say on the events that transpire at their table, but they should be open to feedback and demonstrate the Society tenet of cooperation ... then you are encouraged to forward your concerns to the local Venture-Officers to investigate. If they agree, they can stop using them as a GM. Or you could just stop playing at their table. If they are being unreasonable about treasure bundles, chances are there are other issues as well.

You're missing the point. I contend it shouldn't be a GM call if you got a treasure bundle or not anymore than its a GM call if you succeeded at a primary or secondary condition.

Silver Crusade

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

I’m with the GM and the others, if you find loot, say a painting, then set the loot on fire, I wouldn't give you credit for said painting (unless the scenario specifically says otherwise).

Just seeing the loot isn’t enough.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Can you still use a consumable you find and have it count towards your treasure bundles? If so, why is that different?

Silver Crusade

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

I find a potion and drink it.

I find a potion and smash it so no one gets to drink it.

Two very different things.

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

Ferious Thune wrote:
Can you still use a consumable you find and have it count towards your treasure bundles? If so, why is that different?

Magic items that are also loot is a gray area and doesn't really fit the OP concerning something that is just treasure.

Rysky wrote:

I find a potion and drink it.

I find a potion and smash it so no one gets to drink it.
Two very different things.

I don't see it that way. I would still allow a potion that was smashed to be on the chronicle if it is specific loot. Nor would I reduce a bundle if the smashed potion was part of a bundle.

Let us not go to far down the road of bringing real life logic into a our fantasy setting. A a lot of stuff about how treasure works in PFS is not logical. How treasure works is intended to be as fair as possible.

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

Exton Land wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:

But we really can't get around that. If the GM, after considering everything, felt the bundle was not earned or acquired, that is it.

In your example, the PCs could have pulled the bodies out of the room so they didn't get destroyed. (I don't know the adventure you are talking about so I am kind of shooting from the hip on this one.)

Sure you can. The scenario text is explicit with what earns primary and secondary successes. The guide to play can be explicit about what it means to earn a treasure bundle. If you're arguing the text is clear that's one thing, but you're saying the GM has final say in interpreting the guide, and I'm saying that there shouldn't be a need to interpret the guide and have differing views.

Here's some text from a scenario slightly modified to obscure items and location.

Quote:
Reward: If the PCs search the room for valuables and succeed at a relevant DC 18 Crafting or Society skill check, they locate a Mcguffin (worth 8 gp) and several objects (worth 20 gp). These valuables represent 1 Treasure Bundle.
Do the PCs have to take these items to earn the treasure bundle? In the context of that scenario the items are property of someone who isn't their enemy or aggressor. It'd be out and out theft. In this scenario its a treasure bundle (in another infamy), do PCs know its their loot by virtue of it being valuable?

The answer, in my mind, is it depends. It is the judgement of the GM. I know you don't want to hear that, but that is the final answer.

A party will not always find or acquire or otherwise earn every treasure bundle. There is one adventure where the party can make the decision to give up a treasure bundle or two to get past a situation that has gone south on them.

I do like the treasure bundle concept in 2e. And I don't see any problems with the guidance provided on how to handle them.

Wording in the guide could be made clearer. There is a thread for suggested updates to the guide. Come up with language that you feel would be clearer and suggest it.

But I don't see language that handcuffs a GM in their role is likely to be adopted.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Rysky wrote:

I find a potion and drink it.

I find a potion and smash it so no one gets to drink it.

Two very different things.

And yet in PFS 1E, they weren’t treated any differently. So what people are assuming here is an intentional change to a rule that was established to keep players from feeling like they had to murder everyone and steal everything in order to get full rewards to create a situation where they need to murder everyone and steal everything in order to get full rewards. Maybe in this instance it’s safer to assume nothing has changed until we’re explicitly told otherwise?

You “acquire” the item/treasure bundle if you find it. If you make the required roll to know the item is there, then you get the treasure bundle. If you defeat the creature (not kill, necessarily), you get the treasure bundle associated with their stuff. If you don’t make the roll, or the creature gets away, you don’t get it.

This also points out one of my issues with infamy. We now have GMs punishing players (removing rewards) for exhibiting behavior that the infamy system has taught the players is correct, otherwise they’ll earn a negative mark on their character. One scenario specifically calls the action out as earning infamy. So in the other scenario, a GM might use that example and say stealing the items earns infamy. Another GM might (as happened here) say not stealing the item costs you gold.

This needs to be addressed directly and specifically by campaign leadership to cut off this kind of GM behavior before it becomes a much bigger problem. If it’s intentional that it is supposed to be a choice between getting the treasure bundle, but earning infamy, or not earning infamy, but also not getting the treasure bundle, then we need to be told that directly as well. Otherwise we’re just saying we’re ok with GMs arbitrarily deciding what rewards a scenario grants, which is completely counter to the position the campaign took in the previous system.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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To further clarify my point about the potions, in PFS 1E, if you defeat a villain and they drank a potion, you still get that counted in your rewards. If the villain takes out a potion and you sunder it, you still get that counted in your rewards. If you talk your way past a villain and don’t kill them and take their stuff, you still get the rewards. If you search and find the secret stash of wine in the manor house, but you don’t take it, because you weren’t sent there to rob the owner, you still get the rewards. What is the reasoning behind assuming any of that has changed for PFS 2E?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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I support any interpretation that doesn’t involve needlessly docking PCs of treasure due to differing play styles.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:


I do like the treasure bundle concept in 2e. And I don't see any problems with the guidance provided on how to handle them.

Wording in the guide could be made clearer. There is a thread for suggested updates to the guide....

Isn't that this thread Gary? Feedback: PFS (2nd Edition) Guide to Play?

But to your point, I believe the word acquire is the problem since it leads to as Ferious Thune points out all the problems with consumables or sundering. He also had somewhat good wording that circumscribes what it means to earn a treasure bundle, which I'll clean up some.

"PCs earn the item/treasure bundle if they find it, if they make the required roll to know the bundle is there or other check as specified in the scenario text, if they defeat the creature in possession or guarding the treasure bundle they earn the treasure bundle associated with the creature regardless of the bundle's condition. Unless otherwise specified in the scenario text, once the PCs have earned the treasure bundle as laid out above they earn that bundle on their chronicle sheet regardless of its condition at the end of the scenario."

Ferious Thune wrote:
This needs to be addressed directly and specifically by campaign leadership to cut off this kind of GM behavior before it becomes a much bigger problem. If it’s intentional that it is supposed to be a choice between getting the treasure bundle, but earning infamy, or not earning infamy, but also not getting the treasure bundle, then we need to be told that directly as well. Otherwise we’re just saying we’re ok with GMs arbitrarily deciding what rewards a scenario grants, which is completely counter to the position the campaign took in the previous system.

Yes, precisely. Scenario tone varies by author, and the guide can help smooth that out to prevent the table variance which I'm starting to see as a player, and try to avoid as a GM.

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

Exton Land wrote:
Isn't that this thread Gary? Feedback: PFS (2nd Edition) Guide to Play?

opps.. yes it is... red faced

I lost track of the thread. We really should move this dicussion to it's own thread and not clutter up this one.

Any way an admin can do this for us??? Maybe??? Pretty please???

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

Exton Land wrote:


"PCs earn the item/treasure bundle if they find it, if they make the required roll to know the bundle is there or other check as specified in the scenario text, if they defeat the creature in possession or guarding the treasure bundle they earn the treasure bundle associated with the creature regardless of the bundle's condition. Unless otherwise specified in the scenario text, once the PCs have earned the treasure bundle as laid out above they earn that bundle on their chronicle sheet regardless of its condition at the end of the scenario."

I would have no problem with this wording. Mostly because it is what I do now as a GM.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
To further clarify my point about the potions, in PFS 1E, if you defeat a villain and they drank a potion, you still get that counted in your rewards. If the villain takes out a potion and you sunder it, you still get that counted in your rewards. If you talk your way past a villain and don’t kill them and take their stuff, you still get the rewards. If you search and find the secret stash of wine in the manor house, but you don’t take it, because you weren’t sent there to rob the owner, you still get the rewards. What is the reasoning behind assuming any of that has changed for PFS 2E?

I was unaware that was the extent things were handled in PF1S.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Associate

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Hey friends! We're looking at this discussion and hope to have clarifying language ready for you shortly. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Premier Event Coordinator

I think there is a difference between resolving a challenge creatively and choosing to intentionally ignoring treasure. If you go into a tomb and destroy the evil undead creature and the intention is you will take the treasure buried with them, but your party decides not to take it because they are role playing not to desecrate the tomb for whatever reason, I would not award that treasure. You chose not to take it. As the GM I would let the players know it’s okay to take it, that’s the intention of the scenario, but at the end of the day, it’s their choice. My paladin in PF1 refused a few treasures along his career for role playing reasons. The OP chose to leave the treasure behind, so I wouldn’t award it.

Ferious Thune wrote:
If you search and find the secret stash of wine in the manor house, but you don’t take it, because you weren’t sent there to rob the owner, you still get the rewards.

I don’t agree that this one is as definitive as you indicate.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Which is why we need clarification. Generally, a PFS 1 scenario would say something like, “If the PCs don’t find the wine, remove X gold from the chronicle.” Generally if it’s a matter of whether or not they take it, the scenario would say so. Treasure bundles have removed some of that specific language. It just shouldn’t be left up to GMs to decide what the scenario authors meant. There needs to be a default way to handle the situation, and if a moral dilemma is going to be set up, then the scenario needs to call it out as such. GMs should not be going into scenarios assuming PCs won’t get full gold unless they rob the place of everything in it.

It’s also one thing for you to say your Paladin doesn’t want to take a thing. You’re making the decision to lower your rewards. It then becomes an issue if you’re forcing the party to get reduce rewards as a result as well.

All of these things are solved by better guidance for how to handle the situation, which it seems like we will get to at least some extent.

5/5

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I support any interpretation that doesn’t involve needlessly docking PCs of treasure due to differing play styles.

I entirely agree. Similar issues cropped up in 1E. I still vividly recall To Judge a Soul Part 1 which had part of the gold be based on locating stuff you were really not expected to go and steal. As far as I am concerned finding the items should be sufficient.

Thus particular scenario is especially bad for this expecting you to basically rob a place you have no basis what so ever robbing. I found the shoes just utterly ridiculous and reminiscent of some of the worst elements of 1e murder hoboism.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Wow - seems quite a discussion about a single treasure bundle. I was at the same table. I did communicate with both - with the player who felt cheated of a treasure bundle as well as with the GM. So please take all a step back with assumptions and let me try to give another view point of what happened.

First - the OP felt cheated of a TB with a reason. He did everything he could do to get the bundle but unfortunately was split off at a crucial moment and was not allowed to remedy it afterwards.

Players in the room: as a paladin as well as GM who had GMed this scenario before I didn't feel I should take the boots as a) not something my paladin would do, b) would be partly meta-gaming

In my discussion with OP I first defended the GM as harsh but different style of GMing - until I was pointed to the treasure bundle examples in the guide and revised my own opinion that the TB should have been awarded. Due to time-zone difference this was now nearly 24 hours later.

I contemplated to contact the GM - but was busy / I didn't feel as strongly about it to raise the issue that far after the game. I actually had a discussion about a different handling of a rule straight after the game where we left in agreement after some good discussions.

A day later the chronicles arrive - now I'm even less likely to breach the topic. Then this discussion starts - so I chat with the GM. I even copy the part of the guide with the examples.

As a GM myself I know - errors are done all the time. As such I wasn't sure at this stage if copying in part of the rules would be a step too far.

His reply - GMs make errors. This wouldn't have been a problem if OP would have contacted him and pointed out the rules.

What is my take home from this:

Hopefully we all can learn here.

a) Rules need to be clear. Acquire might be an unfortunate word - but actually the examples are quite good and much more forgiving as I thought. As such they are not bad to be honest.

b) GMs sometimes might need to reread rules. Discussions like this can be useful in this respect as you go back and think about edge cases. I know that acquire might have stuck in my mind - but the examples didn't. Well - I might be a soft GM anyway - but sometimes I felt guilty to allow a TB when I wasn't 100% sure but with hindsight this was 100% what I should have done.

c) As players don't expect the worst from a GM. This could have been handled after the game in a discussion, citing the relevant rules.

Miscommunications do happen. Errors are being made. It is important how we learn from them.

Keep in mind that as player/GM in-between I risk by siding with one or the other or to try to solve this to upset two GMs whom I both value. But hopefully this post is worth that risk.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Premier Event Coordinator

I hope we approach this with the same methodology that guided the designers in the creation of 2E, that being "choices have consequences." I don't want to play in a system where rewards are essentially a foregone conclusion. I want there to be challenges that provide us an opportunity to weigh circumstances and make decisions that could result in the loss of fame or treasure or access to items, etc. I don't want treasure bundles and fame to be participation trophies. YMMV

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Chronicles have always been participation trophies.

1/5 5/5

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When I start running 2e in the future (not ready to do so yet) I don't want to have that gut-churning feeling that I've somehow screwed over my players because they didn't *murderhobo the bejesus out of the NPC they could talk to*.

..and then didn't loot their stuff from their rapidly cooling corpse.

The scenarios towards the latter seasons of PFS1 were cool in that they allowed for greater flexibility on the part of players.

PFS2 is still new and figuring itself out. I hope we don't have to wait ten years to get back to where we were at the latter seasons of PFS1.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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TOZ wrote:
Chronicles have always been participation trophies.

Which makes sense, given that Organized Play is supposed to provide an even experience for everyone.

We don't want one region's GM to be overly lenient while the main GM the next city over consistently awards only 9 treasure bundles.

I want the choices we make in the story to have consequences. Boons, reporting boxes, enemies defeated.

I don't want my character's functionality to be retarded over time due to lack of loot.

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

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TwilightKnight wrote:
I hope we approach this with the same methodology that guided the designers in the creation of 2E, that being "choices have consequences." I don't want to play in a system where rewards are essentially a foregone conclusion. I want there to be challenges that provide us an opportunity to weigh circumstances and make decisions that could result in the loss of fame or treasure or access to items, etc. I don't want treasure bundles and fame to be participation trophies. YMMV

I think choices leading to two different outcomes/rewards are interesting. But I don't like choices where "not being a murderhobo" or "not stealing from bystanders" penalizes you.

To quote an extreme example from the early days of PFS1; the players come into Nasir's shop and see him being exorted by Al-Sarif:

Quote:

If PCs object to what amounts to robbing Nasir by

emptying his strongbox, he thanks them profusely for
dealing with Al-Sarif and offers them half the amount listed
above. The total in parenthesis below is the total awarded
PCs who don’t rob Nasir. That’s the price of honesty.

In a more recent season 9 scenario, the players are investigating a corrupted shrine and attempting to remove the evil influence;

Quote:

Additionally, the PCs can find a number of lesser

talismans and charms in this office. Together, the talismans
and the silk and thread-of-gold charms are worth 20 gp
total (or 100 gp, in Subtier 4–5). The PCs also find an unused
bottle of messages (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Equipment 284).
The attendants once used such bottles to send messages to
celestial couriers. In Subtier 4–5, the PCs also find a lesser
book of extended summoning (good) in a case on the shelves
(Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Equipment 283).
Rewards: If the PCs do not search the shrine’s
administrative building, reduce each PC’s gold earned by
the following amount.

Are we to assume the players are robbing this temple? Fortunately all the scenario requires is that the players search the building, not explicitly that they have to take it for themselves. But when we played it we still felt uncertain whether we should be taking this with us or not.

---

So to condense that: choices can be interesting, but don't make it so that you have to choose to rob temples, graves and shopkeepers to get normal full awards.

1/5

TwilightKnight wrote:
I hope we approach this with the same methodology that guided the designers in the creation of 2E, that being "choices have consequences." I don't want to play in a system where rewards are essentially a foregone conclusion. I want there to be challenges that provide us an opportunity to weigh circumstances and make decisions that could result in the loss of fame or treasure or access to items, etc. I don't want treasure bundles and fame to be participation trophies. YMMV

There is a difference between "you did not find the thing" and "you did not steal everything in sight." Nobody is arguing that you should get the TB if you failed the check(s) involved to procure the stuff.

2/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston aka NielsenE

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Pulling in feedback from another thread:

There was confusion over how bonus reputation works. There was an older post by Linda that I believe is a generally governing guideline. Its the way I've seen all of SFS and PFS2 run across multiple conventions, but I can see why its been confusing people.

I would suggest a couple of changes to the guide to help clarify it.

a) On the Org Play Basics page, under Faction Tags. When discussing 'Faction' mention that all players regardless of slotted faction, earn the bonus reputation if the table earns it. This is one of the two most obvious places I think a person would look for the rule.

b) On the org play basics page, Fame and Reputation section, final paragraph, similarly a note that the Bonus reputation from a Facion mission does not require the bonus factions champion to be slotted.

c) On the org play basics page, Filling out a Chronicle, section G. Either state it again that the faction champion for the bonus reputation is not required, or just refer the reader back to the Fame and Reputation section for more details, if its getting too verbose/repetitive.

d) Factions page, second paragraph: Add "Faction-tagged missions can still award bonus reputation without requiring a faction champion, so its possible to earn reputation with two factions from one scenario."

I think that covers the most likely places people would look.

2/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Or in the scenario itself. A standard line that goes with earning bonus reputation:

Original from a scenario wrote:
Each PC earns 2 additional Reputation with the Envoys’ Alliance faction, in addition to any other Reputation earned as a result of completing this scenario.

becomes:

"Each PC earns 2 additional Reputation with the Envoys’ Alliance faction, regardless of champion boon slotted, in addition to any other Reputation earned as a result of completing this scenario."

I know that's 37 precious extra characters, but it puts the rule right there at the time you're filling out chronicles rather than needing to be told by one of your players that you're doing it wrong, go read the guide that you can't currently search, it's in there somewhere.

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

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No reason it cannot be in both places.

2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:
No reason it cannot be in both places.

I'm cool with that. :)

Scarab Sages 4/5

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It is very unclear in the guide right now whether humans start with 2 languages or 3. It’s also unclear when reading the forum posts on the subject. The guide currently reads:

Quote:
Human: Humans can speak Common, as well as any other modern human language associated with their ethnicity. Humans gain one additional common language or regional language of their choice. The cultural languages listed below (along with their associated ethnicities) are good choices.

The base rule for Pathfinder was updated so that humans get Common and 1+INT languages. It’s been clarified by the design team that is supposed to represent their regional language, but was left a free choice so that Taldans and Chelaxians and people who speak Taldane don’t have 1 less language than everyone else.

However the guide mentions getting an ethnic language and selecting a regional language. Was this intentional on the part of PFS to grant a 3rd language? Or was the phrasing in the guide never updated? Either way, having some change to the guide to more clearly indicate the correct number of starting languages would be helpful.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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That is the updated wording. Humans start with 3 languages: Common, their ethnicity, and one more.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Premier Event Coordinator

Nefreet wrote:
...and one more

I presume that only applies if your Int is +1?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

No. All Humans get:

  • Common
  • language associated with their ethnicity
  • one additional common language or regional language of their choice

    That's not just what Pathfinder 2 Humans get, it's verbatim from the Guide.

    If you have a positive Int modifier, you get even more.

  • Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

    The language in the Guide was updated after Jason Bulmahn's podcast where he clarified this is how Humans work.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 Premier Event Coordinator

    To be fair, a podcast is not exactly a solid rules source, especially since there is an official errata that states, humans get "Additional languages equal to 1 + your Intelligence modifier (if it’s positive)" which likely represents their ethnic or regional language.

    I just find it odd that humans get an extra language that non-humans don't, outside the gnome for whatever reason, which is probably another point that needs some clarification. They get common (vs. human common), plus their ancestral language (vs human ethnicity) plus more only if they have a positive modifier. Any justifications for a human getting a 3rd language for free would have at least as many for a non-human to get a 3rd. So we have to errata the errata?

    Scarab Sages 4/5

    I mean, that’s the way I read it. 3 (or more) languages. But I had multiple people on discord referencing Jason Bulmahn’s post and Mark’s post on his discord as evidence that the guide was wrong. Or worse, reading the guide and insisting that the ethnic language and the regional language are the same thing. So it’s still not clear.

    I do think that the phrasing in the guide, if it’s believed, covers the situation that will inevitably come up when the Tien dialects are added (and thus characters from Minkai and elsewhere will have two ethnic languages). Though I preferred the phrasing in Additional Resources, which says, “humans begin play knowing all listed languages for their chosen ethnicity as racial languages.” Obviously we wouldn’t call them racial languages in 2E, but “all listed languages” is a little clearer than “any other language.”

    Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

    Bob Jonquet wrote:
    To be fair, a podcast is not exactly a solid rules source

    IIRC, this was the video where Bulmahn was going over the errata.

    Unfortunately, videos are hard to search for text, so I can understand the pushback.

    Scarab Sages 4/5

    Nefreet wrote:
    Bob Jonquet wrote:
    To be fair, a podcast is not exactly a solid rules source

    IIRC, this was the video where Bulmahn was going over the errata.

    Unfortunately, videos are hard to search for text, so I can understand the pushback.

    Off-topic re: means of communication:
    The problem is that twitch has increasingly become the method by which Paizo communicates information. If that's where they're going to clarify things, that's where we have to look for clarification. Just like PFS is increasingly using the blogs, which at least can be searched, even if the interface for doing that could be better.

    What I will say on topic is that we shouldn't be looking to Jason Bulmahn or Mark Seifter to clarify what is meant by the phrasing in the Guide. Which is why I posted here, so that hopefully someone from the PFS team will confirm one way or the other (and clarify the guide further if need be).

    EDIT: Also, while I'm thinking about it and while we're talking about that section of the guide, the guide currently lists Polyglot as one of the languages and has it associated with the Mwangi ethnicity. I believe Polyglot was replaced/renamed Mwangi in second edition.

    5/5

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    I also interpret it as humans get 3+ languages. It would not be unprecedented for the OP guide to differ from the CRB. The guides have always said that all PFS characters speak common, even though some source books state differently.

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