"Uncommon" options are just Paizo-publish house rules.


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 124 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

9 people marked this as a favorite.

This just occurred to me when reading through some of the Paizo blogs. Whenever I see something with the "uncommon" tag, I immediately think "well, this might have been neat but it is only usable if I play mother-may-I with the DM". And really, that is essentially exactly the experience I have when I read a homebrew rule online; I know that I will need to justify the use of that rule.

I really don't like this. Part of the reason that I kept coming back to Pathfinder is because I liked coming up with new builds and new character concepts as new official rules were released. When I see the "uncommon" tag, I just feel shut down, though. The rule stops being part of "pathfinder" and becomes part of "a version of pathfinder that no one may ever actually play". This was always really the case since any rule could theoretically have been excised by any GM for any reason. "Uncommon" rules are everywhere though and every instance of it is just another "no" that I will need to overcome ahead of time before I bring a character to the table.

Frankly, I find it very discouraging. It makes me sad, even. It takes away the joy I used to have in learning new rules and imagining new character because it just makes me think of all the rhetoric and self defense I'd need to engage in before even starting the game.

Does anyone else feel the same way? Why or why not? Is this a good or bad thing regarding the rarity system?


41 people marked this as a favorite.

I mean, even calling it "Mother May I" to begin with is talking down about the whole concept.

The fact that you're acting like the GM is some strict parent you have to beg and plead to have permission to have fun kind of indicates there's a really toxic and unhealthy mindset about the relationship you have with the GM (or the relationship itself is toxic, hard to tell what's perception and what isn't).

Framing it in that way is fundamentally going to taint your gaming experience before you even start, so it's really no wonder you feel that way.

Nevermind that the whole thought process feels a bit bizarre, because six months ago when we were playing PF1 GMs would freely allow or disallow content based on their own whims and eleven years before that when we were playing 3.5 GMs would freely allow or disallow content based on their own whims.

Nevermind, also, that the game makes it pretty clear that Uncommon options are not supposed to be universally walled off, just not something readily accessible. Just like tons of other stuff in PF adventure paths and 3.5 modules and so on and so forth going all the way back until the very dawn of tabletop RPGs.

You're approaching this whole situation looking to dislike it and looking to be upset. So what you're mostly doing here is fulfilling your own expectations.

Silver Crusade

17 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you need self-defense to enjoy the game, you're not playing the wrong game, you're gaming with the wrong people.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, you are thinking more of rare or unique things. There are paths within the rules for getting a lot of uncommon options in PF2. What uncommon means in PF2 is that your build has to have a thematic structure to it, OR you have to talk to your GM about how to do it.


Don't really have a problem with uncommon rules themselves, more with what is or isn't uncommon in some cases. Have to get GM green light and then researching some potentially story breaking stuff like ressurection can be a really big boon but doing it with stuff like protection/circle of protection/drop dead kinda feels really bad.

Don't really care about asking the GM for being allowed to use spells (as you said if a GM didn't want a spell in a game he already was going to remove it) it's more the extra downtime and researching that gets me.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Everything in the core rulebook requires GM approval. Deciding what is and isn't part of your game is one of the things the GM does in any system.

The uncommon tag serves two purposes: It marks potentially disruptive options so the GM can more easily restrict them (things like teleportation, which can easily break a game's narrative), and it indicates options which are intended to be rare or unique to a particular culture in the core setting.

Those options that fall into the second category almost always have a route of access presented in the text. Those that fall into the first do require a GM's permission to access, but I once again need to ask why so many people seem to be playing with antagonistic GMs? The GM's job is to work with their players to create a game everyone enjoys. That includes figuring out how to deal with potentially disruptive rules elements while still allowing players to make characters they want to play. If your GM isn't doing that, then your problem lies with them, not with the rules.

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

So are you saying that the GM should NOT be the "Mother" in this analogy and have the ability to easily make broad statements about what is and is not allowed?

I'm not sure I really get your perspective here.

The Rarity gates exist to help make sweeping generalizations about what options should be freely available to Characters WITHOUT the conversation, and really, the VAST majority of all the rules ARE Common.

This is unlike situations we had in the last 50 years whereby literally EVERY option needed to be vetted by the GM in order for them to make the judgment call instead of a tiny fraction of the rules.

I can totally grok that people have different perspectives on games, really I can, but I'm having a hard time understanding how the simple prospect of having to run FAR FEWER options by your GM for approval than you would ever have had to in the past makes you feel discouraged.

Did you simply never actually run your character build by your GM in the past and just assumed that everything and anything that you could conceivably build was going to fly?

Liberty's Edge

11 people marked this as a favorite.

The rules are very clear how to get most Uncommon options without GM permission, with really only spells and some items needing a GM's input at all...and are even more clear in the GMing advice section that Uncommon items a PC wants you should arrange a way for them to get.

Rare and Unique Items are more like what you're talking about, though even there I must agree that needing rhetoric and self defense to get stuff probably means you're gaming with the wrong GM, either because they're a dick, or because your preferred style of game and theirs don't mesh well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The rules are very clear how to get most Uncommon options without GM permission, with really only spells and some items needing a GM's input at all...and are even more clear in the GMing advice section that Uncommon items a PC wants you should arrange a way for them to get.

@Deadmanwalking: Can you cite the advice that suggests a GM should give out uncommon items players want? I honestly didn't see it in my reading. Believe you, but would be good to know where that's written.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd imagine this is more for the 'Lost Omens' line, being more story-specific - they don't want the thing with PF1 where every mechanical option ever released was immediately stripped of all context & thrown into one giant optimisation blender.
I'm guessing that the Advanced PLayers Guide, for example, will have less rairity - restricted stuff than the very region/ organisation -specific Lost Omens line.
Additonally, don't forget that 'access' gives you a bypass to GM permission for Uncommon, only requiring that you be the class/ nationality etc that the option was designed for.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
tivadar27 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The rules are very clear how to get most Uncommon options without GM permission, with really only spells and some items needing a GM's input at all...and are even more clear in the GMing advice section that Uncommon items a PC wants you should arrange a way for them to get.
@Deadmanwalking: Can you cite the advice that suggests a GM should give out uncommon items players want? I honestly didn't see it in my reading. Believe you, but would be good to know where that's written.

Sidebar on page 488. The relevant text is "By default, a character who tries hard enough might eventually find an uncommon option, whereas a rare option is always a special reward."

That can read a couple ways, I'll admit, and I might prefer it to be more strongly worded, but certainly the impression I get from that quote is that GMs should let characters who really want uncommon items find them.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The rules are very clear how to get most Uncommon options without GM permission, with really only spells and some items needing a GM's input at all...and are even more clear in the GMing advice section that Uncommon items a PC wants you should arrange a way for them to get.
@Deadmanwalking: Can you cite the advice that suggests a GM should give out uncommon items players want? I honestly didn't see it in my reading. Believe you, but would be good to know where that's written.

Sidebar on page 488. The relevant text is "By default, a character who tries hard enough might eventually find an uncommon option, whereas a rare option is always a special reward."

That can read a couple ways, I'll admit, and I might prefer it to be more strongly worded, but certainly the impression I get from that quote is that GMs should let characters who really want uncommon items find them.

Thanks for the cite! Yeah... I don't read that the way DMW does. Saying "might eventually" doesn't imply the GM should give that to them...

Honestly, I do see some problems here. I won't go into the PFS side of things, where I think there are potentially many more problems, but they gated some pretty mundane stuff as uncommon, and things like, as another thread pointed out, Protection, seems silly to have behind this.

There's other stuff too, I know Ring of Wizardry was an item I was looking at for a multiclass Wizard build, and that's also uncommon/rare. I honestly would have simply preferred them to make it higher level if they thought it was "powerful", as it literally does nothing to allow mechanics into the game that breaks them (it allows you additional castings of things you could already cast...).


I am using the rarity tag as rewards for quests or adventures, this way even if players makes the exact same character in two different campaigns the player will manage to see that after some sessions the abilities and spells may be completely different because of the journey they passed.

Helped the remaining personal of Last Wall? They will offer a training for you access the archetype and you select the uncommon shield feat for champion and fighter now if you are from these classes.

Had a zombie outbreak because some careless evil cleric made them? After the issue you may encounter the undead ritual for zombies and the protection spell.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
swoosh wrote:

I mean, even calling it "Mother May I" to begin with is talking down about the whole concept.

The fact that you're acting like the GM is some strict parent you have to beg and plead to have permission to have fun kind of indicates there's a really toxic and unhealthy mindset about the relationship you have with the GM (or the relationship itself is toxic, hard to tell what's perception and what isn't).

Framing it in that way is fundamentally going to taint your gaming experience before you even start, so it's really no wonder you feel that way.

Nevermind that the whole thought process feels a bit bizarre, because six months ago when we were playing PF1 GMs would freely allow or disallow content based on their own whims and eleven years before that when we were playing 3.5 GMs would freely allow or disallow content based on their own whims.

Nevermind, also, that the game makes it pretty clear that Uncommon options are not supposed to be universally walled off, just not something readily accessible. Just like tons of other stuff in PF adventure paths and 3.5 modules and so on and so forth going all the way back until the very dawn of tabletop RPGs.

You're approaching this whole situation looking to dislike it and looking to be upset. So what you're mostly doing here is fulfilling your own expectations.

I still believe that my framing is accurate and that you are incorrectly projecting a lot of emotions and opinions on to me.

First of all, I am not looking to dislike anything and I am also not looking to be upset. I came in wanting to really like Pathfinder 2e and--indeed--I like a lot of things about it. It is the only TTRPG that I am playing at the moment and it is full of a lot of great ideas.

And maybe I am just in a weird situation, but I have generally played most TTRPGs with GMs that allowed access to all available rules except things that they personally thought were broken or did not fit their personal setting. If a rule was published, I did not need to justify my use of it unless it was itself a poor rule in the eyes of the GM. For the most part, I could tell ahead of time if something was "broken" and I wouldn't use it. In general, I could theory craft a whole character without talking to anyone ahead of time.

That is one of the things I liked best about PF1E! Exciting new rules would inspire interesting characters and then next time I generally knew I could play that character with most Gms. Uncommon options make that impossible. Any "theorycrafting" then needs to be done under "what-if" conditions.

And when I say, "mother-may-I" I am not trying to treat the GM like a stern parent, I rather intend to compare the experience of playing the game to playing a game without any rules save that "what the GM says is true is true". A TTRPG without rules is possible and maybe even quite enjoyable but I prefer to play games with well defined rules.

"uncommon" rules are just rules where it is left ambiguous as to whether or not that rule is part of the game.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

If you look at any of the published adventures so far, they give out uncommon items all the time, something consistent with the guidance given in the book:

Quote:
Giving out uncommon and rare items and formulas can get players more interested in treasure. It’s best to introduce uncommon items as a reward fairly regularly but rare items only occasionally. These rewards are especially compelling when the adventurers get the item by defeating or outsmarting an enemy who carries an item that fits their backstory or theme.

Uncommon character options can be more restricted than that, but they can also be even less so - there are many instances where there is something a player can decide for themselves that gives access to an option (such as being from a particular region granting access to one of the archetypes from the Lost Omens World Guide), or even directly rewards them the option (such as a Cleric of Abadar receiving the Magnificent Mansion spell, as well as how all focus powers work).


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Does anyone else feel the same way? Why or why not? Is this a good or bad thing regarding the rarity system?

No, I don't like it.

Yes, this is how it is.

There are permissive GMs and there are restrictive GMs. Your play experience may vary based on GM and this is normal.

There are benefits to the system. I'm sure you can find old threads abound on the matter.

What continues to bother me, especially as I've read through the two Lost Omen books is that people buy these books. Pay 40 dollars a book for things they can't use unless the GM says so. There is no wholly player facing product anymore. Its all on the GM which means that the GM either bears a higher expense or you risked buying a fancy book of neat Schrodinger's Character Options.

There is an online rules repository that can be accessed for free. That's not really my concern. That caters to a different user, the person who probably won't buy any books at all. I game with eight people, give or take on a regular basis. I am the only one who purchases Paizo product. The online rules documents enable the rest of them to play where they otherwise wouldn't be able to. So, its great and when they see an option they can't use, its fine to just move on.

It doesn't solve the problem of someone buying product they can't use. It doesn't solve the issue of new rules options being put into the adventure backmatter.

Book 3 of Age of Ashes has some really interesting Silver Raven and Lacunafex themed feats and spells. They are labeled as rare, I believe and are only available to PCs who make friends with certain folks during the adventure. Fine, cool. I actually like this in theory.

Except that now the GM has to find a way to present these options to the PCs as a reward. Because the rules will be available online eventually its probably not an issue to provide a link or hand over the book once or twice. Make a copy of the page. I have screencapped the PDF and sent images to players before. I saw this problem in Starfinder constantly. PC gets an item from the backmatter of the book, and six weeks later needs the book again because they forgot how much it sells for or something else and they don't know what's called because its written on the character sheet as 'Solar Sniper from Capt Cigar Face'

And rules options as reward never works out the way a GM wants it to. Its the worse form of giving a player a unique magic item. Because most of the time, the player just sells the thing because its not what their build needs. So a rules option as reward won't be taken in which case it isn't a reward at all. You could just give feats on top of the normal feats a PC gets. I have no idea how that'll effect balance.

"For completing this thing, you can get stuff." I say.

"Meh. I planned this build out six months ago."

"I won't use that. Can I have some gold instead?"

"I'm a (RANDOMCLASS), I can't use any of this."

Its just a lot more work, and I don't like how much extra work the edition wants the GM to do.

I'm sure its fine for most people. And its not a problem for others. My concerns only affect a few people. That's how it goes.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
The rules are very clear how to get most Uncommon options without GM permission, with really only spells and some items needing a GM's input at all...and are even more clear in the GMing advice section that Uncommon items a PC wants you should arrange a way for them to get.

Are the rules clear? As Maxastro said, the sidebar in question is at least a tad open to interpretation and I think it would seem less than immediately obvious to players that some things that are labeled uncommon are inaccessible without certain options or wild GM fiat (re: specific focus powers) whereas other things labeled "uncommon" are secretly quite attainable. Also, your consideration of rules is less than exhaustive here. For one thing, the rarity system bars many monsters from being summoned and I feel like there are many monsters that are labeled uncommon or common less for setting considerations than balance ones.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
swoosh wrote:

I mean, even calling it "Mother May I" to begin with is talking down about the whole concept.

The fact that you're acting like the GM is some strict parent you have to beg and plead to have permission to have fun kind of indicates there's a really toxic and unhealthy mindset about the relationship you have with the GM (or the relationship itself is toxic, hard to tell what's perception and what isn't).

Framing it in that way is fundamentally going to taint your gaming experience before you even start, so it's really no wonder you feel that way.

Nevermind that the whole thought process feels a bit bizarre, because six months ago when we were playing PF1 GMs would freely allow or disallow content based on their own whims and eleven years before that when we were playing 3.5 GMs would freely allow or disallow content based on their own whims.

Nevermind, also, that the game makes it pretty clear that Uncommon options are not supposed to be universally walled off, just not something readily accessible. Just like tons of other stuff in PF adventure paths and 3.5 modules and so on and so forth going all the way back until the very dawn of tabletop RPGs.

You're approaching this whole situation looking to dislike it and looking to be upset. So what you're mostly doing here is fulfilling your own expectations.

The problem becomes what constitutes being able to take the Uncommon options or not. We might have objective requirements, such as "must be a member of X," but it's completely unclear how you get there, or if the GM will even let you get there through storyline or skill checks or whatever. If you're in homebrew territory, or you're running some off-the-wall AP, the ability to take those options goes out the window, even with a permissive GM. It's just not something that players can expect to have happen realistically unless the star aligns and yada yada yada.

In fact, there aren't any published ways for you to acquire those things, which is where the "toxicity" begins. There's no set rules or options that let you claim your class option outside of some specialty story stuff that takes place offscreen, and other players may easily call BS on that stuff too.

I may not like the way the OP worded it, but I am in agreement with his ideal, in that uncommon options can't reasonably be considered in most games unless it's an inevitability or something that outright grants it. And if you sit there and say "Well, OP is just in a toxic environment and can't use that as a reason to deny his plea," then I have one acronym for you: PF2S. A Paizo-organized group play event with interchangeable characters between multiple modules.

What are the odds that all of the hundreds of thousands of characters in there have access to Uncommon or Rare options that weren't granted as a direct result of completing a certain module or spending "tokens" or whatever to gain access to that stuff that other players couldn't? I don't know the exact answer, because I don't play PF2S. (Didn't play PF1S either for the same reasons.) But I'm almost certain that it's a much more appropriate scenario to raise this concern, and it's a concern that a lot of home tables need to consider.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

A lot of the uncommon options are what you are talking about, having to justify to the GM. But as a GM I see many of them simply as things that shouldn't be added without some kind of story tie-in. In this way, you should be working with the GM during character creation and deciding where you want the character to go. Telling them, "at 5th level I really want to take this Uncommon feat" might mean a GM that just says no, or it might mean they adjust the story to tie that element in and create a more cohesive narrative where you don't suddenly learn the secret techniques of a people on the other side of the planet for purely mechanical reasons.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
tivadar27 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The rules are very clear how to get most Uncommon options without GM permission, with really only spells and some items needing a GM's input at all...and are even more clear in the GMing advice section that Uncommon items a PC wants you should arrange a way for them to get.
@Deadmanwalking: Can you cite the advice that suggests a GM should give out uncommon items players want? I honestly didn't see it in my reading. Believe you, but would be good to know where that's written.

Actually, as much as the advice on p. 488 and the bit Fowlj mentions, I was also thinking of was this bit on character creation on p. 486:

Quote:
If players want to use common options from other books or uncommon or rare options, through play, review those options to see if any of them conflict with the style of campaign you have in mind or might present strange surprises down the road. It’s usually best to allow new options, but there’s no obligation to do so. Be as open as you’re comfortable with.

Bolding mine. That certainly gives GMs the option of being restrictive, but it also strongly suggests not being.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Are the rules clear? As Maxastro said, the sidebar in question is at least a tad open to interpretation and I think it would seem less than immediately obvious to players that some things that are labeled uncommon are inaccessible without certain options or wild GM fiat (re: specific focus powers) whereas other things labeled "uncommon" are secretly quite attainable.

See above for what I feel is a bit more of a direct statement on the subject. And yes, I feel that the rules on how to get, say, an Uncommon weapon or a Focus Spell are pretty clear.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also, your consideration of rules is less than exhaustive here. For one thing, the rarity system bars many monsters from being summoned and I feel like there are many monsters that are labeled uncommon or common less for setting considerations than balance ones.

I don't feel like summoning a particular Uncommon monster is a character building question, which is what you presented this as. But yes, it limits what monsters you can summon.

And some monsters are certainly slightly different in rarity based on whether they should be summonable, but not many according to the authors. Golems, for example, were Uncommon before they did the pass examining this factor.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kasoh wrote:
What continues to bother me, especially as I've read through the two Lost Omen books is that people buy these books. Pay 40 dollars a book for things they can't use unless the GM says so. There is no wholly player facing product anymore. Its all on the GM which means that the GM either bears a higher expense or you risked buying a fancy book of neat Schrodinger's Character Options.

That has ALWAYS been the the case.

Player: “I just got Ultimate Combat/Haunted Heroes Handbook so I’m totally playing a Gunslinger/Pact Wizard next game.”

GM: “Those don’t really fit the game so I’m going to have to say no.”


Deadmanwalking wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The rules are very clear how to get most Uncommon options without GM permission, with really only spells and some items needing a GM's input at all...and are even more clear in the GMing advice section that Uncommon items a PC wants you should arrange a way for them to get.
@Deadmanwalking: Can you cite the advice that suggests a GM should give out uncommon items players want? I honestly didn't see it in my reading. Believe you, but would be good to know where that's written.

Actually, as much as the advice on p. 488 and the bit Fowlj mentions, I was also thinking of was this bit on character creation on p. 486:

Quote:
If players want to use common options from other books or uncommon or rare options, through play, review those options to see if any of them conflict with the style of campaign you have in mind or might present strange surprises down the road. It’s usually best to allow new options, but there’s no obligation to do so. Be as open as you’re comfortable with.

Bolding mine. That certainly gives GMs the option of being restrictive, but it also strongly suggests not being.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Are the rules clear? As Maxastro said, the sidebar in question is at least a tad open to interpretation and I think it would seem less than immediately obvious to players that some things that are labeled uncommon are inaccessible without certain options or wild GM fiat (re: specific focus powers) whereas other things labeled "uncommon" are secretly quite attainable.

See above for what I feel is a bit more of a direct statement on the subject. And yes, I feel that the rules on how to get, say, an Uncommon weapon or a Focus Spell are pretty clear.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also, your consideration of rules is less than exhaustive here. For one thing, the rarity system bars many monsters from being summoned and I feel like there are many monsters that are labeled uncommon or common less for setting
...

That is mostly fair but I actually think the rule you are quoting casts MORE doubt on whether a player can expect an uncommon option is attainable rather than seeing those options as being something you can expect to get.

If I want to build an arcane warrior that needs a ring of wizardry to be effective, I am still not able to expect that.

Liberty's Edge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Excaliburproxy wrote:
That is mostly fair but I actually think the rule you are quoting casts MORE doubt on whether a player can expect an uncommon option is attainable rather than seeing those options as being something you can expect to get.

How so? I mean it says it's up to the GM (which we knew already), but also strongly advises the GM to err on the side of including things and making them available.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
If I want to build an arcane warrior that needs a ring of wizardry to be effective, I am still not able to expect that.

Asking your GM about this at the beginning of a game seems pretty reasonable to me, and not particularly onerous. It might get a trifle annoying if you have a dozen or more uncommon options, but just one? That seems pretty easy and painless.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rysky wrote:

That has ALWAYS been the the case.

Player: “I just got Ultimate Combat/Haunted Heroes Handbook so I’m totally playing a Gunslinger/Pact Wizard next game.”

GM: “Those don’t really fit the game so I’m going to have to say no.”

Always possible but less common I think, but I have only my own experience to go off of here.

I suspect that it will certainly be more widespread than it used to given how PF2 has done the wording.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kasoh wrote:


What continues to bother me, especially as I've read through the two Lost Omen books is that people buy these books. Pay 40 dollars a book for things they can't use unless the GM says so. There is no wholly player facing product anymore. Its all on the GM which means that the GM either bears a higher expense or you risked buying a fancy book of neat Schrodinger's Character Options.

It doesn't solve the problem of someone buying product they can't use. It doesn't solve the issue of new rules options being put into the adventure backmatter.

It was always like this, if a DM felt like something was too strong or didn't fit the campaign in a expansion book he'd just disallow it, if he disliked a big enough part of the book he'd just ban the whole book instead of picking and choosing the parts he wanted.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
What continues to bother me, especially as I've read through the two Lost Omen books is that people buy these books. Pay 40 dollars a book for things they can't use unless the GM says so. There is no wholly player facing product anymore. Its all on the GM which means that the GM either bears a higher expense or you risked buying a fancy book of neat Schrodinger's Character Options.

That has ALWAYS been the the case.

Player: “I just got Ultimate Combat/Haunted Heroes Handbook so I’m totally playing a Gunslinger/Pact Wizard next game.”

GM: “Those don’t really fit the game so I’m going to have to say no.”

Firearms are kind of a special case since those are specifically called out in 1e as not being allowable in a lot of settings and games. If I want to make a gun character in a medieval fantasy game then maybe I should ask if that fits the setting.

Still, that is just one consideration whereas the rarity system touches almost every corner of PF2E.

Also, why would you expect a DM to ban pact wizard, though? It seems innocuous for setting reasons. Is that a balance consideration? I ask this because rarity bans are almost always going to come IN ADDITION TO balance bans.

Silver Crusade

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's the people who want the baseline assumption of having their Savage Horticulturist/Landsknecht accepted at every table by default vs. the people who want more control over the content in their games without having to vet everything case by case or argue just why exactly is the Landsknecht off the table all over again.

PF1 was clearly in favour of the former, PF2 is clearly in favour of the latter. Different games, different philosophies, play the one you prefer.

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
If I want to build an arcane warrior that needs a ring of wizardry to be effective, I am still not able to expect that.

Relying on one item/spell/etc to make your build "effective" , does not seem effective at all.

I am not sure if this a system specific problem, as one could argue the same thing about any system, no matter the "rarity" of item.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
That is mostly fair but I actually think the rule you are quoting casts MORE doubt on whether a player can expect an uncommon option is attainable rather than seeing those options as being something you can expect to get.

How so? I mean it says it's up to the GM (which we knew already), but also strongly advises the GM to err on the side of including things and making them available.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
If I want to build an arcane warrior that needs a ring of wizardry to be effective, I am still not able to expect that.
Asking your GM about this at the beginning of a game seems pretty reasonable to me, and not particularly onerous. It might get a trifle annoying if you have a dozen or more uncommon options, but just one? That seems pretty easy and painless.

MaxAstro's quote includes the words "by default" whereas your quote would imply that there is no "default" assumption but rather taking each case before the GM is the "default". It's a subtle thing but I think Astro's quote alone would build a better case for players "expecting" to be able to attain a given uncommon option.

Right now it isn't onerous but more and more rules are going to be uncommon as the game goes on. I just brought it up as an example of where gaining a specific item can wildly effect the viability of certain builds.

In fact, I specifically expect paizo to increasingly use the rarity rules system to gate materials to counteract "rules bloat" (which strikes me as silly since people who don't like rules bloat don't really buy new rule books anyways).


I think for newer books they should throw in methods for gaining access to like how you go about researching a ritual, tracking down specific spell, theirs x group in these areas so you could use them to get access to x class if you impress them would be more better than just having rare and uncommon be same thing. As right now mostly ever new thing seems to be gated behind rarity system and not making each tier of rarity stand out.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jib916 wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
If I want to build an arcane warrior that needs a ring of wizardry to be effective, I am still not able to expect that.

Relying on one item/spell/etc to make your build "effective" , does not seem effective at all.

I am not sure if this a system specific problem, as one could argue the same thing about any system, no matter the "rarity" of item.

This is maybe more pervasive than you seem to think. For instance, throwing weapon builds are essentially useless later without returning runes (which are common but still an item that acts as a cornerstone of your character's powers).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

It's the people who want the baseline assumption of having their Savage Horticulturist/Landsknecht accepted at every table by default vs. the people who want more control over the content in their games without having to vet everything case by case or argue just why exactly is the Landsknecht off the table all over again.

PF1 was clearly in favour of the former, PF2 is clearly in favour of the latter. Different games, different philosophies, play the one you prefer.

Ignoring your pointed use of reductio-ad-absurdum, I want to enjoy the new game though so I think I am allowed to complain.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
What continues to bother me, especially as I've read through the two Lost Omen books is that people buy these books. Pay 40 dollars a book for things they can't use unless the GM says so. There is no wholly player facing product anymore. Its all on the GM which means that the GM either bears a higher expense or you risked buying a fancy book of neat Schrodinger's Character Options.

That has ALWAYS been the the case.

Player: “I just got Ultimate Combat/Haunted Heroes Handbook so I’m totally playing a Gunslinger/Pact Wizard next game.”

GM: “Those don’t really fit the game so I’m going to have to say no.”

Firearms are kind of a special case since those are specifically called out in 1e as not being allowable in a lot of settings and games. If I want to make a gun character in a medieval fantasy game then maybe I should ask if that fits the setting.

Still, that is just one consideration whereas the rarity system touches almost every corner of PF2E.

Also, why would you expect a DM to ban pact wizard, though? It seems innocuous for setting reasons. Is that a balance consideration? I ask this because rarity bans are almost always going to come IN ADDITION TO balance bans.

Thank you for agreeing with my point. And I mostly play APs which are set in Golarion, where guns and Gunslingers exist, still nearly always banned.

As for the PW I brought that up because it is from a "player facing book" that, like Gunslinger, is near universally banned.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

It's the people who want the baseline assumption of having their Savage Horticulturist/Landsknecht accepted at every table by default vs. the people who want more control over the content in their games without having to vet everything case by case or argue just why exactly is the Landsknecht off the table all over again.

PF1 was clearly in favour of the former, PF2 is clearly in favour of the latter. Different games, different philosophies, play the one you prefer.

Ignoring your pointed use of reductio-ad-absurdum, I want to enjoy the new game though so I think I am allowed to complain.

The complaint and lack of enjoyment is something purely of your own making.

"I HAVE TO ASK THE GM WHAT'S ALLOWED?"

Yes, like always and forever for the vast majority of games.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

It's the people who want the baseline assumption of having their Savage Horticulturist/Landsknecht accepted at every table by default vs. the people who want more control over the content in their games without having to vet everything case by case or argue just why exactly is the Landsknecht off the table all over again.

PF1 was clearly in favour of the former, PF2 is clearly in favour of the latter. Different games, different philosophies, play the one you prefer.

Ignoring your pointed use of reductio-ad-absurdum, I want to enjoy the new game though so I think I am allowed to complain.

The complaint and lack of enjoyment is something purely of your own making.

"I HAVE TO ASK THE GM WHAT'S ALLOWED?"

Yes, like always and forever for the vast majority of games.

Well, now I guess we get to have two rounds of ban conversations then: one to cover rarity and one to cover the GM exclusive bans that have always been around.

If that is the case then why is rarity a game mechanic to begin with?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Excaliburproxy wrote:
If that is the case then why is rarity a game mechanic to begin with?

To give GMs guidance on what may or may not be normal assumptions or easily accessible in the developer's eyes. It's a way to telegraph intent in a way that PF1 was never capable of.

If I have any real problem with rarity though, it's that it's kind of dual purpose. There are options that are uncommon/rare because they're uncommon or rare within the setting themselves and options that are uncommon/rare because of what they do.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

It's the people who want the baseline assumption of having their Savage Horticulturist/Landsknecht accepted at every table by default vs. the people who want more control over the content in their games without having to vet everything case by case or argue just why exactly is the Landsknecht off the table all over again.

PF1 was clearly in favour of the former, PF2 is clearly in favour of the latter. Different games, different philosophies, play the one you prefer.

Ignoring your pointed use of reductio-ad-absurdum, I want to enjoy the new game though so I think I am allowed to complain.

The complaint and lack of enjoyment is something purely of your own making.

"I HAVE TO ASK THE GM WHAT'S ALLOWED?"

Yes, like always and forever for the vast majority of games.

Well, now I guess we get to have two rounds of ban conversations then: one to cover rarity and one to cover the GM exclusive bans that have always been around.

If that is the case then why is rarity a game mechanic to begin with?

I foresee a lot of overlap with this venn diagram.

And to empower GMs, used to they would have to fight with players if they wanted to ban something like teleportation or resurrection.

And then you had the d20 site come along and strip out relevance and other requirements for a bunch of stuff (Blood Money comes to mind) so everyone decided absolutely everything was fair game and this was frankly more material than the GM could honestly vet. Moreso since they took from a site that had everything rather than from a specific book that the GM could base an opinion on.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

It's the people who want the baseline assumption of having their Savage Horticulturist/Landsknecht accepted at every table by default vs. the people who want more control over the content in their games without having to vet everything case by case or argue just why exactly is the Landsknecht off the table all over again.

PF1 was clearly in favour of the former, PF2 is clearly in favour of the latter. Different games, different philosophies, play the one you prefer.

Ignoring your pointed use of reductio-ad-absurdum, I want to enjoy the new game though so I think I am allowed to complain.

The complaint and lack of enjoyment is something purely of your own making.

"I HAVE TO ASK THE GM WHAT'S ALLOWED?"

Yes, like always and forever for the vast majority of games.

Well, now I guess we get to have two rounds of ban conversations then: one to cover rarity and one to cover the GM exclusive bans that have always been around.

If that is the case then why is rarity a game mechanic to begin with?

I foresee a lot of overlap with this venn diagram.

And to empower GMs, used to they would have to fight with players if they wanted to ban something like teleportation or resurrection.

And then you had the d20 site come along and strip out relevance and other requirements for a bunch of stuff (Blood Money comes to mind) so everyone decided absolutely everything was fair game and this was frankly more material than the GM could honestly vet. Moreso since they took from a site that had everything rather than from a specific book that the GM could base an opinion on.

If resurrection and teleportation are both problems even in the core setting then they shouldn't be in the game. It is a house rule that Paizo published.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

It's the people who want the baseline assumption of having their Savage Horticulturist/Landsknecht accepted at every table by default vs. the people who want more control over the content in their games without having to vet everything case by case or argue just why exactly is the Landsknecht off the table all over again.

PF1 was clearly in favour of the former, PF2 is clearly in favour of the latter. Different games, different philosophies, play the one you prefer.

Ignoring your pointed use of reductio-ad-absurdum, I want to enjoy the new game though so I think I am allowed to complain.

The complaint and lack of enjoyment is something purely of your own making.

"I HAVE TO ASK THE GM WHAT'S ALLOWED?"

Yes, like always and forever for the vast majority of games.

Well, now I guess we get to have two rounds of ban conversations then: one to cover rarity and one to cover the GM exclusive bans that have always been around.

If that is the case then why is rarity a game mechanic to begin with?

I foresee a lot of overlap with this venn diagram.

And to empower GMs, used to they would have to fight with players if they wanted to ban something like teleportation or resurrection.

And then you had the d20 site come along and strip out relevance and other requirements for a bunch of stuff (Blood Money comes to mind) so everyone decided absolutely everything was fair game and this was frankly more material than the GM could honestly vet. Moreso since they took from a site that had everything rather than from a specific book that the GM could base an opinion on.

If resurrection and teleportation are both problems even in the core setting then they shouldn't be in the game. It is a house rule that Paizo published.

A whole new edition of the game is not a "house rule".

And they couldn't do anything about it before since Pathfinder was taken by the frame from 3.5, where those spells weren't restricted either.

Now though they can, but they didn't remove them because they don't always cause issues, they just have the ability to. Whether they do or not is entirely dependent on the Campaign the GM is running.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

A player arguing with the GM after he decides to ban something seems more like a player problem than a rule problem.

I feel like the same thing happens with these players regardless of rarity:

GM bans for the aforementioned reasons, player complains, GM > Player so the rule stays, player then decides if he plays anyways/looks for another group/doesn't play Pathfinder at all.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

It was fairly common in the (non-PFS) PF1 groups I played with that most GM's basically did Paizo Hardcovers pre-approved (possibly minus gunslinger), Paizo softcovers required discussion ahead of time, and 3pp was normally just outright banned unless it specifically selected for the campaign by the GM. Which maps pretty closely to how I see common/uncommon/rare working here. So it doesn't feel all that different.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I personally prefer "you cannot have a spell, item, feat, etc. just because you happened to see it in a book or a SRD" to be the baseline assumption of the system.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Let's see what my in-person GMs have used:

*No 3pp or 3.5 unless reviewed by the GM (universal)
*No gunslingers (near universal)
*Limit of 3-5 books per character
*Nothing released within the past couple of months
*Must be able to point out the option in a physical book (didn't have to be your's, we shared)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

It's the people who want the baseline assumption of having their Savage Horticulturist/Landsknecht accepted at every table by default vs. the people who want more control over the content in their games without having to vet everything case by case or argue just why exactly is the Landsknecht off the table all over again.

PF1 was clearly in favour of the former, PF2 is clearly in favour of the latter. Different games, different philosophies, play the one you prefer.

Ignoring your pointed use of reductio-ad-absurdum, I want to enjoy the new game though so I think I am allowed to complain.

The complaint and lack of enjoyment is something purely of your own making.

"I HAVE TO ASK THE GM WHAT'S ALLOWED?"

Yes, like always and forever for the vast majority of games.

Well, now I guess we get to have two rounds of ban conversations then: one to cover rarity and one to cover the GM exclusive bans that have always been around.

If that is the case then why is rarity a game mechanic to begin with?

I foresee a lot of overlap with this venn diagram.

And to empower GMs, used to they would have to fight with players if they wanted to ban something like teleportation or resurrection.

And then you had the d20 site come along and strip out relevance and other requirements for a bunch of stuff (Blood Money comes to mind) so everyone decided absolutely everything was fair game and this was frankly more material than the GM could honestly vet. Moreso since they took from a site that had everything rather than from a specific book that the GM could base an opinion on.

If resurrection and teleportation are both problems even in the core setting then they shouldn't be in the game. It is a house rule that Paizo published.

A whole new edition of the game is not a "house rule".

And they couldn't do anything about it before since...

I get you, but it still seems like a weird half-measure. I say this as a GM who has personally ripped out all long-distance teleportation spells from his setting and replaced them with bespoke ritual-like teleportation.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I personally prefer "you cannot have a spell, item, feat, etc. just because you happened to see it in a book or a SRD" to be the baseline assumption of the system.

Well, now you can have that and balance bans and bans that the game makes for you ahead of time.

Actually, I now like that more than my original metaphor. Rarity is just material that Paizo has already banned for you.

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Rarity is a language. It is a way to talk about what you, the GM, consider acceptable in your game and to what degree.

Having a common set of terminology to talk about this is an extremely useful addition that PF2 has made to the game.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I feel like we just has this thread 2-1/2 months ago.

OP, the discussion in that thread might be helpful to you, as some of the Paizo staff chimed in. Also, the OP of that thread changed his mind about Rarity by the end of it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I couldn't agree more with the OP, I can't stand stuff like the UA options in 5e or the uncommon/rare options in 2e. Either something is a legit option or it isn't, get off the f@#king fence and make a decision. Don't leave it up to the player to work out some kind of deal with their GM to get that option.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Honestly my issue, as I stated previously, isn't so much that they have rarity it's that the rarity system seems fairly arbitrary. So for example, things that are uncommon:
* Regional MCs, such as Lastwall: Yep, I get that.
* Spells unique to a class: Also get this.
* Spells that alter the game significantly, like teleport: Understand.
* The protection spell: Wait wut?
* Magic items that resurrect people: Oh okay, that makes sense.
* Spell Storing weapon (3rd level or lower): Huh?

So my issue here is I think this makes *more* work for the GM. They can't simply say "Uncommon items aren't available unless I give you access or your class does" and expect to have a game with the normal level of magic. Just looking, Keen runes, Spell Storing, Ring of Wizardry, most of the special materials... basically, a *lot* of stuff that's not game altering and was pretty standard is now locked behind a gate and your GM has to consider each one, because the other way "all uncommon items are available" also opens up a can of worms...

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
HeHateMe wrote:
I couldn't agree more with the OP, I can't stand stuff like the UA options in 5e or the uncommon/rare options in 2e. Either something is a legit option or it isn't, get off the f@#king fence and make a decision. Don't leave it up to the player to work out some kind of deal with their GM to get that option.

Every campaign and story is different, so why not leave it up to the Players and GMs to work out a deal?

1 to 50 of 124 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / "Uncommon" options are just Paizo-publish house rules. All Messageboards