Items given / found during adventures that are just too good for the adventure


Pathfinder Society

51 to 70 of 70 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
**

Blake's Tiger wrote:
The whole party must swim through an underwater tunnel that requires the equivalent of 30 successful swim checks (90 feet long)

You do realize it's a challenge for level 1 parties? All my characters have a waterskin that can conveniently become an airskin. With a rope to get it back to the others at the beginning of the tunnel, I think we should be able to do it.

My experience is that players have far more resources than what we expect. Unless you ask them to go through a 10-mile underwater tunnel, they should be able to handle it with their wits and hands.

And then, you have the potion/spell, and you handle it in half a second. So the party without the potion will soon realize they should buy the potion as at some point spending half an hour in real time to go through an underwater tunnel is not funny. And those who have the potion are rewarded for their preparation.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SuperBidi wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:
The whole party must swim through an underwater tunnel that requires the equivalent of 30 successful swim checks (90 feet long)

You do realize it's a challenge for level 1 parties? All my characters have a waterskin that can conveniently become an airskin. With a rope to get it back to the others at the beginning of the tunnel, I think we should be able to do it.

My experience is that players have far more resources than what we expect. Unless you ask them to go through a 10-mile underwater tunnel, they should be able to handle it with their wits and hands.

And then, you have the potion/spell, and you handle it in half a second. So the party without the potion will soon realize they should buy the potion as at some point spending half an hour in real time to go through an underwater tunnel is not funny. And those who have the potion are rewarded for their preparation.

Without access to cantrip-level Create Water, dumping out fresh clean water is not as much a snap decision as one might think.

Now it requires the expenditure of a L1 (or higher spell). That someone needs to have on their spell list.

Just dumping water to get 'air bladders' is not necessarily 'the solution'.

The problem with spending for a consumable as highlighted above is that they're exceptionally pricey situational things that most folks don't even consider because they're trying to fight to get to a marginally sustainable level to hit DCs for other things, like enemy AC and incredibly difficult DCs.

And a consumable turns that from "Okay, I can have slightly better armor that prevents crit to getting crit all the time but hey, I can breathe under water for a few minutes just in case"

Scarab Sages 3/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, consumables just aren't priced right. Too expensive to buy, too valuable to use unless you're 100% it's the time to use it - and usually short on actions when the time comes.

**

TwilightKnight wrote:
Maybe if we stopped giving items out during scenarios and thus letting all characters blow every single penny on the most top-of-the-line gear, they would either be more pragmatic or leave a wealth cushion so they could buy the things they need to complete their mission.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. The bolded phrase is why there's a disconnect.

The Society should absolutely hand out items that are required to complete the mission - that is, items without which it's impossible to complete the Primary. However, the authors should refrain from writing scenarios in which these setups are necessary.

Nobody's advocating writing scenarios and with a "lol no potion of water breathing, scenario over" clause.

But for things like underwater combat, potions of water breathing and sea touch elixirs aren't required. Characters can always hold their breath and take the penalties. The consumables just make it easier. And there's absolutely no reason why the Society needs to hand out "make it easier" consumables.

Think consumables are overpriced and their uses are too infrequent? That's no problem - just don't whine when you face these scenarios and miss out on Secondaries or Treasure Bundles, or characters die during Severe combats that could have been Moderate with a consumable.

Through the first two seasons, underwater comes up in 4 (?) scenarios off the top of my head, flying in 3 (?), invisibility in 5 (?) ... sounds like a decent proportion so that people unprepared would survive but people prepared would thrive.

Darkness is a little weird because I don't think some GMs are really applying light mechanics, and letting people with normal vision and low-light vision off the hoom.

Scarab Sages 3/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've yet to see those extra treasure bundles cover the cost of the consumables. As for cases of swimming, invisibility, and flight - I'll take a permanent option to deal with it every time.

**

Angel Hunter D wrote:
I've yet to see those extra treasure bundles cover the cost of the consumables.

I agree with exactly what you have written, although I suspect for reasons other than why you wrote them.

Level CRB PFS
1 15 15
2 30 57
3 75 123
4 140 237
5 270 429
6 450 729
7 720 1179
8 1100 1839
9 1600 2739
10 2300 4059

"Consumables are too expensive" may or may not be true, but either way it's a red herring.

Angel Hunter D wrote:
As for cases of swimming, invisibility, and flight - I'll take a permanent option to deal with it every time.

Be honest, is that really true?

Do you really take a permanent option to deal with it? Or do you neither take a consumable or a permanent option? Because if you've honestly taken a permanent item for swimming, I'll respect that.

I suspect not. I've never seen a character with a permanent option for any of those (except for those baked into ancestries, like azarketi swim speeds).

2/5 **

Watery Soup wrote:
I suspect not. I've never seen a character with a permanent option for any of those (except for those baked into ancestries, like azarketi swim speeds).

I have four active characters above level 5. All of them have invested in spells, focus spells from feats (especially domains), and skill feats to be able to acquire swim speeds or breath underwater and climb and/or fly. I've sacrificed more "powerful" options on each simply to have that versatility (e.g. I took the advanced travel domain on my champion to have access to swim/climb/fly speeds instead of getting additional weapon properties to add to my weapon ally). They may not be permanent options in the strictest sense, but they're replenishable and available when I need them.

Your lodge may be different than mine, but I'm far from the only person who makes similar choices where I play. The simple fact of society is that, unlike a single campaign, we can be thrown into weird situations every session. We hop inconsistently across the globe and so trying to predict every weird enemy or situation we end up in is impossible. You have to play a probability game when investing in consumables. This isn't any different than a spell caster who selects spells known based on what will have the highest chance of being useful; the widest range of applicability. We're also forced by virtue of the format into solving problems in short time spans. We can't encounter a situation and always fall back to find a better way and we can't count on a consistent team to be able to cover all possible contingencies. There isn't room for that kind of problem solving in a lot of cases.

The meta-arc is the closest thing where I think it's safe to put the onus more on players to be prepared for specific hazards and themese. There's absolutely no reason not to bring fire resistance into higher level scenarios during Season 2, and it shouldn't take someone long to realize they also should be bringing means to do certain kinds of elemental damage. But even then there are curveballs:

Spoiler:
Given the theme of troll enemies, bringing fire and acid to fights makes a lot of sense. But I thought the scenario with the cavern trolls was a good unique departure with their sonic vulnerability. My champion had thundering on his whip which usually didn't matter much but it worked out perfectly for this situation making it much easier to deal with. The scenario provided a few additional sources of sonic damage in the form of consumables that helped our party and I definitely didn't begrudge the scenario that because it could have easily been impossible without.

**

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
And a consumable turns that from "Okay, I can have slightly better armor that prevents crit to getting crit all the time but hey, I can breathe under water for a few minutes just in case"

From my experience, characters are hoarding gold for the "next super good item they can buy" and could spend a lot on consumables without losing actual power. Most of my characters spend a lot of their gold on consumables and still have all the items they need as soon as they hit a new level (outside the very rare cases where they need 2 items of a certain level).

For an unknown reason, people prefer to convince themselves that "consumables suck" instead of just stating the obvious "I don't want to buy Potions of Water Breathing because I have the feeling I lose power by doing so".
There's an irrational need to get as much money as possible. I've seen people getting angry at the GM or the adventure because the party lost a treasure bundle. I've seen players buying overpriced permanent items because they prefer to have a permanent water breathing item they will use once instead of a Potion.
Some items (Wands) are just way too expensive to be considered but people prefer to buy some and convince themselves they earn money when they won't benefit of more than a couple of extra spells accross their entire career.

Humans are irrational. We are all like that. There's no need to enter a long debate about consumables, there have been already a lot. A lot of people are fine with consumables, and some hate them. And I don't think anyone will switch side.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't society scenarios supposed to be nominally accomplishable by a table of appropriate-level pregens?

If an item you find gives you a nice bump (bravo's brew), that's something you have to find and doesn't solve the problem. A 5-10% bump doesn't really break anything. It might make the alchemist's preparations a bit less valuable, but so does preparing anti-undead bombs if none show up. Meanwhile, it rewards players for paying attention and interacting with the scenario rather than just waiting for the next map to load. Plenty of times I've seen players just forget they found a useful magic or just walking into the next room without going over for anything.

Given how little reputation seems to do these days, consumables give players something to look for that does something. Given that worn magic items need to be invested to do anything, a consumable represents a resource rather than just a treasure bundle with a name.

If the item is needed to be in the adventure (water breathing) then to completable by pregens (or really for it to go anywhere) you just need to hand it out as part of the conceit of the story. A "play the adventure" tax just means nobody signs up once word gets around that "you need to buy X number of magic items to play".

**

Oragnejedi42 wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something

Yes, you're missing that a player character gets way more wealth than a pregen.

The pregens are built on CRB wealth by level. The developers have stated that they expected player characters to acquired 8 Treasure Bundles, which already give 15-20% higher wealth than the CRB. In practice, though, I'm guessing characters have been averaging 9.5+ Treasure Bundles, which ends up giving them 60-70% higher wealth than the CRB. The gap is large - by level 8, a PC will have several HUNDRED gp more than the CRB says they should have.

So, for instance, none of the Level 5 pregens that I've played have +1 armor. But a lot of PCs will buy +1 armor between Level 4 and Level 5.

2/5 5/5 *

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Watery Soup wrote:
Oragnejedi42 wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something
Yes, you're missing that a player character gets way more wealth than a pregen.

I think you may have missed the point: the scenarios have to be written as though all the players are new to PFS and are using pregens.

That a hand-raised character can earn more (is that even true or do the pregens just spend their money differently?) has no bearing on that baseline.

EDIT: That argument would have more value once you enter into levels with no pregens. However, even then, expecting every single player to be able to predict and prepare to counter every challenge an author or developer could imagine is not a fair expectation.

What's the alternative? No loot found is ever going to be useful to the scenario in which it's found? I don't find that particularly fulfilling or fun.

**

Blake's Tiger wrote:
expecting every single player to be able to predict and prepare to counter every challenge an author or developer could imagine is not a fair expectation.

Well, I've stressed many times that I agree countering every challenge is not fair. But countering common challenges - and I specifically called out darkness, swimming, invisibility, and flying - should be considered differently.

For instance, an author may really want an extraplanar storyline for characters without plane shift. I think it's very fair for the Society to provide a scroll of plane shift to move the story along.

But for an author to hand out everburning torches every time a party heads into darkness is not fair to characters who may have spent feats on darkvision, or money on permanent light items, or money on consumable light items.

Swimming, invisibility, and flying fall inbetween those extremes.

Blake's Tiger wrote:
What's the alternative? No loot found is ever going to be useful to the scenario in which it's found? I don't find that particularly fulfilling or fun.

Well, for starters, I'd advocate the rule that scenarios in which an appropriately leveled pregen would autofail the Primary without a provided item would be considered Rare and require a really compelling reason to exist; scenarios in which an appropriately leveled pregen would autofail the Secondary or 1-2 TBs would be considered Uncommon and require a reason to exist; and that scenarios in which appropriately leveled pregens would struggle with Secondaries and a few TBs would be considered Common.

I love finding useful items in-game and wished it happened more. I love it even more when it's pried out of a villain's dead hand and I get to use it on the next villain. Nothing is more satisfying than facing a spellcaster that uses a devastating Uncommon spell against the party, and then raiding their spellbook for the formula after they're defeated.

This goes, in part, for non-consumable "items" as well:

#1-17:
Facing an over-leveled manifestation of Qxal but given an over-leveled cannon to balance it out.

On the Society side, I think people really need to come to a consensus on how many Treasure Bundles we're "supposed" to get. Because it feels like the system designers think we should be getting 8, but GMs are handing out a lot closer to 10, and then scenario authors are responding to that by making things more appropriate for 10, but someone in the editorial process is thinking it's too hard and throws in stuff to make it easier. Not sure what the reality is, but that's how it feels. There's a weird discrepancy between what people say we're supposed to be doing with our wealth, and what everyone says they're doing with their wealth.


Watery Soup wrote:
On the Society side, I think people really need to come to a consensus on how many Treasure Bundles we're "supposed" to get. Because it feels like the system designers think we should be getting 8, but GMs are handing out a lot closer to 10, and then scenario authors are responding to that by making things more appropriate for 10, but someone in the editorial process is thinking it's too hard and throws in stuff to make it easier. Not sure what the reality is, but that's how it feels. There's a weird discrepancy between what people say we're supposed to be doing with our wealth, and what everyone says they're doing with their wealth.

Aren't we just supposed to "hand out" whatever they earn? I don't expect scenarios to be equal in difficulty and if I'm handing out 10 to a well built party it phases me as much as handing out 4 to a poorly prepared one. However, if I was handing out 4 all the time I think we'd have a lot less players. If a scenario is handing out a couple extra bits to get players over the hump, its probably because most scenarios are written to be beaten. Given that most folks posting on this board are likely to be a sample of long time GMs with more veteran players, I'm not shocked that Paizo says the average is 8 TB and GMs here report they're handing out 10.

Maybe there needs to be "expert" content for vets or something. As for how players spend resources, there probably seems to be discrepancy because everyone does it different even character to character.

2/5 5/5 *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Watery Soup wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:
What's the alternative? No loot found is ever going to be useful to the scenario in which it's found? I don't find that particularly fulfilling or fun.
Well, for starters, I'd advocate the rule that scenarios in which an appropriately leveled pregen would autofail the Primary without a provided item would be considered Rare and require a really compelling reason to exist; scenarios in which an appropriately leveled pregen would autofail the Secondary or 1-2 TBs would be considered Uncommon and require a reason to exist; and that scenarios in which appropriately leveled pregens would struggle with Secondaries and a few TBs would be considered Common.

That's not even what I was talking about (this time). Finding Bravo's Brew as loot before a fear-inducing monster is a nice thing. Finding a scroll of fly before encountering a creature where flying would be helpful.

Vs. Finding a potion of water breathing in a scenario with no water challenges or a scroll of fly when you never have a place where flying help or a ring if fire resistance when none of the enemies use fire.

Scarab Sages 3/5

SuperBidi, the reason people think consumables suck is because everything else in our experience says they do.

Numerical perception is the biggest fight 2e has.

Any bonus less than 40% on a die roll is below the perception threshold for the majority of people. No matter how strong it is mathematically it's not going to be perceived on a single roll.

And for consumables, while we should have enough money for consumables the consumable/permanent ratio is 1/4. Most permanent others are about 4x the cost of a consumable. That's 4x more expensive than 1e which was around 1/16 (where I carried a lot of consumables) and a number I don't care to Calculate more for real world examples - like the average taxi ride being $40 in my city and the car I rode in costing $25,000.

The costing fights against past RPG experience, real world experience, and numeric perception.

As for the desire for money, that's not irrational that's basic human nature. Aquire as many resources as possible, because that's how you succeed.

**

Oragnejedi42 wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't society scenarios supposed to be nominally accomplishable by a table of appropriate-level pregens?

If it's the case then it's failed.

For example, among the level 5 pregens, 1 has Continual Recovery, 3 have Medicine at least at Trained level and 4 don't have Medicine at all. Considering how out of combat healing is important, you can easily end up with a TPK at character choice.

Angel Hunter D wrote:
SuperBidi, the reason people think consumables suck is because everything else in our experience says they do.

I think one of the points for consumables is that they allow your character to be stronger than a character without consumables.

For example, you can have a Potion of Water Breathing or you can have a permanent mean to breath water. But this permanent mean will come at a cost in terms of character power: either you'll have a know spell (spontaneous caster), a prepared one (prepared caster) or an invested item. I personally take the Potion as it allows me to have greater power (other spells known/prepared or another Invested item) and the cost is clearly lower than the gain as underwater adventures won't come up often. That's why my Sorcerer doesn't have any known spell to handle Invisibility, Fly, underwater combat or whatever, he has scrolls for that.
It's like Battle Medicine and Healing Potions. To compete with Healing Potions in terms of healing you need both Battle Medicine and Medic Dedication. Still, a lot of people consider Battle Medicine to be awesome and Healing Potions to be bad. I personally take Healing Potions, as it allows me to have the same healing than someone with Battle Medicine without having to pay for feats. So, overall, I end up with a stronger character. And the cost is not that high (you have Healing Potions for free in PFS, and outside PFS they are among the most commonly looted items and a lot of parties actually sell them because they never end up using them).

Also, because of all the limitations of PF2 (level of items and limit of Invested items) you have spare money that you can spend on consumables without losing anything on the side.
Overall, I think it's a problem of perception. The maths behind consumables aren't bad, optimizers play with them (not with all, obviously, as there are good ones and bad ones).

Scarab Sages 3/5

SuperBidi wrote:
Oragnejedi42 wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't society scenarios supposed to be nominally accomplishable by a table of appropriate-level pregens?

If it's the case then it's failed.

For example, among the level 5 pregens, 1 has Continual Recovery, 3 have Medicine at least at Trained level and 4 don't have Medicine at all. Considering how out of combat healing is important, you can easily end up with a TPK at character choice.

Angel Hunter D wrote:
SuperBidi, the reason people think consumables suck is because everything else in our experience says they do.

I think one of the points for consumables is that they allow your character to be stronger than a character without consumables.

For example, you can have a Potion of Water Breathing or you can have a permanent mean to breath water. But this permanent mean will come at a cost in terms of character power: either you'll have a know spell (spontaneous caster), a prepared one (prepared caster) or an invested item. I personally take the Potion as it allows me to have greater power (other spells known/prepared or another Invested item) and the cost is clearly lower than the gain as underwater adventures won't come up often. That's why my Sorcerer doesn't have any known spell to handle Invisibility, Fly, underwater combat or whatever, he has scrolls for that.
It's like Battle Medicine and Healing Potions. To compete with Healing Potions in terms of healing you need both Battle Medicine and Medic Dedication. Still, a lot of people consider Battle Medicine to be awesome and Healing Potions to be bad. I personally take Healing Potions, as it allows me to have the same healing than someone with Battle Medicine without having to pay for feats. So, overall, I end up with a stronger character. And the cost is not that high (you have Healing Potions for free in PFS, and outside PFS they are among the most commonly looted items and a lot of parties actually sell them because they never end up using them).

Also, because of...

It being a matter of perception is entirely the issue. beyond the previous issues I mentioned - even if you're stronger for having used it

the actions to use them tend to be disruptive to how people want to play.

Healing potions for example, if you aren't a spellcaster your hands are probably full or the single action for battle medicine instead of the 2 for a potion is way easier to fit in.

2/5 5/5 *

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Not particularly pertinent to the original topic of this thread, but, as an example, my dislike of consumables (excluding scrolls) is based on this:

The durations are usually too short to use preemptively.

Anything that lasts less than 10 minutes (and even then) is going to be gone if I drink it before entering a room unless I know there's an enemy and combat hasn't started. Else, if there's uncertainty, I drink it, open the door, and there's no foe on the other side, then it'll be 10 minutes of Exploration time until the next door, and I've wasted the consumable.

Lesser Darkvision lasts 10 minutes. Who needs Darkvision for just 10 minutes? Even the Moderate's 1 hour is questionable. Yes, there are hypothetical scenarios, but you're gambling on those exact setups occurring in a random scenario. That's not to say I don't have characters who own lesser darkvision elixirs, but I had to think hard on buying those vs. saving for Goggles of Night.

The complexity of using one in combat is counter productive to my character.

Example: I have a character where smokesticks would actually be advantageous in combat. Unfortunately, he's a 2-handed weapon wielder. It took me 1 action to pull the smokestick off my bandolier, it took 1 action to activate the smoke stick, and then 1 action to put my hand back on my weapon. It gained me the protection of a 20% miss chance against me vs. Attack, Attack -5, Stride (and force enemy to burn an action chasing me).

Scarab Sages 3/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The duration is definitely an issue with most consumables. They're pretty strictly a "during the encounter" thing (whether it's a combat encounter or a skill/puzzle encounter) - and like you've said Blake, and many others, they're really cumbersome to use. To the point that I'm fairly confident now that 2 handed weapons and reload weapons are too weak for what they make you give up - but people want to play with them, so they don't have the actions or the hands to use the consumables that don't last long enough and cost more than we're comfortable with.

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

I think "1 hand free" builds are stronger than they initially look by simple numbers because they leave you more of this flexibility.

51 to 70 of 70 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Items given / found during adventures that are just too good for the adventure All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Society