The Gentleman's Agreement

“There are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something!”

-The Fat One, Member of the Blackbear Mercenaries
(Human Ninja 6)

There are a lot of very powerful abilities, combos, and spells. You are more than welcome to put together any character using legitimate Pathfinder resources. If the entire party is roughly equal then I will NOT restrict your ability to make very powerful PCs, in fact I encourage you to be creative. But Remember my job is to keep the game interesting, challenging, and fun. The more powerful the party the more difficult the challenges need to be. Should a player make a pun-pun level PC then they risk breaking our “Gentleman’s Agreement” and I will have to respond in kind. To prevent this, I ask everyone reads and agree’s to the following.

The Gentleman’s Agreement: While I don’t want to prevent you from making powerful PC’s I may have to counter them should encounters loose their difficulty. There are many ways for me to do this but the most important thing to keep in mind is the following – The DM can do everything you can do, everything you can’t do, and he knows your strengths and weaknesses! Most importantly this means there is nothing you can do that I can’t throw right back at you. So rather than an Arms Race were everybody loses, I will simply ask that every player uses common sense and keeps the game entertaining.

If you feel an ability or combo may be too powerful then please come to me before I come to you. I will respect you for it and therefor be more willing to give you the wiggle room you require. If you want to work with me, we can find ways to keep these combo’s balanced without making them weak. Before I flat out hard-counter any PC I will always come to the player’s and communicate openly as to what the problem is and how we can amicably resolve the issues. Here are some examples of what I mean:

  1. A level 1 Psion(Shaper) using ectoplasmic creation to coat the entire parties weapons in Free Poisons (For only 1 Power Point no less)! Doing this is creative and a great way to make poisons worth while (I agree they are too costly and time consuming to craft), but if you push the line past creative into broken (using Deathblade every fight at level 1 instead of Sassone leaf residue) then there may be consequences. Perhaps you may find yourself facing equally deadly poison (perhaps even created using the alchemist discovery giving them multiple “charges”), lots of poison immune baddies, innocent people nicking themselves on your weapons, or being in trouble with the law for using Illegal substances. However if you come to me knowing this may be over powered then we could work out a compromise, such as doubling the DC to craft items with instant spells and consequences for failing checks.
  1. Using Shrink Object to reduce a 20 ton bolder to a single 10 pound pebble, and then canceling the spell while holding it over someones head. This is very clever, and often requires two characters to pull off successfully and I like it. It is especially good if you can get early access to fly and add the “falling damage” portion to it. But pushed to far and you may find yourself the target of dispels (10 pebbles in your backpack suddenly boulders on your back, ouch), rock catching monsters (Back at yea!), or the same combo dropped on your head. A good compromise would be giving reasonable reflex saves, requiring attack roles, and/or provoking attacks of opportunities.
  1. Boosting your Craft Trapmaking to ungodly levels with feats, spells, and items: Crafters Fortune +5 (10 gold), Precognition +2 (10 gold), Pyscic Shard +10 (1000gold), Class skill +3, Int 12 +1, Fox’s Cunning +2 (60gold), [all the following can be gained then replaced with two castings of Psycic Reformation (560 gold)] Skill Focus +3, Psicrystal +3, 5 Ranks +5, Collector Trait +2, Master Craftsman +2, Prodigy +2 for a total of 40 to Craft Trapmaking! Then popping a scroll of True Creation (1520 gold) to make a permanent and real CR 35 portable Godly Bear Trap that takes 1 round to set up (Move action set down, standard action unlock): Base CR 1 (All traps start here), 35 Perception Check (+ 3 CR), 35 Disable Device (+ 3 CR), + 20 to its Touch Attack (+ 3 CR), Automatically Resets (+ 1 CR), Does 60d6+34 damage (Average damage 244 – CR + 24). Seriously read Trap Making. Traps are cool and fun (when not abused like this). So a trap that would normally cost 37,500 gold and takes ~100-150 days to craft would be made in the time it takes to gather the items and get the spells cast on you and cost only 2890 gold. I could go on about counters for this one… but the main point is I COULD USE THIS AGAINST YOU TOO. So please, Gentleman’s Agreement.

Note: For more on what I mean the following has the Spirit of my intentions well defined: Guide #10 and My thoughts on party balance.

Also, this isn’t to mean that a very situational ability is over-powered. There are some Spells/Abilities/Combo’s that simply flat out end very specific encounters and that is fine. It is when something is trivializing 80% of encounters that we have a problem. For instance: Command Undead against unintelligent undead will flat out end that encounter, but that’s fine b/c that’s it’s purpose and only useful in a very specific situation. On the other hand if a level 7 character is capable of casting 600 damage fireballs then we have a problem… I’m looking at you Ender!

The Gentleman's Agreement

Echoes of the Rising JosephZ JosephZ