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Ontario Pathfinder Society | Ontario Pathfinder Lodge Forum » General » Additional Resources Discussion » Rulebook Ownership

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Author Topic: Rulebook Ownership
Grimlock
Applicant
Posts: 18
Permalink
Post Rulebook Ownership
on: May 4, 2015, 19:59

Greetings all. This is my first post; please be gentle.

My friend and former GM got me hooked on Pathfinder. Our schedules no longer mesh, so I've considered joining Pathfinder Society play to keep in the loop and continue to enjoy the game. I just wanted to clarify the specifics regarding book ownership.

I've read through the "Pathfinder Guide to Organized Play", and it seems very specific about each player not only owning the books with the rules that support the characters they've created, but that those books need to be brought along to each session. It seems a little far-fetched, to be honest, especially since there two are resources available that would allow you to avoid carrying all that weight unnecessarily: The "www.d20pfsrd.com" website, and the "Masterwork Tools" app for Android.

I received the "Pathfinder Core Rulebook" (CRB) as a gift this past Christmas. Considering how much of the information from the CRB was already available thorough the aforementioned webiste and app, I opted to exchange the CRB for the "Inner Sea World Guide" so I can better learn more about the world of Golarion and the Pathfinder universe, while supporting Paizo for making such a cool product.

So, the question is: Am I allowed to join Pathfinder Society Play when I only own the Inner Sea World Guide?

Thanks,

:Grim

Mage of-
the-
Wyrmkin
Pathfinder
Posts: 181
Permalink
Post Re: Rulebook Ownership
on: May 4, 2015, 20:15

Generally owning the CRB is a very good idea for new players. Not only is it assumed as part of the Core Assumption that every player owns a copy of the CRB as it is the go to book for the Core classes and most of the rules that you will be using every game. While most of the information for this book can be found in the PRD or other free sources a player is much more likely to read and re-read this book if they own a hard copy version of it.

That being said a player will never be called at the table by using elements from the CRB but trust me when I tell you that you will not regret owning this book.

Grimlock
Applicant
Posts: 18
Permalink
Post Re: Rulebook Ownership
on: May 4, 2015, 20:27

I appreciate the prompt reply. Yes, the CRB is a great book, but my inquiry wasn't regarding it.

Can I show up to a PFS game near me with my character, some dice, and some apps on my phone? Will I be allowed to play, or will I be turned away?

:Grim

Paul-
Jackson
Seeker
Posts: 692
Permalink
Paul Jackson
Post Re: Rulebook Ownership
on: May 4, 2015, 22:45

One important thing to note is that we always have pregens. So, in the case that your character is banned for the session you will NOT be turned away but be told to play a pregen

There are 2 answers. The official answer and the real answer.

First, watermarked pdfs are also acceptable. And printouts from watermarked pdfs. NOT photocopies of physical books.

Also note that some sites are currently offering Core only games as well as Regular Campaign games. In them, the ONLY book that you can use is the CRB. So what follows only partially applies to the Core Campaign

You are supposed to own the CRB but it is also the case that the GM is required to own it. and bring it to the table. You are officially allowed to show up for "awhile" (unspecified) without the CRB but "Eventually" you're supposed to buy it. In practice, that time is very up to the GMs you play with. ALL will give you some latitude, some will give you more than others.

You're also supposed to own the books for everything you use. So, if you use the Advanced Players Guide you need to have the portion of the Advanced Players Guide that you use, either in physical form or a pdf.

In practice, the main reason that you are supposed to have the book is so that the GM can check the actual rules text for something. This means that you may well get away without owning the book for quite a long time, again depending hugely on the GM and depending on what you use. The more strange what you use the greater the chance that you'll be called on it. But the GM has the absolute right to ban your character if you don't have the documentation. They are totally in the right. They are NOT being in the slightest jerks if they enforce the rules.

So, you're guaranteed to be ok with CRB only characters for at least a few sessions. Beyond that, it depends on the GM.

p-sto
Pathfinder
Posts: 475
Permalink
Post Re: Rulebook Ownership
on: May 4, 2015, 22:58

I might add that we generally don't go about checking which sources a player brought with them before they play but it has happened in the past where a rules question ends up surfacing in the course of play and the player in question doesn't have the book with them so it's not that easy to determine what the exact text was in the source book. More than anything it's a show of consideration to other people at the table to purchase the book or PDF that you're referencing and bring it with you for game night. It's a rule that we don't enforce as strictly as organized play says we should but at the same time you're not going to make many friends here by taking advantage of that fact to skirt the rules.

Grimlock
Applicant
Posts: 18
Permalink
Post Re: Rulebook Ownership
on: May 5, 2015, 19:31

Thank you, Mr. Jackson and p-sto.

I had two concerns, and you have managed to address them both:

i) Maniacs who make insane Trait/Feat/Archetype/Multi-Class/Doman/Bloodline combinations to pull off miracles need to justify their character's abilities with rules. I've read enough Class Guides on Paizo's "Advice" message board to know some players go overboard and, quite frankly, abuse game mechanics to suit them. I'm glad this issue is taken seriously by the Pathfinder Society writers;

ii) I used to play Magic: The Gathering, Warhammer 40K, collected cards and comics, and all these hobbies became prohibitively expensive; I gave them all up. Table-Top RPGs are a much more affordable hobby, and I was worried these ownership regulations were just a adding Pathfinder to that list. I misunderstood.

Thanks again for the help, guys.

:Grim

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