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OPS & An Inclusive Gaming Environment

pathfinder

As a lot of you folks may know, I’m one of the regional coordinators for Pathfinder Society Organized Play in Ontario. Beyond running games and taking care of various administrative tasks, one of the main things I’ve been working on lately is a “fair play” policy that outlines the Ontario Pathfinder Society’s (OPS) views on inclusivity in the gaming environment. This was prompted partially by a similar statement released by the Toronto Area Gamers (TAG), but also because it seemed sorta silly we didn’t have one yet.

OPS “Fair Play” Policy

Sadly, it no longer surprises me to hear about misogyny or sexism in the Toronto gaming scene. There have been multiple incidents of sexual harassment, doxxing, and even stalking happening in TAG and other community groups. I guess I like to think that as a fairly progressive city, Toronto is beyond these types of issues, but clearly that is not the case. OPS has (luckily) been generally free of these sorts of incidents, and hopefully this document, along with the continued vigilance of its community members, helps to maintain our healthy gaming environment.

Infinite Builds: Create Pit

Where Michael and Adam (former venture captain of Ontario) discuss various Pathfinder strategies, usually resulting in death, destruction, and general bad feelings.

Michael: There are a lot of spells that I don’t like in Pathfinder, partially because of balance issues, but also because I just hate seeing them in action. Create Pit is one of those spells.

Adam: It could probably serve to be a 3rd level spell. Just add “at X level the pit has spikes” and you’ve streamlined the whole spell chain.

Michael: It could probably serve to be ON FIRE and IN OUTER SPACE.

Adam: An outer space, vacuum pit? Functions as a create pit but sucks creatures in?

Michael: Terrifying.

Adam: Actually, with Quicken Spell, you can do even scarier things.

Level 1: The Standard

Pit

 Quicken Spell: Create Pit (2)  +  Wall of Stone (4)

Michael: This is a simple combo, and one I actually don’t mind all that much. I like to imagine creatures climbing up the walls of the pit, punching the stone, falling back down, then beginning the cycle anew.

Adam: It is pretty passé though. It’s been done a lot before.

Michael: What would you suggest then?

Level 2: The Oven

otgQuicken Spell: Create Pit (2)  +  Sirocco (6)

Adam: This is a little less known variation. It requires a fifth and sixth level slot, but it is well worth it.

Michael: This actually seems really mean. You’re basically shoving the enemy into a pressure cooker.

Adam: Well, if you want to get even MEANER, with a Rod of Quicken you could do it with a Hungry Pit. Sirocco pushes you into the Sarlacc pit! OMNONOMNOM.

Michael: Cooked then eaten. What a horrible fate.

Adam: Not the most horrible…

Level 3: Maximum Overkill

0708-1-monkey-group

Mad Monkeys (3)  +  Quicken Spell: Create Pit (2)  +  Black Tentacles (4)

Michael: Oh great, MORE of my favourite spells. This one seems like a bit more of an investment, but is a definite nightmare to deal with.

Adam: Summon Mad Monkeys as a full round action, at the start of the turn (when the monkeys appear) cast Create Pit (quickened) and Black Tentacles. The monkeys are a swarm, and can’t be grappled. They rip apart everyone down in the tentacled pit.

Michael: Create Pit is just the worst.

THAC0 to Pathfinder BAB Conversion

Preface: I imagine that this will likely fall under the “stuff only Mike cares about” category, but I thought I’d share this little thought experiment anyways. Being a big fan of both 2nd Edition AD&D and Pathfinder, I’ve often looked at the differences between the two games and how to transition content from one to the other. One of the big differences, of course, is how a character’s basic ability to hit enemies is calculated. Let’s take a quick look at both systems.

THAC0 (2nd Edition AD&D)

thac0

Definition
THAC0 is an abbreviation for To Hit Armor Class Zero (0). To calculate if a hit succeeds you take the AC of the target and subtract it from the attacker’s THAC0, then roll a 20-sided die; if the die rolls equal to or higher than the calculated number, the attack hits. That is, THAC0 − AC = roll needed to hit.

Example
Pavo the intrepid warrior has a THAC0 of 14 and wants to hit an Orc that possesses an AC of 5. Pavo rolls 10 on a d20 as his attack roll, beating his target roll of 9 (14-5). The Orc is hit with a mighty blow!

Notes
The math works out, but I bet you had to read through the description a couple of times for it to make sense. Although THAC0 was meant as an alternative to the to-hit tables of earlier editions, the math was a bit tough for folks to wrap their heads around. I remember being quite stumped by the concept when I was younger!

BAB (Pathfinder)

babtable

Definition
A base attack bonus is an attack roll bonus derived from character class and level or creature type and Hit Dice (or combination’s thereof). Base attack bonuses increase at different rates for different character classes and creature types. A second attack is gained when a base attack bonus reaches +6, a third with a base attack bonus of +11 or higher, and a fourth with a base attack bonus of +16 or higher. A character adds his BAB to a d20 roll (plus any additional modifiers), and if the result is equal or greater to the AC of their target, then the attack hits.

Example
Pavo the intrepid warrior has a BAB of +6 and wants to hit an Orc with an AC of 15 (AC is different in Pathfinder, more on this later). Pavo rolls 10 on a d20 as his attack roll, beating his target’s AC of 15. The Orc is hit with a mighty blow!

Notes
Well, it seems like things have been streamlined a bit! I mean, there is a little bit of extra stuff in there regarding iterative attacks, but we’ve switched to an all-addition, all-the-time system. This is especially useful when you consider that other attack bonuses (strength, magic, etc…) can be simply added to the roll.

How To Convert

Dungeons & Dragons dice

In order for the conversion to work properly, you have to change the THACO of the attacking creature as well as the Armour Class of the defending creature. We’ve looked at the attack calculations already, but in regards to Armour Class I’ll just say this: AC starts at 10 for both editions. In 2nd Edition a lower AC is better, and in Pathfinder a higher AC is better.

So what are the magic equations that let you convert from 2nd Edition to Pathfinder? Behold!

20 – THAC0 = Pathfinder BAB

20 – AC = Pathfinder AC

 
Easy, right? You can use the examples I gave above to see how the conversion looks like in action. Although the math is a bit different, the numbers and dice rolls work out the same!

Pavo’s To-Hit Calculation
20 – 14 = BAB of +6

Orc’s Armour Class
20 – 5 = AC of 15

So there you have it! It’s actually a pretty simple system, and I hope that it proves useful to some of you home-brewers out there who tinker around with variant systems. It should be noted that the math works just as well for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, which happens to share most of the same rules of Pathfinder. Have fun converting anything from Aboleths to Zombies!