Ask your local FLGS (or wherever you game) for a Hall of Fame/Shame. A store in my area has a board on which goes the character sheets of the fallen, signed off on by the GM and what Scenario took them out.
Of course, a player I know with a silly streak would just turn his character sheet into a hat and wear it the rest of the session as he sat there....
It sounds like you prefer more free form play, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, in order to be able to have a program where we can show up almost anywhere in the US and find a table to play at, there are common rules. By necessity, that requires limiting certain things and there being a little more paperwork. If people prefer more free form games, then I think home games are right for them. Organized Play, by its very nature, cannot be free form.
Erick Wilson wrote:
Free rebuilds are, by their nature, permissive. Organized play is just that, organized. A character is meant to keep a history of who and what they were.
Erick Wilson wrote:
It is an expendable/consumable, same as stoneskin. And you're right, it is used instead of other things. The issue is, it gives me free money and no reason *not* to be burning expensive spells all the time. The nature of PFS is that you can guess when combat will take place (usually), and stoneskin could thus be up at all times combat could happen. In a home game, the GM can make attacks happen around that. Giving players no reason to horde resources is a dangerous design mechanic. As for leaving weapons behind...yes, I have seen it happen. I nearly had to leave my Adamantine Morningstar behind in one scenario.
Erick Wilson wrote:
Ok, so we have two tiers of play, designed for players of differing strength. Or we have 3 modes of play, designed for players of differing strength. Either way, its the same scenario that has different stat blocks. Your solution, however, narrows the level range and makes it harder for play.
Erick Wilson wrote:
The idea may not be important to you, but if we decide to create new characters of higher levels and not track item purchases, then characters are created as concepts, dropped, new characters are made, and there is no continuity of play. It may not matter to you, but it matters heavily to the community as I have seen it.
Erick Wilson wrote:
The campaign tried doing that with the advent of season 4. It was widely rejected.
Erick Wilson wrote:
I have seen GMs run scenarios just for the boons.
If you are unable to see prices through the game, people will create out of game systems to get around that. Once the game gets to a decent size, lets say there are about 20 major settlements. What would stop large guilds (and by then, there would be some very large guilds) from placing one player in each settlement, just to report prices? That is an ugly brute force way to do it, but its doable. And with MMO's being what they are, if it can be done, it *will* be done.
To your point of being required to actually go to a location? I entirely support this idea. It supports the balance of guards/merchants/bandits, and nearly anything that makes people interact more is ok by me.
1) The free rebuild idea kills it. Saw too much of that in LFR, where people weren't invested in their characters. Plus, I would play levels 1-4 as a crazed power attacking barbarian, then swap to something like a wizard. Just...no.
2) So I'll walk around with stoneskin, nearly non-stop, because I don't actually spend the gold. I'm not worried about firing off that +5 holy ghost touch slaying arrow, since I'll just get one back for the next adventure anyways. I'm not worried about leaving my weapon behind, I'll just be given a new one. Just...no.
3) Only one tier, but 3 different versions....which is what we have now. Sounds like an old 1-7 scenario. Just more narrow in the level range, but just as much work, so less people will be able to play it, thus not making monetary sense. Nope.
4) No to starting high level characters. A character is defined by what they have done. It makes them who they are. No thank you, not at all. Making more interesting stuff available on chronicle sheets means that people will start tracking what scenario "has" to be played with certain characters in order to be as efficient as possible. Just no.
5) Too vague to really talk about.
6) Dear Abadar, *NO*. Too easy to lose, impossible to read, and I have *no* desire to have to spend that kind of time with scissors making them.
7) Yes please. I'd rather like to see that happen, actually. More things to do besides combat would make me a happy man.
8) Extra boons for GMs? Leads to GMs milling through games just for the sake of boons, which leads to bad play. GM for the love of the game and the story, not for the stuff you get. No thanks.
The Red Ninja wrote:
If you have seen only 3 characters die, or maybe 5, in about 200 games...something is *very* wrong. As a GM, I play by the rules. I don't softball fights, I don't scale them up. I run the NPCs as written, and the NPCs play to win. I have personally been the cause of about 10 character deaths, and multiple near misses. In my last PFS game, we had two deaths (admittedly, that *was* Bonekeep). I have seen plenty of deaths, both as a player and as a GM.
I don't know what the explanation is for your experience, but know that it is not the norm.
David Bowles wrote:
Season 4 is demonstrably *not* too hard. I see the optimizers make a mockery of it just like seasons 0-3. I suspect people in season 4 having trouble have outright dysfunctional builds. The builds need only be functional *in the most vague sense* to win in season 4. Like be able to hit non-trivial ACs. That's not asking too much. Dysfunction should be punished by deaths.
I kicked the crap out of a well prepared Venture Lieutenant with a Season 4 scenario. Not a dysfunctional build. Saying builds need to be functional only in the vague sense makes sense to you, but not to everyone.
Everyone has a different opinion of what "min/maxed", "optimized", "balanced", and "dysfunctional" means. Don't assume one person's definition reaches across the board. That in and of itself is what this thread is about: people are different, and the scenarios are the same. How do we reconcile this?
This suggestion could provide really valuable feedback in the long term. It doesn't help in the short term, but any good feedback should be considered.
Ban options that lead to insane combat monsters? Lets take a look at two very simple options from the CRB. A basic 18 str barbarian, two handed power attacking barbarian, while raging, has a damage of 2d6+12, average damage of 19 at first level. Lets give a supposed boss 3d8 hitpoints, and give him a 14 con. Average hitpoints will be 20 hp. That is within striking distance of a single hit killing them, and that is nothing but a basic first level barbarian.
Next, lets look at a sorcerer. Give them 18 charisma, and spell focus. DC 16 save on a save or suck spell? With an average save of +2 at that level? So the boss has to roll a 14 or higher *each round* to not get taken down.
CRB options for purely destroying encounters exist, and it would be impossible to stop them. Min-maxers will always find a way to make the most powerful character. Ban the best option? They'll find a new best option. A min-maxer will always be at the top of the power tier, and thus we will always have a difference between power gamers and non-power gamers.
My solution? Make non-combat equally as necessary. Scenarios like the Blackrose Matrimony are brilliant examples of this. We don't need all diplomatic scenarios, but scenarios that have some sort of skill gate (and I don't mean a DC 30 Perform (Kazoo) check) would be invaluable. Failure doesn't have to mean the party died...failing to be able to get to where they need to go is also an option, and one I would like to see explored.
Brett Cochran wrote:
I could be wrong, but I believe that doing so is strictly prohibited. I agree, I *could* make a scenario easier or harder. But the guide says I am not allowed to, and that I need to follow the tactics block. If we don't run the listed tactics, then we can't compare experiences.
Don Walker wrote:
The problem is, by slashing the reward structure, we *are* treating it as the same issue. I think we need to step back and see if there is a better way to handle players who always play up, and if the community as a whole sees it as a problem.
Why are we playing with wealth when the problem is player bullying? The proposed system still results in bullying behavior.
Let's actually deal with the problem, and give GMs more leeway on how they handle abusive players.
No matter how hard we try, or how well we regulate, power gamers will power game. Trying to stop that from happening, well, the cure is worse than the disease.
I personally really like the podcast and the idea of a sneak peak. There are ways to do it better, but there are *always* places to improve. Please don't nix the sneak peaks and pod-casts after their first time out. The vast majority of those responding liked it. You can't please everyone, boss.
Not a fan of the wealth change. Low tier players now should absolutely, under no circumstances, play up. This only makes it more complicated to actually set up a table. Dissapprove.
However. I *do* like the change to factions actually having a purpose and changing faction goals and alignments.
The problem with that theory is this: Paizo makes scenarios to sell and promote the Pathfinder Society. They make scenarios that the greatest number of players will want to sit through. Every scenario in the "Will Make You Cry" category of difficulty that is made is a scenario in the "People Will Buy and Play This" category that isn't made. There simply isn't a market for insane adventures. They release things like Bonekeep now and again, and that is about all that makes economic sense. It would cost them money to make a product no one would buy.
Are we really trying to make magic make sense? A guy mutters a few funny words and suddenly fire appears. It breaks the laws of the universe. Magic is magic, it doesn't have to make sense. The game has its rules for it, so roll the check and lets all take a breath and move on. Its a game, for crying out loud.
I run a *lot* of characters. Some turned out to be brutally good at some things (take 10, I get 38 on any knowledge), while others are very much a jack of all trades (cleric with no stat higher than 14). There is not that much optimization required. Merely know what your character does and does not do, and support other characters in what they do well. One of my characters spends a lot of his time countering casters and using dispel magic to keep enemy spells from crippling the party. Good groups are just that: characters that work at supporting each other.
I think you might have missed the point of my post. Players vote, anonymously, if they will play up or play down. I don't tell players the vote total, only if they are playing up or playing down. One vote for playing down results in the group playing down.
No one knows who was the vote to play down. Might have been everyone else, might have been only one person. No one knows, and I don't let players ask who voted what way. The game rolls on. The table has fun.
How I handle playing up is simple: if they are between tiers, when people fill out their initiative card (name, special notes, etc) I also have them vote "up" or "down". The cards go to me, the GM, with the side with the vote facing the table. If the table isn't unanimous in its desire to play up, they play down. No pressure on any individual to play up or to play down. It is quick, easy, and saves on drama.
Off the cuff, I don't like the AOE protection bit. Instead of granting protection, make them obvious that they are about to be fired off. If the players have the sense to scatter, good for them. If they don't....get out the marshmellows.
It doesn't make sense to me to penalize one type of play. Should we next have melee damage resistance, because a group of people could suddenly use melee AOE swings?
One of my many characters, Father Forthill, was rather undone by the Cyphermage Dilemma. Long story short, he went from Lawful Good to Lawful neutral. The GM and I worked out how that shift would occur, and wrote it all down. The rest of the table was horrified (thought he was a paladin, not a cleric). I really enjoyed the GM putting the screws to me, making me really chew over the choice.
Following that incident, he felt *very* deep remorse, and worked his way back towards Lawful Good. This led to a rather hilarious situation in a later scenario, The Gods Market Gamble.
His faction mission was to convince a certain person to return to the church he had abandoned. He won't go to the church, since his family is being held in Rahadoum, where they will be killed if he returns. About half the group is trying to convince them to return, while Forthill has a spark of genius (14 int, comes in handy). He pulls out some paper and a pencil. He does the math, and finds out it will be fairly cheap to buy the man's family passage from Rahadoum to Absalom, well inside what he was willing to pay.
So, as several people all but beg the man to return to church, Forthill walks up and hands the man a bag of gold, stating that it would cover the cost of his family being safe, plus a little extra to make their passage comfortable and to bring some of their possessions with them. Diplomatic challenge? I counter with gold and compassion.
SPAZ: Space Pirates And Zombies.
Delightfully fun space shooter with some RPG elements (level up, pick skills, gain certification in new equipment). Lots of fun, good and mindless, and the higher difficulty settings could inspire rage in a monk.
Also, XCOM: Enemy Unknown. For my next run through, I think I'll use forum personas as my soldiers. Could be fun!
Haste never goes out of style.
Heroism is a beautiful spell.
Magic Missile is amazing at screwing up other spell casters.
Fly is a lovely little spell that allows you to bypass a lot of tricky and annoying things.
Create Pit is a classic, and for good reason.
As for feats...go with what you like! Improved initiative is a handy feat, because you can get your spells off before the barbarian races out of range. Spell focus can really beef up your chances, and feats that make you more likely to pierce Spell Resistance are handy.
Look into a few of the meta magic feats. Toppling Magic Missile is in vogue, even if cheesy. Intensified or Empowered spells can get nasty.
Figure out what your friends like to bring to the table, and pick spells to back them up. If you have a bunch of melee types, snag Enlarge Person. Having a big fella to draw attention is always nice.
Hey, guys? Can I have my riding dog be a pig?
Also, why can't I craft scrolls?
And this replay rule really sucks, can we change that?
What does everyone think about Synthesist Summoners? They look fine, why were they banned for PFS play?
Can my Pharasman cleric be an Undead Lord?
Why do faction missions dodge the question of alignment?
When I decapitate a surrender foe, is it really an evil act?
There. That should do it. FLAME-A-GEDDON!
Star Wars Galaxies, and the Intrepid "All Galaxy Swoop Racing Circuit". All it was was setting up a series of waypoints to hit in order, as fast as possible. The trick was knowing how to handle terrain, the various enemies, what vehicle to use on what planets, and so on. It was quite simple, but extremely fun.
Also in SWG, the decorations. There were so many *incredibly* decorated buildings, some of which were decorated for one night only for an event. Armor and a stun rod? Scuba diver. Add some fish, some looted decorations, and you've suddenly got an exotic sea scape for the best dressed of Intrepid to wander in.
Yet another in SWG: the sheer versatility in clothes. There were zero advantages in clothes, yet I spent a fair number of credits on them. All sorts of types and colors, it made creating a formal suit quite easy (and made a macro to swap into my evening clothes). If they could create so many different types of clothes, that were only worn for show, could we *please* have a wide variety of armor? Not "oh, its another suit of fullplate". I want to see styles and colors of fullplate in each "slot".
Anyways, the events. I loved the random PvP aspect of the game. I could be wandering a planet, only to get a message from someone that the Empire was massing for a raid on a base on an entirely different planet. I would promptly suicide onto a tough enemy and take the "cloner-express" back to the city, hop in my ship, and fly to the planet. Then it was a quick shuttle flight and sprint to the rally point. You'd see people racing in from all over, in widely different armor, trying to figure out who could do what to help the defense. It was madness, chaos, and it was *glorious*. Driving the Empire off was quite challenging, but *totally* worth it when we managed it.
Further, the Dev team stepped in and helped out with the in game conclusion to a massive communal RP thread that had lasted for months with over 100 players in it. Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Imperial Walkers, everything. I mean, we got to freaking fight Darth *VADER*! The story was concluded in an awesome fashion, and we all felt it was totally worth the effort we had put into it.
If I played up, without knowing it, I would never play with that GM again. Ever. If we say "this tier" and we play up, the GM does not respect the wishes of the players.
Secondly, if you are going to play up but not kill characters...then its free gold.
Finally, why bother buying scenarios if you up the challenge curve but then softball it for the players to have fun? At that point, run a home game.
Excepting situations where Scenario as Written no longer fits what the party does (assumes walks through door, but instead flies over the wall, for example), then you stick to the script. PFS can't tell how the scenarios are going without reviews. If reviews are not based on the actual published scenarios, they get bad data. If playing up is considered too easy, from softball GMs, then the power curve goes up. If the GM plays up and doesn't tell the party, people will say a tier is too hard, when it may have actually been just right.
When we judge PFS, we promise to run the Scenario according to the Guide, the Rules of the Game, and the Scenario as Written. If you don't do any of the above, its no longer PFS.
Good point, I had not thought of that. Back to the drawing board...
Possible solution: SAD requires a minimum reputation in order to use. If a caravan has already been hit with a Stand and Deliver, they can still be hit. All groups that had applied a Stand and Deliver previously take a reputation hit, and a message about who horned in on their territory. Using SAD on a caravan that has already been "fleeced" does not provide a double reputation hit. This means that a character used to False SAD a caravan quickly gets his rep dropped to the point where they can't use SAD anymore. Bandits don't need to guard a caravan, but they do have a reason to go stomp on anyone infringing on their territory. Bandits now have a shadow war over territory, you can't false flag a caravan, and caravans still have to worry about being attacked, unless they know the bandits would not tolerate competition.
As I personally see it, that would be a whole pile of jerky behavior. As a GM, I would talk to the player privately and explain that taking actions that expressly violate the group decision goes against the spirit Pathfinder Society, and needs to be stopped. You can play your character, but you cannot hijack the group. If the behavior continued, I would uninvite the player. Because if that one player doesn't leave, sooner or later the group will.
I really like the idea of the "fleeced" flag be also a "under the protection of _____" flag. Suddenly, SAD and its immunity to rep loss makes sense. A bandit isn't just taking something from someone, they are also providing a service. Its still meaningful, and if I'm guarding a caravan I'll still be annoyed we have to pay, but I also know the bandit has some skin in the game.
Right. Geb is a separate country thousand of miles away, on another continent. The River Kingdoms see slavery as Evil/Bad/Wrong/Heinous, and Undeath is the worst form of slavery.
That said, all a town has to do is create a law that prohibits attacking someone with the Heinous flag. The necromancer is now on an even playing field with everyone, as if you are attacked everyone can pile on your attacker risk free. Come on, people, Lawful Evil exists for a reason...
I think an "opt-in" system for a regional price check makes sense. You'll be able to know what the prices are, but you still have to travel somewhere. However, there will be those crafters that play things close to the vest. If you want to know what they are selling and how much it costs, you'll have to make the journey out there and find out. Decisions, decisions...