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Azmyth's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 558 posts. 1 review. 2 lists. 2 wishlists. 15 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.

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Grand Lodge *****

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

PFS is to the PFRPG as Internet Porn is to the real act.

You kinda know what you're in for, but you have no idea how good it's going to be or most of the time, with whom.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Technology and electronic file trading have had a negative effect on record sales, but more important is that modern music is mostly unlistenable garbage.

Consumers speak loudest with their dollars.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's not a podcast, but we do live streaming video of our games:


Monday evenings - Wardens of the Newborn Forge or Deadlands Homebrew.

Thursday evenings - Skull & Shackles or Iron Gods AP

Saturdays - Shattered Star AP or Hoard of the Dragon Queen in D&D 5e.


Our podcast isn't live play, but it is all Pathfinder!

Chronicles Pathfinder Podcast

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wanted to take the opportunity to explain to friends and fans of Chronicles what's been happening with our efforts to re-launch the podcast and introduce our show to players and/or game masters who haven't yet discovered it.

We released the first episode of Chronicle Pathfinder Podcast in June 2010. The entire first show was scripted (the last time we attempted that) and our delivery was stiff as morning wood! We knew that our fresh format was something special and it just needed a little polish. Each episode features a single Paizo Module or Adventure Path product. We invite the author to be a guest on the show to discuss it in both player friendly (Companion) and [Spoilerific] Game Master (Chronicles) terms. We then review the adventure and point out (if any) the pitfalls or problems that you may experience while running it. As the show evolved, we added various segments (i.e.: The Character Creation Workshop, The Monster Mash, The Deck of Many Things ) always trying to keep the theme aligned with the episode's featured book. We won the Silver Ennie for Best Podcast in 2011.

Fast forward to 2014 and it's been almost a year since anything new...

For about two months, Steel_Wing & I have been busy working on the plan and format for Chronicles Re-rolled. We encountered a surprise hurtle in the process, discovering that our domain registration had expired and had been poached by our hosting company. They were trying to extort us for $200 to gain it back. As you might come to expect, I told them what to do with that generous offer.

Our New Domain:

Our New iTunes Stream:
[Please re-subscribe! We lost access to the old steam, so we made a new one!]

For your listening convenience:
Chronicles Pathfinder Podcast Archive Reference List

Episode 001 of the podcast introduces the podcast crew and the format of the show. We discuss news, the errata released for the 3rd printing of the Pathfinder Core Rule Book errata including magic item creation smite evil. In the GMs only section we review Crypt of the Everflame in spoilerific detail.

Episode 2 features Jason Bulmahn for both the player's companion section as well as the GM's Chronicle. We discuss PaizoCon, The GameMastery Guide and introduce a new member of the team as well as his 'Character Workshop' spotlight. Finally, we take apart "Masks of the Living God" in spoilerific fashion to wrap up the show.

Episode 03's Companion section of episode 3 we feature the return of the 'Concept Workshow'. In honor of Independence Day, Research blows things up! We also discuss Hero Labs in Pathfinder news. Our Chronicle section features the dissection of 'City of Golden Death' featuring author Joshua Frost. This concludes our coverage of the Price of Immortality trilogy of PFRPG modules.

In Episode 04 Pre-GenCon 2010, we invite Hank Woon onto the show to discuss his Warpath Mass Combat rules and how they can be applied to the King Maker Adventure path. Character Concept Workshop features the Mwangi Trapper build and our new segment, The Monster Mash, looks closely at the Beholder. The Chronicle section welcomes Hank Woon's return to discuss his work on Pathfinder Society modules. Sniper in the Deep and Terror at Whistledown.

Episode 5 is a beast! First we share some of our GenCon anecdotes, introduce a new guest host/GM and discuss things to come in future Chronicles episodes. Then we have both Paizo featured seminars in their entirety.

Episode 006: Council of Thieves Vol 1: The Bastards of Erebus - with Sean K Reynolds begins our coverage of the Council of Thieves Adventure Path with review of Part 1 – The Bastards of Erebus featuring an interview with Paizo developer and Bastards of Erebus author Sean K Reynolds. We discuss objectivity and the review process and launch a salvo in the Great Edition War. Our Character Concept is a movement and area control specialist, dubbed the Lansing Linebacker. The Monster Mash delivers conversions of the Hook Horror and the Ephemeral Swarm. We conclude the podcast, as always, with an interview with the module author and break down The Bastards of Erebus in spoilerific fashion.

Episode #007 features an awesome interview with the Publisher of Paizo, Erik Mona. Erik reflects upon the cancellation of Dungeon and Dragon magazines, the success of the Pathfinder RPG, a threepeat of sellouts for Paizo at Gencon, and a whole lot more. In the Character Concept Workshop, we present a Dragon Disciple Ranger variant, known as the Ice Dragoon. In the Monster Mash, we roll out Pathfinder conversions of the classic Mind Flayer and the demonic Cerebrilith. In the Chronicles section, we review Eyes of the Ten, Part I, Requiem for the Red Raven with adventure author Erik Mona.

Episode 08 is dedicated to all things Kingmaker. The hosts call upon Jason Bulmahn and James Jacobs for a special rules clarification concerning the Alchemist and Azmyth and Steel_Wind address a serious matter we call âGamers without Bordersâ. On the Character Concept Workshop, Research builds an enhanced Druid grappler who is a member of the Order of the Viper. On the Monster Mash, Mark converts the Sylph and two evil fey of special interest to those playing in the Kingmaker Adventure Path. We discuss the Kingmaker Playerâs Guide at length and the hosts make suggestions on appropriate character classes for use in Paizoâs award winning Adventure Path. Tim Hitchcock, the Gold medalist at Genconâs 2010 Ennies and author of Kingmaker 1: Stolen Land joins us for interviews in the Playerâs Companion and for an encore interview during the spoilerific Chronicles section of the podcast. We feature a new musical track by Satyr, intended for listening by player characters of at least 4th level and host CherryPie memorializes two of the Fallen in our Stolen Lands: Obituaries. Lastly, Steel_Wind and the rest of the podcast hosts review Kingmaker 1: Stolen Land in epic detail. Itâs a huge sandbox of a podcast, weighing in at over four hours of geeky Kingmaker goodness.

Episode 09 features a review of the Paizo module From Shore to Sea, initially developed through Open Design and written by Brandon Hodge. As always, we deal with listener mail and update our charity drive, Gamers Without Borders. In the Character Concept Workshop, Research and Azmyth present a 10 foot tall, scythe wielding, barbarian dervish of death, known as Big Grimm. On the Monster Mash, Mark converts the Mythos inspired Byakhee and the classic Umber Hulk. The inaugural segment of the Deck of Many Things examines Light and Darkness in Pathfinder RPG. Of course, module author Brandon Hodge joins us for interviews on both the Companion and Chronicles side of the podcast. Steel_Wind finishes the show with a spoilerific breakdown of the Mythos themed module, From Shore to Sea.

Episode 10: Council of Thieves Adventure Path - Book II 'The Sixfold Trial' Hosted by Azmyth, Steel Wind, Research and Mark Guest Author: Richard Pett.

011: At last, Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast returns with a monster of an episode. We wrap up GWOB and Azmyth and Cherry Pi recount their adventures in Las Vegas at Neoncon. We discuss the use of tabletop projectors for use with RPGs in our mailbag. On the Character Concept Workshop, Research and Azmyth present an Osirian Dervish Princess who is used to getting her own way. Neil Spicer joins us for an interview on the Companion side of the podcast, where he discusses the many projects he has been engaged with at Paizo since winning the RPG Superstar in 2009. The Deck of Many Things returns with a Know Your Game segment as Steel_Wind and a new co-host, Merry Prankster examine in-depth the rules of PFRPG dealing with sundering, item breakage and repair. On the Chronicles side of the cast, Neil Spicer returns for an extended interview concerning his module , Realm of the Fellnight Queen. The Monster Mash evolves to the Chronicles side of the cast with the first instalment in the Encounter Laboratory set in the basement of Queen Rhoswenâs Palace. Steel_Wind takes apart Realm of the Fellnight Queen and gives his spoilerific take on this 7th level stand alone module from Paizo. We close out the show with our first (but certainly not the last) presentation of TPK Theatre: A Date with Queen Rhoswen. The meatiest episode yet of Chronicles: PFPC weighs in at a tad under four and a half hours of RPG shoptalk goodness.

012: Kingmaker makes its return to Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast with an episode devoted to vol II, Rivers Run Red. We open the cast with an extended intro covering news relevant to the Pathfinder community. The Character Concept Workshop features an Alchemist build we call The Naturalist. We welcome our special guests, Paizo Creative Director James Jacobs and Paizo Developer and author or Rivers Run Red, Rob McCreary to the podcast and they provide us with a great overview of the Adventure Path creation and development process. On The Deck of Many Things, we examine the Kingdom Building rules featured in Kingmaker. On the Chronicles side of the podcast, we continue our interview and the Encounter Laboratory brings the Mythos to the Stolen Lands. We end the podcast with an extended roundtable discussion and review of Kingmaker 2: Rivers Run Red.

Unlucky Episode #013 finally rolls in! On the cast, we have something old and lots that is new. On the CCW, we feature a villainous build we call "The Black Knight". The co-creator of the 3rd edition of D&D, Monte Cook, joins us in the studio to discuss his lengthy career in the RPG business. From a freelancer for Iron Crown Enterprises, to TSR and the Dead Gods, to his days at WotC and the development of 3rd edition, Malhavoc Press and the founding of the .pdf sector of the Monte on 4E and his take on why the current edition of D&D is having a comparatively hard time in the marketplace. This is a great interview that you do not want to miss. On a special installment of the Deck of Many Things, we turn the discussion to software and Pathfinder RPG with a pair of interviews with two software developers for PFRPG: Colen McAlister of Lone Wolf Development discusses Herolab while Matt Morton and Nick Bevilacqua of MindGene join us to talk about d20Pro. On the roundtable, we talk about our own experiences with the software and give you our thoughts on using these applications to better your game. On the Chronicles side of the cast, Monte Cook returns to talk about his module Curse of the Riven Sky and his thoughts on adventure design. Finally Steel_Wind brings it home with his review of Curse of the Riven Sky in Spoilerific fashion. Unlucky 013 may be late. It may even be Cursed! But it is still our best episode yet!

014: After nearly a trimester of gestation, Episode 14 is exorcised from our hard drives in an orgy of magnetic purging. We start off with the usual, a bit of listener mail and intro chatter followed by The featured Character in the CCW for Episode 14, the Swift Vindicator. Designer and author Michael Kortes joins us for an interview on the Companion side of the cast. After the break, Mike Kortes returns to our collegial discussion of What Lies in Dust. The Encounter Laboratory returns to Chronicles with a spectacle of an arena fight. From there, we move to our review of Council of Thieves Part 3, What Lies in Dust in spoilerific detail. Lastly, also marking its return to the podcast lineup, TPK Theatre performs its second installment, Dinner With Big Ed.

Episode 015 rolls out just in time with some Kingmaker goodness for your drive or flight to GenCon. We start with the usual intro and listener mail and then catch up with Mark Moreland and what is new with the Pathfinder Society. In the Character Concept Workshop, we feature Remington our Sundering Magus. On the Companion side of the interview, Greg Vaughan joins us to discuss his career in the industry, his working on many Adventure Paths, Slumbering Tsar and the Complete Tome of Horrors. After the break, we return with the down and dirty goods on Kingmaker Vol 3 and the Varnhold Vanishing with the author, Greg A. Vaughan. On the Encounter Laboratory, we lay down the smack with the Ghouladon. Lastly, we end with our review and roundtable on Varnhold Varnishing and exit with the BIG NEWS from Paizo. Episode 015 clocks in at four hours long to speed you on your way to Indianapolis.

Episode 016 limps in to port battered, but with a hold full of rich cargo. We start with an extended intro and a vexing bit of listener mail. We introduce a new regular feature to the cast with Gary Ray from Black Diamond Games and then move to another new regular installment, Herolab with Colen McAlister. In the Character Concept workshop, we feature Geppetto, the Varisian Ninja-Witch. On the Deck, we interview Denny Unger of WorldWorks Games and discuss Terraclips, a joint venture between WWG and Wyrd Miniatures. We interview our feature guest, Paizo author Crystal Fraiser on both the Companion and Spoilerific Chronicle interview after the warning break. Steel presents his take on The Harrow Deck and The Harrowing. We send you on your way with an extended outro and another addition to the Chronicles Cast, Josh Archer. We sail it in with a run time of 4:13 minutes. See you at Neoncon and Viva Las Vegas.

017: Chronicles returns with a Monster of a Double Episode. Big Bertha covers two volumes of the Council of Thieves Adventure Path and more. We start off with an extended intro and discuss Heroes and Monsters, a new community survey concerning Pathfinder Society and what to buy for Pathfinder RPG. Gary Ray returns for a discussion about RPG retailing in Diamond in the Rough. Colen McAlister of Lone Wolf Development joins us to discuss the latest updates to Herolab. On the CCW, Research brings us the Tiefling Mage Hunter. Erik Mona returns to the cast in his smoking jacket to discuss the latest developments at Paizo Publishing. We welcome our first of two AP authors, Clinton J. Boomer to the podcast to discuss his work on Vol.4 of the Council of Thieves AP, The Infernal Syndrome. We follow it up with Greg Vaughan to discuss his work on Vol. 5 of the same AP, The Mother of Flies. After the break, Boomer joins us again for the spoilerific details. We welcome a guest designer to the Encounter Lab, as Paizo freelancer Jesse Benner joins us in the studio to discuss a variant on our Pathfinderized War Troll. Mr. Vaughan joins us again to provide us with insider Google Maps tips to touring the darker side of Tulsa, Okla.. And of course, interspersed on the back nine, Ryan and Steel pull double duty with their reviews of The Infernal Syndrome and The Mother of Flies. We send you on your way home with our final thoughts on the sheer stupidity of attempting to record, edit and release a podcast of nearly 8 hours in duration.

Episode 018 is another double-shot! Kingmaker with a side of gaming goodness. We intro the podcast with our regular chit-chat and goings on and then move on to our interview with Pathfinder Lead Designer, Jason Bulmahn. Gary Ray returns to give us some insight into game retailing in another segment of Diamond in the Rough. Matt Morton of Mindgene LLC comes on the cast to explain the new features of the latest release of the Virtual Table Top d20Pro and their new marketplace. Colen McAlister of Lone Wolf Development provides us with another update on Herolab. We move on to the meat of the show first with a Player friendly discussion of Kingmaker Vol.4, Blood for Blood with guest Neil Spicer followed up with our interview with Jason Nelson, author of War of the River Kings. After the warning, Neil Spicer joins us again for a spoilerific discussion of Blood for Blood. Our Staff Review of Kingmaker, Vols 4 and 5 covers the bases and looks back all the way to Vol 1 with pointers on how to foreshadow and adjust your campaign. We close it off with a timely (finally!) discussion of our Classic Modules Conversion Project, new CCW Producer auditions and more. All-in, Episode 018 weighs in at over 5 and a half hours. See you at Gencon 2012.

Paizocon 2011 Special Part 01 covers the following features from the Paizocon seminar track. Seminar 1 - RPG Design: Crafting Rules That Work. Speakers James Jacobs, Stephan Radney-McFarland, Jason Bulmahn. Seminar 2 - Writing for the Pathfinder Society. Speakers Mark Moreland, Hyrum Savage, Judy Bauer, Chistopher Carey. Seminar 3 - The Secrets of TSR. Speakers Sean K. Reynolds, Ed Greenwood, Pierce Waters, Jeff Grubb, Dave Gross. Seminar 4 - Secrets of Golarion. Speakers Eric Mona, James Jacobs, Wes Schneider, Rob McCreary.

Paizocon 2011 Special Part 2 of this special episode of Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast comes from the floor of PaizoCon 2011, recorded on June 11th and 12th in Bellevue, Washington. Part 2 covers covers the following features from the PaizoCon 2011 seminar track. Seminar 5 - Future of Paizo Adventure Path and Module Series with James Jacobs, Rob MCreary, Wes Schneider, Lisa Stevens, and Mark Moreland. Seminar 6 - Dramatic Reading - Dave Gross reads three chapters from his forthcoming novel Master of Devils. Seminar 7 - Making Herolab work for You with Colen McAlister and Rob Bowes. Seminar 8 - Future of Pathfinder society Organized Play with Mark Moreland and Hyrum Savage.

GenCon Special 2011 - The ENnie Award winning Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast returns from Gencon Indy with swollen egos and deflated wallets. We talk about the ENnies, Gencon, Pathfinder and the whole experience in an extended intro. After that, we go to an interview with Erik Mona and then get on with the seminars presented at Gencon 2011. Seminar 1: The Future of Paizo. Seminar 2: The Secrets of Golarion. Seminar 3: What is Pathfinder Society. Seminar 4: d20 Radio Hosts Present - How to Start a Gaming Podcast. It's a big fatty, rolled up tightly at about 6.5 hours of gaming goodness. Screw the commute -- this baby will last you your whole work day.

GenCon 2012 Part 1 : 01 Cast Intro + GenCon stories - 44:53 02 Paizo 2012 and Beyond - 59:30 03 GM101 - Practice Makes Perfect - 1:56:08 04 Highrise Circus - Blindman - 1:47

GenCon Special Part 2 : 01 Paizo Adventure Path Q & A - 58:46 02 Writing for Paizo - 56:53 03 Secrets of RPG Editing - 58:53 04 Rules Design Workshop - Mythic Adventures - 59:27 05 Secrets of Golarion Q & A - 1:00:26 06 Highrise Circus - Red Wine & Vicodin - 2:52

Chronicles Podcast - 2013 Convention Special : * Cast Intro/Discussion * PaizoCon Wrap Up * GenCon Special w/ Erik Mona & Adrian Swartout * Tim Hitchcock's Slaughter Priests of the Razor Coast.

Last year, we experimented with live, unedited shows with video...

LIVE! is coming! We are launching our LIVE fortnightly format this Sunday the 01/20/2013! These unedited, talk-show style shows will feature industry & listener guest appearances, gaming news and current events. These additional episodes will compliment our regular review format and archives will be posted to YouTube.

LIVE! 001 - The Chronicles team welcomes the Razor Coast Development team as our first ever LIVE! broadcast guests! Lou Agresta, Nick Logue and Greg A.Vaughan spill the booty on what we can expect from the Razor Coast Pirate Mega-Campaign! Also joining the show are Thurston Hillman, Adam Daigle and Brandon Hodge.

LIVE! 002 - Guests: Colen McAlister and Lois Porter Jr. Discussions covering topics of kickstarter projects for Realm Works Campaign Management software and LPJ's FreeRPG module. Recorded 02/17/2013

LIVE! 003 - Erik Mona and Wes Schneider join us to discuss 'Artifacts and Legends', the Pathfinder Comic Book, 'The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game' and the releases on the horizon for Paizo Publishing.

LIVE! 004 - Our guests are Jason Bulmahn from Paizo Publishing and Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Games.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We have just completed our return to the airwaves episode, just in time to listen to on the way to GenCon!!

We're call it Chronicles Re-Rolled #001

-- Pre-Gencon Special --

Featuring guests Stephen-Radney MacFarland and Rob McCreaey of Paizo Inc., Colen McAlister and Liz Theis from Lone Wolf Development, Matt Morton of d20 Pro, and Jason Nelson of Legendary Games.

Join Azmyth and Steel_Wind for the return of Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast and their featured review of the Mummy Mask Adventure Path, Vol. 1 The Half-Dead City.


Our new domain and iTunes stream aren't 100% yet, but in the mean time you can D/L it direct.

Grand Lodge

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I know folks are inclined to use these terms when describing the new rules, but I've seen no example on any printed or electronic product that uses either term (post play-test).

Whenever I talk to anyone about the game, I deliberately avoid calling it anything other than D&D. I believe that deploying that kind of language perpetuates the mentality of edition wars and community polarity around them.

Think Globally.
Start Locally.

(Yes, btw if you're interested, I am playing the new D&D)

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm not trying to provoke Druid-lovers into debate...
I'm not trying to entice you to convince me otherwise...


For the last six years, I have played PFRPG exclusively:
Three Adventure Paths completed, two playing and one as GM.
In my KM campaign, I had one play to 16th level. She was mostly flavor and build, so no min/max or power play. The second is currently playing in my Wardens of the Newborn Forge game, started at 12th level and is 100% optimized for power play. He tanks better than our fighter, has an impossible to hit AC and is immune to critical hits.

The Druid class experienced a complete metamorphosis from 3.5 to PF.
In DnD it was primarily a flavor class. In PF it has become an unparalleled power house of imbalance!

* Wild Shaping into 3x3 elemental/creatures at high level is pure stupidity and continues to ruin every encounter by allowing the player to ignore spacial constraints and the setting's design. If I wanted a monster in the party, I would have allowed the Summoner class!

In the past, I was fine with banning some of the newer (APG) classes that Paizo created. Now it's the Druid's turn to get pummeled with the ban-hammer. Moving forward, I will never again allow a Druid beyond 10th level in any of my games. They are completely off the negotiating table for AP play, unless the player is willing to give up the Wild Shape ability.

Grand Lodge

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We're planning a re-boot this summer.

Bringing on some help to handle the burden of promotion and production, so Steel & I can concentrate on creative development.

I even had a talk with Research at the last Con about joining us for it.
We'll see...

Grand Lodge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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KublaCon was an overwhelming success!


* To all my GM's!!!! Without your efforts and hard work, we wouldn't be.

* Andrea Brandt is a Super-Duper Rock Star Organizer! I said it many times during the weekend that Andi was the backbone of our program and really ran the show, I was just a pretty face! ;)

* Euan thank you for lending your leadership, calm demeanor and wit to HQ. I look forward to seeing you back at the tables soon!

* Markus for being the best Props Master a Venture Captain could hope for.
Your beautiful creations continue to elevate our program and bring happiness to our players!

* Painlord for your continued dedication, investment and care for this community.

* Brent Holtsberry for providing the AV elements for our Monday morning Special and helping me Overlord!

* Erik Mona for being our Guest of Honor and running an epic 18 hour marathon of Kings of Absalom.
(I'll save the video from Karaoke night in case we want to watch it together) :o

* To the GM's that ran PFS & PACG for the Young Players & Teen Tracks!

* To our community, for which this labor of love and dedication is for.
Everyone would like to think that their community is best.

I don't think, I know!

Grand Lodge

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I agree with trying to get the players more involved beyond rolling dice, but not all of your conclusions about the skill.
Here's an article from Paper and Pencil dot com from 2012 that discusses (at length) the Perception skill in PF.


I doubt there is any skill quite so divisive as perception. I hardly feel qualified to assess it. So many dozens or hundreds of men and women much more experienced than I have spent so many forum threads and blog posts debating back and forth over the issue of perception that I feel presumptuous even attempting to resolve it. But that’s what I signed up for when I said I was going to begin this series of posts, and I’m not going to back out now, so here we go.

If you recall from earlier in this series, I believe disguise and escape artist are two skills which should be house ruled out of the game because they are needed so incredibly infrequently as to be useless. Well, if those skills commit the sin of a deficient frequency, then perception commits the sin of excessive frequency. The skill is so frequently called for, and so necessary, that -C uses the term “Skill Tax” to describe it. Putting points into perception is more of a requirement, than an option. And if something is a requirement for effective play, why clutter up the skills list by giving players the illusion of a choice?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. If you’d like to have perception torn to pieces in front of your very eyes, read -C’s two posts linked above. He’s done a superb job highlighting the problems with this skill, and I feel no need to repeat that task. As daunting as it is to attempt to resolve the problems with perception, I have no qualms about stating quite firmly: perception does have problems.

Pathfinder uses perception in two different ways: one which I’ll call active, another which I’ll call passive. Active perception checks are generally requested by the player. “I’d like to make a perception check to search this room,” or “I’d like to listen intently for someone sneaking up on me.” Active perception checks occur when the character is primarily engaged in the act of looking, listening, smelling, feeling, or tasting. Passive perception checks (sometimes called “reactive”) most often occur without the player’s knowledge. They are rolled by the GM, in secret, to determine whether or not a character is able to perceive something. This might happen when there is a faint scent of cooking coming from behind a door, or if someone is attempting to move without the player’s noticing them. Passive perception checks are useful for information which the players might not be looking for specifically, but which the characters might nevertheless notice and find useful if they’re alert.

Pathfinder is actually pretty vague about when a perception check should be rolled, and what information a player should be able to gain from it. As such, we can’t exactly blame the game for the fact that many GMs and players use it as a substitute for creating & interacting with an actual environment. However, the game would function better if it presented a more focused version of this skill. In the hopes of correcting this oversight, I've broken perception down into its component parts. Below are the various uses I've seen for perception, and my attempts to work out what the skill should apply to, and what it shouldn't.

Active Perception: Primarily used to find hidden treasure, discover secret doors, and avoid traps.

If a room contains treasure, that treasure is either obvious, or not. Obvious treasure, such as that found in a chest, on the body of a foe, or simply laying on the floor, should never require a perception roll to find. So long as the players say they’re searching the body, or opening the chest, they should be allowed to find the treasure.I would hope that was self evident. If a treasure is not obvious, then the players ought to be forced to look for it if they want to find it. The GM should describe the environment the players are in, and if they feel there may be treasure present, they can describe to the GM where they look for it.

What could possibly be gained by having the players roll to discover non-obvious treasure? If their roll succeeds and they find the treasure, then it’s not functionally different from obvious treasure. It simply required the extra step of rolling a die. If, on the other hand, their roll fails and they don’t find the treasure, then the treasure effectively does not exist, because they can’t find it. It’s not as though it’s fun for a player to simply be aware that treasure was hidden before they found it. What is fun is the process of finding that hidden treasure. Coming up with the idea to search for loose bricks on the wall, and being rewarded by finding a bag of 30 gold is a lot more fun than entering a room, rolling a die, and being told you found 30 gold behind a loose stone.

Locating secret doors is somewhat different from finding non-obvious treasure in two important ways. First, the hiding place of even the most well hidden treasure ought to be mentioned in the room’s description. If it’s not, then the players have no way to know where to search That doesn't mean you need to drop obvious hints, simply that it’s not fair to hide treasure under a bed without telling the players that the room contains a bed. On the other hand, secret doors are most commonly built directly into the walls or floors. Since those are present everywhere, there’s no good way for players to search for secret passages intelligently. The second difference is that treasure is an end unto itself. It, along with experience points, is how players are rewarded for successful play. Secret doors, on the other hand, exist only as a means to an end. That end being whatever lies beyond the door. Though the joy of discovery shouldn't be discounted.

Given those differences, I think it is reasonable to allow players to roll perception checks to discover hidden doors. The area for such a perception roll should be relatively small–perhaps 15ft square, centered on the character. Some characters could even be allowed to find hidden doors with a passive perception check, if they passed within 10 feet of it. Traditionally this is an ability which was given to elves, but perhaps it would be better if anyone with 5 ranks or more in perception was given the chance to automatically discover hidden doors. Reducing the act of finding a hidden door to a roll does come with a danger, however. If the entirety of the interaction is rolling to look for a door, finding a door, opening the door, and going through the door; how is that any different from rolling to find non-obvious treasure?

I would propose that a perception roll allows players to, as -C puts it “learn the location of the secret door but not how to open it.” Once they know the door is there, the players are free to attempt to bash it down if they wish. Though in some cases that may be pretty difficult. Alternatively, the players can search for the mechanism within the room which opens the door. Perhaps a loose stone needs to be pushed in, or three worn-down keys on a piano need to be pressed simultaneously. And if the players notice the loose stone or the worn-down keys before they find the door in the first place, then the discovery of a secret passage will be made all the more exciting.

Using perception checks as a means of finding traps is something I've struggled with as of late. My party’s rogue has frequently complained of the tediousness involved in searching every door, every chest, and every trigger that they find in order to avoid the handful of traps in each dungeon. And I have to agree: it is tedious, and not at all fun. I suppose I could make it less tedious by simply adding more traps to my dungeons, but that seems like a lazy solution. The problem is not that there’s an insufficient amount of things to find, it’s that excessive rolling is boring.

Pathfinder has a rogue talent called Trap Spotter, which allows rogues to make an automatic, passive perception check whenever they are within 10ft of a trap. I propose that this be removed as a possible rogue talent, and instead, this effect be made part of the Trapfinding class ability which rogues receive at level 1. Additionally, any character with 5 ranks or more in perception could also be granted the ability to notice traps using passive checks.

Judgement: In general, active perception checks seem to sap potential fun from the game. I propose eliminating active perception checks from the game, except when it comes to searching for secret doors or traps within a 15ft square area centered of the player.

Passive Perception: Primarily used in opposition to a sleight of hand and stealth checks or to notice fine details in an environment.

Sleight of hand may be the single most well-designed skill in Pathfinder, and rolling perception against it is a reasonable method of conflict resolution. There is no need to alter the way in which perception interacts with that skill.The stealth skill, on the other hand, has a number of problems, which I will detail once I write my overview for that skill. Speaking strictly on how perception interacts with stealth, however, I can find no fault. If the stealth roll is being utilized properly, then rolling perception against it makes perfect sense.
That only leaves a roll for noticing fine details in the environment. This is anything which the character’s might not notice right away. A faint smell from two rooms over, an Orc's knee sticking out from behind the barrel he’s hiding behind, or a crack in a stained glass window across the room. I think this application of the skill works well enough. Whenever I go to use it, though, I ask myself one important question: is there any reason to withhold this information?

Using the examples above, it makes sense to roll a passive perception check to see if the players notice the Orc's leg sticking out from behind a barrel. The creature is obviously attempting an ambush, and their success or failure in that attempt will hinge on whether or not the players notice him first. That’s a good use of a roll. It also makes sense to make the roll to determine if the players notice the faint smell of cooking from two rooms over. If they notice it, they have an opportunity to prepare to enter the evil cult’s mess hall, if they don’t then they’ll be surprised when they walk into a room filled with enemies. The crack in the window, however, is essential information if the players are going to figure out the room’s puzzle. If they fail their spot check, then the puzzle becomes unsolvable unless one of them decides (out of the blue) to examine the window for cracks.

Note that you’re not rolling perception based on the type of information, you’re rolling it based on how that information will be used within the game. That may seem silly and unrealistic, and it is. But realism does not equal good game play.

Judgement: Passive perception is mostly fine. Just don’t use it to hide information the players ought to have.

Overall Judgement: I think perception has a valuable place in the Pathfinder game. However, the game benefits significantly from reducing this skill’s importance drastically.

Original Article Link:

Grand Lodge *****

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I am very pleased to announce that during last night's Red Moon Eclipse, Joshua Archer completed his 150th game table of Pathfinder Society, earning the rank and privilege of a 5 Star Society Game Master.

Josh is both an amazing GM and a integral member of my team of VO/Organizers here in the Bay Area.


Grand Lodge *****

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Expedition to the Barrier Peaks was a good holiday, but I DON'T want to live there...

After running Wardens, I'm pretty sure that I'll have my fill of Numeria.

I hope some non-techno table scraps get thrown out in 6, for those of us who are not keen on an entire season of it.

Grand Lodge

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Doctor Vaughan.
Paging Doctor Vaughan.
Doctor Vaughan to ICU.

(In order to save lives, he has to stop taking them)

/sad panda

Grand Lodge

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Has anyone created or found an easy conversion method for converting S&S ships into FaSB builds?

I've been meaning to sit down and figure this out for months and have never managed to find the time to get it done.

Hopefully Lazy.

Grand Lodge

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I've always imagined it appearing like damascus steel.

Grand Lodge *****

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Sigmund Freud. Gnome Druid.

Bob Marley. Rasta-Skald.

Jerry Garcia. Dwarven Monk.

Al Yankovic. Wild Mage.

Carlos Mencia. Face-man Rogue.

Grand Lodge *****

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The situation has been resolved to my (and hopefully everyone's) satisfaction.

I am fond of handling this in-house, especially when I'm at the event.

If you were a player on this table and you'd like to discuss the matter privately with me, my 'door' is always open.

Happy Gaming!


Grand Lodge

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AD&D at the tender age of 7.

Grand Lodge *****

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No matter where you seek your education, you will ALWAYS be considered one of SF Region's best!

Congratz my friend!

Grand Lodge *****

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Hello there.

I am at PaizoCon (my third).

I eat good food, drink good beer and have great fun with good people.

This is Mecca.
Don't miss out next year.

Grand Lodge

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My Goblins took the terrified, paranoid, sneaky approach.
They managed to creep into the upper floor window quietly and performed a group gourd munching as a walk up call.
It was very funny and terribly effective, but the building remained intact...

Grand Lodge *****

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Bunthazar wrote:

So, without spoiling too much, I recently received a boon from an adventure that allows you to substitute an owlbear companion for a normal bear companion. I was wondering, for those that have seen the boon as well, is there any real benefit to this?

** spoiler omitted **

This post needs spoiler tags all over it!

You don't want to spoil much but then you quote the boon?! This might have been better served by an e-mail to your local Venture-Captain...

Grand Lodge *****

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Thank you!!!

Now, onto star number six!

Grand Lodge *****

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Our numbers aren't in yet, but we came very close to running 200 tables and issuing 80+ new PFS numbers this weekend!

Smooth sailing was assured by our fabulous Captain Andi, First Mate Euan and the amazing PFS-HQ Crew! I had my ears full of great feedback from attendees all weekend long! Thank you all for being the BEST!

A short, random and incomplete list of additional thanks:

* Chris Mortika for making the trip to SF. For rocking six tables in the GM chair and helping with that Monk 'situation' ;) It was awesome to meet and talk with you and I hope we get the chance to do more of that in the future!

* Rand for being the Painlord. Guide, Teacher, Cheerleader, Face Man. He wears lots of hats. His foundation work has paved the way for our community growth and success.

* All of my Lieutenants for being AMAZING!

* Sacramento in the houze!!! Thank you Rich & Brent for you show of support and love for this community! DD's representing!

* The VC of DC. Dan and I both share the accomplishment of 150 sessions this weekend and I'll be paying up on our Super Bowl BBQ bet this week!

* To all my 20+ Coin Game Masters: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
It is a pleasure to create something special for you each year! Without your efforts and hard work, there would be no Con success stories!

* To the KublaCon Staff (who doubtfully will never read this) for spoiling BAPS rotten! We received every table we asked for and additional space was provided on the fly to handle growth spurts in some of the busier slots! They provided snacks and drinks to my HQ three times a day! They printed HUGE color banners for us to display. They went out of their way to treat us like we were the most important department (true or not) of the convention!

* To Ted & Dawn for coming down to my neck of the woods and bringing the Pathfinder Chronicler experience with you! Dawn you missed one hell of a fun Cards Against Humanity game Sunday night!

* To Laura Thompson of Lone Wolf Development for delivering another year of Hero Lab goodness! The character creation station was once again a BIG HIT and gateway for many first timers! We demo'd (and hopefully sold) several new users on the HL experience.

* To Mark Mensch for another brilliant coin design and the [Super Secret Cannot Be Talked About Project] that will be revealed in July.

I can count the hours of sleep I managed to get, on one hand.
I definitely have the broken condition!


Grand Lodge

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In my opinion, assigning positions, tasks and modifiers to player characters for use in ship v ship combat is only part the equation.

After several rounds of testing the provided rules in the AP, it was obvious that I needed to find something else to save my campaign. A ship board campaign with beer & pretzel rules was not gonna cut it.

I tested several other systems (from Trafalgar to Pirates of the Spanish Main) and none fit my needs without considerable modification work. Along comes the resurrection (kickstarter) of Razor Coast and with it an absolute gem of a rule book called Fire as She Bears by Lou Agresta and John Ling. If you look at Feros' 5 star review, he breaks it down chapter by chapter. This is the 'drop-in' system I'd been searching for.

Thank you Lou for in depth conversations/sounding board sessions while you were in development.

If you are running or playing the Skull & Shackles AP, adding this to your game is the best $10/$20 you could spend!

Grand Lodge *****

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Burlingame, CA (San Francisco Airport)

The Bay Area Pathfinder Society convention season exploded right out of the gate with DundraCon in February. We followed that up in Fresno, putting the power of PFS to good use at Bookwyrm Con in March. We traveled up to Conquest SAC to support our Sacramento siblings in April.

BUT now it’s MAY and time to bring it home! PFS at Kubla Con looks to be bigger than ever this year and we want to blow our previous Organized Play attendance records into a distant memory! The Kubla Family has provided BAPS with an amazing level of support and ever more table space to accommodate our incredible community growth! We asked our die hard players about their favorite scenarios and we’re offering them for new-player scenarios with our best PFS Ambassador GMs at those tables. We also have a ton of additional tables lined up with this season’s story arcs and new modules ready to go for our experienced community members, as well as a selection of older stuff for those that might have missed it in the past.

Joshua Archer is heading up expansion into the Young people and Teen Room area and we are offering more PFS there than ever before. We’re even adding a line of Beginner Box tables out front to let players sample an encounter before heading in to the full scale PFS area.

The Ruins of Bonekeep Part 1: The Silent Grave

  • Paizo's own Jason Bulhman presents one of the most challenging experiences in Pathfinder Society history - The Ruins of Bonekeep! We will be running the first level of this multi-part dungeon, "The Silent Grave," at this year's KublaCon.
    Be warned - the dangers within this event are intense and not everyone is guaranteed to make it out alive! But those that conquer the dungeon will reap great rewards. Don't miss out on this very rare opportunity to experience a unique and exciting dungeon within the Pathfinder Society!

The GM rewards:
Once again this year we have GM rewards. While all of our community members contribute in some way, GMs are what allow us to offer so many opportunities to so many. The amount of preparation that goes into making even a single table happen can make your head spin and our GMs do it over and over again, providing an AMAZING gaming experience for everyone.

GM 3 tables and Earn a Free Badge! To do this, though, I need you signed up by May 1st so we can make sure your badge is ready for you come convention time. If you have questions, or if you’ve never GMed before but would like to try your hand, please contact us at

GM 5 Tables: A crowd favorite, we will have the AWESOME 2013 BAPS coins for our judges that go that extra step and judge FIVE or more tables.

Pathfinder Scenarios on the KublaCon Calendar:
(Over 200 Tables? Oh Yeah!!)

Ruins of Bonekeep, Level 1: The Silent Grave (3-7)

  • Paizo's own Jason Bulhman presents one of the most challenging experiences in Pathfinder Society history - The Ruins of Bonekeep! We will be running the first level of this multi-part dungeon, "The Silent Grave," at this year's KublaCon.

    Be warned - the dangers within this event are intense and not everyone is guaranteed to make it out alive! But those that conquer the dungeon will reap great rewards. Don't miss out on this very rare opportunity to experience a unique and exciting dungeon within the Pathfinder Society!

Pathfinder Society Sanctioned Modules:

  • We Be Goblins (1-2)*
  • Crypt of the Everflame (1-2)
  • Fangwood Keep (3-5)
  • Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (7-9)

Pathfinder Society Scenarios:

Low Tier

  • 0-01: Silent Tide (1-5)
  • 0-05: Mists of Mwangi (1-5)
  • 0-06: Black Waters (1-5)
  • 0-07: Among the Living (1-7)
  • 1-35: Voice in the Void (1-7)
  • 1-51: The City of Strangers I - The Shadow Gambit (1-7)
  • 1-52: The City of Strangers II - The Twofold Demise (1-7)
  • 2-11: The Penumbral Accords (1-5)
  • 2-15: Shades of Ice I - Written in Blood (1-5)
  • 2-17: Shades of Ice II - Exiles of Winter (1-5)*
  • 2-19: Shades of Ice III - Keep of the Huscarl King (1-5)
  • 3-01: The Frostfur Captives (1-5)
  • 3-07: Echoes of the Overwatched (1-5)
  • 4-01: Rise of the Goblin Guild (1-5)
  • 4-07: Severing Ties (1-5)
  • 4-11: The Disappeared (1-5)
  • 4-15: The Cyphermage Dilemma (1-5)
  • 4-18: The Veteran's Vault (1-5)
  • 4-19: The Night March of Kalkamedes (1-5)

Mid Tier

  • 2-06: The Heresy of Man I - The First Heresy (5-9)
  • 2-07: The Heresy of Man II - Where Dark Things Sleep (5-9)
  • 2-09: The Heresy of Man III - Beneath Forgotten Sands (5-9)
  • 3-02: Sewer Dragons of Absalom (3-7)
  • 3-25: Storming the Diamond Gate (3-7)
  • 4-02: In Wrath's Shadow (3-7)
  • 4-03: The Golemworks Incident (5-9)
  • 4-05: The Sanos Abduction (3-7)
  • 4-06: The Green Market (5-9)
  • 4-09: The Blakros Matrimony (3-7)
  • 4-13: Fortress of the Nail (5-9)
  • 4-14: My Enemy's Enemy (3-7)
  • 4-16: The Fabric of Reality (5-9)
  • 4-17: Tower of the Ironwood Watch (5-9)
  • 4-EX: Day of the Demon (3-7)

High Tier

  • 2-04: Shadows Fall on Absalom
  • 2-08: The Sarkorian Prophecy
  • 3-26: Portal of the Sacred Rune (7-11)
  • 4-04: King of the Storval Stairs (7-11)
  • 4-08: The Cultist's Kiss (7-11)
  • 4-10: Feast of Sigils (7-11)
  • 4-12: The Refuge of Time (7-11)
  • 4-20: Words of the Ancients (7-11)


  • The Accursed Halls (1-2)
  • The Forgotten Laboratory (2-4)
  • The Enigma Vaults (3-5)
  • The Dark Menagerie (5-7)
  • Sanctum of a Lost Age (6-8)

Young Players Room

  • Kids Track-Beginner Box (learn to play)
  • 0-05 Mists of Mawangi (1-5)
  • We Be Goblins (1-2)

Teen Room

  • 0-05 Mists of Mawangi (1-5)
  • 3-01 The Frostfur Captives (1-5)
  • 3-02 Sewer Dragons of Absalom (3-7)
  • We be Goblins (1-2)

Join us for the BAPS event of the year!

Grand Lodge *****

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Your friendly neighborhood Venture Captain from SF Region will be visiting/attending ConQuest Sacramento Saturday evening and playing all day Sunday!

I will happily throw an additional (off schedule) table of Day of the Demon on Sunday, for any of the overflow players who don't get seated on Josh or Venus' tables the day before!

Looking forward to meeting many new players and seeing old friends!

Grand Lodge *****

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Will Johnson wrote:
Michael Azzolino wrote:

Just in case anyone is paying attention...

I'll see you for the afternoon slot. 8O

It was great seeing you, Cory, and Cherry Pie! Thanks so much for coming down. Thank God you did, too. You were a life-saver picking up that extra table of Day of the Demon.

We all had a great time! I enjoyed the trip down and my table of the Special was a lot of fun! I've written a letter to the Head Librarian for the county, thanking them for allowing the Con to happen and encouraging growth for next year!

Grand Lodge *****

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My 'grain of salt' moment.

These are MY important qualities that matter in the big chair:
(your results may vary)

1) Strong/Confident Communication.

2) Good Storytelling.

3) Broad vision.

4) Good Character/Voice Acting.

5) Balanced/Fair Decision Making.

6) Solid Rules Understanding.

7) Understanding the Spirit of the Game.

Grand Lodge *****

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Please join me in welcoming Josh McIllwain aka ThreeEyedSloth to the rank and position of VL of Bakersfield California!

His promotion comes just in time for his first official event taking place March 9-10.
If you're in the area, make the trip there and congratulate him in person! ;)


Grand Lodge

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I second the Captain's sentiment.

I too like the fiction, but feel it could be released electronically and replaced with content necessary to the AP.

For example: Had Serpent Skull been reinforced with additional maps and content to strengthen continuity, it would have been a better AP across the board.

I don't want to debate cost, no one on the outside, has any clue...

Grand Lodge

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Campaign Began: 06/22/2010

Charles Hernanadez - Whisper Maphone' - Archer/Rogue/Cleric
Elizabeth Miller - Lulati Tippypit - Gnome Druid of Gozreh
Shaen McGee - Cormyr - Witch (Joined game in Book 2)
Ryan Rivers - Quel Spyralshot - Halfling Bard (Left Game in Book 4)
Bryan Soshea - Evan al'Baba - Halfling Paladin of Erastil
Robert Trifts - Ramilien D’Rattan - Human Wizard

Campaign Finish: 02/09/2013

Yesterday's game session marked the final epic battle with the Fey Queen, Narissa. My heroes persevered in the face of a 'Ground Hog Day' looping reality, surrounded by the exhausting chaos of temporal uncertainty. Her defeat came after several 'cat n mouse' sessions through the Fable. She had studied her opponents for years and catered her tactics to them, but faced with overwhelming power and the fully awakened artifact Briar was eventually too much for her.

The Teleporatation Trap that never made it out of editing, was completed reconceived and inserted back into my game. I decided that a key part of the Chaos of Fey magic would be expressed through manipulation of time/space. My Narissa had a back-up plan just in case the players were successful in untethering 1000 Breaths from 1000 Oaks.
All transportation and temporal magics were effected once the 'bomb' went off. Spell target destinations (location and time) became an unpredictable variable completely removing my player's complacency for teleporting all over the realms. And like astronauts traveling at light speeds, when it had run its course the characters had lost 11 years relative to the realm.

I would estimate that 70% of our KM campaign was additional custom content. [My players started calling me Chris Claremont!] I ramped up the political/national intrigue and tension by a Spinal Tap factor of 11. I also developed a separate personal storyline for each player, influenced by their written background and primary motivations. We managed to cover most of the written plot devices in all the books with two exceptions: 1) In the hexploration of book 2, I provided my players with too many distractions for exploration. As a result they never made it down to the Lair of the Lizard King, who grew in power unmolested by my players. 2) At the start of book 5, our campaign had dramatically advanced state of the war in the region and I found it impossible to run the Rushlight Tournament.

I chose transparent mechanics for kingdom building, allowing my players to understand (and inevitably) game the system with amazing success. I wanted my player's kingdom to be strong and reflect their personalities and I'm completely confident with the outcome.

This campaign was the first test-bed for hi-bred play. I had one player on the eastern side of Canada, one player in southern California and the remaining three in the room with me in northern California. I wanted to develop a system of playing that utilized technology to assist playing the conventional method, not replace it. Three years and five ongoing campaigns later, I think we were successful.

This is one of the best game I've ever run. I want to thank Paizo (James Jacobs) for creating an AP that brought out my strengths as a game master.

Thank you Rob McCreary (James Jacobs) for Grigori. Best NPC of the AP!

Thank you Greg Vaughan (James Jacobs) for Vordacai and the best butt-pucker combat of the AP.

This was the first time in at least two decades that Steel_Wind played outside his regular group and I want to thank you coming along for the ride!

I want to thank the Merry Prankster (aka The Little Pally) for letting me help you kick 4e cold turkey and come play with the cool kids!

I want to thank my woman for letting us take over our home and lives every Thursday night for the last three years! And for being the wildest, most insane, Ettin riding, Chaos Seeking Druid the realms have ever seen!

Shaeno! Thanks for absorbing the remotely abuse and moving back to California in mid-game.

I have plotted out 100 years of the kingdom's advancement and have plenty of plot lines to flesh out in the future! I intend for us to revisit these characters again in 10 years of realm time passing and then once again in 50. Beyond that, who knows?

Grand Lodge

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Grand Lodge

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Sunday Jan. 20th 6-8 pm PST
[Google Hangout]

We are launching our LIVE bi-weekly format this Sunday! These unedited, talk-show style shows will feature industry & listener guest appearances, gaming news and current events. These additional episodes will compliment our regular review format and archives will be posted to YouTube.

Add Azmyth to your Google+ friends.

Chronicles LIVE! EP 001

  • Razor Coast w/ Lou Agresta, Greg Vaughan & Nick Logue.
  • GenCon Interactive chat with Thurston Hillman.

    If you have questions for the RC Team, please send them to us!

    PM on these boards

    Skype ID:
    Justice Radio

    Check back :30 before the show for page link.

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