We are currently running into the problem at lower tiers of "not enough stuff" I'm personally organizing 3-4 tables a week, lots of new players coming in and out, we're just simply running out of stuff for new players.
Makes me wonder why scenario's aren't just "one per character" for playing and GMing, I get the metagaming aspect, but most people are relatively good humans and aren't going to ruin the fun for everyone, and can't you just boot them from the table?
Modules are too long for the average gameday.
Chris Mortika wrote:
Technically they can't play anything without Field Guide and PFRPG core rulebook by the rules. everyone playing in PFS is required to own those books, not bring them to the table because it's assumed you own them, but you must own them.
I do think the rule that you can't play a level 1 pre-gen again and apply the credit like you can with higher level pregens is kinda silly.
I still think my favorite "playing up" solution is the double exp one.
with the exception of 1-5's it's only a bit more than 2x gold on all the scenarios, which I think is fine for the reward.
If you're between tiers, and you play up sure thing, you get a bit more gold, if you do it every single time, it's still not game-breaking.
If you're level 1, and you play 6 times tier 4-5 to get all the monies, that's close to 9k extra gold, double exp reduces that to 4500 extra gold, still a lot, but much more manageable.
Double XP provides a number of benefits for the campaign.
1) Automatically helps curb the gold growth, since it effectively halves the gold from the scenario.
What is the drawback here? Complexity for GMs? I don't think that's an issue, they don't have to calculate anything.
If having people play wildly out of tier is the problem, just say you can't at all. "If you're the correct level for a sub-tier you cannot play any of the other sub-tier's in that adventure" tell em to pull up a pre-gen.
My group had very little difficulty in the first 2 levels of thornkeep. They were right out the gate first level PCs.
Only really one fight that had them in danger at all in the first 2. Then only the "boss" of 3 was particularly challenging.
Time wise, I have found they run in 4ish hours, the 5th level certainly ran the longest, taking about 4.5 hours.
Often (meaning at least 4-5 scenarios, nothing is used constantly)
Others that I have seen, but I don't think i've used more than once.
Languages for people who summon stuff, Ignan, Auran, Aquan, Terran. Gotta tell them elementals what to do :)
Thas, Osirion/Ancient, and the planar languages are all really nice to have.
Random note: Dark Folk is useful, as many of the darkfolk don't speak common, same with undercommon, but that only matters if you're trying to talk to them :)
Most common things I hear are "fighter BAB or Cleric BAB" mostly because that's what I say.
On the internet I see 3/4 BAB written quite often.
the mult-classing rules are very clear. You look at each class individually and then you add them all together at the end. No fractional BAB advancement in PF(S). I am fairly amazed that Andrew has never heard that however, not a comment either way just legitimately surprised.
Either way, all of that discussion has literally nothing to do with Permanency.
as I see it permanency comes down to 2 major questions.
1) is it too powerful. I'd say no.
There are things with dispel magic in the game, players losing decent sized chunk of wealth creates a lot of upset folks (heck, even when they lose nothing but the PP they were doing nothing with on a raise dead people get upset.
In addition to this, it also hurts the player's wealth by level and can leave them too far behind, actually weakening their party at higher levels.
Because of these things I think it's completely fine from a power perspective, but probably negative for the campaign as a whole, creating upset players and significantly altering wealth by level.
I will say the limit of one MW transformation seems pretty unnecessary to me (it's not like it saves you money...) Secret Page on the other hand is needed, or else you just scribe all your spells for free.
I like permanency, and would love to use it, but I believe it would be a negative for the campaign as a whole.
Eh, Sure he "deserves it" and is a "force of the community who basically built PFS from the ground up in the madison area" oh wait....
Congratulations it's awesome to have a Madison VC and I am excited that it's you! Truly deserving :)
P.S. Hopefully the title doesn't make you work any harder, you might perish from exhaustion!
I guess I shouldn't have said intelligent :)
I also said "uniquely powerful" a fire beetle is less powerful than a sunrod! :)
When I say uniquely powerful I mean a source of light that basically can't be extinguished (I wanted to avoid purely sun/moon because other planes are their own business) Ex: the plane of positive energy IS brilliant light. Not every plane has a Sun but I'm talking basically a Sun equivalent.
When I read "Ambient Natural Light"; I read "Night - low light, Dawn -normal light, Noon - bright light ect. I also presume special cases happen Giant cave walls lined with otherworldly crystals that give off light.. I could see that being an Ambient Light Source.
Ultimately YMMV is just going to happen on this.
I'm sure there is something saying that Paizo doesn't want Mike/Mark/John to say "this is how I read it, please run it that way for consistency) Since it's akin to changing the rules, but I really wish they would chime in on ambiguous things like this.
If the rules discussion thread can't come to a hard and fast "this is how this works" PFS should be allowed an interpretation to improve table consistency.
Mike Lindner wrote:
If you leave the curse on it's even easier to explain "I got cursed by this ioun stone, it will not leave me while I live."
we're all pretty clear on how the spell works at this point, the only thing that needs to be defined is "what constitutes ambient light"
because of the word "natural" in the faq.
I'm defining "Natural Ambient Light sources" as - The Sun, Moon, or something uniquely powerful such as a cave entirely lined with neon glowing crystals.
IE: If no intelligent creatures ever set foot here, if it were completely uninhabited what would the light level be?
To this 90% of the time outside of the sun, I would say "dark or dim" either way, darkness makes it "dark" and deeper darkness makes it "supernaturally dark"
That's how I define "Natural" and the FAQ requires "Natural ambient light" those 3 words are 1 defined term, created by the FAQ.
Therefore I look for 2 steps.
The other common interpretation is nosig's which follows a couple simple steps.
1) Are there light source originating in the area of darkness? Yes, they don't count
... yes if you remove the item, the bonus the item grants you is removed.
But if you remove the curse and pay for atonement you just have an ioun stone that grants you a feat, so no penalties, just a magic item for the low low cost of some spell casting.
I said "ioun feat" meaning "a feat granted by a magic item, specifically an Ioun Stone" the magic item rules still apply. sorry for being unclear.
unfortunately you have to balance around something.
I personally think it should be a group size of 5 (no adjustments needed either way then) and should be based on the pregens that would be played in that tier.
Optimizers that complain about "too easy" well that's our fault for abolishing what the game thinks we can do, and if we're bored cause it's "too easy" again, our fault.
Does that mean that tier 1-2s are too easy for a party of all level 2's? yup, sure does.
I personally think 1-5 should be tier 1, tier 2-3 (probably 900ish gp), and tier 4-5. This is more design work, but accommodates first level characters.
the difference between a first and 2nd level character is immense, even MORE so in PFS (wands, PP buys, ect)
TLDR; my Solution to the "CR Problem"
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
that's fair, the saves bit didn't come up for my party, so I wasn't thinking about it from that end, it just seemed like a throw away debuff.
golemworks scaling annoyed me, as I was literally unable to defeat the party, Black took no damage, used everyone of his spells and was left without a way to harm the PCs, so he teleported away (everyone had heals, and the scaling removes his only consistent Damage source)
The augmentations are (mostly) terrible. they are either ineffective or the break the tactics for the encounter.
I understand that most conventions are 6 persona tables, and designing for that is fine, but something is getting lost on the scale downs.
My enemy's Enemy - an alchemist who gets +9 to hit on ranged touch attacks the scale down is "sickened" really? -2 to hit/damage isn't worth 2 PCs not even remotely.
In Wrath's Shadow - remove a couple of worthless mooks from the last fight (seems like it should work, but those guys just get mopped up so quickly, I played it at gencon (with 6 people) and I honestly forgot those guys were even in the room until I went back and read it.
some of them are done well, but I think it's far MORE important then the writers/editors/whoever seem to give it credit for. I believe John is in charge of those now, and I have faith they will get better :), but I would recommend staying away from season 4 without 6 PCs
it just seems like a lot of complaints come from improper scaling or way out of a "appropriate" abilities
Oil of Daylight
all good buys for 2 PP. remember if you spend it on something that keeps you from dying, you don't need it to pay for the rez :)
I optimize, in fact I play primarily prepared casters so that I can tinker with my character MORE because that's fun for me :).
That being said, I don't complain that scenarios are too easy because I GM enough and I see scenarios that myself, or my homegroup, walked through providing interesting challenges for other players. Optimizers know that they are making characters that will make scenarios easier for them, if we really want a challenge, we can CHOOSE to play less powerfully built things.
I don't play my Summoner anymore, because he was built to cover too many roles, and I felt like he was spotlight hogging. I built him before I knew how PFS worked, and since switch to characters that don't dominate the whole game :). I still try to have tools to handle most situations, so that we, as a party, succeed.
IDK I think dire wolves appeal to everyone. ;)
However, all of the things you said are true. It's not for everyone.
It's impossible to provide the "right" amount of challenge for everyone, if a fight is hard for the optimizer it's going to be extremely lethal for the non-optimized.
gold in a scenario is determined by the things you find, therefore it has to fluctuate (personally I don't think this is true, but it's what the campaign chooses to do.)
Frostfur captives is just a mistake it was supposed to be a 3-7, got changed into a 1-5, and the 3-4 gold was left alone (the chronicle even says 3-4 on it).
I think Jason said it very well, the problem has been too much reward regardless of risk, this new "get gold appropriate to your level" is an attempt to curb that. it's easier than telling the player they don't get to play.
Either-way, I think we have derailed this thread enough.
Has PFS gone too far into hard mode? Nope, but if it goes much further it could cost them players.
Should we make a "hard mode" for scenarios and award more gold? Nope, characters with too much wealth is a problem regardless of risk, we don't want PCs getting more gold, it just snowballs into an arms race until PCs with appropriate money or "average" builds cannot complete them.
Should we make "Hard mode" and give the same rewards? Nope, wasted design space.
Should all chronicles become generic and you get gold based on your level?
my point is that all scenarios of the same level range pay close to the same amount of gold (season 0 is an outlier because it was designed with a different game system in mind).
Risk=Reward, Risk is determined by CR in pathfinder. the CR system is flawed, therefore 2 encounters of the same CR that provide the same rewards will have different risks.
The "wide range" of gold amounts is because things change over time, in an attempt to find the "right amount"
there are gold amounts that are intended for each level range, authors are supposed to stay withing 5% of those amounts. Those amounts change over time, though they have stayed very consistent since the Pathfinder RPG came out. Tier 1-2 has fluctuated more than the others.
In the case of first steps, you are given slightly less gold because you automatically receive 2 Prestige for completing them.
N N 959 wrote:
the original printing of mists (and the one with the 1300gp chronicle) is from season 0, season 0 pays less gold (with the one exception of decline of glory, for no reason.) So thanks for proving my point?
you have to restrict gold based on level in organized play, because the same scenario's have to be playable by a wider range of people.
this does mean, unfortunately, that gold has to be restricted by level and in theory the scenario's should be in the same challenge range.
They ARE in the same CR range, the fact that the CR system doesn't work properly isn't PFSs fault, it's an issue with the game in general, and you just accept it.
for reference season 1 starts on scenario 29, being the first scenario designed with Pathfinder RPG rules, as opposed to 3.5 OGL.
N N 959 wrote:
Playing season 4 vs most of season 1 or 2 is pretty much "playing up without the rewards of playing up" I would actually say it's harder a lot of the time.
I think many tier 7-8's from season 4 are harder than 8-9s from the other seasons, and in some cases even 10-11's. CHOOSING to play season 4 scenarios is, for the most part, playing up with no greater (monetary) reward.
Season 4 Scenarios are harder. they give the same amount of gold as seasons 1-3, and they are harder.
lets look at some options, and really think about them.
Scenario 1: S1 and S1 hard mode or (S1H).
here's the problem, that grants optimized players greater rewards, thus pushing the "need" for optimization and diminishing the "fun" for players who don't want to play hard mode. By either forcing those characters into, or excluding them from, playing the way they want to play.
If S1H doesn't grant additional rewards, then player's won't play it, and it's wasted design space. (I actually believe this to be a fallacy, but I'll use it as a premise for now).
What happens if players can replay a scenario for credit, but only on hard mode and only if ALL players are replaying it for credit.
I can add hardmode to every scenario with a blanket statement. "All monsters in this adventure gain the advanced simple template" If they are already advanced, apply the simple template on top of the normal advancement. This is a way for everyone to die. The perception, disable device, and save DCs of traps/locks are all increased by 2. Damage from traps is multiplied by 50%.
you can know whats in the adventure, but it gets scarier :).
One of the biggest problems in PFS are characters significantly above expected wealth, this is achieved by groups of powerful PCs playing up at every possible chance. Offering additional incentives for those PCs doesn't seem wise.
I will admit that i originally built a very strong character, then I built slightly toned down characters for most of my other ones, if the difficulty continues to increase I'll have to go back to making more powerful characters again.
I don't think season 4 is too far in that direction I think that going much furthur could start exclude players who don't enjoy crunching the numbers, or want to take "fun" flavorful feats instead of power attack.
I'm thankful that our local VL is both a strong community builder and keeps himself well informed of the PFS specific rules and regulations. I haven't actually met our VCs so I won't speak to that.
I'm going to break this down how I see it.
Rules knowledge: Stars = Nothing (many of the best rules folks on the forums have no stars)
PFS Specific knowledge: Stars = minor. things come up when you run PFS and you'll learn some of them while running. Specifically day jobs, clearing conditions, and things you can do with PP.
Opinion's on how hard a scenario is compared to the "norm" Stars = decent.
this is discussed a lot, people who have GMd more PFS scenarios are likely to have a better understanding of what scenario's are usually like just from experience. Ex: 95% of the traps I have run are completely pointless as they aren't tied to combats, so they just eat a couple wand charges and do nothing.
Another one that stars bear some weight on, how players react to certain things, you see a specific "thing".
Now Dragnmoon said something that I wanted to highlight, as it's very important to keep in mind.
"A GM that has GMed a 100 PFS games in his own little local game bubble and has never GMed out of his group is much more likely to pick up bad habits then a GM/Player that has GMed only 20 games but has gone outside their local bubble to conventions and other out of town game days."
This exact point is why GMs are to run as written.
GMs that have 4/5 stars and often GM for different groups of players, DO have better perspective on some things.
going back to the PFS is too easy/hard. I'll take a 4/5 stars opinion more seriously in those threads, because they have SEEN more groups try and struggle/cakewalk through them.
6 fully optimized PCs that play together regularly cannot be challenged by the same combats that 6 pre-gens played by random strangers can defeat.
TLDR: A GM with more stars is more likely to have experience with a wider array of groups, which can lend strength to their arguments, but that shouldn't discount other peoples arguments.
more stars are not an indication of better GMing, I mean have you SEEN what Dragnmoon posts? ;)
HOWEVER they do represent how much experience you have GMing PFS, reading modules/scenarios, how familiar you are with types of encounters that appear in scenarios. Also, it shows at the very least, that people are willing to put up with your GMing, so you probably aren't the worst.
There are 4 star GMs that are bad, and 0 star GMs that are awesome. I don't believe there are any 5-stars that are bad, you have to be recommended by other GMs of high standing.
Eitherway, I have 3 stars, closing in on 4, and i don't think they mean anything, the 5th one carries weight, the other 4... they show that you are willing to GM to help the campaign, but otherwise.... they don't really count for much.
Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher wrote:
I vote that you write that scenario or series of scenarios and submit it. Excellently done.
Jason S wrote:
yeah this is basically what I was saying in my other post. if the BBEG is something the GM knows well (like a wizard they are accustomed to playing) the fight can get very hard very fast.
If it's something they aren't familiar with or they just don't want to remove most of the party members actions cause it can be unfun, the fight can get much, much easier.
at low levels an evil cleric casting obscuring mist and then channeling is often times a very lethal encounter :)
Chris Mortika wrote:
I think this is more of a distinction between using especially lethal tactics (coup de grace, just attacking downed foes) and maybe just moving on when someone is down.
Or perhaps even asking a player if they want to provoke that AoO.
one of our local VCs is very helpful with newer players, but if you're at an 8-9 table and you cast a spell not saying defensively while you're threatened you're going to get attack, no take backs :)
What bob said!
I didn't feel that it was very difficult overall, when I played it.
we actually all gave up all our magical items, and still accomplished the mission fairly easily
Upon reading the scenario, I discovered that the final fight could have been MUCH more challenging. Now I play a character that is very similar to the final boss - Conjuration specialist wizard -.
I know what all his spells do, and spend a lot of time using those types of spells to pick apart NPCs, if I were running that enemy it would certainly be more dangerous than it was.
I think our GM ran a great scenario, but that wasn't his character to run as an NPC (while it's very close to mine). That difference alone turns that encounter from "pretty easy" to "challenging"
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
just for fun, I pit a few encounters from season 4 against the bison. I assumed a successful handle animal each round, but it also had no PCs.
The bison kept winning. it clearly can't beat any "siege" type encounters, since it can't really climb something, but it'll maul most first level parties to death.
I think the discussion has mostly simmered down, but there are a couple things worth mentioning.
1. People are being told not to GM if they do it for the credit in this thread. Sorry to say it this way, but "really?"
I GM for the credits. I GM for the stars, and I GM to grow the community.
I will state as FACT that scenario's are better when GMs have run them more than once.
I will also say I rarely run things more than once, because I want credit for GMing.
I help out as needed locally to grow our community, but I don't volunteer at gencon/paizocon because I would MUCH rather play than GM.
I'm a good GM, I'm not a great one. I know the rules, and my players have fun, but sometimes I have to pause and double check something. I don't read the scenario 4-5 times, I read it twice and print out stat blocks.
I GM for the credit, without the credit I probably wouldn't have started the weekly Game Day I have on Wednesday nights, which has had at least one table every week for almost 5 months, more recently 2 tables nearly every week.
Without the credit's I wouldn't have brought 10 players into PFS that consistently show up and play both at my events and the other events locally.
Saying that GMing for credit fosters a bad attitude is elitist and demeaning, I'm sorry for being upset, but I know how positively I have impacted the community and this thread told me that my motivations make me wrong. This leaves me pretty sour.
I'll use a REAL example. I have run First Steps a few times When I have new players that come unexpectedly to a game day I will run them through that because I get credit for it AND I know it very well, so I ENSURE that those players have an excellent experience and increase the likely hood that they come back.
WHY IS THIS BAD WITH OTHER ADVENTURES? Boons?
Also, it's not like they are hard. no boons, no items, gold as suggested by tier (just look at race for the runecarved key and you know what it is)
A couple notes here.
Which boon, and does it specify a type of bonus? because there is a decent chance it's circumstance (most boons are).
The traits don't stack, Inner beauty makes it +4 but it's still a trait bonus.
Also what is Protege from?.
Yeah Street performer maximizes gold though, well done Adam :) (Also inner beauty could come up when trying to fascinate or make a really challenging bluff check).
The best part about Adam's is you can drop the cha to 18, still have reasonable stats and still take 10 for 150g (assuming there is a boon that works). All it really costs is a feat and a trait.
23 without boons is what I came up with.
Human (Xa Hoi)
Edit: Misread alchemist class ability, so changed it to wizard. Updated a couple things for clarity. Listed the sources after the bonus, and the type of bonus before
Doug Miles wrote:
I don't really start to enjoy a scenario until I have run it 3 or 4 times as a GM. That is my motivation to run a scenario multiple times; the players get a progressively better experience. I concur with TetsujinOni. In addition, all the work prepping a scenario is done on the front end. GMing the same scenario multiple times is like running downhill.
This is an argument for allowing GMs to get credit more than once IMO.
There are a lot of GMs that Master Games out of necessity, these GMs usually don't want to run the same thing multiple times, because they want credit. I know of at least 1 (myself).
I have run a couple things more than once. (Burnt offerings, Feast of Ravenmoor, City of strangers) I can certainly tell that my being prepared and having the insight of "oh this is how these PCs handled it" makes the scenario better, makes me a better GM that session, and helps everyone else out :).
I try very hard to only run things I have played, just to have a little better insight into the adventure from a player side.
I always want to create the most fun experience I can (I own a store, it's VERY important that players enjoy their experience) However, I also like playing higher level characters a lot and I always have a million things I want to build... so I want them credits :).
GM credits can't increase character power. giving them full PP is enough of a "nod" to GMs. If you allowed credit to give PP back instead of an EXP you're increasing character power. Many people have mentioned that PP is an increase in power, they are correct.
GMing is already full credit, full PP, and 0 risk. It's good enough.
I would only like to be able to get GM credit for the same scenario more than once, I would be OK with removing any chronicle specific boons for GM credits beyond the first running of the scenario.
Now here are the advantages:
When a GM runs a better table, everyone has more fun.
People who have more fun, are more likely to come back and play more.
I think the only thing that really needs adjusting is the early fame, as RE touched on.
the chart goes up exponentially, so you quickly get outside of your curve. This is fine for characters that want to buy weapons and armor, because they are always available.
I'd like to see the chart change to.
then the rest of it is fine imo. I'd like to see 31 PP as 18500 also, just do you can hit that +3 weapon plataeu if you want, but really only the first couple levels are relevant.
The main reason for adding the 1PP 500 is that brand new players get to interact with the system right away, sure there aren't a ton of items in that range, but there are some and they get to use the fame chart right from the get-go.
I often have a little chat time after the game sessions where i explain what's going on in the backround in order to help people get into the setting, but there are often lines in the adventure that there is no way for players to find out without a GM just offering the information.