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First things first
Thanks to everyone who has GM'ed and played this adventure!
Second, as much credit, if not more, needs to go to Mr. Compton on this scenario.
Third. One of the main goals of this scenario is to force the players to make hard choices outside of combat. Do they risk getting caught for more information? Do they take x items? Which room is more important to research first?
While it is possible to solve everything and achieve everything, having that edge of difficulty where you are required to make those tough choices will make this scenario more memorable then an easy sweep of getting everything without a challenge.
Thank you for feedback and thoughts on this! It will only help improve things and make them better.
Fifth and finally.
Review the scenario! Reviewing it here is great, but reviewing it officially on the webstore is even more important! ;)
Gregory Connolly wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to speak up about this. It helps us, the organizers of your local games, know how to improve our region.
Let me introduce myself, I'm Kyle! One of your local Venture Captains. If you have problems you don't feel your store coordinator can handle, I'm the next step in the ladder to issue resolution.
It looks like my fella Pinstriped has already got you on his radar and is aware and able to make sure your next game experience is improved.
I believe you got caught in the crossfire of us community building...let me explain that statement.
One of the most important things for any community to survive, is new people joining. That's you! Your first experiences with us are super important. It is our "handshake", so to say. We only get a few games to convince most people to stick around, so we try to keep our level of GM awesomeness high at low level tables, just for this reason alone.
However...our second priority, is getting new players to become new GM's. This is where your experience occurred I believe. In that process for that GM.
So...please allow us continued chances to show you our awesome as a community. Pinstriped's beard alone can weave tales of such heroic baldric, that I worry for the unshaven who tread the trials he trepidates.
Good evening distinguished readers.
It is my truest and humblest pleasure to finally be able to properly announce, and by way of doing so thank and heap praise, upon a long overdue and much earned promotion.
I remember the first game I ever ran for this individual. A family of circus trained halfings, and their human daughter, escorting a pack of VIP Goblins across the land. Oh the hijinks, the shenanigans, and the laughs were a plenty...and I knew then that this family was going to be a great story to watch grow and be shared in our community.
Tony Lindman has since then helped organize, coordinate, stop me from doing dumb things, and help me get crazy ideas done, countless times in the past 2 years. His leadership and continued support has allowed us to expand the puget sound to the size it is today. Everyday of the week, a game is running. Every convention within distance, PFS is at, and every store that we have volunteers for, a game is run in.
Tony Lindman has been holding down the duties of a full fledged Venture Captain for some time, and this promotion is just a change in shirt color for the Patriarch of the Flutterfoot clan.
I'll let Tony introduce his new appointees to VL, but to say the least...I owe Tony so much more then a heartfelt thank you and a handshake.
Tony...thank you. The floor is yours. Keep on make believin'!
Pink Dragon wrote:
Hey Pink Dragon.
First off, thanks for playing the scenario.
Movie plot spoiler:
The Guardian will ask the PCs to retrieve a suitable vessel, if they convince him to be helpful. This makes his exit a request of a sentient creature, and open to the choices and interpretations of the pcs. It can create a morale dilemma, but hopefully not an alignment argument.
As for the foo creatures...they can be avoided by solving the riddle of the 4 plaques. To do this, the pcs have 6 hints.
Hope that explains it a bit better.
NWPFS.org is the best bet ;p
Get yourself another registration on it, but I can tell you we will be at ECCC running demos of the RPG and the card game from noon to 7 pm friday and saturday, and noon to close on sunday.
The game area stays open later then that, but my GM's will stay on a volunteer basis after 7 pm. I expect there to be some who stick around, as last year we found most folks made it to the gaming area when the main hall closed. We will be planning on that happening again.
We will be there before noon as well, but are not expecting to run too many games in the morning, as folks who come that early try to start standing in line for the GoH's they wish to meet.
You can email me at 6SSamurai@gmail.com in regards to volunteering and more information on PFS at ECCC.
Stephen Drane wrote:
Thanks for the report and feedback on the scenario Stephen!
I think that it is awesome the players had a ton of fun and came so close to each of the riddles and ciphers. That was by far the hardest balancing act in the scenario, was to make them challenging enough without going off the deep end.
As for the foo dogs...I can understand the frustration from the players. My goal with the final encounter was to have a fight last more then 2 to 3 rounds, and then the Foo animal template was pointed out to me. From there it was an easy choice as to what animal it would be.
My question to you would be, did you feel the Foo animal encounter was a challenging fight for the group more then a demoralizing one? AND what was your party make up in terms of damage? Was it a mostly all physical damage group, or were there some spell damaging casters?
Gives me the informations!!! I WANTS ITS!!!
Saint Caleth wrote:
Thanks Saint Caleth!
I can see The Guardian's reaction now..."Madam, could you kindly put that finger elsewhere other then my eye!" ;p
Lady Ophelia wrote:
Thanks for the feedback Lady Ophelia!
First off let me say that The Disappeared was an awesome inspiration for me in this endeavor. Second, I must point out that Compton was a HUGE help in this endeavor, and his name is also on the scenario to reflect the amount of work he contributed to this scenario.
The puzzle thing is tricky...it is a tool to use in place of combats to "fill" that time of entertainment. Since puzzles rely upon player ingenuity, complimented by character ability to provide hints, it is an exact opposite expectation as combat...and therefore a MAJOR detour from what most people expect when they enter a PFS scenario. By creating a stealth style scenario that can be run with either fighting or skipping the fights, it was necessary to consider how to fill the players time should they successfully skip all the fights, but more so...make sure the scenario doesn't run long by including more fights and assuming the players will skip some, only to find out that they spent 7 hours slugging it out with all of the possible encounters.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't...unless...
You have some more insight for me to analyze? Perhaps, more feedback?!?!?!? MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...feedba ck...
And thank you :) Make sure to send some praise Compton's way as well ;p
Ran this, main complaints were A. the cipher was to hard for the players (which has been echoed in this thread a few times now) even when i told them which one to use, and B lack of serious encounters. They managed to avoid them. Figured out the statues and just avoided the book swarm, which you can do and still get most of the scenario conditions.
Thanks for taking the time to write in this thread! I am always looking for specific feedback on this scenario, it is how we improve the shared campaign we all enjoy.
My hope was that there could be a scenario in which, if the PCs wanted to and prepared for their objective, they could avoid a fight entirely. With that objective in mind, what would you like to see done differently? The more specific you are the better :)
Thanks for GMing it Nef!
I would do as you suggest, and point out to them that a library of this nature may hold tomes valuable to Zarta.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
I've checked with several others, some VO's and some not, and it appears that we currently cannot review products.
This has been the case for the last 3 weeks now, and I've checked again with several others again to see if the problem has persisted for them, which it has.
Please let me know if I need to provide QA'd style replication steps.
Matthew Morris wrote:
The statues are not "named" in the scenario, but if they are confused I would consider giving them a knowledge or check of some sort to give them hints and clues to help them figure it out.
As for the paintings...it's a possible shortcut to avoid a fight. I wouldn't call it a "key". For my table I use crude drawings of each painting with the writing on them as props to show case that riddle.
Dagger of trust is awesome. :)
As for the sadistic glee...
...no, you are not alone. >:)
Hey Piano and James
Thanks for giving the scenario a shot! Both in GMing and in playing.
First off let me apologize for letting you guys down. I'm glad to hear you support the concept of this scenario, and have constructive feedback on how to improve the next style of this scenario in the future for PFS. Truly, that is the most I could ask of anyone.
I would like to make a couple of recommendations to any other GM's who run this in the future. If there is a party that starts kicking down the door, I would have Glorymane engage the PC's in conversation. More like a teacher scolding a child for scuffing up their nice new doors.
As for the row of secret doors...that is a very valid point. I should of caught that.
I'll make the same offer to your group as I did to the previous posters. I'll gladly fly to your local region to run this for you. Not that this is saying you "ran it wrong", but just to see how your group did it and as a way to improve my adventure design from here on forward.
Thanks for the feedback, it is what drives writers to improve.
Keep on make believin'.
Hmmm, I see a major disconnect.
Skills can be used in the scenario as per the rules for trained vs. untrained skills in the core rule book.
Also, this excerpt from the beginning of the scenario may have been missed by the GM. It read as follows:
Each researching PC can attempt a Linguistics, Knowledge (history), or text-based Craft or Profession check (such as Profession [librarian] or Craft [bookbinding]) to find texts. A PC might use a different skill or ability albeit with a penalty ranging from –2 to –5 at your discretion. Several areas also identify additional skill check options that PCs may use without penalty. PCs who use magic or class abilities in a particularly creative or relevant way might receive up to a +5 bonus on a check at your discretion. Except where noted, the skill check DC is 14 (DC 18 for Subtier 4–5).
An example might be the wizard using detect magic to help find any books that might be magical...I would give that player a +1 to his search checks.
We had our "not able to read" barbarian search by looking for "specific pictures" of demons and paladiny type folk. He received a penalty on some checks, and a bonus on others.
This scenario in the skill checks of it all allow and outline alot of GM control and decision making to bend the scenario to the party at hand.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Ya...but I'm long winded ;p
Hey DMFrank and Finlanderboy!
Thanks for jumping in here and providing feedback. I'm all in for any and all types of feedback.
First off let me say that this scenario will allow PC's to smash and grab style if they want. Run in, get to the "back rooms" and take the information they are looking for...but you are correct, you cannot achieve every aspect of this scenario through combat.
Many of the secondary success conditions and the faction missions require a non-combat based approach. Searching for the items are very skill based checks, ones that can be repeated and aided through actions that your GM identify as appropriate or clever.
For both you and DMfrank, I will gladly run this scenario. Either over the internet, or if that doesn't work, I'll fly to each of your hometowns and run it there...either as an event during the week or at a nearby convention y'all will be attending. I'll gladly run it for your entire table a second time, including the GM, just to experience the same situations you are talking about here so I can know them first hand to improve any scenarios I may (or may not) write in the future.
From how I am reading it in the section describing the Lion Blade possible encounter, if the PCs negotiate their way out of it (A very difficult proposition) the Lion Blades have no mention of searching the PCs in this event.
It only mentions they will search the PCs if they turn over the letter.
In terms of sounding strange...
You can have the party spend 5 prestige each to avoid giving away the letter, keeping that as a possible victory condition to keep. You can use the potions of invisibility they are given at the beginning to "escape" them, and thus avoid the combat.
There is also the option of "Ummmm.......RUN!" and the PCs could end up splitting up to escape being caught red handed as a group.
There are plenty of options not covered in the text as to how the players can get past the Lion Blades or avoid that combat all together, but in general I think the primary situations are covered. The hard part with any "caper" style scenario is providing the GM planned options for the most likely decisions the players will make.
Knowing the depth of my local player base...there is no way one scenario could cover EVERY single outcome they could come up with.
Nothing should change for Iliyana's notes about her deception points in this circumstance.
The only way for the Lion Blades to be alerted is by Tobias. If the PC's fight the Lion Blades at the end, then they are not awarded the 3 points from Tobias's entry on deception points. However...they may still earn the 1 point if they attempted to hide their way finders.
The PC's can still get 15 deception points, JUST BARELY, if they do everything else perfect and end up fighting the lion blades at the end.
Ninja VS. Krune:
When the mission briefing said "ZOMG YOU MIGHT BE FACING A RUNELORD!" I bought my ninja, with UMD +18, a scroll of anti magic shell. Thought it might come in handy. After Krune did all his big nasty tricks...I moved next to him and used the scroll. Needless to say...his life got much worse after that. I retired the ninja on this scenario...because after you kill a runelord, what else can you do to top it?
So first off...one of my favorite quotes applies to this BNW. "The turnings of the tide of battle always begin with one soldier's decision to head back into the frey." The argument "because everyone says so" is one I only accept when "everyone" is paying me. Thankfully here, we are all volunteers...well, most of us.
Melfer is in my region, and is a solid store coordinator. Solid enough to take and run one of our bigger stores in the region that boasts 3 consistent tables. Considering the location and our PFS history with it, that is an accomplishment of praise worthiness.
I got this notice in the email for a friend saying "Hey Big K, stuff going down, go read it!" And I did. Now...the first thing that came to my mind when I read his post was the same assumptions many here made. That this individual was pushing the envelope, going beyond what is acceptable, and doing so in a stand off-ish manner.
But then I reminded myself...this person has taken the time to post a question to anonymous masses about a personnel choice of game style that they pursue. So their intention, at onset at least, is to seek advice.
Instead of assuming the worse from an anonymous volunteer (let's also remember, that if we are posting on this board...we probably volunteer our time to run games or expand the community in some way) over the internet involving a stereo-typed group of notoriously lacking of social graces, I sought to question and clarify the position of this individual.
Now it helps that I know them, they are from my region, and they are a coordinator I trust. I got Melfer on the phone and we talked about his intent with the post, the history of how the question came about, and why the responses he brought up were chosen.
Needless to say...a few more minutes thinking out the posts would of gone a long way in making this less of a hot button topic issue then it was. But...I am also going to point out to the community that made some assumptions, and turned negative rather quickly, instead of handling this in a positive manner.
Let me assuage some fears and assumptions.
1. Both character names are now changed.
Obviously, a storm of internet assumption and poorly chosen words, and cackles combined with combative responses sent this thingy into a tail spin tizzy of tumultuous travesty.
What I would like to see people walk away from this post and thread is that we should assume every individual means well and is here to improve PFS. We should assume they are a volunteer, and treat them as such. We should ask question to clarify points that our natural instinct is to assume the negative connotation of their communicated point.
This whole thread and events around it went down poorly. Is there a morality clause rule written down for PFS, if so where is it and what does it say? I'm a gamer, I enjoy pushing the colloquial envelope, but can someone please help me find it first?
So...let me start by saying the following...
We're not all perfect.
Melfer, bro, I'm glad you found a place to discuss your reservations about your own play style and how that might not be in the best interest of growing the campaign.
I'm also glad that you've kept a fairly civil tone in this entire thread. I do, however, want to point out that the feedback you are receiving, which is why you come to a public forum in the first place, is something you are now trying to argue against and justify your position.
Much like Plato's "Cave" metaphor, you'd be better served by having this discussion with yourself over many beers and probably inviting along a good friend, or several.
Let's go with your intent here, however, and assume you mean the best for the game and for the community.
Several points have been made above, none so eloquently put as those by John, that this play style isn't exemplary behavior for the continued growth of PFS, or any community, that seeks to include all.
Again...I'm glad you questioned yourself on this topic, because that is the first step to bettering yourself in the community. To me, that is an important step I want to latch on to and focus upon, instead of the other discussion of "how far is too far".
For now let's assume if that question is asked...it's too far.
I am quite certain more will be said past this, and many more will jump in here with their own opinions...but I kindly ask. Remember the first time you said to yourself "Ghee, am I taking this too far?"
We've all been there, and it is those around us that pull us back from the point of no return. I hope the PFS community sees this as a chance to elicit growth in an individual instead of the opposite.