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Smaar Janderfut

CanisDirus's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington. 919 posts (1,385 including aliases). 2 reviews. 6 lists. 2 wishlists. 28 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

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Compromise isn't quite an art-form, but it is most definitely *not* a science.

The Core Campaign addresses several items that have been brought up time and again by players, GMs, store owners, and VO/volunteers:

- Running out of things to play / replay
- Power creep
- Rules bloat / overwhelming newer players & GMs
- Cost for players to own resources in order to play

Are any of these addressed in a 100% fix-it-all way? Probably not (though, as with all things, your mileage may vary - some opinions with more vitriol than others).

That said, the Core Campaign addresses parts of each of these. It creates new options without taking anything away from the existing "normal" PFS Campaign. Yes, scheduling might be tricky in some regions at first as a result - but that can easily be overcome by just keeping open communication with your local player-and-GM base about what they want.

The Core Campaign opens up a limited form of replay for playing and GMing, makes a stab at trying to address power creep and rules bloat, is already getting newer players and GMs interested in PFS, and cuts the cost to players down to virtually 0.

If you don't like it - all I can say is don't do it. Most compromises don't make everyone happy, but they do leave everyone with something they can deal with. I'm really sorry to see one or two people say that they're leaving "because" of these new options, but if you really feel that strongly about it...well, there's nothing else to say than take care and all the best to you. For those who are excited to start/rejoin PFS as a result of the new options the Core Campaign presents - welcome (back), and let's start rolling some dice!

Seriously, everyone...take a step away from the screen, take a deep breath, and look at the arguments going on here. Some of this is just silly, and some of it is getting out of hand. It's a game we all (mostly?) love to engage in - Paizo is creating options to try and address things that players have asked for - let's give them the benefit of the doubt and see how things go, okay?

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Huzzah! Glad to finally be able to share this! :)

My favorite things about the Core Campaign:

1 - Great for newer GMs who don't want to be buried with characters that have "stuff" from 40+ books.

2 - Great for newer players to RPGs/PFS who can also benefit from 1.

3 - A fantastic challenge for veteran players! Imagine some of the 5-9 and 7-11 scenarios that have come out over the last few years. Now imagine tackling them without "staple" items/feats/classes from books other than the Core! :)

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ye gods, so, so many...

My personal top 5:

#2-16 The Flesh Collector
- Amazing to play, and even more amazing to GM. I had players in tears, and at least two of them made major changes to their characters based solely on events that took place during that scenario. It's also one of the few scenarios where the PCs learn everything that's in the scenario's backstory during the scenario.

(Tie:)
#5-13 Weapon in the Rift
#6-07 Valley of Veiled Flame

- My two favorites (so far) from Seasons 5 and 6 (which I decided on before I knew they were written by the same author!). Great depth-of-story, lots of neat world-story information comes up in both, and the "pace" of both are perfect for what they are. One is an exciting race against time and overwhelming evil, and the other is a fantastic journey through a town shrouded from the rest of the world.

#5-SP Siege of the Diamond City
- Especially at GenCon, but also in the other times I've played/run it since (and used GM star credit on it since I loved it so much) this has such an amazing "feel" to it - run correctly, you can actually feel the tension and chaos in the room, and if you've got the digital map/layers projected on a screen and sound effects for the "house" as well, it can feel pretty epic!

#1-38 No Plunder No Pay
- On this list simply because my first/"main" character in PFS is a pirate, and being able to use his own ship, be piratey in the name of the society, *and* (in my case) shoot his way out from the belly of a sea monster...it was one of the most epic scenarios I've ever played!

#2-13 Murder on the Throaty Mermaid
- Some of the most fun RP I've ever had in my life, and the scenario is *never* the same twice, no matter how many times you might play or GM it!

(Honorable Mention, 1/season:)
#0-13 Prince of Augustana - I highly recommend this one for new players and new GMs. It has fun RP and combat both!
#1-35 Voice in the Void - High creep factor, highly amusing, and lots of variety!
(Tie) #2-25 You Only Die Twice - Unique situations, great RP, and monsters that show up nowhere else that I'm aware of in PFS (including one that looks like it's right out of Dune).
(Tie) #2-02 Before the Dawn pt. 2 Rescue at Azlant Ridge - Once you've played it, you'll know why this one gets mentioned!
#3-02 Sewer Dragons of Absalom - Neat RP, especially if you like subtlety, nicely scaled combats (except for one that can sometimes be a *real* doozy), and lots of chances for a GM to make things really light-hearted and fun even while fighting.
#4-19 Night March of Kalkamedes - A fantastic scenario for newer characters. This scenario almost literally gives the PCs just enough rope to hang themselves with several times, and if the GM is crafty, the roleplay near the end can be really unique.
#5-14 Day of the Demon - Even after it was no longer the Season 4 "Exclusive" scenario, I think I've GM'ed this one almost a dozen times by now. *Very* high on the creep factor, great RP, and combats that are the sort that might be talked about for a long while afterward.
Full Module - The Midnight Mirror - Rather than me ramble even more, the review I wrote for this one is Here.
(Tie) Free RPG Module - We Be Goblins! - Goblins. 'Nuff said!
(Tie) Free RPG Module - We Be Goblins Too! - More Goblins!

I know that's quite a few there...but, what can I say...I really like a lot of the PFS scenarios to-date!

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

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Bloomington may be about an hour away from Indy, but we have games on Sunday evenings on the IU campus and Mondays at our FLGS, so if GenCon doesn't wear you down and you don't mind a few hours in a car, I'm sure we can arrange for out of town visitors who want to play a bit after GMing all throughout GenCon... :P

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One of us.
One of us.

Tea and cake or death!
Tea and cake or death!

Little red cookbook.
Little red cookbook.

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yea, my #1 was deleted about a day after I started playing PFS for the exact same reasons/way as you. I've just been putting all my events that I GM for-no-credit on XXXX-1 just for fun ever since, and I keep my local players guessing as to what my "real" first character is/was.

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I seriously recommend anyone who has a question read THIS post before posing said question.

Silver Crusade *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations to my peers, and thank you!

Rene Duquesnoy wrote:
Nice. Well done, even Bramnik..

Yea, thank you too, guy...hmm...I should remember your name from...somewhere, right? :P

PS - Let me restate huge thanks to both Tracy W. and Chris B. for being the "Goliath" VCs of "Indiana" for so long. They were both doing single-handedly that four people are now doing!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, this is a silly question, but once I thought of it I was only able to resist posting/asking about it for a few days.

In PFS, having a Pathfinder Society / Pathfinder / Paizo shirt gives you one free reroll per scenario. Is that something that might crossover to PFSACG?

Thanks!

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do a search on the boards and you'll find this question comes up every year or so :)

For my money, at lower tiers:
#0-06 Black Waters, depending on how much you go into the roleplay aspect (check the GM boards for some neat stuff including details on the "meal", can be *super* creepy (tier 1-5).
#1-47 The Darkest Vengeance (also 1-5) is another great creepy one (haunted house-ish).

I also echo Cairn of Shadows for higher tier.

Silver Crusade

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Or a gunslinger named Deckard.

Silver Crusade *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I wish November would get here... I'm waiting to run this (and then will run it repeatedly) once the Lost Coast minis arrive, so I can have the "right item" for the climax of the scenario :)

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, there's always the possibility that there are multiple "named" NPCs on chronicle sheets for various scenarios...

That said, since it's well known that many Paizo employees are big Babylon 5 fans (Relevant portion from 0:45 to 2:45), you could simply use this parenthetical logic! :)

Silver Crusade *****

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I have one very military-minded character who always starts off missions trying to see if all of the characters in the party speak any languages other than common, specifically for trying to be clandestine. In the (also common) occurrence of that not working out, he suggests a few hand-signs to represent a few things, such as "heal me" or "I see something, everyone quiet" or "we're being watched".

So it's not even as fully developed as Pathfinder Sign (which I seem to recall shows up in a scenario somewhere, now that I think about it...), but it works in a pinch for a few things.

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
KestlerGunner wrote:

Well that's incredibly disappointing. Paths We Choose had a number of important plot developments for organized play and a Special status created an incentive for GMs to make sure all their available players got a chance to play it. Not to mention all the convention season supporter GMs who decided to run it as much as possible as they believed they were earning Special credit.

I guess PFS GMs better get back to work coaxing PFS players back into every available level of Bonekeep instead? :/ Yeesh.

Really hoping this decision gets another discussion to decide if this is the best route to take.
Maybe a Paths GM credit deadline could be a more elegant solution?

I can't help but note the Kobayashi Maru social corner ya'll are putting Mike and John into on this one... first they made it the special for this year (even though I know from experience that putting out extra scenarios beyond the regular monthly amounts is incredibly taxing), and people begged for it to not be special so it can be run in a more timely/regular fashion to coincide with the faction changes themselves at the end of season 5 and start of season 6. They consulted, took player opinions and calls into account, and said sure.

...now, with (as far as I know) zero people having said "no don't do that" before they were flooded with requests specifically to do this, people are complaining that they shouldn't have?

The "discussion to decide" happened before GenCon, people. Can't have things both ways.

Some suggestion/solutions (instead of griping without suggesting anything constructive) -

1 - Find people who *do* want to play Bonekeep and run 'em through it.

2 - "Year of the Shadow Lodge", "Blood Under Absalom", "Race for the Runecarved Key", "Siege of the Diamond City", and "Legacy of the Stonelords" are all still valid scenarios to earn "special/exclusive" credit as well. At GenCon alone we gave out, what, over 1700 new PFS numbers? Surely there are gamers in your area who haven't played some of the older specials - put a game day or local convention together and make it a special event for multiple GMs to get involved with!

But, seriously... we (the collective we, not the royal we) really need to lay off Mike and John on this one - they did precisely as the community asked, nothing more.

Silver Crusade *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'll push your Bloomington convention at my Bloomington convention :P

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ascalaphus wrote:

If you've played Weapon in the Rift;

** spoiler omitted **

It's not a true solution, but it's kinda pest control.

I've played it (and loved it) - I'm purposefully waiting to GM it until the Lost Coast minis come out in a few months *Evil GM grin*

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Welcome to PFS!

The absolute best way to check if your character is good to go (and learn how to check these things in the future) is to download and read the free Guide to Organized Play. That document/booklet contains everything you need to create a character using the Core rules.

As for all the other books, the Additional Resources page is where you'll want to go, and compare stuff you have on your sheet versus what's legal or not from each source.

A non-official shortcut to these, but one I love using myself, is to visit the Archives of Nethys, a site maintained by a PFS member who marks items that are PFS-legal with the Glyph of the Open Road (the in-game symbol of the Pathfinder Society). Note, however, that these marks don't take into account whether you need a special boon or not - it just marks if it's possible to be used in PFS play.

I hope these links get you started. Welcome aboard again!

(Edit: I'd offer to give it a look-see, but I should have been in bed nearly two hours ago and my neurons aren't firing on all cylinders at this point)

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sorry for the ninja-delete - I actually found it right after I posted (my eyes must have glossed over when I scanned that section before) and deleted my post apparently just before you made yours.

Silver Crusade *****

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Congratulations!!

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

...Hell, if someone like that comes and wants to play, and is brave enough to tell us what they're dealing with, I'll buy them a few .pdfs. If your reaction to someone like this coming to PFS is "well, they shouldn't play anything non-core until they can afford to", you're obviously in a secure enough of a place that you can pay it forward a little, can't you?

/rant

Silver Crusade *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Stratton wrote:
CigarSmoker wrote:

In response to OP:

I think you're going to lose loads of players. If you require every player at your table to own every book they use then you're probably going to lose 50-70% of the people playing society at your store.

People don't have the disposable income. Hell I know of a number of people selling their blood just to eat every week.

Think about that:
SELLING THEIR BLOOD JUST TO EAT.

No one doing that is going to waste money on a book when a basic need isn't met.

Maybe you should run some of the games as non-society *GASP* and let people play whatever they want. I'm thinking you might have more fun, even if you don't sell as many books.

Unless you're just all about the selling books. Then I guess keep doing what you're doing.

If a person doesn't have the basic needs (e.g., food), and are in such a state that they must sell blood or plasma just to eat, I doubt that playing Pathfinder is or should be a priority for him or her.

People are free to play non-Society games all they want, with whatever rules and options they want to include. Since this is about Pathfinder Society, your point here isn't germane. If players want to play in PFS, they must abide by the campaign rules. And if they don't want to buy every book, they can certainly make viable characters using only the Core Rulebook, which every player is assumed to own.

I really, *really* try to avoid getting involved in posts like this...

But Mark, dude, please take a step back and seriously re-read what you just wrote. That's the rhetoric of someone I wouldn't want playing the same game that I am, to be frank. If someone is struggling for basic needs, what do you think their social life is like? Maybe playing Pathfinder is their (possibly only) escape from a world where they need to sell their plasma to live. If they want to play in PFS for the social interaction with more than just a home-game sized crowd, that's awesome for them.

Around here, you know how we tackle book/resource ownership? We make sure to (repeatedly) inform new players and remind regular players that they need to own the additional resources they use in PFS play (and that hero lab doesn't count). Do we pull them aside and audit them? How is that anything remotely close to the "fun" we're supposed to be promoting in PFS, whether as "just" a gaming organization or as an outreach campaign for Paizo products (we're somewhere in the middle, IMHO). No - we tell our GMs to ask for the additional resource if they ever hear an item/feat/etc that they don't recognize, and then the burden is on the player to show-not-tell.

Call it the honor system, call it what you will, but if someone walks in the door to one of our events and is in a bad place, we don't tell them "well, to play in our campaign, you need to be better off financially, or just stick to the basics until you can afford better." We smile, shake their hand, welcome them to the lodge, and start geeking-out and gaming with them.

Throwing the book (figuratively) at someone is supposed to be reserved for someone who breaks the rules, not new arrivals who might be turned off or driven away (followed by bad-mouthing, possibly) from PFS.

Silver Crusade *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:

Actually, that FAQ is only in reference to Mithral melee weapons.

Also, here's an updated list of ammunition, since this thread is over a year old.

Also, here is an ammo tracker that I made using Nefreet's calculations (I added in the cost of powder to the bullet prices to make it easier for maths), in case it's useful for anyone.

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Xebeche, like I said, I really like yours, so I took Drogon's advice...although my copy of acrobat stinks, I used some of my photo manipulation skills (SO useful for teachers and GMs alike) and your base form and made the following. Thanks for creating yours - it's perfect for what I need locally in the below format! :)

All credit to Xebeche for creating this - I just tweaked.

Event organizer reporting sheet in .jpg format

Event organizer reporting sheet in .pdf format

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This isn't so much a 100% PFS suggestion and more 50/50 between PFS and Paizo on the show floor...but for about half of the con, the line to get into the Paizo booth in the Exhibit hall was more than 2 hours long for several days of GenCon - something that prevented me from getting there at all (the one time I had a little bit of time on Saturday the line was still 45 minutes long and I had to get back to the ballroom).

Maybe something could be arranged to get Tier 1-2 GMs (i.e. people running 7+ of the 10 PFS game slots) a "bypass the line" ticket so they can duck inside once during the convention to pick up things they might want/need for the con itself?

This is especially important because after the list of flip-mats and map-packs hit the forums for GMs (too late for ordering and shipping prior to the con), we were told that extras of the still-in-print maps would be brought for sale for GMs who needed them...I ended up loaning many maps out when I wasn't using them to GM friends of mine because they were never able to get to the Paizo booth to buy them...

So, yea, just a long-winded idea for next year :)

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Watch this space - updates on BloomingCon 2014 coming soon!

Silver Crusade *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I recommend playing 5-99 The Paths We Choose - the "interviews" with the different faction leaders (and their lieutenants, in the case of The Exchange and The Scarab Sages) at the start and end of each faction's mission really help make clear what each faction is about and how they're largely picking up right where the old factions did.

Some examples from the four I've been able to run for players at and after GenCon:

Grand Lodge - keep an eye out for your fellow agents while you explore, report, and collaborate (one of the things the Shadow Lodge wanted the Decemvirate to do a better job at). This is by far the "I do this for the sense of adventure" and "I do this to work with and watch out for my fellow agents, and bring them back alive."

The Exchange - the merger is a way for both former organizations to get even stronger, using "respectable" tactics when needed, but always ready to "get dirty" when it's most convenient. Plus, just like the Scarni were before, this faction is about profit second only to being a Pathfinder agent.

Sovereign Court - we need better ways to run the world than it is currently, and we're tired of self-important nobles having free reign (pun intended) over everything. As part of our missions as pathfinders, we'll make overtures to like-minded nobles and members of high society, and lead by example.

Silver Crusade - we've done great things in fighting the evil of the re-awakened Runelord and during the Fifth Mendevian Crusade, but now we need to be shining examples in how we comport ourselves outside of war, namely by taking care of our veterans.

I'm personally not 100% sold on the Scarab Sages myself yet, and I'm having trouble trying to figure out which factions are best for a few of my characters...

BUT, on the whole, I really do like the direction the factions are going. By uncoupling them from nations and "formal" organizations, they now become things that PCs in the campaign can have direct influence on, and really reflect what the players want to see from those different aspects of PFS play - making it even more of a "living campaign" than before.

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

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It covers reading lips and understanding language, but not so much with the speaking - plus "Pathfinder Hand Sign" was in Seekers of Secrets, IIRC.

Silver Crusade *****

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Bob miller-camp wrote:
Would there happen to be an event code floating around yet for prepping chronicle sheets?

Take a gander at the events page for that answer :)

Enjoy!

Silver Crusade *****

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Charity auction idea - "Don't sully the name" - the winner(s) of this auction get to give their PCs to an author of an upcoming Season 6 scenario to be used in said scenario.

If you had multiples of these, or picked the "top 3", you'd get *tons* of people wanting their characters names to almost-literally be immortalized in the Pathfinder Society.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just want to say, Jim, thank you for your comments here - I'm running this for the second time in a few days for some brand new players in PFS and I'm excited to see what they think! I really like this module!

Also, Navior's review was *amazing* and gave me some insight into a few things I can do a little differently RP-wise than I did last time.

Silver Crusade *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't remember the book off the top of my head (Field guide maybe?), but one of my favorite spells is Lipstitch.

I've only used it once in PFS play, during...

#4-02 The Golemworks Incident:

Final fight - our fighters get caught up by black tentacles, but my wizard is lagging behind a bit. I throw lipstitch on the BBEG and he fails his save...

Followed by the GM throwing up his hands, yelling, "they didn't even give him a pocket knife?!"

BBEG had no edged weapons to cut the stitches, and couldn't make the strength check to burst them. Our fighters got our thanks to a Liberating Command and some good CMB rolls, and rolled him.

Silver Crusade ***** RPG Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

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Everyone has their own opinion, and you'll probably get twice as many opinions as there are classes, but...

For me, it's Summoner. It's pretty much the only class where the PC can turn invisible and stay within line of sight of a battle and still have a more effective/deadly creature under his/her control tearing things up. That, or the table suddenly gets 1d3+X more minis on the board, cluttering things up for the GM and the other players, and maybe even stealing other PCs' thunder from "doing things."

I'm expecting lots of people to say "Gunslinger" (my third favorite class, just so my biases are open and known), but to me...

Preemptive defense of the Gunslinger class:

They're hated on pretty much the same way Warlocks were in 3.5 - they're mostly a one-trick pony, and that trick is pretty powerful, and people generally don't like that. Although, unlike Summoners, Gunslingers have to be much closer to the fight even if they're going vs. touch AC most of the time.

A second case *for* the Gunslinger is gold. I played Siege of the Diamond City with my level 13 Gunslinger - I went through over 6,000gp of ammo (although half of that was a greater burrowing bullet on a Glabrezu that was about to full-attack-kill one of my party members) in less than 5 hours.

A third case for the 'slinger is math - people have run the numbers repeatedly, and have found that a Gunslinger vs. an Archer-Fighter do about the same damage, by the numbers, at the higher levels. Especially now that the Weapon Cord BS has been fixed, 'slingers can't get off "ludicrous speed" numbers of shots in a single round (lightspeed not too slow though).

So, yea, for me and me alone it's Summoners (and sorry in advance about the mini-rant...but my Gunslinger-player-senses are tingling that they're going to be hated on a bit in this thread :)

Silver Crusade *****

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Talking about Adventurer's Armory (only $3.00 currently on paizo.com or $5.59 for the pdf) - in addition to the SLWS, it has these awesome items:

Channel Foci - if you're a cleric or paladin, they give lots of fun options.

Other fun ones - Mushroom vest (500gp) reduces falling damage if you don't want boots of the cat for some reason.

Silver Crusade *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Announcing BloomingCon 2014, hosted by the Indiana University Memorial Union Board - a full weekend of movies, anime, and a little bit of gaming too, to which PFS has been invited!

We're going to be in the Indiana Memorial Union's Stateroom East all day on Saturday 9/27 - a room big enough for nearly 150 people. I'd love for us to PACK the place - only leaving room for new PFS recruits and walk-ins for whom we will be ready with The Confirmation, We Be Goblins!, and the new Pathfinder Adventures/Delves that are being debuted at GenCon 2014.

Sunday 9/28 we are taking over the nearby Common Room Games to run the GenCon 2014 Special #6-00 Legacy of the Stonelords.

Current Event Information

BloomingCon's (IU student-oriented) Facebook page

Watch this space for a Warhorn link with scenarios soon, and if you'd be interested in being a GM, please let me know - thanks!

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