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GM Lamplighter wrote:
I'm waiting for the new Lamplighter archetype from "Heroes of the Streets" to make it in... decided I'm going to play that one from 0XP.
As soon as I saw that Archetype, my first thought was, "well, there is certainly one *very* happy eponymous GM out there right now, I'd wager!" :)
I've got two options for ya.
Low-power demon who shows up twice in seasons 4-5 (once in a 1-5, once in a 3-7) but isn't super important to the plot -
Tower of the Ironwood Watch (Tier 5-9) (1st chronological appearance), Scars of the Third Crusade (Tier 1-5) (2nd appearance)
High-power demon who shows up twice in seasons 4-5 (once in a 3-7, once in a 7-11) and isn't *too* central to the plot, but has some major impact, but I luckily played the same PC in both scenarios and it was SO awesome when I ran into him the second time (this is the one I'd recommend, personally) -
The Blakros Matrimony (Tier 3-7) (1st chronological appearance), Vengeance at Sundered Crag (Tier 7-11) (2nd appearance)
I concur - talk to your VC about this. Don't think of it as b****ing - this error had a major impact on you and your son's experience at Gen Con and in PFS as a whole.
At best, the VC might be able to authorize a reimbursement for the prestige/gold incurred after checking with John, Linda, and/or the next campaign coordinator. At worst, the VC will be able to help make sure that you have far better experiences in your local lodge!
I'm sorry that you had this kind of experience, and hope that everything is better from here on out!
Barring an official word from John, Linda, or the next campaign coordinator, this whole thread boils down to one of the more crucial parts of the Guide:
"Expect table variation"
You may find yourself at a table with a GM who doesn't care, or a GM who asks that you justify it, or a GM who will have your PC lose their powers for even suggesting it. Be ready to accept whatever decision that GM makes, and keep playing.
At my table, if a paladin wants to do anything (including infernal healing) that I think is even remotely gray area, I ask the player how they justify their actions with their alignment and paladin's code. If they can do so, I let it go. If they cannot, I give them one warning before considering it to be an alignment infraction.
A tiefling paladin focused on destroying evil in the world above all else, or one with the oath of vengeance, passes this test quite easily imho, but risks falling easier in other ways.
Tldr: expect table variation
Well, I promised Painlord that I'd make a post sooner or later, so here we are (just a wee bit later than I originally planned)!
Gen Con is an amazing and exotic beast, and while I highly encourage everyone to schedule time to take it all in, I find that each year that I attend I spend more and more time in the Sagamore and less elsewhere! The ballroom this year for PFS was absolutely magnificent - the whole space, surrounded by Pathfinder banners, with the 3D Goblin Invasion smack in the middle!
Wednesday was all about getting stuff together and getting up to Indy (normally pretty easy from just ~ an hour away, but with a car full to the brim with maps, minis, books, and people...). Once we arrived, we got our badges and I was able to get a few maps to VOs who jumped on my almost last-second offer to get some of the maps for the Specials printed and distributed, followed by the VC dinner (which I'd jealously watched people head off to for the last few years and now could finally attend myself!) which was a heck of a great time - finally getting to put faces to names and online personas! I think Mike Brock only needed 1-2 assistants by this point in the convention to carry all of the tributes of alcohol that were piled at his altar (yes, Bloomington did contribute, why do you ask?).
For me, I find that Thursday is always the longest day of the con. Especially for those not used to waking up super early, getting up and out and ready to go by 7:45 (I especially feel for those who came in from other time zones!) can be grueling if you're not ready for it! Slot 1 can be rough in terms of player turnout, so we had a ton of GMs released. Thankfully, after learning from a certain very young Canadian GM from last year, I quickly wrangled some of my fellow GMs into a pickup game of the scenario most of us were running at some point during the weekend. It turned into a fun time and also a great workshop on potential issues our players might find later during the con.
My second table went off just fine with some Core players, and then my Thursday night special was pretty awesome! Every single player found an encounter during the event that they totally rocked almost singlehandedly. "Raegar" (hope I'm spelling it right) the Paladin of Iomedae talked down a kidnapper in such a bold and daring way that I wrote that he had gained a follower (perhaps even lover) on his chronicle sheet*, the party's Ranger singlehandedly calmed wooly rhinos, the Witch put out many fires and shut down enemy action, the Unchained Rogue was "off the chain" getting the drop on a few encounters, the Fighter beat down the final few encounters with several consecutive critical hits, and the party's Summoner (APG Summoner played *very* impressively almost more like an arcane version of a Druid) was on top of many social encounters and helped guide the whole party to success after success. All my players really seemed to love it!
* the player loved the story so much that he got the "defector" boon and was already working up the NPC he encountered in the special as his next character! I love when things that happen in-game spawn future RP and ideas from players!
As has become my late-night ritual, I rushed from the Sagamore over to Champions before last call - their soups and salads are always amazing and really refreshing after a long day.
Friday again kicked off with a no-fire table for me in the morning, and the afternoon had a bit of a comedy of errors that resulted in me again having no table, but I was able to take time to see some friends I hadn't seen in over 6 years while their son was playing Kid's Track (and subsequently got them interested in playing PFS themselves!), before grabbing a bite and getting ready for the Sky Key Solution. A group of players who had sat with me in 2014 asked if they could request me as a GM, and Tonya up at HQ graciously allowed it. Fortunately many of the players were really into the story and campaign setting of Golarion, so the moments I myself went "WHOA!" when reading the special hit them just as good. Everyone had a blast!
Friday night at Champions I got to hang out with some GMs from Pennsylvania and elsewhere and shared stories until we were almost about to pass out (or, rather, when they kicked us out sometime around 3am). But I knew I had Saturday morning off, so I was okay with this.
Saturday was a fun and relaxing day - I had a nice family at my table in the afternoon (plus one slightly disruptive player, but he quickly found that his issues were with HQ, and then subsequently took his problems out of the ballroom altogether and left my table in peace), and then another table of players requesting me by name to run the Kobolds special. That one was a heap of fun! After taking some advice from other GMs on the boards, I put my players under the honor system and let the player with the most GM stars be in charge so they could set the [redacted] all over the place, so that when I came back I wouldn't know. All of a sudden it was 6 GMs vs 1 Player, and they *loved* the reversal - giving me DCs to roll for, rolling damage for the NPCs I was moving around. Apparently some of them had a rough game earlier in the day - by the time we wrapped up it had been completely forgotten and replaced by happy memories from Saturday night!
Sunday at Gen Con is always bittersweet. You're in your groove as a GM, on a good schedule, running games, and then you get some time after to just hang out with people you've met and made friends with...but then it's time for people to go back to the real world and it's over. Even on top of all of the great RP moments at my table earlier in the con, having a dad come up to me after the Sunday special to tell me that I "made" his son's convention for him was absolutely the best feeling!
In the last few years I got to meet a lot of people in passing (and nothing last year on Sunday since I threw my back out and was unable to make it out of the hotel at all). This year I got to spend lots of time with a bunch of people, and I feel that I made some really good friends in just a few days. Justin Peters, Tonya Woldridge, Jon Cary, Walter Shepard, Joe Gilbert, Jon "none of that stinkin' root beer" Dehning, Thurston (with and without his mouth full), and so many more that I'm going to stop with names lest I only forget a few and maybe make them feel left out!
Painlord stopping by my table to hang out for a bit was also a highlight - his icon on the boards is a really good resemblance! ;)
Of course, no Gen Con can be complete without a fail or two. My big one was Sunday right before I started to meander my way back to the hotel so I could drive my locals back home in time for them to get to their jobs/sleep. I had a guy come up to me wanting to introduce himself, and his name sounded awfully familiar...Andrew Hoskins...and I'm sitting there like "okay, I know that name, why do I know that name, why am I excited to meet him?" but I was so tired by then that I kinda just figured it was someone I'd had a good conversation with on the boards...I'm in the car driving home and it hits me: "Mike you dummy! That's the author of your favorite Season 6 scenario!!!"
So, Andrew, consider this me being honored and super stoked after-the-fact to have met you!
All in all, this was the best Gen Con I'd been to yet, and I spent 95% of it in the Sagamore Ballroom! Everyone in PFS is just plain awesome, and here's to another one next year and spending time making even more new friends and reuniting with old ones! :)
Mark Stratton wrote:
Only because of time/money constraints. Next year I'm thinking of doing it on a more expanded scale (and thanks to good input from VC Jon Dehning, I think I can do it cheaper than this year too)!
I have two thoughts that I didn't end up getting to bring up at the post- meeting on Sunday.
The first - the gentleman who was mustering for my area/scenario (#7-02) on Friday did something I found really refreshing! He went around to the GMs and asked if anyone had preferences for Core vs Normal or for 4 vs 6 players, and also double-checked if anyone had not gotten a table in the game slot before (checking their names with ones HQ had already highlighted). Even though I got unlucky (he sent me a 6 players but they went to the wrong table - nobody noticed until almost 15 minutes into their game, so c'est la vie :P), I was still really impressed by him!
The second - this one is based 70/30 on hearsay vs. observations. I was in the same area of tables (black) most of the convention, and would often see players coming from the same direction when approaching my table. I heard (this is the 70% part) that the mustering area for our tables was nearly halfway across the room, rather than either of the two doors/marshals closest to us. I know that the logistics of mustering have a lot to deal with (i.e. I suspect we can't muster at the side-doors, only in the main hallway), but I did want to mention it.
All in all, I think HQ and the marshals did an AMAZING job this year - even better than 2014...which might be hard for some who know me to believe, since last year I said that I couldn't imagine HQ doing a better job than they did then!
Mike, Jon, Tonya, Bob, Todd, and everybody at HQ and all of the Marshals - you helped keep your GMs sanity nearly 100% intact this year. Thank you!
In addition to announcing Michael Johnson's 5th GM Star HERE, I have the pleasure tonight of announcing a plethora of other recent GM accomplishments!
Venture Lieutenant Joe Ducey has just achieved his 3rd GM Star in PFS, as have long-time GMs Ben Planton and Daniel McDeavitt!
Joe Connor, who hasn't been GMing with us too long, has already raced to his 2nd GM Star as well!
Bloomington now has 44 "active" Stars' worth of GMs, with no sign of slowing down! I couldn't be prouder to be the VC of this lodge - you all make this gaming community so great!
Trevor Burroughs wrote:
How does one become a Venture Captain?
Engage one of us in a sword duel to the death, making certain to cut off the head. This releases our power in a form known as the Quackening that you then absorb.
Once sufficiently full of Quack, you submit yourself to the gaze of The One - Mike Brock. If you do not burn to ash beneath his steely gaze, your green shirts turn to red, and you are born anew as a Venture Captain.
...yes, I have been up for over 30 hours straight, why do you ask?
Raise thread, since I can't find anything definitive on this in the FAQ or PFS boards, and just had one of my players ask me about the Bladed Scarf:
Rise of the Runelords Player Guide (which she owns) says they are:
Archives of Nethys (citing ISWG and Varisia Player Companion) says they are:
Since pages 10-11 of RotR Player's Guide is still a legal additional resource, does that make both versions of the weapon PFS legal?
I know that Chapter 3 from Pathfinder: Unchained isn't PFS legal, but it presents a system for this in Pathfinder now that I really like!
Healthy: Above 3/4 of your max hp
Could be the sort of thing that PCs at the table could potentially get in the habit of discussing with their party at the start of a scenario. "If I say "Wounded" out loud it means I'm at x status, but if you ask how I'm doing and say "just Grazed" it means I'm at y status" and so on.
John - thank you for posting this to today's blog! Everyone here was really excited to see it!
"The All-Seeing Eye of Abendego" (Temple of Stonekeep) is going to be spruced up a little bit and then will be posted sometime between now and Gen Con - I know the authors are (rightfully) very proud of their work! I'll also post the "Seas of Stonekeep" ACG scenario at that time, since one of the encounters in the RPG session depends on the outcome of the ACG session!
I can't speak for the convention as a whole, but for me personally (not known for being an overly deadly GM), I had at least 1 PC death at every table I ran that weekend (most mitigated by Breath of Life, but at least 5 total that had to be raised after the scenario ended). I ran; The Waking Rune (almost TPK but they won), Bonekeep 2 (almost TPK and they teleported/ran), and Bonekeep 3 (almost TPK in Room 2 but they rallied back and won the whole thing with minutes to spare).
A big thank you needs to go out to Mark Stratton and Hillis Mallory for coming down from Indy to help us by GMing too!
If anyone wants to read more about Stone Belt and all the good that they do, their website is HERE.
We've gotten the chance to run this locally a few times. So far, every player I've spoken to has loved it. Clocking in between 60-80 minutes for each run, it's just enough to draw players into the FLGS to play (unlike, say, a 20-30 minute quest like Ambush in Absalom or a single part of Silverhex). The story is tight, the battles balanced, and by knowing exactly which 4 pregens will be present, skill checks (and DCs) were set for each player/PC to be involved in figuring out what was going on and what they had to do about it.
99% thumb's up / awesome vote from me and my locals!
The only tiny 1% thing I have to critique is a general issue for Ambush in Absalom, Urge to Evolve, *and* Fane of Fangs - there's no commentary in the quest as to replayability (even though it's assumed that it's endlessly replayable, I had players asking me about it and if I could cite an official ruling on the boards) and the consequences of PC/pregen death (I know from conversations not on the public boards that dying in a 0xp 0pp quest means you just get the boons crossed off but no other negative consequences, but since that's not stated anywhere publicly yet...).
See? This is so good that I had to nit-pick to say anything not good about it! Well done on this!
Wow... apparently I have a ton...
...yes, I have a ton of GM credit to go around
Just passed my 250th table credit, heh. Also I like to have characters spread out at all levels so I can join players in my lodge to help make tables and get to hang out with as many of them as I can!
01 - Error / Dead PFS #
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Thirded. I love seeding the board with noncombatant NPCs, statues, and other set dressing to keep my players on-edge during important parts of scenarios, modules, or adventures (APs or home game). If you only put stuff on the board when they're going to fight said stuff, they OOC know when to start thinking tactically - but if every time they engage with a NPC in conversation there are minis on the board... they have to start thinking "do we really want to fight here, or should we just talk?" - either way, it's a boon to my GM style.
Male Halfling Dragoon (Fighter) 1 / Gendarme (Cavalier) 3 / Scout-Swashbuckler (Rogue) 3 | HP: 60/60 | AC: 26 / T: 13 / FF: 25 | Fort: 9 / Ref: 6 / Will: 4 | Perc: +8 | Init: +2
Horatio's wand was Bull's Strength, which I'm 90% sure is on the APG Summoner list, so, thank ye! And thanks tons for the Haste, as...
Horatio grins at Devon and the others as Wembly hastens him and Ferox. One hand slams down the visor of his great plumed helm as the other couches his lance under his arm. With a practiced nudge of the knees, Ferox springs forward at lightning speed, Horatio yelling at the top of his lungs as he guides his lance with both hands!
Horatio and Ferox charge ~115 ft (Ferox's move speed is 50, x2 charge, +30 from haste) with Horatio's lance (reach weapon) striking at the very front of the flat-footed tiefling defensive line!
Charge Attack!: 1d20 + 12 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (5) + 12 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 4 - 2 = 25
Damage!: 3d6 + 21 + 18 + 2d6 ⇒ (4, 4, 3) + 21 + 18 + (6, 1) = 57
Horatio's AC is currently 27 (thanks to Haste), as he takes no penalty for mounted charges from the Cavalier's Charge ability. His AC goes up to 28 if the tiefling troop become adjacent due to the Expert Duelist trait (+1 to AC when adjacent to a single foe) if they count as a "single" foe.
(This is the first time in almost two years real-time that Horatio has had a chance to make a big dramatic charge like this!!!)
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Deadkitten - you're crazy :P
Aid Another = bonus to AC against that enemy's next attack (single)
Feat = bonus to AC against that enemy until the start of your next turn (i.e. would help vs. a full attack)
I'm not saying how strong of a feat this is, just that it does do something!
James Jacobs wrote:
This is a book/news that I've been waiting to hear for a long time! You have one very happy Geologist-GM over here, James! :)
PS - Nice (unintentional?) homage to Changeling: the Dreaming with naming that continent Arcadia, by the by!
I'm still trying/hoping to find an unused one for one of my local players, who came up with the most adorable concept for a Goblin PC I've ever seen - would be worth a lot to me to find this for her...
Thursday, July 30
Friday, July 31
Saturday, August 1
Sunday, August 2
Monday, August 3
* Bob is trying to convince me to drop one of these so I can sleep and/or bring him coffee...