|Mike Bramnik Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus|
I got my start with PFS when I was in my very last semester at Northern Illinois University with the (currently continuing) conversion of the geology department into PFS players. One of my first players out there who took up the mantle of being a GM quickly was Chris Dodge, who just attained his first PFS GM Star, all without having FLGS support and doing most of the legwork himself to keep games going.
For anyone out there among us PFS Agents and Seekers who are also chess aficionados, I've created a "lodge" on chess.com where we can congregate, play chess, perhaps even have people play each other as their characters, talk, roleplay, etc.
Pathfinder Society Chess Lodge is the place - hope to see some of you on there sometime :)
Even since before I moved to Bloomington Indiana for grad school, the PFS community here was strong, thanks to major support from our FLGS, The Common Room, but in the last six months, local players have really stepped up to run games and get a large community of gamers playing in Pathfinder Society Organized Play.
Among these awesome players and GMs, I'm proud to publicly congratulate "MJ" (Michael Johnson) and Mike Tuholski (so...we have a lot of Mikes, ok?) on both achieving their Second stars as PFS GMs in the last week!
With four one-star GMs already as well, I'm sure I'll be posting more congratulations in the not-too-distant future to them as well for their achievements in volunteering to provide fun gaming experiences for others!
Way to go Mike^2!
With credits to Will Johnson and Mike Lindner as well, some of the VOs have been trying to work up some sort of document to help clarify this while keeping it simple enough to fit on one page. I've already saved this as a .pdf and if people like it I can upload it to the GM shared resources.
Regular light sources: (These change the ambient (non-magical) lighting of the area)
Two possible solutions for magical (supernatural) darkness:
This may fall under GM call (YMMV) and the "unusual solutions" clause of the Guide, but I wanted to ask this here just in case other GMs have other ways to figure this out.
Say one of your players comes up with a unique solution to dealing damage, such as "we drop the piano out the window on top of the guys trying to beat down the door" or "I just rolled a natural 20 on a strength check - I'd like to pick up the blacksmith's anvil and throw it at them" or "I have an anchor/ship feather token I'd like to throw at them."
In non-combat situations, GM-call is GM-call, but during combat, where things have specific hp and weapons do XdY+Z damage...how would you handle something unusual like that?
CommonCon - The gaming convention for the everyday, common gamer!
CommonCon 2013 - January 5-6, 2013
For the first year, CommonCon is going to be on the small side, and will focus on Pathfinder Society, but we're currently working on a 3-year plan to expand to encompass Magic: the Gathering, Live-Action Roleplaying groups such as "The Camarilla", and other games as well.
As of October 2012, we are planning 5 time slots with 3-4 Pathfinder Society tables per time slot. A full list of scenarios will be announced and posted before November 2012.
Featured - "The Dinner Table" - Join Venture Lieutenant Mike Bramnik at a special "Oasis" table for dinner and the Season 3 Exclusive Scenario, "The Cyphermage Dilema" Friday night of CommonCon (a small additional admission fee may be required for this table).
Admission will be $6 for each day, or $10 for both days. Pre-registration information will be announced and posted during or before November 2012.
Please contact Mike Bramnik if you would like any information that isn't posted here!
Are you a Pathfinder Society gamer in Indiana? Join our Facebook group and find out information on our weekly games!
One of my players asked me a question today that I honestly don't know the answer to, and since it's for her PFS character I wanted to ask here (since a home game would just be GM call for this I think).
The question was: "Can you buy a feat if you don't have the prerequisites for it, and simply not be able to use it until you do meet them?"
When I started to hem and haw about that, she followed up with: "Or, can I not-buy my level 3 feat at level 3, but hold the feat slot until level 4 when I do meet the prerequisite?"
When I consulted the books, the closest thing I could find was:
A character can't use a feat if he loses a prerequisite, but he does not lose the feat itself. If, at a later time, he regains the lost prerequisite, he immediately regains full use of the feat that prerequisite enables.
To me that's gray-area, but I wanted to ask here for advice before telling her yea or nay.
Thanks in advance!
Say someone wanted to get a Continual Flame cast on something - that is a Cleric 3 / Wizard 2 spell, which would be 150gp or 60gp for spellcasting services depending on which one is used.
I'm asking to cover all differences like this, using Continual Flame as an example - I know that cleric/wizard/druid are the "standard" for CL, but if there's "conflict" among those three...
At a home-game it'd be GM call, but in PFS, is there a standard modus operendi for things like that? I tried to search through the forums but didn't find anything conclusive.
Thanks very much!
Hey, quick question -
Is there a list of NPCs that writers are allowed to make use of for purposes of introducing quests / setting goals for PCs? I know that Seekers of Secrets introduced many Venture Captains, but since that's no longer part of the core assumption I'm not sure how many of those are still valid.
Alternatively, is it acceptable for authors to simply write "Venture Captain X" and have that part left up to Paizo staff if the quest is accepted?
Thanks very much!
So, in another recent thread I was asking about dealing with raise-dead and etc in the form of PP. This led me to wonder about something else.
Some points from the guide before my question:
PCs can also sell off gear, including the dead character’s gear, at 50% of its listed value to raise money to purchase a spell that will return their slain ally from the dead, though they can only do so in a settlement and they cannot sell off any items found during the current scenario that they haven’t purchased.
Note that it’s possible for a player to spend her character’s Prestige Points even if the PC is dead, petrified, or otherwise out of commission.
and finally, Table 5-4 specifies that items acquired by spending 1 or 2 PP are worth 0 gold and cannot be sold.
Nothing, however, is said about Vanities. Given the second quote from the guide, and given that Vanities largely represent buying businesses, homes, and well "vanities" to represent things that happen during down-time, can Vanities be "sold" (for half their PP purchase cost, as per normal selling-back rules) to be put towards the PP a character might be able to use towards getting raised from the dead?
Example - say my character, Captain Julian Ignatius John Patrick "Black" Ramsey (his middle name is another line - don't ask) dies, but only has 11 PP available. Faced with the choice of "y'er money of y'er life", he'd probably choose to sell his beloved ship, "The Ardent Lady" to pay for the cost of bringing him back from the dead (given his religion, the afterlife might not be as kind to him if he hasn't made some sort of great achievement in piracy before he joins Besmara on her black ship). Likewise, my Chelaxian slave-merchant would definitely choose to give up his control of his caravan to a fellow Chelaxian if it bought him the "clout" needed to get raised from the dead.
Unlike my last question, I'm not sure anything in the PFS Guide or Field Guide talks about this, so I'd love for opinions (possibly Mike or Mark depending on how discussion goes?).
Thanks very much!
This is a question that came up during Gen Con right before an ill-fated attempt to tackle
The Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment
when the GM hinted that he hoped we all had 16 PA available. I wondered aloud:
"I wonder, if you have 14 PA but die during the scenario, do you get those 2 PA (assuming a successful mission)." The GM mentioned that such is spoken about in the Guide/FAQ/Forums and yes, you do.
But then I pondered aloud:
"What if you have 12 PA instead, and even with the ones you get from the mission when you died you're left with 14 PA. If you GM games as often as you play, can you apply GM credit to 'dead' characters until they have enough to afford a raise via gold or PA?"
The response around the table was unanimous - "Good question, no idea, that's one for the forums and probably Mike and Mark."
And so, less-than-epic sleep-deprived-tale later, here we are.
I know that death is part of the game, but every once in awhile people have a character they just *love* and want to play to a "fitting" end - for those people, can they apply GM credit to their dead character in order to afford a raise/res/etc?
Note - this question is specifically about a ruling for PFS play not general rules discussion. Thanks!
So for gunslingers, bullets/powder cost/availability rules are pretty simple. UE even went so far as to not list silver/adamantium bullets anymore since the costs of those come from the special materials section for ammunition costs, etc.
However, alchemical cartridges are a little different:
Ultimate Combat wrote:
Alchemical Cartridges: An alchemical cartridge is a prepared bundle of black powder with a bullet or pellets, sometimes with more exotic material added, which is then wrapped in paper or cloth and sealed with beeswax, lard, or tallow. There are many types of alchemical cartridges, the simplest being the paper cartridge—a simple mix of black powder and either pellets or a bullet.
Now, in PFS characters cannot craft their own ammunition but can still obtain it, so...
The question - Is it possible to have the "bullet" that's wrapped up in a cartridge be of a special material, such as cold iron, silver, adamantium, etc?
In a home game this would just be up to the DM or would be a craft check, but it's not clear how that might go in PFS.
(My assumption is that the answer is no, but given how gunslingers I've seen and the one I play rely so much on the cartridges to be effective in combat, and having experienced a situation where having cold iron cartridges might have saved another character's life...I felt the only responsible thing to do as a player is to check up on it.)
Thanks in advance!
Sorry for posting this here but I'm not sure where else to do it to try and get it seen best - "Ambush in Absalom" doesn't appear to be something that can be selected for "Create your event". Is this something that can only be run in conjunction with another scenario, or is this something that just got missed by accident?
Thanks very much!
So, I ran "We Be Goblins" as my last time being a GM up here in IL (although I'm going to help mentor a friend who wants to try out being a DM tomorrow night while playing for a change). When I reported it, I listed 1 prestige for all involved since that's how the WBG rules download states it should be done.
However, when checking the session I saw that the system awarded me 2 prestige and +2 towards my GM rating - shouldn't these be 1 each?
Thanks very much!
*Edit* Not that I mind having my first GM star while still playing locally with my friends, but if this is an error I don't want to take advantage - would rather get it properly.
I know that all PFS scenarios are geared to be 3-5 hours, but the more I play I'm noticing that some decidedly stray to one extreme or the other.
I've promised my friends locally that I'd run a game tomorrow and another one on Monday before I move on Tuesday, but due to some fun antics with movers, the amount of time for tomorrow's game is more like 4 hours than the original 6, so as a result, I'd like to ask your general opinion on a few shorter scenarios that I could run for my players tomorrow, if anyone's got a few ideas?
(Note, most of them have already played Slave Pits of Absalom, which IMHO was pretty short).
Thanks very much!
So, I was thinking of running Master of the Fallen Fortress for my local players next week, and an odd thought occurred to me -
A few of the locals have level 1 characters with 1-2 chronicle sheets on them already. Since a module gives 3xp, if they have a level 1 character with 1-2 xp, can they even partake in the module?
My first instinct was "yes" but I wanted to make sure.
Thanks very much!
I'm too busy trying to finish figures and diagrams for my thesis, but if someone good with photoshop out there wants to have some fun, the coincidence of this photo's "surroundings" could make for an awesome "recruitment poster" for Cheliax.
This would fit the bill for an amazing Inquisitor, don't you think?
Sorry for so many (*cough*Dragnmoon*cough* got it this time) newbie GM questions lately, but this one confused me...
If the GM is taking credit for that session as part of his GM Rewards, then add the GM's character to the bottom of that session's report.
When I reported my first game as a GM, I plugged in my character number in the GM section up top and it auto-populated with the correct faction of my character - do I also add my own character to the bottom of the report?
I know that there are no dumb questions (sorry Dragonmoon), but I had two might-be-super-simple ones:
1 - One of the players for the game I just ran didn't show, so I had to print off and run a level 1 pregen to make legal table size. When I report the event, how do I indicate that?
2 - The Guide says:
"Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play wrote:
So that means that for the scenario I ran today I get a GM chronicle sheet to apply to one of my level-appropriate characters. It's a tier 1-5 so I know I can play it with level 1 characters for-credit. I can play this scenario too with one of my non-level-one characters once (just not the one I applied the GM chronicle to), but if I GM this one again, do I get nothing?
Thanks very much!
Note the first - I am still relatively new to PFS restrictions on things (which is, so far, the only thing about PFS that I don't love...) so please be patient with me here.
Long question 1 first.
Page 21 of the PFS Guide to Organized Play says:
PFS Guide wrote:
A character’s Fame score determines the maximum gp value of any items she can purchase from her faction, as detailed in Table 5–3 below.
I know this does not include items on chronicle sheets, but what about PCs going to "normal" regular shops?
Now, Page 19 of the Guide says the following:
PFS Guide wrote:
For the sake of ease of play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, players may always buy gear, spells and so on so long as their characters are in a town of more than 5,000 residents. Pathfinder Society Organized Play assumes that every faction has at least one representative in every small city or larger settlement on Golarion. If outside of a town, PCs may be restricted from buying anything, though this varies by scenario.
This doesn't say that PCs *must* buy all equipment from their faction. From the descriptions of Absalom in the PFS Field Guide and other books it strongly suggests that weapon shops, armor shops, etc., are all over the place - so why can't a PC buy their gear anywhere?
I ask because one of my players, currently a 1st level Pistolero Gunslinger, wants to buy her second pistol (for two weapon shooting, etc etc) once she saves up 1,000 gold. When we were looking through the guide and saw that fame appeared to be a limiting factor in how much she could spend on an item, she was kind of disappointed. She's a relatively new-to-RPG gamer, and I'm trying to bring her in so she'll keep coming back, not feel like she can't do stuff even if she has the stuff on her sheet to do it. (Don't get me started on how disappointed she was that she couldn't use craft alchemy for anything, or couldn't get any RP use out of profession gambler except for 1/session day job checks).
Question 2 -
When I ran First Steps Part I, another brand-new-to-RPGs player sweet-talked the Paracountess during that portion of the scenario, and as per the scenario, the Paracountess gave that PC the silver dagger on the promise that the PC "come back later". Seeing nothing that fit for this item in the Guide or the scenario, I added the item to that player's chronicle sheet at 0gp cost because it had no cost in the scenario and was not part of the "pooled rewards system" that PFS seems to use.
After First Steps Part II tonight (and a third new player being told he'd have to shell out 50gp each for the tanglefoot bags the PCs were very proud of themselves to find) the above-player with the dagger started asking if he was going to lose his dagger in a "chronicle sheet audit" if he went anywhere with it other than the intro games I was running/organizing on campus. I told the player I'd check and get back to them.
Question 3 -
Also in First Steps Part I, when in the warehouse the PCs dug around and, as per the scenario, found bags of chalk dust, coils of rope, and some food that hadn't spoiled. Even though these are bupkis tchotchke items, do they still have to line-item buy each and every one? The PFS Guide stresses that the loot system is there to reduce gear tracking...but so far it's the one thing that's making my players unsure if they want to keep doing PFS play because they can't keep anything they find, and they don't think the gold they get adds up to the value of the things they find, which brings me to...
Question 4 -
I saw a post on here (lost it but it's in the archives somewhere) where someone stated that PFS scenario gold is calculated by taking the total "potential loot" and figuring out its worth then dividing it up assuming a party of 6 characters are splitting it.
If I ran a party of 4 characters through a scenario, are they losing out on earned-gold because there aren't enough of them? My new-to-RPGs players actually came up with this question when I tried to explain why they couldn't just keep the tanglefoot bags and how the items were calculated into the gold they got, and etc.
Thanks for being patient reading this. I really love all the potential and the "extended family" feel of PFS so far... but both the local gaming stores stopped running/supporting PFS because they both felt that it was very restrictive and the store owners didn't enjoy having to constantly tell players what they couldn't do instead of what they could do. (Well, the one store owner I'm friends with said that - the other store went out of business but I heard that's why they stopped running PFS months before that).
So yea... long-time GM but still new to PFS, trying to figure out how to best empower players to have fun and not find themselves constantly running into walls with a big "NO" painted on it.
So, I know the rule about 7 players is to never turn anyone away, but in the game that I ran last week with 6, the combats were over *very* quickly, and some of the players felt the whole scenario wasn't much of a challenge (the ones who were in their first-ever game loved it, but the two who had some experience with RPGs almost seemed a little bored).
As a result of the success of last week's "recruitment" game, I may have seven players coming in a few days wanting to play PFS, but none of them feel comfortable being a GM yet (I've asked).
As a GM, can we make small adjustments to encounters/combats during scenarios to make them a little bit more exciting for the players? i.e. in First Steps Part I:
When the dire rats come out in the warehouse, could a GM have two "waves" of three rats attack, instead of just 3 rats total? When I ran it, the PCs killed them so quickly that only one character even got an action in round 2!
Since I may have seven in a few days, I guess I'm just trying to see what sort of options I have as a GM here.
Thanks very much!
So, for the Divine Scion PrC from Inner Sea Magic, it states for the 3rd level "Domain Specialization" ability:
Domain Specialization (Su):
"At 3rd level, a divine scion selects a domain granted by her deity—this domain becomes the divine scion’s chosen specialization in representing her deity. Although most divine scions pick domains that they’ve gained from other classes (such as cleric), they don’t have to do so. Every time a divine scion casts a domain spell from her specialized domain, she heals damage equal to twice the spell’s level.
In addition, each domain specialization grants a spell-like ability (which functions at a caster level equal to the divine scion’s total character level) and a permanent sacred bonus (or profane, if the divine scion is evil) on a single type of d20 roll."
Does this mean that an Inquisitor who has chosen to take an Inquisition instead of a Domain completely loses the healing benefit, but still gets the spell-like ability / d20 bonus?
Thanks very much!
I'm running "First Steps" for a group of 100% brand new PFS members (and of the six of them, only 2 have played tabletop RPGs ever before) tomorrow, and the other night I saw this:
Which leads me to a few questions:
How do I go about implementing this since our game is within the time-range given? It seems like a great lead-in for the PCs - party one night, and report bright-and-surly to PFS HQ the next morning...
Are there any special ways I should fill out the Scenario # and other information on the right-side/bottom?
Can this be given to them before their first game, or only in conjunction with a scenario being actively played / after a played-scenario?
Least important of all - do I qualify for these if I don't play during the time-range given, but I do GM?
Thanks very much in advance!
I've been trying to find an up-to-date list of Pathfinder products for both myself and my players, but haven't really been successful (at least with lists that have products released in the last 2-3 years), so I started to put one together myself, but I think I'm missing some items.
Would anyone out there be willing to help me edit and update this? I'd rather not open up editing to the general public, but if you'd like to help and let me know your name on Google I'll add you as an editor.
Pathfinder Product List - Checklist:
Thanks very much in advance!