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Arodnap

Chris Mortika's page

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 9,107 posts (11,748 including aliases). 18 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 10 Pathfinder Society characters. 11 aliases.


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The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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NN 959, I suspect that you would be upset in my GMing style. I allow for bonuses and penalties, sometimes substantial, based on situations not covered in the rules, when appropriate. (And in the end, I'm the one who decides what's appropriate.)

Golarion is a world with magic and gods and treants, but it's also a world with sewers and horses and rope and rainwater. And, unless something is called out as being specifically alien to real-world physics (Dragons can fly; lightning bolt spells behave as described) then things behave the way they do in the real world. Without some way to clean up, people who've been fighting in hip-deep sewer effluvium aren't presentable to a decent couple living in a cottage, let alone a guild master or seneschal.

In almost all these "common sense" cases, the rules are silent precisely because rules are unnecessary. We need a rule to explain how the defending property works on magic weapons, because we have no reasonable way to fall back on how real-world magic swords behave. The rulebook for a fantasy game spends just about all its time describing the rules for the fantasy elements.

If that's going to bother you, if you're going to call it BS and disrupt the table, I'll see you at social time after the tables are run and the games are played.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Well, the blurb about the adventure strongly hints that this is going to be a dress-up mission. If you decide to send your 6th-level feral barbarian instead of your 4th-level diplo-sorcerer (or the pre-gen bard), then there you go. You've chosen to play a character who's not optimized for this sort of adventure. How entertained you can be is your problem.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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nosig wrote:


For me the conversation might have gone something like this....

ME: "Do you have a cold weather outfit on? That would boost your save."
PLAYER: "Yes."
ME: "Good, but I didn't hear you say you were buying one earlier. You got it in an earlier game? If not we'll need to be sure to include it on this one......

The time to do that was back in town, not once you're already in the mountains.

Quote:

"The scenario starts with an overland trip of a month.....

....(after the VC briefing)....
"Did you buy 30 days of rations? No?....
"All PCs died in route due to lack of food.... Easiest TPK I've ever run."

You know, there's a lot of hand-waving, getting characters to and from the adventure locations. (At the end of "Rescue at Azlant Ridge", the party needs to get back from the heart of the jungle, having been teleported in, with no maps of the area.) (The "Quest for Perfection" series takes place on the other side of the world. If PCs are playing other adventures in between, it could mean that they walk across the Crown of the World -- a trek that takes months, and was the subject of its own AP module -- six times.)

And even if a GM were to enforce rations to get you to the adventure, there would be opportunities along the way to buy them, just as the OP gave the characters opportunities to buy cold weather gear. If the PCs continually refused to buy food for the journey, or have the cleric use magic to obtain food, then yes, they would all die.

I don't see that as relevant to this discussion at all.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Indeed, it might be a role-playing opportunity for a Seeker to guide and mentor a senior Agent.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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It's clear that you've thought about this a lot. Kudos. This will make playing PFS a lot more fun, and it won't burden the GMs overmuch.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Galahad0430 wrote:


Actually, no. At a public event a GM is not allowed to boot you for any reason. He may only boot disruptive players.

Galahad, you have asserted this before. I believe you are mistaken, but I'd be glad to be corrected.

I have in the past "booted" players because they were polite and friendly, but neither they nor I could read their character sheet. Once, I allowed a player to sit at my table with a character sheet drawn up on a collection of scraps of paper, but that was a mistake. (So, BNW, if somebody were to sit at my table with all the important information scrawled on napkins, he would not be welcome. But there's a table over there with some lovely pre-gens.)

I don't believe that a novice GM needs to have the breadth and scope of Society-legal play in her comfort zone, and she's within her rights to say "I just don't understand how [say] Summoners and Eidolons work, and I don't feel comfortable trying to take a crash course in that right now. I am not prepared to give you a good PFS experience." And when I organize game days or conventions, I am ready to move players with "advanced" builds to GMs with a skill set better able to handle them.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Galahad0430 wrote:


No, Nefreet, you do not have that right. In fact, it is against PFS rules.

Galahad0430, could you please cite the rule in question?

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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"My game has gotten a lot better organized since I banned PCs."

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Gauss,

That's because there are only two positions, "Folks who agree with me" and "Folks who are wrong."

We are not a subtle people.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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thejeff wrote:

In fairness, even with characters I've built by hand, I probably wouldn't be able to lay out all the numbers on the spur of the moment. Especially if I hadn't just built the character or played him recently. Or if he was fairly high level and I'd just been adding on to the existing character as I went.

Generally speaking, I'm the same way. I'd have to fumble around to tell you why my paladin has an AC of 28. But my Magus, with the AC of 37? That I have all broken down and ready to explain. (The same thing with the paladin's Intimidate of +25.)

The spectacular stuff, that's what I'm talking about.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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So, let me ask:

Overall, what we want is a "clean" campaign, right? We want people to own the books they use, and bring the additional resources they need to the table. We want people to be playing legal characters, with the math correct and all the modifiers factored in.

And we want to be welcoming and fun. We don't want to put any unnecessary barriers in the way of players, and we want the game mechanics to be as simple and understandable as we can make them.

Lastly, we want this to be a "big tent" campaign. There are many different play-styles, and we want to welcome all sorts of players, from the folks who've scoured the legal resources to build a mechanically twinked-out super-monk, to the folks who just like to role-play and roll dice when they have to, but aren't interested in the math behind some of their stats.

Am I missing anything? Would anyone dispute that these are reasonable goals?

Some of these goals are in conflict if you push one or another too hard. We want people to understand how their PCs CMB is being calculated, but we don't want to kick out the casual players who don't want to learn all those rules.

Having said that, it seems to me that we can serve our campaign's goals by (a) allowing tools like HeroLab, to catch missing modifiers and calculation errors, (b) still requiring the players to own all their additional resources, and (c) inviting players to explain their twinked-out stats when appropriate.

So, when I'm running a high-tier game, I'll ask my players about their characters' game mechanics all the time. "You have an attack bonus of +18? Super cool! How did you pull that off?" "An Intimidate bonus of +25? Sounds like something my paladin could use. Could you walk me through that?" It's important to me that I ask more often than I need to, because I don't want to appear as if I'm threatening the players when I ask. This shouldn't be accusatory: "Oh yeah?! Show me!"

Almost all the time, the player will smile, and explain how he came up with a damage bonus of +30, or an armor class of 52. And I'll be listening to the explanation, checking to see that everything squares, that he's not trying to stack two different armor bonuses or something.

If the player doesn't know, I'll ask him to explain. Maybe a friend builds his characters for him. Maybe he misunderstands a rule (lots of folks import rules from other game systems they know, like 4th Edition). Maybe he is basing his build off of a messageboard post he found on the Web. Or maybe, it's HeroLab. And so we'll walk through the math as quickly as possible. It's not that I don't trust the player; it's that we need to know what happens to a PC's armor class if she gets blinded, or if she's hit with black tentacles.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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First of all, welcome. It's great to have you in the campaign, and I look forward to sitting at a table with you.

Second, everybody's chimed in with good answers: start at 1st level, and after every three adventures, your character will rise 1 experience level.

I'm going to assume that, with the library you've already assembled, you know enough about the Pathfinder game system to play the type of character you enjoy. As long as it's legal, do what makes you happy.

And I'll amend Tuna Salad's caution: bring either watermarked copies of the relevant pages from the pdfs, or bring the physical books with you. Your table GM might not be as familiar with all the cool things your character can do, and you'll need to supply reference materials for her.

And hey, would you do me a favor? After your first two or three sessions in Pathfinder Society, would you drop back here and let us know how it's going for you? What scenarios did you play, what were the fun parts, what questions you still have? All that?

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Walter, I concur. (I've run the entire series once, after parts 2 and 3 were retired, for friends who wanted to see what they were like, and who didn't care about the PFS credit.) I think that Part 2 is one of the best dungeon delves in the ouvre.

"Master of the Fallen Fortress" is another one of my favorite adventures.

For PFS I start by asserting that the PCs are *not* Pathfinders yet. They're all hopeful applicants at the gates of the Grand Lodge, having come from Desna knows where. And they all get rejected. (I play this out: "Tell us who you are, and where you come from, and why you want to be a Pathfinder agent." "All right. And you (pointing to another player) explain why he gets rejected."

So, they're sitting in a bar in the Coins district, trying to figure out where they should go from here. (The Aspis Consortium might be hiring ....) When there's a tremor. Five minutes later, a fellow in a hap-hazard guards uniform comes in, asking if anybody's seen guard captain Antaroth. Seems that one of the formerly-sealed siege towers has partially collapsed, and the guard needs to secure it by morning.

And the PCs always take the bait and light out, hoping to prove themselves to the Society by exploring the tower.

So, when they rescue the bard at the end, and return to Absalom, their admission into the Society is the resolution of an arc.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I provide everything they should know in character from the monster type (and subtype) and then I relate, in character, things that the PCs would know, starting with "everybody knows" and going down to "a senior pathfinder agent ran into one of these once and said ... "

Because, given a troll, knowing that it regenerates from most damage, but not fire, is a bigger deal than which are the critter's good saves.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I've run a scenario with three experienced people playing pre-gens (for no credit) and one guy playing for reals. It was at a lightly-attended convention, and we wanted to make sure that player got to experience the adventure.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I disagree, Avatar-1, in both particulars. The "reward creative solutions" doesn't apply. The PCs who go straight for the end room don't do anything clever to avoid a combat; they don't know one exists.

For example, some treasures are hidden, and there's a Perception DC to locate them. If the party searches, and doesn't meet the DC, they don't get the treasure. Are you suggesting that a party that doesn't even bother to look around should get the reward?

The 3 encounters rule doesn't require the players to die.

I agree with DrParty 06; if the party goes straight for the end chamber, solves the situation, and never explores the rest of the museum, they don't get the full rewards. (But, Crazy Alchemist, the scenario doesn't necessarily end when the big bad guys go down, either. There's nothing to keep the PCs from looking in the other rooms after the fact.)

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Well, David, you wouldn't expect any 7th-level character to be appropriate for the 10-11 subtier.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Enlarged archery is tricky. Buy some large-sized arrows. Round 1: drop your quiver, take the vial of enlarge person, and drink the potion. Round 2: pick up your quiver, shoot your first arrow. (Unless you also want to enjoy the effects of gravity bow or aspect of the falcon.)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I admit, one of the reasons it was memorable is that I had a kid-sized crush on Pamelyn Ferdin.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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There's a particular monster whose standard operating procedure is to render her victims helpless and then coup de grace them. This monster shows up in a couple of scenarios, sometimes hunting in packs.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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In both cases, the archetype reduces the effects of Smite Evil, weakening it. In each case, the archetype then enjoys other benefits as compensation. It seems that you want to apply that reduction once but enjoy both of the compensatory powers.

(And I'm suggesting that we move this out of the PFS forums.)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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As long as you mean "Voltron the 5 lions" as opposed to "Voltron the fifteen-car pile-up" I agree.

I admit to being a fan of the Star Trek animated series, and of SeaLab 2020.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Does tongues simply allow mental communication? (I don't think so; it works on mind-shielded subjects.)

So, does it provide he necessary body modifications for communication? If so, this is the grossest use of tongues ever!!

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Hey, Kyle:

We need an ex-Pathfinder opponent, who drops her own ioun-stone-enhanced Wayfinder into a PC's backpack as a combat maneuver so that both shut down.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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You would think there would be a god of barbecue.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Part of my objection to using established Golarion / PFS NPCs as PCs is philosophical.

It's not a question of wrecking somebody else's game. It's a question of: I don't think someone should try to turn Torch, or Baron Jacquo Dalsine, or Drendle Dreng, or any other established NPC into their own character. Play Dreng's nephew, or one of Torch's half-orc guards, or Dalsine's body-double stand in. Likewise, I've seen PCs who are Baltwin's orphans, or one of the aasimar acolytes from inside the Hao-Jin tapestry. That builds the campaign's flavor into the PC's background without conscripting a memorable NPC for the player's private use.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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in the "Year of the Shadow Lodge" special, the bad guy used a magical widget to break himself into dozens of duplicates, each of different power and experience. I'm assuming that the same thing happened with the popular iconics.

In a world with clone, simulacra, doppelgangers, mirrors of opposition, and so on, I would find it easy to believe in Thomas Riker.

Grand Lodge ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Forgive my asking, but how does the simple possession of a 500-gp object help identify someone as a member of the organization? I've recovered a bucketload of Aspis coins over my brief career, and that doesn't mean I've switched allegiances.

And the Aspis have "dropped" wayfinders at sites of violence, or on corpses, in order to incriminate us so often you'd think the ruse would have been used up.

Possession of one of the vanity wayfinders, imprinted with the glyph of the open road, would be reasonable evidence. But just a plain wayfinder? It would seem like identifying someone as being a priest of Gorum by merit of his weapon.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Frankly, it sounds like useful playtest experience, but it doesn't sound like PFS sessions.

"Campaign mode" is a way for AP volumes and long modules to earn play credit for PFS characters. Maybe there could be an analogous "Playtest mode" where players make up higher-level versions of playtest-class characters, run them through their paces, report, and get PFS rewards. It almost directly embodies the oath: "Cooperate (with Paizo developers)! Explore! Report!"

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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loosef, without getting into too many details, the demiplane was an abandoned headquarters of cultists dedicated to a particular Runelord. It was designed to keep out intruders, but not all the encounters were combat. In fact, more of them were puzzles and traps. They rewarded a lot of different skills, and also allowed intelligent players to shine.

I was GMing a Tier 3-4 table that happened to do very well. They actually had a lot of fun, while working as a great team.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I would be amused to see Belkar trying to "do good deeds" in order to shift his alignment away from Evil so he could use the clasp. And then , in the heat of the moment, doing something selfless.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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"My mom was a druid, and had all sorts of weird friends. When I was born, one of the local trants named me."

"That's cool, Russell."

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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One site discussed the difference between the CGI of the pre-quels versus the physical effects in TFA. The snapshot of the X-wings flying over the lake, with the mountains in the background, has such weight and physicality to them, as opposed to the ships and droids in the pre-quels, which seemed mass-less, and only cast shadows because someone decided that it would be better if they did.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Last year, at a convention, I was running a table of 11th-level PCs through "Siege of the Diamond City". As we were waiting for the event to start, I asked to see the PCs' Chronicle sheets. One player explained, "I never keep those. Am I supposed to?"

Yep, you are. And that table over there is where you can pick up a lovely 7th-level pre-gen.

He actually started crying. If any single GM from his previous 30 games would have asked to see his Chronicles, we could have avoided that scene.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Most of the chronicles for the newer modules have a sort of clever gimmick, or at least a boon that's well worth the trouble. I'm guessing that the campaign leadership is trying to come up with such a cool thing with these Chronicle sheets. And my response is: if it's not working, I'd rather have a sanctioned module with a pedestrian Chronicle sheet soon, than something cooler and spiffier several months from now.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Or, everybody else is playing a notoriously difficult 3 - 7 scenario at the high sub-tier, and all you have is your 3th-level monk. (Or, just the same, everybody else has a 3rd-level PC, and your in-tier character is well beyond that, and would overshadow another PC to boot.)

Or your in-tier PC is a fighter, and the rest of the party are all martial characters without any healing capabilities. Are you going to play your fighter, or grab Kyra?

Or you're playing a paladin, and the GM has already announced that, due to the nature of the scenario, any paladin playing would fall. (Alternately, the GM has announced that he hates summoners, or gunslingers, and tries to cleanse the Society of them whenever he can.)*

Or your 7th-level character is one game away from leveling up, and you've already played Destiny of the Sands Parts I and II with her. You'd like to finish that trilogy with the same PC.

Similarly, you have an in-tier PC, but you reserve that character for when you're playing with your buddy, who plays your PC's spouse. And your buddy isn't at this convention.

Your character has just risen in level earlier this day. You'd like to give him a new feat from the Advanced Players Guide, but you don't have that resource at this con. You *could* give him a core rulebook feat and play him today, so you do have an in-tier character, but playing him now would mean compromising his progression.

I've even seen "I don't want to risk my real character" as a legitimate reason. Last spring, I saw two young players screwing around at a table, which got another character killed. They balked at chipping in to pay for his raise dead, but did so grudgingly. The other fellow then headed off to play Elven Entanglement. If the two idjits had also been intending to play that, I would have understood a decision to keep a high-level PC safe.

--

There are all sorts of good reasons that a player might decide to play a pre-gen instead of a legal PC in a scenario.** All of them boil down to: that person decided it would be better to play a pre-gen.

And Mike, players make decisions about which of their own in-tier PCs to play, all the time. We don't gainsay their choices based on whether it might result in mission failure or loss of gold. ("You're going to play your 2nd level samurai in this scenario? Don't you have a 5th-level barbarian, who could really whomp on things? Don't you want the party to succeed?") As long as people are having fun, I don't particularly care what character they're playing.

--

* And yeah, I've seen all three.

** There are also bad reasons for choosing to play a pre-gen.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Scott,

Although all modules aren't written with PFS in mind, all Chronicle sheets are. The issue here isn't with what the level demands of the players, but rather with what the Chronicle sheet rewards.

The Chronicle could just as easily have advised the GM that PCs get full rewards for a peaceful interaction with the trogs.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Is there any room in a paladin's code for an honest difference of opinion? Is there any opportunity for innocent error? I'd like to think so.

A paladin strives for the goals of good: purity (as Pathfinder calls it) and fights against the call of evil (or corruption). The paladin's choice for tools in this struggle is law, and a paladin constrains herself with a common set of prohibitions: she shall not lie, she shall not use poison, etc.

That goal, that choice of tools, and that code still leave an awfully broad set of options.

Incidentally, Chalfon Dalsine is a known quantity. He's a disgraced Pathfinder, cousin to the Taldor-faction leader, and one of the richest and most powerful nobles in Taldor. Any decent Knowledge (local) roll should reveal that he's serious bad news, and likely corrupt -- although perhaps not the details of his alliance with faceless stalkers. Opposing him and his self-serving crusade against the Sarenrae cultists, and the Society itself, should be reasonable for any paladin. (Robin of Loxeley -- lawfully faithful to Richard, his rightful king -- was happy to fight against corrupt officials who'd themselves betrayed their lawful fealty.)

"Dalsine Affair" is a particularly difficult adventure to use: not because the party is doing something evil, or "chaotic", but rather because the scenario is such a railroad. I've run it several times, and note:

1) the Venture Captain is ridiculously panicked at the beginning of the scenario. The Porthmus militia force outside the shop only wants to bring him in for questioning, and he's willing to go. If the PCs attempt any negotiation with the captain of the militia (not a Diplomacy check, just questions like "What do you want?") they can defuse the situation. Likewise with enchantment spells. Or, if they think to cast silence before attacking, they can disable the militia without any alarm being called. In either case, the entire "get to the sewers and find the Vault of Sarenrae" mission is deflected or at least made less than urgent.

2) On their way to the Vault of Sarenrae, the cultists themselves open the door to the possibility that there's a traitor in their midst. It's perfectly reasonable for a PC paladin to scan each cultist for the taint of evil. Sincere worshippers of Sarenrae cannot radiate as evil. But the leader of the cultists in the Vault is a powerful Chaotic Evil monster, without access to any detection-baffling magic, and would stand revealed.

3) The PC's have access to the body of Pasha Al-Jakri’s sister, Khismia, who died less than 24 hours previously. By the time they're 6th- or 7th level, characters might have access to raise dead. If Khismia is raised, a very reasonable action for any Qadira-leaning PC since that faction mission requires Khismia kept safe, the scenario goes off the rails again. Pasha's motivation for turning against the Society evaporates.

In such an adventure, the GM feels a need to keep the storyline going, despite any resources the party might bring to bear, despite any misgivings the players might have, and despite any qualms paladin PCs might feel regarding the choices thrust upon the situation.

(Honestly, as a GM, I would have an easier time giving a paladin grief over the theft of legitimately seized contraband goods that Muesello was smuggling, out of greed than anything involving the Dawnflower cultists.)

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I understand why the change was made, and as a global issue I approve.

But the crossed scimitars of Taldor was a classy sigil. I still wear the t-shirt with pride. But I don't think I would wear a shirt with a money-bag and a merchant's scale.

EDIT: Sigh. Qadira. (I had nothing against the Taldor sigil, either, except it looked like a fast-food restaurant sign.)

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Keep the ads. They're harmless -- it's not like they're taking up space that would be used for something else -- and I can print them out and leave them at the game store.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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There's a boon available that lets your PC "remember" the results of Knowledge rolls from one scenario to another. For that boon to make sense, the base-line for the campaign should be that no, characters don't remember the results of Knowledge checks.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Occult Adventures Playtest document wrote:
Occult Adventures is designed to give players and GMs the tools and guidance needed to add mystery and secrets to their game. While an ordinary game might see the players facing off against a tribe of goblins who have been killing local livestock and threatening villagers, in an occult game, the players might then learn that the livestock were sacrifices made to a dark altar, and that the altar was given to the goblins for some foul purpose. .... So it goes in an occult game: each hidden truth hints at further mystery and stranger plots.

Does anyone have any recommendations for scenarios or PFS-sanctioned modules that are particularly fitting to the sort of adventures the playtest characters should experience? Off the top of my head, I could start the list with:

Black Waters
Encounter at the Drowning Stones
Haunting of Hinojai
The Cultists' Kiss
Day of the Demon
Carrion Hill

My criteria are: hidden things revealed, more than once, and a macabre atmosphere.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Nicely said, Sebastian.

Saint, let me give you a real-life, not-making-this-up example.

I've met a pair of GMs who've advanced the following argument: "the Pathfinder Society uses smugglers to get goods into Absalom. Missions often involve breaking laws to get into a site or get out stealing artifacts. It is, essentially, a criminal enterprise, wrapped in lofty rhetoric. Paladins cannot function as pawns of that organization. If I have a paladin sit at my table, I'll ask him if he accepts the mission briefing. If he does, he falls." They are otherwise okay GMs.

So, let's say your only character in-tier is a paladin. Are you sure you'd want to bring him to that table, to argue for an hour? Wouldn't you rather play a pre-gen?

And you can substitute "summoner" or "gunslinger" in there, too. There are lots of GMs out there who don't like certain character concepts. A lot of griefing players, too.

--

Or, you have a level 3 magus, and the other players are bringing their 7th-level squad.

--

Or, you've just played your 18th game with a PC in the morning session, and it's time to rise 7th level. But you want to use a feat from Inner Sea Combat, a source you didn't bring to the game. So, you could have a legal 7th-level character, if you just give up and give her a feat out of the Core Rulebook. Or you could play a pre-gen.

--

As feylund notes, your one PC in tier could be a big, dumb half-elf barbarian, when the party really needs a cleric. Or a bard. As Imbicatus notes, your one PC in tier could be wildly inappropriate for the adventure; that could be fun, if everybody's in a mood for that kind of thing. (What is this "Stealth" you speak of?)

--

You've played parts 1 and 2 of "Destiny of the Sands," and that PC how has 20 XP. If you use that character in this unrelated game, you'll have to play Destiny, part 3, with a different PC.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Kalshane, I agree.

And I took some time to parse how much of this episode was dedicated to the coronation / usurpation, and how much was dedicated to Korra's training. Answer: about 90 / 10. I was surprised.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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If a renewed D&D attracts new players into the hobby, that's good for them, and good for Pathfinder, too.

Right now, D&D has basic races, basic classes, and basic game mechanics. Right now, Pathfinder is a mature game system, with a dozen major hard-cover expansions. At the moment, new players can burn through all of the D&D Adventurers' League materials in a few weekends. Right now, Pathfinder Society had a deep history and a cool current storyline.

I'm expecting D&D to rope in a good chuck of new players into the hobby. Some of them will stay with D&D. Some of them will come looking to see what else is available.

I, for one, welcome all out new friends. Let's try not to be jerks when we talk about which system people like better....

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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The St. Louis crowd was fond of running Thornkeep levels in 4-hour slots -- whoo-hoo, my new PC is 4th level after a day! -- but my attitude is that doing so short-circuits the strength of the adventure. Those sessions start with "You're at the doors to the Accursed Halls..." and entirely side-step the town of Thornkeep, which I think is a shame.

Not only is Thornkeep chock-full of useful gear, rumors, NPCs willing to cut prices for bold adventurers, a ghetto that can turn the goblin combats into something else, etc ... but it's one of Paizo's versions of Hommlet or Sandmarsh. This is the cool part of Thornkeep: it's the ancient gamer trope of the town sitting atop the ancient tomb: malignant, mystical, and mysterious.

Every time I talk to players who are upset about the encounter that Kadasbrass references, I ask them why they didn't take the hints about that character available at the Blue Basilisk. Why didn't they go into that encounter fore-warned? And the answer is always the same: we ignored the town. Okay then.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Toph is Yoda. A snarky Yoda.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I think it might be better as a Quest, David.

That way, it would see use when a party TPKs in the first couple of hours of the session. It's sort of a bummer, but then the players get to play the retrieval squad who goes off after their characters' still-warm corpses.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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There are all sorts of good reasons to choose to not play a character.

"I just earned my 18th XP, and I want to pick up that book next week and give my PC a Feat out of it. Also, I haven't decided where to spend my gold."

"I've played this character through parts 1 and 2 of this series. If I play this other thing, today, this character will level out of range of part 3."

As nosig notes: "this character doesn't fit in well with the group. We would have nobody who can heal." Or "This character tramples all over your character's cool schtick."

"This character won't have any fun in that adventure, or under that GM. Neither would anybody else at the table."

So under any of those circumstances, play a pre-gen, and then assign the credit to a legal PC. You shouldn't have to lie about "Oh, I accidentally left my character / Chronicles / legal resources at home."

[I post this a lot. Maybe I should just put it in my profile...]

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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deusvult wrote:

And to use the rest of RAW, the only creative solutions that can be done are to avoid encounters... not to have new unpublished encounters.

That's not quite true. Mike Brock has explained, for example, that PCs committing crimes in a city, and then sticking around, might have to deal with the city watch. He even suggested where we might find useful stats for the guardsmen.

I've used the Chase Deck to deal with parties that, for example, want to pursue skulk villains through unmapped tunnels.

If a party goes off the rails, we do what we can to accommodate that, including using reasonable stat blocks when necessary.

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