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Arodnap

Chris Mortika's page

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16. Goblin Squad Member. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 9,583 posts (12,396 including aliases). 18 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 10 Pathfinder Society characters. 12 aliases.


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The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Greylurker wrote:
Ted Kord is teaching ...

Isn't Ted Kord dead?

More fundamentally, I was a fan in the mid-80's when Crisis on Infinite Earths came around. That series had a real point -- to consolidate the DC Universe once and for all, to avoid the obligatory two panels in Justice Society, in Infinity Inc., in Freedom Fighters, in SHAZAM!, and in a half-dozen other books, explaining that Huntress was the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, but not THAT Batman or THAT Catwoman -- and offered the opportunity to reboot important series like Superman (no more Kryptonians, no more Superboy, the Kents were alive...), Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman.

Even then there were ripples. Legion of Superheroes no longer made sense, and it was already in the middle of its own Glorith-induced continuity shift when Crisis struck! Wonder Girl no longer had a sensible origin. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman were no longer founding members of the Justice Society ... and then Wonder Woman was, again. Those took years to iron out, and they were painful to watch.

Since then, there has been Zero Hour, and Hypertime, and Final Crisis, and Infinite Crisis, and Flashpoint, and now, ... what?

All this serves two purposes: to destroy "system mastery" of being a fan, and to make it possible for writers to spend their entire careers writing for a "maturing" superhero environment.

Let's talk about that second one first. Superman is now always in his first couple years' of heroics. Green Lantern is always learning how to use the ring. Wonder Woman is always marveling at the outside world. You never have to come up with new stories; all you have to do is check to see whether, in this timeline, Bizarro's already been introduced, and if not, introduce him. You remember those Gold Key or Dell comics, which just reprinted the same stories on a 24-issue cycle? (Because they figured that their target audience had a full turnover every two years.) Well, that's where we are now with several DC titles.

The other issue is system mastery. One of the reasons I enjoyed being a comics fan was that the lengthy continuity allowed the writers to have a conversation with us. Little touches here and there allowed us to see more deeply into the characters.

Alan Moore, of course, up-ended this with series like Supreme and Tom Strong, where the entire series was given false backstories (like "flashbacks to when Supreme had a cosmic adventure for several years in the '60s", complete with '60s-style comicbook art). Image's Global Guardians does the same, with a large cat of characters, and a storytelling convention that presumes that we're already familiar with all of them, and have been for years.

Marvel did the same with the retro-origins of Jessica Jones and the Sentry, who'd "been around back when the Fantastic Four were created, and was a mentor to the young Peter Parker."

"You know how it was, when you picked up your first issue of Justice League, and it was issue #104, and there were all these characters, and you didn't really understand who was who, but it was great fun?" Sure, but (1) I also remember picking up JLA #200, and having the satisfaction of seeing characters I'd been reading for the previous 8 years, and (2) even when I started reading, I understood that there *was* a history there, that I could learn about it.

Nowadays, there is no actual history, just the contrivance of one. Continuity is a bugaboo, a thing that gets in the way of telling a story. (How many times has Superman met Billy Batson / Captain Marvel?)

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

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John,

It really depends on what you mean by Evil.

Sometimes, "evil" is just a team name. For example, one of the tempting baubles from Season 4 is only evil because the GM says so. (You don't even need detect evil. You just know it's evil.) So, in that case, it's more like "do you accept this cursed item?" Much the same way as the seven mcguffins from a series of AP volumes.

Sometimes, evil is blatantly against the tenets of decent folk. Another of the Season 4 baubles is clearly something that ought to give good-aligned characters qualms. Some characters wouldn't mind it, others would. Some might argue against their colleagues taking such actions.

Two confirmations: the evil cookie that creates problems in a different scenario is a mechanic that works better in a home campaign than one in which players can give the cookies to xxxxxx-01 and have xxxxxx-03 play through the scenario where the hammer comes down.

And I agree: if having a bauble / committing an act shifts a character's alignment towards evil, I don't think it's fair to allow a Good-aligned character to pay for an atonement and go back to Good alignment, while still keeping the bauble. Neutral characters should be able to atone their way back from Evil to Neutral. But as long as a character makes the decision every morning to retain the benefits of an Evil bauble, I don't think they should consider themselves Good.

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

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Kahel, how would pre-filling in the Chronicle number work, if the player plays some adventures at slow progression, or if the character has some bad luck and ends an adventure or two with no experience points?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Just came from the theatre. As a first impression, I thought it was a by-the-numbers comedy action movie, well done all around. And it really nailed how Doug's species is fundamentally creepy-looking.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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College, in the early '80s. The party is in a bar, asking too many of the wrong kind of questions about local criminals. So, the GM decides that the bartender spikes the party's drinks and will sell them to the crimelords.

One of the players is on the fencing team, and her foil broke off, about 8 inches from the hilt. For whatever reason, she's kept it and she's filed the broken end down to a very sharp point. When she realizes that her character is being drugged, she picks up the 8-inch piercing weapon and tries to kill the GM.

That is, she has one hand on his hair, pulling his head back, and goes after his exposed throat with the weapon.

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

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Some years ago, a player showed up at my table with his character on five 3-by-5 cards, in heavily-erased pencil. I let him play his (pretty complicated) PC, but there was no rhyme or reason as to what information was on what side of what card.

Today, I wouldn't let him play with that, because I couldn't read it. Even though it was on paper.

I intend to treat electronics the same way. Scrolling through a little phone screen feels similar to me to scribbled cards. Looking at a Hero-Lab layout on a tablet reader seems the same as looking at any other clean character sheet.

And I'll need the Chronicle sheets on paper, and up-to-date.

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

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I can cite two examples of what I mean. I've met two players, and played at a table with one, who have two versions of a character. Not two characters; two versions.

In one, the player has an Aasimar character, but started the character after the race was restricted. He plays it and, he says, nobody ever checks to see if it's legal. If a GM were to ask, he has the same character, at the same level, with the same Chronicles, but designed as a human, with different racial modifiers, feats and skill ranks. He says he'll play the (legal) human PC if the GM asks to see his Aasimar racial boon, and then play it back as an Aasimar at the next table. That's what he means by "table variation."

Another player has an fighter with several teamwork feats, which works well when he plays with a friend who brings his Inquisitor to the table. He has "retrained" those teamwork feats to general feats more useful when his friend isn't around, and he bring whichever version to the table is more useful.

I haven't mentioned it to those players, but if I'm GMing, and they bring those characters to my table, I won't allow either version.

That's what If I catch you with something illegal, I want you to fix it and not "un-fix" it after you leave my table. The campaign has guidelines about re-skinning. There's some gray area in the center, but there's also situations where we have clear directives.

I'm not talking about GM-call gray areas.

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

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My litmus test: would an ordinary NPC think that the item is some other item, with a property the actual item doesn't have? That's the essence of reskinning to me.

Does a parasol have game stats or abilities that someone else might normally expect that your Sword Parasol has? If it looks enough like a parasol to make people think that it might protect you from a rainshower, or a shower of some less wholesome substance, then I'd call foul. But if it's apparent to everybody that its parasol-nature is entirely cosmetic, then I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Gleaming Terrier wrote:
I have a character who, rather than a Handy Haversack, has a Useful Utility Belt. If someone at the table had a problem, I'd probably roll my eyes so hard I sprain a muscle and say okay, it's a haversack until my next game.

Go ahead, sprain your eye muscle.

Does the item take up the belt slot?

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

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Ryzoken wrote:
Question: did the player attempt skill checks out of combat?
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Thats.. really not enough of a contribution these days.

If the only way to contribute to current scenarios is through combat, that's a fault of the current scenario design.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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You know what we haven't seen of late: Durkon's mind. He had *something* planned against the vampire spirit. I'm not sure what.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Ending the series with Korra either crippled or dead at the hands of her enemies would have been enormously depressing.

The spirit of the entire series is the rising and advancing of her spirit, from the cocky champion of Season One to the woman who overcomes both poison and her own crippling self-doubts in Season Four.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I am so frigging happy that the BBEG is not Dormammu.

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MeanDM wrote:
Does that use a unique system, or D20 rules?

Original system. Here's an ad page.

I would like someone more familiar with the three games ("edge of Empire" "Age of Rebellion" "Force and Destiny") to explain the differences between the games. I own one of them. Do I have to buy the other two? Are they compatible?

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ccgfarmer,

I'm sure that worked to drive away the problem player. I'm sure that sort of experience would drive anybody away. But it also probably gave him a bad impression of the exclusionary gaming group. Maybe he has friends, or an on-line presence. If so, I'll bet that you lost a couple of good players who will believe him when he says he had a miserable experience.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Rey's history may have been spoiled in a videogame

Spoiler:
when Ren calls her "cousin".

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Is "Jakku" any dumber a planetary name than "Naboo"? Or "Dagobah" if we want to be honest.

Proper names are not really this franchise's strong suit.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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"I have no problem with exploration. I have been happy to cooperate, up until this point." SSSHINK "But, I fear, I will not be reporting anything except your tragic deaths."

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

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We are ... slowly ... running Jade Regent as a convention LARP.

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Also, bear in mind that Mengkare started his Glorious Experiment while Aroden was still alive, with prophesies that indicated that he would be returning in a reasonably short period of time to bring forth an enlightened age for humanity.

So, the dragon set up his process, with strong reasons to believe that Aroden would be returning, making the Glorious Experiment either redundant and pointless, or else actively impeding Aroden's will for humanity.

You've got to admit, that takes a lot of hubris, even for an ancient gold dragon.

It also points us towards a very powerful being, who had a clear motive for making sure Aroden *didn't* come back and wreck things.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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AIM in the comics is now a good-guy organization (Avengers Idea Mechanics). We'll have to wait a little while for the organization to revert back to its baseline.

And that'll give the props department time to buy up all the wastepaper-baskets they'll need for the costumes.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Planet Hulk was done (very well, in my opinion) as an animated movie.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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If they could get Betty White as a guest star ...

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

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If you want to throw two or three doses of the same alchemical substance, use a Focusing Flask. If you want to throw two different types together, use a Hybridization Funnel. It's very straight-forward.

Does it work to glue regular flasks together? No, because those two items exist. We could all go around inventing reasons why, to the characters, it doesn't work, but it doesn't.

Can I drink a potion underwater? No, because then the potion sponge would be a useless item. Can you look at a fallen comrade and tell whether or not she's dead? No, because that's what the spell deathwatch is used for. Can I swing my weapon really hard, hitting less often but doing more damage? Not without Power Attack.

If your clever idea is a work-around to avoid a piece of equipment, a spell, or a feat, then no, it doesn't work.

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

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I don't know what you mean, Matthew. Obamacare is working great for my family.

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

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Right now, there's no distinction between a GM running a public game at a game store, versus a GM running a home campaign and registering the games as PFS sessions. Does anybody think we should be making this distinction?

If a GM runs two APs and two modules, that's enough GM credit for a second star. (Those can even be using house rules, or a different game system.) I don't see any need to offer incentives for that.

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

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claudekennilol wrote:

As a five star GM that's obviously been around for a long time, you obviously know the answer to that and I'm sure have seen the same comments on this very character that the rest of us here have. Why even ask?

Yoon's size makes her a special case, and therefore a bad example. I have not kept up with the Advanced Class Guide and Occult pre-gens, precisely because we can't give them out to new players and then allow them to continue playing them.

"This hunter is great. Can I file off the pre-gen label and continue to play her next slot as my xxxxx-01 PC?"

"Not unless you buy the ACG, you can't."

So, I continue to advise new players to run Core pre-gens; they're simpler, and they'll transfer to PFS seamlessly. However, if the campaign's answer is "Even if you buy the resources, you can't play that pre-gen as a PC because it's not legal," that's a problem. If 0-BAB characters have Power Attack, that's a problem. If skills don't add up right, it's a problem.

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

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Paizo feels that conventions are an important facet to growing the brand and the organized play campaign.

If you disagree, then please develop that argument.

If you agree, then please offer an alternate incentive to get people to want to GM at conventions. Because "there's this goodie, and I'd like to have it, and it's only available at cons." is actually a pretty good reason to keep it as a convention exclusive.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Folks, forgive my asking but, what the hell is the alternative? "There's a human alive and alone on a barren world out there. We have the means to save him, but my lovely colleague is soft on him after he saved her life for six months, so no, I'll let him die out there."

If "let's bring him home" is the measure of being an awesome dude, you have a pretty low bar, friends.

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Yuri, that's very problematical.

Let's say I own the occult book, and when I attend a convention, I play Yoon as a 1st-level pre-gen, and I like the character.

Can I play her in the next slot, too?

It was be a tremendous advantage to the campaign if we could say, "Yes. Just register a clone of her as your 1st-level PC, and you're good to go."

Pre-gens used in the PFS campaign should be legal PFS characters.

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

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BNW, "plausible deniability" is the suggestion that you can do illegal things, as long as people don't have enough proof.

I was under the impression that this campaign worked on the honor system. Has this changed?

EDIT: Ravingdork, I cut a lot of players slack when they make honest mistakes, but please don't heed the advice to play an illegal character class, with the expectation that the rules will change, and none of your GMs will care. That's not the way this campaign is supposed to work.

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For what it's worth, BBT, Venture Captains are not rules mavens, and "I asked a VC" is no better than "I asked my GM."

Venture Captains have been chosen for their organizational zeal and their willingness to get down and dirty with a lot of the paperwork that the campaign requires.

Some of them are very capable with the Pathfinder game rules, and Mike used that skill productively. But certainly not all of them.

If you cite which Venture Captains you asked -- and hey, once you got a VC to agree, why did you go off and ask two others? -- they can chime in and explain their reasoning.

(Or, I could have just taken your troll bait. In which case, well played, I guess.)

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How is this a Society issue?

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With respect, folks, ...

The "dead horse" comments aren't helpful. They boil down to "I think this thread is played out, and I want to mock those people who still wish to carry on a conversation."

There seems to be a clear interest in the topic, and people have unresolved issues. Fresh comments are still being introduced.

If you, yourself, have grown tired of the thread, might I recommend that you begin a fresher one, on a topic that interests you more strongly, rather than cast scorn on the people who are involved here?

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Well, but there it is, LazarX. It's just as highly implausible that a Venture Captain would trust a schizophrenic Vigilante, or a savage half-orc barbarian, or for that matter a goblin with sensitive situations. But those characters get sent on missions. That's the nature of the organized play environment.

Do you think that the GM should be able to refuse an otherwise-legal PC because "Drengle Drang doesn't trust you"?

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LazarX wrote:

The central premise is that you play a character whose primary loyalty first and foremost, beyond nationality, race, or creed, is to the Pathfinder society. A slave by definition does not have the freedom to make that pledge.

People have been offering several rebuttals to this:

"I have placed myself in servitude to the Society."

"I am beholden to the Society as my new masters, to discharge a debt my old owner owed."

"I am secretly working to advance some other cause. My master sent me into the Society as a deep mole."

"My owner is an agent for the Society. I go on missions with him."

"My 'Day Job' is a servant of that temple over there. They let me adventure with you guys on off-hours."

So, an enslaved PC is a viable character concept, even under the additional burden that a slave's master has total control over the slave's activities. You have something against it, that's fine. But please come up with a better objection than "It's impossible." Because it isn't.

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Dave,

How would a sending like that come about? Would another PC be casting the spell? Or are you suggesting the the GM would create an NPC (the master) and decide that NPC sends a message just to throw the PC off-mission, without any justification in the scenario?

[Incidentally, "enslaved to the Consortium, spying on the Pathfinders as a deep-cover mole" is a fantastic character background, but I don't know how it would ever be addressed in the scope of the game.]

Lots and lots of PCs have backstories with ties and commitments on the character. To name just one example, clerics are part of an organized hierarchy that might be at odds with the Society or the particular mission goal. Every single character who's part of a faction other than Grand Lodge might be tasked to do something off-mission.

If you're requiring characters to be free from all outside commitments, then you're holding PCs to an impossibly high standard.

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captain yesterday wrote:

Stay classy Pathfinder Society, don't own slaves like an a%~#~!# piece of s***.

If you want to expand pathfinder society b$~+!*%# like this isn't the way to do it, I know I wouldn't play at a table with another character that insists on owning slaves. I know the setting has it, it's historical, blah, blah, blah, whatever, doesn't matter pathfinder leadership needs to abolish this s*#~, and quick.

See? This is what I mean by "conflating Golarion slavery with historical American slavery." We are well on our way to getting heated with one another. Then the moderators have to step in, and then badness ensues.

Any plan where you lose your hat is a bad plan.
--
Captain, you are well within your rights to refuse to sit at a table with someone who owns slaves, or a gunfighter, or a magus, or any other reason. You should realize that the other character is a legitimate PFS PC, though.

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Two reminders:

1) The Grand Lodge Scriptorium uses slave labor to pen the Pathfinder Chronicles. (Indeed, we remove the tongues of the people we purchase on the slave blocks and then we place them under a life-long gaes to copy any printed material set before them.) So long as your PC is a Pathfinder, and he hasn't freed the Society's own slaves back there, you shouldn't get your knickers in too much of a twist.

2) This topic never, ever ends well. People create characters who push limits. Other people conflate slavery on Golarion for slavery in American history. People decide to push each other's buttons on the forum. Chris and Liz delete posts and warn people, and eventually lock the thread.

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For what it's worth, I am eager to play my paladin in scenarios where he might not be a good fit. If I only send him on paladin-enabling adventures ("What? This scenario has a dragon, a demon, and some undead, all to boot? Why, yes, please.") what kind of fun role-playing career would that be?

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I've been reading this thread without comment, but I think I have something potentially worth-while to add.

Once we get into a situation where characters are working against each other's goals, we need to step back and check with the players. They may be cool with that.

Example: I'm running a play-by-post PFS adventure right now, and two Dark Archive / Cheliax-through-and-through characters have just done something that the Liberty's Edge and Silver Crusade characters find appalling. It could be very tense.

But the players are noting that it's their characters who are squabbling, and they're all good with role-playing how the conflict will resolve itself. If that's the case with the paladin versus the other players, then cool.

My Favorite Mission Briefing as a player:
came in "Fury of the Fiend" when the VC explained that we were going to impersonate Hellknights to gain access to an archaeological site. My paladin/Hellknight listened to the entire spiel and then commented, "Surely you are kidding, Captain." If the attitude at the table were that I was just expected to play along and 'not be a jerk', then I'm not sure what the point of being a Paladin would be.

--

If the players are getting tense at each other, I think it's a mistake to try to find an in-world GM ruling that addresses the situation. My recommendation is to pause the game and get people to talk to one another out-of-character and get some perspective. it may be something that requires the GM to intervene -- "I know you're new to the campaign, but I wanted to make sure you understood that just trying to stir up trouble isn't what this is all about."

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rknop, I can see that, thank you. But is there a combat in PFS where DR/alignment comes into play, where somebody who doesn't normally do weapon damage could be an effective threat with "Trusty Buddy"? The creatures I'm thinking of that have DR/good are pretty fricking dangerous, and 1d6 + middling Strength damage isn't going to do much, even if it's getting through.

That's my question: is there a situation in PFS where it would really matter?

--

Thanks for the correction, BBT.

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Let's hope that its several years into the series before we see Elastic Lad, okay?

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jtaylor73003 wrote:


There is no concern about keeping trust and consistency between the player and the GM.

GMs are given free range to do as they see fit including ignoring RAW or even the written scenario.

You should always warn your players to expect table variation for everything even if it seems black and white.

That's ridiculous. Everything you've said here is incorrect.

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I distinguish between a player asking for advantageous loot, versus a home-campaign GM looking for good Chronicles to present to one of his frequent players.

Ngrundir Skagerrak, as people have written, chakrams haven't appeared on any Chronicle sheets, so you have encountered bad luck today. In the future, if you look for something else, you should post your question in the GM sub-forum, and you should continue to make clear that you are not the player.

I thank you for taking your time to help your sister-in-law enjoy Pathfinder Society.

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blackbloodtroll wrote:

I noted before:

A friend may want to show you this cool thing he/she got on a chronicle sheet, or tries to ask you how something on a chronicle sheet works.
You either outright refuse, or you're cheating.

You are DMing a game, and a player has some kind of odd bonus, or item. He/she says it's on a chronicle sheet.
You can either trust that they know exactly what it does, and deny them the chance to tell you which chronicle it came from, or you're cheating.

You prepare to run a scenario, reading through to make sure you have the required materials. Things don't work out, or you don't get around to running it. A PFS game comes up, and it is said scenario.
You either refuse to play, and in fact must never play it, or you're cheating.

You decide to play a CORE PFS game. You have played through, or DM'd most scenarios available. By CORE rules, you can play through scenarios, you have played through in a non-CORE game, but...
You can try to find the few scenarios you might not have played/DM'd, just not play at all, or you're cheating.

Not a single thing here is true. As you say, you're a troll.

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When this topic comes up, I'll just note for the record:

If you have advance knowledge of elements of the adventure, you're required to let me know. ("I know there's a ghost touch +1 kama in this adventure.")

I'll ask you how you know.

If you say "Because I prepped the scenario to GM it back home last month," or "I've already played this scenario in CORE mode," I'll ask you to keep surprise-y things to yourself and let the other players figure stuff out.

If you say "Because I consulted a database of boons," I consider that cheating. I'll give you a 0 XP Chronicle sheet with the boons crossed off and ask you to leave my table.

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"Nice heroes y'all have here. Be a shame if they'd all .. catch on fire."

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Not intended to be a loaded question, Joshua. You're announcing a change from the printed rules. I'd still like a citation. If you're going by the instructions of a Venture Captain, can you remember which one?

Maybe there's something on the Venture Officer boards about this, that I don't know about. But in general, we don't tie GM rewards to the players' level of success, because that can bias GM rulings. (If I say you all succeed, then I'll get an extra prestige point.)

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The Fox wrote:


If I was at your table and you told me I needed to fill in the sheet before you would sign it, I would have laughed. "Whatever, dude."

At least at my table, that's the expectation as well. I'll hand my players the Chronicle with the new values earned. They then show me (a) the character's most recent previous Chronicle, and (b) this Chronicle with the totals filled in. If the character had bought anything between last time and this session, I'll want to see the ITS, too. I then sign the Chronicle.

I let my players know this at the beginning of the session. That way, if they don't have the Chronicles, they can go run grab a pre-gen. If they have them, but haven't filled them in for several sessions, they can get that work done during the next four hours. (A tip of the hat to Kyle Baird for this system.)

If your attitude is dismissive, you'll walk away without a signed Chronicle.
--

But yes, I fill in as much information as possible before the session starts and during the character introductions. That's also when I have PCs make their Day Job checks. It starts the session off with a small success that everybody can cheer about, and gets that out of the way when everybody's trying to clean up and leave.

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