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Arodnap

Chris Mortika's page

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 8,846 posts (11,446 including aliases). 18 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 8 Pathfinder Society characters. 11 aliases.


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Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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DrakeRoberts wrote:
How would you specifically handle this ability at your table (both in how it would work mechanically, and if necessary, how you'd make sure that its use didn't ruin the fun of others)?

In terms of flavor, I'm imagining a Bard spouting off reasonable-sounding information, and the magic of Pageant influencing the bard so that it turns out to be right more often than not. In the same way that a cleric announces whether a possible course of action is a good idea, and is right more often than not, thanks to the magic of augury.

Mechanically, it looks like there's two different concerns going on in this thread: identifying monsters in combat, and substituting for a whole host of skills throughout the adventure.

I honestly don't think that using it for monster identification during combat is all that serious an issue. Using the Bardic Masterpiece takes a standard action, as opposed to using Knowledge (dungeoneering) or such. So, it allows a bard to announce things about the monster, after a standard action's worth of preening and posturing. And it turns out to be mostly correct. (Of course, that's what we expect from bards. They know stuff.)

The bard is also spending resources -- uses of bardic performance -- while her colleague with a lot of ranks in Knowledges can use them all day long. If the bard wants to spend three or four rounds of bardic performance during a scenario on pageant of the peacock, I'm okay with her getting some return on her investment.

In terms of dominating a table by running fough-shod over the Int-based Knowledge monkeys, I would make sure that the other PCs got an opportunity to shine. Maybe they'd know different things about the objects under study. Maybe they'd have better support for their positions. Mechanically, I'd follow the advice other people have already provided: If the wizard gets a Knowledge (dungeoneering) result of 21, and the bard gets a Bluff check of 31, I'd give the Wizard the information that a 21 entitles him to. And then I'd give the bard the additional information that she whipped up, and possibly one more "factoid" that she made up, which is just as plausible, but not correct..

When would I do that? When I think the bard is running rough-shod over her colleagues, and when I think the players at that table would enjoy it.

But in general, I think Akerlof has the heart of the situation. If somebody's using pageant of the peacock to dominate a table, the problem isn't with the Masterpiece.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I believe that the Masterpiece in question is a magical effect, and should do more than a Bluff check, even more than a very good one.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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LazarX wrote:


Are you equally that sanguine about such a choice, when you've traveled hundreds of miles, paying for convention entrance, paying for a share in a hotel room, and other expenses to attend a con, especially if it's one of the specials you're not going to get a chance to play otherwise? The current scenarios are designed for 6 players with some reductions for 4. I have little sympathy for a DM who insists on keeping his table to 4 at a convention we're running.

My whole post is a statement of my position on a wide topic, in the context of a GM who only wants to run 4-player tables.

I agree, LazarX, if the GM kept his restriction secret until the day of the convention. ("Oh, you know what? I'm only going to accept 4-player tables today.") That's no good.

On the other hand, if the GM had let the organizer know at first contact, that would be a different thing. ("I can only handle 4-player tables.") At that point, the organizer can either accept the GM's help under that restriction, or decline. ("Sorry, dude. I need everybody to be able to run 6-player tables. If you can't do that, I'd be happy for your help at HQ, or maybe demo-ing the "Goblin Attack" scenarios.")

If the organizer does accept the help ("I mean, hey, four players seated is better than none.") , then the players who can't get in to a game should take that up with the organizer, but they never made any agreements with the GM.

Feel free to substitute an employee who won't work on her Sabbath, or a pharmacist who won't fill certain perscriptions.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Back in October, 2012 the Paizo Blog ran a "Pathfinder Survival 101" column. It recommended:

Potion of Invigorate (50 gp): Going into battle with a creature that can sap your endurance, leaving you fatigued or exhausted, this potion will banish that pathetic mortal weakness and allow you to ignore the associated penalties for 10 WHOLE MINUTES. Of course, when it runs out, you get not only the penalties, but also an extra d6 points of nonlethal damage for your arrogance in ignoring your natural limits—but hey, performance enhancements are just an easy way of separating winners from losers! Honestly, though, ignoring those penalties for 10 minutes, that's freaking awesome for 50 gp.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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HowlingWolf wrote:

Glad to see my money was well spent on the Blood books.

Well, good news is I will save money in the future by not buying side books. I bought the blood books to be pfs legal. Now that content is being removed from pfs, I dont see the point in wasting money on non core books.

Can we expect these new races to be banned in the future? Should we warn new players to only use content from the core books, just to be safe?

I am pretty sure that people who bought Ultimate Magic for the sole purpose of playing a legal synthesist in Pathfinder Society were even more bummed, because (a) that was a more expensive book, and (b) the synthesist was out-right banned, unlike the Aasimar and Tieflings, which are still perfectly playable races with a race boon.

It seems to me that your complaint would apply just as well to any element of the campaign that was restricted or banned. So, you're complaining that not everything is available in this campaign?

Can we expect that the three new open races will be restricted again? Hard to say, since this is an experiment, but if all goes well, yes, they'll probably cycle out to let other race boons become open. If you want to buy books that never have anything restricted or banned in this campaign, you're out of luck, since there are some Core elements of the game that are banned (reincarnate) or restricted (crafting poisons).

And I agree with your first sentence. If you enjoy playing Aasimars and Tieflings, your money was very likely well spent, indeed!

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Kyle Baird is taken aback to find that Garble is not the simplest member of the adventuring party.

"Garble tell goat to flank. Goat just chew on tapestry. Garble think that this is how humans feel all the time."

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I would guess that, without an Aasimar boon, the answer to questions 4 and 5 will be "no". It makes no sense to retire a race if every single 1st-level PC can be freely rebuilt into that race.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Tacticslion wrote:
So. Found this. It needs sharing. Enjoy.

And, relevant to the thread, the advertisement was for chocolate peanut-butter ice-cream ...

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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So, we have an influx of cool new PFS players in town, and some of us were thinking about tossing up a list of courtesy reminders.

Does your local store / PFS group have anything like this? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

1. Watch your footprint. This involves spreading things all over the space around you, voice volume, food in the map, all that stuff.

2. Don't cheat.

2a. This includes: if you're honestly not sure how something works, ask or look it up. Don't presume that it works the way that's most advantageous to you.

2b. This includes dice. Listen to the GM about his or her rules for when to roll dice and how long to leave them on the table. If you need to pick up your dice to read them, get new dice.

3. Dont over-metagame. Distinguish between player knowledge and character information.

4. We're all friends, and every meet-up is a reunion. Nevertheless, don't take over the table with tangents and out-of-character tales of previous sessions.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Chris Mortika wrote:
I concur with Dragnmoon on both particulars.
nosig wrote:
You would do this even if it canceled the game and sent the other players home?

Generally speaking, yes. I'm certain that we could ladle on special circumstances ("The table will not run otherwise, and the other players want to play, even if the GM is running cold." "It's a Season 1 scenario." "The emergency substitute GM is John Compton," "One of the other players is a 12-year old with advanced leukemia, and she'll probably die before she gets a chance to play again.") that would generate an exception.

Under normal circumstances, I'll walk. My playing experienced with GMs running cold has been pretty dismal, and I'm not getting paid to play in circumstances where nobody's having much fun.

And look: if my leaving sends the other players home, that means that there were only two other players. And either the GM didn't bother to prepare, or else the GM didn't even show, and the venue found a substitute table judge. There is a serious problem with that venue, and my sitting through a session isn't a long-term fix.

--

My opinion is informed by GenCon 2012, and the Race for the Rune-carved Key, Part 2. As adventures go, it was pretty straight-forward: traps, combats, puzzles. A time limit. And several tables were being run by GMs who had not even read the thing ahead of time. Other GMs didn't even show up, and Mike enlisted emergency back-up volunteers at the last minute. You've heard stories about whole tables getting wiped because the GM hadn't read some important information? Yep.That was a potentially tremendous, historic event, turned sour at the edges by GMs running cold.

(Heck, nosig, I'm not happy running scenarios when I've only prepped one sub-tier, and find myself running another. I've made some whoppers of mistakes there.)

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Fromper wrote:
I think it's assumed that probably half or more of PCs are field commissions. I can't see many of the weirdo PC ideas at my tables (including many of my own) sitting still for 3 years of schooling.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
While it doesn't come up that often, I don't know if I've even seen a "standardly trained" pathfinder as a pc. Apparently they save those for the missions where everyone isn't going to die.

On the other hand, I recall the line in "Seekers of Secrets" that suggests that field promotions are very, very rare. So, almost all of my PCs have the three-year apprenticeship built into their histories.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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All kidding aside, I think Steve's change of shirt goes a fair distance towards separating the person sitting down to play from his or her responsibilities to the campaign. It helps emphasize the idea that he or she is "off duty".

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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For what it's worth, here in the upper midwest, we allow players one pass through "Master of Fallen Fortress" with a 2nd-level character; it's been that way at every convention I've sat as a MotFF table judge, with Venture Officers serving as coordinators. So far as I know, nobody's ever been called on that at a character audit.

1 XP, 1 PP, gold as written

Incidentally, Smite: welcome to PFS. It's good to have you. (And you might want to let your Venture Officers know about that con where folks don't report.)

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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For what it's worth, I don't really invite the players to ask questions.

I give critter name, type and subtype, which usually gives a lot of information.

If the die result is better than the minimum, I relate stories they've heard, or discussions they've had with other Pathfinder agents or friendly adventurers.

"It's a troll. Giant-type humanoid. [etc] You know that these things are practically unkillable, except under odd circumstances. And, according to one of the sailors you talked to last night, they really hate bardic music. "Two of them attacked us from the hold one night, and they was absolute fearless, except for Yasmir, our Ifrit bard. They kept well away from him."

"Ifrit, you say?"

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Let me see if I can articulate the "we'd like a change" position.

Right now, if a store were to run a 4-day event (Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday) with four PFS tables per day, the event would be eligible for boon support from Paizo, including some presents for GMs who would run at the event.

So, is that so very different from holding a coherent event at a game store, spread over 4 Saturdays? Again, at least four tables per day. The schedule would be posted for the whole gradual-con.

That strikes me as something that could attract attention, garner a sizable number of new players, and grow PFS in the area, in ways that a regular game-day can't. It might be worth Paizo's efforts to support something like that.

BNW, trollbill, is that what you're suggesting?

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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"...people were saying the Shawl hit points just sprout out of thin air, which is hardly the intent of the item."

That's not what I was reading. Rather, that hit points stored in the shawl can be healed by some other means, while the shawl is active. (So, have it leech 10 hit points, and then have the party's sorcerer cast infernal healing on you. You're good as new, with an additional bank of 10 "emergency hit points" in the shawl.)

Darksol, I understand the rules to allow healing of the damage while wearing the shawl. I can appreciate your ruling otherwise, but I think you're stretching flavor-text to cover rules cruft. In any case, it would appear to be an open question, at least in some people's interpretation. The OP should ask for a GM ruling.

"...a complete weakling subject to their every whim." Because of a -2 modifier to two saving throws? That strikes me as a bizarre over-reaction.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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A question about Fort Inevitable, because I'm trying to wrap my brain around an issue.

One of the six foundations of River Kingdom politics is that people do not own other people; slavery is forbidden. At Fort Inevitable, slavery is practiced, with rules governing humane treatment of human chattel. That's fine: I can well imagine a settlement keeping slaves, even though it's against the law of the land. But I'm trying to get my head around that same settlement considering itself the bastion of Law in the area.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Eureka!!

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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In my experience, kids are a lot better at handling PC death than many of their elders.

--

I have a lot of unused race boon Chronicles. I've taken to handing one out to players when they lose characters due to a selfless sacrifice or a particularly spectacular string of bad luck.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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If I were the GM, I would hope that the dialogue would go something like:

GM: Duncan, does your character have a Day Job?
Player: Yes. He's a torturer. Profession (torture). Rolled a 23.
GM: Torture is, by definition an evil act, and I'd hate to move your Lawful Neutral character into LE territory. The atonement would cost more than you'd earn! Can you describe how you can earn money with that profession, without actually torturing people?

And then we would go to ...

Player: Sure. He uses his deep understanding of torture techniques to help victims recover.
GM: That seems awfully nice for a follower of Asmodeus.
Player: Some victims are willing to contract for services. This is a service I lawfully offer.

or

Player: I could, but really, that's what he does. The Paracount brings malcontents to us, and we torture them.
GM: Then if you want that 20 gp, I'll note the alignment shift. Do you want to pay for the atonement or retire the character?
Player: After consideration, can we say that no clients needed my ministrations since my last adventure?
GM: Absolutely.

Whatever the GM's attitude, I would expect that open, clear lines of communication would help the situation. Nobody wants to be surprised by the consequences of an action after it's too late to reconsider.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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We had this argument last year with profession (assassin). I think this is even more clean-cut.

My visceral disgust with this was born from a character-building session I had with a new player during the Season 1 roll-out of the PFS rules. He wanted a day job that would have not only been an evil act, it would have gotten him booted from my table. I told him no, PFS doesn't condone that sort of nonsense, and he chose a different, innocuous skill.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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My favorite d4 is a dodecahedron with three sides each marked I, II, III, and IV.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Patrick, you keep talking about making things more challenging for the enjoyment of the game.

It's been my experience that players who build over-clocked combat monsters like to dominate combat. They like to win, and they like to win fast. People who want a challenging combats play weaker classes, take non-combat roles, or spread out their attributes and skill points to focus on other elements of the game.

If you look at a table of druids, summoners, barbarians, zen archers and tricked out Aasimar wizards with a level of wild-blooded sorcerer, and figure that they're all combat-heavy, how do you determine that ratcheting up the difficulty of the combats is what they want?

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Chris Mortika wrote:

Patrick F, it sounds to me like you don't like that aspect of organized play.

Rather, I get the sense like you want to run a home campaign, where it's the GM's job to modify encounters to provide a fun experience for the players. As GMs we are not allowed to make the kinds of changes you're suggesting. If you insist on doing that, stop running Pathfinder Society games. There's lots of other kinds of fun to be had with the rules system that isn't organized play.

Patrick F wrote:

I do like the organized play aspect of Pathfinder. Simply because I interpret 5.0 guidelines differently doesn't give you the right to place ultimatums over me. 1) You aren't at my table events. 2) You can agree to disagree. 3) Don't make assumptions about me.

Maybe all those stars next to your name have gone to your head. Enough said.

Um, Patrick, ... you do understand that you just (a) personally insulted me, and then (b) insisted we close the topic, right?

1) So far as I know, that's right, I haven't been at your tables. I don't understand what that has to do with the topic, though. If someone came here and said "I use the Critical Hit and Fumble decks when I GM PFS," I'd have said the same thing: "Those aren't allowed in this environment." And if that person had insisted, "You aren't at my table events," I'd probably agree with him, too. Still not allowed.

2) Disagree with me, sure. Lots of people do, on a host of issues. You can disagree with CathalFM, and with Blackbot, and with a half-dozen posters upthread as well. We're all telling you the same thing, and you can disagree with all of us.

But Mike weighed in here. It's his job to set the tone and scope of the campaign. Read what he said, please. Some of the suggestions you're suggesting that GMs make (like changing a key to a ring of 8 keys, each of which takes more than a full round to check in a lock) (like having the opponent be outside a room, having gone out to lunch, and arrive behind the party) (like changing a combat encounter into a chase encounter) (like changing the weather) are beyond the scope of the campaign. I'm not alone in telling you: Mike has asked us not to do that. In fact, he has required us not to do that.

3) I don't know that I've made assumptions about you, to the extent that I have, my apologies. Rather, I've told you how you're coming across to me. I never suggested that you do like the freedom GMs have in home campaigns. But that's the kind of freedoms you're advocating here, to make encounters more challenging for players.

Personal anecdote time: this past fall, I was able to attend a convention and play a module in which the last encounter was an enormous fight, even for a well-optimized party of 7 PCs. My magus went down (doesn't matter what your armor class is, when six clerics are channelling negative energy, round after round) and died. Not a big deal, and I had the prestige ready for a raise dead. The GM said not to worry about it, that he'd changed up the module, to "provide a challenge" and "save time", and he gave me the raise dead and restorations for free. Later, I prepped the adventure in order to run it. As it turned out, he'd put all the enemies from four different high-CR encounters in the same room*.

All he did was change the locations and tactics of the opposition. That's the level of change you're suggesting that we feel free to make; your position is that he was within his purview as GM. Now, if I were the sort of person who makes assumptions about people, I'd imagine that your reaction might be, "Well, yeah, but that was bad judgement. And that issue Mike was talking about, with the black dragons; that was bad judgement, too. I'm talking about making things challenging, but not lethal. I know what I'm doing."

Maybe you do. But every GM who changes changes up adventures in PFS thinks he knows what he's doing. In a home campaign, where the GM knows the characters' capabilities and the players' personalities, that's a more reasonable assumption. In an organized play environment, we have been instructed to run the encounters as written.

*

Spoiler:
I don't mean to suggest that the game was entirely a negative experience. The GM had all sorts of positive qualities, none of which are relevant to this discussion. I'd be happy to sit at his table again.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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For the most part in RPGs, "character advancement" in power is an illusion, because the fights never get any easier. If my character drinks from a magic river and gets new abilities -- or finds a powerful weapon -- he's more powerful, but he's also now fighting two minotaurs instead of two bugbears. However, in organized play, if I "play up" get more gold and therefore more equipment, or if I finagle a powerful build out of a few spells from one book, an archetype from another, and some feats from a third, I really can get easier fights. Patrick F, it sounds to me like you don't like that aspect of organized play.

Rather, I get the sense like you want to run a home campaign, where it's the GM's job to modify encounters to provide a fun experience for the players. As GMs we are not allowed to make the kinds of changes you're suggesting. If you insist on doing that, stop running Pathfinder Society games. There's lots of other kinds of fun to be had with the rules system that isn't organized play.

Quote:
The object is not to kill the party as a GM, but to provide enough of a challenge so the scenario isn't a walk through in the park either.

You have no control over that, Patrick. Once the dice are rolled, a "challenging" encounter can easily turn into a lethal one. Roll a couple of critical hits that shouldn't have happened, and then we're back around to the players checking the scenario, complaining to the event organizer, who needs to talk to a Venture Officer in order to bring those characters back.

What you can do is (1) play the smart NPCs as smart. Work out clever tactics ahead of time. (Kyle Baird taught me to take the time to actually run combats ahead of time as part of my prep work.) Know the effectiveness of the NPCs' spells. If it fits the NPC's personality, surrender to the party's paladin and then break the truce immediately.

Also, (2) enforce the rules. for example, players will try to draw a scroll or potion as part of a move action; don't allow it. Players won't keep track of arrows being lost. Keep track of that for them. There are plenty of ways to keep the game chalenging without changing up the encounters.

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Patrick F wrote:
...The scope of the game is severely limited for PFS scenarios at the beginning years (designed for 4 players). Sometimes you are running full table of six requires some very *creative* GMing to make the scenario somewhat challenging. For instance, you can always modify the weather to affect visibility and so forth -- which complies with the PFS rules. Interesting how a thunder storm rolls in when more than four players shows up at the table... just resist the urge to lightning bolt the power gamer.

That sort of modification is good in a home game. It does not comply with the guidelines in Pathfinder Society. Please run the encounters as written.

Quote:

You can also make some minor situational changes. For instance, when you come up to that old abandoned warehouse with a mere 6 minions and a boss to challenge that the power leveler could wipe out all of them solo, you need to come up with some creative ideas without changing the content of the scenario to make it more challenging.

You could have the boss and two of the minions go out for drinks at the local tavern. Now they return after the second round of combat at the rear of the party.

Good in a home game. Not allowed in Pathfinder Society. Please run the encounters as written. In particular, do not change an enemy's stated tactics to give the party some challenge.

Quote:
The setting could be at dark, so lighting could be an issue, as the minions firing long range weapons from the shadows. Maybe there is a ship or wagon nearby -- they found out by paid informant that a large group of adventures is looking for them while they were gathering information. The enemy decides to flee -- thus allowing the ranger to help track them and thus starts a chase scene. Who has ride animal, swim or profession sailor? (reviewing characters skills and professions beforehand can allow for some interesting roleplaying opportunities).

Neither a change in lighting situations nor a change from a combat encounter to a chase encounter is allowed in PFS. Please run the encounters as written.

Quote:
Give the boss some extra time to cast preparatory spells by having the players find a *set* of keys (2d4) for the locked door to the warehouse. Which one opens the door? (Try one key per swift action, standard action and movement action per 6 second round).

No. Please run the encounters as written. Don't give the boss some extra prep time for buffing spells, just to make the encounter tougher. And here's why: when that change, that new challenge, kills the party, and when one of the players reads the scenario and realizes that you mucked around with the encounter, the players have a legitimate gripe. It doesn't matter whether you gave the boss extra time to buff, had him show up in Round Two behind the party, or changed his hobgoblin servants into trolls, just to give the party a challenge. Now, the store coordinator has to involve a Venture Officer, who has to adjudicate the situation, possibly reverse the deaths; it's a real mess.

Ask Mike Brock about the GM who inserted black dragons into a PFS scenario, just to give the party a challenge.

Now, of course, you and the people you're advising, have a much better grasp of encounter design than that guy. You know how to modify encounters so that the party gets challenged, but doesn't actually die. But they will use up more consumable gear, like healing wands or defensive magic. And so you will weaken them in future scenarios, where they might need that equipment. Also, even people running overclocked PCs get cold dice sometimes. So, you change the weather, forcing concentration checks to cast spells, or miss chances due to concealment, and the players start rolling in the single digits. And the PCs die. Maybe they would have died in the encounter as written, but we'll never know, because you decided to change up the encounter to make it more challenging.

Quote:
Town guards giving the party a hard time and justifying their actions if they are disruptive in town or start fighting in front of witnesses. ...

That's perfectly reasonable.

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Tarma wrote:


For Example: A new scenario/module is announced for PFS that would include the test of the Starstone. The level cap is set high, 10-12, to limit absolutely everyone from creating a submission. If it's announced early enough, you can give players plenty of time to prepare for the scenario.

Then Paizo can have some sort of contest for those few players that wind up completing the scenario a chance to become a canonized deity.

Two notes, Tarma.

1) Word of God (so to speak) is that a the best-established pre-requisite for succeeding at the Test of the Starstone is to be 20th level. The four verified Starstone graduates were all 20th level when they walked / snuck / staggered into the Cathedral.

So, setting the level at 10 - 12 is a good way to make sure the adventure is a Roach Motel.

2) Nothing in PFS will ever advance canon, period. You can be defeated by a Runelord who takes over the world. Not canon. The campaign can try to establish that the Ruby Prince almost dies of an illness, and blames the Pathfinder Society. Not canon for the greater campaign setting.

Put another way, Colarion isn't Greyhawk during the Greyhawk Wars, nor the Forgotten Realms. The canon calendar hasn't advanced since the suggestion that the events in"Rise of the Runelords" and "Curse of the Crimson Throne" might be considered canon. Published material can ad details to the background, but won't advance the background. (We can get background about why Molthune is at war with Nithramas, but Molthune will always be at war with Nithramas.)

The OP wants Golarion to include a major god who's "worth worshipping" and who has black skin.Depends on how you count, but there's currently no such god. Pathfinder Society Organized Play is the wrong vehicle to change that.

And a tournament where one PC gets to be a god is an even worse way, since it's just as likely that "Stinkballs McGoober", a halfling summoner who doesn't fit the Golarion canon very well at all, would be elevated to godhood instead, At which point, Golarion still wouldn't have a black-skinned god, but would have a doofy god who harms the setting.

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Stiehl9s wrote:

Hahahaha...

of course people in the movie derived that the cure was permanent. Because thats what other characters in the movie said. That doesnt make it fact.

Not getting into any of the rest of the debate...

But you've illustrated a terrible deus ex machina resolution to the movie. (Imagine if -- after all the desperate fighting between Cap and the Red Skull over the Tesseract in Captain America: First Avenger -- the artifact couldn't do more than heat soup. Or the Ark of the Covenant was a dud. Those would no longer be action / adventure movies. The name for that genre is "farce".

Quote:
Ive been reading Xmen since the early 80's and didnt buy it for a second. Nothing is set in stone in the Marvel universe. Characters constantly are 'killed off' or lose their powers only to have both come back at a later date. Thats canon.

Well, yes, but of necessity, and that convention is rightfully mocked as "a comic book death". A movie franchise presents a continuity that is vastly different than a universe that churns out 30 short stories every month. Comics villains appear to die because that is an effective resolution to the 17-page adventure: the hero wins and also doesn't have to spend the next installment hunting down the villain. The nemesis returns later to provide continuity (If Spider-Man never fought the same guy twice, how many opponents would he have had, by now?) and a quick, clear motivation for everyone involved.

When a movie franchise goes into the double- or triple-digits of installments, then I'd start to see the return of clearly-dead enemies. (And before you ask, I was not particularly happy with the Clone Wars' resurrection of Darth Maul, nor the Extended Universe's "clones" of Palpatine.)

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Incidentally, I'm listening to the Dresden series audiobooks during my car trips these days, and I'm currently listening to Ghost Story.

Stars and stones, are there a lot of digressions!! And long ones. I understand that it's a book about Harry's memories; I get that. But every so often, I have gotten exasperated and called out, "Butcher, get on with it, already."

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Here's how I have run initiative:

1) If there's only one bad guy of each type (one foe, or three foes with their own stat blocks, etc.) I assume that the bad guys roll 10.5 for their initiative.

1a) There's never a tie with a PC.
1b) If a player invests his resources in giving his character a high initiative, I'd like to reward that, as opposed to rolling high a couple of times and leaving him frustrated.
1c) High-initiative foes go before low-initiative foes.

2) If there are a couple of "named" villains, then I'll roll, before the game, 3 times for each additional villain, and take the middle-valued roll.

3) If there are a lot of mooks, I'll have a third of them roll 7.5, an third of them roll 10.5, and a third of them roll 13.5

--

but, please, people: don't roll all of the foes' initiatives in one clump, let them all take advantage of a very high initiative roll, and then act surprised or sympathetic when your bad guys pound the snot out of the flat-footed party.

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I have a suggestion for a boon.

Right now, one of the keenest rewards is elevation to the status of Venture Captain or a free-lance agent of the Society.

Is there any way to have an equally-difficult-to-obtain boon that would allow a player to create a minor faction? (Maybe even more difficult. It could be one of the carity boons auctioned off at a convention.) And I'm thinking about something like the Lantern Bearers, or the Riftwardens.

I'm drawing up a proposal, and I'll post it on this thread in a bit, but what do folks think? Mike, John, what do you see as the downsides / problems with this?

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Well, part of Extremis was "This guy is a genius-level inventor. Really, he should invent something now and again."

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John,

Thank you, and thanks again.

I can appreciate that Emerald Spire might take a while to sanction, but may I request that releasing the Chronicles for the beginning levels take priority over releasing all the Chronicles en masse? I'm guessing that most groups are going to start at the entrance and work their way to the more powerful levels. I'm one of these folks, and I'll be doing so at a convention in early July.

I don't want to tell the players that we're not going to be playing for PFS credit, and I'm worried that, if it takes the campaign staff a while to generate all, say, dozen Chronicles, that might end up being the case.

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Emerald Spire.
Numeria. (Well, some people think it's cool.)
The A-B-C-D conditions having real impact in the organized play campaign.

For a couple of years, D&D is going to focus on getting its feet under it: core classes, core monsters, core mechanics. Meanwhile, Pathfinder is a mature system with hybrid classes, a plethora of playable races, and a vibrant system setting.

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That's it

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A masterwork tool for UMD in the specific instance of activating scrolls sounds fine to me.

But the book you read hours before the skill use does not. There's no reason not to have ready that book every single day, whenever you're adventuring, and to pass it around to everybody else, too. Everybody in the party could have a +2 circumstance bonus to UMD. That's too powerful for 50 gold.

I would expect a masterwork tool -- where no tool is usually needed -- to require some inconvenience. A scroll requiring a minute to cast rather than a standard action. An extra hand free, or an ally holding something.

You reference alchemical grease. That sounds like a reasonable analogy -- if you want to coat your eyes with something, that costs gold, and deteriorates whether you use it or not, I would allow that. But the idea of taking an extra hour before adventuring -- that's not an inconvenience, because Pathfinder Society adventures never track that. As another game once said, "a Disadvantage that is not ever a disadvantage is not a Disadvantage."

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But it does make me wonder about Vuldrani clerics of mysterious gods, practitioners who specialize in relationship dilemmas.

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I've been a classroom teacher. The language and tone Josh Frost uses in his last update is familiar to me. It sounds like a student asserting that he can't complete an assignment, but that [a list of work I cannot directly check] is complete. When I ask to see evidence of [a list of work I cannot directly check], the student would back-pedal.

In this case, the language and tone Josh uses make me think that the reason he cannot provide the PDF of the manuscript is that it is far from finished, despite his assurances. I might be wrong, but that's what my ear is hearing.

I wish Mr. Frost well. I hope he turns in terrific work for his new Physics instructors.

One last note, and then I close my interest in this work.

Quote:
I started working part time as an admin at a sporting goods store. For those of you who f!%!ing hate me right now, feel vindicated that I now have a horrible, demeaning job well below my talents and job experience.

There is no dishonor in honest work done well. Mr. Frost may feel that office work is "demeaning" or "below his talents", but that's on his attitude, not the work itself. You don't have to win Ennies to do work you can be proud of.

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David, that's simply not true.

Guide, page 6 wrote:
If you don’t have time to create a new character or simply wish to try out a new character class, you may choose to use one of several level-appropriate pregenerated characters available at paizo.com/pathfindersociety or from your local event coordinator. ... You may not apply a Chronicle sheet earned with a pregenerated character to a character that was already at the level of the pregenerated character or higher... .

There are all sorts of good reasons to use a pre-gen instead of your regular character:

  • Your regular PC just rose in level a half-hour ago. You want to put her next level in a prestige class, but you didn't bring that resource to the convention.
  • Your PC will level out of a tier if he plays one more adventure, and you want to complete a story arc with him.
  • You want to try out what a Ninja is like.
  • Your PC is ill-suited for the rest of the party. (For example, everybody else is 6th- or 7th-level, the party has no healing, and your only in-tier character is a 3rd-level monk.)

You cannot apply the Chronicle to a PC at the level of the pre-gen or higher. But that's not to say you can't play the pre-gen in the first place.

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Grymore,

I run a PFS-legal home campaign (we're up to 10th level, and the war with the Shadow Lodge is heating up), so maybe I can answer some questions.

As people have mentioned, you're limited to what PCs can do "between adventures". Pretty much, they can buy and sell things. There are little quest adventures, like "Urge to Evolve", that are legal for PFS characters, but that's about the extent of it.

But you can give them their choice of adventures.

The day after each weekly session, I email the group, letting them know about three "employment opportunities" on the Grand Lodge bulletin board:

Quote:

A letter arrives from the Pathfinder lodge in Almas, the capital of Andoran. The venture captain there has purchsed artifacts and writings from a man he believes came into them illegally. They point the way to a lost dwarven gallery in the rugged Aspodell Mountains. He's looking for a cadre of adventurers willing to find the gallery itself, as well as the rightful owner of the stolen items.

A post on the bulletin board in the main hall, written in VC Adril Hestram's neat handwriting: "Mystery has struck again at the Blackros Museum here in Absalom, and its curator, Nigel Aldain, has asked for our help. Imrizade Blackros, a long-traveling daughter, has returned to Absalom but has disappeared in the museum's basement. Nigel reports strange sounds from below, and several of the curator's night watchmen are missing. If you'd like to be on the team to investigate, meet in the Hemlock Room, at evening bells."

In one of the reading rooms, you find an envelope addressed to VC Drangle Dreng. Sticking out of the envelope is a letter: "My old friend: why has the Society assigned permanent Pathfinders to a lodge here in Kaer Maga? Do you not know that those Pathfinders are beginning to make the powers-that-be grumble about their presence? While single Pathfinders— or even temporary small groups—are welcome within the city, a large presence, such as a Lodge, is sure to stir up trouble. So why did you send them? (signed) Holis Collgardie, Collgardie cloth and textiles."

To the players: the last choice there has a sequel, so you can spend a couple of adventures in Kaer Maga.

So, the players decide what adventure they want to play. The next week, I keep one of the previous three, and put up two replacements (for the discarded adventure and the one they played.)

It lets the players control the campaign to a great extent.

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What's the other half, Eric?

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Thanks, Dragnmoon. You've provided a terrific service to the PFS community.

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So, nosig, are you saying that every rule that a judge might possibly misunderstand or misapply is "table variation"? I concur with other posters here who don't think that the term means what you claim.

Does Pathfinder Society use the Critical Hit and Critical Fumble decks? The correct answer is not "table variation."

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Absolutely, Paz.

But right now, if you were given the final version of "Siege of the Diamond City", how many non-Core resources would you need to run it? Three bestiaries, a "book of the damned", the NPC Codex, Ultimate Magic...

Let's say that you know that you'll be running "Siege" in either the 10-11 subtier or the 1-2 subtier. The stat blocks prepared in the shared drive are really what make it *possible* to run that adventure on less than twelve hours of prep time.

--

For my part, here's a suggestion. When I copy out my scenarios onto paper, I print them one-sided. I then print the stat blocks (bestiary papes, or else blocks from the shared drive, ont to back sides of the scenario pages. It ain't perfect, but it does a good job of keeping everything in one place.

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I think that this topic has come up before, and someone from Paizo has addressed the issue.

John Compton, John Compton, John Compton, I summon thee. Is this a reasonable request, or is there some problem with it that the petitioners need to see?

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Yah, cdecle, you and your brother can share books, as long as you're at the same table. Once he starts getting enthusiastic all on his own, and the two of you are playing different scenarios, the campaign doesn't want the two of you calling out over the convention floor, "Could you throw me the Ultimate Magic book? I need to look up the range of a spell!!"

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ARGH, there is a difference between what a teen-ager honestly knows, and what we want to present to him or her. Yes, of course they know about drugs and strumpets. And yeah, they're probably okay with Lissala torture porn. (The reason movies like SAW are rated 'R' is because teenagers want to go see them.)

But I'm never going to seat anybody under 18 at some of those scenarios, not at a convention or other public venue where I'm responsible for maintaining the Paizo brand name, unless a parent is also sitting there, and I'll waarn the parent.

Maybe that's the school-teacher sensibilities talking.

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So noted.

The comment likely stands.

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