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The Beast

Doug Doug's page

719 posts. Alias of Doug Miles.

1 to 50 of 109 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
The Exchange *****

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On May 27th in the early morning a fire began in the building occupied by RIW Hobbies in Livonia, Michigan. Although the fire department quickly responded and saved the building, the store inventory was heavily damaged by fire, smoke and water. Desna smiled upon RIW, because for months the owner had been in the process of remodeling a new, larger location for the store and was a week away from transitioning locations.

Even so, the event has been trying for the owner and her dedicated staff. RIW Hobbies was the first location in Michigan where public PFS games were regularly offered, reaching as far back as Event #578 in June 2009. Pathfinder Society is going to show the store some appreciation this Saturday by organizing a fundraising event.

In order to secure a seat at the table you must show proof of purchase (a receipt) from the store in the current week. Furthermore, there is a NO FIRE rule in effect while you're in the store. That's right, your character may not use any type of fire-damage action for this event. This includes spells, spell-like abilities, alchemical items, you name it. Violation of this rule is punishable by a $5 fine per action, benefiting RIW. If you have deep pockets or a big heart, by all means bring your alchemist or pyromaniac gnome :)

Sign up via Warhorn. You must pre-register for this event.

12:00 PFS#6-18 From Under Ice
5:30 PFS#6-21 Tapestry's Toil

The Exchange *****

Please join me in congratulating William “Xath” Jones, Venture-Captain of the Detroit Lodge, in earning his 5th Star! A veteran of ‘the world’s oldest fantasy role-playing game’, Xath discovered Pathfinder Society a mere two years ago. Like many of us, he caught a fever and the only prescription was “moar Pathfindr!”. He served a brief stint as a Venture-Lieutenant before the opportunity arose last year for the VC position. He has reinvigorated the Detroit Metro area and made bringing together Pathfinders from across the state his priority. Xath is a great GM, able to make adjustments on the fly and never misses a beat at the table. He’s passionate about this game we play and never shy about sharing his position on hot-button issues in the campaign. He earned his 10th Special this past weekend at TavernCon in Ithaca, MI running Blood Under Absalom. Congratulations Xath, and welcome to The Island!

The Exchange *****

U-Con returns to the Marriott Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest again this year! Pre-registration is now open on the U-Con website. We have scheduled over 100 exciting PFS events. Naturally we'll be running this Season's Special "Legacy of the Stonelords". Our aim is to fill 15 tables! We're also offering all three levels of The Ruins of Bonekeep.

GM spots have been filling up fast, but if you would like to get a complimentary weekend badge you only need to volunteer for two slots. If you volunteer for five or more slots, your games for the rest of the con are all free. To volunteer, visit our GM mustering page.

Pre-registration rates for badges are good until October 31. A weekend badge is $25. Or free if you volunteer for two slots :)

Hotel rooms at the Marriott have been blocked off with a convention special rate of $89/night. More details here.

The Exchange *****

Is there a description/blurb for Bonekeep 3 available? Can someone share it here?

The Exchange *****

Just so I am not reinventing the wheel, does anyone in the community possess a checklist for convention coordination that they would be willing to share? I'm gathering the various threads together on topics like promotion, GM recruitment, resources & supplies, etc. It occurs to me that someone has got to have done this already as a formal checklist already. I'd love thoughts like what milestones should be in place 90 days out, 60 days out, 30 days out, and so on. I've always done it mentally, but it's hard to share that collected experience without access to the mindmeld ability. My email is on my profile page. Thanks!

The Exchange

You had me at City of Strangers, James. That guide made me dizzy. I look forward to The Redemption Engine.

The Exchange *****

Year of the Machine? Iron Gods? Technomancy? Would anyone like to speculate with me?

The Exchange

Stop me if this has been done before. Has anyone applied the Pathfinder RPG to Adventure Time and tried to make characters based on Finn, Jake, Ice King, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, etc? I'm kicking around an idea to get some friends together and make these characters for the Pathfinder Society campaign.

Most would be pretty easy, but Jake has me stumped. I see Finn as a paladin, Ice King as an air school wizard* (with a penguin familiar), Bubblegum as an alchemist and Marceline as a bard. What are your ideas?

*I'd make him a sorcerer but for his terrible charisma!

The Exchange *****

Hey folks, pre-registration & event submission is open for Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio June 11th - 15th.

Did you get frozen out of GenCon because the hotels sold out within 24 hours? Origins is the next best thing in the Midwest. Don't think about it too long, discount hotel rates are available to those who pre-register but they aren't going to last long! Rumor has it that over 200 PFS events will run at Origins this year. I'm sure that the local PFS leadership will have more to say on this, I'm just trying to give a head's-up 'cause pre-reg opened a few hours ago. Don't get left out in the cold!

[event submission closes March 1st - cough cough]

The Exchange *****

I'd appreciate any help with missing names & dates.

5-Stars Earned
Andrew Christian 30-Jan-14
Art Lobdell  16-Apr-12???
Arthur Perkins  20-Dec-13
Athurva Gore   19-Jul-13
Bob Jonquet   08-Aug-11
Brian Lefebvre   22-Jan-14
Bruce Higa  27-Nov-12
Chris Bonnet   15-Apr-13
Chris Hays  ???
Chris Mortika   19-Aug-12
Dan Simons  12-Jun-13
Dave Harrison  27-Nov-13
David Montgomery 16-Dec-13
David Santana  15-Jul-12
Del Collins  23-Apr-12
Don Walker  13-Nov-12
Doug Miles   22-Jun-10
Eric Brittain   17-Jul-12
Eric Clingenpeel 08-Aug-13
James McTeague   17-Jun-13???
Jason Leonard  20-Jul-13
Jason Roeder  11-Jun-11
Jeff Kokx 03-Oct-13
Jens Loesel 19-Feb-13
John Compton  19-Aug-12
Josh Foster   17-Mar-13
JP Chapleau  30-Nov-12
Kristie Schweyer 28-Sep-13
Kyle Baird   11-Jun-11
Kyle Pratt  19-Jul-13
Luke Parry  19-Apr-13
Mark Seifter   21-May-13
Michael Azzolino 12-Jun-13
Michael Brock   19-Nov-12
Michael Costello 15-Jun-13
Michael Eshleman 02-Oct-13
Michael Lazar  18-Nov-13
Michael McKeown  09-Jan-14
Myron Pauls  16-Oct-12
Nani Pratt  ???
Nathan King  ???
Paul Rees   ???
Rene Duquesnoy   08-Feb-13
Rob Silk  12-Aug-13
Russ Akred  23-Aug-12
Ryan Bloomquist 06-Dec-13
Seth Gipson   27-Jan-14
Stephen White  03-Feb-12
Steven Lau  21-Nov-13
Steve Miller  29-Jan-14
Thea Peters  26-Jan-13
Todd Morgan  08-Aug-11
Tracy Windeknecht 19-Aug-13
Walter Sheppard  27-Aug-13
Wes Nicholson  ???
Will Johnson ???

The Exchange *****

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It seems like a lot of players out there are using the paladin class for the mechanical benefits while paying lip service to the spirit of the class. From the paladins I have observed at the tables I play and GM at, and from the discussions here on the messageboards, there is an irritating notion that to be a paladin you simply have to do no evil. Don’t violate your code of conduct and it’s all good. It is rare to see a paladin actually advocating Moral action, acting in an unselfish manner, even (gasp!) sacrificing loot or favor in the name of Righteousness. Please understand that I am not accusing everyone who plays a paladin. Anyone who thinks there aren’t ‘paladins of convenience’ polluting PFS is naïve, however. Paladinhood is a calling, it shouldn’t be a class dip for mechanical advantages. The paladin must choose the road less traveled, the path of maximum resistance. Doing Good is not an easy path. Do you think I’m not talking about your paladin? Here’s a gauntlet [toss]. Go ahead and pick it up. Prove me wrong.

In many industries there is an accreditation process to verify that a company is living up to the highest standards. In most cases it is voluntary. Companies seek accreditation to set themselves apart from their competition. It has a cost in time and effort that can’t be monetized, but many businesses maintain it nonetheless. What if the church of your deity offered an accreditation process to your paladin? Would you be willing to undergo scrutiny to demonstrate you are more than a passive paladin, flying under the radar?

How would this be accomplished in campaign terms? We (the community) create a certificate. At the top are instructions for the GM. “[character name] is a paladin of [deity]. Below is [deity]’s Code of Conduct for paladins. During the scenario, this paladin must actively follow the Code of Conduct. It is not enough simply to not violate the Code, the paladin must promote their ethos. At the end of the scenario, if the paladin has fulfilled the spirit of the class please sign off below.” The text for the appropriate paladin code of conduct out of Faiths of Purity is cited, or simply the core rulebook class text if they follow an uncommon deity. The bottom of the page has blank lines for the name of the scenario, the date, the GM’s name (signed & printed) and the GM’s PFS#. If the player failed to uphold the tenets of the class in the eyes of the GM, it is so indicated on the sheet. There are no second chances. No shrugging shoulders and saying “Meh, I’ll just pay for an attonement.” It doesn't mean the paladin falls, they just are no longer endorsed by the church.

The certificate means absolutely nothing in campaign terms. It grants no favors or mechanical benefit for the PC. What it does do is verify the PC is being played true to the spirit of the class, something that a player can bring up when they come to the table. “Is your paladin accredited by the Church of Iomedae? Mine is. She’s got 16 verifications.” So there.

If this is something that catches on, perhaps the campaign will adopt it and John might work some booncraft magic. But again, paladins should be hard to play. It’s not for everyone. Think you have what it takes to be a real paladin? Want to cry sour grapes because you’re scared of a jerk GM? Go ahead, everyone’s watching.


The Exchange *****

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In Detroit we are fortunate to have a lot of venues offering PFS events across the Metro area. We certainly don't have anything to gripe about when it comes to play opportunities. But there's a downside to this. When there's a local game convention it's hard to draw the players in. Why pay $25 to play something that you can play for free & closer to home? I've been involved with PFS since the start and I've organized enough conventions to understand why they SHOULD be attractive. What I'm saying is that it isn't working as well as it could.

Those of you who remember LG know how big conventions used to be. For those of you who don't, the campaign had a tiered system of release. When new adventures were released, they were available ONLY at conventions for the first month. The month after that, they were only available at public gamedays. Finally, after that two month waiting period they were available for homeplay or private tables. It created a demand for conventions that completely deflated when LG was killed.

Of course, an adventure that premiered at a convention was a big deal for other reasons too. There were critical event summaries that impacted regional plotlines. There were once-only interactive adventures you could only find at conventions. I ended up hating those, but they had fans...

Detroit had three conventions a year that dried up & blew away after LG. It was heartbreaking and it fractured the community.

My point is, a once-a-year Special, the abattoir that is Bonekeep and boons that are hit-or-miss; these things are weighed against travel costs, hotel rooms, convention badges, etc. There's an imbalance that does not favor the growth of convention attendance, particularly when there's a lot of play opportunities in the area already. My opinion is a tiered scenario release schedule like I described above could make conventions in demand again. I'd like to know your thoughts.

The Exchange *****

WinterCon is a local one-day convention sponsored by the Metro Detroit Gaming Guild. It is hosted by Oakland University in The Oakland Center. Registration is on-site, no online mustering will be used. You must arrive, register at HQ then sign-up manually at an events table. Each event happening in the upcoming slot will have a sign-up sheet and a spot for six players. Print your name on the sign-up sheet to reserve your seat, then report to the PFS room to find your game. Don't shoot the messenger ;)

December 7th from 8AM – 11PM

Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children.

Current Schedule:
Registration opens at 8AM

Morning Slot (9AM-1PM)
PFS#5-08 “The Confirmation” (Level 1 only)
PFS#3-01 “The Frostfur Captives” (Levels 1-5)
PFS#5-09 “The Traitor’s Lodge” (Levels 3-7)

Afternoon Slot (1PM-6PM)
PFS#5-08 “The Confirmation” (Level 1 only)
PFS#4-19 “The Night March of Kalkamedes” (Levels 1-5)
PFS#5-05 “The Elven Entanglement” (Levels 7-11)

Evening Slot (6PM-11PM)
PFS#3-18 “The Godsmarket Gamble” (Levels 1-5)
PFS#5-09 “The Traitor’s Lodge” (Levels 3-7)
PFS#3-10 “The Immortal Conundrum” (Levels 5-9)

WinterCon website:
Oakland University campus map: (Oakland Center is building #13)
The best parking is in Lot P2, with overflow into P1. Parking is free!

There is a coffee shop and a Subway in the Oakland Center. There are ample restaurants off-campus, and many will deliver to OU. Ask at HQ for recommendations.

The Exchange *****

If you're one of those people who enjoys GMing more than playing, would you care to share your reason(s)?

Do you enjoy GMing because you like having creative control? For instance, you like bringing the NPCs to life with unique voices and personality quirks?

Do you enjoy making maps and props for the game? Does it feel like you're unwrapping presents when you run the game?

When you play, do you find yourself thinking "I could do this better than the current GM"? In other words, are your standards so high that you are most comfortable doing it yourself?

Do you enjoy the recognition you get as the GM--being the center of attention?

Do you enjoy challenging players who otherwise steamroll over lesser GMs? Are you one of those GMs that players are directed to for a 'real challenge'?

What other reasons do you enjoy GMing rather than playing?

The Exchange

I don't want to spoil anything, so if you know what product I am talking about then keep it mum please. I figured I would get more notice posting here than on the specific product page. I've perused the Zon-Kuthon section of Skeletons of Scarwall already.

I'd like to solicit some creative ideas from the community regarding Zon-Kuthon's followers. Say that the PCs are going to a place where Zon-Kuthon is worshiped openly. Say that there's a disease outbreak going on, and there's only one cleric in the town. How does a cleric of Zon-Kuthon regard a disease that's afflicting his flock? Blood-letting? Surgery? Apathy? Maybe a masochism competition where the winner gets the daily remove disease?

Another request I have is for suggestions of specific tortures or deformities that I can inflict on the PCs if they come to the Kuthite church looking for assistance. I don't want to say to a player, "The cleric will offer a cure disease for the standard CRB rate." I don't even want to say "He'll cast the spell for you, but you'll have to undergo an hour of whipping first". I'd like to describe to the players the specific, graphic and scarring procedure that they'll have to accept in order to do business with the Church of Zon-Kuthon. Any ideas or past experiences to share?

We could call the thread "100 Kuthite Mutilations".

The Exchange *****

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There are a host of things I’d like to see our campaign leadership introduce or improve. There are only so many hours in the day and only so many dollars in the budget. Mike had a looong list of goals he came to the Coordinator job with, and I bet he's checked off a lot of them. Kudos to him. However, there's no rest for the wicked. It's September and time for "What have you done for us lately, PFS?" ;) I’m kicking this one out there in hopes of some ‘+1s’ and some feedback.

PFS recognizes the GMs with stars, but how are organizers recognized? Let’s say that “Eric” organizes a convention. If Eric does his job right he’s like a movie producer—he’s behind the scenes, not on the screen. He does all the front-end work so he can be available for the unforeseen. He builds, recruits and promotes. At the con he’s the one watching over things, handling problems and helping players. He does the session reporting on the back-end. Yet by the end of the event “Chris” the GM gets a star and Eric gets?…a sense of accomplishment? The same thing goes for a game-day coordinator, only spaced out over a year.

One of the campaign issues that I hear often is that sessions are going unreported. Things are getting better, but I think everyone agrees that PFS play is under-reported. Ultimately this is the metric by which Paizo measures the success of PFS, and therefore how much of the budget it commands. Does anyone think that an incentive for organizing AND reporting sessions would not be beneficial for PFS?

I don’t think that store credit or swag is the answer. I think that it would be far too easy to game the system, which is probably why we haven’t seen anything material for GMs. But why not an organizer reward system a-la stars next to your name? Use diamonds or moons. Use bones that gradually form a skeleton. I’m not a web guy. My point is recognize those who organize and report just as those who GM.

I bet there are some Venture-Lieutenants who organize more games than the Venture-Captain they report to. I bet there are some store coordinators who organize more than the local VOs combined. Let’s see the comparison. Let’s give delinquent organizers an incentive to catch up on their reporting.

The Exchange

Judging by the all the blood promised at Dralkard Manor, I expect plenty of tears from my players when your work is complete, Steven. Congratulations, I have enjoyed your past creations and look forward to your Superstar project.

The Exchange *****

MichiCon is a local convention hosted by Oakland University on Friday July 12 and Saturday July 13. PFS events are being organized thanks to DJ Mitchell, and all the details can be found at

The Exchange

Is there a product out there that is devoted to identifying alchemical/magical/mundane uses for creatures out of the Bestiaries? There are incidental bits here and there, like fresh basilisk blood being used to turn a petrified victim back into flesh. What I am talking about is a product that breaks a creature's anatomy down into useful components. It might be ideas on alternative spell components, manufacture of wondrous items or simply enhancing a mundane tool. Does anyone know of a product that comes close to this? Thanks!

The Exchange

Has anyone developed a micro-rules system for food & nutrition in Pathfinder? I assume that most players do not enjoy getting down to the nitty-gritty issues of how much food their PC must consume each day to maintain themselves. However, there might be a couple of lonely souls out there who have given it some thought.

What I mean is going beyond a Survival skill check to get along in the wild. It would involve assigning a food value to plants and animals, hopefully reflected in a flavorful table. A character would need to consume a set value each day or suffer progressively difficult starvation penalties. This could be reflected by fatigue/exhaustion or the sickened condition.

The Survival skill sets a DC for "getting along" in the wild, but does not actually describe consequences for failure to 'get along'.

If anyone knows of any links to other resources that could be used to generate some nutrition rules guidelines, I'd appreciate it.


The Exchange *****

I’d like to offer congratulations to Michigan’s newest 4-Star GM, Dennis Wheelock (AKA uncleden). Dennis is not only a workhorse GM but a pillar of the event organizing in Southeast Michigan. He has a long organized play history in both Detroit & Chicago. Dennis started playing PFS back in 2008. When I burned out on event organizing, he stepped in and revved the engine. The only reason he’s not a Venture Officer is because he’s a rebel at heart. He was in the Shadow Lodge before it was a faction ;-). We are lucky to have him. A few weeks from now he’s got a big Detroit event organized at our original FLGS, RIW Hobbies, and you can check it out on Warhorn if you’re going to be in the neighborhood! Thanks for everything Dennis! Illegitimi non carborundum!!

The Exchange

I apologize if this topic has surfaced elsewhere in the messageboards. My search did not reveal any matches.

Did anyone else catch Ben Wooten's art featured in the TED Talk about "How We Found the Giant Squid"? Check it out! Paizo is getting ubiquitous :)

The Exchange *****

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  • Has anyone developed an evaluation for PFS GMs?
  • If you are a GM, how would you feel if someone handed you an evaluation after your game was done? Everyone says that they are open-minded until criticism begins.
  • Is this a tool that has a place in PFS? We use it in the workplace all the time, but do you want to be evaluated at your hobby?
  • Would you GM "better" if you knew the players were grading you?

This assumes a convention-type situation where there is no time to go over things between slots. I envision it being handed out at the start of the scenario so players could fill it out as things progressed. Categories may include preparation, storytelling, role-play, rules knowledge, time management and friendliness rated on a scale of 1 - 5 with 5 being the best. Any ideas?

The Exchange *****

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A possible Pathfinder Society briefing, if you're so inclined to use one:

Choose a single PC from the group who best meets the following criteria:

  • Bard, cavalier, cleric or paladin. If there are multiple candidates, then:
  • Highest charisma score. If scores are tied, then:
  • Lawful alignment. If none are Lawful, then:
  • Good alignment
  • If no one qualifies, choose the least-repugnant PC.

The PC has been singled out by Sheila Heidmarch as a rising star in the Society and is chosen to lead the mission. Read the following to the player, in private if possible.

While between missions in Magnimar you are sought out by a messenger. It appears you have been invited to attend a dinner party at Heidmarch Manor. Knowing that the key to advancing in the Society is often making the right connections, you dress in your Godsday best and arrive at the party in a prompt manner. Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch shepherds you around the ballroom introducing you to the movers and shakers in the City of Monuments. After an hour of social niceties and empty banter she excuses herself, explaining she must attend to her husband lest he become jealous of the disproportional amount of time spent in your company. She instructs you to stay after the party breaks up as she needs a word with you in private. The rest of the party is a blur, you're pretty sure you shouldn't have tried the Thuvian wine.

Later you join Sheila in her study where she makes polite inquiries regarding your last successful mission. She picks at a confectionery with a tiny silver fork as she half-listens to your report. After a lull, she puts down her now-dissected treat and sighs.

“Well, I suppose we should get down to business. Being a Venture-Captain is like wielding a chakram, it cuts you just as easy as it does your opponent. I adore being a Venture-Captain--today isn't one of them. I take no joy in sending my subordinates into harm’s way, but this mission has positively ruined my appetite.

You are being sent to Nidal. I’m sorry, I shouldn't be so blunt but having that name in my mouth was like tasting troglodyte stench. I've been trying to clear my palate all evening. Now I know that you have heard rumors, but let me tell you what I know for I myself have walked beneath the boughs of the Uskwood. It's all true. A millennia ago when Earthfall cast the world into the Age of Darkness, the people of Nidal were like a drowning man struggling to stay afloat in a roiling sea. The hand that reached out to aid those desperate masses belonged to Zon-Kuthon. Pain is his meat, shadow his drink. The cost was steep. Total subservience, no joy without loss, no pleasure without suffering. I suppose those damned people don't know things are any better elsewhere. A blessing, perhaps.

That's the 'where'. As to the 'why', it goes back to the that bloody mess at Delvehaven. The Society has never gotten to the bottom of things. Well, there's a Chelish government official who claims to know what really happened to our property. We have reason to believe him, based on the falling out he's had with Queen Abrogail. Never you mind his name, we don't want anything happening to him if you are--I'm getting ahead of myself. He's willing to swear a godsoath to it, but he wants something in return. His wife's shadow. I know it sounds odd, but apparently it's missing.

The story is that this unnamed gentleman and a nobleman from Nidal both had intentions for the woman who would become his wife. Obviously she chose the Chelaxian, and the Nidalese obviously didn't take rejection laying down. His name is Iozef Boroi, scion of some estate in northern Nidal. He possessed a minor Kuthite artifact called The Book of Night Without Moon. He used it to steal the shadow of his intended, so she would know no joy or contentment in the arms of her husband. All this mess happened many years ago. Now her husband has become disaffected with his government and is willing to betray the House of Thrune in exchange for what seems to be a simple boon. If only...

Your mission is to travel to a small barony in northern Nidal. Gain an audience with the baron and see if he can be persuaded to release this woman's shadow. He should know who you're talking about. If you learn her name, please try and forget it for Aroden's sake. If the sadistic Kuthites get their hands on you, death will be a fate you will pray for. You will beg them to pause and listen to your most closely held secrets, if only to gain a few minutes' respite. Have you heard of The Eternal Kiss? Better you haven't. Anyhow, I know you can be persuasive. That should be your first move. I wouldn't try to strongarm him or outright steal the book unless I had the means to get out of Nidal fast. Blackmail is another route, but I trust you to be creative. Your wits have served you well in the past.

Listen, the Decemverate believes that the risk to you agents is worth finding out where our property from Delvehaven went. I'm following their orders, sick as it makes me. Get that woman's shadow back and get out of Nidal with all your limbs intact. That's all I'm asking. Will you accept this mission?"

Of course! Sheila gives the PC a list with the names of several agents currently at-liberty in Magnimar (the rest of the PCs) and suggests he/she seek them out for assistance. After the team is assembled, the GM should describe a harrowing journey into Nidal with several close calls. You probably want to heighten the tension by asking the players where their characters are carrying their holy symbols and wayfinders while in Nidal. Their answers could be very amusing.

The Book of Night Without Moon becomes a back-burner issue when the PCs discover what is happening in Karpad. If the players don't bite, then the baron (who turns out to not be Iozef after all) offers to deal with the PCs only if they can help his village avert the oncoming disaster. The module picks up from there.

The Exchange

Specifically my question is if a group of adventurers are passing through Nidal, how much scrutiny will they receive from the Kuthites? Are there border crossing outposts? Are those entering Nidal searched for contraband? The Inner Sea Guide mentions that worship of Desna is outlawed. Say the party includes a cleric of Desna. I imagine there's one degree of punishment for carrying religious articles, and a higher degree for actual proselytizing. How much tolerance do the Kuthites of Nidal have for other followers of Chaotic deities?

So to summarize, would it be reasonable to explain to a Desnan cleric that they are taking their life in their hands if they enter Nidal? If they are caught, they should expect to be imprisoned and tortured in the happiest of circumstances, and put to death via torture if they run their mouths. Of course, it depends where in the country they are operating too. In the north they might have sympathizers, while in the heartlands there will be no room for error. If you believe this is too harsh a stance, please explain why. Thanks!

I just downloaded the Pathfinder Tales novel Nightglass. Am I going to get any insight into the 'justice' system when I read this?

The Exchange *****

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There are a myriad of PFS mustering websites out there. Warhorn, Meetup, Google & Yahoo Groups, Obsidian Portal, all the custom regional sites, convention sites, etc. There are probably more that I haven’t even seen yet. I don’t think that this is a problem, necessarily. Players looking for games generally are finding their way to tables. But for event organizers, there’s some double-duty occurring. If I want to do my job correctly, when I organize an event I am building it on Paizo’s PFS page then I am promoting and mustering it on a different website (see above). After the event goes off, I am taking my tracking sheets and returning to Paizo’s PFS page and transcribing the information into the reporting system. This can lead to errors due to sloppy handwriting, missing paperwork, etc. Again, YMMV as an organizer.

It finally occurred to me that Paizo’s web monkeys must be so energized and motivated after the last website update, they probably need more projects dumped on them to feel validated and useful ;-)

Mike Brock probably has this on his to-do list already, so I might be re-inventing the wheel here. I am wondering if Paizo would consider adding a game-mustering function to this website. We already see the event details there, but what about breaking down the scenarios by slot and adding detailed sign-up fields. What I mean is something like you see on Warhorn*, but when a player signs up for a scenario there’s also a drop-down list for their character’s name/PFS#/Faction. The event would still have to use a session tracking sheet for walk-ups and character-swapping, but here’s the advantage: When the organizer goes to report the event, they’ll only need to confirm the information the player has already provided, in addition to adding PP earned. That’d be a real time-saver. It would really cut down on mis-reported information due to the above-mentioned reasons.

It's like one-stop shopping. You can search for PFS events in your area, read the event details, see the scenario breakdown by slot, sign up and reserve your seat and save the organizer a lot of keystrokes by entering your PFS membership information yourself.

Additionally, I have hopes that Mike will someday recognize event organizers in the same manner that PFS GMs earn stars for running scenarios. There would be criteria, such as getting your events posted in advance to optimize their visibility. We read those questions all the time about “Will there be PFS at [local convention X]?” Conventions need to be promoted 3 months in advance. Gamedays should be posting their schedules a month in advance. Reporting needs to be done promptly, not 6 months later when the organizer gets around to it. I’m sure the community can add more areas of quality control. Instead of stars next to their names they could earn diamonds, or goblins, or whatever. It's motivation to do the job right and not just play it by ear.

In a way, being an organizer is more difficult than simply being a GM. Good GMs have to do prep work before they run their scenarios, and good organizers are no different. Organizing is not as fun as GMing though. It would be cool to recognize these individuals who are making real sacrifices for the PFS community.

Am I onto something? Have you had similar ideas? Share!

*I love Warhorn and have nothing against the site. Brian Moseley & company have run a great user-supported website service for 10 years now. It’s regrettable that I am undermining Warhorn’s support with this post, but I think I’m onto something and I can’t hold back.

The Exchange *****

I'm giving this one a whirl next month. I'm wondering what previous GMs have done (if anything) to introduce this adventure as a PFS mission?

I am leaning toward having the PCs sent to Blackcove after three different golden objets d'art of Azlanti origin have surfaced in Magnimar and are traced back to the adventure location. The PCs are sent to tactfully discover the source of the materials, and reminded that honey catches more flies than vinegar. What have you done in the past?

The Exchange *****

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I want to preface my critique by saying that I had high expectations for this scenario because it is The Exclusive and the previous exclusive was so exceptional. This one does not pass muster. I arranged four tables before it was even released and I feel like the players have been cheated.

OK, the first thing that I noticed about this scenario is how it leads the PCs by the nose, especially in the introduction. The background is implausible, to put it simply. So the villain Alejia Netrav wants to be the next Overlord of Riddleport, and she’s attacking ships on the open sea under the protection of Riddleport... Elias Tammerhawk knows who she is, but he doesn’t know what ship she sails under. How about the one that is always absent from Riddleport harbor when an incoming ship is attacked? It’s comical that no one knows the name of her ship and she wants to become an infamous crimelord. That Elias Tammerhawk can’t handle his own business when an upstart challenges him is also comical. As I said, I think the whole beginning is implausible. I have dropped the VC intro text and give the players bare bones information. Before they are teleported to Riddleport (What’s this Magnimar foolishness? Time is the fire in which we burn! Haven’t we learned anything from the Pale Pox pandemic?) they are told that divinations have revealed the source of the threat is from Riddleport and the agent is Vudran. That eliminates suspicions of undersea raiders, and gives the PCs a clue where to start looking. Instead of railroad tracks taking the PCs to the warehouse, they enter a sandbox and get to interact with the inhabitants of Riddleport. Oddly, both groups I have run so far have started their investigation at The House of Silken Veils. It’s been around 90 minutes into the roleplaying game before the PCs arrive at the first encounter.

The warehouse is a good encounter in that the players get to be creative with getting inside. It reminds me of PFS#4 The Frozen Fingers of Midnight with all the hijinks that go on. After the door is opened the dice start rolling and the fight ends very quickly. The Lionfish Grunts don’t last long like most humanoids with low will saves. Both Faction missions are ‘gimmes’ since the PCs can return to the warehouse at any point and take 20 to search the entire place. The Grand Lodge only has to pay an expert a small fee to make a Linguistics check. I realize that it is hard to write 10 different Faction missions but it would be far more entertaining to add more roleplay situations rather than writing more ‘Where’s Waldo’ tasks.

The half-orc(s) working for Boss Croat encounter could have been removed in favor of a monster encounter in the harbor or elsewhere. One GM pointed out that it would have been similar to PFS#2The Hydra’s Fang Incident which is fair, but I’m so tired of fighting humanoids. A reefclaw, a devilfish or a bunyip would have been much more entertaining. Why couldn’t Alejia have co-opted a local merrow or a sandman at Viper Cove? I’m crying over spilled milk, but there could have been a cool challenge instead of just another thug encounter.

Getting out to the Lionfish in the harbor requires two DC 10 strength checks. Or what? Where are the consequences? This ‘challenge’ only led to ‘Take 10’ jokes.

The grippli alchemist was interesting. I thought his best bet was to climb up the mast since he’s got a climb speed, but he hasn’t made it past two rounds yet. The ship is too confined for him to fight without taking AoOs out the wazoo. One group waited until nightfall when it was assumed that the crew would be asleep. The rogue went aboard and one-shotted the watchman, then the party took on the grippli before he could leave his cabin. So many scenarios expect the situation to remain static and all the bad guys’ advantages depend on them having time to buff up. This is another weakness of human(oid) opponents. The PCs know where they sleep and when they have to rest.

At the low tier Alejia apparently sailed the two masted Topaz Titan to Viper Cove by herself. Players expected a well-guarded hideout and instead they found Alejia holed up in a cave with a prisoner that had no value to her. How does she know who the PCs are when they show up at Viper Cove? Yet she holds Hirako Gurukaza as a hostage against the PCs’ cooperation. As far as she knows, the PCs could be agents from Overlord Cromarky come to snuff her for attacking ships under his protection. What would mercenaries care for Hirako’s life? All her tactics as written allow is for the PCs to get into a better position to flank and kill her. Is she really going to spend a full round using a coup-de-grace action against Hirako when she knows the PCs are trying to kill her? In real life those hostage moments are dramatic because there is an emotional link between the rescuers and the hostage. In the game the players feel no such empathy and Hirako is just another disposable NPC. Maybe the Lantern Lodge cares… Anyway, all Alejia’s tactics do is deny her the opportunity to surprise the PCs and give her one less round to use her magus abilities.

I would have been happy to see an actual cyphermage (alternate class) in the adventure. The title was deceptive like Keep of the Huscarl King where we never actually got to go into the keep. I know, grumble, grumble.

In defense of the scenario no player has yet complained it was a let-down. Those are my sentiments. Little can be done at this point to salvage the scenario, so I’m interested in hearing other GM’s takes on the adventure and your players’ impressions.

BTW, do I sound bitter? I wonder if I come across as harsh… I figure the 4/5-stars and VOs are assumed to be reading this, and the general membership are spared my bile.

The Exchange *****

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Does anyone remember the Dungeon magazine adventure "The Siege of Kratys Freehold"? This scenario reminds me a lot of it, and if Defenders of Nesting Swallow is as fun as The Siege of Kratys Freehold then this scenario should earn some high reviews.

I have only started to read through it, but already I am frustrated with the first encounter. The tengu have mounts and are designed for mounted combat, but the map they are squeezed onto does not tactically provide for ride-by attacks. The pogs on the map are medium sized but the horses should be size large. The PCs have a surprise round to move up and bottleneck the road. The Woodlands flipmat just does not work with the encounter as written. I think the result will be the tengu will fight in place and use their warhorses to make full attacks, inflicting more damage than the author intends, especially to 1st level PCs. Having a more open map would enable the tengu to survive longer--which potentially works in the favor of the PCs. I'll have a better feel for this scenario after running it twice at Winter War.

The Exchange *****

In encounter #3 Border Crossing, for Tier 4-5, the number of border guards appearing is not indicated. At Tier 1-2 there are 3, but at Tier 4-5 despite being referred to in the plural there does not appear to be more than one.

Also, in the same encounter, suppose the PCs have a handy haversack (or similar magic) and they conceal the artifact within it. Would it be fair to have Sun Cheyeng use detect magic + Spellcraft at the high tier so he might recognize this tactic? He would know the artifact would have a powerful aura and detect magic would speed up his searching a lot.

The Exchange *****

BASHCON needs a PFS coordinator. There has been PFS organized there 3 years running so there is a player base already built. In 2011 we ran 25 tables over six slots. This is an excellent local gaming convention held at the University of Toledo Student Union. Will a coordinator please adopt this convention and keep the games going?

If you can help, you may contact me for advice or if you are ambitious then contact

The Exchange *****

Recently I played Tide of Twilight and some of the PCs succumbed to the Bestial curse. Rather then the GM simply saying "You now have the following template" I thought it would be more enjoyable to give affected players a handout with their Bestial template on it, as well as a description of the changes they were going through. Then it would be left up to them to describe their appearance and actions to the rest of the group. After I started writing my thoughts down I also decided that it would be more fun to have some abilities related to the animal variant they were given. Take a look at the following and tell me if you think this would liven things up.

“Coarse black hair has grown in thick patches covering your arms, torso and legs. Your remaining exposed skin darkens and takes on a leathery texture.”
Special Ability: Brachiation (Ex) You gain a +5 to Acrobatics checks as long as you begin or end your movement in a tree. You also gain a Climb speed of 20’.
Quirk: Whenever idle you have a compulsion to seek out the highest-Charisma member of your party and groom them.

“Your hair turns white down the center of your scalp. Your nose grows longer and your sense of smell has sharpened. Your fingernails have blackened and tapered to form sharp claws.”
Special Ability: You gain Scent (Ex) and a Burrow speed of 10’.
Quirk: You have a compulsion to tear apart rotting logs to look for tasty insects to consume. You are also irritable and don’t appreciate being touched.

“Coarse brown hair has grown all over your body, and your belly sags with a substantial layer of fat that hadn’t been there before. You feel pangs of hunger and crave something sweet to eat.”
Special Ability: Grab (Ex) whenever you hit with a claw attack.
Quirk: You have a compulsion to find a bee hive and plunder its sweet honeycomb, unless an equally satisfying meal comes along first.

I'm still working on the rest but I'd like to flesh out the boar, crocodile, dog, lion, raccoon, skunk, snake, wolf and wolverine.

The handout would have the Bestial template stats on the front and on the back would be the details about the animal they were becoming.

Your own contributions are welcome here. Just be aware that using these ideas in official PFS games is not allowed, just like adjusting the difficulty of encounters ;)

The Exchange *****

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When: Friday, Nov 11 through Sunday, Nov 13
Where: University of Michigan
Michigan Union
530 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Contact Doug Miles

What is U-Con?
The U-Con Gaming Convention is a gathering of gamers and companies from all over. You can meet new people and participate in many different events. We have events that are sure to pique the interest of the most avid gamer, as well as those new to the hobby. We offer a wide variety of role-playing events, as well as many board and war games. We also offer Live Action RPG's and collectable card game tournaments and events. We are one of the largest gaming conventions in Michigan.

Aside from gaming, we have an exhibitors hall filled with a wide variety of exhibitors selling everything from swords to dice, shirts to games, and a number of other unique and interesting items. And what convention is complete without an auction? Of course we have one!

The Exchange *****

store blog wrote:
In Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained, this scenario for 12th level characters will call upon all of the nerve, resources, and skills that your Society characters have earned over their careers. Your mission—infiltrate the heart of the Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge of Absalom, and save a member of the Decemvirate from an assassin's blade! No easy task, as their sanctum, Skyreach, is well-known to have guardians a-plenty and enough traps to make an experienced burglar's hair turn white.

I hope that building security has been improved since Season 0!

Stay of Execution (Retired):
The Decemvirate, the masked leaders of the Pathfinder Society, possesses great artifacts of wonder and power. Recently their collection became one less when a skilled rogue named Hadge, looking to build a reputation, tried to break into the vaults of the Grand Lodge by slipping in through a carelessly unlocked window. He found a sleeping scholar at a desk, gripping a shiny object in his resting hands. Rather than go through with the original plan, the opportunist Hadge grabbed the object instead and escaped back into Absalom proper. The object was a powerful divination focus, used by scholars of the Decemvirate to communicate with one another.

The Exchange *****

A lot of you are excited about GenCon and the loads of Pathfinder Society action that will be running there. BUT GenCon is still over 92 days away—what feels like an eternity for many. Want to bleed off some of that GM energy and get your game fine-tuned for August? Come to Columbus and help us close out Season 2 with authority! Only 49 days and counting until the 2011 Origins Game Fair.

Want to save $65 on a convention badge? Volunteer to GM four slots of PFS and entry to the convention is free. No room reservation for the weekend? Volunteer to GM eight slots of PFS and receive free lodging at a local hotel. Already have a room? Receive a voucher instead.

PFS events this year are being organized by the veteran staff of The Gathering.

How to sign up:
To volunteer as a GM, please send an email to; include in this email the following information.
• Full name
• The listed adventure code for the adventures you wish to GM; and the timeslots during which you would like to GM.
• Rewards package you would like (None; Badge; Badge + Hotel; Badge + Voucher)

Thursday Morning
PFS 2-13 Murder on the Throaty Mermaid (Tiers 1-5)
PFS 0-05 Mists of Mwangi (Tiers 1-5)
PFS 2-23 Shadow's Last Stand, Part 1 (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-21 The Dalsine Affair (Tiers 1-7)
Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (Tier 7-9, Slot 1/2)

Thursday Afternoon
We Be Goblins! (Promotional, module pre-gens only)
PFS 2-24 Shadow's Last Stand, Part 2 (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-21 The Dalsine Affair (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 1-07 Voice in the Void (Tiers 1-7)
Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (Tier 7-9, Slot 2/2)

Thursday Evening
We Be Goblins! (Promotional, module pre-gens only)
PFS 2-11 Penumbral Accords (Tier 1-5)
PFS 2-EX Midnight Mauler (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-21 The Dalsine Affair (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-25 You Only Die Twice (Tiers 5-9)

Friday Morning
The Godsmouth Heresy (Tier 1-2, Slot 1/2)
PFS 2-15 Shades of Ice, Part 1 (Tiers 1-5, 2 tables)
PFS 2-21 The Dalsine Affair (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-EX Midnight Mauler (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-06 The Heresy of Man, Part 1 (Tiers 5-9)
PFS 2-25 You Only Die Twice (Tiers 5-9)
PFS 2-18 Forbidden Furnace (Tiers 7-11)

Friday Afternoon
The Godsmouth Heresy (Tier 1-2, Slot 2/2)
PFS 2-17 Shades of Ice, Part 2 (Tiers 1-5, 2 tables)
PFS 2-23 Shadow's Last Stand, Part 1 (Tiers 1-7, 2 tables)
PFS 2-07 The Heresy of Man, Part 2 (Tiers 5-9)
Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (Tier 7-9, Slot 1/2)
PFS 2-20 Wrath of Accursed (Tiers 7-11)

Friday Evening
PFS 2-19 Shades of Ice, Part 3 (Tiers 1-5, 2 tables)
PFS 2-24 Shadow's Last Stand, Part 2 (Tiers 1-7, 2 tables)
PFS 2-21 The Dalsine Affair (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-09 The Heresy of Man, Part 3 (Tiers 5-9)
Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (Tier 7-9, Slot 2/2)
PFS 2-26 The Mantis's Prey (Tiers 7-9)

Saturday Morning
The Godsmouth Heresy (Tier 1-2, Slot 1/2)
PFS 2-15 Shades of Ice, Part 1 (Tiers 1-5, 2 tables)
PFS 2-23 Shadow's Last Stand, Part 1 (Tiers 1-7, 2 tables)
PFS 2-06 The Heresy of Man, Part 1 (Tiers 5-9)
Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (Tier 7-9, Slot 1/2)
PFS 2-18 The Forbidden Furnace of Forgotten Kor (Tiers 7-11)
Tomb of the Iron Medusa (Tier 14, Slot 1/3)

Saturday Afternoon
The Godsmouth Heresy (Tier 1-2, Slot 2/2)
PFS 2-15 Shades of Ice, Part 1 (Tiers 1-5, 2 tables)
PFS 2-24 Shadow's Last Stand, Part 2 (Tiers 1-7, 2 tables)
PFS 2-07 The Heresy of Man, Part 2 (Tiers 5-9)
Cult of the Ebon Destroyers (Tier 7-9, Slot 2/2)
PFS 2-20 Wrath of Accursed (Tiers 7-11)
Tomb of the Iron Medusa (Tier 14, Slot 1/3)

Saturday Evening
We Be Goblins! (Promotional, module pre-gens only, 2 tables)
PFS 2-17 Shades of Ice, Part 2 (Tiers 1-5, 2 tables)
PFS 2-21 The Dalsine Affair (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-09 The Heresy of Man, Part 3 (Tiers 5-9)
PFS 2-25 You Only Die Twice (Tiers 5-9)
PFS 2-18 The Flesh Collector (Tiers 7-11)
Tomb of the Iron Medusa (Tier 14, Slot 1/3)

Sunday Morning
We Be Goblins! (Promotional, module pre-gens only)
PFS 2-EX The Midnight Mauler (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-23 Shadow's Last Stand, Part 1 (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 2-24 Shadow's Last Stand, Part 2 (Tiers 1-7)
PFS 1-28 The Jester's Fraud (Tiers 5-9)
PFS 2-03 The Rebel's Ransom (Tiers 5-9)

Sovereign Court

Situation: Player with low-intelligence barbarian dips into druid for animal companion. Party finds themselves in a sewer, wants to cross to ledge on other side without danger of getting filth fever. Druid orders size medium companion into 5' of sewage to act as a bridge for the party.

Action: Took animal companion away. Essentially broke the Nature's Bond with the creature and had it leave the druid. Druid follows and tries to apologize, fails three wild empathy checks. Opinions? Too harsh? Didn't go far enough?

The Exchange *****

If you are interested in playing Pathfinder Society in Michigan, please join our PFS local Yahoo! Group for the most up-to-date information. There are many public events happening all over the Detroit metro area. If you have any questions about these events or if you want us to bring a PFS event to your neighborhood, please feel free to contact me ( Not all of the events appear promptly on the Event Locator so here’s what’s going on this Spring:

Warriors 3 in Wayne hosts a PFS scenario every Wednesday night at 7pm. Don ( coordinates this event.
Warriors 3 Comics & Games
35613 West Michigan Avenue
Wayne, MI 48184

RIW Hobbies in Livonia hosts 3 events a month. They also sell all Paizo product at 20% off during the monthly gameday on Sunday
The Sunday gameday has two slots (10am & 2:30pm) and is coordinated by Dennis Wheelock (uncleden) via the Yahoo! Group. It runs once a month and walk-ins are welcome.
Every-other Tuesday night we have a game at 7pm, sign-up via the Yahoo! Group.
RIW Hobbies
29116 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 261-7233

Our House Games in Monroe hosts a monthly PFS event on Saturdays.
Our House Games
19 W. First Street
Monroe, MI 48161
(734) 242-4263

BC Comix in Fenton has a game every-other Thursday night at 7pm, sign-up via the Yahoo! Group.
BC Comix
17125 Silver Parkway
Fenton, MI 48430
(810) 208-7100

The Capital Area Role-Players organize all sorts of RPGs in the Lansing area. Currently they have a 2-slot monthly PFS event going on at Evolution Games on Sundays. Seating is limited so you will need to contact the coordinator Jae Walker via the CARP website if you want to join up.
Evolution Games
6323 W Saginaw Hwy
Lansing, MI 48917
(517) 323-8600

We have another bi-weekly event at Mr. B’s Bar & Grill in Rochester on Wednesday nights at 7PM. There’s a meeting room in the back of the restaurant that can accommodate three full tables of players. Pathfinder Society in a bar, who could ask for anything more? Sign-up via the Yahoo! Group.
Mr. B's Food & Spirits
423 Main Street
Rochester, MI 48307

We just started a PFS event in Lapeer at the National Guard Armory. We play every Monday night at 6:30pm. Seating is limited, so you will need to sign-up via the Yahoo! Group and allow me time to break in another GM.

The Exchange *****

Marmalade Dog 16 website

The Bernhard Center
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Marmalade Dog is organized by the Western Michigan Gamer's Guild each year. It features role-playing games, collectable card games, board games, miniature wargames and a variety of other events.

The doors open at 2:30pm on Friday and things wrap up at 7:00pm on Sunday. Convention entry fee is TBD.

If you are interested in volunteering to GM, please contact me In the past individual GMs have submitted the scenarios they intend to run direct to the con organizer. I would like to coordinate things this year for greater uniformity. Last year there were about 10-15 tables of Pathfinder Society events. I think we can increase this, but I will need some additional volunteers.

Presently I will be running Parts I & II of the Shades of Ice series and also the Exclusive Midnight Mauler will be available on Saturday and Sunday.

Oh, and the guest of honor this year is Jolly R. Blackburn of "The Knights of the Dinner Table" fame.

The Exchange *****

February 18-20, 2011
University of Toledo
Student Union
2801 West Bancroft St
Toledo, OH 43606

Looking for a good time? Join more than 900 gaming fans for a weekend packed with video games, miniatures, pen and paper role-playing, and more!

This will be the third year Pathfinder Society has supported BASHCon. The local organizers are still working out the schedule but there should be an excellent spread of events in store.

The BASHCon website is open for pre-registration and event submission. Check back soon for updates.

The Exchange *****

So I was ordering shirts for some of my local players and I noticed that the larger sizes for many of the Factions are out-of-stock. I inquired about this and got this reply from Vic.


Vic Wertz (Technical Director), Thursday, 06:47 PM

My take is that it would be unwise to reprint the faction shirts as they are. It has taken two years to sell through what we have (and that's great: we covered costs and made a little profit), but it's safe to say that right now, we've already served most of the demand for these designs. Even with Pathfinder Society growing as it is, I'm confident that a reprint of similar size would take much longer than two years to sell through, as very few owners of the current design would potentially buy the reprint. And printing shirts that will mostly sit around in the warehouse for a few years is just not a great use of the Pathfinder Society budget.

If we decide to do more faction shirts, I'd much rather offer new designs so that owners of the current shirts will consider buying them as well.

So just FYI, you might want to grab some while they last because there's no telling when they'll be available again. In a few years when PFS is five times the size it was at GenCon 2010 you might be wearing a collector's item.

The Exchange

I apologize if this question has been answered lately elsewhere, but are there any plans on restocking the Faction shirts. I have an impression they're a sore topic at Paizo, what with their slow sales and all. But most of the larger sizes have sold out and you're down to (gasp) Larges only for Andoran. So will there be another production run ordered in the future or are we buying from what's in stock while they last? Thanks!!

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