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Stone Giant

Doug Miles's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 1,483 posts (2,221 including aliases). 53 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 19 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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Qadira *****

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Congratulations to 5-Star #68! (The 17th one of 2014!) Thank you for your service to our campaign & welcome to The Island, Mike!

Qadira

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Player: "I shoot the monster with my bow. Using rapidshot and haste I'll have four attacks this round...Does a 23 hit?"

GM: "Yes, a 23 hits. Damage?"

Player: "Ummm, 12 points of damage. Next shot, does a 24 hit?"

GM: "..."

Qadira *****

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My personal style is at the end of the game I collect everyone's previous Chronicle sheet. I then fill out their new Chronicle with the values from their previous Chronicle, totaling out their XP, PP and Gold. If they spent money before or during the game then I document it for them, in ink. If anyone hands me a previous Chronicle sheet with missing information they don't get a new Chronicle until the bookkeeping is caught up. A number of times people have handed me nearly blank Chronicle sheets and explained that they track everything on their character sheet. It is understandable, since in a home campaign this is often how it works but you have to train that out of people in PFS.

Edit: I warn players at the beginning of the game that I'll need their previous Chronicle sheet at the end of the game, and if their bookkeeping isn't caught up they can work on it during the game. This is often followed by deer-in-the-headlights expressions.

I think many GMs just hand out signed, blank Chronicle sheets because the end of the game is always rushed. Players say they don't want to be forced to decide on their purchases at the table. Fine, that's what the ITS is for. Fill it out at your leisure and show the GM at your next game.

Qadira *****

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It sounds like an impulsive action snowballed into an awkward moment at the table, and the player in question should think twice next time the idea creeps into his head.

If you could turn back time and handle the moment again, would you do anything different?

Qadira *****

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No it's not PVP, but it may fall under another PFS rule, "Don't be a jerk". What did the GM do?

Qadira *****

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Jayson MF Kip wrote:


I wonder if this is just Paizo secretly crowd-sourcing ideas.

Knowing how far in advance they plan, I would say the they made a decision 5-6 months ago. But how cool would it be if they read something here that made them change their mind?

Qadira *****

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Spoiler:
The Hellknight is Primo Ambusta.

Qadira *****

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Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:

Thank you Rob for being so awesome and doing all the work on this (and the others helping you) life has been stupid crazy busy for me lately.

Hear, hear! Thanks Rob! You and your Justice Squadron cohorts have done the GM community a great service.

Qadira *****

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DarkPhoenixx wrote:
I would suggest to use it only after you created your share of characters manually - so when you understand how bonuses related to stats, and character works as a whole. I personally dont use it cos it have several bugs in calculations and it triggers my perfectionis's OCD.

Yeah, I know what you mean ;)

Qadira *****

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I've had HeroLab since they incorporated the Pathfinder rules. I didn't use it because it still had a lot of bugs. I used pen & paper until about a year ago when I took a second look at HeroLab. I had noticed that an increasing number of players were using it. Unfortunately it allowed them to build characters without understanding how their class/abilities/features/feats worked. Worse, they had no idea about the flavors they were mixing. That is really a problem with the individual, not with the program. These are the same adults who have trouble totalling up their dice without counting on their fingers. It gives the program a bad rap. I do think that you shouldn't use HeroLab unless you can build the same character using pen & paper.

What really sold me on HeroLab is when the iPad app was released and I could actively use the program at the game table. When you can turn on rage, inspire courage, barkskin, bull's strength, deathknell, enlarge person and haste with a few taps of the screen, it becomes a guilty pleasure to use.

Unfortunately, I am still hoping for a HeroLab feature reminding people to know what the #*!% they are doing when their turn comes up.

Qadira *****

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Rob, you need to sell it better, like on "The Simpsons": To get people to show up for jury duty, the jury duty summons were jazzed up with comic books. "You have been chosen to join the Justice Squadron 8 a.m. Monday at the Municipal Fortress of Vengeance."

Qadira *****

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Awww, thanks for the kind words, everyone. The thing that has kept me going in this campaign has been you guys—being part of a community. Without the friends that I have made in PFS I may not have continued GMing or even playing. I don’t want to name names for fear I’ll leave someone out, but there are a lot of you. It’s the personal connections that really matter. I’m still chasing that “perfect table” too, the one I hope to walk away from knowing I killed it like no one else I’ve seen. Numbers can mean anything. There are lots of blunders mixed into 500 sessions. There are lots of fond memories, too. Thank you for the recognition.

Qadira *****

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Typically if there's an issue with something the GM did it needs to be settled before the Chronicles are filled out and the players leave the table. Or log off ~whatever~.

Cfoot, you sat on this for 10 days--mostly out of being an adult and knowing you should let it go. But it kept eating at you, so you had to let it out. We've all been there. The problem is that GMs make mistakes all the time. Sometimes characters have died due to those mistakes. However, it would create an organizer's nightmare if every time a player read a scenario after playing it and found an error (or vented on the messageboards and other GMs pointed out the mistake) there had to be a reckoning. Everyone loves to play the 'What if...' game, but it can't ever be conclusive. The GM may not know who all the players were. The tracking sheet gets handed in and reported. At some point we have to say "What's done is done, learn from the mistake and move forward."

GMs have to be allowed to make mistakes, otherwise the game grinds to a halt. Your table may have been collateral damage, Cfoot. Some may argue it was run correctly. It's moot. Move forward. Having been through this situation, you will be a better GM for your own players. That's all the consolation I can give you.

Qadira *****

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Does anybody even go to this stuff anymore? ;p

Qadira *****

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Holy cow! I can't believe all the Tier 1 and Tier 2 GM volunteer spots have filled already! I don't think that has ever happened on the first day. Wow!

The Monday blog only went up, what? Three, maybe four hours ago. The volunteers are rabid this year. All the hotel rooms have been sold out in Indianapolis. Hope no one got left out in the cold!

Just kidding guys, did that give anyone a little jolt of panic?

Qadira *****

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That's disappointing. The store organizers likely want to avoid any chance of a complaint. If they don't have the confidence to help you, then your only option is to make it a private event.

What sign-up system do you use in your area? I'd never suggest that you make a couple of fake Warhorn accounts and fill one or two seats with phantom players who are never going to show. On the gameday you're left with the actual number of players you desire. That would be inappropriate of me to suggest.

Qadira *****

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Feel free to improve it. Often I find the text supplied awkward to read aloud. It doesn't change the mechanics of the game, it only enhances it. Go nuts.

Edit: Something I do differently if I have time is to take the player with the most upstanding PC (Charismatic/Lawful/Leader-like) aside from the table and have the VC talk to him/her one-on-one. This PC is told they are the leader of the expedition and they need to gather a team. They get the briefing, then they are given the names and last known locations of the currently unassigned Pathfinder agents (the other PCs). Then they get to go on a scavenger hunt to find the others in the city. It allows each player to describe how their PC spends their off-time, and promotes role-play between players as the 'leader' gathers a growing group of oddballs. Sometimes it is hilarious when the actual player has zero attention span and forgets what the mission was after all the role-playing starts. "I think it was in Magnimar. Or was it Korvosa? Kaer Maga? Ahh, crap, I gotta go back to the Grand Lodge again!" This is why it's useful to write up the mission briefing as a handout, no matter how you paraphrase it.

Qadira *****

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And I went through the trouble of finding the video of the 2011 PaizoCon banquet and time stamping the 5-Star announcement by Hyrum :(

See Kyle/Jason entries in post 52 above

Qadira *****

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59 5-Star GMs to-date:

International

Australia: (3)
Luke Parry 19-Apr-13
Stephen White 03-Feb-12
Wes Nicholson ???

Canada: (1)
Myron Pauls 16-Oct-12

United Kingdom: (4)
Christopher Woldridge 18-Feb-14
Dave Harrison 27-Nov-13
Jens Loesel 02-Feb-13
Rob Silk 12-Aug-13

United States:

Far West Region: (8)

Athurva Gore 19-Jul-13
Bruce Higa 27-Nov-12
Eric Brittain 17-Jul-12
John Compton 19-Aug-12
Michael Azzolino 12-Jun-13
Michael Brock 19-Nov-12
Walter Sheppard 27-Aug-13
Will Johnson 15-Jun-13

Great Lakes Region: (10)

Bob Jonquet 08-Aug-11
Chris Bonnet 15-Apr-13
Doug Miles 22-Jun-10
Eric Clingenpeel 16-Aug-13
Kyle Baird 11-Jun-11 19:53:17
Michael Costello 15-Jun-13
Rene Duquesnoy 08-Feb-13
Russ Akred 23-Aug-12
Seth Gipson 27-Jan-14
Tracy Windeknecht 19-Aug-13

Mideast Region: (7)

Brian Lefebvre 22-Jan-14
Art Lobdell 16-Apr-12
Dan Simons 12-Jun-13
David Santana 15-Jul-12
James McTeague 18-Aug-13
Michael Lazar 18-Nov-13
Michael McKeown 09-Jan-14

New England Region: (4)

David Montgomery 16-Dec-13
Don Walker 13-Nov-12
Mark Seifter 21-May-13
Myles Crocker 18-Feb-14

Plains Region: (7)
Andrew Christian 30-Jan-14
Chris Mortika 19-Aug-12
Jason Roeder 11-Jun-11 19:53:20
Chris Hays 16-Aug-13
Nathan King 02-Aug-13
Ryan Bloomquist 06-Dec-13
Todd Morgan 08-Aug-11

Rocky Mountain Region: (1)

Jeff Kokx 03-Oct-13

Southeast Region: (11)

Arthur Perkins 20-Dec-13
Del Collins 23-Apr-12
Josh Foster 17-Mar-13
JP Chapleau 30-Nov-12
Kristie Schweyer 28-Sep-13
Kyle Pratt 19-Jul-13
Michael Eshleman 02-Oct-13
Steve Miller 29-Jan-14
Thea Peters 26-Jan-13
Nani Pratt ???
Paul Rees ???

Southwest Region: (3)

Jason Leonard 20-Jul-13
Steven Lau 21-Nov-13
James MacKenzie 18-Feb-14

Qadira *****

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After this weekend I'll be at 499. I have played 8 real characters and the rest are GM credit babies that haven't so much as rolled for init. So I'll probably put one on each of them. It will increase the odds that when I do get to play I can take advantage of the boon.

Qadira *****

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Michael Brock wrote:
Bonekeep is still held to the five hour time limit, as well as the stipulations in the warning boxed text at the beginning. Once a party leaves the dungeon, the adventure is over.

So the second time Jason Bulmahn killed my PC in Bonekeep shouldn't have counted. The game should have been called after we went back to town to get the first set of Raise Dead & Restorations on my PC! BULMAAAAAAHN!!! I want my gold back!

Qadira *****

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I am disappointed with the decision to make Bonekeep the new Exclusive. I understand the reason behind it, but it's not what I was hoping for.

I do appreciate the work that Mike & John have done to create incentive for GMs, as well as reward those who continue to progress past the 150 mark. The new boon sounds cool (haven't seen it yet) and should do the trick based on reactions above.

I look forward to more PFS growth and a bigger chunk of the Paizo budget next year, which might see us return to an Exclusive worthy of that title.

Qadira *****

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If that's your biggest problem with this scenario, you have it pretty good.

Qadira *****

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Nice thread-save, Chris.

Qadira *****

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Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
Doug Miles wrote:
Did they pay to see you display your manhood?
Is that even legal in Indiana?

I had written a lot more down that road but deleted it in the interest of decency ;)

Qadira *****

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If you are new to GMing at a convention & running several scenarios a day over multiple days, I recommend taking it slow. Tier 4 (5 slots) will get you in with a free badge and some other swag. Five scenarios over 3 or 4 days may not seem like a lot, but you have to imagine all the other factors you will be enduring. It's kind of like running 5 miles on a treadmill versus running 5 miles off-road.

There are some who pride themselves on their ability to take the punishment as Tier 1 GMs, doing 8 slots at a minimum. It's kind of like a test of manhood. But you also have to remember that the players have paid good money to be there and expect a quality experience. Are you at your best after 7 slots in a row? Did they pay to see you display your manhood? I'm not saying it can't be done, but there's perception vs reality here. You may think you are at your best, but I've been there as a player too many times watching the GM mail it in on Sunday morning. Moderation is the key. Try 5 slots, then after you have some perspective you can go all in on Tier 1 in 2015.

Qadira *****

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@Benjamin F

I've had two TPKs with unrecoverable deaths as the GM. Both made me much more doubtful of my abilities as a GM. So often we walk the line between challenging the players and feeling like they're taking advantage of us. When a TPK or a string of deaths occur I think most GMs worry they did something wrong, and someone is going to figure that out and point a finger. It's a hard feeling to avoid. There are a lot of moving parts in this game, and that leaves room for doubt. The bottom line is we all make mistakes, but it's the dice that kill the characters. Sometimes the dice are hot and sometimes they are not. If you worry whether there is something you are doing wrong as the GM, I think the best gauge is if the players come back for more. This is entertainment. If the players stop showing up at your games, you might be doing it wrong. If they make a new PC and come back for another run then how bad can you really be?

Qadira *****

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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.

Thoughts?

Qadira *****

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I don't have many opportunities to play, so I really don't see myself ever using stars for replay, even if they renew seasonally. I certainly don't need them for more GM credit. Despite that, I think the rule is helpful to the campaign. I don't think it would be harmful if it were changed to refresh each season, however....

I wonder how much of an uproar would occur if the campaign created a GM boon allowing your stars to refresh each season? GM at a convention or a game day receiving con support and your stars refresh for another season. It seems to me that the campaign has a juicy worm--why just give it away for goodwill? Set a hook in it.

I've only seen one person take advantage of the replays. He sat down to play and after the briefing was read realized he had played the scenario before. I asked him how many stars he had (one) and viola! dilemma solved.

Qadira *****

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I am pretty sure I GMed for him in Toronto at Spellstorm in 2011. He makes an impression.

Qadira *****

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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.

Qadira

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Thank you! I know the Powers What Be have previously pushed scenarios out early to appease the howling horde prior to the holidays. I just wanted this to be confirmed sooner rather than the week-of. It ruins the impact of the dispensation announcement, so apologies for that...

Qadira *****

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You made a judgment call. Not all GMs are alike. We shouldn't try to be. At the end of the day, this is a game. It's your job to help them enjoy the game. If they don't enjoy the game, you are wasting your time. Sure, you can't please everyone all the time but in general if players are walking away from our tables feeling regret we should ask ourselves why we continue to GM.

What makes me curious is why you chose to come onto the boards and ask the question, 'was I right'? You won't find a consensus here; more like acrimony and dissension :( I have knocked some numbers off the damage dice myself, but my general rule is the dice kill the characters and I shouldn't try and help them.

Qadira *****

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I am curious why Janira's last name was changed to Gavix. On Monday's Blog the picture indicated her name was Janira Longburrow. Obviously "The Confirmation" was edited to change the name to Gavix because on page 7 her Wayfinder still has her original initials, "J.L.".

Qadira *****

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Very classy post Rob. And congratulations to Dave, too! I'll e-mail his invitation to 5-Star Island. Just don't mention it around You-Know-Who.

Qadira *****

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I'd probably pick Pirate Rob, Andrew Christian, Feral, Finlanderboy and Big Norse Wolf for my panel. If they don't all kill each other before the game finished there would be a lot of critical insight collected.

Qadira *****

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FLite, I think the error is expecting ANYONE is going to drop into negatives in this encounter. That gorilla is going to draw everyone's fire and go down like the Titanic. The idols are better off using deathknell on him then animating his body than waiting for a PC to drop.

Qadira *****

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Michael Eshleman wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

I have no evidence to point to, but I think for a lot of 5-Stars there's a general 'drive' to 150 sessions and then a 'coast' afterwards. I bet there aren't more than 6 GMs out there who have hit 300 sessions. Past a milestone like the 5th Star, there aren't many ways stand out. I think Chris is exceptional because he has both longevity and principles. He's been a PFS member since the outset and he's always been committed to not only improving himself, but encouraging others to do the same. So I see Michael's point about 'Are we really starting to celebrate the post-Five-Star milestones?' On the other hand, it's inspiring to see who's out there walking the walk--even if the scoreboard is frozen.

Qadira *****

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This is kind of an extension of what Thod identified; overhearing a player talk about an awesome moment at the table you GMed the day before. Bonus points if you hear the player talking about it at the same convention a year later.

Another 'win' is when someone tells you they drove over an hour out of their way to play at a game because they saw you're signed up as the GM. A similar situation is at a convention when the same scenario is running at multiple tables and players come to the slot early just to claim the seats at your table.

When you know a scenario so well that you don't need to reference it to GM it. You can do the whole thing from memory.

The last one, and probably the best, is when all the players at your table are standing because they're too excited/anxious to sit down. I've yet to accomplish this, but I have jealously watched GMs from across the room who have.

Qadira *****

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Why don't you run it first? Players will surprise you.

A metal weapon has hardness 10 so the damage dice would have to be 11 or 12 to actually give it the broken condition. It might scare the players, but it's not likely going to destroy their entire arsenal. There are other ways around its defenses. They might grapple & pin it, then acid splash it into oblivion for instance.

Qadira *****

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The past three years (2010-2012) I averaged GMing 7 games for every 1 that I played. This year I have tried to play more, and I'm at 2:1. For a long time it has been about the session count, grinding out scenario after scenario like a machine. It greatly helps to get out on the other side of the screen and see it from the player's perspective. Like Kyle, I feel I am better as a GM than I am as a player. However, what I find most interesting as a player (outside of combat) is when the NPCs interact with my character. Like many of you, I want my character to be relevant. That's part of what makes Lady Ophelia a cool GM; she gets it.

Large-sized tables (6-7 players) create a time/attention crunch. It funnels the game into a mechanical process to run the encounters and hand out Chronicles. I really enjoy playing at 4 player tables because it makes everyone's actions relevant--even the bad guys who get a chance to use more of their abilities. I don't mind my characters being threatened or killed, but that seems to go against the power-gamer mindset.

One of the other reasons that I think I enjoy GMing more than playing is that it is difficult to find the right conditions to make the game worthwhile as a player. I like 4 player tables. I like GMs who have run the scenario multiple times before I play under them. I like GMs who do prep work, pre-draw maps, use appropriate minis, describe the battlefield, role-play the NPCs, get enough sleep the night before and in general know what the hell they are doing. That's why I enjoy GMing more than playing, because I can't get what I want as a player. In other words, because I'm a Pathfinder snob ;)

Qadira *****

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How many of you would pay $8.00 a scenario in order to get three released a month instead of two?

Qadira *****

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Umm, don't I get a warning first? Is that supposed to come from my deity? I wondered why my eyeballs start bleeding whenever I post on Paizo...

Qadira

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This is a rules question, but it says it works either way. You were told you might not be allowed to use it. I doubt that many GMs are so well-versed on this issue that they'd call you on it. You have two ways to handle it:

1) This is a non-issue, so relax and play the game. It works as you believed. If some rules-lawyer GM wants to play the semantics game, then you oblige them and don't add the extra 2d6 in the spirit of moving the game along.

2) Any time you play under a new GM you bring it up at the beginning of the game and ask them to rule whether you can use it or not.

Personally I would do #1. The item is not 'illegal' in either respect.

Qadira *****

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nosig wrote:
Doug Miles wrote:
No one has ever complained at my tables about knowledge checks. I think part of a GM's prep includes anticipating these questions, especially when the creature is unusual.

Ok... let's try this.

My Elven Rogue/wizard is facing a creature (a Ghoul) - I know not what it is. The Knowledge check (religion) gives a 23 and I say to you...
"I've got a 23, what's the most improtant thing for me to know?"

what do you tell me?

Tell the non-elves to be wary of the creature's attacks, the merest touch can render them frozen; likely to be eaten alive. Elves are made of sterner stuff, although they can still be killed by wounds.

Qadira *****

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Why don't you use a specific boon as an example instead of a "So let's say you have...". Can we fast forward this thread to 'YMMV/expect table variation'?

Qadira *****

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That's a big price tag for something that might not pan out. What happens when you shell out $100 for a bundle and no players join? Many players have character ADD and abandon their original PC to start a new one after a few scenarios. Like Rob said, you need to think about Tier 1-5 scenarios if you're starting a new group. If past trends continue, you'll be running A LOT of low level stuff before you begin to need Tier 5-9s and 7-11s.

Qadira *****

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The reason the campaign has drawn a red line on tactics & 'run as written' is to prevent examples like The Porter Kid pointed out. Sometimes GMs mean well and just want to 'challenge' the players. Sometimes the GM's motive is not so kind. The point is, it degrades trust between the players and the GM. If players come to the table believing the GM will bend the rules against them, the game suffers. Metagaming becomes more justifiable for players. Role-play takes a backseat to game theory.

I'd like to think that as a 5-Star I understand how much challenge is enough challenge for my tables. Time after time, the predictions I have made turned out to be wrong. I am notorious for (honestly) telling local players, "Oh you guys will be fine, this fight is a cakewalk." Then the slaughter commences. The only thing I have learned is to keep my big mouth shut. So if I can't predict success/failure in normal situations, I'm really flirting with disaster (and the fallout of angry players) if I try and change the tactics or adjust the encounters.

If players can always expect the GM to run the scenario as it's intended, they will eventually relax and role-play may blossom. But all it takes is one rogue GM who burns a player and they become jaded metagamers. Examples of this are all over this messageboard. Players become paranoid and build min-maxed, untouchable characters instead of organic concepts. There will be many who disagree with that assessment, but that's my view.

Qadira *****

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Somewhere in Milwaukee, Kyle Baird is drinking a lacrimal tonic right now...

Qadira *****

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I thought that 3.5 rounded to the Pathfinder RPG.

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