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Stone Giant

Doug Miles's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit. 1,701 posts (2,440 including aliases). 57 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 19 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

There is no formula that I am aware of. If a VC wants to make someone a VL they submit the name to Mike, he approves and Customer Service does the rest. In my opinion, it's easy to make a VL but not so easy to eliminate one. There may be a legacy the current VC is dealing with. However, as far as what the limit is there is no ceiling that I am aware of. I'm not saying that your VC is wrong, just that the limitation is probably due to his or her sense of balance and propriety.

In Detroit we have three VLs. In 2014 we averaged 64.5 tables a month, including our local convention output.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'm down 20 sessions due to the same issue.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

Doug, here is another thread on the subject. Looks like it has been noticed.

Edit: And I just verified I am missing stuff, at least 1 so far based on GM PC credit and it now missing for reporting.

Thanks!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Out of curiousity, has anyone lost sessions from their overall count? I should have 538 tables of credit, and the system only shows 518. I may be an outlier--many sessions I ran were back in 2008-2010 at conventions and there may have been entire sessions I ran where no one registered. Losing 20 sessions from my overall count isn't a big deal (I also keep track on a separate spreadsheet), but I wondered if it was connected to the reporting problem.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Congratulations Jon! Thank you for your service to the campaign, and welcome to The Island!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations on a lengthy and distinguished campaign service record, Robyn. You have earned a break, enjoy it!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

1 person marked this as a favorite.
tchrman35 wrote:

Running this again tomorrow night with another party (core this time). The Druid has an animal companion with scent ability.

The whole illusory encounter just got shot, didn't it?

I'm not sure what situation you are referring to. The animal is not intelligent enough to communicate that something is an illusion, or that it smells someone hiding behind a wall. Cats can have a keen sense of smell, but they still jump at a red dot on the wall :)

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Congratulations Scott! Thank you for your service to our campaign and welcome to The Island!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

PFS has had a rocky history at Winter Fantasy. Last year may have been the last straw for Dave C. If anyone is looking for some nearby PFS action, Marmalade Dog in Kalamazoo is on the same weekend as Winter Fantasy. I assume you knew about it, John, and are just curious about the absence of PFS at Winter Fantasy this year.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Dark Elf wrote:

Hey Folks,

Here is the short and quick....

1. My gaming group's GM just told me he can't make tonight's game

2. I am hoping to run a easy PFS scenario tonight.

3. So I am looking for a scenario that I can download today and pretty much run it on the fly TONIGHT!!

4. This group has already played: First Steps Part 1: Service To Lore, Master of Fallen Fortress and Confirmation.

I appreciate any and all help with this!!!!

Thanks,

-Bill

The Devil We Know, Part 1 is very linear and simple.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here's the Blog entry

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

We haven't always seen eye-to-eye but there's no denying your length of service and passion for this campaign. Congratulations on this accomplishment and welcome to The Island!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Don't worry about it. I've run it over 20 times.

Mists of Mwangi:
One time the players never entered the museum, destroying the idols from the windows. One other time the players did it the way you anticipated.
I didn't penalize either group for their atypical solution. The author can't cover every angle. If your players head right for the final encounter and you want to use your locked door idea, I think that's an appropriate solution if you feel that the game experience will suffer as a result of an early ending. The players in the sessions I mentioned above were proud they did something outside of the norm and remember the session fondly.

I think most players will stay on the rails. I should say, rather, I know most players stay on the rails in this one. I've put over a hundred of them through Mists. The more experienced ones will meta-game and fool themselves into believing they need to explore the closer rooms first because there's probably a handy tool or helpful bit of info that's vital to the mission's success in there.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Congratulations on the 5th Star and welcome to The Island! Alex is one of those GMs who is so smooth when he improvises he fools the players into believing it's all part of the author's script. Only when you read the scenario afterward do you realize that side track your party went on was never covered, but Alex was able to get you back on the tracks without anyone being the wiser. He truly belongs in the ranks of the 5-Stars.

Alex is also a great organizer, managing one of our showcase PFS locations for over 30 months now. Twice this year he has organized the multi-table Specials on a Wednesday night no less. In 2014 he has organized exactly 150 tables at Mainstreet Billiards (they average 3 tables a week) and he's GMed 41 out of 50 weeks (the last two Wednesdays of the year were waived due to the holidays). That's the amount of dedication he has as a GM and as an organizer. What a guy!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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I think you have the right idea; explain that curing the Pallid Plague requires a specific treatment and anti-plague won't alone suffice. Without the threat of the disease, this scenario becomes pointless. You have raised a good question. I bet that some GMs have come up with more inventive solutions that simply saying anti-plague won't work. I hope they share their ideas. Antiplague is relatively expensive at low levels, but giving that the title of the scenario is The Pallid Plague you are wise to expect it to show up.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

In Metro Detroit we have 8 venues that run PFS games on weekly, bi-weekly or monthly schedule. We organize via a Warhorn page and communicate via a Yahoo! Group. 2014 YTD we have passed 600 tables run locally, so we need a tool like Warhorn to keep things managed. Each venue has a dedicated organizer who selects the scenarios. How this is influenced is different from venue to venue. Most organizers are diligent about posting the schedule well in advance, but sometimes, usually at the beginning of the month, there’s some anxiety as the game date approaches and there’s nothing posted.

I think that Detroit is an outlier in that most (90%) of our games are scheduled on a weeknight. This means that sometimes people arrive late, or the game is scheduled later in the evening. We have a relaxed, roll-with-the-punches stance. Mustering is pretty simple. There’s almost always multiple scenarios offered when we have more than a single table going off. Walk-ins are accommodated the first time, but are strongly encouraged to join the Warhorn page and sign up in advance in the future. Players who sign up on the waitlist understand they may not be accommodated. If we know in advance that a scenario has greater interest than can be handled, we’ll request an additional GM via the Yahoo! Group. If we get a volunteer, great. If not, waitlisted players find something else to do.

Only one of the eight venues charges for the PFS games. I’ve never run there since they began this policy—not out of any type of protest, it’s just way out of my area. There’s another venue that is actually a billiards hall/night club. On Wednesday nights business is slow so our PFS group & the venue have a mutually beneficial arrangement. The expectation is you’ll order a few drinks or an entrée over the course of the game. The food is excellent.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

We executed a scorched earth plan after the failure of Operation: Dragnslayer about a year ago. There's nothing left up there except the tennis courts and Kolossal Ego's "whine cellar" of aging gamer tears (he waaay overpacked and we had to draw the line).

If you want to stay up on The Mountain, the extraction team will have to pick you up after sundown. There's almost no cover from You-Know-Who's prying eyes. If 5-Star Island is compromised, then our fall-back is 5-Star Time Share Condominium :( We are still way behind production of 5-Star Space Station despite the approval of our 501(c) application.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Well done, Rachel! Thank you for your service to our campaign. Welcome to The Island.

Does this announcement mean Rachel is the 100th 5-Star GM in PFS?

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Welcome to The Island, Linda. Thank you for your service to our campaign!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Bienvenue à l'île! Thank you for your service to our campaign.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Check out the local site

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Welcome aboard, Zak!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Since he started appearing on these boards, he struck me as someone with a serious case of the PFS virus. No doubt he's infected others around him. Here's to all of us with weak immune systems! Welcome to The Island, Andrew.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Paul Maplesden via the Asheville Lodge provides these character background sheets on their website. Pass these out to your group and tell them to complete them for the next game. I think many players have an idea about what their character looks and acts like, but they go with the flow at the table. I agree with blackbloodtroll; in most cases when I sit down with players his statement is the status quo. I find it very frustrating, but I also believe that Pathfinder Society scenarios foster this behavior. There is no reward for role-playing, so why are we put out when it doesn't happen? There is a ray of hope. When one player at the table begins to role-play well, it can inspire and elevate the rest of the players to follow suit. Kind of like when a player is talking with a French accent it begins to infect the speech of other people at the table.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

You don't need to input the session, but you do need to register for the Pathfinder Society and get a membership number if you haven't already. You'll want to download and read the first few chapters of the Guide to PFS Organized Play. That will clear up a lot of your questions. Email me pfs.rc.detroit@gmail.com and I can send you some helpful documents and links tomorrow.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Contact Michael McNerney (ohiopfs@gmail.com)

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

You don't have to stat it out. You can simply not call it in the first place. There is no requirement to use the class feature.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Eldest is probably Wes Nicholson. I'm not saying he's old, but if he were an AD&D red dragon he'd have 88 hit points. Youngest probably one of the online 5-Stars, Arthur Perkins or Steven Fresques, but that's an assumption not based on knowledge.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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No disrespect to Horseman, but it doesn't matter if the death was reported or if he received a Chronicle. We play under the honor system. Just because there may have been a bureaucratic mistake doesn't mean he gets a do-over. Carlos knows he played the scenario. Splitting hairs about how much he actually absorbed from 2.5 rounds of participation is a distraction. Fortunately he's earned a GM Star (thanks for your service, Carlos!) and can burn it to play it again for credit.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Scenarios are typically released at the end of the work day on the West Coast. Don't even bother checking until 9PM EDT. It is risky to plan to run new releases on the weekend following their date of availability. We usually don't know if there is going to be a delay until the day of release. Products have to pass through an editing pipeline at Paizo, so often delays are out of the hands of our campaign staff.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

After being put through the wringer running The Beacon Below, it was a pleasant ride to run Slave Ships this weekend. The players' every move was predicted and covered by Mr. Garringer's fine authorship. We were done in 3 hours. The longest fight was on the main deck, which took over 10 rounds. During that time, the dwarvern investigator managed to fail every Climb check to get up the rope ladder and onto the deck. He came close, but couldn't make two checks in a row before failing one by more than 5. He was repeated dunked in the drink. If not for Zigil, the dwarvern pilot, taking a shine to him he would have drowned. Despite the risk, she stuck around and hauled him out of the water time and time again. The investigator's player went through a number of d20s...

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Elbedor wrote:
Out of curiosity, is this written down somewhere? I've looked around and didn't find it anywhere. Hence posting the question here.

It's not written down anywhere, mostly because people gimping their characters is not a big issue in this campaign ;)

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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You can refuse all except for XP.

Edit: Damanta, he could waste the PP the same way he wasted the Gold. The Fame he would be stuck with, I'm thinking.

The reason you can't defer XP is because it could skew the wealth-by-level curve intended for PFS. Let's say you accept the Gold but not the XP when you play. You could end up as a 1st level character playing in Tier 1-5 scenarios wearing the gear of a 10th level PC. Taken to the extreme, it would be unbalanced.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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 ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Congratulations guy-who-has-to-put-up-with-Dragnmoon! ;)

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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You are correct, and those other people are wrong.

The Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, page 32 wrote:
Tiers are a level restriction for play. If a PC’s level does not fall within the level range of a scenario’s tier, that character can not legally play in that scenario. For example, a 5th-level PC is legal for play in scenarios of Tiers 1–5, 3–7, and 5–9; a 1st-level PC can only legally play in a Tier 1 or Tier 1–5 scenario.

They may be confused because some Season 0 - 2 scenarios covered Tier 1-7, so level 1s could play in sub-tier 3-4 with level 7s. It does make sense when you read the Guide, but I can see where the misunderstandings arise.

Read 'Tiers and Sub-Tiers' on page 32 of the Guide, then come back here if you still think it's not enough to convince those 'other people' :)

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

I have run it seven times, and it's much ado about nothing most of those times*. On occasions that the PC succeeds on the Perform check the diva stands on top of the organ crooning along with the instrument until the song is over. Then I have her reminisce about the 'good ole days' at the opera and, if treated politely, eventually lose interest in the PCs. It doesn't need to be a combat encounter unless the PCs trigger it.

When the scenario doesn't cover those corner cases, use your judgment as the GM to improvise something. You can create some unique memories for players in these situations. Imagine if the bard and the diva hit it off and make a deal to take the act on the road after the mission is over.

*I did slap an inflict serious on a 1st level PC once and he failed his save against pretty hefty damage--dead right there. I was able to pull a Faction shirt out of my bag and he succeeded, sparing me from a lot of guilt! The other six times the diva doesn't have much firepower after delivering the inflict.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

The suggestion was to play a somber dirge on the organ. If the PC fails the save, he or she attempts to play a 'dirge'. The diva gets upset and attacks if the PC performs poorly. The suggestion has been fulfilled. The diva doesn't designate how long the dirge must be. After the suggested action is complete, the target may act freely. Roll initiative :)

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

No problem on this end. Check your link. The site has moved.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Thank you for your service to our campaign Lucas! Welcome to the Island!!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Good show, Preston!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

I would say congatrs, rather! ;)

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Welcome!

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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I suggest that you don't use the organized play system. Run it how you feel comfortable, just don't present it as Pathfinder Society sanctioned. If these kids don't plan on playing with other organized players at PFS sanctioned gamedays or conventions, then there's no need to make them adhere to the PFS rules. Put on the kid gloves and let 'em have fun. When they are ready for the next level of difficulty, introduce them to PFS.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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No. That's taking it too far. There's an unspoken contract between you and the players when you all sit down to play. Part of that is they have to trust that you are being fair and not just making stuff up. If they don't trust you, they need to find a different kind of game to play. If you don't trust them, give them more credit.

It's your job as the Game Master to use your imagination to describe the environment, the grotesque monster, the chaotic thrill of battle. Instead of saying to the player "I'm sorry, an attack roll of 12 misses the goblin warrior. You needed a 15 to hit his armor class.", you could say "The nimble goblin ducks under your whistling greatsword, not even needing to raise his shield to avoid your attack."

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Are you saying you want to give them a copy of the adventure you are running for them, so they can read along? Or give them a Core Rulebook so they can read how Perception works?

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

You're not going to find rules like you're looking for in a written format. Trying to do that would cause confusion because there are so many variables and exceptions involved. Use your best judgment, err on the side of the players, and try to have fun. Everyone is different. New players need more hand-holding and advice, while experienced players may want more challenge.

For example, if a new player has a pre-gen rogue and the fighter finds a chest he wants to open, I might look at the rogue's player and ask "Is there anything you'd like to do before he opens it?" I am less generous with established players. This weekend I had a player with a 6th level character meticulously search every door and object for traps through 4 encounters. Finally she forgot to search a locked door and I gleefully sprung a stinking cloud trap on her character. Everyone realized that was the first time she hadn't stated she was searching for traps and had a laugh. I could have gone the other way and said, "I'm going to let you make a Perception check for the trap since your character has an established pattern. Your character's memory is better than your own." It helped that it wasn't a lethal trap...

Another example; if a player is discussing which character they are going to play in a scenario and I know that there's something useful on the Chronicle for one of their available PCs, I'll make a recommendation. I don't say "There's a boon for a griffin animal companion on the Chronicle, so you should play your cavalier!". It's OK to be subtle.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Yes.

The Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, page 38 wrote:
A GM may apply credit for running a scenario, module, or Adventure Path in any of the same ways a player can, and must follow the same rules as a player when applying credit to a character.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

Correct on all counts :) Here's a thread that you may find pertinent.

The Exchange ***** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, Michigan—Detroit

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Here's my answer (expect table variation):
1.) Guards and Wards says "A dispel magic cast on a specific effect, if successful, removes only that effect." I take that to mean that an effect removed by a Dispel Magic is only supressed and will resume after 24 hours. I would set the DC at 26 to recognize a Guards and Wards using Knowledge (Arcana) because it is a spell effect that is already in place. Of course, the PC wouldn't need to know what spell it is in order to fire off a Dispel.

2. & 3.) I'm going to disregard the scenario instructions because they don't make sense. I'll present it organically, meaning I'll try and present the situation as it might have developed rather than putting minis down in illogical positions:


  • B obviously came up from the level below (B1) with the mummies and initiated the attack on S's turf. I'll add a 'first wave' of attackers that S already defeated.
  • Let's just say that S was initially in the chapel (A3) and fought through the first wave to get to A9 and summon a counterattack.
  • B sent in the next wave of mummies, hanging around the corner of A5 to watch how things progress.
  • S sends her elementals out from A9 and observes from there as the forces collide in A2. She doesn't speak any elemental languages so she must be giving the fire elementals instructions via the mephits, who speak Common. She has used the pools once earlier so I think it is safe to assume there have been waves of attackers on both sides.
  • Don't forget to describe the "Alcoves along the walls hold racks filled with scrolls filled with ancient poetry, but the cracked scroll cases are unable to resist the heat created by the elementals. If the PCs do not destroy the elementals or draw them out of the hallway within 4 rounds, the scrolls are reduced to ash, and the PCs lose 1 Preservation Point."
  • The important thing about setting up this fight is you want the players to see the opposing sides at the same time. If they look down the corridor from A1 (after figuring out the illusion) and see one side bottle-necked at the intersection, they'll just initiate their attack algorithms without further thought.
  • I haven't run this yet, but I anticipate that the players will just neutralize BOTH side--the elementals for the threat to the library, and the mummies for being undead.
  • If S's side wins, she'll approach to parley from A9. If she loses, she'll stay there unless she has a safe route back to the chapel.

The author probably had either a different map or different creatures when the scenario was turned over. I don't much like how cramped the fight is in A2.

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