Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Witches with slumber hex is playing the game on easy mode.
Agreed. I play two witches, and I've adopted the habit of never casting the same hex twice in a row. Maybe two flavors of Evil Eye, but never two Slumbers. I like the feel of keeping it variable, and I like the tactical decision "do I cast Slumber now, or wait until next round?".
David Bowles wrote:
But I will say I played a season 1 where my dwarf fighter literally didn't get to take a swing because of pets/eidolons.
Although off topic, I think any character which has companions, eidolons, summoned creatures, and so forth runs the risk of violating "don't be a jerk" if only because they have so many actions that they often end up hogging the camera. Even if the beasties are not overpowered, those players end up getting a larger slice of time/GM attention.
In Golarion you can buy copies of the Chronicles of the Pathfinder Society. I believe that they're 50 GP each and provide a +2 circumstance bonus to a specific knowledge skill. You do need time to read though them before you make your roll, so they won't help with identifying monsters in combat, but are helpful for nearly everything else.
My son has a half-orc barbarian who carries the complete library in his backpack. He can't really use them himself, but since he has a ridiculous carrying capacity, he provides it as a service to the rest of the party.
I'm actually considering a monk dip for mine. I'm glad to see that even being two levels behind, you're character can still handle business. I have high hopes for my inquisitor, which will be my first try at the class.
If you are going to dip Monk, consider two levels. All your saves go up, and you get evasion. When you get stalwart at 11th level, then everything becomes "I make my save so I'm not affected".
I'm thinking about taking that dip now, but at 11th level I think that the siren's song of high level spells will be too tough to resist.
My PFS Inquisitor is 11th level and I'm looking forward to playing Eyes of the Ten. It is my favorite class because it can do a bit of everything. It can easily be out-specialized, but I prefer generalists to specialists, so I'm used to that.
I took a bonus spell at every level, and unless you're opting for a low spell concept, I think that it should be the way to go. Having the extra flexibility in spells is another wonderful perk.
And as mentioned above, Bane Baldric rocks.
Are you allowed to bump up the difficulty when running APs for PFS? I will run Snows of Summer at my FLGS as a PFS event. I won't know what PCs I get until I show up, but 6 characters are a distinct possibility. Are there rules for scaling up the encounters for >4 players? I am willing to tweak things on my own, but I don't want to invalidate the session from being PFS legal.
I agree with pretty much everyone in this thread. I play a number of games with my sons (12-15), and if they did something like that, I'd wipe them out. They would get a warning or three, and it sounds like you've already done that. So kill them all and say "I told you so." Then discuss it with them. Both why it is a bad idea, and review the hints that you gave.
And then it is time for new characters.
Michael Brock wrote:
@Doug, in the past month, we have had 5 large conventions of 80 or more tables. At each of those, there were between 45-70 new PFS numbers issued. In the past month. From reports I have received from VCs and VLs, there hasn't been more than 2 or 3 new PFS numbers given at a game day in a store. For some, there were no new numbers issued for the entire month.
If the numbers are really that skewed towards cons, then I guess I have to admit to being in a tiny minority. Of the 20 people signed up for this Friday, only 4 of us were there a year ago. I don't know how many of the others are new here, or got a PFS number someplace else.
BTW: Last month at the 2/16 PFS Teen Event at Gamer's Armory, a single table was scheduled. We had a larger turn out than expected, so I ran a second table where all four players were new with new PFS numbers. That is event 13918 session #5. I don't know if any of them have ever logged in, or if any of them will return, but that is always a unknown. I doubt if any of them bought anything that day.
I had thought of something simple: Your first star gives you a boon to play a single 21 point build character. Star number two is a boon to play a 22 point character. Likewise for the 3rd, 4th and 5th stars.
It just seems that convention GMs are valued greater then local GMs, and I feel that is wrong.
Exactly. The feeling of being second class is the heart of this. Well, at least it is for me.
Michael Brock wrote:
This says to me that the perception is that convention play brings in more new players of paizo products than does store play. While spending customers might not be the goal of PFS, I understand that paizo needs a stream of revenue or it will cease to exist. None of us want that.
Are there any measurements of profitability of convention games to FLGS games? If it is 4 to 1 (for example), then for every 4 convention boons that gets distributed, make one available to store GMs. It might not be much, but at least it is an attempt to share the love. And I like the idea that FLGS GMs get boons not found at cons. Or at least make some of them available before they are at the cons.
When a new person registers for PFS, note which store it is at and the GMs at that store are eligible. I don't know how the PFS player DB is managed, but that sounds like an easy enough SQL query. Things like "5 games minimum" might be necessary to avoid fraud. And once quarter the local V-O should look at the numbers to say "Yep, that sounds right to me".
As for home games, being open to non-members is the key, and "walk in" traffic is low inside someone's home. New recruits have to be able to see the game being played, and have the option of joining in for something to count. In my humble opinion, of course.
I won't pretend to have a clue about non-USA game play.
i think the idea of a multi-store convention would be neat idea, although i'm not sure the amount of extra work that would put on steve miller.
If that isn't considered gaming the system, then I'm up for it. I know I can swing things at Gamer's Armory. I bet the Game Theory or Atomic Empire crowd will be up for it as well. Game Connection might be a bit more difficult, but we can always ask. We might be able to get this done without bothering Steve too much. Or Joe because he's busy finding warm bodies for Con*Temporal.
there used to be a store who ran 2-3 slots all day saturday but they were a bit too far away for some people and were a very small store. they went out of business.
That was C4 in Mebane. They disappeared before I got a chance to go there. Myles had said good things about it.
It's really a bit awkward to have ALL of your books on PDF, then have to carry around ONE hardcover book.
The intent was to give the folks who shelled out money limited access to the new races. I don't know how you could prevent making multiple copies from the PDF, but if you could, that would be fine by me. It is all moot now anyway.
Are there any plans for boons for us GMs who don't attend conventions? Here in North Carolina there are only a few small conventions, and while I do GM at them, so far that has just meant the 3 race boon sheet. It strikes me as odd that I have gotten something for those 4 convention tables, but I've gotten nothing for any of the others. As I've earned 2 stars in the past year, I think I'm a reasonably active GM.
Is it that everyone else has to use conventions to play PFS, and we're just an exception to the rule? Last year we had a visiting V-L, and he told me he was surprised at the number of game store options that we have. There are 4 stores within 20 miles of my house that I know that run weekly PFS events, and I think they cover 5 days of the week. The store I frequent has to limit PFS to 3 tables because of space issues, but has kept up that pace fairly consistently every Friday for almost a year. If not 150 tables, it is pretty close to that many.
From the limited convention experience I have, I knew or had heard of almost everyone there. It is the same group of people who already played PFS at the game stores, just in a different setting. I hope recruitment isn't the motivation because I see more newbies at the stores, or the Teen PFS events I organize, than the conventions I've been to.
Are there any plans change any of this? Is the consensus that things are fine as they are? If there are plans to change things, what are those plans?
Elias Silverbrew wrote:
There are only two PFS APs right now: Rise of the Runelord Anniversary Edition and Shattered Star. It might be a while, if ever, before Reign of Winter gets chronicle sheets. They are waiting to see how many groups take advantage of current APs with chronicle sheets
When I mentioned that I was going to run The Snows of Summer as a home game, I was immediately asked to run it for PFS at my FLGS. I said sure assuming that the chronicle sheets would be out shortly. Apparently we were a bit overly optimistic. I know that the folks a Paizo don't have the resources to do everything for everyone, but I'd hope that they don't back away from PFS-izing APs quite so quickly.
I'm certainly not a fan of too many races, but lots of people want variety. I had hoped that buying a hard copy of the APG would act as a "play a featured race boon". No photocopies or use of a PDF, so if you wanted a second one, shell out some more bucks. Likewise a real copy of "Kobolds of Golarion" has a "play one Kobold" boon page. While this isn't friendly to folks with a tight budget, if you really want to play a goblin, you can eventually scrape together enough for Goblins of Golarion.
Personally I find the whole Asian theme to more of a problem for "suspension of disbelief" than the monstrous and elemental races. The leaps of fantasy logic to justify a human ninja in Ustalav is worse than a tree hugging orc. Likewise for a drow PC: I don't want them to become routine, but I think that they're more thematically consistent around the Inner Sea than any kitsune or nagaji.
The horse has left the barn a long time ago, but I wouldn't have minded only having 4 classes (Cleric, Fighter, Magic User and Thief). All the customizations could be done with archtypes or spending development points of some sort to buy class abilities. If someone works on DND 3.875 maybe that would be something for them to consider.
How well do the CIA, FBI, DEA, NSA, TSA, Marshals, and the Secret Service get along? How often do they cooperate? How often do they sabotage each other? How often do they actively attack one another?
I imagine that when the Orders have a reason to work together, they do so wonderfully. The only bump in the road is determining who is in charge of a particular joint operation. Once the hierarchy has been settled, they work towards the end with brutal efficiency.
But for the most part each order does its own thing without interacting with other orders. No one likes to ask for help and look weak, and there does not seem to be any overarching command structure like the Pentagon and Joint Chiefs.
So, if the Order of the Rack has reason to believe that your PCs went into Varisia, they would have to decided which they prefer: 1) alerting the Order of the Nail and basically owing OotN a "favor" for doing this service; 2) not saying anything but keeping notes just in case that PC ever returns to Cheliax proper; or 3) send agents into Varisia to hunt him down. I think #2 is the most likely followed by #1. The final option, sending agents into Varisia is leaving their jurisdiction, and something that they're not likely be setup to handle.
That said, were it my campaign, the Order of the Rack would send a lone agent to pursue the PCs. Having a long term nemesis who shows up to rain on the party's parade is something I couldn't pass up. And since I'm a big fan of the Inqusitor class, I'd have a lot of fun with it.
What are the rules for a character having a repeating crossbow in the primary hand and a light weapon in the off hand? Would that character threaten? Could the off hand weapon be used for AoO? How about using both in the same round of a full attack? Just use the regular two weapon fighting rules and gloss over the fact that the primary weapon happens to be ranged?
I'd like for Quadira to move to take out Taldor once and for all. Leading a large Kellish force Quadira would launch a land assault on Taldor proper and a naval assault on Taldor provinces like Andoran and Chelliax. Sure, they've broken away, but they are really just Western Taldor to the Kellish Empire.
Lots of interesting politics comes to a head with this. Chelliax and Andoran would have to stand together with the remnants of Taldor or fall. Nations like Absalom, Druma, Jalmeray, Molthune, Osirion and Rahadoum would be courted by both sides, and they would leverage this influence for who knows what purposes. All the stops would be pulled out to get support from Elves, Dwarves, Fey of all sorts, Geb, the Gorilla King and so forth. Additionally this would cut off support to less immediate problems, like supporting troops in Lastwall and Mendev, so they will have more problems. Inner Sea Sarenrites would be split between religion and nationalism. This would also be a good chance to expose bits of Casmaron that are near Avistan, and Vudra as well.
But practically I don't expect Paizo to go down this road, if only because it makes PFS that much harder. Shadow Lodge going from rival to faction is a big deal, but only to PCs. Outside of the Society, it was a non-event. A major shift like an invasion would make it even harder to play scenarios out of order and keep any pretense of unified character history. Plus some scenarios just wouldn't make sense in a post-invasion world. There is a reason that nothing of substance changes in most episodes on TV.
I was recording a game I ran last night (event 13584 session #7) and I applied the credit to a the same character of mine that I used when I played it. Oops. Once saw the warning and changed it to a different character. The session information shows the right number (my -4) and faction, but the character name remains that of my -5.
I don't think this is a big deal, but I thought I'd point it out.
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
What if you sniped every round and had the halfling racial ability + feat to reduce that penalty to 0?
Sounds a bit like my halfling Arcane Trickster. Vanish slows things down a bit, but is worth it. Bambath really doesn't like being the center of attention once weapons have been drawn.
Didn't AD&D have what you're looking for? Make the XP cost of a level based off the class level, and not the character level. You can get multiple levels of a lower class for the price of one higher level.
That is why a 1st edition bard was so powerful. The XPs to buy it were so cheap compared to a few more higher levels. If you had a fixed budget of XPs to spec out a character, the bard was always a consideration.
Doubly so as the thief was so cheap compared to the other classes, but differing costs per class is a whole 'nother can of worms. I don't think bringing that back would help anyone.
Last night there was a newbie at the weekly PFS game at my FLGS. When we were chatting, I found out that he's only in town for a while, He and his son have the Basic Box and wanted to try it out. We've got him covered while he's here in North Carolina, but he's not aware of anything "back home" in South Bend, Indiana. We looked at the list of local contacts, but didn't notice any that were reasonably close.
Does anyone know of Pathfinder play in or around South Bend?
Steve Miller's contributions to this year's RPG SuperStar were oceanic/aquatic in theme. Would you want to use that material as a starting point and fleshing it out? Or do you have something else in mind?
Just reviewing everything one last time. Yes, I like multiple dots on my "i"s and crosses on my "t"s.
PFS characters from 4-6 get the chronicle sheet as-is. Using a pregen gives 1 XP, 2 PPs and 500 Gold to a 1st level character. GMs can either apply the sheet now to 4-6 character, or hold it until a character reaches 4th. Right?
For what it is worth, I understand not changing the rules on how this stuff works now and waiting until 4.2 comes out. The current rules might be flawed, but at least they're documented. That's worth a something, especially considering that getting role players to agree on anything is usually a "herding cats" type activity.
Myron Pauls wrote:
I apply my GM credits as I earn them, but I try to play every character at least once per level.
That's what I do as well. A few of my local VOs recommended that, so I tried it and I like it. It seems like a good way to keep things balanced. I've thought about skipping 1st level, but that feels like cheating.
I am having a lot of trouble understanding the differences between a scenario and a module. When the modules are 3 sessions long, I can see the distinction. But I don't see how a single session module like Dawn of the Scarlet Sun is fundamentally different than a scenario.
What am I missing? What is gained from having this difference instead of treating it as a pseudo-scenario being done with it?
The specific thing I'd like to know is what is gained from mandating that using a pre-gen for DotSS's chronicle sheet be applied to a new 1st level character instead of allowing it to be held until 4th level.
One of the people signed up to play at my table on Free RPG Day only has one character which hasn't yet made it to 4th level. Instead of applying the sheet to his only character, he has to create a -2 just for this. Is this a good thing?
I'm trying to understand what is going on well enough to explain this to someone else. I figure that there is a good reason for this, but I just don't see it. Can anyone boil this down to a simple idea that I can present to someone else?
I've always thought that there should be rules for it, but I don't remember seeing any. Personally I'd like something to make tunnel fighting feel different than open battlefield combat.
TriOmeegaZero is right that squeezing is a good starting point. Maybe saying that two handed weapons effectively bump you up to the next larger category in terms of space requirements. Basically a 2 hander makes you need a 10'x10' area or you are squeezed. But what does that do to reach? I think that would open up lots of special cases. Swing (slash and bludgeon) weapons really need more space, but thrusting (piercing) weapons won't need as much. And BigNoseWolf is right that some of the swing weapons can function in tighter spaces with minimal difficulty.
My best advice is to just experiment and see what your group thinks works best. Maybe you can make some recommendations that the rest of us can use. If you can come up with something that 1) makes sense, 2) isn't overly complicated, and 3) is fun, let us know about it.
Charlie Bell wrote:
Getting dominated is your one chance to stomp a mudhole in the character of that player who gets on your nerves :)
Tempting. I can think of two PCs whom I dislike to the point where I would willing fail my saves to do something like this. Maybe I should have brief pre-game talk with the GM if I end up at the same table as either one of them.
W. Kristoph Nolen wrote:
I'm curious: what if a DM wanted to specifically run a PFS table that is more than four hours? For example: if a DM wanted to intentionally schedule a game that encouraged RP, and...
I actually saw that happen on Saturday. That FLGS offers a single session, so there was no time constraint for the table. The Judge asked if everyone had extra time, and since they all did, he went into extra heavy role play mode. He ran one of the intro scenarios for 6+ hours. Since one of the players was a V-L, I guess there was nothing blatantly wrong about it. Certainly the players all had a great time.
I never even thought about there being an age limit. My 14 year son ran We Be Goblins! and did OK-ish. I wouldn't want to unleash him on an unsuspecting group of gamers with a strict 4 hour limit, but for a casual game among friends, he did well enough. Everybody's got to start somewhere.
One of the local gaming stores has a monthly Kids Day where no player can be older than 16. Up to now the GMs have been adults, but the goal is to turn that over to the kids. My son was thinking about running a PFS scenario at one of them.
If PFS doesn't allow this, I'd like to know about. I'd like to protest it too, but I'll wait for the verdict before I appeal.
Grumph Bronzebeard wrote:
I like everything you mentioned, right up until the last bit about capping them or forcing them to use slow track. If they can be played, they should be able to play all the way to retirement just like everyone else.
I wasn't thrilled with it either, and I put it last for a reason. I was just trying to brainstorm a way to make it possible for everyone to dip their toes in the water, without flooding things. PCs have to have the option to try new things (why else do we play?) but there are real issues with changing the flavor of the setting. And limiting non-humans has been around since AD&D, so it is familiar. Although completely contrived, it does provide a game mechanism for human-centrism.
I think that I'm in the middle of the pack on this one. I like the idea of additional races, but I think that they should be limited. Both because the campaign setting isn't loaded with them already (its loaded with the core races), but because part of the allure of these is that they are exotic. Why would I want to play an aquatic elf werewolf if I'll bump into three others at my weekly game?
So, I like the idea of restricting the new races to boons. Maybe a bit more often than just for attending conventions, especially as I've never been to one. Maybe VCs, VLs, 5-stars and the ilk randomly hand out one or two of these boon sheets each month at various local games. While that still doesn't help everyone, it spreads the net a bit wider.
Also, why not put 2 or 3 of these boon sheets in the book itself? They get signed, and thus consumed, when a character using one first gets played. No tearing out or photocopies allowed. If someone is desperate to play more than that, they need to go shell out for another book. Yes, that is economic tyranny, but that's OK as long as there are other ways of getting those boon sheets.
Another idea is to reduce the long term options of the new races. Cap them at 8th or 10th level or whatever. Or they have to take the slow progression. Anything that keeps them viable for play but off of the path to ultimate power.
My sons (11 and 14) loved We Be Goblins! and we were done in 3 hours or so. There is something about silly violence and fireworks that appeals to boys of that age.
I have some experience with kids games, and attention span hasn't really been that much problem for our 10-14 year olds. Having the initiative to do things has been a bigger deal. The kids often want to know what they're allowed to do, and tend to be indecisive. Be ready with the prompts or the game can bog down.
Best of luck.
I'm really late to this party, but this has been too interesting to ignore.
Personally I like the factions and the Faction War idea, as that adds some depth. But I'll be the first to agree that it brings out PvP that shouldn't be there. I know because I have a PC who has a merchant background and has to restrain himself from thwarting the Sczarni missions. So, my advice there is there has to be the overriding "don't be a jerk" clause such that the any PC who goes too far in the faction war is "outed" for that session and gets no PAs. Remaining clandestine is a requirement. Basically doing anything that overtly announces your faction costs you that PA.
I think there has to be some mechanism to get the factions to cooperate. Maybe there are 10 different factions, but only 5 unique missions. And you don't know who your allied faction is before you start. And this being politics, the bedfellows can be very strange.
An interesting twist would be that there was only one common faction mission for everyone. Sometimes the factions want the same thing. Naturally, the PCs don't know this at the start.
I especially like the idea that certain factions start with different background information. Obviously that cannot be allowed to make success impossible, but it can add flavor.
Also I'd like to say that there should be an opt-out mechanism. If you don't want to do the faction thing, you take fractional PA and go about your business. If the target is 75% success with faction missions, opting out should give 1/2 or 2/3 of a PA.
Like most folks in this thread, I've focused on faction missions, and not the Faction War itself. I don't think the war should be winner take all. That just isn't how politics works when there are that many parties. In addition to any story line changes, the members of the top 3 factions get a bonus of 3 PAs, and the next 3 factions get 1 PA. The lowest 4 get nothing. This means doing well has its rewards, but the price of failure isn't so high. The bad thing is that the PCs with the highest success rates already have a PA lead, so adding on to that is just increasing the gap. While that makes sense, it might lead to long term dissatisfaction.
And, for the record, I like the idea of killing a faction every year or two. Members of that faction lose all (half?) of their Fame as they switch to another faction. But that would really suck for the occasional PFS member who has no clue about the Faction War.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Since 2nd-level monks don't have fast movement, a non-monk gains only the increased unarmed damage bonus. The printed text is an artifact of an earlier version that granted a higher-level monk bonus. The magic item should be run exactly as published, and isn't really up for alternate interpretations.
Mark, was the intent to remove the movement bonus completely, or was this more of an oops? I understand that it has been released to the world, so it is what it is, and I'm not trying to change anything. But I'm curious as to what the intent was.