|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
People are more likely to see the first rather than the latter, because it requires more system mastery to create a good wizard. Wizard may have a very high optimization ceiling, but their floor is extremely low.
In all the games/groups I've played with across PFS and not-PFS. I can count the number of 'problem wizards' on one hand. Hyper-optimized rogues/magi/barbarians/archers are everywhere.
Unfortunately, how long a campaign’s been running doesn't necessarily help us build these stats. We’d like to be able to say something like, ”If you can maintain X posts per day, you’re Y% more likely to successfully complete an AP.” A long-running but incomplete campaign doesn’t help to that end.
There’s lots of great years-long campaigns out there (and if fun was the only goal, they’d be big winners) but like a couple others have said – folks want to finish an AP. We’re looking for the numbers that it takes to make that happen.
A friend has an analytics project going that will hopefully help us understand any connection between Play by Post momentum (posting rates, DM turnaround, etc) and the success/completion of APs. Parsing current/active data is coming along but we’re having a hard time finding successfully completed campaigns to collect data from. Getting the community’s aid on that end would help tremendously.
We’re looking for PBP campaigns, here on the Paizo forums, that have completed an entire AP. If you can, please provide a link.
I tend to play the same way you do OP but doesn't mean folks playing the other way are necessarily 'doing it wrong'. It just so happens that on the internet, the optimization folks tend to be the most vocal.
The thing to keep in mind is that there are others out there and on these boards that you'll have fun playing with and try not to let the more hostile types in the other camp get you down.
Human [Suel] *Warpriest of Kord with potentially a monk dip at some point
*Built to function as a brawler/frontliner/tank
*Big, loud, and friendly – huge ham
*Among other things, loves a hard drink and soft company
*The kind of guy that’s always challenging people to wrestle him and/or demanding they hit him in the gut
Tanith was born the only son to a low-rent Diamond Lake prostitute. His mother never spoke about his father and for his part Tanith assumed it was because she didn't really know who he was. As a child of the streets, his life was dirty, hard, and painful.
Despite the poor conditions of his birth, Tanith was always large for his age. Friendly and simple, the young suel would often use his great strength to defend the other whores's children from those that would prey on them. But a child's innocence can only last for so long and soon his mother was gone (victim of disease untreated for too long) leaving Tanith to fend for himself.
Faced with the need to survive he found where most desperate folk in Diamond Lake do, the mines. Despite only being fourteen years of age, he stood as tall as most grown men and had a brawny muscular physique. His youth and his great strength allowed him to endure the mines better than most but it also brought him to the attention of his manager, the toad Balabar Smenk. Soon Tanith wasn’t just a miner but also an enforcer for the corrupt mine boss, flexing a little muscle and busting noses when he was told. The work dimmed his spirit but it put needed food on his plate and a roof over his head.
One day, years later, Tanith was enjoying a drink at the Feral Dog at the end of the day when he heard another patron, a priest, proselytizing loudly inside the tavern. The young suel found the interruption irritating but when he stood to threaten the target of his wrath he was surprised to see that the priest was no simple holyman, but a huge mountain of a man. Too proud to back off now, Tanith threw a punch anyway. The priest, a mighty cleric of Kord, took the wild hook with a laugh before savagely beating the young thug.
The dust settled a moment later but the priest decided not to turn Tanith over to the watch (citing the beating he'd gotten was punishment enough). Instead he warned him that the path he was on would only lead him to misery and an ignoble death. The priest told him that anyone could be strong, but that true strength came from testing oneself and competing for a worthy cause. At the time, Tanith didn't understand that the man was sharing the Brawler's teachings and too bloodied and bruised to care much about anything, the young thug scrambled out of the inn and retreated to lick his wounds.
But the words (and beating) did have a profound effect on the young man and had rekindled something in him that a life focused solely on survival had pushed aside. He prayed and not some muttered whisper in passing. He was no stranger to religion, the rants and chanting of the Cuthbertites were a well-known annoyance, but Tanith knew that the gods were many and one of them would have the answers he wanted. To his surprise it was the thunderous Brawler that answered.
Good genes and years of hard work in the mines have turned Tanith from a tall long-limbed youth into a musclebound brute. His once soft features are now hard and square and, though he shaves frequently, the perpetual shadow of growth is often spread across his jawline. His golden hair is kept short - a small comfort in the sweltering mines – and he is always grinning, as if privy to a joke that only he hears. He laughs often.
He wears a suit of stylized scaled mail bought with the bulk of his savings and underneath that armor, the six-pointed star of Kord is tattooed over his left pectoral. On his back is the symbol of his god, a massive two-handed sword.
Who’s this Feral guy?:
I’ve been active on the forums for a while now and have participated in several campaigns as both a player and DM. My crowning moment of awesome was likely the Skull & Shackles campaign that I Co-DMed for that finished the entire AP on these forums in only four months. I’m big on communication and am always willing to help (with documentation or maps for example).
And as an aside, beyond simply running non-evil BBEGs (a highly principled neutral character could still be a BBEG if their goals happen to oppose the party), it's not impossible to run golem/plant/ooze BBEGs, so long as you understand that the narrative and the mechanical BBEGs don't need to be one and the same. For example an evil nobleman might not be able to put up much of a fight, but so long as he's untouchable (either via story, such as, he's well liked and respected, and killing him without proof of his misdeeds would put the party in a rough spot, or physically, through Fiat-spells), you can put the mechanical big boss at the end of a campaign as a neutral entity. I did that with a first world elven prince, who managed to evade the Paladin's Detect Evil by virtue of being low level. At the end of the campaign, the final fight was a fey-plant-creature-thing in place of where a normal BBEG would be, as well as a number of actually Evil fey (so the paladin wasn't completely smiteless)
That all sounds great but you pretty well illustrated my point. You had to remove your BBEG as a combatant in order to neuter the paladin. This is by no means not a viable option (in fact it sounds pretty cinematic) but your example doesn't do anything to convince me that paladins aren't broken.
In the case of an unclear mechanic or something that clearly wrong, it's up to the GM to make the best call he can. When these sorts of situations come up I always offer the player in question the option to take a different trait/feat/spell/whatever if they disagree with my ruling on a matter. I find this kind of compromise covers 99% of these sorts of situations pretty well.
Of course there's always going to be the player that insists that without option X, Y, and Z, their character is completely ruined but those sorts of situations are the exception to the exception.
I didn't try super hard to advertise because I knew there was going to be limited seating and I didn't want to have to turn away a ton of people. I had an interest thread going in the PFS forums and one running in the PBP recruitment forum. Depending on the specifics required for Race, it might be worth expanding that.
I like the suggestion Algar but no checkpoint system is going to work for a timed event. The nature of timed events requires the game move on regardless of if folks are ready or not.
Thanks for the feedback Merck!
I'm sorry if things felt too quick for you at times. Any suggestions on how to bridge the gap between the slower pacing and the faster pacing we ended up using (which most seemed to enjoy)?
For the next event I might make a bigger effort to coordinate groups along timezone lines. Doing that might allow tables more coordinated 'uptime' and feel like a generally more comfortable pace. For this one I was able to do that a little with the lower level groups but I ended up ceding time zone coordination to make level ranges work. If it helps, I could group folks according to timezone first and try to sort of characters/levels from there.
Hrm. Apparently something in my last post was removed. Let's try this again.
I’m glad everyone had a great time and I really do appreciate the feedback (both positive and critical). I don’t know when it’ll be but I’m certain I’ll be organizing another big event in the future.
If you have additional feedback about the event, any of the DMs, or even the other players, feel free to post it here or PM me directly.
The 'official decision' was 5 minutes equating to 1 day or real time. Increasing the pace to 15 minutes was my choice as the event coordinator and it would appear to be one that the players participating mostly appreciated it. Hence the discussion we're having now. =P
Also, Bonekeep isn't as off the table as folks seem to think it is.
Sigrun Wolfrunner wrote:
Of course, those of us who are used to Feral's pace can kick it up a little bit :P
An interesting point worth discussing:
The original ratio given was 5 minutes face to face time for 1 day play by post. That would have put the event at 48 days.
Does that sound like a good amount of time? Too much time?
Would that allow for more roleplaying while still allowing for the ‘time pressure’ we need to preserve?
I’m curious which tables felt like the roleplaying was lacking. I felt like my table knocked the roleplaying out of the park but the player’s perceptions are ultimately what’s important.
Thanks again guys for the feedback.
Cross Table Coordination
I feel like this is one thing that a digital medium like a play by post does better than a face to face game and I like what we had. Still, I agree with some of the feedback that it could have been better. I mentioned when things started that the recruitment thread was cool as a cross-table coordination thread but I don’t know how many actually were checking in on it. At one point Oladon suggested a chat room for communication as well but I don’t know if I saw more than 4-5 people in it at any time.
If/when I coordinate something like this again, I’ll try to setup clear communication channels/threads early on.
I feel like this was a big win for us but it might help to better set expectations for folks in the future. Yes, we had some faster tables and some slower tables but that’s no different than a face to face game. Some tables are going to have the table with the DM that reads really slowly, or the ill-prepared player, or the character that makes 42 attacks per round and has to roll them one at a time. Table-pacing is going to vary drastically. I see nothing wrong with that carrying over to play by post (in a different way).
In the future I’ll try to better establish what folks should expect. Describing the event as fast-paced may not be enough. For some, like Net, fast-paced is more than four posts in a day. These statistics Oladon put together for us will help a lot to that end.
On that same note, folks should be honest with themselves about what they can commit to. If you know your days are very busy and/or unpredictable, perhaps a time-sensitive special event isn’t good for you. If things were too fast/intense for you, perhaps fast-paced games aren’t a good fit for your schedule.
I challenge anyone that thinks that myself or any of my DMs cheated or were in anyway dishonest in our running to review the threads. That’s the beauty of PBP, everything is recorded. =)
I can say that I honestly pulled no punches nor fudged any dice (the latter is impossible in PBP). I was mercilessly true to the tactics and mechanics of the scenario even when I thought it might be more than my table could handle. I’m sure Sigrun can attest.