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I believe the correct answer to all of those questions is "I'll never tell you anything, you dastardly fiends!"
Just because you have to tell the truth, it doesn't mean you have to answer every question that anyone ever asks. Telling them that you won't answer is true.
Don't just live in the Pathfinder room. There's plenty of PFS to be had there, but there's so much other stuff you won't want to miss, too. Maybe do 4-6 of the 10 PFS sessions, and spend the other half of the convention on other things.
Definitely put aside either Thursday or Friday afternoon to go walk the vendor room. It'll take the entire afternoon, and you still won't see it all. Don't do this on the weekend, because on Saturday, it'll be twice as crowded, and by Sunday, the vendors are closing up shop. But don't try to get into the Paizo booth Thursday. That's when there's a line, and you could be waiting an hour or more just to get in. Save it for a quick trip later in the weekend, when there's no line and you can walk right in.
If you can get into a True Dungeon session, it's worth the experience, at least once. They're very expensive (around $50), so you'll probably only want to do one the first time. But if you can get in, go for it - it's totally worth it.
Take a look at the event schedule and pick at least one little "oddball" thing to try out, just for something different. Or instead of a scheduled event, this could be taking an hour or two to sit down for a full game you've never played before in the vendor room - lots of the vendors have playing space to demo their games.
Given that I've now posted in character as Whistles, I ought to follow the theme of the thread and show you how I normally introduce Misaki and Whistles at the table.
A warrior in full plate and a katana on her belt removes her helmet to reveal an angelically beautiful Tien-Min aasimar woman.
"Hello. My name is Misaki. I'm a warrior, these days."
"ISSLES!!!" a small song thrush sitting on her shoulder announces loudly, in almost human sounding speech.
"Oh, right. And this is Whistles, my... err... guide, I guess."
As the other members of the party introduce themselves, Whistles flies up to each one and says "ISSLES!!!" again, as if introducing himself, and waits to see how each reacts to him. Later in the adventure, he's much more likely to cast Guidance and help out those who are nice to him, and don't just treat him as a dumb animal. And given that he speaks common and has higher combined int + wis than his anime girl "companion animal", he's really not a dumb animal. Usually, about halfway through the adventure, he'll start talking to other PCs, and reveal how smart he is.
Lissa Meadowlark wrote:
"Eh. I guess I could have told Misaki about our paladin code, but it doesn't really matter. The girl's learning to be a warrior, and she's already a good and honorable person, without knowing about the code. That's why Shizuru chose her, and sent me to guide her along."
"Besides, between you and me, I wouldn't want to confuse the poor girl with too much information. Nice kid, but not the sharpest katana in the sheathe, if you know what I mean."
My group hasn't been wearing the sihedron medallions. I think they kept them, thinking they might be important later, but they other than preserving the body of the first PC to die until they could get him raised, they haven't used them. They have other magic items they preferred to get for their neck slots.
The ugliest man you've ever seen stands before you. He has rounded ears, and no fangs, horns, or tail, so you presume that he's just a hideously ugly human, and not a tiefling or something. But he's so ugly that it's hard to tell. He's big and muscular, and he wears the armor and weapons of a warrior, along with, ironically, a shiny silver holy symbol of Shelyn, the goddess of beauty, love, and art.
*speaking very slowly*
With that, he hands out small wood carvings to the Venture-Captain and each member of the party.
I then roll a few dice for craft: wood carving (with minimal bonus), and describe the wooden roses briefly, with some being well crafted, and some not even being recognizable as supposedly being roses if you didn't see the nicer ones for comparison.
Before you is a halfling dressed entirely in black, with an exquisite silver holy symbol of Pharasma on a chain around his neck.
"Hello. My name is Julian Lightfoot, inquisitor of Pharasma. The Lady of Graves has commanded me to search the world for undead to destroy, but I also perform other priestly duties. I know we all hope to return safely, but if any of you have any secrets, or sins, to confess, just in case you die on our mission, let me go. I can be very discreet about such things."
Everyone roll a sense motive check.
If anyone rolls high enough to beat my "take 10" bluff, they find out that he's lying about being a priest of Pharasma and realize he seems a little too enthusiastic about finding out people's secrets. This is because he's actually an inquisitor of Norgorber, in his aspect as the god of secrets.
John Compton wrote:
Once again proving that Prestidigitation is the single most useful spell in the game.
Me once do sumthin' like that. Me compete in Ruby Phoenix Tourney with friends Lightheart and Cinna and others. Cinna casty cleric type, had breathe o' life spell ready for if we die.
Lightheart got kill by big beasty, and Cinna too far away. So me pick up Lightheart and throw her at Cinna, so they be within 30 feet of each other. But me big, strong, raging barbarian, and Lightheart is thin monk lady wit' no armor or heavy gear, so she easy to throw.
My normal scenario prep:
1. Download and print the scenario.
Steps 1 and 2 are always first. The remaining steps can take place in random order.
The main exception for this is when I volunteer to GM at Gencon. For scenarios that are available for me to download and prep months in advance, I use the above steps. For the specials and new seasons scenarios that won't be available until the last minute, I have a different process:
1. Three weekends before GenCon, start to panic that I won't have enough time to prep these scenarios thoroughly.
So apparently the topic of the thread has been played out so far that the group has decided to move on to a different flame war.
Shouldn't the scrolls in spring loaded wrist sheathes debate get its own thread? For that matter, without actually looking, I'd guess it's already had a few of them in the past.
You need to watch Gamers: Dorkness Rising.
So while we've got a naming thread going, how do you pronounce Sheila Heidmarch's name?
I thought her first name was the typical English female name, but I've heard it pronounce with a hard "i" in the first syllable instead of a hard "e" as expected. And is the "ch" at the end pronounced like a hard "k" or like the typical "ch" combination, as in "cheese"?
It does seem like Ragoz and GM Lamplighter are arguing from a position of well coordinated players being able to game the system, and they're right. But how many tables are made of well coordinated players who know who they'll be playing with in advance?
The way I see it, if a small subset of PFS players are able to "game the system" a little by coordinating, and the result is that they're able to occasionally make big purchases one adventure earlier than they would otherwise, then that's a minor enough "problem" that I don't really care.
I agree with those who think the social expectation of being repayed will make it socially mandatory, even if it's not rules mandatory, is the bigger potential problem with this.
Echoing some other ideas I also don't like the idea of the pack-mule character who has everything the party needs but never has to accept the drawbacks of doing so. While they have to pay the upfront cost to obtain the items they never suffer the real costs because it is distributed among the rest of the party. It means a lot of utility for the entire party with no thought of resource management on the individual level.
I don't understand this comment at all. There's definitely a drawback of loading up on consumables. All that money is no longer available for other things like armor, weapons, cloak of resistance, etc, because it's tied up in your consumables.
Wow. I didn't expect this to blow up so much so quickly. I had no idea I had the power to summon flames this way. I must be a flame oracle! Praise Sarenrae!!!
So two comments.
First, I want to respond to a comment, but it's slightly off topic, so I'll put it in spoilers to make it easier to keep the off topic stuff separate from the main conversation.
Kevin Willis wrote:
The general expectations where I have played are that if you can raise yourself in any fashion without selling gear, you do so. If not, other players consider chipping in.
I've never heard of this. Any time a PC has died at any table where I've played, I've always offered to chip in for the Raise Dead and/or Restorations. Whether or not the player could pay for it him/herself doesn't enter into it, though that often comes up as we discuss details.
For instance, the last time a PC died at one of my tables, he declined the offers to help him pay for the raise and just spent the prestige to do it himself. I think the rest of us split the cost of the Restorations.
Second, and back to the main topic at hand. It seems there's a lot of people worrying about the expectation of payback for all consumables becoming socially mandatory, even if it's not rules mandatory. I can see their point.
So here's an alternative suggestion for how to make a change in this. It seems that the main reason this conversation keeps coming up is people wanting to pay others back for using scrolls of Breathe of Life on them. What if we just make a rules change to make that possible, but leave all other consumables out of it?
In other words, the rules currently say you can only split costs on getting someone raised from the dead. Also, when you buy spellcasting services, those spells don't have to be cast on yourself, so you can help each other out on condition removal and Restorations after a scenario. This new suggestion is to just add scrolls of Breathe of Life to the list of things that party members can pool resources for, but this can ONLY be done to replace such a scroll that was cast during the course of the adventure.
Maybe try that out for a year, and if it goes well, then ask the player base if they'd want to expand it to other scrolls/potions that remove permanent conditions. But don't expand it to all consumables, for the reasons discussed in this thread so far.
What do you all think?
So this has come up a few times before, most recently here.
We all know that this is technically against the current rules of PFS. You can't buy items for other PCs. So if someone gives you their consumable, and you use it, you can't buy them a replacement.
How would everyone feel about requesting a PFS rules change to make an exception to the "no buying items for other PCs" to allow for consumable replacement this way?
I think my last post came across angrier than I'd intended, so I just want to apologize to John and the Paizo staff. When I said we'd been lied to, I wasn't trying to imply it was intentional. I'm just frustrated that we were told repeatedly that the Sczarni types would fit in fine with The Exchange, and it just hasn't worked out that way. But I know you guys are trying, and I'm glad you're listening and planning changes for next season. Hopefully, my pirate will fit in better then. And my blacksmith.
And when I wrote that, I was annoyed at the accusation upthread that I was just being whiny because I'd built a PC that didn't fit his faction. My point is that when I built the PC, he did fit his faction. Then, the faction changed.
Ok, so you found one adventure that's perfect for this type of Exchange member. Now let me tell you about my pirate PC's last adventure.
We got sent to a small village in the middle of nowhere, so no major trade center. That means no merchant license to earn, and no rival merchants to undermine.
We met a couple of named NPCs in the village, but none of them were merchants, traders, or smugglers by any stretch.
We left town to go fight some stuff that required fighting. No way to talk down the wild animals or hostile natives.
In the end, my +9 profession (sailor) at level 4 wasn't enough to hit 50 gp on the day job check for this one.
And being non-int based and a class that's low on skill ranks, I doubt if I'll ever put enough ranks in linguistics to learn 7 languages.
How exactly is my Sczarni pirate with intimidate, sense motive, and profession: sailor as his top skills supposed to do these? There are at least 3 of these goals that I'll never stand a chance at, even in adventures that are perfect for them, because my PC isn't built for the very specific skills that are necessary (diplomacy, profession (merchant), appraise, and linguistics).
The door to the Scarab Sages' research room in the Grand Lodge shakes a little, as if someone is trying to open it without turning the handle. After a moment, the handle turns, and surprisingly, the creature opening it turns out to be a two legged reptilian creature with feathers, slightly shorter than a halfling, but twice as long, thanks to its long tail. The creature has a large mouth full of sharp teeth, and is wearing what appears to be leather barding and an animal training harness.
It's taloned feet click on the stone floor as it enters and looks around menacingly. It makes a curious "Rawr?" noise several times as it wanders around the room.
My gnome prankster bard uses perform: comedy as his intimidation skill, using versatile performance. And the archetype gets a bardic performance called "mock", where you can debuff enemies by taunting them. Needless to say, I've had fun with this one.
My favorite was telling an Earth Elemental (in Terran - my PC collects known languages just so I can insult EVERYBODY), "Hey boulder balls! Yo mama was a cubic zirconium!"
Step 2 is completely unnecessary. You can do this just as effectively on scenarios you haven't played/GMed before, so you really don't know what's coming. Just keep the statements vague, and you'll be "right" often enough to claim to be a true fortune teller. That's how fortune tellers do it in the real world. When you're playing Pathfinder, vague predictions of trouble coming, and a fight about to start will be right more often than they're wrong.
Christopher Wasko wrote:
My group considered putting it in the stew instead of the poison, but the GM (Bongo Bigbounce) warned us that it wouldn't work that way, which I already suspected. Still, we had fun joking about all the possible uses for how the poison and love elixir could be used.
All in all, a really fun adventure. The whole trilogy, actually. Well done to all involved.
I was glad I brought my low level Dark Archive PC for this trilogy. He's a skill monkey infiltrator inquisitor of the Reaper of Reputations (Norgorber's aspect as the god of secrets) who is obsessed with finding out secrets. So having him find out the big reveal about Zarta was almost a character defining moment. But he's still obsessed with finding out who the Decemvirate are, so he'll continue to serve as a loyal Pathfinder, at least until he achieves that life goal.
Of course, bringing along that kind of skill monkey was perfect for this part of the trilogy. He's not great in combat, but that +15 bluff at level 3 came in REALLY handy here. And between my guy, the psychic, and two wizards, our group had no problem with knowledge rolls throughout the entire trilogy (which was huge in part 2 especially).
I was just going to mention Skip.
We were playing a Pathfinder Society adventure featuring Paracountess Zarta Dralneen. For those who don't play PFS, I'll just say that she's the NPC leader of one of the in game PC factions, and is well known for being the Society's biggest... err... let's just say "flirt" to be polite.
At one point, she dropped a hint about something she wanted a PC member of her faction to do, requiring him to make a Sense Motive check to get the secret message. Being a skill focused PC, he had no problem making the check, and commented, "I can read Zarta like a book."
I responded with "In Braille?"
Jeremiah Hatcher wrote:
Concept for a Vigilante: the social side is a well to do scholarly intellectual, and the vigilante is the sock-puppet on his hand. They swear they do not know each other and deny each other's existence.
If you're going for a combat maneuver specialist, always have a backup plan. Preferably straight up damage dealing.
My warpriest of Shelyn specializes in tripping people with his glaive - the advantage of a goddess with a favored weapon with reach. But if the situation isn't right for it, he's still got 18 strength and a two handed weapon, with Power Attack coming soon (he's only level 2), so he can just bash the enemies when necessary.
I can see not allowing animal companions inside like the a ball full of aristocrats.
There's one Pathfinder Society adventure where the mission is to sneak into an embassy, using a fancy party as cover.
One of the times I GMed that adventure, we had a druid bring along her elephant animal companion. Her excuse was, "But he's just a baby!" (low enough level to be medium sized).
The best part was that they actually hung colored streamers and stuff on the elephant, and pretended it was part of the entertainment. In order to avoid being spotted, everyone in the party had to make some sort of skill check to blend in, and they were allowed a certain number of failures before the guards were called. I ruled that the elephant counted as a party member that automatically failed its skill check, but gave the druid a bonus on a bluff check to pretend to be part of the entertainment.
I started looking into making a thrown weapon build, just to see if it was feasible. This was for standard PFS.
Based on the discussion in that thread, I decided to stick to regular fighter, no archetype, despite having considered brawler and warpriest along the way. There's just lots of feats and extras from the Weapon Masters Handbook that relate to thrown weapons that work well with a fighter.
I went human for the bonus feat and skills, and checked the Advanced Race Guide to see if there were any good extras that would work on this guy, and decided there aren't. I started fishing for good traits, and ended up settling on a faction trait from the PFS Guild Guide, along with a basic trait from the Advanced Players Guide, which is also in the online trait document.
That's when I realized that as long as I don't buy any non-Core equipment, this guy is Core at level 1. Sure, I plan on picking up 5 feats from the Weapon Masters Handbook eventually, but I won't take the first of those until level 4. And with only 150 gp to start, I can't think of anything other than earplugs that I'd want to buy to start that isn't Core, though I'm sure I'll quickly branch out to other non-Core equipment.
So my human fighter accidentally qualified for the Core campaign, even though I plan on him becoming non-Core by level 4, at the latest. Since I don't know exactly when/where I'll play him first, I think I'll register him as Core for now, just to keep my options open.