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I like where Latrecis is going with this. Bluff the PCs into going to the clock tower first. But instead of having his "guards" join them, he should pretend to be alone.
Let them deal with the clock tower like normal. Wait for them and Xanesha to beat the hell out of each other while he holds back. When it's nearly over, he signals the other cultists (from the sawmill) to join him in attacking the winner(s) before they can heal.
Well, this confirms that the rest of the Order didn't see Belkar fall and save him. I still don't think he's dead. We haven't seen the "x"s in his eyes yet.
So it's currently another tied up vote, with one more demigod left to vote, and we have a mystery vampire in the room with the Order's animal friends. I will admit to having no idea what's going on with either, although the theft of Banjo by that vamp might actually be the plan.
Exactly. I play Pathfinder Society, so there are various random people at the table each time. I can't even count the number of times we've had a melee guy who didn't even have a ranged weapon at all. They might not finish things off quickly like they would in battle, but at least it lets them help a little against flying foes. Given that you can get a sling and 10 bullets for 1 silver piece, there's really no excuse for anyone not to have a ranged weapon.
I'm hoping First Steps 2 and 3 are re-released with just changes to the faction stuff. I always liked those two adventures. It helps that First Steps 3 was actually the first PFS scenario I ever played.
But about that adventure, I have to ask: Did anyone ever have a group that didn't choose Crazy Old Tanner? The usual response I saw from players in that one was "You had me at 'crazy'".
Robert Reine wrote:
Just think. You can be an ex-aspis agent who is trying to turn a new leaf. Would be so much fun to play.
Isn't there already a boon for that, which still doesn't allow being evil?
A more interesting approach in that direction would be a boon that allows being an actual undercover Aspis agent. You'd have to play along with your Pathfinder mission and teammates, so no being disruptive (without your PC becoming an NPC), but your "faction" would be Aspis. Maybe this would give a bonus to bluff to pretend you're a Pathfinder, and you'd have to do something like drop off classified Society info for your Aspis contacts instead of doing a day job, getting check marks on the boon for doing so, eventually leading to something.
If you are paying money to run everyday normal games for a bunch of randoms at your local game store, something is wrong. For the most part, GMs do it for free and maybe even get a store credit (as Legends Games offers). And they get the GM stars, GM star boons, and so on. So I don't feel any compulsion to reward that beyond what already happens.
Are you aware that the scenarios cost money to download? I know $4 each isn't a huge amount, but if someone's run enough of them to get a star or two, they've probably spent at least as much money buying the scenarios as they'd spend on a convention entry fee. And from what I've seen, entry fee discounts for GMing at conventions are far more common than store credits for running at a local game day.
Obviously, conventions are always going to be more expensive. And as Chris Mortika pointed out, Paizo sees conventions as their best way to grow the brand. So that's why Paizo uses convention rewards to try and have a bigger presence at gaming cons.
Personally, and I've said this many times before, I'm not convinced that conventions are actually the best way to grow the brand. Someone shows up to a convention, tries out a game once, but what are the odds that they'll play again any time soon? But if they try a game at a local game day that meets regularly, then they'll know where to get a regular game, and be more likely to stick with it.
I'm not saying that Paizo is definitely wrong about this, just that they should do some serious analysis of the data. But then, data analysis is part of what I do for a living. And I've learned from experience that every company analyzing their business data for the first time discovers that there's at least one major assumption about their business which is flat out wrong. The smart ones figure this out, so they can adjust their business accordingly.
Haven't read the whole thread, but I just wanted to say that I agree with Drogon's original post. I keep forgetting about the faction cards, and rarely see them used. Some of the old faction missions were silly, but I miss that direct communication with the faction leaders.
Ideally, I'd love to see a return of faction missions, but only a couple of factions would have them in each scenario. Kinda like last season, but with actual written faction missions like in the early seasons. That way, every faction gets direct communication from their faction leader maybe 25-35% of scenarios, and we rule out the sillier faction missions caused by writers having to come up with one for every faction on every scenario.
I have a friend who does him with the voice of the old guy from the Pepperidge Farms commercials.
I still like the idea of playing him as the Professor from Futurama. But I'd suggest one change from what Seth posted, above:
"Good news, everyone! YOU're going on an adventure! Oh, don't worry, this should be easy and harmless."
PCs say something.
"Don't take this lightly. This isn't going to be easy and harmless!"
"I weaponize my intimidate checks with Blistering Invective. But I'm a magic casty little gnome, not a big bruiser like some people. I also comedize my intimidation with Versatile Performance and perform: comedy. So I literally set people on fire by insulting their mothers."
"The big down side is that I can't insult them as well if I don't know their language, so I'm constantly learning new languages. I learned Terran just so I could tell an earth elemental, 'Hey boulder balls! Yo mama was a cubic zirconium!'"
John Compton wrote:
As long as the dwarven longhammer stays in the hammer group.
John Compton wrote:
My starting point for this project was the weapon categories table from Ultimate Equipment, so any of the weapons appearing therein were unaltered in their nomenclature. If there is a mistake in that regard, though, I am happy to pass it along to the design team for possible tweaking in any future printing of the book.
And John rolls a natural 20 on the acrobatics check to dodge responsibility. :)
Seriously, good job on the list, and thanks for posting it. As I said, i'm just happy that my dwarven foehammer fighter can use a dwarven longhammer.
Yeah, that one surprised me, too. Yet the lucerne hammer is a polearm, but not a hammer. That blows my whole "anything with hammer in its name is a hammer, and anything with reach is a polearm" theory out of the water.
I'm just glad the dwarven longhammer is officially a hammer, since that means it can be used in conjunction with the Foehammer Fighter archetype from the dwarf chapter of the Advanced Race Guide (where the weapon was introduced).
Now I have to look up the dwarven maulaxe. It's a hammer with "dwarven" in the name, so my Foehammer might want one, just for the sake of completeness. Just looked it up, and it's from the Adventurer's Armory, which I already own, so that works for me.
Thanks to John and the team for coming up with a full list for us!
I'm a little disappointed that after Roy's revelation, we didn't get the reaction shots from Durkula and Durkon yet. I'm assuming that will be the start of the next page. I hope Durkon's soul has a good comment for the vampire "soul".
I wonder if the undead bane kicking in was directly tied to Roy no longer holding back. On some level, he didn't want to hurt his friend before, even though he knew what he had to do to save the world. Now, he knows its not his friend, so he's truly going all out.
DM Beckett wrote:
As I said above, I completely disagree with this. Any paladin (or lawful good character) in the Pathfinder Society has obviously decided that supporting the Society is a way of helping the greater good, or they wouldn't have joined.
The Society may be neutral, but a lot of what it does helps keep ancient, powerful magic out of clearly evil hands. That would count as "greater good" by almost anyone's standards. Add in the existence of the Silver Crusade, which tries to move the Society more in the direction of being a good, rather than just neutral, organization, and you have plenty of justification for paladins and other good people to be Pathfinders. No house ruling or sweeping under the rug necessary, and that does explain why paladins in the Society will work with evil occasionally to advance the Society's goals. It really is for the greater good.
And again, we as players may have reason to believe that there may be some evil in the Decemvirate and wonder at their overall plans and goals, but most rank and file Pathfinders don't have access to that information. Heck, even among us players, it's mostly speculation, as far as I know. Do we have any proof of an evil Decemvirate member in any published source?
Again, just because someone detects as evil, that doesn't mean a paladin has to smite them immediately. That would be lawful stupid.
Paladins have to prevent evil acts, not evil people. Many paladins would see someone with evil in their heart, who doesn't act on it for fear of the consequences, and commend them for their restraint and encourage them to try and become a better person. Especially paladins of Sarenrae.
I actually remember GMing a table with a paladin, a cleric of Asmodeus (who detects as evil, obviously), and a worshiper of Cayden Cailean. The Asmodean liked the paladin better than the Caydenite. At least the paladin is lawful! LOL
I can also think of several scenarios off the top of my head where you're supposed to work with (or even obey orders from) evil NPCs. Zarta Dralneen being the obvious example there, but also the guy who traveled with the group in First Steps, part 3, though I don't remember if he was high enough level to detect as evil yet.
Is the ban hammer in the hammer weapon group?
Putting Wasp Familiar on a Chronicle Sheet seems silly since its already so restricted the odd of you playing it with the proper character are astronomical unless its done as it unlocks it for all characters like a few other the rare boons do.
It wouldn't have to be on an adventure chronicle. It could be a convention boon, like the race boons, that could be applied to a new PC.
Really, I'm surprised they haven't done stuff like improved familiars that aren't usually available or intelligent items as convention boons. They've been on the occasional adventure, but putting them on a convention boon would be more popular than the non-race boons they give out at conventions now.
Markov Spiked Chain wrote:
No, just for players. If you have no knowledge of a scenario, you shouldn't be able to check the treasure and pick which PC to play based on that.
But boon shopping for GMs is perfectly normal. I know I made a point of GMing one that gives a special improved familiar just so I could apply it to a PC that can use that familiar. In that case, I knew about the boon on the chronicle from having previously played the adventure with a different PC.
My big complaint about quests is that they require you to play a pregen. When I show up to play, I want to play my own PCs. I can see how they're good recruitment tools for conventions, but I'd prefer to never see them anywhere else.
We played Phantom Phenomena at our local game store a few weeks ago, and I didn't realize we had to play pregens until I showed up that day. If I'd known, I probably would have skipped playing that week. I don't have much time to read/prep new adventures these days, due to other life stuff, or I'd say I would have volunteered to GM instead.
I've played/GMed this adventure several times before, so I'm mostly keeping my mouth shut. Given that Molos is an anti-social PC, it kinda fits.
FYI, I'm actually busy with a gaming convention this weekend, so won't have as much time to check in here. Just played two sessions of PFS (one as GM, one as a player) today. I'm signed up for 3 sessions tomorrow, but I've decided to blow off the morning session. 8 AM is just too early, especially given that it's a 40 minute drive from home.
So I'll check in tomorrow morning, but then not again until close to midnight here, kinda like today.
I hadn't considered the possibility that Belkar might be the one
But what if it is Belkar, and the one demigod priest who comes in to settle the tie is Elan, high priest of Banjo? Or possibly the orc priest from the tribe that he converted to worshiping the puppet pantheon.
This whole huge fight, and Roy could lose (probably without dying), but the Order still saves the world!
I agree with FLite that the final "clue" (and I use the term loosely) should give the solution to the players, and the GM should just give them the solution (call for intelligence checks or something) if they still can't get it after that.
That doesn't solve the fact that your players just wasted 20+ minutes of their lives on a truly crappy, frustrating puzzle that even puzzle enthusiasts won't enjoy. The so called "clues" don't make any sense or actually lead to the solution. The hints from the future eventually tell you the solution outright, but there's still no rhyme or reason as to how you might figure out that solution without those future hints, and no logical reason to explain how the PC's future selves could have come to those conclusions.
Good point. I guess he won't just sit on my shoulder casting over and over.
He'll probably give me Guidance before I move up to meet the enemy, then fly off my shoulder. Next round, he can cast while away from the front line, then move up and touch a front liner (me or an ally) to Guidance them. Third round, withdraw, then repeat Guidance every other round. Or sit on the shoulder of a ranged person in the back and Guidance them instead of me.
Matthew Morris wrote:
Yeah, I never understood why first level clerics radiate evil, but first level aristocrats don't. :P
Something I missed until I was actually building the character last night and reading up on all the details - the familiar that goes with this paladin archetype is required to have the Emissary archetype itself. Given that it's a religion based archetype that gives up the share spell and deliver touch spell powers that a paladin will rarely need, that fits nicely.
So besides zipping around the battlefield healing people with Lay on Paws, the familiar can also cast Guidance at will, help with your Will saves (could be useful until you get Divine Grace at level 4, but doubtful after that), and gets a 1st level cleric domain power once per day starting at 3rd level. If there are no better options, any familiar sent by an LG or NG deity can take the Good Domain power, which is nice, but there are other good options from other domains, depending on the deity involved.
For my Chosen One of Shizuru, I'm probably going with the Honor subdomain power from the APG, which acts like Protection from Evil in giving someone a reroll on a failed Will save vs enchantments. Other good options were the Good domain power for a buff on all rolls for a round, or the Glory domain power for a buff to social skills.
So as I said, I rebuilt my old paladin into a Chosen One last night. I'm still trying to come up with details for her back story, and may still change a detail or two based on that (like starting languages).
I went with the thrush familiar. It gives +3 to diplomacy, has a 40 ft fly speed, can speak from level 1, and is small enough to sit on my shoulder the whole time, so the Guidance can just keep on coming. The rabbit was tempting, but I just have this idea of the bird whistling innocently and acting like a dumb animal most of them time, then turning around and talking like a normal person when they least expect it. This could be fun, since this is for PFS, where you're playing with different people every time, so they're likely to assume it's a pet until it starts casting spells and speaking. :P
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
I recognize the reference and I heartily approve. CrossGen had some pretty awesome stuff and Chuck Dixon writing Way of the Rat was one. It doesn't have to follow exactly but the basis is definitely sound.
I think I've decided to go with the more "girly" character for the Chosen One paladin, and save the Jade Rat for another PC. I started this thread to discuss how to do that one.
So I picked up the Familiar Folio and Animal Archive this weekend, and I've decided to go with this archetype. I have my paladin of Shizuru in PFS that I've only played once, so I can still do a level 1 rebuild on him, even though he's up to level 2 on GM credits. Now I need to figure out the details (which familiar, changes to the PC's story, possible other mechanical changes, etc).
I originally went with a Japanese themed character, worshiping Shizuru, the
He has Fey Foundling for mechanical reasons, and I wrote it into his back story that he's an aasimar who doesn't know who his parents were. Instead of training to be a paladin like his original back story, I'll have to change it to my character stumbling in to it, guided by the new familiar. For mechanical reasons, I want a familiar with at least 30 speed, so it can move around the battlefield to "lay on paws" to his allies, as necessary.
So in keeping with the "magical girl" theme of the archetype, I'd consider changing the PC to female. If I did that, I'd also want to go with a really "cute" familiar, like a bird, cat, or rabbit, not any sort of reptile or anything like that. I kinda like the idea of a rabbit familiar, just because it's one you don't see very often, and it's got 50 ft speed and adds to the paladin's initiative, which are two good favors. I also kinda like the thrush, as a bird that can talk from level 1, flies at decent speed, and adds to the master's diplomacy.
Another option I thought of would be to go with an obscure reference that nobody will ever recognize, and model both the paladin and his familiar on the main characters of the comic book "Way of the Rat". It was an American comic by publisher CrossGen that went out of business about a decade ago, but it was a Japanese themed story about a thief who became a hero, mentored by a talking monkey. This has potential. I haven't read those comics in probably 10 years, so I'll have to go back to my collection and see what I think of them as an inspiration for this character.
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
E] All of the above. That way, you get to play everything AND complain about everything.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Back when master summoner was still allowed in PFS, I had a friend who played a pony summoner. She had a toy set of MLP ponies that were exactly the right size to represent large creatures on a PFS battle mat, and she'd bring them out one at a time, intentionally using different minis each time.