Shalelu Andosana

GM Wageslave's page

132 posts. Alias of Wei Ji the Learner.


1 to 50 of 132 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

I thought "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!" covered the option of permaretirement for some desired result. Sorry for being about as clear as some scenario victory success conditions. :P

Scenario 10.x: The Last Temptation of Grandmaster Torch

Pathfinder Society agents have been called to deal with the most troublesome aspect facing the Decemvirate in the past decade, as much self-inflicted wounds as opportunism by many parties. They must burrow down deep into years of conspiracy, delusion, and failure to discover the last thing on Golarion that would cause the source of such concerns, and deal with it.

Written by Kyle Baird.

Tags: Hard Mode, Extra Hard Mode, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!

I'd be on-board for a 'request GM to reroll at penalty' re-roll for PF2, especially with the way criticals appear to be heading.

Elegant inversion of the current means, and it'd keep it simple for folks to understand.

Small Potential Drawback: Folks may forget what campaign they're playing (it can happen! It's happened in Starfinder)

Also, needs a better name.... :P

Got it! Individual 'star' equivalents could be considered 'Books'!

Just because there are opportunities to GM does not mean that all candidates are necessarily qualified to GM nor are all of the prospects comfortable with a grinding march to 5-Stardom.

Some have even done that 'death march' to the point of nearly giving up gaming in other campaigns. We should instead recognize that some folks aren't going to be doing their first star in two or three years, but it might take five or six.

In addition, some areas have limited venues for GMs to step up, with limited player pool that's been hemorraghed to other Organized Play campaigns.

It's not a lack of desire, it's a desire to do it right and well, at least from this corner.

Kevin Willis wrote:

That's not exactly what I meant. There are some scenarios where an encounter has multiple "levels" of rewards possible. Such as:

1. If the PCs succeed in making the tribefolk

  • Friendly, they give the PCs [treasure worth 500 gp each].
  • Helpful, they give the PCs [treasure worth 1250 gp each].

2. If the PCs search the room,

  • A DC 20 Perception check reveals a safe with [treasure worth 78 gp each]
  • A DC 30 Perception check reveals that the safe has a false bottom, concealing [treasure worth 211 gp each]

I've GMed scenarios that have rewards very similar to those examples. I'm not saying it's impossible to do this as a series of checkboxes. I'd love it if it was done that way. But it's going to require more effort on Paizo's part to set up the reporting forms and ensuring the scenario reporting instructions match up. My first wish would of course be that Paizo could commit to hiring the resources needed to do so.

If it is not codified, then the GM can use best judgement on behalf of play and players.

If it IS codified, then a table missing a very close roll will be exceptionally upset should they either see it after the fact (say, when prepping to GM the scenario OR hearing about it from other players/GMs).

It would be additional salt in the wound if it was say, a diplomatic scenario that was not advertised as such, and the characters brought a balanced but not Diplomancer team...

I'll admit I was tempted to offer to help too, but didn't think that it'd be a good idea given current loads.

Except that roleplay can sometimes inform mechanics and vice versa... and what is a 'robust' rate?

Feral-scale where it's almost VTT?

1/day as is the reasonable 'norm'?

1/week which is usually the outlier?

Arachnofiend wrote:

It's already basically an instant lose if you can only hit an enemy on a 20. Making it official wouldn't change that.

In response: There's at least still *some* chance, though, versus *absolutely none*.

However, Mark has said that we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg here, so the qualifiers that are actually mitigators on this are currently unrevealed but coming soon to a blog near us.

I know folks want to whip out the old tables from RoleMaster, for all the critical failures and hits, but could we please not do this thing and keep it a bit more homogenized?

Otherwise, as currently depicted (with very little information showing) it is a race to push the 'to hit' as high as possible at the cost of all else, and changes the 'rocket tag' to an entirely different and obscene level.

The other side of it is, it would (as currently depicted) remove the 5% chance that anyone has of hitting something -- it seems like a good idea until you have a whole table going "Welp, we can't hit the BBEG, I guess we all just die, then?" or the GM going (without fudging) "Welp, my mooks can't hit you, so I guess rather than rolling out this fight you just win, congratulations."

Blake's Tiger wrote:

@ Wageslave

Was that a function of replay or a function of the campaign not being supported?


EDIT: (For Clarity)

It was a function of replay (those playing had nothing new to play, so they had to play older material) and not being supported (see: nothing new to play)

GenCon confirmations of acceptance or actual schedules?

I haven't seen either from PaizoCon yet and it's getting kind of late?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

:steps up to the soapbox, clears throat:

I was in a different organized play campaign for nearly two decades.

One of the problems we were beginning to run into as the system had not been supported for nearly that long (save for internally within the campaign).

All of our content was self-produced.

Even with the restriction 'must have author permission to replay', it did open up the campaign -- for a while.

However, as was noted with other campaigns in the past, the same 'old guard' would continue to show up, the same scenarios/modules would be run (since that was what the GMs were familiar with it was far easier for them to be run) and the ride to complete absurdity was on.

While the campaign could have a 'beer and pretzels' mode -- the original material was built on that concept -- it stopped being fun after the third replay of 'x' and everyone was actively trying to fail a given mission.

That's just one example from an isolated corner of RPG campaigns, there are others that can share far, far worse about the damage that such a thing can do to organized play, and there was at least one person who had done up a very solid timeline of it.

Having too many choices for play is just as bad as having not enough.

If you have one person who can *only* play Core, one person who can only play 1.0, one person that can only play ACG, one person that can only play 2.0 and one person that can play SF, you have enough people to make a legal table, but three-quarters of them won't be able to play what they came to play.

That's not a good model.

Sure, pre-registration is a thing, but that's not always a thing, especially in smaller venues where choices are limited. This leads to instead three quarters of your people staying home because they can't play what they want.

...has seen this be an issue with a different organized play campaign, so there is experience with it. The more fractured the player base, the quicker the numbers drop.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Having too many choices for play is just as bad as having not enough.

If you have one person who can *only* play Core, one person who can only play 1.0, one person that can only play ACG, one person that can only play 2.0 and one person that can play SF, you have enough people to make a legal table, but three-quarters of them won't be able to play what they came to play.

That's not a good model.

Sure, pre-registration is a thing, but that's not always a thing, especially in smaller venues where choices are limited. This leads to instead three quarters of your people staying home because they can't play what they want.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

If you offer a legacy boon for tengus, I know a certain GM that might be motivated to collect more 1e stars!


PS I really should join the "Tengus for 2e!" campaign. Although I have never had a tengu character myself, I really do enjoy GMing for my feathered friends.

The danger is burnout.

I've burnt out at least twice That I *know* of possibly as many as a half-dozen times.

Each time has been worse than the time before. It's why I pace myself.

It's part of why I'm very, very, very choosy on what I run and when I volunteer to run.

I don't want to have the Last Great Hurrah sending me to the hospital, the psych ward, or whatnot. It's not good for the campaign, it's not good for my fellow GMs, and it's not good for me.

But yes, we should start a Tengus for 2e! Soon.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

...coming from a campaign where the rules set was no longer supported two years after I joined the campaign and then staying with it for nearly two decades I can promise you that it will be a *lot* of work to do something like that, and every rules call you make past End of Service is going to give you a migraine, even if it seems simple and quick at first glance.

Good luck.

...I'm still getting comfortable with PF 1.0, much less SF 1.0 or the proposed PF 2.0...

It's important to note that part of the reason I'm only about to hit 1 star was because I've *done the grind* in other organized play and burnt out so horribly hard I almost stepped away from gaming completely a few years ago.

It's taken me almost four years to get to this star, in part because there have been points I've HQ volunteered(instead of GM'd tables), or several tables didn't fire, or there wasn't a local venue I could get to that I could run at and feel properly comfortable about running.

...I can't imagine it going any faster in effectively a new ranking system.

...not without horrific risk of burnout, that is.

...and I'm *just* about to hit my 1st star in PFS 1.0...




...wouldn't be adverse to it going until the end of April, personally (has Voltron'd up a merfolk, would love at least a chance to get an aquatic elf going, too -- but the trading fodder is running very low because of said Voltron'ing)

1 person marked this as a favorite.

On the play-through we had two tengu hunters, a tengu swashbuckler, and a half-elf druid with an aquatic theme. (Low Tier)

We had some difficulty at points, but were able to just barely pull it off.

On running my table had an inquisitor of Arshea (CG), a warpriest of Ragathiel(LG), a dwarven cleric of Torag(LG), and a TN hunter. The table struggled a bit with the DCs, but were able to pick off some of the easier books then move to aid others in subsequent hours -- they only needed five hours to get all the books (including Kitarlo's).

My recommendation to help with GM sanity and help players 'visualize' the books is to write up a chart big enough to have a field for each of the books, and then have hour columns next to it. Each of the fields should be big enough to hold a few minis or tokens to represent the player characters.

At that point, having your players put their token on the book they're going for, and moving them 'forward' on the book if they haven't gotten it helps chart out where the party needs to focus and speeds up the process without trivializing it.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Still waiting to hear back on any other PFS Paizocon 2018 obligations before going for the afternoon slot -- after all, I may even be sleeping then to compensate for overnights.

No news is good news?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It is wise to exhibit caution on the scenario in question.

Definitely don't want to get 'bootstrapped' to the higher tier with one or none in the higher tier in your party.

Question, and it's relevant:

If I have a player who is at the table having issues with the other players (low blood sugar, doesn't like bald people, ate too much lunch, etc, etc) then decide to just pack up and leave, how do I get them their chronicle if I'm in the middle of say, a rolling combat?

I prefer to have a more in-depth grasp of my scenarios so when I'm running them, they are fluid in nature.

However, I am also the sort that burnt-out with short release time scenarios/modules in a different FtF organized play campaign, so my perspective may be different.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

12. THOU SHALT RESPECT THINE GM AND THINE FELLOW PLAYERS -- seriously, don't be a jerk, 'kay? They're investing their time as much as you.

This is one of the reasons I have avoided taking on online GMing for convention-type items.

My prep process requires weeks to process a given scenario.

This is not precluding future PbP when my schedule opens up a bit, just running anything I don't already have.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

6. IN THE EVENT THAT THOU CANST NOTIFY THE GM OF ABSENCE, THOU CEDES THINE CHARACTER'S AGENCY, so the game can keep moving. In return, the GM will treat thine character as 'sharing the fate of the party' unless it becomes crucially important to save the party using your character.

9. THOU SHALT HAVE FUN, seriously, if one is not having fun, why is one present?

10. THOU SHALL INFORM THINE GM OF CONCERNS OUTSIDE OF PLAY -- if you've got a phobia or a scene is uncomfortable, don't try to soldier through it, it's not worth it for your health, the table's cohesion, or the GM. Especially if they 'double down' because it looks like you're really getting intense about the scene.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Staples has an easel with one inch squares on it, I bought it to make the introductory map to Bid for Alabastrine, have since used it for Lyrics of Extinction, Shores of Heaven, and Wrath of the Fleshwarped Queen.

Wouldn't recommend it for just anyone, and it's part of why I need a lot of lead prep time for a scenario -- it took me several hours to get that last one drawn out and I screwed it up on a few levels that still bug me but do a far, far better job than drawing some random squiggly lines in on a flipmat.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd go on the 'Am I being a jerk to my players by doing this' yardstick.

If that's the end goal, then yes, have fun.

If not, then having the afflicted individual taking pains to redeem their name after recovery despite not needing to makes for good story.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

To clarify things a bit, because my comment was a bit vague and it merits expansion:

I do not drive, not because of losing my license but because of a realization back in the *early '90's* that I was too distracted behind the wheel when practicing for the test. And that was before things like celphones and texting and the like.

In my particular location, the nearest gaming stores are about a half hour to an hour away by car, or about three hours away in each direction via public transportation on the weekends.

There are no people nearby that head to those locations that it wouldn't be a stupidly horrible inconvenience to pick me up.

When there is a convention with a place I can stay at (and more importantly, swing time off of work for) then it's not that much of an additional push to travel out one day and then back at the end of the event.

I even made the trip down to Winter War this year, though the tables didn't go off.

The first table had three people at it, and I'd gotten a suite because it was going to run *long* past the closing of the room for the evening. When the prospective party assessed their capabilities after the mission blurb they decided it wasn't a very good idea to try the scenario with the people they had available. The second had one person signed up and did not fire.

I was there, prepared to run, and it was worth it at least for the experience to do that.

If it wasn't worth it, I wouldn't've bothered volunteering in the first place.

Or paid for the maps I needed to run.

Or for a suite.

Or the train tickets.

Or the hotel room.

Or the meals over that weekend.

Being able to play and/or online is a godsend, but it also has drawbacks, and overextension happens both to GMs and players.

When I've cleared my docket a bit I'm considering a PFS PbP, but details on when/how/what are still being tumbled in my head.

And Captain Yesterday isn't really exaggerating much about the gaming environment based on the few trips I've taken to Madison and was looking for something to play. I'd end up staying at a hotel on the west side and... pickings were non-existent.

Currently, as of the PFSRPGG, 'evergreen' scenarios/modules in the 1-2 bracket may be played *once* by a player with a L2 character, but unlimited times by a L1 character.

This is an important distinction between SFS and PFS, as SFS 'evergeens' (save for L1 Quests, as of last I heard) are 'evergreen' for both L1 and L2 From my understanding

If the character has already played the module, alas, you are out of luck, as you are also out of luck if you've ever played a 2nd level character in the module.

If I have made any Gross Conceptual Errors, clarification is requested.

There is a reason I'm *very, very* picky about what I run and how much I volunteer.

It's not because I don't want to, it's because I want to do a good job at it, and I want it to be fair and fun for my players.

Is it worth it?


I only saw the boxes briefly for the PFS evergreens when HQ volunteering last year, it was six months ago and my memory is garbage.

What is typically in an Evergreen Go Now Box?

Trying to plan out what I'd need to bring for supplemental material for scenario prep. I realize it's a bit in advance, but I like to be thorough.

I wouldn't fault you for pulling up the PRD for that.

But I'd also try to have some stat blocks handy if such an item were available in a scenario I was running to make everyone's lives a bit easier.

This is part of why some prep can be rather intensive...

However, it is important for the older scenarios for GMs to have the information at hand, and if they anticipate the possibility that they may need to run a given earlier scenario due diligence would be to bring a copy of the Bestiary(ies?) (between .pdf and the pocket editions, it's not as bad as it used to be) that may be needed.

...then again, this is why my bags tend to be ten to twenty pounds heavier due to the 'just in case'...

Printing them out is the better option for weight concerns, I think.

It'd be a rather perverse set-up to have the team succeed at the mission objective, but fail to get *any* prestige from the scenario (becaue they missed the Secondary, too).

Would it be possible to get a clarification on this?

It was bad enough in a campaign I was previously affiliated with getting all reasonable decisions 'armchair quarterback'd' by Campaign Leadership that I quit that campaign.

Changing the committee from above to 'the table I'm running' would make it ten times worse.

Will this one be replayable at all levels?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just got mine and replied!

No specific assignment beyond PFS, but good to go.

*is a bit giddy and excited here*

...yes, I know there's a lot of work involved yet.

Haven't seen anything yet.

Hope I'm not either under-qualified or over-qualified for the job.

Morning wake-up coffee insight: I'm not in the 'need a hotel room' bracket yet so application may be lower priority than someone who is...



If the rules of EBIL are codified, then the EdgeLords will camp there, and do 'just' enough to not get EBIL-smacked and scream and holler if they get even looked at if they aren't doing exactly the EBIL things

PFS has several paragraphs on 'be cool to one another'.

GMs should review that, players should review that, and take their notions about morality and ethics from RL to the side while running, respecting their fellow gamers.


*fingers crossed*

I put as much prep into this as I put into the Specials (about fifty precent more than a 'standard' scenario) I've GM'd.

It runs long, even with care and eye on the clock.

It's brutal to parties that are not prepared.

Strongly recommend DO NOT try to play it in 3.5 hours. Either your team will be dead or wishing they were.

As others noted above, try to get 'two slots' to run it in. It only gives 1 (or .5 exp on slow track) but the story is kind of important.


Seriously, this has been one of the things I've been asking for as long as I've been GMing for PFS. Thank you for making this a reality!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wonders if the nerves of waiting for notification are worse than waiting to be picked for a kickball team, or for opening presents on Christmas morning...

*fingers crossed*

Oh, forgot the other thing that I do to help with Totm (social/abstract encounters). I get 8x11 pictures and clip them to my GM screen so folks know who they're talking to.

For a larger convention (it hasn't come up... yet) I think I'd get a couple of plastic picture frames to put the pictures in.

But as noted above, trying to run Combat ToTM is... hard.

...I did it in a different campaign for... a while, by campaign rules and design.

I'd rather not do that if I can avoid it.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Non-combat but die-rolling type situations (like Bid for Alabastrine, Shores of Heaven, etc) I actually make a chart the players can put their mini on so they can chart their progress, so it's even more visually intensive in that regard than the scenario calls for.

--I've had no complaints from that.

As always, knowing the table is *CRUCIAL* to such a thing working well.

1 to 50 of 132 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>