|Phillip Willis Venture-Captain, Utah—Salt Lake City aka JCServant|
Having experienced both seasons, I can certainly say that Season 4 is more difficult, and players are having to learn to be more cautious (and playing up a lot less often). I have not killed a player in a Season 4 deal yet, but have come close a few times. I agree with some earlier posts that mention that both player and GM have to learn to adjust to get the best out of these situations. For example, if a party is fighting something with a special attack (that you would never see in earlier seasons, especially), it would be good for the GM to review those rules with the table once the attack is known to the party (through knowledge check or first hand experience) so they know all their options.
I have noticed that certain 'specialized' builds really struggle in some of the season 4 stuff. The sapmaster ninja that normally does crazy non-lethal damage had a really hard time against some of the early encounters in a Season 4 I played as the monsters there were immune to it.
I'm pretty excited about most of the changes, though I am hopeful that a better solution is found for the wealth issue. With that being said, I'm SUPER excited that previous AP's are being sanctioned. I have an RotRL group going now, and its great knowing that when it is done, we'll have a lot more options to choose from in deciding what we want to do next for credit. Two thumbs up!
Agreed. For what its worth, I appreciate the 'sneak peak,' so to speak. It allows an opportunity to know about future chances and open discussions about a few things which haven't been finalized yet...and these are opportunities which may not be afforded to use if the traditional means of communication were used. (And I'm one of those people who have not had a chance to see it yet...I got the news through friends)
And a big thanks to Ryan and Parrim for all their hard work on their very excellent podcast which I enjoy whenever I get the chance. If you guys aren't listening to it, you should try. Aside from this PFS sneak peak, they have regular interviews with other Paizo staff which offers other unique insights into our favorite hobby.
Concern about Caravan vs Ship:
Yeah, we didn't have those disconnects. Let's take a few of them on.
You wonder why they take a caravan instead of a ship. Remember, the first leg of the trip started as a 500 mile trip to Brinewall. First, the PCs are connected to the four NPCs as an assumption (it should be one of the traits they take.) including Sandru who owns the Caravan. Another factor was that no one returned back from Brinewall ... so going with the support of a caravan makes a lot more sense than just being dropped off by ship. The text points out that taking a boat is significantly more expensive, and they're unlikely to find anyone to take them to the ruins known for being dangerous across those parts.
Once they are there, and they know they have to press on, there are a number of reasons they take the caravan. The closest port, Riddleport, is hundreds of miles away and not a nice place. They'd have to go WAY down to Magnimar to charter a ship.
Those are just from the book and maps. A GM may also make up other feasible reasons for them to go over land (let's admit it. In MOST of these adventure paths, things are pretty linear, and players sometimes want to go off the given track for a variety of reasons. It's part of the GM's job to point the main road as the most attractive. I think the AP does a decent, though not perfect job of that. I've run this part twice, and no one has ever wanted to take the boat route...but if they did after being presented all the above, plus the fact that Sandra and other NPCs prefer the caravan for various reasons, including better protection should they be accosted on the way, the GM may need to improvise.
LOL...that's a LOT of adventure paths. Heck, that's most dungeons. If you do normal perception take 10 checks for baddies, technically, a battle in one room can trigger a lot of other encounters. Why DOESN'T these BBEG's bring all their minions and attack all at once with them? THere CERTAINLY makes the most sense.
Well, maybe, but you'd have a lot of dead parties, hahahahaha
So we make excuses saying the BBEG was planning in a room, didn't hear, things happened so fast, they didn't have time to prep, etc.
JR does the same thing. They aren't the best excuses, but they are there.
When the party finds the Seal, it's in a warding box. Opening it tells the baddies where the party was at, but does not tell them where they are going. They cannot send a huge army based on a one time flare. However, they put one of their people on alert, in Kelsgard, figuring the party / Ameiko may come that way.
When they do, I imagine Kimandatsu figures she can take them . Not to mention the five storms probably don't have a great way to send hundreds of oni to Kelsgard on a moment's notice. Obviously, she reports the party's position at that point, and tries to take them in her stronghold where she doesn't have to worry about intervention from Kelsgard. My party had a HELL of a time overpowering ALL those ninjas (I DID rule they got them all at once, hahahahah).
I'm in book 3 now. The oni are not all knowing, and the party hasn't opened the box since. So, they have an idea they may be coming...but the book is very clear that if the party takes their sweet time going across, because of the weather, the oni will get less suspicious, presuming the storms kill them. I haven't been through the whole thing yet, so my comments end there. Again, I know it's not the DEEPEST plots in the world or anything, but I haven't had issue just yet with players questioning all of this terribly. And if they did, the NPCs I have in the party can help shed SOME light on it.
I will fully admit, I don't have players that try to go TOO far outside the box. Just a wee bit, hahahahah. I would love to hear some other issues...but I think the two major ones you bring up ARE addressed to some extent in the books (and require some GM work in other areas. I have some critiques for the AP, especially book 1. But that's a post for another day, hahaha.
I love playing clerics. It's my favorite. The fact that you can build them so many different ways with the domains and spell focus is awesome. I remember my first cleric...Sarenrae followers....cast fireball (group started at level 5ish) and the group was surprised. "Cleric? Fireballs?" "Ayup," I said. "I call it fiery cleansing!"
And the the healing domain, having free empowered heals was super awesome. Yeah, I was a bit of a healbot at times, but I healed really well.
If you're RP'ing a character who never flees...then you must be willing to accept the fact that sooner or later you WILL fall, because there's always the danger of a foe who is more powerful than you or your party. Golarion is a DANGEROUS place, especially for the uninitiated (re: low level).
That's why I love that the vast majority of Paladin codes (as seen in the awesome book, Faiths of Purity, usually do not have such strict tennants. You may have taken an oath to defend the weak, or be the last person to leave, but a Paladin that stands his ground and dies on principal alone is one that does not live to teach those principals to others.
If you're RP'ing a character that won't use the tools given to him because of some code...well, you got to be willing to accept the occasional challenge it creates. And that's fine. A code without a challenge is hardly one worth mentioning.
But TPK's are fun for absolutely no one, and casual non-heroic deaths for characters my players work so hard for just doesn't happen in my campaigns. I'll mess with a character, give him a scar or a permanent penalty/deformity/curse/negative level(s) or have a favored item destroyed or stolen, but characters aren't going to die in my campaign unless they are very stupid or utterly heroic.
I have to disagree just a bit. TPKs can certainly be downers, but I wouldn't say that are absolutely no fun. The Gamemastery Guide gives some very great suggestions for how to handle a TPK which can be inventive and fun. My last group used it as a launching point for a brand new campaign. And the occasional PK or TPK reminds players that their characters are mortal and that decisions need to be made carefully . (I totally admit though that a TPK that happens suddenly through no fault of the party can be pretty crushing. I haven't seen one in an AP just yet, though. Even in circumstances where they were above their heads, the party could usually flee or something).
Will Johnson wrote:
Totally agree with Will here. While I'm sorry to hear about one or more of you bowing out of PFS, I will tell you that I play PF multiple ways and enjoy each one for what it brings to the table. I have two weekly APs, two Pbp's and one to two PFS deals each week (yeah, I stay busy). You don't have to go OCD like me...but if you wanna run an AP, there's no reason you can't run/join an PFS once/month and/or attend the concs to meet new players and the such. APs and home groups are fun, and I won't give them up...but so is playing PF in a convention setting with new people I'm just meeting for the firs time. Because PFS doesn't require a commitment level like an AP does, you can have your cake and eat it too :)
I had a party that almost had a death or two to shadows in another game. It was a stark reminder to them that even lower level stuff can be dangerous, and they need to go prepared to handle a variety of encounters.
What I find useful sometimes is to drop hints of what's to come.
Example using RotRL and Shadows:
The early investigation reveal that a body has been stolen and necromancy (via an item) was at work. Use that opportunity to have the Father recommend that the party be careful. Have him encourage them to purchase some Holy Water (maybe he gives them a few vials free) and anything else that might assist vs. the type of tougher creatures you see in the later dungeon. You can tailor this advice with a bit of meta knowledge, yet because of the evidence they discover, it's comes across very NON-meta. I'd recommend not doing it too heavy fisted however. If the party doesn't take the clue, and they charge forward without proper preparation after a hint from the good father...well, let the chips fall where they may!
I'm sorry that you're having that issue with it. I just completed it a month ago, and had a different experience.
In Kalsgard, it makes sense that the evil power that be have to pull punches. So, I ran that as written. However, once the party heads to the castle, it's no holds bar. You COULD run each room as separate planes of existence, but I don't. When I run a dungeon, especially one filled with intelligent bad guys, I read the whole thing. For me, it made sense that as party came up the steps, and were spotted, some ninja fought them, as written, to slow them down (and try to push one or two off)...and by the time the party made it to the top, ALL the other ninjas/thugs were ready to attack.
It was an epic battle for them just to get in the castle, that hit them so hard, they had to go back to heal and stuff. Then, when they returned, they had to deal with the leaders. Each of those battles were pretty tough, though no one died...and the way one got away was just memorable as hell.
You DO have to be careful what you wish for, though. If you use the line of logic that bad guys should be able to throw everything at players because, ya know, they're just smart, have foresight, etc, going for the super realistic approach, you'll probably wipe your party every time they attack an organization like this one. After all, it's not unusual for an organization like this to have two dozen men at the ready. And, if they are prepared, you add surprise as well as outnumbered against your players...well...good luck! :) At the same time, I agree that the idea that the bad guys sit in rooms playing poker while their partners death cries fill the halls is also not right. Like with most things in life...balance is key. As GM, it's up to us to find that balance.
Take 20 is not free it takes 2 minutes. So every ten feet you take two minutes to look around?a 50 foot hallway would take you over an hour.
Not by RAW.
First, a perception check is a move action. You can do two move actions in a round. So, 20/2=10 rounds or one minute.
Next we're assuming traps can be detected by sight, smell, etc per our convo above. The perception rules say you can see, hear, smell things at distance. There's a modifier for every 10 feet (I wanna says +1 DC for every 10 Feet). Since most players easily beat the DC of level appropriate traps by 3-7, there's plenty of wiggle room for them to look only every room or so. A party going through a typical 10 room dungeons only need spend an extra 30 minutes or so to insure they are trap free.
The only REAL hindrance to them being totally immune to traps is the FAQ stating that players MUST state each and every time they wish to do so. Only the Rogue's trap spotter deal gives them an instant check when they come close to a trap. So, for a party not depending on that, their ability to deal with traps (outside of combat) is dependent on their patience and ability to remember to declare it every so many feet, rather than dice and high investment of feats and the such.
Hey, I'm cool with bowing to the gods of fate. You roll well, you SHOULD detect the traps in the room...especially if you put pts into it. But you just stand there for 1 minute (only takes 1 minute on take 20 perception) and POOF, Turn into the Holmes of traps every day? Pft. I run it that way in PFS. I house rule it outside, hahahahaah.
And if a player ROLLS a 20 (with +10 total perception), I'm willing to agree. But when a player just stands still and becomes Holmes EVERY time without fail? LOLz. That's my problem with the take 20 rule.
Indeed...but some of that gets awfully close to changing the rules and stuff. I will say, Nosig, when running PFS (which is what this convo is about), I absolutely allow take 20's and I use the DCs in the book because that's pretty much RAW given what we have there, and I'm not a big fan of changing DCs written in PFS.
However, since we've allowed this thread to de-rail somewhat (on traps instead of fudges), let me tell ya why I'm behind Andrew on this one. I've already explained the logic of why I'm not a fan of take 20 on certain types of traps like him. (I'm sorry, but there's just some traps you cannot detect without taking SOME risk of tripping in the process, so take 20 doesn't work since you can't take 20 when there's a risk involved).
But, more importantly, there's a gameplay balance issue.
The DCs of traps rarely, if ever, exceed 20+LV. Go ahead and look up the DCs of level appropriate traps. And if the players actually have a WIS bonus mod or perception bonus (class skill, item, etc), no non-magical trap stands even a tiny chance.
Essentially, it means that as long as ONE player has taken 1 pt of perception each level, a trap NEVER takes them off guard unless they neglect to declare it. By simply standing around for 2 minutes ever 30 feet or so, they are never taken off guard (unless its a magical trap). Traps are neutered.
Now, I think most of us can probably agree that non magical traps outside of combat are rarely memorable as most of them just do some damage that's easily healed by the party. They're a lot more fun in combat, where take 20 doesn't fly. So I don't let this bother as much as it used to. Still, I think it's a problem overall.
I agree with Andrew. If it's a trap that's visible, you can look carefully. If it's completely concealed, then as nosig points out, you have to blow smoke, smell aromas' press plates, etc. But in getting a bit more 'down and dirty,' I believe an element of risk is involved. It's a LOT easier to accidentally trigger a trap before finding it once you start moving around, feeling things, getting close enough to smell, etc. I don't think Andrew is saying that a trap CAN'T be detected until it is set off (and neither am I), but maybe you can't take 20 to detect perfectly concealed traps since there's a chance you'll trip them as you engage non-sight based methods of detection.
I believe page 34-36 makes it clear that fudging of the rolls should never happen except in pretty specific circumstances. There's a little wiggle room there, but not much.
I've also heard a lot about GM's fudging rolls often to save players or TPK's from happening. They're worried that players are going to pack up their toys and leave if that happens. While I can totally see that happening with completely new players who may get frustrated easily with an early TPK (and that's talked about in the PFS Guide), in my experience more mature players appreciate honesty and non-interference on the part of the GM.
In fact, here's a very recent story that relates to this.
I had two new players (from living Greyhawk) sit down and try some PFS with two experienced players, and me running. Normally, unless I'm running First Steps with new players, I roll completely in the open. However, I didn't think to change that strategy even with the new players.
In the second fight, the party made some subpar decisions, and my rolls were on fire. In 30+ tables of PFS gaming, I backed up into a TPK situation before i knew it.
Now, the one place I would agree to fudge and the such would be with new players. The book says as much. But, by the time I rolled, the numbers were there, and I couldn't do anything about it. (A 32 hp Fireball...out of a max of 36...and EVERYONE failed the save). 3 out of 4 characters died. The other ran away.
The two new players got up to leave as I, stunned, tried to work with the two long time players to figure out how we were going to resolve the death and such.
A few minutes later, I got up, looked around, and saw the new players in front of the Pathfinder book section of the store. I approached them and explained to them (sharing the very concern that's listed in the book about killing new players) that normally PFS isn't that deadly and is generally a "positive experience." I told them that I hoped they would return.
To my surprise, The guy told me he was GLAD to see that PFS didn't pull punches. In playing previous games and living campaigns, he feels that its important to have a sense of real danger in order to have fun.
It was a pleasant surprise. (I simply don't read people well enough in one session to know how they will take a death or TPK). While I certainly won't change how I run a general "First Steps" experience with brand new players, it just reinforces what I believe. Run things as written, be honest with players, heck, even roll in front of them so they can see the lack of fudge, and you'll be surprised at just how well they react to what we would normally feel might be a negative situation.
I am assuming we are allowed a single "approach attempt" per "downtime" period so... As much as it may pain me, if it is so, this one will be dedicated to Shalelu :D
Just whatever is reasonable. If you are just in town for an hour, you can visit a person and make the most of the moment, especially if you have a thoughful gift prepared. For another, it may be spending a day or longer with them learning something new. So, with that being said, since you've declared what you're doing tonight...let's see how lucky you are...
1d6 ⇒ 4
I'll just add my voice to one who expressed concern earlier with too many anti-heroes/not enough classic heroes in the Pathfinder Tales. I don't have a definitive list ready, but I've read four books, and in three of them (Death's Heretic, Song of the Serpent, City of the Fallen Sky) I just don't feel drawn in by the characters. (I did enjoy Prince of Wolves). It doesn't help that they just feel drug into their circumstances and 'forced' (in a manner of speaking) into situations where, ultimately, they do something bigger than themselves.
I do like what you're saying earlier about heroes having rough pasts, flaws, bad decisions etc. And I believe that part of what makes a hero is that they overcome these challenges and (most of the time) do the 'good' or right thing. Instead, it seems like these guys are gang-pressed into these adventures and rise up because if they don't, the consequences are not going to be pretty.
I think the other thing I don't like is that many of them ultimately seem pretty selfish. That's totally realistic...most of us ARE pretty selfish and sometimes (if not always) use other people and relationships for our own ends... but in a fantasy setting, sometimes we like to see those who, while they be tempted and even do such things occasionally, are better than that. I think that's why at least half or more of my players choose to play 'good' characters (who are compelled to do selfless acts all the time) instead of 'neutral.' Anyway, just my two cp. I still have a lot more to read!
Thanks for the quick reply, Jim. I'm running this as an all day event to reward my GMs for their hard work. I just like to be prepared. I like the scene earlier you have written up -- when he's on the staircase telling the PCs of his plans, basically, of making them take the fall. Its definitely written pretty dramatically...between that and that fight upstairs, they should have a pretty clear idea that it's in their best interest that he does NOT get away. But, yeah, I *can* see him getting away, and thereby severing that important clue link. I'm not sure if in the case of the Sheriff wanting to arrest them what they may do. With PFS groups, you get a different mix of players almost every time, and they do some pretty unpredictable things, hahahah.
Overall, its got some exciting moments, though I'll need another read through to put some important details together in my head. Thanks!
Quick question for the designer...maybe I missed it in the read through....
If the bad guy escapes...:
the fight in the mansion, it says basically the Sheriff will try to arrest them. If the party fights them, she feels they're guilty. If they don't, they're arrested. So, do we just say they fail here and they're stuck in jail for years or hung or something for murder? I didn't really see a 'bed ending' elaboration. This is super important, especially, for PFS teams.
Beppo van Drotske wrote:
Ailyn answers, Quite strong, sir. I had to dig for months through the libraries in Skyreach, and I later collaborated with a few friends in Cheliax and Westcrown. Not only is the evidence I found quite strong, but it's matches up with other records in Cheliax as well. The fact of the matter is, the Shadow Beasts showed up very soon after the government took over the Lodge. We are certain that if you investigate it well, you will find evidence of what happened that started the curse of these creatures that plague your nights.
We are cruising through RotRL in a Pbp group now...using the homebrew approach to earn Chronicle sheets. The players are super excited about that. This is actually an extra game for us that we were not planning on running before the announcement. My home group had already started Skulls & Shackles when this announcement was made, but are already talking about doing a sanctioned AP for their next adventure...but that's a year out.
When Shayliss returns, she spends more time with Zeriak before being walked home.
You all eventually retire and wake the next morning.
As you all sit together in the morning waiting for breakfast, you are approached by the halfling woman, Bethana Corwin, She’s obviously upset and asks to speak to you all somewhere in private. You agree. She pulls you to the back.
She speaks hurridly, I ... I work up earlier this morning to find that Ameiko hadn’t already started breakfast, for the first time I can ever remember. It concerned me, so I knocked on Ameiko’s door but didn’t get a response. Against my better judgment, I entered Ameiko’s room to find it empty and the bed unslept in. Worse, I found a crumpled piece of parchment near the bed—a note from Ameiko’s older brother Tsuto.
She pulls the paper out of her pocket and hands it to you. Look in the shared folder for the note under the folder, Handouts. The letter is written in Minkaian, but Bethana has been learning from Ameiko here and there, and reads it out loud for those who do not have the language.
Bethana goes on to explain that Tsuto was something of a scandal when he was born back in 4688 (a year before Ameiko), since he’s a half-elf. Bethana sagely notes, with big eyes, that neither of Ameiko’s parents are elves. It was obvious that old Lonjiku wasn’t the boy’s father, and his rage at the discovery of his wife’s indiscretion was the talk of the town for months. Lonjiku’s wife Atsuii never revealed who the father was, and it’s a testament to Lonjiku’s stubbornness that they remained married.
Tsuto was handed over to the Turandarok Academy to be raised outside of the Kaijitsu family, ignored by his father and forbidden visits from his mother. Ameiko told Bathana that she starting visiting him in secret once she learned about his existence at the age of 10, visiting him a few times a month to keep him company, bring him some food, and promise him that someday things would get all sorted out.
Her tone drops as she relates that it all changed in 4705, when they had a terrible argument in which Tsuto struck Ameiko. Bethana doesn’t know what the argument was about, but whatever it was sent Ameiko away from Sandpoint, during which time she made a living as an adventurer. She returned to Sandpoint a year later to attend her mother’s funeral. Tsuto was quite public in his opinions that his father had pushed Atsuii off a cliff to her death, and during the funeral there was a confrontation. Lonjiku nearly broke Tsuto’s jaw with his cane, after which Tsuto cursed him and left Sandpoint. Ameiko has tried to reestablish contact with him ever since, but was never able to track him down.
She concludes, I'm worried that Tsuto’s up to no good. Since Sheriff Hemlock’s out of town, you are the only ones I can turn to. Please, please head over to the Glassworks and find out what happened to Ameiko as soon as possible!
Exactly. I use hero points in my campaigns. I give the players the ability to fudge the rolls and the rules (albeit in limited quantities.) Wanna do something like dive out of a window and survive? Hope you saved a few Hero Pts! LOL.
There's 400 other replies, but I'll throw my hat in the ring, Doug.
First, unless you're playing Pathfinder Society, its your game. Who says that wands of CLW have to be on sale in the starting town at all? You might be surprised just how restrictive magic item availability is in smaller towns (Read the Gamemaster Guide for more info).
Second, if you want to take them out, and do, what's your proposal to deal with the need for healing? Monsters hit hard. Fighters get hurt. If no one is playing a cleric or healer, what do you recommend?
Personally, I always have an NPC healer on tap for those types of parties. He/She gets a share of the xp and gold. They are there to heal first (and that includes ALL kinds of healing) and buff second. They essentially support the party thematically. This also gives me, as GM, a great 'in' with the party when I need it. Otherwise, the NPC can be as loud or quiet as I want...but they never outshine the party. As GM, I want my players to have fun being the heroes. So, if that means I have an NPC who follows them and keeps them patched up, so be it!
I would be interested in other thoughts as well. After all, again, unless your playing Pathfinder Society, the game is your oyster. What would you change?
I have had the proverbial I've PLAYED all those scenarios players before. It is a bit of problem. Ironically, I told them about moving into Adventure Paths. At first, they resisted, but once they tried, I never saw them again!
Yeah, it is very possible to run out, especially if y'all aren't mixing in some modules and AP action here and there. Running multiple tables with various types of games (such as the modules) can help alleviate this somewhat. We post our games a month or so out, so players who have played a lot can decide to skip weeks where there's nothing being offered that they haven't done before.
PCs shouldn't be dying that much.
The book says:
That the captain realizes he's already got a thin crew. The only rules that usually earn a death/keelhaulin' are deaths of other crew members (which he makes really clear) and theft from the stores (which is also made really clear with an example). Everything else, more or less, is dealt in less lethal ways to keep his labor force alive and hummin.'
As far as keepin' track of the NPCs...I just cut and paste the list of them into a word document, and updated their relationship status as each PC made diplomacy checks with them and what not. Now, Jade Regent...THAT one required a pretty spreadsheet :)
I don't think there's an official rule anywhere...but we all want to minimize meta without being crazy and violating the spirit of what makes a game a game.
IMHO, Common monsters are fine because 1) Yeah, everyone in Golarion has heard of a goblin, skeleton, etc and 2) there's usually enough variations of those things to where it still keeps the players on their toes (Dragons have various colors with different powers, different variants of zombies, class levels on goblins, etc).
More uncommon monsters (say, basilisks!), I tend to not to say their name without a successful knowledge check because anyone who has played against one in the past will instantly yell "I close my eyes!" and who can blame them? Sure, they'll figure it out once their first friend turns to stone looking into Lizzy's eyes... but, by that time, I imagine SOME part of their Pathfinder training would kick in :)
But, yeah, if players want more than a name, they either have to figure it out through trial and error (GM's usually tell you what the DR is when you hit and then you have to figure out the weakness, for example), or better knowledge checks. The fact that you give them questions to ask based on how much they surpass the CR (as opposed to, let's say, giving them completely random pieces of information), it an interesting one...but since its not dictated by the rules, I would think it's all good.
Just going off the OP here...
I haven't had players change after intros for RP reasons...though on the long drive home from my games, I often wonder, "Why not?" hahahaha.
The largest reason, obviously, is that in becoming a member of the Society, each character (in his/her own way) would be accepting their role in the larger scheme of things. The Lawful Good Paladin, for example know that not every thing that happens in the PFS is lawful OR good (gasp), but by being involved in it he hopes to influence this larger organization to utilize more of its resources in that direction.
That means, at times, working with those who utilize methods he objects to. Heck, it may mean taking on missions he would normally find questionable (how many PF missions bend or break local laws? Hmmm?)
The Guide makes it pretty clear that while factions and individual Pathfinders may be diametrically opposed, those who become PFS agents agree to do so would jeopardize that faction's ability to 'manipulate Absalom to its will'. I reckon the Andoran gets along with the Chelaxian (at least, long enough to get through the mission) because if he just 'passes on that mission opportunity', he's essentially lost a very valuable chance to accomplish significant deeds for his faction (essentially, allowing his enemy to pull ahead). The LG Pally who sits it out because he doesn't want to travel with the CN lust-freak essentially does the same thing.
There is certainly something to be said for those characters who absolutely hold the 'means higher than the ends,' but let's admit it... the Pathfinder Society probably isn't the best arena for such a character to thrive. The society cares little whether the means it uses is seen as lawful or chaotic. And, dare I say, (as a neutral organization), they don't even place that much value on making sure their actions are good! Therefore, a 'means is everything' type of character may have a hard time being a constant adventurer in the PFS. Just thinking!
Kinda learning the hard way myself here in Utah... and early experience is putting me in the same bucket as Jiggy, just on the other end. A recent car accident (which left me too injured to play for nearly a week) followed up a couple of weeks later by illness, forced me to do the whole "Hey, Bob, can you run this for me? If not, what about First Steps or something?" :P
Obviously there's an initial barrier to getting someone to step up the first time, and there's nothing like a little emergency to make that happen :) Now that I got another GM or two aboard, I hope to be able to spread them out so they don't feel pressured to run every week and burn out.
My friends and I are putting together a Friday Night Skulls & Shackles group. This will run 9pm-1am EST each Friday and take place online. Players use Maptools b87 (A Virtual Table Top) and Skype...both free downloads. Perspective players must meet the following requirements...
* Mature, experienced players preferred. We welcome players new to the Pathfinder game system, as long as they are willing to put the time to continually learn the system on their own in between game sessions.
We will have an online meeting tomorrow, Fri, Dec 28 at 9pm EST/6pm PST to roll up characters, talks campaign specifics, etc. If you're interested, it would be great to have you there so we can get to meet you. Add me as a friend on skype (jcservant7) to sign up for the event. If you have a quick, general question, feel free to ask here. Thanks!
Well, this might be one of those occasions where the GM might force a three with a group of new players. If they're experienced, I probalby don't feel as bad (however, that's using my rules of geting them a knowledge check... and then allowing the to close their eyes before that initial attack if successful). As you can see from my post above, I'm more for ruling the gaze attack more conservatively than some...but barring that, I let the chips fall where they may (though I do allow special leniency for new players). Yeah, it easy to miss gold here (espcially with the mug in the Cayden Cailean thing).
Macon Bacon, Esquire wrote:
I don't have the info for the monster in front of me...I was just going with the suggestion above, as it wasn't really the main point I was addressing in my post. But, gracias.
I've run this twice at Tier 1. Almost had a TPK on the one Basilisk. Before players realized "Close yer eyes!" LOL. Anywho.... First, I give a Kn: nature check. If that succeeds, I tell the players what it can do, and how they can avoid it. The rules say, "Opponents can avoid the need to make the saving throw by not looking at the creature, in one of two ways."
"The foe cannot see the creature at all (also possible to achieve by turning one’s back on the creature or shutting one’s eyes) and does not have to make saving throws against the gaze. However, the creature with the gaze attack gains total concealment against the opponent."
Closing of eyes seems like an immediate action to me. I'd rule that they close their eyes before the creature has a turn.
If they fail the knowledge check (and for all they know it's a gator), then it usually takes that first round of him gazing 1/2 the party. At that point, I remind them of gaze rules, and everyone fights with eyes close. He gets it on his turn... like ya say above, he might be eating for all we know! LOL
A heal or Kn: Nature check usually tells them how to fix it afterwards. Needless to say, I set the DC pretty low on that one.
As far as Golem boy goes...if the party doesn't take the intimidating golem seriously (I really describe him up), then they're going to be in for a little pain. Usually, your armored person needs to do some full round defense, fight defensively, etc. Again, if it's a brand new group of players, I remind them of their defensive options in combat. The players are usually the same speed and/or faster than he is...so strategic withdrawal to a chokepoint is a viable option. Anywho...since Golemboy runs after people who are messin' with the temple, he's usually flyin' solo...and therefore isn't too much of a threat. In the twice I played, he hurt one player and KO'd another. He doesn't usually do enough damage outright to kill players (nor is that really his tactic...if someone goes down, he's going on to the next target).... but, of course, it is possible with a confirmed crit. If its new players, the GM may need to address that situation the way the guidebook suggests....but yeah...an instant death on a character (especially with 10- CON) at 1st level is always a possibility in certain situations.
Using PFS scenarios as part of a larger campaign, or one shots outside of normal PFS play is a perfectly viable way to enjoy PFS. The strengths of PFS play are obvious (short, very loosely connected adventures work great with irregular groups), but let's face it...the very rigid system and required paperwork, while absolutely needed for organized play, are drawbacks for most. If someone wants to throw those aside, use their own rules and the such, but run these scenarios in another context, then I say, "have fun!" :) Just keep in mind (and let your players know) that if they move out of town, to a convention, etc., their characters won't be legal for official play. For some, that won't matter.
Then he shouldn't be asking us on the forums :) Well, Hogarth, hopefully y'all are playing the PF version. I know it's easier to GM if one is using the PF game system (for obvious reasons). Looking in my Downloads, it would appear my original RotRL PDFs are OGL/3.5 . However, I bought the anniversary PDF which is PFRPG. It's not only easier to use with the PFRPG, but the layout and artwork have been totally updated...as well as some of the info...so it's well worth the investment IMHO.
You know, Dave, even with strict rules, people who want to will find ways to cheat the system. No RPG P&P meta system is completely cheat-proof...or even close!
And while I have no doubt some DO cheat, the vast majority of players and GMs take pride in the fact that they made it to a point without breaking the rules.
I've had first hand experience with my own group where we were tempted to bend and even break some rules for various reasons. After all, no one was looking over the GMs shoulder...if the chronicle sheets were signed, the fact that few things were overlooked to get there would matter little.
As far as your example, direct concern there, I have to agree with Chris. That's kinda sad. I have a group that's completely non-PFS (we do APs only). But, in telling this to them, if I asked them to sign up for PFS numbers and take the chronicle sheets in case they ARE interested in PFS one day, they pretty much are on board with it...again, just in case. They wouldn't view it as me just trying to get myself credit (though, they're not so naive enough to believe that isn't part of my motivation). Even if it was...we all play (and GM) both APs and PFS for various reasons...some for the meta rewards, some for the RP, some for the combat, etc. If a GM and/or player wants us to do a little extra work so he/she could get something additional out of the experience that he/she wants, I think we can accommodate that!
On the Pathfinder Society page in my account it says,
Participating in Pathfinder Society Organized Play allows you to connect with a large, worldwide community.
I think this move goes a long way to inviting AP players into the worldwide community of PFS Organized Play.
My background is mostly tied into doing Adventure Paths. For a variety of reasons, they just appealed to my players and I more than running loosely-connected PFS scenarios. Those reasons included the deeper plots of the APs, ability to use optional rules (we love hero points and the crit deck) and allowing the GM to change up the encounters (we often make them more challenging than written).
While I am now heavily involved in PFS play, I still know many in my area who are not, most of them for the above reasons. The two camps (PFS and AP) here in Utah are very separate, and few people cross those bridges.
I applaud these changes because they give some very good incentives and ways for both PFS and AP focused players to 'see how the other side lives.' People in APs can now work towards and build their PFS legal character while playing their APs, and heavy PFS players (many of whom I know are running out of scenarios to play) now have a new selection of dungeons and adventures lifted straight from the APs. My hope is that this initiative will get both camps to try out full play of the other variety!