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Sajan

JCServant's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 420 posts (4,478 including aliases). 6 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 12 aliases.



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I'm polling players: I would like to know what each of you think of the next three APs coming out. Please rate each on scale of 1-5. Thanks!!!

1. Never would play. Would rather sit out the campaign.
2. Would never vote for it, but would play if everyone else insists.
3. Don't care either way... I would rather do most other APs or a homebrew, though
4. I would vote for it, would like to do it over most other APs.
5. Would LOVE to do it, even to the point of possibly playing with a larger/small group than normal just to experience it. Top 3 on my list to play!

Feel free to elaborate more after doing your score :)

Wrath of the Righteous (Campaign using Mythic Rules)
The Worldwound tore reality apart at the dawn of the Age of Lost Omens, murdering the nation of Sarkoris and unleashing a ravenous demonic horde upon the world. Only the quick action of several other nations of knights, barbarians, and heroes stemmed the demon army and contained it within lost Sarkoris, and for the next century, crusade after crusade tried to defeat the demons only to fail time and time again. Their greatest success, the line of magical artifacts known as wardstones that stand sentinel along the Worldwound's border, barely manages to contain the demons. So when one of the wardstones is sabotaged, a city falls and the demons within surge out in a massive assault like none before. Even before the Fifth Crusade has begun a city has fallen and some of the crusaders' greatest defenders and heroes are slain. Can anyone rise up against the demon host to prevent the armies of Deskari, the demon lord of the Locust Host, from swallowing the world?

Mummy's Mask
The ancient lands of Osirion are blanketed by the sands of time, and eldritch secrets and vast riches lay just beneath the sun-blistered surface. As modern Osirion opens its vaults and tombs to outsiders for the first time in centuries, many of these lost treasures and secrets are now emerging—some more troublesome than others. Hakotep I, a now-forgotten pharaoh, was robbed upon his burial. A secret sect took his heart and his funerary mask, both containing a portion of his soul. Betrayed the chance to pass on into the afterlife during his burial, Hakotep has existed in a state between life and death for millennia. The recent rediscovery of one of these lost soul fragments has allowed the trapped pharaoh to once again work in this world to redress the wrongs committed against him, and a cult worshipping him as a god-king grows in the heart of Osirion. Can a group of heroes brave terrible guardians, foul cults, and the burning sands of the desert to stop the rebirth of this ancient tyrant?

Iron Gods
{Paraphrased) This one takes place in Numeria. If you're not familiar with the campaign setting, Numeria is a country ruled by barbarian tribes that had a huge spaceship crash in it. Expect Conan running around with rayguns, vibroblades, and space fighter armor plates trapped to their chest.... similar to Wizardry computer RPGs, Thundarr or He-Man in flavor.

Grand Lodge

For a couple of months, my friends and I have been playing Reign of Winter adventure path, and we're looking for a good player or two to help fill the ranks. We just completed the first book, so its an excellent time to jump on board as things start to get serious.

This exciting campaign runs from 9pm-1am EST/ 6pm-10pm PST every Monday night. We play online using Maptools b87 (A Virtual Table Top) and Skype...both free downloads. Perspective players must meet the following requirements. Throughout the week, we enrich our immersion in the world via role-play on a forum using Obsidian Portal. Participation on those forums/website is a required component.

Perspective players would meet the following requirements...
* Mature, experienced players preferred. We want players who already understand the system well so they can focus squarely on the role-playing (and work well with the others). While I do run campaigns where we welcome and train newer players, this is not one of those.
* Players must have a desire to put time in their character and story during the week.
* Combat can be intense! We prefer players who really enjoy the tactical and combat side of Pathfinder as well as the role play.
* Players must be willing to invest in a high quality headset.
* Right now, the need in the party is for a dedicated, full progression arcane caster (Wizard or sorcerer preferred).

If you're interested, and want to learn more before committing further, check out the following links...

Our Obsidian Portal hub
JCS' Houserules

Interested parties should email me at jcservant at cyberlightcomics dot com or hit me up on skype (jcservant7) Please keep in mind I do not check this thread often. Email and skype are the fastest ways to contact me if you're interested.

We have limited slots available. Thank you!

Grand Lodge

Between the Land of man and the Great Northern Wilderness ruled by the elves is the small city of Bandera. Just a day or two's journey off the main trade route that goes through its sister city, Belach, Bandera is a place where wealthy merchants go to retire, and those on the run from either the human or the elven governments go to hide. While technically under Elven rule, the city enjoys near complete autonomy, as its distance from the capital or any other major Elven city insures that visits from representatives of the ruling council are few and far between.

There's one road in and out of Bandera. On this night, your characters are either travelling to the city or leaving it. Normally, the trip on the road is safe and uneventful. After all, Belach is only a short distance away. However, on this night, dark clouds form over head quickly.

Those of you learned in the ways of nature or who have studied history know of these magically produced storms. Referred to as "Siroccos," they are believed to form by not only violent weather patterns, but remnants of magic left behind by the great war many centuries ago. Considered extremely dangerous, staying outside in these storms leads to death more often than not. Even for those not trained, the hail that begins to fall is encouragement enough to seek shelter.

While only a day or two from either city, at this point, the cities of Bandera and Belach feel years away. You quickly scan around you, and walk to the highest point you can get to fast, to locate some shelter.

A bolt of lightning splits the sky, lighting the area for miles. You see it... the shadow of a tower, backlit by the electricity. With no other option in sight, you quickly head for it.

The hailballs are getting larger, and you take a nasty hit or two before you arrive. The tower appears old, large and sturdy enough. There's a large roof providing cover to the exterior just outside of the massive double doors. They're made of very solid wood with metal hinges. As you arrive, you see a number of other souls who have gathered here. One is completely covered in red robes, making it hard to see his or her face. He or she is of tall height for an average human. Another is a human male, in his late 20's, who is looking at the door with deep curiosity. He looks thin but muscular.

Please give a physical description of your character for the others, and what you might be doing during your first minutes as you run for this cover and meet these other strangers during this storm.

Grand Lodge

Salutations!

I'm running a new play by post based on a homebrew that I've run a number of times, set in a lost continent in a distant land called "Forzega."

Map of Forzega
History of Forzega/Players Guide
General House Rules

Check out the above before committing. Of particular importance, please make sure you can meet the posting requirements of the campaign :)

I'll be posting more details as time permits. Just want to get the ball rolling :)

Yours in Adventuring,
Phil

Grand Lodge

This is The Dragon's Demand Pbp Campaign. Currently, recruitment is CLOSED. I believe I have enough players on tap for this. Will keep people posted.

**

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Salutations.

Nine months ago, give or take, I joined PFS as Venture Captain of the Salt Lake area. I had run Adventure Paths and the such for years. I knew that Organized play had some stronger rules and reporting attached to it. I was running a PFS play by post at the time...and within a month, I had people reporting me because I adjusted some of the rules at the time to facilitate online play. In my first few month running games locally and reviewing sheets I was constantly reminded by a number of players that while not everyone in my region had all the backup for their characters in order, they all KNEW they better have it ready for any convention, because those are super official and stuff!

So, in running local games, I made sure to continuously communicate and uphold RAW at the table. I spot checked character sheets regularly, and reviewed with players when they used illegal copies of books as backup, illegal feats, poor builds, etc. (I always limit myself to about 15 minutes of checking, and I check people who I haven't checked in a while so everyone eventually gets looked over). I had some people walk away very upset I did this, but the rules are the rules, right? And, it is usually the GM who enforces the rules of the game, and the rules of the PFS organized play, at the table.

So, imagine my surprise when, at PaizoCon, I learned that a very small minority of other PFS GMs were checking sheets at all. I questioned over a dozen players, including my friends from Utah who game. None of them had their sheets checked unless they sat at my table. Every player I asked told me I was the only one.

I only do spot checks, as I hold to a 15 minute rule...but at the con alone, I found a 30 point build, two players with gold off by thousands, 2 players who did not have ANY backup (books OR chronicle sheets) for their tier 7-11 characters and one with a completely illegal item.

The fact that sheets are very, very rarely reviewed isn't limited to the con. It was clear that many of these players, from all over the country, had rarely, if ever, had their sheets checked. A 30 point build is easy to spot, but it had been on the character sheet for well over a dozen sessions by the time I saw it.

I passionately believe that checking sheets creates a fair, even playing field for the players which, in turn, makes the game more fun (after all, it's hard to have fun if a player or two in the party has a 30 point build with illegal items). It is my intention to encourage GMs to check sheets at each session whenever possible. In talking with other GMs and VO's about my concerns, some agreed. Those who did not had some common concerns I'd like to address here, as part of my plea to the community.

There's no time
Time management is always a difficult part of running any PFS scenario. Trust me, I understand. The stores we run at close at 10 promptly, and we arrive at the store at 5.30. Clearly, there's not enough time to do a forensic audit at the table. What we do is a simple spot check, and we limit ourselves to 15 minutes or less total for sheet checking. If something looks too complicated, we take a picture of the sheets with our phones (or write down some notes), get the player's email information, and look it up/follow up after the fact. If you are running a scenario that you know is time consuming and skip this step, no one is going to yell...but that should be the exception, not the rule.

It is not fun/It does not create a fun environment
True, reviewing characters sheets is not fun for the GM, and players can get bored if you take too long. Some players may not appreciate you questioning some things on their sheets. However, the even playing field it does create makes the game more fun over the long run.

I trust my players. Reviewing their sheets and backup sends a negative message to the contrary.
Hey, I have checked dozens of players, and I have caught maybe 2 who were outright cheating (Not recording expenditures I clearly told them to or using illegal material I knew they knew was illegal). But, you're right, the vast majority of people do not check. However, a lot of us do make mistakes. Pathfinder is a complicated game and PFS adds another layer of rules and upkeep. You would be surprised the sheer number of mistakes that are made...some of them rather large! One gentleman had a dozen or so more HPs because he added in correctly. Another was missing out on 7k gold because he skipped a chron sheet.

That brings me to another point...nearly half of the mistakes I found didn't make the character too powerful, but the opposite! I've seen 15 point builds, characters missing gold, feats, favored class bonuses and more. A player disappointed with his character performance may leave your game without saying a word, never knowing that he was missing critical elements that his character was actually entitled to!

I've heard about people leaving PFS because GMs who check treat them like jerks.
I've actually been the recipient of this type of behavior before...so I completely understand. I almost left Pathfinder as a hobby because of it. But, if YOU treat people with respect, the way you want to be treated, in reviewing their sheets, it doesn't have to be a negative experience at all. It can actually be positive. If you see mistakes, explain it to the player on the side. If they look confused, commit to spend some time during the break, or after the game, helping them to get it straight. Use it as an opportunity to build a bridge, rather than just to bust their chops, and you'll find the majority of players appreciate your assistance.

If you do this, you will invariably tick someone off. It's bound to happen. There are those who do not want to buy the book to back up their character, take the time to look up whether the feats they saw on d20pfsrd.com was actually legal, etc. You will have the occasional player who doesn't respect that organized play is exactly that. Sure, they could join or start their own AP or homebrew where none of this matters...but they're going to give YOU a hard time at your table. I've had it happen four times in the last nine months. Trust me, you don't want those types of players at your tables in PFS anyway. Give them Mike's email address and politely ask them to play somewhere else.

I hope this helps. Again, ultimately, I would like to see a stronger presence of double checking sheets somewhat regularly in order to create a more fair and consistent experience that comes to mind when we talk about organized play.


Salutations. I'm GM'ing a number of Pathfinder Society games online, and I'm looking for more players. I'm running...

Saturday, July 20th 2pm-12am Crypt of the Everflame (Tier 1-2)
Wednesday, July 24th 8pm-12am Way of the Kirin (Tier 3-7)
Wednesday, August 7th 8pm-12am Rivalry's End (Tier 3-7)

All times are EST. Time was approximate and may run a bit over.

I'll be using maptools, Skype and herolabs to run the game. In order to participate, you will need the following...

* Your PFS Legal character in herolabs.
* Download the free maptools ver b87 from http://www.rptools.net/download/zip/maptool-1.3.b87.zip
* Skype with a decent headset. Webcams allow too much background noise.

If you're interested in one or more of the games, email me at jcservant at cyberlightcomics dot com for more details. Make sure to include
* Your Paizo character number
* Character name with Class, level and faction info
* Your name
* Your Skype nickname
* Which game(s) you are interested in playing.

If you have general questions about the requirements or the such, please ask here so that everyone may benefit from the answer. Thank you very much and happy adventuring!

Phil

Qadira *****

"Yarr! Glad we got what is rightfully ours back! Da' loots!"


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.
* Players must have a desire to put time in their character and story during the week.
* We are a more combat focused game. We prefer players who really enjoy the tactical and combat side of Pathfinder.
* With that being said, players should be able to bring decent RP to the table.
* Players must be willing to invest in a high quality headset.

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!

Grand Lodge

Salutations. This is the discussion thread for our Rise of the Runelords campaign. Using the new rule that allows running of APs using houserules for PFS credit (assuming groups play through the entire AP and not just the sanctioned areas), I plan on running a group through the entire campaign, issuing the appropriate chronicle sheets at the end of each book. This game will use my standard Pbp houserule, and will include modification the encounters, magic items, NPCs, etc., as I see fit in order to enhance player enjoyment and immersion in the story and setting. Players may also take actions 'outside the box' that moves beyond the scope of the AP from time to time. This is a living, breathing world, and while the adventure's foundation is 'on the rails' to a degree, players are encouraged to 'color outside the lines' when it is done for great RP reasons.

This game is only open to players of my Council of Thieves Pbp game. This game will have similar expectations of players checking at at certain intervals every weekday, and occasionally on weekends. Since they are doing that for CoT anyway, checking here as well is an easy 2nd step. Players of my RotRL campaign understand that this campaign is secondary...meaning that if I'm busy, CoT will get the lion's share of my attention. Hopefully this will work out in the long run. Well see.

Let's start off with discussions about who y'all want to play (classes, races, etc). In near future posts I'll be talking about some interesting character creation options you may be interested in (as far as ability scores go). Don't worry, the standard 20 pt buy option is still available to those who want it. OH, in talking about who you are playing, you may or may not want to remind people who you play on CoT so they can make the connection. Let the meta discussions begin!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A festival is starting in Sandpoint soon. Perhaps you would like to join?

Grand Lodge

I'm starting a new Council of Thieves Adventure Path Play by Post. We have a well established group, but we’re looking to fill in a hole or two.

My play by posts are much more demanding than a typical play by post. Players are expected to post three times/ day.... 11a-2p, 3p-6p, and finally, 6p-10a (all EST). If you live in a different time zone, please adjust accordingly to figure out the required posting times. Missing a posting time may result in your character being skipped in a round of combat.

The other big difference is that we use a gridless combat by description method (Core Rulebook, Page 8) . In order to facilitate combat by description, Initiative is generally group based with players going first, and then bad guys, unless the bad guys surprise the party.

While the above guidelines seem unorthodox, in practice they really help keep our Pbp groups going full speed, allowing us to resolve most combat in 1-2 days rather than a week.

More Guideline details may be found here.

One more thing. This is a full blown Adventure path being played with Pbp. So, think long term! This could go for a couple of years. We’ll see.

Write below if you have more questions. Thanks!
Phil

Grand Lodge

Discussion for JCServant's "The Council of Thieves" takes place here.

Grand Lodge

Coming Soon!

**

Salutations.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on Season 0 material. What are some of the good and bad times you've had with it?

Grand Lodge

Venture-Captain Hestia Themis, a small, dark-haired, and dark-eyed Taldan woman, sits behind her enormous blackwood desk in the Pathfinder lodge in Cassomir and clears her throat. “My friend, the Countess Arieta Patrizia, is dead. She escaped her capture by the fiends who operate beneath Cassomir only to succumb to disease and wounds incured in Cassomir’s disgusting sewers. Ordinarily, this would be a matter for the Taldan authorities, but Arieta came to me directly after escaping and recounted a story that leads me to the natural conclusion that only the Pathfinder Society can resolve this issue.”

Venture-Captain Themis rises and paces back and forth behind her desk. “Arieta told me of an artifact she saw while in captivity below Cassomir. This artifact, called the jet rat, is known to us, but we must confirm that what she saw is indeed true. She claims to have seen it transform normal rats into something bigger, more vile and mean. If that’s true, the artifact she saw down there is old, evil, and should be stored safely in the vaults beneath the Grand Lodge in Absalom where we can study, catalog, and examine it. Worse, she claims to have seen this object in the hands of the derros, vile Darklands creatures that we have long suspected are responsible for the Cassomir kidnappings. I have a map here that shows the location of the sewer grate Arieta was dropped through when she was kidnapped. She could not, due to her illness, recall much about how she got to the location where they kept her in captivity, but she knows where they dropped her into the sewers and you’ll find that location on this map.”

Venture-Captain Themis stops pacing and eyes you across her desk. “Bring me back this artifact—if you happen to free a few captured Taldans along the way, that’s good news, but the artifact is your mission. Any questions?”

Grand Lodge **

Salutations.

As most of you know, I'm the new VC of the Salt Lake area, and I'm working hard to get off to a strong start in helping to get PFS really going in this area. As far as organized P&P play goes, this area is very dominated by 4e Encounters. (There are also some good PF AP groups going, woot!). Anyway, I would love to be able to (in a positive way) provide comparison and contrasting points with the current player base. However, I have no experience at all with 4e Encounters, and I'm having a wee bit of a difficult time finding something that can explain to me how it works.

Would one of you that have experience in both be able to highlight the key differences of the organizational part of Encounters versus PFS? I don't really care to know how the games are different, but, rather, how the organized play guidelines, meta game, etc work out, and how PFS compares and contrasts.

I'm just looking for facts, not opinions. We all *know* PFS is better! :D However, when I approach people playing 4e, I don't want to get into an edition wars conversation. I'm not going to present this as they have to do one or the other. For all I know, they may want to do both.

**

Salutations.

I'm working hard to get some major PFS action going here in the Utah area, and I need some GM/Organizing type of advice. In talking with store owners and trying to get PFS up and running, a number try to get me to run my sessions on Wednesday. As most of you know, that's D&D organized game night.

On one hand, it's good to have a PFS presence where a lot of RPGamers can see it and find out more. On the other hand, some players may want to join my PFS sessions, but are already committed to their D&D Wednesday nights. (Which I've already have had come up)

What is your experience? If you're getting trying to get a new, regular PFS going at a store where it has not had a precense, is it best to do Wednesdays where other RP'er might see and get curious about what you're doing, or another day of the week where it wouldn't clash? As a side note, I would be doing weeks, if not a month, of advertising on the web and in the store before the event, as well.

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