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Gold Dragon

Jason S's page

RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,636 posts (2,662 including aliases). 123 reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 16 Pathfinder Society characters.

I'd really like to see a "Go Fish" product for Pathfinder. I think it would be really useful for teaching young kids the monsters of Pathfinder and allowing them to visualize them when playing.

It's also a soft gateway into the game.

Seems like Paizo produces a lot of card decks every year and this seems like a really fun and basic one to do. And good for us parents who want our kids to like RPGs.

Just an idea.

Sounds really interesting.

How should we play this in OP? If I attain it, can I permanently raise a mental stat?

Also, if my friends were exclusively playing with the same box, we could remove it from the game box, but we play at a store so that's not an option.

Maybe it doesn't matter since we're almost already maxed out on all of our stats?

I didn't know how to handle it, so I just drew another item from the box. Since we're playing the variation where we removed all boons/banes lower than (tier - 2), would be nice to know since we'll definitely encounter this boon again.

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Characters: Agna and CD Kyra.

We completed adventure 3 and have the following feedback.

1) I really liked the story text. Good job! The names were initially a little confusing but it was great writing. More on this later.

2) "Things" are starting to get "real" in AD3. By that I mean that although we were successful, we were *barely* successful (ended with 10 blessings many times with only 2 players!). And we had some close calls with health. I think this AD will challenge a lot of players (including my 4 player group).

3) Although AD2 was punishing to large groups, I still noticed various mechanics that punished big groups in AD 3. Big groups are already punishing enough?

4) The Shadow Demon servitor demon was a complete non-factor in this adventure. There were so few abyssal locations, his main power of cold damage was ignored, so he was basically a combat 20 creature. While that's tough, we found the Blood Demons in the previous AD much more challenging.

5) I really like the cohorts and the story that went with them. Mechanically they were useful as well.

6) I used my Paizo t-shirt reroll for the first time in 25 scenarios and I needed to use it in each and every scenario. The increased difficulty combined with "high stakes" made it necessary. My partner didn't have rerolls, but I was exploring a lot more than she was.

7) Nice custom art (I assume) on the cards.

8) In general we had a lot of fun with this adventure.

Now for a review of the scenario. We finished with 12 blessings but weren't close to dying.

Grimslakes.... ugh. The Grimslake CON check is worse than the combat check! These things were fairly deadly and made me glad I picked Mythic Guardian instead of Marshall (used by D20 when we were out of blessings). I made all the Grimslake checks (thankfully!). I also liked the villain.

Just an informal poll to see if anyone thought they wouldn't like a character, tried it... and actually liked it.

Or vice versa, thought they would like a character then didn't.

I thought I wasn't going to like any wizards but surprisingly... I like Radillo. I like how she can cycle through her spells and allies and how you need to be intelligent

I thought I would like Lem, but surprisingly... I don't. Will try some more, but I'm fairly certain.

”Thoughts on Wrath in General”:

Wrath is different from the other sets, so to be successful you’re going to have to throw out some of your old ways of thinking.

You’ll want to stack skill feats on your primary combat stat as soon as possible. The combat checks are just too high and intense to do anything else. You cannot afford to “spread out your stats”. Combat is prevalent and intense in Wrath.

Spell immunities weren’t really an issue in the games I played. I saw immunity to electricity and poison a little, but even that wasn’t common. If you were careful with your spell selection (and exploration), you should be fine (our sorceress never lost her hand).

You will need armor. Armor is something you didn’t want in your hand in other sets, in Wrath you want it. If your hand size is 6 or more, you need 2+ cards that will absorb a hand wipe for you. The first card feat most of us got was armor. This includes my ranger, bard, cleric, and even a sorceress. Yes, it was surprising. With a hand size of 6, I don’t feel comfortable playing without armor. Without armor, the reality of death becomes very real.

When I say armor, I’m talking about the kind of armor that can reduce all damage to 0, not just a few points. I include Mirror Image in that list as well, which can be your “second armor” card.

Weapons. You’ll be surprised to note that casters who had a decent Str or Dex often got a backup weapon (card feat) or had something traded to them during the game. Just in case. With a few blessings, this actually worked out well for us. Yes it’s non-optimal (and eats a spot in your hand), but it can help prevent hand wipes.

Healers… you need them, or you need some (good) form of healing. You take more “before and after combat” damage in Wrath and you need something to keep pace with that and the cards you burn from fast exploration. To support a party of 4 you need a minimum of 3 cure spells (collectively on characters), more is desirable. Clerics are very good for this since they start with 3. My bard, who started with 1, could barely support himself.

I feel some of the basic monsters (Carrion Golem) and barriers (Demonic Horde, Arboreal Blight), are very tough. Once you add in AD1 and AD2, you will see these cards much less and the monsters might have higher difficulties, but are more reasonable (you need to make an Arcane/Divine check to use spells).

Especially with AD1, the temptation barriers are more like loot piñatas and you actually look forward to “facing” them. :) It’s not until AD2 that you will fear barriers again.

So the sooner you can start playing AD1 the better. Also the rewards in AD1 are substantial and will make things easier. Mythic charges make everything even easier.

”Thoughts on Wrath OP”:

First of all, I really liked it. The forums had me a little scared of Wrath but all in all I found it really balanced, fun, and challenging. I played 13 sessions and was successful in all 13 (although 2-3 matches did come down to the final 1-2 turns, 1 match down to the last die roll). No deaths. My close matches were caused because of extreme bad luck or non-optimal play.

I played 1-1A successfully with Valeros and no healer, and the other player had barely played PFCG before, so it’s not like you need to be expert.

I saw a guy complete Adventure 1 with Wu Shen, one of the last characters I’d expect to see, yet it was possible. He told me it wasn’t too bad at all (when I asked him about poison immunity).

I thought Adventures 1 and 2 were fair, not too hard, and I felt like we had plenty of boons to keep pace with the AP itself.

I know some class decks have lots of items in their deck and the items in general aren’t very good. The loot cards in Wrath will help in that regard and are desirable.

Most of my experience was with a party size of 3, which I believe was optimal. I believe that party sizes of 6 will have a lot of problems, especially with threats that require everyone to make a check (and all checks need to be successful). Part of the fun is that extra challenge, but just be aware of it.

I can see the scenario challenge level beginning to increase in AD2. It was still reasonable.

I’m very interested in continuing play in AD3+.

All in all, Wrath has been a great experience and I’ll be purchasing it in the near future. The concerns about my character dying or it being too hard were greatly exaggerated. Finally we have something that is challenging.

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I was just curious what people have seen, on average, with convention play for OP. (APCG developers can feel free to post anonymously on their alts :) ) Yes, this is probably colored by the players that attended, but nevertheless I’m just interested in what you’ve seen.

How many players did you have at your table? Did you ever have a solo or 2 player table? How often did you have a 6 player table?

What level was the player skill? Better than expected? Less than you expected?

Did anyone roleplay? :)

Did anyone at the table misunderstand a rule and then have it corrected by playing OP? (I think this is one of the greatest benefits of OP).

Were players teamwork orientated and did players discuss choices (at critical points) or did everyone "do their own thing"? Did players ask for blessings at critical points (or where they were in trouble) or did they just roll and fail without asking for help?

Did players try to work as a group or did some players "go rogue" and start exploring locations that benefitted them in terms of boons (but perhaps they couldn’t close the location)?

Did you ever have time to harvest locations for loot (by not closing a location on purpose)?

Were there any characters archetypes that were played more than others? Were Seoni and Kyra really common? :) Were any class decks more common than others? Were any class decks rarely seen?

Were healers frequent or were people flexible enough someone would play one if no one else was playing support? Were there ever too many support characters at a table? Did you ever play in a group with no support characters (and were you successful)?

I imagine players are very flexible with what characters they play in adventures 1+2, but in adventures 4+ do the trends in the paragraph above still hold true?

I'll be responding with my thoughts after Origins, which will be my first official session with OP with strangers.

Was there anything else you were surprised by?

Just curious. Please don’t take this post too seriously. Thanks.

Although I'm going to Origins soon... I'm jealous! Have fun everyone.

I have a group of friends that just started the RoR campaign.

The general consensus on the forums seems to be:
1) RoR is fairly easy and;
2) There are some overpowered cards in the campaign.

So my question is, do you think it would be more fun to play RoR if we removed these OP cards from the set?

Here's a list of potential cards to remove: Holy Candle, Haste, Restoration. Are there more?

Thanks for your input.

A number of monsters and henchmen do damage to you before and after combat and the damage type isn't specified. Is that damage combat or non-combat damage?

For example:

1) Enchantress (monster): Does 1 damage before the encounter and 1 damage after the encounter.

2) Blackfang (villain): Does damage before the encounter if you fail a check.

3) Poison trap (henchman): Does damage to all characters at the location if undefeated.

Is the damage assumed to be combat damage if it comes from a monster/henchman/villain? Or is the assumption that it's non-combat damage unless you fail the main check to defeat the bane?

Has anyone found a way to incorporate the Church of Asmodeus or the Acadamae into the AP?

To me, it seems really unlikely that either of these organizations would sit on the sidelines during the battle of Korvosa.

I read that some GMs ran "Academy of Secrets", but I find it ... strange that the party would take part in the Breaching Festival, especially since they're wanted by both the ___ and ___ at level 13. Or they're right in the middle of the battle for Korvosa. Doesn't seem the right time to enter a dangerous (and famous) contest.

Is there another use of Academy of Secrets besides running The Breaching? (For example a map of the Academae with major NPCs?).

CotCT is an unusual campaign in the sense that it’s an urban sandbox and there are many ways to approach problems and many decisions to be made.

I think it would be fun if we shared some of the unusual decisions that the PCs made during this campaign.
“Did your PCs do anything unexpected?”
“Did your PCs do anything to drive the campaign slightly off the rails?”

For example:

1) Not returning the broach to the Queen.
2) Attacking the Queen and Sabina in Edge of Anarchy.
3) Making friends with enemies. Ex. I read that some PCs became friends with Vancaskerin.
4) Killing Laori or Shadowcount Sial or rejecting their help
5) Killing an ally (Vencarlo, Neolandus) or an innocent (Trinia, Salvator Scream)
6) Rejecting Blackjack and his help
7) No PCs wanting to take up the Blackjack persona
8) I think someone mentioned their party left Korvosa altogether once they started book #2
9) Make a pact with the Arkonas
10) Become bad guys (join forces with the Queen)
11) Fighting (or using stealth, deception or magic) against the Shoanti in book #4
12) Etc

Let’s hear your stories.

Thought it would be terrible and cheesy (especially after episode 1), but I've grown fond if it. Better than expected.

It's no "Supernatural", "Game of Thrones" or "Walking Dead", but it's decent light entertainment. If you consider people's eyes going white, them dying, and then their eyes exploding in a burst of green gas "light". lol.

I made the following stats for a typical soldier in the Hellknight Order of the Nail.

I made the Hellknight soldier based on the Hellknight prestige class (from The Inner Sea World Guide), the Guide to Korvosa (which has Hellknights listed as level 4 fighters), the elite array, and my rules for prestige classes (basically I allow them much sooner than normal, as long as the prerequisites are fulfilled asap).

So here it is.

Hellknight (Order of the Nail) CR3
Male/female human hellknight 3; fighter 1
LN Medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception -1
AC 20, touch 11, flat-footed 19
(+9 armor, +1 Dex)
hp 33 (4d10+7) (Max= 47)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +0; +2 vs compulsion
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk greatsword +8 (2d6+12/19–20)
Special Attacks smite chaos 1/day (+2 attack and AC, +3 damage)
Hellknight Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +5)
At will—detect chaos
discern lies (5 times per day)
During Combat The Hellknights focus their melee attacks on one opponent until he is defeated.
Str 18, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 14
Base Atk +4; CMB +8; CMD 19
Feats Dazzling Display, Gory Finish, Power Attack, Weapon Focus
Skills Intimidate +9, Knowledge (local) +4, Knowledge (planes) +5, Linguistics +1, Perception +3, Ride +5, Sense Motive +3, Survival +3
Languages Common, Infernal
SQ aura of law, hellknight armor, force of will (compulsion), order of the nail
Combat Gear holy water; Other Gear Hellknight armor, masterwork greatsword, 25 gp
Onslaught: Once per day as a free action, a Hellknight's base speed is increased by +10 feet and gains a +4 bonus to Strength for 1 round per Hellknight level.
Gory Finish: If you use an attack action (standard action) to make an attack and the attack reduces your target to 0 hp or less, make a free intimidate check for everyone in 30' to demoralize.


Does the following sentence apply to only season 0-3 (where the quote was taken), or does it also apply to season 4 and 5?

In the fringe case where there are no players that are high enough to have reached the subtier level (such as a party of six 3rd level characters), the group may decide to play down to the lower subtier.

It would seem to me that if you have six PC of 3rd level that you wouldn't want to force them to play up to subtier 4-5, no matter which season it was.

Clarification please.



I have a team of 5 players on Thursday night that are going into Bonekeep part 1 subtier 3-4 with the intention of doing freaking awesome!

I'm looking for 1 other player. Your PC can be basically any role (healer, caster, reach weapon, or ranged DPR preferred), as long as your system knowledge and PC are better than average/good, and you're somewhat prepared with consumables.

Send me details of your PC and yourself on this thread or through private message.

About us: We'll be roleplaying a little but not enough to distract from completing the mission.

Thanks, good luck, and hope everyone has fun at Gencon!

PS. Unfortunately we're full for Saturday night's part 2.

If other groups want to organize premades for Bonekeep on this thread, go ahead.

GMs: How do you handle PCs who break the law and beat guards?

This is a basic but standard question: What do you do when a PC commits crimes and then beats up/kills guards that try to arrest him?

The campaign is Curse of the Crimson Throne and in book #1,

a crazy prophet starts raving at the PCs. (No, the riots have not started yet and the PCs are level 2 and outside the fishery). Khaine (the PC), beats a crazy dude up and takes his money.

(I don't have my source book here), but in Korvosa, I believe armed robbery comes with a long sentence (5+ years) and they cut your hands off (unless you pay a tax).

Khaine didn't try to cover his tracks or do anything to conceal himself or what he did. And now, at the Fishery, I figure there's enough time for the guard to respond. Typical guard patrol is four (level 2) guards and one (level 4+) captain. There's a good chance that he's just going to beat/kill them as well, and the party is probably going to help.

So what's the recourse at low levels? At this level, I could beat them down with multiple guard patrols, but the campaign effectively ends if that happens. I could punish just the offending PC, if the other PCs don't help. The PC *could* be pardoned at a later date, but he has to survive first (without killing guards).

Just curious as to how you think I should play this out:
1) Should I just beat them up with 2+ groups of guards at level 2? What do I do after they're arrested? It sounds like the end of the campaign. If the campaign ends (because one PC wanted to shut some annoying guy up), dozens of hours of work have been wasted for me.
2) Should I ignore it and let him get away with robbing the crazy dude?
3) Allow him to beat guards with no further recourse?
4) GM fiat Khaine to court (saying that the forces against him are too powerful and he gets captured)?
5) GM lightning bolt to the head? :)
6) Have the "big guns" come out (Sable Company or other well known NPCs)?
7) Talk to the player about being evil.
8) Something else.

And while we're discussing PC and crimes, what happens when the PCs get to a higher level and they commit crimes? When the PCs become level 6+, level 2 guards have no chance against them. Are the PCs just exempt from all laws at level 6+ (because they can't be enforced)? And if not, who is going to stop them? Do I have to bring out the big guys in the city (headmaster of the Academae, head cleric of Abadar, Sabbina, Blackjack)? Something else?

Added spoiler tags --Jessica


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Scott Young wrote:
The idea of allowing 3 high subtier players force 2 lower subtier players to play up based on "majority rules" is ridiculous.

I thought this idea should be moved to its own thread. It was moved from this thread.

What some GMs are proposing is that it's OK for the GM to bully the table to play down, even if the majority of players want to play up.

My opinion is that persuasion is OK, forcing is not.

The main problem with forcing your players is that without the majority of players, you possibly don't have a table to run. Also, bullying in any format is s%~#ty, even though not everyone has the spine to reject it (and walk from the table in this case).

If you're the minority, whether your table is playing up or down, you always have the choice to walk. No one made the lower subtier players stay there, they chose to stay there (and possible gain greater rewards). And when someone has a high level PC in a lower subtier scenario, nothing is stopping them from walking either, based on the majority decision. I think that's fair.

On playing up:

Not to derail my own thread, but there are a lot of factors that should go into a group's decision to play up or down.

I've played up in a few season 4 scenarios now and we've destroyed the scenario where others have failed. I've also played down. It just depends and shouldn't be left to the GM to decide. The players know what their PCs can do (and if they don't they should play down).

If your proposal were a standardized rule, all it means is that "walking" would be much more common (since most GMs currently let the players resolve it). When the majority of the table walks and ceases to exist, it will then reform with the subtier that the majority desires. Or not. Either way, not good for PFS imo.

I'm thankful that I haven't had to put up with these shenanigans myself. (Although it helps to have PCs in most subtiers).


1) Can we play part 2 without playing part 1?

2) Are "excellent rewards" only available if we complete both parts?

3) Will it be deadlier than the “Temple of EE” at subtier 1-2? Will it be as deadly as last year’s special event part 2?

4) Are the rewards similar to last year's special event part 2?

I noticed that Kyle isn't GMing Bonekeep. Was his blood thirst satiated by last year's special? :)

Thanks ahead of time.

PS. That was a fast response.

In your experience, what has been the most best way to start an AP? What worked? What was awesome? What crashed and burned? What would you avoid?

I'd like to get your input first before looking at my suggestions, but here they are just so we're discussing the same topic.

For example:

I'm about to start the "Curse of the Crimson Throne" AP and I was wondering what the best way to start it was.

I've brainstormed the following options (and drawbacks to them):

1) The GM jumps right into the action of the AP (starting with the opening box text, very similar to how you would start a scenario in PFS).

Drawback: Player's always like to get right into the action, but action without context is boring to me. Still, I think this is how most GMs start APs, and it's how I was going to start (after some brief character and city introductions).

2) Do you let the players talk about their PCs for a few minutes before starting the campaign? If so, are there any methods you can use to make players divulge more information than "elven wizard"?

Drawback: Most players are terrible at describing their PC in any meaningful way, and this can bore players. Also, some players want their PCs to develop organically and have nothing to say at all. Still, at least a brief description seems essential. I feel there should be a better way to describe a character than this.

3) Instead of the players describing the PC, maybe something interactive should happen? For example, the GM could have a decision for the PC to make, inconsequential or not, that would help describe the PC.

Drawback: Could feel contrived and players might not be into it. Could slow down the first session. Could even lead to a TPK or ending the campaign before it starts (with stupid decisions).

4) The GM starts off the campaign with a description of the area/city (Korvosa), and major factions in town.

Drawback: May bore players and slow down session. The city can be described in pieces between the action.

5) Run a mini-adventure (1-2 hours) to prelude the entire campaign. (For example, maybe a converted adventure from Dungeon magazine). This session would basically "set the scene" without starting the campaign.

Drawback: This can only be done is everyone picks the same background and already knows each other. Also, while I love this idea, especially to have one PC introduced to another, it can backfire for a number of reasons.

Opinions from both GMs and players are welcome.

Grand Lodge

I've read some other cheating threads, but I didn't find any answers that I found suitable with this particular problem.

So I have a player that cheats. Currently, he cheats in the following ways:

1) He uses his Ninja Ki power more times per day than he can use.

2) He uses his sneak attack against concealed targets (when I forget), even though he should know the rules (he's been reminded many times before).

3) He even tries to do full attacks each and every round, even when moving more than 5'. I'm not sure if he's being unintentionally dense, but it's strange that someone with a PHD can't understand a basic concept like this after years.

Basically, if I forget some limitation or a rule (and it benefits him), he'll just play with everything to his advantage. He has done this for... 20 years.

In the past, he's also cheated on dice rolls and other things, although he hasn't done that lately (according to the other players).

I think the typical answer would be "kick him out of your game" and I'd do that, but he's one of my best friends (and is otherwise a fun person to be around).

However, it really *&^*(^ annoys me when he cheats on something as obvious as his Ki powers and I hate babysitting him and auditing everything he does. It's distracting.

So I'm asking if anyone else has had this problem and resolved it in a good way? Any advice is appreciated. We started RPGing about 2 years ago after a 10 year hiatus, and this is really bothering me. I hate cheating!

So my PFS 1/2 orc 2H fighter is 9th level and I'm just about to upgrade my falchion to +3 (mainly to bypass silver and cold iron DR). After that, I'm in the home stetch before level 12 and I thought I'd plan out what I'm going to purchase.

I'll have about 62 000 gold to work with. These are the things I was considering. The order matters too (for example, determination could save me a raise dead bill).

- Armor enchantment - Determination (30K): When I go below 0 hp, it automatically heals me with Breath of Life at CL 10 (about 33 hp). I like this because it saves money for Raise Dead and keep me in the fight.

- Armor enchantment - Energy Resistance - Fire 10 (18K): Fire resistance is very important imo and common. I like the armor enchantment better because it doesn't use a slot.

- Belt of Strength +4 (12K upgrade): No explanation needed. Not as good as I would hope, since being Enlarged gets me to the next even strength increment (so the belt only adds +1 hit/damage).

- Shirt of Drinking? (5K): Some shirt in Ultimate Equipment that allows you to consume a potion as a swift action. I would probably use this with Enlarge Person (if I wasn't pre buffed). Enlarge is practically a requirement at high levels for melee.

- Ioun Stone - +2 Constituation (8K): Better Fort saves, more hp, I like surviving.

- Ioun Stone - +1 hit (4K): +1 hit

- Duelling Gloves (15K): +2 hit and damage, +4 CMD vs disarm and sunder.

- Ring of Ferocious Action (orc only, 3K): Ring usuable by orcs that can allow them to ignore the staggered condition several times per day.

So 95K worth of stuff I'd like and only 63K of cash. It's a problem.

Things that I already have (going by memory only): Handy Haversack, +2 full plate, +1 ring of prot, +1 amulet of nat armor, +2 cloak resistance, boots of flying, belt of str +2, Falchion +2.

Maybe there are also some things I didn't think about (especially in Ultimate Equipment because I don't own it)? Maybe I should upgrade my defense items again because defense is increasingly important for melee?

Anyway, just brainstorming, please feel free to express your opinion.

My group is playing Pathfinder Society right now but I think we've gained enough critical mass (and players) that I could run an AP. Also, some of my players tell me they like PFS, but they'd prefer an AP, so I'm entertaining the idea.

About my group: We play only once every 4-6 weeks and my group size fluctuates between 3-7 players (with the rare last minute cancelation). In past campaigns (different players 20 years ago), I find that players don't remember important details when there's that much time between sessions (especially if they miss a session). For example, I asked one of my (current) players "what is your favorite scenario?", and she said it was awesome but couldn't remember exactly what happened (the session was only 4 months ago). This leads me to believe stateless gaming is the way to go.

Also, when you have fluctuating players, if you bother to write custom storylines, if that player misses the session it either stops the campaign or you all of the work you did is wasted.

I find that AP are much more work for the GM up front (compared to scenarios) and that if the campaign fizzles, the GM has lost dozens of hours of work for nothing. With scenarios I've only spent a few hours, and I can just run the scenario at a convention, no loss.

My philosophy is that I'd rather play once per month with whoever is available, rather than once every 2-3 months with everyone.

If key players are missing or not enough people can attend, we'd play PFS.

Am I crazy to entertain the idea of starting an AP? Can this work or am I just dooming myself to wasting dozens of hours of recreational time better spent doing something else? I need a second opinion on this.

Silver Crusade


I feel that one of my players committed a slightly evil action this weekend and I'd just like to confirm (mostly for him), that it was an evil action.

He says his PC is CG. I say he's definitely not good, maybe CN or Neutral.

We're sent into a dungeon where we have to negotiate (or wipe out) a group a goblins. They've been attacking our merchant caravans. The goblins are intelligent and "cultured".

We encounter and beat the son of the "King". I had no problem with the group killing the downed son (in the heat of the moment, even as a 'good' PC), but instead he choose to do the following.

We captured the son, carried him to the King, and then we he didn't like how the negotiation was going, he slit the son's neck and threw him violently in a heap on the ground.

Was that evil? I think it was slightly evil, and just because it was a goblin doesn't justify the complete lack of respect for sentient life and the cruelty involved. I know it wasn't good. What do you think?



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It's been my experience that not much (player-based) roleplaying (or what I would call good quality roleplaying) occurs during PFS sessions at conventions. Yes, most GMs roleplay, but what about players?

Before someone points out that their table / players are the exception, yes, you're going to have some odd tables / regions where there's lots of roleplay, but I haven't seen those players yet. During a convention, 7 tables, I'm lucky if I run into one awesome non-GM roleplayer, who actually tries.

Regarding PC optimization:
Btw, please do not bring PC optimization into this thread. The awesome roleplayers that I've seen have sometimes had very optimized PCs. The two qualities are completely unrelated, having a poorly built PC doesn't make you a better roleplayer.

Anyway, I there is a low amount of PFS roleplay for a number of reasons:

1) Strangers: I think it's uncomfortable to roleplay with strangers, compared to the comfort of your home/store with friends.

2) Time limitations: A lot of people say PFS time limitations limit the amount of roleplaying. I agree when it comes to self-indulgent frivolous roleplay/banter, but how does it take more time when you respond (to an in-game question) in a different voice/manner than your own? How does it take more time if you make decisions based on your PC, not yourself? I don't think it does.

3) Metagaming: Sometimes, it's really hard to perform actions that are obviously harmful to yourself or your team, if it's something the PC would do but you the player, would not. It's really hard to determine whether one bad action could lead to a TPK, sometimes it doesn't take much.

4) Combat orientated scenarios: Lots of the scenarios are combat orientated, not roleplay orientated, and/or most of the roleplay can be solved through simple skill checks (and GMs don't require their players to speak).

5) GMs: A lot of GMs expect you to be able to speak as well as your PC, so when you do speak at conventions, it's more likely a GM will slap a negative modifier on your roll than a positive modifier (or not allowing a roll at all!), further reducing the desire to roleplay. Only rarely have I seen a positive (roleplay) modifier applied to a PC. It's much easier to say "Bluff!" and roll, than actually saying something and have your GM not like your response, but it's not as fun. It's a lot safer just rolling if you have the skill.

6) Other Players: Not everyone likes to roleplay. At my last convention, there was some time to kill before the session started, so I started to roleplay with another player. It was just starting to get funny / good, when another player said "Hey guys, can you stop that, you're starting to freak me out.". Nice guy, likeable guy, but he didn't like roleplaying. Of course, that totally broke emersion and I never did roleplaying on that level again in the session. That's not the first time that's happenned (and no I'm not a freak). This is probably what prompted me to write this thread.

Those are my observations, what are yours? Do you agree or is your Gencon and convention experience totally different than mine?

Gencon GMs, how much roleplaying do your players do? This is obviously very subjective (and probably depends on how much roleplaying YOU like to do) but I'd like to know.

Also, I have a few questions for those who like to roleplay:

1) Do you consider part of roleplaying:
A) Using a different voice or mannerism compared to normal?
B) Sometimes making non-optimal (bad) decisions based on "what your PC would do" (or his limitations, like 7 Int)?

2) Do you find you roleplay less at conventions compared to home play? If so, why?

3) How do you think we can improve the level of roleplay at home games? Should players who don't roleplay just be left alone?

4) How do you think we can improve the level of roleplay at conventions? Or should we just leave the roleplaying to the GM, if he even does that?

Thanks for your responses. Oh, and Take 10, evil PCs, Paladins, 7 player tables, Animal Handling, and of course Play Play Play. :)


I've having a problem reporting the players who played a PFS scenario this Saturday. The event is labeled "Sergio - Rescue".

When I go to report, I see the spot where you select the scenario and the GM ID, but it flashes and then it's gone and a blank section is in its place.

If I add the players who played, it won't let me save (probably because I never filled out the GM section). So I can't report.

If you have any additional questions, PM me.




This is the discussion thread for the Pathfinder Society Community Survey.

First of all, thanks Painlord for taking the initiative for making the survey. While the survey might not 100% accurately represent the PFS community (which I don't even think would be possible/realistic anyway), it will represent the active forum communities opinion, and shed light on what we want in PFS in general. So thank you.

How important is it to you that the Pathfinder Society Organized Play have a strong, interesting, immersive storyline told through the scenarios?

That question is a bit ambiguous. Do you mean strong storylines WITHIN a scenario, or strong meta storylines that occur over an entire season or campaign arc? I interpreted it as meaning #2.

Do you wish your characters had more involvement/impact in the overall storyline?

The impact your PC has on the "overall storyline" is meaningless unless there are meaningful decisions to be made. For example, your party captures a main leader of the Shadow Lodge (or the PC killer in Dalsine Affair). Does the party:

1) Kill him.
2) Bring him to justice for his crimes (in Absalom).
3) Bring him to the Decemvirate for interogation and for other unknown reasons.
4) Take a bribe from him and release him, for increased scenario gold. (Probably a popular choice, which is hilarious).
5) Let him escape for various reasons (Shadow Lodge agent, feel pity for him, hate Decemvirate, understand his plight, TPK, mistakes, etc).

You see, those are meaningful decisions! And each decision might have a dramatically different impact on the world or further scenarios. Decisions like these might even DRIVE further scenarios to be created.

Right now, how do we really affect the world? Sure, we all play the scenario, but we basically do the same thing. So Paizo knows that 10 groups completed scenario X and 1000 groups played scenario Y. How does that affect the storyline? It doesn't, even if we captured information, because there are no meaningful decisions being made.

The only thing we know right now, are how many PCs of a certain faction have played a certain scenario and their success in that scenario. While that's moderately interesting, I don't think it's interesting enough to change the campaign metaplot. Paizo probably agrees because the winner of the faction race wasn't even revealed until season 3. And even then, the winner of the faction race was kind of meaningless anyway (and no real statistics or interesting demographics were given either (although we know by word of mouth that a lot of Finnish players choose Cheliax and most US players choose Andoran.).

If Paizo does decide to track meaningful decisions or events in their metaplot, these decisions would need to be captured via survey, from a GM. Ideally it would happen when reporting a scenario, but that system is already complex enough (it would be difficult to code, maintain and customize), it would cost Paizo too much money and time. It just doesn't make time/money sense. But surveys make sense, especially if you can only key in Pathfinder IDs a single time and track who is actually performing the data entry.

So my answer is "yes", I would like to make an impact on Golarion, but the only way to have it drive the storyline is that the decisions the PCs make is meaningful.

Also, please note that the season 3 overall campaign storyline is being driven by their product releases.

This map pack actually looks a lot better than its preview, so I'm a happy subscriber. I can see it being used from time to time.


I guess I'm having the same problem as other people have had in the past. I have a core group of 3-4 players who make almost every session. And then I have a few other players that drop in on occasion and are 2 levels below everyone else.

Once my core gets to level 5 and 6, I'll be unable to run tier 5-9 scenarios without excluding the casuals. At level 7 they'll be forced to play down to subtier 5-6.

I wish there was a (good and fair) way to have a level 4 character play at subtier 5-6. It would make event planning a lot easier.

The only solutions I have think of are:
1) Have the core make new level 1 PCs to level up the casuals. Problem with this is I think the core want to continue on with their current PCs, and there's the possibility for long hiatus for casuals. In other words, it could be pointless.

2) Once the core gets to level 6 and 7, we play subtier 3-7 (or 1-7) exclusively, so everyone can play (except level 1-2 PCs).

3) Maybe recruit more non-casual players and make the casual players sit when we're at 6 players?

Any other ideas? Has anyone else been in this position?

Can anyone tell me what strategies worked and what didn't work?

I can see my core getting to level 7 (and maybe beyond, I think they're coming to Gencon with me this year) and we'll be stuck with 3 PCs at level 7/8 and everyone else at level 3-4. Doh! I don't really want that, since I feel the high levels are the most interesting, and they'd be forced to finish things off with only 3 PCs (which would be dangerous). Not only that, we'd exclude all other players for at least 6 months, which isn't going to happen.

I tried to search for the answer to this question but I couldn't find it.

When you successfully disarm an opponent (using the combat maneuver), the weapon falls to the ground at the opponents feet (if you use a weapon to disarm).

If my PC disarms the opponent with a standard action, can he then reach into the opponent's space and pick his weapon up (assuming he has a free hand or drops his weapon) on the same round (but provoking an AoO on picking the weapon up)?

One of my PCs thinks he can do that, but it seems a little too powerful. I think the intent of the combat maneuver was to deny the opponent the ability of a full attack round while also provoking an AoO from all opponents when picking the weapon up.

Thanks for your thoughts.


When there is faction mission friction, should the GM intervene out-of-game or should the GM provide adequate information to figure out the difference and just let the PCs argue it out?

An example of GM intervention might be to:
A) Remind the players that you should never get conflicting faction missions.

B) Clarifying one of the faction missions to help a player who misunderstands.

For example, two factions want the same item (for their faction mission) and one faction is mistaken (which might not be their fault since the description was vague).

What do experienced GMs find works best? Let the players argue and work it out themselves (even though it could devolve into anger and wanting PVP)? Or resolve it by the GM providing out-of-game explanations (to keep the peace)? Or some other solution?

Stories and experience are welcome.


First of all, I really enjoyed reading this scenario and think it could be a lot of fun. I enjoyed the open-endedness of the roleplaying opportunities with the goblins and other NPCs, both contained in the scenario and created in my imagination.

Having said that, I think the quality of the scenario is highly dependent on the GM (and the GMs preparation). I think Frostfur is one of those scenarios that is similar to MotTMermaid, in that the quality of the scenario is based purely on the "fluff" that the GM provides. Hopefully I can do it justice.

Also, the faction missions are well done, didn't feel like they were added on at the last second, potentially have out-of-the-box solutions, and aren't hand fed to you.

Before talking about what fluff changes and roleplaying moments I've created with the gobbos, I'd like to go over problem areas (that I foresee).

Problems and Concerns :

1) Ferry: In Harvest's End, there was one solution that was missing, and to me it's the most obvious. At night, when everyone is sleeping, why couldn't the PCs hijack the ferry and get across the Rimeflow River? Sure, it would create "an incident", but it would be a much better solution compared to killing Rimetusk imo.

Is there any reason this wouldn't work? Isn't a medieval ferry just a large raft with a long pole to push them across? If not, what does it look like and what skills are needed to make it operate?

2) Goblin Package: What's stopping the PCs from knocking out the goblins (with nonlethal damage), tying them up and having the Fighter/Barbarian just carry them to Trollheim (besides being cruel)? Goblins only weigh 40 pounds each, so encumbrance is certainly not stopping them. They only really need to be able to strap the goblins onto a large porter's backpack.

I can't see any reason why this wouldn't work, however I think it would spoil a lot of the fun of the scenario.

3) Slow Travel: Are there any penalties for travelling extra slow in this scenario? For example, if the party is foraging, is heavily encumbered, etc? What would you suggest?

4) Faction Missions: Some reviewers mentioned that there were conflicts with the factions missions. Can anyone please describe them? The only conflict I can see is with the Grand Lodge and the rest of the group, but I think that's conflict in a good way.

Or is the reviewer talking about the potential conflict between Taldor and Cheliax, because one of the two doesn't understand the faction mission correctly?

All in all, I think this is going to be a great scenario. Any feedback from GMs who have run it would be welcome. I heard there was some negative feedback from Gen Con?


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Whatever upgrade you did, I'm now missing some sessions from my first character "Damian Coldshadows".

I should have 6 sessions (5 sessions had XP), but I only have the 2 most recent sessions. Yes the old sessions were there before.

If you'd like further information, email me directly.




Hello fellow GMs,

I was wondering if I could get everyone's thoughts on how to pace a PF scenario well, what the standard pacing should be (and how to track it), and how to get things moving back on track if you're late.

I think starting the session quickly is the most important thing, to get and keep momentum. However, many things conspire against this. For example, your gaming sessions starts at 9am. You know how it is... mustering, people arriving at your table late (home or convention game), players fumbling around. Maybe the table is technically read by 9:15am? When do you actually start the session? When do you feel the mission speech section should be complete? How do you speed up the answer / question part of that (or do you bother)? How do you control item purchases (5 minutes tops?)?

For home games, what do people feel is the best way to start the game? When you give a start time, is that the time you actually start or do you start 30 minutes after? What about late comers? And chronic late comers?

And then of course there's the middle section. Do you work out beforehand that the final encounter needs X amount of time? And then look at your watch?

Personally, I run rich games (and I like to talk a lot as GM), which is good immersion / roleplay, but things tend to run longer. So the question (for immersion GMs) is "What should we speed up?" (if anything).

PS. Also, how do you handle players that have to leave early? What if they technically do 3 of the encounters but aren't there for the final encounter? What if they don't complete a faction mission but someone at the table (of the same faction) completes it for them?


I have some questions regarding the Classic PF Scenarios run at Gencon 2011.

1) How is the quality of storytelling and DMing compared to more "prepared" scenarios? The same (as a prepared scenario), slightly worse, or horrible (long delays while playing while DM reads scenario and/or major mistakes made that result in a TPK)?

2) How does it work in practice? If I sign up to one of these sessions, what are the chances you can request a scenario and everyone will be ok with it? (I'm talking "in general", it's obviously going to vary). Does everyone who signs up have a request and a lot of compromising has to be done?

Basically, I'm trying to figure out if I should be playing the "Shades of Ice" series or whether I should be doing some classics, classics that I'll be DMing for my home players in the near future. I'd rather play some of these scenarios first before I read them, for the fun value.

I'm DMing Throaty Mermaid in 2 weeks, and part of me wishes I had the chance to play it first. Ah well! I'm sure other DMs have had similar regrets.


One thing that would really help me out when I'm preparing scenarios is that the maps in the scenarios are available in the correct size (25 mm squares) without spoilers in them.

In other words:
- No secret doors or secret rooms
- No markings where creatures should be
- No trap markings
- No text to mark the "big boss room"
- No other spoilers

At Gencon, all of my DMs used the printouts from the PDF, and all of them had spoilers on them. It's pretty hard not to metagame when it says secret room right on the map! And before we enter the room, I know exactly how many opponents are in the room and where they'll be, because it's on the map!

Right now I have to manually edit the spoilers out and enlarge the entire map and then print it out. While it's doable, it's also time consuming and if you have the original maps, it's probably a lot easier for you to take objects away, etc and have the map in the proper size for us.

I hope this is possible to do, even if it isn't in the main PDF, it sure would help.



PS. If any fans have redone maps, maybe you could post the location of your JPGs in the relevant scenario thread.


I'm going to DM at a convention on October 17th and I read that DMs sometimes get scenarios before they are released if they're going to have them for a convention?

Is this true and if so, who do I need to contact and what do I need to do? For this particular convention, which one will I get?

Anyway, please let me know so I can tell the organizers asap. Thanks,



This question mostly affects organized play.

Regarding days jobs, we can use Professions and Crafting skills to make some money while not adventuring. This makes sense.

However, if you are a Cleric (or Druid), isn't your best day job (that involves very low risk) healing people? I'd think that with spells like Remove Disease, Speak with Dead, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Heal skill, and the multitude of other healing spells that not only would it be in high demand, but you'd make a hell of a lot more money from healing than crafting wicker baskets for your day job (even if you were to donate a portion to your church).

I know the "day job" rule was designed to make Profession and Crafting skills more useful, but in the context of a day job, it makes sense to allow healing spells and the Healing skill to generate income since they should be low risk and in high demand. A single Remove Disease earns a whooping 150g, why can't your character (and religion) ever benefit? At a minimum, you'd think that characters could at least use the Heal skill to earn money instead of Profession or Crafting skills. Maybe other skills should also be allowed to earn income as well?

It's something I've been thinking about and I thought it would be interesting to see what other people think.


There are two versions of this event, 1 and 2, on Friday and Saturday nights.

Are these events the same each night or different?

Also, how many of the Paizo designers/writers are either DMing or gaming at Gencon? Just curious...


Hey there,

I've been reading a number of threads lately about people playing Pathfinder games at conventions where the group ends up with a really strange mix of classes.

One game had 4 rogues!, 1 fighter and 1 monk. Another game had 4 clerics and 2 wizards, lol.

Does that happen a lot at conventions? I'm just curious.

For me I don't think it will matter since I'll be heading to Gencon 2009 with characters covering almost everything: cleric, 2 fighters, wizard. I expect conventions to be somewhat like MMOs in the sense that there is a lack of healers.

Anyway, just wanted to see what the majority of people play at conventions and what I can expect regarding class mix. Maybe see if anyone has any stories they can share.


Toronto to Gen Con 2009 – Looking for a trip buddy(ies)

Hey there,

I’ve always wanted to go to Gen Con ever since I was a kid and I’ve decided that this is the year for my first Gen Con!

If possible, I’d like one or more people to share the trip experience. This means sharing the cost for the gas and/or hotel and possibly sharing some driving. Hopefully we get along and can hang out at Gen Con together as well.

The drive to Gen Con Indianapolis is around 10 hours from Toronto. I’d be doing most/all of the driving and we’d take my car (which is new) and very gas efficient (total gas cost should be around $160 which means $80 each with one other person).

I’d also like to get to know some people from the GTA since I’m thinking of starting (or joining) a Pathfinder (D&D 3.75) or 3E game sometime in the late summer or perhaps early fall. I'm a really busy guy so I was thinking once a month, but if I join someone else game I might be able to a little more.

A bit about me, I’m 37, professional, fun to be around and fairly young looking (you be the judge). Besides roleplaying (which I’m getting back into after ditching MMOs), I’m into health and nutrition, running, and some video games.

Anyway, just to be upfront, I’m going to be slightly selective and I’m going to pick people I think I’d get along with (20 hours is a long drive).

Anyway, please let me know if you're interested in Gen Con or an ongoing Pathfinder campaign.


Jason S

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