That's going to produce a whole lot of 18s (and a whole lot of 7s).It's average value (12.5) is two points higher than the 10.5 of 3d6.
The whole point of rolling multiple dice is that it generates a distribution where the extremes turn up far less often than values in the middle of the range. With 3d6, for example, you're only about 4% as likely to roll an 18 as you are to roll a 10.
With 1d6+12, both results are equally likely.
Just played this tonight (and survived by the skin of our teeth).
My wife spotted an error on the chronicle:
The chronicle references the Player Companion "Demon Slayer's Handbook".
Unfortunately, there is no such Player Companion; the actual title is "Demon Hunter's Handbook"
You can craft just about anything you want using only d6.
Basically, you want to keep 3d6, to give you the spread of 3-18.
You can reduce the standard deviation by rolling more dice.
And, finally, you can adjust the mean value by deciding which dice to drop.
For example: you could roll 6d6, and drop the two lowest and one highest.
We have three relevant guidelines/clarifications from campaign staff.
I've got a GM credit baby with 6XP. I've also got an Ifrit race boon. If that had been an Oread, not an Ifrit, I would almost certainly have built a 3rd-level character - I've got a concept I'd like to try out. But I'm sure I earned some of those GM credits prior to receiving the race boon.
No. First Steps is, explicitly, for level 1 characters only. The chronicle shows this, too - it list the subtier as "1", not "1-2".
Unfortunately, that's not always possible.
There are valid reasons for asking players to leave a table (and even to refuse to seat them) - disruptive behaviour, spotlight stealing, outright cheating, and several others. But the fact that you don't happen to like the class in general, or even that particular character build, isn't one of them.
Chris Mortika wrote:
John, are you familiar with these condition markers?
Yeah - in fact I picked up a set on the Golem sale.
But the nice thing about the poker chips is that you get lots of them, so you can mark multiple characters affected by the same condition.
I plan on setting the relevant condition card out with one of the poker chips on it, and putting other chips of the same colour under the affected characters. I might do the same thing for buffs, too.
Chris Mortika wrote:
Oh, and Kinevon, Discount Poker Supply has a great little set on clearance.
I'm not Kinevon, but thanks for the pointer!
I've got a couple of sets on order - I plant to use them as condition markers (and I'm going to substitute a Condition deck for the playing cards).
The play test will go for months, this is a marathon, not a sprint...
It may be months before the book is to be published, but the playtest is scheduled to terminate on December 17th, which is three weeks from now.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I wouldn't say it's good value based purely on production quality - you're clearly paying for nostalgia. A dozen or so dice and eight digest sized pamphlets is hardly worth the price tag based on materials alone.
Back in 1976 those first three pamphlets (plus the reference sheets) cost $10, and the four supplements were $5 each.
That's a total of $30 in 1976, which is about equivalent to an inflation-adjusted price of $125 today. Add $10 for a set of decent-quality dice, and a little extra for a nice box, and it doesn't seem too outrageous.
Eric Sigurd Thorson wrote:
I still own the original copies of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game.
This isn't Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - it's (a reprint of) the original boxed set of Dungeons & Dragons (the first three books), plus four additional supplements.
I still have my original set, plus those four supplements, which I bought back in 1976. AD&D didn't come along until a couple of years later.
Well, it's easy enough to check.In fact all we need to test is whether 1d8 + 1d4 has the same distribution as 2d6.
So - how many ways are there of rolling 1d8 and 1d4?
Of those, exactly one will yield a total of 2.
So, for 1d8+1d4, the probability of rolling a score of 2 is 1/32.
So no, the distribution tables are not the same.
The exact distribution table for 1d8 + 1d6 + 1d4:
One other piece of advice - before play, refresh your memory about what your character can do.
I played an entire scenario recently where I forgot that I'd just picked up an extra spell - one that would have come in handy at least once. I had all my basic numbers (the ones on the front page of the character sheet) right, but I wasn't contributing as much to the party as I really should have been.
I'm sure I'm by no means the only person to have made this kind of mistake - forgetting a spell, or a feat, or a new piece of equipment. So now, when I'm sitting down to run a character that I haven't played for a long time, or one that has just gone up a level, I take a couple of minutes to remind myself about the abilities of the character.
Perhaps not, but there are several constraints.
First of all, how many dice are you rolling? That gives you the minimum score you can get on the dice. You need to add or subtract a constant term in your dice roll to match the minimum score you are trying to obtain.
Secondly, what is the maximum score you want? The sum of the number of sides on the dice, plus or minus the constant term calculated above, must add up to that number.
So if you want to roll four dice, and generate scores in the range 3 - 18, the constant adjustment will be -1, and the total number of sides on those four dice must add up to 19.
That could be 3d5 + 1d4 - 1, 2d6 + 1d4 + 1d3 - 1, or a whole lot of other choices.
I'd like to summarize what I see as the good advice.
I'd also like to a couple of extra points.
There is a lot of good advice to be found around the web. One site in particular that I'd recommend is the Ontario Pathfinders Society, and in particular a series of articles published under the heading of Mergy's Methods.
You don't have to be the best ever whatever-character-you-choose. But the higher level you get, the more important it becomes for you to at least cover the basics of your chosen role.
Front line fighter? Understand about damage resistance, and how weapon type and special materials affect your ability to overcome it.
Offensive Spellcaster? Try to have spells that target each of the various saving throws (and with a variety of energy types).
And, in general, know the basic features of your class, and what is necessary to use them to advantage.
Adding dice does not seem to reduce the spread of the results.
The number of dice rolled doesn't bring the spread of the results down.
If you're keeping three six-sided dice, then no matter how many dice you roll, and how you select the three dice you're going to keep, the spread of results will range from three '1's to three '6's. All you're doing by varying the number of dice rolled or the way you choose the three dice to keep is changing the relative probabilities of each of the results.
It shouldn't be necessary to use Monte Carlo simulation methods to approximate the statistics of most of the dice rolling methods being suggested here; the problems are small enough that the exact value can be calculated.
For "Best 3 of 4d6", one can just run through the 6*6*6*6=1296 possible cases. But for "Best 3 of 10d6" that's 60,466,176 ways of rolling the dice, which is no longer trivial. For 20d6 the number goes up to over three million billion; the NSA could probably handle that amount of crunching, but it's beyond the capabilities of the average home computer.
Fortunately, there are ways to massively reduce the amount of calculation needed.
(In the following examples, I'm only going to talk about "Best 3 of n d6", but the principles involved can be readily extended to other cases)
The first observation is that we don't really even need to look at all 216 (6*6*6) possible ways of rolling 3d6; if we have a 3, a 4, and a 5, say, we don't really care about the order in which they were rolled. It turns out that there are only 56 distinct outcomes for 3d6 if we ignore the order in which the rolls were made.
Secondly, we can get from "Best 3 of n d6" to "Best 3 of n+1 d6" by simply looking at each of those 56 outcomes, and seeing what happens when we roll another d6. Is the new value large enough to displace one of the previous 3 best? If it is not, then the "best" remains unchanged; if it is, then we have attained a new best outcome.
That means we only have to look at 56*6 cases, repeated 17 times, to go from "Best 3 of 3d6" to "best 3 of 20d6" (roughly a million-million-fold reduction in the amount of calculation to be done).
For anyone who wants them, the raw distributions of scores for best 3 of 4/10/20 d6 are:
4d6 10d6 20d6
Although it would make the class even more front-loaded, which is already being seen as a problem.
N N 959 wrote:
Paizo needs to get info on how these classes function at level 3+.
And Paizo will get that information.
Some groups will run home games with characters starting above 1st level. Some groups will run marathon sessions that will take characters through multiple levels in a day (or weekend, or week ...). And even in PFS some people will use GM credit to start a character above first level. I've got a GM credit baby with 5XP now, and I'm running another Tier 1-5 on Monday; that gives me a 3rd-level character I could play. I'm considering a Warpriest ...
Sorry, that's what I meant to ask for was the point-buy equivalent of the average result of that particular rolling method.
That's fairly straightforward.
Thie distribution of results from rolling 3d6 is
The average is 2268/216 = 10.5
If we discard scores below 7, that removes 1+3+6+10 results.
That makes the new average 2163/196, or just a shade over 11.
To get a score of 11 in 6 attributes would cost you 6 points.
I wouldn't suggest a 6-point buy, though; because point buy is based around 10, and rolling averages 10.5, I'd increase the 'equivalent' point total to perhaps 10.
It's only 'worse' than 3d6 because you're looking at it through the magnifying glass of a point buy scale that makes the difference between 17 and 18 appear to be larger than the difference between 11 and 12.
If you actually look at the raw ability scores you'll find that the standard deviation for "best 3 of 10" is lower than that for "best 3 of 3"
Could one of you math savvy fellows tell me what the equivalent point buy would be for rolling 3d6, re-rolling anything less than 7, and replacing your lowest roll with a 16?
There is no simple "equivalent point buy".
It's fairly straightforward to work out what the average point buy would be for "3d6, re-roll anything less than 7", but it's a fairly meaningless calculation. And you're never going to come up with a point buy system that can produce both a "7, 7, 7" and an "18, 18, 18" (or should that be "18, 18, 16"?)
There appears to be an inverse relationship between average point-buy equivalency and standard deviation. As I bring the standard deviation down by adding more dice, I also bring the average up; which is bad for my goals.
You're confusing correlation with causation.
As you increase the number of dice, the standard deviation goes down.
The fact that the average score/point buy/whatever increases in the examples you have chosen is because that what happens when you choose "best n dice out of m rolls" - that's exactly what 'best' does.
If you want somewhere around the same average as 3d6, but with less standard deviation, you want to pick something rolling more than three dice, but with the average roll closer to the 10.5 expected from 3d6. Try 5d4 - 2.
I would be interested to see the standard deviation of the best three of 20d6.
A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation says, if I've got it right, that best 3 of 20d6 is going to result in a score of 18 around 2/3 of the time, so the standard deviation is going to be pretty small.
I would be interested in finding methods of rolling ability scores that narrow the standard deviation, thereby reducing the chance of such a wide disparity between player characters.
Oh, that's easy.
"Best 4 dice of 20d4" is going to have a very small standard deviation.
I just encountered an odd situation when pre-mustering for tonight's game.
We're playing a Season 1 scenario. I initially had 4 players scheduled; two level 5 characters, 1 level 6, and one level 7. That gives an APL of 5.75, rounding to 6, so that would mean playing the high subtier.
Then a 5th person signed up with a 3rd-level character. That made the APL 5.2, rounding to 5. With only 5 characters, and an APL between tiers, the rules say we must play the low subtier.
In other words, adding an extra character to the party not only added to the total strength of the party, it also reduced the difficulty of the challenge to be faced in the scenario!
(Even if the new character had been 4th level that would only have raised the APL to 5.4, which still rounds to 5).
This just seems wrong to me. If four characters can handle subtier 6-7 on their own, then they certainly ought to be able to handle it with another character along to help them out!
I'd suggest things would be improved by calculating the APL by only taking into account the highest-level characters, basing the calculations on at most the number of characters that were assumed when the scenario was designed (i.e. 4 for seasons 0-3, 6 for season 4 or later)
The rule is that you can't play a pregen and then apply the credit to a character who could have legally played that scenario himself.
That isn't actually what the rules say. The rule is that you can't play a pregen and then apply the credit to a character at the level of the pregen or higher. So it would be legal to play a 7th-level pregen in a 6-7 subtier of a tier 3-7, and then apply the chronicle to any character of lower level. This would include characters of level 3 through 6, any of which would be able to play in that subtier.
While that is all that is explicitly excluded by the rules, some GMs will not allow you to play a pregen if you are applying the credit to a tier legal character. Some GMs will go even further, and not allow you to play a pregen at all if you have a tier-legal character.
Note, also, that the rules don't explicitly prohibit playing a 7th-level pregen in the 3-4 subtier of a tier 3-7 adventure, or a 4th-level pregen in the low subtier of a tier 1-5. Most GMs that I know wouldn't allow this, and would ask the player to use a subtier-appropriate pregen instead.
There has been considerable discussion about this, and there may well be additional clarifications or restrictions in the future. But for now there are several situations where what is, or is not, legal remains a GM call.
TL;DR Expect table variation
Unfortunately the figure of Seoni (the sorcerer) has been unavailable for some time; I've been trying to get hold of one to use with my card game (and also Amiri, the barbarian), but to no avail. Lem (the bard) is sold out, too :-(
Thanks, Sara Marie.
I assumed that was what was happening; I also assumed that you would get it all sorted out in the end, and everything would be resolved to our mutual satisfaction (you'd have my money; I'd have my purchases).
I further assumed you were pretty busy right now fixing the problem (and dealing with the surge in orders); I wasn't going to raise an issue with customer support until I was sure that there actually was anything to fix. If the only downside is that due to a bug in the system you accidentally charged me $36 a few days too early I'm not really all that concerned.
isaak anderson 179 wrote:
The new Golem sale say $36 for the bundle (crazy good deal) but they don't show up in the shipping and it says I'll be charged for the PDF's. So is this a PDF bundle or just part of the issue with the online ordering due to such super awesome deals?
I don't see PDFs mentioned anywhere.
The actual order on the Paizo site shows the bundle as a single line item.
andy mcdonald 623 wrote:
If you do not have enough gold to do that and have already used it in play (in previous scenarios), I would make you sell it for half of what you already paid and then have you deduct half of the amount that you still owed. That would "balance the books" so to speak.
That, IMO, would be excessively harsh.
I could, perhaps, see selling back the item for half of what was paid. But then also requiring the player to cough up for half of the price difference (thus, in effect, requiring him to give up the item for no recompense) goes too far. After all, a GM supposedly signed off on the purchase price.
And what if the player had decided, the scenario before, he no longer wanted the item, and had already sold it (for half of the price he had paid). Would you still insist that he had to "balance the books" by adjusting both the purchase and sale prices to the correct value?
Looking for Extra Hours, willing to trade Debt to Society, Custom Order, Scenario PFD?
Trading (or otherwise distributing) the PDF of a scenario is something Paizo don't want you to do. You can purchase the PDF as a gift for somebody else, but you can't give them a machine-readable copy of a PDF bearing your watermark.
I've both GMed and played. I found that within a game group, if you switch up the GMing role, you also want to change game systems. Less conflict that way.
Maybe I've been lucky with the folks I game with, but that hasn't been my experience.
More than 30 years ago I was living on the East coast (in southern NH), and playing in a loose group of gamers in MA and NH. Gamers moved fairly freely between games, and most of the GMs also played in at least one of the other games. While there were differences in the exact ruleset we used, almost everybody played something that was pretty close to AD&D (except for magic; we all used spell-point systems).
Nowadays, on the West coast, I'm playing (and GMing) Pathfinder. Our weekly game alternates between Rise of the Runelords one week, and Jade Regent on the other week. Again, the GM of one game will be a player in the next week's game. In fact we're now running two tables each week (and are probably going to add a third table). There are some players who only show up for one of the games, but most of them have a character in each campaign (although players who sit at the same table for one game don't necessarily sit at the same table in the other campaign). Almost all of the players also play PFS, so that makes it easier to stick with a common (Pathfinder) ruleset.
What Chris said.
When I GMed this I ran it the way I had played it (starting at the entrance). Then I saw a post on these forums mentioning roleplaying through Thornkeep proper, and went back and re-read that part of the module. From now on I'll be sure to give my tables the chance to pick up all those clues before setting foot in the dungeon!
(One of my gripes about PFS scenarios is that there's often a lot of fascinating stuff on the first page, but no guarantee that any of it will be made available to the players. I'm usually trying to work some of that information into whatever I tell the party, but I don't always do as well as I would like).
P.S.: Mystic Lemur: I don't know why Murder's Mark isn't on my list (especially since I bought the module a few weeks ago ...) Thanks!
Is there a place/blog/post that shows/lists all Tier 1 scenarios or Tier 1–2 sanctioned modules?
There really aren't that many.
At present, "First Steps Part 1: In Service to Lore" is the only legal Tier 1 scenario. "5-08: The Confirmation" will be released shortly. At that point I expect "First Steps 1" to be retired.
The replayable modules are "Master of the Fallen Fortress", "We Be Goblins!", "Crypt of the Everflame", "The Godsmouth Heresy", and "Thornkeep: The Accursed Halls".
I believe that's everything - if I've left anything out, I'm sure a correction will show up almost immediately.
Edit: Originally left out The Godsmouth Heresy
I can get to several of the other pages that require a login, but trying to get to the "My Subscriptions" page doesn't work; it ends up (after a short while) logging me out and putting me back at the "Sign In" page.
Jack R Brown wrote:
I enjoy playing RPGs; I enjoy making it possible for others to share that enjoyment.
I'm fairly new to PFS, but I was hosting (and GMing) games 30 years ago. There have been other shared group experiences over the years, but I seem to gravitate towards RPGs.
Derek Weil wrote:
IMO, neither of those are particularly good reasons to GM.
I don't really know which of playing or GMing I enjoy more; I don't see them as an 'either/or' choice. I do try and play a scenario before I GM it, though, both because I prefer playing without knowing anything about the plot, and because having played through a scenario helps me be aware of places in the story where they may be areas needing more attention. Fortunately I live in an area where we have three sizable conventions a year, and with multiple local stores offering PFS, so I can usually find somewhere to get a seat as a player before running any particular scenario at one of the stores.
I don't want to be "in charge" at the table; that (to me) suggests there's some form of conflict between the GM and the players. I see myself more as a facilitator, trying to make it possible for everybody at the table to have an enjoyable shared experience. My role may be different from that of the others at the table, but we're all working towards the same goal.
As for the numbers at the table: with the later (season 4 & 5) scenarios, I much prefer to have six players at the table, not four or five. These scenarios are designed with six players in mind; with five players you're going to face exactly the same challenge, but are more vulnerable to an unlucky run of the dice; if two of six players fail an important save you will usually prevail; losing the wrong two of five players is a lot more likely to result in a TPK. And while there is a scaling adjustment for parties of four players, it's been my experience that this doesn't always work well enough (especially in encounters where most of the threat is from a single opponent). That's in addition to an even higher vulnerability to chance than that seen in five player parties, and the increased probability that the party makeup will leave an important role unfilled.
I don't know about that. It's easy to have Thornkeep level 1 take up practically all of the allotted time (and even longer, if you spend a bit of time setting the scene in the settlement itself, rather than just dropping your party at the entrance to the dungeon complex).
The next couple of levels, though, can often be finished in less time.
Of course if you want the fastest way to rack up GM stars, just run "We Be Goblins!"
Yes, that's per roll.
It's a small enough problem that you can get the answer by hand.
There are 1296 (6^4) possible ways of rolling 4d6.
To get a score of better than 16 on the best 3 of 4 dice, you need at least two sixes and a 5. In other words, you need:
For 18: 6-6-6-6, 6-6-6-5, 6-6-6-L
For 17: 6-6-5-5, 6-6-5-L
(Where L is shorthand for all values 1/2/3/4, and the results are sorted in decreasing order)
There is exactly one way to get 6-6-6-6
There are four ways to get 6-6-6-5 (the 5 can be on any of the dice);
That gives a total of 1 + 4 + 4*4 = 21 ways to get a score of 18.
There are six ways to get 6-6-5-5 (the ways to choose two dice out of four)
There are 4*3*4 = 48 ways to get 6-6-5-L
So that gives a total of 6 + 48 = 54 ways to get a score of 17,
Are you sure you've got that right?
I make the probability of a 17 or 18 on 2d6+6 3/36, not 3/12.
1-(33/36)^6 = 40% Better than 10%, yes, but not 82%
Saint Caleth wrote:
It would be a shame to go through all the discussion to overhaul the system only to find that the very rare boons remain relevant only to big name cons in the USA (which I am certain 150+ table events exclusively are) rather than helping to reach out to other areas.
The really big cons (PaizoCon, GenCon) are a lot larger than that. I believe GenCon had something like 120 simultaneous tables for the special, and around 1000 tables overall.That's where you may get the really rare race boons (Goblins, Grippli).
Around here (SF Bay Area) we have three local regional cons which run to more than 150 tables (helped somewhat by being scheduled over a holiday weekend, so there are four days of gaming).