Inspired by the threads over there years that ask people to list their favorite scenarios, I want to flip the question:
Have you ever walked away from a table and thought of the scenario as one of your favorites despite having a *bad* GM and/or *bad* players at the table?
e.g. I've played at a table with great players and a bad GM before. While I certainly enjoyed myself, my thoughts on the scenario remain very indifferent since I haven't run or played it since.
I'm sure there's examples of going back and GMing or replaying and enjoying a scenario, but what I want to know is if you really hated the GM and/or the players at the table, have you ever walked away thinking, "wow, that was a great scenario!"
I'm admittedly weak when it comes to Gunslingers and maximizing their potential and am looking to you fine people to lend a hand.
I've been tossing the idea of a sneaky type of character that pops out of stealth/invis and shoots someone in the face (and then promptly runs for cover). Beyond that, I like having some social skills and knowledge skills, but not looking for too much of it with this character.
So what feats am I looking for? Preferred level breakdown?
I must be going blind or I've been staring at too many special rules lately. Where does it say what happens if you fail an acrobatics check to move across a narrow surface? Acrobatics talks about failure to move through an opponents square and failure to jump, but does it actually say anything about failing the check to move across a narrow surface?
I was expecting to find something like: Fail by 4 or less, stop moving, fail by 5 or more fall.
Looking for an Eyes of the Ten table in the midwest? Come to the first annual GameHole Con in Madison, Wisconsin on November 1. I'll be running Part 1 on Friday afternoon til midnight and running the rest of the series throughout Saturday. For anyone interested, it'll be my 5th time running it and it'll be the best one yet!
Does a Feral Gnasher (Goblin Archetype) using his Lockjaw ability via his bite attack suffer a -4 penalty if both hands aren't free?
Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll.
Feral Gnasher wrote:
Seems that by the letter of the law he would, however, given that it's clearly his mouth that's responsible for the grab attack, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Thoughts?
So Season 5 is almost upon us and the Paizo Staff is hard at work finishing everything up to make this the best Pathfindery Gen Con ever (head to Scotty's if you don't believe me).
Sparked by countless past conversations and more recent forum discussion, I'd like to start an open petition and discussion on changing the layout and functionality of Pathfinder Society Chronicles starting with Season 6 (not 5).
Please review and address the following questions:
This thread was inspired by other threads and personal conversations on a GM's duty to perform character audits before any PFS session begins.
GUIDE TO PATHFINDER SOCIETY ORGANIZED PLAY PAGE 32 wrote:
This is not a place to discuss when or why we should do audits, but a place to provide helpful tips to doing so in a quick and unobtrusive manner.
1) Hit points. Hit points should roughly be their level times their hit dice. If it's significantly more or less than this, do a more thorough check for a high or low constitution score, toughness, application of favored class bonus, etc.
ex. Mortika the 3rd level cleric with 12 CON and using his FC bonus for hit points should have 8+2*5+3*1+3=24 hit points. Using the quick formula, level 3 x d8 = 24 hit points.
Peters the 11th level Summoner of dhoom has a 16 con AND her FC bonus for hit points. 8+10*5+11*3+11=102 hit points. Quick formula is 11*8 = 88. That's 14 points less, but a quick scan shows a decent con score and you can quickly ask about FC bonuses.
Morgan the 7th level barbarian with 20 con and toughness and FC hit points. 12+7*6+5*7+7+7=103 hp. The quick math is 7*12 = 84. He's 19 over it, you see toughness and a 20 con, so you know you're close.
Miles the Cheat is playing a 10th level wizard with 14 con and 104 hit points (he's high level, so it should be a high number, right?). Quick math says that he should have about 60 hit points. Long math says 6+4*9+2*11=64 not including a FC or toughness. The difference here is big enough that you can simply ask the player how he got to 104 hit points.
It's not perfect, but it's fast and will show any crazy-wrong numbers. If someone's hit points are off by a few, ask yourself if it really matters in the current situation. (new players, time available, etc)
Thursday, August 15
I've been meaning to post this for a long time, but I think it's still just as relevant today as it was months ago.
Premise: Some encounters lend themselves to capable of challenging "power gamers" without being considered absolutely "deadly" to the least optimized parties (whether through party composition, experience, etc).
What I need from all of you, are some encounters you've actually run, that you feel are good examples of encounters that give the GM the tools they need to dial in the challenge of the encounter to their table's specific interests. What specifically about the encounter(s) makes it possible to be both deadly and average(?) at the same time depending on who shows up at the table?
I'm hoping there's something common in these types of encounters that we can incorporate into more of them going forward.
I count five ways of getting a bonus in PFS that don't involve playing a Scenario, Module, or Quest. These have all been discussed individually in the past or are being discussed presently. I wanted to open a discussion on the comparison between them all and talk about what benefits each has to the Pathfinder Society Organized Play Campaign. Keep in mind, all of these benefits cost PFS development time with the exception of the t-shirts and folio.
Presented in order of appearance (I believe..)
The product cost is $0 because most of these boons are available at small conventions or large multi-day game days, some of which are free to play. I realize that going to most conventions is expensive. So what's really the cost? How much does it cost to organize a 15 table event? If you can get the space for 5 tables, you can run 3 slots in a single day. There's a lot of effort required here to make it "free." The other end of the spectrum is Wes flying from Australia to Gen Con. I think that costs a couple of dollars or so. Additionally, you're not even guaranteed a boon if you go to a convention, you usually get a CHANCE of getting one.
Pathfinder Online MMO
None of my statements are meant to be definitive or entirely objective. They can't be. I want to explore the benefits further and cost vs. deliverable. Please keep it civil.
With the release of The Moonscar and Sanctioned Adventure Paths, I present all of the options for your level 12+ PFS Character.
For the sake of this discussion, level X.0 is exactly at a given level, X.1 is 1 XP past level X and X.2 is 2 XP past level X.
Playable at any level 12+
*Only playable if the last chronicle you received was for the previous scenario in this series.
Improved Lockjaw (Ex) wrote:
At 6th level, as long as a feral gnasher is controlling the grapple with her lockjaw attack, she does not gain the grappled condition, but is unable to move or use her mouth for anything other than grappling. This ability replaces trap sense +2.
I have a question on the syntax above. Is it stating that the feral gnasher can't move its mouth or that it can't move at all?
I know if you're grappled you can't move. The creature controlling the grapple, however, can normally move himself and his victim with a successful check to maintain his grapple. Is this stating that a feral gnasher can't move its opponent after reaching 6th level OR is it just reminding the player it can't just walk around freely now that it no longer has the grappled condition OR is it only stating that the feral gnasher can't talk, use verbal components or potions while using Improved Lockjaw?
Anyone want to play Eyes of the Ten at my table? If so come to Winter War! That's right, I flipped a coin and decided to go to Winter War of Winter Fantasy, mostly because I've been itching to run Eyes of the Ten for a group of brave adventurers.
Ticket sales will go online soon, so stay tuned. I promise it's one experience you won't want to miss!
As if there weren't enough pregenerated character threads going right now. ;-)
I'm making a proposal. I want all of you to review it and reply with yay or nay. If you're against this proposal, please include reasons so they can be objectively evaluated and weighed. If you're for this proposal and you have any additional support or shared experiences, please add them to your vote.
I believe this is the right time to make this change.
Per Mark, at this exact point in time, a Paizo Developer needs to tweak the new level 1 and level 7 NPC Codex iconics for use for PFS. They also need to develop the level 4 iconics as the book does not include that level.
My reasons to support changing from level 4 to level 5 are because level 5 gives you:
My reasons to remove level 7 pregens from players hands:
IMPORTANT NOTE: The proposal actually saves some development time up front with the 11 core classes. It would then add time back in to develop the level 5 UC classes at a later date. It would then save time doing the APG classes, as there would only be two levels to develop. Overall, it is a net savings of Paizo's time.
The state of PFS pregenerated characters has me thinking. I know, scary, right? Anyway, I have in my head first-hand and second-hand knowledge of how pregenated characters are used and what their value to our little Society is. I'd like to gather some feedback from different regions around the world from all of you people who play pregens or coordinate game days and hand them out.
I'll get the ball rolling:
The appearance, quality and availability of pregens is often the first impression for someone new to PFRPG. Missing classes, having obvious errors, or being overly ineffective can turn (and have turned) people off from PFS.
Level 1 Pregens:
Level 4 Pregens:
Level 7 Pregens:
Finally got my shipment notice, downloaded my copy and flipped (electronically) to the last chapter for the iconics. What I found:
Someone had to ask. :-)
Any thoughts being given on incorporating mythic rules into PFS play at some later date? Maybe just a few mythic monsters? Characters who complete a retirement arc? A special high-level scenario that grants ascension?
*goes back to drooling over cool new ways to destroy player's hopes and dreams.*
This comes up all the time, maybe if I do this right, we can get a sticky for it.
Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play v4.2 pg 24 wrote:
For ease of play in Pathfinder Society, a masterwork item can always be upgraded to a +1 item without paying for the masterwork cost again. Instead, you pay the difference between the cost of the +1 item and that of the masterwork item. This rule also applies to upgrading from a +1 item to a +2 item and so on—you never have to repay the original cost or sell your current item for half to upgrade to the next step. Note that this only applies to items of the same kind—you can’t, for example, turn your masterwork rapier into a +1 greatsword. A mundane item can not be upgraded to masterwork, nor can nonmagical aspects of equipment be upgraded (such as the strength rating on a composite bow*).
*Previous campaign coordinators specifically allowed this type of upgrade.
Q: I have a non-masterwork greatsword (50 gp). Can I upgrade it to a +1 weapon?
A: Normally no. Items can not be upgraded to masterwork quality unless you pay for a masterwork transformation spell from Ultimate Magic on the item. (pg 26) Please note, you are only allowed to have one item with this spell that carries over from session to session. Once an item has been enchanted to be a +1, it does not count against the one masterwork transformation item allowed per character.
Q: I have a masterwork greatsword (350 gp). Can I upgrade it to a +1 weapon?
A: Yes. You can spend 2,000 gp and upgrade your greatsword to a +1 greatsword. Note: You can perform this upgrade regardless of fame.
Q: I have a +1 greatsword (2350 gp). Can I upgrade it to a +2 weapon?
A: Yes. You can spend 6,000 more gp if and only if you have enough fame to pay for the final item. In this example, your final item price is 8,350 gp and requires 27 fame to purchase (Table 5-3, pg 26).
Q: I have a +1 greatsword. Can I upgrade it to a +1 adamantine greatsword?
A: No. Unless the special material specifically says it can be added to items that already exist, you can not add a special material. If you want to add special material properties to existing weapons, look at weapon blanches from the APG.
Q: Can I upgrade my headband of vast intelligence +2 into a headband of intellect +4?
A: Yes. You can spend 12,000 gp to upgrade your headband as long as you have enough fame (31) to purchase the final item price (16,000 gp)
A: Yes. You can spend 6,000 gp to upgrade your headband as long as you have enough fame (27) to purchase the final item price (10,000 gp)
A: No. You can not upgrade items into items that don't clearly exist in a legal PFS source.
A: Yes. You can spend 6,000 gp to upgrade your amulet as long as you have enough fame (22) to purchase the final item price (8,000 gp)
A: No. While similar they are not the same item (with a better rating). You also may not upgrade a type I bag of holding to a type II bag of holding per the FAQ. This also includes things like bracers of archery and metamagic rods.
The FAQ states:
Can I Upgrade a Named Magic Item?
I'm past the point where I can edit this. Mike can you update my original post with this please?
I just bumped the thread about who your favorite PFS Game Masters have been. Now how about a wish list of all the GM's tables you haven't had the chance of playing at.
I'll get things started. GM's tables who I'm actively seeking:
1) Kyle Pratt - I'm not quite sure how it's been this long without this happening. For the record, he's played at my table and the world didn't implode, so the converse should be safe for everyone. Right?
*Eric Brittain used to be at the top of this list but I cornered him in the corner of a dark bar at Gen Con this year and made him run a game for me. And it. Was. Awesome. Thanks Eric!
I spent some time GMing some of season 4's scenarios this weekend for a lot of new-to-PFS players and found myself describing the theme(s) of this season to set the tone for their adventures in Varisia. I spent a fair bit of time describing the common "problems" PFS agents encounter. It all got me thinking about where we've been and what's next. On that note, I wanted to open a discussion about typical Golarion bad guys and how they've fit with PFS organized play. Bare with me, but ultimately, I'm looking for feedback on the types of enemies you most enjoy.
1) Dragons - There are approximately 4 scenarios that feature dragons to date (if you include RftRK Pt 2). These are perhaps the most iconic of enemies, but also one of the most rare. Should dragons be more frequent? Less frequent? Perhaps a large arc dealing with them (either directly or indirectly).
2) Goblins - These little boogers have been everywhere. How's the mix been? Who wants MOAR goblin madness? Anyone actually sick of these guys?
3) Orcs - Can their only place in PFS really be Echoes of the Everwar Part 1? Where else have these guys been? For such a classic monster, they should don't show up much (unless they're cross-bred).
4) Drow - I think these iconic foes have only been featured in a single scenario thus far. I think they suffer from a mainstream burn-out (Drizz't et al.) I know a lot of people love them and a lot of people love to hate them with equal passion. Thoughts?
5) Dinosaurs - They've made an appearance a few times, but never in any force. What say you, should we have more focus on our prehistoric cave-woman stealing enemies?
6) Undead - It seems like one out of every four scenarios includes something that's undead. That's why favored enemy: undead is probably one of the top 3 favored enemy choices (human, evil outsiders). Anyone getting tired of chopping up dead things? Anyone want more dead things? Perhaps there should be more to coincide with the ever growing zombie popularity in mainstream society?
7) Swarms - Right up there with undead. Every seasoned Pathfinder knows to keep a vial of alchemist's fire or acid handy for these buggers. heh. Buggers. Overdone? Anyone want an all swarm scenario? I kid, I kid!
8) Outsiders - Outsiders have been included here and there, but never really en masse or with any real lengthy purpose. Most of the time the Society is dealing with more terrestrial threats. Perhaps Season 4 is different (the whole Lissala stuff), but assuming it's not, what say you about dealing with an Outsider-based threat?
9) Humanoid NPCs - These guys give the biggest variety of foes and often the smartest foes with the most complicated plots. However, sometimes you just want to bash the face in on some freakish monster, you know? Tired of humanoids? Sick of humanoid organizations (Aspis for example)?
What am I missing? Which of the above did my brain not recollect properly?
With the soul destroying news that BobBob is leaving his VC post, it got my tiny little brain wondering. How many of the original 13 VCs are left? What steps can the Campaign (read: all of us) do to help prevent a loss of interest in our membership when the pillars of the community step aside?
Original 13 (current VCs marked with *):
Now that I've (mostly) recovered from Gen Con, I wanted to share my thoughts from what, to me, was one of the best ever.
Wednesday started off with me leaving from my brand new apartment in Milwaukee at 2 a.m. and driving 5 hours to Indy. Definitely one of the low points of the weekend. I guess the benefit here was that traffic in Chicago is nonexistant at 3 in the morning. :)
The convention officially started off for me at 9 a.m. at Scotty's, sitting on the patio in the shade with a slight breeze. What a perfect day. I got the opportunity to run Rats of Round Mountain Part 1 for some really good players who I all think enjoyed themselves. I apologize to the poor paladin who took 5 attacks in a round.
The next slot was one of the highlights of the event. I had the opportunity to play Red Harvest with Eric Brittain as the GM. It was a tough scenario with plenty of great roleplaying opportunities. This one session helped me be a better GM all weekend. Eric is that great of a GM and has that big of an impact on his players. Thanks Eric!
The evening was capped off by running Rebel's Ransom for another group of good players (except a certain Shackleton). The party did pretty good and eventually solved all the puzzles without any help from me. It was only at the end that they struggled. I had a feeling this might happen with a party including an Oracle of Flame and a Elemental (Fire) sorcerer. The party put up a good fight and this was only the second time I've ever resorted to using Firestorm (Su). Unfortunately, half the party perished while defending their newly found treasure. A high price to pay, as the society only pays the adventurers 5461 gp. I guess walking away with 11 gp is better than nothing, right? ;-)
Thursday was blur. Three straight sessions of Cyphermage Dilema. I can't say that I was looking forward to it, but after it was done, I realized that I actually had some fun. I had forgotten how awesome it was to introduce PFS to new players.
Epic Story of the Day: Table of 5, a mix of 3's, 4's and a single 1. APL ends up being 3.0. They decide to play up. I inform the level 1 I won't give him his gold for free, so be prepared to get poked. ;)
Party gets into a fight with an alchemist who does 3d6+3 (avg 12.5). Alchemist comes out, most of the party isn't in sight except a halfing and a human (druid 1). So who's more threatening? The human of course! Bombs away! I roll really well and deal 18 damage (ouch!), but I figure, he's level 1, 18 should him down but not out, right? Nope. He's a Druid with 10 con and 8 hit points. crap. So I ask if he already allocated his favored class bonus. He hadn't. Now he's at -9 and dies next round. The halfling is 5 ft away and the druid dropped his wand of CLW. Rogue comes up in initiative, 5-ft's over, and tries to use UMD. She needs to roll a 12. She rolls an 8. crap. She isn't wearing a shirt, so I ask if she's got a boon on a chronicle that will let her reroll. She played Year of the Shadow Lodge and took the skill reroll! She rolls.. an 11. crap. Then I remember I have a pile of Paizo shirts sitting next to me, so I throw her one of those. She rolls again. 12! Thank the gods! The level 1 lived, but he definitely felt like he earned his gold. I gave the rogue my GM boon for kitsune to make up for her using her YotSL boon and ~30+ charges off her CLW wand on the rest of the party. :)
Friday was a bit of a blur again, running two more tables of Cyphermage and then losing my voice halfway through the day. The highlight of the night was running Race for the Runecarved Key Part 1 for the Diamond Dust Cowboys. I'll leave the details for this thread. There was definitely something surreal about watching over 500 people play something I helped create. Awesome indeed.
The night ended with a few drinks with some good friends, including a shot of Patron with my co-author and a few thick shots of 130 proof bourbon that burned my nose hairs. Thanks for that, btw.
Now this was a fun day. I woke up after 2 1/2 hours of sleep to help run GM 101. There was a small turnout but the people that showed up were great. This was my third time being involved and it was the third time I've walked away learning a few things. If it's ever offered in your area, I can't recommend it highly enough.
I was an overflow GM for the afternoon and thankfully I ended up getting used at HQ instead of running King of the Storval Stairs (which I had only moderately prepped). I used a little bit of this time to prepare for later that night.. muhuhahaha. ;)
The evening was Race for the Runecarved Key Part 2. As excited as I was for this, it started off poorly with bad communication with who was mustering it and a few GMs not showing up. I'll leave all the details of this for the "Special" thread, but needless to say I was excited to run this adventure. I got "stuck" with the Diamond Dust Cowboys again. I was very clear with the deadly nature of the scenario and that they had until time was called to get out alive (after Heidmarch tells them this). The party pushed through, managed to kill an ancient dragon (you're a lucky one Kasheed..), and escaped with their lives with about 1 minute before time was called. All of them. Seriously. I know, right? Anyway, they did good, but not good enough to win their subtier. I think they all had fun which is all that really matters.
We left the special and went to the Omni for some drinks. That's about all I remember. My players started buying me drinks left and right. Something called a Bear Fight (because it feels like two bears fighting in your stomach), twice. Several beers. Who knows what else. I have a vague memory of being held in a classic police arm bar and biting people. And then I remember praying to a porcelain god at some point. Whew, that was rough. Fun, but rough.
Sunday I woke up at like noon, stumbled to the PFS room, talked to a few people, went and picked up my subscription stuff and then said my good-byes. 5 Hours later I was home!
I want to thank everyone I ran into. There were so many people I wish I could have hung out with longer. So many new faces I met for the first time. If I ever felt like I was short with you, I'm sorry, we'll get more time next year!
One week from now, nearly 500 Pathfinders will gather in Magnimar to help Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch acquire a fabled Lissalan artifact and cement The Society's presence in Varisia's fastest growing city. Which of Golarion's greatest adventurers will claim a place in history by laying their hands upon the Runecarved Key?
Pathfinders, sound off!
If someone GM'd #2-EX and then runs #3-16, can they claim GM credit twice since the chronicle sheets are in fact different scenarios and have different rewards?
That opens up the question of replay. Can a player play both #2-EX and #3-16? How about #3-EX and #4-16(?).
The maximum level in PFS gets bounced around a bit, but it always varies based on opinion. Figured I break it down so everyone can just refer to it later.
This will be as of Gen Con the absolute theoretical maximum:
Finish your normal career at 12.0
Of course no one at The GC was 15.2 (the highest I saw was 14.2). So depending on whether or not they had played AoS or TotIM to get to 14th level, determines their max level at 17.1 or 18.1.
Finish your normal career at 12.0
I'm trying to decide on a PC for the Grand Convocation. A 14th level skill deprived heal-bot cleric (who's fun to RP, but has spent 14 skill points..) or my 7th level skill heavy archaeologist who's fun to RP and has the skills to back it up, but, uh, runs from most combats.
I haven't done one of these things before. Any thoughts?
Playing all weekend, no GMing at all!
Friday, July 6
Saturday, July 7
Sunday, July 8
If your wizard a wizard is crazy enough to sell their starting spellbook (perhaps they bought a Blessed Book and paid to transfer the spells over), what value can they sell it for if any?
1) Can't sell it because they started with the spellbook for free.
The melee attacks for the "Worshipper" in Act 2 part B should probably have been written like:
Sorry for the confusion over TWF in the stat block. Happy stabbing! :)
If you used to play or GM Pathfinder Society games, but don't now, why? Please try to be as specific and detailed as possible.
I'll start! I used to GM a fair bit, but since June of last year, I've only run a handful of games and have only played about the same. Reasons I stopped:
So Mike's has a personal vendetta against me and won't let me GM at PaizoCon this year (something about not signing up early enough... pfft)
Luckily he doesn't control the days leading up to PaizoCon (yet).
I'll be in Seattle Wednesday night and will be free all day Thursday. Anyone out there have a death wish for their character and want to play some PFS? :-)
A helpful thread for all those players looking to avoid.. err, join their favorite GMs at Gen Con this year!
Thursday, August 16
What makes a Pathfinder Society Special Event, special?
Please mention which Specials you've particpated in and where they were (or how many tables went off). I'm curious how a 5 table event differs from a 10 or 45 table event.
I'm somewhere around 93.7% certain that I'm attending PCon again next year.
I'm 100% certain that if I go without a good plan, I'll be turned into Brock's slave and be chained to a PFS table all weekend. Please note that this isn't necessarily a bad thing... ;-)
Last year I had a blast setting up a "special" table of folk to play a PFS scenario. This was a bit complicated to pull off and I'm trying to think of ways to do it again. The first thought I was having was this:
Enter a PFS table run by me into the event lottery. That way people can sign up for (or avoid!) a PFS table run by yours truly rather than getting a random GM. I do want to point out that at PaizoCon, the random GM option is actually a good choice as some of the best GM's from around the country are on sight. There's only a slight chance you'll get stuck with someone like Dragnmoon or Caubo.
So any thoughts? Should I set up a table or two in the lottery, or should I just blindly volunteer myself our PFS overlord?
Congratulations to Bob Jonquet aka TwilightKnight and Todd Morgan aka Todd Morgan for obtaining their 5th stars at Gen Con this year!
I've had the grand pleasure to sit at both your tables over the past couple of years and can say (with some arm twisting) that I wish everyone could be so lucky. It's always an experience to remember.
Welcome to the top of the mountain! See DougDoug about your room assignments (Jason already took the last room with a good view)
With only 4 weeks remaining until Gen Con 2011 kicks off, only a few seats remain at the PFS tables. Every tier 1-5, 1-7, 3-7, and 5-9 table is sold out!
Here's your guide to what's remaining:
First Steps, Part I - In Service to Lore - SOLD OUT
First Steps, Part II - To Delve the Dungeon Deep
First Steps, Part III - A Vision of Betrayal
We Be Goblins - SOLD OUT
Levels 1-5(or 7)
#2-15: Shades of Ice, Part I - Written in Blood - SOLD OUT
#3-02: Sewer Dragons of Absalom - SOLD OUT
#2-25: You Only Die Twice - SOLD OUT
#2-16: The Flesh Collector
#2-20: Wrath of the Accursed
#2-26: The Mantis's Prey
#3-04: The Kortos Envoy
Pathfinder Society Classic
Gen Con Special: Blood Under Absalom - SOLD OUT
Most of us have some great memorable moments in Pathfider Society play, and now I want to know:
What specially makes a scenario something to remember?
Think back to your favorite moments. What was it exactly that made that moment stick in your brain like a barbarian's axe?