This is something that we are dealing with in my local group at the moment, as we have a number of people starting to enter mid-level play. Our experienced players are well honed teams at this point and it's intimidating to try to hold your own beside them. They often just rise to the challenge of just beating the encounter without helping explain what to do, or how they did. Everyone learns differently, and not everyone can make a couple forum searches and buy things from a list. Bullying is never acceptable. The process of encountering challenges, and overcoming them is one of the big parts of the game. Those bullies are wrong. How can you be used to something that you have never encountered?
Something that my group of friends came up with as we were playing through 3.0 was the 'never again list'. Periodically you run into things that just make things hard and you have to completely change your tactics to deal with them. The first time you deal with incorporeal creatures, the first time an invisible opponent comes your way, etc. When these situations happened, our characters promised each other that never again would we be surprised by them. Learning by explerience caused us to have a number of interesting tricks, and we remembered them because every one had a story behind it.
The first time we fought shadows our group was in a world of hurt. We had no magic weapons, our spells were mostly used up and we were taking a beating. The only means we had of doing much at all was my ranger's wand of cure light wounds. We used it and eventually prevailed but it was very close. We said, "never again." When we ran into a ghost in the next adventure, it didn't last long.
You don't have to be prepared for everything, but prepare for what you or your character knows about. Encountering and overcoming new challenges is a big part of the game, and it is what makes your character's story. Listen to other players, look at the advice you find here on the forum. Browse through the books and look for neat things in the equipment and magic chapter and think of how they might be used. If you come up with your own tricks, you can remember to use them better.
I noticed that at least one of your characters is a spellcaster. Spellcasters have it a lot easier than most in dealing with unusual situations. You can learn new spells that can help deal with these situations. You can get a lot of mileage out of asking the group advice on which spells to prepare, and there will be times where you can seek out new spells to teach to your familiar once you know where you are going.
Higher level play is the reward for making it past level 6. At this point your characters start feeling realy strong. They are like superheroes compared to the average NPC, but even Superman gets beaten up pretty bad before he figures out how to overcome the villain. Improvise, Adapt, Overcome. If it doesn't kill you, (or cause you to run out of prestige) you can learn from it and your character has another "You want to know how I got this scar" story to tell as it shows off its new cold iron sword. Don't get discouraged, just try to learn a new trick every time and you will be awesome.
CharCon is THE West Virginia Gaming Convention
Charleston Civic Center
Charcon is growing and expanding and offering 50 tables of Pathfinder play. Join us for the convention interactive Blood Under Absalom and the only chance to play the Ruins of Bonekeep in the state this year.
Registration and lodging information can be found at CharCon.org.
Charleston is conveniently located within easy driving distance of several major metropolitan areas:
Columbus, OH 3 hours
I hope to see you there!
I'd like to congratulate Netopalis for reaching his 100th game this last weekend during our Year of the Shadow Lodge game day in Princeton, WV. This impressive feat is made even more so in that he accomplished this 10 months. His first role playing game ever was at Charcon last year on October 19th.
Well done! Thank you for all your hard work and enthusiasm.
Venture Lieutenants do not get the same rewards as Venture Captains. They have to abide by the legal agreements that Venture Captains agree to, and they have responsibilities assigned to them by the Venture-Captain that recruits them. They get access to some Pathfinder Society related material, and the ability to run the -EX scenario each season. That's about it.
In my area, I look for people who are already doing the work that I need a Lieutenant to be doing. (That's how I got my job, so it works) I ask them to organize a regular event in their assigned area, GM at least once a month at that event and run games at local conventions. Every Venture-Captain will have their own requirements.
Oh, and you have to fetch drinks when the VC's glass is empty. That's very important. :)
GMs are not required to have a copy of the book and they are not guaranteed to have internet access, so the Guide to Organized play asks that you provide a copy of the book or a print from it if any rules questions arise. While many GMs will not bother to ask for it or have their own copies of the book, a GM is within their rights to deny you the use of the item if you cannot show them the rules for how it works that come from a Paizo book or document.
NOG the Demoralizer wrote:
I read his message too fast, and I apologize. I also thought to offer one, but I am out right now because I tend to give them away to my players in similar circumstances and I was a victim of bad luck not getting any at Origins this year. That said, if he had played far enough into the scenario I would still consider offering him the chronicle sheet for it. Don's idea of emailing Mike Brock is a very good idea.
Encouraging a pool of GMs is the way to go. I am fortunate enough to be in an area where I have a good number of people willing to GM, but there are things you can do to make it better. I usually have things ready for when when someone makes a comment that they would maybe like to GM sometime. I grab a copy of a scenario that I have already run and let them borrow it. I let them prepare it on their own time with the agreement that they will have it ready for emergencies. You can ask them which scenario they would be interested in running, or maybe offer the one you just finished running so they can get GM credit also. There are many lists of scenarios on these forums that are good for first time GMs.
As far as the guy who gave up his seat, I would probably have offered him a choice of whether to take the chronicle sheet or not. Give him the option of replaying the scenario for credit at some later point. That can be more important to some people. I'd also consider grabbing a convention boon that I havent used and offer it to him if I have any.
Selfless behavior like this is to be encouraged. Those kids seeing him being rewarded for his selfless behavior will go a long way to creating the kind of group that we all want to have.
To be fair, the question comes up more during character creation and discussion of character concepts that it does in actual play in my area. When it does, I give the speech. I am very fortunate to have a great bunch of players who avoid a lot of this behavior. Maybe when people realize that they can't grief the good guys they decide not to, but I'm not complaining.
The only necromancer in my area that sees regular play is a bones oracle who was built with getting into interesting conversations with good characters in mind. She generally tries to create undead out of non-sentient creatures or summon evil souls to give them one last chance at redemption in the service of good before being destroyed. The player understands that undead are always evil, and enjoys being creepy, but allows for and relishes the RP opportunities for playing with good characters.
When I run into this, I explain that paladins (and all members of the Pathfinder Society *looks directly at the almost evil Cheliaxian types*) take an oath on their honor to uphold the three rules, Explore, Report, Cooperate. They are honor bound to work within those rules. Characters do not have to like other characters, they do not have to approve of their methods and they could be hated enemies that could want kill each other and be fully justified in doing so, but while working for the Society they are required to cooperate by that oath.
Deities are complex creatures who can see farther than characters, and would usually allow their servants to be in the presence of other people who do bad things. When you consider that Pathfinders will be the ones to encounter many great evils it seems obvious that a deity would want her servant to be in a place to deal with that evil when it arises. The Pharasman cleric should not be in any danger of needing an atonement for not immediately squashing the undead, especially given the arrangement to destroy them after. Pharasma wants that cleric to be in place so that when the big boss at the end of the season, who has avoided her judgement for to way too long gets his due, she can see it happen. There is no suspension of dispelief needed.
We have an example in the Death's Heretic novel where a priest of Pharasma was allowed to serve and represent her, even though he was going against doctrine for an extended period. She sent a servant to deal with him, she didn't suddenly change his spell list. GMs can be much more capricious than gods are, and need to remember the don't be a jerk rule as well. Paizo likes the morally ambiguous neutral ground where characters are challenged and that creates good stories. Both good and neutral-icky characters are necessary for that storytelling. We need to make PFS a place where they can coexist, even if it drives our characters (but not our players) crazy.
TL/DR: What BNW said just now.
The things that are recorded on your chronicle sheets are not necessarily positive things. Some are good things and others may cause penalties to be assessed in future scenarios. The effect of that item is still to be determined, and it may or may not be a good thing to have.
That said, the amount of money and items you find in the scenario is not changed either way. It's just a way to record how your story plays out.
Jewel City Game Con was created to bring a european style board game tournament to the Huntington, WV area. In its second year it has expanded to include miniature and role-playing games and Pathfinder Society will be a big part of that. We are looking for players and GMs. We will post scenarios in this thread once the schedule is finalized.
Friday, April 19
Pathfinder: 1-6pm (ballroom) and 7pm-12am (upstairs)
7pm: Ballroom closes...escape to the upstairs gaming areas (or face the VFW band at your own peril)
Saturday, April 20
7pm: Ballroom closes...escape to the upstairs gaming areas (or face the VFW band at your own peril)
Sunday, April 21
Everyone 10 and up:
Assumed is the word used in the Guide to Organized Play. It's not a very strong word. There are a number of places where a strict reading of this assumption does not seem to be absolutely necessary.
With the first level rebuild rules, if a player wanted to have a different faction they say "I am using the rebuild rules to make a character just like Valeros, but is a member of the Andoran faction. However you want to word it, the effect is the same. This would also apply when using a higher level pregen to start a new first level character, as faction for that character can be changed at whim until the character is played above first level.
In a situation where a person is playing a pregen at a higher level than an existing character, that pregen should be able to use the faction of the character that is going to get the credit, since that character has to deal with the ramifications of actions in the scenario.
In most practical circumstances I feel it's acceptible to use the Grand Lodge as a default and not change it unless the player wants to play a different faction. There are corner cases where someone may decide to eat a scenario in order use a low risk to chance to push their faction agenda. That small risk is not worth having to tell a player that they can't play the faction they like.
I'd like to officially announce the appointment of the first two Venture-Lieutenants for West Virginia.
David McBrayer has been with us from the early beginnings of our group at Charcon in October 2011. What we have accomplished would not have been possible without him. He is the rock that we built this group on. David will continue helping in the Charleston area as we look to add additional games and venues to handle our growth. Congratulations!
Matthew Chambers has been making a weekly road trip to our games for some time now and has become a valuable part of our group. He and a core of other players will be starting regular games in Huntington, WV. There is a lot of demand from that part of West Virginia as well as southeastern Ohio and eastern Kentucky. I am certain he is up to the task.
Thank you both! I don't have words to express my gratitude.
When you build a character, you get the languages that are listed in the entry for your race. In books such as the Inner Sea World Guide there are rules for humans from different regions that get languages in addition to common. If you have access to those books, you may use those to get a regional language in addition to common. If you pick a race that does not have common as a language, you get that for free.
What it comes down to is that it also depends a lot on the people around the table and a lot of us come from different backgrounds. I won't get into a dissertation of the different player types, but PFS tends to bring people together that often would not be with playing with each other normal circumstances.
As a PFS GM I see it as an obligation to provide a setting where they can all meet in the middle. No, I don't always pull it off, but I try. Each player and GM brings their own background and skill level to the table and in a campaign that is staffed by volunteers, sometimes you get what you pay for. (I usually get much more, but everyone has a bad game sometime)
I can only hope that you stick with it till you can find people that match your play style better and be a good example in the meantime. From the sounds of it, I would be happy to sit at either one of your tables.
Funky Badger wrote:
I think that is also covered under table variation. In my experience, combat with a map is much faster than purely narrative combat. Then again, my non-pfs group has neen known to spend an entire session getting ready for a fight, then another whole session to conduct it. It's hard not to be faster.
First, this sounds awesome! I have a gaming group that I've been part of for more than a decade now that does narrative roleplaying and I try to bring as much of that to PFS as I can. As others in the thread have said, between the Table Variation section and the Reward Creative Solutions sections of the guide it's not difficult to make a place for it.
The Map and Miniatures can take some getting used to but it does have some advantages. It can speed up combat a lot, and makes it easier for visual people to keep track of where they are. If they are using pre-printed maps, it can spur creativity. (I've been disarmed? I grab that knife on the table and stab him) With enough knowledge, it can also be used to help your narrative thinking. ("I have room to run and 40 feet of movement. I can make a DC XX acrobatics check during my move to jump off the balcony and use my standard action to grapple that blasted kobold who has spider climbed onto the ceiling. ") It's hard for a GM to say no when you are using the rules to be awesome. :)
If you are looking at moving people (especially a GM) toward speaking in character a nice trick is to use the mission briefing. If they are reading or paraphrasing the box text they will usually be doing it in character. Most Venture captains give people space to ask questions after the briefing. Follow the conversation and respond in character with questions. Ones that get people thinking about whats going on. A little humor makes it less scary.
Something like "I do have a question, Ms. Heidmarch. I like your style, but couldn't you have had the blood cleaned off these badges before giving them to us?"
They have short scripts for a lot of the questions players can ask, so it might not be as intimidating as making them improvise in the middle of a scehario.
I agree with Miguel that unreported death could be a problem. This is something that we will probably have to consider in the future as more quests with higher levels come out. There is also the issue that since no gold or other rewards are given it becomes much more difficult to recover from death or some other condition. At the moment it is a very small risk and since it is not possible to report these I understand why it's not a priority.
There are no punitive measures listed in the Guide to Organized Play. We just correct the problem and go on. The Chronicle sheets are not invalidated. If you feel it necessary, there is nothing wrong with noting that his stats were fixed on a chronicle, but I would not if it was just an honest mistake. I'd only even consider it if it was a pattern of repeated abuse and I've never run into a situation where I would feel it necessary.
Non-optimal is not the same as not necessary. At my regular PFS game we mix in a module from time to time for variety and because the players want it. Just a couple months back I had excited new players show up to play as we were starting a module and they played 4th level pregens. Am I to tell them, "I'm sorry, you haven't earned the right to play this module yet so you can come back in three weeks" and hope they do, or should I allow them to jump in, play well with a little coaching and use the chronicle as an incentive to make their own characters? I was able to let them play and they did well and they are now regulars.
Anyone who calls for getting rid of the ability to play a pregen in a particular tier is directly impacting my ability to recruit new players and making more work for me. Modules are now part of PFS and should not be marginalized. My players ask for them and when we offer them at conventions they sell out. When the choice comes up to play a pregen or not play at all, they choose to play a pregen. You may not want to play a module with a pregen, but I have never had anyone tell me that when it came to sitting at a table or not.
I do see the level 7 pregens used. I do not want them to go away, they are necessary. There were times at the my local convention where play happened that would not have without them. The players were competent and successful. It also showed them that higher level scenarios were really cool and caused someone that was constantly creating new characters to pick one and focus.
I don't support the idea that high tier play must be earned. It's just silly. Many of us have been in this hobby for decades before coming to PFS. I like the spread as it exists now. It covers the broadest range of scenarios and modules and not all modules come with pregens.
The only change I would have is to include pregens for all the classes. We are moving in a good direction with the NPC guide pregens being added. I feel that people would play higher level pregens more skillfully (which seems to be the complaint) if they are playing a class that they are familiar with.
Noone gets any of it at the end. It all gets sold and the money "split". If they want anything that is on the list they now have access to buy it.
Yes. The text on the chronicle sheets are often referred to as boons and the players get those if they earn them. If not, cross them off.
As said above, the additional resources pages tell what players can get access to. Most races other than a few require a special chronicle sheet to have access to. You usually win those at conventions. Tengu are fine though.
You should spend some time with the Guide to Organized Play. It gives the step by step you are asking for.
1) Dragons - I like the idea of an arc dealing with Dragons with a really scary one at the end. The entire scenario would be a running fight with one that goes through multiple encounters. One per season works for these. They need to be big, iconic and scary. One per season is about right.
2) Goblins - Goblins are part of the Pathfinder identity and having one goblin scenario per season seems to work well. Interaction is a must. Goofy songs and psychopathic antics are a must. Don't make it so common that it gets boring.
3) Orcs - We could do with a few more orcs, but Pathfinders spend a lot of time in civilization and orcs are uncivilized. I would love to see a few scenarios in Orc territory. Bonus for the pathfinders having to interact with it more than just killing them.
4) Drow - These should show up from time to time when Pathfinders have a reason to be in the Darklands. For other reasons, I'd like to see a scenario that explains drow background to players so we don't have to keep explaining why you can't play them.
5) Dinosaurs - I would love to see a Land of the Lost style series below the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. As a side note, more expeditions into Mwangi would be great as well.
6) Undead - Getting tired of zombies and skeletons. As a GM, there is very little I can do to make these interesting or dangerous. Intelligent undead can get some more use. They make great evil masterminds. Given the fact that they don't get old and die, they would possess a lot of lore that Pathfinders could find useful. Moral quandaries about dealing with evil creatures are interesting.
Goblinoids - The higher functioning goblinoids, especially hobgoblins are organized and scary. We got a touch of this in the Goblinblood dead. We could use a touch of hobgoblin Nazis.
Outsiders - I'd like to see some themed scenarios featuring various outsiders. We have a lot of them covered by various scenarios but there are others that haven't been touched yet. I'd like to see more scenarios that touch on planar travel.
Aliens - Creatures from or adventures going to the places described in Distant Worlds. Love it. Want more. Let's found a Pathfinder lodge on Akiton or Castrovel.
Mythos Creatures - Every now and then we need some cosmic horror. Pathfinders are in a good place to learn things that humanoids are not meant to know. Finding those things or dealing with the consequences is creepy and fun.
Cyclopes/Aboleths/Azlanti - Let's investigate the remains of the ancient civilizations. The creatures here can have an interesting mix of ancient power and serve as object lessons about pride and the fall from that power.
Kobolds - I love the development done with urban kobold tribes. I'd like to see the relationship between the Pathfinder Society and the Sewer Dragons explored. The line between civilization and uncivilized creatures is interesting to me.
Unique Monsters - I would like to see something new and different appear from time to time. One or two completely new or modified creatures per season will help keep players on their toes.
On the topic of gaining more gold than the scenario allows. I've had a Szarni player aquire gold that wasn't in the scenario. Sometimes it's impossible to say no without breaking verisimilitude. I didn't award him any gold more than the chronicle sheet allowed at the end, but he happily spent the extra cash on bribes, food and ale while adventuring in town. This is in no way an official rule, because I'm sure some players could side track whole scenarios this way. As a table ruling it worked pretty well at the time.
Thank you! It's an honor to be here. We've had an active PFS community here for about a year and we're going to keep growing. In the next couple months we have both a convention and a game day planned and it's going to be a great time. West Virginia is a great location for organized play. We have a great community of players and we are in driving distance to regional conventions all around us. Come and check us out.
We do our organizing on a public Facebook group. Everyone interested is welcome to join.
We also maintain a presence on the Charcon forums for those who hate Facebook. While you are there, take a look at the con information. It's going to be a great time.