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Gem Inspector

Mattastrophic's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 1,495 posts (2,406 including aliases). 23 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters. 8 aliases.


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Taldor ***

David Bowles wrote:
Your typical summoner can't do anything like this since they banned master summoner.

Actually, your typical summoner can do this exact thing.

The Summoner may not be able to use his Summon Monster ability while his eidolon is active, but he sure can summon his eidolon while his Summon Monster ability is active. The typical way takes a minute. The fast way takes a round.

What this means is that the Summoner doesn't actually have to choose between his two combat-wrecking class features above and beyond his 3/4 BAB, armored casting, and might-as-well-be-full spell suite. He can have his cake and eat it too.

-Matt

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TetsujinOni wrote:
I would wish to remove the class of players who call for the removal of character classes from PFS.

Given enough time, and enough terrible table experiences, this class of players will eventually leave the campaign. I would imagine your issue will likely solve itself, Oni!

-Matt

Taldor

magnuskn wrote:
I'll just respond quickly to this: I am writing a campaign set in Oppara at this time. While I am stuck at the very beginning , due to a full-time job and other commitments...

What a coincidence! You and I see eye-to-eye on a lot of things about the APs, and I am also slowly developing a campaign set in Oppara. Naturally, I am also stuck at the beginning, due to a full-time job and other commitments.

That's great!

-Matt

Taldor

Is it what I think it is?

Taldor ***

He'd have to mix in play of other Seasons' scenarios, of course. That way, he can play whatever he wants while waiting for all the low-level scenarios to drop.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Slow-tracking can help with this problem, allowing you to play a bunch yet stay below 6th.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Gnasher wrote:
I understand that PFS is set up so your character is a "Pathfinder," but I'm not a fan of the Society in world at all. I love organized play, but I don't want to identify as a "pathfinder," especially after playing Eyes of the Ten. The old Faction Missions made it feel like there was a different way to play than just be some Venture Captain's lackey.

I totally agree. It was much more compelling to play an agent of Taldor than to play a Pathfinder, especially when working with the lore from Seekers of Secrets.

*shudder*

-Matt

Taldor ***

IMO, moving to ten factions was the fatal mistake. There were just too many for authors to support. I'd say four-five factions with one task each was perfect.

It's also interesting to see that a lot of people mention Taldor when they talk about great faction missions. Having played entirely Taldor PCs since the beginning, I wonder if I just have a different, happier starting point in this discussion.

-Matt

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

*bump*

I miss the old way. I wish PFS would have at least kept the old style in place in Seasons 0-4. I've only had bad experiences with Secondary Success Conditions, and I really enjoyed having a task all to myself every session, and how I could challenge myself to complete the task in a cool and clever way.

-Matt

Taldor ***

*bump*

I miss the old way. I wish PFS would have at least kept the old style in place in Seasons 0-4. I really enjoyed expanding on and personalizing a small bit of material for specific players.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Taldor - 7
Other - 0

-Matt

Taldor

Henrick the Priest wrote:
I'm leaving for PaizoCon tomorrow and will be back Sunday night. Posting will be spotty between now and then.

Hey, text me when the news breaks about the next AP!

-Matt

Taldor

If it helps, I'm not at PaizoCon?

-Matt

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There's no reason to worry. People who complain about Hard Mode not having additional rewards don't actually want Hard Mode. They just want to stomp everything in Easy Mode and brag about how easy they have it due to their their super-genius powergaming skills.

-Matt

Taldor ***

DM Beckett wrote:
I was referring to the retcons on Taldor. :)

Right, those. Taldor really needs the 64-page treatment. I nominate Mark Seifter.

-Matt

Taldor ***

DM Beckett wrote:
Also still kind of interested in Taldor itself, which is kind of the big question.

I have a feeling that the setting of the AP announced at PaizoCon will have a large effect on the initial direction of the newly-formed Sovereign Court.

As for the Taldor angle, though, I believe Lady Morilla has a rather capable friend to handle that corner of the world. The Empire is in good hands?

-Matt

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
David Neilson wrote:
Really, it sounds more like "Hey lets start the Illuminati!"

Golarion already has an Illuminati. There are (supposedly) ten members.

-Matt

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That doesn't actually work as a contingency. The wall of force does not affect your person.

-Matt

Taldor ***

The paladin did not swing the sword.

-Matt

Taldor ***

3 people marked this as a favorite.

So do critical hits at the dinner table.

-Matt

Taldor ***

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Maybe I'm just a Taldor-noob, but my run of Library of the Lion was a treasure trove of Taldan lore for myself and my players.

Oh, the treasure trove is there, but it's not really on the page; it's in the minds of the GM and the players who are interested in hearing what the GM has to say. It's an opportunity, not a codex. I filled in and improvised a looooot of details when I ran it.

But the unique experience the Taldor PC receives for having chosen the faction? I didn't see much of one in either Stolen Heir or Library of the Lion. Did I miss something?

And if there was one... I don't believe it at all makes up for the dismissal of factions' importance at the table in Seasons 0-4. I am hoping that Season 6 changes direction and makes them matter again.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Andrew Christian wrote:
I'm not quite sure what more, within the word count that they have, you would have liked to have seen in Library of the Lion to make it more Taldan.

Where do I start...:

-Some canonical details on "the mysterious lady."
-A scene in the opera house itself, where the PCs interact with influential members of Taldan society.
-The introduction of a named Lion Blade NPC who is a recurring character in the Taldor story.
-Some provisions for the PCs needing to blend into the local culture.
-An explanation for why Muesello is still alive after the events of The Dalsine Affair.
-A summary of the contents of the thing Lady Morilla sends the Taldor PCs to get.
-Maybe some consequences, political and/or material, for breaking into the Lion Blades' secret base, stealing things, and getting spotted.
-An adventure that, at its core, is more fitting of the setting than "VC X sends you to Place Y to steal Z."

Now don't get me wrong, I had a ton of fun GMing Library of the Lion. It was essentially an opportunity for me to talk about Taldor. However, I had to insert all that goodness myself, and I would have had to violate Run As Written and write my own canon to make something special for the Taldor PC.

The Stolen Heir, of course, well, the faction-involvement of that one is more obvious.

But it's OK. I seem to have had the preconceived notion that the faction-specific content would be rather involved, and I guess I expected a bit too much involvement. To end this side-chat, I guess I'm hoping Season 6 takes the ideas behind Season 5's shift and renews the role of factions at the table.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Andrew Christian wrote:
Some of the faction plots don't become immediately understood until you've seen the end game. But, and especially in Library of the Lion, not sure how you didn't see the culture of Taldor and Glorianna Morilla's mission literally written all throughout.

I remember engaging my players with what I knew of the culture of Taldor and Glorianna Morilla's mission, but that was all me adding to what was written without violating Run As Written. I didn't really sense anything devoted to the Taldor faction...

other than:
other than a very simple "find the item" quest.

So I guess if what you're referring to is literally written all throughout, I must have been too out of touch to understand the Taldor faction.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Andrew Christian wrote:
I dunno, the respective faction things that are brought into season 5 scenarios has been pretty significant so far.

Well, I GMed both Stolen Heir and Library of the Lion for Taldor PCs, and I didn't see anything more involved than very simple requests resolved by a single skill check or by merely looting rooms, akin to the old way. One of the two even involved handing out a note from the faction head. So if there is significance, I didn't see it.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Carlos Robledo wrote:
People still give faction handouts for those?! What?!

Yeah, the general dismissal of factions and their role at the table has really turned me away from the PFS this Season. I'm wondering whether their importance will be renewed in Season 6, and if the first five Seasons will feel that renewal.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Speaking of... how will Seasons 0-4 work going forward?

-Matt

Taldor ***

Ironically, my Taldan aristocrat would fit right into the new version of Andoran. She saw that change coming, but she was incorrect on the question of how long it would take for Andoran to get there.

-Matt

Taldor

Just off the top of my head, "How does Gang Up work?" has been a common question in the past at my tables. Probably because I played Rogues in PFS.

The problem is that the old answer to "Do you count as your own ally?" actually ends up creating more confusion than it solves, due to the cryptic "or if doing so would make no sense or be impossible" and the use of "almost always." Those phrases make the game's definition of "ally" more nebulous.

This unclear answer also affects things beyond Gang Up, such as the menacing weapon enchantment.

I would suggest that this FAQ entry be revised to be much more cut-and-dry in its language.

Also off the top of my head, the "what does wielding mean?" question could use some revisiting. The answer given for the defending weapon property causes weird stuff when applied to other instances of "wielding." Menacing is one of the instances, but the courageous weapon enchantment is an example of the weird stuff.

How reach weapons work could use an FAQ entry, as well. Do they threaten on the diagonal?

Mistmail could use an FAQ entry. What is the duration of mistmail's mist effect? How does mistmail interact with mage armor? Is a character whose mistmail considering to be wearing armor for purposes of, for example, the Monk's AC bonuses?

When is 2nd Edition coming? (hehehehe...)

Can a Maneuver Master Monk use Flurry of Maneuvers while wearing armor?

What's going on with the Taldor canon? Are the worshipers of Sarenrae still cultists? We're not getting a revised Taldor book, are we?

How does the Fast Learner feat work?

That old blog post about how a weapon-using character adds his weapon's enhancement bonus to trip checks, about how the Trip weapon property allows the user to make reposition checks with it, etc., could use some reposting in the FAQ section.

-Matt

Taldor ***

The assumption The Fox appears to be making is that extra party members only increase the party's power level and don't drag it down.

I wonder how the tier-selection math would work out if only the four highest-level characters at the table were considered when calculating APL.

-Matt

Taldor

Unseen servant is definitely sounding pretty good. Very versatile. I wonder how many hours of my life I would get back by having one of these. Probably one hour per day minus inefficiencies related to directing it or needing to be within 25' of it.

-Matt

Taldor ***

A retcon, eh? I knew about the whole Sarenrae debacle. Have there been any other retcons?

If the retcons are widespread... I wonder what's on the AP schedule...

Anyways, at some point we just have to pick a version and roll with it.

-Matt

Taldor ***

DM Beckett wrote:
It basically kind of sounds like it's going to reward everyone equally for those Taldor only Faction Boons, so you can be playing a Chelaxian character whose personal warcry is "I hate Taldor!!!", but if that character has a Taldor character as well that is not playing, they can use that other characters Boon themselves. facepalm.

Yeah... PFS has never done a very good job at having boons interact with each other. See Season 4 7-11s and how many atonements have been used to buy the consequences away with little promise of a reckoning.

As for Taldor, I know I'm hoping for a return to the original version which was about quietly taking over Absalom and encouraging Andoran to return to the fold.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Thanks for the summary, DM Beckett!

If I may ask, was there any word about Taldor in particular? Which direction is that faction headed?

-Matt

Taldor ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The Inner Sea Pirate prestige class seems quite fitting.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Walter Sheppard wrote:
"Oh yeah, a charisma based dwarf and a halfling barbarian? Sit down at my table!"

Yep, I remember the eyerolls I'd get when my character would deal 1d4+1d6-2 damage in melee. She even critted for 1 damage on multiple occasions!

I did experience CathalFM's sidelining effect too often for comfort, though. I guess that's what I get for being willing to dial it back. The PFS equilibrium converges on the overpowered.

-Matt

Taldor ***

The problem with the "better encounter design" solution is that it does not help with problems in past scenarios. Given that 3.5E Season 0 scenarios are still sanctioned, we can assume that Paizo does not wish to update or retire past scenarios.

Better encounter design won't fix previous and current seasons. Removing problematic options from Additional Resources? That affects all seasons.

So would GM options. What if there were a general "hard mode" option out there? A package of on-the-fly adjustments in which enemy hit points are increased, attack bonuses are added to, ACs are increased, save DCs are boosted, etc?

-Matt

Taldor ***

I would imagine that risk aversion plays a role. Whether a given encounter actually crosses the line between "I'll just keep my hand tied behind my back" and "bring out the big guns" can be difficult to sense in the moment. Then risk aversion kicks in, and unnecessary stomping occurs.

When an optimized PC feels threatened in any way, even if the threat is superficial, the alpha strike often comes out.

-Matt

Taldor ***

thejeff wrote:
Yes, the GM's hands are tied.

So the players who don't enjoy Easy Mode, are they out of luck? Are they doomed to merely watching the Easy Mode players play? Is their willingness to not play overpowered characters a terrible idea? Has the campaign really reached a point where enjoyment has converged towards the overpowered?

-Matt

Taldor ***

Raymond Lambert wrote:
I believe it is time for you to step away from GMing organized play. If you think it is less fun to run for optimized players, you should indeed step down, you are not cut out for GMing PFS.

You know, he could just GM for players he enjoys GMing for, and not GM for players he doesn't enjoy GMing for. The call to step down is really not necessary. I have to say, Patrick R's desire to leverage creativity to make the game fun, his unwillingness to be shackled by the very-strictest interpretations of the rules, and his desire to put the players first are all good things for GMs to do.

I have also noticed several posters bring up the point of an Easy Mode table wanting Easy Mode... but have not mentioned the tables which include one or two Easy Mode players and one-or-more others who don't enjoy Easy Mode. What happens then? Does the Easy Mode player get to have his fun and run the show, and leave the rest sad? Are the GM's hands tied?

-Matt

Taldor ***

Hmm... between Portland and the Road to 20 group that James mentioned...

1x Eyes of the Ten, run by Ryan B.
3x Ruby Phoenix Tournament
2x Academy of Secrets
3x Tomb of the Iron Medusa
1x Fortress of the Stone Giants
1x Moonscar
1x Sins of the Saviors
1x Witchwar Legacy
1x Spires of Xin-Shalast
1x Dead Heart of Xin

That's just what I've been personally involved in.

-Matt

Taldor

Enhance water would be pretty sweet. So would abstemiousness.

-Matt

Taldor

What's the status on this Kickstarter? I've been looking forward to this one.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Tarma wrote:
Then Paizo can have some sort of contest for those few players that wind up completing the scenario a chance to become a canonized deity.

The only contest of this sort I can see happening would be a part of a Kickstarter.

-Matt

Taldor

Not this year for me. Due to the dates, I'd arrive just in time for the banquet.

Taldor ***

Kyle Baird wrote:
More seriously, we decided that we needed to start incorporating all these PC Venture-Captains we have now in the campaign.

Interesting. Is this a one-time thing or will it become more pervasive going forward? Is there a set of criteria for having a PC included in a scenario? What can players do to meet these criteria? There are a looooot of PC Seekers and VCs out there, which is why I ask.

-Matt, curious and lookin' for a goal to set here.

Taldor ***

Charlie Bell wrote:
I think the intent of Pageant of the Peacock is to be the ability that lets you be Frank Abagnale (Catch Me If You Can).

In other words, Pageant of the Peacock lets you... do things that are already covered by the Bluff skill.

That's kind of the problem with this masterpiece, and it's a problem that many rogue talents have. They invent "new" uses for existing skills, uses which are actually already covered by the skills themselves.

So, if Pageant lets you make Knowledge, Linguistics, etc. checks, it's pretty cool. If it just lets you deceive others, it's terrible, because Bluff does that. And then we run into GMs who adhere to the fallacy of "because Pageant exists, you have to have it to do what it covers."

In other words, welcome to what Rogue players have to deal with.

-Matt

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For the issues with the Rules forum, it would be nice to see some sort of mechanism for curation of rules questions and their answers. Like maybe an upvote/downvote system to promote the posts which answer the question. Sort of like Stack Overflow.

As it is right now, the Rules Forum is the place where good questions go to die, as well as clog up the search function for future users with rules questions. I wonder how many hours the Pathfinder community has wasted wading through so many useless and misleading posts in the Rules forum.

-Matt

Taldor ***

Kyle Baird wrote:
Summoner, Gunslinger, Druid, White-haired Witch... name a scenario that's going to be difficult for these guys.

Hehe, I was about to mention just the Eidolon and Gunslinger. I see David beat me to it.

-Matt

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's also entirely possible that the spread of the church of Sarenrae actually is a Qadiran plot to conquer Taldor without going against the wishes of central leadership. It's possible that Taldor had very good reasons to institute the ban.

Anyways, we really could use a new Taldor book. Hopefully, this interesting piece of shades-of-grey canon will be either reinstituted or replaced with some other really interesting shades-of-grey aspect of the country.

-Matt really enjoyed helping out the cultists while planning how to sell them out while playing in that PFS scenario.

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