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I think Lady Gabrielle has found her medium-term target: The Evil-Doing Lumber Consortium!
This one sounds like a job for Lady Gabrielle and Morgrym. They've only got 400 security guards on their payroll; the two of them can totally take 'em. Or maybe this is a job for low-level adventurers recruited by her.
All right! It sounds like all three of us have three different ways of going about the same thing. We all want to take the Decemvirate down a couple of notches. Filraen wants to re-establish the Shadow Lodge, Morgrym wants to take away their scrying artifact and maybe the Tapestry, and Gabi wants to turn some influential Venture-Captains away from the Ten.
I've got all the information on the baddies surrounding Xin-Shalast, so I can handle a lot of what Filraen wants to do. My understanding of dwarven society is more limited; can any of you guys point me to some key source material from which I can use?
So, I'm thinking Lady Gabrielle will end this scene with having at least planted a seed of mistrust of the Decemvirate with her speech about the Moonscar. Getting Sheila to flip entirely was apparently more difficult than she thought. Maybe later she'll turn Sheila away from the Ten.
So, do Morgrym, Filraen, Ursus, and Arthur have something to put forth for us to resolve?
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Since that spell exists and is the official way of having a cone effect emanate from a point other than yourself...
Keep in mind that the text of scrying is fifteen years old. You might be RAW-ly correct, but I don't believe it's a good idea to use recent splatbook text as a comparison.
The expectations now seem to have completely flipped itself so that players expect GMs to roll in the open and are put off by GMs using screens and fudging their rolls.
That's just an Organized-Play thing. A few bad apples led to angry emails to the campaign staff, and now the whole crop is spoiled.
Yep, Jester's Fraud is so underappreciated that I messed up its season. Turns out Jester's Fraud is Season 1.
Delirium's Tangle is good, too, but it supports low levels, meaning that it likely doesn't have the "underplayed" problem.
Though it's tough for any of us to talk about underplayed scenarios, because our perspectives are very limited, I'd say...
-Red Harvest (best scenario of Season 3)
I wonder... does greater magic weapon actually stack with furious, or does it simply provide a "constant overwrite" effect of the weapon's enhancement bonus?
If the latter... then the greater magic weapon/furious/courageous combo doesn't really work, and courageous simply requires a CL 16+ casting of greater magic weapon to go nuclear.
I wonder if the folks complaining about courageous are really just complaining about the awesome power of the greater magic weapon past caster level 16. If you think about it, greater magic weapon is incredibly inexpensive for what it does.
Keep in mind that to get courageous to "go nuclear" on a barbarian, you're looking at either a CL 16+ greater magic weapon or a CL 8+ greater magic weapon plus the furious enchantment.
Now, the question of whether furious should stack with greater magic weapon, that is a good conversation to have.
I'm seeing more and more games offered at my local game store and online that I keep saying, "Done that one"..."Yep...done that one too". And, the funny part is that I've only been playing since like last October.
I wonder if what's going on here is that you aren't doing enough higher-tier scenarios, or if your group is not running enough 5-9s and 7-11s. This seems to be a common problem, with groups getting permanently stuck in the low Tiers due to a desire to accommodate everyone.
So, stick with few characters, Prethen, and you won't have this problem.
King of Vrock wrote:
With courageous he still needs to make an attack with the weapon to gain the bonuses.
How does that work with Rage, Vrock? Do the barbarian's hit points, saves, etc. bounce up and down based on whether he is attacking? If so, when exactly does the barbarian stop attacking?
See the weirdness?
There has been some weirdness over the years about how these sorts of weapon properties work. In short, though, I would say that, in the end, defending works one way (requires attacks), while properties like menacing, courageous, and furious work differently (doesn't require attacks), after considering all the weirdness that would occur if the wielder had to attack with them.
Now here's a puzzler: How does bane interact with courageous when used by a barbarian?
could the PCs have overcome the challanges as a team? making the checks as a group - "making checks to track down the safehouse in the city"... together?
Keep in mind that it's been about eighteen months since I did this...
I think I had two "tracks" the PCs could give chase down, one involving hitting the streets and the other involving... agh, I don't remember right now. I think I constructed the scene such that the PCs split up to cover the city faster, but could regroup if they wanted to follow a certain thread.
What that meant in game terms was that the PCs each had their own mini on the index cards (splitting up), but could spend their turn to catch up to a fellow party member (regrouping).
To me, flavor is preserved when players react to challenges according to what a real person in their characters' shoes would do, not when they do really stupid things in order to enforce a certain end result. The latter are some of the least fun games for me.
Keep in mind that we are talking about a very subjective topic, the exact kind which is very hard to meaningfully discuss on a forum.
But, one could say the same about powergaming to the point of smashing the campaign's challenges. By your logic, Jiggy, "real Pathfinders" would push themselves to what we know as the bleeding edge of optimization. They're serious about surviving, right? Games which have had these sorts of Pathfinders have been the least fun games for me.
You've actually highlighted a fundamental problem of optimization. When a PC is perfectly-suited for just winning at a task, a problem occurs. Does he blow through the challenge and hurt the fun of others, or does he hold back and risk seeming patronizing to his fellow players?
In the case of the flight ability in a chase scene where flight is a win button, a good player is one who is able to avoid using his win button, while diverting attention away from the fact that he has a win button.
Or the players and GM could all be on-board with making every scene as fun and interesting as possible, and be in agreement about not using win buttons. There's that solution, too.
I do not see a way to structure a card-based range-related chase which is both compelling and has any potential for entertainment past APL 7.
Off the top of my head, I'd say:
-Is there a reason why ranges can't be abstracted?
I remember designing a chase for The Golemworks Incident...:
meant to cover the case where Black teleports away. If I remember correctly (this was about eighteen months ago), the mod doesn't cover what happens next, because the text assumes that the players incapacitate Black. The chase scene I drew up for it had the players pursuing Black through investigation, making checks to track down Black's safehouse in the city before Black could burn his loose ends and get away. I basically came up with Law and Order on index cards. There, I abstracted both time and distance.
The chase scenes we have seen from Paizo have been low-level chases. That does not mean that adaptation past 4th level is impossible.
But that's for another day, and for scenario authors to consider, not so much for the GM running an existing chase.
Chases stop being interesting story past a certain tier because of things like this, and teleportation, and telekinetic charge, and status - monk-sprint - dimension door catchup tricks, and...
I would not say that chases stop being interesting past a certain tier. Instead, I would say that, just as with every other type of scene in the game, chases designed within a low-level framework stop being interesting past a certain tier.
Just like with adventure and combat design, chase design needs to be adapted to the capabilities of the PCs. The products we have seen from Paizo (I have not seen the second Chase Deck yet, though) have only included chases with low-level components, so it's pretty much up to us to adapt our chase ideas to higher levels.
I would say we're talking about PFS as this is on the PFS forums.
Doh. Should have seen the stars.
So, if I'm building a chase scene from scratch, I'd be a poor GM if I built a scene with the intention of creating flavor and tension... yet neglected to include any flavor or tension due to the party's fully-known capabilities.
If it's PFS, there is nothing wrong with dropping out of the action and informing a player that his character Just Wins the scene, and that if he were to take actions and use descriptions that maintain the flavor and tension of the scene, it would be much appreciated. This applies to combat scenes as well.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for taking the opportunity to let the high-skill/low-combat character have the full spotlight, especially when other characters have been doing their best to blow through other sections of the module and have not been sharing. Note that giving the figurative high-skill/low-combat character the spotlight and just letting the figurative high-combat character chug a potion and Just Win Yet Again are two different things. A good GM (and a good player) works to make sure that everyone has a good time, and if chugging a potion works against that objective, there is nothing wrong with adapting the chase-tactics of the fleeing NPC.
If it's a character that just happens to have high modifiers in all of the relevant skills for the chase would you also tell them they should do something different to preserve the flavor and tension of the scene?
Depends. Am I building a scene for the party from scratch, or are we talking about PF-run-as-written-S?
I don't believe it's unreasonable for a GM to adapt the descriptions of the obstacles to suit the methods of mobility the PCs are using. The chase rules are, by nature, an abstraction after all.
I remember this situation coming up for me about a year ago, with one of the PCs using geniekind for ridiculous mobility. I adapted the chase by having the fleeing NPC move to the undercity, where the enhanced mobility did not help. The nature of a chase implies that the fleeing character will take the best route he can find to evade his hunters, after all.
It's also worth noting that there's nothing wrong with dropping out of the action to inform the player that his fly spell will trivialize the whole chase, and that maybe an action which preserves the flavor and tension of the scene is available.
Though this will never happen, it could make for a good discussion:
-Reduce PFS characters' point-buy down to 15, as well as sharply reduce the number of Additional Resources offerings which a given character can take, in order to align the power level of PFS characters with the power level that Paizo products expect.
In other words, if the APs assume 15-point PCs with little to no non-Core options, would PFS be better served if its PCs adhered to the same baseline?
With the right player, the summoner can be a lot of fun but it suffers from the "but imagine if it falls in the wrong hands!" syndrome, and that turns many players/DMs off.
I imagine the Summoner would be "less reviled" if it were easy to be that "right player," but as the class is, it takes a lot of experience to be that player, to not be overpowered with a Summoner.
And that's not a good thing.
David Bowles wrote:
I see this as a VERY slippery slope. Would I be able to turn away druids for example? I see them as session wrecking. See the problem?
I understand your point. The problem here is that the campaign does not want to trust its GMs out of a fear of a few GMs misusing that trust. We don't have this privilege out of a proven fear that some will wreck it for all.
"Not at my table" has plenty of merit when used responsibly, but campaign history prevents it from being integrated into the rules.
I agree. You'll be the best climber you can be, but you won't be as good as a strong person with no training at all. And even with those skill ranks, you'll still be a terrible swimmer unless you train at that to.
Note that a single rank in a class skill gives the same benefit as an 18 in that skill's associated attribute. For example, a 10-Str character with a single rank in Swim has the same modifier as an 18-Str untrained character.
What a difference a lesson makes.
I am not discounting the importance of training at a skill, I am pointing out that the effects of training are very, very large in Pathfinder. Perhaps too large. And these very-large effects are part of what makes Charisma into the dump stat of champions.
Chris Mortika wrote:
After a couple of unpleasant games -- not the fault of anybody at the table -- I'm now promising to give up my seat at a 7-player table. And I won't GM them. I can't make them fun enough for people.
That reminds me of what would make for a wonderful rule change: an expansion of the explicit "rights of the GM" to run tables he or she is comfortable with. Things like being explicitly allowed to hard-cap a Season 0-3 module at four players, or the ability to turn away a Summoner4 from a table full of level 1 PCs.
That way, the GM doesn't have to deal with the problem of "public games" infringing on his comfort level, or his ability to run a good session. It would be nice to be able to GM something for a public audience knowing that the GM is empowered to shield the game from session-wrecking pitfalls.
In other words, what talbanus said.
Just off the top of my head, it sounds like there is an issue with the intersection of the Charisma stat and what Charisma actually ends up doing for characters without class features which rely on Charisma. For these characters, Charisma is entirely about boosting Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device.
So, if you don't care about those skills, and your class doesn't reference Charisma, you're best off dumping Charisma. And even if you do care about those skills, you probably need some Intelligence to afford them.
It sounds like a skill modifier boost is not enough for an attribute's functionality, that's all. The question is... what else could Charisma do?
Again off the top of my head:
And another thought:
This quirk of the game isn't just Charisma-related. A Str-7 character can be the world's greatest rock-climber with just a few ranks of Climb. The character might be unable to do a single pull-up, but can scale the most difficult rock faces in existence with enough ranks. Meanwhile, simply with skill ranks, a Dex-7 character can become the world's greatest acrobat, an Int-7 character can learn all the world's languages, etc.
It sounds like, when it comes to skill modifiers, attribute modifiers are pretty small in the grand scheme. Too small, as evidenced by the Charisma problem.
So, here's some food for thought:
I imagine we won't use dice unless it's really necessary. The collaborative part comes in when the players all contribute ideas towards the resolution of each player's actions. So, if I have Lady Gabrielle, say, try to convince Sheila Heidmarch to abandon this whole Pathfindery thing, leave her husband, and become a traveling musician, the rest of you guys would contribute towards how that line of conversation and action turns out. Ben might take on the role of Sheila, and maybe Nick plays her husband who angrily accosts Gabi for stealing his wife away, or Ryan points out how silly I'm being and that Sheila would just mind-control her husband into being her bass player, stuff like that.
I imagine, instead of the conversation being between player and GM, the conversation is between all the players.
I stumbled across this earlier today. Looks like big changes are coming to the leadership of the Society! I was pretty blown away, but I'll let you guys read and find out about what's happening to the Decemvirate yourself.
All right, so I believe we are ready to move into opened-up player-collaboration mode. From here, we get to work together to craft the stories our awesome adventurers experience after the incident at Xin-Shalast. Instead of playing a GM, as I was doing there before, I see myself taking the role of facilitator. Instead of the GM/player back-and-forth, in which the GM comes up with the resolution of player actions... well, it's on all of us now to collaborate on the best and most interesting outcomes.
So let's get to it!
I recently commissioned a portrait of the lovely and elegant Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher. The Lady is pictured in an example of her adventuring garb.
Investigation of the portal being tuned by the Denizens of Leng, with a bit of time spent examining this incredibly complicated device from another world, reveals that it was drawing from the runewell to power a rift in reality which would be able to reach through time. Or, if attuned differently, it could reach within reality, as well as within the mountain Mhar Massif, and give the sleeping Old One inside enough of a jolt of energy to likely wake him up. Karzoug's claim that his death would awaken Mhar seems legitimate, as he is tied to the runewell that the Leng device draws from.
However, the portal would have to be attuned a certain way to possibly awaken Mhar. Further investigation eventually reveals that the Denizens of Leng had done so, but the party's interference has disabled the portal at least temporarily. The attempted emergence of the gigantic Hound of Tindalos essentially overloaded the portal.
So, to move things along, the party has three options for Karzoug:
A) Wake up Karzoug, interrogate him, then go from there. This risks Karzoug potential escape.
B) Kill Karzoug, sending his soul to Pharasma. This will destroy the runewell and all the potential it holds, both in itself and as an energy source for the Leng device, as well as disable several powerful artifacts. But it'll kill him.
C) Imprison Karzoug within the Eye of Avarice. This avoids the problem of losing the runewell, and he can be permanently trapped in suspended animation or his soul stored in a gem.
There are also two options for the soul lens:
1) Destroy the soul lens. This is will prevent entry and exit from the Eye of Avarice forever. The party will be able to get out of the Eye with plane shift, but it would be a one-way trip. The runewell itself would become inaccessible, and would never reach "full charge." This would also mean that if Karzoug were to be imprisoned in the Eye of Avarice, it would be really really hard to wake him up in the future, because no one would how to get into the Eye of Avarice, and we probably would just not speak of where we imprisoned Karzoug.
2) Don't destroy the soul lens. The party would have access to a permanent demiplane as well as the runewell. The runewell could also reach "full charge." If Karzoug were to be imprisoned within the Eye of Avarice, though, he could possibly escape if someone in the future woke him up.
Once we've made these two decisions, we can really move into "player-collaboration mode," and greatly expand the scope of our play-by-post.
To help spur discussion, as Ben and I talked about, Lady Gabrielle would like to choose Option C for Karzoug and Option 2 for the soul lens.