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Matteo Falcone's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 33 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 10 Pathfinder Society characters.


Wizards and worth. A wizard (I have a universal 12th level) is whatever you have chosen plus clever use of spells. Efficiency is tough across many scenarios, but tactical options can be built up. Creativity in using any spell/spell group is best. Most of all, plan to have fun. There are benchmark spells of course. Color spray is darn useful, as is burning hands. When it comes down to contact, mage armor and shield are pretty useful, but not offensive. Find a balance. If your group is restricted, getting another wizard to buddy with you might not happen. The good thing about copying spells is that you can be selective about which ones you get. Nothing worse than two wizards with the same spells or prohibited schools of spells trying to copy out new spells. And remember, wizards might be the only party member to use a magic device in scenario. In short, spell lists are limited, but they are also open for creative use.

An audit is to air out the facts as presented and compare them to best practices or compliance with rules IMO. Things not in accord are called discrepencies. The local gaming PFS I attend has looked at voluntary submission to review PCs. That seems to be a nice way to help people through complex choices and it is no wonder that errors in making choices happen to casual and competitive players. Continuing play with erroneous information, lack of information, bad arithmetic, or just cobbled assumptions from judges, players and self-delusion is likely a greater reason than cheating for messed up character construction. Cheating is a human failing in competions like PFS scenarios or convention events.

What solution WORKS in a convention setting? Probably decisions by the judge work best. Give out a warning, use the accumulated warnings by noting them on the Chronicle sheet (yes, a report card). At the end of a scenario, post the results per normal, give the Player his Chronicle with normal awards, but note also *No credit until local audit of PC*. That works to keep the event running. If a judge doesn't see the need to spend time with the player in question on a voluntary basis, I have the following suggestion:

The con judge or PFS event manager can post to the character's home VC/VL, and let a local audit happen (by a delegated person, by email or other). This gives support to the Player to correct discrepenies with his local group or PFS officer. That would be a post in the Player file of Pathfinder Society which could have a remove button option for the VC/VL or higher once a local audit is done. The assumption is that a PC will be constructed correctly thereafter. Until that time, the PC (the character in question, not the player) is suspended from getting credit for PFS play.

I would add that this would be a constructive solution, just as asking a player to leave the table for extreme behaviors or denying level or PP awards. Again, it is a process to improve Player participation.

Would someone official from Paizocon answer this thread?

Parking used to be included for those renting rooms during other cons at this hotel. This is Paizo's first venture there and it would be good to know this in advance. An extra $60 fee to park is a consideration (F,S,S). Also, check to see if the ATM machine is operating and stocked and that the hotel is not under remodelling. At one recent Rustycon both those situations arose: the only ATM was empty for the entire weekend and the only restaurant was at half-capacity. And it is 3-4 blocks to alternatives for those, not a quick dash.

Best solution: be responsible.

Neither the hotel nor likely Paizo will want legal responsibility for your child. At some cons, the lifestyle is that children are 'cared for' by fellow con attendees and that these tots are respected. Lifestyle is not reality. Reality is that child monitoring by parents is a legal responsibility. An unattended minor can have real world distress or harm.

Also, a PFS event or convention game event is timed. The GM is vexed enough with that limit, but allowing for diaper breaks, food breaks, and a wide variety of normal child behaviors is not the GM's responsibility. A game is very much an endurance contest requiring toleration. Children are rarely noted to have tolerance amid chaotic adults.

While a considerable discussion is directed to the perspective of what a GM may want at the table, the fundamental issue seems to be linked to the store owner. If electronics supplant hard copy books greatly, then the store owner sees no profit other than perhaps pop and candy sales from allowing Pathfinder to use up space in his store. Frankly that is a consideration that will come up. Would Pathfinder players pay $5 an hour each to have a place to sit? Renting a site for an event would hardly be less than $30 an hour in most cities. There are people other than players and GMs that make PFS possible.

Also, the electrical outlets of a store might not service all tables. Cords strung across the floor create hazards for the the store owner to consider and can interfere with customers moving around the tables.
I have been to a couple of sites where it seems that the lights are dimmed for the benefit of laptop use during PFS events. Of course, that translates to dim lighting for those trying to read pencil marks on paper. The environment of the game site becomes part of the discussion here as well.

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Two facets of this come to the fore:

1. That a player, especially a new player or one trying the PC class for the first time, should not be required by a GM or other players to create a character based on their expectations. This process makes each new player a robot or a puppet. Circumstances and experience in play will draw out worthwhile PC development or perhaps discourage the character design that is too inefficient. PFS is about character building with creative and diverse players. Simply asking of the new player, "What will be fun for you?" may work best and then guiding them toward choices.

2. That a GM or other player giving best advice is not a bad thing, it just can get overbearing, even to the point of bullying, which should not be tolerated at a PFS table. Bullying in my view implies threat of exclusion or ridicule by a GM or other players. Often out of game suggestions on improving charater development work best. PFS is not played only by 'professional' gamers. PFS is about team building with the resources you have at the table.

I respond well to appeals to my interest.

No mission. No prestiege. No vanities. No tangible benefits of faction membership. Merely satsifaction in not helping ourselves to opportunities laid before us. No need for Venture Captains and Lieutenants.

Surely I have not drunk enough, or too much. May as well be slaves. Ah... perhaps there *IS* a dark reasoning behind this little plan.

While this conversation began discussing players walking out of an event at will, it turned to time block scheduling issues quickly.

I find that PFS has already accommodated the walk out situation in its rules. It definitely hurts the group effort to finish the scenario, but that happens.

As for completing scenarios within the schedule of a 4 hour block, that becomes a Procrustan bed that the GM controls. GMs have to choose a scenario that is playable in that time length, cutting and trimming optional items well before the event starts. Many of my hardest GM experiences were in ending a good game just to accommodate a schedule. It is tough to discipline a motley crew of fun seekers, but someone has to do that.

PS: Andrew, I am originally from Minnesota. In 1972-1980 I played in groups with the usual suspects in St. Paul/Mpls and in my home town of Duluth.

Archivist sounds more like a reference librarian which should require that you have such a library: like the Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge, a faction house, or perhaps collectors like Blackros. Perhaps the PC could become a Sage instead, trading on his personal store of knowledge. Also, this sounds like a cummulative score of three areas of KS. Maybe any one would add to Day Job. Otherwise all PCs would want to add multiple scores to each roll. And by ranks, I guess you mean 5 real ranks/skill points added, not just a 5 skill level.

Teleportation Network: whoa! Too much for too little. What is the value of 4-7 teleport spells? If retrieval of your corpse can be prearranged for 5PP, wouldn't that be a base cost for such teleportation. So -5 PP per adventure per PC. Your calculation seems to be: 10 scenarios (20PP)for one PC you would get free transport for the next 26 scenarios (12th level)for up to 26x7 PCs?

Snapdragon Wayfinder: Amusing. However, this opens the question of the Wayfinder becoming a regenerating spell storing device for any 3rd level spells (5th level caster). Buy a Wayfinder, get 3 fireballs a day sort of thing.

Norgorbon Wayfinder: +1 returning ranged attack weapon, akin to Universalist Wizard Hand of the Apprentice ability. 10 PP might be a fair price for a +1 (2000 gp value), but returning ability and a light spell?

Thanks, Kinevon, for that lucid response. However, this line has me wondering still:

*After the initial 24 hour time period, the stat enhancement is treated as permanent while the belt continues to be worn.*

Why? Poor language in the descriptor? Nothing in the descriptor relates anything about permanency or conditions after 24 hours. To me facts not in evidence are wishful thinking on the part of PCs. However, I like it better than the additive value implied by getting the increase added to the PC ability permanently without the belt.

Situations where it might be worn longer may include being transported as a corpse back to Absolom for resurrection. Or if the ability lost by removing the belt or having it fade would cause the death (like lost Con) of an injured PC. Extreme circumstances, I know, but not unlikely in PFS.

Old posts and a recent discussion lead me to question the reading of belts and headbands with stat bonuses. This is NOT an upgrade issue, but one of expiration of stat abilities derived from an item. EG, a Belt of Mighty Constitution reads:
*.Treat this as a temporary ability bonus for the first 24 hours the belt is worn.*
To me this reads as : the temporary increase and the magic of the belt fade after 24 hours of being worn (even when sleeping, unconscious,dead, etc).
There are a few item with this sentence in the descriptor. What came up in the recent discussion with a couple of very experienced GMs is that the effects become permanent after 24 hours of the PC wearing the belt and if your PC removes the belt, the 24 hours restarts the countdown to permanent. It never fades in power.
Also, if the abilities (as implied in other messages) are permanently added to the PC abilities (no longer dependent upon the belt being worn)after 24 hours, then simply buying a stock of, for example, Belts of Constitution would inevitably make you a Constitution monster.
So, how valid are these claims?
Moreover, what is the correct reading for PFS where no one is there to mark the time that you wear your 24 hour item? Essentially, this makes a 24 hour item permanent by default.

Old posts and a recent discussion lead me to question the reading of belts and headbands with stat bonuses. This is NOT an upgrade issue, but one of expiration of stat abilities derived from an item. EG, a Belt of Mighty Constitution reads:
*.Treat this as a temporary ability bonus for the first 24 hours the belt is worn.*
To me this reads as : the temporary increase and the magic of the belt fade after 24 hours.
There are a few item with this sentence in the descriptor. What came up in the recent discussion with a couple of very experienced GMs is that the effects become permanent after 24 hours of the PC wearing the belt and if your PC removes the belt, the 24 hours restarts the countdown to permanent.
Also, if the abilities are as implied in other messages, permanently added to the PC abilities (no longer dependent upon the belt being worn), then simply buying a stock of, for example, Belts of Constitution would inevitably make you a Constitution monster.
So, how far off base are these claims?
Moreover, what is the correct reading for PFS where no one is there to count the rounds that you wear your 24 hour item? Essentially, this makes a 24 hour item permanent by default.

The means to run longer than slot length scenarios is to take 2 slots in your planning and schedule the same with the con. Players that want 'to move on' or walk away from your event have provisions to do so within PFS guidelines. Personally, I consider it rude behavior on the part of players to leave an event to play in another one. Equally, it is rude of GMs/Tournament managers to not provide adequate time for enjoyment of their scenario. An emergency is one thing, double booking your time is another. When someone suddenly announces without notice that they are leaving, I feel let down and wonder if there might have been another player denied a place at the table. After some 40 PFS scenarios played, I have found that it is very very rare that only 4 hours is taken to run through a 6 player event, more likely 6 hours. I have only played out two modules, each taking nearly 12+ hours.

Probably the same way anyone learns a language: a great deal of time at study. A noted linguist once answered that after about four years of modest study time, you can acquire a basic understanding and use of a language. Historically, you went to the monastic or royal library where the scholars taught you for a decade or two. In game, Thassalonian would be acquired in that way. Self-study would seem an extreme bit of guesswork without a lot of references. You would never acquire idiomatic and contextual knowledge easily.

That said, players would simply head on down to some mentor who would introduce them to the discipline. In PFS, eh. Pick up the pencil and write 'Thassalonian' on your sheet.

Yes, Ponti, I see your point. As you say, we should remove the rough edges and hone ourselves to improve the Sczarni. Perhaps here in Abosolom you have heard of The Puddles and maybe you would find your purpose there. Or even in Riddleport in far Varisia might suit your special talents. I am quite sure that Master Karela could find you of service there.

Kotyk, let me not forget your interests here. Shinies may be found aplenty in Riddleport I am told. Make the journey, take them for whatever they are worth, good friend. The locals are an interesting lot, but Varisians always are. Go, make a good impression upon our brethren there and a deeper one upon our enemies.

Hmm. Ponti, you need this glass of Subtle Tea to calm yourself. Or would you prefer some of this Black Wine? It is very sweet.

And dear Kotyk, what ever would you expect if not shinies from our advisor Guaril? He presents us with opportunities to feather our nests. Has he not taught us that when you look around the room and can't spot the mark, then it's you? Wisdom is hard learned and he offers it generously to us, though at times I too find the path to wisdom is not a peaceful one.

Since all KS and language skills are your advanatage, that seems settled. As for a Craft, something to support that day job is good, however Profession seems better. My only use of a Craft/Profession to accomplish missions related Profession: Merchant (leather) and Profession: Entertainer (Acrobat). Each provided bonus circumstances in role-play. Don't discount the value of Day Jobs too much as they cover a costs of small expendables used in game.

As for Osirian tomb raiders: take clues from what you will actually study: monuments, artifacts. Ancient jewelry, numismatics, pottery, etc. all relate as much as gargantuan stone edifices. Styles of art and sculpture. Anything can provide an RPG moment that gains you a circumstance bonus in achieving a mission success.

Oh, and mummery, as that is very useful in the scenario with parades in Philadelphia on New Year's.

During this last year, I have found no specific set of skills for my factions that guarantees mission success. I have played maybe 40 scenarios overall. What is apparent from that experience is that the many faction missions need Perception, Diplomacy and KS:(local)skills before any crunch and munch skills come into play. A few missions require class skills that are just not yours. Often getting to your 'simple' mission opportunity puts members or even the team at serious risk. What fun! Creative use of the skills that you have chosen for your character seems the best plan. Coaxing cooperative if unknowing support from your team members is also important.

The most embarrassing moments on faction missions come when you have to convince the party that the scenario is not over because you still have an unfinished *secret* faction mission. However, players generally cooperate because they might need the same help soon enough.

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My current level 1 PFS is a human heal monkey without Heal Domain. Not efficient, but as a Luck/Travel-Exploration PC, I intend to have fun. His current favorite quote about himself: Not in the face! Not in the face!

I have found that I enjoy games more where efficiency is not the goal. You can do all the linear regression models you want to find Pareto optimalization, but what the heck. I play for theraputic social reasons, not to demonstrate that math works.

Just sayin'.

Petty theft or scenario altering theft outside of missions seems obviously creating an imbalance in the PFS plan. A player might do such things. When some Player says: "I can take/do anything and you can't stop me", the GM is presented a challenge. While it might be fun to RP, it can likely result in serious changes in the game, including a player monopolizing scenario time. This applies in so many ways other than materialistic gain. And what consequences if caught? Jail time? Lost scenario time, perhaps enough to cause the team to fail? Lose the scenario points, pull the player from the time frame (perhaps send him away from the table) and let the team play down one PC? NPCs can hurt PCs, even if they use the guard, the government or an annoyed Pathfinder/Faction VC to do so. Noting Evil Act on the character sheet seems a mild rebuke.

In the conclusion that there cannot be any Evil Act because Fighters Gotta Kill or Thieves Gotta Steal seems to be game breaking. Evil Acts can eventually get your PC kicked out of PFS in game. Alignment changes happen. GMs have to draw the line at game breaking. If you as a GM believe that Evil Acts are fun, great. However, have consequences for them. Chopping off body parts or losing faction/scenario points could be fun consequences. GMs can be creative.

More time in Varisia? Hmmpf.
Good Karela, be kind enough to guide my boots clear of Galdurian mud. Some there are not endeared to me. The temptation to reach out to them... well, you understand... I should not wish to color our efforts with greater complexity. It would be shameful to forget our mutual benefits in the caravan trade.

May Desna grant you easy passage into Riddleport.

A hand thinly clad in a dark silk glove raises a crystal tumbler to the lips of a lean man with multihued green scarves riffling the collar of a grey robe. He sits alone presently, but another glass rests on the table. His boots tell of long roads, his stiff left arm perhaps recovering from a wound, and his dark eyes beneath black strands of shoulder length hair tell nothing unless you wish to be very forward with him. He raises the glass to his lips as noted, but his arm does not move, only the gloved hand.

"Hmmpf,", he sniffs his drink, "Subtle." He then downs the whole glass.

He considers the company about him and waits patiently. Will he come today? Who knows...Fortune is in the cards.

Up to this point, I have tried to flash through the posts here. I may have missed some like comment, but here's my take:

"What we have here is a failure to communicate."

No one seems to post that their PC group acted in a coordinated manner to cover for weaknesses in the random PC mix at the table. As we drop to 4 player scenarios, not having a healer will be very painful. Not defending a healer will be as bad. Characters (like skill monkeys) based on 'disappearing' when things get bloody are a 25% drop in your team options in the fray. When other players interrupt the game wanting to argue 'efficiency', you may as well add bonuses to the bad guys who have a 'hive mind' GM running them. When the team runs long on RP so that suddenly it's midnight RT and you have 2 more non-optional encounters to play though, your team is going to get hurt missing part of the story or from lack of prep time into the next encounter, and certainly losing enjoyment in the game.

Perhaps failing a scenario by pulling your team out of the action and going home is a realistic solution though disappointing on the scoring. Time management is a responsiblity of the PCs, but the GM can nudge them along (train the team mind set) with suggestions that there are things to do, places to go, and creatures to see.

Having a Universalist Wizard was a challenge just like all Wizards, but I have enjoyed working up to 8th level currently. The real fun in being a Wizard is ROLE PLAYING when the time allows, especially as I only play PFS scenarios. I developed a talent for Mage Hand and Unseen Servant solutions that made up for lack of power. Later I found Spectral Hand with related spells can go a long way toward making me useful in a wide set of encounters. You just have to get in there and keep ducking...a lot. If you develop Use Magic Device skills, you are practically a healer and valued in the party.

I hope you are not creating a Barbarian with Less Brains than a Brick. To play a Cruisin' for a Bruisin' Barbarian, there are many excuses, primarily Run with a Pack works well for all factions. Revenge on Mah Emknees works for Taldan. Basically, no faction views itself as barbaric, however, barbarians are utility players: resilient, crpss-trained and happy to wear Red Shirts.

Don't try to be responsible for poor attitudes on the part of the gamers. The best result for the players you encountered is not to play with them. Just say "No thanks" when they want to sit in on your game. Best solution: Meet and train better players. Your Venture Captain most often can help you with strategies to deal with players (and kibitzers) who are bullies.

I do get the team action belief strongly in the above comments. However, reliance on each player character to survive (or remain in the game for all of the event) is a chance we all take. If your cleric buys a dirt blanket, what happens to your party right then? With the recovery buy-in options, PFS is a kinder, gentler world, but for the specialist players without a healer in place, what will they do? The same is true of the tank who oversteps his common sense so many times that the healer has no spells left, etc. In my last game, the best healer kept track of players nearing collapse and stepped up to help them recover in battle. Great, except if both were killed on the next round. The the party would be down the tank and the healer. Not a nice situation halfway through the event. Fortunately, we had more than one healer type.

A bunch of specialists relying on one other player to carry the load on job-tasking is wrought with difficulties. A group of generalists however might have some options. At least options that don't result in everyone being served with a spicy sauce, lettuce, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun.

as posted above: Hinder the "oh, I've got a scroll of that" phenomenon. With scribe scroll, a lot of clerics will prepare a scroll of every spell they don't normally memorize, just for the one time they need it. Don't get me wrong, it's smart adventuring to have some esoteric spells available as contingencies, but without scribe scroll the cost (and potential loss if you don't use it) means you have to pick and choose.

If anyone has a pile of stuff that they carry around for sudden eventualities, the GM should see them as a target for at least consideration in resolving damage to goods affected by any attack, accident. I am always amazed at the the character toting such ephemera who takes a swim and expects to find everything in working order the next time he opens that scroll. Mould is a favorite spoiler, but hacked to shreds works just fine as well. Fire is a hungry beast...etc.

Way back when it was posted: I'd hate to see a player design his character around a specific faction just to learn that he doesn't have the right skills to be successful at his faction missions.

There are no right skills. There are no perfect faction solutions. Efficient winning matches for all missions that have been/could be written are only hypothetical. What is important is that players seek useful solutions and survive the adventure.

IMHO, self-sufficiency in scenarios is greatly over rated. Faction special skills should not channel the solutions that players might find in any mission. Faction skills should enhance the likelihood of finding solutions that work and make a character fun to play.

As a faction member you also want to score some fame and PP to get rewards. For that you need to be alive at the end of the adventure. You also might want at least a few of the party to be willing to help you do that. Players working for a faction mission should use whatever it takes to get through the circumstance, including the greatest resource at the gaming table: the group. Getting someone else to accomplish your mission is a great solution. Getting others to help you stay alive ... priceless.

IMHO, mending is not functionally cleaning your blood stained, vomit covered garments ripe with yesterday's ale and bits of pig snout souffle. It is keeping up appearances for status and decency as well as warmth, dryness, and so forth. It is about not spilling the contents of your backpack or pouch along the lane as you jog along. It is about fixing the small lnk broken in the chain that snapped when you filched a necklace. In our disposable culture today, mending might seem a waste of time when you can always buy something new or live 'shabby chic'or 'street'. In the world of the PFS, mending holds together the universe of trivial things that might keep your characer alive.

Existentialists wouldn't change a spent light bulb, but would say, "Let it be." The new player's character as built is playable and can be successful. He might not be optimal, but overall, a very physical character with charisma fits very well. It's all in the role-playing, which hopefully a good PFS group can assist in developing. As I tested in last night's game, my level 1 wizard really should not attempt grappling attacks against an armored and armed fighter when there is an accommodating and garishly festooned half-orc to send into the fray. Yet, it happened. As does failure or even death. My character? He lived and I was a happy gamer. I can only wish good fortune to the new player's character. Maybe. What faction did you say he was? LOL.

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