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Mike Brock

Michael Brock's page

Global Organized Play Coordinator. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 4,920 posts (4,956 including aliases). 3 reviews. 1 list. 2 wishlists. 6 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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#6 Black Waters. Throw in ambient music from the "Spooky" soundset of Syrinscape, add some roleplaying at the dinner, and a very fun scenario.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Grim Gravelskull wrote:

So no more regular Society games in Sacramento now?

After looking on Warhorn it looks to be pretty much core.

Did you email your VC to see what was going on or if regular games can be scheduled? I just did. Did you volunteer to GM a normal mode game? VOs can only work with what people volunteer to GM.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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We have already advised that there will be no free retraining option.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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John and I discussed grandfathering at length. As John and I both advised in the first thread, this is the decision that the PFS team has made and is what we are going with.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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thaX wrote:
Then why get a Wayfinder?

Because they are the symbol of being a Pathfinder agent and are rewarded for successful completion of The Confirmation (though generally not a field commission)? Sometimes an item is more than just the numbers it represents.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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kinevon wrote:

@Sarvei: That is probably why your VC has a VL, to cover an area that is difficult for him to reach regularly.

@Roger: If there is a nearby VC, you could discuss with him/her becoming a VL for them in your city. That would give you additional support you can call on, if you need it, without breaking the Paizo model. VCs cover a lot of territory. So much, in fact, that a recent VC retirement included splitting her territory in two.

Actually it was split into four and we currently have only appointed two of the four VCs.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Roger Corbera wrote:
But can I be an independent venture lieutenant, without a Captain above me? There isn't any captain in my city, and I'm not sure I've enough time to be captain.

You can email me and we can discuss

I have tremendous appreciation for everything VCs and VLs do for their regions. Without them, PFS simply wouldn't be as awesome as it is.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Lamontius wrote:


EDIT: AGGGGHHHHH MIKE BROCK STOLE MY IDEA NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

2ND EDIT: okay so they were crayons and not pencils but STILL

This sounds like more Lamenting by Lamontius.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Can you please specificy what constitutes "everything" that I am controlling that you don't like?
With all due respect, no. I'm not going to go into specifics. Just know that I've been trying to promote PFS in my own little corner of the world here for years, and that it's fallen mostly into deaf ears for some time now. The going was good back in Season 1, but somewhere along the way something went wrong. The onerous guidelines, additional resources, etc. have become a huge detractor for newbies and experienced players alike. I'm trying to make the case to simplify the process while allowing people to play whatever they want. That is my request. I understand that it would take one year or more to get there, assuming there's even willingness to make this happen, so I'm not going to hold my breath. But if you want my honest opinion, this is what has become problematic for the campaign... the factions... not so much. When I'm off work come Friday the last thing I want to do is to spend another hour figuring out certs and the whole accounting part of the campaign. I do it reluctantly still, but for most GMs out there, they've stopped bothering and refuse to organize PFS events, instead reverting to home campaigns. It's there for you to do whatever you wish with it, and for the minions to come and dissect into ridiculousness.

Well, I guess I will exit this conversation then since I can't help provide further answers for you. On a side note, we did simplify the process. It's called the Core Mode for Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The Core Mode has no onerous guidelines, very little additional resources that affect it, etc...

As for "most GMs out there" have stopped bothering and refuse to organize PFS, that's a bit of a stretch. Maybe in your region that is the case (it's actually not since we are about to add a second VC to that region due to popularity of PFS) but the numbers I get from IT show that we have 200-400 new players join each week. This week alone we've added more than 15 regional coordinators in five different countries and eight states and now have more than 430 VOs, compared to the original 13 a year into PFS and 280 or so this time last year. On average the campaign has continued to grow at a rate of approximately 13,500 new players each year.

As for reverting to home campaigns, that's fantastic! They get to play Pathfinder RPG in the manner they deem fit and aren't "handicapped" by the rules set forth for OP. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
So if we open all books and everything, you are ok with artifacts from the artifact books? Same thing with Mythic? Advanced firearms? Frag grenades and flame throwers? Laser guns and cybernetics? CE characters? How about antipaladin and lich characters? Piecemailed armor? Characters with siege engines?

artifacts: no

mythic: as long as it's given some thought
advanced firearms: no - emerging guns only
frag.... flame... laser... cyber...: you're being silly
CE characters: YES! finally!
antipaladin: YES
lich: you're being silly again... no limit playable undeads to ghouls, and maybe throw one vampire template out there once a year at GenCon...
piecemailed armor: is that in Ultimate Combat?
siege engines: if you're running a season of PFS on the high seas, hell yes, I'm counting on it.

How am I being silly? I took exactly what you said and asked questions from it. Your statement:

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
IMO the Pathfinder Society should do a 180 and allow all contents from all the books, and do away with that silly fame thing, and item tracking through adventure certs.

All contents from all books as you requested include everything I listed, even the stuff you called silly.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:


mythic: as long as it's given some thought

If we are opening all content from the book as you suggested, why do we need to give it additional thought?

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:


advanced firearms: no - emerging guns only

This doesn't fit your request for "allow all contents from all the books"

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:


frag.... flame... laser... cyber...: you're being silly

This doesn't fit your request for "allow all contents from all the books" AP71 has Frag grenades and flame throwers. The Technology Guide has laser rifles and pistols and all manner of other weapons (sonic, arc, atom guns, grenade launchers nuclear resonators, etc...). Again, you did say "allow all contents from all the books"

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:


CE characters: YES! finally!
antipaladin: YES

How do you suppose this would work in OP where one of the three beliefs is cooperate?

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:


lich: you're being silly again... no limit playable undeads to ghouls, and maybe throw one vampire template out there once a year at GenCon...

Again, why are we limiting it if you advised "allow all contents from all the books"? The Bestiary has rules on creating a lich as a character.

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:


piecemailed armor: is that in Ultimate Combat?

Yes

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:


siege engines: if you're running a season of PFS on the high seas, hell yes, I'm counting on it.

How about for non high seas adventures? Players haev found a way they can shrink a siege engine, take it into a dungeon, unshrink it, and then use it. Why wouldn't that be allowed in all circumstances outside of High seas adventures.

Additionally, I forgot to add Hero Points. Should we include those as well?

I think it is safe to say that "allowing all contents from all the books" is probably not the healthiest choice for organized play though I encourage you to do so in a home game.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

Wayfinder-slotted ioun stones are a feature unique to the world of Golarion, with deep ties to the Pathfinder Society. I understand Core is Core, but the stuff that is unique to the Pathfinder Society should be allowed, as well as anything found in the Inner Sea World Guide. If "there's just too many books now" is the reason for Core, at least put some key Golarion-flavored items and feats in your Core Campaign guidelines... that way those who won't buy the Campaign Setting can still be on an equal footing.

Otherwise, the Core is Core movement starts looking like the Core is Greyhawk movement. I honestly don't get this Core shame limitation trend. IMO the Pathfinder Society should do a 180 and allow all contents from all the books, and do away with that silly fame thing, and item tracking through adventure certs. For GM audit purpose the only thing a player should have to spit out is the total GP value of his character's gear... there. You've dealt with 99% of all the abuse and rules misreading in one blow.

So if we open all books and everything, you are ok with artifacts from the artifact books? Same thing with Mythic? Advanced firearms? Frag grenades and flame throwers? Laser guns and cybernetics? CE characters? How about antipaladin and lich characters? Piecemailed armor? Characters with siege engines?

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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End of night one and I was able to get through all the emails sent to me today. We have about 10 hotel rooms remaining.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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medtec28 wrote:
Billy Darios wrote:
medtec28 wrote:
Was hoping there would be more than just season 6 up there this year. Guess I'll be doing other things at gencon this year.
There is season 7 as well
And I'll try to play those, but i was at gencon 2 years ago and they had a smattering of older play. I haven't played season 6 since my bad experience at gencon last year, and neither have any of the group I'll be going with.

That smattering of older seasons was to celebrate the five year anniversary of PFS. But, having to muster 65 different scenarios every slot almost killed my HQ staff and I don't want to put them through that again.

You should try some of the rest of the Season 6. Judging an entire season on the first three scenarios isn't likely the best practice. Read the reviews. A good many have nothing to do with technology and you might be pleasantly surprised.

In addition to the three new season 7 scenarios and the four new specials, we will also have six new quests based around the new Occult Adventures.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Matthew Pittard wrote:
How many of the original 13 are left?

5 (6 if you count me)

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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I have replied to 9 emails thus far with the following:

Do you need shirts? If So, what size? Is this the email tied to both your Gen Con and PaizoCon email accounts?

Please include this info on your initial email.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Robyn, as I advised at our VO dinner at Orccon when we discussed the reorganization of the LA region, you will be missed. Your efforts have been tremendous. Your leadership has been outstanding. Guiding the new changes of the region and reorganization of that area, as well as leading the nomination and changes to VO leadership team for the next phase, is much appreciated. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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From the Guide:

Any Seeker with sufficient Fame and experience can purchase scrolls containing 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-level spells, following the price guidelines in the Core Rulebook. Access to these spells is restricted to scrolls and is not available for spell-casting services. Upon reaching 13th level, Seekers are eligible to select spells or purchase 7th-level scrolls. Upon reaching 15th level, they are eligible to select spells or purchase 8th-level scrolls. Upon reaching 17th level, they are eligible to select spells or purchase 9th-level scrolls

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Walter Sheppard wrote:

Thanks for the response Mike. I asked David to throw this question up here after last nights game.

** spoiler omitted **

I knew the answer was currently no, but I wanted the idea to be brought to your attention. This is something relatively easy and neat that could be opened up at some point in the future. It would certainly spice up older chronicles for the Core campaign.

Still having tons of fun in Core without it though. Level 5 monk!

That would certainly be cool. Unfortunately, I see it exploited where Gms list things, people then turn around and sell it for gold. Then, people ask that the GM be able to add anything found in game to Chronicle sheets and it just spirals out of control.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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David_Bross wrote:

If something is encountered in the scenario, can a GM write it on the chronicle sheet?

It seems like items such as ghost salt weapon blanch and adamantine weapon blanch would be useful if characters could acquire them in core from chronicles having them.

Unless it is a spell book or scroll that is scribed or learned, the answer is no.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Chris Mortika wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:

Does anyone know if the "grandfathering shenanigans" around aasimar and tiefling were all that prevalent, or were more of a messageboard phenomenon?

I know of three cities in the upper midwest where dozens of players ran through "The Confirmation" or "First Steps 1" with an aasimar / tiefling. Nobody considered it cheating or shenanigans.

for the sake of perspective, loads of people played their Lantern Lodge and Shadow Lodge characters through the respective retirement scenarios before the season end / deadline, and nobody considered that to be shenanigans. Years ago, lots of people ran their PCs through the announced-to-be-retired Season 0 scenarios, before the deadline, and they weren't accused of cheating, either.

There were also multiple, 28 minute runs of Master of the Fallen Fortress (up to 8 a day).

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Gregory Connolly wrote:
I also love how some people who play PFS, namely those who are venture officers, got warning that this was coming down. The argument that this is fair because nobody had notice coming from someone who admits to having notice is rich.

We didn't warn VOs specifically so they wouldn't have to deal with this.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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John and I discussed grandfathering at length. As John has advised, this is the decision that the PFS team has made and is what we are going with.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Assume the player made an error, go over the rules with the player too ensure it won't happen again, and then game and have fun.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Undone wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

I don't need more confidence in banning things I think are overpowered or not a good fit for OP. A few years ago, the VOs and I went through a process of determining what existing things should be removed from the campaign, including synthesist summoner and the like. I don't anticipate having to do another rebalance in the foreseeable future.

For all future releases, we have teams of VOs that go through all released products. They complete a summation form and forward to me. I then receive John's input on what he thinks of the recommendations, speak to other Paizo staff as needed, and I then make a final ruling on whether something is included in PFS or not. Once I have made my final decision based on the totality of feedback, I update Additional Resources accordingly.

Can I ask you what you think is going to happen with PFS and unchained?

Banning the original summoner in favor of the new one would help a lot.

John, Erik, and I have already discussed it. We have three separate teams of VOs reviewing that book to provide feedback. Once we receive their feedback, the three of us will discuss further, and I will make a final decision on how we approach Unchained for PFS. The book will only be legal for the existing mode and will not be available for Core mode play.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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It is my distinct honor and pleasure to announce the awarding of two new Campaign Service Awards.

With more than 1,000 days of service to the campaign, Garrett Gottschalk and Seth Gipson have accomplished too many acts of recognition for me to try to list them all. From regional game days and conventions to work in libraries, their efforts have been commendable. They make my job easier and have my sincerest appreciation and respect. Suffice to say they are a few of the pillars that this community is built on and represent exactly what the Campaign Service Award was created for.

My highest congratulations to both awesome VOs. They are now PFS Numbers:

Seth Gipson - 717
Garrett Gottschalk - 718

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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I don't need more confidence in banning things I think are overpowered or not a good fit for OP. A few years ago, the VOs and I went through a process of determining what existing things should be removed from the campaign, including synthesist summoner and the like. I don't anticipate having to do another rebalance in the foreseeable future.

For all future releases, we have teams of VOs that go through all released products. They complete a summation form and forward to me. I then receive John's input on what he thinks of the recommendations, speak to other Paizo staff as needed, and I then make a final ruling on whether something is included in PFS or not. Once I have made my final decision based on the totality of feedback, I update Additional Resources accordingly.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Interesting read thus far.

Back in late 2011, I formed an exploratory committee of VCs to discuss the creation of a second campaign, "The Consortium." I still have the summation report on my desktop. I've always wanted to do something that would allow the player base to see the story from both sides. I thought that would be a really cool idea.

I have played in a two year long succesful evil campaign, in the Planescape universe. I also have a conversion to run Carrion Crown as an evil campaign one day. I do have some ideas how it could and would work. I have the ground rules already written up. An "evil campaign" could work if done correctly.

Unfortunately, to do it right, it takes a tremendous amount of resources. It takes so much resources dedicated to doing it the right way, that it just isn't feasabile, at least not anytime in the foreseeable future.

Paizo Employee Global Organized Play Coordinator

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I'm still here. Lost my charter superscriber title when I traded it in for the purple golem next to my name ;-)

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I wanted to take a minute to welcome aboard the new Venture-Captain assigned to the Canary Islands. I will let Guillermo Cerezo introduce himself, advise about the websites he will utilize for coordinating, and any other information he wishes to share.

Welcome to the team!

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Halfling paladin

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The Fox wrote:


I don't know exactly what I would say if I were trying to ease fears about this issue.

"There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction."

--John F. Kennedy

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Rich Parents is not legal in either campaign.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Drogon wrote:

This is going to come up (has come up as a question in those other threads) and I really do need to know what the response is going to be:

Someone screws up. Despite every precaution the "Core Only" rule was violated at a table.

The table was announced as a Core table. The GM checked with players prior to playing to be sure they were using Core-only PCs, and double checked to be sure they understood what that meant. Nothing untoward occurred during game play. Then, during Day Job rolls, the monk's player announces that he uses his his Patient Calm trait to get a 12 on his take 10 for Profession (Yoga Teacher).

Step by step, please, what happens next to everyone involved?

It's chalked up as an honest mistake, make sure the player understands what needs to be fixed, report it as a Core table, and invite people to come back next week.

The same thing has happened with people using banned feats, traits, etc... We don't invalidate an entire table because one person made a mistake.

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Dwarven fighter

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Jiggy wrote:
Wraithcannon wrote:

What about core spells that use other resources?

RAW, Summon Monster allows you to summon Elementals from Bestiary I and II.

Polymorph spells like Beast Shape, Plant Shape, and Form of the Dragon also allow you to transform into creatures that are from all 4 current Bestiaries.

It's been clarified that if the CRB points to the Bestiary for something (like with summon monster) then you can use that thing from the Bestiary. Not sure if that includes 2-4, though.

Just Bestiary 1 unless a different sourcebook is specifically called out.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:


And the official titles to be used in the updated guide are Core Campaign and Normal Campaign.

Pathfinder Society Core Mode or Pathfinder Society Normal Mode

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Swiftbrook wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Gotcha. As mentioned earlier in this thread, chronicle boons are campaign specific. So, no cross-campaign mixing.


Swiftbrook wrote:

The term "Chronicle Boon" confused me.


It seems like everything is printed on chronicle sheets. I believe you mean boons on scenario chronicles are legal for that PC (Core PC or Standard PC). And holiday boons, GM boons, GM Star boons, convention boons, etc. are campaign specific (standard campaign unless it specifies it's usable in the Core campaign).


Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
As for Holiday/Novel/GM Boons/Con boons, I'm pretty sure that Mike has said that those can go on either Classic or Core characters, unless it opens up a new race.
Looks like I'm not the only one confused by the term "Chronicle Boon".

If it's a Chronicle sheet/boon not earned through scenario play (holiday boon, novel boon, prize table boon, etc...) it may be assigned to either mode character. If it is a boon earned through scenario play, such as Eyes of Ten, it may only be assigned to a character of the same mode of play.

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


I'm relatively new to PFS play. I only have two characters rolling with it at the moment.

My first exposure was at GenCon, and the 'cattle call' that happens before slots, even with a table of 'pure' ticket holders and no pre-gens.

The concern I have about this new launch is, simply put... does the Society have the *resources* to run this 'reset campaign' at the same time as maintaining the Legacy campaign?

Food for thought.

Yes

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Chris Mortika wrote:

Question.

Let's say I attend a convention, and play / GM some standard mode PFS, and some CORE Mode PFS.

When I play a standard PFS adventure, I might get a boon. I should attach that boon to a legal Standard Mode PFS character.

When I play a CORE adventure, I might get a boon. I should attach that boon to a legal CORE Mode PFS character.

If I get a boon for attendance, or for buying books, or for anything else that isn't linked to a scenario play, can I apply that boon to a CORE Mode PFS character?

Yes unless it's a boon that opens up a new race.

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We will address languages on the PFS blog in two weeks (next Monday is the PaizoCon call for volunteers).

The Guide is going to take a bit longer to update as it has to also go through editing and layout once we get the wording for the Core section.

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