There is no way to judge how a player or GM is going to utilize technology they bring to the table. It is naive to think though that tablets are not going to become more and more common. The challenges are in GMs being engaging enough to keep players entertained and in players not doing things that distract them from being engaged in the game.
That does not mean they are helpless. Helpless is a condition, and conditions are always explicit when they are triggered.
The Captivating Song rules are badly written because they are open to interpretation, and rules that can lead to PC death should be interpreted in the PC's favor IMO.
What thread listed coup de grace as an option for the Harpies? Coup-de-gras requires a helpless target, and the harpy's Captivating Song says nothing about making the target helpless. In fact, it says specifically that they can defend themselves (which is horrible wording, but I usually interpret as no actions but are not flat-footed).
Because of all the variance in how GMs will run illusions, I always advise players to stick with illusions that do not directly threaten or otherwise illicit a reaction from the enemy.
At least one key example has already been described by people in the thread: walls where they don't actually exist. Another example I like to use is making the ledge of a cliff appear to be three feet farther out than it actually is. The more likely the enemy is to either act directly towards the illusion to either attack or investigate it, the more likely the illusion will trigger almost an immediate save.
I've seen too many players make illusions of giant dragons or spell effects, and those types of illusions are just too heavy handed. Illusions are supposed to be subtle, think real world stage magicians. If a stage magician made an illusion that was supposed to show a huge bomb detonating a whole city block, all but the most naive people would almost instantly disbelieve.
Finally, one more important thing to remember is that your allies are also going to believe that your illusion is real until they interact with it. A giant dragon might cause some of them to flee in terror as much as the enemy.
I played it at Who's Yer Con with a group of five 6-7's plus a 5 and a fantastic mix of character types. We were "successful" with no deaths, but no one felt like they had done very well. I guess doing six rooms with no deaths should be considered a "win" though. We definitely felt fortunate at the end.
So what happens when the players have to spend more charges from their wands to heal up after a battle that you've "improved"? What if they have to use up expensive potions and scrolls that they wouldn't have had to if you'd run it as written? What if you cause a character death because your "improvements" turn out to be too much for them to handle?
I'm making an assumption based on the lack of GM stars, but I think Alter Fritz isn't talking about GMing PFS. What one does in a home campaign is one's own choice, but PFS is obviously a different animal. And this thread is in the PFS forum.
Sammy T wrote:
Which characters are (or were) your favorite to play for mechanical reasons? For thematic/RP reasons? Which characters did you put out pasture and why?d
Mechanically is Mar Tadish, witch 7 of trickery. He just recently acquired a faerie dragon familiar which should make things interesting. He's a great battlefield control debuffer...except against incorporeal undead...
Role-play actually comes close to being favorite mechanically as well: Venture-Captain Grikmet Grandovalna, Viscount of Wispil, Unredeemed King of the Gnomes, Proprietor of Grandovalna's Marvelous Machinations, and Delver Extraordinaire (Rogue 7, Pathfinder Delver 6). After a party member died to an unfound trap around level 3, he set about being the best trap finder he could with a Perception of +35. Invisible monsters? Bah!
My summoner 7 Thrak Nalfik, Qadiran caravan security guard, is likely most out of favor. He had a really bad experience in Sniper in the Deep, and he is very behind the wealth curve. He and his eidolon do a LOT of damage in melee, but I just don't find it that interesting.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
I have not push then, nor have I had any players actively try to promote their seasonal goals. I guess I need to be more active in making them available to the players before the session starts and reminding them to remember the goals during play.
I know Grikmet tried to do the Taldor goal during Terror at Whistledown which takes place in Varisia. I can't remember though if he had earned the two faction mission goals already or if the season mission was what got him two.
That's my only experience as a player or a GM in a season goal attempt.
It does use some setting specific content elements, but that's because we didn't want to make just another fantasy setting with dwarves, elves, gnomes, etc.
We are interested in licensing our technical work for other publishers to do similar products. Even if we don't do traditional Tolkien-style material, the technology can make it to other products.
This comment kind of scares me a little. I think (completely my opinion here) if you have a project that could not come to being with out kickstarter, you might want to think over the project you are doing. I think any project you submit as a kickstarter should work as a NON-kickstarered project. If you project ONLY works because of kickstarter you might create a "false sense of business success" due to have a incredibly successful kickstaretr and when you do you next product no one, beyond your donors purchases it. Now this isn't an issue for Reaper of Monte Cook, but most of us are not them. Just something to think about the next time anyone attempt a kickstarter.
There's Kickstarter success and business success. Kickstarter is a reduction of risk. Sure, I could fund the work with credit, but that's a big risk (one my wife wouldn't appreciate;). So if a Kickstarter succeeds, a project can move forward with much less financial risk. The business success is mostly independent of that. There will obviously be some momentum from a successful Kickstarter project, but the balance for the product is zero after the work is completed. If sales are zero after that, there is no business success.
Part of my goal here is to push the envelope in the industry. If this style of e-module takes off but this particular product line doesn't, I'll consider it a pretty good win. If it doesn't also sell, that's a separate issue for bySwarm Inc.
Our Kickstarter project really wouldn't happen without this path to funding. There's a lot of polish that I just don't have the skill to do myself, and I don't want to ask people I know to do the polishing it needs for free. I would much rather do my work for free and pay the people who will it awesome. When it's all said and done, we'll have a product that is simply making money with promotional costs being the only additional costs. If all goes well, we'll have the revenue to fund the next project without having to do Kickstarter.
We're at just about 75% of funding our Kickstarter. That's only $500 to go. We have a lot of great rewards for our backers, including free copies of the e-module that cost less than it will when released publicly. One of the really fun rewards is that there are still three beastfolk race spots available. At the $80 tier, you'll help conceptualize at least one encounter, have an NPC or location named with an anagram of your name, and provide us with an animal on which you'd like a new beastfolk race to be based.
Once we hit $2,000, it's onward to our first stretch goal at $3,000. If we hit $3,000 we will make an ePub3 version of the e-module that will add Android tablets and some Nooks to the list of devices supported.
The new tier is added. The annoying part from our perspective is picking a winner in the VTT market. It's not easy producing the files for each separate VTT, so we have to keep to images usable by each.
The idea is great, and I'll likely support it, but what I'd really like to see is either a campaign file for Maptool (like Forstor Nagar) or roll20.net, or at minimum some images of monsters that can be used as tokens, and separate map files for dungeons, combat, etc. that are gridless, and have all markings removed (like Paizo has been doing recently with their APs).
A Maptool or roll20.net file probably isn't doable unless someone steps up to say they'd like to create it. The images and maps should be doable no problem. I'll add a tier tonight.
I am very interested by this. Liked you presentation. Read that for now, it is for the iPad only, if I understand correctly. Once you have determinded wether of not you publish one for other tablets than iPads, I will be purchasing your product.
We have an ePub format as a $3,000 stretch goal. In order to reach that amount, we're going to need people who want that format to back the project, too. If you want to be sure we make it to Android tablets, that's the best way to do it - back the project to help it reach $3,000. :) We've had people back the project who don't even play Pathfinder, they're just excited like we are.
The original bySwarm concept was to collaboratively build a Pathfinder RPG campaign setting and to then create products where much of the revenue would go back to the writers. We've had some good success creating the raw content, but there's still a lot of work that has to happen to turn it into products that can be sold.
To overcome the hurdle, we've launched a Kickstarter project to produce a fully-featured e-module for Pathfinder. The e-module will not just be well-written text with awesome art, but it will also include interactive elements like encounters with multiple CR options to support different party levels as well as sound effects for ambiant noise and NPC dialog. We're also working on more advanced features to potentially use including stat block-based rules references and campaign website integration and much more.
We're already up above 37%, and we'll be starting to share more teasers about the module specifically in the coming days. It will be usable within other campaign settings with some minor tweaks. There are multiple reward options as well as some reward add-ons like printable character stand-ups and USB memory sticks.
The raffle prizes are stacking up quickly! Here's what we have so far:
It looks like we CAN do online raffle sales, but we need to get more interest before we're able to undertake the effort to make it happen (setting up payment system, tracking payments, identifying entries, and handling shipping costs of prizes). If you would like to buy tickets, feel free to leave a comment here, too.
Dave the Barbarian wrote:
That is really awesome of you guys to do that. Mike would be proud. Although there is no way I could attend, I will purchase some raffle tickets to help the cause.
We're checking on the details of a raffle across state lines. It may not be possible to do that, but I'll post here when we get it figured out.
In honor of our friend Mike Litchford, his gaming group is putting on a game day to raise money for his family. Mike was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer this past April. We thought we would have several months with him to roll lots of d20s and share more time with our friend, but his treatment was unable to slow the cancer down. He was lost to us in July. There are others who miss him even more than we do though - his wife Ariana, 4-year old son Moses, and 1-year old daughter Zoe. All funds collected for event entries and raffles will go to the family's fund.
The Distractions of Dakeyrus - The dwarven wizard Dakeyrus is known for his occasional jaunts away from his cliff-face lair to witness the end of a multiverse, but it seems that he has actually gone missing for quite a while this time. One of his rivals by the name of Antinnia has begun offering uncountable treasure to any adventurer willing to raid Dakeyrus's lair. Being an adventurer who never passes on an opportunity, you have found a few compatriots to take on the challenge. Be careful though, because you aren't the only ones trying to earn a fast one. Bring a 12th level Pathfinder character, created using the Pathfinder Society character creation rules plus 100,000gp in magic items and other equipment. In fact, bring multiple. $1 entry fee per character with prizes. Players will be rotated as PCs meet their untimely demise so there will be multiple chances to play.
Food & Drink
Marc Radle wrote:
We'll be sure to post here whenever we have things come out. The Godless Divine book may end up coming out sooner depending on whether we get another influx of new contributors.
+2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom. Pantheria are nimble and athletic, and are more bestial than other beastfolk.
Bestial Nature: Pantheria can communicate with any great cats at will because of their bestial background. Domestic cats are naturally terrified of them, but they can communicate as well.
Failed Experiment: Pantheria, rather than being susceptible to mind-controlling magic, turned out to be resistant to it, and because of this were able to gather their strength and win their freedom in a bloody rebellion. Pantheria have a +2 save bonus to all [Mind-affecting] spells.
Vengeance: Pantheria gain a +1 attack bonus against all Human arcane spellcasters
Night-Eyed: Pantheria have low-light vision
Primitive: Pantheria do not trust things they associate with Humans, including some simple technologies. Pantheria cannot use Crossbows and do not wear metal armor, though they do make use of metal weapons. Pantheria also begin play illiterate - in order to become literate, a Pantheria must spend a skill rank.
Red in Tooth and Claw: Pantheria have two claw attacks and a bit attack which can be used as part of a full attack. Each claw deals 1d4 damage, as does their bite attack, and all are made at a -5 to their base attack bonus. Pantheria claws give them a +2 bonus to Climb checks.
I've had the good luck to play in games Mike ran at both the 2010 and 2011 Gencons set in the Dark Golden Age setting created by byswarm. If these scenarios and products are as good as Mike's GMing, these will be great additions to the PFRPG universe of available materials.
Thanks, John. It was also a joy to have you in the game for the second year running. Maybe I'll have to run a private game next Gen Con for you and others 3rd party publishers.
These are the first four products planned for release from bySwarm. The two modules will explore the Dark Golden Age of a world recovering from the Collapse of magic just three years prior. The characters will explore ancient tombs in search of what magical items remain and find themselves in the middle of Beastfolk and human schemes alike.
While the modules are set in the Dark Golden Age campaign setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game System, the Beastfolk Races and Godless Divine products will be suitable for any setting utilizing the Pathfinder system.
Module: Into the Dark Golden Age
Target release: February 2012
Target release: May 2012
Module: The Bandit Kings of Halag
Target release: July 2012 / Gen Con 2012
Target release: December 2012
Third, there is the issue that players are not necessarily empowered to do anything (at that time, anyway) other than leave a dissatisfying table. As I've posted earlier, this does not address any potential problems, may carry real-life consequences for that character and/or player, and may require a player willing to go the distance with campaign administration for corrective action over what was supposed to be a fun event.
Using "fun" as the justification is a weak one because everyone is going to have their own variations on what's "fun". If not being able to have a character look like a dragon even though it's really a human destroys a player's fun, then organized play is not the environment for that player because organized play implies a level of standards and rules that are unbendable.
You're allowing mechanical differences if you're thinking about cover or cold resistance or armor. No one is advocating that. Please read the thread carefully. This has been emphasized many times.
I have, but in the given example, the person made mention of Spellcraft only. If that's the statement to the GM at the table, then the questions of cover and such are ones that potentially come up as the game moves forward as the GM is working to keep track of all the other details of running the game and to try to enable everyone at the table to have fun. We're only talking about one example. What if re-skinning became the norm where every character had a few things that did not appear the same as the things they utilize mechanically?
Here's one last concept for you: Paizo runs PFS as an advertising campaign (pun!), as far as I know. If players have bad experiences that *seem* arbitrary (and players drop), Paizo has no incentive to continue PFS.
If you're going to be arbitrary as a player ("Nothing in the rules says I can't reskin, so I'm going to reskin"), you had better be willing to accept the GM being arbitrary. Even in the example that started the whole thread, it sounds like the player actually was less concerned with the pig issue than with other things.
Actually I thought I read that re-skinning spell effects was allowed? I know I allow my players to flavor their spells to fit their character. An Ice Sorceror who wants her Magic Missile to look like icicles hitting her opponent doesn't strike me as game breaking, especially if Spellcraft still identifies the spell as Magic Missile.
It's been stated, but not in the Guide or in the FAQ apparently. Would I allow it in a non-PFS game? Almost certainly, but not in PFS.
There's a many other nuances to making Magic Missile into icicles than just the Spellcraft. What about cover? What about cold resistance? What about armor? Unless the player is always saying they cast Magic Missile, as a PFS GM that might only encounter that player once I may not allow it (even without the re-skinning statements by Mark). It gets even more confusing when some of their other spells actually DO change their energy type.
This. So let's take the whole skinning thing to the extreme. My character looks like a very young bronze dragon with the Draconic sorcerer bloodline. Mechanically, he's a human, but he looks like a bronze dragon.
Taking an earlier example, he also uses a quarterstaff re-skinned to look like Darth Maul's double-ended lightsaber. It still works like a quarterstaff, but I always say, "I attack with my lightsaber with a 15 to hit. Did I hit?"
Additionally when I cast Color Spray with my sorcerer, it actually looks like there are My Little Ponies shooting out from my hands. "I call forth Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash to stun my foes!" (Yes, I have a daughter;)
If you're another player at the table, are you still enjoying your RP experience in Golarion or are we playing something else? The slope gets slippery really fast.
Allowing re-skinning is not just a singular player's experience, especially in a shared campaign setting like PFS. If you do something for your own fun that stretches the concept of the setting or the spirit of the rules via "the rules don't say you can't", you are expecting the other players and GMs to accept it for their fun, too. In a shared campaign setting where you GM and co-players can change from game to game, it just doesn't work well.
Mark Garringer wrote:
Yes in that you should be reporting your events, and there is a place for you to report which of your characters should get a credit in the form for submitting a report now. I noticed this change just before Gen Con when I reported a game from a couple weeks earlier. In the GM section, just include the character number.
Ryan. Costello wrote:
Because I use my regular voice on the podcast? Or are you suggesting I've done so much podcasting I've mutated my regular voice? Not that it matters either way. Actually, later the day we met I passed someone who I recognized as Tom Vassel from The Dice Tower by voice alone.
I mean that your voice on the podcast sounds exactly like your in-person voice. You don't get that level of quality on a podcast without investing a little in decent recording equipment and in learning how to use your audio processing software. Tom Vassel is definitely the same way.
I suppose you could also take it as meaning that you're not like a radio personality who embellishes their voice on the radio but sounds different in person, but that's not what I was trying to say. :)
I ran this scenario for our seasoned PFS players this past weekend. They enjoyed it. I ran into a similar situation though with PCs wanting to sit outside the room to protect Sephriel. I came up with a creative solution I'd like to share.
I had the PCs decide watches they would keep while remembering that they had been at sea for 50 days with nothing happening. I then rolled randomly to decide during which watch the ship would be attacked. There was one PC about 20 feet from Sephriel's door. When the attack happened, all-hands were summoned on deck. The PC on watch made it partially up the steps to the deck after being netted by a sea elf.
So how did I have Sephriel killed? I let the players decide. Rather than come up with my own explanation, I just listened to them theorize as to how the murder was done. Azuretta was the killer in my game, and the PCs knew she often hung out in the Captain's quarters. At one point, one of them asked if there was a trapdoor between the Captain's quarters and the First Mate's quarters where Sephriel was killed. While the scenario didn't have it, I decided that there was one that hadn't been used the entire time that the PCs were on board - Azuretta had climbed through that into Sephriel's quarters and then lured Thanzeril away. When the players asked how Thanzeril had left his post without the PC on watch noticing, I hand waved and suggested it maybe happened in the chaos of the fight.
In other words, players have pretty creative imaginations. If you get into a pinch with how Sephriel is killed, just let it happen and then let the discussion of the players decide how it was done.
Looking back, I think I could have covered my bases by stating that if any Pathfinders were awake, the Captain required that at least one of them be on deck. That would cover more scenarios.
When: 7pm, May 21, 2010
I've had two people I had lined up to GM realize they will be unable to GM for this event, and I am in need of at least 2 table GMs, preferably 3. If you have played this event and would like to get a GM credit for it, here's your chance!
If we have 3 GMs, there is currently space for at least 10 more players. So grab your friends and make a road trip.
Registration as GM and players is handled on the Armored Gopher website:
Paizo event listing:
I'm not able to register right now at your forum. Don't know why. It may be the browser I have here at work. I will try again when I get home. Mark me down for a Galadine rogue as far as interest goes.
Hit me up on Skype tonight, and we'll see if we can get you hooked up.
R. Doyle wrote:
Welcome! Register at the site and join the discussion. It has information about character creation and Skype.
Nice catch on the broken links. You should be able to search for those races to get to the pages until I (or anyone else logs in since it's wiki-style) make the changes.
I know the ones I listed pretty well and have run about a dozen sessions with each of them. Any others - like the Ursidians - will likely need a bit of tweaking. Pathfinder doesn't have level adjustments technically, but that doesn't mean we couldn't use them. If you would really like to play a Ursidian though, I'd rather spend a bit of time trying to get them balanced and therefore readily playable. Let me know if you'd like to do that.
Other character generation details:
No XP - I'll let you know when you level, typically every 2 to 4 sessions.
Starting Hero Points - 1 + 1 additional if you make a strong backstory connection to another PC.
Earning extra Hero Points - 1 extra per session for making addition to byswarm.com site.
So, I'm wondering now if the beastfolk page entries are available for player use or not. Or which ones in particular are allowed.
These have been the most play-tested and would definitely be allowed:
bySwarm - Boriwog, Egalit, Galdines, Hounding, Lupine, Muroideans, Testudo
OGL - Gnoll, Kobold, Tengu
Others may potentially be allowed depending on whether they can be balanced to enter play. For me, it's more a fairness to the other players issue, so I'm willing to go with ideas you have as well.
*Edit - Humans are legal, too, and are the majority population in most areas.