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Mike Lindner's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 632 posts (641 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 13 Pathfinder Society characters.


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You will need to level up at the con. You cannot play a character that is not the correct level for the amount of XP it has. I suggest bringing a copy of the character already leveled up, then just making any adjustments from gear purchased, boons gained, etc. while at the con.

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I am not allowed to try to bribe city guards, even if the townsfolk regularly do so.

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Rushley son of Halum wrote:
When asking "what could possibly go wrong" the answer is always "treachery demons."

While fleeing from one combat, I am no longer allowed to run back to another room really quickly to grab some evidence we left behind. Although running from two combats at once certainly does make the day more exciting. Especially when triggering a third combat in the process.

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Jayson MF Kip wrote:


...and the store has to close due to lightning striking the transformer outside.

This is better than the lightning frying your car (and other cars, and the store's computers, and breaking the store's front window...).

My answer: ... the player in the last game who didn't know how their character's mechanics worked and refused to accept they were wrong is the GM for the next game.


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It looks like an investigator cannot legally take brew potion. That seems like an oversight. I'm not suggesting the class get it for free the same as an alchemist, but I think that they should be able to take it as a feat at 3rd.

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I disagree that GMs should be expected to take on more players than they are comfortable with. The GM should be able to have a good time too and they shouldn't feel pressured to run for 7 players if 5 is the most they can handle. I believe that almost every 7 player table I have run would have been noticeably better if I had limited it to 6 players.

There may be a cost to telling someone to come back next time rather than cram them into a table, but there's also a cost to putting too many people at one table. I firmly believe that every player needs to take the initiative to be responsible for themselves. If there are options to sign up ahead of time and the player chooses to just show up then that is their own fault - not the GM's and not the organizer's.

I feel it's especially inappropriate to label a GM a jerk because they honestly believe it's in everyone's best interests to turn a player away rather than go beyond what they can handle.

It goes against the spirit of PFS to create a miserable experience in the name of inclusiveness.

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CRobledo wrote:
Aaron Mayhew wrote:
Dredging this up one more time for a quick question. Can you use summon monster spells to summon elementals from other bestiaries, or just the ones from Bestiary 1?

For PLAYERS the official answer is only Bestiary 1.

For Krune? I dunno. I'd allow it since all 3 bestiaries are GM assumption.

I disagree with this. The exact same spell shouldn't be better just because the GM is using it. Plus it's unclear anyway since the only direction I can find is from James Jacobs who contradicts himself. link1 link2

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Personally, I feel that Pathfinder Society probably allows even more (in sum) than most home games even should. There's a huge breadth of material that Paizo has published and much of that won't be appropriate, flavor-wise, to any given campaign.

The hard-cover books plus any books on topics directly related to the campaign you are running should present plenty of choices for characters while reducing the overwhelming amount of stuff out there. There are also certain things that PFS disallows that a home game need not, such as item crafting since you can directly monitor how it affects the game.

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For those who like communal resist energy, may I suggest a riffle scroll of communal resist energy. This bumps the minimum caster level up to 7, which means resistance of 20 instead of 10, plus it lasts longer and requires no verbal components.

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Quendishir wrote:
Iammars wrote:

Ooh! I should make a reference sheet for sunder, and keep it by scenarios that I'm running. Then when someone sunders something, I go "Ooh, look. I conveniently prepped a sunder reference sheet for this scenario. You know. For no particular reason." and watch the players go back in fear a little.

Thank /God/ I play a Monk...!

That's a very nice amulet of mighty fists you have there. Just saying.

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redward wrote:
Iammars wrote:

Ooh! I should make a reference sheet for sunder, and keep it by scenarios that I'm running. Then when someone sunders something, I go "Ooh, look. I conveniently prepped a sunder reference sheet for this scenario. You know. For no particular reason." and watch the players go back in fear a little.

Here you go

This chart is awesome. I printed it and had it laminated. I should set it out on the table while players are sitting down. Then just tuck it under the scenario like I want it at hand. Muahahahaha.

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27) Introduce your GMing style to the players explicitly. This starts everyone off knowing where they stand.

28) Ask the players what kind of game they like if you don't know them. Do they like to spend more time role-playing with NPCs, interacting with each other, getting down and dirty in tactical combat?

29) Ask the players if their PCs have any unusual abilities or things you need to know about, such as a rogue's trapspotter ability.

30) Take at least one break in the scenario. Include yourself in that break. You'll come back to the game better able to devote your full energy to it if you take a few minutes away.

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Michael Brock wrote:
AcidicWind wrote:
only 28 scenarios a year is not nearly enough, especially for players where pfs is the primary source of their pathfinder games.
This is something we receive a good deal of feedback on. I'm curious what the best number of scenarios released each month is. I know there are some people who would advise they could play 10 scenarios a month. However, 10 simply isn't feasible. So, what do you think is the target number for players, where PFS is the primary source of their Pathfinder games.

Personally, I would love to see 4 per month.

At least one of those would always be tier 1-5. But there would not always be a 7-11 or even always be a 5-9. I think that some months there should be two 1-5s or two 3-7s.

At least one of those would always be tied to the metaplot, and at least one would not.

One of those would always explore some exotic locale. This would be outside where the current focus of the latest AP, campaign setting book, etc. are. Show us all those cool locations that otherwise get little coverage. For example there are all those diverse nations in Tian Xia and we only saw I think 3-4 of them in all of season 3. These could be tied into the metaplot as well as appropriate. Looking for information on closing rifts to other planes to find the demons of the Worldwound? Go to Tianjing and make some allies.

--

Now, my next suggestion departs a bit from the current tier structure, and would be an adjustment to my recommendations above. Create a new 1-3 tier and release a scenario at that tier every month. This 1-3 tier would not have subtiers. This has several effects:
a) there are no play up or play down concerns
b) writing & development should be easier since there aren't two subtiers to allow for
c) less word count
d) there's a constant stream of scenarios catered to lower level PCs
e) these can touch on elements of the metaplot without going all in to ease people into the story

I would also say that these tier 1-3 scenarios should significantly limit the use of non-core material on enemy statblocks. Having all sorts of abilities from a now rather significant corpus of rules can make the learning curve rather stiff, or even just appear that way which is in many ways equivalent. This has effects on both the players and the GM.

On the player's side, new players don't have all kinds of abilities being thrown at them from classes they may not know exist. While I don't believe it has been a major problem so far, it can lead to gotcha moments that leave players thinking they didn't really have a fair chance. There is one season four scenario in particular that creates this impression at the low subtier in my experience.

On the GM side, it allows new GMs to ease into the role without having to look up tons of stuff they have never heard of. It makes some folks feel like they have to have a rather high amount of system knowledge to GM. This is detrimental to the continued growth of PFS.

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Chris Mortika wrote:
... (b) easier to GM, like free full-size pdfs of maps from this month's scenarios.

Do I want full size maps I can get printed? Absolutely, yes, please, thank you, good day.

Do I want them restricted to only certain GMs? Oh heck no. Why make GMs with less experience do more work?

Personally I'd rather see full size maps than new art for a non-boss creature that'll be dead in 4 rounds of combat.

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Delbert Collins II wrote:

Like I said if you want recognition or boons, prizes it is best done at the local level, not corporately. Come to SCARAB and volunteer for me and I'll take care of you.

It is offensive to me that you are devaluing the work done to support the campaign because someone is earning a living doing it while simultaneously saying that your work is somehow more valuable because to do not get a pay check to do it.

Maybe I'm misreading your tone here, but I must disagree.

I don't think a local coordinators efforts are more valuable than those of a paid employee, but I don't think they are especially less valuable either. No local coordinator should ever be expected to spend even more of their own time, effort, and money to reward others for doing their part. This is a community where we are all mutually dependent on each other to be able to enjoy the game. Given that, I think that everyone has a responsibility to ensure the health of our gaming communities in whatever ways they can. Someone who is GMing every 4-6 games isn't "stepping up." They are simply doing their part.

Am I surprised and thankful when I go to a con and get a GM goodie bag? Yes, absolutely (and some have been truly amazing). But I do not expect it. Knowing that such things come from the organizer's personal resources means that I am fine with getting a sincere thank you from them. Give me tables of engaged and enjoyable players on top of it (with no drama :D) and you'll see me at the next con for sure.

I have been reading this thread steadily and have given more and more thought to it. As a local coordinator what I want more than shiny baubles as a thank you is better tools to organize game days. Help me by providing tools to show me what scenarios my local players have played vs. not. Help me to know when my local GMs are hitting their star milestones. Help me set up recurring events on the event listing.

As I type this I have an idea percolating in my mind... time to head over to the website feedback area and start writing I think.

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I've found 4-18 Veteran's Vault to be a very good scenario and while it can punish poor tactics it is quite survivable for newish players (some XP would be good). It can be an excellent scenario to use for teaching new players both good tactics including working together as a team as well as some things to expect and be prepared for in PFS scenarios.

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Cold Napalm wrote:
Honestly, the only real issue I have is with GM skill level. Even with the faction mission stated out directly, I have seem GM screw things up royal. Like forgetting to tell a faction where one of the item they need is...or forgetting an NPC that is faction vital as just some guy over there. I shutter to think what would happen when the optional goal is even MORE vague. I'm okay with the whole table works on one extra side quest deal as it makes things a whole lot easier...but I think the players really should know ahead of time what the extra side quest actually is and not some vague do something over there somewhere.

The problem is that GMs have to juggle telling the main story along with keeping 10 additional side missions in their head that may only have a few lines of text describing them. People can only keep 3-7 things in their head at one time. In a PFS scenario most if not all of those are usually already taken up with the various points of the main story. With this change the GM just focuses on the main story and possibly one or two faction missions that are tied to it. Since all the objectives will be related it should be much easier for GMs to keep the necessary details fresh in their minds. I think this will improve the play experience noticeably.

I hope the requirements to earn the secondary prestige point are not revealed to the players. Keep in mind the description of what will earn the second prestige point - it's not some side quest unrelated to the main mission that you have to guess at blindly. It's going above and beyond to show that you are a capable, motivated Pathfinder Society field agent; that is, that you are deserving of prestige and acclaim for going above and beyond. That you aren't just following orders but thinking and looking out for the greater interests of the society and your fellow field agents. At least that's how I understood it and hope it will work. Prestige and fame aren't something a person gains to great extent by doing the minimum amount of work necessary - not on Earth and I hope not on Golarion.

Overall, I think this new prestige system will encourage players to be more creative and more engaged, and have more of a say in how scenarios play out.

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Nothing says that you can't claim to be associated to one of the many other organizations on Golarion, such as the Ninth Battalion. You could interject little tidbits about scouting out enemies of the dwarven kingdoms for future elimination as you play. Some groups have existing ways of becoming an official member, such as the Risen Guard, but short of that just find a group that interests you and come up with a character background for it.

Strong character concepts are (almost) always more fun to play with than a character that is little more than a stat block.

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Netopalis wrote:
Sior wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
But my real prediction is that all Season Zero scenarios will be requested to be removed from future play. There's no good in continuing adventures set 5 years ago, with different factions and different adversaries. The challenge ratings are ridiculous and the overall feel, to me, anyways, just isn't the same as the newer ones.
I have heard whispers of this being a likely possibility. I don't know if they'll wait till the end of summer when season 5 rolls out or start with this announcement. We'll find out today!
I hope they don't retire Season 0 entirely - without Season 0, Among the Dead makes no sense, and several decent scenarios would be lost. Season 0 gives a nice option for GMs who want to run a second, short session with low risk to players after a really rough scenario.

Considering that there are season zero scenarios scheduled for Gen Con this year, this does not seem likely.

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I wish it had all the chronicle info built in so you could select the scenario from a drop-down menu and it would populate max XP, PP, and gold by default. It could then also raise an error if you try to enter the same scenario twice.

I should probably actually post this on their forums...

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Keep in mind too that role-playing, i.e. social obstacles, count as encounters as well, not only combat.

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I finally have confirmation that I will be attending. Yay!

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CRobledo wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
So far as I am aware there is currently no mention of catfolk existing in Golarion as one example.

There is at least one in

** spoiler omitted **

I think they were also in the Dragon Empires gazetteer?

Nice recollection of 3 lines in the book.

Dragon Empires Gazetteer wrote:


VALASHMAI JUNGLE
Here There Be Monsters
Alignment: CN
Capital: None
Notable Settlements: None
Ruler: None
Government: None
Major Races: Catfolk, grippli, lizardfolk,
xills, various degenerate humanoids, monsters
Languages: Abyssal, Catfolk, Draconic, Grippli, Infernal,
pidgin Tien

Lesser races, such as catfolk, grippli,
and lizardfolk, are quite numerous in the jungle—their
tribes vary in size and outlook, although savagery is
generally the rule in such wild environs.

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Thomas Graham wrote:
Mason Whitlark wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

Sure. A very few goblins that had worked, essentially as slaves for the Shadow Lodge before the faction came over to the Pathfinder Society, decided once the "evil" part of e Shadow Lodge was disbanded, and they were freed, petitioned and received trial entry into the Society.

The Onyx Alliance attacked the Grand Convocation. During the battle, some fetchlings advised they no longer wished to be chained to the Onyx Alliance and wished to join the Society. They were brought in and the Decimverate decided to allow a select few into the Society on a trial basis.

How's that?

Now I just want to know when all those Ratfolk are going to enlist.
Right after the Abasalon all you can eat cheese and wine festival?

Fortunately the cheese and wine festival is right here, and it never ends. :D

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Lesous wrote:

As a 1st level spell caster I enjoy taking the Metamagic Feat: Rime Spell, which entangles the subject damaged by your cold spells for 1 round / level of the spell caster. Then you take the Metamagic Master Trait and have it apply to the a First level spell. I enjoy using Icicle Dagger. This trait allows you to -1 from a certain spell's metamagic level usage.

So at first level I have a spell that on a melee touch attack deals 1d4 points and entangles the target if you even deal 1 damage to them.

I was curious about whether the conjuration considered the dagger to actually be a real dagger, or a spell. Upon looking up the conjuration school in the Players Handbook it says that if it has a duration it's still considered a spell and is held there solely by magic. Therefore the Rime Spell would still actively affect it each round? Below are the terms to make up your own mind. DM discretion I suppose

Icicle Dagger
School conjuration (creation) [cold]; Level sorcerer/wizard 1, summoner 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range 0 ft.
Effect one icicle
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
You create a masterwork dagger out of ice. The dagger deals 1 point of cold damage in addition to normal dagger damage. If the dagger leaves your hand for more than 1 round, it melts and the spell ends. At 6th level, the dagger functions as a +1 frost dagger. At 11th level, it gains the returning property when thrown, melting away and reforming in your hand just before your next turn.

Rime Spell (Metamagic)
Benefit: The frost of your cold spell clings to the target, impeding it for a short time. A rime spell causes creatures that takes cold damage from the spell to become entangled for a number of rounds equal to the original level of the spell.
This feat only affects spells with the cold descriptor.
Level Increase: +1 (a rime spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.)

Conjuration Creation: A creation spell manipulates matter...

The spell isn't doing damage though. The spell conjures a dagger and the dagger is doing the damage in the same way that a Summon Monster spell doesn't do damage, but rather the creature it summons does damage. So you can't do persistent metamagic summon monster and have all the spell-like abilities of the creature be modified by the persistent metamagic.

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GM and give them the opportunity to play.

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Netopalis wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:

I ran this at subtier 1-2 last night for a group of 3 players + 1 pregen. The basilisk won initiative and turned the monk to stone before she could act. The ranger put some hurt on it taking it below half health with one volley, but Valeros then rolled a natural one vs. the gaze and was petrified. Round two the basilisk made the strength check to bust out of the cage and over the next two rounds chased the ranger down taking her to -1 HP causing the last player, a witch, to run. The basilisk then had a snack of the ranger.

We all learned just how deadly a basilisk can be.

That's an interesting approach. Sadly, there are no tactics for this encounter, but I didn't have the basilisk try to get out of the cage. My logic was that if the basilisk could break out, it would have done so already.

I really wish that they would print tactics, even for monsters who are found in the bestiary.

The tactics are in the scenario.

Quote:
Creatures: Two grumpy basilisks squat in the pen (in Subtier 1–2, one of the basilisks is off elsewhere under Zincher’s Arena, hunting). The basilisks gaze at anyone they can detect. If foes retreat, the basilisks attempt to burst out of their pen and pursue them.

The witch and ranger had moved back around the corner toward the entrance, so the basilisk pursued.


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I have a Wayang.

Penumbral Accords:
He was captured and sold into slavery. Having been purchased by the Blakros family he was sent into the shadow plane to satisfy their bargain with the Onyx Alliance, where he was forced to serve as Mazzel Gol's assistant. When the Pathfinder Society operatives came to shut down the Wightir Conjuction he removed the brand from his head and escaped back to the material plane.

Having been through all that, he now uses what he learned to serve the Society as an alchemist to pay back his debt of freedom. Well that and he really had no where else to go.

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As Starglim noted, you sign your own sheets.

I kind of want to get all the VCs to send Mike their GM chronicles for signatures now.

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harmor wrote:
Tamago wrote:
I just want to raise the issue for the campaign coordinators. I know that there is a lot of talk on these messageboards about scenarios being too easy, but please keep in mind that it is quite possible to swing the pendulum the other way and make things too difficult.
My 2 cp...allow GMs the flexibility to adjust encounters by changing the number of "mooks". In a home game I can do that, but in PFS I cannot change the mechanics.

Nope. This one change could make me stop participating in public play. I am convinced that this one change would kill more PCs than any overall increase in scenario difficulty.

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Fromper wrote:
It's also worth noting that season 0 scenarios were originally written to be used with D&D version 3.5, before Pathfinder became a separate game. Apparently, there's some minor translations necessary to make all the stats and everything line up properly if you're going to run those. I've avoided those for that reason.

Except for 0-05: Mists of Mwangi which was updated to Pathfinder and is an awesome scenario.

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Welcome. Let me introduce you to Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, and over there in the corner is Mike.

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I think having the blurbs in the first few pages would help more for those people who've played tons of stuff quickly figure out if it's one they can play.

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It seems pretty simple then. Set up warhorn or a similar mustering tool and get the other GMs to start using it. It hurts both the GMs and the players to run scenarios cold constantly.

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Jim Groves wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
Also, I really don't see why a stat block should count towards a word count limit at all.

I just saw this specific question, and it jumped out at me as something to answer specifically.

Because authors don't always get their stat blocks correct, and they have to be reviewed and corrected. The Excel sheet is not foolproof and there is stuff it doesn't do. That takes Mark time during his day. His time is also valuable. He's got so much time to do so much work, and still have a weekend and time for his family. And he works his ass off to keep up with the pace.

(EDIT: This applies more to stat blocks that have templates where the stat block from the relevant Bestiary is altered. I can't speak to the matter of stat blocks that would come directly from the Bestiary without modification.)

I once grappled with the same issue. "If it's a PDF product, what does word count really matter?" It matters because someone has to read, proof, correct, or develop those words. They also have to go through layout- but that's a whole other department I don't know much about.

You can shave a lot of production and develop time with a short stat block.

And yes, that time is then put off on the customer. You're absolutely right.

It comes down to reconciling whether the extra prep time is worth a hopefully better scenario in other respects.

So the solution is simple. Turn Mark into a lich. :D Then he'll have plenty of time. I'm sure there won't be any nasty side effects like him trying to take over the world or turning Washington into Nex.

Really though, I do understand this limitation, but it's still rather frustrating since it seems to go in the opposite direction from my own ideal.

And to be clear, from what I understood it's that the stat block isn't just counted towards the word count, but applied towards some limit set overall such that an extra stat block means less descriptive text for the scenario. This is what seems wonky to me.

I really just wanted to get my own perspective heard so that when the folks in charge think about these things there is weight on both sides of the scale.

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Jim Groves wrote:
Word count Don. Production costs.

First off, let me say thanks for providing a perspective from the other side of the fence.

The reason that shortened stat blocks annoy me most is that it may save the writer and developer some time but that time is spent once. The cost is that every single GM has to spend that time when running the scenario. From a certain point of view, it's really making the scenarios more expensive: not in dollars, but in the valuable time of the customers. It's hard for me to see how putting that additional burden on the GMs is worth it. Also, I really don't see why a stat block should count towards a word count limit at all.

I wish each scenario had an appendix with the full stat block (with all templates applied) for every creature in the scenario, broken up by subtier (all lower subtier creatures, then all higher subtier creatures). This could still exclude common spells, feats, etc.

Okay, that's my rant for the day.


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Bestiary feats are not legal. You cannot combine natural attacks with a flurry of blows. So your choices are (at level 1):
* flurry - 2 unarmed strikes (no claws or bite)
* full attack - bite, claw, claw (all primary attacks)
* full attack - unarmed strike (primary), bite (secondary)
* attack (standard action) - bite or claw or unarmed strike

Bite attacks do P, B, and S all at the same time.

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Keep in mind this restriction, "The item cannot be activated to provide just one of these two effects; they are always activated simultaneously."

Feather fall can only target a freefalling object or creature and ends as soon as the target hits the ground. It is my argument that activating it while on the ground would then only provide the invisibility effect. Since this is expressly disallowed, you cannot activate it unless you are freefalling. Simply while airborne, such as using a fly spell would be arguable.

Now, as far as single use vs. unlimited use goes, if the item is indeed incorrect, then I do hope this is clarified. I agree with the above posters that it shouldn't be errata'd just for PFS; it should either be in a FAQ or the item should be disallowed in PFS until a correction appears in the errata or a FAQ.

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