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Mike Lindner's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 736 posts (747 including aliases). 2 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 20 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Drogon wrote:
Sandra Wilkinson wrote:

How about you can only get the boons once...but get the exp, prestige and item access on subsequent runs?

Items are often a bigger problem than boons, to be honest.

I don't think repeat GM credit is necessary, but if it was implemented I think this would be a decent way to do it. Any GM credit after the first does not grant access to anything, boons or items, but only provides XP, PP, and GP.

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When this is clarified I think it should go in the direction of having the held chronicles applied, even if the character is then out of tier.

With this option, I don't see any way to "game the system." It is more flexible and forgiving for those who don't carefully keep track of their held credit. This is quite possible for someone playing pregens enough to trigger such a scenario.

By restricting it, you can end up causing players to lose held credit which would only serve to disenfranchise players. When that player is already someone playing a pregen, it is quite possible they are already on the edge of fully participating in PFS.

Given that there are two options where one is more player friendly without being harmful to the player or campaign, then that is the one that should become the rules.

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1) Read through the PDF electronically highlighting skill checks, stuff I think I'll need to quickly find while running, etc. as I go through. I don't pay to close attention to combats on the first pass, only the morale sections to know whether they start out actively attacking or try to talk to the party.

2) Take a mental break (a day or two if I have the time).

3) Study the combats, looking up any mechanics I don't understand.

4) Print the scenario, any bestiary pages not included in the scenario, maps, and chronicles.

5) Pick out minis for the NPCs and monsters.

6) GM.

7) Realize how many things I screwed up while driving home.

Edit: Missed one. 2.5) Read the GM thread on the forums. I only do this around half the time, usually when a scenario seem particularly tricky.

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TOZ wrote:
Eric Clingenpeel wrote:
I'd like to tell you all about the wonderful item called Talisman of Life's Breath... So worth it for frontliners who don't want to deal with the hassle of demanding the cleric use a scroll on them.
A pity it occupies the neck slot.

If you wear (or can wear) armor, then the determination armor special quality may be of interest. It is cheaper than the greater talisman and has the same effect.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
The problem I have with mandatory reimbursement is you can effectively tax other players. Someone goes unconscious. Use a heal scroll (instead of simply stabilizing them). The target has to pay for it even though they had no choice in whether it was used on them.

Is anyone suggesting mandatory reimbursement under ridiculously contrived conditions?

If yes, please quote them.

If not please stop pretending this is a plot to screw people over.

I don't see how this is at all contrived. The player using the scroll may have done so with only the best intentions. That doesn't change the fact they would effectively be spending the other player's gold.

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Like others in this thread I can see both sides.

When I played Eyes of the Ten there were, to the best of my recollection, at least 2 or 3 scrolls of heal and a breath of life used on my PC. I would like to have had the option to reimburse the other PCs for it. As it is I could only keep taking the hits for them.

At the same time I am concerned this would turn from an option to a de facto requirement.

On the whole I am in favor, possibly with some restrictions. Those restrictions may just be firm language regarditg the optional nature of it.

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I also had the pleasure of running a scenario for a player with a build like this, first unbuffed (and without Piranha Strike - apparently there is a discussion of this works without a manufactured weapon but ignoring that for the moment, and excluding traits)

** spoiler omitted **...

I think this is a case where instead of banning the item because a few people use it in extreme ways, you can just tell the player "you won pathfinder, good job. Please stop making the game un-fun for everyone else at the table." I don't see how this build would be hugely different just drinking potions of reduce person.


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My chief concern with the reworking of the vigilante class is that for characters who don't want to go down the renown path, there is little real choice in social talents. In particular for PFS where an area of renown will be difficult to maintain. Here is my detailed take on the non-renown dependent social talents, from the perspective of playing a vigilante as a PC in PFS.

Case the Joint (1) - Very situational, especially in PFS. You don't often have time to split from the party (to avoid them knowing both identities) and spend an hour investigating after you figure out where the objective is. I've only attempted something like this once so far (without the talent), and even though it proved useful, I still felt like I was somewhat detracting from the overall fun of the table due to going off to do my own thing while the rest of the party stuck together.
Double Time (1) - I like it for flavor even if it would do very little in PFS due to the general ban on crafting. But it's not PFS legal regardless.
Everyman (11) - Nice ability, but I can't see it being useful very often.
Gossip Collector (1) - Without renown this is a very weak talent. There are few scenarios where the difference in time spent gathering information would have any effect.
Immediate Change (13) - Not available in regular PFS play due to the level requirement.
In Vogue (5) - Worth taking for flavor, if not the day job check bonus, unfortunately not PFS legal due to the dependency on Double Time.
Many Guises (5) - A nice talent that could be very useful for many vigilantes.
Mockingbird (5) - I love this talent generally, but the fact that it is limited to only the social identity via the default limitation is my biggest disappointment in the change from the play test. I wish this explicitly stated that it can be used in both social and vigilante identities, or that it was a vigilante talent.
Quick Change (7) - A solid talent, useful for most any vigilante.
Safe House (1) - Very little utility in a wandering campaign like PFS, especially forgoing renown.
Social Grace (1) - Very good, an obvious choice at first level.

In summary, for the 11 levels of normal PFS play a full-classed Vigilante will end up with 6 social talents. However, within those levels there are only 8 PFS legal social talents forgoing the renown chain, with several only useful on rare occasions. I think this will lead to most PFS Vigilantes having a very large overlap in social talents, which is a disappointment. I think this illustrates a gap. Maybe Inner Sea Intrigue will be able to fill this.

My biggest issue with renown, PFS or not, is that it assumes you want both of your identities to be famous: "The vigilante becomes known for deeds and abilities regardless of his current identity." Several of the other renown-based talents emphasize the social identity as a well known person even more. This immediately makes it unsuitable for characters who want their social identity to be an unremarkable, everyday person. The best cover identity is a person that no one gives a second thought to, not a famous figure, as that just invites scrutiny.

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p-sto wrote:
I feel like "really has heart set on class X" is the one I'm having the most trouble with. We have a player who decided to model his PC on the ninja pregen because he really wanted to play a ninja. He took the character to level six before anyone pointed out to him that pregens aren't meant to be a guideline for character creation. I feel bad that the error managed to slip by us for that long but sometimes things happen. ...

I don't think this is all that bad. I would assume that this player had a lot of fun doing "ninja stuff." That they were enjoying it is the most important, regardless of character optimization.

Heck, some of the most fun I've had is when my character was completely ill-matched for the scenario.

If they have reached level 6, then I think the player should have enough experience with the game to to lead into a good conversation about character effectiveness. A first character doesn't need to be optimized until level 12. If it gets the player engaged and progressively learning more about the game, then it has gone right. At that point you can guide them to make character progression decisions that ensure the character remains fun, even if it isn't always particularly effective.

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Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Hmm wrote:

Someone once listed everything that can be found in a spell component pouch and concluded that you can live for days off of what you could eat in one... I concluded that they must be truly extra-dimensional in capacity despite not being inherently magical.

Don't worry about weights and measures. Accept this for what it is, a way of making the game more convenient for casters without agonizing over time-wasting trivia.

A GM can rule that the Spell Component has been used up, you know.

It specifically has things which can fit inside, and has a listed weight of 2 lbs. Given a medium character requires 1lb of food per day to avoid starvation, a spell component pouch can be argued to contain no more than 2 days worth of food for a medium character.

It also lacks any refrigeration ability.

It's not extra-dimensional, and can be considered consumed whenever the GM determines is reasonable (not unlike any other mundane equipment).

In a single PFS session, this still will unlikely come up, but it can be an issue for non-PFS play.

If your GM is picking so many nits that they are paying attention to the amount of material spell components you use that would be contained in a spell component pouch, then I say it's time to have a conversation with the GM concerning Pathfinder as a game. Games should be fun. There are other games for those who want to play spreadsheet wars - Pathfinder is not one of those. It is a game for being awesome. Failing that, perhaps it's time for a new GM.

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John Theodoropoulos wrote:
I have an idea I'm not sure is PFS legal with the crafting restrictions. I play a Gunslinger with ranks in craft Alchemy and Profession: Sapper. My thought, if I carry kegs of black powder, bullets, pellets, caltrops and Keros oil, can I make a craft/profession check to combine the items into a barrel with a simple fuse for a bomb?

The simplest way to do so that avoids table variation is to take one level of alchemist and use craft (alchemy) to make PFS-legal alchemical weapons.

From there it sounds like fuse grenades or the related pellet grenades are what you are looking for. These are available in Ultimate Equipment.

Kahel Stormbender wrote:

Best I can figure out, it's the following:

Short answer, no.

Long answer, no way in PFS. Crafting skills can't be used to make items in PFS, just as day job checks. Craft Alchemy regardless of ranks can't be used to scavenge materials then craft alchemist fire, for example. An alchemist's bombs aren't true crafting. There is the occasional exception. An alchemist can use craft alchemy to get alchemic supplies like alchemist's fire cheaper between sessions, but can't make a day job check if they do.

There's also a boon that allows limited crafting during sessions. It's also a single use boon, so once you use it you can't craft anymore during sessions.

This is incorrect. Alchemists can craft alchemical items in PFS per the normal crafting rules. It does not replace the day job check.

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I understand the desire to reward the consistent local GMs that make games happen week after week and I think adding such a system has merit. I also believe in simplicity.

Having been a tier one GM at Gen Con twice I also understand the significant time and financial cost plus the stress of doing so, so I agree that these GMs getting an exclusive boon is appropriate.

Putting these together I can get behind a system that rewards GMs with boons based on the number of GM stars they have, though not at the level of those tier one GM rewards. By not introducing additional tracking mechanics while still giving those consistent GMs something I think this is a reasonable compromise.

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Feast of sigils has a lovely dining experience complete with that after dinner feeling of "I can't believe I ate that."

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I also go with everything there is space for on the character sheet from the CRB should be listed. Feats and such need not have all the text, but at least the names of them, and hopefully a very short indication of what they do. Don't forget your traits and any alternate racial traits. Simply put: anything that has a mechanical effect on the game, whether than be numerical or otherwise.

Off topic:

Muser wrote:
My pet peeve is people who do not count their boni together beforehand but instead start this tedious 1+2+3 when I ask for a ranged attack roll. . .
Ascalaphus wrote:
. . . By then you're often adding five or more different boni to your attack roll, and they change every other round as buffs and debuffs come and go.

The plural of bonus is bonuses.

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Making any assumptions about how PCs are geared leads to uncomfortable situations.

For the "standard" gear you mention, I think the only decent assumption is that for someone whose primary action in combat is doing physical damage they can bypass DR/magic via a +1 or better weapon. Especially considering all the great alternatives in the shoulder, neck, and ring slots there are many characters that do not use the defensive items you mention.

As others have done, here is the gear of my high level non-seeker characters for reference. Many of my lower level characters don't use the standard items as much as these.

bard (archaeologist) 10:

Combat Gear
fortunate charm,
scroll of acute senses,
scroll of comprehend languages,
scroll of erase,
scroll of feather step,
scroll of glitterdust,
scroll of honeyed tongue,
scroll of innocence (CL 2nd),
scroll of lesser restoration (5),
scroll of liberating command,
scroll of memory lapse,
scroll of remove fear,
scroll of see invisibility,
scroll of share language,
scroll of solid note (CL 2nd),
scroll of tongues,
scroll of undetectable alignment,
wand of cure light wounds (50 charges),
air crystal;
Other Gear
mithral chain shirt,
mwk buckler,
arrows (20),
darkwood shortbow,
mithral dagger,
whip,
autonomous cartographer,
belt of incredible dexterity +2,
boots of striding and springing,
circlet of persuasion,
cloak of resistance +2,
cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
cracked scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone,
dream journal of the pallid seer,
eyes of the eagle,
field scrivener's desk,
gloves of swimming and climbing,
handy haversack,
headband of vast intelligence +2,
ring of protection +1,
ring of sustenance,
rope of climbing,
unguent of timelessness,
vest of escape,
wayfinder,
bedroll,
belt pouch,
ink,
black,
inkpen,
masterwork backpack,
masterwork thieves' tools,
paper,
parchment,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
pathfinder chronicle,
periscope,
scroll case,
scroll case,
scroll case,
sewing needle,
spell component pouch,
spider's silk rope (50 ft.),
thread (50 ft.),
trail rations (5),
waterskin,

alchemist (mindchemist) 11:

Combat Gear
boro bead (1st level),
boro bead (2nd level),
boro bead (2nd level),
boro bead (2nd level),
cognatogen,
elixer of elemental protection,
elixir of spirit sight,
elixir of tumbling,
potion of cure light wounds,
potion of deeper darkness,
potion of inflict light wounds,
potion of lesser restoration,
potion of reduce person,
snapleaf,
universal solvent,
acid (3),
alchemist's fire (2),
alkali flask,
fiddleback venom (3),
holy water (2),
liquid ice;
Other Gear
mithral chain shirt,
blowgun darts (20),
mithral dagger,
mwk blowgun,
poisoned sand tube,
belt of the weasel,
cloak of resistance +1,
dream journal of the pallid seer,
elixir of darksight,
elixir of hiding,
elixir of swimming,
feather step slippers,
formula alembic,
gloves of reconnaissance,
handy haversack,
headband of vast intelligence +4,
hybridization funnel,
lenses of detection,
preserving flask (1st level),
ring of inner fortitude (minor),
robe of infinite twine,
traveler's any-tool,
wayfinder,
alchemist's lab,
alchemy crafting kit,
formula book,
masterwork thieves' tools,
scroll box,
scroll case,
sewing needle,
spell component pouch,
spider's silk rope (50 ft.),
tattoo,
travelling formula book,
vial,

monk (zen archer) 11:

Explorer's Outfit
+5 Adaptive Impervious Composite Daikyu (+2 Str)
Katana, double walking stick [UC]
Wakizashi with false pommel
Cage (diminutive, bamboo) [AA]
Canary [AA]
Belt Pouch
Bird Food
Scroll Case
Inquisitor's Monocle [UE 226] +5 competence to Sense Motive
Headband of Inspired Wisdom +2 [CRB] enhancement bonus
Belt of Mighty Constitution +2 [CRB] enhancement bonus
Cloak of Resistance +3 [CRB] resistance bonus to saves
Ring of Protection +1 [CRB] deflection bonus to AC
Amulet of Natural Armor +1 [CRB] enchancement bonus to nat armor
Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier [AP 52] +1 luck bonus to AC
Slippers of Spider Climbing [CRB]
Cracked Pale Green Prism Ioun Stone [SoS] +1 competence bonus to saves
Signet Ring
Efficient Quiver
Arrows (20)
Grappling Arrow [AA]
Arrows, Cold Iron, Blunt (20)
Smoke arrow
Whistling arrow (20)
Arrows, adamantine blanched (10)
Arrows, blunt, adamantine blanched (10)
Arrows, silver blanched (10)
Arrows, blunt, silver blanched (10)
Handy Haversack [CRB] magic pockets; retrieve as move action without provoking
Ioun Torch [SoS]
Hammock [AA]
Piton [CRB]
Hammer
Caver's Hammock [Second Darkness Player's Guide]
Blanket, common [AA]
Mirror, small steel [CRB]
Rope, spider's silk (50 ft) [APG]
Sewing Needle
Thread (50') [AA]
False-bottomed Cup [AA]
Waterskin
Chalk
Parchment (sheet)
Dream Journal of the Pallid Seer [AP 27] (600 gp) reroll death
Rations, Trail
Soap
Noble's Outfit
Light War Horse [AA] (900 lbs)
Military Saddle (30 lbs)
Powder [AA]
Wand of Cure Light Wounds
Potion of Cure Light Wounds
Vermin Repellant [AA]
Unguent of Timelessness
Alchemist's Fire [CRB]
Smokestick [CRB]
Oil of Magic Weapon
Oil of Align Weapon
Potion of Endure Elements
Potion of Jump
Potion of Lesser Restoration
Potion of Mage Armor
Potion of Fly
Potion of Feather Step
Potion of Touch of the Sea
Air Crystals

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Divvox2 wrote:
For fun, I like to age my character a year every few levels to represent the concept that one only gets these wacky quests dozen times a year at most.

Time passes on Golarion at the same rate as here on Earth. So characters age one year in game for every real year. Though perhaps your PCs like to hang out with time dragons when not adventuring.


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Since the wording is "spells you cast to ensure peace or force aggressive creatures to become peaceful" I would say that spells which simply provide a penalty on attacks would not qualify.

I would allow the bonus on sometimes yes, sometimes no spells based on the specific situation.

I find the guiding idea of "when in doubt, side with the players" to be pretty good. It certainly makes for a more pleasant gaming atmosphere.

On the general topic, there are lots of effects in the game which require the GM to rule within the context of the current game. That's why we have GMs. Oddly enough I agree with the rulings more often than effects with no room for interpretation. Perhaps because they have to actively think about it and often talk it out with the players to gain some consensus.

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Great news.

My one suggestion is that the faction cards be made in the same physical size as a chronicle, 8.5x11in, so that they can seamlessly be kept with chronicles in binders or whatever. Half or quarter sheets of paper are too easy to lose. Maybe even use a general chronicle/boon design, just without the right or bottom portions.

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Here is the one I use in Excel and PDF formats. This prints on 4 8.5" x 11" pages. It should be current with all sanctioned content.

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James Krolak wrote:


Bead of Newt Prevention
1,000gp, UE pg282
Negates failed save vs hostile polymorph effect, consumed when triggered. Useful at higher levels when you might encounter a Baleful Polymorph.

Sure, this might seem great but there's nothing like a story of being turned into a squirrel.

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Excellent elixirs to use with alchemical allocation:

  • Elixir of elemental protection 1,800 gp Scintillating colors swirl through this liquid. The elixir grants the drinker 100 points of protection from the first type of elemental damage he takes after drinking it. Unused points of protection dissipate 1 hour after the liquid is consumed. [Dragonslayer's Handbook]
  • Elixir of darksight 1,200 gp This dark, syrupy draught doubles the range of the drinker’s darkvision and also enables her to see through deeper darkness when using darkvision. The effects last for 1 hour. [ARG]
  • Elixir of spirit sight 1,000 gp For 1 minute, the drinker gains the ability to see invisibility (as the spell), and his weapons and armor are treated as if they had the ghost touch special ability. [AP39]
  • Elixir of the peaks 2,450 gp When imbibed, an elixir of the peaks gives the user the ability to scale and survive in mountainous terrain with great skill. The imbiber is treated as if acclimated to all high altitudes lower than a death zone, and gains a +2 competence bonus on all Survival checks made at elevations of above 5,000 feet. She also gains a +10 competence bonus on Climb checks and Survival checks in mountainous terrain (these bonuses stack with the altitude-based bonus above). Finally, the imbiber gains the benefits of an endure elements spell. The effects of this elixir wear off after 8 hours. [RotRL AP6]
  • Elixir of hiding 250 gp
  • Elixir of swimming 250 gp
  • Elixir of tumbling 250 gp
  • Elixir of vision 250 gp

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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.

Scarab Sages ****

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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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What we do in the home game I play in is mark them with little colored dots to differentiate identical minis. So I attack pink sahuagin, or with enough enemies, orange-three stone giant.

Pulling out an as-yet unmarked set of enemies inevitably invokes "more dots!" :)

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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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The advanced savage vrock is a holdover from the PaizoCon version of the special. It should be a mythic vrock.

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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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