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MisterSlanky's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,995 posts (3,772 including aliases). 53 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 15 Pathfinder Society characters. 5 aliases.


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Shadow Lodge ****

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TOZ wrote:
I make an excellent luck charm.

Clearly we did well in spite of ourselves.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Well done SkalCon team for another great Con.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Like Muser, I typically do not buy Handy Haversacks. Extradimensional space items can be pretty awesome for specific characters, but not for everybody. Haversacks are really only common on individuals where I need to avoid the AOO to recover items (such as a wizard) and efficient quivers are common on thrown weapon experts (and the wizard again for his staff collection); however, I've yet to buy a bag of holding. I also do not do STR dumps (except for down to 8 on the really, really rare character). Like Muser I also will extol the virtues of Patfinder Pouches for all time - those things are AWESOME and I now have them on nearly every Pathfinder character.

For those of you really interested though, I do have a Tengu Alchemist in Pathfinder Society that carries a fully packed, to the brim Haversack with the kitchen sink attached. This represents my "cover all bases" pack. Perfect? No, but a start.

Google Docs: Tcreese's Haversack

Shadow Lodge ****

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jon dehning wrote:
This seems appropriate.

I reiterate: Poor Hillary.

Sovereign Court ****

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Every day I regret my decision to join this clown car.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Hillary is also unlucky enough to know who her table is in advance. Several of the players have already run Cosmic Captive, and thus we apparently have even picked our path out.

This is like the easiest special ever*, I'd love to run this special**.

*NOTE: This is not the easiest special ever, THUNDERLIPS will be participating.
**NOTE: As THUNDERLIPS is participating, I am not sure I'd love to run this special.

Shadow Lodge

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Of course best of luck to Liz, my favorite Paizo employee (don't tell Mark)!

Shadow Lodge ****

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jon dehning wrote:
MisterSlanky wrote:

Wow! My birthday is this year too!

Do I get cake?

Have you been a good boy this year?

No, not particularly.

Scarab Sages

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Female Dwarf | HP: 37/37 | AC: 25 (11 Tch, 24 Fl) | CMB: +4, CMD: 15 (19 vs. bull rush, 19 vs. trip) | F: +9*, R: +1*, W: +6* (*+1 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities, +2 vs. magic items) | Init: +5 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20ft | Shirt Reroll: 1/1 Judgement: 1/1 | Spells: 1st 2/3 | Active conditions: None.

Sigríðr eyes the room suspiciously before looking down at her heavy armor, "Well researchers, have at it, I'll guard the door."

Shadow Lodge

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Nefreet wrote:

No. It means that if you couldn't attempt the roll to begin with, then you can't Aid.

It does not mean that if you couldn't make the DC, you can't Aid.

Those are two entirely different circumstances.

Nefreet, with respect, that's not what the language in the rule reads.

The language doesn't read "if you couldn't attempt the roll" it reads, "In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results". If you have a -1 Diplomacy, you cannot achieve the result of influencing a creature that is hostile; literally the skill restricts who can achieve an influence result by who is capable of the DC, just as the skill of open lock restricts those who can achieve an open door result by who is capable of the DC.

Even the skill language is roughly the same; I fail to see where all these special qualifiers for "couldn't make the DC" come from, as they're not located in the skill descriptions themselves either.

Disable Device wrote:

When disarming a trap or other device, the Disable Device check is made secretly, so that you don't necessarily know whether you've succeeded.

The DC depends on how tricky the device is. If the check succeeds, you disable the device. If it fails by 4 or less, you have failed but can try again. If you fail by 5 or more, something goes wrong. If the device is a trap, you trigger it. If you're attempting some sort of sabotage, you think the device is disabled, but it still works normally.

Diplomacy wrote:
You can change the initial attitudes of nonplayer characters with a successful check. The DC of this check depends on the creature's starting attitude toward you, adjusted by its Charisma modifier. If you succeed, the character's attitude toward you is improved by one step. For every 5 by which your check result exceeds the DC, the character's attitude toward you increases by one additional step. A creature's attitude cannot be shifted more than two steps up in this way, although the GM can override this rule in some situations. If you fail the check by 4 or less, the character's attitude toward you is unchanged. If you fail by 5 or more, the character's attitude toward you is decreased by one step.

As for trained vs. untrained, the language there reads...

Untrained wrote:
Untrained: This entry indicates what a character without at least 1 rank in the skill can do with it. If this entry doesn't appear, it means that the skill functions normally for untrained characters (if it can be used untrained) or that an untrained character can't attempt checks with this skill (for skills that are designated "Trained Only").

Again, very different language than what is in the aid another description, even though it's in the same section. If the aid another meant to mean "no untrained use" it would say, "you cannot aid if you are untrained".

Shadow Lodge

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I would not put too much weight behind the achieve certain results line, there are certain ways to get higher bonuses on a reroll or after get a bonus after the roll is made.

Just because it's an often forgotten rule doesn't make it not a rule, and one that should carry far more weight than it does.

Shadow Lodge

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I know it's been discussed, but I personally think it really comes down to this:

PRD wrote:
In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results, such as trying to open a lock using Disable Device, you can't aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn't achieve alone.

So let's dissect this. You find a DC 25 lock and have to open the door to get through. The rogue can only open it if they have at least a +5 disable device. Their buddy the wannabe rogue can only assist if they too have a +5 to disable device. This example is explicit in the rules.

So let's extrapolate to the diplomacy scenario. You have a guard that you have to talk to to make it through a door. The text reads "A DC 25 diplomacy check is required to get the guard to do the truffle shuffle." Using the exact same qualifiers above, anybody without at least a +5 to diplomacy will be unable "achieve certain results" and thus cannot assist on the aid.

To me that's pretty damn straightforward, and it's something a lot of players and GMs forget.

Alternatively, I can see the discussion point on a regular diplomacy check, but even then, somebody with a -2 to diplomacy can only ever obtain an 18. Against a 12 CHA opponent, an 18 can only attempt an aid if somebody is "indifferent (15 + creature's Cha modifier) or more friendly. I get that one's a bit more gray, but in my opinion the previous clear rule still applies and I would not permit them to assist in aiding that check.

And this is before we even begin to discuss the line:

PRD wrote:
The GM might impose further restrictions to aiding another on a case-by-case basis as well.

Shadow Lodge ****

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TOZ wrote:
Quote:
Are we dismissing the problems of small lodges?
I think we are, and while it is natural to speak to your own experiences, it is something we need to combat.

A thousand times this, and something I've been trying to say for awhile now in other discussions. The MN lodge is VERY vocal, and I can assure you that once things start moving, we have some VERY effective ways to keep the momentum going, but it might be time for us to stand back from the discussions of those struggling at an entirely different level.

I know first hand what it's like to start your first game day and hope that four players are going to show up; I can only begin to imagine what that feeling is like week in and week out.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Still, there is no doubt in my mind that any PFS Lodge needs a critical mass of active players that exceed the number of games offered each week, so that it can deal with the intermittent players that PFS structure allows for. It also needs multiple tables so that your lodge can retain old players and attract new ones. Furthermore, it needs a core group of people willing and able to GM. Not just one, but several, and preferably a rotating crew so that GMs can sometimes play.

Hmm

As the individual that witnessed/caused the critical mass you speak of many, many, many moons ago (read 5 years+), I'd argue what you're seeing is not what you think it is.

We hit two tables in roughly three months. Playing once a month. We then bumped things up to every other week and were running three tables on average by month six at just one store. By the time we added our second store, we exploded to six to eight tables a week by month 9. At my first VC dinner (about a year in) I was proud to announce that we had hit 200 registered players playing at four regional stores. That happened almost instantaneously, with about the only nudge being 1) playing at the two biggest game stores in the area, and 2) starting our hosting on Meetup where we started drawing in a dozen new potential players a month easily. That second element is HUGE, and draws in more players than I think anybody really knows (except those that have read through the Google Analytics page attached to the site). Add in CONvergence and CotN and I didn't even have to try to recruit, players just started showing up.

So...as much as I'd love to say, "we should tell everybody else how to grow our area because we know how to do it", you need to know - our area is about as much of an outlier as they get, and it's been that way since day one. Yes there were some things we did to make it happen, but basically, we just live in an area with the player base to make it happen organically. The things we did do cost money (paying for new GMs out of pocket to gift scenarios, the rather substantial Meetup pricetag) that a lot of people can't "just do".

I am extremely proud of our lodge and everything it's accomplished, but I will stand firmly beside smaller lodges that frustrated with how easy the larger lodges have it. I remember the first VC dinners where we all were in the same boat, and I can guarantee you, unless you're from one of the regions with 1-2 tables a month, you're not going to get it.

To anybody interested, I'll gladly how I started a lodge with myself, one other friend, and a desire to play the game, but I'm afraid that our region really is that much of an oddity.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Also, how do you know that your archaist will have to fight a CD 6 demon before you fight it?

Shadow Lodge

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Make sure it's a time oracle. That way you can technically control time, and have negative movement.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Amiros Valeri wrote:
My solution (with Brock's modification) does not boil down to that. Your associated character still gets penalized, and the more times you associated the same character to pre-gens, the higher the penalty becomes for each pre-gen death that occurs.

I don't even like the 1XP/0PP/0GP chronicle reward solution, but at least I believe that it involves trying to find an actual middle ground solution that penalizes, but not unfairly.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Andrew Christian wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

I actually really liked the 1xp, 0pp, 0gp solution.

The campaign team made it clear t g at they want risk of death for the character. So any solutions need to include risk of actual death.

Please explain how a 1XP, 0PP, 0GP chronicle is not an appropriate solution.

1) You receive experience, which is already "punishment enough" when you get zero gold.

2) It creates a cost of death proportional to the gold earned. At level 1 it's 500 gp and it increases from there as is appropriate by the scenario being played.

In other words, you DO pay for a raise. Is it the same cost as if you had bought the service? No, it varies from 500gp to whatever the chronicle reward is for a level on a 7-11 or 5-9 (I forget which is higher). With a zero PP reward, that's a pretty hefty punishment.

Shadow Lodge ****

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GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Curious to see how this is going to work compared to other conventions I've judged at.
It will exceed your expectations.

What Earl said. Minneapolis/St. Paul runs a really tight ship. We've refined a lot of techniques on game days that translate well to the convention environment. Running what equates to a convention's worth of tables a week will do that.

Shadow Lodge ****

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TPS Report: Derogatory term for the extra piece of paper you fill out to track your purchases instead of just writing them on your chronicle. You filled out the cover-sheet correctly, correct?

Sovereign Court ****

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MisterSlanky wrote:
So please answer the question instead of being snide about it.

Yeah, that's my job.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Andrew Christian wrote:

Pregen dies.

You spend your characters gold to fix the oredicament.

This is not helpful.

There are seven pages in this thread, most of which are extremely critical of this addition to the guide for very good and varied reasons. Wei Ji, and Nefreet, and Chris Mortika, and a slew of others including other venture officers have asked how this mechanically is supposed to work.

So please answer the question instead of being snide about it.

Shadow Lodge ****

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Welcome to the institution.

In need of institutionalization is the way most of us could be described. Yes.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Andrew Christian wrote:
You assume I don't want another shave... it's Dianna that wants me with hair.

Then we know who needs to get her head shaved next in solidarity!!

Shadow Lodge ****

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Rambone wrote:
The biggest problem I see with pregens is with Bonekeep, players have taken pregens because they are scared to lose their actual characters. If that is a problem driving this can't they just update rules so pregens are not allowed in Bonekeep-type modules?

How much of this is a problem with players, and how much of this is the design/purpose of scenarios like Bonekeep?

Shadow Lodge ****

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nosig wrote:
and worse yet, some of us are getting old and crotchety and jaded and really selective of who we'll sit at a table with. (yeah, getting to be that old geezer - recognizing a bunch of people I'd really rather not inflict myself on. Or them on me. Or whatever... Life is just to short for "bad games").

You need to do it the "Minnesota Way". Enough beer and you won't notice!

Shadow Lodge ****

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To nosig & pH unbalanceds' point - I think those of us that get to enjoy the fertile plains of Minnesota and our 15+ tables of games every week do not understand the limited replay opportunities of other regions.

Shadow Lodge ****

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I've GMed over 150 scenarios. At 5 discussed low end of minutes a scenario that equals more than 12.5 hours.

No, you may not have 12.5 extra hours of my life for your paperwork, I've already given enough of my time.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Apologies for the negativity.

I've been accused by some as always complaining and negative. Thing is, pragmatism often comes off as negativity. If somebody doesn't call out the BS when they see it, and offer up solutions, then nobody knows. That just pisses everybody off eventually.

You go ahead and keep being negative.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Davor Firetusk wrote:
guided added the ability to make Day job checks when playing a pre-gen. Now I don't think Day job checks are game breaking one way or the other, but with a modest investment it does add up to a nice chunk of gold by the end of a characters lifetime.

With the right build yes, but these are pregens, there's no "investment" to be made. So the argument isn't exactly on-task.

That said, unless you're built for it as a free ability (alchemists, gunslingers, etc.), in most cases the 750 = 2pp exchange rate is worth more to you as pp than it is to be able to make day job checks. Day jobs are fun, and thematic, but they are usually the least optimal choice.

Quote:
The other cumulative advantage of playing a pregen is that you get all of those free consumables. Chances of death and condition costs are a part of those consumables. Which is part of the etiquette of being responsible for your own healing. Viewed from that angle the change introduces a more comparable situation in terms of long term resource acquisition and power between playing pre-gens vs. a homemade character. I don't know that that balances the other portions, but it's worth considering.

Kyra's consumables usually help everybody else, not herself (and let's be honest, 50%+ of the pregen play is kyra). The idea that most players will put this on a fresh 0xp character only bolsters this as a problem, as they're likely to blow through everything on the rest of the party, not themselves, therefore increasing the currently non-existent abuse. As for the rest, it's a possibility, but it again swings the direction Paul Jackson is talking about, which in turn makes all of it kind of moot anyway. All reward, with little care for the outcome of the pregen, for no risk will become the norm.

Dark Archive ****

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Ri'chard shrugs at the loss of the Boar n' Oysters, she never liked that dump anyway. She snickers...why would anybody want to take out a restaurant that's nothing more than Dicky's side project. Everybody knows SWAT members are as clean as they come, as members get booted out in a second if there's even a sniffle of wrongdoing; they even have a member of Internal Affairs serving.

She smiles as she puts two and two together. The fact that anybody trying to break in likely thought Dicky's personal office contained anything of worth beyond his ledgers and the receipt for the artificial oysters packed in water makes her chuckle turn into laughter, I'll bet these two yahoos will think that the blacklists he keeps on patrons are probably some kind of personnel files from the office and that the Chelaxian oregano he keeps in that locker are drugs. Everybody knows that this was Dicky's little side project with no connections to SWAT proper, but these two apparently didn't get the memo. Oh well, this should teach Serpico a good lesson.

As she waits for the rest of the fuzz to arrive, she finds a comfortable spot outside the fire and starts casting a scry to watch the events unfold, and more importantly, see where the two nitwits disappear to. Outside my jurisdiction - unless they murder somebody I'm not chasing them down. Besides, the information might be good to hold over Dicky and his stupid mom jokes.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Sin of Asmodeus wrote:
Play your characters, if you're brand new you shouldn't be playing 7 to 11. Also as a new judge you should. Be bringing new players in and welcoming them.

A serious question - have you ran many game days? Locally this happens regularly. Why? Because if a new player shows up, and there's exactly one seat, that's where they often get seated.

Quote:

So far every arguement is basically boiling down to my character should be immortal and never in teouble.

They just need to change pregen rules to say you must play available characters in the tier of the module. Unless it is a special of some type.

Fixtures. Otherwise. Suck it up buttercup, and either have legitimate characters to assign records too, or be prepared for 1xp 2 prestige and 500ish gold certs for all your ars.

Wow...just wow, I'm literally without words. If you think this is the argument that others are making, you're not reading at all. The argument is that this is exactly the type of knee-jerk reaction of "everybody is out to cheat" that I'm referencing.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Paul Jackson wrote:
[The more I think about this the worse it gets. There is now a very strong incentive to irreversibly assign the pregen credit to a brand new character. Which means MORE people won't care about the result, not less. Which will tend to INCREASE any abusive play that occurs, not reduce it.

Bingo - this was a knee jerk reaction by I'm guessing, a select few that think that everybody is out to "game the system", but fail to remember that they were new players once too.

Shadow Lodge ****

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BretI wrote:
They can do an approximation of how often it happened by looking at the number of characters that are marked dead with 0 PP.

Finding out how often it's happened is not the same as finding out why it happened. If the intent to identify abuse, looking up a number won't tell you anything. The number is just a data point without context.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Paul Jackson wrote:
Add me to the list of people uncomfortable with this change. I'm guessing that there were enough people abusing the pregen by playing really stupidly or recklessly but I'm not sure this is the solution.

This is notoriously hard to measure outside of casual anecdotal evidence. I suspect that there were one or two visible bad apples that were latched onto as evidence for something more sinister going on by the VOs that wrote the changes. I doubt this is something campaign leadership typically is tuned into on a day-to-day basis (because they're not in the trenches so to speak).

This feels previous campaign levels of punitive.

Shadow Lodge ****

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William Boyle wrote:
Yes! There is risk as well as reward attached to playing a pregen!

I see a list of risks, I'm still waiting for the reward. Pregen playing was already a terrible experience - this just makes it more irritating and less helpful for the newer players we're supposed to be getting into the hobby.

"Welcome to my table? On you just started playing this convention with pregens? I'm sorry you died, I have a whole bunch of esoteric rules to throw at you about risk vs. reward instead of just playing the game and I'm sorry, but all that playing you did was just invalidated by your death in my game." Terrible, terrible addition.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Rei wrote:
Our local ex-VC goes by Venture-Captain Emeritus.

I go by "Cranky Old Ex-VC".

Shadow Lodge ****

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Score!

The Reroll Page wrote:

Coordinator Polos

Regional Venture-Coordinator
Venture-Captain
Venture-Lieutenant

It doesn't state what condition they need to be in, or if the Venture Officer in question is still wearing it, or if it is acceptable to off the Venture Officer in question to obtain his shirt!

Shadow Lodge ****

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Nefreet wrote:
They are still mandatory, as indicated in the Guide (multiple times).

The worst addition to PFS ever...and it's still there. :-(

Why was it the worst addition? Because it was already required to be put on your chronicles anyway!

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andreww wrote:
This does seem like unnecessary extra book keeping.

Unnecessary extra bookkeeping started with the atrocity that is the TPS report duplicating a function of the chronicle sheets. At this point no bookkeeping insanity surprises me in PFS.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Not diggin' it.

If I jump onto the Paizo site, I already have to know to click on the Pathfinder Society link. Coolio, I do so.

Before, 90% of what I needed was RIGHT THERE at the top right side. Sure, there were way too many menu options, and there were other issues, but it was RIGHT THERE.

Now I look at the page and realize that pretty much the reason I go to the PFS page are all scroll options at the bottom of the page, and right above it is this huge gemstone taking up no space other than push the stuff I do use off the page that I now have to scroll on.

I personally preferred the old option.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Jack Brown wrote:
Work is progressing. Not like we don't have day jobs. :P

Come on - that's like one roll and you're done. And who cares if you only get 5gp today.

Shadow Lodge ****

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Are we talking XP or prestige?

The XP for season zero scenarios is identical to all season scenarios. 1 XP.

If you're talking prestige, use Pete's suggestion above.

Shadow Lodge ****

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So maybe what we're asking for, suggestion from John is a VC GMing "style guide"?

Shadow Lodge ****

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DM Beckett wrote:
MisterSlanky wrote:
James Anderson wrote:
I never took that to mean it actually belongs to him.
Then he is doing his job exceptionally well.
Meh. . .

Exceptionally exceptionally it appears.

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Really like this one. I mean REALLY liked it. It's a great scenario with some really neat mechanics, a story, and good interactions. Aside from my feelings about trigger warnings, I like that the scenario outlines that it is PG-13 rather than PG. That is a good addition IMHO. Even if this scenario hardly meets a PG-13 rating compared to previous.

I really liked that the mission briefing was, "we don't know what we're sending you into because they didn't tell us". It's much better than hemming and hawing about the real reasons you're flying in blind.

One major, MAJOR criticism though. Not one, but TWO enormous custom maps. Enormous maps already a bit of a headache when prepping. But to have them as an either/or is absolutely outrageous. Are they fun and interesting maps? Sure - but this is the kind of thing where we really REALLY should be relying on a map pack or flip mat.

Shadow Lodge ****

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James Anderson wrote:
I never took that to mean it actually belongs to him.

Then he is doing his job exceptionally well.

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Here's what I think it is an essential part of the discussion regarding the opinion of VCs - the presentation of the intelligence regarding what they're sending us into. The problem isn't a lack of intelligence though, it's not even an issue with the quality of what they do have. No, the problem is how the VCs deliver this information.

How many times have you heard the following?

"Hey Sheila, what important information aren't you telling us about the mission we're about to go on?"

We don't ask this question for our health. Well rather, we probably do ask it to assist in our continued living state. And joking aside, it comes from the known issue that more often then any of us would like, critical information is located in the Q&A from the Pathfinders to the VC. We're going on a rescue mission - awesome. Why didn't you tell me it's to rescue 3 Pathfinders, who they are, why they are there, and what they look like?

Spoiler:
I'm looking at you Rebel's Ransom.

Sometimes this lack of information is well presented.

Spoiler:
Orders from the Gate is a superb example of this.

But the former is just not appropriate. I get cutting word count, and keeping exposition to a minimum, and engaging players. I do. But, the VC should be our resource into lore we may not know, not into elements of the mission we should know. If I had my druthers, all of the Q&A involving mission parameters would be part of a far more designed interactive experience with questions from the VCs better leading questions from the players. Maybe a dossier, I don't know, but not the limited distribution of information we have now.

IMHO, if we're looking at the reason why we don't trust our VCs, this is really fundamentally the gist of it. They know things and only tell us the answers if we ask. But it should be the exception rather than the rule that some key tidbit is located in the Q&A.

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