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MisterSlanky's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,969 posts (3,661 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:
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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Okay...

Low Tier
Level 7 Barbarian
Level 7 Oracle/Veiled Illusionist
Level 8 Bard/Cavalier/Battle Herald
Level 8 Fighter/Oracle/Hellknight

High Tier
Level 9 Alchemist
Level 11 Paladin/Ninja/Brawler

I'll play either way, I'm not sure which I'm more interested in, but I'm far more limited high-tier.

Shadow Lodge

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I could certainly get on board. I'll find something in-tier (plenty of choices).

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Whether your first meetings are successful is going to be hit or miss. You need good group chemistry. You need for your players to have a good time, and bring others.

Unfortunately, two years at a certain venue with chemistry befitting a failed science experiment may say otherwise about needing good group chemistry. We were able to survive in spite of it, and have spent a lot of time recovering from it.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Serisan wrote:


The Minnesota lodge has a lot of history to build off of and I don't think the success that Monsieur Slanky mentioned could be replicated elsewhere.

"the biggest" gamestore pretty much guarantees you've got more than one, which means lots of geeks per square mile to attract

We have the "largest game store between the West Coast and Chicago" (aka our biggest). This same game store is associated with pretty significant game/comic distribution at major conventions. Their game space can easily (but doesn't typically) manage 6 tables of games if need be.

We have a game store attached to the home office of one of the largest North American game developing/publishing houses (Fantasy Flight Games aka Asmode North America). This store can accommodate an 18 table convention with room to expand. Most of us are friends with at least one employee.

We have at least four other stores that can, and do, seat anywhere between two and five tables at least bi-weekly. All of those stores are within a 30 minute drive of each other.

Start extending your reach a little further in terms of distance or to the stores we're not involved with regionally and I can name at least five more off the top of my head. That's not even counting "Games by James" that has a huge mall presence here (and sells plenty of product from all game companies).

So yes, as you can imagine we have an enormous "geek presence" here in town.

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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Minor nitpick. Can you stop referring to what you are playing as "modules"? What you are referring to are "scenarios", the $3.99-$4.99 printable games. Modules are much longer and allow you to gain 3XP for playing the entire thing. The former are designed for PFS, the latter are adapted for PFS.

It took me a page to figure out you were complaining about the ones designed for PFS as opposed to actual "modules".

Shadow Lodge ****

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Unless I have a compelling reason to, my characters rarely if ever have a day job. It's just not 'worth it' to me. Exceptions of note are when the "day job" skill comes free of charge (not a fan of the vanities).

That said...

1 - Wizard - Craft (Alchemy)
2 - Battle Herald - Profession Soldier or Perform (Oratory)
3 - Bard - Perform (Oratory)
4 - Gunslinger - Craft (Alchemy) - Although poorly
5 - Paladin - Skill points, what are those?
6 - Summoner - Nope
7 - Alchemist - Craft (Alchemy)
8 - Barbarian - Nope
9 - Hellknight - Nope
11 - Oracle/Illusionist - Nope
12 - Fighter - Probably something because of his 1 rank in all skills
13 - Inquistor - Nope
14 - Rogue - Appraise (this was entirely character reasons)
15 - Arcanist - Profession (Police Detective)
16 - Druid - Probably (though still working out) Profession (Bad Taxidermist)

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.

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Kinda scares me that the only commentary are coming from a number of MN posters.

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.

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Disk Elemental wrote:
Given how utterly combat warping high-level guns are, I would be strongly in favor of a clarification that says Wind Wall effects bullets as if they were arrows or bolts.

I would get behind that. Part I started my spiral into utterly hating having a gunslinger at the table, Part III solidified that into a "I will not play with a gunslinger at high level again".

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?

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.

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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!!

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Landon Hatfield wrote:
Ahh, poor Mr. Khayn. Ate an archery full-attack and died (outright) within 1 round of combat starting both times I've run it. (First a ranger, then an Erastilian warpriest.)

That more-or-less happened at my table too. Except the group was like "oh crap!" and then they used three BoL/gloves of healing shots to bring him up. Then he sundered something. They regretted that choice.

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GM Lamplighter wrote:
MisterSlanky: I've also GM'd over 150 games, and the 12.5 hours I've apparently spent has helped our area build a Lodge where we largely don't have to worry about players that don't have their paperwork filled out any more. Personally, I think it's worth it; YMMV

I too will stand beside the quality of the local lodge that I too helped build as a Venture Captain...from day zero, with no paperwork.

Unfortunately two of us can play at that game.

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?

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SCPRedMage wrote:
If I'm a wizard, it's on my list and I use Int. If I'm a sorcerer, it's on my list and I use Cha. If I'm a cleric and the spell is treated as on my spell list (due to UMD), would I use Wis?

You would use INT, as spell is not on the cleric spell list and you then have to go to the specified class that you're technically getting the scroll from, wizard.

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.

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Locally here in Minnesota PP purchases are tracked on the ITS. I have told regular players that should know better that if certain things are not on their ITS it's not with them.

Considering I've yet to fill out an ITS, that's not entirely true.

I cannot stand them - a perfectly good system of writing your purchases on your chronicles was replaced with mundane paperwork. I still write my purchases on my chrons, the way the gods intended.

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To UMD a wizard scroll as a Cleric remember you need the following two items. All outlined here.

1) You will first need to use a scroll: 20 + caster level. So you will need a UMD check of 25 (20 + 5th level caster) to cast the spell.

2) You will then (likely I'm assuming) need to emulate the 13 INT needed to cast the spell as a wizard. To do this you will need to "Emulate an Ability Score: To cast a spell from a scroll, you need a high score in the appropriate ability (Intelligence for wizard spells...Your effective ability score (appropriate to the class you're emulating when you try to cast the spell from the scroll) is your Use Magic Device check result minus 15. If you already have a high enough score in the appropriate ability, you don't need to make this check." In other words, if you roll a 25 (the check you needed), you'll only have an INT of 10 for casting the spell (not enough).

In other words, the target number for the UMD is 28.

Shadow Lodge

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As another aside (I haven't seen it mentioned yet), virtually all crafting (with two notable exceptions) are not permitted in Pathfinder Society. The notable exceptions are a) alchemists/investigators crafting non-magical alchemical goods and gunslingers "crafting" (although it essentially buying at reduced price) guns and bullets via alchemy.

One of the hardest parts of this concept is that you'll never really be a crafter, even with the right archetype.

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.

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Again - if the primary intent of the change, as stated by those "in the know" was to remove the abuse of players playing Pregens in a way that negatively impacted the other players at the table, I fail to see how this change makes any impact to remedying that specific problem. Jerk players will continue to be jerk players.

So either:

a) That is not the real reason.

or

b) This was not well thought out.

I have my thoughts on which of the two it was.

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Madness I tell you!

This sounds like a Decemverite plot.

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.

Shadow Lodge ****

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chris manning wrote:
I use an A3 laser printer at work, and find its best to allow a generous overlap as although it's a very expensive printer, its not that accurate..and I dont like white lines where the pages 'nearly' meet

You still don't get those white lines at 0.1" of overlap. Trust me, you're adding in a ton of extra work for very little reward by using 1" overlap. I use a home HP laser printer that's probably just as inaccurate.

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.

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nosig wrote:
I most often encounter table variation with rules that are in the CRB. Common things that are hard to predict that the judge/other players will be "playing differently".

You've mentioned a number of things that clearly don't fall under "table variation" they fall under "haven't read the rulebook".

In particular...

AoO's for moving
There's table variation, and there's outright ignoring rules...

SRD wrote:
Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn't count as more than one opportunity for that opponent.

There are some common sense things in there, but how did the GM (and two players) react to that?

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Kalindlara wrote:

Perhaps we could develop resources (such as threads) to help people learn about the scenario-exclusive pregens in advance. I don't know if this goes against the rules on spoilers, but perhaps exceptions could be made in this regard. (Only about the characters themselves, obviously, not the events of the scenarios.)

So a "how to play the Serpents Rise pregens" thread, etc.

Having played Serpent's Ire and knowing enough of Malestrom - this isn't likely going to fly. The pregens themselves are usually full of spoilers.

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Wow, I have about 7 steps less than you when I do it. I copy, paste into MS paint, use the sizing tool to cut my borders to where I want them, save as a PNG and then open in Posterazor in roughly the manner you do. The total process start to finish for a map takes roughly 2 minutes and cuts out all the fiddling with the image itself.

My only real criticisms though (other than the number of steps and using GIMP) over yours is the 1" overlap in Posterazor and not playing around with the orientation button. That's a HUGE waste of paper. I've seen orientation drop my printed page count by as much as six, and I've seen dropping my overlap to 0.1" drop the page count by just as much. Wasting paper is not good for the planet, but if you're not interested in that, on particularly large maps or in scenarios with lots (I'm looking at you Orders From the Gate), this can cut your map taping time by like 10 minutes a map.

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.

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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.

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Cenorin wrote:
I'm not really sure how the players are supposed to figure out that they should destroy the altar. The main clues seem to be the strange voice and the victim tied to the altar, the latter in particular if Kaghaze gets the chance to cut him and increase the profane effect. In my game, I had players cast both Detect Evil and Detect Psychic Significance, so I gave them a hint or two and those led them to destroy it.

It's really up to the GM. You need to tell the players to destroy the altar without telling the players to destroy the altar. It's not terribly difficult in this case, but it's not well spelled out exactly what you need to say to get players to understand that it's the altar (and say, not the carving). Figure out what your group is noticing, and then try to build the altar's conversation from there.

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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.

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Velisruna wrote:
I'm more looking for advice on how, as a player, I should best go about springing esoteric corner cases on unfortunate GMs.

How do you best go about presenting your case? Find a better way to present it. If your methodology for trying to "inform" your GM uses the same language bolded above, then I can see your problems begin entirely with your presentation.

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

I go by "Cranky Old Ex-VC".

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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!

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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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SCORE! I got a 9!

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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.

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It's right there on the front page, on the bottom.

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