Chris Mortika wrote:
Stat damage sounds and feels scary. And for high level PCs, it is scary.
One thing I did with the Visitant to make him a little less scary was, since he could choose what stat damage he did, I rolled randomly for what stat he damaged. Early on, he didn't know what each character could do. And it was a lot less scary to the fighters to loose some mental stats than for them to loose some physical stats. It hurt when he would randomly choose strength when he hit the barbarian, but they weren't as worried when he did int damage the next round.
I finished running the first three floors of Thornkeep this week. My post on the accursed halls is above, and I had the same party through the next two floors. They didn't have any issues with the Forgotten Laboratory, but they almost died in the Enigma Vaults. They moved through everything with little problem except for the Visitant. He almost one-shot one player when he popped out of invisibility after he used the scrolls, and it just went downhill from there. Has anyone else had issues with him being brutal?
Also, thank you CRobledo! Those are going to help a lot when I eventually finish off the set and run the last two levels.
I finished running The Accursed Halls today for a group of 5 (lvl 2 melee ranger, lvl 2 ranged ranger, lvl 2 cleric, lvl 1/1 barbarian/oracle, and a lvl 1 inquisitor) and they managed to complete it in a little over 3 hours. After reading this thread, I know they must have been either lucky or skilled (or both =) ) since I didn't pull any punches. And they weren't powergamers or anything, this happened to be for a group of kids at a event at my LGS.
The shadow was scary at first, since I knew no one had a magic weapon. But once the inquisitor identified it, the cleric, ranger, and barboracle pulled out wands of CLW and swarm healed it down. The stirge room would have been tough, since no one was using a torch. But once I mentioned the barrel of pitch from the block text, the barbarian wanted to be a pyro and just set it on fire because he could, and that made the stirges flee. They managed to talk their way past the gambling goblin guards, and even got them to leave after some creative roleplaying and taking all their stuff by cheating at cards. Murgmo was knocked down in no time with some creative spell slinging before she even got a turn. Finally, the Seven Star Door didn't shock them at all after they looked at the games they had and said "It's a rainbow! We try that on the holes in the door!"
I run The Forgotten Laboratory for the same group soon, so I get to see if the first floor was just a fluke or if they're going to dominate the whole dungeon.
I think the no dump stat thing should only be an issue if the character doesn't take steps to counter the dump in some way, like a low charisma character having a few points in diplomacy or a low strength character having muleback cords and a trusty buddy. If a player gives themselves a dump stat for flavor, they shouldn't be punished for doing that. It's only if a player sees dumping a stat as a way to minmax a bit more elsewhere is when they shouldn't be a Lamplighter.
As for items, I support them being included. Paizo just released a whole book about equipment (the number of things in there borders on ultimate =) ) and characters are expected to use them. I would say you're not being a Lamplighter if you're NOT prepared for your mission. A player should be rewarded for thinking ahead and getting a masterwork thieves tool to help open locks better or a magical item to help themselves and their party.
Last input I have for this post is faction. Personally, I like the idea of the factions when everything is played well. They add a bit of flavor to each mission, and keep players on the lookout for something beyond the next combat. I don't like them when it comes down to "I enter the room. IS MY PAINTING HERE? No? Okay, next room. ANY PAINTINGS???". Is that a problem with the author or with the player? I don't know. But I know I'm going to keep doing the missions given to me, like them or not. It's all a part of the game. =)
I'm all for this group. With my main being a bard, I was starting to get a bit tired of showing up at tables and having everyone basically looking to me to do their faction missions (some didn't even bother reading the thing). I've also lost a character to a wizard acting more like a barbarian than a thinking class. And I disagree with the idea that "a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none". If you build the character right, they can excel at many things and suffer very little.
As a side note, and a bit of a complaint, I think that Survival should be allowed on the list of 'one of these skills'. It just makes sense that a Pathfinder and a Lamplighter can be able to track through and survive in the wilderness. Many of the locales we travel to are in the middle of no where.
I plan on running a few floors of Thornkeep later this month, and I'm planning on keeping the town interaction lower too. While I love the flavor of the town and all the people in it, I'm just not going to have enough time to let the players know the dwarven blacksmith has a crush on the dwarven mason in town among other plots given. I know after the first floor, unless they specifically ask to go back to town for something, I'm planning on having the session pick up right after the last one left off (with the allotted undefined time period between scenarios to buy stuff). It at least makes sense to me in that way, since after the town its a standard hack-n-slash dungeon crawl like Saint Caleth pointed out.
I'm thankful for the great friends I've met through PFS.
I'm thankful for PFS being able to give me a tabletop rpg to play after I hadn't been able to play one for a while.
I'm thankful to the Paizo staff for being able to give us gamers a quality game with with great products.
I'm thankful to the meat shields that protect my squishy characters game after game.
Since Seth mentioned it, I probably should post it here. So....
My Choices are:
0-14: Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch (because I have a love-hate relationship with Torch, so I'll gm him once for a change of view)
I want to add a module to this list, like many others of you have, but I know so little about them that I feel it warrants a bit of research before I just grab one. Although I will admit that I am probably leaning towards a higher level one for a chance of pace.
As a side note, did Mike Brock just let the name of an unreleased season 4 out? =)
We have to be careful with that since while the market is slow right now, it could pick up speed at any time. I'd say keep your resources on hand to protect yourself from the gravity of the situation.
How long has he been gone? A few days? Give it a coupla weeks, then it'll be important enough to send us out.
Chris, I think the best respond to that is what kinevon said. I know that you shouldn't plan who plays a scenario depending on the loot. But on the same hand, if the reward is a PrC you really want to play, you're going to play the class for it you want. For example, if the Winter Witch PrC becomes a reward and I want to play it, I'm not going to play a fighter through that scenario. But if I don't care about Winter Witch and I do play a fighter or a rogue, I'd feel like I'm getting left out of the special rewards. Maybe giving an option would alleviate some of this.
Also, lets be honest, when there's something really awesome and/or special as a reward, word spreads about it fast. I personally don't know anything about scenarios I haven't played or ran, and I don't want to. But when there's something cool on the chronicle sheet (like Quest for Perfection, for example), its hard to NOT hear what it is, either from the forums or from fellow players.
I love the idea of earning extra special rewards and boons on chronicle sheets. Scenarios like Rats of Round Mountain and Quest for Perfection are fun, and then when you find out your extra work of playing the whole story is rewarded it makes it more worthwhile.
The only downside is now I need to do extra planning when I play scenarios so a melee PrC or named item doesn't get put on a wizard. =)
Of the encounters currently existing in pathfinder scenarios and modules? I can't think of any that could be mistaken as a haunt. The closest I can think of is magical creatures that are kind of hauntish, but not enough to be taken for one.
For example, in Godsmouth Heresy
there's a room where the writing jumps off the walls and attacks the party. If the party is expecting a haunt, they might see it as one, but otherwise it's just a magical trap to them.
For creating future non-haunt events, it could be done in the right situations when tied to a haunt. Like having a haunt happen, then shortly afterwards have a canyon or crack in the cave wall that wind literally wails through. With enough set-up, you could get a "Sweet Sarenrae, it's a haunt! Run!" event happening.
Scott Young wrote:
That's nothing. Our local crew has two tengu gunslingers, Clint Beakwood and Birdard O'Reily. Now that's clever use of tengu naming. =)
I love the changes to the guide, especially the GMs getting boons. Now I'm not afraid of missing out on good stuff when I GM new scenarios (especially the season 3 and 4 stuff).
But, you're assuming that Golarion logic follow Earth logic. And considering that we're dealing with magic, dragons, and mystical environments, I doubt that it does.
+1 for teaching me something new, -1 for getting science in my magic. =P
Of the scenarios you mentioned, I have only run God's Market Gamble, so I don't know how much sway my voice may have. But I really enjoyed it.
I like the free-form roleplaying present in the investigation part, with the players having to find several mcguffins instead of just one. The fact that players are rewarded for roleplaying well and finding enough of the mcguffins is a nice benefit as well. I also enjoy the chase mechanic and would like to see that pop up more often (but not too often so as to not ruin the uniqueness of it).
As for the encounters within, I wish they were a bit more balanced. You have a simple fight against generic thugs and an interesting trap encounter that, while fun to play through, can be beaten by anyone with a decent perception or who are lucky enough to use the right path. The theft scene can be fun, but with neither sister really into the theft it can easily be ended with 1-2 actions. And then there's a really really mean BBEG, which happened to cause my first ever player death (whom I ironically joked about killing). I know BBEGs are suppose to be tough bosses, but the scenario is almost too easy before her. The first three encounters are ~3-4 on difficulty and the BBEG is ~8-9. If the fights were a little more balanced it would improve on the flow of the scenario.
All in all, I would certainly enjoy more non-standard (ie. hack-and-slash) scenarios. But not to any extremes. Sometimes its fun to just stab anything that moves and not worry about why we should stab them. =)
Adamantine armor is a pain to get, ignoring the enchants. Its cost usually makes it a high level item, and you have to fame to by almost anything by then. Mithril is more of an issue, but only really for the light armors. The cost for medium and heavy mithril again leans it towards a higher level purchase (with the fame/purchase limit being not much of a problem).
Keep in mind that while the eastern armors can be worn by anyone with the relevant proficiency (or without, if you don't mind the penalties), most of the eastern weapons are considered exotic. So you need the training or exotic weapon proficiency feat. Or, like with the armors, you can use them anyways and deal with the penalties. =)
Defenders is a great scenario, but my personal favorite is Haunting at Hinojai. The atmosphere is great and can be really spooky with a little bit of GM roleplay. Also, the encounters are very different from the standard "2-7 thugs show up and beat on you" that's seen in many scenarios, and can be really fun to play as a GM (again, with the spooky thing =) ).
My very charismatic bard has had some fun with stupid npcs. He once convinced a band of pirates that they didn't fill out the proper paperwork and need their ship inspected or we would impound it. He is also notorious for using fascinate/suggestion to get bands of thugs to support their local tavern by getting a drink and leave the party alone.
I have a gunslinger, and so far its a really fun class to play. I personally don't think there's too much bookkeeping to them. Honestly, I fins casters have much more bookkeeping with all the spells (and god forbid you summon something. So much extra work for 1-2 rounds =P ). Gunslingers are pretty much the same as any ranged character, just their ammo is a bit more costly and they have deeds (which works just like talents, domains, mysteries, etc.).
Kristoph, don't let this dissuade you. Gunslingers are fun. Especially when you crit with a musket and one-shot big baddies. =)
Edit: just barely ninja'd by Eric! Btw, I have a musket master also. They're quite awesome. =)
Jukka Särkijärvi wrote:
my only real criticism is that Parani's tactics don't mention what she's going to do once she's taken down the entire group
When I ran this, I luckily didn't have to deal with this situation as my party (barely) managed to take her down. But I would say that she would in fact kill the party, if there's still some alive. She's trying to keep her cover so she doesn't get arrested/killed, and the party is trying to expose her. She can shoot up to 4 arrows a turn (depending on tier played), which is more than enough to finish off a bunch of unconscious party members in 1-2 rounds. Then I assume she spins some lie to the greycloaks that show up about how the party is the one that is robbing and killing people in the God's Market.
I like how the haunts in Hinojai work also. While haunts are kind of a modified trap, I like the idea that they're MORE than just a trap. With a trap you walk into a room, hit a pressure plate, effect happens, and that's it. With a haunt you can get a bit of story or a special description to make it feel more worthwhile. A trap that puts a fear effect one you? Eh, I got feared. A haunt that puts a fear effect on you? Holy glob! The walls are bleeding and there's the monster from (insert your favorite horror movie here) chasing me!
I know that not every situation can use a haunt well and that traps do serve a purpose, but I love a bit more of flavor in the scenarios.
For the bonus language, take the language most closely tied to your faction (osirani for osirians, tien for lantern lodge, etc), because faction missions do like to involve their national language a good deal of the time. If you have a faction without a language (andoran, taldor, grand lodge, etc.), stick with a Golarion language over a core language. While I haven't played every scenario, I do use Kelish, Osirani, and Tien a WHOLE lot more than I use Sylvan, Dwarven, etc.
For skills, you guys have a good selection. Perception is a key skill to have in PFS., so both having points in it in a good plan. For your wife's character, she has a point in Knowledge (geography). I personally suggest that, unless she's building towards something that specifically requires it, to move that point elsewhere. Geography is one of the least used knowledges (if not outright skill) in PFS. Local is great for getting info on your mission or location, and the identifying knowledges (religion, arcana, nature, and planes) can be handy too.
Other than that, I think your characters are well made. I know if you want to keep with the pirate/privateer theme, you'll be able to eventually buy a ship with your earn prestige, which will be fun. Good luck on your first game, and I hope you guys have a lot of fun!
Having seen both the cold-hearted mobster style Torch and the "let's all hug!" Torch, I almost wonder if something was supposed to happen to him (death, exile, etc.) and SL was to be taken over by someone else. Then somewhere in the development process, Torch stayed around but the personality of the 'new' leader go placed onto him. It's the only way I explain such a personality change. Either that, or someone forgot to do a doppelganger check. =)
I don't think you're in the minority. Most of the people of my (and Seth's) gaming group dislike Torch for one reason or another. We're the reason he had to stat out Torch, because there was a serious debate about causing a time paradox and trying to slag him in season 1. =)
I agree completely, Bob. But unfortunately, until it's in the rules that a GM can do something like that, each player of a faction gets credit as long as the mission is complete. It's a very handy rule when you need something like Knowledge (engineering), and only one player has it. But it can be abused by lazy players. =/
I've never seen a player not try their faction mission. Usually the players at my table have forgotten the main mission in their mad rush to ask me if there's a strange set of runes on THIS particular wall.
That is usually the case whenever I GM or play, but I did have one player that didn't even bother to look at the faction mission sheet. He luckily had another player of the same faction, so he got prestige. But I kinda wish he didn't so he'd be punished, since the only time he was concerned about the faction missions were when the chronicle sheets were being handed out and he said "oh wait, wasn't I suppose to do a faction thingy?"
I don't know about the Eyes of Ten boon, but I know the Beginner's Box boons include a free res and a racial boon. Again, these are nice things for PFS, but for a home game they're not really needed. Since in PFS things are played on a strict don't mess with the rules system, the boons give players wiggle room with the rules. But in a home game, the players can do whatever you as a GM allow (play non-core races, suddenly are given a blessing from their god and revived, get some benefit for a backstory, etc.).