|Myron Pauls Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Winnipeg aka NoStrings|
While there are many of us here on the forums that are happy to answer your questions, you can also check the Additional Resources for information on what is and isn't legal for Society play.
In fact, if you want to use anything that isn't in the core assumption, you have to bring the book it's from and a printed copy of the most recent Additional Resources.
With all that being said, Mr. Sin and Draven are correct: you need a special boon (usually won at a convention) in order to play a kitsune character.
As for "spawning a high level character", a PC doesn't have to actually have stats until it's time to play them. Heck, you could GM-credit your way to 12th level and then play Eyes of the Ten with him (though that doesn't sound like the most-fun use of your one playthrough of that arc).
The biggest problem with this approach is that you don't really get a good feel for the character. If you suddenly start playing at level 10 (or whatever), you might find that some feat/spell/ability isn't as great as you thought it would be. After learning this the hard way, I always make sure to play each of my characters at least once per level.
Jim Groves wrote:
Sigh.. It breaks my heart that I can't afford more Paizo stuff.
I think you just need to write more scenarios and ask to be paid in minis! Actually, I just want more Jim Groves adventures - perhaps one that has a large water elemental in it so I can use this mini!
To keep this on topic, I'll agree with everyone above and say that I also love both of these minis. I'm glad the large is big enough that it could stand in for a huge water elemental; as far as I know, no one has made one of those yet.
A while back, I was running a game where the players encountered some fey with constant invisibility and some nasty spells. One character was hit early on with irresistible dance, taking him out of the fight. The battle lasted quite a while, long enough that the irresistible dance wore off, but the player realized he couldn't contribute much to this particular fight and didn't want to make a target of himself, so he continued dancing!
Any chance of having individual boxes for sale for previous map packs? That is one item I have had a problem finding a good storage solution for.
Try your local office supply store. I found plastic boxes for 8x5" index cards that work very well for the map packs. You can even get appropriately sized blank index dividers with a tab to write the name of the map pack on it.
I've just started this exact campaign; we had our first session last week. Here is a list of the planned order of modules:
Virtually all of them are the right level, except for the last two. Hopefully the players have some prestige saved up for The Witchwar Legacy!
We're going to use the same characters for the whole thing, so it will have a bit more of a campaign feel to it than regular PFS play. Another interesting thing is that these characters will never do a faction mission.
Some of the most fun I've had GMing was when the players took things in unexpected directions. A memorable example of this was about a month ago during a session of The Cyphermage Dilemma. Seems like a trend!
The Cyphermage Dilemma:
For some reason, the players were not picking up on the hints I was dropping about where they should look for their next clue. One of the faction missions mentioned a crime lord, and they all fixated on that. We had some flexibility on time, so I let them run with their plan. Earlier in the scenario, they were talking to local townsfolk, one of which was a fishmonger, specializing in pickled fish. He had mentioned problems with protection rackets, but didn't want any help from the PCs. They decided the best way to get the attention of the crime boss was to buy up all the pickled fish in the city, undercutting the market until the gang sent enforcers to push a protection scheme on them.
An hour and a half later, they were no closer to the next part of the scenario, so I had to push them in the right direction - successfully this time. It was a very entertaining session for everyone.
Needless to say, the pickled fish was red herring.
I think part of what makes this kind of thing so much fun is that it pushes me to step up my GMing. Like trying to juggle on a tightrope - something could go terribly wrong at any time, but it's exciting to watch!
Unfortunately, events like this can't be planned. It takes a perfect storm of the right players, enough time, and the right scenario for it to happen at all.
I played with a blackblade magus at PaizoCon. As it turned out, her blade did have slightly different goals than she did. She was sent by the Pathfinder Society to stop a person that happened to be a worshipper of Asmodeus. The spirit in her blade has the purpose to protect worshippers of Asmodeus.
Mark Moreland happened to be walking by as this was happening, and the player asked him what he thought. He said he would have the magus make a will save (vs. the blade's ego) every round to see if it would actually attack this particular enemy. As it turned out, the combat was completed at range, so the magus didn't have any problems in this regard, but it was interesting none the less.
I once ran a group of 4 low-level clerics through City of Strangers, Part 1 & 2. It was an interesting couple of sessions. They all had decent armour, and low attack bonuses, so the typical combat went something like this:
I think each scenario took about 6 hours to play, but everyone had fun. It sped up a bit when they got the hang of aiding another on attack rolls, but I think they had an average DPR of 5 for the entire party.
Malag brings up a good point. I forget who said it first, but I've heard that "You can't be a good GM without being a bad GM first." Everyone is always learning, and hopefully improving. This is a very complex game, with so many variables that it can be hard for even an experienced GM to get everything right.
In addition, GMing at a major con can definitely raise the level of nervousness. You're GMing for a bunch of random players and you don't know their play style. They very likely use different class abilities/feats/spells than you are used to. Sometimes a group just doesn't mesh well, or isn't on the same wavelength as the GM, leading to a poor experience.
Also, at an event like this all the GMs are volunteers. Of course, the hard-core, experienced GMs are going to make up a large chunk of the total number, but there are going to be newer, less skilled (yet) GMs as well. Especially when there are 50 players standing in the hall waiting for a chance to play anything, the organizers might have to throw a scenario at someone and say "I need you to run this - you have 5 minutes to prep". This isn't an ideal situation, but it's better than turning people away.
In a perfect world, every GM would know every rule, have the scenario prepped so well that they don't need to look at the pages, every player would play their character well, and in sync with the rest of the table, and every game would be awesome! Unfortunately, this rarely all comes together. We should all just try to have fun anyway.
After a long journey, the majestic city of Absalom finally comes into view. The streets are filled with teeming masses of people from all over Golarion, and some perhaps even farther away than that! The tallest tower of Skyreach comes into view before the immensity of the Grand Lodge itself, the fortress towering above the rest of Absalom. The gates stand open, as if anticipating your arrival. Surely anyone entering these gates is humbled by the scale and grandeur of the Grand Lodge.
As if sensing some hesitation, an older, slightly grizzled guard at the gate calls out, “So, You want to be a Pathfinder, eh? My name’s Brunon, and if you can spare a couple of minutes before you rush in to find your destiny, I might have a bit of advice to help you achieve your goals.”
Taking your hesitation as permission to continue, Brunon continues, “The first thing you have to know is that the Society is looking for people that can work together in groups. If you want to succeed here, you have to be willing to help your comrades, and trust that they will do the same for you. If you’re looking for glory for yourself alone, you might as well go join up with the Aspis.” Brunon drawls the last word, turning it into a slur.
“That being said, you also have to be able to take care of yourself. You shouldn’t assume that someone else will take care of the healing, or the fighting, or the magic. If the only healer in the group is dead or dying, you better have a back-up plan!” Seeing the look on your face, Brunon changes his tone a bit. “Don’t worry, the Decemvirate and the Venture-Captains are amazing. We have a very high success rate; you just have to keep your wits about you and you’ll do fine.
“I don’t know what you think you can offer to the Society, but I’ll warn you that you’ll have to have more than one trick up your sleeve to really prosper here. If all you can do is swing a sword, you’ll find that you might have some problems. There’s nothing wrong with swinging a sword, that’s one thing that I’m good at, after all. Just make sure you study a variety of different things during your training.
“Keep in mind that this works both ways. You could be able to sweet-talk the mask off of Razmir, but that ain’t going to help you when a troll is looking for lunch.”
Brunon seems to notice your gaze drawn once again to the massive towers of Skyreach. “Well, I can see you’re eager to see if you pass the test to start your training, so I’ll finish my story now. Just remember: your comrades are relying on you just as much as you rely on them. Don’t be afraid to get to know them, and let them get to know you as well. Share your childhood stories around a campfire. Make sure they know what you’re capable of, and learn how they can help your mission as well.
“Speaking of which, when you are finished your training, don’t forget the advice you got from old Brunon at the gate. I’ll be happy to share some ale with you and hear about some of your adventures.”
Michael Meunier wrote:
There is a group of local players that are all planning on making Tengu bards, then playing them together. They're going to call the group Counting Crows.
If anyone is interested, I made a chart to help track the pertinent player info (will saves, etc.) as well as a breakdown of all the residents of the temple with a little quirk to make them more memorable.
Feel free to download it here.
Jeff Mahood wrote:
And everything needs to be in English and French, so we have to buy every PDF twice!
I'm the one responsible for this terrain. So far, it's gotten very positive responses, which is exactly what I was going for. Thanks to everyone that played at my tables so far!
The scenario is 3-25 Storming the Diamond Gate.
Player 2: I'm going to hide in this toilet stall made of straw...
I second Wolf Munroe's suggestion of We Be Goblins! It's a very entertaining adventure where the players play goblins. I think kids would really enjoy the roleplaying during the games at the beginning.
I would also steer away from Carnival of Tears. It's very dark and gruesome, especially if the group has made friends in Darkmoon Vale.
My eight-year-old daughter has played a bit of free-form adventure with me, and also 2 Pathfinder Society scenarios. She has a blast playing, especially when she gets to play with the "big kids" (Daddy's friends). She does think there is too much "talking" during the scenarios though. She wants to get to the action!
On a related topic, you might find this thread interesting.
One of our local Pathfinder Society group got one of the boons that allowed him to play a Tengu. The name he came up with was Kumagin. When an NPC asks what his name is, he invariably says, He introduces himself as "Tengu, Kumagin", with an accent like Apu on the Simpsons.
This is the same player that once had a character with a mule. The mule's name was Donkey Hotey.
I have a reputation for being a punster, but even I find it hard to maintain immersion if a character's name is a joke.
My new favourite "tough" monster has to be a leech swarm. I've had these thrown at my group several times in Pathfinder Society scenarios in the last month, and they are tough! At CR 4, they have auto-hit 2d6 damage, plus 1d3 STR & CON damage, plus poison for 1d4 DEX damage, plus distraction. The only thing that makes them manageable is that they only move 5'.
It would be cool to see more low-level items. Super Genius Games has tonnes of great ideas in their Loot for Less line, but it would be nice to have that type of thing integrated to official rules. Then we could use it in Pathfinder Society Play!
Seoni is beautiful. I look forward to seeing her with her tats. I don't know if I have a use for her, but I will definitely want one.
I think many of us would like to see her...oh you said tats. As in tattoos. Never mind.
I don't think there is anyone in our group that has bought that particular vanity. If there was someone at my table that had, I would probably not hand the sheets out (except maybe to that player). Since the Chronicler vanity came out, I have been more stingy about re-capping the mission for players. I just find that handing out the summary keeps down stuff like, "OK, does this guy look like umm - what's his face that we're looking for?" I think it also helps the players remember the various faction leaders a bit more, instead of just some generic guy giving them a mission.
I really love the face cards, and it would be great to see a deck that had all the faction leaders (past & present), as well as some of the other main NPCs (like Aram Bey), so that I could display a card of who was speaking to the PCs. That would really help them remember who's who.
Hey all, another new PFS GM here with a few questions.
Welcome to the ranks of GMing!
Do players see the scenario chronicle before the game starts that list each of the potential findable items or do they only see the chronicle after completion of scenario?
I generally don't allow players to see the chronicles before the game. I think it could provide some spoilers and/or encourage metagaming. eg: "Look at all those scrolls & wands - the Big Bad must be a spellcaster."
Do players know what the success conditions are for each scenario? (I'm not talking about in-character knowledge of being told to do this/that. I'm just talking about saying they need to successfully complete 3 of 4 things and what those 4 things are.)
In almost all cases that I've seen, the scenario does a pretty good job of informing the players what needs to be done. This is usually during the initial mission briefing, but occasionally there are developments during the scenario that change or add to the goals.
One thing that I try to do as a GM is to give the players a one page handout for the scenario. I include the main mission goals, important NPCs, which Venture-Captain gave them the mission, where the mission takes place, etc. I don't give away anything that they wouldn't know from the opening of the scenario, but I do sometimes include some of the answers to questions they might ask the Venture-Captian. I also leave space for the players to write notes in case things do change.
Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
This is all the spells in the Pathfinder SRD Spell database that have a casting time of 1 immediate action.
1 immediate action:
Emergency Force Sphere
Foe to Friend
Stay the Hand
Word of Resolve
1 swift action:
Fire of Entanglement