|Robert Duncan Venture-Captain, Oklahoma—Tulsa aka Rob Duncan|
Funky Badger wrote:
"GET HER! That was your plan?! GET HER!?"
I agree with Funky Badger.. It's not always the most fun to play support, but people who do it well (bless, guidance, true strike, sneak attack, darkness) usually turn the tide of battle way more than an extra couple points of damage.
Remember we play PFS, not DPS!
I don't get to play very much (always GMing) so when I do, I think about what kind of character I would enjoy playing and what I want to do.
I usually like running rogue/wizard combinations (I always liked arcane tricksters!) with high diplomacy, a penchant for magic missile from the shadows, and some mad bluff skills.. I don't min/max to do it.
Instead, I would just roll up something that looks survivable, make sure you can damage up close, damage at range, deal with the common DR stuff, and can work well in a party.
Specialization is for insects! ^_^
Fudging dice in PFS..? Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
I'm with Rynjin.
If I'm hosting, I usually provide some sort of light refreshments (pretzels/chips/cookies) and I look after the soft drinks (tea/water/soda) and either have everybody bring potluck or kick in for takeaway. If it's part of a long campaign, I ask that everybody choose a week that they're responsible for taking care of the food.
If I'm a guest, I bring drinks and some potluck or contribute to the food fund. If it's part of a long campaign, I choose a week that I'm responsible for taking care of the food (either takeaway or something my wife makes for me to bring since nobody has a high enough fort save for my cooking, or a good enough reflex to avoid everybody's reaction to it).
I would like you to join me in extending congratulations to Mr. Nathan Lindy for accepting the position of Venture-Lieutenant for Oklahoma-Stillwater.
Nathan just earned his first star as a GM and has been instrumental in coordinating three- and six- slot events in Stillwater.
He comes highly recommended from the local community and I hope you all have a chance to say hello and get to know him either in the local gaming circuits, online through VTT in Roll20, or at one of the cons.
tldr; I need help figuring out if some CR3 or CR4 creatures can be beat by solo 4th level iconics.
I have a small project that I need some help with. Specifically, I'm working on some solo adventures and I need to build some combat models to see if an X level Y class can defeat certain CR ratings, ALONE, without getting killed or without it being a cakewalk.
It's something like this:
Is there any sort of model that I can use to predict survivability for the 4th level iconic pregens (Ezren, Kyra, Valeros, Meri) against various foes?
I'm hoping to see if it's survivable to put a single character against:
(SET 1) rust monster, ettercap, hell hound, ogre, wight
(SET 2) worg, berghest, gargoyle, owlbear, or minotaur
Any help building the model would be greatly appreciated. It doesn't need to be at all formal.. If you have some people willing to help, you could just record a single fight and post the results.
Thanks in advance!
1) You may play as many times as you like but you can only apply credit when (a) you play as a player for the first time (b) you GM for the first time or (c) it's a Level 1 scenario/module (like First Steps).
2) Your GM or VC/VL should catch it in the reporting system because it'll be flagged.
3) If you accidentally violate the rules, you can fix it by removing the chronicle sheet and notifying the VC/VL.
The Pathfinder Society Guide to Organized Play has more details.
I look at it from an intent perspective:
P1: I launch a fireball. P2: Uh... dude.. I'm right here.. GM: Are you sure you want to do that? P1: Is that okay? P2: Yeah, I can dodge it!
This is okay.
P1: I launch a fireball. P2: Uh... dude.. I'm right here.. P2: FIRE IN THE HOLE! P2: Uh... that will kill me.. P3: SEND IT!
This is not okay.
If you're being inconsiderate (or killing other people), no go.
Will Johnson wrote:
I would think, based on the experience of some of the VCs here, that you:
(1) have a solid idea of the price/value component.
Some things I would note:
(a) running an AP means you are asking people to commit to 8 hours of gaming at a con when there is other stuff to do; this a failing point of mine at Tokyo in Tulsa (a regional 5000 participant con) when I ran a two-parter PFS scenario.
(b) there is some open question about timing in using an AP rather than a "tried and true" PFS scenario that fits the theme, can be replicated by multiple GMs, and gives you a wide range of tiers to play with.
(c) without knowing how many slots or GMs you have, there's not much indication that you have enough people compared to capacity (again, a failing of mine at Tokyo in Tulsa.. I only had 3 GMs * 3 slots * 6 players * 3 days = 162 people.. that's 162/5000 or roughly 3.23%)
My suggestions would be if I could do it again:
(i) I would make sure I did themed scenarios that were one-off so that I don't have people forced to pick between a panel and Pathfinder
(ii) I would run more exclusive stuff (like Day of the Demon!) that gave people a reason to pick between a panel and Pathfinder
(iii) I would run for STAFF at the cons and let people watch (like that celebrity Robot Chicken <other game system> game with Chris Perkins and offer signups for "townies" who would be around after the con at my local game store
(iv) I would pick one scenario a day and run it to death.. 6 GMs? Everybody is running that one. That way, the same guy isn't camped out at the table all day.
It's like trick-or-treating with children -- I'd rather give every kid that shows up /something/ than the first ten kids get a full size candy bar. (That way, nobody eggs my house).
Likewise, /everybody/ that paid $45 should get at least /some/ dice time and that can be accomplished by running easy, straightforward scenarios and running the SAME scenario MULTIPLE times.
(Bonus: "I played that Pathfinder thing and it was awesome! You should totally play it!" in the hallways. Everybody loves watching their buddy get killed by the trap they did.. "I went down the well" is a rite of passage elsewhere..)
Remember that most of your characters are Pathfinders that (1) have gone through some sort of basic "academy" or "boot camp" type experience or otherwise earned a slot in the organization (2) would have some basic familiarity with combat tactics and stacking [tank, polearm/reach, ranged, mage, rear guard] and (3) would probably plan on how they would do things before they do it [think SWAT teams upon entering a room and quickly making a plan to make dynamic entry, despite never seeing it before].
If I have a core group (fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue) at my table and we're walking up to a dungeon, I already have a basic "battle plan":
Fighter, rush up and hack at the BBEG.
You can't tell me that these guys, running around all other the place for hours of game time (even if it's seconds of real time) wouldn't come up with SOME strategy..
At my tables, I'm all for strategy sessions unless it disrupts the flow of the game or people start arguing..
I would suggest "Big Mac" economics for this one:
Movie - $8/person (2 hrs)
A slot is 4 hours, so that would put me right at $12-$16 range.
I would probably say that I would like to get at least two slots for the price of a day ticket at $30.
For a module, I'd say double time and schedule it for eight hours which is spot on with your pair of slots.
I'd say $30 for somebody to play a module at a con is not unreasonable, but some facebook research or surveymonkey polls might help judge economic interest in your area...
If it were /me/ dropping $30, I'd expect full color handouts, either professionally printed maps/flipmat/tiles or very well drawn maps on grid paper, pawns or minis, and a really excellent GM with a command of the rules and an enjoyable style (such as with voice acting).
Christopher Rowe wrote:
As I read this thread more, I'm starting to agree that as we get more "expansion" type books and people make more specialist characters, combat exposes more "exploitable" holes.
Rowe is spot on that you should think about your goals and find ways to avoid TPKs, and combining that with Painlord's rules about having a viable character for combat AND skills should help:
(Summary from memory:
1) Everybody has some kind of melee
I've played a /lot/ of PFS from Season 2 onwards (and cut my teeth with 2e) and have found that very, very few players were really in any sort of peril..
I've observed ONE character death in the entire time I've been involved in PFS, and it was from:
1) Bad tactics (LEEEEEEEERRRROOOOOOOYYYY JENKINS!)
Every other time, my players have stomped the BBEG.
In Season 4, I saw an increase in zero and lower hit point counts.
I will agree with the OP that you need:
I don't know that "hard mode" is the norm... I think it depends on how hard your GM is running it. I agree with Drogon that good GM coaching is key.
I think that GMs sometimes know the party composition and don't think of what the BBEG would do if he saw a group of random people in armor.. and so they use excellent tactics and TPK people based on what they know in the party.
My personal take on how to run harder BBEGs without using this GM knowledge is to "script" everything beforehand. In other words, regardless of what party is coming, I will make a round by round "action chart". As an example:
1) Cast buff spell/quaff potion
That's seemed to help temper the bloodbath problem in my area.
8 new people to the PFS world in two sessions
I think he either had 4/4 in the two sessions or 5/3+GM NPC to make it legal. I hope. :)
Well done! Remember that all us VC/VL types are happy to help if you need anything - feel free to PM if I can do anything.
I think you'll really like GMing PFS and there are some great threads here for tips, tricks, and gear that will be useful.
Looking forward to seeing that gold star by your name soon!
If they have NO WAY of doing this through straight up combat then you could do a "Rule of Names" thing where they have to go on a long freaking adventure, find a rival dragon that is in human form and hiding using his polymorph abilities, force him to reveal his true nature and make THOSE dragons have an epic battle.
If this has all happened because of roleplay, roleplay ends it neatly.. It avoids the "traitor" thing because the other dragon did the dirty work...
.....but it also means that there is a new dragon to contend with....
I would look through the PFS threads and see what people view as "essential" gaming items:
tl;dr? Ignore my prices; repasted my "essential" GM stuff.
- Two blank Paizo flipmats ($15/ea)
- Fantasy Flight Tokens, Red ($3/ea)
- Core Rulebook ($35/ea)
Mike Mistele wrote:
+1 to this. I've found that there are a number of unusual venues that will cheerfully give up space like local civic centers, libraries, churches.. Universities and colleges are very good places, especially if you coordinate with SGA and call it a "retention activity" with aims of "reducing homesickness and improving social interaction".
If you're going to do restaurants, there are a number of chain buffets that have "early bird" dinners and allow the use of a meeting room. This would be the least expensive and easiest place to get organized in -- people have a fixed cost every week, can get up and serve themselves as the mood strikes, and you've got a more private area than others. A quick call ahead to management would be a smart idea.
I would note that Thornkeep is divided into multiple Chronicle Sheets, so I would give credit based on success conditions (three encounters, etc.) for a character death on one level, but I would mark as dead per other PFS guidelines.
I would then allow a pregen or new character for the other levels of the dungeon, because they have separate Chronicle Sheets and no requirement that the dungeon be completed in sequence or without interruption (as other scenarios state).
If Don's comments are meant for the "level", such as Forgotten Laboratory only, then I concur.
If Don's comments are meant for Thornkeep as a whole, I dissent for the reasons above.
Lady Ophelia wrote:
I think the First Steps series is a useful tool for discerning GM style.
Part I - /lots/ of roleplay and skill checks. This is my favorite.
Part II - straight up dungeon crawl. My least favorite.
Part III - Some survival, some intrigue, some creepy moments in the woods. My second favorite. (I like Torch and the panther.)
For me, I like open-ended RP-heavy "mystery" type adventures.
My personal favorite is Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment.
When I GM scenarios I like, I enjoy them more. ^_^
In games that I've observed and played in, I've only had one death in 30+ sessions.
God's Market Gamble, when a BBEG ranger is pelting at characters from cover with manyshot, we had a character do a double move and get away from everybody AFTER losing some hit points (so he's down half).
His plan was to try to toss an alchemist's fire to the BBEG ranger's hide so it smokes her out, but he took several arrows on the way. He dropped, was too far away to get healing, and bled out.
The only reason he died was (1) he left cover (2) without overwatch (3) without healing beforehand and (4) without a way for his teammates to heal him as well.
The main killer in PFS is bad tactics.
The Tulsa area has died for organized play. It was strongish during the Living Greyhawk days, but 4th ed literally ran people off. I'm sure that there are Pathfinder players in Tulsa, and several who play PFS with a small group...but they aren't organized. We have had a few come in from Tulsa..but they don't like the drive :-/
That's the part that I don't understand. I've been to /every/ game store in Tulsa. They have Pathfinder products. People are buying them. It would seem logical that people would want to play in groups and have events and such. I had /packed/ tables at Tokyo in Tulsa in July. Then... poof.
You would think that with LG and 4E, people would be defecting almost wholesale.
Everybody else: I'm willing to GM specials, come to your store and run First Steps, have a GM101 class, teach basic cartography, whatever. I just need (1) bodies (2) date/time suggestions (3) location suggestions.
Believe me, I would love to run games for people in Tulsa.. I just need.. well.. people to run them for..
I think it has to do with the vast coordination needed to get these things into the hands of people:
- you have to enter it into the big database.. thing that you use to keep track of all the Chronicle sheets.
- you need to ensure that the VC/VL/tournament GMs have access to it.
Secondly, you have the mechanics part:
- everything has been vetted for correct stats
Third, only the rules and some content is OGLed.. Check the "community use" thread. Hard to have all the Venture Captain personalities and such show up in places they aren't licensed. So.. major product identity and copyright issues.
Finally, there's a self-defeating aspect to it.. If 3d parties make it, there's no real impetus for Paizo to publish, so they yank support and no more PFS. :(
Those would be my ideas why this hasn't happened.
I just noticed this in the OP:
How long does a scenario last?
- 4 hours
I prefer a story that carry out multiple sessions and the ones I see so far seems to be short.
- This is geared towards the more fluid nature of play groups in PFS, which have different people at different tables all over.. There are /some/ "cliffhanger" scenarios (City of Strangers arc). If you like longer scenarios, you can use modules like Crypt of the Everflame, Murder's Mark, etc.
The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition would be a great purchase for both home games AND PFS if you could get the same players to sit down and run through all of them.
That would be a perfectly acceptable way of doing things, and very clever as well!
1) You have "stuff" above your limit
It's used for the purposed intended (advancing the plot) not used for hoarding or gaming the rules. ^_^
Nosig's point is well taken. I think it's up to GMs to keep some of the silliness/player abuses down. My way of looking at "stuff" in the adventure is one of donative intent + Chekhov's Gun :
1) The "stuff" you got is outside the Chronicle sheet?
Players are meant to waylay a bandit's gold train. Immediately after, they have to bribe somebody. Devs wrote it there to use.
Players interview somebody who saw a murder, and she offers you a healing potion. Immediately after, players will get ambushed. Devs wrote it there to use.
Players have an encounter with a diplomat who offers them a silver letter opener. Immediately after, players have to subdue an imp. Devs wrote it there to use.
If it's outside the intended use, I'd make it hard to sell.
*gasp* That's marked with the sigil of the Bandit Lord! We don't dare take his money.
*shock* These gold pieces are a counterfeit. Go, and take it with you before I call the guards!
This healing potion has the mark of the Silver Crusade and is meant only for charity use! How dare you sell it!
..Ahem. /That/ silver letter opener is /mine/. You've done what you needed to with it and I'll have it back now.
And so on.
As long as you have the properly filled out Chronicle Sheets, with the event code and GM number, it should not be a huge issue for your local VC/VL to track them down and update online as needed.
Each scenario has a "session sheet" tucked into the OGL text, so make sure your GM fills that out and uses it to update the online records.
If that isn't happening, ask your VC/VL to follow up. ^_^
I'm weird, but I love playing first- and second- level characters.. I don't feel bad if they get squished, I like exploring new classes, and there /does/ come a point where you know you can wreck the scenario with your awesomeness at high levels and it gets boring.. Low level characters encourage more MacGyvering behavior in me.
+1 on "Please more 1-5."
Lady Ophelia wrote:
I love Ophelia's directness. ^_^
Painlord's thread should have been one of the first things we all talked about -- he's said all the key things, and probably better than I would.
The things that tipped me into being a VC and GMing locally?
1) My players asked me to do it.
The easiest game to run is one you ran as a player, so Angra et al's advice about (1) running somebody through the scenario (2) letting them GM it to a peer group (3) letting them GM it with somebody close by to help and (4) running it solo is really good.
It's really the same as being a teacher or professor in some ways:
Maybe I'm missing something. For all intents and purposes, I thought day jobs were fluff rolls to get you extra money to put on your chronicle sheet and MAYBE get you some bonus in a scenario SOMETIMES.
I don't really see it mattering all that much what you put on the day job roll; all you're doing is borking the bonus you might have got if you did something like "Sailor".
I mean.. seriously.. "Day Job: Boring Professor" is probably as evil as it gets.
I can see that. For spells I can follow that line of logic. I don't think it's RAW, but makes sense.
That's my issue.. I don't have any RAW on point to tell me (1) good way of looking at it or (2) utter crap. For me, it always comes back to this:
"Although, absent any rules that cover it, I'd be more inclined to say it can't be done in PFS at all."
I've been fortunate in the sense that nobody has tried it here yet..
While sorely tempted to thread drift (I really want to have nested spoilers), I'll stick to the OP's line.
First, I'm +1 on Caderyn, Eric and Chris' remarks.
For players, I would say this is like a mini-campaign. To me, it feels very much like playing Torchlight in the sense that you have a little base of operations and then go poking around in a big dungeon.
There are lots of rumors, like Caves of Chaos in that really old school RPG or its newest playtest packet, that have a classic gaming feel. That's cool.
"Simply put, this is a tough dungeon, and it might be fair to assume that not all who go into the perilous halls that lie beneath Thornkeep will return safely from their journey."
That is no lie. Having been killed by Ed Greenwood stuff over and over (I'm looking at you, first adventure in the grey FR boxed set), I can tell you that this is your classic, gritty dungeon crawl through and through.
Also part of the classic dungeon crawl feel is the loosely connected level system -- they're all designed by different people, have different "themes" and require some suspension of disbelief on the part of the player or GM imagination to explain why they're all the way they are.
Because of this, Eric's suggestion to switch the order of levels is a great one.
For PFS play, you're not as likely to use all the cool stuff related to the town and surrounding areas.. Pity, because it's useful and nice to have. It's a great mini-campaign for a home game, fun dungeon crawl for PFS.
Without spoilers, I would say prep for a really dangerous, gritty, old school "Caves of Chaos" feeling good time. ^_^
If all your powers and abilities come from Old God, punishment/anger is really just withdrawal of said powers and abilities.
New God may give you powers and abilities, but you lose everything from Old God.
So.. Instead of being "Cleric of Old God <x levels>", you elect to become a character who is "Ex-Cleric of Old God <x levels> (With all the penalties associated with ex-clerichood), Cleric of New God <y levels> (With all the benefits associated with ex-clerichood)".
Crobledo has it spot on. The devs thought about it, weighed it carefully, and set it down in the Core Rulebook. It's not like it /isn't/ in the book.. It's just that you don't agree with the CRB and want them to change it. The official ruling will be "that's in the book".
This is why I love two blank flip mats in my bag.. The maps are easy to draw for the most part if you have enough time, and they are infinitely recyclable.
It's old school gaming at the best. Anybody who decides to "roll their own" for maps NEEDS to read Map-Fu by Chris Perkins.
Master the techniques in his article, and you'll never want for maps again.
Hayato Ken wrote:
If you replace the starbursts with self drawn paper minis, you not only train and encourage your kids (and adult friends) artistic skills giving them a boost in self-confidence, but you also break the vicious circle of giving them addictive sweets that are bad for their health, destroy their teeth and make them fat as a positive amplification which they will probably have to deal with for the rest of their life.
Don't forget that Starburst made in the US has gelatin in it.
I suppose since you could make do with a 1" square /anything/, you could make baked tofu squares:
1 (16-ounce) block extra firm tofu
Drain and rinse the block of tofu. Set it on a clean dish towel (or paper towels) on a rimmed dinner plate. Place another plate on top and weight it down with something heavy, like a handy can of tomatoes or a heavy skillet, to press out some of the excess liquid. Let sit 15 - 30 minutes.
Cut the tofu into pieces. You can do cubes for croutons, sticks for dipping, flat squares to layer on sandwiches, or any other shape you feel like.
Put the cut tofu in a shallow dish, cover with marinade, and let sit for 15 - 30 minutes. Flip the tofu a few times so the marinade is absorbed evenly. The longer you let the tofu sit, the deeper the flavor will be.
Pre-heat your oven (or toaster oven!) to 350-degrees. Cover a baking sheet (or toaster oven insert) with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick spray. Cook the tofu cubes for 10 minutes and then flip them over. Continue cooking and flipping every 10 minutes until the tofu is as baked as you like it, 20 - 45 minutes total.
Then, to work off the tofu, you can do the following:
While seated, hold your Core Rulebook with both arms over your head for 30 seconds, then rapidly tap your feet on the floor, football-drill style, for 30 seconds. Rest. Repeat 3-5 times.
Back to the thread, however, I find that all of the uses of Starburst mentioned here are well worth the $1 price tag. ^_^
Apostasy (pron.: /əˈpɒstəsi/; Greek: ἀποστασία (apostasia), 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy (or who apostatises) is known as an apostate.
I think the problem is we view cleric as a generic sort of thing, like "rogue" or "fighter"..
Perhaps if you look at it as "Cleric of <insert Deity>", it would be more clear. A "Cleric of __________" without ______________ isn't a cleric of anything really..
I'm a very big fan of having two basic flip mats and Vis-a-Vis wet erase markers in my bag. The Vis-a-Vis markers don't smudge or come off until wet, easily wipe off with a Wet-Nap (a box of 100 is like $3), and you're ready to get the three combat encounters in every PFS, plus an extra RP area or something, and go.
I usually use those plus a pub flipmat and a Pathfinder Lodge flipmat, basically so my players feel like they have a hangout and can get a briefing/debriefing respectively..
Other than that, there is so much variation in the flipmats that I find it hard to recommend buying them for multiple game use.. I buy the ones I think are awesome looking. ^_^