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Ryan. Costello's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter, 2014 Star Voter. Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal. 879 posts. 3 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 6 Pathfinder Society characters.



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Andoran

Just reaching out to my fellow Hands of Vengeance trivia team. We may not have won, but we came in third with a vengeance!

Andoran

I'm curious about Syrinscape's RotRL Soundpacks. I'll be running RotRL starting in a few months, and have started using Syrinscape in my home games.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've been chomping at the bit for this one since it was first listed in the catalog. Nice to see the Player Companion line starting 2014 strong!

Andoran

Man, minotaurs are all the rage these days.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was just talking with Crystal about the Archie TMNT Adventures. It had the colour and personalities of the cartoon but an ongoing continuity that built the secondary characters into more than just action figure advertisements (making them superior action figure advertisements that the one-and-done cartoon appearances). I ended up liking Man-Ray more than most of the turtles.

I only ever read one Mirage TMNT as a youth, and it was a Michaelangelo Christmas issue. He fought off some toughs trying to steal a Toys For Tots truck. No one got decapitated or hospitalized, and it was probably one of the tamest TMNT books Mirage released.

All of the TMNT comics from every publisher were online and legally available to read at one point, but I think they came down when the new Nickelodeon cartoon debuted. I regret not taking full advantage of the opportunity to read the entire Archie run.

Oh, and congrats on your first comic writing credit, Wes! Looking forward to Pathfinder Goblins #4.

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

Woo!

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

Montreal’s newly expanded Chimera games is celebrating the occasion with Pathfinder Society players near and far. Over two days, we will be running 5 tables a session over three sessions, including running Siege of the Diamond City, the season 5 kick-off multi-media, multi-table special event. And, for (possibly) the first time ever, multilingual! We have at least one GM committed to running the adventure in French, with a second GM available.

We are still looking for GMs, not just for the special but for the other two sessions as well. And, of course, we are looking for players. If you are in the Montreal area, or feel like a weekend trip of good food and great gaming in a gorgeous city, let me know. Contact knowdirection_at_hotmail_dot_com, visit the Montreal Pathfinder Society Facebook Group, or post in this thread if you are interested in attending, and in what capacity.

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ooh, art!

While I'm, of course, also attached to the character from my scenario depicted in one of those two portraits, my favourite encounter is elsewhere in the scenario. But I can see what John likes about that NPC.

Andoran

I got my copy on Friday and I'm 75 pages in. It's so good! I've enjoyed every Jeggare and Radovan story so far, but this one hooked me earlier, is delivering the camaraderie of the two protagonists to the degree that I've found missing in most of the earlier ones in the series, and is tied perfectly to the current happenings in Golarion. If you haven't picked up a Pathfinder Tales novel in a while, make this your return to the fold.

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

I tend to print the scenarios I run, and now they are piling up. I'm curious how other GMS store and manage their printed PFS material.

Andoran

It looks like there will be a lot of seminars again at this PaizoCon. The hope is that we record them all and post them to the Know Direction podcast feed as we have in the past. I'm not going to be able to do this myself, so if anyone is interested in helping out, let me know in this Facebook event so we can share schedules and recording devices to help the Pathfinder enthusiasts stuck at home experience a piece of PaizoCon 2013.

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

I have been anxiously waiting for this one. I hope to get into a session of it at PaizoCon.

Andoran

I bow before Aslan, may his empire stand for now and forever.

*

Thanks for the update. Very exciting stuff all around.

Andoran

I've been formulating a character concept with a kangeroo animal companion (Bestiary 3). I was hoping to gain the companion at 1st level. Off all the classes that gain animal companions, druid was my last choice for the concept, but I can't find any other class that both has an animal companion at 1st level, and can take any animal as their companion.

Andoran

3 people marked this as a favorite.

You know what Wayfinder is? Wayfinder is awesome? If you are looking for awesome Pathfinder content, Wayfinder. If you are looking for Pathfinder content written by Paizo freelancers, Wayfinder. If you want to design third party material for Pathfinder that get reads by Paizo folks, Wayfinder.

In conclusion, Wayfinder, Wayfinder, Wayfinder.

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

The problem:
In my area, interest in PFS is still growing. However, it is still difficult to schedule more than one game on a PFS game day. As a result, if a new players wants to try the game, which happens fairly often, one of the tables (or the only table, depending on the weekend) runs a 1st tier game to accommodate the new player.

Why this is a problem:
Most people I know strongly dislike 1st level. First level has a large number of problems that are lessened by 2nd level and go mostly away by 3rd level, including:
• AC problems: If you look at the chart for building new monsters in the back of the Bestiaries, it recommends AC 12 for CR 1 creatures. There are over a dozen CR 1 creatures in the first Bestiary. Two of them have AC 12 or less: giant frog (AC 12) and horse (AC 11). Since most adventures don’t involve fighting giant frogs and horses exclusively, this means that PCs are fighting monsters with unusually high ACs. And most 1st level PCs won’t have AC 12 either. In my experience, most rounds of 1st level combat sound like this: Miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, new round.
• HP problems: On the odd hit, most characters have a 50/50 chance of surviving the damage. If anyone takes damage, the healer has very limited healing options, and the characters do not have enough gold to pack a few extra potions of cure light wounds.
• Low ranks: When I explain PFS to a new player, whether they are new to Pathfinder or just to Society, they are almost always excited by the faction missions. They read each faction individually, narrow their options down, ask questions, and look forward to participating in their own little slice of the adventure. Then when it comes time to roll for their faction mission, often they only have a 5% chance of success because the DCs are so high, and the skills required are not obviously tied to the faction. I have rarely seen a 1st level PC succeed at their faction mission, even when they do everything right but roll the right number, and I see a lot of players really disappointed in the game because of this. Not motivated, not disappointed that they failed, disappointed that the game failed them.
• The players with higher level characters (5th+) feel like they have retired those characters early.

Existing solutions:
• Pregens: Using pregens has always been an option for new players, and a much more viable one now that the NPC Codex introduced so many more options. For whatever reason, there is a stigma against running a pregen around here, and new players always ask if they can make their own characters instead. Ownership of character is a major reason I play RPGs, so I sympathize.
• First Steps: I often hear this suggestion. There are multiple problems with it in my local area. First Steps is great for new players. A mix of new players and old players hurts the fun of First Steps, especially with a majority old player party. It also suffers from virtually all of the 1st level problems.

My proposal:
Mentorship. An existing character can spend his time and resources mentoring young, inexperienced Pathfinders. A PFS character can spend his own Prestige Points to grant XP to a 1st level PC. For every two PP spend, the 1st level character gains 1 XP. A character cannot spend more than a number of Prestige Points equal to more than half his Fame mentoring character. A single character can mentor multiple 1st level characters, and a single 1st level character can have more than one mentor. Once a character reaches 2nd level, through mentoring, adventuring, or a combination, he cannot be mentored. A character who gains XP through mentoring gains a special Mentorship chronicle with no boon, gp, or PP on it, only XP. A character must be alive to mentor a 1st level character, who must also be alive.

Advantages of this proposal:
• Getting over the hump: A 2nd level character has double the hp and skill ranks of a 1st level character, the largest incremental increase of any level, bringing them closer to actualizing their character concept without overpowering them;
• New PFS players can participate in and have a better chance of surviving PFS scenarios that are balanced for optimizer players;
• It is flavourful.

I encourage everyone to pick apart any flaws they see in my proposal and share their thoughts.

Andoran Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I interviewed Neil Spicer about his RPG Superstar 2009 experience, the opportunities he has earned from winning that competition, and how he has given back since then. This is the first in a series on the Private Companion blog, and so far two more past Superstars are on board to share their thoughts.

-----------------

The Know Direction Podcast is part of the Gaming Shelf at 35PrivateSanctuary.com. There you can listen to this show and other great shows such as:

3.5 Private Sanctuary
Ryan and Matt look at the classes and the races, the flavour and the crunch, the best and the worst of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5

Dwarfed Podio Book
The epic fantasy satire, Dwarfed.

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.

First of all, Saturday blog? Cool!

Second of all, a stat up Varian Jeggare and Radovan contest? Cool!

Andoran

My FLGS owner asked me if there are any APs I thought could be run in a single, 24-hour iron-gamer session. I’m not an AP expert, I have only played halfway through Kingmaker, book 1 of Carrion Crown, and am still in book 1 of Skull & Shackles. But I am really excited about the idea of completing a whole AP in one shot. Here are some of the qualities I believe any AP I ran under these circumstances would need:

Straight Forward: Minimal mini-games or new mechanics for me and the players to learn.
RP light: I rank the best things about RPGs in that order: roleplaying first, playing game second. However, RP scenes can be pretty indulgent, last variable amounts of time, and splinter the attention.
Linear: I am on a deadline and trying to balance the plot of six modules at once; going off the rails is not an option. If each module in the AP goes from Point A to point B, that keeps us on track.
Simple books 5&6: By the 15 hour mark, I see us running out of brain power. The high level stuff needs to be as easy or easier to run than the low level stuff.
Early buy-in: I would probably be running this for virtual strangers. The earlier the adventure hits the ground and gets them engaged, the better.
Fully published and well played: The more resources I can use to facilitate learning and running this AP, the better.
Preferably Pathfinder: The owner didn’t explicitly state this, but I see this as a promotional event. He would profit more off of an AP that uses the current best selling RPG on the market, not the system from which that game spawned.

I am looking for suggestions for APs that fit my criteria, and advice on any criteria I may be overlooking.

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

It looks like the contingency plan for when my Kingmaker/Skull & Shackles group can't play will be PFS games. I think it will be fun to run the Year of the Ruby Phoenix as an ongoing campaign, but I can't them in numerical order because of fluctuating tiers. Does anyone have any advice on what order I should play the scenarios to maximum continuity effect?

Andoran

The owners of my FLGS are constantly arguing over how to display the map packs and flip maps. A branded spine sounds the solution to both their problems.

Andoran

I talk to Wes about bringing the horror out in your game, and we go into specifics about Carrion Crown in [url= http://35privatesanctuary.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=473:ps0206-horror-flavour&catid=13:35-private-sanctuary&Itemid=33] 3.5 Private Sanctuary 206 – Horror.

Andoran

I picked up Fire Mountain Games' Way of the Wicked #5 more for the back matter than the adventure. Is it kosher to review just a portion of a product?

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

In the session I ran this weekend, one player had his druid PC use an area of affect spell that included another PC. I let it go at the time but upon reflection, I think I made the wrong call. Another PC was unconscious and would have been in the area if her player hadn't pointed this out. As a result, the druid player delayed until only the paladin PC, whose hp total plus dying hp was above the max damage of the spell. The paladin fell unconscious, which the player later told me he didn't appreciate, the druid healed him, the game continued without a issue. I still feel I should have disallowed the action and am looking for opinions.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For anyone who couldn't make PaizoCon this year, or missed some of the seminars, Jesse Benner, Justin Sluder, Paul Rimmer, and myself recorded a large portion of it, which will be released approximately as know Direction specials daily over the next few weeks, starting today with Know Direction's PaizoCon 2012 Special 001: The PaizoCon Banquet.

Note: Although this is the majority of the banquet, the recorder cut out just after Post Monster General started talking about Pathfinder game Space. Sorry about that, folks.

Andoran

If attendees wanted to run a panel, will that option be available?

Andoran

Treant Bard – “Ent’Tertainer”
Awakened chimpanzee monk – “Monkey monk”
Sorcerer with a low constitution – “Sorecerer”
Poet bard/wizard – “Inkwizardor”
Bard/Gunslinger – “Gunsinger”
Paladin/Enchanter – “Pal-adin.”
Knife-specialist rogue/witch – “sWitchblade”
Dwarf ranger with the scout archetype – “Hairy Spotter”

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

Early this year I started running regular PFS events at my FLGS, Chimera Games. The store supported the program with discounts on Pathfinder products for participants and there was enough interest initially to fill two tables. It’s been four months now and interest has dropped off. Based on feedback, this is largely because players feel like characters only get interesting and feel heroic around level 3, and that at this pace they will only reach that after six months of play if they make every session.

I know players can use pregens and put that credit towards new 1st level PFS characters, but that doesn’t solve the issue my players are having. Is there another option that I am missing?

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

We have our next event scheduled: LINK

Bring your PFS character to Chimera Games (6252 Somerled Avenue, Montreal, QC H3X 2B6) on April 14th starting at noon and play in Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-11: The Quest for Perfection—Part II: On Hostile Waters, and, if there is enough interest, Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-06: Song of the Sea Witch.

Remember that when Chimera runs PFS events, customers enjoy a discount on Pathfinder merchandise.

When Sat, Apr 14, 2012 afternoon
Where Chimera Games
6252 Somerled Avenue,
Montreal, Quebec H3X 2B6
Canada
Contact Ryan Costello
514-5080880
knowdirection@hotmail.com
35privatesanctuary.com
Scenarios

#3-06: Song of the Sea Witch
#3-11: The Quest for Perfection—Part II: On Hostile Waters

Andoran

I can't find the Player's Guide for Skull & Shackles. Is it out yet?

Andoran

That is a glorious Rune Giant. We are long overdue for a Gargantuan humanoid figure.

Karzoug looks great from the neck down, and I am so jazzed for two shades of translucent spell effects. I find his face looks a bit young for how Karzoug is portrayed in art. A touch of grey in the hair would go a long way to aging him.

Andoran

Perram and I return with the latest on RPG Superstar, Paizo's GenCon PFS plans, a review of Pirates of the Inner Sea, fresh banter about ours games, and more.

You can listen the episode right here:
Know Direction 34 - TPK?

---

The Know Direction Podcast is part of the Gaming Shelf at 35PrivateSanctuary.com. There you can listen to this show and other great shows such as:

3.5 Private Sanctuary
Ryan and Matt look at the classes and the races, the flavour and the crunch, the best and the worst of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5

Gamers' Guide to Pathfinder
Sean and Barry bite into different chunks of Pathfinder crunch.

Dwarfed Podio Book
The epic fantasy satire, Dwarfed.

Andoran Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Oh, playtesting these is a great idea. I've always voted based on how interesting the idea sounds.

Andoran

It's been 5 years?

Andoran

In Know Direction 32, Perram and I give our thoughts on the new Pathfinder Battles miniatures, we dish out the highlights of the early rounds of RPG Superstar, and we look at the February releases from Paizo.

Andoran

Join Perram and me for Know Direction episode Zero. This is the starting point for new listeners and new players to the Pathfinder RPG. If you've ever been curious about what our show has to offer, or you know someone new to Pathfinder, episode zero is the place to start.

Andoran

In Know Direction episode 30, James Jacobs joins me and Perram to talk Bestiary 3 and Dragon Empires. Also, the goblin announcers sing some of their favourite holiday jingles.

Andoran

In the latest episode of Know Direction - the fan-generated Pathfinder RPG news, reviews, and interviews podcast James Sutter joins me to talk about Pathfinder Tales, specifically his debut novel Death's Heretic. Also, Perram and I share our thoughts on the Pathfinder Online announcement, we review the Beginner Box and
Horsemen of the Apocalypse
from Paizo as well as Gothic Heroes: Pregenerated Characters from Legendary Games and 101 Renegade Class Feats from Rite Publishing. All that and we answer listener Enkindu594's request for our thoughts on Paizo's Adventure Paths.

All this in Know Direction episode 29 - MMO Tales

Andoran Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Goblin football league?

Andoran Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

I'm looking to bring regular Pathfinder Society play to Montreal, starting with a day of Pathfinder Delves to build an audience on Sunday, September 11th at Chimera Games (6252 Somerled Avenue, Montreal, QC H3X 2B6). I would love to talk with local Pathfinder enthusiasts about expanding Pathfinder's presence in Montreal, particularly with more Pathfinder Society activity.

Andoran

For anyone who missed PaizoCon 2011, Justin Sluder (Black Fang) recorded 22 of the seminars. We'll be posting them as Know Direction PaizoCon 2011 specials on a daily basis, available here.

Andoran Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Already? I'm not even done reading all of the round one entries and the candidates have already completed and submit for round two. I'm impressed.

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