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1) Has the MADness of the Shaman been toned down?
2) Previously, you had full access to ALL the other spirits via your wandering spirit. Is there a limiter in place now? (I'm blanking out if this has been discussed before.)
3) Purely selfish question--Does the Shaman use Summon Monster or Summon Nature's Ally?
Protection from Arrows, Wind Wall and Fickle Winds are great options for your scroll library.
Deflect Arrows is only once per round. At your level, a single archer will have high enough BAB and the feats for multiple shots per round...and odds are you will be facing multiple archers.
So, imho, Deflect Arrows usually isn't worth it.
Andrew Christian wrote:
Otherwise a wizard could stand in the 5' square behind his 2 fighter friends and not have to make concentration checks to cast defensively against an Ogre.
That wizard has cover and does not provoke while casting if there is a wall of PCs between him and the Ogre.
First two paragraphs of Cover rules::
To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target's square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).
When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has cover if any line from any corner of your square to the target's square goes through a wall (including a low wall). When making a melee attack against a target that isn't adjacent to you (such as with a reach weapon), use the rules for determining cover from ranged attacks.
Meanwhile, the newbie with the Ezren pregen goes:
"Uh, I guess I use Hand of the Apprentice? On the corpse? Oh..."
After some consideration, I think I will:
1) Approach the player(s) I regularly GM and have a good relationship with, ask about their newest low-level character and use that as segue into build discussions. Instead of discussing previous characters which are retired or near retirement and beyond rebuilding, we are discussing a character who has a full PFS career and building options...and hopefully steer the newest PC away from the faults of previous PCs without explicitly calling them out.
2) For the player(s) I don't generally GM or don't have a good relationship with, I will simply post a general message on our sign up boards about how the game is much tougher in higher tiers, give some general advice and offer to be a sounding board (along with any other FLGS regulars) if anyone has questions about their character. If someone approaches me or anyone else for advice, they would be more open to receiving constructive criticism versus being defensive when receiving advice, no matter how obliquely delivered.
#2 won't seem out the blue given we regularly post tips and tricks in our sign ups like:
THIS MONTH'S TIPS AND TRICKS:
As you level your character in Pathfinder, you should make sure they are properly prepared for challenges they will encounter! If you've never played high level PFS, or season 4 of PFS, you could be in for a shock. Here's a basic guide for things you should keep in mind:
LOW LEVELS (1-3)
-WEAPONS: Do you have both a ranged and a melee weapon? You don’t always choose the range at which you fight.
-HEALING: Do you have self-healing? A Wand of Cure Light Wounds only costs 2 Prestige Points and has 50 charges--even if you can’t use it, someone else probably can. DO NOT expect other party members to provide healing for you.
-DARKNESS: Do you have a way to see in the non-magical darkness? Whether it’s a torch, a sunrod, a light cantrip or just plain darkvision, you need to be able to see in unlit areas.
-DAMAGE REDUCTION: Do you have a backup weapon with a different damage type? Some monsters have DR that can only be overcome by slashing, piercing or blunt damage.
-SWARM/OOZES: Do you have anti-swarm weapons or anti-ooze options? Older seasons are notorious for swarms. Even a flask or two of Alchemist’s Fire, Acid Flask, etc. can make a difference.
-DID YOU KNOW: …that a knotted rope reduces a climb check to DC 5? Always have a rope handy!
MID LEVELS (4-7)
-HEALING: Do you have emergency self-healing? A single potion of Cure Moderate Moderate or Cure Serious Wounds can get you back in the fight…or keep you alive long enough to run away.
-DARKNESS: Do you have a way to counter magical darkness? An oil of Daylight or the ability to cast Daylight will help counter Deeper Darkness…very important as not even darkvision will penetrate supernatural darkness.
-DAMAGE REDUCTION: Monsters may have damage resistance that can only be overcome by cold iron/silver/adamantine. Oil of Bless Weapon or Align Weapon are helpful for alignment based DR.
-INVISIBLE/INCORPOREAL: Monsters with these abilities begin to appear. Glitterdust, Faerie Fire and See Invisibility are hard counters to invisibility. Archers should invest in the weapon blanch Ghost Salt for some of their arrows for incorporeal foes.
-DID YOU KNOW: …third level potions or oils such as Fly, Daylight, Remove Blindness, Water Breathing, Gaseous Form, etc. are only 2 PP away. While you can only make a 2 PP purchase once a scenario, you can slowly build up a cache of situational potions!
HIGH LEVELS (7+)
-FLYING: Melee characters need the ability (by potion, spell or item) to combat flyers that prefer to stay at range.
-GRAPPLING: Caster and ranged characters need options to avoid or escape grapples.
-DID YOU KNOW: …a level 1 Protection from Evil flat out prevents domination by an evil spellcaster. This is very important because it’s one thing when your friend’s MurderDeathKill Machine is attacking foes, it’s another thing when he fails his save against Dominate Person and attacks the party.
How does your character contribute?:
HOW DOES YOUR CHARACTER CONTRIBUTE?
PFS is a team game -- each week you'll sit down with 3-5 other characters and you will depend on each other to survive to the end of the scenario. Here are 3 simple questions to think about during character creation!
1) How does my character contribute in combat?
1) How does my character contribute in combat?
2) How else can they contribute in combat if they can't do #1?
Don't end up hiding in back delaying every turn because you didn't have a back up plan. Every Pathfinder is needed in the fight!
3) How does my character contribute outside of combat?
Finally, being good at what you do is an important part of being a Pathfinder...but overspecialization can lead to you becoming dead weight in unfavorable conditions. Always have a backup plan!
Explore! Report! Cooperate!
Pirate Rob wrote:
Did not know friendly characters didn't provide you with cover when moving through their squares. TIL.
Let's assume I have enough system mastery to help folks with their characters. I'd rather not talk about these characters in specific, but rather on the general thoughts on approaching (or not approaching) players underpowered combat builds (like 10-12 average damage round at L10) or tunnelvisioned tactics for their character concept.
(sidesteps any discussion of my table last night)
As most folks here know, as you transition into higher tiers tactics or builds players relied on in lower tiers can prove suboptimal in higher tiers. While tactics and preparedness are easily addressed, character builds are a bit more of a personal issue and players may have tunnelvision about their character's contributions at the table.
@brigg, I have no problem with builds that need a few levels to come online as low tiers are much more forgiving (I've played a few slow starters myself). I'm speaking of L7+ characters.
@jiggy, I'm just putting this out there for general discussion to see if there are any tactics I can steal. Lord knows I steal enough good stuff from the other GMs as it is ;)
Hmmm... Now I'm sitting here wondering if Sammy's motivation to start this thread has anything to do with the high body count at the table he GMed last night. I was playing at a different table, so I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I heard only 1 out of 6 PCs escaped the Storval Stairs alive.
Well, it was a 5-top, but if you want to credit me with an extra body, I'll take it ;)
While Storval Stairs is a known meatgrinder, the issues I refer to would have appeared in any 7-11 scenario with solidly built combats.
Usually on these boards we discuss how to handle optimized/min-maxed/OP characters and their players. I'd like to turn the discussion to approaches to helping those players with sub-optimal builds that actually make combats more difficult.
While I understand there's no wrongbadfun in designing and playing a character you enjoy, just a like hyperoptimizer can hog the spotlight by finishing combat almost solo, a suboptimizer can drag combats out and drain the party of limited resources. Just like you might ask a min-maxer in a side conversation to possibly tone it down, have you ever (or would you ever) let a player know they could tweak their build or concept to be less of a liability?
Sometimes one, sometimes the other. Sometimes a mix of both as little choices add up and twist the execution during character creation.
My characters and their genesis:
1) Concept first: Wanted to be a older retired militia man who was the ultimate team player. As I always loved playing a Discipline Priest in WoW, the Life Oracle with Life Link, Shield Other and Channels was the perfect fit.
2) Concept first: Wanted someone who was melee-centric and the exact opposite of character #1. I enjoy pro-wrestling, so I decided a big dumb (but handsome and beautiful) wrestler would be fun. Tetori monk.
3) Concept first: Little girl, big stick. Character concept from the old anime trope of massively oversized weapons wielded by petite schoolgirls. Oracle/Paladin (perhaps to be Oracle/Skald depending on ACG).
4) Mechanics first: Wanted to play bad ass Zen Archer. Zen Archer/Inquisitor.
5) Mechanics first: Wanted to theorycraft and play a halfling grappler. Halfling Tetori.
6) Concept first: Wanted to play an old stuffy british colonel who had a companion. Made a Taldan summoner with a walking castle ("fort courageous") as his eidolon.
7) Mechanics first: Wanted to play a guy who only used a shield as his only weapon. Ranger/Horizon Walker
8) Mechanics first: Playtesting a Shaman (who is the daughter of character #1). Shaman of the Heavens.
In the bullpen:
9) Concept first: Al Pacino is the master of all magic...HOOAH! Mystic Theurge who worships Asmodeus.
10) Mechanics first: Superstitious Spell Sundering Pounce barbarian with Spellcraft and Knowledge Arcana as class skills. Barbarian.
Thing to note, all my characters are A) Mechanically sound and B) have solid RP foundations (mannerisms, motivations, etc).
Spring load wrist sheaths to draw potions as swift actions and Accelerated Drinker to drink them as move actions. Also very useful in using Breath of Life scrolls in a timely manner.
1) Expect Table Variation with Spring Loaded Wrist Sheaths
2) Not that you said it could be done, but just putting this out there before someone makes an assumption: You would not be able to use a Spring Loaded Wrist Sheath and Accelerated Drinker in the same turn ("You may drink a potion as a move action instead of a standard action as long as you start your turn with the potion in your hand.") As the potion was not in hand at the start of the turn (it was in the table variation sheath), Accelerated Drinker would not apply.
Anyways, back to reading this thread for stuff to buy on the cheap.
I literally just posted my burgeoning MT build elsewhere.
Short version: All in one Summon/Control/Buff/Condition Removal with the character basically RPd as composite Al Pacino
Inspired by tales of the Runelords, Dagvaar Inkalde chose magic as the vehicle to his future greatness. In his search for magical mastery, he attended the Academae in Varisia and is an adjunct professor of conjuration at Egorian Academy of the Magical Arts in Cheliax (gaining a fierce appreciation for the power and guile of Asmodeus at the latter).
Thassilonian Specialist will let me carry an double up my conjuration specialist bonus spell so I have two of it (Summon Monster X naturally). Egorian Infernal Binder grants I get Assume Control instead...which is totally in line with the conjuring Cult of Personality that is Dagvaar.
I will take Acadamae Graduate, so I can fast track summons at the cost of possible fatigue (or exhaustion).
On the Cleric (separatist) side of things, I will take the domains of Trickery (for Copy Cat to qualify for MT) and Restoration (because Asmodeus will reward my service by removing my fatigue from Acadamae Graduate).
STR 9 / DEX 10 / CON 14 / INT 19 / WIS 15 / CHA 9
Out of Combat:
Nosig, super simplified version:
We run 4-6 tables each game night.
We post the scenarios a month ahead of time online, where folks can sign up to GM or play ahead of time.
Like any game store, there are folks who regularly GM on a rotating basis.
Like any game store, there are folks who will never, ever GM.
Right now, there is a table of EoTT running that is locking up 6 of our regular GMs.
So, you have a smaller GM pool and players who aren't stepping up and occasional walk-ins.
(Most of the time it works out because the regular GMs will sign up to cover tables ahead of time and most folks exercise common sense ("Oh, there's 16 people signed up for this game but only 2 GMs and the game is in 2 days...hmmm...well, I don't want to GM, so I won't sign up.") but some folks seem to lack that critical thinking skill.)
We have an awesome rock star who usually will run a pick up game if worse comes to worst with walk-ins and overflow. That awesome person is Fromper.
Fromper is a GD superhero who repeatedly and consistently will drop out of a game as player to run a new table if there are walk-ins or a GM pulls out at the last second. He deserves like a million medals of PFS service for his sacrifices.
However, when the regular GMs want to play, have signed up to play well ahead of time and are there specifically to play, they deserve that time and shouldn't have to worry about having a back up scenario pre-prepped to run and losing out on their playing time.
Rorary Prisock wrote:
Respectful correction: that hasn't been the case since September of last year.
"For spell-like abiities gained from a class, use the spell type (arcane or divine) of that class to determine whether the spell-like ability is arcane or divine. If the class doesn't cast spells, use the above rule for spell-like abilities from race or type."
The message cantrip is a neutered choice in this scenario given the distances between locations and the duration of the spell. At best it can cover the distance between the general store and inn or tent city and beer garden and, in tier 4-5, would only cover the initial 50 minutes of a investigative phase.
GM'd another go round tonight, this time a 4-person party, low sub-tier party: Paladin of Ragathiel, Gnome Prankster Bard, War Priest (sling) & a oracle/fighter/bard mutt. Another 3 1/2 hour game, with the first initiative (Encounter 4) at around 2 1/2 hours.
Murder Victim's 1 Crime Scene: Had pilgrims praying for the soul of the nameless bard from another town for the PCs to interact with.
Murder Victims' 3&4 bodies (the frame victims): Clerics of Abadar passing through town are preparing the bodies for burial as a favor the sheriff. While the PCs couldn't inspect the bodies, they got more rumor info from the Clerics who were also starting their own investigation.
Off-book skill use:
Fromper and Redward were at my table, so I'll let them chip in with any thoughts they had. I know that as a GM I was a little toasty by the end and should have taken a personal break (whereas the players took mini-breaks when their investigation location wasn't live).
Ran this last night. From briefing to me walking out the door, it ran 3 1/2 hours.
L4 Cleric of Saranrae
L4 Zen Archer
L4 Rogue Pre-Gen (forgot personal L4 Rogue at home)
L2 Fighter/Paladin of Abadar
Adjustment: Although not explicitly called out, I made sure Jorsal handed them the letter so they could refer to it later.
Upon arrival, some folks went and visited the accused. They easily turned the Sheriff helpful and got the basics of the evidence (and quickly realized the handwriting samples were the same). Others hit up the town and got the basic rumors.
At the end of the day, they had a bunch of conflicting rumors, but had gotten much of the basics. At the end of the night, one of the rogues almost broke into Ekira's room at the inn, but thought better of it.
Dalton got off one sneak attack by climbing outside the house and sneaking up from behind before being non-lethally pummeled into submission. The PCs convinced both Luin and Ekira of their innocence, leading Dalton to attack with Torvil's assistance. One of the PCs heard the invisible Torvil and the party agreed to eat a Glitterdust so no innocents would get hit but the invisible creature would be revealed. So, naturally, 3 of the 5 PCs failed their save vs blindness. They quickly recovered and defeated Dalton but Tovril squirmed into the crowd, turned invisible and escaped.
The cleric and paladin easily showed Ekira the error of her ways, putting a button on the the end of the night.
'Offbook' investigation locations:
Other PCs also chose to visit the site of other murder victim (a bard on his way to Dawnton that was killed by the side of the road). At this point, the PCs had villagers escorting/watching them constantly, so had the PCs succeeded on an interaction roll, I would have let their escorts slip with some rumor info--but the PCs were at -4 for interactions and failed their rolls.
The party almost decided to go looking for Devil Circles in the woods, but a 'lucky' true rumor roll debunked that notion ;)
'Offbook' skill use:
The Zen Archer held an archery contest with 20 cold iron arrows as the prize. He easily won the contest...but still gave the arrows away, earning him admiration and friends (and advancing opposition track).
Am initiative wasn't rolled until Encounter 4 2 1/2 hours into the scenario.
With the amount of GM feedback and workarounds in the thread, it feels like this scenario needs one more pass before it is truly finished.
Not exactly correct, DM Beckett.
"Should the PCs learn all of the true rumors, each additional true
So, additional True rumors auto-debunk while, while additional False rumors muddy the waters.
Thank you for volunteering to GM and I'm sorry you (and potentially the other players) had an unfun time.
I usually have a spiel I say at the top of the game, something along the lines of:
"Hi, I'm Sammy and I'll be your GM for the next 4 hours. I'm really looking forward to playing with everyone and having fun. If you've never played with me before, just a couple things you should know:
If I ask how you got a bonus or how a power works or how you did something, I don't think you're cheating. I just honestly don't know and need clarification--Pathfinder has so many rules that there's no way I can know them all. So, just be ready to explain if I ask.
During combat, know what you're going to do on your turn. I'll let you know when you're on deck. Let's keep things moving. If you can, roll your damage with your attack roll.
If there is a rules thing that takes too long to resolve, I'll just make a ruling so we can move on and not stop the game. We can look it up during the break or after the game.
Finally, this is a game, so let's just play and have fun!"
I like to upfront the rules thing with players so they know I will adjudicate fairly, but if it stops the game cold, I'm going to rule and move on...but they'll still get their day in court during a break or after the game. That tends to pre-emptively squash most prolonged rules arguments. However, it also forces me to be honest--I've sent e-mails a day or two later with links to forum posts/FAQs, regardless if I'm right or wrong, to clarify a confusing rule interaction for both parties.
Anyways, specific to your issue, after a certain point you either say at the table "Gentlemen, we only have X amount of time for this scenario--we can argue over every rule and not finish or I can make a ruling and we move on." That puts more on them (or the specific player) to pick and choose their rules battles rather than argue every single thing they disagree with.