My bard recently bought his first ever vanity. We were supposed to carry a cursed item from someplace to some other place. None of us in the party wanted to be the one to do it, so I spent the Prestige and bought a Porter.
We called him Guiness the Stout. He's a Dwarf. And now whenever we have a dangerous McGuffin to carry anyplace, he's the one to do it!
Did I mention that my character is a Sczarni? ;-)
I notice that Koriana has a Shawl of Lifekeeping. Has it been "charged up"? It makes sense to me that she would have transferred some HP into the shawl before going to bed and then used a healing extract, but that's not stated anywhere.
Or is the intent to give GMs a bit of fudge-room to scale the encounter (having the shawl activate if the players are doing well, or not if the encounter is going badly for them)?
Either way, it would be nice to see the item called out in the tactics somewhere, especially since it's not something from the Core Rulebook that folks can be expected to recognize.
Applying my standard test of, "which of these is more fun and will result in a better play experience?", it seems to me that using the race boon should be fine.
Of course, if there were a specific rule disallowing this, that would be one thing. But in the case of ambiguity, I always try to lean toward whatever is most beneficial for the player, unless it would be disruptive.
However, I'd say have some stuff PRIOR to the festival. Stuff to link the players to the community. Helping out a farmer, or maybe even meeting the rangers whose lodge ends up taken by Rokhar.
I love the idea of meeting the rangers! I'll have to figure out something to do with them...
I'm looking for ideas on how I can expand the start of the AP into something a bit more interesting. Once things get going, it looks like tons of fun, but as it is now, the start of the adventure basically boils down to "read half a page of box-text and get a mission briefing from some guy you've never met." Which is fine for something like a PFS game, but I think a whole Adventure Path deserves more.
I plan to have things start with the Midsummer's Eve Festival in Heldren, and have carnival games similar to what has been suggested in the Swallowtail Festival threads. At some point in the day, Old Mother Theodora is going to collapse in a fit, crying out about "cold and darkenss", "winter is coming", and "the ravens gather, and crows fly away!"
I think this will be a nice way to start things off. However, I then need to keep the PCs in town for a week while the bad guys set up. So I'm looking for ideas of things to do in town to keep the PCs occupied.
In particular, I'd like them to meet both Old Man Dansby and Dryden Kepp, since they will both appear (posthumously) later in the adventure.
I was thinking maybe something along the lines of protecting Old Man Dansby's field from bandits might work. But I need to make sure that the PCs don't follow the bandits back to their camp before the bad guys are all settled in.
Roberta Yang wrote:
Even if you were fixated on some of these class combinations, you could still do something unique with them. For example, ranger/druid could get Wild Shape but not spellcasting, and be focused on turning into a bear and mauling people's faces with the help of her bear companion.
This is actually something that is missing from the class design space. There really isn't a way to build a shapeshifting-focused character without being a druid. The game could really use a base class built around "I turn into monsters and fight with natural weapons."
I downloaded the program recently and have been running it on my iPad. For the most part, it's great!
The biggest advantage to this program, compared with competitors, is that the soundscape is dynamically generated by mixing various elements. For example, the "spooky woods" soundscape might have some ominous music, wind moving through trees, distant howls of animals, light rainfall, and so on. The elements are all individually controllable, so if you want to, say, eliminate the rain or change the music volume, you can do that.
The best part is that the sounds are continually changing, so you don't get that "CD on a loop" effect where the sounds get repetitive after a while.
There are a few nitpicks. The iPad version was a bit buggy, and crashed fairly often on my old 2nd gen iPad. A new version just came out, so I'm hopeful that most of those issues have now been resolved.
The biggest problem that I've found is that I use my iPad for referencing PDFs of the rulebooks, and this program can't run in the background. So I go to look something up, and the music stops :-( So you will need a dedicated device (PC, tablet, whatever) in order to really use this program to its fullest.
There's a modest but pretty varied selection of sounds right now, and the author is coming out with new ones pretty frequently.
One of the most entertaining players I have played with had an alchemist who was a baker. Rather than pouring his infusions into little glass vials, he baked them into tasty treats. So when he was in the party, he threw exploding danishes, and passed out "muffins of Cure Light Wounds". Occasionally, he would eat a bear claw (mutagen) and turn into an ursine monstrosity who was very adept at killing goblins :-)
So, I'm interested in the concept of running a Witchguard PC (from People of the North). However, I'm not sure about how the "Defend Charge" ability would work in PFS play.
Player's Companion: People of the North wrote:
The text states the Ranger "forms a bond with a spellcaster he has sworn to defend." What is not stated is what it takes to establish the bond, how long it lasts, and whether it can be changed (if at all).
Clearly, in a long-term game, the idea is that the Witchguard would bond with a particular character and that would be that. However, in PFS play, with a different party every time, this becomes a bit awkward. Can the player just say, during the mission briefing, "Hey, who here can cast spells? You? Great! I swear to defend you!" and be on his way?
The problem with there being an external key is that presumably in normal use, the keyholder would want to take the key with them when teleporting. Otherwise, they would have no way of getting back!
It sounds like I don't need to worry too much about people getting one-shotted as soon as they arrive. My big concern at this point is that with my party, it would take five rounds for everyone to get from one place to another. That's a lot of time for the last player to be sitting out with nothing to do! Especially if it happens multiple times (which it will have to), I can see players at the end of the line getting bored and frustrated at not being able to contribute.
I'm a bit confused by how the Ice Crystal Teleporters are supposed to work in the Pale Tower. Since there are no stairs, the only way to move around between the various levels of the tower is through the teleporters.
Snows of Summer wrote:
A teleporter can transport one creature at a time. The target is encased in ice for 1 round, during which time it is paralyzed, then fades away. At the end of the round, the target is teleported to its keyed destination, and the ice immediately melts away. Activating these teleporters requires a simple command phrase or magical key.
I have two major concerns with these teleporters:
1) If they can only transport one person at a time, and it takes a full round to activate, that means only a single PC can move between levels in any given round. That means if the PC arrives in an encounter area, he or she will have to face down the opposition in that area alone, and allies can only arrive at a rate of one per round. That seems like it would have a pretty major impact on the difficulty of the encounters! Was that taken into account when assigning the CRs and designing the encounters in this area?
2) If the person being transported is using a key rather than a command phrase, then presumably they need to have the key with them. However, once they are teleported away, so is the key! That means the rest of the PCs have no way to follow them!
It seems inconceivable to me that, for example, a single PC is supposed to face Radosek alone. But based on the quote above, I don't see how else the encounter could play out, aside from other PCs flying up the outside of the tower and into the window!
Am I missing something?
On a completely different note, I'm curious what other people make of the teleporter keys. They're magical, obviously, which means they don't need to look like mechanical keys. Does anyone have any cool ideas for what these teleporter keys should look like? The trick, of course, is that the PCs will need to be able to figure out that they *are* keys, so there needs to be something key-like about them. What do you think?
As far as I know, there isn't any "official" stance on what to do with mistakes. There's no policy outlined in the Guide to Organized Play, so beyond "take it to your local Venture-Officer", I don't think there is any particular official way of correcting stuff like this.
In general, making things difficult for people who made mistakes is not a good strategy. It scares away players and encourages them *not* to own up to their mistakes.
In this particular case, I'd say there's even less incentive to penalize the player, given that no rule was broken except if we're revising history.
Given that, I'd say be generous, have fun, and keep playing. That's the most important thing, after all!
I also take play-time at the table into account. Did the players flee on the first round of combat? If so, then a minor award, if any, should be given. However, if my PC just went through a pitched battle lasting two hours at the table, and we barely escaped with our characters alive, and I didn't get XP for it... I'd be a bit miffed.
I 100% agree with this. If it was an honest mistake, then it should be corrected. But the player should not be "punished" by forcing them to pay extra for a purchase that was legal according to a published source at the time.
The player should get the choice of selling back for a full refund, or paying the difference. That way all the books are balanced, and the player can decide whether the new price is worth it or not.
I have a question about the chronicle sheet for Reign of Winter. Specifically, the Mantle of the Black Rider boon:
The chronicle sheet for Snows of Summer wrote:
Mantle of the Black Rider (Assuming the Mantle): You have accepted the Mantle of the Black Rider, which grants you considerable power in your quest to find Baba Yaga so long as you continue your quest. Choose one ability score. Once per day as a swift action you may gain a +1 bonus to that ability score for 1 minute. For every additional Mantle of the Black Rider boon that you have for this character, the bonus increases by +1. You may not benefit from more than one Mantle of the Black Rider boon at a time.
It's the last sentence that confuses me, because the subsequent adventures in the AP *also* grant a Mantle of the Black Rider boon, with different effects. Each of them gets better if the character has multiple boons, but if a character can't benefit from more than one of them at a time, how does that work?
The only way that makes sense to me is to say that the character *can* have all of the Mantle boons at the same time, but can only have a single one "active" on any given turn. So, for example, the character could gain the ability score bonus from the Snows of Summer boon or the skill check boon from Mother, Maiden, Crone. Both would get the higher bonus from having the other on the character, but only one could be activated at a time.
Does that sound right?
Thanks, everybody! I knew about the manifester level limit on PP spent at a time, but not about the "two sources of power" thing. And thanks for raising all of the stuff you did; it gives me lots to think about!
Just like with any other spell caster, gotta' read the fine print on your spells/powers and abilities. Any idea what they're playing?
He's told me that he wants to play a Psion. The character creation session is on Sunday, so we'll figure out the rest then.
I have a player who is interested in playing a Psionic character (using the Dreamscarred Press Psionics Unleashed rules).
Is there anything I need to be aware of before letting him play a psionic character? How well does the system interact with normal Pathfinder rules? Are there any "gotchas" or especially potent combos that I should be aware of? Any particularly confusing rules that I need to know as a GM?
For the most part, I trust my players to know what their characters can do and know the rules that apply to them. I know this guy wouldn't intentionally cheat, but I'm not at all familiar with the psionics rules, so I want to know if there's anything I need to watch out for.
If it makes a difference, the game we're gearing up for is Reign of Winter.
I'm gearing up to start running this AP for my gaming group, and I'm wondering what (if any) Flip-Mats or Map Packs are used in this Adventure Path. Does anyone have a list?
Also, how useful is the map folio for the AP? It looks like some nice flavor, but would it actually help with running the adventures?
I'm thinking I will probably grant my PCs one mythic tier when they gain the Mantle of the Black Rider. After that, we'll see how it goes -- I may just run the rest as-written and not introduce any more mythic elements. The PCs will be a little more powerful, but I don't think I'll actually need to change much if anything to add additional challenge. My players like to feel powerful :-)
If the players really like it, though, I may add a few more tiers for the PCs later on.
I've been looking for a good trading site to help trade my collection of minis (mostly Pathfinder Battles, plus some old D&D minis). I was looking at MiniatureTrading.com. It has a pretty good interface and includes have/want lists and trade matching. However, there are not many users with Pathfinder Battles stock for trade.
So, anyone here interested? Or do you have any recommendations for other trading sites?
Maybe not so much a layout issue, but I've seen a lot of confusion this season regarding how faction missions work -- specifically how they interact with the boons on the chronicle sheet. For example, if I'm playing a Silver Crusade character and in the course of the mission I happen to perform the Andoran faction mission (whether or not I was informed of it or supposed to do it), then do I get the associated boon? Or is it *only* for members of the appropriate faction?
Either way, it would be nice to call out exactly what players of various factions are supposed to get in terms of boons, prestige, and so on. Possibly this could be included in the Conclusion section along with the bookkeeping stuff for which checkboxes to select on the reporting form.
To be honest, no one ever asked! As Bigrin said, simply *not* doing some secret thing that only I knew was supposed to be done isn't going to raise anyone's suspicion.
There was one mission I can remember where I had to actively thwart the Grand Lodge faction mission. The mission was to retrieve some specific parts of a particular monster, so instead my character burned them to make sure no one would get them. Everyone at the table just kind of shrugged and said, "must be his faction mission."
If anyone had gotten suspicious, I would gladly have rolled Bluff. And if I'd flubbed, I probably would have invoked the "no PvP" rule for the duration of the mission (purely to avoid derailing things -- in a home game, I'd definitely want to play out the confrontation!), and then asked the GM what happened to my character after he was found out. I think it's likely that the character would be marked "dead" at that point, but TBH I hadn't really thought too much about it.
But as I said, I never even got *close* to getting spotted, so it really never came up.
I actually had a character who was an "Aspis Consortium Spy" up until very recently. He was Grand Lodge faction and always deliberately tried to fail the GL faction mission. However, he would contribute to the overall mission -- after all, he wouldn't want to blow his cover!
Before the mission, I would always ask the group if anyone was playing a GL character and if there was *anyone* who was, I swapped out for another character. Because, "don't be a jerk".
With the changes to faction missions in Season 5, though, I got rid of that character. It was fun while it lasted, though!
I just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you all are doing. My shipment hasn't arrived yet (I got my shipping email last Wednesday), but I don't mind. I know that you are working as fast as you can and I just wanted to chime in and say that I'm patient and while I'm really looking forward to this month's releases, I am perfectly content waiting for things to settle down.
Have a great day!
My normal gaming group can't play this week due to a couple of players being out of town. So I'm going to be running a Pathfinder Society game for the three remaining players, all of whom have 3rd or 4th level PFS characters.
The group is a bit tired of the 1-5s, so I'm looking for recommendations for a fun Tier 3-7 scenario that can be run in about 3 1/2 hours. My group likes a good mix of combat and roleplay, so it'd be nice to have a balanced game rather than a straight-out dungeon crawl.
The party consists of a Bard (she might have multiclassed last level into Bard/Ranger), a Summoner, and a Barbarian.
For me, personally, the best thing about PFS is that it doesn't require a ton of commitment. I very much prefer a home game with a big, continuing story. But if I'm free on a Friday night with nothing better to do, I'll hop on down to the game store. Or if my Sunday night gaming group can't play because someone's out of town or sick, well, there's a whole slew of ready-made one-shot adventures!
David Bowles wrote:
I know I've burned out tier 1-5 faster than I would have liked because there are so many times that the group can't swing 3-7 because there is a level 2 :(
Amen! This has happened several times to me in the past few months.
The problem with the "evergreen scenarios" as they stand currently is that they are all for level 1 only. That means if I'm at a store with a mix of new players and low-level players, the "evergreen" scenario isn't an option.
As it is, I'd prefer a Tier 1-5 rather than an evergreen tier-1 only scenario. If the evergreen scenario encompassed a wider level range (say, Tier 1-3 or even Tier 1-2), then it would be a *lot* more attractive than it is right now.
Suppose, hypothetically, that a Rogue wearing a Ring of Invisibility walks down a hall that contains a Mirror of Opposition. Would the mirror activate and create an invisible evil twin of the rogue?
I can see two possibilities here. Either the rogue is invisible and therefore can't see herself in the mirror, and therefore the mirror can't activate and will not produce a double, or else the mirror will activate anyway, and simply produce an invisible copy of the rogue. What do you think?
On a related note, could a Mirror of Opposition work on a vampire?
I'm thinking that
Foxglove Manor will probably be the "weird one" out of the set, and that the Haunts will be the primary bad guy. Maybe there will be some kind of mechanic where you have to "stack" haunts next to the scenario card and only encounter the Skinsaw Man once you collect enough of them.
Also, I'll bet there's some horrible penalty for ending up with Aldern Foxglove in your hand during the scenario -- he should get Banished at the very least!
I hope Xanesha is really hard to fit with the RPG ;-)
There are only 6 sinspawns. So in a 6 player game with 8 locations, they'll all be in location decks at the start of the game, along with the villain and the one other henchman.
My group had the same sort of thing happen when we played "Black Fang's Dungeon". There were only 5 Ancient Skeleton Henchmen in the box, so they all went into the starting location deck. Then someone flipped a Barrier that said we had to fight an Ancient Skeleton Henchman and ended up having to search through one of the location decks to find one.
One of the players wondered why that barrier didn't just have the stats for the skeleton on it; that would have saved a lot of time in addition to avoiding the problem we ran into.
I'm playing Harsk, and I ended up putting both my Skill feats into Wisdom. That might seem a bit counterintuitive, since Harsk is really a dex-based character. However, I found that I was making a lot of WIS checks to do things like close locations or acquire boons. Add to that the fact that WIS helps his Survival and Perception, and it's (I think) a solid choice.
Also, when I finish the third box, I plan to take the power feat that lets Harsk get Divine as a skill, so I can start playing with some Divine spells. Having a healer besides just Lem will be important when we get that far, I think.
Yeah, that makes sense, I suppose. Personally, I've never had much use for the historical stuff -- I care *way* more about what the character's current capabilities are than what she might have had in a previous game.
I hope it means the new arc starts at issue 10, but given the cover images for volumes 11 and 12, I would guess not.
While I do really like the art shown in this blog post, it does really annoy me when comics change their artists midway through an arc. The inconsistency breaks my immersion :-(
To preface: I am not trying to start a flame war here, but I think this is a topic that merits some discussion, and I think it's an angle that hasn't really been considered on the several other threads about the new Inventory Tracking Sheet.
What I'm wondering is, it sounds like with the new season, the Inventory Tracking Sheet is intended to be the master list of a character's gear. Players are supposed to be tracking things on the ITS, GMs are supposed to be reviewing them, and so forth. But what I want to know is, what happened to the character sheet in all of this?
When I sit down at a non-PFS table, I play based off what is on my character sheet. If I find an item or buy an item, I write it down (on my character sheet). If I sell an item, use a consumable, or give something to another player, I cross it off my character sheet. The character sheet itself is the important part. If I'm GMing and I'm not sure if a character has an item, I look on their character sheet.
Now, in PFS, I'm getting the impression that the character sheet is no longer the go-to place to look for a character's equipment. It sounds like the character sheet is no longer where I'm supposed to be checking (as a GM) to see if a player stocked a particular item, which seems very counterintuitive to me.
The rationale as I understand it for introducing the ITS in the first place was to make it easier for GMs to perform character audits. What I'm wondering is, why is it necessary to have a separate sheet for that, when presumably the character's gear is all going to be listed on the character sheet in the first place? After all, we don't have a "skill point tracking sheet" or a "Current Hit Point Tracking Sheet". So why is inventory any different?
Again, I'm not trying to start another huge argument about the ITS (there are plenty of those already). I am instead trying to understand, philosophically, why the leadership felt it necessary to introduce a new form for something that was already being tracked elsewhere by players.
Thanks, and have a great evening!
Steve Geddes wrote:
Murder in Baldur's Gate was a 64-page sourcebook with a 32-page adventure? Really? Because I played that adventure at Gen Con and it took us 3 hours at the most! Either D&DNext must use ridiculously long encounter descriptions, or our GM must have left a bunch of stuff out.
Victor Zajic wrote:
I respectfully disagree that following the Rules As Intended is "breaking the explicit rules of PFS." My personal belief is that GMs *should* adhere to the Rules as Intended. I know I take the intent of a rule into account when making a ruling at a PFS table.
I searched the guide, and these are the most relevant quotes I could find relating to following and/or enforcing the rules:
Guide to Organized Play wrote:
The leadership of this organized play community assumes that you will use common sense in your interpretation of the rules. (p. 5)
Guide to Organized Play wrote:
As a Pathfinder Society GM, you have the right and responsibility to make whatever judgements, within the rules, that you feel are necessary at your table to ensure everyone has a fair and fun experience. This does not mean you can contradict rules or restrictions outlined in this document, a published Pathfinder Roleplaying Game source, errata document, or official FAQ on paizo.com. What it does mean is that only you can judge what is right for your table during cases not covered in these sources. (p.32)
To me, both of these statements mean that I should use my best judgement to enforce the rules of the game. If there is a situation with multiple possible interpretations, I will absolutely use the one that seems closest to the design intent of the authors!
Victor Zajic wrote:
I think that the SLA count for pre-reqs rules is the dumbest thing ever, and absolutely terrible for the game. While no one can actually stop me from banning anyone who plays a PC using those rules from my tables, do you think that would be a good example to set to the other players at the table? To other GM's near me? And I'm only a 1 star non-venture officer. If I see my Venture Lt doing something, I'm going to assume it's okay to do that in PFS. Paizo is trusting you with the responsibility of representing their company in an official capacity. It is incredibly poor form to abuse that trust.
In that particular example, we *know* that the intent of the authors is to allow SLAs to count as pre-requisites. They have stated on these very message boards that building a character that way is OK, at least for now. So no, banning someone for doing something like that would be incorrect. But let's assume for a moment that I hadn't read the forums and didn't know that the designers had expressed an intent on that particular issue. In that case, I think it would be perfectly reasonable to consider the character illegal, since you could make a strong argument that the intent of the Prestige Class requirements is for characters to have the appropriate *spells*, rather than *spell-like abilities*.
Expect Table Variation!
Not entirely. For example, suppose I have a Fighter with a feat progression like this:
L1: Skill Focus: Profession (Lawyer)
When I hit level four, I take Spring Attack as my 4th-level fighter bonus feat. I meet all the prerequisites for it (Dodge, Mobility, and BAB +4).
Then I decide to retrain. I spend the time and gold, and swap out my Skill Focus feat for Weapon Specialization. This is legal according to the retraining rules:
the rules wrote:
When you use retraining to replace some aspect of your character, you must meet all prerequisites, requirements, and considerations for whatever you're trying to acquire.
The prerequisites for Weapon Specialization are: Proficiency with selected weapon, Weapon Focus with selected weapon, Fighter level 4th. At the time of the retraining, I meet all the prerequisites, and thus can take the feat.
At the end of all this, I end up with a character who has both Spring Attack and Weapon Specialization at level 4, which would not be possible without retraining (because both of those feats require me to be 4th level before I can take them). However, the build is still legal (assuming I paid the time and GP cost for the retrain).
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Keeping in mind that the whole point of the game is to have fun, I would try to accommodate that as much as possible. In the case of your specific example, I would probably say, "Well, I'm the GM and my ruling at this time is that they don't stack. If you want, you can play your existing character without the extra ki. Or, you can use this pregen. Either way, you are welcome to take it up with a VO if you don't agree." I would also make a note on the player's chronicle sheet, so that any future GMs who notice this would be able to tell that another GM had brought up the issue as well.
In the general sense, I would try to allow the character to be played (possibly omitting the illegal parts of the build) and just get on with the session. I would try to avoid sending the player home if at all possible -- after all, the whole reason we all do this is to play the game!
I'd like to see some more comedic issues occasionally (preferably in April). Back in the days of Dragon magazine, I always really enjoyed the "joke" issues, with articles like the Ecology of the Adventurer, or the Ninja/Pirate/Dinosaur issue. The Player Companion line seems like a good fit for that.
Such an issue could include some things like "reject" magic items, options in the vein of Super Genius Games' Horrifically Overpowered Feats, and plenty of stuff about goblins. 'Cause goblins are always funny! The issue could also include things like a "jester" archetype or the like.
On a more serious note, you could have an article with advice about how to play comic-relief characters without derailing the adventure.
Looks like good stuff coming down the pipe; keep it up!
I don't see any reason why not. After all, death is a condition that can be cleared at the end of the scenario, so getting a break enchantment should be much easier!
If they can't get the Break Enchantment at the conclusion of the scenario, then they don't get to keep playing a bestial version of the character.