Undead Mitch, ask the GM to step in or say to the table... that you would like to go through the scenario without the bias which they currently have. Tell them your not comfortable with the Meta-gaming, most players hate being called that.
Upfront: I'm tired and a bit rambly, but this thread is putting a lot of onus on the players (and some of them deserve it, sure)... I've got another angle that I think could use to be discussed.
Jerk behavior can start with the author. Conversation assumed to happen before the adventure starts:
VC: "Get on the boat, we'll brief you right before you have to start the mission. The voyage will be several days, but I won't tell you a thing until the day you're doing stuff."
PCs: "Oh, OK. So we shouldn't do anything to adjust what we're bringing, or preparing in our spells, to make sure your special secret mission succeeds, huh?"
VC: Nope, you don't need to know anything until then.
And this is supposed to NOT wind up in PCs calling the VCs on failing the third tenet?
Because the VCs are Pathfinders as well, so they need to Cooperate so they have Exploration to Report.
I've dealt with a couple of couldn't be bothered to listen to the briefing tables as a GM. They're kinda funny to watch. We tend to schedule players likely to ignore the briefing together for limiting the possible splash damage. I still think that the best thing to do if you want the players NOT to react to the patterns of behavior their PCs might have observed with venture officers might be to prepare the content of the VC briefings with a more .... team-player tone FROM THE VC, and point out before you start (when you do any your-table-runs-like-this things like initiative cards, player introductions, etc) that you try to run the VCs as more professional than they have tended to be written, so please try running with the adventure instead of against it as a starting point....
It's a thought. I'm still mulling how much I like or dislike it as it increases the likelihood of varying-perception in the players who experience different GMs running different NPCs with different interpretations, but...
Damn, as a GM the VCs kinda piss me off. They can't be so abusive to the Pathfinders working for them and expect good results long term, so I've had to interpret that as some (many) of the VCs actually WANT their agents to die.
Sheila surely seems that way in PFS.
Michael Brock wrote:
This sums up my belief of where we stand, what the discussed changes could have done, and leads to an outcome I support entirely.
I agree, above minimum caster level items of cure spells to help the occasional bad table comp / cursed wound heal-checks-versus-death spiral wouldn't be a bad thing.
At the usual costs, so they're still going to be costly.
A note for Lou: level 1 anythings aren't 'expensive consumables', to me. Dweomer's essence is about where those start to come in.
This is not intended as a slam on Josh, but a serious question - I've been consistently disappointed by one author's writing in PFS, and want to find an adventure of his that shines...
So, I'm curious, in tangential relation to this, if anyone can point me to an actually good adventure that Joshua Frost wrote.
OK, let's talk about briefings where the only reasonable response of a PC is "Why in the planes are you telling us this NOW instead of oh, last night when it would've done us at some good for preparation? You send specialists out to do a job that involves (task most dungeon crawling pathfinders don't need to worry about) and don't let us know what we're doing until we're LEAVING THE GODS DAMNED BOAT? We could easily lose you the pathfinders we're supposed to save because of YOUR failure to plan. You've been on this boat with us for how long?"
This of course was Heresy of Man 1. The remainder of the series includes things like creatively incorrect math in the BBEG's stat block in part 3.
Of course, a lot of the writing in that series is almost as bad.
Sheila is obviously a Lissallan cultist, based on her reported actions in Race for the Runecarved Key 2
There was some significant ... displeasure... when Krune used a SM to get good-subtype creatures to fight the PCs.
It's consistent with the narrative, though, so I discount it as just .... player unhappiness with how evil can manipulate good in PFRPG/3.5.
Still true in season 5.
You should seat the number of players for whom you believe you can run a fun game.
Don't softball the tactics.
Don't change the tactics out without the players' having invalidated the villain's "plan".
Adjudicate things fairly.
And then death happens.
The sentiment that "dying sucks" and should be avoided at the cost of narrative and NPC tactics does a disservice to the actually potentially dangerous adventures like Rebel's Ransom, Dalsine Affair, QFP 1 and 3, Waking Rune, In Wrath's Shadow, and Storval Stairs, as well as the dangerous is what you bring to the table with you adventures like Empyreal Enlightenment, Fortress of the Nail, or even first Steps 1.
The players have a responsibility for figuring out how to mitigate a TPK - dead PCs *will* happen, even at low levels.
There's no good to be found in the proposal to start a new PC higher than first without having to assign some kind of earned credits to it, though. This organized play campaign was designed around character progress being tied to playing on either side of the screen, and learning how to survive in a PCs-are-more-powerful-than-default campaign is definitely not an item that I consider to be a bug.
I hate the 'murder-hobo' moniker. A lot.
The fact that the secondary success conditions push (relatively hard, IMO) to move the PCs away from being "murder-hobos" is a very very good thing.
Though I do want to GM a table of 4-20 that goes murder-hobo on the secondary succes condition someday. The fight should be interesting.
The first of those doesn't sound like triumph to me, Beard. The second has an even better yet subtly different triumph point: knowing the PCs aren't in terrible danger without you having to softball, but having the players feel appropriately challenged (which is subjective to them!) and have fun with their encounters.
Malag, though, definitely has a case. That's always a great feeling.
Sitting down to run the special for a strike team of players that you chewed on hard last year at GenCon (Golden Serpent) and having them be glad to see you.
Excited players who weren't torn up overmuch when they TPK'd at Bonekeep 1, who you help get ready for their next adventure.
Going right to the edge of the line of squicking a group of players you know well enough to have that sense of the line, with an NPC that they needed to talk to but had no writeup in the adventure, just the right combination of no-questions-asked and their location.
Scaring the piss out of a table of complacent adventurers because they made some.... questionable choices.... but giving them crowning moments of awesome to get away with everybody alive by letting them dig deep and be scoundrels, but talented ones...
Running around in a major location with a couple of kids having an awesome time as the furniture becomes frightening.
John Compton wrote:
John Compton wrote:
The two of these combine with the can't be repeated enough players having fun is the whole damn point of playing ... and come out as the reason I enjoy GMing so much (Sign me up for as much as you need at GenCon, Mike!):
If I present the same event several times to disparate groups(three or more is about where I start to be happy about this outcome), I get to see three probably different approaches to the same story (Feast of Sigils? Only getting to see how two tables handle that (one for running, one for playing) doesn't seem like NEARLY enough chances to enjoy the multiple paths through the scenario).
How do the players derail your plot? How well do you shine the light on the rails without them looking like a train ride? How do they survive Horrifying Thing K?
Plus, Tersha helps me out with awesome as hell maps and terrain, and showing those off at cons so I can give her ego boo about them is a lot of fun (It looked like people enjoyed the Storval Stairs at GenCon, even if it's not Myron's corner-dominating effect).
My only moments of "I know I could run this better" is when I see people doing things like monotone readings of box text or having no idea how core rules work (combat maneuvers especially) that are used by the NPCs they are running (it's called preparation for a reason).
Also, I have developed a real dislike for running scenarios cold, or playing a cold-run scenario. I'd rather sit out the slot or go visit a dealer room or whatever. Even those who're good at doing it can really mess up the flow of an event if they haven't had an opportunity to prep it.
The opportunity to GM the same event for vastly different groups of players with different pieces of the game that make them "light up" is part of what makes OrgPlay awesome for me.
The fact that my wife likes to sit at HQ and count tickets all ten slots of GenCon means she definitely gets what I do.
There's a lot of confusion and misconception about how darkness, deeper darkness, and spells with the light descriptor function, including daylight.
Dispel operates at the same range as any other casting, using the same targeting requirements - so daylight or heightened light would both require touching the object on which darkness or deeper darkness was cast.
Counterspell would be useful if most of the darkness wasn't from spell-like abilities. Fortunately, demons are unlike devils and to my recollection, many don't come with see-in-darkness grade darkvision.
Daylight and darkness/deeper darkness have specific clauses about their effect when overlapping. Those are somewhat more complicated, yet not overly so that we've seen so far.
There's a recent thread on the GM board discussing the way light levels work. Heightened continual flame is definitely a useful thing. Was amused the first table I was at that I handed them out they proved VERY useful... and I took heighten to use on murderous command so the continual flame application was pure gravy.
At some point I'll do an in-character version of the Pathfinder Basic lecture on light levels... it should be amusing.
The analysis that we see here anecdotally may be different from what you see in the database. Is our analysis tracking with reporting, Mike?
I love running high tier... enemies with minds that have a broader menu of possible reactions and interactions with the PCs.
There's, at least to my eye, far less of that included in 1-5 because of the need to fit within the CR boundaries of 1-5.
I was pretty active in encouraging players to play games more suited to their experience level than my Storval Stairs tables at GenCon. Ended up with a couple fail-to-fire, and one full table of never-played-pfrpg that I chased off to another game and swapped to The Disappeared for a pair of dads with their sons and a fifth. That was a fun table, too.
I think 4 is the right target number for 7-11 in a season. With two specials, that lets you bridge from hitting 10 to retirement within the arc of a season.... if you focus on that PC.
(I'm also sitting on 2 seekers, 3 10s, and a bunch of midtiers, and see most of the problems being cited by Drogon with the addition of a more distributed set of venues in our area).
Playing Masks of the Living God, we had some truly epic "wait, what????" moments.
I was playing Adelaide Aksin, a Very Not A Nice Lady At All Elf magus with a fondness for critting a shocking grasp from invisibility as a way to start fights. (Where would I have seen THAT before, I wonder?).
So we're in a bar, having a conversation that doesn't add up to good relations between Her Haughtiness and the folks we were speaking with. Fine. This group seems to be serious kind of problem, let's start cutting them down to size, she thinks...
The vanish, sneak, spell combat plan seems to be going great, the crit.... shows a lot of low numbers. Stupid mook survives.
The nagaji paladin of Iomedae doesn't interfere as the folks we're talking to quite justifiably beat Adelaide down and capture her, convincing her after her conviction that she really needs to join their side and earn her life....
The paladin meanwhile winds up in stir, naked, having the perfect standoff of a staring contest....
hijinks continue until finally, we've found the stuff we need to know and the place has come angrily alive behind us... so Adelaide pulls out a scroll of fly, activates her levitation hex, and we go sailing out a window with the Nagaji carrying some of us and Adelaide bobbing along behind hanging onto his cloak.
A few levels later, she graduated to an improved familiar and met Conscience, her lyrakien azata prosthetic conscience. Many blows of FVP combat are struck within their square.
Ah, good clarification. Helps to have text to refer to. Good times, having to make choices between power and right.
I believe the GM is instructed to tell the players that the stone is evil, before being given a chance to activate it for themselves.
I'd recheck that... my recollection is you don't find out it's evil without identifying it as a cursed item at the increased identification check DC for same.
Tactics are a preference, not an ironclad script. If the individual enemy has someone provoking AOO's in their face.... take them based on the enemy's tactical outlook, but I don't recall (haven't gone looking... yet...) seeing an enemy that got into the level of detail of what kinds of AOOs they will and won't take.
A sundered weapon is still quite cheap to repair with make whole, per the PFS faq.
It's painful during the adventure, but by the time it becomes really-a-thing, it's in the 10% gold goes for consumables region of cost.
Michael Meunier wrote:
Definitely passes the "That's obvious enough to be a legit tactic" smell test for me.
For season 5 we're only doing the breakout of treasure by encounter so that you don't have to search through the document or math it for slow players on slot 10 of a con.... (Since the season 5 success conditions are more complicated, and the math for out of tier is done already...)
MGCady and I have started going through each of the adventures to add a document that includes the per-encounter breakdown of gold to reduce awards by for all normal cases - each subtier, out of tier for each possible out of tier combination, and slow play.
We're also including the Primary and Secondary Success conditions.
If I'm aware of 'related scenario numbers' to reference for boon interactions, I'll try to stick that in the cheat sheet as well.
(I got really tired of doing the math for out of tier partial success in Storval Stairs during GenCon.... and just now have had time to do the first of these!)
So, your mood was brought down by a door.
Then it was brought down because you can't avoid fighting the guy you are sent to fight.
I think you were either not playing tier 7-8, only disabled 5 runes, or had some serious GM errors. Were you APL 9 with 6 players?
That said.... even at 7-8 I expect to hear a LOT of corpse calls coming back from this adventure.
Akerlof, Season 0 used only SRD content from 3.5.
It was also built using the straight up CR system for 4 players and non-heroic point-buy character building.
Good encounter design is something that has gotten more and more traction in PFS as time has gone on. Good encounter design isn't primarily about the stat blocks, though they can limit or enhance the encounter design.
Good encounter design is about having a challenge that is dynamic and interesting and helps to advance the plot. Sometimes they're overtuned and sometimes they're undertuned and sometimes they've got a bard who can't carry a tune...
Todd Morgan wrote:
Yes it used to be a move action from looking at my book. This is good to know!
Huh. I wonder which version Hitch's book said when he referenced the archetype?
BigNorseWolf is right, your characterization of this as meta-gaming seems quite off. I recommend against this entirely.
Two aspects: First, the tactical combat subsystem is an abstraction for semi-simultaneous events. Knowing whether or not your buddy has drawn an enemy's attention enough for him to actually take an opportunity swing is not metagaming. It's how the game reduces a BUNCH of interactions, lunges, ducks, movement about that fills a 25 square foot area, and all the other things that would be in meatspace, into a tactical combat abstraction. Expecting the tactical combat abstraction to be run honestly is part of the RAW expectation of PFS.
Second, this is just as close a brush against don't-be-a-jerk as forcing rolled saves for non-effects "to keep players nervous". This is also part of the expectation of run honestly that is part of the RAW expectation of PFS.
You are proposing to slow the game down to add fakery to deal with a non-problem.
Sior's position is fine... and about the expectation I have as a player or organizer.
Tim Hitchcock wrote:
As I said in my review, i think it's aimed just about right. My GM'd tables are 50% success rate on it, and their ability to succeed or not was based on the tables' ability to deal with challenges that aren't insurmountable (but boy, they can be tough!!!).
I think you did a great job putting together the full-scenario-boss-fight of a 24 hour adventure (I count Portal of the Sacred Rune as the first part of this arc, personally), Tim, and I am pretty sure I told you so at PaizoCon.
Jade of the Leaf wrote:
Except that when you train out of base classes providing BAB to the point that you no longer qualify for either of your prestige classes, both of your prestige classes stop granting you BAB and you can't use the BAB from either to qualify for the other...
I PFS, and particularly I repeat-run games and expend effort and wifely craftiness points from Tersha on helping me build (well, letting me help her build) awesome terrain because I enjoy the hell out of watching different people and their characters tackle the same problems and come up with completely different answers and approaches to the investigations, the fights, and the frightening problems presented in PFS.
5 runs of Waking Rune and 9 of Storval Stairs. 4 or 5 Golden Serpent.
Present an interesting, fun game and see what falls out for a very different group of players? That's my idea of a good time.
I've got my highest table reported from GenCon as table 623 (Saturday night Bonekeep); there were something between 1076 and 1291 pfs room tables to report from what I understand (depending on saturation level, I'm presuming it wasn't less than average of 5 players per table).
So somewhere around half done that I can see.
So, we did risers for GenCon this year, but I was busy showing people a good bad time of hangin' out on the Stairs. (It was a hoot running for you, Finlanderboy. Glad it came together for us to share a table!).
My reply links to my pictures of the stairs from when I had them set up the first time.
Yep. Doing network maintenance or I'd have the post up already. What's busted on the home network now game, begin!
Played tier 3-4 or 4-5 at least once? A table of 1,2,2,2,2,3 in a season 0 or 1 could have chosen (or been forced into, in the 3-4 case) to play up and still eaten it alive on several of those early scenarios.
+1 darkwood composite longbow (+PC's str mod) is 2PA and most of their gold so far; not all that hard to come by. Harder now, though...
As a GM with a significant amount of kit to haul about, and that had a 10-slot schedule. No. I believe this is a terrible idea. We need the end time / start time to be far enough apart that we can paperwork on the announcement, deliver our required paperwork to HQ, hit the head, and maybe scarf down something to fuel our next five hours' energy.
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
If it's a bunch of low will save PCs, greater forbid followed by flying around to deliver plane shifts is a pretty strong tactic. I agree that if you're not going to be able to deliver punch-outs during the 24 rounds of you-can't-attack... its pretty lame. That said, it's still tactically sound if you she thinks she can realistically punch some folks out with int drain... especially if any of them are tasty outsider (native)s