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TwilightKnight's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Tales Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur. 3,993 posts (4,067 including aliases). 13 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 12 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.


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Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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When we first went to the new model, I continued to print out the faction missions and asked, at the start of every session, if the players wanted to use them. I never once had a player say they wanted to do the missions, but most wanted the sheets for the additional information they could get on the challenges to come. Now some of those missions provided indirect information that the society couldn't possibly know or that it sounded more like a shot in the dark..."if you happened to run across ABC, or PDQ event happened to occur, make sure you do XYZ." Ridiculous. Some just came right out and told you who/what you were going to encounter. Sounds great, except that your only got said "juicy" info if you were lucky enough to have the "right" faction player at the table. Certainly did not support the idea of consistent play from table to table.

Anyway, after a short time, I stopped giving them out, even stopped bothering to print them. If there is actually important information on the mission sheet/s that the players need, but is otherwise not available, I will provide it during the course of the scenario. Otherwise, its at least a waste of paper and ink, or at worst a distraction from the main goals of the scenario which is exactly the reason we moved away from that model in the first place.

Personally, I think factions have evolved to the point of not even being necessary. I haven't had a single player reference their faction's annual goals. In fact, I would wager that I can count on one hand the number of players with whom I've played in the past year who even know or could tell me what their faction's goal is/was. It is unfortunate since the faction aspect is one of the things I liked best about PFS. IMO, they are having little to no impact on PFS and we could save some developer time and effort, not to mention valuable print-space, if we eliminated them and just focused on the Society's primary goals.

...and I am saddened to say it

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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I fail to see why this is being hashed out in the forums. We see posts all the time where a player bashes a GM or a GM complains about a "broken" character or disruptive GM. I just don't understand why these issues have to be aired-out in the forums.

In nearly every case, the OP is describing the situation from their perspective, often with selective memory, or at least skewed perspective (their own) or is unaware of some aspects of the situation that caused the other party to do what they did.

When you post these types of complaints in the forums, you get the same two types of responses. (1) one that sides with the OP as if everything they say is 100% accurate and complete, and they blast the other party for their failure. (2) a passive response, where the comments are "what-ifs" that try to speculate why what happened is what happened.

Why does it seem soo many players/GMs are unable/unwilling to just talk, face-to-face, to the person in question, express their feelings, and get feedback that will proceed to a resolution, or at least an understanding?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Isn't it interesting how we as players espouse rules/RAW when it comes to things like the GM sticking to tactics, not making things up, or adhering to the take 10 (or whatever) rules, but when it comes to things like wearing a shirt to earn a re-roll (RAW), we conveniently ignore it. Seems like sometimes we only like adjudication when its in our favor. Just an observation.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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With a little tactical forethought, you can mitigate may of the penalties he incurs.

Firing into melee? Delay and have your companions step back from the enemy after they have attacked.

Friendly cover in the way? Again, coordinated movement. Also, he's a ranger which should mean tracking and usually leading the party's formation. Firing with everyone behind you can mitigate the issue and then the melee'ers can charge in.

Its really no different than the struggles that other characters face. Merisiel depends heavily on flanking. Casters have to avoid companions or suffer collateral AoE damage. Clerics have to selectively channel or be careful where they stand so as to not provoke when trying to apply touch healing. Everyone has their subtle challenges to overcome. Often times, the complaints stem from lazy gaming.

I really don't want to fan the flames of pregen hate again. All, I'm saying is that too often the pregens are too harshly judged because they cannot just smash everything in the face until it coughs up loot.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Intent is hard to prove. If the player has a history of poor play or being disruptive, then you might have to take action which could be as much as banning them from your table if its serious enough.

But, before you get too ban-happy, look at some of the reasons why someone would read a scenario before playing it.

Replay. They've played it before and for whatever reason are playing it again. Clearly they will have meta-knowledge. The trick is being cooperative without revealing information or taking actions your character wouldn't possibly be able to do without said knowledge.

GM. There are lots of occurrences where someone GMs a scenario before playing it. Its not cheating. Its just the nature of our hobby. Again, they need separate player vs. character knowledge

Perhaps they are just excited about new content and wanna read all the juicy background material that the author provided. I was this way for the first few years of PFS. The moment a new scenario dropped, I downloaded it and read it cover to cover. Course, I have been mostly a GM for most of my time with PFS so chances are I would GM it before playing it anyway. These days, I just wait so I can at least have a chance of playing something "legit" before I GM it. If not, oh well.

As others have said, reading beforehand is not the best case scenario, but its something we have to accept. The issue is more what the player does with said knowledge. The "don't be a jerk" rule applies. Just don't assume that just because a player read the scenario before playing it that their intentions are to cheat

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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I cannot really blame you for your issues with Murder on the Throaty Mermaid. It was an enthusiastic attempt at something different than the typical "go here, kill stuff, loot, rise, repeat." It is very challenging to write a murder mystery to begin with, not to mention one that has to be Pathfinder compatible as well as playable in only four hours by the varying skill-sets of PFS players.

However, with respect to Bonekeep, there is no question that the intent was to kill moreso than challenge, even to the point of "cheating" by creating new monsters that could do things not normally seen. You really had to be prepared and think outside the box to be effective and even then, it might not be enough. IMO, anyone who survived should have considered themselves lucky and anyone who died should not have been surprised. All that being said, I can sympathize as I felt some of the monsters felt like they were "cheating" the system to gain an unfair advantage. Personally, I don't mind dying as long as my enemy is playing by the same rules that I am. In a couple of instance in the Bonekeep series, I didn't feel like they were. Nonetheless, I did have a good time.

Finally...

Legacy of the Stonelords:
I'm afraid I cannot sympathize with this one. We/You were warned that there was an imminent time issue. In fact it sounds like there were multiple warnings. By your own admission, you were aware of it, yet chose to ignore it. Now, while don't dispute your assertion that there should have been a save allowed, would it really have made a difference? If the DC was soo high that only a 'nat 20' would have sufficed, let's be honest, the result would have been the same. The only difference in the complain would have been that the DC was unfair rather than not allowed at all.
We hear waay too often that if players just ran away, they wouldn't have died/tpk'd. Whether that death be as a result of boxed text, an over-whelming enemy, or something as simple as not having AoE vs. a swarm, doesn't really matter in the end. We, as players, need to learn that sometimes, the "right" choice is to run away. That is even more evident when the scenario/GM is both warning us, and perhaps even encouraging us to run away.

I respect your opinions and applaud your efforts to review scenario. I hope that what you and others have said will help to improve future adventures. I just have to disagree with some of the conclusions.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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David Bowles wrote:
Yeah, and if the pet dies, the free replacement pet gets all the goodies from the first one. It's a fire-and-forget meatbag. If Paizo intended something else, they would have attached real penalties to animal companions dying.

...or maybe you could, oh, I don't know, actually take an interest in the theme of the character instead of just treating it like numbers on a page. This is supposed to be a ROLE-playing game. If you think animal companions are intended to be disposable just because the designers didn't attach real penalties to losing one, you just don't "get it."

Sorry for the passive/aggressive, but IMO my response is nothing more than equal to this ridiculous commentary. YMMV

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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CigarSmoker wrote:
I think you're going to lose loads of players. If you require every player at your table to own every book they use then you're probably going to lose 50-70% of the people playing society at your store.

Since PFS has been the largest, fastest growing organized play campaign for the past 5+ years, and has ALWAYS had the expectation that players own the books their character draw material from, I seriously doubt your estimate of 50-70% is anywhere near accurate.

CigarSmoker wrote:
People don't have the disposable income. Hell I know of a number of people selling their blood just to eat every week.

I sympathize, and no offense intended, but maybe PFS is not the best choice of game for them, nor would be Warhammer 40K, or Magic the Gathering. Some games just have a higher level of monetary commitment.

CigarSmoker wrote:
Maybe you should run some of the games as non-society *GASP* and let people play whatever they want.

Maybe he's not interested in running non-society games. Maybe those players who cannot afford to buy all the books should stick to using material from the books they already own. There are plenty of players that do this and have no complaints. Or maybe those players should organize their own non-society game. I'm sure there are other players who would be happy to join them. There are plenty of RPG players who don't like some of the restrictions of organized play or wish they could use non-society approved material. This would be an opportunity to meet the needs of all the above. I'm sorry, but the rules for PFS require players to own their materials. If you want to play in the campaign, you have to follow the rules.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Quote:
If you think the negative reaction is to the idea of 'don't play other people's characters for them' you are missing the point.

And if you think my comments in some way indicate you cannot talk at the table, then you are also missing the point. This is yet another example of people taking what is said and immediately jumping to the worse conclusions and assuming the absolute extremes. My point is that I constantly see players (usually rules lawyers) criticize other player's character build decisions what they "should" have done with their feats, equipment purchases, etc. And too many munchkins over-bearingly telling others what to do with their characters so they can min/max every single possible variable in the game. I'm generally not against power-gaming (or whatever you want to call it), but that's YOUR style of play. Not everyone derives pleasure from squeezing every last advantage, some just like to play for the fun of playing. There is cooperation and then there is dominating other players.

The point is, if a player is struggling with the game, then sure, give them advice. But if they are not interested in your comments, then leave them alone. Or if the player is obviously experienced with the game, they don't really need someone instructing their every action. Sometimes, people make less than optimized choices. That's not a bad thing. The idea that characters would never make a mistake (my character would know better) because their stat blocks are better than the player's real life one is ludicrous, but that is often the attitude I see. Just an observation.

This is also another great example of why sooo many people just don't want to participate in our forums, especially the Venture-Officers. I know its not all the time (fallacy), but it just seems like most of our opinion-posts are greeted with vitriol. And gawd forbid we list an example (good or bad) to try and illustrate our comment and it is picked apart. Its also a contributing reason why rarely will Mike/John give us details as to why a decision was made. Because no matter what you say, or how logically the decision was arrived at, the loudest voices will always nit-pick and slam them for it.

*sits back and awaits the next round of flaming

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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The most obnoxious thing, though not PFS specific, is when players tell others how to play their character, and/or tell them, mid-turn, not to take certain actions because it will interfere with what they have planned for their next (and subsequent) turns.
"Don't move there, you're blocking my charge lane."
"You might not want to move there. I'm going to cast fireball next turn."
"No, don't use that weapon, the other one is statistically more effective."
"You should delay, because I'm going to do X on my turn"

LET PEOPLE PLAY THEIR OWN CHARACTER FOR PETE'S SAKE!

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

2 people marked this as a favorite.
nosig wrote:
Take 10?
Kyle Baird wrote:
Correction, Take 10 shirts
nosig wrote:

LOL!

I've started giving them away now.

I ordered 10 (wink-wink) in different sizes and colors - and have given 5 away so far... so if you see someone in one, it might not be me! LOL!

(I think I'll have to take another 10 - so I'll have more to give away as gifts!)

Yeah, cause intentionally wearing a shirt that essentially says, "You're an idiot, I know the rules better than you" is not obnoxious at all *sigh*

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Finally going to to con I'm not organizing, or GMing, just relaxing and playing like a real vacation. It will be glorious! :-D

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Congratulations! It's about time ;-)

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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One thing that concerns me is the number of people saying their were no instructions for the GMs or for players.

Jon Cary, Todd Morgan, and I worked on documents with general instructions for both the GMs and the HQ volunteers that were sent out by email prior to the convention. It was clear to me a number of GMs did not read, or at best skimmed, the document. Did we miss something in the details? Did anyone get anything out of the material? Should we bother to do that next year?

Also, there was a board in front of every pair of doors with instructions on how to muster. Even still, there seems to be a lot of people who claim to have had no idea what to do. My guess is they either couldn't see the boards due to the crowds or just didn't pay attention to them. So, what do we need to do to improve that? Remember that bigger boards, banners in the hallway, or mounting them higher or up on the wall is not an option due to ICC restrictions.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Which usually involve some pretty expensive travel and hotel stays that not everyone can swing.

...unless you GM an online game for a qualifying event. Just sayin'

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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The HQ leads (myself, along with Jon Cary and Todd Morgan) very much appreciate your feedback. It is invaluable for knowing what went right and what needs to be improved. I am currently working on a summary report of things that were well-received, or not, to present to Mike Brock. Between word-of-mouth, the post-convention volunteer feedback session, and this thread, we have received a ton of great ideas to consider for next year. Please keep this thread going!

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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My highlight is always the people. It was great to meet new friends and re-acquaint with old ones. The staffers at PFS HQ were fantastic and the GM's were outstanding. The level of enthusiasm, even on Sunday was inspiring. The list is very long so I'll just thank everyone who made this my best GenCon to date. Next year's show has some large shoes to fill.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Lucas, this is an awesome accessory and I loved seeing the ones colored by the kids at GenCon on display. You sir are the society's Master of Kidz Trak

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Acedio wrote:
CDG is definitely a no-no unless it's specifically called out in the tactics

I do not recall this being a hard rule. It is certainly accepted, and logic dictates, that it should rarely occur, but it is a legal, and occasionally, valid tactic. Most would agree that targeting an unconscious or incapacitated target while there are still viable ones trying to kill you is generally illogical, if not vindictive.

In many cases, the printed tactics either don't apply or they cease to be viable based on player's actions. Tactics are a dynamic part of the game and a GM is empowered to examine the current state of affairs in the game and determine if and when a deviation from the tactics is warranted.
There are a few creatures who's use of CDG would certainly make sense. Shadows and wraiths create spawn almost immediately when they slay a target. Being intelligent, they would take advantage of this ability if the situation presents itself.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Chris O'Reilly wrote:
What I see people forget the most is that creatures with evil intent detect as evil potentially leading to a lot of ineffective smites

If a creature has evil intent that is strong enough to ping from detect evil, IMO it would be a jerk move to not allow smite to work against them. Either you're evil or you're not. You don't get to walk like evil, talk like evil, smell like evil, taste like evil, but not be vulnerable to affects that specifically target evil.

Grand Lodge

20 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Tales Subscriber

Okay, I want a post that can be FAQ'd and puts these questions in one place. I encourage everyone to tag this FAQ.

So with respect to swarms...

(1) What type of damage is a swarm attack?
Is it untyped? Natural(bite/sting/other)? Area of Effect? Other?

(2) Would two swarms (fine/diminutive) be able to damage each other?
If the damage they do is considered a form of natural/weapon attack, that would seem to mean that their normal immunity would kick in and they would be unable to harm each other.

(3) If two swarms wish to attack the same medium (or smaller) sized target, can they? Essentially entering the same space (square)?

(4) Assuming the answer to #3 is yes, do the two swarms continue to function as two separate creatures each with their own attack, resolved normally?
Or do they become one larger swarm? If the latter, how does their stat block change?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Personally, I just think that some tweaking should be done by the designers to "fix" a few of the glaring issues with a few of the classes, but that would require a not-insignificant amount of time investment with little return as it would not lead to increased book sales, just FAQ/errata.

In my experience, the most "hated" classes are alchemists, gunslingers, summoners, and witches. All have what abilities that break fundamental game rules and therefore lend them to OP builds. Originally, the designers developed rules that seemed necessary to maintain the balance of the system, only to later develop classes that specifically broke those rules. That makes it extremely difficult to produce ancillary content that is "fair" for core classes, without being manipulated by "advanced" classes.

Other classes like paladin receive some hate, but that is more due to the way players interpret/implement the alignment rules and less to do with the class rules.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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...and if everyone agreed to what "lengthy" is, we'd be better off, but that argument could go on forever :-P

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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IMO, the biggest challenge is the player/GMs attitude. Too many players want to argue the minutia of the rules, often taking a lot of table time to do so, and then throw a tantrum or act like a jerk for the remainder of the session if the rule does not go their way. OTOH, I have seen plenty of GMs that immediately jump to a defensive position whenever a player questions their ruling, often dialing-up their attempts to kill the PC to punish the player.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Mark Stratton wrote:
that person should not remain a VC.

I will go further and say that IF* the comments are accurate and represent the actions both the player and the VC intend to do, then both of them should be banned from organized play. I have neither the time nor the patience to deal with people who both know the rules and blatantly intend to cheat.

*in reality, I believe that the player is grandstanding or just having a tantrum because the campaign intends to limit their favorite race option. I also think that the reference to the VC is either, made up, or a gross misrepresentation of what the VC knows and intend to do about it

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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There are thousands of aasimar and tieflings out there already, why do you care if there are a few more? How does it affect you? Its not like a player suddenly banking a dozen aasimars is gonna make your character or play experience any different than it was last month.

Do I personally think a player should bank a stack of a/t? No, but that kinda feels like accusations of badwrongfun and we need to stop short of that. At this point, there is no harm, no foul. Just let people play as they see fit.

Explore! Report! Cooperate!

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Reynard de' Bonaire wrote:
May as well start this now...:)

UGH! I need to floss my brain

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Well if they are late upwards of an hour and you are scheduled to be the GM, I would just leave. The GM puts WAAAY to much effort into preparing a game to be disrespected like that. Maybe showing up a few times only to find the game is cancelled because of them will have an impact.

In the meantime, I would discuss this issue with the organizer and or primary GMs. Behavior like this should not be tolerated. Additionally, discussions should be had with the players concerned. If they do not correct their behavior, the organizer should take action up to and including banning them from play until they can adhere to the "don't be a jerk" rule.

If the organizer fails to take action or is in fact one of the culprits, you should consult your regional coordinator (Venture-Officer) for assistance.

If none of that helps to your satisfaction, you might have to seek out another group to game with.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

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Pirate Rob wrote:
If you've got some extra time, do you have any other examples...

Only in so far as it not being resolved at the table by the GM and the players. In an ideal world, the players and the GM would discuss whatever issue they are having and come to a solution. Sometimes that would just be the GM saying, "that's the way it is. move on."

But, in the real world, not everyone can compromise. In just about every walk of life, there is a hierarchy of leadership which you can escalate appeals. Both players and GMs deserve somewhere to go for arbitration. Brock cannot possibly directly oversee 40,000+ members, so he appointed Venture-Officers to be his buffer. Organize games, answer questions, direct new players, expand into new play-spaces, and yes, arbitrate disputes in your region.

I'm not a search-fu guy, but I know that Brock has said in the past for issues, like PC deaths, to be escalated the Venture-Corps. It may not be specifically called out in the Guide, but IMO, it shouldn't have to be.

And in the end, if you don't like what the VO decides, you can still appeal it to Brock.

Sometimes, I just think we get too bent out of shape over the exactness of the text on the page. Some things should be intuitive. If people would just remember that this is a game and we're all just here to have fun, we wouldn't have nearly the complaints we see.

Explore! Report! Cooperate!

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