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Warrant's page

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 68 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 1 alias.


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Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah! Bummer! I moved to the UK in March and didn't think they were still having PaizoCon in the UK. Is there PaizoCon going on next year? I think it would be useful to look into holding it at the HIC in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. There is a big convention center and hotel in that city and would probably make for a good convention.

I hope everyone had fun this year! Looking forward to next year. It was nice living near Seattle the past 8 years, and it's nice to see Paizo come to the UK for events as well.

Cheers!

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I attended PaizoCon 2013 and it was my second time attending! I have to say that it was fun seeing all of the Paizo fans and the staff again and we had some fun times that were memorable.

Since this is a feedback thread, I would like to offer a couple of sustains for the next year (although likely I won't attend) and a couple of improves to make next year better.

Sustain:

1. The invitation of the Herolab stations for character creation. This is an awesome function of a big Pathfinder supporting company and it really helps people keep track of their PFS characters. If anything I would suggest perhaps a 4th workstation to speed through queues when the events are over. I also liked the showcase of the Realmworks and the showcase of the GoblinWorks Pre-Alpha to give a visual on how that game is going to progress. The delve was also a really fun thing to do in-between games, and really challenging. For the delve, I would allow the round that the players are on to cycle through the initiative at the timer rather than cutting it short mid-round. Other than that, tons of fun!

2. Bill Webb. He ran the best two nights of gaming in my opinion and I think that his games made this Con the best out of the two I've attended. We just had a lot of fun, and it is nice to see Paizo support another system that goes a little more "old school" which is fun sometimes. Overall, having staff from all over the industry was a big bonus, and the convention is small enough it makes approaching them very easy to do. You have some great Venture Captains and Lieutenants and I give some props to the Sunday Morning VL who got everyone into a game even though many of the tables were full and some GM's were having to take 7 people. My Hat is off to you Tier 1 Sunday Morning VL!

3. The Paizo Store. There was a lot of stuff on display which made it handy and there was a good selection of flip mats which I needed to purchase for a session of "Reign of Winter" I was running as a pick up game. I would definitely support an expansion of the store with even more Paizo and 3rd party projects on hand. It was nice that there was cash this year as well, I seem to remember it being all cards last year which was a little inconvenient. Keep in mind that some of the newer stuff may sell better than say the APG, so it's good to have double the space, or a center display dedicated to some of the new stuff. Perhaps put the Reign of Winter AP, the Ultimate Campaign, and the Shattered Star Minis on a display headlining the store. I liked it and am glad that the store was on display again this year. I did want to pick up "Dungeon Crawl Classics" and was somewhat sad it wasn't on display that I could see this year. The Pint Glasses rocked. My wife has about as much interest in my Role Playing hobby as I do in her slippers knitting, but even she liked the glasses!

Improve:

1. Location. I can't stress this enough, but Seatac Airport and environs is really the arm-pit of Western Washington. I would rather go to Graham or Enumclaw for a Con than the Seatac Airport. Sure it's close to the hotel for ingress and egress, but everything else about that location is sub par. When a google search highlights "Airport Parking" as the top 15 businesses within a mile of the hotel, you know you have a problem. The hotel itself has miniscule rooms, too few double rooms, and the convention facilities are sub-par. Emerald Queen Casino would be a better venue in my opinion. Or go back to Redmond or Bellevue; at least they have SOME stuff to do surrounding the hotel other than park your car. That's enough of a venue rant, but really, we want to bring people to Seattle and show them SeaTac?!

2. Convention Rooms - Too loud. End of story. Either use more rooms for gaming and parse out the seminars to smaller venues, or find someplace to offer better convention spaces. No one could hear anything and all of the GM's voices were gone by Sunday session. We need to drastically reduce the amount of tables-per-room and spread them out a little to make it more manageable. Valley-Con in Fargo North Dakota had the best layout at the Holiday Inn IMO, where the noise was a low din, rather than a constant roar, They are about PaizoCon size; I would investigate that a little for a small to mid-size Con. 4 banquet rooms instead of 1 would make all of the difference. I wasn't too put off by the banquet time, it didn't bother me at all that we had to end a little early.

3. Overall Execution - It seemed to me, that last year's Con just ran smoother. I think I had more fun at this con, but the organization from the Musters, to the venue changes, to the banquet planning, to the room block reservations were not as slick as last year. This year felt much more like chaotic organization as compared to last years managed organized chaos. Again that might be attributed to the layout of the venue, but it just wasn't as well executed IMO. Others have mentioned getting kicked from ticketed events, multiple venue changes for the card game, seminars etc., Muster-(expletive deleted), and events that were GM no-show/cancelled. I would really rearrange some things next year to make the flow and execution smoother.

All in all I had a fun time at the Con, although part of me is relieved that I won't have to attend at the Seattle Airport Marriott next year. Thinking about going there again gives me some anxiety, so I hope that 2015 I can make it back to the States and to Seattle at a new location.
Thanks again Paizo for another great time, and keep churning out that awesome stuff!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We had fun in the 2 night Swords and Wizardry game with him as well! 17 people played and it was a blast!

17 person party, it was like a class field trip where everything is trying to kill you.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I tend to spend more when using my AMEX card as well. I would prefer it if Paizo started accepting it. After all, Paizo is becoming a major online retailer. It is time to catch up to the modern world of online retail.

You know what other business only accepts Visa/MasterCard?

Online inkjet cartridge refill companies.

Paizo is in a different league than that. Besides, with the AP increase, I think it's time to go AmEx.

No one uses Discover.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am looking to move to the UK in about 9 months and wanted to feel out the waters to see if there are gamers in Cornwall near Bude who would be interested in playing some Pathfinder/D&D?

I am looking to run Shattered Star with my first group of UK gamers when I get over to the Island, and I thought I would start getting some names under my belt now to tap when I get over there. (Assuming everything goes as planned....)

I am planning on running Shattered Star with some class caveats, and I am also looking to run a 2nd edition Dark Sun campaign that I've run for 3 different gaming groups over the last 18 years.

If you are in Cornwall and have access to Bude, let me know so I can start to get some plans and some questions answered.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I hope the gaming spaces have a little less of a "din" than last year. It got hard to hear in games sometimes due to the acoustics in the rooms where gaming was happening.

Oh. Anyone up for an all-nighter again? Some of you guys were in an all nighter with myself and Robert in the conference room last year. That was a fun game.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
RoninUsagi wrote:

Elapsed In-Game Time: Approximately 3 years.

Elapsed Real Time: Approximately 6 Months.

Caffeinated beverages: Unknown.

Beers: A lot.

Cigarettes: Cartons.

Paper: 2 reams

Ink: 3 Black cartridges, 2 Color

Fun Factor: Past Eleven.

Wow! You have been doing some serious gaming. We play about once a week and we started last year the day after PaizoCon. We are looking to Finish the Week before PaizoCon 2013.

We have had a lot of fun. I think that Module 5 is my favorite so far. I am running it with:

Barbarian Half Orc
Elven Wizard
Human Cleric/Monk
Human Rogue
Human/Locathah Alchemist/Ranger/Demoniac
Half Elf Assassin/Sorcerer
Human Fighter/Gunslinger
Halfling Fighter Crossbow master

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love that picture in Ultimate Combat of the Gunslinger taking out the undead minions in a pseudo-Western type of setting.

I would be interested in an adventure path where some of the more obscure classes like the alchemist, gunslinger, and oracle would have a fun time shining.

I liked the Gunslinger series of books from Stephen King, and could see some concepts adapted from there for an Adventure Path. Obviously not the same plot or bad guy or setting, but general sense of "other places" similar to how Reign of Winter is doing things.

I think this could be pipe-lined a few AP's into the future to allow the return to some traditional fantasy trope type of AP's but the next time the devs are looking for something interesting to do, focus on some of the cool classes in their own settings.

There is a lot of potential there IMO. You could even visit another planet in Golarion's system if the idea of extra-planar travel isn't suitable. I prefer planar travel....like a layer of the abyss outfitted with undead and Quippoth.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am not a fan of the enlarge spell as written because the first thing the half orc barbarian tries to do is to get the wizard to enlarge him and cast "permanency" on him.

It has started to get a little cheesy. I would rather have it be less ubiquitous and less able to be permanenced.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think this conversation about a "new Pathfinder" would be more relevant in the year 2019, rather than the year 2013.

Pathfinder still has a LOT of juice left,and I would liken a PF 2.0 to AD&D's 2e to 1e.

Let's not put the cart before the horse however. Do you realize that PF only really has ONE big supported campaign setting? How about a fully fleshed out alternate campaign setting before we start getting all crazy with a new edition.

I am with the OP on this thread.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
buddahcjcc wrote:
Ive seen some hideously broken Gunslingers for instance (I was a mage casting a 6D6 fireball, the Gunslinger was using alchemic rounds or something and douing about twice my max damage - per shot), Magus who somehow got more HP than the Barbarian in the party at the time -.-

Yeah, guns are extremely unbalanced. How good or weak they are depends on "tech level" and wealth far far more than any other combat style or weapon, and the random misfire chances are completely arbitrary and aren't felt if they never happen.

Being able to full attack touch attack and deadly aim it is just insane.

Is it just me, or can a Gunslinger actually get a full attack with a gun? I mean I don't see any way to speed up loading a musket quicker than a move action.

I could see how the Gatling rifle could be powerful if there aren't reload costs associated with it.

....But then again, imagine bringing a gun to a swordfight.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Demoniac sort of classifies as a warlock does it not? I cannot believe WotC has the IP lockdown on a warlock or psion since those are generic classes....not like a mind flayer or anything.

I am glad that CoDZilla isn't really that much of an issue in PFRPG, it seems like its had the desired effect of stratification of classes, rather than splitting classes into good/worse categories.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

DMM? Sorry, I missed all of 3.x

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay. Thanks for the acronym update. In my experience it seems as if the alchemist has the proclivity to be one of the most powerful in the game. I didn't think there was a huge disparity in power between PF classes like others make it out to be. I like PF and subscribed because I like the sense of community. I like the devs. I like the materials, I like the classes.

I think perhaps CoDZilla is perhaps an overstatement for PF?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

MADer? I don't follow. In my campaign the most powerful character has been a barbarian. The cleric is ho-hum but is multiclassed as a monk, so perhaps that's why.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have been playing PFRPG since 2010. I started back in 4e before that after having a hiatus off of RPGs since 2e. I never played 3.x and PF is my first foray into that style of play. While engaging on other forums, there has been talk about PF having this overpowered Druid and cleric that were I guess overpowered? In 3e? I haven't seen evidence of this since I've been playing and I've been to Paizo Con and played with a variety of groups. Is this something Paizo fixed? Was it ever really a thing? Does it still exist and is it easy to do and fairly common?

Thanks!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I may run way of the wicked as well! What a great production AP. it is such an interesting premise and I think it would be a blast!

Although I was thinking of running shattered star with a 15 point buy and fast advancement track.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just got off the phone with Airport Marriott reservations and they told me the $109 room block is sold out and there is a new room block for $149/night.

I went ahead and reserved the room, but the PaizoCon banner information should change to update the new block with the new rate.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To be honest, I wasn't thrilled with the Claim Jumper place we went last year. The food was fine, but the atmosphere wasn't conducive to getting together in a big group.

We need a place that has a special banquet room, or banquet tables that can seat a bunch of people together in one place so they can socialize. Last year some of us wore green shirts to delineate who was a Con member since we were just randomly dispersed throughout the bar area.

If we can get a place that has a back party room or something like that, I would love it. Now, around the SeaTac Marriott? I'm not sure. Korean Restaurants usually have big group seating, but they get busy pretty quick with the large Korean population.

To be honest, the location of the last PaizoCon in Redmond was better for extracurriculars, but this venue should hopefully be nicer with less of a roaring din in the game rooms making it hard to hear at the tables.

There is a Sharp's Roaster not too far from there that might work, but I cannot recall if it has a banquet room.
13 Coins is legit, but expensive and more intimate, not such a big group-type place
If you head north and cross over 518 there are some more places. There is a pretty good Indian restaurant as I recall and we could probably get them to put the tables in the middle together into a group.

The area is such a pseudo-industrial zone, you would almost have to head to Federal Way, or north to Seattle to get into some more restaurant digs. I guess the question is:

How far does anyone want to drive? 10 minutes?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Some very good advice. I think I'll talk to the player and basically tell him:

"Yes, you can technically force the demon to profane gift you, but I'm going to role-play that succubus as CE and she will suggest things to you constantly until she is bored and decides to drop the profane gift, thereby dropping your CHA"

Since he is a demoniac with high knowledge:Planes, shall I inform him that he would have absolutely zero power over the succubus unless he can learn her true name, and possibly would never be able to summon the profane gift-er again?

I mean I can empathize with the player that got this new ability and thinks "hey, I can totally do something new and cool!" but at the same time I don't want to just screw him over with a permanent CHA drain.

Perhaps I could meet somewhere in the middle. Allow him to gain the boon once or twice for a temporary time, while dropping the CHA for a temporary time.

My end goal is so the player can have fun, but I don't want him to turn into a succubus profane-gift generating font.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a player that is playing a Demoniac prestige class and he has reached the level where he can begin to summon various types of demons to the prime material plane.

He desires to summon a succubus and have her bestow him with a +2 to constitution using the "profane gift" ability.

Would this be a proper usage of the power to summon and what would be the implications of summoning a succubus to the PMP for a few rounds, receive the profane gift, and then send her back to the abyss.

Is this a tactic that should work without any hitches to bestow a profane gift to each member of the party? Is the succubus automatically compelled to bestow this gift on the summoners whims? What if a different demoniac summons the succubus in a different location and requires the same? Is there a % to roll to see the odds of that happening daily?

I can see the profane gift ability being flavorful when using the succubus as an NPC or as a monster that is designed to ingratiate a potential victim into serving the succubus, but as a method for increasing ability scores I don't see that as a particularly viable way to go about it.

What are your thoughts?

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, I'd rather have 2 more pages of ad space and some extra detailed maps of locales in the AP setting. I really like world building and maps go a long ways towards fleshing out the story and the Adventure path.

I wouldn't mind sacrificing the fiction which I don't read, and don't find meaningfully interesting and replacing it with good ads and good gazetteer material with maps!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:

And while we're soliciting ideas, let's take it the other direction as well:

What if one of the illustrations was replaced with a map of the location featured in the story? What if there were character stat blocks, the way we did for Eando Kline in Pathfinder #18?

I love those ideas.

Map? Yes yes yes yes yes!

More stats? Not a bad idea.

Both? GREAT idea!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd rather have more detailed maps of the locales (the Shackles Isles for example) than some added on fiction. The fiction just wastes space that useful maps can take up. Aggregate the fiction for the AP and put it in the players guide PDF for download. Make more detailed maps for the AP in that space.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I may be moving to the UK from the Seattle area. It will be nice to go from PaizoCon in the Pacific Northwest to PaizoCon in the UK. I am pretty excited!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sebas310 wrote:

Hey guys, I made a tracker sheet for our group and I thought you guys might also find it useful.

Linky

If I've made any errors on it, please let me know. Next up will be an additional sheet that tracks per port infamy and favored port stuff.

Hey this is great, thanks!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


Which makes me wonder if we can push things a bit more along the assumption that folks aren't afraid to look back and forth between volumes of an AP rather than err on the safe side and spend extra page count duplicating content when it comes to reccuring NPCs and villains.

I think perhaps instead of encouraging jumping back and forth between AP's, the writers get together with the project manager during the AP and a simple online guide- similar to the player's guide is put out. Inside would be the listing of all of the NPC's, relevant mechanical constructs (I despised having to dig back to Skull and Shackles AP #1 to find the infamy/disrepute tables...considering this construct follows the entire adventure path), and a plot map, charting the course through the AP.

This would be a GM resource and digital format only. I think channeling some time and effort into a GM's guide for the AP might be more feasible than relying on a single writer AP, committee AP, or relying on the project manager to try and herd cats by getting 6 different authors on the same page continuity-wise.

Just have as a deliverable by the author when he/she turns in the project
a) NPC codex
b)continuity plot map (the PM ties these all together)
c)new mechanical constructs section

Once that is done, the PM reviews, ties up the loose ends, and aggregates it together into a GM's AP guide.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I liked it. Kind of entertaining. Some over the top, but overall entertaining. Better than Tom Hanks in a gamer movie.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
StrangePackage wrote:

The Crew of the Woman's Lie:

Ti the Brown Level 9 Human Pirate Rogue- is a skilled swashbuckler and storyteller, equally quick with a quip or a blade. His daring tactics and rugged good looks (accentuated by a rakish scar that destroyed one eyeball) have won him the interest of many of the finer women (and some men) in the Shackles.

Ti the Brown.....best name ever. Give your player props.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Please resolve. I want the web page to load before I start collecting Social Security.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"Captain Darius"Ironically, caught in a soul gem and is only able to manifest himself forth for 3 rounds each day. The captaincy of the "Hellborne Fury" has passed ceremoniously to Romska. Darius is an elven Wizard

"Romska" The female current captain of the Hellborne Fury, she is married to the lady Smythee and has a demon arm to replace the arm that was lost in the abyss. She also got hit in the head with a magical trident and her head is now made of coral. Romska is a human rogue and having moved to Alaska, Romska's captaincy may pass to Roltair, the first mate.

"Roltair" A freebooter ranger, who became an alchemist and is now a demoniac of Haagenti. He is level 10 and also the first mate of the ship. Grafted Romska's demon arm to her when the ship visited the Abyss. Has a giant Locathah eyeball to replace his left eye...long story.

"Sandor" The monk/cleric with a peg leg. The pirate was rescued by the crew in the abyss after he mysteriously wound up there after the ship he was pressganged on was defeated in battle. His former captain is Whalebone Pilk, but he has little recollection of the time spent on Whalebone's crew. He is the ship's physician to replace Sandra after she died in the abyss and was resurrected as a demon slave to man "demonwing" the crew's alternate ship.

"Antubis" The quartermaster of the Fury, Antubis is a new addition to the crew and eager to take the quartermaster duties from Poop-Deck Pete.

"The Wall - Ren Kyr" Half orc, barbarian, wears a spiked chain wrapped around his face with the ends dripping blood from a curse. The Boatswain of the Hellborne Fury, he intimidates the crew into behaving. Beats people and monsters with aplomb. Alternate lover of Tessa Fairwind when Sanctus cannot meet her needs.

"Sanctus" The halfling inner-sea pirate. He is the ship's lookout and is a master with a heavy crossbow. He'll put a bolt through your eye at 300 yards in a mean squall. He's evil and also the plaything of Tessa Fairwind when he's up to the challenge. Unfortunately his lackluster constitution means that occasionally she will boot him out and call for "The Wall".

"Poop-deck Pete" Occasional member of the crew. He has been fired from many positions on board the ship. He currently is the ship's cook when he shows up to play. He is a fighter/cleric and like besmara, his patron, he randomly conducts his duties and is aloof at all times. hell of a fighter though.

"Shadow" The enigmatic tiefling blackblade magus and eldritch knight. He was somehow summoned by the trapped wizard Darius and now bears the soul-stone that has Darius inside of it. Shadow is bearing the stone to eventually find a way to let his master Darius out. An expert sailor, Shadow is the helmsman of the Hellborne Fury.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Komoda wrote:


But that level of difficulty of the professionals getting it correct, also gives credence to the GM's difficulty of understanding the big picture.

Wow! This is a really key point you hit on here Komoda. This distills the issue down to a succinct and clarified statement to really put the issue into perspective. When the creators and visionaries behind the adventures would be hard pressed to make an accurate, and timely synopsis picture of their OWN AP, you can see how the outside GM who is the consumer of the content has to synthesize this plot together him or herself, an undertaking that DOES take a lot of time and effort.

I think in the end, if the plots inside the AP's follow branches more organically and clearly, it may make the issue less important in GM's minds.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's easy...Haagenti is the obvious choice. My skull and shackles campaign has a demoniac of Haagenti as one of the crew, he started as a freebooter ranger. Then made a pact with Haagenti to become an alchemist and was eventually rewarded as a demoniac,

Haagenti is legit.....

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think James Jacob's response is enlightening in the logistical issues such a plot-map would entail. I am happy however that the issue has been discussed and folks in the company see that it is an issue for some of the time-strapped GM's. Confusion is the enemy of efficient understanding.

At the end of the day if AP designers design the adventures with a focus on clarity I would consider that a step in the right direction. I think added focus on the adventure summary at the beginning of the adventure would go a long way to clarify and point GM's in the right direction. I think site-based AP's have much less need of the type of clarity I speak of than wide-arching plots crossing multiple locales like the Skull and Shackles AP.

I am not sure how the AP's are pitched to the Paizo staff, but if someone like Matt Goodall comes to the company with a plot flow-chart as complex as Tempest Rising, maybe in those AP's there can be a little more focus in tying the disparate parts of the AP together in a concise manner. An Adventure like Tempest Rising is really rich and has a lot of depth and intrigue, it just takes a lot of time to peel away all of the plot-skins of that onion. AP's like the Shattered Star AP #5 don't require such detail as the AP is fairly straightforward, and more of a linear dungeon-type adventure.

I think I've beaten this horse to death and I am glad that the designers are interested in improvements to the AP, even when they are not always logistically feasible. If I had the free time I would community-create plot maps people needed, but alas, my free time is limited to occasional posts to the Message-boards and my weekly Pathfinder Game.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TerraNova wrote:


Personally, I think you look at this a bit differently than me or (i suspect) most other GMs. You would probably prefer a format that is "all adventure", with numbered sections after a very mechanics-focused short overview. Probably more a screenplay than what you are currently getting. 1-Page abstract, then scenes in chronological or production order.

For me, the AP is the core Golarion experience. That means, fiction(!), support articles and creatures. I'd rather give up the bestiary than lose the fiction.

Also, this is Pathfinder, a RPG in the D&D tradition. These games have never been "prep light". It is understood that you need to do some work yourself. Have trouble remembering spell effects - scan the adventure which spells you need, prepare index cards. Have story-oriented players? Ham up the stakes and social scenes.

The paragraph you posted sets the stage for the adventure. It doesn't put first things first, true - but it provides perspective.

And, no offense, it is not that complicated. I am not a native speaker, and I had no trouble with it, even at a casual glance.

Unfortunately, some people are more time constrained (me for instance, I work full time and attend school full time), or are more graphically/visually oriented. It is easier to visualize the AP progression with a map, just as looking at an actual map is easier to visualize spatial data rather than reading it in narrative form. The adventure is a spatial event, in the fact that the PC's have to go from point A to B to C, sometimes in various order. As Hanez made clear in his posts, there is a lot of wasted space in the AP that only serves to confuse, rather than clarify the adventure.

Many of us AP subscribers want the AP FOR the adventure, the added fluff/fiction is not important to us. I would see a compromise where some prose in the adventure description is scrapped on redundancy grounds in favor of a visualization of the path the characters need to take through the adventure. The plot flow chart submitted by the author of Tempest rising is a good illustrator of the complexity of the plot threads in the AP. A good graphical designer could take that flowchart and turn it into a rich and fulfilling map of the AP's progression, allowing GM's either time strapped, or visually oriented to have an easier and richer time of it.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
Warrant wrote:

I like the players to be in the same frame of mind as their PC's should be, that is wondering what the heck this monster can do, and what power that monster just unleashed. Rather than the player just knowing that the monster used a great cleave attack or cast false life.

Unless you make all your monsters from scratch, that potential will still exist. After all if the players have played awhile or have the bestiaries, they will still roughly know what the monsters do.

Sure it eventually does, but any sense of wonder and mystery you can provide to your players keeps their interest and brings back that wonder from playing back in the beginning.

Since each monster has unique abilities with the intent of making the GM's job easier and smoother to run by offering streamlined mechanics, it is for the better.

PC mechanics can afford to be complex because each player can dedicate all of their time to mastering the feats skills weapons and etc. The GM has multitudes of monsters and NPCS that makes it impossible to master - having a shorthand different set of mechanics/powers streamlines play while still providing an immersive and challenging foe for the PCs to face with their complex abilities.

Eventually the players will learn the monster stuff, but it requires them to go out of their way to either get the bestiaries, or GM themselves, rather than memorizing all of the feats, skills. Spells etc, from Player materials.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The main change I would like to see in Pathfinder 2.0 is a complete reimagining of the monsters. I personally thought that monster rules in 4e was the one success of that system because it streamlined GMing and made it much easier.

I don't think that monsters need to "play by the same rules" necessarily same as the GM doesn't play by the same rules many times. Having monsters that are simplified without all the feats and PC conventions can streamline play, lessen lookup time, and reduce rules lawyering and the players being all knowing. I like the players to be in the same frame of mind as their PC's should be, that is wondering what the heck this monster can do, and what power that monster just unleashed. Rather than the player just knowing that the monster used a great cleave attack or cast false life.

There is something to be said for both benefits of a different path for monsters.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I put together a rudimentary plot map with some varied options for delineating how the various parts, events, and encounters fit together. I am not a graphic designer and hence do not make a map to the quality I would expect of the Paizo staff.

Someone with a good design aesthetic could put together a map of the plot full of juicy little details, pathways to other events in the AP, and places to meet Key NPC's

Here is my 5 minute Tempest Rising AP map example Tempest Flowchart

I think if you take a look at it, you can see where I am coming from and how such a map could be extremely useful for a GM. Heck the GM could even have the plot map laid out with a mini on the location of the PC's in the current AP.

A picture really IS worth 1000 words.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll post up an example from Tempest rising later. ( tempest rising is notoriously difficult to plot because the events jump all over the place, out of order and makes the GMs job twice as hard as it needs to be)

This example will hopefully illustrate how a simple AP flowchart or plot map can streamline GM prep time.

There is obviously an issue for many GMs or the complaint wouldn't be so prevalent across the AP forums.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The plot map or flow chart is a GRAPHICAL representation of the various events in the AP and how they are chained together.

They are not a rehash of the adventure summary nor are they meant to detail each encounter, rather they are a graphical description -like a real map of how the various events fit together in a linear fashion.

At most we would be looking at one spread in the AP, which could replace two pages of bloat/filler (the option quests in Shattered star eg.) and really would help tie the adventure together in a graphical fashion that the GM could follow and plot the PCs position.....like a map.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
hanez wrote:

I am mixed about this AP. I think it has a real good start, up until halfway about book 2, then I think it kind of tanks and never really recovers. THere are plenty of things in there that my players just wouldn't want to do. And I find a lot of it actually takes MORE prep for me as a DM then just writing an adventure from scratch by myself. I am starting to find this with a lot of Paizo APs unfortunately. Great plots, great depth, great stories, great art, but too little focus on the adventure, too little focus on how we will get pcs from one hook to another, too little focus on why they would want to do things. Not to mention the amount of submechanics and stories in the APs are a real distraction.

Theres just too many distractions, if I have a game session tomorrow, I want to pick up an adventure and say, "yep well do this sounds awesome, let me just add a couple things and change this... perfect". Instead I have to spend hours reading and not really gettin a sense of whats going to happen, learning soooo much about backgrounds and motives and history from 20 years ago that it's too tough to get to the adventure. I'm often left with a headache and a worry that I may have to cancel the gaming session. Like why am I reading about Ship to ship combat and infamy points? THis is an adventure path so I expect an adventure, not a rules expansion for a very minority of play groups who don't have enough rules to keep track of in their game.

Just my two cents, I really appreciated skull and shackles for starting off a campaign with a great idea and getting the pirate thing "started" though. I question why theres so many dungeons, I question a lot of encounters that just assume the players will want to do it "because", I question how many players will really want to be slaver/pirates, I question how the sheer amount of NPC's in some of these adventures is manageable by even the best DM.

I agree completely. I posted a thread on the Adventure Path General Discussion forum about the need for Paizo to include a detailed plot map for the GM to utilize to help steer the adventure, or at least be cognizant of how the pieces fit together without having to labor to fit the various threads together themselves.

If I had an easy flow chart or plot map with the threads outlined contact-chaining how they interact or intersect, I would be extremely happy and less burdened as a GM.

Cheliax

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have seen the theme repeated over and over in the individual Adventure Path forums -Adventure paths place too much on the shoulders of the DM, when they should be able to run them without much prep work.

After running some of the AP's myself and looking back at what took the most time to prepare, the obvious result is the lack of a roadmap through the AP for the GM.

Ideally, I would like to see each AP consist of a flow chart or plot map complete with event/encounter numbers (and corresponding page numbers) as well as the various branches the plot can take within the confines of the AP.

This would go a LONG way in easing the burden on the GM, and would give the GM a 10,000 ft. view of the overarching plot direction of the AP.

Please Paizo, give it a try in the upcoming AP's reign of winter. Your GM's and ultimately your players will thank you for this helpful tool.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You probably do not want them in the galley.....

Ultimately however, undead are helpful if you can make them semi conscious enough to fight and hold their own in combat. It can make for tricky excursions to port towns as most civilized people do not look fondly at undead or necromancers in general. Heck on the open seas, usually the undead are terrorizing the pirates...Look at Whalebone Pilk!

Now on an interesting side note. My group went to the abyss and managed to capture the Demonwing from the adventure "A Paladin in Hell" When they got to the abyss, most of the crew died, and our death-focused wizard captain managed to raise them all as undead, but instead of coming back as undead, they came back as demons. (the really low level stupid demons)

They served for a time, but the demonwing has its own invisible crew. The only thing is, being made of stone and bi-planar, it isn't very fast on the open seas. So they usually travel in their sailing ship thats pimped out "Hellborne Fury"

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pathfinder 2nd edition will have to happen at some point, and I welcome the advancement as long as it is similar to the advancement between 1st and 2nd editions of AD&D. Even though Pathfinder streamlined 3.5 and launched 3.75, there is stuff to fix and ultimately an evolution to what 4th edition SHOULD have been.

Compatibility will be the main point of contention between the first and second editions and the publisher should strive to be as backwards compatible as possible.

That being said, there definitely is room to improve, streamline, and tidy up things that are broken in the system (as well as hopefully ditching spells like "bulls strength, owls wisdom" - I HATE those spells...what a contrived bunch of garbage) as well as giving us new artwork, new monster artwork and a reason to buy new core books as our 1e books are wearing out.

I will be an early adopter of PF 2nd edition.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The most interesting thing about the underwater combat is watching the PCs try to deal with not being able to move very fast due to swim speed. Increasing their ability to move underwater really is useful in this campaign is really useful since it allows them to actually be able to cover some ground.

That being said, one of the pirates in one of the adventures killed a Locathah brood, and the enraged Locathah bit out his eye. He went with her to her village to atone and the elder chief shaman repaired his eye by grafting on a large Locathah eyeball (which hurt his charisma) but after making a pact with Haagenti, the PC was also granted gills and the ability to spawn with Locathah, taking the matron as his mate and gaining a swim speed. He can never consummate a relationship with a humanoid any longer, but since he is now a demoniac of Haagenti, I don't think he much cares.

This AP allows for a lot of unexpected turns and DM creativity.

Have fun with it and have fun underwater....there is a big underwater section in at least the first 3 AP's

Ship to ship combat up until the fleet rules in AP 6 (which I played with the author at PaizoCon) can be tedious, so sometimes I hand wave aspects of ship to ship combat in favor of cinematics and shipboard combat.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Damocles Guile wrote:

Another thing that would be very beneficial in my opinion - have a sit down with th eplayers who are going to be playing through this AP and do two things, the first being to establish a set of expectations or parameters regarding what the AP is going to be about. Examples of this might be:

Everyone who's playing wants to be a pirate in some form or fashion.

Everyone wants to be a Pirate of the Shackles, not some far off sea.

Within the bretheren of the Shackles pirates, they want to rise in power, influence, fame, infamy and disrepute as possible.

It might seem like common sense, but by putting everyone on the same page in the beginning you establish what they have to expect and set the tone for the campaign moving forward... I find doing this makes them feel a lot less 'forced' later on when it comes the things they might be expectedd to do.

Secondly, apart from establishing the basic theme above, ask your characters the following questions and have them think on them for the campaign - everyone doesn't have to feel the same way, but its best if they have given these topics thought before the situations come up:

Generally speaking, what will you do with a captured ship and what will you do with the crew of a captured ship?

How do you feel about slavery?

What is your character's personal motivation for piracy and what is your character's ultimate goal?

This last need not be shared with everyone but should be shared with the GM so that he can take that into account when tailoring encounters. Hope all this helps.

I agree with this. Best to set the tone of the adventure. I also usually have some crew die in each battle, as well as allow press ganging job offers from captured ships.

Your players first impulse may be to keep each ship they capture, but they usually don't have enough crew to man it, or enough resources to squib it. But it could cause a headache if they were to somehow man and squib a second ship, thus splitting the party and causing grief for you.

Best to do lots to keep them to one ship

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We are still playing the AP. the underwater stuff is fun and you never really get an opportunity anywhere else to play that, so it makes for fun. Also really encourages some feats like endurance and improved swim.

Barbarian, inner sea pirate, alchemist/Demoniac, rogue, wizard, monk/cleric are all doing well at the AP.

I ended up killing off all the NPCs between 2 and 3 because they don't add much after the first AP. they ended up being reanimated as undead crew anyways by the captain before he got trapped in a soul gem.( his fault not mine)

Just have fun with it. Your pirates need to act like scum and scallywags, so this is the AP to let them hem up their antisocial tendencies and go wild.

The lure of treasure, press gang crew and gaining power should appeal.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We are in the third module, tempest rising, but we are a little behind due to a twist for Halloween fun. The crew actuated the sextant (astrolabe?) gained from Locke in module two, but instead of performing how it was described in the book, the item transported the crew and the ship to the Abyss.

In the Abyss, the pirates made a pact with Haagenti and ended up going through a 1/4 section of "a Paladin in Hell" that I grafted into the story.

Needless to say, it was interesting detour from the AP plot, and the crew now mans the "Demon Wing" complete with its portal to the Abyss. The players had a blast and running errands from part two of Tempest Rising feels pale in comparison to the October these guys just had.

I think the AP gets exciting again however after part two of Tempest Rising is finished with.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Story Archer wrote:


Incidentally, the 'Maiden's Promise' is both the name of our ship and the means by which we've been gaining infamy. Our female captain (who personally prefers female company) has had the story spread about her that she is a virgin (lie) and that she and her ship will only by captured by the man who tames her heart.

That must be a theme in this campaign because our female first mate happened to marry the Lady Smythee herself (pretending to be 'captain') which irritated the real captain once he found out. I guess all's fair game in the shackles.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would really like to see an extra-planar adventure path.

Perhaps start in a new part of Golarion like the world-wound and lead the PC's on an epic tour through the planes of existence.

There are so many interesting monsters and creatures from the 3 bestiaries that never see much play due to the introduction of new monsters in every AP and a focus on more tried-and-true opposition.

We really want to see a fleshed out new AP in the grand traditions of a Paladin in Hell, putting the book of the damned to good use!

My vote is an extraplanar AP that takes PC's to the designers limits of imagination and creativity. Some dark extra-planar, and fantastic fantasy art needs to accompany these AP's...possibly instead of the short story, have a full 6 pages of full-color artwork for this AP.

I would run it in a heartbeat. Already I'm trying to figure out how to take my pirates in Skull&Shackles campaign to the Abyss.

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