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Zach Klopfleisch's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo. 22 posts (778 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 8 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

The other issue I'm seeing with a Vow of Poverty monk is that he's limited to things he can buy with the gold from one adventure. If he has to donate any excess gold, he will not be able to save up for higher level items.

This is less of an issue in home games where he can pick up magic items used by defeated enemies, but PFS doesn't allow that. So no Amulet of Mighty Fists until he's playing in tier at 8-9, for example.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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Andreas Forster wrote:

Wands of Cure light Wounds are no party healers, they're backup items.

If there's a healer in the party, that character has renewable resources with which to heal injured characters. If there isn't, then healing will consume non-renewable resources.

I play a lot of Clerics. Are you saying my mounted Cleric who is charging for 3d8+60 should burn his Divine Power to heal up your character after a fight instead of using your wand of Cure Light Wounds? Or maybe my other Cleric, who spends fights with Shield Other up while taking hits for party members using In Harm's Way is supposed to burn his Blessing of Fervor to heal you up after a fight so you don't have to spend money on a Wand of Cure Light Wounds? Why save that Liberating Command? Much better to top you off after that mook got a lucky hit in, amiright?

Wands of Cure Light Wounds are what my "healers" use to top themselves up between combats. If cure spells were the best use of their slots, they'd memorize cure spells.


In short, I'm tired of the general assumption that everybody has to bring a Wand of CLW to create a "fair" game.

Do you play a class that casts cure spells, but don't want to be a healer? Try playing a character who can cast healing spells in a scenario where players actually take damage, with a group who are "tired of the general assumption that everybody has to bring a Wand of CLW to create a "fair" game," and doing anything other than burning out your resources. Wands of Cure Light Wounds are what makes the game fair for anyone who wants to play a Cleric, Oracle, Inquisitor, etc. and do something other than hold the party's hands.

Being able to use your character's resources to do what you built him to do: That's fair.

Zhayne wrote:
3d6 for me. A nice bell curve, doesn't change the actual math all that much.

The numbers are almost the same, but the math is changed tremendously.

The probability of rolling "about average" on a d20, call it 9, 10, or 11, is 15%. The probability of rolling "about average" on 3d6, just a 10 or 11, is 25%. You are tremendously more likely to roll "about average" on 3d6 than on 1d20.

What that means is that static modifiers become very important. If you want to set a challenge so that your characters are 50% or 75% likely to overcome, you've got a very narrow band to work with. If you're shooting for 50% on a 3d6 system, but the roll turns out to need a 13 instead of an 11, and your PCs are suddenly facing a situation that they only succeed 26% of the time: You've halved their chance of success by being off by two. (The same is true if you want your PCs to succeed most of the time. If you're shooting for a 75% success rate and are off by two, you've dropped them down to a 50% success rate. Half the party just ran in fear from the dragon instead of just one PC.) If you're off by two in a d20 system? 40% instead of 50%: Your players probably won't even notice the difference.

So character building options have to be significantly reduced, and CRs become practically set in stone. Or, you build the system so PCs basically always win if they're rolling dice, except for the rare epic failure.

That's a completely different game than Pathfinder.

Hobgoblin Shogun wrote:

Hello! With Iron Gods finally here and full of cheer, I thought I ask for another discussion about Hardness. It's basically like Universal DR, right? DR 5/- and then Hardness 10 means that all physical attack get cut out by 15? Seems like even Barbs will have a hard time! Let alone any poor archer-types in the party. Even the Wiz, since Hardness also allows for 1/2 Energy Resist?

Am I correct in this? And/or, as a follow-up, how should PCs be dealing with this onslaught of badasses?

First of all, I would imagine that adamantine weapons will be a top priority for PCs in Iron Gods, higher even than magic weapons.

Second, I don't think DR and hardness stack. Are there creatures in the AP with both? If something has DR 5/- and hardness 10, I would imagine that, since hardness is higher that would reduce incoming damage by 10. But, if something bypasses the hardness, like an adamantine weapon, the DR would reduce the damage by 5. When two things have the same effect, the stronger takes precedence. But that's just a guess on my part.

Finally, as far as I know, it's unclear exactly how hardness works for monsters in relation to magic. The "halve damage then apply hardness" rule is specifically for inanimate objects, but monsters, even constructs, aren't inanimate objects. I think there are several FAQ requests out there asking for clarification on this rule. For now, I personally rule that hardness on a monster works like Resist <all energy types except Force>, meaning that a monster with hardness 10, will take 10 less damage from fire or sonic spells, as well as 10 less damage from physical sources, but full damage from Magic Missile.

That, however, is just a personal ruling. I don't know of any official direction on it.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Nefreet wrote:
I'll second the oil of Daylight, especially since Aasimars will be showing up less frequently.

If you have Inner Sea Gods, Unwelcome Halo negates darkness spells regardless of level, and is only level 1 itself. So you can save 2PP or 700 GP and just pick that up instead.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

While everything people have mentioned here is handy, I don't think anything besides a healing wand (CLW or Infernal Healing if you have the book) or a Masterwork Composite Longbow really qualifies for the first 2 PP. Maybe the Darkwood Mwk Tower Shield if that's your schtick, but a wand is probably better, and you can buy the shield for GP since it's always available.

Everything else is really useful in specific situations, but none of them are core to what your character will do every scenario the way a bow is, or as common, and thus important, as some method of healing HPs.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

3-19: The Icebound Outpost
4-18: The Veteran's Vault
The Balkros Museum series:
--#5: Mists of Mwangi
--#35: Voice in the Void
--2-11: The Penumbral Accords
The Devil We Know series (A couple of tese can be PC killers, especially at 3-4, or they can be pushovers)
--#29: Shipyard Rats
--#30: Cassomir's Locker
--#41: Crypt of Fools
--#48: Rules of the Swift

That's a few off the top of my head. You could also run a module and bump them up to level 2, Crypt of the Everflame and The Godsmouth Heresy are both pure dungeon crawls, I think.

Psikotik Nomad wrote:
Everyone consoled him on the loss but he just brought up the fact that kitsune are elemental creatures and therefore he was merely banished to his elemental plain and would be back when they found someone to revive him. He had to wait awhile xD

By the way, this is why you handle troublesome players out of game rather than in game: You and your players got a nice sense of satisfaction from beating up on him, but it sounds like he didn't learn what he did wrong. The ingame actions just encouraged him to do more of the same, and if the same results continued to happen, all he would see is a bullying GM.

If a player is being a problem, don't hide behind the GM screen and punish his character. Talk to him about about it directly (and privately.) That's the quickest, surest, and fairest way to make the problem go away.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

claudekennilol wrote:

Everyone seems to be ignoring this part and it alone should be enough of an error to reverse at least this one death.

He should've been attacked 6 times. Not 12 times which is obviously a huge difference.

** spoiler omitted **

I think one of the big teachable moments here is that the GM needs to make sure the players know what's going on. The characters might be in the dark, but the players should at least know that they're facing a puzzle, or how they're being attacked, etc.

In this case, it sounds like the GM rolled a handful of dice and announced damage. That's quick, but it's lead to a lot of confusion and consternation: The player doesn't even know how many times he was attacked. The same thing happened for me the first time I tried that, even with experienced players. It took careful explanations and about two games for them to really start catching on and understanding what I was trying to do, but that teaching time was time well spent and now things flow much more smoothly because not only am I rolling everything at once, so are they.

Also, it sounds like the players didn't understand that their PCs were faced with completely alien, unknowable technology in the security level. If the GM had taken a minute to explain the Technologist feat and how technology interacts with trained-only skills, the players would probably have understood that they were facing a puzzle and their PCs had no frame of reference to understand what they were seeing. Instead, it sounds like the players got frustrated because they thought the GM was simply giving them bad descriptions.

We won't get to the bottom of the specific experiences of these players here on the boards. That needs to be a conversation between the players, the GM, and probably the event coordinator and/or the local VO. We simply can't get the whole story, much less all sides of it, through forum posts: That needs to be a face to face thing. The forums can help hash out specific rules questions that the parties involved run into, but we can't work out the general stuff.

There are a couple spells in Inner Sea Gods that provide counters to Darkness:

Shield of the Dawnflower, Greater is a 6th level Cleric, Bard, Magus spell that, among other things, counts as Daylight.

Unwelcome Halo is a 1st level Cleric, Paladin, Wizard spell that seems to be an attack spell, not allowing the target to get any bonuses from concealment. More importantly, however, is the last line: "If Unwelcome Halo is brought into an area of magical darkness (or vice versa), the effects of both spells are temporarily negated, so that the otherwise prevailing light conditions exist within the overlapping field of effect."

So we've now got a counter to Deeper Darkness for 50gp a pop in the form of an oil of Unwelcome Halo. Or you've got 50 uses in the form of a wand for the same price of a single oil of Daylight to counter the at-will Darkness spammers.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Zach Williams wrote:

The Frost Fur Captives

Be careful with this one. Many of the encounters are laid out perfectly for a Cavalier, but there are restrictions on mounts. So with the wrong mount this goes from one of the best possible scenarios for a Cavalier to a 4 hour long taunt of "wouldn't you just love to have your mount right now?"

Murder on the Silken Caravan isn't bad for a Cavalier, either.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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Finlanderboy wrote:

But I do admit I ashamed a VO would say "I, personally, would not have a GM run any more games for me if his reasoning behind a TPK is "nothing prevents the creature from doing what he says."" This is also a teachable moment. Of all the grievous things a DM can do this is one of the items you want to remove them? Seriously? I consistently see GMs cheat and abuse rules
(usually the higher star the more likely in my expereience). A DM following the rules with a legimate excuse is not reason to remove a DM. There is often not enough DMs. I tell people I run things as hard as possible, I plan to if I ever Dm to have the creature do the same thing. But I also tell people I run things a tacically as the monster can before hand. I am very quick to switch to a mod I would believe is easier if thats what the group would have more fun with. You are a symbol of leadership, so lead. Admonishing and punishing is hardly good leadership.

(*Note that I'm basing this on your representation of the story. Face to face, at the time, the situation may well be different than it appears here. I'm basing everything here on my understanding of your statement that he justified TPKing a party simply because his adjustment to the monster's tactics wasn't explicitly forbidden.*)

People make mistakes, and honest mistakes are usually fine, even if it means someone loses a character over them.

But when a GM changes a monster's tactics to make it more deadly, TPKs a party, and then justifies it the way you said he justified it: That "nothing prevents the creature from doing what he says," that goes beyond making an honest mistake. That's making the wrong judgment call and doubling down on it, refusing to acknowledge that he made a mistake.

There could be several reasons for that: He could have a GM verses Player attitude, he could lack empathy for his players, he might not be mature enough to admit he made a mistake so he doubled down. Any number of reasons. But there is something very wrong about a GM who will not back off, will go through with a TPK after diverging from the stated tactics and turning a CR 2 encounter into a CR 4 or 5 encounter against first and second level PCs.

I need GMs, everyone needs GMs, and I wouldn't give up on one simply for making a bad decision that lead to a TPK. The real problem, from my perspective, is that the GM isn't acknowledging that it was a bad decision. It's not the TPK that worries me about this person, it's the statement, after the TPK that "nothing prevents the creature from doing what he says." That, to me, is refusing to acknowledge that he made a mistake and completely eliminates any trust I would have in him to make decent judgment calls in the future.

Would I never allow this person to GM again? I don't know, it would depend on the person and the situation and whether or not they could convince me that they've learned why TPKing that party was due to their bad decision and shouldn't have happened. And there certainly are circumstances where that statement would be legitimate: On a 7-11 table, for instance, or for a group of experienced players who all agreed that they wanted a hard mode scenario. But those don't seem to be the case in this instance.

But I will not subject my players to a GM who doesn't have the wherewithal to reassess the decisions he's made and will go confidently on into a TPK of a party of 1-2s as a result of his choices, rather than he stated tactics. So yes, of all the grievous things a GM can do, not being able to understand that he was wrong is one of the worst to me. I can teach rules, it's a lot harder to teach common sense or empathy.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Finlanderboy wrote:

The picture means little for the stat block.

Me, brian, and jerry looked over it after the game and nothing prevents the creature from doing what he says.

Nothing in the stat block says it shouldn't coup de grace downed players, either, but that doesn't mean it's kosher to do so. What possessed the GM to think attacking first level players for 1d8+14 damage at +6 (+8 when not entangled) was reasonable? That's the damage output, attack bonus, armor and HP of a CR 5 monster, against level 1s and 2s, and nothing in the stat block or tactics indicated it should use its weapon two handed.

I, personally, would not have a GM run any more games for me if his reasoning behind a TPK is "nothing prevents the creature from doing what he says." I'm fine with GMs not softballing, but if they can't tell the difference between increasing the difficulty far beyond what the scenario tactics call for and softballing, he's got no place running games at my events.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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All of those violate PFS rules.

--Loot is awarded for encounters overcome, not loot picked up. If they didn't loot bodies, I wouldn't allow them to use the things on the bodies later in the scenario (like potions of cure light wounds or masterwork/magical weapons or armor,) but it is not removed from the chronicle sheet.

Have you GM'd many regular PFS scenarios? The wording in the "Treasure" sections of encounters is usually very clear, along the lines of "If the PCs fail to defeat or bypass this encounter, remove x gold, etc." Loot is only removed for failing to defeat an encounter (defeat largely meaning "run away from or get TPK'd by," bypassing or talking their way out of an encounter is considered defeating it,) not for literally looting the bodies.

--Characters get 1XP if they complete at least three encounters. That's the only requirement, ever. For Free RPG Day modules, characters automatically gain 1PP as well. Feel free to add flavor at the beginning of a module not explicitly written for PFS to get it to make sense for sending Pathfinder Field Agents on the adventure, but you cannot add requirements for them to get XP or Prestige.

If players decide to withdraw and rest, and it's not spelled out in the module/scenario how the enemies will react, you can use your discretion on whether the monsters are still there when they come back or if they took their ball and went home. But as long as the PCs complete 3 encounters, they get their 1XP, 1PP and any gold value found in those encounters.

--No, the only requirement to gain XP in PFS is completing three encounters (and being alive at the end of the adventure.) Prestige is the same for modules like Master of the Fallen Fortress. You cannot take XP or Prestige away for poor roleplay.

I like to reward players who play well with notes on their chronicle sheets commenting on their escapades. You can't give away anything that has some sort of in game effect, but it's surprising how positive the reaction usually is, and how it can turn into a long term RP aid. One of my players' PC is now 4th or 5th level and still carries around the centipede they captured in a jar in their very first adventure. It probably gets mentioned once a scenario that they play in and often moves the conversation along in an interesting path.

Silver Surfer wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

I think that Silver Surfer is saying that someone abused the Ecclesitheurge himself.

Corrrect... Paizo had a chance to create something decent as a caster cleric and completely and utterly botched it!!!

A mind blowingly bad archetype....

Specifics? What's specifically bad about it?

I haven't had a chance to actually read the class, but from what I heard it's similar to the Theologian but doesn't cast quite as well since it doesn't get the metamagic stuff. What makes it "a mind blowingly bad archetype?"

Reinhardt wrote:
See, I know I could just play it like a reach fighter, but I want to make use of Mounted Combat whenever I can. However, from what I understand, using something other than a lance for that is very... sub-par. I'm just curious if anyone has any ideas on how to beef it up abit.

What do you mean by "very sub par?" You'll do double damage instead of triple damage on a charge with Spirited Charge. That's not a game breaker since everyone else somehow manages to deal with only doing normal damage on a charge. The only other difference is that you can't wield the glaive one handed the way you would wield a lance, so you can't use a shield.

Not really a big deal in my opinion: Challenge + Charge will still end encounters. And for those it doesn't, there's still Ride By Attack.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Marc Radle wrote:

I actually don't play PFS - I posted here in the PFS forum simply to see if this had been ruled on one way or the other for PFS play figuring non-PFS folks might want to follow that ruling until something more generally official comes out

PFS tries really, really hard to avoid making rulings on mechanics. They leave that up to the design team even if it leaves a grey area in RAW. PFS rulings are primarily 1.) Clarifying anything that is listed as GM discretion (like Beast Rider Cavalier mounts beyond those listed in the book), 2.) Adjustments to make the logistics of organized play work, like how loot is divided or how you use profession skills to earn money, or 3.) Banning things that are just too much of a hassle.

Rulings on how class features work are not going to get any official answers by the PFS leadership, they very explicitly leave that to the rules team.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Hangman Henry IX wrote:

i just pmed this to someone, but i think i should say it here too

yeh i would like the scenario blurbs to actually talk about the game mechanics that might be present, and to be searchable by location, relevant faction, difficulty, hell maybe even by which VC is giving you orders. wouldn't you like to be able to have a character that only works for the master of scrolls? or the master of arms?

That's exactly why I think this is a bad idea. The story of the campaign is that you are a Pathfinder Field Agent: You're a member of the organization and you do what you're told. You don't know what mission you're going to be sent on, so you need to be prepared for anything. You can certainly specialize, but you're expected to be adaptable and be able to deal with things outside of your field of specialization. The Pathfinder Society expects its Barbarians and Fighters to be able to comport themselves at a noble's wedding as well as in a dungeon, because the weddings the PFS sends its agents to often end up needing a Barbarian or Fighter at some point along the line anyway.

As a player, you know that this is how the campaign is structured. Random missions are what you signed up for, each adventure is supposed to be a surprise.

If you want to hyper specialize your character, that's your prerogative, but you're making a tradeoff in flexibility. That keeps things interesting, not just for you (where it's a special thing when the situation fits your specialization), but for the other players as well who don't have to deal with someone who always has exactly the right PC for the situation and overshadows their competent, well rounded character who could handle the situation perfectly well. It also gives coordinators a chance to do nice things for you, by scheduling a scenario that's perfect for one of your characters and letting you know about it.

If you have specific issues with certain subjects or styles of scenarios, let your coordinator know. They can then guide you without spoiling things for everyone.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Carla the Profane wrote:
After thinking about it I feel like the bard will be ok, she wasn't much of a spellcaster to begin with. Even the oracle/paladin might not lag behind too much as he's focused on his animal companion. But I think the mystic theurge might be less fortunate. Ah well.

With the MT: Did you use Magical Knack on the Sorcerer levels so you could get to level 4 and thus be able to cast level 2 arcane spells, and then do 3 regular levels of Cleric?

In that case, yeah that's a tough one. The only way I know of to get the level 2 arcane requirement early is through race. There are several ways to get the divine 2nd level spell casting requirement early.

It looks like you might be stuck going into Mystic Theurge normally, at level 8 for a Cleric/Sorcerer. Since Tieflings and Aasimar are out, the earliest you can get into MT now is 5 with Cleric or Oracle 1/Wizard 3. If that's not playable for you, your best bet is to retire the character. (Retraining those Sorcerer levels to Wizard levels probably won't do you much good since you probably don't have the Int to support it.) 7 levels is a LONG time to play a character that isn't the character you want to play, doesn't leave all that much time to play the character you do want to play, and puts you way behind the power curve of even the iconics just as scenarios start getting seriously difficult.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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Mike Tuholski wrote:

And in that time I can not begin to count how often a reroll has completely changed the course of a game. In my opinion, it is game-breaking. In my (campaign-mode/homebrewed) APs I do not allow rerolls unless they are gained through a feat or class feature and save-or-die/suck spells are tense moments at the table. In PFS I hesitate to even use such spells because almost every single time that the player fails the save they pull out their reroll, save their character, and move on. Save-or-die/suck spells go from being tense moments to *shrugs* from my players.

Have you considered that some players really don't enjoy those tense moments were the life or death of their character hangs on one die roll? Not everyone enjoys the game in the same way, or enjoys the same things. For example, I know one player who is perfectly willing to let her character die as a result of bad decisions or bad tactics but would find it hard to accept a character death simply because she rolled an 8 instead of a 12 when a caster randomly picked her for the Finger of Death. She enjoys playing the game, not randomness.

From my experience, people will start using rerolls once they find out about them or they face an example of how much effect one roll can have. For me, it was irrevocably losing my favorite PC due to a roll in a surprise round before he even had a chance to act. As they gain experience (and PCs), some players will cut back on their use of rerolls, letting the dice fall where they may while others continue using them.

So rerolls help tailor the tension level: Players who want to play a game where they live and die based upon the roll of the dice do while those who want a little less volatility or a second chance can also have that.

What's the problem with that?

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Core Rulebook and Advanced Players Guide will give you the vast majority of the rules you'll ever really need. Other books will allow you to tweak characters here and there, but those two will give you enough to do just about any concept. The other hardbacks (Ultimate Equipment, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, Advanced Class Guide, Advanced Race Guide) are all great books, but are more niche. Every character you make will have the majority of his features in the CRB, a significant plurality of your characters will have stuff from the APG. The rest aren't nearly as universally useful.

Inner Sea World Guide will give you all you need to really understand and get the most out of the setting. What's the deal with the Andorans and Chelaxians? Who are these "Varisians" in Magnimar? You get so much more out of the scenarios, and things are much more easy to understand, when you know what's going on in the world, and the ISWG gives you that. Inner Sea Gods is great for understanding religions and divine casters, with plenty of great rules, but it's not nearly as universally useful as the ISWG.

*** Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Don't let the Iconics' reputations get you down: They're just fine at first level: You don't need a 20 Str Barbarian to get past a CR 2 or 3 encounter, Valeros does just fine, Lini's pet is better and even Harsk can get the job done with his axe. The only real problem is that not all of the casters have Spellcraft trained but they have Detect Magic, so you might have to bend the rules on identifying magic items if you want to give them access to those handy potions they just found.

When I'm GMing for new players, I like to tell them "Tell me what you want to do, and I'll figure out how to do it within the rules." Starting with a short teaching game of Ambush in Absalom is not a bad idea, it should teach the basics but it can also go pretty long and be frustrating as Goblins are notoriously hard to hit and the space is tight, limiting the number of PCs who can participate at once. Whatever you do, explain what's going on as you do it: "The goblin uses a free action to 5' step away from you to here, so you cannot take an attack of opportunity. Then he uses his move action to draw an Alchemist's fire and a standard action to throw it at you, making a ranged touch attack rolling an 8 and adding his ranged attack bonus for a total of 12. Your touch armor class is listed here, is it higher than 12?"

The Confirmation is a wonderful scenario, with some good, difficult combats and healing is provided. It's also got multiple types of encounters, including social and combat and a tag-along NPC.

First Steps is very much a training scenario: It gives you some simple combats; puzzles; traps; puzzles interrupted by combat; introduces DR, Fast Healing, invisibility, and poison; introduces environmental hazards; has puzzles that can be solved in multiple ways with different types of skill checks; introduces non-combat interactions with NPCs and face-related skills; and has a tough combat with a potentially dangerous enemy. About the only thing it doesn't introduce is darkness. I think it's a great introduction to the various facets of the game and all the different types of jobs a Pathfinder Field Agent can expect to do.

Last bit: 3 scenarios sounds like an awful lot for a weekend, that's a good 12+ hours of play time, probably more due to having to teach your players everything. I might set expectations to Ambush in Absalom and one, maybe 2 scenarios.

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