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Zach Klopfleisch's page

FullStarFullStarFullStar RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo. 57 posts (852 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 8 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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It depends on the situation and the tactics as written. Sometimes the tactics explicitly state that a monster will pick one PC and focus on them to the exclusion of others. (This even occasionally shows up in tier 1-2.) Sometimes the most intelligent thing for an intelligent enemy to do would be to kill that downed Barbarian because the summoned monsters will only last a couple rounds and can't touch him anyway, the other PCs aren't much of a threat, and although the Cleric is out of the fight for the moment, the Bard/Ranger/Paladin/Druid/Inquisitor/Alchemist/Witch/Oracle/Investigator/Sk ald/Shaman might bring him back up. (This is within the purview of a GM judgment call. I generally wouldn't want a GM doing that at an event I organized in a 1-2 [though context matters,] but I feel it would be perfectly reasonable for a GM to do that in an 8-9.)

There is no rule preventing GMs from killing characters.

On the other hand, it's not a competition between GMs and players. Good GMs won't go out of their way to kill PCs just to ruin someone's day, and an environment where GMs do so is a lot more likely to die out.

There's no way we on the forums can tell you whether or not the GM acted inappropriately. You need to talk with your local venture officer or the coordinator of the event, they can then talk with everyone who was involved and get to the root of the situation. You can also start avoiding that GM: Tell your coordinator that you don't want to be seated at his table, and why.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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DruidBrod wrote:
Thank you very much guys. Now that we have this we just need to get our Captain registered. Here's hoping we get it off the ground before Sunday!

You don't need any official venture officers to run games, if that's what you mean. Just register an event, which is actually pretty easy:

Whomever is taking charge just needs to go to then follow the link in the gray bad up to for "My Pathfinder Society."

Assuming you have a PFS account set up (it should prompt you if you don't), you will there will be three tabs under the blurb about the Pathfinder Society: "Player," "GM/Event Coordinator," and "Sessions." Pick the GM/Event Coordinator and click the "Create Your Event" button.

This pulls up a page that looks big and intimidating, but there really isn't all that much to worry about.

1.) If this is just a few friends getting together for a home game, make sure to uncheck the "Event is Public" check box in the Restrictions section. That way it won't be advertised on the Paizo site and you won't have random people showing up.

2.) Aside from having a name, date and location, you don't really need to enter much info. It's best to be as accurate and descriptive as possible if you want to create a public event that will attract strangers, but if it's just a group of buddies, that's about all you need.

3.) Once you've entered the information that you want to, hit the "Save Changes" button and you've created your event. The event will now show up in your "GM/Event Coordinator tab of My Pathfinder Society."

4.) After the event, you'll want to report your players' participation. You need their PFS number, their character number (-1 for first character, -2 for second, etc.), their faction, how much prestige they earned, and whether or not they died. To report this information, just click on the "Report" link and fill the information in in the blanks provided. Make sure to choose the correct scenario name at the top.

4.a) Each scenario has a session sheet that you can pass around for players to fill this out (the GM fills in the prestige at the end). Or you can print those session sheets out by clicking the "Download Session Sheets" link next to the event name in "My Pathfinder Society." Or you can just have people write their info down on a piece of paper, or report it while everyone's at the table. Whatever method works for you.

5.) Finally, make sure everyone gets a chronicle sheet. There are instructions for filling those out in the Guide to Organized Play. (Pages 35-37, they have pictures!) The chronicle sheet is always on the last page of the scenario. If you're running an AP or module, the chronicle sheet can be downloaded from Additional Resources. Modules will be in the side bar on the right, Adventure Paths will be in their entry of the Additional Resources.

I wrote a lot of words here, which makes it look complicated. But that's mainly because I can't use pictures here. If I could show you my computer screen, it would take about 30 seconds to explain. It really is trivially easy to both set up and then report.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

David Neilson wrote:
I would point out this level is I believe listed as "Slow Mode" recommended. It might be better just to skip it, and play the next level at full speed.

Yeah, that was the big issue for my players, too. I hadn't read the chronicle sheet before running it so I didn't push them towards the full rewards and they were all running slow mode: When they took the non-evil route it put them behind for the rest of the dungeon (since they were running everything back to back.)

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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I don't think I've actually read the fluff description for any of the classes. All a class is to me is a bundle of features that define what my character can do. Therefore, I don't feel like there are any classes that don't fit in PFS: I'm as likely to come up with a Samurai concept that works perfectly with the campaign fluff as I am to come up with a Rogue, Bard or Wizard concept that wouldn't do at all.

So I have a samurai from Minkai who was sent off to join the PFS as a political move to gain the favor of Amara Li. Mechanically he's a fighter.

I have a semi con-man fortune teller who may or may not be ethnically Varisian. He joined the PFS because you'll never get rich just reading cards, he needs the connections he can get through the PFS to make it big. And knowing everything about everything is sort of his schtick, so digging through ancient ruins is interesting and profitable. Mechanically he's a Wizard/Harrower. (Sometimes he "reads" the cards, sometimes he really tells the future. Usually depending on which is more profitable in the long run.)

I have a Gnome who joined the PFS because the Silver Crusade seemed like a group that A.) Has a decent number of members, B.) Often become a captive audience, C.) Won't run him out on a rail, and D.) Really needs to hear the teachings of the Lantern King. And besides, Pathfinders get to travel! Mechanically he's a Cleric, Evangelist archetype.

Some of my character concepts start as a mechanical idea, some start as a personality idea. None of them really care about what class the book says they are, they just do what they do.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

I had never even heard of kuru before this scenario.

So we murderhoboed them.

I hadn't heard of it, either.

I GM'd this twice at 1-2, and neither group came within 20 feet of the surrogate to even see him until the fight was over. So negotiating was never even an option.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Snorter wrote:

Wands, he'd be fine with, but scrolls, no.
He'd still be required to pass some difficult UMD checks, to fake the requisite ability scores.

Right, but you're jumping ahead. Normally, if a spell is on your class's spell list you can activate it with at most a pretty easy caster level check. There are three criteria for that: It must be on your class's spell list, it must be the correct type (arcane or divine, PFS handwaves this requirement), and you need to have the requisite ability score.

But, since you don't meet the ability score requirement, you've got to resort to UMDing it instead of activating it normally. This isn't necessarily obvious or well known, so I thought I would point it out.

The relevant rules are in the Scroll section of the Magic Item chapter:

Activating Scrolls wrote:

Activate the Spell: Activating a scroll requires reading the spell from the scroll. The character must be able to see and read the writing on the scroll. Activating a scroll spell requires no material components or focus. (The creator of the scroll provided these when scribing the scroll.) Note that some spells are effective only when cast on an item or items. In such a case, the scroll user must provide the item when activating the spell. Activating a scroll spell is subject to disruption just as casting a normally prepared spell would be. Using a scroll is like casting a spell for purposes of arcane spell failure chance.

To have any chance of activating a scroll spell, the scroll user must meet the following requirements.

  • The spell must be of the correct type (arcane or divine). Arcane spellcasters (wizards, sorcerers, and bards) can only use scrolls containing arcane spells, and divine spellcasters (clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers) can only use scrolls containing divine spells. (The type of scroll a character creates is also determined by his class.)
  • The user must have the spell on her class list.
  • The user must have the requisite ability score.

If the user meets all the requirements noted above, and her caster level is at least equal to the spell's caster level, she can automatically activate the spell without a check. If she meets all three requirements but her own caster level is lower than the scroll spell's caster level, then she has to make a caster level check (DC = scroll's caster level + 1) to cast the spell successfully. If she fails, she must make a DC 5 Wisdom check to avoid a mishap (see Scroll Mishaps). A natural roll of 1 always fails, whatever the modifiers. Activating a scroll is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer) and it provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as casting a spell does.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Doors are an abstraction, the game rules treat them as either open or closed, and the rules don't care which way they swing. That makes sense from a rules-crafting perspective: If you want to model how a door acts in real life, there are a ton of variables. Your post explaining what you want to do with doors took up 440 words, which is a reasonable estimate of how many words it would take to lay out those rules. Compare that to the 725 words in the Grappling rules. 60 per cent of the word count of probably the most complex action in combat, just to describe how a door works. That's a lot of resources, where are you going to get them from? Also, where do you stop? The encumbrance rules could certainly be "improved" to better reflect real life by including the size of things being carried, but that's really complex. And movement, there's a lot that can be done for movement!

The rules are an abstraction, and meant to be a simple as possible. If you want to get more complex, that's why we have a GM. Work it out with him.


[re Readying out of combat]
That is one very frustrating rule, you cannot ready out of makes no sense.

That is a VERY good rule, for two reasons. 1.) We abstract time out of combat instead of tracking specific actions. Readying should have the restriction of limiting you to just a move action per round, but if we aren't counting actions you're getting the benefit without paying the costs, playing it out would pay those costs but slow the game to a boring morass. (Buffs last longer than they should, movement rates differ so the party should be scattered when they encounter things, etc.) 2.) Readying out of combat would lead absolute massacres in most combats: An entire party getting their standard actions in before anything else got to act, (Ready to <x> when I see an enemy) is taking the action economy advantage players have, shooting it full of speed, and then giving it a Pixie Stick. A lot of combats only last 1-2 rounds, most of those combats would be over before an enemy even acted if readying out of combat were allowed.

I don't let my PCs ready out of combat, my monsters don't do so either. (And yes, if your GM is regularly having most of his monsters do so, he's cheating.) Sometimes, though, it's written into the scenario that an enemy does such. I used to play it by the CRB, but the end result is more often than not the enemy doesn't get a chance to act. So now I'm leaning towards the theory that, when it's written into the scenario it's the writer exercising Rule 0, so I've started doing it as written. But I still follow the CRB rule if it looks like the party is having a really bad day.

(I can also see situations where you observe the enemy, they have a chance to observe you and fail, and you continue to observe until some opportune moment. I'd allow either PCs or NPCs to ready in this situation, because you're basically in combat but the bad guys don't notice you. You're effectively readying the action in the surprise round, and then continuing to ready the action through followup rounds until the ready conditions are met. The "actual" surprise round is just the nth consecutive round of combat even though the other side didn't realize it.)

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

John Francis wrote:

That depends on what season adventure they were playing. For an early-season scenario (prior to season 4) if the APL both with and without the additional character falls between tiers, then increasing the party size from 5 to 6 means the party will play in the high subtier if the additional level 1 character is present, but in the low subtier if that character is absent.

My mistake, I was thinking a party of 5 or 6 played up in Season 0-3, but it's 6 or 7 that plays up while a party of 5 plays down.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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Jenter, the Happy Swordsman wrote:

Here's a situation that's been in the back of my mind for a while, but now seems appropriate to the discussion:

This alias is my 3rd-level bloodrager. Sooner or later, he's going to hit 4th level, and gain some spellcasting ability. There's a good chance I'll take burning hands as a spell known, to deal with swarms and whatnot. At that point, I fully expect to encounter some disbelief from GMs when I cast it (for reasons you'll see in a minute).

Now, there's two ways the GM could handle it. Have a look:
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **...

That would be awesome... If that were the situation I were having a problem with.

In fact, I wouldn't be having a problem if that were my situation.

Here's the problem I'm having:

Player: Yikes a swarm/troll/whatever! Okay, I cast burning hands.
GM: Wait, weren't you raging?
Player: Yeah, why?
GM: You can't cast while raging.
Player: <blinks>
GM: It should be in the Rage description of the class.
Player: Spends about a minute fiddling with a stack of books...
{alternatively, Player: Oh yeah, it totes works, something special about Bloodragers, I remember now!}
GM: For the sake of brevity, and because it appears you're the only one in the party with an AoE, and since it won't make any real difference right now, we'll just say you can and look it up after the fight. So, since you're standing in the swarm you'll need to make a concentration check, DC <x>. And then what's your save DC and damage?
Player: <blinks, if we're lucky actually starts looking at their character sheet.>
GM:Step 1, just step over here so you aren't in the swarm. Also you can aim the cone this way so you don't hit allies. The save DCs are on the upper right corner of the back of your character sheet. Remember when I explained how to fill it in?
Player: Oh, a level 1 spell is DC... 13. And Burning Hands does 1d4 per level. <rolls 4d4>
GM: Wait, aren't you only 4th level?
Player: Yeah...?
GM: So isn't your caster level is only 1st? You don't get any spells until 4th level like a Ranger or Paladin, and in those cases you don't have a caster level until you can actually cast spells.
Player: <blinks> But I'm level 4.
GM:But you just got spells this level, like a Ranger or Paladin, shouldn't your CL be Class Level -3?
Player: <blinks> But I'm level 4.
Player2: I think I heard <other player, not even here today> say something about Bloodragers casting at full level.
GM:OK, this is one we've got to look up because it will actually make a difference.
Player: Spends a minute or two finding the Bloodrager entry and passing it over to the GM.
GM:*reads* Okay, it doesn't say you're at -3 CL, {does it say anything at all about Caster Level in the entry? I honestly haven't read it.} Is that another ACG editing error? That doesn't sound right. Whatever, we'll roll with it. Now I have to go home and look up the forums to find one more ruling.

That's what I'm dealing with. Your very own example demonstrates why I'm having problems keeping up: Understanding the Core Rules of the game isn't enough anymore because some of the new things being published intentionally break them. So I can't rule based on my previous knowledge, I have to take the time to read up on the new stuff specifically. And, because there are new elements that don't follow the pattern laid down by older elements, while at the same time there are legitimate editing errors, I can't rely on my previous experience either way, I have to take the time to look it up.

And now they have 6 more classes and how many feats and spells coming out?

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

OK, here's what I got:

1.) The whole question of "home" or "private" verses "public" PFS games is, as far as I understand, determined mainly by whether or not you check the "Event is Public" box when you're creating it. You can run a private PFS game at a game store, even at a con, no problems. (Though if you're running it a public location and advertising it openly, you're really are running a public game and should follow those rules.)

This is mostly important for event coordinators, not so much individual GMs who are just showing up and running games.

So, and I could be wrong on this, but I don't know of any PFS-specific rule that says a GM cannot grab 5 players and put together his own "private" PFS session at the same time and location as a public game day. The location and/or coordinator setting up the game day might have issues with that, but you're not going to get your PFS license taken away, as far as I know.

2.) In this case, I think that is not the right course of action.

I don't know the whole story, only a paragraph or so from the OP, so I really cannot say what I would do in his situation. But here are some things that I would be asking myself:

--You are within your rights to remove (or ask the event coordinator to remove) a disruptive player from the table. Anyone whose mere presence has instigated five players to choose to not play sounds pretty disruptive. I don't know the person involved, but I can certainly see some people I know playing such a character to intentionally be disruptive. So that option is open to you. It's more confrontational, but sometimes you need to step up and confront bad behavior, no matter how much you dislike confrontation. (Speaking from experience here.)

--A level 1 character at a 6 player table will not mathematically increase the danger level for the other players. He cannot bump them up to a higher tier than they would play if he weren't at the table. That being the case, if I didn't think the guy was trying to be a jerk, I would consider telling the other players to suck it up and just play the game. (Though he might be able to bump them down to a lower tier, which might qualify for the "don't be a jerk" rule.)

--I do not like playing with people aggressively RPing low Int PCs. It's a pet peeve. If I were set at a table with this person at one of the very few games I get to actually play in, it would very likely be a very negative experience for me. Even if the other player is a nice guy, his character is almost certain to be detrimental to my enjoyment. I empathise with the players who don't want to play with him.

--Talk to the event coordinator. Bring the player along and lay out your observations. Handling personality conflicts is part of the job you take on when you schedule that event. But, even if the event coordinator doesn't make the call, it can help to hash it out with a (hopefully) neutral third party as a referee. If you are the event coordinator, you've taken the responsibility to make those calls on yourself (unless you can find someone else to pawn it off onto, like a venture officer) and you're going to have to make the tough decision of telling someone to either suck it up and be a team player or go home. Just try to do so in nicer words than that. =)

Those are the big things that I think of from what I know of this situation. I don't know if any of it is applicable to the OP, but he does have options.


Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:

This falls under dysfunctional play that could be viewed as trying to hinder the party intentionally. I'm all in favor of role play, not every character needs to be useful in combat. Heck specialize in enchantment or divination for crying out load if you want to avoid combat use.

The Enchantment spec does give social skill bonus, combined with the skill points of a wizard with decent int, grab some traits to get 2 social skills as class skills, and heck since he wants to make an unoptimized character, make Charisma 12 or 14 for those social skills. And there he has achieved his goal and still functions usefully in game and very useful in those roleplay situations.

>.> ... <.< ... >.> ... ^.^;;

My Harrower has 5 levels of Divination Wizard, Cha 14, Bluff and Sense Motive 12 (8 Diplomacy, can only max out so many skills) at 6th level... And +13 initiative, no save lower than 5 (+11 verses Charms and Compulsions), 22 Int, casts all the same spells at +/- 1 DC as the God Wizard in the guide. He's a monster in combat, and is still "unoptimized" by what you're suggesting. I must be doing something wrong. =P

Wizards need so little for optimization that you have no excuse to not make him competent. Really, all you need is a decent (16-18+) Int and the rest is your playground.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

John Compton wrote:
Zach Klopfleisch wrote:
[Story time]
** spoiler omitted **

Yeah, Ezren's player's idea was brilliant, nobody else saw it coming.

Offtopic: Healing Judgment:

While the Judgment ability itself says "If she is frightened, panicked, paralyzed, stunned, unconscious, or otherwise prevented from participating in the combat, the ability does not end, but the bonuses do not resume until she can participate in the combat again."

The wording of the Healing Judgment seems to make it an exception:


Healing: The inquisitor is surrounded by a healing light, gaining fast healing 1. This causes the inquisitor to heal 1 point of damage each round as long as the inquisitor is alive and the judgment lasts. The amount of healing increases by 1 point for every three inquisitor levels she possesses.

The way I read it, Healing Judgment specifically overrules the general rule. The Judgment has not ended, per the general judgment rules. Normally the bonus would go on hiatus but the specific line "as long as the Inquisitor is alive and the judgment lasts" takes precedence.

So, we've got two conditions:

--Character is alive. Check, this is fast healing not regeneration.
--Judgment has not ended. Check, the general rule says judgments don't end until combat is over even if they do go on hiatus.

Therefore, I think the Healing Judgment continues while the Inquisitor is unconscious. Of course, you're in a better position to verify that's what was meant than I. :P However, if that's the case, they might want to simply remove the "as long as the Inquisitor is alive" line because it doesn't do anything.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Benjamin Falk wrote:

You know what i do when i have new players that have no clue?

I recommend them to play an easy class in the beginning, and if it´s only for the first 3 sessions, so they can get a grasp on the rules.
If this is going good and they want to play a different class, i take some time outside the game and look at it with them.
Should i feel they can´t handle it or will never spend the time to get familiar with the rules, i ask them straight to play something easier.
Most do.

There is the "own what you play" rule for a reason.
You can totally expect even new players to get familiar with their character and class and abilities. That´s only a few pages to read.

I do that, oh boy do I do all of that.

Did you miss the part in my earlier post about players with fifth level characters are still asking how many hit points and skill points they get when they level up?

The thing is, there are players who just don't get it. I enforce the rules about owning their own books. But the newer books are less clear and less well understood. When a player who doesn't get it asks a question about something vague in the Inquisitor rules, someone's bound to have run across it before. However, if someone asks about Rovagug's obedience, or Pummeling Charge, that's new and we've got to read it and figure it out from scratch. That's disruptive, takes time, and lets some of the more assertive players take advantage of GMs to the detriment of the rest of the table's enjoyment. I don't just have to deal with answering these payers' questions, I get to deal with other players requesting to play at other tables. Or just leaving. It's much easier to keep the experience enjoyable for everyone and minimize the pain when I can focus on managing the table and telling the story instead of constantly being distracted by rules I've never heard of.

The fact that we've got books coming out with these new rules so fast is making it hard to keep up. That, in turn, makes it hard to deal with players who "don't get it" but buy them and want to play with the shiny new toys.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

I enjoyed prepping the scenario, it was simpler than a lot of the Season 5 stuff, but still had cool, new lore that I was able to get across to my players. It was a dungeon crawl, but had a really "explorey" feel to it. I handed out paper and stressed bringing a record back, and Valeros's player immediately started mapping the dungeon out when he saw it. The party met every single one of the conditions for the second prestige point and boon.

All told, the players had an edge of their seat experience. The fights were tough, and things got out of hand with just a couple bad rolls on the players' part. I thought for sure it would be a TPK a couple times, but the dice aligned properly to avoid that. I think the fights were balanced really well for that party, which was pretty close to an iconic party in strength and composition.

Well done.

My experience with it:

Ran it Saturday morning, unfortunately I completely forgot to play up the alien geometry but the tension ended up high enough anyway.

4 players: An Inquisitor, Ezren clone with 2XP, Investigator who took the archetype that traded out extracts, and a first timer playing Valeros. Only the Inquisitor could use a wand of CLW.

Ezren memorized Color Spray instead of Magic Missile and ended up taking out all but one of the Barbarians in the first fight. The Party coup de graced them all, but not after one dropped the Investigator to 0.

The Investigator proceeded to be KO'd by the first trap and trigger the second one, ending up sickened after 3 rounds of gnoshing on the corpse.

Then, they got to the water and while the Investigator was wondering what horrible fate would befall him next, Ezren (who happened to be played by a 12 year old) offers "Why don't we just unfold the boat." That idea never crossed my mind, and I figured that qualified as "creatively bypassing" the encounter. I did give the Investigator a nice, close look at the slug as it tried to latch onto the boat.

The Polyp and Ghouls/Festrogs was rough on them. They didn't take advantage of the surprise round or the territory, moving in slowly and getting split up. The Inquisitor charged on the round they were staggered while Valeros waited for them to come to him. Both ended up getting full attacked and eventually going down. Ezren ended up in a corner, with a Festrog (at 3hp) 10' away and a Ghoul (at 2hp) adjacent. He cast burning hands, accepting the AoO from the Ghoul who promptly missed on what was probably my first sub 10 roll of the day, and chose the far corner of his square, catching himself and both undead in the AoE. My dice completed the process of reverting to the mean and both failed their saves, taking 3hp damage and going down.

The score is now Ezren 3, Investigator -2, Valeros and the only character capable of using a CLW wand unconscious but stable.

So, the two characters who are vertical begin digging while I look up the rules for Heal and Recovering With Help. Two hours later Valeros is conscious at -2 and the Inquisitor comes around, lucks out and heals himself for 6 hp so he doesn't drop back unconscious.

At this point they decide to check out the other room. Nobody ever gets really curious about the Polyp.

Valeros goes in alone, trying to bluff the Ancient One about giving himself up and failing miserably. No surprise round, everyone knew what was going to happen, but Valeros gets paralyzed. The Inquisitor moved in to help him, gets knocked to half HP. His next round, he judges Justice. I ask him if that's what he really wants to do. He tentatively says "Destruction?" I ask him how many HP he has and the rest of the table reminds him of the fact that Healing explicitly doesn't stop when you go unconscious. He goes with healing and proceeds to hit the Festrog. I smile and then knock him down to -2. Then proceed to move on and KO Ezren and the Investigator (who was the only one to fail his save vs. the stench. But hey, he still had 3 hours of sickened left anyway, so no biggie.)

The Inquisitor heals to 0, I let him Bluff to play dead and pop himself with a wand of CLW and completely low my perception checks. The Festrog heads back to finish off Valeros first and draws and AoO (legitimate non-metagemey: The mini was down so I didn't think anything of walking right past it.) One natural 20 later and it's just a Ghast and a prone Inquisitor. The Ghast moves over and bites the Inquisitor into the negatives, but that gives Valeros just enouh time to come out of paralysis. He moves up and gets one swing in, and misses. I full attack and only hit with 1, failing to paralyze. He proceeds to full attack and crit but not confirm, dealing almost max damage and exactly enough to knock the Ghast down to 0.

This was the only fight that Ezren didn't finish off.

Once everyone came back around and healed up, Valeros and the Inquisitor spend the next four hours digging. The Inquisitor was a Dwarf with Profession (Stone Mason), which I figure was close enough to Profession (Miner), and he had Stonecunning anyway. He blew away the check to make the saves easier and the mining quiet. The last fight was anticlimactic, save for Ezren walking up and applying his stick to the Ghoul's head after the martials whiffed a couple rounds in a row, ending it.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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Jiggy wrote:

I'm not saying we should treat players like they're perfect; I'm saying we should treat players like they're on the same tier as GMs.

Players come from the same pool of human beings as GMs. Players' experience levels can range from "newbie" to "been doing this for 40 years", just like GMs. Players' IQs and rules-fu run the exact same ranges as that of GMs. Players have the same variety of motives, expectations, preferences and playstyles as GMs.

Neither pool is more or less deserving of "innocent until proven guilty" treatment than the other; all I'm advocating is acting on that reality.

You seem to be under the misconception that I'm arguing some theoretical point.

I'm not. I'm expressing the frustration and explaining the real problems I'm running into with the real people I really GM for.

I spend a ton of my own time helping my players out. I go to the game store on off days to help them create characters. I field questions from GMs at all hours to help them prep scenarios. I get pulled away from the table I'm currently running to answer rules questions and when a PC dies I'm called in to make sure everything was kosher. I listen to their gripes about other players and how they spoil the fun by exploiting or appearing to exploit the rules, and watch some of the people I enjoy playing with the most walk away because that makes the game un-fun for them.

And I'm having trouble keeping up with the rules expansions to answer their questions.

This is causing troubles for me and for my players. Real, actual, non-theoretical problems. It's bogging down games while people argue over rulings. It's making it harder for me and my GMs to manage tables and try to make sure everyone is included. It's making GMing less fun and more of a chore.

Jiggy wrote:

There's some misinformation here:

First, the Strategy Guide contains nothing new at all. It's more like "here's how to use the CRB".
Second, Unchained is mostly a bunch of houserule suggestions; not likely to be an issue for PFS.
That leaves ISG, ACG, and OA. I don't remember when the ISG came out, but come on, the ACG and OA are exactly a year apart, which is what you said yourself was fine.

You're welcome to your opinions, but when it comes to actual facts, let's at least be honest, okay?

That's a very confident statement. Look at the Additional Resources entry for the Monster Codex, there's actually a pretty good amount of material being added for what I expected to be a GM resource like the NPC Codex or GMG.

I have absolutely no idea what will be in the Strategy Guide or Unchained. (That's actually part of the problem, there's so much new stuff in the pipeline I can't keep track of it.) But I seriously doubt that there won't be anything new from either of them. I'm still fielding regular questions about retraining from Ultimate Campaign, after all.

Regardless of what actually gets included from either of those resources, the perception is that there's still a lot more coming down the road. And even if neither of them have anything new, releasing OA a year after ACG is really pushing the ability for the community up here to build up the institutional knowledge to help players with it before they've gotten an entirely new set of mechanics thrown at them.

On top of that, it seems that there are a lot more gray areas that require interpretation or judgment calls in the ACG than in previous books. That might be my inexperience talking since I wasn't playing when APG came out. But it's certainly requiring more work from my GMs and me right now.

I love the ACG, I think Paizo is going in the right direction with the new classes. I know a lot of people have wanted to get psionics classes so the OA is a big deal. But they seem too close together, especially with the big releases around and between them. ISG was the release before ACG, so it was out roughly 3 months before ACG and we're still finding stuff in it. (Checked Amazon, ISG was May, ACG was September. So about 4 months.)

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Read pages 11 and 12 of the Guide to organized play, especially this part:

Guide to Organized Play wrote:

The Society recognizes no formal bylaws, but adherence to a general code of behavior is expected of all members, and reports of activity
violating this code are grounds for removal from the organization. The three most important member duties are as follows

Explore: Pathfinders are expected to further the knowledge and reputation of the Society by traveling to distant lands, unearthing forbidden secrets, and piecing together the secret history of the world. Agents are encouraged to travel uncharted lands in search of evermore fantastic mysteries.

Report: In the course of their adventures, Pathfinders are expected to keep detailed journals, maps, and accounts of their exploits. At the conclusion of a successful mission, the agent sends a copy of his notes to his immediate superior, a regional venture-captain, who makes a full analysis (often involving divination). Accounts of especially noteworthy exploits make their way to Absalom and the Decemvirate, who compile the best tales into irregularly published editions of the Pathfinder Chronicles, which make their way back to venture captains for distribution to Pathfinder agents in the field.

Cooperate: The Society places no moral obligations upon its members, so agents span all races, creeds, and motivations. At any given time, a Pathfinder lodge might house a fiend-summoning Chelaxian, a Silver Crusade paladin, an antiquities-obsessed Osirian necromancer,
and a friendly Taldan raconteur. Pathfinder agents, no matter which of the eight factions they belong to, are expected to respect one another’s claims and stay out of each other’s affairs unless offering a helping hand.

Have a reason why your Paladin would join an organization like this, and how it fits into your code and deity's plan for you. If you can explain why your Paladin would join the Pathfinder Society, it will be a lot easier to figure out why he will put with the characters and jobs he has to deal with in this specific scenario. That will also help you avoid trapping yourself with a too strict archetype, personality or deity.

I'd also suggest picking up, borrowing, or even just visiting and checking out Faiths of Purity for the different good aligned deities' Paladin codes. Some are pretty surprising for how non-goody two shoes they can be. A Paladin of Torag, for example, would have a problem with taking prisoners in some instances, rather than killing them. A Paladin of Shelyn, on the other hand, is much more pacifistic. Both could fit into PFS just fine, but they would do so in different ways and justify their actions very differently.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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Jiggy wrote:

You say that trusting your players is not the issue. But if you're not willing to let THEM tell YOU how something works, if you're not comfortable with character options unless you know them well enough yourself that you'll be able to spot any errors, then you do not trust your players.

Trust does not just mean "I don't suspect malice". It means "I think you can handle this." If you don't think they can handle it, then by definition you do not trust them. Whether it's a GM and his players, a parent and their child that's just learned to drive, or any other situation of risk or vulnerability you can think of; if you're not willing to put them in control of the thing in question (in this case, their own PCs' mechanics), then no, you DON'T trust them.

Here's the thing: I have players with 5th level characters who ask how many hit points and skill points they get when they level up. I have players who don't know you can't take a move action and use two weapon fighting in the same round, and don't understand that you have to apply the TWF penalties when they do make multiple attacks in a round. I explain the why behind the what each time, but they don't pick up on it for whatever reason.

(Some are deliberately obtuse in an attempt to hog the spotlight. If I don't understand the rules they're abusing, how am I going to ensure that other players get their chance? If you don't manage the game to ensure everyone gets a chance and everyone has fun, you lose players.)

It takes work to teach these players the game. But I also have other players at the table who can explain the basics while I move the game along. The Base classes have been around long enough that somebody is at least passingly familiar with just about anything someone shows up with, so I've got that going for me.

And then they bring a Brawler to the next session. Or an Arcanist or Shaman. And they have no idea how to play it and ask me or the other GMs and players. What do I do with that?

These players aren't telling me how their characters work, certainly not in any coherent way, they're asking their GMs how they work.

If the ACG were a one off thing, that would be fine. We'd assimilate the information in it and a year from now there'd be someone at the table who would be able to explain how Arcanists cast while the GM walks a new person through their turn. But the ACG is just in the middle of a bunch of books that have a lot more options, and it looks like we're going to be getting another half dozen new classes while we're still assimilating the ACG classes.

When I started, Paizo was publishing small books monthly that might have a single feat or spell or archetype that one person might use. The changes were small and easy to handle. Hardcovers that made big additions came out slowly (that was actually a selling point when I started: You didn't have the rules bloat from monthly hardcover releases like 3.5). There was, what, a year after Ultimate Equipment came out before there was another hardcover with player options? That's manageable. Inner Sea Gods, Advanced Class Guide, Strategy Guide, Unchained, Occult Adventures: That's drinking from a fire hose.

On top of it all, and it's especially noticeable with the Advanced Class Guide, there are a lot more rules that aren't clearly spelled out in the books. I'm getting more questions about how things work, I'm needing to make more rulings on gray areas than I do with things out of the APG or Core Rulebook, and there's no FAQ support on these new resources to base those rulings on.

You don't show your trust in a 16 year old by throwing car keys at them out of the blue, you teach them first and assess their skills before letting them behind the wheel alone. Big changes are coming out so fast right now that I cannot keep up in order to teach my players who really need the help, and expect _someone_ to be able to help them.

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Back on a topic at least in sight of the OP:

I haven't had a chance to look over the new playtest document. Is there anything really weird about the new classes? Any completely new mechanics I should know about?

They all seems to be casters of some type, and though it's psionic or occult or whatever, I'm guessing it's still more or less magic: Casting time, V, S, and or M component, hits one of the saves, etc?

This "Burn" thing with Kineticists? It's sort of like a penalty you take after using abilities? Other new stuff like that to be aware of?

Is there anything really funky like forcing me to reverse initiative order as a free action that can be taken on anyone's turn, inverts lighting conditions whenever someone at the table sneezes, accidentally summons Groetus whenever anyone rolls a 1 (roll % dice to see who's side Groetus is on, each round)? Or something unbelievably wild and crazy like causing reach weapons to threaten on the second diagonal and everyone to agree on mounted combat rules?

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Derek Weil wrote:

If you do mount your banner to a longspear or lance, how do you justify swinging it around at enemies? What if you stabbed too hard and the flag itself entered the wound?

Just thinking about flavor on that last item. I don't want to take an option that isn't at least somewhat logically consistent.

I'm not sure about the rules offhand, but as for the flavor: If it's good enough for the Bayeux Tapestry, it's good enough for me.

Of course, they didn't charge with couched lances in 1066. (That didn't really become a thing until they learned about stirrups from the Huns or someone.) The Maciejowski Bible is from 1240, when they definitely _did_ charge with couched lances. (See! Stirrups! Pennons are in the upper left corner, kinda cut off in that picture.) But I'm not certain if those lances are meant for combat or for parade.

I have no idea what the provenance of this page or image are, but it looks like it's more or less in period, and those are definitely pennons. On lances. In combat.

So, I wouldn't let a pennon on my character's lance kick me out of my suspension of disbelief while he's charging a flying dragon on a dinosaur using a lance that smites evil enemies with holy magic and has a tip made of metal that cuts steel like butter. Oh, and he's singing a song that makes all his friends better fighters while he's at it. Pennon? No problem.

(If you're worried about overpenetration, just say it has lugs to prevent that. The lugs may or may not have been for that, and they weren't used on lances that were used by heavy cavalry making charges anyway, but hey, we're playing a game not publishing a peer reviewed paper here!)

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The problem with the Rogue, I think, is the intersection between design and practicality: Rogues are 3/4 BAB, meaning they're a support class*. But their support/non-combat schtick is skills, and skills just don't have the impact that the designers back in the 3.0/3.5 days expected.

And it's not just that they're behind on attack scores: 3/4 BAB slows down their iteratives, slows down Power Attack progression, and puts them 2 levels behind full BAB on the key combat feats which require BAB 1. Combat Trick catches them up on the feats, but they're still behind on the other progressions. The fact that they have no innate class abilities to improve their attack bonuses is what really makes them bad at landing hits.

I think the Slayer and Investigator are intentional fixes to this: The Slayer takes over the combat side and the Investigator takes over the non-combat side, each doing their schtick without reservation because they're focused on it.


Rogue design theorizing:

You basically have 3 groups of classes:

Full BAB = Good at doing damage, meh at doing "other stuff."
3/4 BAB = "About" half as good at doing damage, decent at doing "other stuff."
1/2 BAB = Meh at doing damage, good at doing "other stuff."

So, the full BAB characters simply don't do much out of combat, and most of what they do in combat is HP damage.

1/2 BAB characters suck at doing damage in combat (10d6 Fireball vs CR 10 Couatl with 126hp in Pathfinder compared to a 10d6 Fireball vs 9 hit die Couatl averaging 41hp (max 72) in 1st Edition.) But they're amazing at doing "other things" both in and out of combat.

The 3/4 BAB characters were, I think, meant as support characters for both sides of the specialists: They can do "other things" to either fill in for the 1/2 BAB characters (both in and out of combat), but they don't do them as well even if they specialize. They do about half the damage as full BAB characters, and can improve on that if they specialize, but even specialized they don't do as well as full BAB characters.

The problem for the Rogue is that their "other things" are skills. For the most part, skills just don't have the legs to stay tremendously useful throughout all levels. At the same time, those skills that do stay useful throughout all levels: Social and knowledge skills mainly, are done as well or better by other classes. Cha and Int based casters do their respective skills better than Rogues due to synergy with their stats, and Rogues simply have more skill points, they don't have anything to actually allow them to do any better than any other character with the same stats in a class skill. (Aside from finding and removing traps. But traps have become downright rare and mostly minor.)

So, Rogues' utility at "other things" is minimal, but they're still stuck with the support character baggage when it comes to doing damage. They probably should have been rolled in with Fighters. But this is D&D, and where there's D&D there are Rogues. So failing that, they should have been given extra power for their skills, something like giving them Su or Sp abilities when they put a certain number of ranks into a class skill, roughly equivalent to a Bard spell of the level they would be able to cast at that level. I.e, putting 4 ranks into Diplomacy would give the rogue a SLA roughly equivalent to a 2nd level Bard spell, 7 ranks would increase that to roughly the equivalent of a 3rd level Bard spell, etc. (Of course, the word count on that would be horriffic.)

Monks don't really fit into the BAB paradigm directly: They're specialists, but neither in doing damage or doing "other stuff" the way Wizards and Sorcerers do. I think they probably fit into the full BAB space, but instead of doing tons of damage they're focused on having great defenses or being great at combat maneuvers. Unfortunately, while defense wins championships in the real world, it's not so hot in D&D.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

nosig wrote:

do we really need to take this out of the control of the players? Really?

I have enough on my plate deciding on what my monsters are doing, I don't want to have to second guess the motivations of my players.

For the most part, no. We can leave it in the hands of our players. But I'm not going to say my hands are tied and let someone troll the rest of the table, either, so I'll step in if I think it's necessary when I'm GMing.

As a coordinator seating tables, I try to arrange it so everybody can play their own characters on the principle that people generally want to play their own characters and get credit now instead of playing a pregen and getting credit later or maybe never. There's also the the principle that the other players and GM will have a better time if everyone is playing a character they're familiar with and invested in. Those principles aren't universally 100% applicable, luckily I'm not a robot so I can adapt to the situation as I see it.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

DesolateHarmony wrote:
Zach Klopfleisch wrote:
Rambone wrote:
In a 3-7 mod I'm GMing where the players with PCs are all 3rd and 4th level, the pregens must be level 4, period. Anyone telling me I am forced to allow 7th level pregens, I walk.

Luckily, that mathematically won't be the case.

The highest APL a party could get would be three 4's and a 7, which is 4.75 meaning they play at 3-4, full stop. 7 is not "level-appropriate" for sub tier 3-4 when there is a level 4 version available. "Level-appropriate" is not defined anywhere, so you, as the GM, can determine what "level-appropriate" means. It's unambiguously your call.


I'm thinking that a table of 3x4th levels, 2x5th levels, and a 7th level pregen comes out to an APL of 4.8, which rounds to 5, and with 6 players that adjust to subtier 6-7 with the 4 player adjustment. This situation means the 7th level pregen has made the difference in the subtier.

Blarg, I forgot the rounding part, I don't usually let tables get that close. I'd still probably rule "level-appropriate" to be whatever is closest to APL without the pregen, so a table of 3s and 4s would get a level 4 pregen. If you've got a mix of out of tier PCs in there, it would be more of a judgment call.

Same with a table where the pregen is just there to allow them to play up. I'd probably allow it if everyone at the table convinced me that they're enthusiastic about playing up, or if is at least mostly OK with it and I know it's not a dangerous scenario for that party. But if they're intentionally playing up, the Season 4- rule is in effect: Kid gloves are off, punches will be aimed at tender spots and landed with full force, Death Knell was prepared for a reason, et cetera, et cetera. THEN everyone will have to convince me that they're enthusiastic about playing up, and since I know my players, I know the ones who might not speak up but also tend to be pretty risk averse. If those players aren't at the front of the line, I'll simply nix the idea and take the blame for it.

It's different for big conventions where tables are plotted out weeks in advance and people don't know each other. But for local game days and small conventions, it's an issue that the coordinator often can and should head off at the pass so the GM never has to deal with it.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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Rambone wrote:
In a 3-7 mod I'm GMing where the players with PCs are all 3rd and 4th level, the pregens must be level 4, period. Anyone telling me I am forced to allow 7th level pregens, I walk.

Luckily, that mathematically won't be the case.

The highest APL a party could get would be three 4's and a 7, which is 4.75 meaning they play at 3-4, full stop. 7 is not "level-appropriate" for sub tier 3-4 when there is a level 4 version available. "Level-appropriate" is not defined anywhere, so you, as the GM, can determine what "level-appropriate" means. It's unambiguously your call.

In fact, I could see myself ruling that "level-appropriate" means you have to play a level 4 pregen in one game but could play a level 7 pregen in another, both at sub tier 3-4, due to different circumstances between the two games.

When I'm putting tables together, I generally prioritize people playing their own characters over people playing pregens, except for new players at 1-2 tables. Afraid your character will die in that 7-11? No problem, we have a seat at the 1-2 table for you. Your level 3 is locked up in a pbp game? Do you have a 5+ or a 1? We'll put you over there instead. It doesn't always work out that way, but if I do end up with people needing to play pregens, my second line of defense is to have a player I trust be the one playing it: One too many people at the 1-2 and an extra seat open at the 3-4? I'll ask one of my regulars if they'd be willing to play a pregen rather than let whomever jumps into the seat first play it.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Pyris Magmus wrote:

Now I was wondering can I alter the story slightly to give it a more pathfinder society feel. Like maybe a venture captain sent them there to delve the dungeons depths or something? Nothing too big just something more than you see a dungeon, have fun.

That's pretty much standard practice. Just about every module I've run or played for PFS, we've started with a made up VC briefing, some added elements that might shade the plot or how players see it, others just giving some back story. If you can come up with something interesting, go for it.

Changing the fluff around getting into the dungeon is perfectly acceptable. Changing mechanical stuff, like the number or type of enemies in an encounter is the violation of "Run As Written."

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Well, how do your discern the intent?

The original poster said "several of players want to play iconics rather than their own characters (to avoid death/cheat the system)." So he knows, somehow. Maybe they told him? Maybe they "asked" him to test out the waters and see if it's legal? He might have talked to them and simply asked? (That's what I would do.) I don't know, but he seems to know what his players intend.

I know my own player base, what levels of characters they have (I've helped build and level a non-trivial fraction of the characters in this region, I know some PCs better than their players do,) and what their personalities are. If several people started asking me about playing pregens for a scheduled scenario because they were worried about their (in tier) characters dying, I would not seat them at that table. Even if that meant changing the scheduled scenario. There are plenty of good reasons to play a pregen, but that doesn't mean that there are no bad reasons.


I think we already have a way for GMs to deal with this situation: they are not forced to GM, they have little choice when it comes to the characters they are forced to accept, but they are a allowed to just so "No I don't want to run this under these circumstances".

One of my jobs as a coordinator is to avoid situations where the GM has to decide whether he'll run for a group of players or not. I've got a lot more flexibility before to adjust things before the event even starts than the GM does when people sit at his table, so if I put a GM in a situation they think is so bad that they feel the need to walk away, I've failed my job. (And probably also lost a GM.) It's literally 7 times worse on the game day for a GM to walk away from a table than for a player to do so, and the fallout afterwards would be a nightmare.

I also know almost all of my players and GMs pretty well, well enough to identify someone taking advantage of a situation to the detriment of others. Most of the coordinators I know are the same: They know most of the people who play at their game days, even down in Minneapolis where there are 6 or 7 locations and over 200 active players. We're not talking about creating general rules for tens of thousands people that we never interact with, we're talking about paying attention to the individuals we game with on a weekly basis.

It's different at a big, super-regional con where you have 20 tables in a slot and are lucky if two people at a table have seen each other before they sit down. But this doesn't sound like that kind of situation, and most of the cons I've been to aren't even that randomized. Most are composed primarily of local players who at least know each other by reputation.

So, I try not to reward selfish behavior.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

I've seen a couple Swashbucklers, a couple Slayers, a Hunter, a Warpriest an Investigator, a Bloodrager and a Bolt Ace Gunslinger.

My impression from GMing for and playing with the Investigator was that it didn't do anything an Alchemist couldn't do. Then again, I play a 20 Int Mindchemist and the other Alchemist I'm familiar with is a 24ish Int Chiurgeon, so my experience may be just a little biased. (Off topic: Two Weapon Fighting with Healing Bombs makes me grin like a goof every time. Even when I'm GMing and trying to create the feeling of danger.)

Actually, most of the classes and builds I've seen haven't really been all that revolutionary. Most of what I've seen has been stuff you could accomplish with a core or base class and enough system mastery. The classes I've seen aren't bringing extra power to the table. Though, like in the Investigator case, that might be because they're doing what a highly optimized PC can do, but with an easier or less extreme build.

The biggest impact I've seen from the APG have been feats and spells. Of course there's Slashing Grace, but Reckless Rage? Seriously? You looked at Barbarians and said "You know what these guys are missing? Power Attack advanced a step ahead of everyone else!" An alternative to PA when you have BAB 0, that would be cool. An extra 3 damage only for classes that have the Rage class feature seems a little gratuitous.

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As a coordinator, if I had several people signing up for a scenario like this with the intention of using pregens because it's too dangerous, I would seat them at another table. If that didn't work logistically, I would change the scenario.

There are plenty of good reasons to play pregens, many of which have been mentioned already. I'm not a fan of the current rule requiring you to apply credit to a lower level character. Heck, just last week I sat down at a table of 3 pregens + my fighter because all their characters were tied up in Fangwood Keep. It was an awesome game.

But this is different: This is simply selfish behavior.

Pregens are less prepared than a normal character, most of them have no way of dealing with darkness or flying enemies or DR, most don't have their own healing resources, and none of them have the cash to pick up those resources. Players are generally less familiar with them meaning combat turns will take longer and they'll possibly be played less effectively, and in a 7-11 they're at the very bottom of the power curve. (As opposed to sub tier 5-6 in a 5-9.) On top of all that, you have at least half the table, if not the majority of the table, running characters they're not invested in through an admittedly dangerous scenario. That's simply not fair to the other players at the table.

So I'd seat people who want to play that scenario with their own characters first. If that doesn't work, (and if there's time,) I'd change the scenario to something less dangerous. If they really want to play that scenario, they can either take their own PCs or plan and run it themselves on their own time with whatever organization they want.

I try not to reward selfish behavior.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

I hope you keep trying new styles of scenarios, even new sub systems (especially if that is made obvious in the blurb.) Not everything will be a success, but you don't improve if you are too afraid of failure to try. And when you have competition, "if you aren't getting better, you're getting worse."

Silbeg wrote:
Chelish civil war???

I think they're talking about the fall 2015 AP: Hell's Rebels.

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Places I'd like to go:
Kelesh: More Qadiran than Qadira, with genies for construction workers? Sign me up!
Razmiran: They're such fun bad guys, and they wear masks! Sneaking in should be possible even for Barbarians. (Heck, the average 7 Cha Barbarian would probably fit in better than the 20 Cha Bard for once.)
Brevoy: I'm sure my image of the area doesn't match the creative team's ideas, but I'd love to see more of it. And a duel with a well built Aldori Swordlord might be fun for some of those optimized martials.
Rahadoum: Although we've been there a couple times before, this place is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, not sure why. Maybe it just tickles my anti-establishment bone to play a divine caster there.
The First World: Because random is fun, in moderation.
Jormurdun: We spent a season getting to it, I hope we explore the tar out of it.

Things I want to do:
Explore some of those levels "blocked off by tons of rubble" or "not in the scope of this adventure." (See the spoiler for ideas.) Dungeon levels that we know exist but are simply blocked by a few hundred tons of loose rubble should be like an itch between Ambrus Valsine's shoulder blades.
Be a body recovery team. That entry on the chart of uses for prestige always tickled my imagination. Why not revisit an infamous TPK scenario from the perspective of the team sent out to recover the bodies. "This morning we sent out a group of initiates to run some errands. 12 hours later, one just wandered in saying something about a crazy halfling with a great axe and a psychotic sorcerer. Go find the rest of them and track down their gear because they were bringing back some important documents."
Continue experimenting with different style scenarios. We've done social scenarios, stealthy capers, investigations, mass combat, and others that are different than the normal 3 combats + an additional encounter. Keep trying new stuff. Maybe put us on the other side of the encounter: A group of adventurers/Aspis are expected to break in and steal something, stop them!
Run into more classes: We seem to see a lot of Oracles, but not many other Base classes. A few Maguses, and Alchemists, but everything else has been a one-off or completely absent as far as I can see: An Inquisitor, a Cavalier, no witches, no Samurai, no Ninja, no Summoners, a Gunslinger or two? When we face classed NPCs, consider spicing it up a little more.

Meta stories/arcs I'd like to see
Focus on some historical period or lost knowledge. I enjoyed how season 4 spent a lot of time exploring the lore of Thassilon. I'd love to see another season focused on something like Azlant, the history of Absalom itself, the Peacock Spirit, the Aboleths, Serpentfolk and Ydersius, the Vault Builders, the creators of Kaer Maga, etc. There's a ton of Golarion specific lore, and the Pathfinder Society is the perfect vehicle to explore it.
Competition between the PFS and Aspis: Both need access to places, and want to exclude the other. Or perhaps both are trying to track down a major archaeological site and are trying to keep the other from doing so, or maybe one stepped on the toes of the other too many times and the conflict heats up.
Interference by the Cult of Norgorber. The Reaper of Reputation is at direct odds with the Seekers of Secrets. Hijinks ensue.

*Here's a few scenarios with places we've visited that obviously have more to explore.*


Black Waters: 2nd level of the dungeon.
Echoes of the Overwatched: Both the Blakros Museum and the Tower of the Horn.
Day of the Demon: The secret dungeon in Oestergard.
Halls of Dwarven Lore: Janderhoff

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claudekennilol wrote:
Secane wrote:
I would strongly advise against trying to UMD a wand of Crafter's Fortune, as it would fall heavily into part of table variation. The GM would have to decide how many charges qualifies for the time between scenarios and if your UMD is not high enough to succeed on a roll of 1, then the GM would have to have you roll for each "day" you use the wand.
No UMD is high enough to succeed on a wand on a roll of 1.

If you're talking about automatic successes and failures, the wording is very specific when it comes up. It's always written like:

"Automatic Misses and Hits: A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threat—a possible critical hit (see the attack action)."

The same wording is used for saving throws and stabilizing while dying.

There is no such statement in the Skills chapter, so rolling a 1 or a 20 has no effect on a skill check other than adding a 1 or 20 to your bonus to create a result. No auto success or failure with skills. (Based on dice rolls. Having a bonus high enough leads to auto success, or a bonus too low can lead to auto failure.)

Depending on your group, you could go with Inquisitor for a more direct approach to combat instead of the Bard's more supportive approach: You're starting out when Inquisitors get Bane, which vaults them up to the front of the class when it comes to combat.

You've got fewer skills than a Bard, but a ton of useful skills. You've got adaptable teamwork feats for just the right thing in this situation. You can take Conversion Inquisition to be almost as good a face as a Bard while dumping Cha, or another inquisition or domain to further improve your combat abilities. Dwarven Inquisitors can be among the sturdiest possible characters with amazing saves and excellent armor classes while still blowing things up, or half orc Inquisitors can blow things up like a Barbarian while still having knowledge skills comparable to a Wizard and social skills like a Paladin.

Going off-type, you could worship Cayden Cailean and focus on the Bill and Ted-style "be excellent to each other" side of his worship rather than the bro-style "let's all get drunk and partay" part. A dwarf who totes around a rapier and says things like "Remember, it's not about the drinking, it's about feeling comfortable enough with yourself to be awesome to everyone else!" isn't something you see every day. Likewise, I doubt you've run into many half orcs who fight with a falchion but are the party face and mainly focus on making sure the unpopular are still included and have fun, and occasionally protecting the weak.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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Oznof wrote:

I have run a few games for pfs now and I am a little uncertain of how to report some of the stats.

Do I report the character I am applying the DM experience in as a played character

For my DM number do I just use my base number or is there a second number I should have (eg 555555-1 or just 555555)

There's a section on the reporting sheet for GM number, which is your player number (the 555555), and a separate section for GM character number, (the -32 or whatever.)

If you are reporting the event online yourself, there is a separate section for GM number (the 555555) and GM character (the -18), up above where you report the players.


On the event sheets it asks how much prestige the GM gained ; isn't it just always 2 prestige.

Scenarios always give you 2, modules give you 4, Free RPG Day modules give you 1. Unless, of course, you slow track, in which case you cut those numbers in half. So there is at least some reason to have that field there.


Should I make an event sheet for the character I give the experience to

What do I need to bring for my character to play in other pfs games (GM scenario sheets or Player scenario sheets or both)

Yes, you fill out a chronicle sheet for the character you assign the credit to. You have to pick that character when you GM the game, no waiting for a month or two to see what shows up. If the character is in tier for the scenario, you apply the gold and items based on the most appropriate sub tier for that character. (I.e. assigning a tier 1-5 chronicle to a level 4 character, the character gets the gold and item access from the 4-5 sub tier regardless of whether you ran the game at sub tier 1-2 or 4-5. Out of tier gets the average of the two tiers and the lower sub tier's item access.) If the character isn't high enough to play the scenario (A level 2 character but a 3-7 scenario, for example) the chronicle sheet sits there and waits until the character gets high enough level, and then is immediately applied.

And yes, you need to bring all the chronicles, both from playing and GMing, when you play a character. There isn't any difference between the two once they've been assigned, they simply record what credit the character has.

Chapter 7 of the Guide to Organized Play isn't too long and covers all this in detail as well as explaining how chronicle sheets work. I'd suggest reading that.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

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My guess is that it's more about Golarion lore than the flavor of the Great Old Ones: They were forklifted directly from Lovecraft without any support in the setting. One of the goals of Pathfinder Society is to showcase Golarion, so why bring something that was basically a bone thrown to Lovecraft fans into PFS when there are literally dozens and dozens of other options that have a place in the lore you're trying to promote?

As a GM, it can be frustrating when I'm trying to build immersion in the story and someone pulls the entire table out of it with a quote or reference or something. You have a Cleric of Cthulu at the table and every. single. game. is going to have at least a 5 minute distraction as people banter around "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn." At least when you have an Inquisitor of Asmodeus at the same table as a Bellflower Tiller, the distraction is going to be relevent to the setting and likely educate some of the other players.

So my guess, for the Great Old Ones at least, is that it's due to their lack of a place in Golarion lore rather than anything to do with them specifically.

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nosig wrote:

(IMHO) Letting someone read the scenario AFTER they plays it might help them understand the story line better... and maybe for the NEXT game they will pick up on things better. Look for the story, know how to ask questions, understand the mechanics of a scenario... you know, learn some of the "tricks of playing". But don't give it to them before, that would be like telling someone how the movie ends before they start to watch it.

Agreed. I became a much better player after I started GMing and got to understand the behind-the-scenes logic and metagame of RPGs better.

If you're worried about your players not being able to follow along or get confused, I would suggest writing up some handouts describing important plot points and information. Hand those out as you get to the appropriate points so the players can refer back to them later on. One of the things I found helped my players a lot was printing out the Venture Captain boxed text from the beginning of the scenario and highlighting/bolding the key points.

Definitely requires more prep time, though.

*** RPG Venture-Lieutenant, North Dakota—Fargo

Let's list out some pros and cons:

    Pros for GM credit, especially repeated credit
  • Incentivizes GMs, especially experienced GMs, to run more games
  • The more often you GM a scenario, the better you get at it.
  • Allows GMs to bypass those annoying and dangerous low levels. (Don't want to lose that Rat Folk boon to a lucky crit? Have a concept for a Magus that's pretty much unplayable until 4th or 5th level? etc.)
  • Makes scheduling easier if you don't have to worry about avoiding duplicate scenarios for your GMs as well as your players.
  • Makes it easier for GMs to keep their characters up with the pack, especially when you're re-running scenarios for new players that your experienced players have already played through for the second or later wave of new players.
  • GMs don't have to be as strategic about where to apply credits, if they apply them now, they'll still be available later if a character really needs it. (I don't want 15 characters with 1 chronicle on them, or 5 level 2 characters that I've never played. But I might want to apply a chronicle to one character to bump him up to level 5 so he can play in a 5-9 a week later some day but, if I've already run that scenario, no joy.)

    Cons for GM credit, especially repeated credit
  • Unlimited replay is Bad, we know from experience.
  • Incentivizes GMs to farm specific scenarios rather than a broad range of scenarios. (Everybody knows that, after the first time you schedule a certain season 3 trilogy, you'll be inundated with requests to repeat it for at least 6 months.)
  • GM credit gets boring: You're not playing your character but he's still advancing towards retirement.
  • Paizo gets less money.
  • GMs already get enough rewards from stars and the fun of seeing different groups solving the problems in different ways.
  • GMs can choose not to take credit when they run a scenario, saving it for later when it would be more useful.
  • Lack of repeated credit is only a constraint in a small set of circumstances: GMs who have run a LOT of scenarios, scenarios with boons, venues that only run a subset of all available scenarios.

Some of these are paradoxical or resolve themselves:

  • GMs get better with practice|Replay is Bad: First, we have to ask, why is replay bad? Players can spoil plots, or hang back too much in an attempt to not spoil the plot. That's not a problem for the GM, though, in fact the opposite is the case. I don't find this persuasive as applied to GMs in general. GMs can get bored of scenarios and just phone them in, but that's an individual issue and certainly organizers should be able to handle that along with other problematic GMs.

    Another problem is farming for gear or boons. I never experienced Living Greyhawk, so I don't know the havoc it caused. But again, from the GM's perspective, we already suggest GMing for exactly this purpose. How many threads asking for a list of boons are answered by "if you want it on a specific character, just GM it?" Frankly, though, I have no idea how much of a problem this would be if there were unlimited credit allowed for GMing it, since we effectively have unlimited runs available due to multiple players potentially wanting to GM something for a boon. I think this would boil down to an individual issue again.

  • GM credit allows you to level a character past the boring spots|GM credit gets boring after a while. This boils down to personal preference. Is it more boring to you to play through level 1 on a character that can't really do anything, or is it more boring to have characters spring into full bloom halfway through their career? Limiting unlimited credit to tier 1-5 scenarios addresses this somewhat, but I think the deciding factor really should be "Who am I to tell you what you find more boring?"
  • GMs have to be careful about taking/wasting credits|Gms can choose not to take credit when they run a scenario. Unless I misremember the Guide to Organized Play, the latter really resolves the problem. If you don't have a character that you want to apply this specific chronicle to at this time, then just don't take the chronicle and you can pick it up the next time you run it. I've almost completely stopped taking chronicles unless I have a specific use for one: The last chronicle I took was in August in order to bump a character up to level 7 so he would be eligible for the 7-11 I was scheduled to play in the next week.

All that being said, I think the last con really is dominant in this situation: Lack of repeated credit is only a constraint in a small set of circumstances. I don't think the situation is generally broken, and this is one change that will only affect a small subset of people in specific circumstances. It's not an unquestionably positive change, so I think we should hold off on making any changes until the issue becomes more general. This, of course, it colored by my experiences so others might be having more problems with it that I've seen.

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cdglantern wrote:

What about saving throws that are impacted by divine grace? Do these then become charisma based checks as well?

Divine Grace says:


Divine Grace (Su): At 2nd level, a paladin gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

You get your Cha bonus added to your saving throws, but it doesn't say anything about replacing the normal stat for your saves. So a Will save is still based on your Wis, you just get to add your Cha to the result as well, the same way you would get to add an enhancement bonus from a Cloak of Resistance.

Compare that to the Lore Oracle's Lore Keeper revelation:


Lore Keeper (Ex): Instead of encyclopedic knowledge, you learn most of your information through tales, songs, and poems. You may use your Charisma modifier instead of your Intelligence modifier on all Knowledge checks.

That "instead of" turns it into a Cha based check, and would be affected by a Circlet of Persuasion.

*** RPG 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.

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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.

*** RPG 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.

*** RPG 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.

*** RPG 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.

*** RPG 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.

*** RPG 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.

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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.

*** RPG 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.

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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?"

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