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FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 8,536 posts (9,730 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 33 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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The Exchange ****

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I have posted the following list before, but I always find it awesome, and presented in a very novel way...

I had a judge for a game I was going to play send out the following in an email... and I found it very "Awesome!", so I thought I'd share it with my friends here (and the rest of you too!).

(in the email sent to all the players before the game):
I will remind you to be prepared for the basics.

Disease
Poisons
Ability damage (potentially drain)
Swarms
Invisible opponents
Incorporeal opponents
Extremes in temperature
Being grappled
Religious extremists who do not like you
Travel in an area where Pathfinders are not legal

Then AFTER you leave the venture captains office...

Yeah... made me laugh!

The Exchange

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Guys, we appear to be stumbling into the areas where we don't really need to bother to go.

If a player shows up at the table where I'm setting down and says "My PCs got XXX" that effects his movement, I might ask her how she deals with whatever the possible problem might be. If that happens to be Peg Legs, or a Bloat Mage, or an Andoran, we'll work that out during or before the game.

Of corse it's to be expected that if you come onto the boards and say ANYTHING about your PC, you are going to get one or more posters objecting to it. And insisting that your PC should not be allowed to do it. This is sort of the nature of the boards...

The Exchange ****

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Most PCs interact with VCs only during briefings... so our views toward, and reactions to, VCs will be created from the way those briefings appear to be handled.

Here's an old thread on something that I think was/is a
Problem-with-mission-briefings.

Quoted from that thread:

For once I would like get a briefing kind of like in the movies. You know, the team enter a briefing room with a set of desks facing a raised platform where two or three aides prepare a seat and some flip displays for the Venture Captain who rushing in and looks the team over. "Your team is the best available from the pathfinder agents in town." Be that good or bad...
"Here's what we know of the situation." Hand out for the players detailing the instructions "to go to location 'A' and do 'B'. Along the way you way you will encounter 'C'".
The judge now looks over the party and makes a note of what types of characters he has available. Checks his additional notes and says:
"Your team has been assigned Sigmond as we are expecting you to need someone adapt at the arcane arts. Grod and Tarrick the Bazerk should supply any... forceful backup you need, and Lord Patterson should be able to get you thru any Diplomatic entanglements you encounter. Jane the Knife was assigned - well Jane why don't you tell them what your special skills you bring to the group are?" Perhaps have each of the players supply why they think they were assigned this mission.
"Blackson here" pointing to one of his aides "from Scrolls can provide our current update on the situation"
The Judge then provides the answers to expected questions. Now we can get to all the off the wall questions that the players will ask. And perhaps let the players do some Knowledge rolls to see if they know anything the Society might not have on file.

The Exchange ****

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so...
The important question is - does detailing this out "in game" add to the enjoyment of the people at the table?

Yes? then let's be sure and cover it.

No? then let's push it behind the curtain and only pull it out when it will "Add To The Game".

The Exchange ****

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Alexander Augunas wrote:

So when I played We Be Goblins Free, I got captivated by the singing enemy in that mod, and was one round away from being coup de graced. I needed a 19 or higher to save myself. My GM required us to sing the goblin songs to use our rerolls, and so I sang my heart out poorly, just as a goblin should.

I rolled a natural 20 on the reroll.

Always sing the goblin song. ALWAYS.

wonderful advice.

Bad requirement.

The Exchange ****

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Comment on Chase scenes....

Link to thread..

and the quote from that old link...

Let people help each other. Do the chase as a team not as a group of individuals trying to get high dice rolls.

Need to get by the locked door? let the rogue pick the lock, the barbarian chop down the door, the alchemist blow it all up. Or the Bard to sweet-talk the guard into opening it and letting her friends by - "see you after you get off sweetie!"

My biggest problem with the chase mechanics is that it splits a social game into a game of individuals. Is your build "better" than the other players? Really? Present challenges to the party.

Got to catch the target? How far can you throw the gnome barbarian?

Though several posters did point out that clearly the problem with chase scenes wasn't in the rules, it was either with the character/player in the chase or the guy running the table....

The Exchange ****

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ignore this - just nosig being nosig:
"We did ask about taking 10 at one point and were told that we couldn't and I don't think it came up again."... oh, fun. Yeah. I keep forgetting....

"modifications" that let the judge "control the ...tension of the game"... that "..vary based on the pacing and dramatic needs of the moment".

sigh...

hay, maybe that's why you kept failing at the checks! the judge was "control the ...tension of the game", adjusting "the pacing and dramatic needs of the moment".

Dark Archive ****

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In my area we have a saying, often heard at tables I play at (or judge) - "Don't kill them! They're worth more alive!". Sometimes this results in the Lib.Edge faction PCs swinging with renewed vigor, trying to kill the NPCs before the D.A./Exchange/S.S factions can turn them over to the guard to be sold into slavery.

Have I stabilized monsters? Sure! lots. after all, "they're worth more alive". Where do you think all that fiendish blood comes from? Dead fiends only give up blood once. And Monstrous guards are not cheap!

And if my PC gets a reputation as someone who ALWAYS captures enemies - maybe "what goes around, comes around". Some day that might be my girl bleeding out there.

The Exchange ****

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I have re-reviewed most of the 300 so posts on this and I notice something...

The OP said "I was at a table with four other players and we were told this would be a social scenario. We had a social paladin, a social fighter/rogue another fighter, a sorcerer and a couple others I don't remember. We utterly failed in this adventure because we didn't have the right knowledge skills or profession skills." -

so, if I am reading that right, his judge couldn't have run this correctly. If there were two characters described as "social XXX"... how did they fail the checks? I can only come up with four ways....

1) the judge (incorrectly) restricted checks to only those PCs that first passed the Knowledge/Profession checks - or perhaps only allowed PCs with those skills to make checks. (the "social" characters weren't allowed to make the check)

2) the judge (incorrectly) penalized diplomacy checks made by those PCs or groups that did not first make/pass the Knowledge/Profession checks (the "social" characters using Diplomacy only suffered a major minus to Diplomacy Skill checks)

3) the players rolled poorly. (perhaps because they didn't know/weren't allowed to "Take 10"? - but that's just nosig being nosig).

4) the OP doesn't know what a "social" character is...

I think the most likely answer is #2 - which means this entire thread is about someone (the judge) who doesn't know the (new) rules, enforcing what he thinks they are... Or am I missing something?

The Exchange ****

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I am waiting for someone to come on to this thread and issue a complaint that these rules are turning the Role Playing into Roll Playing....

there, that should get a bunch of people disagreeing with me again...;-)

The Exchange ****

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Also, here's an interesting thought.

If this scenario uses a rules sub-set that I (the judge) am unfamiliar with, it's kind of nice having a player at the table who knows how it works.

A while back I was running a game with very little prep - and one of the NPCs was a class that I had never run, in fact that I had never even SEEN run. Yeah, I read the book on it (10-15 minutes of my hour prep time in fact) - but when it came to running him in combat? heck, I could read his tactics but understand them? So I came to that moment in the melee where I'm not sure how it works and... just asked. Sure enough, there's a player at the table who's eyes light up. "Hay! I run a guy like that! Yeah, that's a feat, it does XXX". Me: "So when it says he does YY?" Player: "Oh, he should move to here to do that because...". And it made the game much more fun then me trying to stumble thru playing something I had no idea how it worked. And next time I run it - I'll better understand those class abilities.

I can see letting everyone at the table know we're using the "new rule sub-set from XXX"... that means more than one set of eyes looking at it and more than one brain trying to figure out how to run it.

After all, I'm playing WITH the players, not AGAINST them.

The Exchange ****

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
nosig wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:

You don't have to say how they're being used, how they relate to the story being told or anything like that, just like the blurb doesn't tell you what monsters or opponents or classes or races you will encounter. It seems like a simple solution that will help the game, I still can't see how this would hurt the game in any way.

So you want to ruin the GM experience by giving the player's the exact tactics they need to run rough shot over the scenario? And yeah before you actively complain that Im exaggerating there are simple hard counters to a lot of newer classes that you wouldn't be able to tell normally and would be easy as all hell to do if you had your goofy warning.

I don't even understand this post...

are you saying the judge needs to NOT tell the players what rules are being used? That to do so would "...ruin the GM experience by giving the player's the exact tactics they need ..."?

Or that the players need to pick the scenario to sign up for without knowing what rules will be included in the game being run?

Please expand on this statement "...there are simple hard counters to a lot of newer classes that you wouldn't be able to tell normally... ". What are you trying to say here?

I also did not understand the statement "...would be easy as all hell to do if you had your goofy warning." I mean other than the part where you felt that "his" warning was "goofy"... I get that you do not like the idea of putting a warning label on scenarios.

Basically, to dictate what monsters are in a scenario is a horrible and kind of obnoxious suggestion to make.

Sorry. I must have missed that post. Where did someone "dictate what monsters are in a scenario"?

All I have seen is some posters saying "I want a warning label when these new rules are being used instead of the (CRB) existing rules" and replies saying "quite whining".

The Exchange ****

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Jessex wrote:
Which would have been fine. But the scenario completely sidelined the social characters, presumably played by the players interested in that aspect of role playing, which is quite likely the source of the frustration. Maybe something where the character with the knowledge skill could aid the character with the diplomacy or some such would have been better. But a set up where it was just a giant "who has the knowledge skills mechanic" sucked.

That's just not true. The DCs were set so that a generic Diplo-heavy PC could handle them at his own tier. However, each NPC also has specific-interest skills that are even easier, but you need different skills for each one of them.

So in this scenario a classic Face can handle every NPC reasonably well, while other skilled PCs can handle just a few of the NPCs, but very well. An efficient party would allocate the Face to whichever NPC it lacks the special-interest skills for.

I am getting the impression from the OP and several later posters that this is not always the case. Likely due to Judge error - possibly due to the use of new, poorly understood rules, being interpreted in the worst possible way.

Reminds me of a game I played in where the judge ruled that the damage listed on a creatures attack (listed as Melee bite +4 (1d3–4 plus attach)) was clearly a typo, so he corrected it to be Melee bite +4 (1d3+4 plus attach), which turned the Weasel Familiar into a real terror!

To him it made no sense to list the attack damage as 1d3 minus 4, that would mean the creature could never actually do damage right? so it must have been a typo! So he fixed it...

Felt like we were fighting a certain rabbit ... we really needed a Holy Hand Grenade...

I wonder if this is what happened in the OPs game. Clearly these rules should modify the existing Diplomacy rules... and are used to get other PCs into the social interaction - so how best to do that? Make it harder for the Diplomat PC so he needs the other skills! Not saying that is what happened, just that it sounds from the OP that that is what is happening at least some of the time.

The Exchange ****

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:

You don't have to say how they're being used, how they relate to the story being told or anything like that, just like the blurb doesn't tell you what monsters or opponents or classes or races you will encounter. It seems like a simple solution that will help the game, I still can't see how this would hurt the game in any way.

So you want to ruin the GM experience by giving the player's the exact tactics they need to run rough shot over the scenario? And yeah before you actively complain that Im exaggerating there are simple hard counters to a lot of newer classes that you wouldn't be able to tell normally and would be easy as all hell to do if you had your goofy warning.

I don't even understand this post...

are you saying the judge needs to NOT tell the players what rules are being used? That to do so would "...ruin the GM experience by giving the player's the exact tactics they need ..."?

Or that the players need to pick the scenario to sign up for without knowing what rules will be included in the game being run?

Please expand on this statement "...there are simple hard counters to a lot of newer classes that you wouldn't be able to tell normally... ". What are you trying to say here?

I also did not understand the statement "...would be easy as all hell to do if you had your goofy warning." I mean other than the part where you felt that "his" warning was "goofy"... I get that you do not like the idea of putting a warning label on scenarios.

The Exchange ****

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Neil Markey wrote:
Sometimes the best way to cooperate, is to wait outside...

that is what I'm doing with this entire thread...

The Exchange ****

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Mitch Mutrux wrote:

There are many times where the party knows that they are going to be going into a situation where combat may break out, which makes prebuffing pretty easy, especially since a CL1 Mage Armor lasts an hour, and most scenarios don't have long gaps between combats, so a single mage armor can often last more than one combat.

But, the point is that mage armor not being on a certain class's spell list doesn't keep it from being an option for that class.

Off the top of my head, checking the Evergreen Intros...

First Steps. 3 combats spaced by more than an hour apart each. One of those is "surprise!"... Unless the judge takes pity on you and puts you in two back to back... so, 2 or 3 potions. Say 100gp?

Confirmation 3+ combats (maybe 5?), all spaced more than an hour apart... 150gp? or 250gp?

Masters of the Fallen Fortress ... more combats, but it is possible to do this in an hour. It is just as likely the judge will rule it as over an hour though... but call it 1 Potion, Say 50gp.

but this is silly. My question directed at BNW was: "You do realize that mage armor isn't on the list of spells an Investigator, Alchemist, or Bard can cast?" and the unsaid part was "so it would be harder for those classes to use it than say... just wearing armor?"

edit: I mean another option would be to just wear armor and live with the Arcane Spell Failure chance. 10% for Leather or Mithril chain shirt... My wife did this for years in LG running a Sorcerer - 10% failure on spells. She liked to roll a die when she was casting a spell - and a 1 or 2 meant the spell just fizzled.

Scarab Sages

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I've surprised people with an Alchemist as Healer... Alchemist (Chirurgeon)...

I get Breath of Life as a 4th level Extract - which I put in poisoners gloves and can hand off to other PCs (like the Barbarian in the party). It's something else to see the party barbarian charge across the battlefield and punch a Breath of Life into someone that just went down.

or if I'm close enough, I can punch a body with a BoL, and take my second attack to punch it again...."Clear!... AGAIN! CLEAR!"

makes a great RP event...

Then Healing Bombs can just get ... interesting. Not Channeling, but an AOE that heals living creatures and hurts undead and does both AT THE SAME TIME...

Plus all the other things Alchemists do...

The Exchange ****

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I encountered another "SWAT" team a long time ago in LG days...

Group of Halflings (or maybe Gnomes)... S.W.A.T. (Short Weapons and Tactics).

I also ran a member of (redacted) - another Halfling team (Dog Mounted). ("Swiftly Mounted, Undercover, Recon Force").

And my -1 PC is a member of FED-Ex (Fast Elven Delivery - Express: "We Deliver While You Sleep")

The Exchange ****

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nosig wrote:

The is just thread discussing what I call table ETIQUETTE.... right? Or is there some activity that we are trying to ban?

We're all friends here at the table right? So, if your friend is doing something that bothers you - ask them nice to stop it.

...snipping a bunch of my first post to save space....

table ETIQUETTE.

Play nice. Let's be friends. Have fun....

Just an attempt to push this back into the original track... Feel free to ignore me if you want...

The Exchange ****

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The is just thread discussing what I call table ETIQUETTE.... right? Or is there some activity that we are trying to ban?

We're all friends here at the table right? So, if your friend is doing something that bothers you - ask them nice to stop it.

If someone at a table asked me to stop doing something because it was "being disruptive to play" or that it "bothered him" I'd try to stop doing it. I often do or have done things that might bug someone, without me even noticing it. If I was rattling dice on the table top (something that I ask other players to PLEASE not do when I am talking) and someone asked me to stop - I would.

Some things I've been asked to stop doing or change at a table-

If my "silly voice" bothered someone (something I was asked to stop doing more than once), I'd switch it.
If my Take 10 T-shirt upset anyone at the table - I'd switch it. (I bring an extra shirt just for this).
If I'm jiggling my leg (nervous habit) - I'd quit.
If I'm crunching ice (my bad habit) - I'd put it back in the cup and TRY to stop.
If my PC is "hitting" on someone's PC and it's "creeping me out guy" - I'd stop right away.
If my cross-gendered PC is bothering someone - I'll switch the gender for one game (maybe she's in "disguise" for the adventure).

Heck - this is about ETIQUETTE - about "playing nice" together.

If anyone at the table asks me to stop some easily controlled thing - like singing, I DON'T CARE WHY IT BOTHERS THEM - I'd stop as soon as I could. Maybe she feels it's to much like cheating. Perhaps there is trauma there, I don't know, and frankly I don't care. WHATEVER the reason. I wanna be her FRIEND. I want her to have fun too. If it helps her have fun, and doesn't hurt my fun, why not stop doing it if she asks nice (or heck, even more it she asks upset)? This does require her to ASK... even non-verbally. If someone at the table flinches everytime I use my "Halfling Voice", maybe I should not do it?

table ETIQUETTE.

Play nice. Let's be friends. Have fun.... it's what the game is really about.

edit: heck - we often hear what habits other people have that bother the poster. How about if we chime in on this thread with things we do that sometimes bothers other players? (like my list above of "Some things I've been asked to stop doing or change at a table"). What are you working on changing in yourself - for Table Etiquette sake?

Scarab Sages ****

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Fromper wrote:

As others have mentioned, I'd say character intros are one of the keys. As a GM, I always ask my players to introduce themselves and their characters, and leave it to them to tell us as much or as little as they want.

As a player, I frequently have to ask "Can we do character introductions before we start?", which bugs me, since the GM should be leading that. But more often than I'd like, they don't unless I ask.

Bah! Don't wait for the judge to say ok - just jump right in an introduce yourself while they are busy with the setting up...

In Giamo's french/italian accent, "I am Giamo Casanunda, Cleric of the god of Love - Cayden. My card (hand out business cards). Tell me, are you currently in a long term relationship? No? Would you like to be?"

I normally get stammers and blushes. Giamo goes on to say "I am a Matchmaker by profession you see, it is my 'day job' (finger quotes) - so if you might be interested in such a relationship, perhaps we might discuss some of my other clients?" By this time the judge will have noticed my In Character speach.... So at this point I switch to my OOC voice and say ... "Role Play often suffers due to time constraints, and we only have a limited time for this tonight so..." Back in character voice "Sigh... It appears that we have got to save the world again now, perhaps after that we'll find your one true love, yes?"

The Exchange ****

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Hmm wrote:

That sounds like a character concept to me!! But then again, my local lodge shares much in common with the Hall of Drunken Heroes.

Hmm

My wife just gave out a number of engraved mugs to our gaming crew... (glass 16 oz. mugs)

they say "Mugged by Cayden Cailen" ... (yeah - she missed the spelling error when she reviewed the Proof from the engraver... so now she's going to have another bunch done.)

She's looking forward to us all having them out at a Con - and waiting to see if anyone notices.

The Exchange ****

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Realizing this is asking for opinions, and everyone is going to have different ones...

What's your favorite scenario from each season, and why is it your favorite? (Perhaps it's the most fun, or perhaps it's the fastest run, or fits the Season's "Theme" the best.)

Season 0:

Season 1:

Season 2:

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:

Season 6:

Season 7:

The Exchange

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I can recall an old home game where I felt bad about the amount of treasure (or lack thereof) that I had given out in an earlier game. So I placed a large gem (a ruby) in the hall for the players to find. I reasoned that another adventuring party had dropped it as they left - and had not noticed it.

So as the players approached a intersection they caught sight of a "red twinkle" on the floor ahead. Out came the detect spell, the rogue checking for traps, the works. Ultimately, even discovering that it was a gem, they elected to bypass that section of tunnel to avoid approaching it, as they could come up with NO REASON FOR IT TO BE THERE. It HAD to be a trap, and one they couldn't figure out, so best to bust a hole in a couple room walls to bypass the intersection entirely...

The Exchange ****

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jon dehning wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:

Nosig:

Regarding a circumstance bonus for describing how you are picking a lock. I've definitely done that in the past for traps. The only reason I wouldn't tend to do it for locks is because I personally don't understand well enough how locks work to adjudicate such a thing.

I've also given circumstance bonuses to Acrobatics for clear description and dramatic flair.

Circumstance bonus for Disable Device?

Hmmmmm....

Alchemical grease applied to yer picks; hitting the lock with a can of compressed cold (forget the actual name for this item) or acid to loosen things up in there; having a tiny familiar cast Reduce Person and then go into the lock; using the meditation feat to calm yerslef before making the check.

I think I could be persuaded to give a +2 bonus to any of these.

all of your examples above are NOT Role Playing example, they are example of "Creative thinking". When I ask about a R.P. bonus it would be more like:

Judge: "the door is locked"

Player: (in normal voice): I'll use disable device, my rogue slides forward, drops to one knee and pulls down the lenses that are flipped up on his forehead. As he works, he talks out loud. (in an excited in character voice): "Wow! I haven't see one of these babies sense Locksmith School! An Armstrong and Thornberry Mark IV double pin keyed Lock! these are tough! Good thing I have my number four Fergason L-Pick"-pulling a expanding backscratcher from my gaming kit-"it's just the thing..." expanding it to 18" long, grinning manically as I glance around at the other players "...for one of these locks!" change of voice "I take ten and get a 26, plus any bonus for the role playing.".

that's what an R.P. bonus would be like.

The Exchange

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Detecter PC: "Got a Ping here! Stop moving...concentrating for 2 more rounds..."
Trapsmith PC: "What's this? We're in the middle of ally! Who put's a trap in th...."
GM: "You don't detect anything the second round."
Det.P.C. "Huh?"
GM: "No more magic aura"
Det.P.C. "Oooookkkkay... Hmmm... Continuing to scan."
GM: "You move 10' and pick up magic."
Det.PC: "Stop moving... Concentrating..."
GM: "no more magic again."

(The invisible Imp continues to "toy with the PCs", flying just into detection range and then out....).

Det.PC. "Got a Ping here! Stop moving...concentrating for 2 more rounds..."
Trapsmith PC: "What's this? We're in the middle of tunnel! Who put's a trap in th...."
GM: "after two rounds of detection you pick up magic thru the western wall - but you can't see the source exactly...."
Cleric (the best perception in the party): "checking for secret doors!"
GM: "what's your take 20 perception? 34? You don't detect anything."
Cleric "I pull out my 'limited use gimmick' to boost my perception by +5 giving me a 39! Ha!"
GM: "still nothing - just a solid stone wall."
Players: "We dig!"
GM: "After an hour you have chiseled 11 inches into the solid stone and a small copper coins falls out - it appears to have been encased in the stonework. And it radiates divination magic."
Wizard PC: "I prep Identify and cast it - 15minutes prep time."
GM: "The coin appears to be a Scrying Focus of a spell. You're not sure who cast it though..."
Players: "How the heck did it get in the wall?"
GM shrugs - not saying anything about Druids that might wild shape to Earth Elementals or Zorns or anything else that might have dropped a coin....

So many possiblilities....

Or even have them find something...un-expected...
DM: "After 10 minutes of digging into the hillside you brake thru into the back of a nest of ground bees - which come swarming out of the hive - Roll Inititive."
(Or they dig into the bottom of the local sewer... No telling what magic trinket was dropped in the local sewer. To bad they are in a LOWER LEVEL tunnel....and the ENTIRE CITY sewer is going to drain into their little room....)

Silver Crusade ****

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Hmm wrote:
I want to GM an all-kitsune or tengu table through play-by-post in an evergreen. It would be fun to use Silverhex or Phantom Phenomena for this, if one could actually do those with non-pregen characters. Oh please, please, please... Lift the pre-gen requirement!

off topic... but this line "...an all-kitsune or tengu table through play-by-post in an evergreen..." made something click for me. How about an all Wayang table playing thru First Steps... picture these guys dealing with Auntie Baltwin!

The Exchange ****

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Had a glorious time running this last night. I had forgotten how much fun this scenario can be...

Had one "old hand" who actually was playing the Experienced Pathfinder (with 1XP and an actual wand of CLW!), 3 Newbies (first or second character, one using an Iconic, all with 0XP), and 1 guy who sort of knew the ropes (could tell how to look up a skill on his PC sheet).

Had a grand time...

The Exchange ****

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KingOfAnything wrote:
Is there any reason they would not be treated the same as a Prestige Award?

because this is PFS and we never seem to do things predictably?

The Exchange ****

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Most things in the game allow the player to get their character a +2 bonus by good play/smart play.

In combat, you get that +2 bonus and the like from playing chess with the pieces on the board. Flanks, extra attacks of opportunity from being in the right place, backing people into a corner etc.

Clever use and positioning of spells and spell combinations get you huge advantages. The player has a lot of effect on how effective they are.

In social encounters doing a good job as a player gets you the +2.

You don't get the +2 bonus for doing or describing your breaststroke for swimming, but thats the exception to how the rest of the game works, not the rule. There just aren't enough parts in the game for the playerto fiddle with for that to happen.

But we are talking about SKILLS. Not Combat or Spellcasting ... The social skills (those CHA based) get bonuses for being social? Why? Other types of skills do not. This is like saying "you get +2 bonus flanking when you are using a rapier, because you (the player) are on the fencing team."

We don't give INT based skills bonuses for being Intelligent. "You get a +2 bonus Knowledge (History) because your player has a BS degree is American History."

Or a +2 bonus in DEX skills if you (the player) can juggle - or pick pockets.

Or a +2 bonus in WIS skills because you are the oldest player at the table - and thus clearly the "Wisest Person in the Room".

Yet we think it's a given that someone can get a +2 bonus on Social Skills because THE PLAYER is better at social skills. Yeah, even the "little kid" who get's a bonus because "he's cute when he acts like a grown up". Or the "cute nerdy guy/girl" because they smiled at us (we've all see this too).

Hay! can I get a +2 on all my Social Skill checks if I bring Brownies to the game? How about beer?

edit: and thanks for the quick reply BNW.

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Pete Winz wrote:
I have to disagree that giving a bonus for good roleplay is equivalent to penalizing those who don't roleplay well. If the other person fell short and would have succeeded if they'd had a bonus, it's because they didn't hit the target, not because the game was stacked against them. We want to encourage people to roleplay and providing an incentive is a good thing. Sometimes your dice are not with you and despite having a good modifier and giving it your best in-character plea, you just don't hit the mark. Just like a character who specializes in combat sometimes can't hit the broad side of a barn. The random element of rolling dice is part of what makes the game exciting to me. If you'd rather not have that as part of your gaming experience, I understand there are other games out there that do not rely on it.

and your advice would be what? for me to move on to those other games? Clearly I am not understanding this.

Normally in PFS the last few years I have been trying to roll FIRST and then try to match my performance to what result I got. (Because I'm playing a Role...)

Roll the dice (I prefer to take ten), THEN do the role play. How good is my performance? Am I one "Smooth Talk Devil"? or did I roll a "1" and flub it again? I try to make my Role Play match my roll... which means i need to know what my numbers are before I can act in the Role...

Many times in the past I've given a speech that would have the Mooks handing over the loot and healing the PCs... only to watch my die roll a "1" and get something like an 11. This is only slightly less disturbing then the player with the social skills of a toad, crassly hitting on the merchants daughter and then saying "I've got a 45 diplomacy check, so I get a discount on this right?"

I like to try it the other way around...

Roll the dice and get:

"1" + "10" skill, and so I leer at the NPC while commenting "I'm a Big Man, if you know what I mean!"

or

"20" +"10" skill, and smile at the NPC while commenting "I'm sure I could be of assistance in this little matter, perhaps we could discuss it over an ale later this evening?"

Heck, I wonder if I play "in character" would my "11" result above get bumped into a success... or at least out of a total failure. Yeah - playing the role would push me out of my "role"...

But you know, that's the way I like to play, and I don't expect other people to play the same way. And I sure don't feel comfortable telling other people how to have fun - or that if they are not doing it my way that "If you'd rather not have that as part of your gaming experience, I understand there are other games out there that do not rely on it."

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This topic always hits a "hot button" for me. Sorry for the following (feel free to skip my post - it's just random ranting...)

I'd like to chime in on this topic with something from an older thread.

John Francis was posting on a thread about OOC actions having in game effects... but I think it really fits here. Oh, and my reply to him...then I'll expand on the subject.

nosig wrote:
John Francis wrote:


I try to GM by a very simple rule: out-of-character actions have no in-game effects.

That means that saying "Diplomacy roll: 15 on the die, +6 equals 21" is mechanically every bit as good as the most brilliant role-playing exposition of how you're going to persuade the stall-holder to invite you to the private auction that evening.

Sure, I'd like you to role-play the encounter: it makes for a richer experience (hopefully for everybody at the table). But this is a fantasy game, and players are not their characters. I'd no more insist that you have to play out the social skills of your character than I would insist that you had to take actual physical damage should your character get wounded in combat.

Yes! this!

and you know what, the reward I am getting from "the most brilliant role-playing exposition" will be the fun I get from the DOING it... and the fun I see on my fiends faces when they watch me do it. What I rolled doesn't matter - it's all in the fun of the moment...

I've been playing Role Playing games for more years than many of our players have been alive. I can "smooze the DM" as much as the next guy... but when it comes to the mechanics of the game - it sort of bothers me when the judge gives me a bonus, when the 10 year old girl beside me did just as well on her roll as I did on mine... and I succeed and she fails. The difference? I'm playing the game the way the Judge wants me to (because I'm more experienced at it - and more comfortable acting in front of people). Kind of feels like we are saying to that kid "you're having bad-wrong-fun" - "you're playing the game wrong". I, personally, don't like that aspect of our hobby. Where we are "teaching someone HOW TO PLAY THE GAME RIGHT"....So if it's all the same to you, please don't give me a RP bonus when I "smooze the DM" and "play to my audience" ... the reward I am getting from "the most brilliant role-playing exposition" is the fun I get from the DOING it...

Because you know what? Sometimes we role play, sometimes we roll play. And it's all part of the game.

Players even play different at different times...

I like to see players having FUN their own way. I don't need to force them to do it my way.

Sometime, early in a CON, when I'm really in "the zone", I can play a conman that would pull a bluff on Razmir himself!... other times, I'm down and not really feeling it - in need of caffeine perhaps, and I just need to roll the dice and read off the numbers.

A GM that can play to both, and recognize when he/she needs to do one and/or the other (perhaps with different players at the same table at the same time) impresses me greatly. Often in PFS I'm impressed.

So, when we give player X a bonus for his performance, in a way we penalize someone for being shy, or tired, or young (and shy), or rushed, or ...o many other things... because they do not play the game the way we think they should. They are having fun "the wrong way".

Do we do the same thing for someone who just rolls his climb skill checks? or his swim? Does he have to say "I'm doing a 'dog paddle' over to the wall and try to climb out... ah... using both hands to boost me out of the water and the wall as leverage." Should he take us down to the hotel pool to show us HOW his character does that swim check?

How about in combat? should we penalize someone for just rolling the attack - without stating HOW they are attacking? Does a player who is a fencing master (or at least LOOKS like one) get a bonus if he pulls a rapier and flourish's it about?

Diplomacy (all the social skills in fact) is just another skill check - to say "If they role-play greatly, I give a modifier because they entertained m. If they choose not to role-play the conversation, they don't get the bonus, and will likely fail" or "If they dance poorly, I give no modifier..."...

Sorry for the Rant... Returning control back to you

(edited slightly to clarify a couple points)

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Michael Hallet wrote:
nosig wrote:
Michael Hallet wrote:

That's how I would run with it also.

My mistake was when reading that paragraph in the rules, somehow I misinterpreted it as "anything that is PFS legal other than dragonhide is always available" which is clearly not what it says.

So I have a bunch of PCs that purchased darkleaf cloth armor when the did not have to fame to do so.

About half of them now have enough fame, so I assume the easiest thing to do would be to say "oops" and just keep playing the character as is.

But the other half still don't have enough fame for the armor. So what would be the easiest remedy? Just "cancel" the purchase and take back the gold? Should I note that on a chronicle?

crud - I'm going to have to go thru my lower level crew and check this also...
Unless I really need the Dex bonus, darkleaf leather lamellar is pretty much my go to light armor. Cheaper than a mithril chain shirt and almost as good (+5 max dex instead of +6).

same here - and I like that "Eastern" look.

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thejeff wrote:
Jane "The Knife" wrote:

the term "slave" is itself "tricky and complicated".

I (personally) trace it's roots to the "agricultural revolution" and the introduction of class distinctions in humanity. Everyone not in charge of their "group" is (to some extent) in servitude to those persons who are (in charge). We are all "slaves to the state". Some of us just notice it more than others...

I agree that it's tricky and complicated, but if you extend it that far, it becomes meaningless. If everyone is a slave, then you lose the distinction that made us come up with the term in the first place.

There's a difference between the plantation slave owner and the field slave. And it's a qualitative difference, even if the owner still has to follow laws and pay taxes.

and a difference between "Convict" and "Trustee"...

Is a "Conscript" a "slave"?

Is someone in bondage for 7 years a "slave"?

Is someone working a field in North Korea a "field slave"?

Janissaries were paid a salary and given a retirement after service... but the "free" (conscript) troops were given neither (and still required to serve in the army, often in much worse conditions). Yet Janissaries were slaves (taken from their families at an age of about 7).

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I have very mixed feelings about some of the the responses on this thread. (could be I am just a little sensitive about it and am reading into responses things that are not there... if so, SORRY!)

Please, let's all of us realize that every player is different. Sometimes we role play, sometimes we roll play. And it's all part of the game. Different in the way we approach the game, different each time we sit down, and sometimes even different from round to round in the game.

Some players play different at different times...

Sometime, early in a CON, when I'm really in "the zone", I can play a demagogue that would rouse Andoran to a second revolution!... other times, I'm down and not really feeling it - in need of caffeine perhaps, and I just need to roll the dice and read off the numbers.

A judge that can play to both those moods, and recognize when he/she needs to do one and/or the other (perhaps even some of one and some of the other, often with different players at the same table) impresses me greatly.

"Do you tolerate or punish Gamers for not roleplaying?" Huh? I fear the question is missing something...

"Sometimes we Role Play, and sometimes we Roll Play. It's all part of the game."

Let's just play... have fun, and sort it out some other time...

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thejeff wrote:
Jane "The Knife" wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Can we please lose the false equivalence?

I know, government and taxes are horrible evils, and Roman slavery was so much better than living in the modern US.

Except for the parts where that's all b+!+%!!~. Why would a Roman slave buy himself free, since he's still be "working for the state" anyway?
Other than the whole parts that actually make him a slave - the whims of his master, the punishments, the rape, all the other abuses that even privileged Roman slaves could suffer.
Not to mention the non-privileged Roman slaves.

Please define "slave".

1. thralldom, enthrallment. Slavery, bondage, servitude refer to involuntary subjection to another or others. Slavery emphasizes the idea of complete ownership and control by a master: to be sold into slavery. Bondage indicates a state of subjugation or captivity often involving burdensome and degrading labor: in bondage to a cruel master. Servitude is compulsory service, often such as is required by a legal penalty: penal servitude.

Does the definition of slavery include:
a)Conscripts
b)Bondsmen
c)Janissaries
d)Convicts
e)Captives taken in battle

if it does not, what part of the definition excludes them.

In pretty much every case, the answer is "It depends". It's tricky and complicated.

I'd include "serf" in the list of questionables. And throughout much of history "women".

It does not however include "taxpayers" as a general class. At least not in the modern US.

f) serf

g) peasant
h) helot

the term "slave" is itself "tricky and complicated".

I (personally) trace it's roots to the "agricultural revolution" and the introduction of class distinctions in humanity. Everyone not in charge of their "group" is (to some extent) in servitude to those persons who are (in charge). We are all "slaves to the state". Some of us just notice it more than others...

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going to set the fireball off in the hen house...

Why not just change the current GM reward of a chronicle for running a scenario to be a chronicle the third time you run a given scenario?

So you don't get the GM chronicle when you run X-XX the first time - you get it the 3rd and 6th and 9th.... etc.

clearly this will not fly - as it would require "taking a current reward" away, and we never do that. Only expand rewards...

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thejeff wrote:

Can we please lose the false equivalence?

I know, government and taxes are horrible evils, and Roman slavery was so much better than living in the modern US.

Except for the parts where that's all b+!+%!!~. Why would a Roman slave buy himself free, since he's still be "working for the state" anyway?
Other than the whole parts that actually make him a slave - the whims of his master, the punishments, the rape, all the other abuses that even privileged Roman slaves could suffer.
Not to mention the non-privileged Roman slaves.

Please define "slave".

1. thralldom, enthrallment. Slavery, bondage, servitude refer to involuntary subjection to another or others. Slavery emphasizes the idea of complete ownership and control by a master: to be sold into slavery. Bondage indicates a state of subjugation or captivity often involving burdensome and degrading labor: in bondage to a cruel master. Servitude is compulsory service, often such as is required by a legal penalty: penal servitude.

Does the definition of slavery include:
a)Conscripts
b)Bondsmen
c)Janissaries
d)Convicts
e)Captives taken in battle

if it does not, what part of the definition excludes them?

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Fergie wrote:

However, I just read this article in the BBC News, that included this definition:

The 2016 Global Slavery Index, from the Walk Free Foundation in Australia wrote:
situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception.
I think the first definition allows for possible situations of benevolent "slavery" that could exist in a LG society. However the second definition is basically evil any way you look at it.

By that definition, everyone who works in the USA were enslaved until April 24 of this year (on average). Since that's when we finished paying off our taxes for the year. It's the rest of the year that we can actually work for ourselves.

(And just try to avoid paying taxes if you don't think that there are threats/coercion involved.)

That definition is terrible. It sounds evil, but it's so subjectively open-ended that it can easily be stretched to include virtually everyone.

After all, isn't it coercion if they won't feed you if you don't work?

just because you think you are working for yourself (after April 24th), does not mean you are not still a slave...

From Wikipedia article "Slavery in ancient Rome"

"...Roman slaves could hold property which, despite the fact that it belonged to their masters, they were allowed to use as if it were their own.[2] Skilled or educated slaves were allowed to earn their own money, and might hope to save enough to buy their freedom..."

It was not unknown for a Roman slave to buy themselves free... to become freemen thru their own labor. Something we in the modern age cannot do... next year, you'll still be "working for the state".

and to repeat a quote -

“That we were slaves I had known all my life--and nothing could be done about it. True, we weren't bought and sold--but as long as Authority held monopoly over what we had to have and what we could sell to buy it, we were slaves.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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“I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

“That we were slaves I had known all my life--and nothing could be done about it. True, we weren't bought and sold--but as long as Authority held monopoly over what we had to have and what we could sell to buy it, we were slaves.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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a possible problem, and a suggestion

1st the suggestion:
If you are worried about a dispel magic cast upon you dispelling the special "memory" spell, but you still want to have it with you (and thus subject to "Targeted Dispel" effects cast on you), you should try to "buffer" the spell - provide it with some protection. Get other spells cast on you with a higher Caster Level. Preferably only one level higher. That way when someone targets you with a dispel it will roll FIRST against the spell with the highest Caster Level - and if it makes the roll it ends there. More than one of the Higher CL spells would even be better...just be sure that the spell caster casting the "buffer" spells has a higher CL...

Targeted Dispel:
: One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell. You make one dispel check (1d20 + your caster level) and compare that to the spell with highest caster level (DC = 11 + the spell's caster level). If successful, that spell ends. If not, compare the same result to the spell with the next highest caster level. Repeat this process until you have dispelled one spell affecting the target, or you have failed to dispel every spell.

In fact, you might consider picking up a 1st level Pearl of Power and if you adventure with a prepared spell caster that normally runs with a long term buff spell (say mage armor or even endure elements) on himself, have him also cast it on you with the Pearl. Just to pick up some extra Buffer.

2nd the possible problem...
you said "...monk had continual flame cast upon his left hand ..." - continual flame has "Target: object touched" which means that your hand would not be a legitimate target. Unless it happened to be detached at the time of casting... or maybe if you were dead when he cast it. Creature =/= Object. Perhaps he cast it on a glove? or a piece of jewelry? or ... something? I have mine cast on a tongue ring... so when I smile flames sparkle between my teeth.

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Mitch Mutrux wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


The mithral waffle iron CANNOT make pancakes dammit!
What sort of maladjusted fool would even want to make pancakes, much less attempt to do so with a mithral waffle maker?

"...maladjusted fool..."? checks quoted post OH! BNW! ok, now I understand... ;) he should have taken 10 on his "social interaction roll"...

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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
My barbarian, who currently has 10 ioun stones has them embedded in strategic locations on his body so that they enhance the look of his tattoos (ie his dragon tattoo on his back has ioun stones for eyes).

In that case none of them are working.

SRD wrote:
An ioun stone must be able to orbit freely around a creature’s head (or placed in a specialized matrix like a wayfinder) for its power to be active.
I just buy a wayfinder for each ioun stone I have.

I think embedded ioun stones are covered in rules in Seeker of Secrets...

and isn't there some rule about having more than one wayfinder with Ioun Stones - something about only one of them working?

We had talked about having someone slip an "extra" Wayfinder with a slotted stone onto the big fighter with the "Stone of Preventing Evil Mind Control" - to shut down his protection...

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a couple of my characters have Ioun stones that I have then had continual flame cast on - so they look like an Ioun Torch - but are actually another stone with the spell acting as "Disinformation".

I actually had an old thread about concealing Ioun stones... Here..

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rknop wrote:

But, honestly, let's think about it from the point of view of a random PFS GM. They probably don't check the errata obsessively, and don't follow the forums. Chances are, they'll do exactly that, not because they don't like the changes, but just because they don't know. A player is less likely to notice, unless she use herolab and gets updates. Most GMs, in order to cope, have to assume that the players know what they're doing.

As such, in reality, it'll probably take at least a year for these changes to percolate through 90% of the PFS player base. Even after that there will be some people doing it wrong who have no idea they're doing it wrong; after all, they're following what the rulebookk they have says.

Heck, I still have people "correct" me about rules that haven't been in place sense 3.5 days (rules that changed for PFS).

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BretI wrote:

Add me to the list of people disappointed by the nerf to the Jingasa.

I had it on exactly one of my characters, was planning to get it on a second. The second now will have to get by with a non-magical jingasa. Neither character had the Fate's Favored trait, they were both looking for the critical hit negation.

The one character that owns it will be selling it back. Still figuring out what I replace it with.

There should be some items that are just better than other options. This happens with a lot of things, both in game and in real life. Although something being popular can indicate an item might be overpowered, that isn't always the case.

To those who evidently poll their players at every table (else how would you know how many Jingasa's there were), how is Handy Haversack doing on those polls? Curious, since that generally allows those who dump Strength to still carry a reasonable amount of gear. I know that I've got the Handy Haversack on more characters than had the Jingasa.

33 characters (counting my CORE ones, so figure just 22) here.

Jingasa's = 0
Handy Haversacks? Something like 10 or 12... (Plus Pathfinder Pouches etc.)

Heck, I want a Handy Haversack in real life! Think about the organization this would give to my gaming supplies... 150 lbs of loose paper, and all I need is reach in to get the one page I need? WOW!

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so - here's the next installment of Jo and her continuing (fictional example) attempts to play "Shrine of the Awakener" tier (5-7).

Background: Jo is currently in the 6th level doldrums, almost 7th level, having 17xp.... and she has 3 chronicles gained from 7th level Pregens "banked", waiting for when she get's that 18th xp and 7th level. (a tier 5-9 on the 1st, a tier 3-7 on the 8th, and a third one for another tier 3-7 on the 15th - all played as a 7th level pregen)....

Now (on the 22nd)- because they are mostly 6th and 7th level, her crew has decided to play Emerald Spire level 8, the Shrine of the Awakener (Tier 5-7) and she's available to play...

If Jo were to play, this would raise her XP to 20, that bumps her to level 7.2, and her "banked" chronicles begin to be assigned. The question seems to be, are they assigned in one lump, or one at a time (leveling in between as needed). If it's one at a time, the chronicle from the 1st puts her to level 8.0 with 21xp, which means the games from the 8th and the 15th are now invalid, because she would be outside the Tier for them. Therefore, it looks like she cannot play Emerald Spire level 8, the Shrine of the Awakener (Tier 5-7) with this character, as doing so would render two of her existing "banked" chronicles invalid. (Even though she is solidly inside the tier (5-7), playing her would create a paradox where she would have credit assigned to her she could not have.)

If the player doesn't have another PC in that level range, they would need to run an Iconic and assign it to a PC of lower level... say one of 6th level (like Jo). If assigned to Jo, then later when Jo finally get's her 18th XP and levels she would be able to gain the first three "Banked" chronicles (from the 1st, 8th and 15th of the month) ...but not the one from the Shrine of the Awakener (Tier 5-7), as she would now be 8th level and could not gain credit for it - am I understanding this correctly? We now (before actually playing a game) need to calculate what level a PC will be after assigning any unassigned ("banked") XP they have, so that they do not "level out" of any games they may have waiting to be assigned...

(side note) This is interesting, because if she were to have played the game from the 1st LAST rather than first, and played an Iconic rather than her actual (in tier) PC for Shrine, she would have been able to gain all the credit on that PC? or am I just mixed up?

I'm still kind of wondering, what happens to the chronicles/games that are no longer valid? Can she play them again for credit? or are they just "lost"?

(edit: heck, someone less honest than me would just change the date on the first chronicle from the 1st to the 31st and everything would work fine - except she would have to play an Iconic in Shrine of the Awakener...)

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