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PFS judges changing scenarios. A polite discussion.


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

301 to 336 of 336 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:

"If you don't want to follow the rules we have established for Organized Play, then don't play our campaign."

- Michael Brock

I've seen this quoted a number of times across a few threads and I want to comment, hopefully without further fanning the flames. Could it have been presented with less "bite"? Perhaps, but please understand what was happening. Over the past 8 months, Mike has been open and receptive to our ideas concerning what changes might benefit the community. He has asked numerous times that we follow the guidelines and rules that exist, until such time as they are changed. What he has continued to hear is players not only intentionally breaking the rules, but encouraging others to follow suit. He is responsible for the health of OP and the rules would not exist, if he did not feel they were in our best interests. At some point, repeated friendly requests to cease and desist lose impact, and something more has to done. His post likely includes a certain level of frustration.

As I said, he is responsible for our campaign and there are rules in place for a reason. What would you have him do? Discussion about the rules is encouraged. Solutions are requested. Often this leads to change. But in the end, by participating, we have agreed to follow the rules of the campaign. By not doing so, even after repeated request, seems to say "Screw you, I'm going to do whatever I want." While I understand most of us feel we know what is best for our players, it is disrespectful to Mike and his efforts to make this the best campaign it can be.

I hope we can all read his comments for what they are worth and not infer that he is trying to push players out. IMO, he was just responding from a level of frustration.

Spoiler:
There is an old joke referring to the British police when they simply walked around with whistles and nightsticks.
Officer, "Stop, or else!"
Wrong-doer, "Or else what?"
Officer, "Or else I'll shout Stop again!"
No offense intended towards law enforcement


Bob Jonquet wrote:
JohnF wrote:
Isn't that standard GM technique?

Occasionally rolling a random d20 and then appearing to read the adventure has always been disturbing to players, especially when they are not actively in an encounter or whenever they are in a hostile environment and they are spending a lot of time discussing things amongst themselves.

The look on player's faces when you roll, look in the scenario, make a quick note, and then mumble something like "huh" is priceless. muahahaha

I've drawn out a map before and had the players put themselves in marching order on their way to a given place from where they were.

Now the module specified there was going to be an ambush on the way BACK from that place.. so the drawing wasn't for naught.. but it's always interesting to see who decides to 'act' because they are on a battlemat...

I think one LG mod specifically called the DM to do something like this.. it was maybe the County of Urnst? I know it was around there and the County of Urnst player fell for it (casting a 1r/level buff just to hear 'and 3 more hours pass' after 2 rounds of movement on the map).

-James

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

james maissen wrote:

I've drawn out a map before and had the players put themselves in marching order on their way to a given place from where they were.

Now the module specified there was going to be an ambush on the way BACK from that place.. so the drawing wasn't for naught.. but it's always interesting to see who decides to 'act' because they are on a battlemat...

Interesting. Players seem to always change their level of attention of focus when the 1" grid suddenly appears under their feet even if no threat is imminent. I tend to ignore the maps until something actually does happen, especially if there is a chance of surprise. It seems to keep things more "honest" when they don't place miniatures until after the encounter actually starts. And they place their figures first and then I place the enemies. YMMV.

*

Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
Why do you continue to buy product that you are unhappy with "as is"? What is the point of starting off with a PFS scenario if you need to make changes every time to fit your group’s playstyle? Wouldn’t you simply be better off spending that time on creating a home game that is 100% customizable to your group?

Lots of points to respond to here, Vinyc. I don't want to hijack this discussion, so I'll keep my response spoilered for now, and happy to spin off into another discussion thread. However, my post was intended as a sharing of my POV, not to debate with ya.

Why don't I just leave if I don't like mods as-published?:

Let's turn this around a bit. I come back to PFS on a regular basis because of how the campaign is played at the tables, and out of a love for Pathfinder as a game overall (despite there being a fair number of clunky PFS scenarios).

To the extent that my enjoyment of PFS comes from judges not being in strict adherence to RAW, I want to preserve a degree of flexibility. (Though my players when I judge and judges when I play will tell you that I am quite a rules stickler, overall. So are the handful of folks whom I suspect might be labeled cheaters, despite demonstrating an excellent grasp and respect for rules in-game.)

I can feel frustrated with and speak out critically about aspects of a thing without leaving it behind. In fact, the more I care about a thing, the more inclined I am to fight for that thing to fit my needs and wants.

Here's why I keep coming back to PFS, despite finding some of the scenarios clunky and worthy of tweaking:

(a) The overall source material for Pathfinder is pretty stellar. Fun game!

(b) I have befriended many players at my store, and appreciate their creativity. Half of them are the people who actually make PFS blossom and grow in local conventions and stores. They're not more-than-full-time paid employees like Mike Brock and Mark Moreland, but most of my PFS friends are judges and coordinators who work extraordinarily hard to make this campaign happen and to boost the profile of the game in general.

I have joined home and PbP games with some of them. But PFS continues to be a regular spot for us to hang out and meet new, creative players.

(c) In my view, PFS and Pathfinder have benefited from a core base of players who left 4E and LFR in search of a better creative, roleplaying outlet. PFSers are not all heavy roleplayers or story-driven people, but that part of our community is a powerful part of what makes PFS and Pathfinder play experience great. And it's helping the game grow.

I suspect that this same base of users has a lot of overlap with people who want a degree of flexibility, and who may feel like they/we are being asked to leave Society play simply for trying to add quality to clunky, mis-balanced mods.

It is clear, I hope, that I'm distinguishing between judicious tweaks that are rooted in the rules, and outright disregard for rules such as changing the way combat game mechanics work, or pre-reading mods.

(d) I was personally moved a few years ago when Paizo green-lighted my brother, Tom Beckett's adaptation of Burnt Offerings into a (kick-ass) middle school play. I actually met many of them at the closing night.

Paizo's openness to the fan-base and the overall excellence of their product made a true believer out of me. I had already been impressed by the whole creation of Pathfinder, via public betas. This was a company that respected its customers and recognized the importance of balancing game mechanics and creativity.

Frankly, labeling a significant portion of those customers as 'cheaters' (when those customers are working hard to make PFS blossom and grow) makes me sad, and concerned about the game's future.

But that doesn't mean that I am just going to leave PFS or Paizo. Instead, I feel moved to speak up, and share how (a) loyal and (b) passionate I feel as a Society member and Paizo customer.

No new suggestions with this post. Oh, except perhaps to permit a standard +1 to +2 to trap DCs when playing with 5-6 table size in 0-3 mods (though probably not trap to-hits, since they tend to be very high already).

And truly, emphasizing the need to clear some authorized tweaks for Season 0-3 mods—unless we miraculously switch to 4-6 new mods per month, we will be working with that material for some time to come.


While I don't DM much PFS currently, I have DMed for ages, and I very often have maps drawn/printed and placed for simple roleplaying purposes. My regulars move their figures to where their characters would want to be, whether it's guarding a door or looking at a tapestry or talking to an npc. Combat does NOT happen often enough that they don't feel paranoid every single time I place a map.

On the flip side, I have as a player, walked up to a trapped door when I know I'm being scryed, buff up, move into place, reach out to touch the door.... and stop. Whip out an hourglass and a deck of cards, or just leave to come back after the scryer's short-duration buffs have worn off, rebuffing ourselves with wands/scrolls/potions...


Saint Bernard de Clairveaux wrote:
No new suggestions with this post. Oh, except perhaps to permit a standard +1 to +2 to trap DCs when playing with 5-6 table size in 0-3 mods (though probably not trap to-hits, since they tend to be very high already).

The standard "-2 circumstance penalty" to all checks dealing with a trap would cover this difficulty boost, IMO.

**

It's been awhile since I've perused deeply through the forums. Just read the 'cheating' stick. I didn't know that not changing the scenarios had become such a sore point.

Well, I guess that means no more changes to mods on my part. I hope this doesn't reduce the fun factor too much when running strong parties, or result in too many player deaths when I run killer adventures weaker parties at my FLGS.

I do hope that mentality doesn't extend to players 'breaking' mods. I love it, both as a player and GM, when people jump right out of the storyline and make their own. An earth elemental tunneling through a dungeon, a sneaky git infiltrating the enemy camp... these things make me happy.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well yeah, sometimes players will just break scenarios. Other times they will break encounters, or find the answer in unorthodox ways that aren't accounted for in the scenario.

A few nights ago my players got several leads to the correct course of adventure by reading their faction missions and comparing notes. They were supposed to go on a big fact-finding mission, but they skipped over a great deal of it by already knowing a lot of the answers.

Was I supposed to make them do a bunch of gather information checks anyway even though they knew exactly where they wanted to go?

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

Saint Bernard de Clairveaux wrote:
perhaps to permit a standard +1 to +2 to trap DCs when playing with 5-6 table size

This is one of the adjustments I don't see a need for. Adding players to combat significantly reduces the effectiveness of the enemies. Economy of actions is a huge advantage. But, with traps, I don't see it. Just because there are more PC's does not usually make a trap more/less effective and the difficulty to disable it is not likely impacted by party size, unless you think it increases the chance of having a 2nd trapsmith at the table to aid the disabler.

Qadira *****

Saint Bernard de Clairveaux wrote:
Frankly, labeling a significant portion of those customers as 'cheaters' (when those customers are working hard to make PFS blossom and grow) makes me sad, and concerned about the game's future.

The biggest issue is that your group appears to be advocating and cultivating an atmosphere that encourages PFS members not to follow campaign rules, regardless of what the rules are. That has to be watched since that behavior will carry over to any rule format the campaign adapts to in the future.

Next Season will introduce new scenario design that uses a base of 6 PCs instead of 4. You find yourself changing modules now to challenge your optimized characters. That behavior will continue to happen when you begin playing the year 4+ scenarios, and find that those scenarios (as written) still don’t offer the proper challenge to your group. The only difference might be how dramatic the changes will be. Unless you have total freedom to write the rules the way you want, you will find fault in some of them, and will feel entitled to ignore them.

If players choose to make optimized characters they need to realize that modules will usually be a cake walk. If the players sit down to have fun, then the results of the scenario usually aren’t important.

*

Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:


The biggest issue is that your group appears to be advocating and cultivating an atmosphere that encourages PFS members not to follow campaign rules, regardless of what the rules are. That has to be watched since that behavior will carry over to any rule format the campaign adapts to in the future.

I agree that tweaking clunky mods needs to be monitored, and believe that our local coordinators have done a great job of monitoring it, such that it has not been a problem at our store. I disagree that we should consider tweaking mods to be verboten or automatically cheating, since it adds to fun and the attractiveness of our game.

But I think it's healthy for us to be discussing more sanctioned ways to tweak existing and future mods, to adapt them to the desired challenge and role play level of local play groups. I'm all for creating rules and structures that enable flexibility, but also disagree that judicious adjustments (in the absence of such structured flexibility) is either cheating or a real issue.

Also, I feel that Season 0-2 power levels are often a bit weak, even when I don't optimize characters. That's because I and other players are clever. So giving judges some extra tools and license to adjust to smart ideas is very helpful and needed.

We may just need to disagree on this, Vinyc, and learn to coexist as part of a diverse society. If I'm labelled a cheater and asked to leave, we won't have the opportunity to do so.

*

Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:

Unless you have total freedom to write the rules the way you want, you will find fault in some of them, and will feel entitled to ignore them.

That is a bit of a strawman you are bayoneting there Vinyc. This thread is to discuss a single recommendation for policy change, that there should be some recognized method for GMs to modify the modules to scale difficulty up and down. It is not about changing all the game rules, touching the reward sheet, or to duplicate Alex's reference, "dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!"

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Saint Bernard de Clairveaux wrote:
I agree that tweaking clunky mods needs to be monitored, and believe that our local coordinators have done a great job of monitoring it, such that it has not been a problem at our store. I disagree that we should consider tweaking mods to be verboten or automatically cheating, since it adds to fun and the attractiveness of our game.

Unfortunately we have been explicitly told not to do that until official guidelines on permissible modifications are announced, and in addition not to make any posts on the forums that could be read as encouraging such activity.

*

JohnF wrote:
Unfortunately we have been explicitly told not to do that until official guidelines on permissible modifications are announced, and in addition not to make any posts on the forums that could be read as encouraging such activity.

Hi John! I think we may have met last week across the gaming table.

With respect to Mike, Mark and other PFS leadership, I will happily go along with the former part of that directive, while pressing for adjustments to policies that meet my and other players' needs.

As for the second part, as a loyal Society member and Paizo customer, I am not certain how I can give feedback about products and my needs as a customer without honestly sharing my desires and perspective as a player—including my concerns about the policy as stated.

I'm sure my words could be interpreted as encouraging others to break the rules as stated, just as my vocal opposition to Federal same-sex marriage policy could be taken as an encouragement for any given same sex couple to get married, or for same sex couples to file Federal income taxes as married rather than single people. (For the record and super off-topic, I'm a gay man who doesn't love the institution of marriage, even though I support those who seek that right.)

But discussing or disagreeing about a policy is not the same as telling people to break it or follow it. I share my concerns and perspective out of love for Paizo, respect for the people who are creating its products, and fond hopes for PFS' continued success. Both PFS and Paizo depend on open support and engagement with the public.

Qadira *****

D30 wrote:
Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:

Unless you have total freedom to write the rules the way you want, you will find fault in some of them, and will feel entitled to ignore them.

That is a bit of a strawman you are bayoneting there Vinyc. This thread is to discuss a single recommendation for policy change, that there should be some recognized method for GMs to modify the modules to scale difficulty up and down. It is not about changing all the game rules, touching the reward sheet, or to duplicate Alex's reference, "dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!"

In the 12+ years of playing in Organized Campaigns I have yet to see a campaign with an APL/Tier system that is perfect for everyone. The group of players I regularly play with have been satisfied with the PFS scenarios as written. Are they perfect? No, but they are within what we have come to expect from a solid OP campaign. We don’t get super excited except for the meatgrinder missions, like the old LC planar and underdark series and the LG dungeon specials. If all scenarios were written with those types of fights PFS wouldn’t be accessible to new players, and probably wouldn’t appeal to a majority of the current players.

No matter what rules are put forth and implemented to allow GMs more flexibility in setting encounter difficulty. There will be cases where some GMs will feel it necessary to alter the scenario as allowed in order to challenge their table to create more fun. Scenarios can’t be designed with enough flexibility to compensate for various levels of rule knowledge/player skill, or every class combination possible at a table.

The core issue is adhering to campaign rules, regardless of the outcome of the current Encounter Challenge debate. The problem is that if people aren’t following the campaign rules now, they aren’t likely to follow them in the future.

*

Having read Mike Brock's post in follow-up to the 'cheaters' discussion, I feel that he and Paizo have addressed my primary concern, which was about tone and inclusivity. I appreciate the great care Mike brought to this latest communication.

Thanks, Euan, for leading a great conversation. I don't know how others feel, but I believe your approach helped draw out some great ideas in a constructive manner. Glad that the Society has you!

**

Based on all that I have been reading in this and other posts, I suggest the wording the quote be added for the next guide. (4.1.1 hint hint hint)

PFS Guide 4.1 p.26 wrote:

Table Variation

While the goal of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign is to provide an even, balanced experience to all players, doing so would require all PCs to be exactly the same and all GMs to be restricted to a stiflingly oppressive script. We understand that sometimes a Game Master
has to make rules adjudications on the fly, deal with unexpected player choices, or even cope with extremely unlucky (or lucky) dice on both sides of the screen.
As a Pathfinder Society GM, you have the right and responsibility to make whatever calls you feel are necessary at your table to ensure that everyone has a fair and fun experience. This does not mean you can contradict rules or restrictions outlined in this document, a published Pathfinder Roleplaying Game source, errata document, or official FAQ on paizo.com, but only you can judge what is right at your table for cases not covered in these sources.

------

" For GM's running season 0 to 3 scenarios at a table of 6 or 7 players, the GM may add the Simple Advanced Creature Template to single creatures and may increase the number of small minions ("mooks") by 50% to help create a fair and fun experience for all."
------

Maybe someone can word it better. I don't see a problem with increasing the number of mooks by 50% when the number of players has been increased by 50%. I don't like my wording for 'single creatures' but I don't think it's appropriate to add the template to the mooks and increase their number by 50%. Someone have some better wording?

Also, I think this is in the spirit of the rules and the reality of underwhelming scenarios for larger tables.

Edit: Something should be added along the lines of "when the party is not changing tiers". Bumping up a tier already increase the difficulty level.

-Swiftbrook
Just My Thoughts

Grand Lodge ***

I have yet to weigh in here.

It's been implied by—I can't recall if it was Michael Brock or Mark Moreland—that it's perfectly okay to fudge BBEG hit points so he stays alive long enough allow him to at least go out in a blaze of glory. Let him pull off, or at least attempt, one cool spell or one cool attack. So long as he goes down on the next hit... or let him be staggered at 0 hit points and he goes down immediately after said attack, whether it succeeds or fails. This would probably extend to fudging his AC so that he does go down within the next round. Just make sure that his cool spell or attack is just what he would have done according to the Tactics or Development section. And make sure when he goes down, it's not when someone rolls a total of 6 for an attack.

Charts and tables are great, but honestly I think what Mark's looking for is something short and sweet. Something simple, easy to understand and implement, and that works in every case. What I suspect is that this exercise has two purposes: 1) Two heads are better than one and many are better than two. Maybe crowd-sourcing the solution will come up with something workable. Failing that: 2) It at least makes a good demonstration of how difficult it is to come up with a blanket set of boundaries that won't take a buttload of extra effort to fit into the GtPFSOP.

This is a tough one. I know Mike and Mark have been thinking about it a lot. I've thought about it a lot myself, recently. I'm not ready to give up and it doesn't look like any of you are, either. But from all I've read, table size has two factors: With a larger table, difficulty tends to drop while play time tends to increase. That extra Action Economy (let's standardize the name for it now and stuff it into a book on GMing later, if it hasn't been already) leads to more player actions in what's already a limited time at most venues, but at the same time can make fights so much easier.

The problem comes from balancing challenge and play time, while maintaining the overall equality between instances of the same scenario AND making it easy for anyone to apply under any circumstances. It seems (for all I've read) that the majority of players who don't feel a certain level of challenge get less enjoyment from scenarios. However, a larger table with scenarios built to suit larger groups extends combats. I don't know how a perfectly-balanced six-player scenario would run, but it seems like combats would take at least half-again as long as four-player scenarios, give or take some. Convention slots are typically limited to four or five hours. How will beefing up the combat encounters—whether it means throwing in additional "mooks," or just stacking a few extra hit points on top, or adding the Advanced template—affect a table's ability to complete within the slot timeframe?

In order to keep play time down, hand-waving scenes with no affect on the overall plot, gold rewards and faction prestige award—in addition to the one already designated as "may be skipped if time is short"—may become necessary. But that itself presents another problem. What if no such scenes exist? Or what if they do, and it doesn't matter because the table has six players, all of whom represent a different faction, each with its own unique agenda? Meet your new friends, Rock and Hard Place.

As a side note, I wonder about the thought that adding hit points to the non-solo combat encounters or adding more "mooks" to non-solo encounters would result in six players using more expendables per player than a vanilla variant for four players results in. The quick Advanced template might, and the full Advanced template is variably more likely to do so than the quick one. Stacking levels requires too much effort as far as preparation is concerned.

Honestly, I know just how difficult it can be to run for the wrong number of players, even with simplified rules. Try running the Beginner Box adventure for one. I had pared down the monsters and by the end I still had my lone player running two characters while I tried to balance GMing and a GMPC.

Silver Crusade ****

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Quote:

"If you don't want to follow the rules we have established for Organized Play, then don't play our campaign."

- Michael Brock
I've seen this quoted a number of times across a few threads...

I'm starting to think the individuals who repost this to say you're cheating etc., regardless of what you actually said or intended a dick move. I usually just stop following that thread. The quote seems to be following the same rules as hitler in a thread.

Shadow Lodge **

That was not my intention, but it is important to note that there is a reason this discussion is important. The powers that be at Paizo had a sort of 'don't ask don't tell' with regard to judges making minor modifications to mods (such as the changing hp mentioned above). However, when Mike came out with his post he closed that door.

In one fell swoop I went from someone who made some minor changes on the fly which may or may not have been strictly kosher - to a cheater who needed to leave PFS.

That was a lot to swallow and rather than leave my beloved game I wanted to get Paizo to implement something that would help. My goal was not to Hitler the conversation and I don't think I did.

But apparently you do. :( Sorry about that.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Euan wrote:
In one fell swoop I went from someone who made some minor changes on the fly which may or may not have been strictly kosher - to a cheater who needed to leave PFS.

It may have not been clear in Mike's post, but it was not meant to say, hey you cheater leave my game. It was meant to say, hey if you are not actually doing what we have asked you to do, can you please now start doing it because we have reasons for it. If you have problems with something instead of changing it yourself bring it up with us so we can work it out.

Edit: I think that post came from frustration because people kept saying something to the effect "Hey I know Mike & Mark told us not to do it, But I do it any way and I am better GM because of it". I think that would frustrate anyone.

His new post was to make it clearer they have reasons for their rules but are willing to change them for PFS, they just need everyone to tell him the problems and ideas on how to fix them, instead of just fixing them yourselves and keeping quiet about it.

Silver Crusade ****

Euan wrote:
Said stuff

Wasn't even thinking of you at that moment. I've seen it in other threads, multiple threads. In a week or so, in my perception it seems to have become an elitist meme. It has really, and truly soured my opinion of some individuals.

Especially, when like Dragnmoon said, it was not intended to be a clamp down on any and all creativity, but a clamp down on blatant cheating. What freedom GMs have seems to still be in debate.

The way some people swing the "cheating" quote is like them saying GMs are supposed to become robots and any deviation from the words on the scenario is cheating. If that was the direction this campaign was going, I'd leave. I do not think that is what Mike was saying, and thus I'm still here.

Edit: Last thought, it's a way for people to call others cheaters without having to actually say it, and thus gives them a variation of keyboard courage. As it has been said, calling someone in our game a cheater is the worst insult, and people have been using the quote as a way to say what they don't have the balls to say, and know it would be wrong but will "subtly". Like we're too stupid to figure out what they're "really" saying.

Andoran

D30 wrote:
Euan wrote:

"If you don't want to follow the rules we have established for Organized Play, then don't play our campaign."

- Michael Brock
The quoted text is a strange form of community outreach.
It's not "community outreach"; it's in-house laying down the rules for, especialy, GMs.
Quote:
1. Some mods are clunkers, some days DMs feel creative. Let them redecorate. What problem is solved by conformity to boxed text?
The problem of a mod being a clunker is "solved" by everyone being aware of it. If GMs "fix" things (that itself being an opened can of worms; see below), then that knowledge is not passed around with the alacrity needed.
Quote:

2. Combats are too easy with a table of 6 that has three optimized characters. If just three characters are optimized to fight against monsters of their individual CR +2, the Average Party Level will effectively be +2 for every level from 1 through 12!

Fortunately getting that CR +2 "Hard" mode encounter turns out to be simple. Just double the bosses & solos! Two creatures is equivalent to CR +2! (Core 398).

Oh, joy! All those single BBEM monster encounters will now have two. Most of these (IMNSHO) are "non-Superstar" and designed to maul one or two PCs within an inch of their lives before they're gunned down. Double them up, and you'll see a massive increase in character deaths, especially in situations where random placement at the beginning of combat puts a PC between them.

And this in a campaign where PC death, aside from a prestige freebie or two, represents a viscous smack to WBL (unlike, say, in Living Greyhawk, where level-loss gave you time to catch up). The deleterious effect will be particularly pronounced in the Tier 3-4 range where most PCs have neither fame nor cash. (A had a PC I enjoyed playing immensely get killed in LG twice at low-level, at 2nd and 3rd levels, both times while playing the mod which would have leveled her, resulting in her dropping to XP levels 0.5 and 1.5 respectively -- but I could keep playing the same character -- PFS players will not have such an option.)

In short, doubling BBEMs will have the effect of not only increasing PC death overall, but will disproportionately target inexperienced players at low levels where such death is not recoverable due to the existing death mechanics of the campaign.

Grand Lodge ***

Digitalsabre wrote:
some stuff

Maybe I should restructure this... it seems I've fallen into my habit of circular thinking/writing.

Cheliax ***

Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
A PFS scenario is a published Pathfinder Roleplaying Game source. By changing encounters in the scenario for "an even, balanced experience", the GM is contradicting rules or restrictions outlined in that document.

As I pointed out that phrase is in the section where it positively encourages GMs to change them for that purpose. To quote it as a counter example is a little odd.

Quote:
At worst it would be an argument over which Rule Source takes priority over another.

It is news to me that Scenarios are rules sources at all.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
ZomB wrote:
As I pointed out that phrase is in the section where it positively encourages GMs to change them for that purpose. To quote it as a counter example is a little odd.

Nothing Against you ZomB, but your reading of that is the same problem we had with the Play, Play, Play! GMs where reading something into it that was not there.

*

(Bold added)

D30 wrote:

2. Combats are too easy with a table of 6 that has three optimized characters. If just three characters are optimized to fight against monsters of their individual CR +2, the Average Party Level will effectively be +2 for every level from 1 through 12!

Fortunately getting that CR +2 "Hard" mode encounter turns out to be simple. Just double the bosses & solos! Two creatures is equivalent to CR +2! (Core 398).

D30 wrote:

Afterwards write something like "Hard Mode: CR +2 vs. double bosses and solos" on their reward sheet so they have a record of their conquest.

Just make sure everyone knows what they are getting into!

Mike Schneider wrote:

...doubling BBEMs will have the effect of not only increasing PC death overall, but will disproportionately target inexperienced players ....

Mike has taken the war on straw to a new level, complete with its own rant thread misrepresenting the suggestion. :)

Andoran

D30, I'm just "cutting to the chase", as it were.

It saves time.

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Euan wrote:
What I want to discuss is not whether judges should or should not change scenarios, but if the policy should exist or not and in what form.

I skipped this thread on purpose and I apologize for not having time to read the entire thing. So here are my thoughts anyway on modifying scenarios.

First, it's important to acknowledge that there are mistakes in scenarios, some of which severely compromise the scenario quality. Sometimes they're editing mistakes, sometimes they're design mistakes. Some of these mistakes are so severe, some GMs will make changes so that it doesn't ruin the player experience. Other GMs will just shrug their shoulders and run it RAW and cross their fingers.

Examples:
1) Heresy of Man series: At least one of these scenarios was deadly enough for Paizo to officially edit the scenario

2) Rescue from Azlanti Ridge: The big boss run RAW, just sucks, and ruins the climax of that particular scenario. It's almost comical. Many GMs have unofficially modified him.

3) The Dalsine Affair: In subtier 1-2, I think we have enough (negative) feedback to conclude that the BBG should be nerfed for this subtier (although it's subjective, I don't believe TPKing new PFS players is a good thing).

4) Several faction missions have success conditions that don't match what's written in the faction handout.

5) + more.

Solutions
Those are strong and obvious examples, which in my mind Paizo should definitely address. I can see the following solutions being viable, in order of desirability.

1) Paizo modifies the scenario: Yes, the best solution for everyone is if Paizo modifies the scenario to fix major errors. The problem with this solution is that it strains their already limited resources, and I understand and sympathize that they don't have the time to do this.

2) Paizo endorses online scenario errata: If Paizo isn't willing to fix a scenario PDF, I'd like them (or the scenario author) to officially endorse a solution in a thread (in the GMs section), of a change they want to make in a scenario. They can ask for forum member feedback (to save them time) or they can create the solution themselves.

Anyway, that's my suggestion.

Silver Crusade ****

Jason S wrote:

Solutions

Those are strong and obvious examples, which in my mind Paizo should definitely address. I can see the following solutions being viable, in order of desirability.

1) Paizo modifies the scenario: Yes, the best solution for everyone is if Paizo modifies the scenario to fix major errors. The problem with this solution is that it strains their already limited resources, and I understand and sympathize that they don't have the time to do this.

2) Paizo endorses online scenario errata: If Paizo isn't willing to fix a scenario PDF, I'd like them (or the scenario author) to officially endorse a solution in a thread (in the GMs section), of a change...

This sounds reasonable to me from my point of view.

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