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Paizo, please allow GMs more flexibility in scenarios for lethal encounters


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

Osirion

I petition Paizo staff to allow GMs some latitude when it comes to NPC TACTICS in PFS Scenarios. Many of them are poorly written and far too deadly for Tier 1-2. I have suggested to GMs that they could simply "choose not to use their abilities" and they replied that, "they would like to- but they cant". So, after doing some research, I present the following arguments.-

The Guide to Organized Play reads as follows: "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. Scenarios are to be run as written, with no addition or subtraction to number of monsters, or changes to stats, feats, spells, skills or any other mechanics of the scenario. GMs may use other Pathfinder RPG sources to add flavor to the scenario, but may not change the mechanics of encounters. "

This statement: "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."

Conflicts with this statement: "Scenarios are to be run as written, with no addition or subtraction to number of monsters, or changes to stats, feats, spells, skills or any other mechanics of the scenario. GMs may use other Pathfinder RPG sources to add flavor to the scenario, but may not change the mechanics of encounters."

The above statement also conflicts with this statement: "While we do not advocate fudging die rolls, consider the experience of the player when deciding whether to use especially lethal tactics or if a character is in extreme danger of death, especially when such a player is new to the game."

My primary argument is; If a GM feels it is necessary to change an NPC's tactics to avoid TPK, shouldn't he have the RIGHT to do so? You'd think so, but currently, he must play it as written. However, some GMs are doing it anyway- going off script because a player was really creative and got amazing rolls.

My personal examples:
There are not many scenarios which take social combat into account. A GM had to "break" the scenario when I got a 32 on my Diplomacy roll to convince the thugs we encountered to surrender and leave. This wasnt sposed to be an option according to the very poorly written scenario- but I exceeded the DC even with all the penalties for hostile targets by 5 or more. There was another scenario where I walked in the front door of a heavily guarded warehouse by pretending to be "the new guy" working for them and bypassed all the mooks and going straight for the boss. Once again- "breaking the scenario" with an amazing bluff check.

I have seen way too often, players die to poorly written scenarios with incredibly deadly tactics at Tier 1. Like for example:
ONE evil cleric can single handedly wipe a party with channel energy if the GM plays it "As written." A level 3 cleric is an appropriate encounter for a level 1 party? Someone surely thought so.
The level 3 cleric will have "Channel Energy 2d6" which will yield an average of 6 points. Unless you're a fighter, ranger, or barbarian, you're likely to only have 8 or 9 hp. The good (party)cleric cant keep the party alive if the evil NPC cleric channels 2d6 every round... We managed to survive 4 rounds, but thats only because I asked the GM to disregard the tactics section when I used diplomacy to taunt the evil cleric into stop using magic. And that was AFTER the evil cleric rolls 9 damage on channel energy and downed 3 people in the first round!

I petition that all future scenarios be written with no tactics or if NPC tactics are to be provided, that they are listed as "Suggested, or Recommended" Tactics. And that the "Guide to Organized Play" be rewritten or errata'ed to CLEARLY state that "In potentially dire situations, the GM may choose to disregard the "Tactics" section of a combat encounter." This does not change the creature's stats, mechanics, or abilities in any way. This simply allows the GM to decide that the NPC chooses not to use them. Alternately, a GM can justify not using a given tactic by saying, "The NPC has already used their spells or class powers earlier that day."

By not providing an allowance for GMs to adjust scenarios, you practically ARE advocating die fudging, because thats all they're left with.

Furthermore, I'm not convinced that not all of the published scenarios have been play-tested. I believe that Paizo leaves the responsibility of play-testing, to the people who wrote and submitted them. The editors can only guess at an encounter's power level and set the CR based on numbers and his own assumptions. I dont think Paizo staff play test any of the user submitted stuff, and I dont think they have time too. Therefore, I also petition that there be a peer review of user submitted scenarios BEFORE they are published and become legal. And offer a reward for doing so.
Like, groups who use PFS legal characters to test other people's dungeons that have been submitted to Paizo can earn 1 prestige point per scenario, but no fame increase or exp. As a way to replenish what they've spent without increasing their ceiling and as an additional benefit, characters that die during play testing wont gain the "dead" condition, and wont be penalized for dying in any way. After all, its not yet a legal scenario.
User submitted scenarios should have a minimum requirement of SUCCESSFUL play testing before being published. Like...maybe (suggestion) they must be played by 5 separate parties of at least 4 players and 4/5 must complete the adventure successfully. Then each player and GM who participates in the play testing must rate the scenario and fill out a 5-10 question survey.

Paizo Employee Paizo Glitterati Robot

Moved thread.

Cheliax ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

A level 3 cleric is an entirely appropriate encounter for a level 1 party, of four characters on a 15 point buy, and they should only find it SLIGHTLY challenging.

CR=APL+1. Really.

If you're consistently seeing players have a hard time with their characters defeating that... I would submit it's not the scenario that's the problem.

Further:

prd wrote:
Diplomacy is generally ineffective in combat and against creatures that intend to harm you or your allies in the immediate future.

and

prd wrote:
Action: Using Diplomacy to influence a creature's attitude takes 1 minute of continuous interaction. Making a request of a creature takes 1 or more rounds of interaction, depending upon the complexity of the request. Using Diplomacy to gather information takes 1d4 hours of work searching for rumors and informants.

I don't see rules for Hasty Diplomacy taking less than 10 rounds, but there were some in 3.5 that reduced your check by 20. Your GM broke the rules in your favor by even letting you make a diplomacy check in combat. (How do you diplomatically ask someone to stop killing you in 6 seconds?)

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The better a GM understands his NPCs' mechanics, and the more prep work he's put into getting familiar with the scenario, the less he'll feel the need to throw the written tactics out the window to get the desired result.

Cheliax ***** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Scenario writers are not out to 'get' players and oftentimes, the tactics as written favor the PCs, especially for high level monsters (Harpies that stay on the ground, etc). In all the scenarios I have run, only a few end guys had what I would consider 'lethal' tactics and there was a reason for that.

I would submit that an unprepared GM would perhaps make up their own tactics and thus erase the potentially easier 'tactics-as-written'.

The OP's examples fall more under "Reward Creative Solutions" rather than a change in scenario tactics.

Let's see how Season 4 goes, and at the end give M&M a full list of examples on how the new scenario designs work.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

By the way, did your GM remember that all creatures affected by channeled energy get a will save for half damage?

Osirion

I think i played in that one with the cleric, the only reason our team of 1st level pc didn't bite it was of my undead companion getting into melee range while the rest of us pot shot the dude from across the room. can't do that now tho, they had to go and ban my Undeadlord. I miss you buddy :'(

Cheliax

I agree that GMs should have more say in scenarios. Its easy for us to want to blam the players, because most of us that activly post are probably very familar with the game. Someome that brings his two sons that are 11 and 12 might not have the most tactical mind yet and should be given some leeway, or very veteran players might enjoy a slightly harder challenge. No matter how well a scenario is written it can not anticipate every pitfal. Gms are there for this and should be allowed to make such calls.

Silver Crusade **

No thank you. There are *very* few scenarios that offer a straight challenge to low level parties. That cleric? At level 3, they'll have about 18-24 hitpoints. Raging Power Attacking barbarian will do d12 + 12 a swing. There are few really nasty challenges *as written*. If I were to run 1-2 with no written tactics? I would probably kill a lot more parties. Sticking to rules as written is the right thing to do, what to do with the party after they go down is a different story. And if the party automatically wins, there is no joy in the game.

Osirion

TetsujinOni wrote:

A level 3 cleric is an entirely appropriate encounter for a level 1 party, of four characters on a 15 point buy, and they should only find it SLIGHTLY challenging.

CR=APL+1. Really.

If you're consistently seeing players have a hard time with their characters defeating that... I would submit it's not the scenario that's the problem.

Further:

prd wrote:
Diplomacy is generally ineffective in combat and against creatures that intend to harm you or your allies in the immediate future.

and

prd wrote:
Action: Using Diplomacy to influence a creature's attitude takes 1 minute of continuous interaction. Making a request of a creature takes 1 or more rounds of interaction, depending upon the complexity of the request. Using Diplomacy to gather information takes 1d4 hours of work searching for rumors and informants.
I don't see rules for Hasty Diplomacy taking less than 10 rounds, but there were some in 3.5 that reduced your check by 20. Your GM broke the rules in your favor by even letting you make a diplomacy check in combat. (How do you diplomatically ask someone to stop killing you in 6 seconds?)

When the evil cleric does 9 damage in one round and most of us have +0 con mod and fail our will saves, the only people left standing are the barbarian, the good cleric, and the bard that was out of range. The barbarian was the only one with more than 8 hp and the cleric made his will save.

As for hasty diplomacy- Well, we had the surprise round and the druid cast entangle on them. It took 6 rounds of my party holding their actions (or aiding me) to bring them from hostile to indifferent. 2 of my rolls succeeded by more than 5. That whole time, the enemy kept failing their saves and either failing their escape attempts or not being able to move more than 5' before being entangled again. When your enemy is unable to act- they seem to become alot more reasonable when they know that the town guard is on their way. I convinced them that fighting us wasnt worth the risk. If we had to kill them, it would have been like fish in a barrel, with no water. The problem is- the tactics say they'll fight to the death. Just like level 2 commoners in a bar room brawl. (Why would a level 2 farmer fight a level 3 orc barbarian to the death AFTER the orc barbarian SUCCEEDED at an intimidate check to demoralize?)

Osirion

Jiggy wrote:
By the way, did your GM remember that all creatures affected by channeled energy get a will save for half damage?

the only one who made their save was the cleric.

Cheliax ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

Tactics are not a script that executes in a vacuum. Leaving it is not breaking the scenario.

Sure, in circumstances like you've described, an outcome other than death and blood is reasonable and awards save-or-suck winning with, well, winning.

A CR2 cleric is just something you'll have to figure out how to deal with... and his CR-more brothers, for that matter.

The suggested tactics are as lethal as the developer and campaign coordinator wanted them at the time... and they ARE reviewed by Mike and Mark in the current incarnations.

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vixeryz wrote:
... most of us have +0 con mod and fail our will saves, the ... The barbarian was the only one with more than 8 hp and the cleric made his will save.

This seems to be the problem. The amount of environmental hazards and flame-oriented spellcasters in mid-high will make quick work of you when playing in-tier at any level if you're all average Joe's in both health and saves. The saves thing could have very well been luck, so saves is a bit of a moot point, especially at 1-2.

But at risk of sounding like an ass, I ask you this; If a DM can make an encounter easier than intended for non-combatants, can a DM lower Diplomacy encounter DCs if nobody in the party has a positive Charisma/Diplomacy?

Osirion

Todd Moran wrote:

Scenario writers are not out to 'get' players and oftentimes, the tactics as written favor the PCs, especially for high level monsters (Harpies that stay on the ground, etc). In all the scenarios I have run, only a few end guys had what I would consider 'lethal' tactics and there was a reason for that.

I would submit that an unprepared GM would perhaps make up their own tactics and thus erase the potentially easier 'tactics-as-written'.

The OP's examples fall more under "Reward Creative Solutions" rather than a change in scenario tactics.

Let's see how Season 4 goes, and at the end give M&M a full list of examples on how the new scenario designs work.

The GM knew what he was doing, HE even said that particular scenario was unfairly balanced even without the channel energy. He changed her tactic to fight us in melee with a heavy flail and she still whooped our butts.

It also doesnt help that every game he runs, (pfs or not) he crits on players at least twice. Its like a superpower he has.

Osirion

El Baron de los Banditos wrote:
Vixeryz wrote:
... most of us have +0 con mod and fail our will saves, the ... The barbarian was the only one with more than 8 hp and the cleric made his will save.

This seems to be the problem. The amount of environmental hazards and flame-oriented spellcasters in mid-high will make quick work of you when playing in-tier at any level if you're all average Joe's in both health and saves. The saves thing could have very well been luck, so saves is a bit of a moot point, especially at 1-2.

But at risk of sounding like an ass, I ask you this; If a DM can make an encounter easier than intended for non-combatants, can a DM lower Diplomacy encounter DCs if nobody in the party has a positive Charisma/Diplomacy?

The people in the party: Barbarian, Rogue, Bard, Cleric.

The bard had a good will save- but he wasnt in the area of effect. I wouldnt call a rogue a non combatant but...at level 1, rogues are squishy.
I put all my points into dex and cha.

As far as a social encounter with no cha players in the party? Well...in that unlikely event- either, the GM will reward a player (who has a higher charisma than his character) who ROLEplays (speaks eloquently) it really well and let him succeed anyway (regardless of die roll). OR All the players attempt it and if they fail, then either they fail the mission or combat breaks out and they succeed at combat.

failing to be diplomatic doesnt always mean death. failing at combat usually does.

Silver Crusade **

At low tiers, I haven't seen parties really have trouble with scenarios. Could you let us know what scenario it was so we could check and see what happened?

*****

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
At low tiers, I haven't seen parties really have trouble with scenarios. Could you let us know what scenario it was so we could check and see what happened?

I'm guessing it's one of the Devil We Know series given the description. I've never really found them too difficult. Honestly, in my book, if you have 10 Con or lower, you're asking to have a glass jaw, for any class in the game.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Echoing what some people said above.

1. Don't run a 10 CON character in PFS. Seriously. And double so if it's your first character.
2. Same goes for Wisdom. Negative wisdom mod (i.e. bad Will save) wipes parties. Repeat after me, Wisdom and Con are not dump stats.
3. I have yet to see anyone have major trouble with a 1-5 scenario. Even so, death happens. In your specific example, even if the cleric channeled negative, none of you should be dead. Unconscious yes, but there is a world of difference between that and dead dead.

Now, to answer your concern more directly. The reason the campaign leadership asks you to run scenarios as written is because that is the only way they can get accurate feedback and can make adjustments to the scenarios in the future. If you think a scenario is too brutal and hard, go to the scenario's page and write a review! If enough people agree with you and have the same experience, the Mark and Mike will know for the future.

However, if every GM can change things willy-nilly then they have no basis to go on.

The tactics topic gets brought up every month or two it seems. The general consensus is tactics are general guidelines, but enemies are not stupid either (well, check their INT score :P). If tactics say he concentrates on ranged casters, but the party is all melee, I'm going to ignore those tactics.

Finally, I suggest you play some of the newer scenarios. The leadership has of course made changes over the years, and have gotten better at their jobs. There is a world of difference between Season 0 and season 3 scenarios. Don't form general judgements on just one bad experience.

Cheliax ***

I dump wisdom all the time, although I would never dump both wisdom and con (at least one of the 2 should be a +2 modifier),

Another quick note 1-7 Scenarios are not balanced for Tier 1-2, they were originally built as tier 3-7 scenarios with 3-4 and 6-7 subtiers with very small adjustments to allow 1-2 play meaning its alot more lethal than a 1-5 scenario at t1-2 both tactically and in design. They should generally only be played by majority level 2 tables at the T1-2 subtier, or with all 3+ at any of the higher subtiers.

Sczarni ***

1 bad spell is enough to remove you out of combat. A simple Suggestion might be enough. Do you really wish to dump Wisdom?

@OP
The clerics level means little. It's still him alone vs 4+ Players. They simply overswarm him in first round or take cover to get out of LoS.

People lose alot also because they force team to go infront. Sometimes it's just better to stay at back and shot the BBEG down but nobody ever carries ranged weapons.

Grand Lodge *****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

First of all let me say - the Original Poster lists several very reasonable points. So let me try to take a step back and look at the options.

Option 1: Every GM runs each encounter 'as written'

For the reasons shown by the OP (and other ones I have read here on the boards) this options has many, many draw backs.

Option 2: You remove the tactics and give the GM free reign

There have been lots of posts and threads in the past that show how this has caused the death of characters - and players come here and complain.

So effectively we are in a catch 22 position here. If we look at the draw backs, neither option is without them.

So how can we solve the issue? GMs are not automatons. Tactics get interpreted and the world isn't black and white. Assuming you are talking of Shipyard Rats then the encounter says 'frequently' and not 'every round'. Frequently gives me a lot of leeway to interpret during a fight.

Shipyard Rats:

If my first channel takes down half the party then I don't have to channel two more rounds to ensure a TPK. It also mentions blindness/deafness on the toughest character as soon as battle starts which implies not channel in the first round of combat. It also mentions to use fear - which again can't be done the same round as channel. And it even says she might channel to heal her zombies.

Bottom line - as GM all of the below seem reasonable
R1: Channel, R2: Cast Blindness, R3: Cast Fear, R4: Channel
R1: Cast Blindness, R2: Channel (heal zombies), R3: Cast Fear, R4: Channel
R1: Cast Blindness, R2: Cast Fear, R3: Channel, R4: Channel

So lets look at the positives of tactics

a) they ensure the table variation is mimimized
b) they are useful as a guide for a GM
c) they seldom leave no freedom at all to the GM

In my view - the benefits of tactics written outweigh the downsides.

I try to follow them as far as it makes sense. But I will depart from them the moment they start to make no sense because of what happens on the battlefield.

Actions of characters do have an effect on tactics. If it says BBE kills an enemy (and he plays dead - successful) then I stop hitting that character.

Does it mean I altered the tactics? Only the most hardcore reading of RAW would imply I keep pounding on the character.

An example from Shipyard Rats that changed the whole outcome of the fight

Shipyard Rats again:

Example:
So to special circumstances (the group went to the ship but walked up and down for half an hour instead of entering it) the Shipyard rats fight happened next to the ship. The only character of the group on board was a half-orc monk - scouting.

Knowing the whole scenario this is something that doesn't fit into any tactics. It seemed reasonable to me that the cleric might mistake the monk with one of her own crew. So I gave the cleric a sense motive check to identify the monk as enemy (failed). So she shouted to him - help me - only to get surprised by him later and dragged into the water.

To reiterate:
Tactics aren't always that black and white
As a GM you have to take actions from players into account
Tactics help to provide a more even playing field and a more even experience
GMs are not automatons

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh

Vixeryz wrote:

ONE evil cleric can single handedly wipe a party with channel energy if the GM plays it "As written." A level 3 cleric is an appropriate encounter for a level 1 party? Someone surely thought so.

The level 3 cleric will have "Channel Energy 2d6" which will yield an average of 6 points. Unless you're a fighter, ranger, or barbarian, you're likely to only have 8 or 9 hp. The good (party)cleric cant keep the party alive if the evil NPC cleric channels 2d6 every round... We managed to survive 4 rounds, but thats only because I asked the GM to disregard the tactics section when I used diplomacy to taunt the evil cleric into stop using magic. And that was AFTER the evil cleric rolls 9 damage on channel energy and downed 3 people in the first round!
Vixeryz wrote:

The people in the party: Barbarian, Rogue, Bard, Cleric.

I'm confused; you said that by channeling 9 pts of damage that 3 party members were down. You also said the Barbarian survived, the Bard was out of range, and the Cleric made the save. Sounds like just the Rogue went down.

I agree with others that if so many people had low or average Con scores, then a negative channeling Cleric is a scary thing. You also have to hold into consideration many other factors:
- Did the NPC get the surprise round? If so, is that because the characters failed their skill checks?
- Did the NPC just win initiative and get to channel before the party could act?
- If the tier is 1-2, then it's designed for some 2nd level characters as well as 1st level characters.

This could have been a very different encounter if five 2nd level characters made the skill check to not be subject to a surprise round, and then won initiative over the NPC Cleric. In that instance the Cleric probably wouldn't have even gotten a chance to act.

I've killed a player with a claw, claw, bite volley that was a hit, hit, crit. Sometimes... it's just not your day.

tl;dr Sometimes bad luck (on rolls) can make a bigger difference in the encounter than the tactics, and the designers have to plan for varying party builds/sizes/tactics.

*

”Vixeryz” wrote:

This statement: "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."

Conflicts with this statement: "Scenarios are to be run as written, with no addition or subtraction to number of monsters, or changes to stats, feats, spells, skills or any other mechanics of the scenario. GMs may use other Pathfinder RPG sources to add flavor to the scenario, but may not change the mechanics of encounters."

They don’t conflict. GMs have a lot of latitude with the TACTICS, just not the mechanics.

Your GM wasn’t forced to channel you down. He thought he did, but was wrong. However, it probably made the most sense for the NPC to do that. On the bright side, you died at level 1 and not level 3+.

”Vixeryz” wrote:
ONE evil cleric can single handedly wipe a party with channel energy if the GM plays it "As written." A level 3 cleric is an appropriate encounter for a level 1 party? Someone surely thought so.

It’s not just the cleric, it’s the (under CR) fast zombies that are blocking for him, that do significant damage on their own.

If you read the reviews,

Spoiler:
“Shipyard rats”
is known as a level 1 killer. I suggest you write a bad review for it saying you don’t like scenarios with a high chance of TPKing a level 1 party.

I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I hope you told your GM, because there are a lot of GMs that think players have fun when their PCs die. Sure some veteran players might not care, but it’s extremely discouraging to new players.

”Vixeryz” wrote:
There are not many scenarios which take social combat into account. A GM had to "break" the scenario when I got a 32 on my Diplomacy roll to convince the thugs we encountered to surrender and leave. This wasnt sposed to be an option according to the very poorly written scenario- but I exceeded the DC even with all the penalties for hostile targets by 5 or more. There was another scenario where I walked in the front door of a heavily guarded warehouse by pretending to be "the new guy" working for them and bypassed all the mooks and going straight for the boss. Once again- "breaking the scenario" with an amazing bluff check.

This is actually encouraged in PFS, it’s part of the guide. It doesn’t need to be said in every single encounter because it’s part of the PFS organized play culture.

”Vixeryz” wrote:
I petition that all future scenarios be written with no tactics or if NPC tactics are to be provided, that they are listed as "Suggested, or Recommended" Tactics.

Tactics are only recommended now.

A good GM should give the PCs every chance to survive (and it sounds like your did give you some latitude), but it’s not their job to bend over backwards to keep you alive. You see, that pisses off yet another group of people.

”Vixeryz” wrote:
Therefore, I also petition that there be a peer review of user submitted scenarios BEFORE they are published and become legal. And offer a reward for doing so.

This is a good idea, but I don’t think giving free PP as a reward is a good idea.

Cheliax ***

But Jason if you sign up for a 1-7 mod at tier 1-2 you should expect a Hard scenario as every single 1-7 mod has a very hard low tier as its just a very slightly scaled back tier 3-4 (less monsters but no change to the actual NPCs due to printing space) in most cases.

Which means dont play 1-7 mods at 1-2 with a party of new level 1's have at least 75% level 2's and most people with 1 game under their belt, thats just how those scenarios are built.

Newer scenarios are built more in line with how people play, but the older 1-7's were only opened up as such to give people who had no other choices a low tier option, they are designed and balanced as 3-4 and 6-7 subtiers.

Good choices for first level pc's are

Season 0 mods (1-5, at either tier level 1 PCs have few issues contributing)
Season 1-2 (1-5 at tier 1-2, you can still contribute at 4-5 but its harder)
Season 3-4 (Play at 1-2 at 4-5 alot of creatures will 1 round you)

*

Most new players don't know what they're signing up for, you can't blame it on them (and I certainly wasn't). It's the responsibility of the organizer or GM to run scenarios that will give new players the best experience.

Andoran ****

Still, when someone's new, let them play a pre-gen. If it's an experienced player running with a 10 con, they deserve to die.

Grand Lodge ****

In regards to tactics, the tactics listed should be a guide, not mandatory. This game is awesome because it's flexible and there doesn't have to be a script. The opponents tactics should reflect this.

Osirion

I understand and fully support NOT allowing GMs to scale up the difficulty. BUT, as I will reiterate from the OP- The Guide to Organized Play suggests that when things are looking dire, a GM can choose to use less deadly tactics. I beg and humbly request some support on this from Mike Brock and Mark Moreland, to allow GMs the ability to REDUCE the difficulty and scale DOWN the tactics in Tier 1/1-2 for some of the deadlier scenarios. The playerbase should not feel like "you have to have an 18 con to survive level 1". If players keep dying at level 1, eventually we are going to run out of Tier 1 scenarios and its no fun at all. The only recourse we have at this point, is to run all of our level 1s through the "First Steps" trilogy (unlimited replay) so that we can get to level 2 just to survive the other Tier 1-2 scenarios.

Please please guys? Just a little latitude is all I ask. I'll buy you a tasty beverage, and some pie!

Shadow Lodge ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huh. I have never died in the tier 1-2 range, nor have I ever killed anyone at that sub-tier either. All of my kills/deaths have been at higher levels.

It could possibly be your GM. Though at low levels, any party with a Barbarian generally squashes everything. It's hard for me to imagine a constant cycle of deaths like that.

Osirion

except usually there isnt a barbarian. and the one time there was... She got killed by a 3rd level cleric channeling 2d6 negative energy on the 2nd turn. The other time a TPK happened, it was a ranger one-shotting each party member from a rooftop with a +4 strength bow and rapid shot. We even had a 3rd level paladerp to tank, but the GM managed to confirm a crit on him.... downing him with 30+ damage. :(

From now on- we're renting hirelings or running away, this b/s is simply atrocious.

Osirion

KestlerGunner wrote:
In regards to tactics, the tactics listed should be a guide, not mandatory. This game is awesome because it's flexible and there doesn't have to be a script. The opponents tactics should reflect this.

I quite agree and I would LOVE to believe you. I got into huge arguments trying to convince GMs to scale down the tactics.

Except, from what I'm hearing- it IS a script and the tactics- (I've been told repeatedly) ARE mandatory.

Andoran **

Vixeryz wrote:


Except, from what I'm hearing- it IS a script and the tactics- (I've been told repeatedly) ARE mandatory.

They are mandatory but not a script. I find there is room for GM creativity while staying true to the author's tactics. But the core of your frustration is an enherent part of the nature of organized play: mandated GM consistacy. While I enjoy the freedom of non-PFS GMing, I know that PFS play has its own set of advantages and rewards.

Besides, character death, in moderation, is a good thing. My first PC died when I was 14. So amazed at how immersive that experience was for me, it sparked 30+ years of DMing/GMing in me and I am still going strong!

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