Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

GM Requirement: Physical Beastiary


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge ****

"Additionally, a GM should have a physical copy of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary"

I do not own a physical copy nor a pdf of the Bestiary.

(Some Straw Man / Some Serious Questions)

Should I stop GMing?

Should I ask if somebody has a copy of it when I sit down to run the table and refuse to continue until a copy arrives at the table?

Should I extort Todd Morgan and tell him I won't run any tables at his con unless he buy's me a Beastiary?

Should I just suck it up and buy a copy for $40?

Should I try and track down everybody at every slot I've run since that came into effect and ask if a physical Beastiary was at the table, and if the answer is no tell them to destroy their chronicle sheet as it was not a legal table?

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

With the move to put short stat blocks into scenarios, yes you should obtain a copy of the Bestiary, whether it is a physical copy or a PDF. I'm not sure how you would GM and adjudicate a combat as a GM if you don't have any stats to go by.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:
With the move to put short stat blocks into scenarios, yes you should obtain a copy of the Bestiary, whether it is a physical copy or a PDF. I'm not sure how you would GM and adjudicate a combat as a GM if you don't have any stats to go by.

Well there is always the PRD as well.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Michael Brock wrote:
I'm not sure how you would GM and adjudicate a combat as a GM if you don't have any stats to go by.

By printing them all out ahead of time from the PRD, including traits and definitions of keyworded abilities?

Shadow Lodge ****

Michael Brock wrote:
With the move to put short stat blocks into scenarios, yes you should obtain a copy of the Bestiary, whether it is a physical copy or a PDF. I'm not sure how you would GM and adjudicate a combat as a GM if you don't have any stats to go by.

Is a PDF even okay for this? The rules seem to require a physical copy...

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pirate Rob wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
With the move to put short stat blocks into scenarios, yes you should obtain a copy of the Bestiary, whether it is a physical copy or a PDF. I'm not sure how you would GM and adjudicate a combat as a GM if you don't have any stats to go by.
Is a PDF even okay for this? The rules seem to require a physical copy...

A PDF is fine as well.

Cheliax *

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Are GMs required to have physical copies of all the Beastiaries, since the modules seem to draw from them all? Or can I just do prep work and print the monster stats from PDFs or the PRD.

Personally, I think the move to put short stat blocks into scenarios is very poor organized play ettiquette towards the volunteers who run the scenarios for you. Having to get paper copies of monsters stats printed out adds 20-30 minutes to my prep time everytime I volunteer to GM. If I don't do the prep work I'm flipping back and forth to multiple pages in the middle of combat, if the scenario calls for an orc and a goblin in the same fight, which slows things down considerably. Just my two cents.

Grand Lodge ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I thought so too, at first, until I realized the side-effect of having to prep those stat blocks really helped me run the combats. This is why I haven't shared my stat-block library with the other GMs - it really is valuable prep time to organize those stats yourself.

Cheliax *

I completely agree, but with the nature of organized play, at conventions you don't alway have an extra half hour to prep, or easy access to the PRD and a printer. For other organized play games, I'm likely to volunteer on the spot if the organizers are suddenly down a GM and have a table full of people eager to play. If it was PFS, I would have to pass, because I know the modules aren't ready to run in the format they are sold in.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Victor Zajic wrote:
I completely agree, but with the nature of organized play, at conventions you don't alway have an extra half hour to prep, or easy access to the PRD and a printer. For other organized play games, I'm likely to volunteer on the spot if the organizers are suddenly down a GM and have a table full of people eager to play. If it was PFS, I would have to pass, because I know the modules aren't ready to run in the format they are sold in.

Really, the only monsters for which this is an issue are those from Bestiary 1; those are the ones that tend to have truncated (or nonexistent) statblocks in the scenarios.

Generally, I don't mind these too much, though I do start to mind when I've run into Bestiary monsters which then have advanced templates applied, with no stat block in the scenario -- just references to the pages in the Bestiary where the core monster, and the template, are listed, requiring the Judge to do at least a little bit of math and adjustment on his own. I understand why it's done (mostly to save space in the scenario), but it's a pain.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mike Mistele, starting with season 4, if the creature can be found in the PRD, it will not have stats listed in PFS scenarios. This also applies to non-core feats, spells, etc. So basically, even if you have the Core Rulebook and Bestiary 1, you probably won't be able to run a new scenario with just a quick readthrough.

This was done in order to keep production costs down, but it does noticeably increase prep time for GMs and makes running scenarios without a few hours of prep time at home (or work) very prohibitive.

Scott, there is a difference between reviewing a creature's stats so you understand how to run it and having to print or write down those stats and possibly adjust those stats to add a template as needed.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Don Walker wrote:
Mike Mistele, starting with season 4, if the creature can be found in the PRD, it will not have stats listed in PFS scenarios.

Thanks for the new info, Don. I haven't run a season 4 scenario yet, so I wasn't aware of the change.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Just to chime, not only does it save production costs, but the writers were getting a lot of complaints about boring redundant monster selections.

Since just before Season 3 we've been making a concerted effort to mix it up a little bit.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jim Groves wrote:

Just to chime, not only does it save production costs, but the writers were getting a lot of complaints about boring redundant monster selections.

Since just before Season 3 we've been making a concerted effort to mix it up a little bit.

I'm wondering how this supports not listing stat blocks in the scenarios.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Word count Don. Production costs.

Up above, you told Mike Mistele that this was done to reduce production costs. Production costs, especially in a PDF product, are partially development time. It doesn't require a lot of development time to implement a short statblock or to use a template. This also keeps the cost of the product down.

Otherwise, the author prepares an Exel sheet for the creature. The Developer has to review for accuracy and correctness, and both parties have to format the stat block, and its length eats at the word count cap. That takes time and takes money.

Now throwing "monster variety" into the mix was a bit of a tangent in this conversation. "Ya got me." But it was a factor not very long ago in Season Three when we were NOT drawing upon all three Bestiaries even if they were in the PRD (which is something Victor was commenting on). Bestiary 2 was in the PRD (and had been for some time) and we were still required to list the entire statblock. If we wanted to use something from the other Bestiaries, we needed to come up with the word count to provide the statblock. Or- we stuck to Bestiary 1.

So, I went off on a tangent. Bad Jim. Let's get back on topic.

Consider this: you're not losing content. The scenarios are not getting any shorter. Somehow, those words we're not using on the long stat blocks are getting re-purposed and re-used somewhere else in the scenario. Where are they going? I think it's a legitimate question, but the answer is going to vary with each scenario and each other author.

But there is no shortage of requests for improvements on scenarios:
* Interesting faction missions
* Roleplaying situations
* Interesting treasure or new treasures
* Interesting Traps and Puzzles
* Better descriptions or tie-ins to continuity (story)

I think it is a completely legititmate complaint to say, "This has short stat blocks, but the adventure still seems incomplete, or doesn't seem to shine in other respects to justify the extra work it required to prep it."

ON THE OTHER HAND: If the adventure was really special in many other respects, it might be because there were extra words/resources that were diverted from long stat blocks to improve other portions of the scenario.

Whether that is justified or not might be a case-by-case situation, which is one reason we have a review process.

Hopefully this is a more thoughtful and topical post!


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To add to Jim, well to add hearsay to Jim's post, one of the reasons they've shied away from using archetyped NPCs in the past was that it would use up extra words that could be used elsewhere. For much of RPG freelancing, wordcount is king.

I can certainly see a fan-system for 'pre-prepping' all the NPCs and monsters in a document. There could even be a bounty system for it, based on Paizo credit.

****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jim Groves wrote:
Word count Don. Production costs.

First off, let me say thanks for providing a perspective from the other side of the fence.

The reason that shortened stat blocks annoy me most is that it may save the writer and developer some time but that time is spent once. The cost is that every single GM has to spend that time when running the scenario. From a certain point of view, it's really making the scenarios more expensive: not in dollars, but in the valuable time of the customers. It's hard for me to see how putting that additional burden on the GMs is worth it. Also, I really don't see why a stat block should count towards a word count limit at all.

I wish each scenario had an appendix with the full stat block (with all templates applied) for every creature in the scenario, broken up by subtier (all lower subtier creatures, then all higher subtier creatures). This could still exclude common spells, feats, etc.

Okay, that's my rant for the day.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Mike,

Your point is 100% legitimate. No argument whatsoever.

Someone is going to pay.

I wouldn't even begin to try to argue otherwise.

My "agenda" in bringing it up is that we should all go into it with an understanding of the whole equation. Make the choice from an informed position. Or, work/lobby towards the balance you think works best for you the customer.

You're the customer. But you're going to make the best decision, for you, with the big picture.

*******

I think Cheapy has a great idea with volunteer pre-prepping stat blocks. I certainly wouldn't mind prepping "unoffical" stat blocks for short-statblocks and templated creatures for scenarios that I write, so long as Mark and Mike don't object (though if it bugged them I would have to refrain).

Cheliax ***

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:
Pirate Rob wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
With the move to put short stat blocks into scenarios, yes you should obtain a copy of the Bestiary, whether it is a physical copy or a PDF. I'm not sure how you would GM and adjudicate a combat as a GM if you don't have any stats to go by.
Is a PDF even okay for this? The rules seem to require a physical copy...
A PDF is fine as well.

I'm sure Paizo would be happier if you bought both versions, PDF and hard copy.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Mike Lindner wrote:
Also, I really don't see why a stat block should count towards a word count limit at all.

I just saw this specific question, and it jumped out at me as something to answer specifically.

Because authors don't always get their stat blocks correct, and they have to be reviewed and corrected. The Excel sheet is not foolproof and there is stuff it doesn't do. That takes Mark time during his day. His time is also valuable. He's got so much time to do so much work, and still have a weekend and time for his family. And he works his ass off to keep up with the pace.

(EDIT: This applies more to stat blocks that have templates where the stat block from the relevant Bestiary is altered. I can't speak to the matter of stat blocks that would come directly from the Bestiary without modification.)

I once grappled with the same issue. "If it's a PDF product, what does word count really matter?" It matters because someone has to read, proof, correct, or develop those words. They also have to go through layout- but that's a whole other department I don't know much about.

You can shave a lot of production and develop time with a short stat block.

And yes, that time is then put off on the customer. You're absolutely right.

It comes down to reconciling whether the extra prep time is worth a hopefully better scenario in other respects.

Qadira

Cheapy wrote:

To add to Jim, well to add hearsay to Jim's post, one of the reasons they've shied away from using archetyped NPCs in the past was that it would use up extra words that could be used elsewhere. For much of RPG freelancing, wordcount is king.

I can certainly see a fan-system for 'pre-prepping' all the NPCs and monsters in a document. There could even be a bounty system for it, based on Paizo credit.

I wonder if the NPC hardcover coming out might help w/ this by providing fully statted NPCs that writers can refer to w/ short stat blocks ala the monsters.


"talking bout a world where all is free it just couldn't be"

****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jim Groves wrote:
Mike Lindner wrote:
Also, I really don't see why a stat block should count towards a word count limit at all.

I just saw this specific question, and it jumped out at me as something to answer specifically.

Because authors don't always get their stat blocks correct, and they have to be reviewed and corrected. The Excel sheet is not foolproof and there is stuff it doesn't do. That takes Mark time during his day. His time is also valuable. He's got so much time to do so much work, and still have a weekend and time for his family. And he works his ass off to keep up with the pace.

(EDIT: This applies more to stat blocks that have templates where the stat block from the relevant Bestiary is altered. I can't speak to the matter of stat blocks that would come directly from the Bestiary without modification.)

I once grappled with the same issue. "If it's a PDF product, what does word count really matter?" It matters because someone has to read, proof, correct, or develop those words. They also have to go through layout- but that's a whole other department I don't know much about.

You can shave a lot of production and develop time with a short stat block.

And yes, that time is then put off on the customer. You're absolutely right.

It comes down to reconciling whether the extra prep time is worth a hopefully better scenario in other respects.

So the solution is simple. Turn Mark into a lich. :D Then he'll have plenty of time. I'm sure there won't be any nasty side effects like him trying to take over the world or turning Washington into Nex.

Really though, I do understand this limitation, but it's still rather frustrating since it seems to go in the opposite direction from my own ideal.

And to be clear, from what I understood it's that the stat block isn't just counted towards the word count, but applied towards some limit set overall such that an extra stat block means less descriptive text for the scenario. This is what seems wonky to me.

I really just wanted to get my own perspective heard so that when the folks in charge think about these things there is weight on both sides of the scale.

Qadira *** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Thorkull

Mike Lindner wrote:
And to be clear, from what I understood it's that the stat block isn't just counted towards the word count, but applied towards some limit set overall such that an extra stat block means less descriptive text for the scenario. This is what seems wonky to me.

Think of it from the perspective that "word count" is another way of saying "editing time." When you increase the editing time in one area (checking stat blocks), you decrease the available editing time in other areas (Room descriptions, traps, puzzles, dialog, backstory).

Conversely, decreasing the time spent on one task (checking stat blocks) increases the time available for editing those other features.

Andoran *****

Mike Lindner,

Maybe it’s just me, but I have no problems applying the simple (advanced, young, giant) templates on the spot. I use a tablet when I GM. The tablet has the nifty PRD App, so I pull up the templates and the monster on the tablet. Adding 2 and 4 to things for the Advanced template is incredibly easy on the spot.

To copy and paste a monster’s stat block from the PRD into Word, and add the +4 to 2 abilities, and +2 NA to a creature, takes maybe 10 minutes if you are slow. So realistically you are talking about maybe half an hour for one scenario if every encounter has templates. The Green Market only had 2 templates. But Jim was nice enough to give completed stat blocks for these in The Green Market feedback thread.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Perhaps the "Gamemastering 101" section on "running a scenario on the fly" could address this topic. It's one thing to get the adventure 5 minutes before the session and run it cold. It's another thing when the NPCs come "some assembly required".

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Completely agree. In St Louis our weekly game session is done completely cold for the most part. It would be nice to see a little bit of the word space set aside to help out a cold running GM.

It would help if they put the template info in the scenario (the quick apply version) so that I could have that and the Bestiary in front of me.
One of the other things that gets me is seeing feats on NPC stat blocks that I am not fully up on and not knowing what book its in. Maybe a 2 letter code next to the feat to let me know what book it's in would help.

Cheliax ****

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

Completely agree. In St Louis our weekly game session is done completely cold for the most part. It would be nice to see a little bit of the word space set aside to help out a cold running GM.

It would help if they put the template info in the scenario (the quick apply version) so that I could have that and the Bestiary in front of me.
One of the other things that gets me is seeing feats on NPC stat blocks that I am not fully up on and not knowing what book its in. Maybe a 2 letter code next to the feat to let me know what book it's in would help.

For your first concern: plan more.

For your second concern: sourcing feats like that would be a wonderful thing but given the trend of reprinting feats in newer books as they migrate from a Companion series to the RPG line, it seems problematic.

Andoran *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I think if a regular game day is always cold, then the GMs should be getting with their game day coordinator and telling him that's not ok.

Regular Game days should never be consistently cold.

Qadira ***

Andrew Christian wrote:

I think if a regular game day is always cold, then the GMs should be getting with their game day coordinator and telling him that's not ok.

Regular Game days should never be consistently cold.

This is something that several of us judges (in the St. Louis area) have suggested - strongly - for over a year. We have a monthly game day that has grown to over 4 tables in two slots - the last one (I think) was 10 total tables of 6 player each. All Judged cold.

We were told that next month we would be moving to 3 slots. So, next month we will be back in the room, organizing tables by the players getting together, comparing lists of scenarios played, sorting out PCs, selecting the table we will play at, and waiting to have a judge assigned. The judge arrives and we get to tell him what he's running.

Yes, really - this is the way it works here... honest.

But, that said, they must be doing something right, cause we have 2 or 3 weekly evening events in local stores - each with 3 to 6 tables (full, 6 player tables), PLUS a monthly game day (three slots now). And yes, it's all run "cold".

Andoran *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One comment that I've heard in the MN area, is despite how an event is run, if it is a decision between not playing, and playing something that is less than optimal (optimal being a prepared GM who runs by the rules and organizes a well planned game day), they will play.

So just because you have successful game days, does not mean that the players like it, or that its fair to the GMs. Especially with season 4 stuff basically having all short stat blocks with templates needing to be added.

Grand Lodge ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lab_Rat wrote:
Completely agree. In St Louis our weekly game session is done completely cold for the most part.

This blows my mind. Why aren't the GMs getting the scenarios beforehand? Is there anything we can do to help? Maybe your area could get started with more concrete RSVPs? Would that help you plan?

Andoran ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lab_Rat wrote:
Completely agree. In St Louis our weekly game session is done completely cold for the most part.

Likewise, that's insane. I've occasionally run scenarios cold when I've shown up to the FLGS and we had a dearth of GMs, but at least 80% of the time I'm running whatever I decided to prep that week, as are the other GMs in the store.

You don't have a web forum or other method of organizing who's running what ahead of time?

Qadira ***

DrSwordopolis wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
Completely agree. In St Louis our weekly game session is done completely cold for the most part.

Likewise, that's insane. I've occasionally run scenarios cold when I've shown up to the FLGS and we had a dearth of GMs, but at least 80% of the time I'm running whatever I decided to prep that week, as are the other GMs in the store.

You don't have a web forum or other method of organizing who's running what ahead of time?

No sir. In fact, at the last Saturday monthly game day (different venue then the Tuesday & Wednesday weekly game days) it was suggested, but again it was rejected. We were advised to use email amoung ourselves to set up tables if we wanted to something like that.

Almost all tables are run cold.

As I discribed above, the standard procedure is:
1) the players getting together, comparing lists of scenarios played, sorting out PCs. This allows them to get the core of a table. (Usually 4 PCs to set the scenario and Tier)
2) Select the table we will play at, and arrange seating around it.
3) Tell the Coordinator that we have a table and a likely scenario and Tier.
4) Wait to have a judge assigned. Very Pro-active players will "troll for a judge" - chatting up a judge we like and know and requesting him come run at out table.
5) The judges speak to the Coordinator to determine what tables are running what scenario and sort out which of them are running.

At any point after #3 additional players will be sent to table that have less then 6 players (in some cases 7 players) to "fill them out".

For the most part, that's the way PFS works in St. Louis.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

If it works. It certainly builds up some GMing muscles.

But, again, Season 4, with the requirement to look up all sorts of stuff, and assemble stat blocks, will prove to be particularly challenging. Unless Gms pro-actively prepare them, expecting that they'll have to run them sometime.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nosig, Lab_Rat,

Does your Venture-Captain know about this? I suggest you contact him to see if he can help your local GMs.

Andoran *****

Don Walker wrote:

Nosig, Lab_Rat,

Does your Venture-Captain know about this? I suggest you contact him to see if he can help your local GMs.

I sent an email over to Brett Sweeny to point him at this thread. I don't think there is much more I can contribute to the conversation without his input.

I don't know if this was his set up or not, and I don't know what the exact contributing and mitigating factors are on the ground in St. Louis. So I'll let Brett comment further.

***

I have been playing in St. Louis since January 2012.

Our venture captain is quite aware of the situation, as he is present for most of the sessions. I believe this tradition of not planning in advance goes way back to before I started playing.

Everyone here seems to work hard to foster an environment of inclusion. Tables frequently completely reorganize right before starting to play. Players switch characters on the spot to accommodate someone new that has just arrived. It should not be required with advanced planning, but it is pretty impressive actually. The notion that everyone who shows up should get to play seems pretty ingrained in the culture here.

It does take longer to marshal.
It does occasionally make games run longer (due to running cold, etc.).
It does require more flexibility on the part of the players.

But, it is still fun. Otherwise, I wouldn't show up.

***

For clarification, I am not saying that advanced planning cannot foster inclusion. There can and probably should be a little of both. Plan some games in advance but be flexible enough to accommodate folks who show up out of the blue.

****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It seems pretty simple then. Set up warhorn or a similar mustering tool and get the other GMs to start using it. It hurts both the GMs and the players to run scenarios cold constantly.

Andoran *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
CireJack wrote:
For clarification, I am not saying that advanced planning cannot foster inclusion. There can and probably should be a little of both. Plan some games in advance but be flexible enough to accommodate folks who show up out of the blue.

We do nothing but RSVP up here in the frosty north.

We have a regular game day every Saturday, Sunday, and a bi-monthly on Thursdays and Sundays, and a once a month on Saturday.

Between all those game days, there will be at least 2 games per month that anyone could play.

And if as coordinators we determine scenarios a week or two in advance, and there is at least a full table (if not more) who have already played the scenario, they can ask that a different one also be run for them. As coordinators, we can set that up (and have on many occasions.)

No matter the excuse, there really should be no reason to consistently run an entire, multiple-table game day cold.

I know as much as I love to GM, I would refuse to GM at that game day.

I guess I'm trying to say, there is no lack of inclusion because we organize weeks in advance.

Shadow Lodge ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Another helpful tip for being inclusive: only pre-schedule tables for 5 players, that way you'll have room for the inevitable walk-ins.

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
I'm not sure how you would GM and adjudicate a combat as a GM if you don't have any stats to go by.
By printing them all out ahead of time from the PRD, including traits and definitions of keyworded abilities?

THIS

in other words...PREP YOUR FRIGGIN GAME :)

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Missouri—St. Louis aka ubiquitous42

Well, I'd first like to thank Don for pointing me to this thread. It's probably time I chime in!

In short, it's all true, to an extent. I just don't feel that "running cold" is an accurate description of what typically takes place at a St. Louis game day, though. Our regular GMs come prepared to run, with copious supplies, a crate full of scenario print-outs, a nearly-complete set of flip mats, and a few stars under their belts. These GMs have played the majority of the scenario list, and have GMed a sizable complement of them as well.

Do we declare what scenarios we're running ahead of time? In general, no, but that's a conscious decision, not one due to laziness. From week to week, many players in the area won't know if they can make a game day, due to work or life getting in the way. Personally, I never want a player to feel like they can't come to a game day because they didn't foresee their ability to do so a week ahead of time, nor do I want to promote the "if you didn't sign up, you don't have a spot" mentality that I've seen many other game days operate under. Worse yet are problems with people who don't show up after signing up. By choosing scenarios once everyone is gathered, it adds some time to the process, but ensures that everyone who shows up can have fun for the night. In two years of monthly game days, only two players have ever been turned away for lack of a table.

I understand, and have understood, that some players are uncomfortable with this method of organization. While I get the occasional complaint, far outnumbering them are the good words from happy players. To the players who don't like this style of marshaling, I help them get in touch with other players, through Facebook or email, so they can organize a table ahead of time. For GMs who want to run a particular scenario, I help spread the word among the players through the same social channels that if there is enough interest, that scenario will be featured the next week or month. This is also the process I take with players who are interested in GMing their first few games.

It makes sense to me that what we do around here might be anathema to some of you out there, but please believe me when I say that it seems to work rather well for us.

(As an aside, I'm speaking only of the large game days that I organize myself, at St. Charles Fantasy Shop and Game Nite. If any complaints are involving game days at other stores, then I would very much like to hear more about those issues, since they'd be news to me.)

Andoran *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Only thing I would like to add Brett...

I don't understand how knowing what you are GMing and what will be run ahead of time would change any of that.

They can sign up or not sign up, you can still set up a good spread of level games so there will always be something to play and even if players don't sign up it does not mean they can't play.

I am not going to tell you how to run your events but I will tell you my opinion is that the experience of a fully prepared GM compared to the partial compared GM you describe far out weighs as an experience in a good game, with none of the negatives your group thinks it will have if scheduled correctly.

**

Dragnmoon wrote:

Only thing I would like to add Brett...

I don't understand how knowing what you are GMing and what will be run ahead of time would change any of that.

They can sign up or not sign up, you can still set up a good spread of level games so there will always be something to play and even if players don't sign up it does not mean they can't play.

I am not going to tell you how to run your events but I will tell you my opinion is that the experience of a fully prepared GM compared to the partial compared GM you describe far out weighs as an experience in a good game, with none of the negatives your group thinks it will have if scheduled correctly.

If you don't mind me jumping in here, I'm one of the players (and occasional GMs) at the STL events in question. It changes a lot; even if we broke it down week by week and said these are the scenarios we're running, there's no guarantee that would happen based on the fact that we run a ton of tables and who is and is not coming is often in flux.

There is also a lot of player overlap in what scenarios are even available to be played. It's often better to just see who's there and what can be played rather than trying to plan it all out in advance. It works out very well the majority of the time. Ultimately, it's a matter of whether it's really very feasible to expect planning in advance to work out every week, and with our particular group it isn't particularly. And, to reiterate what Brett is saying, the players seem largely happy with how it's run!

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is a world of difference between a GM "running cold" and one who has previously run (or even just prepared) an adventure. It sounds like Brett has a good handle on this.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Brett, how does your group handle people who want to try their hand at GMing? It's one thing to start out with a few game maps and miniatures. It's another to prep a dozen different adventures and buy materials for all of them, not knowing which one you'll run.

And I guess it would be frustrating to me, to go through all the effort to prep a scenario and then not get to run it because people want to play something else.

Andoran *****

Don Walker wrote:
There is a world of difference between a GM "running cold" and one who has previously run (or even just prepared) an adventure. It sounds like Brett has a good handle on this.

I agree.

Only thing I’d add, is that this would make it particularly hard for guys like Myron Pauls who builds 3D terrain, or others who like to pre-paint special minis (James Engle?), or for those who like to be more prepped (Chris Mortika with his special menus for Immortal Conundrum or anyone running Murder on the Throaty Mermaid or City of Strangers Part I)

But as Brett said, he would have no problem making special accommodations for special requests.

This isn’t how many of us would choose to run our game days, but it seems to work for that area.

Andoran *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am only concerned about misconceptions, If they are happy they are happy, but they seem to be basing it too many misconceptions..

Part of my scheduling is knowing exactly what every player on my area has played, I have a 2 year excel file with about 80 players that have played with us through the years and I mark exactly what they have ever played. (I don't currently have 80 players that is just the amount total trhough the years).

I use this list to schedule my games so that every game I schedule there is always a game someone can play.

It has been extremely rare when I have had a player show up that can't play due to lack of scenarios they can play. Even unannounced players.

It really all comes down to good scheduling, and unlike what your group seems to think it is possible, though it takes work.

Our group is exactly the same I never have the same players week to week, but that has never caused problems.

1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / Pathfinder Society GM Discussion / GM Requirement: Physical Beastiary All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.