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[PFS] Request for consideration...


Roleplaying Guild General Discussion

251 to 281 of 281 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge

As OP, I'm amazed and humbled that this discussion continues.

What's a little disturbing, though, is that a simple request like this has brought so much polarization, when it was a meager attempt to *build* the community, not to stomp on it.

Having missed the 'Gold Rush' days and the apparent 'ROFLSTOMP' days, was this really as bad as it is being made out to be?

The Exchange ***

I think scenarios could be designed using exp table found at:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/gamemastering.html

You can see on the table how a CR increase for an increase in the number of players provides the same exp. I should have done this in my example.

Either way I think the element of choice needs to be removed from our current APL calculation. As I said before it creates tension at a table as much as hard-mode does but without veto power.

Silver Crusade ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Heh. Sorry Ragoz, I was in the middle of the post when I got pulled away. Eventually it got posted and so did a lot else.

I'm still strongly against your proposal for a lot of reasons, although your update to it does change some of the incentives I mentioned. Complexity is bad, additional bookkeeping is bad, the variability is bad, the utter backwards incompatibility is bad... the problem, while it exists, seems so minor in comparison to the scope of the change that I simply cannot imagine it would ever happen.

Plus, I personally hate keeping track of more than two significant digits worth of experience points, I handwave XP away even in home games, and greatly prefer the simplified mechanisms PFS currently uses.

As far as fixes go, I still prefer the simple one. Calculate APL without rounding, and play in the closest subtier. If you still end up exactly between subtiers you can still keep the relevant section from the current rules. Ah well.

The Exchange ***

I think if the entire thing was designed this way from the start it would have been the best solution but maybe taking in to consideration what has already been made it is simply too much effort.

Sovereign Court ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm hoping the Starfinder Society tier system addresses a few issues. If it is a significant improvement, PFS might adopt it.

Scarab Sages ***

KingOfAnything wrote:
I'm hoping the Starfinder Society tier system addresses a few issues. If it is a significant improvement, PFS might adopt it.

Yeah. If you want to see what changes the campaign leadership thinks might fix the problems in the current system, looking at the new system they designed is probably a good first step. I'm curious to see how it plays out as well. It sounds like something that could be implemented in future PFS seasons without breaking the past scenarios.

Silver Crusade ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ragoz wrote:
I think if the entire thing was designed this way from the start it would have been the best solution but maybe taking in to consideration what has already been made it is simply too much effort.

I think the PFS version of the XP rules is a better fit, but otherwise I agree--you've put together a system that would be a plausible solution for a new organized play campaign.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Having missed the 'Gold Rush' days and the apparent 'ROFLSTOMP' days, was this really as bad as it is being made out to be?

The gold Rush days had a max gp by 12th (if you always played up) of 143,000 gp or so. I post exact values to the gp back in the day. I felt it was fixing an issue that didn't exist as I didn't know any 140k people. However, it also fixed the "min gp" problem of 35,000 gp by raising the low. You can still hit 120,000 gp with the oot system, so max slightly reduced and min doubled.

Now the public perception seemed to be widespread rampant gold rush, so overwhelming majority of players I interacted in real life cheered the change. So it certainly was a success in public relations.

I'm not sure what you mean on rolfstomp? Unless you mean tpk heaven? Which I think is a myth. Or if you mean the bullying to play up? Which happened. Frankly taking choice out of tier selection was beautiful. It fixed all the undue peer pressure.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Risner wrote:


I'm not sure what you mean on rolfstomp? Unless you mean tpk heaven? Which I think is a myth. Or if you mean the bullying to play up? Which happened. Frankly taking choice out of tier selection was beautiful. It fixed all the undue peer pressure.

I was attempting to draw some reasoning as to why a higher tier characters are so strongly discouraged from 'playing down' if the player is okay with it.

Thank you for the history lesson about the alleged 'gold rush' that wasn't.

And the choice hasn't really been taken out. The blame has just been shifted from 'the party as a whole' to the 'statistical outlier' that drags the party 'up', and 'double rounding', with no apparent way to fix it using 'organic' characters short of 'play different character or go home'.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not sure high tier are discouraged from playing down?
I always thought about the old system encouraging low tier players forcing other low tier to play up when some high tier were at the table.

Now you can blame the math, instead of blame some other player. Less IRL strife. Or at least from my personal experience.

*****

James Risner wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Having missed the 'Gold Rush' days and the apparent 'ROFLSTOMP' days, was this really as bad as it is being made out to be?

The gold Rush days had a max gp by 12th (if you always played up) of 143,000 gp or so. I post exact values to the gp back in the day. I felt it was fixing an issue that didn't exist as I didn't know any 140k people. However, it also fixed the "min gp" problem of 35,000 gp by raising the low. You can still hit 120,000 gp with the oot system, so max slightly reduced and min doubled.

Over the years I played with 1 group that when faced with a mix of character levels always arranged the PC levels so that both tables could play up, rather than sensibly run a high and low level table with a wide spread of levels.

Almost all of the PCs in that group were significantly over WBL expectations.

Prior to OOT gold I don't believe I ever played down with several hundred XP acquired.

***

i have seen multiple times where someone with a character way below the power curve dragged a team up a tier.

I was DMing a traitors lodge where a level 7 brought the group up. I knew she built weak characters, but when her raging barbarian had a hard time break double digits for damage I knew the table was in trouble.

Shadow Lodge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean on rolfstomp? Unless you mean tpk heaven? Which I think is a myth. Or if you mean the bullying to play up? Which happened. Frankly taking choice out of tier selection was beautiful. It fixed all the undue peer pressure.

TPK heaven was most certainly not a myth - and the rampant disagreement in the "challenge" needed to be provided to players by certain VOs and I is well documented on these forums and resulted in me quitting PFS for about two years.

I was directly affected by it, so no - I can assure you it was not a myth.

Shadow Lodge ****

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
Pirate Rob wrote:

Bit of relevant history:

Once upon a time, before the 4 player adjustment, if you had 6 players you got +1 to your APL. If that bumped you into the higher tier, and had no players in that tier you could choose to play down.

The main issue with that is that the last few Guides have been worded so poorly that it says almost the exact opposite of what it means in this regard. Season 8 was the worst, but it is a long term issue.
It's because they have gotten rid of that rule. The last few guide don't want you adding 1 to your APL for larger parties.

Sorry, only had a moment to post. I was more refering to the entire section on determining subtier/APL, rather than the +1.

Shadow Lodge ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

rolfstopm= cakewalk. Like what happens when a pair of level 9s run through a level 5 scenario.

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
rolfstopm= cakewalk. Like what happens when a pair of level 9s run through a level 5 scenario.

Theoretically*.

*:
There have been a couple of scenarios I've played in where having a L7 in the lower sub-tier of a 3-7 was 'barely survivable', and only because the L7 was there...

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

MisterSlanky wrote:
TPK heaven was most certainly not a myth - and the rampant disagreement in the "challenge" needed to be provided to players by certain VOs and I is well documented on these forums and resulted in me quitting PFS for about two years.

I'm sorry you had that experience and I kinda wish every GM understood the point is for everyone (GM and players) to have fun and the GM should derive their fun from the players succeeding not failing at the challenges.

For whatever reason, I've only seen 3 or 4 total players die at a table I've GM in 190 tables. I'd prefer zero. I've also never been at a TPK table as a player.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

BigNorseWolf wrote:
rolfstopm= cakewalk. Like what happens when a pair of level 9s run through a level 5 scenario.

Thanks. I've learned a new phrase.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

What is TPK heaven? I can't find the term on these forums or in the urban dictionary. I think I'm missing context here.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
What is TPK heaven? I can't find the term on these forums or in the urban dictionary. I think I'm missing context here.

I'm assuming it's place where a Total Party Kill is all but assured.

Shadow Lodge *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
What is TPK heaven? I can't find the term on these forums or in the urban dictionary. I think I'm missing context here.

In this context I take it as (what I refer to as) the War of Escalation in Seasons 4, 5, and 6 - where player builds outpaced scenario difficulty and the team decided to just ramp up difficulty to crazy levels (e.g. creatures capable of one shot killing melee PCs, including four swarms with terrain issues that prevent escape, etc) rather than look for alternative solution.

By the way - if you're reading this, kudos to current team (and especially Mr. Compton) for figuring out a better solution.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Hmm

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for clarifying, Ryan. For the record, I feel the same way. I don't want scenarios to be so ramped up in deadliness that only the most munchkined characters can survive. I have been loving having the mix of skills, RP and combat that are present in recent scenarios. It makes a far more enjoyable game for mixed parties that include some newcomers or players who may be slightly less skilled in the combat arena.

Hmm

Scarab Sages ***

I didn't find Season 5 too high on the difficulty scale (he says as he prepares to play Sealed Gate this weekend). Not compared to Season 4, anyway. Maybe Elven Entanglement, but that was due more to the situation of the encounter than the CR of the encounter, and likely it being run incorrectly in the worst cases. Season 6 difficulties mostly came from robots with hardness, which weren't in every scenario, and were only really a problem at lower tiers.

I'm happy where things have ended up now, but...

Minor Season 8 general difficulty spoilers:
one trend I've noticed is that it feels like a lot of the end boss fights can be avoided. As someone who enjoys role play and has more than a couple characters with strong social skills, I like that that is a possibility in some of the scenarios. However, it's beginning to feel a little too common. Especially at the 7-11 tier, where I've only had one final boss fight this season (and was pinned for the entire two rounds of that). The 7-11 tier scenarios are easier to complete in a 4-hour time slot now, but I also sometimes miss fights on the level of Krune, or even a few steps below that (says again the guy who is about to play Sealed Gate).

But scenario difficulty is always going to be somewhat variable. Not every CR 11 encounter is the same. Sometimes a group of 4, 4, 4, 4, 7 can play up without any problems. Sometimes they get...

Tome of Righteous Repose:
The Undead with multiple negative level attacks are almost guaranteed to kill a low level character unless the GM is extremely generous, and careful, with tactics. When I ran it, even just the more direct damage option of enemies almost murdered a 7 player table with characters at 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7 (APL 5.4), and that plays the same difficulty (high-tier 4-player adjustment) as 4, 4, 4, 4, 7 (APL 4.6). The 7 player group survived with no deaths (it was close), and I certainly think they would have been overmatched for low-tier. But they had well-built frontline fighters, and animal companions, and the lower level characters were both Clerics. Their level 7 was, admittedly, a Ninja/Sorcerer, but they also had a level 6 Fighter with a two-handed weapon, a level 6 TWF Slayer, and a level 6 Druid w/companion. I can't see a way that a party of equally built 4s and one 7 wouldn't TPK other than running away, and I think the low-tier would still be a challenge for them, even with a level 7 frontliner.

So having an option in the APL 4.6 situation for the group to play down would create the more balanced difficulty in that particular scenario. In others, it might create a roflstomp. That's why I think having a choice isn't completely a bad thing. In that scenario the GM does have some control over difficulty, and I did things like replace one of the encounters with a trap that they could easily spot, but the boss fight alone, and any of the 3 boss fights, would likely overmatch a similar APL 4.6 group. Thankfully, I can just not run Undead at all if it's a borderline group. That's not the greatest option if I've done all my prep work for Undead, but it's preferable to a likely TPK.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
What is TPK heaven?

I'm probably the originator of it. I used it in this context for the theoretical (and apparently actual) concept of a "bad actor" GM gleefully enjoying creating a TPK.

It came from me misunderstanding roflstomp as "GM stomp PC" instead of "PC stomp Scenario".

**

Ferious Thune wrote:

I'm happy where things have ended up now, but...

The problem with season 8 is that is just too swingy. If the fight is the 7-11 I just played it either is kill or disable the thing in the first round or die.

Scarab Sages ***

Lily Moore wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:

I'm happy where things have ended up now, but...

The problem with season 8 is that is just too swingy. If the fight is the 7-11 I just played it either is kill or disable the thing in the first round or die.

I could see that. In the one season 8 7-11 scenario I own, we talked/skilled our way out of the final fight. But from the stat block, it could have been a tough one, and there was no guarantee a group would do everything they needed to be able to talk their way out of it.

**

Ferious Thune wrote:
Lily Moore wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:

I'm happy where things have ended up now, but...

The problem with season 8 is that is just too swingy. If the fight is the 7-11 I just played it either is kill or disable the thing in the first round or die.
I could see that. In the one season 8 7-11 scenario I own, we talked/skilled our way out of the final fight. But from the stat block, it could have been a tough one, and there was no guarantee a group would do everything they needed to be able to talk their way out of it.

Yeah effectively the worst case scenario for the pinned scenario assuming it is what I think it is:

Spoiler:
Wake the thing up. Earthquake... Then you get pinned to the ground while it promptly runs you over repeatedly.

Scarab Sages ***

Ah. Yes, we fought our way through that one.

Spoiler:
My poor Gnome Investigator was pinned, so I was basically out of the fight. But one character (more or less) was able to kill the thing in a couple of rounds while the rest of the group was getting out of the avalanche. without that environmental aspect, that would have felt like an extremely easy fight.

EDIT: Someone did something to stop the trample, I think. I don't remember what, exactly.

I've since bought Boots of Escape.

Shadow Lodge ***** RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

I was happy my party had a Kyra-bot pregen filling in the 4th seat when I ran that game (table of 3 players). As the dice started flying, it became apparent that a character was likely going to die. Fortunately, Kyra got woodchippered instead of another PC, and the rest of the party survived.

**

Ferious Thune wrote:

Ah. Yes, we fought our way through that one.

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah that was a bit of the worst case scenario which at some point our table decided to just out of in character spite and integrity get the better scenario.

Spoiler:
Drag the statue up the mountain. Drag the statue down the mountain. We dragged that statue every which way because of a failed skill check. At some point the phrase,"You know I feel more like a moving company than adventuring company," was uttered.

Admittedly, the more I think of it the more I like the format of that scenario. Its not that you are talking your way out of combat but the skillset of players are used to help lessen the difficulty of it. A little disappointed because I kind of like that monster.


MadScientistWorking wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:

Ah. Yes, we fought our way through that one.

** spoiler omitted **

Yeah that was a bit of the worst case scenario which at some point our table decided to just out of in character spite and integrity get the better scenario.

** spoiler omitted **
Admittedly, the more I think of it the more I like the format of that scenario. Its not that you are talking your way out of combat but the skillset of players are used to help lessen the difficulty of it. A little disappointed because I kind of like that monster.

I remember that game.

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