Solstice Scar GM Thread (Inactive)

Game Master Granta

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Dark Archive

For a socoal encounter - that just was not enough time for casual 1/day pbp.

Sovereign Court

War for the Crown
Andrew Torgerud wrote:
For a socoal encounter - that just was not enough time for casual 1/day pbp.

Agreed, but there's just not enough time for anything. And the holiday made it even worse.


GM Granta wrote:
Andrew Torgerud wrote:
For a socoal encounter - that just was not enough time for casual 1/day pbp.
Agreed, but there's just not enough time for anything. And the holiday made it even worse.

I can't speak for others, but the last couple of Specials that I've played and GM'd, we missed a lot of content and foreshortened many battles.

Perhaps the minute-to-day conversion needs to be revisited. As you mentioned, holidays and weekends are not good days for PbP, this is not a problem for F2F. To put it another way, each minute in a F2F game is much like the one before it. This is not true for PbP where all days are not equal.

Silver Crusade

Venture Agent, RPGGeek (Online) Want to try PbF on RPGG? Check out my profile for more info!

Agreed. Particularly for this next part. We have, from memory, 3 days except that it's going to be the slowest three days of the week.

Out of interest, how many tables actually finished the devil encounter? Neither my table nor the table I'm playing at finished.

It was just starting to get interesting too.

Lantern Lodge

Sign up sheet Dragon.

And weekends play havok too.

That said, remember we are an international community, and while there is a majority of US players, lots of other countries have different holidays.

Silver Crusade

Maps and Handout

My table finished the devil, the one I'm playing at did not.

Sovereign Court

Chronicle Sheets GM Busy At Work........

My table didn't finish. They did glare at each other before the rest crashed in and trampled the poor thing to death.
THe one I'm playing in......well greetings were exchanged.


Woodenman wrote:

Out of interest, how many tables actually finished the devil encounter? Neither my table nor the table I'm playing at finished.

My player table and GM table only got one round.

Quote:
It was just starting to get interesting too

Agreed. The devil had just netted a flyer at my table. The players were definitely looking forward to this one.


Clarification needed.

Assuming there are no failed skill checks, can each PC make an attempt or are there are limited number of checks per Orc chief?

Also, is there any restriction against Taking 10? There doesn't seem to be any listed.


Venture Lieutenant Play by Post PBP GM kit

The table I GM finished the devil in two rounds, the one I play at also finished the devil and did that in one round.


Magabeus wrote:
The table I GM finished the devil in two rounds, the one I play at also finished the devil and did that in one round.

If we could have finished the combat in one round, I suppose we would have completed it as well. I am hoping that isn't the benchmark for combat in PbP specials.


Venture Lieutenant Play by Post PBP GM kit

I totally agree, just wanted to show that it was not a case of amazing posting rate.

Lantern Lodge

Sign up sheet Dragon.

Neither the table I GMed nor the one I played at really finished the devil. I think in some tiers it was much easier than others.

---

For the orcs I think it is you can keep trying up to twice with each orc.

I'm having the players do one each and then updating as I get back to the game, to stop any one person trying every orc in a single large post.


GM Aerondor wrote:


For the orcs I think it is you can keep trying up to twice with each orc.

I'm having the players do one each and then updating as I get back to the game, to stop any one person trying every orc in a single large post.

I was reading it as only once per person per orc, but if two people fail, then no one else can try on that orc.

EDIT: Just reread it.

p. 21 wrote:
They can interact with any of the following orcs and attempt up to two checks to impress or help them.

Perhaps "they" refers to each PC rather than the entire group? So each PC only gets two checks? That would make a little more sense in terms of benefits.


Knowledge | GSC | GSD| Carrion | Moonlight| RotR $ | RotRRed $

Neither table I was in finished a full round. It would have been worse if either ended up fighting the Kellids, but they didn't.

Liberty's Edge

OR || OR2|| HJC||Glass River Rescue

I was at ChaosOrbit's table so we did get a good 2 rounds in to get the devil down. My table on the other hand, also had a good 2 rounds but with unlucky rolls barely scratched the thing.

I've restricted my players against taking 10 against the Orc, on the basis that you are under the pretence that they under pressure to perform for the Orc.

I've also set up my encounter in a way that I introduce 1 or 2 orcs per post. Trying to mix the types of skills required introduced so that different characters have the opportunity to try their hand. My group is considerably active posters, so we're already 4 orc's into the encounter. Going to introduce a 5th one soon.

Dark Archive

For the next calculation... i would probably discount major holidays and sundays in the minute to day ratio.


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Knowledge | GSC | GSD| Carrion | Moonlight| RotR $ | RotRRed $

I find myself often forgetting to praise good work, but I really feel like I need to do so now.

I just want to say, awesome to have such great backup GMs for this! GM Turmoil jumped right in to keep the action moving and really saved my bacon!

And despite having some small feedback for things like the timing for that last role-play encounter, I have to say the organization and planning on this has really blown me away. Kudos to GM Granta and everyone else that has helped put this together. Wonderful job!


GM Batpony wrote:


I've restricted my players against taking 10 against the Orc, on the basis that you are under the pretence that they under pressure to perform for the Orc.

this isn't a valid basis for restricting T10. "Pressure" isn't an element for denial. Immediate danger and distraction are, neither of which is present.

Yes, some builds are going to breeze through the checks, just like some builds are immune to poison or do massive damage in combat. Don't screw over the played who built skill monkeys.


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GM Batpony wrote:


I've restricted my players against taking 10 against the Orc, on the basis that you are under the pretence that they under pressure to perform for the Orc.

this isn't a valid basis for restricting T10. "Pressure" isn't an element for denial. Immediate danger and distraction are, neither of which is present. In addition, there is absolutely nothing in this section that suggests pic that the GM should preclude T10

Yes, some builds are going to breeze through the checks, just like some builds are immune to poison or do massive damage in combat. Don't screw over the players who built skill monkeys.

Dark Archive

Goblins|| ...||Heresy
GM Batpony wrote:


I've also set up my encounter in a way that I introduce 1 or 2 orcs per post. Trying to mix the types of skills required introduced so that different characters have the opportunity to try their hand. My group is considerably active posters, so we're already 4 orc's into the encounter. Going to introduce a 5th one soon.

Filling in on Fuzzfoot's table, I tried going with this same method. I have to say, it was not as effective as I had hoped. It really requires a high posting rate to be effective. It's also a little tougher on a tier 1-2 table where there aren't as many skill points to go around yet.

N N 959 wrote:
GM Batpony wrote:


I've restricted my players against taking 10 against the Orc, on the basis that you are under the pretence that they under pressure to perform for the Orc.

this isn't a valid basis for restricting T10. "Pressure" isn't an element for denial. Immediate danger and distraction are, neither of which is present.

Yes, some builds are going to breeze through the checks, just like some builds are immune to poison or do massive damage in combat. Don't screw over the played who built skill monkeys.

My skill monkey Investigator had no problems, rolled right through it :)

Sovereign Court

Gallows of Madness

I set it up as two pseudo-rounds, since each player were allowed 2 checks. I provided all the orcs upfront and let them decide individually who they want to interact with, role-play the interaction, and make the skill check. Those who interact with the same orc in the same round can decide to aid another. Halfway through the first pseudo-round now, but that is mostly due to the weekend slowdown.

Grand Lodge

There are more important things to obsess over Like opinions, everybody has one Jack-of-all-trades, master of some

I'm really enjoying Solstice Scar.

I feel far less pressed for time in the PbP format than I do in F2F play. As in any PFS Special, time is a factor, and the "clock" adds an element of excitement and pressure that can enhance the fun.

The GM and the players (and often the blessed/cursed dice) combine to establish the pace.

Kudos to Hmm, GM Granta, the GMs, and everyone else whose preparations set us up for success.

Dark Archive

Academy of Secrets | Shades of Ice

I read this a little different, just that they have two checks per chieftain. I introduced all the orcs and their tribes, with a "rumor" of what they were looking for.

introductory post

Then the pcs were allowed to go talk to whomever they like, letting them guess a bit on skills. I told them they could roll a "naked" d20 and I would fill in the blanks. Seems to be working pretty good, hope GM Qwerty likes how I did it (as I am a backup)

I think the players have been doing fantastic at this.

FYI this is sort of how I did it at GenCon, as it wa sort of suggested we do to expedite the encounter.

At Paizo Con when I played it, our GM had us go talk as a group, and then we chose our roll on what we found out

Sovereign Court

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War for the Crown
Lawrence Smith 2 wrote:
Kudos to Hmm, GM Granta, the GMs, and everyone else whose preparations set us up for success.

And to you. While I did most of the organizing, you did the bulk of the labor.

Liberty's Edge

OR || OR2|| HJC||Glass River Rescue
N N 959 wrote:


this isn't a valid basis for restricting T10. "Pressure" isn't an element for denial. Immediate danger and distraction are, neither of which is present. In addition, there is absolutely nothing in this section that suggests pic that the GM should preclude T10

I've come to interpret "distractions" very loosely. One could possibly argue, having an orc to impress, being under pressure to perform as distractions.

I didn't think it was an unfair call, but If I've misunderstood the term distraction here, do let me know, I'm happy to admit fault and correct my interpretation of this.

Though as Turmoil mentioned, he and the other players are rolling right through it! :)


GM Silbeg wrote:

I read this a little different, just that they have two checks per chieftain. I introduced all the orcs and their tribes, with a "rumor" of what they were looking for.

So who is "they"? The party, or each PC?

Can we get some Overseer clarification on how the checks should work?

1. Each PC gets two checks total (where I am leaning currently)

2. Each PC gets two checks per chief (seems unlikely)

3. You can only make two checks per chief. (seems unlikely)

4. You can make as many checks per chief as you want, but you only get two failures.


GM Batpony wrote:
N N 959 wrote:


this isn't a valid basis for restricting T10. "Pressure" isn't an element for denial. Immediate danger and distraction are, neither of which is present. In addition, there is absolutely nothing in this section that suggests pic that the GM should preclude T10
I've come to interpret "distractions" very loosely. One could possibly argue, having an orc to impress, being under pressure to perform as distractions.

Then every Diplo, Bluff, Intimidate, Sense Motive, etc. check should not be allowed to Take 10 because there is always some form of "pressure" to succeed.

Quote:
I didn't think it was an unfair call

It becomes unfair if some GMs are allowing it and others are not as all PCs are subjected to the same conditions.

Quote:
but If I've misunderstood the term distraction here, do let me know.

The PDT hasn't given us a game specific definition, so we use the standard english definition.

Merriam-Webster wrote:

1. the act of distracting or the state of being distracted; especially : mental confusion.

- driven to distraction by their endless chatter

2: something that distracts : an object that directs one's attention away from something else

In sports, when one team is down and needs to score to win, that team is under pressure to succeed. I've never heard the pressure described as a "distraction."

Sovereign Court

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War for the Crown

Re: How many checks the PCs get, and whether they can take 10 . . .

Do whatever you think best. I don't see the decision changing anything significant, and would rather preserve GM autonomy.

Dark Archive

Academy of Secrets | Shades of Ice
N N 959 wrote:
GM Silbeg wrote:

I read this a little different, just that they have two checks per chieftain. I introduced all the orcs and their tribes, with a "rumor" of what they were looking for.

So who is "they"? The party, or each PC?

Can we get some Overseer clarification on how the checks should work?

1. Each PC gets two checks total (where I am leaning currently)

2. Each PC gets two checks per chief (seems unlikely)

3. You can only make two checks per chief. (seems unlikely)

4. You can make as many checks per chief as you want, but you only get two failures.

They being the party...

The party can make 2 checks on each chieftain... which means they could aid another if they wanted.

So, likely your #3, which is how I have run it, and had it run for me.


GM Silbeg wrote:


The party can make 2 checks on each chieftain... which means they could aid another if they wanted.

So, likely your #3, which is how I have run it, and had it run for me.

In an effort to make sense of this, mainly for mysefl, I'll quote the passage:

p. 21:
The PCs have a chance to interact with one of several different orc tribe ambassadors. By impressing them or doing favors for them, the PCs can obtain the tribal tokens they need to continue traveling northward. They can interact with any of the following orcs and attempt up to two checks to impress or help them. Each check uses the skill check DCs from Table 2–1: Orc Representatives, even checks that are not skills, such as a combat maneuver check. If the PCs are successful, they earn a handful of tribal tokens and an additional benefit that lasts for the rest of the adventure. If the PCs fail two checks to influence an orc, that representative refuses to talk to the PCs any further

Indulge me while I try and work through this line by line:

The PCs have a chance to interact with one of several different orc tribe ambassadors.

This suggests that the party must choose "ONE" chief and only one chief to get tokens from.

They can interact with any of the following orcs and attempt up to two checks to impress or help them.

"They" is the party, as you suggest, and the party gets two checks on that one chief to succeed.

If the PCs are successful, they earn a handful of tribal tokens and an additional benefit that lasts for the rest of the adventure. If the PCs fail two checks to influence an orc, that representative refuses to talk to the PCs any further

So if the party succeeds or fails twice, the party is done with the orcs, no more checks on other orcs.

Perhaps this has been obvious to everyone else, but it seems two checks on one chief are all that is allowed. This limits the party to getting a benefit from one chief and one chief only. Is anyone else coming up with that?

EDIT: Went to the GM discussion in the GM thread and found this from the author:

Andrew Hoskins wrote:

My recommendation is to give them a brief description of each of the orc representatives. The PCs would then choose one to speak with, at which time I would role play a short scene and have an active PC roll a skill. If the PCs are having a hard time understanding "what [they're] supposed to do" then I would list the skills they can choose from. I expect most groups will engage with 2 of the orcs.

I find a player often feels more rewarded by the experience when they come up with the solution on their own. YMMV

So it seems the intent is you pick one...if you succeed you're done, if you fail twice, you try another.

Lantern Lodge

Sign up sheet Dragon.

Given we are trying to get lots of tokens, I'm not sure why we wouldn't allow them (the group) to try each. While the scenario only talks of eight orcs, there are thousands milling around to help, these are just a representative sample.

My table I allowed them to try each chief up to twice. On the other hand as they are splitting up to do stuff (and to be fair none of them have asked) I wasn't going to allow aid-anothers.


Venture Lieutenant Play by Post PBP GM kit

As there is no benefit to be gained by gaining multiple successes at the same orc I have let my players know that there is no benefit for approaching an orc when they already have the token.

Granta: I think you made the right call there. Thanks!


Knowledge | GSC | GSD| Carrion | Moonlight| RotR $ | RotRRed $

It does sound like we are all over the board here.

I was letting my group approach all of the orcs, and each could make up to two checks per orc, but once two failures are hit, that orc won't talk further. And there are a few that I think they have no chance of getting two successes anyway.

I did consider allowing each player only 2 attempts total, which might have been more reasonable, but in this format with this time frame, I was afraid not every player would even respond (which so far has been true). But as they have already earned two benefits, I think next time I will limit each player to 2 checks total, however they want to do it.

Sovereign Court

Gallows of Madness

Imagining how the scene would look like, Medda has just asked them to go out and get as many tokens as possible. Hence, I would imagine the party would split up and approach as many of the orc leaders as possible. So I allowed each player max of two checks, regardless of which orcs they choose. Oh well, this encounter is ending soon.

But more importantly, and this is why I started GMing, the roleplaying from some of my players for this encounter is simply amazing. If we have an award for best role-play, I would like to nominate:

1. Angela the halfling investigator, who uncovered the greedy practices of a very foolish chieftain's daughter and offered to sell that to Mirtgog, and

2. Ridley the wayang alchemist, who created a fake gorthek headdress, rotting meat and all, and performed a dominance ritual to tame the gorthek.

So the mechanics aside, this is what makes this fun! :)


GM Aerondor wrote:

Given we are trying to get lots of tokens, I'm not sure why we wouldn't allow them (the group) to try each. While the scenario only talks of eight orcs, there are thousands milling around to help, these are just a representative sample.

My table I allowed them to try each chief up to twice. On the other hand as they are splitting up to do stuff (and to be fair none of them have asked) I wasn't going to allow aid-anothers.

My only concern is the benefits for a successful check, as Granta suggests, it's not that big a deal how many checks or who they talk to. What does matter is whether they can obtain the party-wide benefit from more than one orc.

Granta, can we get a ruling on whether the party can get more than one benefit, or just one benefit from the first success? I don't want to deny them benefits that others are getting, or give them benefits that others are not.

Thanks.


Venture Lieutenant Play by Post PBP GM kit

NN959, from the posts from the table GMs it is obvious there have been different approaches to this section of the scenario. Putting everybody in a straight-jacket now that we are almost through this section will only confuse players.

I also don't mind that there are different approaches to this section. The scenario is obviously not 100% clear (otherwise we would all have chosen the same approach) and that is where the judgment of the table GMs should come in.


Magabeus wrote:

NN959, from the posts from the table GMs it is obvious there have been different approaches to this section of the scenario. Putting everybody in a straight-jacket now that we are almost through this section will only confuse players.

I also don't mind that there are different approaches to this section. The scenario is obviously not 100% clear (otherwise we would all have chosen the same approach) and that is where the judgment of the table GMs should come in.

Allow me to repeat myself/clarify. I'm not concerned with who/what/how many checks. What I am concerned with is the attendant benefit from each chief. Is the party allowed to gain the benefit from every chief they influence or from only one? Answering that question does not put a "straight-jacket" on any GM or how they handle the encounter, it just ensures that the resultant mechanical benefit, regardless of how the sections is handled, is consistent across all tables.

It should absolutely not be table judgment about whether a party can receive all the listed benefits at the same time, or just one.

Dark Archive

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Academy of Secrets | Shades of Ice

To be honest, my experience in both GMing and playing has shown that the benefits will get very little use.

Adding to that, I don't have an issue with the PCs getting ALL of the benefits, and using them. Just adds an additional "cool factor" to the scenario, IMHO.


Yeah, I don't care one way or the other. But as the GM, I have an obligation to the players to run the scenario as written/as Overseer rules.

For the record, though, limiting it to one benefit would insulate those GMs who only allowed one check or limited the checks.

Grand Lodge

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Curse of the Crimson Throne | Gallows of Madness

We already have the Overseer GM's ruling:

Quote:

Re: How many checks the PCs get, and whether they can take 10 . . .

Do whatever you think best. I don't see the decision changing anything significant, and would rather preserve GM autonomy.

Hmm and I have reached out to the scenario's author for clarification.

In the event we get an answer from the author before this phase ends, we'll share it. However, given the time constraint inherent in any special, make a judgment call and keep the game flowing.

This answer will not make everyone happy, but we trust you to do your best with the information you have.


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GM Silbeg wrote:

To be honest, my experience in both GMing and playing has shown that the benefits will get very little use.

Adding to that, I don't have an issue with the PCs getting ALL of the benefits, and using them. Just adds an additional "cool factor" to the scenario, IMHO.

In the absence of the author's clarification, this is the way I will lean as well. Though I admit that I have held off even mentioning benefits to my players as this matter is somewhat uncertain.

Hmm


GM Lorenzo wrote:

We already have the Overseer GM's ruling:

Quote:

Re: How many checks the PCs get, and whether they can take 10 . . .

Do whatever you think best. I don't see the decision changing anything significant, and would rather preserve GM autonomy.

Granta was commenting on "How many checks" and "take 10".

I'm asking about whether all the benefits are eligible or only one. I'm not sure I understand how this can be viewed as something up to each GM. Sure, I can make a decision, but it's hardly fair to the players if some GMs are going yes and some no, on an arbitrary basis.

I'm fine with whatever Granta/Hmm want to go with, but it'd be great if we can get a decision one way or the other.


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While I appreciate the desire for consistency and fair play, I have to say this probably isn't that big of an issue.

First, it isn't like the tables are competing against each other. And the benefits are not all equal for all teams or levels anyway.

I admit I am taking the more generous stance, and my table has earned 3 (and potentially 2 more - but those are extremely unlikely). Of the 3 benefits, I expect one to be most helpful since it simply gives them either acrobatics or athletics feat for the rest of the scenario. Now, for a level 1-2 table, this can be a pretty significant jump (if any of those skills even come into play). For a 9-10 table, I expect this is practically worthless for most characters.

For the others, while they are fun and might add a tactical advantage in one or two encounters if they are used and used properly, I am willing to bet they get forgotten and never even used. But its still fun for the players to get the bonus.

Anyway, since I will be GMing this again in the future, clarification is nice. But I am not sweating it for this run. And I am curious to see if any of these even come into play.

Grand Lodge Contributor

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GM Hmm wrote:
GM Silbeg wrote:

To be honest, my experience in both GMing and playing has shown that the benefits will get very little use.

Adding to that, I don't have an issue with the PCs getting ALL of the benefits, and using them. Just adds an additional "cool factor" to the scenario, IMHO.

In the absence of the author's clarification, this is the way I will lean as well. Though I admit that I have held off even mentioning benefits to my players as this matter is somewhat uncertain.

Hmm

Hey everyone! Nosy author here!

My initial intention is that players would get a chance for some unique role playing with a more-or-less civil conversation with some orcs. I had conceived of tables getting 2 or 3 of the benefits, but if a table gets all of the benefits then that is fine too. They're not so extremely overpowered as to be game breaking, and they only last for this scenario. So... lets have some fun!

Also, I see no reason that a confident PC cannot take 10 for one of these checks if they feel that doing their average is enough to impress one of the orc representatives.

Have fun!

Grand Lodge

Bless you, Andrew!

Thanks for answering us so promptly!

Hmm


Yes, thank you for responding. Great that this is resolved and I can move on.

EDIT: Andrew, if it's okay, I'll share the info you sent me in PM.

For anyone GMing this in the future, Andrew explained:

Quote:
The party should have 2 attempts at impressing each orc representative; after 2 failed attempts, that orc doesn't want to talk to the Pathfinders again.

So it looks like like it's two attempts per orc, not two attempts per person per orc, in case anyone was confused by that.


"Doom Girl" // PbP Events // PBP Gameday VIII Player Signups // PbP GM Kit // Aeon Throne MapsPlayer Folder // Pact World Warriors //

My summary of benefits for my players in case anyone else wants to copy-paste.


But... but...

you didn't include a link to the Precise Strike feat, or the Martial Flexibility class ability!

Or Athletic and Acrobatic! =) Slacker!

edit: Ok, now you did!

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