A Few Updates

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Monday, folks. Season 5 of Pathfinder Society Organized Play is well underway, and Mike and I have received considerable feedback both in person and through email about what works well (lots apparently) and what could stand improvement. In just a moment I will provide a few updates, clarifications, and reminders about the nuances, rules, and expectations of this new season. For the moment, though, I would like to share a bit of our progress on the online play frontier.

Online Play

Whether it's by play-by-post or real-time, virtual tabletop, our online games are going strong. Paizo recently added an online play subforum to the Pathfinder Society page, and Mike recognized the many requests for online leadership by appointing a Venture-Captain of Online Play, Joseph Caubo—who has in turn appointed several venture-lieutenants.

Several of my first Pathfinder Society scenarios were played online, but it's been nearly three years since that last game. I know I'm not the most knowledgeable about the nuances of online play and the needs of the VTT-using community. As a result, Joe has been an invaluable contact and liaison for understanding what the community needs, communicating how a new development might adversely impact the online play experience, and providing—both by his own hand and with the help of several others—helpful graphics that I use when making proposals to other departments to make scenarios easier to use.

There are plenty such developments in the works, and I would like to highlight two: map tags and paperwork. I remember playing The Eternal Obelisk, a now retired Season 0 scenario, and the GM had to instruct us to ignore the big red square with a capital T on the extracted map. No matter one's ability to avoid metagaming, that's a hard piece of player knowledge to ignore. Our GM could not remove the trap marker because the map tags were directly incorporated into the map and not included as a separate layer. Savvy GMs can sometimes paint over these markers or extract them in backdoor ways, but I'd rather we make that process easier by layering things in the main product. Starting with Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–04: The Stolen Heir, all scenario maps should benefit from this treatment.

Inventory Tracking Sheets

Mike and I also hear many requests for form-fillable documents, particularly Chronicle sheets and the Inventory Tracking Sheet (ITS) included in the back of the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The ITS has been included in a form-fillable format and has received three important clarifications:

  • Players may produce their own versions of the ITS to meet their own design preferences and character inventory needs. Any alternate ITS must contain the same types of information found on the official ITS (e.g. item, cost, Chronicle acquired, Chronicle sold, charges, etc.)
  • Although a player must record purchases on the ITS, a player need not also record an itemized list of purchases on the Chronicle sheet. A simple note of "Adventuring gear purchased—see ITS" or "bucket of wands—see ITS" will suffice.
  • A player is not required to record individual purchases totaling 25 gp or less on his or her ITS. This is largely to avoid having to fill an entire sheet with small, mundane purchases like chalk or torches. We politely recommend that those purchasing lots of an inexpensive item (e.g. 10 flasks of acid for 100 gp) still record that on the ITS.

Season 5 Reminders

Remember that the new scenario reporting sheet included in the back of Season 5 scenarios has four checkboxes labeled A through D. In the Conclusion section of a scenario, there will often be one or more checkbox conditions that help me to track players' decisions throughout the season and use that information to help the campaign, society, and factions to evolve over time. Not every scenario will have these cues, but most will. For example, the scenario might prompt the GM to check A if the PCs used the scroll of awaken on the giant frog, B if the PCs used the scroll of awaken on the blueberry bush, C if the PCs successfully befriended the resulting creature, and/or D if members of the Cheliax faction sealed a dark bargain with the awakened blueberry bush to create a pie of ineffable evil. As a developer I could then decide which creature to include in a future scenario and whether said creature would start out as friendly or indifferent. Furthermore, the fate of Cheliax might develop an appreciation for single-use, edible, evil artifacts.

Finally, please point participants to the faction head letters. These are clearly linked in a recent blog as well as in stickied posts in the Faction Talk subform. I've read many appeals for more clarity regarding which scenarios deal directly with which faction, and I have a few respectable ideas regarding how to publicize that scenario information without spoiling the somewhat serendipitous sense of discovery for others.

Lots more in the works,

John Compton
Developer

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Tags: Pathfinder Society
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Liberty's Edge

Yay for VTT-friendly scenario maps!

Many times the PDF maps are nice and friendly for copy and paste. But the extra attention to make sure they won't require any stretching to be square or photo-shopping to hide secret areas will be much appreciated.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

We are using a VTT for table play now. It makes prep faster, and combat quicker. I do have one very serious complaint about the way things are done now, though.

First, in older scenarios it was possible to extract the artwork from the PDF so I could use the maps, and make tokens from the included art. They've been locked down so that doesn't work with most apps now. Luckily, I have a full copy of Acrobat Pro at work and it still lets me do it, but otherwise we are stuck using things like the Snipping Tool in Windows to get the art out of the products. If you take VTT players seriously, this needs to be possible again.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

John, my thanks for the clarifications on Season 5's changes especially the ability to put "see ITS" on a chronicle for equipment purchases. One thing I did notice on the chronicle sheets for Season 5, the header for each of the sections of items is really difficult to read as, when it is printed, it is subdued in the hardcopy. If this has been addressed and fixed already, I do apologize for bringing it up again. My thanks for all the efforts of the campaign staff.

Silver Crusade

Illrigger wrote:

We are using a VTT for table play now. It makes prep faster, and combat quicker. I do have one very serious complaint about the way things are done now, though.

First, in older scenarios it was possible to extract the artwork from the PDF so I could use the maps, and make tokens from the included art. They've been locked down so that doesn't work with most apps now. Luckily, I have a full copy of Acrobat Pro at work and it still lets me do it, but otherwise we are stuck using things like the Snipping Tool in Windows to get the art out of the products. If you take VTT players seriously, this needs to be possible again.

I've had good luck with the free Nitro PDF Reader (Windows-only). It did the trick for The Dragon's Demand so it might work for the scenarios you're having trouble with.


John Compton wrote:
Although a GM should initial purchases on the ITS

John, there was quite a bit of back and forth on this last month, and the end result was that GMs would not have to sign off on the ITS. Here is a link to one of many places where Mike says that explicitly. Does your statement in this blog post constitute a reversal of policy, or it is a misunderstanding?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Although a GM should initial purchases on the ITS
John, there was quite a bit of back and forth on this last month, and the end result was that GMs would not have to sign off on the ITS. Here is a link to one of many places where Mike says that explicitly. Does your statement in this blog post constitute a reversal of policy, or it is a misunderstanding?

Nope, that's just one clarification that I missed while compiling the list. Let's see if I can't modify the above text to make sure it falls into line with an earlier statement.

Silver Crusade

Oh good, I was just thinking, "Crap, apparently I F'd up that clarification to my tables last Saturday."

Glad to know I had it right, and that I'm not the only one who is missing some of the nuances of these new rules. ;)

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Hey John or Mike can you guys sneak into a future PFS Blog the Season 5 Symbol so we can use it according to Community use Policy like you guys did for the season 4 Symbol?

The Exchange

Things are heating up with Online Play! We just posted a call to GMs who do Play-by-Posts.

And by the end of the week, we will begin recruitment of Official Gamedays for VTTs. I'll make sure to post a link here to where you can find information on that as well.

Grand Lodge

John,

Let me just say... personally... thank you for these clarifications. I appreciate the effort your putting in. Our conversation at Dragon Con was to say the least thought provoking.

Rob Bunn

Silver Crusade

Joseph Caubo wrote:

Things are heating up with Online Play! We just posted a call to GMs who do Play-by-Posts.

And by the end of the week, we will begin recruitment of Official Gamedays for VTTs. I'll make sure to post a link here to where you can find information on that as well.

That's great! I've been thinking about running some PFS VTTs. Not sure I'm ready to commit to it yet, but it's good to know there's support for it if I do decide to!

Sovereign Court

Where do we find the form fillable ITS? I re-downloaded the guide and I see no difference. Thanks!

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

I do not understand how a form fillable ITS is supposed to work. I buy some items, enter them in the ITS, print it out and have the DM sign off on it. Then I want to get some more items after my next adventure, fill them into the form and print it out again. And now I have just lost the previous signature. What's the point?

Grand Lodge 4/5

trollbill wrote:
I do not understand how a form fillable ITS is supposed to work. I buy some items, enter them in the ITS, print it out and have the DM sign off on it. Then I want to get some more items after my next adventure, fill them into the form and print it out again. And now I have just lost the previous signature. What's the point?

Despite what the blog above says, GMs don't have to initial the ITS.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

The GM doesn't sign the ITS trollbill

you put a single line on your chronicle that says - ITS #1 Purchases = 2,000gp

The signature on the chronicle sheet is the GM signature for those purchases.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not sure what you guys were doing with trying to get maps out of scenarios that wasn't working - I've only ever had trouble doing it with two scenarios (Shades of Ice 2, and another I can't recall).

Use Some PDF Image Extract. It's not hard to use - literally open the file and press the play button, and it'll spit out all the images in the book (you'll be deleting a lot of them).

The exception to this is if you want the overlay text to be included, like the "Where on Golarion" maps, for instance (Shades of Ice 3 had a similar map). But these were straightforward enough to screenshot and make into a JPG.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Just to be clear:

The GM doesn't need to sign the ITS. Neither the player nor the GM fills out the purchases on the Chronicle sheet.

So, I understand that this is supposed to happen: a player upgrades her +1 longsword to have the bane (oozes) property; this costs 6000 gp. She also sells a ring of ferocious action she obtained a couple of sessions earlier, but is convinced she'll never use; that earns her 1500 gp. She writes both of those down on her ITS, but doesn't write down the acid flask she buys, too. Presumably, her next GM at least looks at the sheet. He doesn't initial anything.

She tallies up her earnings on the next Chronicle sheet (and remembers to subtract the gold for the acid flask, which isn't written down anywhere except her character sheet) and fills in the Chronicle sheet for her GM to add his signature.

Have I got that right?

The Exchange 2/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This website does image extraction pretty well too: http://www.extractpdf.com/

No need to install an app, just upload the PDF and then download all of the images as a zip file.

There are plenty of options - as Avatar-1 mentions, Some PDF Image Extract works too - although I have had issues with it recently not converting images (4-15 Cyphermage Dilemma for example).

The Exchange 2/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:

Just to be clear:

The GM doesn't need to sign the ITS. Neither the player nor the GM fills out the purchases on the Chronicle sheet.

So, I understand that this is supposed to happen: a player upgrades her +1 longsword to have the bane (oozes) property; this costs 6000 gp. She also sells a ring of ferocious action she obtained a couple of sessions earlier, but is convinced she'll never use; that earns her 1500 gp. She writes both of those down on her ITS, but doesn't write down the acid flask she buys, too. Presumably, her next GM at least looks at the sheet. He doesn't initial anything.

She tallies up her earnings on the next Chronicle sheet (and remembers to subtract the gold for the acid flask, which isn't written down anywhere except her character sheet) and fills in the Chronicle sheet for her GM to add his signature.

Have I got that right?

Not quite - all purchases and sales should still be listed on the chronicle sheet. The link Patrick Harris in post #5 above takes you to a post by Mike Brock: "You don't have to get your ITS signed off, as has been mentioned numerous times in this thread. You make sure your purchases are placed on the Chronicle, make sure the ITS is correctly documented as to which Chronicle the 25+ GP purchase was made, and you are golden."

Think of the ITS as a table of contents, it lists all purchases above 25GP and indicates the chronicle number they were purchased on, used and/or sold on - this is what the "Bought", "Sold" and "Expended" columns are for, to reference the number of the chronicle the appropriate action occurred on.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Martin, there's no longer any room on the Chronicle sheet to list purchases and sales.

Grand Lodge

Weren't we told by Mike Brock that GMs did not have to initial items on the ITS, and that initialing the Chronicle Sheet was enough? Now this is saying that GMs /should/ initial the ITS. Adding paperwork. Just as many people have complained about.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Can we have 1 square = 5' scale on all maps please? Every so often we get a scenario with 10' squares and these are really annoying (3-14, 4-22 and 4-24 immediately spring to mind, but there are others).

1) I have seen GMs who do not spot the scale and draw them out as 5' squares which causes issues in combat - usually in detriment to players.
2) Drawing them out on battlemats etc. is a pain and takes longer as you constantly have to remind yourself that 1 square on the page is 2x2 squares on the mat.
3) Maps extracted from the PDF aren't as easily usable as 5' scale maps - I've tried adding extra gridlines myself in between the existing ones, but it is time consuming and looks crap.

Thanks.

Sovereign Court

Chris Mortika wrote:
Martin, there's no longer any room on the Chronicle sheet to list purchases and sales.

There's a big Notes section where they used to be. This can be items sold/bought, conditions gained/cured, prestige purchases, vanity purchases, gold stars, GM compliments or concerns, or even a story about the mighty panda that saved the world and got the girl if the GM so chose. Just because there's nothing SPECIFICALLY for purchases doesn't mean you can't put it somewhere.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

So the player records all purchases on the Chronicle sheet (on the back, if necessary) and also on the ITS. Got it.

Sovereign Court

Chris Mortika wrote:
So the player records all purchases on the Chronicle sheet (on the back, if necessary) and also on the ITS. Got it.

Gold spent on the Chronicle, items bought on the ITS. As mentioned above, "Adventuring gear purchased—see ITS" or "bucket of wands—see ITS" can be written on the Chronicle. Doesn't have to go in-depth about what items were bought. It still should have amount of gold spent, which is also put in the box to the right.

Also, it may just be those I've played with, but it seems that the GM's should be the ones marking down the purchases, not the players. Might just be how some people do it. Either way, GM signs off on it I suppose.

The Exchange

Martin Blake wrote:

This website does image extraction pretty well too: http://www.extractpdf.com/

No need to install an app, just upload the PDF and then download all of the images as a zip file.

How confident are you that this site doesn't add a copy of everything uploaded to a large torrent of files that it serves? How confident are you that it couldn't be hacked to do so?

I'm not saying that this site does anything of the sort, but it's worth thinking twice when you use a web service with your watermarked PDFs.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Manchester aka Merisal The Risen

I can't see the stickied thread in Faction Talk (I can see plenty of stickied year 4 faction goals and plenty of unstickied Year of the demon threads)

On the Blog post I can see no faction has a particuler bone in the Elven Entanglement Is this because
(a) its a 7-11 and all factions should be interested in seeing these done
(b) The faction bits for this scenario were not quite decided at the time of the blog post
(c) Something else I haven't thought of
(d) Most if not all of the above

At the moment I am adding of especial interest to members of the (whatever you list in the blog) faction on the end of the blurbs on my warhorn site. (Yes Cheliaxians you are not supposed to be interested in the Hellknights Feast Its just a ruse to corrupt Taldorans and Andorans)

Liberty's Edge

Martin Blake wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

Just to be clear:

The GM doesn't need to sign the ITS. Neither the player nor the GM fills out the purchases on the Chronicle sheet.

So, I understand that this is supposed to happen: a player upgrades her +1 longsword to have the bane (oozes) property; this costs 6000 gp. She also sells a ring of ferocious action she obtained a couple of sessions earlier, but is convinced she'll never use; that earns her 1500 gp. She writes both of those down on her ITS, but doesn't write down the acid flask she buys, too. Presumably, her next GM at least looks at the sheet. He doesn't initial anything.

She tallies up her earnings on the next Chronicle sheet (and remembers to subtract the gold for the acid flask, which isn't written down anywhere except her character sheet) and fills in the Chronicle sheet for her GM to add his signature.

Have I got that right?

Not quite - all purchases and sales should still be listed on the chronicle sheet. The link Patrick Harris in post #5 above takes you to a post by Mike Brock: "You don't have to get your ITS signed off, as has been mentioned numerous times in this thread. You make sure your purchases are placed on the Chronicle, make sure the ITS is correctly documented as to which Chronicle the 25+ GP purchase was made, and you are golden."

Think of the ITS as a table of contents, it lists all purchases above 25GP and indicates the chronicle number they were purchased on, used and/or sold on - this is what the "Bought", "Sold" and "Expended" columns are for, to reference the number of the chronicle the appropriate action occurred on.

Here is a clarification from a couple of days later about what Mike expects for purchases noted on the chronicle going forward.

Chronicle

Essentially, you should only ever need one line on a chronicle for purchases ever.

Silver Crusade

Quendishir wrote:
Weren't we told by Mike Brock that GMs did not have to initial items on the ITS, and that initialing the Chronicle Sheet was enough? Now this is saying that GMs /should/ initial the ITS. Adding paperwork. Just as many people have complained about.

See post #6 in this thread:

John Compton wrote:
Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Although a GM should initial purchases on the ITS
John, there was quite a bit of back and forth on this last month, and the end result was that GMs would not have to sign off on the ITS. Here is a link to one of many places where Mike says that explicitly. Does your statement in this blog post constitute a reversal of policy, or it is a misunderstanding?
Nope, that's just one clarification that I missed while compiling the list. Let's see if I can't modify the above text to make sure it falls into line with an earlier statement.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Sior and graywulfe, thank you for trying to explain this to me, but that's not what Martin's advocating.

What I understand you saying is that the player would mark down the purchase and sales on the ITS, which the GM never signs, and then writes "spends 6010 gp" "earns 1500 gp" on the Chronicle, with the explanation "ITS". (Which is, really, no explanation)

Sior, it's been my habit as GM in previous seasons to record those expenses that take place during an adventure, so I'll note: "bribe guards, 20 gp" "wand of enlarge person, 2 PP" on the Chronicle sheet as the adventure progresses. My understanding now is that I should trust the player to do this on her ITS. (Well, except that the bribe doesn't hit the ITS threshold and doesn't get recorded anywhere. It's just 20 gp missing from the Chronicle.)

I don't want to come off as an idjit here. I honestly don't understand the procedure; it's gone back and forth in public a couple of times, and different people seems to be advancing competing explanations.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:


Sior, it's been my habit as GM in previous seasons to record those expenses that take place during an adventure, so I'll note: "bribe guards, 20 gp" "wand of enlarge person, 2 PP" on the Chronicle sheet as the adventure progresses. My understanding now is that I should trust the player to do this on her ITS. (Well, except that the bribe doesn't hit the ITS threshold and doesn't get recorded anywhere. It's just 20 gp missing from the Chronicle.)

Well, I don’t see anything wrong with you still marking those kinds of expenditures on the chronicle sheet. In fact, I recommend it. It isn’t wrong listing items on the chronicle sheet, it just isn’t required. The important thing is anything 25 GP or more is listed on the ITS.

To be honest, I’ve continued to list items bought on both sheets so far. I know it’s not required, but it’s just something I’ve decided to do on my own.


Chris Mortika wrote:
What I understand you saying is that the player would mark down the purchase and sales on the ITS, which the GM never signs, and then writes "spends 6010 gp" "earns 1500 gp" on the Chronicle, with the explanation "ITS". (Which is, really, no explanation)

You got it Chris, all that needs to go in the chronicle sheet is your total in purchases, and then itemized in the ITS

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Seriously, we need a blog focusing solely on what we're exactly supposed to do with these Inventory Tracking Sheets. Every table I go to has people arguing over how it's supposed to work.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Andrew Christian wrote:

The GM doesn't sign the ITS trollbill

you put a single line on your chronicle that says - ITS #1 Purchases = 2,000gp

The signature on the chronicle sheet is the GM signature for those purchases.

Maybe someone should tell my VL that cause the's not what she is telling us.

Add that to the fact the author of this article seems to think the same way, it would be really nice if all the developers and officers were all on the same page so we can avoid this confusion.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

And, as of 6:30am PST, the blog above still reads, "a GM should initial purchases on the ITS".


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I’m pretty certain that even John doesn’t have the ability to edit posts after an hour. So that’s probably why it hasn’t been changed.

Besides, Mike has clarified it with several posts, as well as being in the FAQ, which both would override the blog.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Hobbun wrote:
Besides, Mike has clarified it with several posts, as well as being in the FAQ, which both would override the blog.

Sure! After all, a quick glance at the comment thread here demonstrates that having an official source (this blog) state incorrect policy will not in any way sow confusion and/or discord.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

trollbill wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

The GM doesn't sign the ITS trollbill

you put a single line on your chronicle that says - ITS #1 Purchases = 2,000gp

The signature on the chronicle sheet is the GM signature for those purchases.

Maybe someone should tell my VL that cause the's not what she is telling us.

Add that to the fact the author of this article seems to think the same way, it would be really nice if all the developers and officers were all on the same page so we can avoid this confusion.

Then my suggestion would be to take Mike's clarifying message board posts, print them out, and take them with you to a game day.

John Compton admitted to missing that bit of clarification for the blog post above.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
Hobbun wrote:
Besides, Mike has clarified it with several posts, as well as being in the FAQ, which both would override the blog.
Sure! After all, a quick glance at the comment thread here demonstrates that having an official source (this blog) state incorrect policy will not in any way sow confusion and/or discord.

People make mistakes, even those that work at Paizo.

It would be one thing if no one clarified the discrepancy in the blog. I will be honest, I was confused myself when I read it. However, John was quick to answer that it was a oversight.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Patrick Harris has a legitimate point. I have friends and acquaintances alike that are so befuddled by the ITS that they refuse to use them, and see no point or incentive to doing so. If GMs don't have to sign off on them, I can't say I disagree with them. I'm doing it because I'm OCD, but this is seriously a contentious issue for many, and mentioning the ITS as an afterthought in this blog did not help.


Hobbun wrote:
Oh relax, people make mistakes, even those that work at Paizo.

That's not in dispute. The trouble is the blog still has incorrect information. It's not a forum post, it's a blog post--if the website doesn't allow people who post to the blog (read: employees) to edit their posts later, that's a design oversight. And even if that's the case, John works in the building with the people who make the website go, which means he can walk to their offices and say, "Guys, can you fix this for me?" Which I hope will happen at some point.

Go to Mike Brock's post history and search "initial." Sort by newest and look at the dozens of times he's already had to tell people, "GMs do not have to initial the ITS." This will lead to dozens more. And for every dozen misunderstandings here in the 3% that uses the boards, how many is that in the world? I wonder if it's directly proportional, in which case that's 396? Probably not; in the real world there isn't a Mike Brock at every table to tell people what's actually going on, and even if someone is there who is right, he or she's going to be ignored by people who're convinced they know what they're talking about because "look at this blog post which has a discussion I've not read" or "look at this early forum post I've cherry-picked." So it's going to be a damn sight more.

I'm not mad that a mistake was made. People make mistakes. I'm concerned about the repercussions of not fixing it. My response to you was in relation to your dismissing similar concerns. Please don't try to make this about something else.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Nefreet wrote:
Patrick Harris has a legitimate point. I have friends and acquaintances alike that are so befuddled by the ITS that they refuse to use them, and see no point or incentive to doing so. If GMs don't have to sign off on them, I can't say I disagree with them. I'm doing it because I'm OCD, but this is seriously a contentious issue for many, and mentioning the ITS as an afterthought in this blog did not help.

Their characters are not legal if they do not use the ITS.

I really don't understand the problem. It literally is a blow up with more and bigger spaces to fill in the items that you were supposed to be filling in on your chronicles all along. Now the new chronicle sheets don't have a space specifically for item purchases.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Sorry Patrick, I shouldn’t have said “Oh relax”, I even had edited it out, but you already caught it. :)

Yes, I can understand and agree with your point on the confusion in introducing the ITS. I was more referring to calling John out on making a mistake. But I do agree, introducing the ITS could have been handled much better.

Most of the information on the ITS has been through the website, whether through posts and the FAQ, which none of my friends visit. I can’t even remember if it’s mentioned in the PFSOGP (and can’t look right now), but if it is, it is mentioned very briefly. It should have a detailed explanation (and even picture of the sheet) in the guide. And all my friends do have the guide printed out and in a binder.

But if they didn’t want to put the information for the ITS in the guide, what I think should have been done is there should have been an FAQ sheet on the website telling GMs they need to print this up and hand it out to players. It would have listed what exactly needs to be done, and the purpose of the tracking sheets.

At our local store, some GMs have mentioned at the beginning of the sessions that the ITS needs to be filled out, but really no explanation what it is or the purpose of it. I have tried to explain as much as possible, but some still don’t understand the need for it. I think a large part of it is because I have never run into a GM at our store that has done an audit.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, let's try this.

A party chooses to sweeten the pot for a Gather Information check and spends 100 gp on drinks around town. Split 5 ways, that's 20 gp per person. Where does this expense get recorded, and by whom?

The way I understand it -- and I could be wrong, I admit -- there's no record in the ITS, because it doesn't hit the threshold, and there's 20 gp missing on the Chronicle sheet. Here's my concern: Three sessions later, somebody asks the player about that. She doesn't remember off the top of her head, assumes it was an oversight, and adds the 20 gp "error" back in.

I'm not all that concerned abot "OMG! A player might not do the math right and end up off a tiny amount of gold!" I'm concerned that the bookkeeping, as we have it now, provides all those small expenditures to slip through.

My suggestion for a procedure: we want the GM to sign off on purchases and sales, not because we don't trust the player, but because two pairs of eyes catch more honest errors than one.

There should not be a minimum threshold on the ITS (buy your stupid chalk in bulk, and use up one line), and GMs should sign off on it at the beginning and end of each session. Nothing but totals should be on the Chronicle sheet.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Andrew Christian wrote:
trollbill wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

The GM doesn't sign the ITS trollbill

you put a single line on your chronicle that says - ITS #1 Purchases = 2,000gp

The signature on the chronicle sheet is the GM signature for those purchases.

Maybe someone should tell my VL that cause the's not what she is telling us.

Add that to the fact the author of this article seems to think the same way, it would be really nice if all the developers and officers were all on the same page so we can avoid this confusion.

Then my suggestion would be to take Mike's clarifying message board posts, print them out, and take them with you to a game day.

John Compton admitted to missing that bit of clarification for the blog post above.

Administrative confusion is best handled from the top down rather than the bottom up. I know all the officers have a group way of communicating so it would make sense for Mike to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding this due to the large amount of confusion. Most people look to their Venture Officers when there is confusion rather than try to hunt down posts from Mike Brock online. And if they don't have the right answer, then everyone gets confused.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Chris Mortika wrote:

So, let's try this.

A party chooses to sweeten the pot for a Gather Information check and spends 100 gp on drinks around town. Split 5 ways, that's 20 gp per person. Where does this expense get recorded, and by whom?

The way I understand it -- and I could be wrong, I admit -- there's no record in the ITS, because it doesn't hit the threshold, and there's 20 gp missing on the Chronicle sheet. Here's my concern: Three sessions later, somebody asks the player about that. She doesn't remember off the top of her head, assumes it was an oversight, and adds the 20 gp "error" back in.

I'm not all that concerned abot "OMG! A player might not do the math right and end up off a tiny amount of gold!" I'm concerned that the bookkeeping, as we have it now, provides all those small expenditures to slip through.

My suggestion for a procedure: we want the GM to sign off on purchases and sales, not because we don't trust the player, but because two pairs of eyes catch more honest errors than one.

There should not be a minimum threshold on the ITS (buy your stupid chalk in bulk, and use up one line), and GMs should sign off on it at the beginning and end of each session. Nothing but totals should be on the Chronicle sheet.

For bribes and what not, I would mark them in the notes section of the chronicle sheet. That's what its there for.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

trollbill wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
trollbill wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

The GM doesn't sign the ITS trollbill

you put a single line on your chronicle that says - ITS #1 Purchases = 2,000gp

The signature on the chronicle sheet is the GM signature for those purchases.

Maybe someone should tell my VL that cause the's not what she is telling us.

Add that to the fact the author of this article seems to think the same way, it would be really nice if all the developers and officers were all on the same page so we can avoid this confusion.

Then my suggestion would be to take Mike's clarifying message board posts, print them out, and take them with you to a game day.

John Compton admitted to missing that bit of clarification for the blog post above.

Administrative confusion is best handled from the top down rather than the bottom up. I know all the officers have a group way of communicating so it would make sense for Mike to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding this due to the large amount of confusion. Most people look to their Venture Officers when there is confusion rather than try to hunt down posts from Mike Brock online. And if they don't have the right answer, then everyone gets confused.

I am not going to throw anyone under the bus. But what makes you think that there aren't some V-O's who pay a minimal amount of attention to the boards (or even emails), much like a vast amount of players?

Having correct information on you, that you know has been done incorrectly in the past by your local leadership, is prudent.

If you refuse to do so based on some idealistic view of the way things should be, then I can't help you on that one.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

To second Chris Mortika: require GMs to sign off on the ITS, all items get recorded regardless of cost, and "conditions gained" such as new spells, animal tricks, bribes, in-game expenditures, etc. get recorded in the "notes" section of the Season 5 Chronicles, or the regular spot on older Chronicles.

Grand Lodge

Joe M. wrote:
Quendishir wrote:
Weren't we told by Mike Brock that GMs did not have to initial items on the ITS, and that initialing the Chronicle Sheet was enough? Now this is saying that GMs /should/ initial the ITS. Adding paperwork. Just as many people have complained about.

See post #6 in this thread:

John Compton wrote:
Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Although a GM should initial purchases on the ITS
John, there was quite a bit of back and forth on this last month, and the end result was that GMs would not have to sign off on the ITS. Here is a link to one of many places where Mike says that explicitly. Does your statement in this blog post constitute a reversal of policy, or it is a misunderstanding?
Nope, that's just one clarification that I missed while compiling the list. Let's see if I can't modify the above text to make sure it falls into line with an earlier statement.

That is my point: Mike stated multiple times previously that the GMs would not have to sign off in any way, shape, or form on the ITS. However, this post--which is most recent--now says GMs /should/, which is only one step from "will", and will most likely be followed soon by, "just do it".

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

On the new chronicle sheets there is a line for gold spent -it should be filled in before the GM signs the sheet.

I know that for myself (and I will be encouraging players to do the same), I will have up to three lines on the chronicle sheet, as required.

Items purchased xxxx gp, see ITS #4
Scenario expenses xx gp
Income from items sold: xxx gp, see ITS #1,3

The gold spent line will be the total of those three lines.

Hopefully this will keep my gold calculations up to date and error free.

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