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***** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden 13,086 posts (14,107 including aliases). 147 reviews. 3 lists. 1 wishlist. 37 Organized Play characters. 5 aliases.


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Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Shisumo wrote:
The APG stream today said that almost all the archetypes in it would be Common rarity. Does that mean they are likely to be PFS legal without AcP expenditure?

I would expect so, the trend so far has been that common things are just plain available, that AcP is used to grease the wheels of "you'd have to do some sidequest to get access to this".

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It could also be a (sub)conscious bias of the GM against what is perceived to be the most powerful cantrip.

(Actual play evidence shows a lot of creatures with electric resistance and high reflex saves. Telekinetic Projectile seems to be the actual workhorse.)

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I do think the new line of setting books would be a great opportunity to think again on giants.

We have this legacy from D&D in the 19XXs of "Hill Giants" and "Swamp Giants" and "particular biome that your earth sciences teacher once wrote a paper about Giants".

But really, how do giants fit into the world at large? Where do they live on Golarion? Are there giant nations? Are there actually sufficient breeding populations? Are the various "terrain giants" related through common descent?

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Lightning Raven wrote:
Castilliano wrote:

It should probably be at least an action, since there are defensive stances. One could exit, attack w/ weapon, enter. Then the PCs reaping the benefits w/o the lower damage Strikes defensive stances force.

Or if you count "normal" as a stance, that's another way to stop this since you can only enter a stance 1/round.

I'd do both.

That probably would be the dumbest playstyle ever. (...)

I think the Mountain Stance is probably the best example. If you take that style you're probably dependent on it for AC so you don't want to be out of it after your turn, but what if you're fighting a devil with resistance against non-silver weapons, weakness against good damage, and earlier in the adventure you conveniently found a good silver dagger?

Finding such a convenient weapon is kind of a staple, but the monk styles make it hard to take advantage of it.


I'd personally lean towards a free action but only at the start of your turn.

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Yeah for example in an investigation themed adventure, you can do a check to find a clue as:

Critical Succcess you find the clue and more
Succcess you find the clue
Failure you find the clue but at a cost
Critical Failure you don't find the clue, your investigation basically stalls. This gives the bad guy time to do another bad thing, and there you can try to pick up the trail again.

That steps neatly around the "roll Perception to proceed with the adventure" problem that we often had. We think that skills should matter in finding clues, but the adventure should survive failures.

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Draco18s wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Every class gets skills. No single character is going to be the best at all skills, so you get natural teamwork.

Except that even as a party of 4 there's only so many skills you can "be best at" as a group.

The guy with the highest rating rolls bum? Well, the next highest rating in the group is 3 points below that. Better roll well! Ah, that would've been enough if you were the first character...who's next? Oh, you're 3 points behind that? *Hiss* You're going to need to roll a nat-20. Sorry.

Repeat for every skill check in the adventure.

If the first guy succeeds, its not memorable. If he doesn't, it rolls down the chain fishing for 20s. And that's not heroic.

Man these grapes are sour.

What I mean is, you don't get one character that's always doing all the skills things while others sit back and be bored.

Need something done with Nature? Well the cleric or druid with high wisdom has a lot more talent at this than the wizard. Need someone smooth-talked? Charisma is needed.

Characters have only so many ability boosts to place, so you can't be good at everything. Not like first edition where a wizard due to high intelligence would have so many more skill points than the fighter, and where the various bonuses made the base ability "talent" irrelevant.

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Every class gets skills. No single character is going to be the best at all skills, so you get natural teamwork.

The Interact action. The answer to so many "can I do this weird thing that's not in the book" questions is "you can try, roll the appropriate skill and use Interact actions".

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Captain Morgan wrote:

Personally, I've found that using CR = level for creatures leads to pretty good encounter conversion. Some PF1 encounters wind up pretty easy, but encounters aren't all meant to be difficult. Some are meant to just let the players feel badass.

Speaking as someone whose played into the middle of book 3 of a converted Rise game, there are a lot of trivial encounters in there. Ghouls aren't really a credible threat to a level 5 party,for example. When I ran Fort Ralnick I was concerned about using level 3 ogres against level 8 players. But Age of Ashes has a very similar enemy stronghold you need to take out, with lots of level -6 enemies acting as fodder. In both cases, those guys go down quick, but there are enough credible threats to where even playing extremely smart gets some close calls. And those little dudes can provide flanking for the big dudes if not dispatched.

One thing I haven't never quite got to run was the big APL+6 encounter. Even with the caveats of just needing to survive that beast rather than kill it, that's going to feel different. You could potentially win that fight in PF1 with the right build or summons. Can't see that happening in PF1 so it basically seems to come down to casters doing strafing runs with magic missile to keep it distracted.

I don't think you can really compare monster level / CR entirely. It's like the scale of CR vs. APL has been compressed a bit; the difference between a level X and X+2 monster is much bigger in PF2 than it is for a CR X and CR X+2 monster in PF1. So you would get good results if you converted a EL=APL encouter but get overtuned results if you converted an APL+3 encounter.

Basically, APL+2 is the new APL+4.

It also works the other way a bit - creatures significantly below your level can still hit you because monster to-hit scales quite fast, but you're also hitting them a lot and also critting them a lot, so it's going to be a fast and furious sort of fight. A level 5 party fighting a metric ton of ghouls is going to get scratched up a bit but is also going to enjoy a power trip, and won't have to worry too much about getting paralyzed. Due to the Incapacitation trait, hordes of low-level critters don't overwhelm PCs.

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magnuskn wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

* The APL=EL thing is based on a four-player gaming group. If you have more than that, a lot of the mathematical... (...)

Second edition has a subtly different setup for encounter difficulty. The 3.x idea of "difficulty by attrition through multiple encounters" has been pushed into the background. Difficulty for encounters is done more on a standalone basis: a severe encounter should be severe on its own, not because you've been worn down by previous encounters. All classes have more all-day resources (cantrips, focus spells, rage) and you can recover a lot of health in between encounters. So you can also have much longer adventuring days than before without some classes feeling like they can't do anything fun anymore.

Great analysis of 1E encounter design, Ascalaphus. :)

Reading the paragraph about longer adventuring days, however, I wonder how the general "casters get less spells per day" paradigm of 2E interacts with those longer adventuring days. Do players really use their better cantrips often enough to overcome this or are casters now expected to go on longer with fewer spells?

During playtest, I was theorizing that the smaller amount of spells per day would lead to shorter adventuring days overall, so I am wondering how it has played out in practical play, now that at least some people will have played through one 2E adventure path.

I'm just into level 7 with my cleric right now, but it's been pretty satisfying.

I do use cantrips quite a lot, and I happen to have True Strike as a spell from my deity so I can get a lot of mileage out of my level 1 slots as well. One of my favorite tricks is True Strike + Charged Bolt, which does an okay amount of damage and can make an enemy easier to hit for the rest of the party. Alternatively, I can do True Strike + Weapon Surge + a longbow shot.

As a caster you have multiple pools to draw from:
- Regular spells, which are the most poweful but also the most limited. You often don't want to use more than a couple for an encounter, but they can make a dent.
- Cantrips, which aren't as strong, although if you have multiple then you can leverage that to target weaknesses/circumvent resistances. And you can use them at a safe distance.
- Focus spells, which are basically once per encounter spells. They're a bit more powerful than cantrips, and some of them take only one action so they can be combined with something else.
- Divine Font which gives me more Heal spells.
- And I have a longbow.

So I don't really lack for things to do in combat. My spells can hit fairly hard, and I can target every save. But if I do that all the time, I run out of juice. But it works if you need a hard hit in the beginning of combat to shift the situation to our advantage, and then the fighter and rogue can clean up with all-day violence.

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The_Dead_Warrior wrote:
I feel that if I didn't use the take cover action that I would not get any AC boost but because I used an action it is not fair that I lose this as it make it a complete waste of a action in 9/10 cases.

It's not a waste. You've spent one action of yours, to force the enemy to spend one action of theirs. That's one action the ogre isn't using to hit another time.

In fact, when it's multiple characters fighting one monster, trading one action of the players for one of the monster is a very good thing. If you had four players, you together would get 12 actions per round. The ogre would get 3. If you trade one action for one action, your group still has 11 left but the ogre only 2. That's a big profit!

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Well the theory behind the 1E APL/EL system was that after about four APL=EL encounters, the party should be running low on resources and seeking to quit for the day.

In practice, almost everything but the theory happened:

* A lot of APs have their story written in a style that suggests everything is urgent, you'll fail if you stop. I've seen parties do nine encounters in a row instead of the theoretical four, both because they could, but also because the story told them they had to.

* There's a common wisdom going around that APs are written with a 15pt party in mind, but that most parties play 20pt buy. I'm not convinced of that, definitely not consistently across all AP books. Quite a few of the Iron Gods books are harder than that. Also, if you use roll 4d6, drop lowest, then statistically you expect to end up with something closer to 18pt buy. I suspect that in later years, AP books get written expecting stronger parties than they did in the first years.

* Four or more encounters in an adventuring day to give the Proper Challenge™ is something a lot of gaming groups found tedious. An encounter takes some time to set up (battle mat, initiative, preparing statblocks) so there's an overhead cost to having a lot of easy encounters.

* In my experience, a lot of gaming groups play a game during weekday evenings and prefer one nice chewy combat, over a bunch of smaller ones. There's OOC time pressure to get something good in every session. On the other hand, it's nicer not to spread a single IC adventuring day over multiple OOC sessions. So you'd sooner have one big high EL encounter per day than those four separate EL=APL ones.

* Then there's power creep. Towards the end of ten years of splatbooks, characters were more powerful than at the beginning. But the monsters from Bestiary 1 didn't get any stronger. So you need to pick higher CR compared to the APL.

* The APL=EL thing is based on a four-player gaming group. If you have more than that, a lot of the mathematical assumptions are strained. But five-player groups are fairly common.

* Player skill also matters. The same players, with the same characters, after a year or two player together will probably be much more efficient at carving up encounters.

* When gamers grow up and they have less time for gaming, there's pressure to cut filler encounters that don't really matter to the story but only exist because this AP book was supposed to take you from level X to Y and you need Z XP for that. Paizo includes notes in their books saying "at this part of the story you should be level X", which has become a popular solution; just ignore the filler encounters, don't track XP, and level people up when it makes sense in the story.


So to summarize that: the math in the old system was almost entirely useless. Few people really used it as it was set up in theory because the theory was dated.

Second edition has a subtly different setup for encounter difficulty. The 3.x idea of "difficulty by attrition through multiple encounters" has been pushed into the background. Difficulty for encounters is done more on a standalone basis: a severe encounter should be severe on its own, not because you've been worn down by previous encounters. All classes have more all-day resources (cantrips, focus spells, rage) and you can recover a lot of health in between encounters. So you can also have much longer adventuring days than before without some classes feeling like they can't do anything fun anymore.

This is very helpful for groups who don't want to hew to some strict rhythm of how many encounters should be in a given IC or OOC session. If you prefer one big fight per game evening, that comes a bit more natural now. If you like tracking XP, you can, but if you don't it's not that necessary either. But you can still use the encounter building guidelines to say "I want a difficult encounter, so I'll pick Severe".

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I wouldn't bother trying to use any conversion formulas at all. What I would do is:

* Go through the adventure and look at the encounters. Encounters with EL = APL I will rebuild using 2E rules as Moderate encounters, encounters with EL = APL +2 as Severe encounters, and so on. I look at the page in the beginning of the AP and check when the PCs should be which level, and I make sure that together my encounters are indeed worth enough XP to level them by then.

* Using Table 10-9 from the 2E CRB, put approximately that much loot into each "level" of the AP. When seeking inspiration for what specific items to put in the loot, I look at the original AP. Especially for items that help build the story or feel of the location/creature. But I don't have to follow it religiously.

And that's it. I never have to look up the gold value of any 1E part of the AP. Since my encounters are balanced with 2E monster and encounter difficulties, I don't really need to look at the past, I just need to balance treasure with the current edition.

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Charon Onozuka wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
As a side note on torches: the problem with torches is that free hands are just too precious for that.

Which is part of why I want to see them in play. Not only is it a classic fantasy image to explore a dark location by torchlight - but I hate the assumption that every enemy and encounter is meant to conveniently play out in a way that always lets characters perform at their very best on the player's terms. It gets repetitive and boring.

Occasionally, you don't have the world act the way you'd want, and the tactical choices you make in such situations are the most interesting to me. For something like a torch, do you give up a hand to hold one for light? Or do you restrict your vision based on the party member who is holding it, forcing yourself to rely on their positioning? Can you drop a torch to the ground and fight around the flame? Or does the ground prevent such an option from being practical? How the characters respond to this makes the situation interesting rather than darkvision/light cantrip turning it into just another normal fight. (Just recently, I actually had to remind a PC they could punch people during a barfight. It took some convincing to get the player to acknowledge that just because their crossbow was their optimal weapon option didn't mean it was their best option in every situation.)

I think you need to be very careful here. This sounds the sort of thing where a GM becomes enamored of a "realistic" idea and to the players it's not fun. You say that it's interesting if you can't always use your same optimal routine - I agree. But you can swing too far into the opposite direction - being unable to use your basic build, which cost you most of your choices during character generation, during a typical adventure.

Exploring dark dungeons and skirmishes in the woods at night are pretty core adventure situations. They're not rare or unusual. So dealing with darkness isn't an exotic incident that's a great way of shaking up the status quo, it's kinda the standard thing you do much of the time.

Now consider, if you were the designated torchbearer:
- You can't play a sword and board paladin because you need to hold that torch.
- You can't play a sneaky sneaky rogue.
- You can't play a two-handed rogue.
- You can't fight with a bow.
- You can't play a fighter with a two-handed reach weapon.
- You can't play a barbarian with a greataxe.
- You can't play a ranger with two-weapon fighting style.

Notice how in particular front-row characters really need both hands for weapons and shields. Let's see about some of the things the party can do:

Have a second-row character carry the torch. Okay, but then the front-row characters can't go too far forward. Feats like Sudden Charge become pretty useless because you're not going to Stride twice, that would put you in the dark. And you can't do fun teamwork stuff like the Light-emitting barbarian going into the dark to put a light source next to the enemy so that the archer can sight them.

You could also drop a torch on the ground and draw weapons. That also sounds more fun to the GM than to the player who has to spend an extra action to draw weapons, and the party that's still on a sort of leash to wherever they dropped the torch.

I don't think banning Light spells makes torches interesting. I think it tells the players "don't play a human barbarian, play a dwarf instead, so that you can play the greataxe build that you wanted when you said you wanted a barbarian".


I think it's more fun to have some hands-free light sources. There's one feature of the Light cantrip that I like in particular: that you can have only one active per caster. So you could put a Light on the barbarian's breastplate so he can go ahead to light up enemies for ranged attacks, but then the rest of the party still needs to figure out a light source that stays with them. And actually, for that, torches might be fine.

I also like wayfinders: hands-free, doesn't depend on a caster, but the spell doesn't Heighten so it could be shut down by a Darkness spell. They're not that different from a lantern that you could wear at your belt actually, which would also fix most of the problems I listed above.

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Combing through the AP and trying to figure out where it's higher and where it's lower than regular WBL seems tedious to me.

In Starfinder I've actually done the math and if you add up all the average loot values of all the encounters needed to level up, pretty consistently, it's 50% over the amount you need to keep up with WBL. This is because you're expecting the party to also leak capital in the form of items that become obsolete as the party becomes higher level and a low-level armor is no longer sufficient, and consumables used.

Instead of painstakingly determining the % above or below expectation the 1E AP is, why not just cut to the end: use the tables in PF2 that say how much the party should find each level and just use those. And if you're wondering which items they should be, you can look at the ABP rules and those should give you a good idea what "main" items there are.

Also note that the tables in PF2 are talking about what they should actually get; not potentially get if they pass all the Perception checks.

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With the Covid crisis pushing me to play online, I've discovered the joys of dynamic lighting. The difference in ease of use between tabletop light, and VTT light, it's night and day. I find myself evaluating scenarios thinking "what kind of lighting would give the right dramatic effect to this map?" That's something I've never really been able to do on a physical tabletop.

The lesson for me is, any rule for light and dark has to be based on what's actually practical in the medium I'm playing in, not what it looks like in theory for someone alone with a piece of graph paper. So for tabletop, I would actually use different light rules than online.


As a side note on torches: the problem with torches is that free hands are just too precious for that.

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I do see some promise in:

- Making it so that by default, creatures with Darkvision suffer concealment problems in bright light.
- Moving a lot of creatures from Darkvision to Low-Light (and perhaps some from Low-Light to Regular). Maybe some surface dwarf heritages have low-light instead of darkvision.
- Adding a "bright light" spell with area, range and duration that can go up through Heightening. It shouldn't be a cantrip though. The cantrip is just to let you see, the spell that actually needs to be expended is to let them see less.
- Likewise, add some alchemical flares that create bright light, and higher level versions are harder to extinguish and can be thrown quite far.

This does in fact let the characters wield bright light as a weapon, or choose not to because some of their own members also have darkvision.

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Falco271 wrote:

So RAW there is little use for magic fang. RAI is unclear, but with the errata changing ally to willing creature, which includesbthe caster I could think that it can have some effect.

What would be the downside of casting MF on one self (first turn) to be able to use the effect the next turn when wildshaping to something which has one die (TRex for example)? The delay itself (you could also be another creature and attack already with little diff in damage) means that the effect matters little, with fights lasting rounds.

It won't work. The polymorph rules say:

CRB p. 301 wrote:

If you take on a battle form with a polymorph spell, the

special statistics can be adjusted only by circumstance bonuses,
status bonuses, and penalties.

Magic Fang is not any of those things, so it can't modify the damage dice of your wild shape.

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I've been thinking about Kadrical, maybe one day an interesting concept will pop into my mind.

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I'd settle for a "vision quest to the past" that can't quite change the past, but does give you insights into "what really happened" aka "where the bodies are buried". And then go back into Tar-Baphon's human days to find out something about who he was before, that might give an edge.

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Yeah I mostly meant, that's a way to keep things interesting if you're aiming for a 6-rounds influence scene.

I feel like 5-6 rounds is about the sweet spot for a major, somewhat predictable-outcome scene. Take too long, and just becomes too much rote. Too short and it's a bit janky.

Longer than that is possible but you need to intersperse multiple intermezzos (see Hellknight's Feast for a good demonstration). Shorter means that the outcome is more random, so that only works if your plot can handle that wildness - you need fail-forward plot options if they crash and burn, and extra content if they steamroll it.

A thing to consider is how much of an idea you give the players of how many rounds they're getting. Especially when you add more strategic options. For example, if the PCs need to absolutely convince the king, but ideally more people. If they know they have a long scene, they can try to build support from the bishop and the chancellor first to help with the king. But if they don't have all that long, they may need to start with the king first to ensure they at least get that if nothing else.

I think telling people when it's about halftime is a good habit shown in PFS/SFS scenarios. They also tend to have you meet with your boss at halftime to discuss strategy and take stock, figure out priorities for the remaining time.

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I see a lot of monks, wizards and cloistered clerics with shields, and they really don't care about the hardness or hit points of the shield.

I think my double slice fighter hasn't used shield block in several levels, because I don't often have a third action to spare to raise it.

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I think in the backend of your influence encounter, you should plug in some of the ideas of the library rules: as you talk more with each NPC, they volunteer new information, and with that new information you might get new topics of discussion and weaknesses to exploit on that, or another, NPC.

For example, when you get enough influence with the high priest, he gives you his unvarnished opinion of the archmage, which gives you some leverage on the archmage (and may make you realize that he's actually a sinister bastard).

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Defeating enemies and taking their powerful gear is absolutely intended.

One of the ideas behind giving items a level in Starfinder is to indicate that if you want to just buy (without any dangerous adventuring) an item, you have to wait until that level. But if you actually go out adventuring, you can find some powerful stuff earlier. After all, if the stuff you could buy in the shop was just as good as the stuff you had to do a difficult fight to get, the loot from that fight would be very disappointing.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

The scenario really should have had a note, it's a legitimate question. But the difficulty of the scenarios is really not geared up to having to start worn down.

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Anubis73 wrote:
baggageboy wrote:

So does trick attack work with shot on the run in such a way that you can move shoot and then move again?

The wording is a bit murky. It seems to indicate no that is not the case, you can move before or after shooting, but not both. However the intention seems to be that you should be able to.

What do you guys think? At the very least I feel the wording is messing and should be clarified

You cannot, according to the book do both, because the Shot on the run is a full action, as is the Operative Trick. you cannot combine 2 full actions as one full action.

You should read the whole text of Shot on the Run.

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Louis-Philippe Desroches wrote:

I have a question, coming from a group that player PF1 for a long time, à long with many other RPGs.

I have trouble understanding Rune of Striking. For now, Ive décider to roll with RAW and not house rule something I haven't playtested enough yet, but here's the problem.

When the first PC getsthat rune on a weapon, his damage output gets way better than his teammates until they catch up.

I.e. if the barbarian gets a Rune of Striking on a greataxe and deals 2d12, while the ranger still deals only 1d8... Hé outshines pretty much everyone for some time!

Aside from making sure everyone gets Rune of Striking at the same time, how do you deal with that? On fact, am I getting something wrong? Do other people have a problem with that?

You're correct that that one PC will be ahead of the rest - for a while. And they they catch back up.

But don't think of that as a downside. It's a feature. Let me explain by drawing your attention to Table 10-9 on page 509.

This table shows when the party should be finding items of a given level. The table assumes a four-player party. Notice how you consistently find about two items of the next level. So a level 3 party can expect, over the course of level 3, to find two level 4 items. And then when they're level 4, they can expect to find two more level 4 items as well as two level 5 items.

This shows a pattern: you get next-level-items for half the party every level. When you actually reach that level (say, level 4), you should be able to buy those items, but items you find will always be just a little bit ahead of what you can get in the shop. So adventuring feels rewarding.

It also shows that the striking rune isn't the only time someone in the party is going to get a shiny new thing before anyone else. That should happen, basically, once every level, namely, the first next-level item the party finds during a given level.

So when the ranger is looking enviously at the ranger's cool axe, make a note to yourself that when you're assembling the loot for next level, you may want to make sure the first cool item is more a ranger item. Rotate who gets to find the cool shiny.

Other posters are contrasting this with Automatic Bonus Progression. The thing with ABP is that everyone moves in lockstep. You don't get that feeling of having something really powerful (because you got it a level earlier, and before anyone else). I think the standard loot system is pretty good for having those moments where you drool a little over your new item, but it doesn't create a permanent imbalance because the rest will catch up soon enough.

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Yeah, it's a little odd but it's the way it is.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Well I use GM-visible auras for my own convenience, but I mean, if the room is twice as big, then the 20ft emergency lights don't cover the whole room and the monster's invisibility becomes a lot less impressive.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I was building this map in roll20 to use dynamic lighting, and noticed that if you don't take the big squares as 5ft, half the room isn't covered by the emergency lights - the golem would be revealed very fast then.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Nefreet wrote:
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
How do you live in a state that has similar if not worst issues than Boston and not hit table caps?

When 1 in 8 Americans is a Californian I'm not going to pretend to speak for the entire state, but I think the behaviors that are required in more population dense areas are communication, expectations and understanding.

Communication: when everyone knows you have a table limit, you can't walk in last minute and fain ignorance. This involves informing the venue, posting it wherever you advertise your games, and making sure all regular attendees are aware. If you have to cancel, pull out of the signup so someone else can attend. If you want to bring a friend, you'll know whether there's room. If a newbie sees a poster and asks the clerk behind the counter, they give the appropriate answer.

Expectations: respect for the rules and requests of the venue and attendants. If I'm waitlisted, I'm waitlisted. If the cap is X, I expect the cap to be X. If you require 2 hours before game to cancel and everyone's signed up 30 minutes prior, I expect everyone to be there.

Understanding: this comes from living in a region where things sell out and events are first come, first serve. If I missed the Warhorn signup, I know I should signup earlier next time. I can do other things. Likewise, if a GM has an emergency, I know either someone steps up so everyone can have fun or everybody goes home.

Most of these come from just being human but sometimes I suppose regular training and exposure is required.

Yeah I would certainly say, none of this sounds uniquely American or Californian.

We make a point of asking people:
- Sign up, so you know there's a spot for you.
- Sign up for the waitlist, so we know there's demand for another table.
- Sign up well in advance, so that we have the best opportunity to arrange the best session for everyone.

There are some people in our lodge who due to work can't commit that far ahead of time. But they accept that if they show up unannounced, there's no guarantee they'll be seated.

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Chronicle looks correct to me.

Thank you for running. It's been a real pleasure.

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... but why Perl? It's not the 90s anymore. Just use Python with

"some string with a {variable} I want to fill in".format(variable=value)

(Although TeX's propensity towards {} and \ make it a bit of a pain to code for.)

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Aratorin wrote:

This is the first time I've ever heard of LaTeX. It looks interesting, but I have to say that I'm completely and utterly confused by this.

My understanding of the LaTeX developers' mission statement is that the entire point is that you don't care about the layout. You just right the text. Then you send it off to someone else who specializes in layouts to lay it out for you.

The entire concept of a template seems to be antithetical to the purpose of the project. At that point, why not just use a Word template and fill it out as you like? That seems quicker and easier than adding code tags to every bit of the document.

Sorry, not trying to hijack your thread, I'm just both intrigued and confused by this concept.

Modern day Word copied a lot of stuff from examples set by LaTeX. LaTeX is like other markup languages - the idea is to have a clear separation between content and style. You can change the style rules (for example, submitting a paper to a different journal, that uses a different bibliography style) and it'll get the new look and feel. In a way it's not that different from HTML/CSS.

Another trait of LaTeX is that it's more like "programming" a text than just writing it. You can easily re-use chunks of text. For PF1 I had several folders with the text of feats and spells and I could add a few keywords to a document to assemble a spellbook with full spell texts for that character.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I don't think there really is much. But I got a very "magical kingdom of Prester John vibe from it.

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I find that while playing my fighter, I very often don't have the action available to raise my shield. (Because I want to Stride and Double Slice.) I get mileage out of Reactive Shield though. Maybe I shouldn't go for a sturdy shield but one of the other ones.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I think you can just say that in the mission briefing then, or whenever the players seem to be making a plan based on the ship coming to them say "you remember now that they told you..."

Let's assume that the missing information is because the author forgot to be sufficiently detailed, not because the Society is intentionally making things harder. That was early-season 1E :P

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So in the whole "is spending two of my actions to make an enemy lose their action" discussion, I think what's really important is to consider monsters with 2-action abilities. Which is a LOT of the monsters.

If one character can trade two out of their three actions to make the boss unable to use its two-action cool ability, that's not "expensive", that's a bargain. And one that can suck all of the fun out of fights because monsters can't use their special abilities anymore and have to just resort to samey small actions.

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Well you can look at the damage per strike stats in the monster creation rules in the GMG, and see that "moderate" damage for a level 20 monster is 37. Meanwhile a level 19 sturdy shield has hardness 20 and BT 80. So 80/(37-20)=4.7, so it lasts a little longer actually.

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I like LaTeX. I used it a great deal for PF1 prep. But what exactly are you looking for?

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Exactly. Not increasing Multiple Attack Penalty is a special benefit that needs to be explicitly mentioned in an ability that gives you extra attacks, otherwise you don't get it.

The point of Double Slice is using two actions to make two attacks, but without increasing penalty.

The point of Two-Weapon Flurry is to attack twice, but at the cost of only one action. (Which is really useful when you also need actions for other stuff, like raising shields or moving around.)

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For reference, the GMG:

page 13 wrote:


The Ready activity lets the acting person choose the trigger
for their readied action. However, you might sometimes
need to put limits on what they can choose.
the trigger must be something that happens in the game
world and is observable by the character rather than a
rules concept that doesn’t exist in world. For instance, if a
player says, “I Ready to shoot an arrow at her if she uses
a concentrate action,” or “I Ready to attack him if he has
fewer than 47 Hit Points,” find out what their character
is trying to specifically observe. If they don’t have a clear
answer for that, they need to adjust their action.

When might you need to do that? When someone tries to come up with a really annoying rule-technical trick that grinds the game to a halt as everyone carefully considers cat and mouse action triggers.

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That's interesting, I didn't notice that before. Sounds a bit like Dune-style spacer guild.

On the other hand, the Aballon section also talks a lot about "what people think Triune's plan is", indicating that the Church might not have such a clear agenda itself. We don't actually really know all that much about how the Church of Triune is organized, whether it's political, whether there are dissident Triune priests who decide themselves where to put beacons and so forth. And of course, there's the beacons that just pop up without being placed by the Church. Are they Triune doing some of that themselves, are they a deniable activity by a dissident wing of the Church, or is it the work of some other organization that also knows how to make them?


My take on Triune's faith is that it's a bit more like 80s-90s hacker style "information wants to be free" kind of thing, with followers believing everyone has a right to travel the galaxy and communicate freely. Some believe that this technology should be used in a responsible way to create a stable universal order (Lawful Neutral take on the faith) while others focus more on personal liberation (Chaotic Neutral take).

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Imagine I'm that one person who's never played Final Fantasy. But I do know a thing or two about second edition Pathfinder.

What kind of effect are you looking to get?

What problems are you running into?

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I'm in favor of this change. We've gone over the disadvantages of 7 player tables extensively. But what I think deserves attention is the reasons why now is a good change to finally do this.

This edition is built with a 4P party in mind. PFS2 scenarios are also written with a 4P party in mind. If you split a 6+1 table into two smaller tables with a pregen each, you're not applying an awkward 4P adjustment, you're returning to playing the scenario as originally intended.

Also, there are pregens available are more fine-grained level ranges, and the pregens are more well-rounded and have better stats than in the past. A pregen is not a liability in this edition. And 3 players who pick a pregen that fills a missing niche in their party, can do pretty well.

I'm working on packaging several evergreens that allow any given player at the table to easily step up and run a second table. This is good flexibility to have anyway (what if the regularly scheduled GM can't make it).

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Qui Gan Dalf wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

Does the Church of Triune actually wield a monopoly on Drift beacons? Or are they just the most active in placing them?

It seems to me that denying Drift access would actually go against their belief, they'd be more likely to clash with governments that want to limit Drift travel (and beacons).

Yes, they do. See page 291 of the Core Rulebook. The setting lore does paint Triune and its church as benevolent information seekers interested in expanding interstellar communication and exploration, but vested and/or conflicting interests within large organizations can corrupt the best of intentions. The setting lore does make mention of conspiracy theorists who point to evidence that Triune's motives may not be entirely altruistic, which I take to mean that the door is left open for GMs and adventure authors to [insert plot hook here].

Could you be a bit more precise? The only thing I see on that page is

CRB p. 291 wrote:
While Near Space worlds tend to be closer to the galactic center (and, incidentally, to the Pact Worlds) and the systems of the Vast tend to be farther out, the true difference between the regions lies in the density of so-called “Drift beacons.” These mysterious objects, sometimes spontaneously generated and sometimes placed by priests of Triune, help navigation systems orient ships in the Drift.

That doesn't sound like a monopoly at all. It doesn't say "only the Church", it's just that they're well known for it. Drift beacons also seem to pop up spontaneously. And other people could presumably also place them. There isn't a religion requirement for the level 6 spell to make a temporary beacon either.

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Does the Church of Triune actually wield a monopoly on Drift beacons? Or are they just the most active in placing them?

It seems to me that denying Drift access would actually go against their belief, they'd be more likely to clash with governments that want to limit Drift travel (and beacons).

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Sure, if you were buying a new gun you'd have to move the fusion. But what if you're using this rule to upgrade an existing one?

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Lanathar wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Another brake on dogpiling is that exploration tactics limit you. If you want to Search, you're not also Scouting, Defending or Avoiding Notice.

Technically correct, however if you do want maximum chances of finding stuff (ambushes, hazzards, secret doors, hidden treasures) everybody in your party should be using the Search exploration activity, respectively as many people as possible should be using it (you might have one low perception char using Detect Magic in order to not bypass any magical stuff).

It sure is a preference thing, however many do consider doubling or tripling up on Perception checks is very well worth not being able to use stealth for initiative, having +1 group initiative or your shield raised when an encounter starts. Detecting danger before it can jump you is usually a lot better than just being prepared to be jumped.

This is where you may be justified with that optional ruling mentioned above about a higher DC . If everyone is trying to search in the same place then it is more likely someone could be lax from being “overconfident” that someone will find it. Or they would get in each other’s way

I don't think I would though. To start with, what is actually the problem that you're trying to solve? Is it an aesthetic one ("dogpiling looks silly") or a game balance one ("it gets too easy")?

Also let's think about reasons not to dogpile
- There's a consequence for (critical) failure, so if you don't stand a good chance of helping, stay away so you don't harm.
- There's limited access to the thing to roll checks for. The councillor will only listen to one talking head at a time, and only has time for three appointments before the council meeting. Only one person can access the control panel to inspect it at the same time.
- There's an opportunity cost to it. While you were searching the room, you couldn't also treat wounds on your allies. If you want to do both, you're going to have to do one after the other.

So if dogpiling is happening, something is awry with the reasons not to dogpile. Is everyone Searching? Maybe the other exploration tactics aren't giving the players any good results; there's never anything to find with Detect Magic for example. Or the cost of missing a trap detection are too severe to do anything else, because the GM is using high level traps that hurt a lot?

Searching as an exploration tactic actually does have some limits built in. Succesful searching guarantees that you find something before you step into it. It doesn't guarantee anything about the person in front of you. So only the frontline of the party can Search for traps truly effectively.

It's also got an opportunity cost: a rogue who's Searching isn't getting to use the Surprise Attack ability.

Finally, if the party is saying "we're not moving forward until we've truly searched every inch of this place", and they don't actually have to keep moving, then they should just find the hidden thing. The GMG advises automatic success in such cases, and instead using checks to see just how long it takes to find the hidden thing. (p. 18)

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What would happen to the fusions on the old item though?

As a houserule, letting those stay on the upgraded weapon at no cost might be a nice reward for "brand loyalty".

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Another brake on dogpiling is that exploration tactics limit you. If you want to Search, you're not also Scouting, Defending or Avoiding Notice.

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