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Organized Play Member. 545 posts (546 including aliases). No reviews. 7 lists. No wishlists. 4 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Silver Crusade

RealAlchemy wrote:


I played Crypt about a month ago with several experienced players. We started around 6:30 and finished about midnight. A balanced party with reasonable equipment to deal with contingincies helped. (multiple weapon types, some holy water, and some alchemical splash weapons)

Experienced probably being the keyword here...teaching the game while not rushing the encounters might prolong the module considerably...

Tim Emrick wrote:

The module Risen from the Sands is also a good choice for an introduction to the game. The adventure states that it's written for four 3rd-level characters, but a couple of the encounters can be tough for that level.

Thank you, but I feel like most third level characters already present more options than your average "Completely new to RPGs" player could handle. I might give too little credit here, but I don't want to throw too much at once at them.

(I haven't decided yet if we're creating characters together or if I create them for them. If I do the latter level 3 might be an option.)

Silver Crusade

RealAlchemy wrote:
Master of the Fallen Fortress fits nicely into a 4-5 hours slot, so that could be what you are looking for. Crypt of the Everflame runs slightly longer, maybe 6 hours or a bit more depending on the general RPG experience of your players.

Crypt can be done in 6 hours? Then this is a serious contender because it's one of those "I've always wanted to run this!" modules...

Tineke Bolleman wrote:


I would recommend Tide of Twilight. There is a strong nature theme in it, and can easily stand on its own if you tweak the start.

I knew I should've grabbed all the season 3 scenarios when they were available through Humble Bundle (or am I confusing this with something else?)...will check it out, thanks!

Silver Crusade

Quote:

I would suggest the "Master of the Fallen Fortress" or "Crypt of the Everflame" modules. Well, MoFF does end up with some animal combat, but you can befriend most of the animals, if you work at it. Just not the crocodile at the end.

(...)
Maybe consider running them through the first book of Kingmaker? That is chock full of wilderness travel.

How long do these modules take? I know for a that an AP book won't fit one evening and a "normal" 32-page module would also be very tight, wouldn't it?

If they are interested in starting a campaign Kingmaker is one of my preferred options anyways (together with RotRL), though I'll probably do Dragon's Demand first. Less frustrating if the group dissolves halfway through.

Quote:


Night March of Kalkamedes, maybe? Lots of wilderness, and a fun hook to make it not a standard adventure. There’s at least one animal combat, but you could leave that out or give your Druid a chance to wild empathy.

Great idea! There is also a bit of pure roleplaying at the end with the captured gnome, right?

I should make it more clear: Fighting animals isn't a total no-go. They expressed discomfort with animals dying, not necessarily fighting them - wild animals can always run away once they took a bit of damage (which they realistically would probably do anyways) and for animal companions I can fudge the stabilization rolls. :)
I'd just like to avoid scenarios like The Segang Expedition which start out with "Right, there is this animal. We need to kill it."

Silver Crusade

Hello hello!

I intend to introduce a couple of friends to Pathfinder.
I don't want to run a full module because these tend to take a bit longer than only one evening and I'd like for their first adventure not to end with a "Right, so we're in the middle of the cave now but have to pack up - ah well, hope you had fun!", but with a full "Yeah, you did it!"
A PFS scenario should be ideal for this and I would love to get a few suggestions!
However, one important note:

I will not be running this as Organized Play. I want to show them what a Role Playing Game is and how it works without bogging it down with all the overhead of PFS. If they are hooked this might change, but this is a more general introduction to Pathfinder as a whole:


  • I am free to change encounters and the scenario as a whole. If someone wants to suggest a scenario that would have to be adjusted in some way, I'm all for it! (Stuff like "Scenario XY is great, but too difficult for newbies" - no problem, I'll just make it easier!)
  • It would be great if the characters don't necessarily have to be PFS agents. So while I adore The Overflown Archives, it is sadly not a great option hee.
  • For the same reason The Confirmation and especially The Wounded Wisp are out. I might do The Confirmation, but I'd have to change quite a few things around I reckon.
  • A scenario not relying on combat with animals is a bonus. I like The Segang Expedition, but my players would outright refuse to participate in a hunt.
  • If it's a two-parter and both halves work on their own, great! This would leave a "I hope you had fun...we can play the second part next week, if you want?" open.
  • I fully expect one or two players to grab a druid and a ranger. A scenario in the wilderness (or with a huge part of wilderness) would be great.

Thanks for the suggestions in advance! :)

(And does anybody know why the bullet pointed list does not show up?)

Silver Crusade

Got bored and did a few more.

Unfortunately, the lack of usable graphics is pretty limiting right now (very few usable backgrounds from the blogposts).

Please do note that the ones I did are in DIN-A-4 format, which is taller, but not as wide as US letter. If you do need a dedicated US letter format (you can just print the A4 downsized and cut away a bit on the side) do send me a message and I will shift things around a bit.

Silver Crusade

What exactly do you need? I threw together a blank flyer heavily inspired by the one Stephen White designed for Pathfinder Society, though there isn't that much space on it...

You can see it here.

Silver Crusade

Gonna push this because we are about to play our next session.

Push!

Silver Crusade

Hey guys,

I will put spoilers in the first post in case someone lands on this thread by accident, but as this is a GM thread I encourage you not to use spoiler tags.
Players beware!

Spoiler:

So. My group did the first two dungeons, threw the village a huge party and is finally allowed to go into the manor - something they itched to do from the very start, deeply distrusting the wizard.

So now they are in front of the manor and while I WILL retcon that a bit the next time there is a session (I read the suggestion of the baroness letting the priest of Abadar set up a contract so they don't steal anything - she is trusting my group, but not totally stupid) another problem occured.

See, I read through the module a few times. But seeing as we play every 1-2 months I don't have the time or motivation to reread EVERYTHING everytime we play, only the next dungeon or so. And by doing that I noticed something far too late...

That damn wizard has servants.
The whole village is missing the wizard the moment that tower crashes, nobody dares going near the manor and nowhere in the first chapter is a line like "Also, some people wonder where his servants might have gone."
So now my group will waltz in there and suddenly notice "Wait...this guy has THREE servants and NOBODY told us? We were asking about this bloody guy! Everybody told us there is no hurry as he is dead now, so even if he had evil plans they died with him! NOBODY MENTIONED HE MIGHT HAVE HAD ACCOMPLICES!"
Nothing about the servants indicates they might've been slaves (and the Hanlem does not strike me as the kind of person who has human slaves anyways), so the only options I see so far are:


  • "Oh, yeah, he had servants, guess we collectively forgot them, they are always so unassuming!"
  • "What, servants? Really? Funny that you mention it, I never saw anybody. Makes you wonder why he always bought his own groceries, if he had three healthy young fellow in there!"
  • Just admitting "Look guys, I screwed up. The information in this module are a bit spread out sometimes, so I just missed it. Just assume your characters knew he had servants, even though this makes it even more unlikely they would not have searched the place before the dust from the tower settled."

Any other bright suggestions to my dilemma?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Blackbot wrote:
Lissa Guillet wrote:


Were you coming in via an RSS or Atom feed, per chance?

I cannot rule out that the bug triggered when I came in via RSS feed and just did not notice.

When I noticed the bug I went straight to paizo.com (I think, my history might have suggested some other side - though probably not one of the RSS links). But again, it IS possible that I just did not notice my inability to login before that.

I just tried going to the site via RSS feed. This time at least this did not result in the brokin login links.
I first noticed the bug on my PC with Windows 8.1 and I think that my laptop with Archlinux encountered the same problem because the cookies get synced with the Firefox sync. I did not make a backup of the cookie.

Update on the Cookie front:

The cookies were still there on my PC (I only deleted the ones on the laptop), so I checked them.
I have two cookies: "Store" and "wosid". The content of "wosid" was "xml". I deleted it (leaving "Store" untouched) and it generated a new cookie.
The content seems to be something more sensible now (22 alphanumeric characters) and it immediatly fixed the issue.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lissa Guillet wrote:
Blackbot wrote:

Fun new error:

I was unable to login. "Sign up", "Login" and all that was displayed at the top right of the screen, but they were only text, not links (Looked into the source code: Only <li>Sign Up</> and so on, no <href="[whatever]"> anywhere).

Deleted my cookies, works now.
You might want to look into that.

Were you coming in via an RSS or Atom feed, per chance?

I cannot rule out that the bug triggered when I came in via RSS feed and just did not notice.

When I noticed the bug I went straight to paizo.com (I think, my history might have suggested some other side - though probably not one of the RSS links). But again, it IS possible that I just did not notice my inability to login before that.

I just tried going to the site via RSS feed. This time at least this did not result in the brokin login links.
I first noticed the bug on my PC with Windows 8.1 and I think that my laptop with Archlinux encountered the same problem because the cookies get synced with the Firefox sync. I did not make a backup of the cookie.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Fun new error:

I was unable to login. "Sign up", "Login" and all that was displayed at the top right of the screen, but they were only text, not links (Looked into the source code: Only <li>Sign Up</> and so on, no <href="[whatever]"> anywhere).

Deleted my cookies, works now.
You might want to look into that.

Silver Crusade

If it is intentional...

Truly, there is little you can do.
Maybe expectations clash. You want to set the mood and run a horror campaign. They want to slam back a few beers, have an evening full of laughter, kicking ass and being the impolite heroes.

Neither way of playing is wrong, really. But the ways clash hard. If you talked to them and their idea of fun is "Funny stuff" and your idea of fun is "Atmospheric stuff" there will be little common ground. You can ask them to try for at least one evening, but in my experience there is little value in "correcting" their behaviour. If a GM talks to me about how I behave, fine, I'll see if I adjust or excuse myself from the group due to differing expectations. If the GM starts using the game to correct my behaviour (Say, my character likes to joke around and suddenly every NPC severly overreacts to my jokes, or monsters keep attacking me because I don't behave "correctly" in combat) it would severly impact my fun.

I tried the same atmospheric thing as you for the campaign and can understand where your frustration comes from. Sometimes it helped to play the NPCs as straight as possible to signal "Okay, I'm not doing that OOC-joke stuff right now", and it worked to a degree. That didn't prevent a whole bunch of meta jokes, but overall we struck a balance after talking about it (Okay, I'll be honest: Me writing a lengthy, whiny email).

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For me, there are two more or less common arguments:

1. "X happens." - "But according to rules, Y should happen!"
If I misremembered a rule and can be proven wrong immediatly, I apologize and change the outcome ("You were right, charge does not add +2 to damage, sorry!").
If there is no way to verify quickly I pick the ruling I find more logical and we'll look it up later, at least if it's not a big deal ("I'm not sure about that, but I can't find the damn rule right now...let's just go with me remembering it does +2 to damage and look it up later, okay? You are at 40 hp, you'll be fine.")
And sometimes I'll answer "I know what the rules say. Some rules are changed for this encounter. *shark grin*". NOT in the "I have decided to change the rules" sense, but more in the "This encounter has got a feat that gives him +2 damage on a charge" sense. Sometimes I'll elaborate, sometimes my players get the hint ("I don't have to roll against fear. I'm a paladin." - "Believe me, you do have to roll." - "But...that means...CRAP.)

2. "X happens." - "That's illogical, Y should happen!"
Sometimes something happens in the world that seems illogical to players. Maybe a NPC reacted a certain way, maybe the PCs are unable to do something they should obviously be able to do. With my group, this usually leads to a short argument and me reconsidering ("You are right, you just saved his son, it wouldn't make much sense for him to treat you like this..."), me standing my ground and telling them why ("You simply can't collapse this tunnel by simply attacking the struts! You lack tools and besides, nobody of your characters knows ANYTHING about mining, so you'd probably collapse the tunnel onto yourselves!") or standing my ground and not telling them why ("This happens. Maybe the baron just has a bad day, maybe something happened or maybe he's just an a#%*@+%...you might find out.").

Luckily, my players have little to no problem with this style of doing things. I'd only have a problem with players who start second-guessing everything I say, which so far has not come up.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't want to derail this thread, so I will just state my ruling (which my group accepted):
Even though the Heal skill does not explicitly say it can be used to diagnose a disease, I fully agree that it should be able to be used in this manner.
I do not think, however, that you are able to immediatly diagnose if the character is indeed infected. The onset is there for a reason. Taking a real-world example: If I contract the flu I will not notice immediatly but only when the symptoms (=Ability Damage) sets in, maybe a bit sooner.
So the wizard got bitten in the evening. The next afternoon he might start to sweat slightly, maybe he'll get one or two pustules - THAT will be the moment where the Heal check turns from "I dunno, you got bitten, so you might have it" to "Yeaaaah you are infected, dude."

I can see why other people would treat it differently and will not proclaim my ruling is the only possible one. I like the "Oh crap, I might be infected - only way to know for sure is to wait or cast a spell!" factor it brings into the game.

For the interested: He worked under the assumption that he indeed is infected and took precautions (gotten treated by a Healer + drank antiplague).

Silver Crusade

Situation:
The baroness gave the PCs the job to investigate a dungeon. They go inside, find a dead wizard and come back out. By that point it's night so they are unsure whether they should wake the baroness and how they should do it...

Player 1: "We could just knock at her door and ask her to come out?"
Player 2: "What are we supposed to do? Throw the body at her feet and say 'Here, we found this'?!"
Player 1: "Why not? We're like cats, really."

===

Player 1: "We need to find out what he was doing there. We should go into the wizard's house..."
Player 2: "...and we might find the wizard's mouse?"
Rest of the group: ????
Player 2: "I dunno, it rhymed."

===

Player 1: "I really need to find out if that ghoul bite infected me. How can I find out?"
Player 2: "Maybe we should go to the temple?"
GM: "You cannot really tell if you have been infected. How should they be able to tell?"
Player 2: "I don't know! Maybe they take a blood sample!"
Player 3: "That won't help. They have to send it off to the lab and that takes at least 14 days."
GM: "THAT'S your reason against his suggestion?!"

(NOTE: I am aware there is the possibility of using a spell to determine this. I rarely use spells from outside the CRB/APG though.)

Silver Crusade

CigarPete wrote:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BXbjFJkSuuhSasqHKk5G7POTpp1du9TWmFdOeU0 qpNY/edit

I generally follow the Inkscape process in the link above. I just grab the image from the pdf, create a grid @1 in x 1 in and resize, then do the bitmap tracing - it does really make a difference.

Linkified

Silver Crusade

I found this tutorial extremely useful.

The adjusting of colors is optional, but the changing of resolution and the use of Posterazor (which is a pain to run in Linux, btw) is really useful.

EDIT: Skipping through the video I realize it does not cover everything I found useful, so two quick adjustments:

1. Gimp offers a tool to measure distance. You can use that to check how many inches one of your squares is long. If it's above 1, increase the resolution. If it's below 1, lower the resolution.

2. I did not like the "Cut out parts of the map and print them" method. I used Posterazor which picks any PDF (or image? not sure) and splits it up into DIN-A-4 (or US letter or whatever format you need) pages you can easily print. With an adjustable overlap for easier glueing.

Silver Crusade

Three hours?
Without rushing I don't see much of a chance really. 3 hours is tight even for experienced players, and you have to teach them the rules, tell them about the world, let them choose characters etc.
Two question:


  • Does it have to be PFS official (as in "they're gonna get Chronicle Sheets and you report it) or do you want to play a PFS scenario more as a basis? If it's the latter you can shorten some scenarios significantly by throwing out "filler" problems and you are more free in helping them along Because you don't have to run "as written").
  • Does it have to be in one slot? If not, you could just say "Hey, we won't get through this in 3 hours, but if you want we can start this scenario and finish it next week!". This is problematic in a more public setting, but in a home game it shouldn't really matter.

Silver Crusade

Hi there,

I'm not sure if this goes here or in the Advice forum - but I think this fits better here, because it a) is directly tied into Golarion and b) I kinda know how I want to do this and are more interested in other views.

The central question is:
How do you deal with noble PCs in your groups?
(And does it differ where they are from?)

So, the setup:
One of my players likes to play nobles.
In my Carrion Crown campaign, he played a noble paladin of Sarenrae from Ustalav (his mother's Qadiran). Compassionate, no-nonsense type of guy. His parents aren't really big players either.
In PFS, he plays the paladin's brother - a bard who sets out to learn about the world.
And now Dragon's Demand - he wants to play a noble wizard.
And that's where I start thinking.

Nobles in Taldor are (usually) filthy rich, decadent and FAR above the common man. Even if they are more down-to-earth, how would you deal with the fact that one of their kids basically says "Hey, I want to risk my life somewhere far away, don't hand me any money please, I'll do it myself!"? Even more weighs that if later on nobles show up they basically have to treat him better than the rest of the party because while he may not "outrank" them, he won't be
My current thoughts:


  • He doesn't start with more than the usual character because he lost everything just before the adventure started. Maybe he got robbed, maybe he drank away everything.
  • He might be the estranged son, or at least his parents are pissed enough at their youngest that they won't jump to his rescue as soon as his money runs out.
  • He only pretends to be a noble or at least massively overstates his importance. (This is something the player has to agree with, obviously.)
  • He is too proud to ask for help.

These problems seem pretty much confined to Cheliax and Taldor because I simply cannot imagine an Ulfen noble to give a flying f*ck about that stuff when he sets out to slay a dragon.
But if you think this is better moved to Advice, please go ahead!

Silver Crusade

Malakii wrote:
1. Is it still legal to run games from past seasons? Would it still give me rewards

It is legal, but you have to be careful about a few things spelled out in the Guide.

From the top of my head:

  • Ignore Faction Missions. They are discontinued.
  • Don't get confused when factions that don't exist anymore get referenced (Shadow Lodge, Lantern Lodge, Andoran, Cheliax, Taldor, Osirion and Qadira).
  • Earlier seasons (0-3, I think?) were written with 4 players in mind. This affects how you should handle them when your group falls between tiers (e.g. 6 level 3 players playing a Tier 1-5 from Season 2).
  • Out-of-subtier-gold was introduced in...some season, I don't know. That means it's not referenced on the chronicle sheets and you might have to write it in yourself.

Silver Crusade

mightyjules wrote:
First of all i already tried to get some advice from the net but couldn't find reliable sources. Finally a friend of mine who was the GM on Book 1-2 said something about changing/rewrite certain NPCs, villans and whole encounters in all books. Whats that about?

Seems like overkill to me. I did hardly rewrite anything and it went fine. You could maybe change some things along to make the books less self-contained (a popular choice seems to be to send Kendra down to Caliphas for book 4), but other than that is always worked for me.

mightyjules wrote:
When reading the first 2 Books it felt like that there is no connection of the Whispering Way in between each Book. Do you have to ideas on what to change there?

To be honest - I did not change anything. They really only set out to stop the Whispering Way after the second book (After they randomly ran into them a second time, so to speak), but I can see why you'd want to change that. Maybe scatter some more hints that that's where they were going next? I would not involve the WW directly at this point.

mightyjules wrote:
* Play the AP without EP so players dont have to worry about grinding and focus more on Roleplaying

Talk to your players about that. I did it the same way (because they too did not want to bother with bookkeeping) but you can always up the XP rewards for completing segments of the AP to balance out loss of XP if they skipped encounters.

mightyjules wrote:
* Changing the broken "trust system" and give players more opportunities to raise trust among villagers

Works. Quick and dirty fix: Double the rewards, leave the penalties alone, feel free to add things.

mightyjules wrote:
90% replace low level encouters into haunts to give playes more a feeling of being in a wicked places

This can go very, very right and also very, very wrong.

You have to remember these things about haunts:

  • Once triggered, they can usually only be temporarily destroyed by positive energy.
  • To find out how to destroy the haunt once and for all you need to use the ouija board. Which can fail and only has limited uses per day.

That can wreck a group hard. I read about a few other haunts which can be avoided and which are more obvious to destroy (Example: Be nice to the ghost dog - destroy it by burying his bones).
Otherwise you have the choise:
If the haunts are only set pieces (trigger haunt - something non-threatening happens - haut over) it can get exhausting, if the haunts are dangerous they can wear the group down - especially because all the haunts are reset if they rest and come back the next day...

Silver Crusade

That kinda looks like it could be a SCP. One that only activates between midnight and dawn if there are runaway children nearby and turns them into zombies by unknown means.

It's silly, but I kinda think it can be written as a scary thing.

Silver Crusade

Blake's Tiger wrote:
Scroll to the last post by Tonya

Direct link to the post in question

(You can right-click on the date of the post and choose "Copy Link" or something similar to achieve that)

Silver Crusade

Thank you so much.
This blog has indeed been mentioned several times, but I was unable to find it myself and nobody provided a link.
That stuff should go into the FAQ!

Also, please do not let this thread devolve into another round of "Are the new rules good or bad?"
That was not my intention and I think it has been discussed to death.

Silver Crusade

So the consensus is that there is no consensus:

Gary says "I believe 1 is right".
SCPRedMage says "Version 1 is completely right but the rez thing has been changed in some blog post" - great, by the way, that this is not in the FAQ as well - which I have been unable to find.
Jared Thaler says that it doesn't matter because some scenarios have special rules about that stuff, which doesn't help for the older ones.
Lune agrees with me that it is stupid for scenarios where PvP is not directly encouraged, but not frowned upon either to enforce the rule of killing the main character.

Okay, no consensus is saying a bit much.
More like "It seems to be version 1 but we agree this is stupid."

I'm gonna expect table variation then. ;)

Silver Crusade

Hi there,

has there been any clarification how to handle the death of a pregen in a special (e.g. Serpent's Ire)?

From what I've seen, there are two trains of thought and I wonder if this has been clarified. I certainly cannot find anything.
First, to make this FAQ-markable:

Do the rules preventing reassigning the death of a pregen to the specials which force use of a pregen?

Second, the trains of thought from what I've gathered:

Version 1:
No pregen death can ever be reassigned. The new rules are written with all pregens in mind to raise the stakes and prevent players from being "careless" with their character.
If you decide to apply the chronicle sheet to one of your characters before the scenario and your pregen dies, your character dies.
Since the guide makes no exception for pregens in specials, it's obvious those rules apply to them as well.

Version 2:
The pregen deaths in specials can be reassigned. The new rule is intended to "protect" the "real" characters from reckless pregen use. Since everybody plays a pregen, nobody is in real danger and it would be unfair - you are forced to play a pregen from a very limited pool and do not even have the option to play a character up to this level.
The rules are introduced with step one ("Choose one of the pregenerated characters available in Community Use Package: Pathfinder Society Pregenerated Characters at paizo.com/communityuse/package") which cannot be fulfilled in the mentioned special scenarios.
Also, the rule about resurrection ("The Roleplaying Guild character must contribute a minimum amount of gp before spending the pregenerated character’s wealth in this way, depending on her level: 0 gp for a 1st-level pregenerated character, 1,000 gp for 4th-level, and 2,000 gp for 7th-level.") cannot be applied since some pregens have levels which are not exactly 1, 4 or 7.
Concluding: It is obvious those rules do not apply to them.

Sooooo...have they ever said one way or the other?

Silver Crusade

Most probable answer:
It's an oversight and not a huge deal.
Your players probably won't notice and (in my opinion) is not worth the headache as it doesn't make him that much more powerful.
If they DO notice you can always say "Yeah...that's weird, isn't it? His demon god seems to change the rules for him a bit" or something along those lines.

In my experience almost every statblock at higher level has one or two minor mistakes, resulting from changes during development or just small mistakes. One AC too little here, one ATK to much there...

The biggest thing coming to mind has to be Auren Vrood, who technically cannot cast his most infamous spell on these boards because his prestige class got changed after his statblock was written down.
It's usually not that important in the grand scheme of things.

Silver Crusade

Again - I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT.
Kyle said it here, for example.
And it is better worded now that the word "rare" has gone from the FAQ (which was confusing in its own right).

Both of these facts do not fix the issue that this (in my opinion) very important aspect of prepared arcane spellcasters is buried in the FAQ, worded in a way that doesn't really say "Look, there WILL be an NPC you can purchase the spell from, don't worry about it."

The reference to the Always Available list is of no importance here, by the way, as it says nothing about spells. Learning spells is not referenced in that section nor in the Spells section.

(Please note that I'm not attacking you. I'm annoyed that 4 years after the relevant FAQ first hit the web this important aspect is still something you have to learn from the messageboards.)

Silver Crusade

James Risner wrote:
Blackbot wrote:

Just to be clear ..

PFS FAQ wrote:


All other methods of gaining new spells (such as by gaining a level or purchasing access to an NPC's spellbook) function as described in the Core Rulebook and relevant class descriptions.
We can still assume that every spell for every class is available to learn from a NPC between scenarios, right?
You mean like fireball (yes) or something like a slyph only spell (no) when you are human?

The former.

It always annoyed me that this was something you could do but was written so vaguely almost nobody I met (including VOs) knew about it.

The new wording is better, but still sounds like "If you ever find an NPC wizard, here's how much you have to pay..."

Silver Crusade

Just to be clear ..

PFS FAQ wrote:


All other methods of gaining new spells (such as by gaining a level or purchasing access to an NPC's spellbook) function as described in the Core Rulebook and relevant class descriptions.

We can still assume that every spell for every class is available to learn from a NPC between scenarios, right?

Silver Crusade

It should also be noted that there is no real "PFS Series".
I'll try and compare it to television.

A singular module is something like a movie (or maybe a Netflix Original Series). It's self-contained. One go and gone. You might use multiple modules, but if you don't change them they remain self-contained.

An adventure path is one of those TV shows with a really tight meta plot. Every single module is more or less self-contained and you COULD play one without the others, but you'd miss lots about the metaplot. And especially in the end it all comes together.

PFS is not really a SERIES per se. Every season has some metaplot, but every single scenario is self-contained. There are some references to other scenarios, and some scenarios might even be a two- or three-parter if played together. But all in all they are more like, say, early Stargate or Supernatural - you can play them out of order, skip one or two, and usually you won't miss anything major.
(Also there is usually something big happening at the end of the season.)

So, this now depends on what you want to do:
Do you want to play through a series of thightly woven scenarios, one following the other, leading your players through a plot? Then this is not for you, I think. Especially in later seasons, where you cannot just play the scenarios in order with the same characters - the first one might be for levels 1-5, the second one for 5-9 and the third one for 3-7. Earlier seasons lack that problem, but also (IIRC) are pretty light on meta plot.

Or are you interested in PFS as a concept and want exactly this, a campaign with self-contained adventures, following the rules of PFS so that your players could use those characters in other PFS events? Then pretty much what Matt Lewis said.

Silver Crusade

To clarify:
You fill out the sheets electronically and send them to your players electronically (or you print them out, fill them out, scan them back in and THEN send an email).
You REPORT the the session in the event you created in Fromper's step 2.

Silver Crusade

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I played the scenario on RatCon in '14 (it went okay, if we ignore the witch antagonizing the NPC for NO REASON from the start - it really felt like the player just enjoyed pissing of NPCs) and I finally judged it now.
I'm aware this thread is quite old, but maybe the write-up will make future GMs a bit more aware of pitfalls that presented themselves to me which are not yet mentioned in the thread.

The group:
Witch 3
Barbarian 3
Barbarian 4 (Amiri Pregen)
Bard 4 (CHA of 14, but INT of 18 - for whatever reason...)
Unchained Rogue 3

Now, I had to run this more or less cold (had one hour to read through the whole thing) because the witch joined us quite spontaneously and she had already played the scenario I wanted to GM.
This was a home game, so I knew most of the players fairly well.
Subtier 3-4.
It should also be noted I did not consider a diplomacy roll failed if ONE character failed it - if another character attempted to argue with a different angle that was fine with me. Not sure if that's entirely RAW though.

The setup
Nothing spectecular here. Because these guys wouldn't even know their current faction briefings (come to think of it - are there current faction letters?) I pretty much just sent the Dark Archive witch a letter (with lots of "my love", "my pet" and black lipstick below) talking about how important it can be to know where to pull strings, we wouldn't want to lose this war of course, but maybe prolong it here and there just for a few days) and told the Silver Crusade bard "Yo, there's a faction mission to fulfill here, keep in mind you're S.Crusade."
I played Sir Ilivan maybe a bit too detached and they disliked him from the start, but didn't want to antagonize him right away because the VC told them to respect him. They immediatly said he'd die.

The village
The barbarian wanted to charge down right away (robbing herself forward), but Sir Ilivan stopped her by touching her gently and talking about how there was no use charging in there. The rogue failed to convince him. The bard also failed to convince him, but made his check so Sir Ilivan gained a bit of insight in his own lack of empathy.
They managed to kill all the demons (and splattered one commoner across the field) and Sir Ilivan responded basically with "Hm. That was foolish, but I suppose I cannot argue with results."
They were surprised he didn't die right here and now.
Pitfalls:


  • Look carefully at the numbers of demons and commoners. The numbers in the statblocks differ from the numbers on the map. In Subtier 3-4: THREE demons, TWO conscious commoners, TWO unconscious commoners.
  • Don't give everyone a scythe. Use flails. A scythe has a x4 crit modifier and can be NASTY.
  • Sir Ilivans reaction to the group's decision can color the rest of the scenario. Don't make him needlessly antagonistic. He lacks empathy, but he does not actively wish for anyone to die.
  • Maybe make clear that some of the commoners seem far more distressed than the others. I missed that only the commoners tortured their friends and failed to describe (or grant a Sense Motive to notice) how they were far more distressed than their dead possessed buddies. The barbarian felt bad afterwards and I feel like this was my fault.

The fortress
Went in, discussed everything, grabbed stuff, convinced Sir Ilivan to join them, got out. Not much here.
The only thing from notice was that they convinced him to join them on a SCOUT mission - "No, really, if we're clearly outnumbered we'll just head back and won't argue, but if there are only half a dozen demons we can easily kill them, right?"
Changes: While I am aware that we may not change anything in the scenarios, I made the call that all the weapons the PCs can borrow from the armory are coldiron.
Pitfalls:


  • Not really a pitfall, but my group asked specifically for the types of demons that attacked the fortress. I dropped the ball here - what I SHOULD have mentioned is that one of the demons seemed to be able to fly, using that as a hint to the not as experienced players to maybe grab a ranged weapon since this might be the first scenario they play with flying enemies in it.
  • Some groups might argue that they should save the crusaders because otherwise the scenario would be over. I told my group OOC that this was not a fake decision, but a real one - the scenario was not over no matter what they decided. I have to admit - that was my train of thought back when I played this, too. While most of my characters are goody two-shoes, if I ever played a more cynical character I'd have said "My character would leave those guys to their fate - that's a suicide mission! BUT I don't want this scenario to be over yet and lose that prestige point, so off into the badly written, forced rescue mission we go..." - it is NOT badly written, but most players probably expect this one to be a "Do it because the scenario wants it, if you don't it's over right now" situation.

The rageweed
My whole group failed the first save and immediatly turned on each other. One or two tried to metagame ("What? I did not say anything, what are you talking about?"), but I ruled that the characters heard the words far more aggressive than they were said. They made their saves one by one until only the rogue and the witch were influenced. The rogue hit the witch with his short sword, the witch ran away from him and then he calmed down.
What was really awesome was how they reacted to Sir Ilivan: They took pity and the bard even used a few rounds of his Inspire Courage to help him get over it. When they heard his story it really shifted their view of him.

The wasps
They saw the wasps, immediatly said "Screw that, I'm outta here" and rode away as fast as possible.

The final fight
This one can turn out BAD. They tried to flank the demons (rogue, witch and bard on the walls, barbarians in the gulch) but failed a stealth check. I ruled this meant that the barbarians weren't in position when the demons noticed them and started a bit further away than indicated. The brimorak was a problem though: He started off by casting airwalk and used his breath weapon to great effect. He burnt the barbarian good and then hit both the rogue and the witch, sending the witch to -6 instantly. (I did NOT feel bad for her - if you've only got 17 hp on level 3 you KNOW what you signed up for.)
They managed to kill him though - Amiri critted him with her bow (3d8 + 3 for her killer instinct + 3 from the bard really sealed the deal) and I let him land, allowing the rogue to sneak him to great effect.

Every round after the third I described Sir Ilivan fighting another demon, making it clear the held his own for quite a while before he went under. They were sad that he died, even though they called his death from the start.
Pitfalls:


  • If you play the brimrak optimally against a group with little to no ranged options it WILL be brutal. The breath weapon is no joke. If you roll low on his "cooldown" that's 5d6 to one or two characters every round - half if they make their save. At some point I just had him go into melee. Because we all wanted to go home, honestly.
  • The stinking cloud of the dretches can make thinks REALLY problematic. The save DC is only 13 though, so if you're not as unlucky as my RatCon group nothing major should happen...

The end:
The group liked the scenario, but was really interested if they could've saved Sir Ilivan. I told them that they technically could and the rogue dryly noticed that this was the FIRST TIME ever they could've saved a man's life by being a total dick to him.
Also you might've noticed that the demons never summoned help - that was on purpose. The tactics don't mention anything about summoning in one way or the other and I felt like they had enough trouble as is and that the scenario probably didn't have the intention of having the demons summon their buddies.

Great scenario, though I REALLY wished I had more time preparing it.

Silver Crusade

Three things springing to mind immediatly:
1. Doesn't the whole ghost business start only once the PCs have arrived? I mean, you can change this up of course, but that takes aways some of the "Something weird STARTS happening vibe" I got from the adventure.
2. If they send in a merc - why would they send in the PCs after him?
3. A drow. Why on Golarion a drow? Again, you can change your world however you like - but the Golarion drows are evil. Like,super evil. And most people KNOW that - to quote the PRD: "Worshiping demons and enslaving most races they encounter, the drow are among the underworld's most feared and hated denizens." Why would they not bash his head in with a scythe, yet alone ask it for help? That said, there are neutral and even good drow. But they are super rare. And it's your Golarion - if yo want to add helpful drow or make them more common, go for it. I'd go for an evil elf or a tiefling myself.

Okay, four things:
CHARLIE? You introduce an NPC from a near-mythological race of superevil elves who could bekome a boss character and you call im CHARLIE? I get the whole Charlie Mastion <-> Charles Manson thing, but...CHARLIE?

Silver Crusade

Uh, got another one.

Can I change the prepared spells of a pregen before the scenario even starts?

I'm looking at you, Miss I prepared goodberry because it's such a useful spell in almost every scenario...

Silver Crusade

I'd say they all successfully"saved" Janira. She WAS in danger - not as grave as if they'd fought the minotaur later, but the danger was there.

Regarding heeding her advice I think your ruling is a good one. They saved the hotheaded gunslinger from his own recklessness which is preferable to letting him die "because we were supposed to run". Stand together, fall together.

Silver Crusade

Sorry, I only now saw that you are planning on going the spring attack route. That throws my critique about mobility and dodge a bit out of the window.
BUT.
You won't do any damage with shooting. Trust me. You'll either have to sink feats into it (precise shot, for example) or you'll be a lousy shot. Not to mention you cannot sneak without quite a bit of effort.
Also, you have to hit 6th level (7th if you waste your combat trick before) before you can grab Spring Attack. Are you sure you want to spend 5 levels being a second hand archer?

I don't want to rain on your parade here. But "hide and shoot" will only get you so far if you don't invest into the feats. Which would leave you with none of those options:
1. Melee - Few hit points.
2. Ranged - No damage output because even IF you hit your damage won't be too hot.
3. Support - Well, you are no bard, so there won't be much supporting going on.

Silver Crusade

Depending on how much you want to min/max, here are some suggestions.

1. Unchained Rogue. The other unchained classes are different to their core counterparts. The unchained rogue is better. (Don't worry, you can change him to unchained for free if you do it before you hit level 2)

2. You NEED to hit your enemy. With your current build there you get a +0 hit bonus. If you choose the unchained rogue you'll get weapon finesse for free. If not you'll want to grab the rogue finesse trick on level 2. If you do neither you are in for a frustrating ride.

3. Let's break down what the stats do for you.

STR - Plus to hit (doesn't matter to you if you are going finesse), plus do damage (doesn't matter to you as much because most of your damage will come from sneak attack, not from strength). 10 is alright.

DEX - Plus to hit with weapon finesse, plus to damage if you go unchained, plus do all the "classical" rogue stuff (Reflex save, initiative, stealth...). Also boosts your AC which is important since you won't be wearing heavy armor. 18 is absolutely fine here.

CON - Hit points and Fortitude. A failed FORT save sucks, but hit points is the problem here - you have a d8 as your hit die and are a frontliner. On level 3 you'll have 9 + 6 + 6 = 21 hit points. Let's look at a CR5 encounter (which is not unreasonable in PFS at that level) - a troll:
Melee bite +8 (1d8+5), 2 claws +8 (1d6+5)
The bite will on average deal about 10 points of damage, the claws 9. If the troll has a bit of a lucky roll (your AC on level 3 should be about 18-20 in my personal experience) and he hits you with 2 of those attacks you are almost dead.
Not let's say you picked up 14 CON:
11+8+8 = 27 hit points. The troll still hurts, but you won't be immediatly near death on a bad roll.

INT - Intelligence gives you one thing and one thing only: Skill points (okay, and 2 bonus languages on level 1). You are a human rogue, you'll get 9 skill ranks per level anyways. Sure, skills are important, but you usually won't be alone - are you sure you want to throw that many points into an ability that'll only boost your skills?
(I'm NOT saying skills are unimportant here, but you are opening yourself up at other points by throwing that many points into this ability!)

WIS - Not useful for much EXCEPT it boosts your Will save - which is a save you'll probably not want to lose. 14 is (in my opinion) fine.

CHA - You'll need it for skills. That's it. Bluffing, diplomacy and so on. 10 is more than fine here.

TL;DR: IMO the high INT is unneccessary and should be at least partly shifted towards CON.

4. Dodge and Mobility - Are you really expecting to move that much in and out of combat? You're a rogue, you have lots of DEX and could reasonably use acrobatics to avoid AoOs altogether if you really have to provoke them. Dodge is alright (though I'd pick it later down the line). Consider those alternatives:
* Toughness - 3 HP, +1 HP on every level after 3. So basically +1 HP per level and the first three as advance payment. Buffs your health a bit.
* Two Weapon Fighting - One of the "default" ways of building a rogue is grabbing to short swords or daggers and going to town. Reason: Your off-hand will lose damage because it'll only gain half your strength bonus (with is +0, so no difference there) BUT it will get the full sneak attack damage. Sweet deal if you ask me.

5. Equipment - Grab a club. It's free and deals bludgeoning damage. On low level DR 5/bludgeoning can be a problem.
Or (if you have a bit of spare money) a silver morningstar. It deals bludgeoning AND piercing damage and is silver - sweet deal if you ask me.

Silver Crusade

That kinda depends what you mean by "core books".

But first things first:
Yes, you are to run all the modules "as written". Meaning: Don't change the orc to a goblin, don't turn the CE guy LE, don't add another wolf to the pack because it'd be more fun.
Little judgments are always there (checks not explicitly stated in the book will vary, for example), and if the PCs do something totally unexpected you should react to that, too - if they decide, for example, to throw a bomb in the middle of a party the party won't just go on just because the scenario did not consider the possibility of the PCs going b$++#%# crazy.

The idea behind is that this will turn things more even - a player should not die just because the GM was bad and/or misjudged what would be "fun". Not saying you are a bad GM, but there ARE some out there.

Second:

Mystal wrote:
So what your saying is I am limited to their core books and campaign world, you cannot go beyond that?

Well...yes and no.

You (as a GM) are limited to whatever is presented in the scenario. The scenario might utulize CRB and Bestiary 1, Ultimate Intrigue and Bestiary 4 or some rules and monsters unique to the module...basically, everything needed to run a module is found in the module itself or the PRD.

You (as a player) are limited to whatever the Additional Resources allow for, as long as you own it. Some things are forbidden (you may not run, for example, an orc antipaladin even though in your own campaign you could), but a kitsune gunslinger would be fair game - if you own the ARG and UC.

You are free, of course, to use PFS only as a template for your own campaign, using some of the modules but ignoring some of the restrictions given. This is not Pathfinder Society Organized Play anymore, though, and characters who play in this manner cannot "rejoin" PFS later.

Silver Crusade

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Damn dwarves, diggin' up all that metal and gems and flooding the market...

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:

Since we're discussing cover, let's look at the cover rules (which should have been Step 1 when the question came up):

Core Rulebook, Combat chapter, Cover wrote:
To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target's square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).

Got that? Now let's zoom in on some key parts:

Core Rulebook, Combat chapter, Cover wrote:
To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target's square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).

See the asymmetry there? You use ONE corner of the attacker's square, and ALL corners of the target's square. That's going to make a difference. In fact, it's going to make exactly the difference you're looking for.

So the bad guy is behind the arrowslit and makes an attack. He picks one corner of his square: presumably, one where there's an arrow slit. Then, from that one point, you'll draw four lines: one to each corner of the target's square. If you actually draw this out, you'll notice something: none of the lines pass through the wall. Therefore, the unprotected target has no cover. Just like you thought should happen.

Meanwhile, if the PC wants to return fire, he's going to choose one corner of his own square, but then he has to draw lines to all four corners of the hiding slinger's square. If you draw this one out too, you'll see that although you might get a line or two in through the arrowslit, at least a couple of them are going to pass through the wall. And all it takes to turn on cover is a single blocked line, so the slinger...

Perfect!

I am of course aware of this rule, but for some reason I just blanked on it in this instance and went into full "But they BOTH GOT COVER!"-mode.
So the only real house rule that MIGHT be necessary is "You may choose any point on border of your square, not just the corner", but even that is a stretch.
Thanks, everybody!

(@Chess Pwn: Occured to me, too, but that only applies to cover to a maximum heigth of half your size or something.)

Silver Crusade

Hi guys and gals,

I'm preparing to run a adventure and it features archers (well, they have slings, but let's say they are archers) hiding behind arrowslits.
The rules say this:

PRD wrote:


Improved Cover: In some cases, such as attacking a target hiding behind an arrowslit, cover may provide a greater bonus to AC and Reflex saves. In such situations, the normal cover bonuses to AC and Reflex saves can be doubled (to +8 and +4, respectively). A creature with this improved cover effectively gains improved evasion against any attack to which the Reflex save bonus applies. Furthermore, improved cover provides a +10 bonus on Stealth checks.

Okay, cool. So the PCs have to cross the room while they are being fired upon and have to figure out a way not to get hit...BUT.

Doesn't it work both ways? The PCs could argue that they as well are hidden by the arrowslits, thus gaining +8 AC and getting more or less unhittable (the enemies have a total attack bonus of +3).

Logically the arrowslits should be something that favors the defenders - they hide, shoot through them and are more or less safe.
While there is no rule saying "The target does not gain the AC bonus if the attacker is adjacent to the arrowslit" it seems logical that it works this way. But I like to have a rule written down and not just made up, so tell me:
Is this written down anywhere? Am I the only one reading the rule like this and can you tell my why your opinion differs?

Responses are appreciated!
Blackbot

Silver Crusade

What do you have in mind? Stuff like "Whitechurch", "Stonemaw" and "Darkwind" or "proper" names like "Durash", "Tyral" and "Throk"?
Or can both be thrown together?

Is there a difference between the continents (Like in Golarion - Inner Sea is more or less Europe + Africa, far West is more or less Asia...; or Westeros - western area is more or less Europe with a touch of Middle East in the south, eastern area is pretty Middle Eastern) or are they supposed to be the same?

Silver Crusade

Spontaneous thoughts:
1. Yes, hexes are useful. But usually spells are more powerful. So you could start with one of those and throw your evil eye once the combat is in full swing. Also: If the combat is over quickly your hexes probably didn't make much of a difference, but when combat drags on they get more and more useful (because you just have to keep cackling to keep them going). Fought a rogue with misfortune for 6 or 7 rounds - poor bastard couldn't hit us at all.
2. Be very aware that there are scenarios with only or mostly undead. So any spells with Fort as a saving throw and mind-affecting spells are right out. So almost everything you bring to the table - be prepared for those occasions. (One scenario had humanoids which were immune to mind-affecting spells, vermin and undead - our witch had a pretty bad time, unfortunately).
3. You do have non-combat spells as a witch. If you decide that hexes are what you want to do in combat primarily,
4. Personal opinion: I hate slumber. Either it fails and the witch is grumpy or it's successfull and many combats are over in a heartbeat, considering you often fight only one or two enemies.

Silver Crusade

Starglim wrote:
Anyone can purchase access to spells, or scrolls. You have to do your own scribing, which becomes relevant for certain cases.

Yes, I know. But not everybody knows. To figure it out you have to consult the forums and read a wild mixture of FAQ and messageboard clarifications. That's my point. ;)

Silver Crusade

Can everybody purchase spells from NPCs between scenarios?

Okay, hear me out here. We all know that we do (Pay NPC wizard, pay scribing costs if you have them, done), but not everybody does. Because the word "rare" is still in the FAQ entry, suggesting that this is not the usual way to do it. I told a VL about it recently and he was surprised that this was even an option - he had advised a player to buy scrolls to do it. Not so bad on level 1, pretty horrible for level 4 spells.
Also, I noticed I brought this up before when looking for threads I could show him. A had completly forgotten that o_o
Another problem: That feature is hidden in a question discussing scribing between players, suggesting that the last sentence applies to PC wizards. Which is obviously not the case.

Silver Crusade

ChaosTicket wrote:


Every play Video Game RPGs? Fallout 1 and 2 has 3 general specialties in combat, stealth, and diplomacy. You could focus on any one. Dont want to fight the Final Boss? Sneak in and set the base to self-destruct. Or use Diplomacy to make a character do so for you, or even even talk the Final Boss into killing itself. Ever hear of Talking the Monster to Death trope?

Yes. You are alone in Fallout 1, 2 and 3.

Now imagine playing Fallout wanting to backstab the Final Boss, another player wanting to stab its face and another wanting to talk him out of even being a boss.
Possible? Yes.
Feasable for every single encounter without bogging the game down?
No.

ChaosTicket wrote:
Its additionally frustrating in that some of the players tell me how they used outside-the-box solutions, but those are not available in Scenarios and/or the Pathfinder Society Campaign.

You keep saying that, yet you keep refusing to tell us which actual scenarios you are talking about.

ChaosTicket wrote:
So character creation is determined by either making a specialist that performs poorly in PFS or a generalist that would perform poorly in anything else. I can think of PFS builds that wouldnt survive elsewhere, and vice-versa.

So your argument is that PFS has a problem because you have to build a character that can do more than just one thing? What?

ChaosTicket wrote:
The level limitations enforce that. Whats the point of building a skill-based character if you dont roll skill checks, or what about designing a Cleric that can summon Angels but never reaches that point in PFS.

If you never roll skill checks you or your GM are doing something very, very wrong.

Another note - I designed a barbarian who will be awesome on level 17 and my GM told me that our campaign would end on level 15. What a horrible GM! /s

(I apologize for tone here, but the "My character will only be effective in levels beyond PFS" coupled with "Stop giving me too general advice" when the problem is a general one is really annoying.)

ChaosTicket wrote:
I have more enjoyment in imagining situations I Could get into that what I am actually allowed within limitations. a Non-fantastic Fantasy game? I think that is the most Fatal Flaw you can have.

Those limitations are called "The world is not your playground". It is not a problem of PFS that not everything is possible always, that's always the case with role playing games. Sometimes the BBEG is just evil. Sometimes the compound is guarded and you cannot break in easily.

Yes, PFS is more restricted. But if you want to play the "On level 13 I'm gonna be so awesome" cleric then PFS is certainly not the place to do it. Most groups probably aren't because you will have to slog through one or two years of leveling before you reach that point.

Silver Crusade

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This thread is getting frustrating to a point where I'm not sure if there is trolling going on or an NSA scheme to flush out mind readers.

ChaosTicket, you visit the thread from time to time, throw in a few lines with no context, people write whole essays and ask questions for you to gain some context only for you to completly ignore the questions and throw in another anecdote without context.

ChaosTicket wrote:
I have outright been told that if I run away from fights I will be banned from playing at the table of at least one GM. I dont know if that counts as a "Toxic group".

No context given at all. Was it a losing fight? Did you just not want to fight? Did you feel like the fight was unneccessary? Did the other players force a fight that could've been avoided?

No context given. Maybe they were toxic, maybe you were, maybe one party just misunderstood the other one.

ChaosTicket wrote:
Im just going to bring up the hypocrisy right there. So I should have to be like everyone else, but they dont have to compromise?

Compromise on what? You are like a customer calling corporate, complaining that you "just feel like I shouldn't have to wear red, that's all" without giving anything for the agent to go by on what caused that idea.

You gave us one example of a scenario you played recently after multiple people asked you what kind of scenarios you played. They wanted to identify whether the problem was with the chosen scenarios, the GM, the lodge or whatever. You gave one. Which wasn't even a PFS module, further making clear that the problem isn't actually a PFS specific problem.

Hell, you repeatedly stated that the answers were too general. Guess what - your problem is too general. Every Pathfinder module, AP, scenario or whatever I've seen features combat from time to time. Almost every role playing game I ever played featured unavoidable combat at one point or another. Going into a role playing game which is about adventuring, killing monsters, defeating badguys and so expecting not having to fight is something you might be able to find a group for, but I know not a single group in my personal circle of friends that would do that. Sometimes the evil necromancer just have to meet a sword face first.

Is there more unavoidable combat in PFS than in a "normal" Pathfinder game? Maybe, yes. (Though this could also steam from the fact that most "combat light" sections of "normal" Pathfinder consist of the party figuring out where they have to go. Once they are there combat density gets thicker...)

Do you have to pick a martial class to be "useful" in combat? No, and without you telling us why you think that our advice will have to be "too general" for you.

And again, I have screwed up more missions by not paying attention and not roleplaying than by losing a fight.

EDIT: Please not I wrote this before ChaosTicket posted his last answer. Reading it and revising the post as we speak. ;)

Silver Crusade

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You seem to be under the impression that everything but a martial class is useless in combat and that you get ostracized if you dare to pick anything with less then a d10 as a hit die.
Nothing could be further from the truth, in my opinion.
Pathfinder classes are (by design) all useful in combat. This is not Shadowrun or The Dark Eye where characters can be completly aimed towards something non-combat related (a Face in Shadowrun, a courtesan in TDE). Sure, not every character get Min-Maxed to hell, but as long as you don't turn up with a Wizard 1/Fighter 1/Cleric 1/Ranger 1 equipped with a dagger and nothing else you should be fine.

While it is true that most scenarios feature combat and are quite...let's call it guided, my groups never had that many problems with the combat. There were problems, however, when the whole group consisted of beatsticks, only wanted to flatten a few monsters, had no ranks in Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate or any Knowledge not needed to identify a monster and so on.

And even if it's a combat heavy scenario - the most effective sorcerers and wizards I've seen were the ones going at the problem creatively. Sure, on first level the wizard will probably not out-damage the fighter with a few magic missles. He can, however, turn the tide of battle with a simple Enlarge Person or Color Spray. And don't get me started with invisible enemies when nobody is able to cast Glitterdust...

Strength, Armor and Weapons is not all. It helps on the lower levels, sure. But they are pretty much useless outside of combat and even in combat not all that's important.
And I want to see the player who voluntarily plays a character that won't get useful until level 8 in a normal campaign. "See, I'm playing a druid - he's gonna be useless for the next one and a half years, but watch me afterwards!"

If you don't mind me asking, how many scenarios have you played so far?

Silver Crusade

Wendy Bryan wrote:
There are no healers or rogues of any kind...and everyone is arguing about who is buying all the cure light wounds potions...

Why the rogue? To UMD?

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