Lem

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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).

Sovereign Court 1/5

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Hi there,

I recently leveled up my fighter and came to the conclusion that he probably won't reach any of his faction goals without really good rolls. Sovereign Court might be an awesome opportunity to get contacts for when he rejoins the Taldan military, but most of this stuff just isn't the typical fighter way...

I'm aware that he could always spend a PP to bypass one of the skill checks. However!

What if I am on a mission with another member of the court?
Say my fighter Nicolo Felix Morella notices that the bard of the group, Bob, is also from the Sovereign Court (And why wouldn't he? Their dental plan is great!). They reach the end of the scenario and while Nicolo killed all those dastardly evildoers, Bob really proved himself to be quite the convincing talker.

In the end, they helped out that nobleman and Nicolo thinks he'd make a great addition to the Sovereign Court, but let's be honest here - he'll probably say something stupid along the way, confuse the princess with the duchess or just stutter around. Bob, however, also wants to use his silver tongue to convince the nobleman.

If Bob manages to convince the nobleman to join the Sovereign Court and Nicolo assists him, can they BOTH mark the goal as fulfilled on their faction journal cards?

And if that is a yes:

Can Bob recruit the NPC to grant Nicolo the mark even if he himself does not need it anymore?

Right now I'm sinking one of my precious 3 skill points per level into Knowledge (Nobility) and this might help a bit, but still...

Silver Crusade 1/5

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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

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

Silver Crusade 1/5

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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 1/5

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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

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I'm a tad bit reminded about Ephebe, a country on the discworld. They were a Republic.
Everybody could vote!
Except for women, of course. Politic is for men.
And slaves, nobody would want slaves to vote.
Mad people don't get a vote too, because that would be insane.
Or foreign people. What do they know about Ephebian politics?!
And poor people, don't forget about poor people.

Silver Crusade

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I do think this depends on the kind of game you want to play.
I know one of my first thought about Golarion was a certain sadness that there are no "classical" kingdoms - no castle to where the heroes could be summoned by a benevolent ruler to go forth and save the kingdom.

Though most fantasy settings take place somewhere in the middle ages (or at least the middle ages as seen in movies, books and similar things).
And the iconic ruling system in those times were kings, queens, nobles and the clergy. I'm not a great history buff (so maybe I'm part of the problem?) but I don't think there really was a republic in between the Roman empire and all those revolutions (France, Britain, America). Not in Europe at least.

Because sure, they CLAIMED to be heirs of rome ("Holy Roman Empire of German nations" leaves little room for interpretation there), but "democracy" is such an ugly word. God gave me the right to rule, and why should I share?

That said, there are plenty of settings I know of where there might be a king or emperor, but with limited power. Where he technically is the ruler, but is being held in check not by advisors, but by a council of people (though they are usually nobles as well).

And let's be honest - how much cooler is it to say "The king of the land honored me!" than to say "The currently elected leader of this one party honored me, but they screwed up the tax system in the years after and now they are not really elected anymore but oh well, I got this shiny medal out of it"?
I do think there is a reason some Western countries have kings and queens to this day, however limited their power might be.

Silver Crusade 1/5

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Especially considering there a certain scenarios written under the assumption that at least one character has a wayfinder on them...

Silver Crusade 1/5

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Rule of thumb:
If someone is bothered, stop doing it.

If everybody seems to enjoy it, keep doing it.

I can see plenty of things being fun and memorable but quickly devolve into annoying when used too much. The singing is an example - if the mood is good it can enhance it, if everybody is annoyed at a fight taking long there will probably someone who will fight his urge to strangle the singing bard.

Silver Crusade 1/5

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Swiftbrook wrote:


3) the first item they sunder and destroy, (or the second if your a nice GM and want to bend the rules), tell the party you're crossing the item off the chronicle sheet they are earning and reducing the gold value for that item. (actually 1/6 the gold value I think).

On what grounds?

You may reduce gold if they fail to solve an encounter usually. Not because you feel like it.
You don't cross off potions the enemy drank, you don't reduce the charges of wand the enemy used, you don't cross off the items of an enemy you threw off a cliff.

Silver Crusade 1/5

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While not a VO, I do this all the time. Primarily because I'm simply not willing to invite total strangers into my home and/or our faculty rooms at the university (because if something breaks I will be responsible because I let strangers in).

I also encouraged my brother and my girlfriend to run a few games in such a private setting because it makes them feel more comfortable as opposed to "Let's play at the FLGS where everybody can show up and everything can go horribly, horribly wrong!"

It's easier for introducing friends to the hobby because it's less a "Hey, come over to FLGS and play this game you don't know the rules of, though we have tight time constraints and you won't know anybody!" and more a "Hey Alice, I invited Bob and Clarice to play Pathfinder Society, care to try it out? We can explain the rules on the way and there will be pizza and beer!"
Also we can be much more inappropriate when we are alone and not in a public space.

Silver Crusade

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Aside from that - welcome to the wonderful world of Pathfinder. Get ready to be amazed by how quickly players can go from "I don't understand the rules at all!" to "Hey, look at this combination I found that totally breaks your game and OW STOP HITTING ME WITH THE CORE RULEBOOK!".

And get used to seeing the image of the goblins fighting the computer. It's an image you tend to see quite often around here. ;)

Silver Crusade 1/5

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There was a great example told by Spoony.
He told the tale of him GMing some older form of organized play (maybe LG, maybe something else). I his story he complains how it is not fun, not hard enough et cetera and while the encounter in his story IS kinda laughable, it outlines the problem:

In this scenario the PCs were attacked by 3 wizards. These wizards had all prepped magic missile. In the olden days wizards could (so I've been told) cast one spell per day (thus one magic missile per wizard) and every wizard had 4 hp (these wizards had at least).
Not fun because easy, right?
So he changed the spells to - I'm not sure anymore, but at least one wizard had sleep.
He managed to kill two PCs (and got booted from the event).

While I quite like Spoony's tales, this is the exact reason why PFS is what it is. GMs who take up a "them vs. me" mentality are a problem even now in PFS sometimes - could you imagine how horrible it would become if they had free reign? "Oh, the party is quite strong - I'll just add a second orc" can easily escalate to "Ah well, I'll just double the number of demons, they can handle it."
And then one PCs (or even the whole party) dies.

In a home game you can retcon such a thing easily, or introduce a new character at seventh level, so not much is lost. The show goes on.
In organized play you can't. The dead player has to start from scratch.

That said - I've GMed the same scenarios for multiple partys and you'd be surprised how different they try to solve the problems at hand.
It is true that you cannot get too creative with the scenarios themselves - because as other people said not every GM is created equally and there are far more GMs over- than underestimating their skills. Even if you're a perfect GM there have to be rules in place to prevent the bad GMs from screwing things up too badly.

I myself take my fun not only from running combat (I like the tactical aspect) but also from presenting the scenario in a fun way. Describing the places, getting a bit creative with the NPCs (which sometimes necessitates a "Look, time is running short, could you please go back to fetching the MacGuffin and stop trying to learn everything about this NPCs aunt second grade?") and such things while not really deviating from the scenario at hand.

Another thing to keep in mind is that in most home campaigns the PCs goal is far less clear most of the time - most modules I've read start out with the party figuring out what the hell is going on and what they're supposed to do to fix it. In PFS the PCs are pathfinder agents - they get a mission and they have to solve it. They are quite free in how they do it (going full murderhobo, going the diplomatic route, going the stealthy route) sometimes, but they have a clear goal. That alone limits how far they can "stray from the track" because if the group suddenly decides to take off in the other direction they can do that, but they'll fail the mission.

If you love running freehand, getting creative, making your own adventure up on the fly - that's great too. But PFS is probably not the place where you can do that.

Silver Crusade

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Group was engaging kobolds.

Me: "The kobolds hurl insults at you in a language you don't understand."
Bard: "I speak draconic, what do they say?"
Me: "Um...your momma's so fat she had to hatch from two eggs!"

Silver Crusade 1/5

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godsDMit wrote:
Jared Thaler wrote:

No more "I check for a tea set" in every room.

Right. Now we have faction cards, so it's:

What country are we in?

Is this guy a slave or captive?

Do they allow slavery in this country?

Yeah. I hate players who want to know where they are. And those who want to know more about that country or even NPCs they interact with are the absolute WORST.

;)

Silver Crusade

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Mr. Bubbles wrote:
Taldor doesn't discriminate against Sarenrae anymore?

This is exactly why I wanted to start this thread. If most people (me included) read a thing once it will be "valid" in our heads until we read a contradiction.

Also, please not let this thread devolve into ANOTHER discussion about why Erastil's (or any other) change was good or bad. As James said, it was an error, plain and simple. An interesting one perhaps and nothing prohibits you from using him this way in your own campaign, but an error.

Silver Crusade

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It was not my intent bringing up content with a "We were robbed of this!" outcry. That's absolutly not what a retcon is for me.
I think it's more the different perception of crunch and flavour: Both things fix errors that have been made, but one thing seems to only exist in the present (as in "That's the rules now, they changed") whereas the other thing changes the world how it always has been - a retroactive change, thus retcon. The changes happen in subsequent books, not in an errata document attached to the original (Like "In Book X, change "All gnomes have green hair" to "All gnomes have green hair until adulthood" or something like this).
I'm not saying these changes are bad changes - in fact I think most changes fix errors or problems with the world.

I've seen time and time again people digging up older material as evidence for things that have been changed since then and nowhere to point them to and say "Yeah, but in official right-now Golarion this has been changed."

I thought it would be cool to point out these things as "Look at how much Golarion has changed, how it evolved, how the canon changed to remove errors that have been made."

It's something that is rarely seen - most worlds I know tend to sweep things under the rug but not really change them (Uberwizards who just don't get mentioned anymore, for example) whereas Golarion actively gets changed to a new, improved state with a blatant "Yes, we thought this was a cool idea, it didn't work, so now we changed it."
So quite the contrary, I believe some elements gain traction because they don't get mentioned and many game world tend to do that with content they'd rather forget, not with content that is deemed changed. So often times people will say "Yeah, it's this and that way, I read it in an old campaign setting book!".
I think it can be important pointing out that certain things have changed because that's part of what makes Golarion such a great world, that you guys tend to rethink aspects that don't work.

Silver Crusade

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Hi there!

While reading the Pathfinder TVTropes entry and looking up some stuff about Taldor I noticed some retcons in Golarion.
Now, James Jacobs has said numerous times that if they decide to change something about Golarion they just "phase it out" and stop talking about it.
I think this is confusing - if something is described in a source book but not in the next one, did it change or was it just ignored for space reasons?
For that reason (and because I find it fascinating to see how Golarion changed over the years) I'd like to collect retcons, big and small ones.
Sources would be appreciated.

  • Paladins of Asmodeus - Let's start with an error. As far as I can tell it was Mother of Flies, a module in the Council of Thieves AP that Asmodeus has paladins. Obviously kicked out because of alignment problems.
  • The Darklight Sisterhood - From what I can tell the Darklight Sisterhood were some kind of Chelaxian anti-pathfinders. The Aspis Consortium got the job.
  • The bearded/unbearded class structure in Taldor - Deemed needlessly complex and silly, thus removed (or it was in place once, but is not in modern times).
  • Erastil's misogyny - This seems to have been added when building Golarion on James Jacobs' original notes and has been retconned out later.
  • Tiefling/Aasimar ages - A minor one because this seems to have been an error, plain and simple. Aasimar and Tieflings are supposed to age at the same speed as humans do but have quite a long lifespan statted out in the ARG.

This are some things I found.
Please do add your own!

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Hi James,

some Taldor questions. Some referring year-old comments of yours I stumbled upon while looking stuff up.

1. You said you want to retcon out the whole bearded/unbearded thing because it's too complex. Does this mean the whole "rigid class structure" is something you want to remove?

2. If not, how exactly would one go about to raise to the bearded ranks? If a character joined the Taldan army trying to rise through the ranks, could he ever truly become a noble?

3. You said you are getting leery of Taldor (though that was quite some time ago). Is this still the case and why is that?

4. Is there another book on Taldor planned besides the now almost 7 year old "Echoes of Glory"?

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SPOILER Kylo Ren wrote:
captnchuck67 wrote:

Or should i have the bad guys act with more than a 2 INT.

Here is the deal. Have a vet player. He has a familiar. Celestial bird with a 2 INT that he basically sends out like a Predator drone. Now when the encounters are outside fine no problem but if we are in an enclosed space where you usually do not see something like that is it wrong for me to:
a) Have the bad guys kill the bird
b) Basically Han shooting the control panel and putting the entire cadre of bad guys on alert.
I mean I know we are supposed to run as written but when I feel that a play is both gaming the system and not acting smart. I think the bad guys need to act?
** spoiler omitted **** spoiler omitted **[/spoiler]

If you put spoiler marks around something, please note what it's a spoiler for.

(Star Wars Spoiler, if anybody wants to know. Not a major one though, I suppose. Haven't seen it yet.)

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By adding ghost touch to their weapon they'll screw themselves over massively in every other department. Ghost touch isn't a flat "+x gp" amount, it raises the bonus by one. Meaning the next enchantment will be even more expensive. Spoiler for books 2 and 3 about the incorporeals:

Spoiler:

One little group of encounters in book 2 and one encounter (two if they are murderhobos) in book 3

That does not justify a full ghost touch approach in my opinion. My group solved it by liberal use of magic weapons and cure X wounds spells. You don't have to be equipped to deal with everything perfectly, just to deal with it.

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There is a drop-down menu below the textbox where you enter the post. You can pick your alias there.

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Player here. I got the impression that most of the problems I had with the scenario lay with the circumstances (loud con, not-loud GM). I guess not.
I was aware beforehand that there was a puzzle coming and that it was hated from reviews and I can definetly see why. My problem, however, is not the puzzle - I really did not find it to be especially difficult once I figured it out. The problem was more the presentation.
First off: I don't get the dice at the wall. They confused me. I didn't get the logic behind "Well, of course it's 4-6-8-12-20" instead of "1-2-3-4-5" - it just seemed overly gamy to me.
What's more, using the stairs was something I expect from a game like Antichamber. For those of you who don't know, Antichamber is a puzzle game based on the notion that you have to unlearn everything you learnt from playing puzzle games. An example, as spoilerfree as I can be:

Spoiler:

Every FPS ever has taught you that it doesn't matter whether you go left or right around a pillar, you will always reach the same spot. Antichamber forces you to unlearn this to solve a puzzle because you reach DIFFERENT places.

Why did I feel like it? Because as soon as you think "I have to use the portals" you ignore everything BUT the portals. Which is a cool idea, don't get me wrong - I love stuff like that in puzzle games - but unfortunatly this can be extremly frustrating in the more abstract form of a P&P where we don't see the stairs, not really anways.

And as soon as you view the puzzle as a computer game you figure out what's missing: FEEDBACK.
I honestly think most groups would figure it out sooner if there was some sign of progress that reset as soon as they did something wrong. If I solve a puzzle in Myst and after three steps everything resets I usually come to the conclusion that my third step was wrong. So maybe have the NPC flying around suggest that the force field at the top weakened when they stepped through the first portal, but returned after they picked the wrong one afterwards. Maybe the force field emates a deep sound that goes silent the closer the party gets to the solution. Something more than "Well, you tried something and it didn't work, but the puzzle won't tell you where you failed!", you know?

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I have been playing with my little brother for quite a while now, never been a problem.
But then...our sorcerer and our ranger seperated (no problem, all fine), a few days later she started dating our bard (no problem, sorc was fine with this, after a few weird minutes at the start everything was fine), a few months later she dumped the bard (problems starting, slowly getting bigger), a few months later the sorc started dating her again (problem in full-blown group destroyer mode), the sorc and the bard had a pretty bad falling out...and then the sorc dumped the ranger via text (full-blown-nuclear-apocalypse-problem - though TO BE FAIR he really regrets that and it happened in the moment).
Campaign lies dormant since then (not only because of that, though).

But problems with family...nah.

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The wonderful Stephen White created some and they are awesome

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15. Completly losing it.

If you get loud during a game out of anger that's bad enough, but as soon as you throw a dice in a corner you can go. I tolerate it in my home group to a degree (my brother threw his dice away in fake anger - since it was his room it was not my problem where the dice landed, so okay), but if you do such a thing in a public space where you can throw a bad light on all of us - ciao!

16. Being discriminatory.

Now I'm not talking ingame - if your character just happens to think that all dwarves/elves/black people are stupid/evil/greedy that makes him an a~~*#!#, not you - but rather at the table. If you just happen to think that the scenario writer should be fired for writing a gay shop owner into the module I don't want you at my table. To a lesser degree: If your racist character makes someone else uncomfortable, please make clear that you are aware that your character is an a#@+@*$, you do not share his point of view and maybe drop that aspect of his character for the session.
Fortunately this has never been a problem with any of my groups - public groups have been tame, private groups have been exactly that - private, and the only racists were the NPCs. I couldn't even blame them - if you live in a land historically threatened by orcs I don't blame you for not trusting the half-orc.

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93. Wears only the finest clothes, drinks the finest wine and is all in all a noble douche, but really loves his 5 cp stew.
93a. Especially if the source of meat in that stew is questionable at best.

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87. Always jumps to the most outlandish or fantastic explanation - if the choices are "That guy's insane/lying" or "That guy stems from another dimension even though we have no proof such a thing even exists and every other explanation would be more logical" you be pretty sure he won't pick the former.
87a. The character in question is very intelligent.
87b. Or the character in question is very dumb. But that wouldn't be as fun.
87c. The character in question is very intelligent and not prone to delusional theories except if the theory involves one particular thing. He will of course try to invent theories that involve that thing for everything.

88. Cannot keep names straight. Alternatively, has a very limited space for names and applies the same name to every person matching the original owner - be it occupation (every butler is James), age (every child is called Timmy) or race/ethnicity (every dwarf is Harsk).
88a. Bonus points if this leads to the other players getting confused about the plot because they all think you're the only one keeping the names straight.

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I suppose that would ease the problem of the Completly Random Venture Captains. "Okay, so I need to infiltrate an embassy...I think I'll send the heavily armored dwarf, two druids (one with a tiger), the conjurer and the witch..."
Would've been even worse if the witch chose to play barbarian instead.

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Hi there, me again!

Grandmaster Torch has done some things that has put him on the "Kill on sight"-list of quite a few PCs and has been declared an enemy of the Society. But in scenarios prior to his departure he could be quite important, be it as the faction leader of the Shadow Lodge or as an information broker back when he first showed up.
So...what do you do when it comes to these things?
Granted, in some scenarios he provides merely the background - "Grandmaster Torch gave us informations when the Shadow Lodge reunited with the Society, we have to kill the remaining rogue elements" can be easily changed to "Some of Torch's associates were careless when leaving the Society and we found informations about rogue elements". But in other scenarios Torch is someone the PCs have to bargain with, sometimes he is even the one sending them out to do something for him.

What do you do in situations like these?
Do you simply run as written and say "Yeah, it doesn't make sense, please don't question it!"?
Do you come up with an explanation about how this is all in the past and time is flexible and all that?
Do you substitute him with a no-name information broker?
Do you substitute him with always the same information broker your local PFS group might know for quite some time now?
Do you hope for your players not knowing who Torch is and change nothing?
Or is there even an unofficial consensus on the forums I'm not aware of (like substituting him with a guy named "Burned Spider" or something)?

Let me hear your ideas!

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Throwing this in now: I suggest the ability to retrain your rogue to unchained rogue once for every player in the future.
Reason: Same as already stated, to help new players ease into the game and not frustrate them by saying "You played your first character, a rogue, to level 2 and thus cannot change it to the 'better' version of the rogue."

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Even if it's an evil act, so what? Many great books and series had one of the characters do something evil because they deemed it necessary without turning the character itself evil. Some are displayed as quite cold (but not evil) or struggling with their decision afterwards (still not evil) while others are driven over the edge by this. Examples:

  • Batman stated time and time again that he won't kill someone because if he crosses the line once he'd do it again and again and again.
  • Giles (from Buffy) killed a helpless man in cold blood because if he recovered he could become a threat again (as in world-destruction). But he is never portrayed as evil because he doesn't take decisions like this lightly or often, only if he sees it as the only way.
  • Faith (Buffy again) kills an...well, not innocent, but human. While it's in accident, this sets her on a path to evil.
  • In the new Netflix series, Daredevil is pretty ruthless from the start and does quite a few things where every GM would send the Paladin right to falltown for. But his struggling with the line between good and evil is an important aspect of the character in that series.
  • Gunn (from Angel) kills a human who sends lots of innocents to a hell dimension for...reasons, breaking the usual "Killing hundreds of demons is okay, but we draw the lines at humans!" rule. This sets of a long plot about how he deals with this. Again, not evil.
  • Anakin (Star Wars) does a few evil things in Episode II (letting his anger take over, small-scale genocide) but is still not really EVIL. He is portrayed as one of the good guys, but struggling. He's getting to the evil side later, of course. Spoiler: He becomes Darth Vader.
  • Mal (Firefly) kicks a prisoner straight into Serenity's turbine, killing him immediatly. Reason? He wanted to hunt them down after being let go. Though that universe usually runs on grey-and-black-morality at best, it's more a case of "You just threatened to kill us, so..." - pretty much the same as what happened to you, just not with the awesomeness of the turbine.

So yeah, maybe it's an evil act. But it shouldn't shift the alignment immediatly.

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John Compton wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
DubiousYak wrote:
For Dark Archive, is it safe to assume that an artifact is any magic item we are assigned to procure but don't actually get to keep? This happens a lot in PFS Scenarios and I'm not sure which ones are actually artifacts.
Yes
To clarify this point further, it requires the recovery of an object that is actually an artifact-level magic item (i.e. A minor artifact or major artifact); just recovering a flashy magic item MacGuffin is not sufficient.

John, what you're saying is that Mike's "Yes" means "No"?

Question: Is an Artifact any magic item we retrieve? I'm not sure which ones are artifacts.
Mike: Yes.
John: To clarify, no, it has to be an artifact.

I'm confused. That's not a clarification, that's either a correction or a contradiction.
Vaguely important because there is (at least) one 3-7 scenario where the group has to retrieve a magic item (CL 10) which can curse the user - but it's technically neither an artifact nor is it cursed...so no luck for DA there?
(I think that's vague enough so I don't need to use spoiler tags?)

If this is the case I strongly suggest adding a "retrieve an important named McGuffin" as a goal next season because it's much more likely to happen - I really feel like the DA goals are not necessarily more difficult than others, but they have less opportunities to fulfill them.

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Without Don'ts this is gonna be difficult because there are things some people do which they don't even realize as bad which makes wording them in a positive manner difficult... But I'll try.
Also, I'm talking about a perfect world here. I'm aware that there are horrible, horrible GMs and players out there.

DO accept the GMs rulings if they aren't really, really important. It's not important whether a DR 2/bludgeoning soaks up a magic missile or not if the combat is going well otherwise. Adress it, but if it's minor and you don't have a rule very clearly saying otherwise at hand it can wait until after the game. Or maybe send an email after the game.

DO try to get a hint. The time slots are sometimes quite small and having an extended conversation with shop keep #342 might be very atmospheric, but it's really not important for the scenario whether the last week was particularly rainy and Shawn's youngest is getting his teeth and oh, the count is such a nice young men, bless his heart if your goal is a temple 40 miles north of the town.

DO help out other players. If there is a new guy who considers grappling the enemy and you know it beforehand find the page before his turn if he hasn't done it himself yet. Most GMs I know are juggling multiple books behind the screen, the less the better.

And one DON'T, sorry, have to do it:

DON'T throw a hissy-fit if your dice are just against you. The GM is just doing his "job", he sucked it up last time when you one-shotted the final boss and the time before when the combat he was really hyped up about was over in the surprise round because the witch's slumber put the villain asleep. Now it's not going your way, deal with it.

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Indeed I haven't. As my lodge consists mostly of new players I slap everybody asking for a non-core-pregen with the CRB. You don't get to play a bloodrager if you still have no clue what an AoO is and why your damage while raging increases by 3 and not 2!

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jtaylor73003 wrote:

I wanted to only reply to small portion of Outshyn post. I don't know how to make that happen yet so I did what I could.

You click "reply" on the post you want to quote and delete everything you do not want to quote. It's like carving a duck out of a piece of wood: Take the wood and remove everything not looking like a duck. ;)

And I seem to be mixing up threads (4 a.m. in my time zone) - didn't you say something about talking to him beforehand and he told you to just register or something like that? I can't seem to find it again, so it might've been another thread...

Quadstriker wrote:

Sorry man, but El Oh El at these points of view.

"I died so the entire time was a waste!"

"omg playing a game instead of earning income!"

Yeah if that's really how you feel, this probably isn't for you at all. Good luck in your future gaming endevors.

While I understand where you're coming from, try to remember how cheated you can feel when a film has a really disappointing ending. While you might've enjoyed the movie up to this point, the ending just makes it feel like a waste. Same here.

I can absolutly understand his feelings (to a certain degree). I'd be pissed too if I spent a day figuring out a new gaming system, play it, lose without the ability to do anything about it and getting told "Sorry, that's the game!"
Or another example: You joined a "Magic The Gathering for Beginners" event to try out the game, can't play the cards you wanted to play because your grasp of the rules isn't firm and get wrecked by a You-die-in-round-3-300$-deck multiple times in a row. Would this be typical for Magic? Maybe, I haven't played Magic in a long while. Is it Beginner friendly? No. Would you feel like it has been a waste of time even though you "played" 3 hours? Probably.

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This was the most pointless thread necromancy I've seen in a long time.
And I'm contributing to it.
CN for life!

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First: You bought not one, but two hardcover books for a system you weren't even sure you'd enjoy? And here I had to fight with myself for half a year to even purchase the CRB...

jtaylor73003 wrote:
I left hurt and confused, because I could compare the session to another system's session. I understand everyone opinion, especially those use to the system. I am simply am not, which would mean increase chances of die next session. This seems like the only Game Master in the area, and he said next week would be part 2.

I feel like this is being overlooked far too generously. The big problem to me doesn't seem to be a character dying in his first scenario (though this might have something to do with it), but how it happened.

Besides all the "S#$@ happens, build a tougher character next time, I died in my first PFS scenario as well, sometimes the dice are against you" that's going on here (and that is not wrong, even though I myself have yet to see a character die - we're playing pretty soft in my area) we simply should not overlook this fact:
The game was advertised as "Pathfinder for Beginners".
No help was given for beginners.
The GM did not help in any way.
Now, we don't know anything about the GM in question - maybe he himself was a newbie, maybe he was quite busy at the moment, maybe jtaylor73003 didn't make it clear enough how much of a newbie he was - but really, the one problem going on here was a big difference in expectation from both sides.
You, jtaylor expected someone to hold your hand and guide you towards this system you were interested in. This is not unreasonable and in fact how most of my players were as well.
The GM seemed to expect something different - maybe because communication failed, maybe because he simply didn't have the time, maybe because he's lazy. We don't know and assuming anything does not help here.
This leaves open a big problem though - with all the help and all the tips, if you're going back in without talking to the GM beforehand you won't have much fun I'm afraid. Did you talk to him after the scenario? Writing him a (friendly and non-confrontational) email explaining what you expected could help far more than the whole discussion here. If he wasn't aware of how much of a newbie (and I mean this in the friendly way, not in the "Damn those Noobs!"-way) you were this should help. If he's a "Imma kill you all if you didn't memorize the CRB before your first game!" type of GM, cool, at least you know.

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So. The Overflow Archives.

Who GMed it? What problems did arise? What solutions did you find?

I read the scenario and two problems became obvious to me:

1. Caught's statblock is erroneous, and at one of the worst places possible: His saves do not differ between his bard 3- and his bard 7-statblock. This leads to a Will save of +3 (instead of +5) in Subtier 4-5, or in other words: he'll be slumbered before he can say "Stop what are you doing" as soon as a witch is on board. We may not fix it (I think) and I've never seen a scenario fixed after release, so that's a bummer.

2. The author HATES foreign GMs who have to translate the poems and plays on words into other languages. ;)

But nevertheless, I look forward to judging it. I plan to swap Albatross' and Owl's names - after all, the text never explicitly states who is who, and I think it might drive a group appropriatly crazy that the owlheaded one is Albatross and the albatrossheaded one is Owl.

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And now I learned something new about charge, too. I love this thread.

(Also: Why the $%!7 is the charge thing by Reynolds not in the FAQ?)

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Sorry, The Fox, I should have said "Well I'll be damned" or something along those lines. I looked it up after you posted it and was surprised, that's all. Thanks for posting the rule nontheless!

And the you-check-one-square-every-time-thing was a real pain in the butt in the Library of the Lion...

(Also, I heard that in Golarion a² + b² = c² + x, where x is determined by whatever Desna wants it to be at the time.)

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Actually, the scenario is not that simple, claudekennilol.

Spoiler for The Stolen Heir

Spoiler:

While you are in a dilemma, you do not need to hand the woman over. It is possible (though difficult) to convince the Consul to aid the Society with military help. The daughter explicitly states that while he is a suspect he could help the Society, so it's more a "We let you go if you help us against the DEMONS THREATENING ALL OF GOLARION" and not a "We have to aid the evil guy to help the Society".
This is independant of the mayor being convicted or not.
It's worth mentioning that our paladin vehemently argued against letting the daughter go, reasoning that by letting her live a few years in a very comfortable imprisonment they'd ensure lots of help up in the world wound - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and all that.

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The sorcerer of my group got Circle of Death'd and only saved himself by burning 2 hero points. Luckily they patched him up before reading the letter because it blew up in their faces for 6d6 of force damage which would've killed him for good this time.
They are a bit pissed now. ;)

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You are not stupid, but you should reread the Guide to Organized Play - specifically the section about playing scenarios from season 0-4.
If you do that, you might find a reference to the Secondary Success Conditions Document.

Basically the factions missions are gone, but the characters have to perform better than just fulfilling their goal just as in modern scenarios.
The Disappeared Spoiler

Spoiler:

#4–11: The Disappeared
Primary: The PCs acquire the necessary evidence and
information to identify Zarta Dralneen’s whereabouts
and confirm her being framed.
Secondary: The PCs complete the scenario without
having the guards called (see the sidebar on page 6).

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HP average: If a character levels up he may choose betwen rolling and taking the average number of HP (rounded up). So a character with a d8 hit die may choose between picking 5 hp or rolling a d8 - though a 1 may be rerolled. So basically he has the choise between 5 or 2-8 hp.
Our sorcerer always rolls, the rest usually picks the average.

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