Nolzur's Orb

GM Zin's page

1,732 posts. Alias of Zin Z'arin.

About GM Zin

Updated 2022-06-12

Player Expectations:
Player Character Profiles
It's a requirement of Organized Play that players keep accurate records, and that GMs review them periodically:
  • I expect all players to have a complete character sheet in their PC's profile on, or a link to a complete character sheet hosted elsewhere that I can review
  • I expect all PCs to have an avatar image in their profile, and a header that's been filled out with their PC's basic info and defensive combat stats (including race/class/level, hp/AC/CMD, and saving throws at minimum); please do not use a different avatar on the Slides than what is displayed in your profile
  • I expect players to have all of their chronicle and inventory tracking sheets available for review upon request (they don't need to be permanently hosted online, but you must be able to provide me a copy within a reasonable amount of time)
  • I need to collect various information required to issue Chronicles, and I also maintain Slides with other information that helps keep Gameplay running smoothly. I expect this information to be filled out where requested in the forums and on Slides I maintain in a timely fashion

    Posting Frequency
    I tend to both play and run fast games during the week, though I often have slow weekends. I'm lucky to be in a place where I seem to be able to post frequently throughout the workday. I understand that this isn't the case for all GMs and players. As such, while my capabilities typically exceed this, my expectations are in line with what seems common in the Flaxseed Lodge:

  • I expect PCs to post once a day throughout the week, though I'm more relaxed on weekends
  • If your character has nothing to do or say, but hasn't posted today, please post something so that we know you're still with us (this is actually a great opportunity to inject additional roleplay, as you can play out the reason why your character isn't doing anything - got distracted by the glowing mold growths on the wall? Grumbling about not being good with traps while others disarm them? Enthusiastically encouraging the player climbing up to the ledge to get the gem? Let us know! But even an OOC "ready to move on" helps keep the pace up)

    Real-life is a real thing, and it takes precedence over any game that you're playing. But in the same vein, the GM and players have all committed to giving up some portion of real-life to participate in this game, and we should all respect that.

  • I expect PCs to announce planned absences in advance
  • I expect that when there are unplanned absences, PCs will communicate about their absence to the best of their ability
  • I highly recommend maintaining a "Bot Me" spoiler to ease unplanned absences

    Online Play-by-Post is a rich format that allows much deeper roleplay than can be accomplished at a face-to-face table. You have more time to think about your actions and compose your posts describing them, and the text-based format allows us to peer behind the curtain and see a character's internal dialogue, like in a novel. While I understand that this is not necessarily everyone's priority, and that not everyone is lighting up the Fantasy Best Seller lists, I still want to encourage the advantages of where and how we play.

  • The Pathfinder and PFS rules both allow GMs to apply circumstance bonuses based on roleplay. I periodically take advantage of these rules.
  • I will not accept rolls without roleplay. Hard stop. Unless it's specifically a roll that I requested (for example, a saving throw in between your turns in combat), if your post is just a die roll without context, it will be ignored as if unseen. You don't have to include much, but you must include some minimum level of description about what your character is saying or doing connected to that Diplomacy check or attack roll.

  • Botting:
    Per Jesse Davis, Regional Venture-Coordinator, Online (aka IronHelixx):
    If there are no posted bot practices in writing for your table, you should not bot a PC without the player's permission or direction.

    These are my posted bot practices:

  • I prefer not to bot
  • In general, I will only bot after 24 hours of inactivity (if the table has momentum, I may bot sooner)
  • I am the only one who will bot you; I will not ask players to bot other players
  • I will always defer to your written instructions in a "Bot Me" spoiler if I that's available
  • If you don't have a "Bot Me" spoiler, I will do my best to guess based on your prior gameplay
  • I will aggressively attempt to avoid using my plot knowledge (i.e. your player will likely take the simplest action I can think of)
  • I will only use scarce/expensive consumable resources if instructed or if it prevents player death (but I'll fire your arrows and use your spells as needed)
  • Considering that I prefer not to bot, if the situation is not dire I will very often just have your PC take a delay action
  • I will adhere strictly to the Guild Guide instructions regarding how much participation earns credit; if your absence is long and unannounced, don't be surprised if you receive a partial Chronicle
  • I prefer not to bot

  • Gameplay Aids:

    Rule of Two/Three: In order to facilitate momentum in a PbP game, I will consider party decisions to be made when two (for tables of 4-5) or three (for tables of 6) PCs agree on a strategy in the Gameplay or Discussion threads. If you as a party want to specifically make decisions differently, let me know and I'll respect your direction; otherwise, this is a fair and effective approach to avoid the decision-making paralysis that can occur in a PbP environment.

    Doors: Another big PbP hangup is doors. I've found that building a GM "Door SOP" spoiler is the most efficient way to process doors. I won't necessarily do this for all tables, but if I notice doors starting to slow us down, expect to see this happen. If you have any special bonuses or actions you want included in this SOP, let me know; when used, you can find the spoiler on the Google Slides that I use for the table.

    Animal Companion/Mount/Familiar/Eidolon: Please create a separate alias for it, especially if it will act on its own.


    Cover, and similar bonuses that affect NPCs: Cover provides a bonus to armor class, not a penalty to attacks. Please don't include bonuses or penalties that modify the opponent's stats with your die rolls. When you post, you should only include bonuses and penalties that modify your action, not the target for success (for example: include the -4 penalty for firing into melee if you don't have Precise Strike, but don't apply a -4 "penalty" to your attack roll because the NPC has cover; you run the risk that I also apply the bonus to AC correctly, thus effectively doubling the advantage that your opponent gains). This principle applies to all bonuses and penalties that affect NPCs. You manage your bonuses and penalties; I'll manage the NPC bonuses and penalties. Feel free to remind me of any bonuses or penalties that you think I may not be considering.

    Miss chance and other percentages: Miss chance is always low. 20% miss chance = 01-20 misses; 50% miss chance = 01-50 misses. This rule overrules whatever you might otherwise specify in your post. (For example, you can't post "Miss 50% (low is good)" and hit on 01-50; you will miss if the roll is low.) This principle applies to all percentage rolls; percent chances always count up from 01.

    Initiative & PbP: For block initiative situations, I resolve actions in a blending of initiative order with first-post/first-act. Basically, if I have the posting availability, I may resolve actions before all PCs in the block have posted. I will often try to preserve initiative order, but prefer to keep the posting activity high, so I won't just wait to resolve actions. For example, if there are 5 PCs up, and PCs 4, 2, and 5 have posted (in that order), I may resolve these PCs actions before waiting for PCs 1 and 3 to post. If so, I will use my best judgement as to what order to resolve the actions; there will be times it adheres closer to initiative order, and other times when it more closely resembles the posting order. If you want to make sure your PC's actions happen before or after another PC's actions for any reason, just make sure you note that in your post.

    Initiative & Pets: Animal Companions/Mounts/Familiars/Eidolons will have their own Initiative results, unless the PC is mounted on the creature. They can act independently or you can opt to have the PC or critter use the delay action to act at the same time on the lower of the two Initiative results. The higher initiative will not be flat-footed in the first round during the delay. (If mounted, the mount acts on the PC's initiative.)

    Knowledge Checks I will provide one category of info for a successful Knowledge check, plus one more for every 5 by which you beat the listed DC. I will attempt to make an informed choice and select what category seems most important based on your PC's abilities; if you have specific information you're seeking from the categories below, you may request it with your roll.

  • CR - CR; HD; class levels
  • Alignment - alignment (if the monster type has a standard alignment, else "varies"); type, subtype(s)
  • Senses - low-light vision, darkvision, etc.
  • AC - AC (including which of touch/flat-footed is worse); CMD
  • Saves - ranked in order without specific bonuses; types of situational modifiers
  • Immunities/Resistances - spell resistance; energy resistance; damage reduction
  • Special Defenses - evasion, fast healing, etc.
  • Weaknesses - weaknesses and vulnerabilities
  • Speed - all movement rates with maneuverability
  • Attacks - BAB; CMB; melee attack types; ranged attack types; primary/secondary natural attacks
  • Special Attacks - grab, pounce, etc.
  • Spells - spell-casting levels; arcane/divine/psychic; spell-like abilities
  • Statistics - ability scores in order from high to low
  • Feats - all feats
  • Skills - which skills are trained and which have a racial modifier (no values)
  • Languages - written, spoken, and understood
  • Special Abilities - change shape, water breathing, etc.

  • Time Zone
    I live in the Eastern Time Zone (ET) in the US. This is GMT/UTC -5:00 during Standard Time (EST) from ~Nov-Mar, and GMT/UTC -4:00 during Daylight Savings Time (EDT) from ~Mar-Nov. Most of my posting is during the workday from 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM local time.

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