Much the same is the condition for the gold, it is explicitly spelled out to the GM what the PC's must accomplish so unless they can somehow trigger the "reward creative solutions" clause from the guide you would be required to reduce their gold from that encounter.
Sorry, I'm personally not satisfied by your justification for why the PCs should be punished with a loss of almost 3000 gold for not doing something evil. Just because it's written that way doesn't mean it's reasonable or correct. That's how it is with rule books and that's how its going to be with scenarios - occasionally, an errata is necessary. I think this is one of those times. I don't see how that kind of penalty could be anything other than a mistake.
Thank you so much Mr. Compton, I'll make sure my players are compensated correctly.
The gargoyle was really OP. Outright killed two of our people, one in each round of the fight. Didn't get too far after that with almost half the party gone. Kind of sucked because the bard was only off by one on the check. Little girl showed up right after that and tricked one of our party members into scouting while invisible. He died, and then everything else came up and killed the two who stayed behind.
We didn't play smart though, so we kind of asked for the subsequent party wipe.
The story seemed really awesome though! I'll read through it later.
I don't know what sort of information he gathered, but it looks to me like this:
Poster: "He keeps rolling 18-20s every time!"
GM2: "Yeah, he does the same to me!"
GM3: "And the same at my tables!"
And that was the information he relies on. I mean, I don't really know what sort of other information could be adduced regarding a player who has suspiciously high rolls. If he doesn't know how these rolls are happening, though, confronting the player is inappropriate.
As for the monster's AC and the modifiers thing...it could be different attacks, or different combinations of attacks or whatever. I am sometimes surprised when I hear a modifier being claimed - but it does generally check out. That is why I suggested talking rather than acting.
And yes, I haven't seen all forms of cheating...I just find that each of these stories could have a perfectly legitimate explanation that doesn't involve anybody cheating. I apply Occam's Razor as a GM.
I'm glad you have faith in people, but as a personal witness to the cheating in question, I'm afraid I must tell you that you're wrong on this call. I played with that person several times, and he rolled dice under the table, and when asked to do it on top of the table, he made a scene and then deliberately bought dice that were hard to read, and still constantly rolled 18-20. And as a player I can say this behavior took the fun out of the scenario. I am glad that Coraith and the other GMs at our store stood up to this person on a regular basis, and I am glad he doesn't play at our store anymore.
If that's not good enough for you, then the only thing I can say is that it may seem that he wasn't actually cheating because you weren't there to see it.
It's really not productive to relentlessly assume that a GM is being a dick for no reason after being given evidence of the contrary.
Ok...first of all, changing the monster's AC is EXPRESSLY forbidden by the rules.
Second of all - unless you know *how* the player was cheating (loaded dice, for instance), retaliation is improper because you don't know for a fact that they are cheating.
Third, I have never seen anybody attempt that sort of switcharoo at any table I have been at. The simplest solution is to just watch the player roll the die and see the result - it's not that difficult. If the modifier keeps changing during the game, ask what the modifier is and why.
See, the guy gave you two cases where after a good amount of investigation he (and several other people) concluded that the players were, in fact, cheating and you're lecturing him about how he shouldn't arbitrarily accuse someone of cheating. I'm a little confused by this... It seems you may have skimmed over his mention of the evidence that convinced him that the players were cheating. He did precisely what you're "suggesting" that he do, so you might want to back off of the guy a bit. You sure seem to make a lot of assumptions about Coraith not paying attention at his own tables...
Also, just because you've never seen a variant of cheating doesn't mean people don't do it.
I am neutral on the AC call though. Your point makes sense, but that kind of response to cheating has the advantage of not being as confrontational, keeps the game going, and doesn't spill side effects of cheating into the rest of combat. Personally, I'd probably ban them from my tables if the warning didn't stick rather than wasting their time.
I have a time oracle who has just reached level 10. The mystery spell for time is permanency, which is explicitly banned in PFS. While this makes sense to me, it effectively means that I don't get my 10th level oracle mystery spell, which is kind of a bummer.
I was wondering if anybody has decided on some official declaration for an alternative spell in lieu of permanency that I could take instead.
Sorry if this has already been asked somewhere, but I couldn't find it.
How many new players would you expect to have liberating command ready for this? You're also assuming a well constructed party, which doesn't always happen when, say, people show up for a public event and sit down with random people their level to play (this has probably been discussed else where, and I don't want to distract from the topic). There's no question that there are ways to deal with the golem, but it's probably not good to assume that a table of relatively new players will be prepared to deal with this situation.
But that aside, I got killed by the ebon acolytus, and it was an entertaining combat. To be honest, our party was not equipped to deal with this creature, and I absolutely deserved the death. But the part where my "soul was sent to hell" was actually pretty.... well, gratuitously retarded.
What really is the goal of a permanent death anyway? If the PC can't afford to rez themselves and perma dies that's one thing, but otherwise why is that reasonable? It was totally fine, and quite interesting in how this creature killed me, but permanent death is crappy. Especially at 4-5. I think it is disrespectful to the player, and disregards the time they've invested in playing pathfinder society. That and you basically throw out all the scenarios that they player played and they have no chance to redeem their death no matter how prepared they were. Why would they come back to play?
It's quite interesting how the developers are clearly concerned about attracting players to PFS, and yet they write these behaviors into their scenarios!
Also considering all the high and pretty situational skill checks you would need to succeed at faction missions, it doesn't exactly make this an attractive scenario to play. Which is disappointing because it has a great story.
I thought that it could have been more obvious that you need to destroy the pipe to successfully sabotage the base. Perhaps a better hint would be in order?
Also, it may be more reasonable to have a lower DC to find the glyph that dispells the illusionary wall around the basilisks. 28 seems kind of high given that it doesn't scale to lower tiers.
Feedback from other players is that this scenario had way too many save or dies. Two from the basilisks, and then another from that ebon acolytus.
Elemental body 1 is also not an "impressive feat of magic" as stated to be the intention of the scenario for the 10th level caster. If this is truly the plan, it may be better to use elemental body 2 or 3.
The general consensus at our table was that the rewards in general do not match the difficulty of this scenario.
That said, I appreciate that Mr. Mooreland addressed this issue by allowing PCs to be revived if they die from this method. This should be documented explicitly in the scenario, though, if it's not a general rule somewhere already.
I really like playing PFS, I like the challenge, and I anticipate that I will die on the occasion and I am always prepared for it, but I do not find these kind of permanently-die gimmicks enjoyable, and I suspect a lot of other people don't either.