LoPan666's page

****** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 277 posts (279 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 59 Organized Play characters.


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When I completed the survey, I indicated that there should be a Quick Start guide, but I indicated that it should not be part of the Roleplaying Guild Guide. I think that for a Quick Start Guide to be useful, it should be a standalone document that can be printed and given to new players who inquire about the campaign when checking out events at a store or convention. Something that can give a new player the basics they need to know to get started. The RPGG would then be a comprehensive document that would cover all of the rules in detail. I agree with the suggestions that it would be good to have some parts available in printable format (.pdf) so that they can be accessed offline (FAQs and Additional Resources, for example).

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Thank you, Tonya. I am especially glad to see your commitment to drafting a VO Handbook and seeking greater engagement with the community. I am very pleased by your decision and will do my best to help heal the rifts in our community, some of which I caused and for that, I am sorry. Thank you.

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I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience. I agree that I would have a hard time working with someone in the circumstances you describe. The recommendation in these cases is to escalate your concerns about your RVC to Tonya, but my personal experience tells me that you will likely have little success in getting the RVC's decision overturned at that level. Tonya has invested considerable authority in her RVCs to allow her more time to act as a Pathfinder ambassador at conventions and it appears to me that she is not questioning their decisions. While I think that it is good for Paizo to do event outreach, I think that maybe recent experience tells us that perhaps there should be two positions - one for outreach ambassador and one for Organized Play oversight because it seems that one of these jobs has been falling by the wayside of late.

Popular choices at tables I've run are Crowe, Oloch, Amiri, Quinn, Seelah, and Yoon. Liriane is also about as popular as Yoon, but not so great at 1st level and so I try to clarify for new players her playability in the 1-2 Tier and that she gets better in the higher tiers. I've seen almost zero interest in Seltyiel, so I might recommend switching him out for one of the others, unless your experience differs.

Despite some alarmist talk, I think that Pathfinder in the Raleigh/Durham area is pretty much as strong as it was 2-3 years ago. We've seen a huge growth in D&D 5e/AL at our game store, but with the exception of the last month, Pathfinder has been pretty stable. Starfinder has been very popular. If someone steps up to take my place as VA, we'll probably be back to normal in another month or two when I should be over my funk and start GMing more again. In my time, we've had some up and down swings, but overall I would say that it has been pretty stable.

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While I am happy to see some of the comments here that help clarify what happened, I think that we are venturing into territory where this thread might also get locked and I would prefer not to see that happen. In that spirit, I would like to return to the original intent of this thread.

Who is Michael Eshleman? Well, in full disclosure, I should start by saying I count myself lucky that he is a personal friend. He brought me into Pathfinder. He asked me to help out and I became a regular GM at out local game store and at conventions across the state. He makes mistakes. We all do. He is not the type to complain publicly about injustice (unlike me), but is rather the type who will just continue to do his best to quietly serve his community. While I have become discouraged by recent events and cut back severely on my GMing, Michael has continued at the same amazing pace. If I weren't so bitter, I would feel guilty. He is not bitter.

He is the type of person who VOs in the region who are not under his leadership will go to when they think they were getting nowhere with their own VC and RVC. He is the type of person who, when he hears disturbing allegations, will check to make sure they are true before forwarding them. He is the type of person who, when confronted with obvious prejudice and unfairness, believes that there is a chance that things will change and so will refrain from saying anything bad about the people above him who have mistreated him. I look at a situation and see obvious ill will that has little likelihood of ever changing and that people saying you will be given another chance are clearly lying through their teeth, but Michael believes the best in people and just keeps his head down and keeps plugging away.

That's who Michael Eshleman is.

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I would like to clarify that AtomiCon did receive convention support. Since it is a retail convention, this was limited to GM and Player Boons. I agree with that policy in that it would be undermining our sponsor for Paizo to give gift certificates for their online store at an event held at a retail location. We strongly encourage our players to patronize the store and I think the Retail Incentive Program is excellent in that they have regular evidence of our players spending $50 or more per table. They love us there, from the feedback I've received from the employees and owners.

Del - thank you for your public comments. I would like a clarification on your comment, please. When you said you denied support to only three events, were you referring only to the standard convention support package, or were you also referring to the authorization to run Specials? Could you please provide a list of conventions for which the Special was approved in the Region this year? I had asked for this at the time we were discussing the denial of approval for AtomiCon and it was never addressed. Also, were any events in the Region other than AtomiCon denied authorization to run the special when they were able to demonstrate a history of running sufficient tables to meet the published criteria? Thanks.

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Tallow wrote:
There never seems to be a "good" time to post this sort of thing.
I find Monday vastly preferable to Friday.

I started the whole mess on a Wednesday, which in my mind should have caused the least conflict (plenty of time to get back in the swing after PaizoCon, enough time before the next weekend of cons - what I didn't factor was that Tonya needed to leave early because of a long flight).

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TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
There's not a lot of explicit information here, mainly just follow-up to now hidden arguments/discussions. This thread is giving me the impression that the issue/drama is that there is one RVC that a couple of people really hate because he's the only RVC willing to tell people no.

Here is my perspective - it is not an RVC's job to say no, it is the RVC's job to grow Pathfinder/Starfinder Organized Play in their region. More opportunities to play means more growth. Saying no is counter to that. I agree with Bob Jonquet's view - as long as there is not a conflict with another event, there isn't a reason to deny approval to run a Special.

That said, my issues with Del are far more extensive than that he denied us the opportunity to run the Special. In respect to the moderator's decision to hide the thread that outlined my objections, I won't go into that here. I hope that the thread may be reactivated again soon when Tonya has returned from overseas.

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Tallow wrote:
My educated guess, would be that 250 refers to the total number of possible PFS players seated throughout the entire convention. At 6 seats per table, 5 slots, and 5 tables per slot, which is a small, but decent PFS presence (we started barely larger than that, 7 slots, 4 tables per slot (5 for the special) for just 174 possible seats at CotN 2012) equals 150 possible seats. Currently we average I think 18 tables per slot over 7 slots, which easily triples 250 total possible PFS seats.

AtomiCon has been doing 7 slots with 5+ tables per slot, which would total 210 possible seats, so I don't think that this was the criteria Del meant or we would have qualified.

Tallow wrote:
Can you verify what the size requirement was relating to?

Given that there is no love lost between Del and myself at this time, I will assume it referred to total convention attendance and leave it at that. If you need a definitive answer, I suggest you PM him.

He said he was going to deny approval because it was a retail convention when the application for AtomiCon was first submitted in December 2017. When I responded that this was a step backward from the retail outreach exemplified by the Regional Support Program, we got the first change in requirements. When I asked if, all other factors being the same, we might get approval if someone other than our VC made the request, we got the size requirement.

Edit - Corrected the date for the first application/denial.

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To be fair, I think that the requirement that we should expand to a new venue suggests that Del did intend for those numbers to apply to total attendance and not only Pathfinder/Starfinder. There are some SF/media cons in our area that are large enough, but they don't allocate too much space to gaming. We have tried to run games at some of them, but were not able to get near enough tables to qualify for a Special. If Magic and D+D players are counted, AtomiCon had about 100-150.

Edit - Corrected AtomiCon attendance based on new input.

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Auke Teeninga wrote:
What special were you requesting and for which dates?

We had requested Assault on Absalom for AtomiCon, which was held March 3-5 of this year.

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Just to be clear because some may know which region you reside in, only once since the approval process for specials went into effect did I deny it and it was before the event was advertised or convention support was requested. If specials have been cancelled it was not due to lack of approval. Generally speaking, I have a blanket approval in the Great Lakes for the organizers to offer the specials and expect them to discuss their schedule with other organizers if two (or more) event occur in close proximity geographically and/or on the calendar. Only when they cannot come to a fair compromise do I typically get involved.

That sounds like a very reasonable policy and I heartily endorse it. Locally, we were first told that they would not be approved for conventions held in a retail location, then that they would not be approved unless it was a new event because the RVC wanted to get his VCs to expand out of their comfort zone, then that they would only be approved for events with 100-150 attendees for a new event and 250+ attendees for an established one. Tonya did indicate that she would be looking into establishing more uniform guidelines for approval and I hope these new guidelines are closer to yours than to Del's. Thank you.

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N N 959 wrote:
LoPan666 didn't "make a public stink."

To be fair, I did and I'm the one who introduced that term into the discussion here. You don't entitle a thread "A Fish Rots from the Head" to be mild and diplomatic.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
LoPan666 wrote:
However, when issues have been escalated up to the top levels of Organized Play Management and a satisfactory solution is not provided, our only recourse is to make a public stink and hope that it has a positive effect for change.

This is not true, you have plenty of options.

Consider what the effect on the community would be if everyone followed this course of action when they are dissatisfied with resolutions (including the people you vehemently disagree with) Almost every topic has passionate people on both sides. Do we really want a community where, if you don’t get the resolution you want in the timeframe you want, the accepted course of action is to bombard the forums and try to “make a public stink”?

I would welcome any other suggestions you might have as to other options. Sara Marie has suggested that I could contact Paizo management and I will keep that in mind for future reference. I was not previously aware that Paizo management had an oversight role on the OPF Foundation and thought that Tonya was the top level of management there. Since you have said I have plenty of other options, I would be interested in hearing them.

Personally, I think that if someone has an issue with Organized Play, this forum should always be an option and I don't have a problem with people posting their concerns here, regardless of how justified others might think they are. I would never discourage someone from considering this as a place to talk about whatever issue they choose because that is the purpose of forums like this. I understand that you think that this could lead to problems in the community, but I think that it is important that we have a place where we can express our grievances and it is also a problem if people don't have an outlet for that. People who don't want to read them can skip those threads. I am not suggesting that anyone "bombard" the forums and I don't think I have done that. I made one post and have since responded to posts made by others. I think that is reasonable. After that thread was locked, I sent a message to our local lodge members to discourage creating new threads on the same topic because I thought it would be counterproductive, but people obviously feel very strongly about the situation.

Just to clarify - I did not write my original post in haste. There has been more than enough time for the issues I have to have been addressed. I resigned my VA position on May 3rd. When I expressed my outrage privately to some the other affected Venture Officers and expressed my desire to inform the public of what I thought were some extremely serious issues I have with Organized Play management, they asked that I refrain until they had a chance to appeal the decisions. I waited four weeks. I don't know about you, but I think that is more than enough time for some progress to be made. The VOs with whom I have communicated indicated that all of their communications with the RVC in question have been marked as being subject to NDA, so they are not allowed to discuss them, and that they have not heard from Tonya at all. While I understand that Tonya is in a very busy time of year, I think that four weeks is more than enough time to at least acknowledge receipt of a request for review of the situation.

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As the OP of the original problem thread, I understand why Paizo site managers prefer not to have such things on their forums - it just doesn't look good. However, when issues have been escalated up to the top levels of Organized Play Management and a satisfactory solution is not provided, our only recourse is to make a public stink and hope that it has a positive effect for change. Using NDAs and forum post deletions as a bludgeon to quash discussion of uncomfortable situations only makes the underlying problems fester and I don't think it serves Pathfinder Organized Play in any useful fashion. Thank you.

I would add my vote for plot threads to resolve the issues with Colson Maldris (although I don't have as much issue with him as some do and don't want to see him dead, necessarily) and with Zarta Dralneen. I also would like to see J. Dacilane appear in another scenario to show how her story line has developed since School of Spirits.

As for Grandmaster Torch -

Assault on Absalom has not been approved to run at any of my local conventions, so I have not seen what happened there, but it sounds like my decision to forgive him and help purify his sage jewel in Sanctum of the Sages may have been premature.

I would like a chance to see his story line finalized as well (perhaps in the most strenuous sense of the term "finalized").

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In the responses from Talonhawke and Tallow, it appears that the reasons for disallowing Dervish Dance are more about the rules for Slashing Grace than for the rules for Dervish Dance. My ruling as a GM would be based on the following:

1) Spell Combat requires a free hand, but does not state that the hand remains occupied after the spell is cast.
2) Slashing Grace says that using the off hand for anything else negates its use, but Dervish Dance has a less general limitation.
3) The condition placed on the use of Dervish Dance is not said to last for the entire round - it is checked only at the time the attack is made (i.e., are you carrying a weapon or shield in your off hand at the time of the attack?).
4) I agree that a spell held on the off hand should be treated as a weapon for all intents and purposes; however, since the Dervish Dance magus will almost certainly be using the scimitar to make the attack using Spell Strike, the spell should not be considered to be held in the off hand during the attack. If the magus elects to keep the spell in the off hand in order to make touch attacks, then his or her scimitar attacks cannot use Dervish Dance.
4) I consider the description of Spell Combat being "like two-weapon fighting" to be more in the nature that you must declare Spell Combat before making your first attack in the round and that the -2 to your attack rolls for the round apply even if you later decide not to actually cast a spell. For example, in Round 1, you declare Spell Combat, cast a spell, take your free attack, miss, take your normal attack and also miss. In Round 2, you declare Spell Combat and take your normal attack and if you miss again, you may decide to decline to cast a spell so that you may maintain your charge to try again on the next round; however, you've still taken the -2 on your attack roll for the turn.

So in the end, the question really becomes, do you think Dervish Dance should have an errata issued to read like Slashing Grace? If you don't, then the rules are pretty clear that it should work with Spell Combat/Spell Strike.

I'd like to ask for some clarifications from the camp that says that Dervish Dance does not work with Spell Combat because you are "carrying" the spell in your off hand.

1) Do you think that Dervish Dance is negated when using Spell Combat to cast spells that are not delivered by touch attack (e.g., shield)? If so, why?

2) Would you allow the use of Dervish Dance for attacks made before casting a touch-attack spell? If not, why not?

3) If the magus uses Spellstrike, do you consider that the spell is still carried in the off hand? If so, why?

Thank you.

Thank you very much for taking our input on the Scarab Sages retirement and creating a policy that I think is much, much better! Also, thank you for extending the ability to check boxes on the 2017 RSP GM boon - there are several GMs in my Lodge who will like that very much.

I see several requests for clarification on how the mechanics of the Scarab Sage ruling works and I would like to add my own. From what I understand in reading what has already been said, you can change your Scarab Sages character to a new faction for 0 PP cost at any time. Once the season is over, the first time you play the character, you must choose whether you stay in the inactive faction or change to a new one and this change still costs 0 PP. If you decide to stay in the inactive Scarab Sages faction, you may continue to check remaining boxes on your existing faction cards, purchase vanities, etc. If you change factions, you keep what you already have but may not gain new benefits. My question is: If you stay in the inactive faction, do you lose the chance for a 0 PP faction change? (I anticipate that the answer is yes and I'm okay with that - I think it is a fair trade for the chance to continue to check boxes beyond the faction going inactive.)

Katisha wrote:
Pete Winz wrote:
Katisha wrote:

To quote Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact."

Yeah - "I already know the character and motivations of GMT. Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions..."

It's funny, but I feel the same way, but from the opposite viewpoint. In a later post, you indicate sympathy for Torch, saying that to Society keeps trying to get him to provide information for free. I don't see that.

** spoiler omitted **...

ok, now I'm confused.

** spoiler omitted **...

My apologies, I didn't realize you were referring to yourself in the original post. I know it definitely applies to me, as well. :) I think that the different perspectives people have on NPCs is often due in part to how the GM portrays them when you first encounter them. I have seen a lot of hate for Sheila Heidmarch on these boards that I just don't get either. I agree that Warren has it right.

Katisha wrote:

To quote Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact."

Yeah - "I already know the character and motivations of GMT. Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions..."

It's funny, but I feel the same way, but from the opposite viewpoint. In a later post, you indicate sympathy for Torch, saying that to Society keeps trying to get him to provide information for free. I don't see that.

I see him acting in bad faith in multiple scenarios by getting the Society to pay him for information while at the same time he has Pathfinder agents bail him out of a jam of his own making (The Many Fortunes of Grand Master Torch and Delirium's Tangle) - i.e., he is getting us to pay him to for us to help him, rather than paying us for doing him a favor. I saw one case where someone tries to cash in a favor owed and he says that it has already been repaid (Destiny of the Sands Pt 1). After getting paid for that information, he turns around and hires Aspis agents to steal the items you seek before you can retrieve them. He never fails to profit from any interaction he has with Society agents, often getting two benefits at the same time. I don't begrudge him that, it's just shrewd business, but at the same time, he does conceal information from the agents who are completing the jobs he requires in payment, putting them in danger.

My view of his story arc is that he was betrayed by the Society, who told the leader of his team to conceal information in a way that resulted in the deaths of loved ones. It also resulted in him suffering a terrible curse. He decided to take revenge on the Ten by creating the Shadow Lodge, but he lost control of the organization. When he was about to pay the price for what he had done, he weaseled his way out under the provision that he turn his organization into a tool of the Ten. He kept up the charade of being a faithful member of the Society whose primary concern was the welfare of individual agents until he could once again get free of the Ten, and was willing to burn Pathfinder agents who trusted and supported him in the process. He burned Pathfinder agents again to retrieve an item he thought might be able to cure him of his curse. He is getting involved with the society again in order to achieve his own ends.

My former Shadow Lodge character has come to understand his motivations, but will never trust him and considers him a hypocrite (he decries the Ten for using Pathfinder agents as disposable tools, but has done the same himself).

I'm a fan of sharing Internal Fortitude (immune to sickened and nauseated conditions).

Per the guidelines for running the Dead Sun Adventure Path (, successful completion of each AP module should earn the PCs 5 Reputation. When I entered that value into the reporting system and saved the report, it changed to a value of 4 (see Event # 155460, Sessions 6, 7, and 10). I changed it back to 5 and saved again, just to be sure, it is still showing 4 Reputation instead of 5. Thank you.

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I am also sad to see that Scarab Sages will be retired. Personally, I think it is the faction that has had the best stories and faction tie-ins occurring in scenarios. My Scarab Sage character was originally Shadow Lodge as well, then Osirion, and now Scarab Sages. I'll have to consider which faction he chooses carefully because if he brings his curse to a new faction, other players in my lodge who like that faction will get unhappy when it gets retired soon. :)

I also support the idea of a faction going "inactive" rather than being completely retired (specifically, no new faction card, but you can still check boxes on the old cards).

My Scarab Sages character earned the Exemplar of the Order boon, but since the release of the Faction Cards, I have only played him in scenarios specifically tied to the faction so he now has only six goals achieved, with few options that require only a single box be checked. Given that the faction card goals that remain require specific events or settings to occur as part of a scenario and that there is no way to know which scenarios will meet the criteria in advance, I am concerned that I may not be able to check enough boxes before the faction is retired.

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As a player, I have had no issues with using creative solutions, provided that the GM feels that they can work within the given circumstances. Even if you are not casting silent image in front of the harbor master, you still need to convince him to show you a document. You suggested that you are on official business for someone with strong pull there, but my recollection of the situation you are describing is different. Keep in mind that while the Pathfinder Society does have some pull in some cities, even where it is welcome, it is far from being any kind of officially recognized authority. If you are being asked to act on behalf of someone with actual government authority, more times that not, you are being asked to do so because they are trying to keep it on the down low, so invoking their authority by proxy is probably a bad idea. Even if you do have a writ, you would still need to convince the harbor master that it is legitimate and that you have a legitimate reason to view the document in question. If you had presented this solution with me as your GM, I would ask for clarification on what exactly you were saying to the harbor master to convince him to show you the document and then have you make a bluff, diplomacy, or intimidate check based on the approach you describe. If you have some official documentation of authority, you would get a circumstance bonus to the check. If it works, he shows you to the document. That said, the description of the Sleight of Hand skill suggests that you would need to wait until he put the document down before you could try to pull a swap (it only works on unattended objects). Given that the scenario suggests that the document is not located in plain sight, I don't think that you could use Sleight of Hand once it is put away. In any case, the silent image is really not going to contribute much to the situation. So while creative solutions should be possible, they need to work within the constraints both of the rules regarding the skills or spells you are using and of the situation as presented.

Can't report or edit # 155460 either.

I wouldn't say a 14 Con is a requirement, but I do recommend it strongly for almost any character that can afford it. I don't personally recommend spending more than 5 points on Con for any class that does not use it for class abilities (barbarian and kineticist, for example). My Tengu fighter/rogue has come closer than I would like to death on a couple of occasions, so after starting with a 12, I have been putting my level bumps into Con. I also have a Sylph magus that ended up with a 12 Con, but that character was built with GM credits and so skipped past the most dangerous levels. Still, I will probably be looking at getting an item to bump that stat before long. Given that this is for a Core character, this will not be an issue unless you are using an Elf.

For Core play, I created a human ranger/rogue mix with a high strength and two-weapon fighting style and I'd say that it has worked pretty well.

Since there is no way to get Dex to damage in Core play, I recommend against using a Halfling for your rogue. The necessity of using small weapons and the negative racial modifier to your Strength are going to make it so that you must rely on Sneak damage almost exclusively and there will be many times where you can't get that. That said, I do agree with Ajaxis that you should look at a minimum 14 Con for any melee character.

I like the current scenario level range mix. In organizing games at my location, I like to try to make sure we have at least one low-level scenario offered every session. New scenarios at level 1-5 make it easier to get enough players to make a table. I also want to applaud the effort in recent years to offer more Seeker content. I see it as a reward to those who have participated and helped run the campaign over a long period and I very much appreciate the opportunity to play stuff with characters who would otherwise be retired.

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Tonya Woldridge wrote:
I'm noting this for review in one of our upcoming organized play team meetings.

I think that would be very helpful. Some of the issues in which I have table variation where it might be helpful to have a Campaign Clarification (or, even better yet, a Pathfinder supplement like a Mounted Combat Toolbox), are the following:

1) What happens when the rider has reach and the mount does not? The answers I have seen are: a) the rider attacks and the charge stops, so the mount does not attack; b) the rider attacks at reach and the mount continues to move until it can also attack; and c) neither may attack because they cannot complete the charge simultaneously.

2) How is this affected by Ride-By Attack and can a mount also attack and continue to move after the rider takes a Ride-By Attack? The answers to this I have seen are a) the rider may attack when he has reach, the charge continues until the mount may attack, and then stops; b) the rider and mount may both attack as soon as each is able to reach the target and then they can continue movement after the attack; and c) only the rider may attack if there is going to be movement after the attack.

Frankly, these are really issues that are not PFS-specific, so it would probably be better if the Development team issued a FAQ, as has been requested before. Thanks for your help in getting this addressed.

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While the increased BAB from the fighter and eldritch knight classes would help make your attacks land more frequently, if you're building with the idea of using rays and sneak, you might be better off just taking more arcane trickster levels given that you're attacks will be versus touch AC (+2d6 sneak versus a flat +2 from weapon specialization).

Personally, I'm building toward getting surprise spells (+7d6 on area of effect spells for flat-footed opponents), but that won't happen until 14th level.

Lune wrote:
4. Can one upgrade Chainmail (Mithral or otherwise) in to Celestial Armor?

When the description of celestial armor listed it as made of silver or gold, the answer was a firm no, since there were no rules in place to make silver or gold armor from which you could start. With the updated version in Ultimate Equipment that no longer specifies material, the answer is yes, but the consensus is that only if it is made of standard material. I had asked for a campaign clarification on this last year, and the general consensus was that one was not needed because using a special material for specific armor or weapon would be considered "custom crafting," which is not allowed in PFS.

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Philippe Lam wrote:
2 - It is not possible to upgrade a magical item to a named item as the latter is set up at its start and may possess personalized properties a manual evolution can't replicate.

The How to Upgrade Your Gear in PFS thread says:

"Magic armor and weapons may be upgraded to named versions if they are the same basic material and shape as, and meet but do not exceed the enhancement bonuses of the named versions. "

I can understand why PFS campaign leadership is reluctant to allow necromancers to build an army over time that will completely disrupt scenarios, but since the animate dead spell does not function as written in the CRB in this campaign, I think it is logical to say that the undead is not destroyed by the process that is happening outside of normal rules, and so it should be possible to animate the same corpse again. Because the yak was a purchased item, you have documentation that it is legal for you to have it when starting a scenario (which is not the case for stuff you killed during your last outing unless it appears on the Chronicle). It's status of being alive or dead is only germane to whether it is considered an animal or an object, and not to whether or not you are allowed to own it. That said, my concern is how you are transporting a 1000 lb. corpse around between scenarios? If you have a portable hole or sufficiently large bag of holding (which probably weighs more than most necromancers can handle), no problem, but short of that, I think you are better off just animating the stuff you find in the scenario.

Christian Cannell wrote:
Why do I need to buy a new Yak each time though? I own the Yak. If an effect ends, shouldn't the modified target go back to being the unmodified target?

Yes, the unmodified target being a dead yak. If you have the means to carry the dead yak around with you, you should be able to animate it again in future scenarios.

Douglas Edwards wrote:

I am actually pretty surprised by the hate here.

I handed back a brand new wand that I had just purchased and was reimbursed and thought no more of it. The RVC is actually the one who ran it for me and he made it a really fun time. I think I may have severely underestimated how skilled he was at making it a good time.

While I personally like your GM's decision to reimburse you the cost of the bribe paid, I don't see that in the scenario and so that would appear to be contrary to running it as written. Personally, I have to agree with the OP that this scenario does appear to reward "murder-hobo" tactics.

Specifically in that the only option that does not cost you significant resources is to attack otherwise non-hostile NPCs - even just turning away after hearing their demands costs you scenario rewards.

Edit: added spoiler tag

Go to "My Account" and click on "Change Messageboard Settings."

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Dual-wielding pistols without a tail can be done with Quick Draw and multiple pre-loaded pistols or with pepperbox pistols - expensive, but possible. A prehensile tail or third arm just makes it viable with single-shot weapons. I frankly don't understand the desire to make a trait do otherwise than what it says it does.

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The Prehensile Tail trait for both Tieflings and Vanaras clearly states that the tail can be used to carry objects. To suggest that this does not mean you can hold an item makes no sense. To suggest that this is only flavor text with no mechanical benefit also makes no sense. The Grasping Tail feat lists only "Tiefling" as a prerequisite, not that you must also have the Prehensile Tail trait. This allows you the benefits of Prehensile Tail without having to trade out Fiendish Sorcery. If you do have the Prehensile Tail trait, it also has the added benefit of allowing you to pick up unattended objects within 5 feet as a swift action.

Edit: Corrected the special ability given by Grasping Tail.

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The description of the Knowledge skill does not include a restriction on not being able to use Aid Another. That said, the restriction "In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results, such as trying to open a lock using Disable Device, you can't aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn't achieve alone." should still apply (i.e., if you are not trained, you would not be able to aid someone on a Knowledge skill check with a DC over 10). I would suggest that since you may only attempt Knowledge checks once, a character must choose to either make their own check or may Aid Another, but would not be able to do both.

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I apologize if my mention of 4- or 5-star GM requirements was thought to apply to multi-table specials. I am not aware of any GM-star requirement for those, I was just thinking in general terms of the various restrictions that might limit someone's ability to acquire a boon by GMing a scenario if they missed the opportunity in play.

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I have not yet had an opportunity to play the scenario in question and so I don't have personal experience with the mechanics of how the boons are awarded or have not seen the chronicle for it first hand. That said, I have received a considerable amount of spoiler information from having read this thread. I have mixed feelings about that. I normally try to avoid looking at chronicles before I play a scenario so that I do not receive an undue benefit from my Venture Agent status; that said, the discussion in this thread has been spirited and the spoiler information included in some of the posts has certainly helped to clarify why people feel so strongly about the current situation. Without the spoiler information, it would be hard to understand the strong feelings that some have about the issues at hand.

Knowing that I am not completely informed and using what I have seen thus far in the thread, I have some things I would like to express. The first is that I share the opinion that unless the desire is to limit the release of some of the options (i.e., allowing only a certain number of nobles or a limited number of spellslingers), it might be better to allow the options to be unlocked for all participants based on performance of all the tables combined. A limit on the total number of boons you may choose could still keep a cap on some of the options, but if the idea is that one option should not be open to everyone because that could be considered as destabilizing the campaign, this would not be viable. I would like to see campaign leadership allow more archetype options that have previously been disallowed and I would prefer that such options be potentially open to everyone, but I would rather see a limited availability over no availability at all. The advise to GM a scenario to unlock the benefits you want is good, but keeping in mind that some scenarios cannot be GMed by everyone who would want to do that is important. People in smaller lodges are limited by the number of times a scenario can run in their area, even if we aren't talking about scenarios that are limited to larger events or 4- or 5-star GMs.

I am sure that campaign leadership is aware that these forums are an echo chamber for those who feel most strongly about an issue and are hardly representative of the player base as a whole. I would like to express my gratitude to them for the hard work they do to make my favorite pastime available to me. I especially appreciate their recent attempts to shake things up a bit and try new ideas. Not every new concept will be a winner, but I think their success rate has been much, much higher than their failure rate and I encourage them to continue to explore new options. Thank you.

For the Grand Lodge goal of "Participate in an adventure that features Grandmaster Torch, Pasha Muhlia al-Jakri, or Thurl. Faction missions do not fulfill this goal." - Would it be considered that these characters "feature" in scenarios in which you visit a place where they lived and plotted but which they have vacated at the time of your visit? Or would you need to see them face-to-face?

You explore Thurl's lair in The Traitor's Lodge, but you do not physically meet him in that scenario. You do meet him in Vengeance at Sundered Crag and if my experience playing and running that scenario is typical, it is not likely you would meet him again barring a divine intervention.

Similarly, Pasha Muhlia al-Jakri is featured significantly in the back story of The Slave Master's Mirror and although you explore one of her lairs, you don't actually meet her there.

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Pete Winz wrote: person told me that their local organized play leadership decided that the program was not worth implementing at all, due to issues with their local VC and RVC

I hear things like this from time to time and I do not understand why people are resistant to escalating the issue to Tonya. Going to the forums and complaining does absolutely nothing to fix those types of issues. In most cases, it just creates more problems.

Use the chain of command to resolve your issues. VA→VL→VC→RVC→OPC

I also had recommended escalating up the chain (that part was cut off in the quote). I am taken aback by your statement that appears to imply that I am going to the forums to complain. If I do have an issue with the way that the organized play campaign is run, I will use every resource available, including escalating up the chain and bringing attention to the issue on the forums. I would agree that it is better to attempt to make constructive posts here, but this is one of our avenues for "complaints" and I don't think people should be discouraged from expressing their opinions here. I do think that they should be encouraged to do so in the most constructive way they can in order to avoid making people respond reflexively, but I would never suggest that people should avoid posting here on any issue that concerns them.

As for why those with whom I have spoken about RSP issues are reluctant to escalate their concerns, my impression was something similar to what Wei Ji expressed - they felt that it was more trouble than it was worth. I have not heard about any instances of blowback for whistleblowers, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen or that people aren't afraid of the consequences if it does. You can't un-ring the bell and most people are going to assume that the upper levels of campaign leadership are going to come down on the side of the people further down the chain. As a volunteer myself, I would like to think that those above me will have my back if a dispute needs to be resolved. That said, I would think long and hard about the possible negative consequences before I escalated above my RVC. I wouldn't hesitate to throw my Venture Captain, Michael Eshleman, under the bus and you'd know why if you know Michael (that's a joke).

I want to report similar issues. As a further example, I can see a check box for "We Be Goblins!" in the area below the search field. No results are found on a search for "goblins" but if I just check the box, I see entries. The problem with using this method is that there are scenarios I know I have played and that used to show in the old Player Sessions site that are not listed with a check box.

Edit: As a further note, when all of the player session entries were on a single web site in the past, I could use the browser search feature to find key words. My Player Sessions view now has 8 pages and I would have to search each individually to use that as an alternative.

If you buy oil of align weapon, be sure to specify the alignment type at purchase time (per PRD: "The character taking the potion doesn't get to make any decisions about the effect—the caster who brewed the potion has already done so."). I recommend oil of bless weapon for bypassing DR/Good because it only costs 50 gp and has the added benefit of automatically confirming crits.

EDIT: I just reviewed the two spells to make sure they both affected ammunition similarly and I was in error - bless weapon does not affect multiple pieces of ammunition. So unless you plan to shoot only once, oil of align weapon is better.

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While I normally applaud flexibility in allowing local control over as much as possible, in talking to others in person and on-line, it sounds like regional decisions are creating significant differences in the application of the RSP that seriously affect player engagement and enjoyment. For example, one person told me that their local organized play leadership decided that the program was not worth implementing at all, due to issues with their local VC and RVC (I suggested escalating up the chain); in different threads on the forums here I have seen some participants post that once their RSP application was approved, their RVC allowed retroactive GM credit back to the official program launch date, but my RVC said that no retroactive credits were allowed (which has less impact if only one RSP GM boon is allowed per year); it took four weeks to approve my RSP application, but other regions had the program in place within a week of launch. I like the program a lot, especially since the number of events that qualify for convention support in my area have decreased drastically over the last couple of years, but I think more consistent application of rules over all regions would be a better thing.

In regard to what Tonya said, Jesse, was that in a source I can find on-line or was that in a direct communication? Thank you.

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