Radosek Pavril

NikTheAvatar's page

Organized Play Member. 41 posts (58 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters.


Silver Crusade

If most of PFS' Season 6 ends up being "PCs vs Androids", you're going to silently lose some folks. But I suspect many Pathfinders want to play with warriors, wizards, and dragons, moreso than Gamma World/Rifts. :)

But, Paizo generally has its ear to the ground, so I'm sure this has been thought through. If it's a few scenarios here and there, not a problem, and so long as the boons don't end up with a Mysterious Pistolero touting two laserguns!

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My Nov 27th order hasn't budged, and no answers to my emails either. Not sure what else to do here...

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Can you look at 2907115? I placed it on November 27th. I did update the shipping address though, but it would be great if it could go out before I leave from vacation.

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Jiggy wrote:
It is what it is, and it will never be more. So, what exploit is it that you're so sure is going to end up happening if we don't prevent it?

Never thought the world would end. But the trait is not balanced against the 2+ feat chain in the CRB you'd need to get a similar result, and that's enough for me. I don't think you need to prove "OMG you broke the game!!" to justify keeping an unbalanced item out of circulation, no matter how small, or whether it combos nicely with something else.

But that's my view. Maybe the PFS GMs disagree! Maybe balance only matters to them in REALLY egregious cases with "in the wild" abuses (eg, weapon cords). I don't know, I certainly can't tell from looking at Additional Resources (re: the cauldron example, which seemed like a pre-emptive strike).

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Jiggy wrote:
You say exploitation is irrelevant, but your examples are centered specifically around guarding against exploitation.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
"It is clearly overpowered, so why not ban / nerf it proactively? To prevent it being an issue in the future?" -- this might be what Nik is trying to say.

Thank you Walter, I was being long winded :) You don't need to SEE the exploit widely to know that it CAN be exploited, and protect against it. Does someone need to break into your house before you think you need a lock on your door?

EDIT: The question here seems to come down to whether or not balance is worth preserving, and where you draw the line. Well, where Mike draws the line; we all clearly have different opinions on the subject.

Silver Crusade

Is the trait overpowered?
Unambiguously, yes. Lessons of Chaldira provides a post-failed save free-reroll. It takes a two feat chain (Iron Will/Improved Iron Will, etc.) to get close to this for one of Fortitude, Reflex, or Will. Traits are supposed to be approximately half the power of feats: this one saves you at least two.

I don't see this trait being abused. Is this really a problem?
Whether it is being exploited or not in the wild is irrelevant; what matters is that the trait is overpowered. It is, and should be dealt with for the sake of consistent balance. You don't need to see an exploit to judge balance; you can judge balance without proof.

When we say "you brought a knife to a gunfight!", we don't ask for proof by watching the proverbial gunfighter shoot someone dead before declaring it imbalanced.

When a security researcher finds a hole in a company's software, the company doesn't say, "but it's not being exploited so it doesn't count!". Or, at least companies that intend to stay around with their business reputation intact don't. That has been proven many times in recent history....

Who cares if a particular trait is overpowered! It's not like it is breaking the game?
PFS' house rules allow or ban paizo content on thematic grounds (eg, pathfinders are non-evil) and on balance issues (eg, the recent ruling on weapon cords). Reviewing the list of banned items, lots of items are banned on much more marginal grounds than a trait being worth 2 feats.

Reaching for a quick example, the cauldron of overwhelming allies is banned from The Snows of Summer. I expect it is, because it can nearly double the efficacy of some summoning spells and is arguably better than the Superior Summoning feat chain. Summoning spells are already on shaky balance grounds according to some.

Would the cauldron break the game? No; but I bet the Mike et al. judged it would be a notable imbalance. And did they wait until it was exploited in the wild? No; they made the judgement call and here we have it. This thread is not asking Mike et al. to consider something he doesn't already do as a matter of course. Just to look at Lessons of Chaldira on its own terms.

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A random keleshite caravan would make sense. Perfect, thanks!

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Eastern Iobaria, specifically the Dvezda Marches, is well characterized in Maiden Mother Crone (AP #69). It sounds like a wasteland, but still it might be possible for the occasional foreigner to try to eke out some minimal trade, directly or indirectly, with those centaurs.

I'm wondering what humanoid nationalities might strike up a trade? For instance, going by the maps, it looks like it should be possible for Tian Xia to possibly have some irregular trade with Eastern Iobaria via the Shining Sea.

Trade with the Tian Xia matters for an in-campaign plot point, but I don't want to stretch the setting TOO far; I would settle for any kind of trade. But my knowledge of Golarion isn't that solid, and I know that the Jade Regent AP talked about the path over the Crown of the World. Would appreciate any idle comments from the Golarionites in this forum about who my PCs might run into out there.

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No worries. It shouldn't have been a problem, but I changed the address to a friendly neighbor's just to be safe. Thanks for replying.

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Just placed this order as part of the Great Golem Sale. Can you delay shipping my order? I will be at the location being shipped to from December 15th, so if you hold off until the 2nd week of December it should work out well.

If that's not possible, feel free to ship it at the end of your Great Golem Sale shipping frenzy. I doubt you get this request often :) so thanks in advance.

Silver Crusade

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What do the PCs want to accomplish in Reign of Winter? A truly horrific action for any good character: to free one of the evils of the multiverse, one that has inflicted countless horrors on innocent and non-innocent alike over centuries. The Black Rider's mantle is a evil geas inflicted on the PCs with a spoonful of sugar, driving them onwards with no choice except to comply, regardless of the moral quandary.

But, you counter: it's for a good reason! You are driven to free Baba Yaga it to prevent an ever greater evil - that of eternal winter spreading across Golarion. With that in mind, let's take the best outcome in the authored AP: the PCs free Baba Yaga, stop the ritual, and afterwards ask Baba Yaga politely to leave Irrisen alone. Yay! Golarian is saved!

But... Baba Yaga is free. She is loose.

Does saving one planet from an icy fate really excuse the number of lives that she will destroy on other planets? The countless off-planet Irrisens she will almost certainly go on to create?

If you question the amount of lives lost, the AP establishes that Irrisen is, by design, a frozen hell bent on torturing countless innocent souls via The Shackled Hut (aka, "The Child Endangerment AP"). The Witch Queen's Revenge explains what happens to the granddaughters of each of the deposed queens. We could go on; Baba Yaga is no Demon Lord, but most of her experiments seem to involve a gleeful amount of collateral damage. Let's not think that she is innocent or does not deserve to be brought to justice.

So, if freeing her is an evil act, should a paladin fall after releasing Baba Yaga? Of course the answer is no! No GM should force a fall from a choice that is not really a choice.

And that's my issue with the railroad: why isn't it a choice? Why did the author(s) choose only ONE single way to save the world? Should freeing Baba Yaga have been the only way to conclude this Adventure Path?

If you ask me, tabletop gaming is at its best when it promotes creativity. The AP metaplot had plenty of options to support creative solutions beyond just freeing Baba Yaga:

  • stealing her power by following Rasputin's path to ascension, becoming mythic, and stopping the ritual.
  • finishing Rasputin's path and claiming the Thrice-tenth kingdom for the fact that it may weaken Baba Yaga, allowing her to be ultimately killed or reimprisoned
  • destroying the Dancing Hut. Doesn't it house the demi-plane where Elvanna is hiding?
  • after killing Elvanna, there is really NO WAY! to stop the ritual short of Baba Yaga? Really?! No allies, no deific intervention, not the decemvirate, no avatars of creation that can sort out how to stop a ritual that has been put in place by (only) a 20th level, non-mythic, non-deific power?
  • Best option! Make it a choice. Free Baba Yaga to stop the ritual, thus acquiring great wealth, power, and immortality as boons upon her freedom; or sacrifice your lives to shut down the ritual and keep Baba Yaga imprisoned for another age.

Sure, any GM can add this, but I am wondering why the conclusion to this AP are so narrowly structured, with one path to success or failure, given how much of a moral quandry the plot presents to thinking good PCs.

How would YOU have changed the ending?

PS. And don't get me started on Elvanna. She manages to survive her mother just to guarantee her death by threatening all of Golarion before her power is cemented. Brilliant plan. /slowclap

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0) My vote: not a dud. I am GM'ing RoW. We're into book 3 and so far, my players are having a hell of a lot of fun. No complaints.

1) Railroads are there in any AP. Good players will go along for the ride enough to support you, while waving their arms out of the coach to keep it entertaining for themselves.

2) It's up to any good GM to HELP personalize and drive the AP together. Sometimes details are lacking given Paizo's publishing cycle; in RoW, I don't think enough is done to explain Elvanna's motivations, or reveals about Baba Yaga.

So, I've made my own metaplot; the Black Rider is affecting characters with ... very different results. Not all of them are good. Different characters have roles to play in the future of Irrisen, etc.

This should be part of any narrative AP, though. Gear it to your players, use the book as a base and go from there.

3) In terms of difficulty level, you have to significantly increase some of the encounter levels in The Shackled Hut. I thought Snows of Summer was well balanced enough. But, 85-90% of the encounters were entertaining and interesting enough.

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Sadurian wrote:
In that case I think you were generous in allowing a CMD at all. If the BBEG didn't actually damage the sleeping PC then he was helpless all the way to the bottom of the cliff.

I think mdt and I have hammered out how the rules are intended to work in terms of getting the PC off the cliff!

But in terms of the CMD part for RAW, helpless PCs still have a CMD, albeit with a dex of 0, a -5 penalty. Melee attacks against them have a +4 bonus.

So, we're talking about a minimum of a +9 to their existing CMD. It is possible to fail (though probably on a 1).

Silver Crusade

mdt wrote:

Ah, ok, stand corrected then. As I posted earlier up thread, was mostly going from memory, and missed the highlighted text when I did a quick lookup on moving.

However, I don't think it was relevant. The only provoked AoO's were from the sleeping character (who, given he was asleep from a spell, may not have awakened), and when the big bad backed off the cliff (leaving threatened square). So I don't see anything wrong either way.

Sure; for what it's worth, I don't think these rules are easy to understand. I always want to make sure I have them straight!

I think, at most, a) The PC could have awoken, subject to interpretation, giving the PC a few more opposed rolls b) the extra round would have telegraphed to the party the clear intention of the BBEG, who might have been able to martial something creative to save the PC.

The results most likely would have been the same, given how the party was acting.

Silver Crusade

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mdt wrote:

The creature doing the grappling can move.

Grapple wrote:

Move: You can move both yourself and your target up to half your speed. At the end of your movement, you can place your target in any square adjacent to you. If you attempt to place your foe in a hazardous location, such as in a wall of fire or over a pit, the target receives a free attempt to break your grapple with a +4 bonus.

You've left out an essential part of the description leading up to the move grapple action you quoted.

Grapple wrote:

If you do not release the grapple, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold. If your target does not break the grapple, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds. Once you are grappling an opponent, a successful check allows you to continue grappling the foe, and also allows you to perform one of the following actions (as part of the standard action spent to maintain the grapple)

Move: You can move both yourself...

mdt wrote:
By your logic, you could never move anyone, round one, round two, round 50000.

You can move them on round 2 - round 50000 by successfully maintaining your grapple and using the move grapple action.

The grapple action describes the exception to the Grappled condition, which is what grapple actions are available to you as the primary grappler that has maintained the grapple on each subsequent round.

If you don't believe me or what is written in the rules, as another summary which lays this out nicely, look at the grapple flowcharts on d20pfsrd. The move grapple action is only available to the grappler who is controlling, as part of the standard action to maintain the grapple on subsequent rounds.

From a thematic perspective, I agree with Adamantine Dragon as well. Regardless, the RAW mean the minimum time taken to execute this action via Grapple is 2 rounds. I doubt the PCs could have prevented it, given the description, but there would have been a bit more rolling involved.

Silver Crusade

mdt wrote:

Standard Action : Grapple helpless opponent (Wakes him up). Beats CMD by 18.

Move Action : While grappled, walk off cliff edge (up to 15 ft of movement).

You cannot move if you are grappled, according to RAW:

Grapple wrote:
If successful, both you and the target gain the grappled condition.
Grappled wrote:
Grappled creatures cannot move and take a –4 penalty to Dexterity.

This would take two rounds: 1st round the BBEG initiates the grapple, waking the PC. 2nd round the BBEG maintains the grapple, and then move as part of one of the actions you can perform with a successful maintain of a grapple.

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So: BBEG and helpless PC, standing on a 5ft cliff ledge, adjacent to each other. What can the BBEG do to drop the character off the cliff?

- Drag wouldn't work, because the BBEG can pull the PC behind them but is not holding them as such.

Drag wrote:
The aim of this maneuver is to drag a foe in a straight line behind you without doing any harm.

BBEG walks 5 ft off the cliff, and the PC stays at the ledge.

- The BBEG could not Reposition the character into a hazardous location, such as over a pit, as per RAW.

Reposition wrote:
You cannot use this maneuver to move a foe into a space that is intrinsically dangerous, such as a pit or wall of fire.

- If this was grappling:

* On the first round, both characters gain the grappled condition, which means they cannot move. Hopefully the PCs would have figured out what might be happening then.
* On the second round, the BBEG can now use a standard action to maintain the grapple, and then if successful, can move both himself and the PC off the cliff. If this movement is over a hazardous location, the PC immediately gets a free attempt to break the grapple with a +4 bonus.

For all of these:

Sleep wrote:
Slapping or wounding awakens an affected creature, but normal noise does not.

Though the RAW is not explicit, RAI would make me think that any aggressive action towards a character, such as dragging them around, would wake them up.

Silver Crusade

you are saying, 'grapped'. Was the PC grappled? dragged? repositioned?

(Arguably any of those would wake up the sleeping PC.)

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I think they have the right approach to Race Boons now and they should remain. Boons are a form of population control; they can manage the relative numbers by controlling how many boons they distribute. There really only SHOULD be a handful of Goblin Pathfinders. Awarding them at conventions seems like the right balance between fun and creating a living world that (sorta, kinda) reflects the racial balance of Golarion.

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Just ran into this thread, so while I'm here:
recent FAQ post on how Crossblooded and Wildblooded do not stack.

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Vic Wertz wrote:
The bottom line is that we've let them know that the overall feedback we're getting on this set indicates that the paint quality seems to be much more variable than on our previous sets

Thanks for following up, Vic.

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Cleanthes wrote:
I'm curious what Wizkids' take on LoG is. Have they acknowledged that something went wrong this time around?

Still waiting here. It's very unlike Paizo NOT to acknowledge customer issues promptly. It would be great to hear even that they're following up with WizKids on our behalf, and have no official word.

Until then, I'm not buying.

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Peacemaker is a feat from the Champions of Purity player companion.

Peacemaker wrote:
The DC to resist spells you cast to ensure peace or force aggressive creatures to become peaceful increases by +2. This affects spells that dissuade creatures from aggressive actions without exerting long-term or absolute control over them, and without leaving them defenseless. These spells include, but are not limited to, calm animals, calm emotions, command, compassionate ally, enthrall, euphoric tranquility, sanctuary, and serenity.

So, what additional spells qualify? How about hideous laughter:

hideous laughter wrote:
This spell afflicts the subject with uncontrollable laughter. It collapses into gales of manic laughter, falling prone. The subject can take no actions while laughing, but is not considered helpless. After the spell ends, it can act normally. On the creature's next turn, it may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect. This is a full round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If this save is successful, the effect ends. If not, the creature continues laughing for the entire duration.

As an argument, though while you are not defenceless with hideous laughter you still cannot take any actions. You can't run away, drop weapons, or parley. That strikes me as the caster exerting absolute control over what the character can do and violates the spirit of the feat.

However,enthrall also prevents characters from taking actions during this too, so I don't know if I have this right. Any views?

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None of the pawn collections come with bases - you are meant to supplement with those found in any of the other boxes.

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An Incorporeal ghost still takes 50% damage from a PC's (non-ghost touch) magic weapon, even if both the ghost and PC are on the Ethereal plane, right?

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As of this comment, Legends of Golarion is a 2.5 star product. I have been holding out making any purchases until I see some (semi-)official comments explaining why the paint quality seems to have been so hit and miss this time around.

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I have this problem with Paladins in Pathfinder, period. If there are evil creatures, Paladins are just death dealing machines that cannot be stopped.

However, remember that Nazheena has the flight hex; you can rework her to use obscuring mist, fog cloud.... and then make the on the ground combat so hectic that they're too busy getting beaten, frozen, and sharded half to death by the Ice Golems to consider bowing the flying, concealed witch.

Off topic, how far did you amp up Logrivich? I advanced him by an age category, but my PCs, well prepared, all had potions of fly prepared for the occasion.

Silver Crusade

I'm not sure that this is really a problem.

First off, there was unprovoked aggression from a number of NPCs who are, in fact, lackeys to the lords of the Pale Tower:

SoS spoiler:
Emil and Katrina live in constant fear of punishment by the White Witch Nazhena Vasilliovna and her soldiers, so they have taken it upon themselves to act as Waldsby's "watchdogs," encouraging troublemakers to leave town, or failing that reporting them to the authorities. Katrina even installed a large mirror behind the White Weasel's bar so their witch overlords can keep a magical eye on suspicious folk.

So first off: they are not murdering innocents in the town. Katrina is NE! Sure, they are motivated by fear, but when you serve suggestion tea to a bunch of well armed individuals and then pull out the crossbow.... actions lead to consequences.

Second off, I understand why you're concerned. Emma may have crossed the line. But, the town is entirely cowed by the Pale Tower. None of them are going to provoke violence, they have been ground down under the bootheel of the White Witches. The peasants are unlikely to respond.

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Go go Toronto Pathfinders!

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DonDuckie wrote:
You can't charge as standard action

To nitpick, the mount is charging as part of HIS full round action. As the mount-er, you are just going along for the ride (and striking with the lance at the end of it). I think the charge is fair but the DC 20 Ride Check is in.

Silver Crusade

Do you need to make a DC 20 ride check to charge on an untrained mount, even when you are out of melee range? I have seen folks rule that this check only needs to be made in melee range, but not in the initial charge into combat.

This is a practical question, with a PFS scenario that has NPCs riding untrained mounts, and the leader's tactics saying to Ride-By Attack with a lance and a Ride Skill of +6.

Scenario spoiler:
#2-02: Before the Dawn Pt 2: Rescue at Azlant Ridge. Given that I'm running at Tier 1-2, a one-hit kill is possible.

Combat Rules wrote:
Mounts that do not possess combat training (see the Handle Animal skill) are frightened by combat. If you don't dismount, you must make a DC 20 Ride check each round as a move action to control such a mount. If you succeed, you can perform a standard action after the move action. If you fail, the move action becomes a full-round action, and you can't do anything else until your next turn.

and repeated in...

Ride Rules wrote:
Control Mount in Battle (DC 20): As a move action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, heavy horse, or other mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Ride check, you can do nothing else in that round. You do not need to roll for horses or ponies trained for combat.

Silver Crusade

By raising the dead to act as his minions, the Necromancer desecrates the bodies of the fallen twice over.

First, by inviting unholy powers inside the body to animate it, the 'temple of the body' is violated against the original owner's will. Even worse, some believe you are forcing the soul back INTO the body to cause it to move, a worse kind of enslavement.

Second, you subject the body to further indignities via combat, inviting others to chop, maim, and deface.

Animating the dead is by its nature a dark and unhallowed pact, and thus evil. No legitimate paladin or cleric of a good deity could forgive this, or allow it to continue in their presence.

PS. unless you home game rule it otherwise :P and I haven't read about the Juju Oracle!

Silver Crusade

Akerlof wrote:
Well, there's the "Basic Rules Cheat Sheet" which is part of the free download of the worksheets in the back of the Gamemaster's Guide.

Brilliant! Thanks, that is at least half of what I was looking for :P

Silver Crusade

Kyle Baird wrote:
I'm wondering if we shouldn't have a Playing 101 document...

Not to hijack your point Kyle, but along those lines - do any PFS venues have something you could hand to a BRAND new player? A very basic, "What is Pathfinder and how do I play?" document?

I am thinking of someone who has just dropped in out of curiosity - with little to no no experience in Pathfinder, D&D, or even RPGs at all, where handing them Valeros or Kyra is confusing. ("What's Str mean?") I had this happen last week, and wasn't sure how much of the table's time to spend on basic explanations.

Perhaps a single sheet with the very basics of the game on one side, and a definition of PFS and useful links/resources/references to the Beginner Box on the other.

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Lamontius wrote:
the honor system does not pay the bills

Paizo makes money from passion, not from honor, policing, or guilt.

The problem PFS has is in efficiently helping new players come to grips with 1500+ pages of rules (optional or otherwise) and find the fun! Failing to enforce book ownership rules doesn't strike me as one of them.

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Funky Badger wrote:

This rule is attempting to do two things:

1) ensure players have the reference for all abilities in play at hand - to increase smooth running of game
2) to ensure books have been purchased

Yes! There are really two separate issues.

  • Having references at hand. This entirely makes sense: GMs need rules to adjudicate. Just enforce non-internet/PRD based access from a legal rules source. Rules are always available for the player and fully legal.
  • Enforcing book ownership. Yes, we all want Paizo to thrive; but volunteer PFS GMs are not meant to be an 'enforcement arm' for the Paizo purchasing system. GMs are meant to run a fair and fun PFS scenario, and not to make sure players have paid their bills.

So! Don't make volunteer PFS GMs tax collectors and book auditors. They have enough to do keeping the game fair. Let the culture of PFS encourage people to do the right thing.

Photocopies of hardbacks accomplish this goal, and also supports PFS players who a) prefer hardbacks b) prefer buying from their FLGS, who can't sell PDFs.

Conclusion. Having references at hand should be the goal here, with the informal proviso of 'you must own the resources you use'. And photocopies of the hardbacks you own is a perfectly balanced approach.

Silver Crusade

There is a Paizo Blog post from Adam Mogyordi (VC for Ontario, Canada) with a great summary of the rules and restrictions, released around the same time as Animal Archive. It may help clarify a few things for wayward players.

Animals and Their Tricks

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John Francis wrote:
I just retro-fitted an ITS to the character I intend to play tonight (an 8-th level gunslinger with five or six different varieties of ammunition, and a goodly selection of potions). It probably took me around half an hour.

Reading the policy, I think you only need compliance for transactions, eg, every time you buy/sell after a scenario. That is, you need to fill out ITSs going forward, rather than catch up to where you sit today.

Over time this will reduce the auditing burden. Mike et al. don't appear to be asking for compliance by filling in ITS for your previous state. (Though, I plan to just to ease wand tracking.)

Silver Crusade

Kyle Baird wrote:
If your target window is less than 4 hours, you shouldn't be playing PFS Scenarios or at the very least shouldn't EXPECT to be able to play, finish them and have a good time.

Funny, because Toronto's been successfully doing this for quite a while now at most of its PFS nights... I should probably stop expecting to go out and have fun at them! :)

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Kyle Baird wrote:
Not every venue is a perfect fit for PFS. You could run Quests (more are coming) or Beginner Box events. You are not entitled to play PFS exactly when and where and how you want to.

This is not what is happening! Paul and all struggle to get scenarios to execute in under the expected window of 4 hours, but they succeed because of hard work and scenario prep.

If Paul and others like him weren't willing to work hard to run PFS within the constraints of the most popular game stores in their city, fewer people would be participating in PFS (including me). Paul's site is a success, and he is not trying to be entitled to playing it when and how he wants to.

Mike, I think the new policy is fair. But I would suggest that players fill in the "Additional Gear - XXXX GP" line on the chronicle sheet as they do with everything else. Let the GM just initial that. It reduces it from 5 words to a scrawled initial. Surely that is enough :)