Rich Diver

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Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber. ****Venture-Lieutenant 41 posts (42 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 23 Organized Play characters.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

I point you to the blog: Organized-Play

It should come out as soon as the AcP system is fully implemented. Since most of the stuff contained in the Players Guide & World Guide are Uncommon, they are probably going to be gated by the AcP system.

While none of this tells you when, it does give you an idea of where they are at.

I believe Monday the 25th, they finished the fixing of the PtP system which manages the Playtest points, and the above blog talks about the AcP being modeled off the PtP, so hopefully we do not have too much longer to wait...I am excited for some of the options too.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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Bob Jonquet wrote:

The only reason PF2 appears to be more balanced is because there is almost no content respectively. PF1 is perceived to be very balanced when it launch too, as most game systems are.

I am going to have to disagree with you here Bob, PF1 was never balanced, as its source 3.5 and 3.0 before that was never balanced. Look at the martial vs caster power curve, you pick it Basic D&D all the way up and through PF1. D&D 4e actually did one thing well was balance out all the classes against each other, there were only 4 but they were balanced against each other. I would go on to say later PF1 was actually more balanced than early PF1 as there were more options which were "effective" for more playstyles, but it did boil down to the flavor of the month category kind of like Warhammer 40K.

5e and PF2 use different approaches to fix the issues that D&D 3e had and subsequently PF1. All characters ACs, DCs, skills are going to stay in the general ballpark with the automated level bump. Everyone is getting approximately the same number of feats across the characters lifetime. As long as they don't deviate from that limited resource you should be able to maintain some sort of balance. Unfortunately that lack of deviation may have the problem that 4e had, was there really a difference between the leaders/strikers/defenders/controllers? If the system stays strict you may see the same problem in PF2.

But that is a stray off topic, on topic, looking at the core design of PF2 balance should be less of an issue as long as they stick with the current setup of the design structure they put in place and do not introduce new ways to add bonuses, unless there is a fundamental flaw that needs fixing.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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If I had to hazard a guess is that the point system and cert buying system is still not working on the site and that is why you do not see any sanctioning information on the Lost Omens World guide.

If I remember correctly the goal with PFS2 campaign was to make almost everything common available in campaign, and then most uncommon and few rare options available through the points store. Since most (if not all) archetypes are uncommon, until the site is fixed you'll probably not see sanctioning.

The problem is that this system still requires the code monkeys (or at least the content monkeys) to import the information into the system, which is also supposed to generate adventure records for said options. This is the same fundamental design flaw that caused problems with the Wizards Eberron campaign during the LG years, since everything was tracked online, adventures were being delayed because of web issues.

They have taken something that is relatively easy, doing an up/down check on a book and made it relatively hard. Granted the Lost Omens World Guide only needs 10 items created, what happens when the Lost Omens Character Guide comes out?

So what is the solution? Move it to the OPF community page where it can be managed by volunteers. Some of it can be simple, like everything that is open access, even now that could be done. A simple background and common items are allowed, Uncommon and Rare: TBD. Moving the points system, certificate generation, and other uncommon/rare content in will require quite a bit of more work, and would require back end features on the Paizo website I do not know if they are there.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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I personally think they should count for 1 Glyph per run. While yes I agree my time in front of the players is less than a full scenario, which is the only reason why it shouldn't be.

In terms of prep time, the time difference between a Quest, Scenario, AP is not that large. I do organize my games at a store so some of these may not apply to everyone.

1. Arrange for Space - Same for all three.
2. Prep the adventure, the first quest being repeatable actually has the same number of stat blocks as many of the other adventures. There are 3x the number needed for a single run. If they stay the same the quest prep time will be approximately as long as a scenario, page count is close. APs are approximately 3 scenarios if you add them up and take me about 3x the time to read/prep them.
3. Gather/Prepare equipment. As above maps/minis/props are about the same for quest and scenario. Again the APs are longer.
4. Event time - run time is of quest is approximately .25 of the run time of a scenario. Setup and teardown time is approximately the same. Saying it takes 30 minutes on either side you are looking at 2 hours for a quest vs 5 hours for a scenario.

With all that I anticipate it takes me about 10 hours of my time to run a scenario I have not run. With a quest I would only save about 3 of those hours, so only 7 hours. So in the long run I do not see the quests being that much shorter of a time commitment to run.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

You can find the volunteer form here. It says they are looking for PF2 & Starfinder GMs. I am not sure if they will take an ACG only GM.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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What concerns me about this is the Common/Uncommon/Rare setup. While I have no problem with the method for items...if I get access to a cool item that I want I just ditch the current one and add the new one.

What worries me is the powers/feats/spells, there is no mention of retraining, which means kind of like Starfinder your first and even possibly second character are going to be generic, with only common abilities, until you can earn points to get an uncommon one.

It seems like that could be fixed by a retraining system that allowed you to switch out powers/feats/spells, even if it is just one a level or something. PF2 may have that in it, but I do not remember it from the playtest.

It could also be handled by speed of point earning vs. cost of uncommon powers.

It also may only be a short term problem, as more source material comes out and more options become generally available, but it will be one at the beginning of the campaign, unless they pretty much made everything there common.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

I would almost take this a step further, make a season primer. This would be a different product that one Paizo currently produces so it might be even less feasible than the pawns.

What I would like to see is a "folio" for season 1 year of the scoured stars. What this would contain:

All the new races: 2 I am aware of.
All the new items: Not sure of count.
Season Recap: Could Zo! be reporting it?
A single sheet of pawns for relevant ships/characters, sticking to those things that are unique to SFS, and not printed in other sources.

I think this could be done in a book the size of of a player companion, plus a card and a cover.

Player companion current price: $11.00, player companion plus a sheet pawns ~$15.00?

A yearly release around Origins - new season starting?

Also possibly upon release of the guide give open access to all the seasons items/races in the primer per normal other sources rule. Allowing you to gain access to items that might be more useful on a character that did not play the adventure in question.

I know development cycles for books are longer than for SFS adventures, so the release at Origins would probably be a pipe dream, but 3-4 months after the season ended possible? Since this would be mostly reprinting what was already produced.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Yes I did not expect the APL -5 to threaten the party that much. This was an actual playtest of the classes and I needed to make sure two things. First, the numbers were the same for Starfinder as they have been for every other version of 3rd edition. Second, that there wasn't something fundamentally wrong with the classes that made the APL -5 creatures dangerous. In both cases the numbers worked out as they should, the PCs weren't threatened.

The PCs also weren't really threatened by the encounter where the enemies were APL -1. It was good tactics on their part at identifying the threat and neutralizing it. My only complaint about that was that there was no save/to hit roll for the power that did the neutralizing. Especially since the power did not cost resources.

The last encounter an APL +2 creature had a 55% miss chance, if it took only a single attack on its best attack roll. There is a discrepancy between the dragon presented in Alien Archive and what the build should look like according to the rules and using the template. So if I had not given it the additional +1 to hit that I could not find where it came from it would have been a 60% miss chance. Once the Vanguard raised it's shield that miss chance to 70% (75% if I hadn't added the +1). Yes the dragon has other powers but since everything is built off the same three templates, what if I had raised the Rancor to APL +2? It would have had 1 less attack bonus and needed 13/16 to hit.

So what to do about shields? I think possibly taking a cue from PF2 and introduce the DR/Dent system to them might be the balancing point. Another possibility is to make them act the same as cover and allow cover mitigating abilities to bypass the shield bonus.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Over the weekend I ran an adventure I wrote for playtest characters and I want to post my thoughts and results.

First to set the scene the adventure was a parody of StarWars and set in Jibbo da' House's palace. This scenario was more designed around testing combat mechanics at high level and not skill progression.

Vanguard 15
Biohacker 14/Soldier 1
Witchwarper 15
Witchwarper 15

All characters were made with 500,001 credits except one Witchwarper whom only had 500,000 because they whined about the extra credit. Needless to say said Witchwarper was the only one to die...see what 1 credit does for you?

All encounters were built for encounter level based on rules presented in the Starfinder Core Rulebook, based on monster building rules from Alien Archive 1 & Alien Archive 2.

There were 3 encounters in the adventure EL 15, EL 17, and EL 18. Individual creatures also progressed through the encounters.

Encounter 1 (EL 15):
6 EL10 Orc Soldiers. So this was the entryway guards to Gibbo's palace. They were all slightly better at melee, but still respectable at range too. The special defense these had were spell resistance. Since they were underpowered the spell resistance was supposed to help them from being destroyed outright.

Encounter results:
One Witchwarper got into hitpoints mainly because I was able to get the jump on the PCs in initiative and get to the Witchwarper before the Vanguard could step up and defend. Once the Vanguard got control this combat was trivial.

The triviality of this combat, probably came from encounter design more than anything overpowering on the PCs side. The problem with D&D 3rd edition, no edition wars just a problem that has never been rectified in all the later derivations of 3rd edition, is that monsters of a lower EL than the PCs are not usually dangerous. This was the case here, I needed a 19 - 20 to hit the Vanguard and even then if the Vanguard leveled its shield towards the monster a crit was only a normal hit. I was needing 15 and above for the other PCs. This fight was designed as a bellwether for the other two encounters to tell me if I needed to make adjustments to the other ones.

Two things stood out for me.
First, shield really need to be looked at for their effects to AC. To me it seems that AC has been balanced for armor without shields, but with shields it seems it makes it really difficult to hit people. While it may be balanced for a Vanguard...what happens when a soldier gets a hold of one?
Second, Unwilling Guardian. Ok, it is a 5th level spell, but no saves after the initial one? It is not really a Witchwarper problem since the spell is from the core rulebook. Since the creature has to be lower EL it is probably balanced.

Encounter 2 (EL 17):
Jibbo Da'House Yoski Envoy EL14
Buba McFett Human Operative EL14
4 EL 10 Orc Soldiers EL14

Non combatant:
Slave Boy EL17 Blue Dragon (human form)

This encounter was originally written with the throne pit trap to the Rancor whom at EL 14 added would have made this EL18. The Rancor would not have changed much in this room, so I decided to remove the trap and add it to the final encounter. The Slave Boy/Dragon is the person in charge, but everyone thinks (including Jibbo) that Jibbo is in charge.

Encounter Results:
No one suspected the slave boy or had a true seeing type of ability to see the dragon as it was, so in general the dragon was ignored. I also had the PCs roll sense motive checks against the dragon's bluff, which they all failed miserably. Who am I to tell them differently when they thought they were sense motiving against Jibbo?

Bubba got locked down by a Witchwarper's Consuming Narrative power. Without Jibbo's heavy hitter most of Jibbo's powers were moot. The dragon made a mysticism check to figure out what was going on and tried to get the orcs to hit Buba, but the other Witchwarper kept locking down the orc the dragon told to do it, lucky guesses. So by the time Buba was unlocked Jibbo was down, 2 of the 4 orcs were down. Stupid Orc crit Buba when he hit him. The rest was cleanup, since the small room size allowed the Vanguard to pretty much lock up Buba who had only about a 30% chance to hit him without Jibbo's help.

Consuming Narrative with can break a combat quickly. Especially with the encounter level problems that come from above. Yes it locks up one of the PCs with concentration to maintain it, but with no saves the Witchwarper can freely hold say the boss, while the other PCs clean up the trash. With basically unlimited uses (I know only effected 1 time per 24 hours), this ability can trivialize whole adventures. I think a save needs to be introduced or a limit on uses per day.

Encounter 3 (EL 18):
Slave Boy/Blue Dragon EL 17
Rancor EL 14

Non Combatant:
Hands Duo the person they were in to rescue.

Combat Results:
The nature of the enemies caused the PCs to think the Rancor was the bigger of the two threats, even though the dragon got a good breath weapon in the surprise round. They had taken the slave boy with them and he shifted forms while the PCs were distracted by the Rancor. This let the dragon to get next to a Witchwarper and multiattack multiple times and tear them apart. Since the dragon did start in melee range of the party. After the PCs killed the Rancor, the dragon was the only enemy in the adventure that was giving them trouble. They won, losing a Witchwarper and Hands. The dragon could have left, if it were an ongoing campaign it would have and been a menace for the future.

It took an EL + 2 creature to give them trouble. If the dragon didn't have immunity to mind affecting (not standard given to prevent charm/suggestion to fit the Jabba the Hutt's immunity) this combat would have gone very different, as the dead Witchwarper tried to Consuming Narrative it too. A more balanced party, one with some healing, would have been fine in the final combat. Spells that require a on the other hand may need a save boost the dragon saved against the Witchwarpers spells on its weakest save 50% of the time, which the dice gods did not let me miss for the entire combat.

Overall Thoughts:
A couple of things stood out to me:

1. As mentioned earlier I think shields need to be looked since it raises ACs to the point that EL level creatures will have a high miss percentage. The EL17 dragon needed a 12 to hit the Vanguard on a single attack, 16 on a multi attack. If the Vanguard raised shield it went to 15 and 19.

2. Spells and powers that are no saves or save or long effect need to be looked at in general. At level 15 if I were running a home game, I would be left with encounters that took powers away from PCs since things like Consuming Narrative are either you are immune to it or you are not. It feels like I am a benevolent GM and I am allowing you to use your power this time. It is no fun if an NPC does it to a PC and it can trivialize an encounter the opposite direction. I am harping on Consuming Narrative but that is not the only one that does that sort of thing.

3. Spells need higher save DCs at higher levels. When the monsters get saves they are looking at upwards of 80%-85% on the strong save and 50% on the low one. I'd like to see those percentages knocked down 10%-15%.

Congratulations on getting to the end of this wall of text.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

We have been at least some playtest characters at most of our SFS games in the region.

I have personally run games that had playtest characters in them:
AP7 (1-2)
1-23 (5-8)
1-24 (1-4)
A adventure I wrote for level 15.

I have played playtest vanguard in:
1-16 (1st level)
1-25 (4th level)


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Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I think the biggest gap is prepared casters. Starfinder has all these cool spells that get very little use because basically everyone is a Sorcerer, so you have a small subsection of commonly used spells.

I can understand the design decision to do those first since prepared casters are harder to learn and use, but now is the time. Since final release will probably be Summer so approximately 2 years in is a good number for more advanced class options.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Arc Riley wrote:

<sarcasm>wow, you've been slacking!</sarcasm>

I'd really like to see more Starfinder multitables, they don't have to be Origins/Gencon level of intense to make them fun. Something we can run at regional conventions with 3-12 tables.

Also I think that requirement for 5th nova is good, shows the GM has been active in conventions - not just home and local games.

The only problem with the 10 special requirement, is there are GMs who just cannot get to conventions. So something for people whom are dedicated to their community would be good.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

I like races that I can put a good story and personality too.

Since I GM a bit I have a bunch of the available race boons, and my most recent character I have been playing has been a human. Just because I came up with a good concept for him and so he got created.

I am much more interested in interesting mechanics or background that give me an idea for a concept.

Personally things with an intelligence penalty are bad for me, but that is more because I like to play skill heavy characters. SFS seems more skill heavy, so at least for me a more combat oriented character is boring. I do have a skittermander because I like the race and race concept, but the intelligence penalty hurts. It will only be trotted out for special circumstances.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Dracomicron wrote:

You can run or play Skitter Shot as many times as you want. You just don't get credit for it.

You don't NEED credit for Skitter Shot more than twice anyway (once for GMing, once for playing, once for your skittermander, once for the +2 stat buff). The boon is too good to just keep giving out.

I have heard this a couple of times. What is so good about the boon that multiple copies causes a problem? I don't see it.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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I would like to petition the powers that be to add the repeatable tag to Skitter Shot. I could point out that it is the only 1-2 that is not repeatable, promotes additional play, good for new players...bla bla bla.

No I want it repeatable because it is a blast to run and play. I have played and run it multiple times and had a blast each time.

So if there any helpful Skittermanders at the Paizo office. The rules PDF is missing the repeatable tag and says something about it only being allowed to be played once. I believe this is a mistake and I need help fixing it.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I am perfectly fine with not seeing worshippers of Asmodeus included in society play, and for Pharasma in 6-10 you can actually get permission to borrow the object from the priest in charge of the graveyard - which has a 1 in 4 chance of worshipping Pharasma.

Not that this is a non-issue, but I am currently not too worried to be honest.

The issue is not that it can be worked around. In an home game I 100% agree that anathemas as written can work fine. As the players and GM should be able to work out weather or not the character will one fit into the campaign and two offer interesting role playing opportunities.

We are not discussing a home game we are discussing organized play. The players and GM do not have the luxury of making that decision. So it is left to scenario authors to write the adventure in such a way that ALL legal character types can play the adventure.

Your suggestion above for Pharasma is great if the scenario author wrote it in. It is terrible for OP if it is left up to the GM to adjudicate. In that case you will get a wildly subjective answer which could be ruled very differently at every table.

The Pharasma example is the one that is relatively clear. What about ones that aren't? With no guidance from the powers that be, it will be even worse as the swing from one table to the next can be even greater.

So in my opinion Paizo needs to do one of the following for OP:

1. Eliminate anathema for OP. I am not necessarily advocating this action, but it has to be presented as an option.

2. Provide clear rules when anathema each applies in an OP setting in a setting like a players guide. In addition, rules stating that when a PC is about to perform an action that will trigger it the GM should give a warning.

3. Perform some sort of watering down of anathema where it works like the other conditions and does not come into full effect until you get to anathema 3 or 4 or something.

4. Have the scenario authors point out when anathema applies.

5. Some hybrid of 2 and 4.

I do not think that doing nothing is an option as it will cause disagreements and wildly different table experiences as GM adjudicate it differently, which will cause complaints coming up stream through the venture officer core.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
ProfessorC wrote:

Removed quote of my example

The solution here is the you lick it its yours rule. First one to lick it owns it and is responsible for it.

Once its been licked by the cleric of gorum its not an enemy of the dwarves any more and the dwarf isn't obligated to kill him.

Once the dwarf has licked it the gorumite IS accepting its surrender but he's not responsible for what the dwarf does.

This is exactly my point about the problem with anathema in an OP setting. The above ruling requires a subjective ruling by the GM that does not trigger the anathema of one or the other cleric.

So if you leave it in as is one of two things happen:
1. The scenario author is going to have to spell out what anathemas are going to be triggered, and a bunch of errata will need to be released every time a new set of anathemas are released.
2. You leave the GMs with the ability to rip the power away from certain classes when upon their opinion an anathema is triggered. Of which could be appealed at events where there is officers above said GM at the event. Resulting in another subjective call about the situation.

In case 1 you are putting a lot of work on the authors and editors to come up with every situation and continued support of scenarios after they are published.
In case 2 you are assuming the GM has a complete working knowledge of every anathema available. Second you could likely remove the primary power of the character for the rest of the scenario. How many scenarios in OP allow a 8 hour rest, which is the minimum time to recover from an anathema? How do you maintain a consistency of ruling or do you accept wildly different rulings from game to game? Are you simply not going to write certain scenarios (no going to a tomb and getting something, Pharasma anathema for example)?


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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The problem with organized play has always been when creating adventures you must assume all legal characters are at the table at the same time. A well written adventure will take into account this fact, and handle abnormalities.

As an author of Living Greyhawk adventures in the past, I can tell you from experience this is not an easy feat. I can also definitively say that all my adventures do not qualify as well written by my statement above.

Right now the anathema system for the Paladin, Barbarian, Cleric, & Druid is most likely the cause of an adventure abnormality. At least those that the writer can account for. While I do not think the system necessarily needs to be gotten rid of for PFS a definitive set of rules need to be established to handle such, and I believe it has to be less severe than the rules established in the core rule book. Which in general is an anathema for the PFS folks. :)

Here is what I would suggest:
Cleric, & Druid - Performs an act of anathema, lose 1 casting of top level spell.
Paladin - Lose 1 spell point.
Barbarian - Lose ability to rage and gain fatigued condition until next 10 minute rest. (This may need refinement)

You could also introduce an anathema penalty like any other condition make it a -1 to all d20 roles or something for each level and level X anathema 3 or 4 would be my suggestion would put on the full anathema penalty. With the requirements of the Atone ritual to get this cleared, 10 x level gold and 1 day cast time.

This way you don't need to have writers writing themselves around in circles to try to account for all the possible anathemas out there, much less future ones that could appear later.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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The problem with Anathema in PFS is weather or not it is triggered is a subjective call and not an objective one. There is nothing wrong with subjective calls in role playing games, as it usually spawns roleplaying opportunities. The problem is in an organized play environment, where you are going to see a huge mix of characters whom may or may not have played together. In addition GM license is minimal in an OP environment, again making Anathemas particularly punishing. Could having a Pharasman along cause a failure of an adventure? How would the Pharasman player know to play another character, or not play the adventure? Do we want to design adventures where certain anathemas are not a good fit for.

In addition there could be situations where anathemas could be mutually exclusive:

Enemy of the people surrenders:
Cleric of Torag - Must not show mercy to enemy of the people, continues to slay said enemy.

Cleric of Gorum - Must accept surrender.

In all likelihood one of these clerics are losing their power, or a fight breaks out that cannot happen in organized play.

Don't get me wrong, I like a disadvantage system (which anathemas are) as it allows for role playing opportunities. The problem is when it comes down to subjective calls on a GMs part it will always be a problem in an organized play setting.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

No the only scenario that requires pregen characters is the special SFS#1-00 Claim to Salvation. This is clearly stated in the GM information at the beginning of the scenario.

Into the Unknown and Dreaming of the Future do not allow the slotting of boons, but can be played by any character in the level range. While it is not stated specifically in the scenario about the character requirement it would default to the SFS guide with the exception of not allowing boons to be slotted. The exception to normal rules is also clearly stated in scenario.

Skittershot's sanctioning document requires the pregens from the module or a valid Skittermander PC again stated directly in the sanctioning document.

Ashes of Discovery is not a quest pack but a repeatable scenario and does not have any exception to the normal rules of character use other than it is repeatable.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I want us to keep the 1xp per scenario.

I really like 3xp math. The simplification of it was one of the things that made me happy in Org Play. The newest quest packs are 4 per quest pack, which works fine in a gaming store slot. I hope we keep this format, as it works well for both conventions and for regular play.


I have to agree with Hmm on this one. When I was a campaign administrator for LG we discussed moving to it due to modules never giving out less than full experience. In fact if a module did it would in general be blacklisted and not played, one I wrote got complaints as there was a decent likelihood of not getting full experience. The 3 XP system is simple, efficient, not really prone to math errors, and eliminates 99% of the complaints of that sort we had in LG.

GM OfAnything wrote:

I feel like the current quest format is largely a scenario by another name and could better serve a purpose. I would really like more flexibility to play a quest after a fast session or quickly in between con slots without feeling obligated to finish four or six more before playing the character again.
I'd like the option to play one or two at a time as well as being able to sit down and knock out four in a slot.
Are there challenges to collecting a monthly quest releases to play three or four in a game night slot?

So what it looks like to me is quests fill two roles. Role 1: Be an scenario that can be played in a standard slot. Role 2: Allow for short game demos at cons. I know that means that cons tend not to schedule the quests as full round slots, making it difficult to get the full quest in at a con. For a quest to serve the role you would like as something short to do while waiting for other things a rethinking of how the chronicle sheet system is managed would be required. Not only experience, but fame and gold become a problem. Not to mention a chronicle sheet is to be 100% complete before the next one is introduced.

I think what would serve the role better would be a series of shorter scenarios kind of like the 2 hour adventures for AL. Halving rewards is easy and you would not have to revamp the whole chronicle sheet system.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Bob Jonquet wrote:
If we added a chapter (maybe at the end) that summarized or “quick started” the basic rules, and we provided both a complete version of the Guide and a by chapter version, it would serve the needs of [nearly] everyone I would think

I would recommend starting with the quickstart guide. 90% of the information a player needs from the guide could be put there and you would have a high likelihood of people actually reading it.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Douglas Edwards wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
What about: making level more 1 fun?

Well, that's up to the product development team.

I don't want to bog this topic down with how down I am about PFS 2, but this isn't something the OP team can do much about. If level 1 isn't fun it isn't fun.

What to do about it becomes a conversation the OPF can have.

The OP team does have say about things like how long a PC stays in first level, or designing scenarios that are fun to play at first level. The fun does not have to come from mechanics as it can come from good scenario design.

I do think that the difference between 1 and 2 in PF2 is not the huge jump that it is in PF1, so I do not believe a level 2 character is going to so outclass a level 1 character like in PF1 that the level 1 character is not fun to play. So the "abuse" of GMs starting at level may no longer be an issue.

That being said, I have only played parts 1 & 2 of the playtest or levels 1 and 4, so my opinion on 2nd level play is only backed up my reading of the of rules and not actual play.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

I think this is currently less of a problem in the Playtest since level 1 is a bit more interesting (though I personally would want it to be even more so, skill feats and general feats - maybe even give everyone an extra class feat to multiclass so their character can play with the class combination from level 1....).

Make level 1 more fun seems to be the best option.

I agree with the make level 1 more fun option, but I disagree with the make level 1 more complex option. Level 1 is the gateway for new players and as such characters must be simple enough that you aren't going to overwhelm the new player in the process.

I think as long as you can make level 1 feel heroic it will be more fun. I do not know what the answer here is but in general the system has to be fast, simple, and the PCs have to be able to do cool things. It needs to be able to hook new players and make them excited for more.

Level 1 will eventually become a slog for veteran players, because in a world where almost all PCs start at level 1 you will spend most of your time there. No matter how exciting you make it, it will get to the been there done that point.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

RealAlchemy wrote:

Intro scenarios? You mean like the ones we have now for L1-2 play? Honestly, 90%+ of the characters played in Confirmation and Wounded Wisp are L1, and I'd expect PFS2 to have similar scenarios.

I was suggesting level 1 only.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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First off, I do not think the problem is as bad in PF2 as it is in PF1. Level 1 characters are decently hardy and level 2 characters do not have that much more HP (50% - 75% more) a +1 addition to basically everything. In addition all casters can get a useful cantrip usable an unlimited number of times.

What changes is if an average would hit on an 11 at first level it would be a 10 at second or 50% chance to a 55%. You have another 1st level spell slot if you are a caster and another 1st level cast per day. Also you have a class feat allowing you to do a trick of your class.

So I think it has gone from level 2 being completely blowing away a level 1 to being simply more powerful. I would need to playtest some games with a mixed party of level 1 and level 2s to be sure, but on the surface it does not look that bad.

If turns out to be worse than I think then there is a relatively simple solution to the issue, stealing an idea from Living Greyhawk, make intro scenarios. Level 1 only scenarios. In addition I would either make them short 1-2 hour play time or 3 xp if a full slot. Either allow the scenarios to fill the roll that quests play now, or get a 1 and done setup to level 2.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

My only problem with using something like basic saving throw is for the people who are converting from PF1 and would assume that basic saving throw works the same as PF1 and not bother going to look up what that means. So in that case I would like something more descriptive like the S,CS,F,CF setup or something that shows it is different than what PF1 is.

I have been playing D&D or D&D related systems for so long I tell people when they ask me a rules question that the answer will be correct, the version of the rules will be random. Anything that makes it plainly clear to me it is different than PF1 or even 3.5 is a plus in my book.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

I am a little disappointed about the battle ribbon, I had a neat character concept around it. I understand though, as that weapon introduces a new proficiency requirement and could add confusion.

Oh well, home game for that concept or possibly a con boon will open it up.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Peet wrote:

Hi guys.

Just finished my GMing my first SFS scenario, "The Commencement." Now I have to make some chronicle sheets, and a question came up.

One of my players didn't have a level 1 handy and played Navasi, the pre-gen envoy. He made up the character later, and the character he intended to apply it to ended up in another game.

* Is it legal for him to apply the sheet to this character if that character is still in another game?

* If not, is it legal for him to wait and apply the sheet to that character after the other game is finished?

What should I do here? Thanks in advance.

So playing a pregen is legal and should be applied to a character at the time of completing it, unless you are playing a tier of which you do not have a character.

In this case you have 2 options:
Option 1: Take 720 credits and apply it to a new level 1 character.
Option 2: Apply it to the character "played" when that character becomes appropriate tier.

In both cases you have to decide what character this is going to be applied to at the time the game is played.

In your case there are a couple of questions:
1. Was your playthrough of the commencement completed at the time your player started another game? If so he applies the chronicle before the chronicle for the next game. If not, his character is stuck and cannot start another game and receive credit for the current one.

2. Is the second game also the Commencement? While the Commencement is repeatable you cannot repeat it with the same character and therefore cannot get two of the same chronicles for the same character.

If either the above cases cause an illegality to happen, it is simple enough to fix. Since the player played a pregen at your table, you and your player can work out what character to apply the chronicle to that is a legal character for your game, including one that may not have been created yet.

In general players should be given chronicles immediately after completing the appropriate scenario, module, or adventure path in question. A character that starts and adventure is stuck until it is completed, meaning they cannot use the same character to begin another adventure until the previous one is completed. This includes if playing a pregen the character that the chronicle sheet is being applied to.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Well there are two reasons you do not see all that much high level stuff.

1. If you look at the character demographic you will find a descending line or curve starting at 1 and going down to 11 with a spike at 12 where a number of characters are semi-retired. I have not seen Paizo's numbers, but it is that way with World of Warcraft when they show them. It was that way with Living Greyhawk when I was a campaign admin. So my first statement is an assumption based on similar systems of which I have had I would be really surprised if it was different.

What Paizo should do here is release in proportion to the character base here. They are always going to have to tend to the low side, but that does not mean that they should ignore the high side.

2. It is really hard to develop for organized play high level play. You have to develop for a random table of 6 classes. Do I write a scenario with the assumption that a cleric or wizard is there or their equivalents? If I do the scenario will probably be a TPK for tables that do not have one or both. Or do I write it for the lowest common denominator 6 bards. 6 bards at 17th level may not be that bad, has any lived that long? I am being harsh on bards, but the point is you could end up with a really unbalanced party in Organized play. If I write for the worst party a high level wizard or cleric could solo the scenario.

Starfinder has done a lot to balance unbalanced parties with item levels. From what I have read PF2 has item levels too. As long as other classes damage output can stay in the ball park of a wizard unbalanced parties are not as much of a problem. Stamina in SF and hit dice in 5e also help with the problem of healing inbetween combats. Anything that narrows the gap between a balanced and an unbalanced party makes high level play in an organized play setting more feasable.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Nefreet wrote:

It's live for reporting.

See this thread.

Unfortunately that was not the faction I was talking about. And dagnabbit I looked for another thread about this and didn't see that one. I believe that from Thursty's comments the new faction is playable, but it is still not reportable.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

So in an attempt to keep this post as spoiler free as possible I am being intentionally obtuse. A new faction was introduced at Origins we'll call it faction J. It is entirely possible that players will have 1 reputation with said faction.

So I have two questions:

1. Is faction J legal for a player to choose either by buying a faction boon or as the given one for a first level character?

2. If yes to 1 how do we report it, as faction J does not appear in the reporting tool yet as a faction?


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Mystic Lemur wrote:
Add Wait wrote:
I don't think one will be objectively better.
Well Paizo certainly hopes 2e will be objectively better. That's why they're using the experience gained over 19 years of the d20 system, as well as providing an evolving playtest ruleset, to make a brand new system. It wouldn't make much sense for them to do that, and then release an equal or worse system, would it?

I would go one step further it better be objectively better or Paizo has failed. 10 years of PF experience numerous years of 3.0 & 3.5 experience before that. 6 months of public playtest (I am assuming that the book has to go to final and print by March), it would be hard to not iron out at least some of the problems of the current system.

The problem with objective measurements is what are the metrics we are measuring to make our determination? For Paizo the objective measurements may be different than for you, but they should be at least aware of what you are going to use as your measurements since their overriding goal is to sell you PF2 and its related accessories. For me as the entity of a Paizo customer I have already spent more on PF2 than I have on PF so if you look at this in the microcosm of me as a single customer PF2 is already objectively better that PF. Yes I know I am a far outlier and if they use me as a subset they are going to get it wrong.

The real argument is will it be subjectively better. That is going to come down to preference. We can get into a spirited discussion about it and never come to any meaningful conclusion, lets rewind 10 years and have the PF/4e debate again.

What I would like to see is a conscious effort by Paizo and the Venture Staff to keep the community together. For me that was the real problem with the PF/4e split was half the Living Greyhawk community went to PF half went to 4e and very few (at least in my friend group) split the difference. That is what worries me more than what the rules look like.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Slow track should be easy. Just double the experience needed to level and do not worry about it on the adventure record. A slow track PC needs 6 exp to level vs a normal needs 3. That makes it up to the player to make sure everything is correct and leave the GM to deal with all the other things a GM has to deal with.


Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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I am for expanded or full replay and here is why:

I play OP to socialize with my friends for a few hours (I count like minded individuals as friends in this context). It is an easy method to find those individuals like a dating service for other gamers. For the most part I do not care what we play and if someone or everyone has already played it Ok that just changes the interaction a bit. So anything that makes it easier to make that happen is good in my book. I am fully aware, that what I get out of OP is not what others get out of OP and so what works for me does not work for others.

Now on to what I think Paizo should do.
I think Paizo should set up replay in such a way that PFS1 stays strong for another 2-3 years. I do not know what that is because I would have to see play numbers and patters to begin to make an educated guess. Ideally after the 2-3 year marker play drops off heavily. Why 2-3 years you ask? A mature campaign offers something different than a new one. For people who want lots of diversity and options I think it will take 2-3 years to get that source material out there for it. You are giving people time to move and allow PF2 to evolve into more things than what just the core will offer. PFS2 will also have some maturing storylines for those that are into that at the 2-3 year mark.

I think Wizards made a mistake making a hard cut for Living Greyhawk especially, but Living Forgotten Realms too. I think a slow transition versus an all or nothing move will work out better for Paizo.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Ok so I was going to write a long post with rebuttals, then it occurred to me that this whole argument can be brought down to another argument in the war gaming community that has been going on for years.

Painted vs. Unpainted Miniatures

The argument boils down to this there is a contingent who refuses to play if their opponent's miniatures are not painted to a certain standard. In my mind this argument has always sounded elitist, even though I endeavor to always have painted miniatures on my side. It is the you play my way or I am going to take my toys and go home.

So this argument really boils down to a simple duology, inclusive vs exclusive. I will always side on the inclusive side of the argument as my feeling is that while it might be less fun for me to play under less that "perfect" conditions but it is better than not playing at all.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Farzon the necr...cleric who arrives late joins the line with his butler whom smells bad and has a penchant for brains. As Farzon waits, he is still trying to decide if he wants to join the lodge or just wants to be here in case his services are needed.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

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So what I do is when I schedule a 3-6 I also schedule a 1-4 along side of it as a rerun. When I moved to 2 game days in a month in January I reran the quest and The Commencement. This weekend I am actually rerunning a 3-6 scenario because of demand. So people are slowly starting to get to the level they want to see them.

With the repeatable scenarios 1-12 and 1-16 coming soon you should be able to get more variety in scenarios.

I think A Night in Nightarch was too soon for a 3-6. If that one was a 1-4 I think we would be just right. Since you needed to play every scenario up to that point to qualify it was a bit of a scramble to get players when it first came out.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

Stars/Glyphs/Novas say very little about your GM ability and more about commitment to the campaign. It doesn't really make a definitive remark on your knowledge of the system. So I do think you should reward the dedicated GMs for your PF1 campaign in PF2. GMs make the campaign go around and keeping them as happy as possible is always good for the game. Also keeping your dedicated fans as happy as possible also is good for the game.

I do think you should reward people for dedication to the new campaign, so a separate system is good. This makes business sense as it will help with buy-in to the system/campaign.

As someone who would not qualify, and probably will never run enough PF1 to even get 1 star, I am OK with people who have run enough to receive the discount based on earlier participation. I'll just take pride in I did it the hard way :P.

Venture-Lieutenant aka ProfessorC

There was this old argument in the Living Greyhawk days in that should we move from the 1000s of experience system to a x number of mods system. Since it was assumed, and oh the complaining if it didn't happen, that a mod would offer "full" XP for the tier and it was easy to get assuming you finished the mod. In that situation the 1000s of XP was kind of pointless and could lead to math errors etc.

I like that PFS went to a system that we were discussing in LG, but I agree it should be a little more granular.

So with that I would suggest 15 or 30 per level.

15 Works out like this:
5 Per Scenario
1 Per Quest
15 Per Adventure Path

You are still .5 on quests/scenarios on slow if you simply double everything you get everything being a whole number even on the slow path.

Even better for the slow path just double the experience you need to get the next level vs changing the award for each module.


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I would like to see a more dynamic alignment system kind of like light side/ dark side points in FFGs Force and Destiny. You could have a law/chaos scale like 10 to -10 and good/evil scale for the same thing. You could then key abilities off those. IE smite could only work on alignments you are opposite from.

You have everyone start as true neutral and have them advance based on their decisions in the game. With allowing one bump per level on each chain. So you have some control over your destiny.

This sort of system would allow you to bring a morality front and center into the game with only minor additional record keeping. It is not that far from the existing infamy system currently in SFS play.