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***** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht 1,582 posts (5,388 including aliases). 123 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 38 Organized Play characters. 10 aliases.


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5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

On the one hand, PFS1 isn't (officially) supported any more, so it kinda makes sense. On the other hand, PFS1 is still being played, so opening this up would've been cool.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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Ah, thank you! I was in the wrong FAQ section.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

As someone who is currently running Age of Ashes, where can I find the FAQ? If it's this page, I don't think it's on there yet.

EbonFist wrote:

Agcat-tha Christie.

Surely you mean Agatha Hisstie?

Quentin Coldwater wrote:

Hello all, I'm running 2-07 The Blakros Deception for a few people, and there's room for two more! Sign up quickly!

Linky link.

There's a level 5, a level 6, and two level 7s signed up, and I'd like to keep it low tier, if possible.

Note: As I said, only two more can join. If you see it's full, please don't join.

Recruitment is now closed, sorry.

Hello all, I'm running 2-07 The Blakros Deception for a few people, and there's room for two more! Sign up quickly!

Linky link.

There's a level 5, a level 6, and two level 7s signed up, and I'd like to keep it low tier, if possible.

Note: As I said, only two more can join. If you see it's full, please don't join.

GM Tiger wrote:
I'll open up a table as soon as one of my other games ends... I'll save you a seat, Quentin.

Awesome. Thanks, Tiger!

Random question: if Striking is so ingrained in enemy HP expectations, how much would you have to scale back enemy HP if Striking wasn't a thing?

I originally wanted to ask, "if Striking is so expected of players, why is it still a thing," but I guess that's already been answered. People want upgrades, that's all there is to it.

Nope, haven't played it.
For people who are better with names, it's 3-06 Struck by Shadows.

I haven't participated in level 6+ play in a while, either. I have a level 6 Ranger and a level 7 Cleric up if anyone's willing to GM.

Sorry I jumped the gun on the scenario Anjo, I just saw a lot of people wanting to play it. Hopefully I can accommodate you next time!

Iceman, you're welcome to be the sixth person. Jump on in! :)

Woo, that was easy. I've reserved spots for all six of you. Haven't heard if Anjo Aroh has played this. If he has, a sixth spot is available to someone else.

Linky link over here.

Have any of you played #3-17 Dreams of a Dustbound Isle? I'd half-prepped it for a VTT game before I got sick, might as well finish the job. It's a 5-8.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Welcome! There's a lot of additional rules baggage with Society play, but you can do all of that in nice digestible chunks. This is the rules page for PFS.

I recommend focusing on THIS and THIS page of the guide to get your bearings.

The main thing to know when making a character is this:
- You have access to all Common options of your level and below.
- For Society play, you also get to choose a faction and a school of training you underwent. The faction stuff is mostly flavour, but the reputation you earn can nab you some goodies later on. Don't worry too much about that yet. There are also four schools of training, and you get a free item every adventure (only usable during that scenario, so you don't get to keep it): Swords (mostly useful for smashy-smashy stuff), Spells (useful if you're a caster), Scrolls (some utility stuff) and Generalist (all kinds of stuff, really). You also get an extra free Lore skill depending on your school, and a feat at level 5.

That's basically all you need to know for Society play. :)

Welcome, and have fun! :)

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

I got a random error message when trying to view the tracker, across all browsers. Firefox suggests a potential security issue, most likely an expired certificate. Thought I'd mention it.

Also, Society Intro #1: The Second Confirmation doesn't appear when reporting scenarios as played. Is that intentional? I've had some new players ask about it.

I think a Druid with an animal companion might be good. The companion to help beef up the frontline and some primal spellcasting for backup.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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Ah, fair. I didn't mean to go into a discussion. Like you said, trying to shine a different light on things to help others.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Doug Hahn wrote:
The child grooming elements felt inappropriate and unnecessary. Players thought it was a strange choice for Society play. Again… just have the scene in her merchant spice booth in public.

My players didn't pick up on that. Maybe because we weren't aware of those issues, maybe we just had too much fun and our brains were turned off, but I think this won't be an issue for every table. That's not to say that it isn't an issue of course, just that your mileage may vary, I guess.

Doug Hahn wrote:
The scene in the warehouse really bothers me. How are PCs forcefully inspecting Efrith's spellbook and other personal items? They just barge in and start rifling through her stuff, breaking down doors, and taking things. The PCs aren't even "deputized" to have any sort of authority to investigate this person's home. I thought we were moving away from this kind of behavior in Society play.

Yeah, my players wanted to do a "citizen's arrest," and they made a whole lot of good arguments why she should be eaten by Boiltongue, but I guess she expects to slip out of any accusation leveled against her. Which, considering the players have several clear points of evidence that she's spying, strains against the suspension of disbelief.

Doug Hahn wrote:
⠀⠀ The dragons are anthropomorphized as young innocent children, and also as sadistic beings. The tone fluctuated between dark comedy and lighthearted cuteness. Taken altogether, it felt thematially uneven.

I've never really seen them as cruel, other than them just eating sheep, but I always portrayed them with some sort of childish innocence that young kids tend to have. They just don't have the capacity to think beyond themselves. For me it was pretty thematically straightforward.

Doug Hahn wrote:
Linnorns have a swim speed so people were confused that Crookscale can't swim; we ended up flavoring it like "believe in yourself!" Not sure if that was the author's intent, but some clarification would be good here because I think that's a hilarious way to play it.

I mean, I guess linnorms are mainly land-bound. The fact that they CAN swim doesn't mean they're able to so immediately when they hatch. Babies don't immediately sit up straight and walks away as soon as they roll out of the womb. There's a whole "nature versus nurture" debate to be had, but that's the easiest way to explain it, I feel.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Doug Hahn wrote:
The fact that it all comes down to the gold was frustrating for players (even if it's probably true to the "blood money" element of the cultures that Ulfen are based on, this doesn't translate well to a scenario about babysitting children).

My players actually liked that gold was the final deciding factor. But yeah, now that I'm looking into it, the audience at the end feels practically vestigial. 8+ gold for the best result would mean everything has to go nearly perfect, but you can still get there when failing (not crit failing) two events. 5-7 is still very generous, I feel. If you fail every resolution you'll still have enough to succeed. Only crit failing several appeasements will cause you to fail:

Event 1: fail, lose 1 fund, crit fail, lose 2 funds.
Event 3: fail, lose 2 funds, crit fail, lose 4 funds.
Event 4: fail, lose 1 fund, crit fail, lose 2 funds. Possibly 1 more if they don't stop the fight between Mangefang and Scourtail.
Event 5: pay 1 fund if you lose (very unlikely), pay 2 funds if you cheat and get caught, get 1 fund if you win.

If you fail every single resolution, you still win the scenario. You'd have to crit fail several encounters to fail the scenario. Which is good for a PFS scenario, I guess, but it does take the bite out of it. If you're so unskilled that you need the audience at the end to bump you up, you're going to fail there as well, I feel.

I guess my main problem with the audience is that apparently White Estrid has already made up her mind as soon as you set foot in the castle. Yeah, the mission briefing said, "maybe this is some kind of test," but the scenario never really states if it is or not, until you reach the end. And then it's just 15 minutes of dicerolling and squeezing out all the modifiers you can, for absolutely no gain. Well yeah, maybe the shield, but chances are you're going to get it anyway.

As I said, my players really liked the gold was their measurement of success, instead of a few skill checks at the end. But I didn't tell them how they were judged, just that gold remaining was good. And since they only paid 1 Fund (and got it back in the fight in Event 5), they felt really good about themselves. Just don't tell them the mechanics, I guess. Once they realise how easy it is for them to win, the victory will feel hollow.

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Temperans wrote:
Quentin Coldwater wrote:

According to Wikipedia, obesity is "sometimes considered a disease." That would imply that a Remove Disease could remove it, by the very literal reading of the text.

Its listed as a disease because of how things get tracked and get more attention. Also some disease can cause that type of problem (Ex: Tyroids). A great example is addiction which is often treated as a disease, but mostly a mental health issue.

I am not sure we should use socio-political definitions of "disease" for what can be removed with that spell. Doing otherwise is a recipe for disaster with certain people taking it way beyond what this conversation is about.

(I hope I don't have to explain what the issue is further).

Completely agree, you put it way better than I did.

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According to Wikipedia, obesity is "sometimes considered a disease." That would imply that a Remove Disease could remove it, by the very literal reading of the text.

While I don't want to dispute whether obesity is a disease or not, most of the diseases Paizo has published come from exposure to something; basically an external force acting upon the body. I would say that Remove Disease would purge that foreign agent from the body. Since there's no foreign agent here, I don't think obesity would be affected by it. Then again, by that interpretation, a cancer is definitely a disease, but also doesn't have a "foreign agent," so there's a whole lot of grey area here.

(Or simply redefine "foreign agent" as "something attacking the body," and the whole discussion is moot.)

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Yeah, I did the same. In my mind, NPCs use the same rules for dying as PCs, but in most cases it doesn't matter too much. In cases like this, I would track their Dying condition. Two of my Ulfen indeed hit 0 HP, and my players were nice enough to cast Stabilize on them.

While there isn't any direct need to immediately calm the siblings down during the Bumper Boats, I would impress upon the players the chaos and mayhem they're causing. My players indeed focused on them first, which prevented the cargo from flying overboard. By the very literal interpretation of the scenario, the secondary objective is retrieving all of the cargo, which they didn't do, but common sense says that they prevented it from spilling in the first place and succeeded at that mission.

If the players try to convince Crookscale to come back before he falls into the water, I ruled that he already agrees because he doesn't like it there. They can then use their same turn to calm him down or bring him ashore, basically not wasting their actions that round.

Complete tangent: several people mentioned that "chubby/overweight in our times would be seen as obese back then."

It might just be a definitional thing, but to me, "obese" implies negatively impacting your health. Yeah, 20 extra kilos back then would be a lot, but in most cases, that's still well within the safe zone. I don't think that statement holds any water. Yes, it would be more unusual, but it wouldn't be more dangerous back then than it does now.

Just something I wanted to throw in here to see if I'm just being weird or not.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

When my players interacted with Crookscale on the boat, I simply made the comment, "wahh, I can't swim! Come pick me up!" Simple enough, but it's indeed not specified in the scenario.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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Doug: I only looked quickly through the handouts, but I noticed on page 8 below Development the sentence being very weird, and stopping halfway through.
Also, on page 7 it says you can teach Crookscale how to swim from round 6 onwards, but I think you can do that pretty much immediately, not just from round 6 onwards.
You seem to not list DCs in general, but in the Warehouse part (page 11) you give some DCs, but not all. The Spellbook part also isn't finished.
(I'm personally unsure about listing DCs for players. On the one hand, it spoils the mystery, but on the other hand, DCs are so codified by level that players can always guess at the typical DC. Not sure if this comment is relevant, but eh.)

Speaking of the Bumper Boats event, it's pretty tough to run. Actions and skill DCs are spread across pages 12 and 13, and what will happen on each round is on page 11. A lot of going back and forth during the scenario. I would definitely recommend trying to get all of that on one separate page so you don't waste too much time flipping pages.

My players only failed to befriend Crookscale, exactly like Doug says. My party dove into the water to drag him out, but because of that couldn't befriend him. I'd definitely allow them to teach him how to swim afterwards because yeah, that's a weird one.

The child grooming aspect feels a bit weird indeed, but I think it can be smoothed over depending on how you present it. But definitely something to look out for, yeah.

Just taking Efrith's loot is indeed quite thuggish to me, but my players didn't have any problems with it. My players also had a hard time accepting she gets away so easily. They had recovered enough evidence that she's dangerous, but the guards just wave her away. That breaks some of the suspension of disbelief.

I personally made Crookscale always laugh either like Muttley (from Wacky Races) or like Ernie from Sesame Street. Gives a nice bit of character.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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Holy flying penalties and bonuses, Batman! I've tried to list all the things that can penalise/help the PCs on their skills in a separate document, as I'm sure I'll lose track of it during gameplay itself. It's not pretty, maybe someone can spruce it up, but here's what can modify DCs/rolls during the scenario, listed when it's applicable, not necessarily in the adventure itself. I've included the DCs of everything, though maybe that clutters things too much. DC X/Y means low tier/high tier). Each paragraph bundles bonuses/penalties to the same thing (so a blank line means the next paragraph modifies something else).

Befriend Oridius (teach them about Ulfen culture or DC 20/23 Diplomacy to cheer them up during Event 1): -2 to all DCs to interact with them.
Befriend Scourtail (be entertaining during the first three rounds in the fight in Event 2 with enough cool maneuvers, flashy spells, or DC 21/24 Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Intimidation, or Performance): -2 to all DCs to interact with him.
Befriend Crookscale by teaching him how to swim (first calm him down with DC 20/24 Deception, Diplomacy, or Performance, then a DC 19/22 Instruction/Teacher Lore to teach him): -2 to all DCs to interact with him.
Befriend Brulivex (buy the rabbit during Event 4 for 1 gp): -2 to all DCs to interact with her.
Befriend Manglefang (DC 22/25 Diplomacy, DC 20/23 Performance, or DC 18/21 Circus/Comedy/Theater Lore during Event 5): -2 to all DCs to interact with him.

Fail to calm Crookscale twice or fail twice in swimming lessons (less than DC 20/23 Deception, Diplomacy, Performance to calm him down, DC 19/22 Instruction/Teacher Lore to teach how to swim) during Event 3: permanent +2 to all DCs to interact with Crookscale.

DC 17/20 Performance: +2 circumstance bonus to interact with mothers.

Event 1: Snack Time
Mention mountain goats: +2 circumstance bonus to interact with the linnorms.
Mention vegetables, fruit, or plants: -1 circumstance penalty to interact with the linnorms.
Convince Brulivex to help with Deception, Diplomacy, or Performance (DC 20/23): lower DCs to interact with the others by 2.
Play up the danger of hunting goats to Scourtail: -2 DC to convince her.

Critical failure on Diplomacy to find the linnorms (DC 10/13 or below): -2 to all skill checks to interact with Nelar and Ogsen.
Influence crowd with Performance (DC 19/22): +1 circumstance bonus to interact with Nelar and Ogsen.
Fail to convince Manglefang twice (less than DC 18/22 Intimidation): +1 DC to influence Nelar and Ogsen with Diplomacy.
Fail to convince Oridius twice (less than DC 19/22 Society): +1 DC to influence Nelar and Ogsen.
Fail to convince Scourtail twice (less than DC 20/23 Deception, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Performance): +1 DC to influence Nelar and Ogsen.

Event 2: A Hunting We Will Go
Crit success Arcana (DC 30) at mission briefing: +1 circumstance bonus to find Brethul Scarp.
DC 21/24 Nature or DC 19/21 Survival: +1 circumstance bonus versus Scourtail this event.

Event 3: Bumper Boats
Give Crookscale a flotation device or other rescue aid: +1 circumstance bonus to Athletics to swim ashore.

Fail to convince a linnorm to stop playing: +1 to DCs to placate sailors per failed linnorm, up to 3 (4 if Brulivex joined).
Haul the goods out of the river (DC 20/23 Athletics): -1 DC to placate sailors. (Maybe 2)
Every 2 rounds beyond 4 to rescue all the sailors from the river: +1 DC to placate sailors.

Event 4: Shopping Spree
Fail to placate Manglefang and Scourtail (two DC 20/23 Athletics to grapple, followed by DC 22/25 Intimidation): +1 DC to placate locals.
Fail to convince Oridius to return the maps (DC 20/23 Diplomacy or Intimidate): +1 DC to placate locals.

Fail to locate the warehouse (less than DC 22/25 Perception, DC 20/22 Survival, DC 18/18(?) Architecture or Engineering Lore): +2 DC to interact with Crookscale and Efrith.
Present at least five pieces of evidence: -2 DC to convince Crookscale.

Audience With the King
Refuse to fight Revna in Event 5: +2 DC to all arguments.
At least 3 linnorms behave: -1 DC to all arguments.
Proper introduction (DC 23/26 Diplomacy): -1 DC to all arguments.

Recklessness, befriend Crookscale and Brulivex: -1 DC per befriended linnorm.

Combat Prowess, befriend Scourtail: -1 DC per won combat.

Cultural Knowledge, befriend Oridius and Manglefang: -1 DC per befriended linnorm.


I was thinking of putting the befriending parts in the events where they happen, but I thought at the top of the page might be the most useful. Maybe bold it or use bigger font when you print it out so it's more visible.


I've also made a potential hand-out for players for all the things they can do during the Bumper Boats. I've removed the DCs and some text regarding what happens after a success to obscure game mechanics to players. The last two options are in line breaks because they happen later and I plan to give those out in separate handouts when they become available. Don't want to spoil everything that's going to happen immediately. If you don't care, remove the line breaks and just give out as one document.

Everyone can do one of the following things each round. Each attempt generally takes 2 or 3 actions.

Abandon Ship: A PC can convince the linnorms to abandon the skiffs and play another game in the river instead. To convince a linnorm to abandon the skiffs, the PCs must succeed at a Deception, Diplomacy, or Intimidation check, or a Performance or Society check to tempt them into a different game.
Craft Rescue Aid: A PC can quickly construct or scavenge a makeshift knotted rope, line, or flotation device with a Crafting check. On a success, they craft one device (two on a critical success).
Grab On: A PC can throw a knotted rope, line, or flotation device that they constructed with the Craft Rescue Aid action above to a person in the water (at the GM’s discretion, the PCs’ existing equipment may be able to serve this function as well). They must attempt a ranged attack.
Swimming: A PC can enter the water and lend aid to people in the water. They must attempt an Athletics check to Swim. A creature with a swim speed treats the result of their check as one higher for the purposes of this skill check.

Recruit Assistance: A PC can urge the crowd to lend a hand in rescuing people. They must attempt a Diplomacy or Intimidation check against the crowd. On a success, they convince the crowd to help. Each round, the crowd rescues one person from the river (two on a critical success). On a failure, the PCs fail to rally the crowd.

Scavenge: When Crookscale overturns a skiff, the skiff’s contents are dumped into the river. A PC can dive into the water to haul the goods back to shore. They must attempt an Athletics check to determine how long it takes to haul the goods to shore.


That's all the prep stuff I did out of the way. I have a few questions/remarks.
- How big should I make the siblings if I want to represent them on a map? The adult version is Gargantuan, so I'm thinking somewhere between Medium and Large, to impress upon the players that they can't just bully them into submission and that they're dealing with powerful creatures.
- During Bumper Boats, in the Scavenge section on page 13 it says if you return the goods it reduces the DC to placate them by 1. In the Resolution check a little down, it says the check is reduced by 2. Which is it?
- On page 12, teaching Crookscale how to swim calls for a Profession check. That's probably a slip of the tongue and the author most likely means a Lore check.
- As I noted in the handout, the bonuses to influence people do some strange things. In the very beginning in act 1, some things give bonuses to players, while later on it increases/decreases the DC on the GM's end. It's probably the same thing in the end, but I found it interesting enough to note.
- On page 14 it asks for a DC 18 Architect Lore in low tier to notice something about the building. In the high tier it's the same exact number. I assume that it's 21: 3 higher, like basically all the other checks in high tier.
- The conclusion gives players a Martyr's Shield if they achieved the Thoroughly Impressed score, but it's nowhere on the chronicle. It does give a boon, which I presume is that shield. But as boons are available to everyone, how does the system know if they've earned it or not? Or does the success condition (box C) unlock availability to the boon? Can anyone who has already played this scenario help me on this? I mean, it's not super important, but I'd like to tell my players if they got it or not.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Fafrd the Grey Mouse wrote:
- Always have something to do with your 3rd action other than just crit-fish. Raise your shield. Demoralize or feint (note, this might be your first action instead of last). Step back away from your foe. Recall Knowledge (knowing an enemies weakness can sometimes be the difference between your life and death)

This. Doesn't have to be all the time, but enemies are accurate and hit HARD. Standing next to an opponent just means they'll try to hit you three times. I've seen several hit and run build work very well. They don't deal the most damage, but it forces enemies to come to you, rather than you to them.

Combats in general are much more mobile than in PF1/D&D. Don't be afraid to zip all over the map if you have to.


Have a "secondary stat" (usually a mental stat). Your main stat is most likely the one you're dealing damage with (Strength for melee characters, DEX for ranged characters/Thief Rogues, or your casting stat for casters), but character creation allows you (most of the time) to have a decent secondary stat as well (of about 14, maybe perhaps 16 if you minmax some stuff). As others have said, skill challenges are important, and I've seen some characters just shut off outside of combat because they don't have any way to help.

Even if you're not a physically strong character, invest in either Acrobatics or Athletics (I think Acrobatics is a higher priority). I've seen mages be completely lost in the wild because they can't climb a 10-foot cliff or swim across a stream.

Try to maximise your AC. If you have no or light armour proficiency, get as close to 18 as you can. 14 for medium armour, 10-12 for heavy. You'll get crit a lot if you're lagging behind in AC, trust me.

Found this threat when searching for opinions on this spell.

breithauptclan wrote:

Generally, saves are only rolled once. The results are then used any time during the spell's duration that the save results are needed.

So the Will save happens when you cast the spell. The results of that will save then apply any time the target would take damage from the spell.

If the target uses the specified action, then they take the damage (modified by the results of the will save).

If the spell is cast with the Amp, then when the spell is cast and they fail the save, then they are stunned 1 on your (the caster's) turn.


It is also possible to read that spell description as that the target gets a new save every time that they attempt the forbidden action. But that also runs into the problems that we already know about for having a creature become stunned 1 during their own turn.

The difference I see between Forbidden Thought and Needle of Vengeance is that Needle specifies a Basic Will save in its saving throw description. Forbidden Thought gives a regular Will save in its descriptor, while specifying a Basic Will to reduce the damage. The way I read it, Forbidden Thought first requires a save to see if it sticks in the first place, then a second save for follow-up effects.

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As for background lore and Breechill specifically, don't tell them anything. If people are from Breechill or specifically interested in its history (especially if they have the Truth Seeker background), they might know the "sanitised" version of the town's past (it might be taught in their history classes, for instance). I think that as soon as you tell them more than that, bells will start ringing that things aren't what they seem. Out-of-towners shouldn't know anything about Breechill, IMHO (again, unless they have that specific background).

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

I've been marked as the standby GM for the PF2 special. In case I'm needed, where will I be reached?

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Others have said enough, but one thing I'd like to add is that unless you know you're going to be fighting in big open spaces, I'd go with a shortbow rather than a longbow. The 30 foot Volley is a big thing, and I'd rather have a smaller weapon die than be less accurate. 75% of the cases, you'll be fighting in small rooms anyway, and you'd have to hang back a lot to make it work.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Just wanted to mention that the Poracha in the Green Scarf section is a very powerful foe. AC 21 at level one is hard to hit, and my players fell into the 12-13 CP subtier, raising its AC to 23. My players were really having difficulty with hitting it, while it did quite some damage back. 2d6+7 is quite a bit at level 1. With a big party it's easy to get to 12+ CP with only one or two level 2 people, and this is not a fair challenge.

On the other hand, several other encounters feel super duper light. The mitflits feel like a very weak addition to the already damage-light jinkins (how do they damage anyone? I've tried to feint to make them flat-footed, but still), and the homunculus might as well not be there.

Any of the -1 creatures just feel like XP fodder to me really, rather than an actual challenge. Also a shoutout to the lesser guardian statues that can barely move, have low HP, and barely any damage output. What makes them even more annoying is that their hardness might prevent Lin Po and Ti Lan's crossbow from finishing them off. A quarter of the time they're not even damaging them.

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As the title says, we're now near the end of book 3, we're currently doing

arena fights
, and I found it's more and more a struggle to finish fights. Are our builds wrong, are we doing something wrong, or is the book itself just tough in general?

Party (free archetype rule) consists of:
- A Fighter/Beastmaster (we inherited a raptor from the Ranger who died). She's good at defense and has a solid damage output. Gets a bit tangled up in her action economy with Dueling Parry, attacking, and commanding the animal companion, but overall is a consistent character.
- A Wizard (she's new, don't recall her archetype). Has some niche spells, but overall is a great asset to the party. Focuses on Illusion spells, but packs a lot of other spells as well, so it's not a one-trick pony.
- An alchemy-focused Investigator. Does reasonable damage, but great staying power with all the potions he can whip up.
- Support Bard with Medic archetype (me). A pure Cleric would've been better, I know, but I like the buffs the Bard can hand out. Inspire Defense is my most-used composition. Mostly built around support, though I do have some damaging options.

Are we missing something in our party lineup? I feel like we're missing some consistent damage output. Our Fighter hits for around 20 damage each hit, but when an opponent has 300+ HP, that's still 6 rounds before one opponent drops (assuming two hits per round). I can add to that, but most of the time I'm too busy keeping everyone upright. And even then, a 10d6 blast is only a drop in the bucket compared to their HP. We're currently level 11 and recently fought 4 level 10 monsters, a severe encounter. The adventure said it shouldn't be too much of a problem, but we pretty much blew through all our high-level resources just to stay alive.

We're consistently flanking/making enemies flat-footed, we make them Frightened, and generally do our best to debuff enemies, so I don't feel like we're underoptimised or not being strategic enough, but the last few encounters have felt like a slog to me. Is this a common complaint? We're all pretty knowledgeable about PF2, though this is the first time any of us have hit level 10+, so maybe it just takes some getting used to.

Any advice is welcome. :)

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I love how the stances really differentiate them from each other. Nearly each stance does something different (Gorilla and Dragon both focus on intimidation, for instance), and I already have builds in mind for a lot of them. Most of them overlap in stats, but the playstyles feel so different that I'm genuinely excited to try all of them.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Thank you for the clarification!
I'd love to GM, but as said, the end of October will be problematic for me. Put me last on the list of primary GMs, but if the special runs long, a backup GM might be good to relieve me when I'm high as a kite on painkillers. :) (Also said so in the sign-up)

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

I signed up to GM the PF2 special, but due to surgery I'll be unavailable past October 24th. Does the special run the entire length of the gameday, or do you expect people to be done sooner? If not, feel free to delete my entry, as I won't be available past that date.

Also, I presume signups don't go via the gameday website? I only see regular scenarios on there.

By my extremely literal reading (which is also required if you want to argue for skeletons not breathing/bleeding), yes. Purely going by RAW and what is presented, poppets are immune to nearly all negative effects, at the tradeoff of immediately dying when they reach 0 HP. Clearly this doesn't make any sense at all, but if you're going to argue "it doesn't say so in the rules" for skeletons, then the same applies to poppets.

Also, since poppets do need to sleep but are immune to the unconscious condition, either they enter a "sleep state" but can act normally (since asleep = unconscious, which they're immune to) (up to the GM how much they're able to do, ranging from basically sleepwalking [low-level brain activity] to full control of themselves), or they can't sleep and are permanently exhausted (they need to sleep, but can't).

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Also, since I brought up Poppets, they also raise an interesting question. Their Constructed ability says that they count as a living creature. But with the teddy bear example, does it have an actual mouth, or a digestive tract? Assuming they need all the things a human needs to survive, how does it do so without any lungs, stomach, and so on.

This leads me to a very important question:

Mind-blowing question:
Do poppets have a b+$#*+$+ and/or poop?

Without any stomach, poppets and skeletons shouldn't be able to benefit from potions and other potable items.

Also also, like someone mentioned earlier: Skeletons have text that say they aren't destroyed at 0 HP, but poppets don't have that line of text. On the other hand, poppets have the Construct tag. They have a spark of life, which allows them to heal from positive energy, but no text saying any of the other Constructed tag's effects are negated. This means they have a lot of stealth abilities no other ancestries get:
Constructs are often mindless; they are immune to bleed damage, death effects, disease, healing, necromancy, nonlethal attacks, poison, and the doomed, drained, fatigued, paralyzed, sickened, and unconscious conditions;

Okay, so the mindless is obviously not true. As said, the spark of life removes healing immunity, but none of the other immunities are negated in their stat writeup (even if the Constructed trait gives a boost to saves poppets should be immune to). If skeletons are immune to bleed, then all these things should be fair to be true as well.

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I'm just not a big fan of inferred abilities. PCs (and NPCs, for that matter) should have a clear statblock that explains everything. Tags already make that a little murky, but fine, you can look those up. But say you have two identical PC character sheets: they made the exact same character creation choices, same equipment, everything. The only thing is, they forgot to note their ancestry. One is a skeleton, one is any other ancestry. Combat-wise nothing would change. Your ancestry rarely matters anyway (other than certain enemies that have specific triggers, such as elves being immune to ghoul paralysis and such, or enemies preferring to target certain ancestries). Looking at those sheets, nothing would indicate a bleed immunity, until one of the players pipes up with, "oh yeah, I forgot to say I'm a skeleton, so I'm immune to that."

Or look at poppets, for instance. Let's say one player is a Pinocchio-style wooden poppet. No internal juices that keep them alive. And one other character is playing a big ol' teddy bear, with stuffing inside. Technically, the wooden poppet would be immune to bleeding, because there's no "lifeblood." Then again, while the the teddy bear can technically lose its stuffing, it isn't an animating force. Would Pinocchio be the only one immune to bleed? Both? Neither?
If skeletons as an ancestry as a whole shouldn't be able to bleed because of mechanics, would it then be fair to discriminate further on purely flavour reasons? Would a poppet based on a tin soldier immediately die when it comes into contact with a rust monster? If you open this can of worms, I feel like the discussion will never stop.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

I quite like #3-10: Live Adventure Extreme! from a variety perspective. There's a lot of different encounters here that it won't get stale soon, but the total lack of skill challenges is a big turn-off. It's just a big meat grinder. There's no real method of expressing yourself, no reason to talk in-character. That's a big miss, in my book.

Oh, that's an awesome one. :)

My Armour Inventor is kind of like a combination of Iron Man and Bane. He's built his own armour out of scrap and spare parts, with tubes and cables digging into his flesh. When I use Overdrive, the tubes inject certain liquids into my system and the cables act as extra muscles, allowing me to hit harder.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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I really like Port Peril Pub Crawl. There's a bit of free-form roleplaying, a Jack Sparrow-esque NPC, some variety if you're running the scenario multiple times, and the most iconic thing you can think of when you say "fun RPG event." The only downside is I think that the combat is a bit more abstract. It just doesn't have the same pizzazz as minis on a map. Just ham up the rowdy crowd, the possible ways in which the players can impress Stella Fane, and the bar fight in general and you'll have a blast.

Tyranius, I see you have five players. Could I join, or do you have a spot reserved for someone else?

EDIT: Nabbed the final spot on the signup link. Boot me off if you held a spot for someone.

I'd like to highlight one mechanic that hasn't been talked about yet: the Cast. It's a limited resource that deals a bit of damage and can be upgraded with boons and Boiling Blood/Abyssal Blood. I don't really have an idea for Abyssal Blood, but Boiling Blood gives a damage increase to enemies who have a Cast in them. That's basically a Ranger's Hunt Prey action, with the Precision Edge.

Some divine boons alter the Cast, with the "<name> Shot" boons. Some of those could act like Focus Powers, or maybe limited spell slots (the idea is that you have a limited amounts of Casts, but you regain them over time, so Focus Powers seem the best). Now, I don't know all the Focus Spells by heart, so I'll do spell-analogues here:
- Electric Shot: Seems like Electric Arc.
- Flood Shot: A Focus Spell-like Hydraulic Push?
- True Shot: True Strike as a Focus Spell?
- Phalanx Shot: Some AoE spell?
- Crush Shot: Some 15-foot cone-like spell that could inflict Enfeebled?
- Trippy Shot: No idea.
- Crystal Beam: No idea.
- Slicing Shot: Some damage over time effect, like Acid Arrow?

I have no idea how you'd fit all of those in one character, but you could at least focus on one or two of them, I feel.

Also, you could translate his dodge mechanic into the Time Jump spell. Or, if you want to use it more often, I feel like a nimble class like the Rogue or Swashbuckler would translate well, with things like Tumble Behind.

So, if I were to build Zagreus, I think it'd be a Ranger (for martial weapons and Precision Hunt Prey), with either a Rogue or Swashbuckler archetype for Tumble Behind, and maybe a second archetype after that for some (Focus) Spells.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Gary Bush wrote:
Quentin Coldwater wrote:
I'm running this in two days. One thing in particular has me worried. The way I read it, there's no chance for the PCs to heal themselves between encounter B (Jinkins/Redcaps) and the chase. There's a 10-minute window after the chase to heal up. So that's basically two back-to-back fights with a chase in between, with only one round of healing for everyone? That seems pretty harsh, especially considering the boss hits like a truck.
Not all assignments guarantee a chance to heal. There are number of adventures that have back to back encounters.

Well, yeah, but most adventures don't really throw you against a blood butterfly that can crit on its first attack on a 6+. >_>

Gary Bush wrote:
How did the adventure end up?

Pretty well, actually. Helps if you have a Cleric and two healing-focused characters. The Redcaps were scary, but people made it through the chase fine. The boss was quite a drain on resources, but they managed to beat them just in time. The one round that the Monarch needs to fly over to the PCs helps a lot with last-minute healing.

Which brings me to another point. I had to dock the players three treasure bundles for failing checks. One bundle was at the beginning overcoming the obstacles (you get one bundle per obstacle, essentially), and two more for not being fast enough during the chase. The first one stings, but I can see the reasoning. The chase, though, feels a bit bad. Basically everyone needs to succeed on their check to progress (usually, the amount of successes needed equals the amount of PCs). But if a player rolls badly or doesn't have the skills required, they're essentially a dead weight to the team, and others have to make up for it. Skill DCs are pretty low (especially in the high tier), so it's easier to crit succeed, but still. IMHO challenges should require everyone to succeed OR have a few good rolls, but not both. Especially since only a small subsection of skills are allowed.. Basically everyone needs to roll above-average in order to obtain those treasure bundles. The poor Barbarian had basically no mental skills and couldn't participate in half the checks.

Other opinions on this? I'm not asking for this to be changed, just like to hear other opinions.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

I'm running this in two days. One thing in particular has me worried. The way I read it, there's no chance for the PCs to heal themselves between encounter B (Jinkins/Redcaps) and the chase. There's a 10-minute window after the chase to heal up. So that's basically two back-to-back fights with a chase in between, with only one round of healing for everyone? That seems pretty harsh, especially considering the boss hits like a truck.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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I don't know of any official ruling, but Paizo has a tendency to write phrases such as "often," to indicate you can homebrew other variants. See also the Ring of Eloquence and the Staff of the Master. Anyway, I believe that unless Paizo actually publishes stats, those things are off limits.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

As a GM, you have the ultimate authority on your table. "Expect table variation" is a common phrase in PFS. However with something as extreme as this, I would discuss things with your VA/VL/VC to see if you can come to an agreement. Maybe they can strike a deal with your player. Or, simplest solution first, talk to the player and say you don't appreciate their actions, and if they would not do them while at your table. If they're reasonable, maybe you can hash something out.

While I understand your feelings on this kind of cheese, I feel like actual in-game consequences would be pretty harsh. Complaints from NPCs are fine, that tells the player that their actions aren't wanted, but locking them up is too much. If the area the PC chooses is really secluded, a Fireball or an errant rhino shouldn't be that much of a problem. Most missions begin at or nearby a lodge, so there's probably a training room where the player can use their wand safely anyway.

The Kineticist without needing line of sight/effect is just plain wrong. I can't find any Kineticist ability that specifically says "anywhere within range," but "within range" gives Mobile Blast and Tree Step. Tree Step functions as Tree Stride, so that's no problem. Mobile Blast is basically a Flaming Sphere. You obviously need line of effect for that, and line of sight is debatable. A very strict ruling is "you need to be able to point at the destination of your sphere," but it's also reasonable to say "my sphere moves straight <direction> until it hits something. That's up to the GM, I'd say. If you could tell us which ability you're referring to, I could give a better judgment.

breithauptclan wrote:
Just checking to make sure you understand that Wild Shape is a Focus spell - which means that it heightens automatically and so the Animal Form (or other battle form spell effects) will also be heightened.

Ah yeah, thanks! I realised it's a Focus spell, but hadn't looked at the heightened options yet. That indeed changes a lot of things.

I have two proto-builds. One that's fairly balanced, but not stellar in either form, and one that's made for Animal Form:

Mister Mediocre: Skilled Human
STR +2
DEX +3
CON +2
INT +0
WIS +2
CHA +0
I can distribute some points in Dexterity to other places, if necessary.

Pros: Has quite a few skills, which is nice.
Cons: With a modifier of +2, both his Strength and Wisdom are mediocre, so damage/saves will be lacklustre in either shape.

Halfling Beast:
STR -1
DEX +2
CON +2
INT +0
WIS +4
CHA +2
Points in Charisma can go somewhere else as well, but considering I get Intimidate, I might as well make use of it.

Pros: Makes optimal use of the shapes, but is worthless outside of that (melee-wise). Has some stat points to spare on other stuff, if necessary. Also makes a great caster.
Cons: Damage will be terrible in Halfling form.

Hell, I can even just go all-in on Wild Morph, but then I might as well be any other class and use a regular weapon.

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