Shieldmarshal

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 73 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 15 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

If you happen to use a laptop while GMing let me recommend Combat Manager. You can pre-build your encounters ahead of time and when its time for fighting, just hit "roll initiative" and "sort". It makes big combats easy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Outside of the alignment issues, sometimes it's just that player.

Case in point, the other night my bard had an enemy bandit "charmed" so we could get some info from her. Her bandity companions had dtolen our mounts and my war mule Seamus.

So the conversation was taking a bit long for friend, playing a CN fighter. A few stacking of the dice making towers later, he decides that this source of info is no longer useful and takes her down with an axe.

I almost think that alignment is a mechanic that could possibly be removed or modified from Pathfinder. Make it more variable, at the GM's discretion. Just because it says CG on the sheet doesn't mean that that is what is actually is today. If they are butchering orphans, then they are obviously a bit CE today, with appropriate changes to take effect as needed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Just a personal opinion here, if an organizer made it fully aware that these scenarios were retired for their lethality, but the players wanted to do it anyway couldn't be put back into the list of legal scenarios?

They are, after all, over 6 years old. With all of the new classes, feats, spell, etc... They may not be as bad as they used to be. And I may happen to have a few players locally who could use some humbling scenarios.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

If you look at from the NPC's point of view, as others have noted above, they are usually very outclassed. There are only a few truly "killer" scenarios. This game has always a random element of luck to it, all the way back to the 1970's.

Given that players usually have no issue with stomping the bad guys with every overpowered trick they can come up with I see no reason with the bad guys shouldn't.

Cagey players try to make sure that they have their bases covered and apply sound tactics and teamwork to succeed. Others want the GM to attack them with Nerf bats. Embrace the fact that you can and will occasionally fail scenarios, maybe even die. That's why Prestige should be treated like an insurance account.

Parting piece of advice, if you see an enemy spellcaster you should probably spread out a bit.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Banana peels?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks Joe!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

While I generally agree with the post above, there are GM's that can run cold and do it well if needed. Especially the older scenarios. I will, if asked, run cold and usually the player's don't even notice.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

You kind of asked two questions, so you may have to answers:

Allowing people to use sources that they don't own is disrespectful to players who have bought those sources. If you spent $40 on the ACG to play a Swashbuckler and I didn't but played one anyway, how would you feel about that? It's an integrity issue.

On the other hand, at a local store I had a player looking through one of my books and wanted to use something out of it. I reminded him that he needed to have a legal copy. He said he couldn't afford it that day, but would get it on his next payday. So no big deal there, as I remembered to check on it the next time he played.

The second part of your question gets a different answer. It depends. If you know the players at the table and you know that they do own the source but just didn't bring it, then sure, let it slide. It's a case-by-case basis.

We should be hesitant before asking for a change to the official rules. PFS is a community, and common sense should be allowed to have a say. This thread is why there are VC's, VL's, and event organizers, to make the small day-to-day decisions that keep this community growing.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

COMBAT MANAGER!!!! A great piece of free software (thanks to Kyle Olsen).

Combat Manager tracks everything you need for combat. You can easily keep track of initiative, what round it is, and hit points. Also, say a few bad guys are dazed or bleeding, you can turn on these conditions quickly and even add durations for them as needed.

The monster tab has all of the statblocks for all of the bestiaries, and most of the PFS scenarios. You can add them into the combat screen and then save the entire encounter. This way when you get to the game, all of encounters are ready, you just need to open them up.

You can also create custom creatures, great for PFS scenarios. It also gives you the option to print, which I prefer, so that I can have that in hand.

There is also a dice roller, which keys of the creatures stats, so if you don't want to roll for claw/claw/bite just hit the button. It also considers critical threats.

I could go on for awhile about this, but this software keeps combat time for the GM down to a minimum, and keeps fights from going overly long. This means more time for exploring and roleplay. Important in a 4 or 5 hour slot.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Going to agree with Kestral here. If it works for you and the other players then it's fine. My only advice is, and you may have already done it, it to let your player's know upfront who the publisher of that adventure is. Frog God Games adventures are notoriously brutal.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Of my eight or so characters I only regret one. I received the Kitsune boon way back when and decided why not use it. I built a bard/rogue hybrid which I liked, a solid support character that I used to augment parties of new players. Not the spotlight, but would let the other players shine.

The problem is I can't get past the anthro-fox/tail part. I really just can't do the humanoid animal thing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

There is a reason why this is spelled out in the Guide to Organized Play:

1 - Paizo is a business, they need to make money, PFS is a way of advertising for them.

2 - If I pay for book 'X' to use a feat from it, shouldn't everyone, that's the fairest option.

I GM mostly and am not known for doing audits ever, but if you bust out the clear spindle ioun stone or cast emergency force sphere I will probably be asking you for a source.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

College also could be affecting your numbers. Where I am at I have yet to see a single 5E game played yet. And as said above October - December gets busy because of the holidays and stuff.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

If I remember correctly Port Godless is a (1-2) module also. Good RP parts and somewhat easier combats.

Crypt of the Everflame has some tough fights for level ones, unless the GM softballs some parts of it you could easily have some dead characters.

My personal preference for new characters is The Confirmation, First Steps, then Everflame. Like everyone else said, Everflame is easier for level ones with 1 or 2 XP on them already.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks for the input. I thought that I was right, but that description was just strangely worded. When something seems to good I have to question it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I am reaching out to my other PFS members, particularly my fellow GMs for some clarification about this item. I feel that I know how it works, but it seems way to good to be true.

"Orange prism: Every time the bearer casts a spell, roll 1d4–2 and add this (and the +1 caster level granted by the normal power of the ioun stone) to his caster level. If this modified caster level is too low to cast the spell, the spell fails and is lost."

So I did the math. Say I am have a caster level of 10, +1 for the Ioun Stones normal power and an additional 1 or 2 from the resonant power. This comes out to a 12 or 13.

The modified level always goes up, so how could the modified caster level be to low to cast a spell that I could cast as a level 10 caster?

The way I read and interpret it is that I am now going to always have a variable caster level higher than 10, the stone makes it a 12 or 13.

So, am I missing something or is it supposed to be that way? Because if it is my wizard is definitely saving up for one.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

... with manacles?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Not critizing in the least, but that seems like a terrible way to kill a level one character.

Possible ways to handle it if you ever run it again:

1 - Have all three golems near the entrance, make it very obvious that they could easily stomp a low-level party, make sure that the party realizes that violence is not a viable option here.

2 - Figure out a way for the golems to deal non-lethal damage. I'm sure there is a rule for this, but I don't have access to them currently.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Grumble grumble, incompetent GM, grumble grumble.

I got it, your venting and I'm cool with that, so no problem there.

Let me put on my serious hat though. New GMs shouldn't be held to the same standard as guys who have been doing it for years. Pathfinder isn't exactly the easiest system to run. I've been running 3.0/3.5/PFRPG for years and still make some mistakes every time I run a game.

Most of the time they are minor and no one but myself evens notices, but occasionally I have to back things up and fix an issues at the table. I TPK'd a party during Fortress of the Nail because I used the high tier stats for the last fight by mistake. Mistakes happen, we reset the fight with the proper stats the second time.

One thing that can help new GMs is to have a GM mentor around, to advise and help the new guy if needed. Also, have a feedback session for 5 minutes when you are done. I try to ask my players if there were any issues or things I can improve on for the future.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

On a less serious note, if life in PFS wasn't cheap think of what it would do the Society. The Decimvirate and their Venture-Captains would actually have to form well-rounded teams of agents instead of the normal random group of murder-hobos that they usually find.

I sometimes think that the VC's think of us as disposable mooks to be sent off to our deaths. Oops, team 1 got slaughtered, time to send in another. When's the last time any of the VCs actually did anything to help out our groups? Maybe a "hey guys, this is going to be a tough one, take a bunch of this awesome magical gear with you".

Given the Societies vast resources, they do happen to own thier own demi-plane, not to mention all those artifacts and treasures that we have retrieved for them, we should be getting more support from our leaders.

I hate to say it, but ever since Grandmaster Torch and the Shadow Lodge left I felt more and more like and expendable resource. Especially when Shiela Hiedmarch sends me off to my death again and again.

Sincerly,
Corvis Rhennik
PFS Mook

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Easy solution, the next time you all get together to play take 10 minutes to sit down like adults and work this out.

This situation really isn't that big of a deal, I can almost guarantee that there isn't a group that runs their game 100% by the rules. They might get close, but not 100%.

Avoid taking the passive aggresive route and just talk it out.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

For anyone that's interested you can get the PDFs for the discontinued maps and make yourself a pretty decent map for yourself.

1 - Print the map out. I copied it map to Excel and printed it out on six pages. Just adjust the margins and such.

2 - Get some of the single sheet no-heat laminate sheets. Use these for the pages you just printed.

3 - Use some clear packing tape on the back side of the map to put it all together.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

If your players have issues with undead barbarians just tell them this: "Life isn't fair, buy a helmet."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

All classes are viable in PFS, as PFS scenarios are not that difficult to begin with, with a few exceptions. Eidolons and Animal Companions just make the scenarios easier. They add more actions to the PCs side, which usually already outnumber the oppositions.

Contrary to the normal whining about under-powered fighters and rogues that goes on here, this surprises me. Even a standard fighter/rogue/cleric/wizard party can get by with few problems.

I've been GM'ing for years and still can't figure out why players are so afraid of actually being challenged at the table.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

As has been stated above, disarming is a great way to deal with NPCs that are using weapons or items.

Greater Disarm is even better, now that sword is 15 feet away. That's probably going to cause a few Attacks of Opportunity should he want to get it back.

Also, disarming a clerics holy symbol is pretty fun.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Umm, if killing characters in PFS is against PFS rules then I am probably one of the worst GMs ever. I shall now turn in my GM card.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Considering that I GM much more than a play I have always gotten a good laugh from this line - "the harsh restrictions of Society play". I'm not sitting in front of my shelves of books right now, but between the harcovers, campaign setting, and player companions there has to be roughly 100 books to work from. And not that I would ever want to actually do the math on this, but I would guess that around 90% of that content is PFS legal.

So my question to the other GM's is this: When was the last time that you ran an entire scenario without having to ask any players what book they found that spell/feat/ability that totally blind-sided you. BTW, a table full of pregens doesn't count!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Xanesha is probably going to own a three man team, especially if they are level seven. I would start working on a contingency for what you want to do when you have a TPK.

My group is just about to finish that fight next week. Here's how it's went so far

Round 0 - Surprise attack on the wizard

Round 1 - Full attack on the wizard (hit/hit/crit)
Wizard now at approx -40 hp
Kicked his corpse off the tower for fun, now at approx -80 hp

Round 2 - Started to beat on the barbarian

Round 4 - Barbarian is now one round away from death
This leaves the battle cleric and a druid/rogue.

I am pretty sure that the cleric is going to either fight to the death out of sheer bravery/loyalty to the group, the druid/rogue is definetly going to bail.

The good thing is that I have two new players coming in, so they are going to be sent by Shalelu and Sheriff Hemlock to figure out what happened.

I think that the deciding factor for this fight is how liberal the GM is when it comes to basic character creation. My game is pretty restricted, 15 point buy, Core Rulebook game.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

The only time I remember being questioned about RPGs was back in 1994 (I was 18 at the time), right after the Menendez brothers killed their parents. There was some vague story about how they may have played RPGs and that it made them crzay.

My mom asked me if anyone ever hurt anyone else during the game, so I told her nope, those guys probably had other issues. Nothing came up again.

When I was living in New Mexico a few years ago however I would occasionally need my neighbor to babysit for me if my normal one flaked on me. She refused to allow my daughter to bring a Harry Potter book into her house, it has magic spells and all. She was a very closed-minded Baptist type.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I prefer the standard dry erase markers myself. I found that Windex and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will clean stuff thats been left on the mat for a few weeks. But as was said above, they can leave faint stains. I am still trying to find something to bring back that "new mat" look.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I usually run them as one Perception check for all the results, more or less like the knowledge checks at the beginning of most scenarios.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I had to retcon a TPK once. I was running Fortress of the Nail and accidentally used the high tier stats in the last fight. Luckily it was a Saturday game so we had time to reset the encounter and run it at the appropriate tier.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

My observations on this: If the table has five or more players, than yes, it's probably not going to be all that hard for them. One PC may take a beating, but overall the party is going to succeed.

However, if it's three or four player, it tends to get more balanced.

I GM a lot, once or twice a week on average. When I run my PFS games, I don't try to beat the PCs in the fight, because the GM's creatures are intended to go down. What I do like to do is spread as much chaos as I can in the fights, forcing to PCs to use resources.

If the high AC fighter is the only one being attacked and never takes damage then the cleric never has to heal, no party resources expended.
However, if I spreading damage and status effects around, that can keep the PC's on their toes.

Also, remember that casters are usually smart. Force Will saves on martial characters and Reflex saves on casters. The big bad fighter isn't much of a help when he runs away from the fight for four rounds.

Finally, unless it violates the tactics of the encounter, try to get some of the critters around the party, most parties assume that the critters are going to run straight ahead, NFL style. Bring them in from the side and threaten the casters and archers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

This is why fighters far outclass casters, they just have to swing and hit.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Here's your answers:

1 - We can let Thunder and Fang substitute for Improved Shield Bash, as they are pretty much the same thing.

2 - Nope, Shield Master specifically refers to the shield, not the Earthbreaker.

3 - Nope, the +1 requirement prior to adding special abilities to weapons needs to be permanent.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Here's a random idea, let them take the 40 days off. Obviously the Scribbler wouldn't be just sitting around doing nothing during that time.

It would be reasonable to assume that he know that the PCs are in town so you could have him fortify the heck out of that place.

Your PCs are trying to increase their overall power level, so equally (or more) increase the challenge level.

I don't think letting an enemy go unattended under the town for 40 days would go over well with me.

Unfortunatly for my PCs (just finishing Chapter 1), they don't have access to Item Creation feats, so they can be pushed a bit faster.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

No problem Jeremy, we subbed in the pregen druid. She wasn't nearly as effective though. Next game is Tuesday, 10 June.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Attention everyone,

I typed the recap from last night and added a combined treasure list that we can use to keep track of things. Unfortunately, Yahoo mail is down right now so I will try to get it to everyone later tonight.

Ryan

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

The Tattooed Sorcerer archetype comes from Inner Sea Magic, a resource we aren't using, so that's not a viable option. If your using Herolab or the PFSRD please verify and cross-check the sources.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Everyone,

If you guys could, please send me the following info on you characters. I am building mini-statblocks for Combat Manager to make GM'ing a bit easier. If some of character stuff is a "secret from everybody" just email it to me.

1 - Character Name / Alignment
2 - Race / Class + Level
3 - Vision stuff: low-light, darkvision, etc...
4 - Ability Scores
5 - AC: Normal / Touch / Flat-footed
6 - Saves: Fort / Ref / Will
7 - DR / SR
8 - CMB / CMD
9 - Perception + Stealth modifiers (even if untrained)

Thanks!!!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Yup, starts at 5:00pm

And thanks for making a character in theme with the adventure!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Hey everyone, I created this to give you guys a place to discuss party issues and stuff. However, please try not to peek at the other threads and ruin the surprises.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Drogon said wrote:
Unless it is a rule that is part of the PFRPG as a whole this is not something we should be doing.

You are absolutely correct, we can't do it as it's not in the PFS rules. It was just an idea that has been floating around in my head.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Yesterdays PFS game that I ran got me thinking about this. It was a five person table with a season 1 scenario. To call it easy for five PC's alone, would be an understatement. Two of the PC's were Druids, so they also had companions with them. At tier 1-2, those companions helped trivialize the encounters.

I would like to get the opinions from some of the PFS leaders and other GMs on considering Companions/Eidolons HD as part of the APL equation.

Given that Seasons 4 and 5 are more challanging, maybe a change to the way we figure out the APL for Seasons 0 through 3 might be a good idea?

Discuss!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Here's another question:

What incentive do companies have to not raise prices in order to compensate for the increased cost in wages?

As TDog pointed out earlier, due to my poor word choice, that when enacted the minimum wage job could cover a family. Fast forward to now, both adults in a household are expected to work it seems, the entire economy seems to be based around that.

It reminds me of how companies used to have a company store and would keep prices high enough to keep employees from really ever being able to save for the future.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Krensky,

I'll will concede that minimum wage being entry level probably wasn't the original intent back then, but it seems that way now.

What quality of life level should one reasonably expect if they work at the 7-11 counter (never moving up) for 45 years?

Some people can't move up and I understand that, but again, some people don't want to move up, some of us are stuck in the middle.

I'd like to hear how the middle should/would be compensated for an increase in the minimum wage?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Caineach said wrote:
Considering the majority of people working minimum wage are trying to support a family off of it, why shouldn't they provide a living wage?

The following is not meant to insult anyone at all:

I understand what you are saying, but here's a thought. If I raise the minimum wage to $15.00 for burger flipping do all other jobs fields gain an equal increase?

If I get paid $15.00 currently to do some technical job, say repair phone lines, do I now get bumped up to $20.00?

I fix airplanes, that job requires more skill and responsibilty than burgers and it's harder work, why should he make as much as I do?

In my opinion, some jobs deserve higher pay than others, some jobs just deserve more pay. If you push the bottom up, that puts a large squeeze on the middle class. I'll ignore the upper class because regardless of what happens they have the means to protect their wealth.

Just interesting questions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Here's another point that I'm surprised I haven't seen yet: Minimum wage jobs aren't intended to provided living wages. They are at best entry level jobs.

Another point to consider is this: If I own a burger place and am forced to increase my minimum wages I have a few options to consider -

1 - Pay the new wages and absorb the cost myself (good for the workes, bad for my giants sacks of money in my vault).

2 - Fire a few people and make the remaining staff work harder for their new wages (no cost to me).

3 - Close the business entirely (no more jobs, but I still have my original profits).

4 - Start thinking about automation, customers punch their order into a screen and my robots make their order and call it Robo-Burger (all profit, no pesky workers). This idea was totally borrowed from radio host Andrew Wilkow.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Here's my gallon of gasoline -

As far as I know there isn't a certified GM course that one thakes to become an "accredited or certified" GM. Like most hobbies it's learn as you go.

I GM a lot, some people like my style, some don't. As a PFS GM, I like some the vast majority of my player's, even the one's that get on my nerves. However, there are a few that I don't.

Every GM has his/her own personal style. If I run a game in a style that doesn't agree with your play-style feel free to move on, no hard feelings either way.

Or, have a reasonable discussion with the GM. I had a kid ask me why I tended to target his character more often than others even though he was hanging in the back of the group. My answer was, your a wizard and keep blasting everything, my critters have deemed you a high-value target.

So in short, don't take things personally and just relax a bit.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

This may be one of the most interesting topics I've read in a while. So let me throw some thoughts/ideas in.

I've been running PFS only for a while, which I do enjoy doing. I plan on continuing to do so because I like meeting so many new players, something I would miss if I ran hame games exclusively. But there is the drawback that other people have mentioned, players have access to pretty much anything they want, vastly reducing the challenge level that the old-school games seemed to have.

So with that, I dug out some of my old Necromancer Games modules. I think that I am going to run a home-game with some, in my opinion, needed restriction. I'm going to list them out, let me know if they seem like deal breakers. Also, with a full-time job and family I wouldm't have time to home-brew everything, so published material it is. But it's good material.

1 - CRB classes/races only -- most modules don't assume that gunslingers and summoners are running around creating chaos

2 - The magic shop, for the most part, is closed. There will be access to some minor magical items, but very limited. There will be plenty of items to find however.

3 - No Crafting feats, I feel this leads to overpowered parties, reducing the challenge.

4 - WBL and encounter balancing are out. While the main adventure is more or less balanced, the areas surrounding the starting town/dungeon aren't. Low level PC's can explore freely, but will need to exercise caution.

These are just some of the ideas I have so far. The intent is to put some of the challenge and uncertainty back into the game. No more steam-rolling every encounter.

Everyones feedback would be appreciated.

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