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Organized Play Member. 1,275 posts (1,276 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 12 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.

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You can allow a player to make a case that they should use a different skill than Perception, but only if they base it on something they've established beforehand. For example, if in the prelude to the attack, Merisiel's player had said, “I'm going to dangle down off the chandelier to get the drop on them,” you could let them use Acrobatics for their initiative roll. If they just said, “Hey, I want to attack these guys. Can I use Acrobatics?” without having established a reason beforehand, you probably shouldn't allow it.

Something I leaned into more heavily towards the start of PF2's release was alternate methods of rolling initiative. However, the more I play, the more I find myself saying, "Alright, everyone roll Perception for initiative," and leaving it at that. I love the idea of the fighter bashing open a door, rolling Athletics, and chraging headlong into a number of enemies!'s just that those sorts of scenarios haven't really cropped up too often.

Now, obviously every table is different, so I'm looking to see if I've just allowed myself to become lazy or if everyone has sort of defaulted to the easier "just roll Perception, or at least argue for a different skill." This is, of course, leaving aside the ever obvious "Avoid Notice" activities which is one of the few things that interacts directly with initiative rolling.

I threw this poll up on the subreddit, but I'm curious: rogues, investigators, and certain dedications aside, what are the three Legendary skills you tend to gravitate towards?

Google Poll Here

You don't have to justify your choices, but if you want to elaborate - feel free!

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Hello, everyone! My name is Azzur (or Ruzza) and I used to be a lot more frequent of a poster here on the forums, but I've since taken a break.

Well, I'm enjoying a project over on Twitch right now, where we come together and look at one of the very first Adventure Paths set back in the Dungeon days: Savage Tide! We've just started out looking at Adventure One: There Is No Honor (written by the ever wonderful James Jacobs) and I thought I come see how to Paizo forum feels about the direction we're taking!

The stream is currently scheduled for every Sunday and Thursday at 6:30 pm EST/9:30 PDT, but VODs will be available after the streams as well as a running document of all the changes made so far. As a matter of fact, here's a link to our first stream where we talk exploding parents, Play-By-Post gaming, and Japanese puns. As well, you can find the results (cleaned up, of course) of our work here in this doc file.

Now, to preemptively answer a few questions!

What's the goal of this conversion?
Well, I think that a perfect 1-to-1 conversion of this classic AP is going to be near impossible - if only for the fact that everyone is going to have a different opinion about what sorts of design ideas should be adhered to and which are old legacy trademarks of the 3.5 game. What we really want to do is enjoy going through the history of the AP, the Greyhawk setting, and Paizo's move on towards Pathfinder all while looking at the fun design choices and bringing the feel of this adventure to Pathfinder 2e.

At the end, my goal will be to produce a beautiful little pdf for everyone to get some use out of and maybe see this AP start hitting tables again. Even as we finish adventures, we can start rolling out information for groups to start play as we work!

Who are you?
I'm Azzur, a roleplayer living in Japan who has been playing PF2 since the playtest. Lately, I've been busy running a Play-By-Post Discord server for about three years now, and we've swelled up to nearly 50 players with something like 15 games (mostly PF2, though we do have some Starfinder, Blades In The Dark, and Delta Green thrown into the mix). Every so often, I've sat down to convert old modules over to PF2 and have learned quite a lot in my time doing this. I hope to share some of my insights and - importantly - learn more from the community as we take part in this project together.

I hope to see a few Paizo faces at the next stream!
Find us here!


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Hello! I run a small, but growing Play-By-Post Discord server that's been gaining new players and GMs recently. As we explore new modes of play, the question has arisen of, "What do we need to run PFS in the Play-By-Post format here?"

I've done some digging around on these forums and got a few answers, but I still have more. If anyone knows the answers or can point me in the direction of where I can find them, that would be great! I have some experience as both a player and GM in organized play, but there's still several gaps in my knowledge.

I know that players must show proof (bring the book) that they have access to the options their character is using, but how required is that for something done at a virtual table?

This is something that I've wondered about ever since playing PFS online during Paizocon. I'm not certain how necessary the check has been in the past, as even when I played in person, it rarely came up. That said, I completely understand why the rules is in place. I just want to know if it is a hard rule, how I would go about enforcing it.

As a GM, how many games could I run simultaneously?

This question seems a bit reaching, I'll admit, and also only really arises in relation to Play-By-Post games. While I recognize that the rules prohibit a singular character playing multiple games at once -

Organized Play Guide wrote:
A character can only take part in one adventure at a time. From the time the character begins an adventure, to the time Chronicles are issued, that character cannot be involved in any other adventure. Characters engaged in play-by-post are considered busy and may not be used in another game while the play-by-post is running.

-it does seem that a GM could run multiple games while applying credit to separate characters. I just want to make sure that this is possible before I start opening games that may not be on the "up an up" so to speak.

Those are really my burning questions right now. I've spent a few weeks now making sure I've got all my ideas in order, though I can't help but feel as though I'm forgetting something. If you have any thoughts about something I should keep in mind, please let me know!

(And the server should be ready for PbP PFS games in about a month or so while we wait for other GMs to finish up their games for those potentially interested.)

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Hello, everyone! I expect this will probably get some attention as it’s a Play-By-Post recruitment for Paizo’s latest AP, so I want to establish a few things right off the bat.

I’m looking for four players to join me over in my PbP Discord to run through Strength of Thousands. I’m very good about my commitments as a GM and do intend to see this through, but I want to make sure that applicants know what they’re getting into when applying. An Adventure Path is an already long campaign made only longer by the PbP format. For reference, I’m currently running another AP through PbP and we’ve just begun book 2 after a year of semi-regular play. A full completion of an AP will take much longer, so this is a pretty long commitment.

I also run a small PbP Discord server where this would be held. All of the posting, rolls, OOC, maps, etc will be there. I’m posting on the Paizo forums to get some new faces (to me) from the community. We use Rod Bot for our rolls and aliases, so if you’re unfamiliar, you may want to check out the commands. There are a few server specific small things (GM rolls for saving throws and initiative, among other things, to save time with PbP), but we’ll discuss that if your application is chosen.

One more thing that I want to get out of the way before getting into the details of your application: This is a server with other people and we’re LGBTQ+ friendly and don’t tolerate sexism, racism, and the works. If you can’t get away with it on Paizo forums, you can’t get away with it on the server. Each PbP has its own separate channel for the groups to talk shop as well as a General chat if you want to shoot the breeze.

Discord Example

Battle Map Example

All of that out of the way…

Welcome to the Magaambya!

Strength of Thousands is an Adventure Path surrounding the tales of four young students of the Magaambya as they grow from initiates to attendants to lore-speakers, and even teachers at the academy itself!

This Adventure Path uses an optional ruleset known as free archetype with the following caveats:

  • Starting at level 2, you choose between either the Wizard or the Druid Multiclass Dedication.
  • You do not need to meet the ability score prerequisites for the chosen multiclass (though it is recommended).

I, myself, am adding a note here that this free archetype does not in any way lock you off from choosing another dedication (i.e. You can ignore the portion of the wizard/druid dedication that says you can’t choose another dedication until you take two or more feats from the free archetype dedication). This is covered in the Strength of Thousands Players’ Guide which you will also need to make your character and give you some background information about the AP.

Alright, that said, here’s what I need from you:

Applicant Information:
Character Name: A must-have.

Ancestry and Heritage: All common, uncommon, and rare ancestries are fine along with anything that you would like to try. The Magaambya is accepting of people from all walks of life.

Background: Your background must come from the Players’ Guide and details who has sponsored you to join the prestigious academy.

Class: What class would you like to play? You can include a few mechanical details here like, “Necromancer Wizard with a focus on Medicine,” “Tyrant Champion with a greatsword,” or “Fighter planning to grab alchemist dedication” to help inform a bit of your playstyle.

Short Character Biography: Something short and sweet, no need to attach a novel, but tell us a little bit about your character and what brings them to the Magaambya and a little bit about their plans for the future, if any.

This isn’t the place to create full characters from start to finish with mechanical details and everything. I’m just looking to put together a team first. When the game starts, we’ll put together characters.

Now, the summer is a fantastic time to get out and enjoy yourselves and I’m making use of it quite a bit myself. The application process is a touch long, but I imagine there’s going to be a number of applicants to make the job of picking four quite difficult. That said, the deadline for characters is Wednesday, September 1st, midnight JST (Japan Standard Time) which probably also brings me to my own short introduction since I feel like it’s important to know the GM you’re looking to play with.

My Information:
I’m a GM who has been playing TRPGs for more than 20 years now and have really taken a shine to Pathfinder 2e. It’s become my go-to system for fantasy games and generally what I run at home. I currently (and for the foreseeable future) live in Japan which started me on Play-By-Post games as I could still run games for friends abroad. I currently run an in-person game of Abomination Vaults along with two Play-By-Post games. I think that it’s good to know the rules of the system, but it’s also a lot of rules, so mistakes are bound to happen. Try to come in as informed as possible, but don’t beat yourself up if you flub a rule. Also, I do believe that “Rule of Cool” exists for a reason and am generally a “Yes, but…” kind of GM.

Thank you all for your consideration, and I look forward to seeing some fantastic submissions!

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After finally getting a chance to play a sit-down game of Pathfinder after a long year of VTTs and PbP games, I've been itching to talk about my games and just what sort of makes them feel special. Just a nice relaxing "fluffy" thread where we can gush about our favorite moments (Also, feeling rundown with a new baby, so some feel good tales are a balm for the soul). If you've got stories from Paizo modules, I'd say be kind and put them behind a spoiler tag. Unfortunately, I'm currently running three modules, though I can tell at least one without any spoilers!

Agents of Edgewatch: Book 1:
My Play-By-Post party just finished up book 1 in a big way. They we're knocked around hard in the murder hotel, but eventually made their way down to the basements, where the murderous Hendrid Pratchett laired. After mistakenly splitting an ochre jelly several times, they escaped to rest up before confronting the serial killer. What followed was an insane fight and chase scene that I had rarely had a chance to run.

The liberator and monk charged the hotel owner, getting in some meager damage before he began to filet them with his True Strike - sword cane attacks. Thankfully, he critically failed his save versus a fear spell, which gave the party a chance to press the attack. He went right into retreat mode, smashing his alchemy lab and setting the building on fire. As he escaped through his secret passage, the part gave chase, enduring the fire damage as they ran. Pratchett then threw open the door that held the multitudes of ochre jellies who began pouring forth, barring their passage, with the sorcerer and magus trapped on one side and the liberator and monk trapped with Pratchett on the other. The two martial characters continued to chase the killer to the second floor while the mages battered the oozes in the flames below. Within Pratchett's office, the murderer stabbed into an untriggered trap - canisters of poison gas that quickly filled the room. The champion and monk were in poor shape and getting worse by the moment. Thankfully, the spellcasters made their way up, after sealing the oozes down below, and Pratchett took to running again. The party caught up to him as he began to descend the stairs to the first floor, to make his final dash out the front door. Unfortunately, the first floor was consumed in a roaring inferno now, with a weakened floor giving way to the basement. None of the rest of that party was as swift as the liberator, though, he charged down the stairs at the madman and shoved him in. The champion is validated in their killing of the psychopath who imprisoned and tortured so many, but the brazen way they did it weighs heavy on them as they enter into the second book.

As a GM, this was so much fun to run, even though I constantly seemed to make the encounter so much harder than it should have been. I seemed to constantly have a chance to make the characters' lives a living hell, and I took it whenever I could. It was cruel unleashing the oozes, but also gave the party a chance to catch the much faster half-elf. It was a low blow when he triggered the trap, but it also left him with few actions as he held his breath and struck the canisters. It was pure GM fiat by having the floor cave in to the basement, but I intended to have the PCs make the hard choice of skirting the hole slowly or chasing after the madman with a Jump (and likely the Grab a Ledge reaction). I was caught off guard when the champion managed to catch up and opted to Shove him in rather than Grapple him. The player is excited to explore what that choice means for their character and is already having fun roleplaying their own fears about the attack.

The Slithering:
Another PbP game! This time, our combat was much smaller in scale, but gives me a chance to say something that I don't often. I was frustrated at the mental load. Don't get me wrong, I love PF2 and it's currently one of my favorite systems when it comes to combat, but I ran a fight that left me keeping track of a lot of penalties, afflictions, and bonuses. Even with the slow pace of PbP, I (and my players) made a number of mistakes.

To begin, this fight was a party of four (playtest summoner, redeemer champion, storm druid, and curse witch) versus three jungle drakes. A much smaller fight, but a Severe encounter nonetheless. The drakes alternated with two on the ground flanking and using their draconic frenzy on a singular target while another flew into the air to debuff the PCs with its poison spit. From the players' point of view, this left them with plenty of actions to keep attacking as they were almost always directly adjacent to a drake to hit. From my point of view, I could keep the drakes rotating out in such a way as to make sure that none of them went down early into the fight and prevented the PCs from focus firing, especially once they learned of the drakes' twisting tail reaction. It made for a rather punishing combat, with our two orc PCs carefully holding their reactions in case they needed to keep fighting.

That said, I also had to deal with the witch keeping a bless spell active (+1 to attack rolls, okay I'll keep that in mind) along with his eye eye (right, that one is going to be frightened 1 until he stops sustaining it). Then the redeemer was quick to use his Glimpse of Redemption to prevent damage and (often) inflict one of the drakes with enfeebled 2 (no problem, that's going to be a -2 penalty so that one will likely take to the sky next). The druid nailed a Tempest Surge for clumsy 2 (let's make sure we're taking that away from Reflex and AC now) while the summoner's eidolon tried to draw out AoOs by running between the battle. All of that on top of different PCs being at different stages of the drake venom, some being enfeebled 1 and others being enfeebled 2.

Don't get me wrong, it was a fun fight and one in which my players got to use everything they could to keep the battle going. It was a nova encounter, but one that quickly showed me just how many status effects both my team and the monsters they were facing had. The summoner said it best with, "That was incredibly fun, let's never do that again." At the end of the encounter, though, everyone felt great for playing so well and realized the Three Card Ante that I was pulling with the shuffling drakes. It was a good fight, and kept my players on their toes and it helped me to run afflictions more efficiently.

And finally, my spoiler free tale of my long awaited sit-down game of PF2. Where my group lives, we have a high turnover rate of English speakers in the area, so we ended up needing to look for a new player. We found one in the form of a long time 5e player who had recently moved to the area and was looking for a TRPG group. He arrived and proudly declared: "I'd like to make an alchemist!" I, personally, enjoy the alchemist class, but it's not one that I would point to and say, "Yes, if you're new to the system, this is the one to try." I wasn't one to say no, however, and we built out a quick goblin bomber. He loaded up on bombs and descended into the dungeon with a mountain stance monk, a monastic archery monk, and a warpriest of the Green Man. It was not the normal party in the sense that he knew them. He very quickly grokked the three-action economy, firing his crossbow, storing it, and quick lobbing a bomb into a batch of enemies. When the mountain stance monk strode to a choke point and then readied an action to punch anything that came adjacent to him, he started preparing actions to fire his crossbow once enemies left cover. When the warpriest identified the resistances of some skeletons, he began using Recall Knowledge actions as well. He even managed to land a crit on a prone and frightened enemy and his response was, "Well, we should just try and make that happen all the time."

It was a fantastic session with an oddball group. He's happily joined in for the start of our Abomination Vaults game and he seems to be sticking with the alchemist. I'm looking forward to seeing how this game turns out.

Okay, my long-winded tale-telling done with, what's going on in your games?

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After thinking about wizards and playing around a little, I wanted to pitch some ideas for wizard feats to make specialists feel a bit more "specialized." I think (hope) that we'll be seeing something along these lines in Secrets of Magic, but this is a toss of my hat into the ring.

I want to preface that I don't feel confident in these feat levels, but I've enjoyed tinkering with ideas. I doubt I'll be expanding on these ideas, as it was more of a fun thought experiment for me ("What does your specialization say about your playstyle?").

That said, here we are.

Generally, I aimed to give wizards more options and tricks rather than overtly powerful buffs, but I don't think that I've succeeded every time. As well, there are some specializations that I feel like their party role might be a bit muddled or could go in numerous ways (lookin' at you, transmuters). Anyway, this was just a fun little side project for today and maybe it could spark some more ideas from folks in thread!

I feel like this question has been asked before, but I couldn't find anything after a quick search of the forums:

Does the agile trait on weapons apply to maneuver attack actions?

MAP affects all attack actions, while the agile trait reduces the penalties for attacks. The wording here is vague enough that I'm left unsure. If agile noted that it only applied to Strikes or if it covered all attack actions, I would feel more confident.

Obligatory example: An unarmed character Shoves an opponent at his normal Athletics bonus. He follows up with a second Shove attempt. Would his second Athletics check take a -5 or a -4?

So for my players, they were interested in a "Circus Guide." Something that includes all the rules to the circus activities as well as the new archetypes and weapons. I went ahead and put that together for them (after covering up any spoilers on the sidebars) and gave that out.

It's also something that I imagine many home games would like, but I don't know about the legality of giving that out? This isn't anything that I've written and is a part of a product that Paizo sells. I just wanted to essentially put up a free pdf of the compiled circus rules. Is there a problem with this?

I mean this question in a technical sense, but how do people on the forums run their games? Things have changed so much since I first started laying TRPGs that I never noticed the tools at my disposal changing and I really can't see myself not having them.

For instance, when I was in high school, I was sat behind a GM screen with my books opened to every possible page I could need; ready at a moment's notice. When a rule conflict came up, I would page through the books and have an answer, but it often meant I kept a massive slew of books with me for every game.

Now, though, I keep the Core rules pdf on my laptop and all of my notes carefully organized in a google doc for easy reference. When rules questions come up, it's easy enough to search the pdf for an answer or even consult Archives of Nethys for the fastest result. The GM screen is long gone, and my books have become almost superfluous to the process. I also have a player at my table who has become my "sub-GM" (whether he knows it or not) who has a strong grasp of the rules and it quick to look up rules in his own book.

I'm just curious about how other GMs run their games and handle the information at the table.

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So a few people have started talking about their Age of Ashes game and I thought I throw my goblin-y hat into the ring. My group just finished up book 1 and are gearing up for book 2 as we speak. To that end, I've been writing narrative recaps of our games on a small google site.

Miyagi's Age of Ashes

I try and keep the site updated with plenty of goodies, the occasional art asset, or personal tweaks to the story. I hope that people enjoy reading as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

A little about us, we're just a group of expats living in Japan. We're all pretty scattered and busy, but we are pulling together a small community of tabletop players to combat the feeling of cultural isolation that people can get when being away from home for too long. The website serves as something of a hub in that regard.

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So I've been DM'ing for a few decades now and I've come up "against" players who would throw open splatbooks or point to guides to get a build or option that unbalanced the game. When I was younger and less experienced, I was steamrolled by these players, shrugging and noting "Well, they have the rulebook to back them up," while my other players sat around the table miserable and watched as one player ran the show. Over the years I started catching these problems early and putting my foot down before they could arise. Occasionally, this meant there were players left with hard feelings because their build was perfectly legal and I was saying no. They were looking for a different game than the other players at the table.

I say all this to flash forward to now. I'm gearing up a group of new players for Age of Ashes, and you can see the personalities starting to shine already. One player, in particular, has been looking for any way to get an edge throughout the playtest. So I wasn't too shocked when he approached me and asked for a grenade launcher.

Yup. Not kidding about that one. And it actually somewhat made sense. He likes the flavor of the alchemist, but he'd really rather load up a weapon with bombs and fire them off continually without worry about reaching down for more or spending a feat for Quick Bomber. I mean, I did laugh immediately, because who starts a game asking for a grenade launcher? But I thought about it for a little bit. And then I remembered...

the alchemical crossbow found in The Fall of Plaguestone

...which is an Uncommon tagged item. Understandably, it's slightly more powerful version of an existing item and just seems like a better option for alchemists in general (regardless of whether or not the function is used). So I proposed to the player that they could Craft an item like that during downtime after spending some time coming up with schematics and devoting some resources to it's construction. I pointed out the Uncommon tag and my player was thrilled. He felt like he was getting his way (sort of), but also with an in-game justification.

I'm just enjoying the rarity system from the other side of the screen. I have always loved giving my players a buffet in the past (and still do!), but hated when I had to stop certain elements from entering the game. With rarity tags, I can work with my players to acquire it, rather than it just being something I have to houserule away. Am I alone in these feeling that there's a bit more equality when it comes to game balance with PF2?

I feel like this is a dumb question to ask since it seems like a no-brainer, but will we be seeing a Player's Guide for Age of Ashes before launch?

After telling my players not to draft up characters without seeing the Player's Guide, one of them asked if that wouldn't be strange to have a book with new backgrounds and recommended choices in it before we see the ruleset in full. Was it that Player's Guides always released a month ahead of the AP or were they released simultaneously? I'll admit that I've typically come to APs after they've been out for awhile, so I'm not certain.

I'm very curious what the average skill level of playtest groups look like. Those of us active on the forums probably don't represent the average PF player and I always feel a sense of disconnect between what I talk about online and what my players at home see.

To start off, I live in a foreign country where a number of English speakers are always looking for a chance to get together. I suggested Pathfinder and even mentioned the playtest as a chance to try out the new system. I've been playing roleplaying games for more than 20 years, so I dutifully read through the playtest guide cover to cover, organized the game, and helped everyone create characters.

The rest of my players are all new to Pathfinder, with only a handful having played one or two sessions of tabletop roleplaying games. For the most part, I explained the rules as, "You'll be asked to roll dice to overcome challenges, the higher the better." All of my players have the book, and they've mostly read the rules that pertain to their class. I bring up more rules where relevant.

So far, my players have loved the playtest, but I can't be sure if it's just because it's essentially their first real roleplaying experience (which, admittedly, is a little unfair to them as I keep having to change the rules with every update).

So how about the rest of you? What part does "gaming background" have to play in the playtest at your table?

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Hello, everyone!

Long time lurker, first time poster... I think.

Anyway, I have always been a huge fan of the "We Be Goblins" series that Paizo has been releasing for Free RPG Day. After running several of the modules for my groups, I decided to try my hand at some of the "spoken aloud" portions of the module.

When I was first introduced to roleplaying, it was through the old AD&D "Kingdom of Karameikos" box set, which included a CD to help GMs to run the game. I fell in love with it and spent a lot of my years trying to emulate those goofy voices that came on the CD. It inspired me as a GM and helped me to get my foot in the door of this wonderful hobby. All that said, I have tried to do the same here with both "We Be Goblins!" and "We Be Goblins, Too!"

The "We Be Goblins!" playlist can be found right here.
And the "We Be Goblins, Too!" playlist can be found right here.

All of the tracks are available for download, and I would love to hear about how it goes if you decide to use these resources at your table!

Oh, and for a little bit of fun, please enjoy some goblin songs for your adventures in Golarion!

Rise of the Runelords Goblin song
Reta's song
Chuffy's song
Poog's song
Mogmurch's song