Buddy

Ryan. Costello's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter, 7 Season Star Voter. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 915 posts. 3 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 12 Organized Play characters.


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Liberty's Edge

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I love the Martial Arts Handbook cover and would love to hang it on my wall. I know in the past Paizo's made promotional posters for gaming stores based on their cover art (usually hardcovers), so hopefully this amazing piece makes the cut. Alternatively, I would buy this if it was made into a product, and would consider other covers in a similar line.

Liberty's Edge

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TwilightKnight wrote:
As someone who will not be in attendance this year, I hope someone like the folks at Know Direction will be recording the seminars. There is sure to be great information coming out of those regarding the 2E Playtest that we all want to hear.

We will be recording seminars (and the preview banquet) again this year, and once again we hope that this year is the year where we record every seminar!

Liberty's Edge

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Timitius wrote:
Would anybody be interested in participating?

The Know Direction network is at your disposal.

Liberty's Edge

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You couldn't have ended on a higher note unless you stood on the counter at GenCon and yelled "I'm out!" and walked away when the last Starfinder sold.
Congratulations on living the dream while keeping other dreams in mind. Good luck!

Liberty's Edge

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Whoa. This is a shock. I was already preparing anecdotes to bring up to you at PaizoCon next week. Will you still be there?

Liberty's Edge

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This was an important post to make.

Thank you, Liz.

Liberty's Edge

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We had Creative Director James L Sutter on the Know Direction podcast last night to dive into Starfinder, from the journey behind the scenes making the nascent decisions for the setting, to what we know about the game, to the logistics of creating a Starfinder CRB/Campaign setting book that also includes space fantasy tropes, and finally to what has changed and what's on the horizon now that the news is out.

LINKS:
Audio
Video

Liberty's Edge

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Thanks for the shout out, guys. The recordings wouldn't be possible this year without the help of Rich Flynn, Sarah Bull, Darran Caldemeyer, Alex Augunas, and my co-volunteer of the year, Jefferson Jay "Perram" Thacker.

Liberty's Edge

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Never trust a goblin with an abacus.

Liberty's Edge

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It ends up, Train Con is a logistical nightmare and super expensive.

Liberty's Edge

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"The handy traveler's translator"? Did someone make The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Pathfinder Galaxy?

Liberty's Edge

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I could be bummed about all the time and money I spent tracking down the iconic miniatures, but who cares? These Iconic Heroes Boxed Set versions already look superior, and well worth picking up.

Liberty's Edge

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Wow, I thought I would try rolling up one of each ACG class before rolling the same one twice, but Mutagenic Mauler? Are you kidding me? Gimme!

Liberty's Edge

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Well done, guys. Congratulations on managing an entire continent.

Liberty's Edge

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I like to think the Skald language started as a secret language like Druidic, but the skald speakers kept telling everyone about it.

Liberty's Edge

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Like every pawn set so far, this is a must-have.

Liberty's Edge

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I have a question! How do I give my eidolon rogue levels? It doesn't say anywhere I can't give an eidolon rogue levels...

Liberty's Edge ***

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ScrollMasterRob wrote:
There seem to be a few season 5 mods where the writers are trying to TPK the players in the first round. "Elven Entanglement" certainly rises to the top of the septic tank.

As the writer of that scenario and a GM who has seen PCs beat that encounter in one round on two occasions, I assure you the goal was not a TPK. The goal was a good time. It's kind of a bummer to hear so many players didn't get past that encounter in the scenario, especially when there are pretty regular "encounters are too easy" threads, like this one.

Liberty's Edge ***

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Snorter wrote:
Ryan Costello wrote:
Anyone looking to attend the live recording of Know Direction 87 can join the Facebook event to get updates and reminders. Anyone listening live can post questions in the comments section of the YouTube video, and we'll pass them on to John.

Would it be presumptious of me, to use that podcast as a means of rallying any backers of the Pathfinder Online Kickstarter, who have yet to record a vote in the Land Rush?

Not presumptuous, but our mentioning it will have to wait until after the interview. John's time is precious and I predict a lot of questions in the hour or so we have him.

Liberty's Edge ***

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Anyone looking to attend the live recording of Know Direction 87 can join the Facebook event to get updates and reminders. Anyone listening live can post questions in the comments section of the YouTube video, and we'll pass them on to John.

Liberty's Edge ***

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I would prefer if I never played at a table with clumped initiative ever again, for two reasons:

1. It makes player turns slower;
2. It hurts the fun.

To elaborate:
1. It makes player turns slower:
When NPC initiative is staggered, there are fewer dramatic changes to the battlefield. A few PCs go, affecting the battlefiled, a few NPCs, smaller actions that can be reacted to. When the NPCs are clumped, every time they go, it's a major shift on the battlefield. Suddenly the wizard who, between his turns, was counting out the range of a spell or the area of affect has to do it all over, on his turn while everyone else waits for him. The fighter who was all set to take a 5-foot step and full attack now has to completely reconsidered on his turn while everyone else waits for him. This will still happen with staggered initiative, but it happens far more often with clumped initiative.

2. It hurts the fun:
When you're running individual initiative, sometimes the NPCs are spread out, sometimes a couple are grouped together and can use that to their advantage. When initiative is grouped together, it's the same thing every time: all the PCs go, then all the NPCs go. Repeat for every encounter.

One of my favourite things about the D20 system is that storytelling and dramatic tropes can go out the window with an unexpected die roll. Take away a die roll, you take away an opportunity for a unique storytelling moment.

Liberty's Edge

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Would it help to print all the events of actual Jenga pieces?

Liberty's Edge

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Thank you for the stellar review of the savant, End.

Liberty's Edge ***

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If I had no idea the player was playing an MMO, then they must be very good at doing both at the same time. As long as their multitasking isn't obviously affecting the game, more power to them.

Liberty's Edge ***

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Finlanderboy wrote:
I do NOT want people rolling all their attacks at once.

I feel the same way about rolling attack with damage. This whole consent that rolling all your dice at once saves so much time baffles me. I play warriors almost exclusively, and my average turn is much shorter than any caster's average turn, even with me rolling my attacks then rolling my damage.

However, I know that many GMs prefer their players roll all at once. So, as a favour to the GM, I try to bring up my desire to roll in dramatic order before the scenario starts. If they say no, sucks to be me, I'm rolling a mess of dice together. If I fail to bring it up before and the GM asks me to roll all at once, I'll at most ask "do I have to?" and go with the GM's ruling.

Basically, if you as a player have a play style preference that goes against a generally accepted way of playing (we're talking a preference, not a house rule), it's best to bring it up early, and listen to the GM's call.

Liberty's Edge

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A nice batch of new 1-5 scenarios announced. Excellent. I'm trying to focus on season 5 in my territory and having new player friendly season 5 scenarios really helps.

Liberty's Edge

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If you're into podcasts at all, we just talked about this a couple of weeks ago on Know Direction. I'm about to run my first AP soon, and having seen veteran GMs handle APs differently, I was looking for any advice I could get.

Audio version.

Video version

Liberty's Edge

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Thanks for everything up to now, Sean, and good luck with everything from here on out.

Liberty's Edge ***

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By the rules, you are 100% allowed.

Socially speaking, if handled maturely and in the name of inclusivity and roleplaying exploration, I would expect most players and GMs to happily welcome you at their table. If this is to play some kind of joke character at the expense of intersexed persons, I would expect a less welcome response.

Liberty's Edge

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I've been chomping at the bit for this one since it was first listed in the catalog. Nice to see the Player Companion line starting 2014 strong!

Liberty's Edge ***

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DM Harpwizard wrote:
Benjamin F. wrote:
What I have been doing if the players begin to have a problem is to have Uori (sp?) tell a story of long ago when his great great grandfather use to come to these caves and would at times see people of the land performing rituals here. At this point he describes one of the rituals that they uncovered, I do make sure to mock Aroden with him where ever I can.
Thanks, Benjamin! That sounds like a good way to handle it. What have other GMs experienced in their own sessions running the Confirmation? Have you found that players usually perform some of the rituals in B3 or are many missing these opportunites to gain benefits? It sounds like it will be a great role playing opportunity.

When I played it, we understood that there might be rituals involved but we moved on, expecting more information to present itself later. When I ran it, the players started the rituals right away, and one of them got the first half of one, but as none of the symbols I gave them could be completed in the area they were discovered, they kept trying until they got frustrated and moved on. Any advice of setting up the rituals so that the PCs have enough info to complete them without just handing the answers to them would be appreciated.

Liberty's Edge

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Sorry to everyone who was looking for the episode. It uploaded to the wrong youTube account. Here Know direction 74 with jason Bulmahn. Expect the audio version this week.

Also, did the skald really not get mentioned? Bizarre.

Liberty's Edge

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I was just talking with Crystal about the Archie TMNT Adventures. It had the colour and personalities of the cartoon but an ongoing continuity that built the secondary characters into more than just action figure advertisements (making them superior action figure advertisements that the one-and-done cartoon appearances). I ended up liking Man-Ray more than most of the turtles.

I only ever read one Mirage TMNT as a youth, and it was a Michaelangelo Christmas issue. He fought off some toughs trying to steal a Toys For Tots truck. No one got decapitated or hospitalized, and it was probably one of the tamest TMNT books Mirage released.

All of the TMNT comics from every publisher were online and legally available to read at one point, but I think they came down when the new Nickelodeon cartoon debuted. I regret not taking full advantage of the opportunity to read the entire Archie run.

Oh, and congrats on your first comic writing credit, Wes! Looking forward to Pathfinder Goblins #4.

Liberty's Edge

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I'd like to see mortals through the eyes of a native outsider. An aasimar, or tiefling, or both.

Liberty's Edge ***

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Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Note: If the centipede actually trampled on the surprise round, everyone needs to reread the trample rules. It's explicitly a full-round action to perform.

Also, why would the centipede get a surprise round? Two of the scenario's reviews mention that the first encounter is broken because the party is half dead after the surprise round. If you are planning on GMing this scenario, the centipede does not get the drop on the PCs. It is the size of a bullet train standing upright, and should be as surprised by the spontaneous appearance of a PC buffet as the PCs are landing in the path of a hundred-legged juggernaut.

Liberty's Edge ***

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Ha! Titan skelepede chauffeur and bodyguard? Titan centipede gets conscripted and shipped to the Abyss? I don't know which I love more!

Liberty's Edge

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I don't think trying again will actually help...

Liberty's Edge

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A replayable scenario that is designed to be different with every replay? Kyle, are you wearing your fedora and carrying a bullwhip? Because you just discovered the holy grail!

Liberty's Edge ***

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The persistent comment in the scenario’s reviews so far has been the difficulty of the first encounter. I’ll admit, my PC died in this encounter in the first playtest of the scenario, so I understand that the encounter can turn deadly quickly. However, in that same playtest, the centipede was dead at the end of the second round. However, some of the reviews I’ve read have indicated that the encounter was not run as written. In an effort to calm the nerves of GMs who do not want the scenario to end early, here is my advice:

From the scenario.
Without any modifications or stretches of the imagination, the following advice is straight out of the scenario and entirely RAW:
1. The centipede should not get a surprise round. It is as shocked to find a party of adventurers between it and its original target, the elves on Mount Armija, as the party is to teleport in between someone else’s combat.
2. The centipede’s tactics state that it bites a creature the round after it tramples, and any round it can’t trample three or more creatures. It should never trample two rounds in a row. This is a sub-optimal combat choice (4d6+ to a single creature rather than 6d6+ to multiple creatures), true, but in line with the motivations of the creature and its intelligence.
3. The centipede’s movement is hampered by difficult terrain, like the forest and the lake. This is unlikely to prevent it from trampling the first round, but it does mean PCs who beat its Initiative (with a +1 at low subtier and +3 at high subtier, not hard) can get out of its trample range.

Between the lines:
The following advice is not as obvious but well within a GM’s rights to encourage from players:
1. Identifying the centipede is a Knowledge (nature) check (CR 19 in the low tier, CR 22 in the high tier) and can reveal that this creature tramples its foes when it can, plowing them over like a herd of elephants.
2. The PCs have a reasonably wide area in which they arrive, and should be encouraged to place their own miniatures.

A helping hand:
This encounter is meant to introduce the scale and lethality of Tanglebriar. However, no one wants a scenario to end with the first combat. Here are a few tricks you can employ as the GM to help a party out:
1. If, before the scenario starts, any players are debating about which legal character they should play, base your advice on this encounter more than the rest of the scenario. A character equipped for this encounter is equipped for the last encounter as well.
2. If the PCs pass on General Tenasi’s offer to buy supplies, have her scoff at the presumptive Pathfinders, assuring them that “I didn’t realize I was feeding naïve adventurers to Tanglebriar. Entering an area so corrupt without first properly equipping yourself is tantamount to suicide.” If the PCs ask for suggestions, a belt of mighty constitution would both better protect them from the poisons and diseases rampant in Tanglebriar, as well as keep them alive that much longer, possibly just long enough to make a difference. Oh, and a few scrolls of breath of life couldn’t hurt.
3. The centipede does not need to take its full movement when trampling, but can. If that means ending its move so a caster is outside the centipede’s reach but a warrior can make a full attack the next round, oh well.
4. If a player is lost for options, anyone can make Diplomacy skill checks, although success is outside of the abilities of creatures without at least a +4 bonus. If all else fails, point out how trample-able the PCs are in their current configuration.

Liberty's Edge

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If you want to close the Worldwound, play the Wrath of the Righteous AP. The Society is trying to get into a Sky Citadel in the Worldwound and back out before Mendevian Crusaders close it.

Liberty's Edge

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Yes you do. Not only is it a talkative otyugh, it talks a secret language.

Liberty's Edge

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It's an otyugh druid. He wild shaped.

Liberty's Edge

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Soon.

Liberty's Edge ***

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Thanks guys. And let me say if every caster in the adventure has know direction on their spell list, it is because it's 100% thematically appropriate.

Liberty's Edge

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While no motivation to buy this is unwarrented, Nate, I recommend you give PFS a try. Heck, if you're buying this scenario anyway, offer to run The Elven Entanglement at your FLGS. Most regions have a core group of veterans begging for higher tier scenarios.

Liberty's Edge

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My funniest moment running this scenario:
One of my home players, Cathy, gets a lot of flak for never spending her gold. It's good-hearted, mind you. Before this session began, she uncharacteristically announced considering buying X (spoiler omitted). We all encouraged her to buy X, particularly because the role composition in our region lacks players good at X. She hummed and hawed and chose not to after all.

The adventure starts, we get to interacting with the NPCs, and she has a convincing argument with solid roleplaying, earning a +2 to her role. She stumbles onto the NPC's advantage, getting an additional +4. An ally aids, granting her another +2. She rolls her influence check and is short of the DC by 2. As it happens, this NPC has a special influence note: Any PC with X gets an additional +2 bonus to influence checks against this NPC. Cathy`s decision not to buy X was directly responsible for her character failing to influence an NPC on her first try.

X=

Spoiler:
Medium armour

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