Sarta's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber. ***** Pathfinder Society GM. 937 posts (1,137 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 22 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.


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Liberty's Edge

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I was a bit disappointed that the AP didn’t include the PC’s representing their kingdom at the Outlaw Council. If they are rulers, then they should have an opportunity to meet and interact with their peers.

So, between books 3 and 4 I added their first visit to the Outlaw Council. This was a chance to confuse them a bit by having Castruccio be seemingly nice and helpful, if a bit scatter-brained. While Mayor Raston Selline of Mivon seemed to not respect the party and seemed overtly hostile to them. This set up book 5 a bit better because the party was less suspicious of Castruccio.

While attending, Ullorth Ungin of Tymon put out a call for military support to help protect his border (and the rest of the River Kingdoms) from encroaching Razmirians. This prompted the players to begin training armies after pledging to provide support.

I rounded it out with a devious assassination attempt by the poisoner’s guild (hired by Castruccio) as the party left the moot.

Liberty's Edge

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We found that there were very few difficult fights: the raid on the Stag Lord, Vordakai, and then a couple of encounters in Armag’s Tomb.

The static encounters on the map, which can quite easily be the only fight in a 24 hour period were usually the same CR as the APL of the party, but were not difficult at all. Yes,12 level 3 barbarians are CR 10, but at level 12 they’re a speed bump. My players began rolling dice with the loser having to solo the next fight, while the others watched and golf-clapped. If there is only going to be one fight in 24 hours (maybe three with random encounters), then those encounters should be +2 CR at the minimum to be much of a challenge.

I knew Kankerata in book 3 wouldn’t last a round against my party, so I had him become part of the initiation ceremony of the centaurs. The party were instructed to dip the palm of one of their hands in berry juice that would dry in four hours and tasked with each slapping a palm print on Kankerata without hurting him.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Dennis Muldoon wrote:
Oh I see, Painlord. You'll only play after we leave...:P

If it makes you feel any better, I continued to observe after Pain and I got back.

— Will

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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A gnome with wild orange hair and sapphire blue eyes, wearing mithral full plate looks around sheepishly,

”Hi, this is Venture Captain Utan Wortmuddler of Whistledown. I was able to save one of our team from the boneyard, but sadly I was unable to save Barry Allen, the fastest Pathfinder. I simply couldn’t find him. He died the way he lived — a true hero.

... oh, I also may have been responsible for losing 8 groups of 8 younger pathfinders in elysium after plane shifting them to safety.

They should be within 500 miles of Cayden Cailean’s Hall.

I don’t know the spell Locate Creature and have a very limited range of vision. I can probably use some help getting them back if anyone has some spare time.”

Liberty's Edge

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The hair I'd split as a GM would be that "dropping" is a free action, but "throwing" is a Standard or part of a Full action. The Blinkback Belt specifically works for weapons drawn and thrown, not drawn and dropped.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Per RAW, spellbooks and formula books are class abilities (or part of a class ability). Without these class abilitities, there is nothing to indicate that members of other classes can scribe spells and formula -- regardless of the Spellcraft or Craft Alchemy checks made.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Draight wrote:
I've recently spoke to the organizer of an upcoming gaming convention in the bay area and he said he's played PACG but no one has stepped up to run it -- I volunteered and was hoping maybe we could run the first OP at the convention.

Which convention?

We intend to support the PACG along with PFS at the three conventions we currently support with PFS: DundraCon, KublaCon, and PacifiCon.

However, I know of at least three other gaming conventions in the Bay Area that we are not supporting in any official way.

Regardless, we'd love to have more folks help coordinate the PACG in the Bay Area and at our conventions.


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Male Human Tactician Fighter 4
Stats:
HP 37/40;AC 19 (T 12 F 16); F 6, R 2, W 2; CMB +8 CMD 19; Init: +4; Per +1 (normal)

OOC Stuff:
I wasn't sure if I said it or not, but figured that Kul was out of his depths and getting frustrated. Eliminating one of the possible threats seemed the most logical step for him to take.

Kul checks the child to ensure he isn't dying from the head wound:

Heal: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13

He then takes a defensive stance over the fallen child's body, waiting and watching impatiently for the next threat.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Entilzha wrote:
Extra Fun Fact: Made it through Master of the Fallen Fortress in 26 minutes.

I'm not so sure that this counts as "Extra Fun".

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Michael VonHasseln wrote:

As a GM, I usually allow the player to ask for a specific bit of information for each +5 success exceeding the DC...

GM: "Okay, you rolled a 32. That allows for 5 specific questions to be asked."
Player:"Does it have a specific DR?"
GM: "Yes. It is DR/silver and good
Player: Does it have any Defensive abilities?"
GM: Yes. Do you want to know the first one only and then move on, or do you want all of them?"
Player: Hell, yeah! Give me all of them!"
GM: "There are four... that will use up all of your Knowledge bonus."
Player: "Um... can I just get the first two and then the first teo Offensive abilities?"
GM: "Yes. It has..."

That is how I adjudicate it. Other GMs might do it differently. Your mileage may vary. Expect Table Variation.

Here's my problem with this method: what if the creature's a Basilisk and they only succeed enough to get two questions?

Does it have DR? No
Does it have any special defenses? No

The first piece of information I offer is the information that the creature is known for:

Harpies enchant folks with song. Basilisks turn people to stone. So do medusas and cockatrices. Rust monsters destroy and eat metal objects. Wights drain life energies. Hell hounds breath fire. Trolls regenerate.

These are the first thing anyone should know about these creatures -- not necessarily if they have spell resistance or DR.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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A 30+ should be more than enough to get some information about a CR7 creature.

There have been instances where a scenario presents a named individual monster with different powers from the norm for its race. For example, I recently ran a scenario where a named demon had no DR, while demons of its sort typically have DR 10/Good. In this case I gave the player information on the base demon, but made certain they realized that this was a hero, so may have different capabilities.

When I do knowledge checks, the first piece of information I hand out is what the creature is well known for. I don't want to have a situation in which a party encounters a Cockatrice, Rust Monster, or Harpy, asks to know DR, SR, and Resistances, and never learns what these monsters should be famous for.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Screed Nor, Wayang, Pasha, Trade Prince, Ambassador to Qadira, and Super-Genius has officially retired. Screed was a Shadow school Illusionist 8 and Loremaster: 4

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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ThreeEyedSloth wrote:
Painlord wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
So any news on the sczarni /Qadirian factions and if they're changing at all>?
Will J (unofficial source guess for fooferall): "Sczarni will stay the same since it's not tied to a nation; Qadiran will become a international trade group."
I think Will has something he needs to say... :)

Simply this: As a VO you always get paranoid answering questions about "the future" of PFS. You are always worried that folks will assume you are privy to juicy information and that the answer you are really just pulling from your keister is truly secret information.

When Rand asked me what the future of Qadira and the Sczarni would be, I truly had no clue. John and Mike play things close to their chest -- which I really appreciate. It means I can get surprised by unexpected changes.

So, I gave him my guess, made him include a couple of disclaimers, and was promptly proven wrong. Rand also witnessed me suggesting that there is a job position at Paizo entitled "Aboleth" during the Trivia Contest. He knows I'm a deeply flawed individual.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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I'm currently sitting in the air conditioned Alaska Air Boardroom of LAX, drinking my third free beer, eating Chicken Sanoma (a pathetic chicken breast served over rice with pesto sauce on the side), and watching a baggage handler sleep in a covered baggage cart on the Tarmac below me. I should have been in Seattle 5 hours ago. How did I get here?

Well, I committed a travel sin -- I assumed everything was fine and did not check my flight yesterday. I booked my trip through a third party company back in January. My flight was to be a non-stop from Fresno to Sea-Tac at 8 AM. Without hearing differently, I assumed nothing had changed....

I showed up at the airport at 6:20, ready to roll -- only to discover my flight had been rescheduled to 6 AM and flew without me. Alaska Air gave me two options: wait until tomorrow and fly for free in the afternoon or spend some more money to book another one way flight today. In for a penny, in for a pound....

My options were to lay-over in San Fran and show up at 9 PM or pay $25 more to fly first class out of LAX to show up by 6 PM. Either way, I miss out on Andrew Christian's 1 PM pre-con game. Needless to say, I opted for the 1st class ticket and am damn sure I get my $25 out of First Class treatment.

See you guys in a few hours. I'll be the slightly drunk pampered guy in glasses.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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As someone who has run Free RPG Day scenarios for a few years now, I can say that these Mods definitely are intros to Pathfinder and to Pathfinder Society play for quite a few new players. A bad gaming experience can certainly turn off these new players to PFS.

Having a brand new player play Dawn of the Scarlet Sun with Harsk or this scenario with Jirelle could definitely result in a negative experience. Very difficult intro scenarios tell new players that PFS requires min-maxing and rewards murder hobos.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Andrew Christian wrote:

I also did an experiment today.

I ran the 1st encounter of #5-20: The Sealed Gate at sub-tier 10-11 and rolled a separate initiative for every badguy.

It slowed the game down big time.

I use 3x5" index cards for initiative and roll initiative for NPC's before the game. I can include pertinent details (AC / Touch AC / Flat AC / Fort Sav / Ref Sav /Will Sav / CMB / CMD / Melee Attack & DMG / Ranged Attack & DMG) on these cards, allowing me to often not need to check the NPC's stat block whatsoever. I organize these in initiative order on color-coded cards per encounter.

This makes it very easy to simply slip the PC's index cards into the pile and start combat. I'm sorry if rolling initiative for each NPC didn't work for you.

P.S. My level 11 Wayang Illusionist (Shadow School) / Loremaster is looking forward to playing 5-20 at PaizoCon.

Liberty's Edge

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It was horribly written and should be errata'd or FAQ'd.

Your posture and motions might allow you to pass yourself off as a knowledgeable sage. However, they should not grant you the ability to actually recall historical information.

Liberty's Edge

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While fighting Chief Ripnugget, one of my players decided to play a Plot Twist card that causes a "wandering monster" to show up and help the party. This was a rather unexpected place to deal with it, but I decided to have Orik be the guy.

Orik burst into the room mid-fight, said, "I quit!" and joined in the fight. He gave them a bit of vague info about what they would face downstairs and stormed out.

I'm not sure how I'll use him, but will definitely keep him around.


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Male Human Tactician Fighter 4
Stats:
HP 37/40;AC 19 (T 12 F 16); F 6, R 2, W 2; CMB +8 CMD 19; Init: +4; Per +1 (normal)
DM Are wrote:
She regards Kul, Mahdi, and Pent for a few moments. "So. Enough about me. My skinny friend here is Juluce, the woman is Kalyx, and the one with the nasty bump is Gorundal. Who are your companions?"

Kul sheaths his falchion after staring hard at the three merchants. "I am Kul Tiryaki, the sole survivor of the Lions of Senara. My companions and I were held hostage and tortured just outside the doors of your battle market. I hope their death rattles didn't hurt sales."

Kul spits on the ground and then heads back upstairs to drag the body of Kardswann downstairs.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Diagnosis of afflictions and negative conditions isn't specifically mentioned in the rules. Players do not have to die of disease because they fail to recognize the problem with a sufficiently high Heal check.

PC's can tell their friend has been turned to stone by a crazy lady with snakes for hair or by a six-legged lizard. However, they may not recognize what these threats are or that the latter threat's blood will cure its petrification, while the former's will not.

As a GM running these encounters it becomes very important to clearly describe what the person is making a saving throw for:

"You lock eyes with the unusual lizard's glowing eyes and feel all the joints of your body seizing and stiffening up. Make a Fortitude Save."

In this way, a PC who successfully saves, but doesn't make a knowledge check understands the nature of the threat and can warn their companions.

Further, when a Player makes a successful Knowledge check for a creature with a signature ability of power, don't just say to the player, "You recognize that the lizard you face is a Magical Beast called a Basilisk. What two things would you like to know?" they may ask for resistances and damage reduction.

Instead you should say something to the effect of, "You identify the lizard as a Magical Beast known as a Basilisk. They can turn people to stone merely by making eye contact. Their blood can reverse this process. I can tell you one more thing that you might like to know."

Give players the signature move for free if they identify a creature (harpy song, hell hound breath, rust monster rust, etcetera). Then if there is another critical piece of info, give them that as the first item they can know. Don't force a PC to blow a question learning that Nagas have no DR, while being unaware they can cast spells.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Kubla!

My tentative schedule:

Fri Afternoon: Playing "Horn of Aroden"
Fri Night: Playing "The Stranger Within"
Sat Morning: GM'ing "Fury of the Fiend"
Sat Afternoon: Free (hoping for Numenera)
Sat Night: GM'ing "Ruins of Bonekeep II"
Sun All Day: Playing "Cult of the Ebon Destroyers"
Mon Morning: GM'ing "Siege of the Diamond City"
Mon Afternoon: GM'ing "Fortune's Blight"

5/5

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Super-genius Pasha Screed Nor is a Wayang Ambassador from Minata to Qadira. He is a Loremaster who has specialized in Shadow Magic (the Shadow School of Illusion with all the shadow Metamagic feats). He enjoys salted fish, shadow puppetry, and is disappointed with every opera that lacks zombies.

5/5

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After much discussion, left-handed characters will be allowed without a boon.

Debate still rages over authorizing red-headed characters. You will be notified when an accord is reached.

5/5

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That, regardless what the message boards may imply, PFS is not that difficult.

There is very little need for min-maxed abominations in order for your group to thrive. Instead, build a character that you will find fun to play. Build one that seeks to help their companions, rather than show them up.

It's a social game which is won when everyone at the table has a good time.

5/5

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This is the order in which I run them for brand new players:

• Master of the Fallen Fortress (This is how the players join the Pathfinder Society. Read the Spoiler here to see how this works).

• First Steps Part 1 (This is slightly modified to be a few tasks the Pathfinders in Training are asked to do).

• The Confirmation (This is their graduation exam into the ranks of trained Pathfinders).

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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You're going to want the following:

• A left-handed fighter who has specialized in the Double Chicken Saber.
• A Half-Orc Wizard who has maxed Con and loaded up on scrolls of Detonate.
• A Monk of the Sacred Mountain (preferably Dwarven) who simply cannot be moved.
• A Druid with a Dolphin Animal Companion who relies on a cart to pull their pet Dolphin around outside of water.
• A Cleric of Hembad, the Empyrial Lord of Relationships and Synergy (accept no substitutes).
• A Gnome Pirate Archetype Rogue -- I can't stress how important Sea Legs might prove to be.

Anything short of this list will be very sub-par and could completely ruin the entire experience.

5/5

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Sorry for the derail.

To try to get back on track:

• Brand new players: I love running games for brand new players.
• Kids at my table: Even better than new adult players! Kids have an infectious sense of wonder and joy when playing.
• Role-players: When they are in character from the beginning, I know I'm in for a fun game.
• Every other Thursday: I run a Rise of the Runelords game for co-workers that is 1/3 unwinding, 1/3 drinking, and 1/3 gaming. It's a true joy to attend.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Your best bet is a rotating group of GM's who are not called upon to GM more than once a month. This level of commitment is far less likely to burn folks out and easier to accommodate GM absences. It also grants hesitant GM's more time to prepare.

One solution I've found is offering to run an Adventure Path for the veteran players every other week and in return asking to them commit to run one game a month on their off weeks.

If set up right, you can offer two AP's on alternating weeks for 5 players each. This creates a stable of 10 GM's committed to run once a week -- even in months with 5 game days.

The added advantage of this solution is that these veteran players are probably getting closer to running out of scenarios to play. When this happens, players tend to stop showing up. This solution gives them a reason to continue to show up and also slows them down to only playing one PFS scenario a month (two in months with 5 game days).

If they really are concerned about not playing more, they can pick up the remainder at cons or via online play.

5/5

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Sometimes it is very difficult to determine where and how to draw lines. With regard to rules and running scenarios as written, grey areas can result in character death and repeatedly demonstrated player anger.

So, for a global campaign, with thousands of players, eliminating as many grey areas as possible is the simplest solution. For the most part, this means rules as written, run scenarios without deviation, and ban anything problematic to the experience of the campaign.

In a home game, this would clearly not be the best solution. House rules and player/GM agreements work very well for creating a great home game.

So, it is what it is. I personally view the entire paradigm of PFS play as it's own form of game, different from "standard" Pathfinder play. This means that when I sit down to an entire table of fighters or a Gunslinger named "Shootie-Killie", it's simply all part of the PFS paradigm I expect and roll with.

In return, I get to play with thousands of players and GM's I never would have met.

TL/DR: Pathfinder Society is its own beast. Embrace its paradigm as a different game completely from Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

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Playing Cards Against Humanity into the wee hours with Paizo employees (and a lot of alcohol) was an unscheduled blast. I also had the pleasure of playing in Jason Buhlman's Wings of Ruin game with a couple of the Syrinscape employees. It's also nice putting faces to message board names.

If you book an extra day or two, it is very easy to get into downtown Seattle by SoundTransit. The SeaTac station is less than half a mile from the hotel and will take you right into the heart of Seattle for very little money.

Will Johnson

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Ring works well for big ticket items. I've not regretted enchanting it as a Ring of Invisibility for my Illusionist / Loremaster.

With regard to the restrictions of Pathfinder Society, incorporate them into the "fun" of play. I played Paranoia for years and liken it very much to PFS:

* Your character has no control over which idiots you will be forced to group with.
* Your character has no control over what stupid task he or she will be asked to do.
* Your character will probably be thrown into a completely unbalanced group with huge gaps in what they are capable of dealing with.
* Everyone in the group belongs to some sort of secret society that they will be running around trying to please.
* Every briefing will be lacking in meaningful information and will not truly prepare you for what you will be facing.

With regard to item creation, I actually really like PFS' approach to it. Allowing your players to go crazy with item creation -- especially Leadership to get companions to make stuff for you -- really quickly throws off the wealth by level of the party and trivializes encounters.

This leads a GM to one of two solutions for balancing challenges: Bump difficulty or restrict income. Either way, you are actually punishing players for taking these feats. You are basically making those item creation feats necessary -- not an advantage. Removing them completely from the equation simplifies everything.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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It really depends on how crunched you are for time. If running at a con, you will typically have a 4-6 hour hard limit for your run. With this in mind, time management becomes critical. Your players shouldn't feel you are rushing them, but you should work to keep them focused.

Typically, when I've run MotFF, parties have simply cleared it from the ground up.

If pressed for time and you know the room is empty, feel free to simply narrate the description of the room and what they noticed, rather than forcing them to carefully move their minis and explain that they are checking for traps or detecting magic and such.

Here's spoilery stuff I do when running MotFF:

I have blatantly stolen bits of this from Chris Mortika for MotFF:

I start by explaining what the Pathfinder Society is, show a map of the Inner Sea, explain that to join the PFS one has to travel to Absalom, apply, go through grueling tests, and then train for three years. I then tell the players that they have all traveled to apply, but for one reason or another been rejected by the Pathfinder Society.

Game play begins with the PC's seated dejectedly at a nearby bar, recognizing each other from the lobby of the Pathfinder Society. I have each player introduce themselves out of character, describe their characters' appearances, and then provide the in-character brief background that they may tell strangers in a bar as they are introduced.

Once intros are done, I ask each player to invent and tell the table the reason the person to their left was rejected. I make certain that they understand that by the end of the scenario, they will all end up joining, so it can't be due to a heinous crime. Instead it should be the sort of blunder that could ruin an interview. This part can be hilariously fun and really help shape role play for new characters.

Ezran has insulted cleric interviewers by refusing to discuss anything besides the ridiculousness of their faith. Kyra has repeatedly insulted Taldan interviewers. Valeros showed up drunk. Another Valeros got distracted by watching wrestling gladiators and showed up half an hour late.

When this is done, I show them a picture of Drendle Dreng who approaches the party and introduces himself, but doesn't mention he's a Pathfinder. He explains that he saw them come from the lodge and knows they must be washups. He tells them to cheer up, they're free lancers now. He then tells them he knows of a nearby tower which may have some interesting loot he'd be interested in buying. At this point I haggle, with Dreng settling with simply asking to see everything recovered and being able to offer a price for it.

Later, when they rescue Balenar, the Pathfinder, he reveals that Dreng sent him to the tower alone. The players suddenly realize that they were selected to really rescue this guy and cover up Dreng's blunder. This gives them the leverage needed, with Balenar's help, to blackmail Dreng into accepting them as Pathfinders, skipping the testing and training, and slightly better housing at the lodge.

When I give out chronicles, I write on each person's sheet why they were unsuitable to be a pathfinder.

Also, remember that bats are not piranhas. That bat swarm can be something a party of brand new PC's simply can't deal with. Describe them as attempting to leave the building and happen to buzz the party for a round or two.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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A percentage of players are playing a completely different game than the rest of us. Their game is pouring over the rules to find every single loophole, corner case, and edge in order to build the "most powerful character ever". Another group of people are playing a similar game. These folks aren't interested in power, but coming up with "the most "ridiculous character concept ever".

Both are efforts to show the world how clever they are. These players are so wrapped up in seeking attention that they lose sight of the feelings and enjoyment of the others at the table.

It's very immature and a rather pathetic state of affairs. Pity them. Pat them on the head for their cleverness. Then try to steer them back to the real game. It's much less exhausting simply playing the game for fun, rather than to prove something.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Trenton G. Merryweather is an Evangelist Cleric of Hembad, the Empyreal Lord of relationships and synergy. Trenton's a recovering Pesh addict and life coach. When not adventuring, he can be found in the puddles district leading workshops and lending emotional support to those in need.

He's a big fan of icebreaker games, team building exercises, mind mapping, visualizing positive results, and effusive compliments. He also suffers night terrors and has difficulty discussing his youth spent working the streets of Khatapesh.

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