Scott Romanowski's page

***** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell 210 posts (216 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 25 Organized Play characters.


5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

NielsenE wrote:
There's a post from Tonya in one of the FB groups that's indicating 'by Friday'

Facebook? Why post there rather than reply to a thread here? Seeing no activity on this thread, I started one in Paizo Customer Service.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

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> At present, it is online only, but we are working on a version
> that is print to pdf. The surveys we did last fall indicated
> much of the playerbase wanted an online version. Being online
> also makes it a living document that we can update as needed,
> instead of once a year.

Please make the PDF version very soon, or just put it all on one URL so we can easily print it! The majority of places I play at don't have wifi. The current layout of spreading the document across many pages makes barely unusable. For example, if you want to search for a term, you have to do it ten times to make sure. (Are you willing to wager large sums of money that your Glossary is complete?) Speed is also an issue. It took me 30 seconds to open the page just now (wired to cable modem), so it would have been faster to look something up in a print version.

When you do update it please, please, please announce it loudly and widely. One temptation of "living documents" is to make frequent, minor tweaks, so it becomes not a just question of "which season's Guide do you have" but "which version", or "what day", or even "I have the today's 11:15AM version, which one do you have". Intentionally making an update difficult is often the only way to slow that down. I once did software development at a company where the documentation was in a Wiki, management encouraged us to not do up-front design but design and change as we wrote code, and chaos ensued.

For example, even now, after just two updates, the TOC page says the Guide is
"Current Version: 0.03
Current Version Date 8/6/2019 – 22:00"

but the individual chapters say they are

"Current Version: 0.02
Current Version Date 8/5/2019 – 18:00"

You're already getting chaos.


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Scott Romanowski wrote:
Why are you collecting demographic information in these surveys?

It's been five months and Paizo didn't see fit to answer this simple question.

I can only think that Paizo is collecting demographic information so they can favor the survey results from certain types of people, and disfavor survey results from others. That is not they type of behavior I want to see in a company I buy from -- everyone's opinion should be evaluated on the opinion's merit, regardless of who submitted it.
Paizo, I think you made a huge mistake.


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Riveling wrote:
Which is the best material tu build my own pawns with the pdf version??

I found this cardboard is the same thickness as the stock that Paizo uses.

https://amazon.com/gp/product/B00DHOY336

In case this post is still here when Amazon drops that product, the title of the product is "14 Sheets Brown Chipboard 80 Point Extra Thick 4" X 9" (4X9 Inches) #10 Envelope Insert Size - .080 Caliper XX Heavy Cardboard as Thick as 20 Sheets 20# Paper".


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Ikos wrote:
Yes, there is work to be done on PF2 [everyone (including the desginers) agrees], but we're not going to expedite that process with the sort of histrionics, Dear John letters, and developer conspiracy theories we've been seeing.

One problem that I see is that the signal to noise ratio is too low. I'll see one post making a good suggestion in a thread and 100 others just saying "me too", or "not me", or "I prefer RPG system X". I pity the staff that has to read all of them.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Re-layouting the book would take too much time

Ridiculous! We don't need anything more than a plain text update. Take the Screen Reader, update it, let your WP program update the TOC and index, save it as a PDF, and you're done. This would take less time than making the nicely-formatted update document.

This is so easy that I could take the Screen Reader version and do it for my own personal use in a day. At the end I'd have the rulebook in a WP program's format, which is what Paizo already has.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Yeah. I'm not big on Golarion at all, but it really does seem like they should probably get guns and gunslingers going as of the release Core book if that's the setting they're pushing, so people argue about it less later.

I'd rather not see guns in a FRPG. I want Paizo to leave them out of 2e.


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Why are you collecting demographic information in these surveys?


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My source is an article in Dragon #78, "Be thy die ill-wrought?". You roll the d20 a large number of times, recording how many times each number turns up. You sum the square of (the number of times the number showed up - the number of times you expected it to show up) for all 20 numbers, then divide by number of times you expected a number to show up. This is the chi-squared value, which you compare to a table that shows the chance of a fair die getting that value.

Example:
To test a d20, I will roll it 400 times. Each number is expected to show up 20 times.
I record how many times each number does show up.
I then calculate (number of times 1 showed up - 20)^2 + (number of times 2 showed up - 20)^2 + (number of times 3 showed up - 20)^2 + ... + (number of times 19 showed up - 20)^2 + (number of times 20 showed up - 20)^2.
I divide that sum by 20. This is the chi-square value.
[The "^2" notation means "squared".]

For 20 categories, there is a 10% chance that the chi-square value will be 27.204 or more _just_by_chance_given_a_perfect_die. There is a 1% chance that the chi-square value will be 36.191 just by chance.

d20 are cheap. If I tested one and it produced a chi-squared of 36.191 or more, I'd throw it out. If the result was 27.204 or higher, I might retest it and toss it if it failed again.

Remember, rolling a die is a random process. There's a chance (1 in 100) that a fair d20 would give a result of 36.191 or higher, and a chance that a biased die would give a result below 27.204. There is no black-or-white division here, just degrees of certainty.


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We used to use pictograms and icons millennia ago. We came up with something much better: words and numbers.

Use them in PF2. Get rid of icons.

Don't use color to encode important information. They are useless in dim light, like when playing in a corner of a crowded game store, or if the reader is visually impaired.

Both icons and colors require normal vision and bright light. Unless you want to make things difficult, ditch them.

Also, most of your players can do simple arithmetic (*). You don't need to waste space with tables when a one-line equation will do. Don't underestimate the intelligence and ability of your players!

(*) And forcing those who can't to learn is a bonus. You can't go through your life innumerate any more than you can go through life illiterate.


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What I expected: A 1e with improvements
What I got: A different game system

I expected something like ASL 1st and 2nd Edition Rulebooks. What I got was too many changes to be called "Pathfinder".


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Bump, event #337534. I created this event and was able to report many sessions. Some other oddities:
* The name has a ~ at the end, "Gaming Etc. PFC&SFS~". This does not appear in the name field in the Edit screen, and it does not go away if I change the name.
* All the delegated reporters are gone, and there is no way to add delegated reporters in the Edit screen.

Update:
I found the solution in http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v3wi?Can-not-report-scenarios
Simply, paizo added a new "organized play" checkbox which was not checked by default. After checking that and saving, you have to edit again because the "event is live" checkbox is not checked (even if you had it checked before). Check that and save, and now it is OK.


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Since "class" is akin to "profession", and your character probably spent the last five years learning how to be a level 1 X, you need to simulate the dedicated training time before taking a level in a different class. Perhaps require character to take three levels in Commoner before they can take a level in another PC class?

I think it is very "unrealistic" to be able to take a level in a different class after a couple weeks adventuring, and suddenly get the same abilities as someone who has been training for it since a child.


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If Paizo wants to simplify things, eliminate the draw weapon and BAB interaction. It's so rare that a character with BAB +0 is drawing a weapon, and only occurs with 1st level characters.

With iterative attacks going away, it won't matter in PFS play since those characters are usually below 16th level. A character with two iterative attacks gets all three attacks with the three actions. I look forward to how this works with high-level characters and feats like Rapid Shot.

Limiting AoO to a few classes is problematic. Imagine telling a player "I'm sorry, your character can't make AoOs, so the wizard it's attacking stops defending herself in order to dig around in her backpack, cast a spell, move away then touch your ally. Your character stands there and let her."

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

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@Tallow, you have a good idea. But there are so many items that it may not work. Some items your character really needs won't be on a chronicle sheet. Why shouldn't my wizard be able to pay to have manufactured a /pearl of power (1st level spells)/ when all the fighters are already toting around +3 flaming weapons they got from chronicle sheets?

Since magic items are sold for half their cost, perhaps let people buy items off chronicle sheets for half cost, and let other pay full cost to have items made, or craft themselves for half cost.


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The "Sessions" bug is back!

If I go to the GM/Event Coordinator tab in my organized play, then click on "session" by an event, I get the Paizo golem error screen. It worked Monday night for the same event. I get the error for the three events I created and the one that I'm a designated reporter for.

I've got other things to do. I'm going to have to take a break from being an alpha tester.


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Hiding links -- having them appear in the same black text and font as plain text -- is essentially saying "Somewhere on this page there may be links. You'll have to hover over every single word to see if there is or is not."

It reminds me of a picture in <this is a link>Donald Norman's "The Design of Everyday Things"<end of link> of an ad for a clock radio where the user interface is simply a row of twelve unlabeled buttons. Ironically the ad's title is "Human-Engineered" Direct-Input Pushbutton Controls Simplify Operation. That clock required the user to memorize the function of all twelve buttons; hiding links requires your users to memorize the location of all your links.

How many of you would have realized that the link above was a link if I hadn't explicitly flagged it?

Hiding controls is not a good idea.


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From http://paizo.com/store/pathfinder/adventures clicking on "Pathfinder Society Scenarios" takes you to http://paizo.com/organizedplay not http://paizo.com/pathfinderSocietyScenarios as the URL preview shows.

From http://paizo.com/store/pathfinder/adventures clicking on "Scenarios" takes you to http://paizo.com/store/pathfinder/pathfinderSociety/pfsrpg
not http://paizo.com/store/pathfinder/adventures/scenarios as the URL preview shows.

Neither of these links takes you to a page showing scenarios. One is PFS Organized play, and the other is a list of many categories of products, not just scenarios.

From http://paizo.com/store/pathfinder/adventures clicking on "Pathfinder Modules" takes you to http://paizo.com/pathfinder with one link which loops to itself.

From http://paizo.com/pathfindersociety/rpg clicking on "Adventures" near the bottom of the page takes you to http://paizo.com/ . Again, not where you wanted to go or the preview URL.


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I'm editing PFS event #337534 and the "Event is live on paizo.com (Link to event)" link takes me to the "Sorry, there was a problem handling your request. The system administrator has been notified." page.

It shows up in the events list, but when I click on it, I get the same "Sorry" page.

I clicked on some other events in the Events listing and each took me to the "Sorry" page.


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Success! @Sara Marie it looks like your tech team fixed it.


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Erkenbard the Eyeful wrote:
Secondly, running water blocks Locate Person, but the spell acts like Locate Object, which is blocked by a thin sheet of lead. So would lead also block Locate Creature?(not that the boy was in a lead-lined room).

Reading the RAW, I'd have to say yes, locate creature is blocked by both running water and lead. Although that brings up an interesting question, how does the running water part work?

A thin sheet of lead can block all lines from the caster to the target; we are probably all imagining that the lead is oriented like a wall when we think of it blocking the spell. But running water is usually oriented like a floor. All lines of effect would pass over it. If having the LOE pass over a stream blocks it, how high above it does it go? Or how far below? Or would you have to hide behind a waterfall?

Good question, Erkenbard.


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PaladinDemo wrote:


Mobile infantry

That's not MI! This is MI! And even here, they're dropping too close together.

Quote:
"You’ll be dropped in two skirmish lines, calculated two-thousand-yard intervals. Get your bearing on me as soon as you hit, get your bearing and distance on your squad mates, both sides, while you take cover. You’ve wasted ten seconds already, so you smash-and-destroy whatever’s at hand until the flankers hit dirt."


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In combat try to contribute every round. It doesn't have to be effective, but do something.


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Don't let everyone else pay all the expenses, buy all the equipment, fight all the fights, and take all the risk, lest people leave if you're playing.


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It must be goblins. On Golarion, goblins were probably the first to ride a rocket. OK, it was only fireworks and a failed attempt to get over a castle's walls, but it still counts!

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

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Hmmm, is tax included? A table of four each buying a $2.49 item in one state might qualify for the $10 level, but in a neighboring state it wouldn't.


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Traveller 5.0 came out recently. You don't have to use the OTU.
http://www.farfuture.net/


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I'm very disappointed that the singles sales started -- and some sold out -- before those of us that pre-ordered cases received them. What do we do if don't get a complete set because "collation is not guaranteed"? We've must wait until our cases come, since we don't know what we'll need, while others are free to buy.


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I noticed that both Black Markets and Heroes of the Streets have a spell "Secret Coffer". The spells are almost identical except:
* the one in HS is sorcerer/wizard 2, witch 2, but the one from BM is sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
* the spell from HS requires a 10gp ring, but the one from BM requires a 5gp replica.
Which version is correct?

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

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Could you use change bars in addition to the red text? When you print the document in black & white the red text isn't very noticeable.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

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Lucas Servideo wrote:
One would hope it wasn't the same because it was in different countries.

That's not a ring around the tub, that a teleportation circle!


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arioreo wrote:
How will you keep track of which summons are from the PC and which from the NPC?

I've marked my bases with 1/4" color coding labels . Four colors with either one or two dots per base gives twenty permutations. You could reserve all the ones start with green or blue for the PCs (reading the color dots L to R), and red and yellow for enemies. You could expand it to include zero and three dots to get 85 permutations.

The only problem is that the dots were designed to be removable, so sometimes they start peeling up.
(Credit: I got the idea when I saw Devon T. using single dots on his bases; I expanded it to two.)

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

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John Compton wrote:
Shifty wrote:

The Exchange is disappointingly 'Merchant' and not enough thug left in it - A lot about Diplomacy and Merchant skills, and not a lot of the old enforcer types who rely on standover and other shady activities - I know we went 'legit', but this is just too nice.

You have to recruit people or 'trick people' - what ever happened to "You don't work for Fat Tony then you don't work for nobody"? Fuggedaboudit.

I'll keep that in mind for future Faction Journal Card releases.

I'll second this request. I have a character that started Sczarni -- too dumb to be anything other than an enforcer -- and I figured he'd have the same opportunities in the Exchange. ("Frok, this customer wants a 50% discount on the price of the anvil. Please chop it in half." "Yazzz bozsh." "No Frok, the anvil, not the customer. Oh, what's that you're trying to say? You're willing to pay full price?")

5/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Lowell

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I like these ideas. It's getting tough to run scenarios in four hours. I run scenarios on weeknights from 6pm to 10pm at a game store. The store closes at 10pm so we can't run late. It's just not an option, so I usually omit the optional encounters no matter what time it is.

When you provide an encounter map intended to be printed, please include the zoom factor needed for the grid to be exactly 1". I can figure it out, but it takes one printing at 100% zoom, and a second printing (often of part of the map) at the calculated zoom factor to check and make the small adjustment needed for perfection. That's a few minutes and two pieces of paper that can be eliminated by simply including a single line like "Zoom to 437% when printing" by the map.

Along the same line a Teberous's comment, I'd like to see PFS staying true to its fantasy theme. IMHO SF and psionics have no place in PFS. Can we get rid of them? I'll neither play nor GM a scenario involving either because they're as inappropriate in a fantasy game as dragons would be in a Twilight 2000 campaign.

All it would take to fix the problem is for the dramatic, season-concluding adventure to reveal that Season 6 was simply a nightmare of Kreigton Shaine (similar to how season 9 of "Dallas" was a dream of one character).


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This is something I wrote for myself and my D&D 3.5 campaign players in 2008:

A weapon does D average damage, its threat range spans T numbers (i.e., 19-20 = 2 numbers), and it scores C times as much damage when it scores a critical.

Assume you need to roll an N or higher to hit. To make it simpler, assume that 2 <= N <= 20-T. This ensures that the chance of a threat remains constant -- if, for instance, the threat range was 19-20 and N could be 20, then T is not constant.

M = # of misses = N-1
H = # of rolls that produce normal hits = 20 - T - M = 21 - T - N
Chance of hitting = P = (21-N)/20

Expected damage = D * (H/20 + (T/20)*(1-P) + (T/20)*P*C)
= D * (H + T - T*P + T*P*C) / 20
= D * (H + T + T*P*(C-1)) / 20 = D * (21 - T - N + T + T*(C-1)*(21-N)/20) / 20
= D * (21 - N + (21-N)*T*(C-1)/20) / 20
= D * (21-N)/20 * (1 + T*(C-1)/20)

We want to find a number that we can use to compare weapons, so we can take that number and just multiply it be the chance of hitting to get the expected damage. That is, Expected damage = V * (21-N)/20. We have just that in the equation above,

V = D*(1 + T*(C-1)/20)

We can make a table:

Critical T C V
x2 1 2 1.05*D
x3 1 3 1.1*D
x4 1 4 1.15*D
19-20/x2 2 2 1.1*D
18-20/x2 3 2 1.15*D

Let's compare a longsword (1d8, 19-20/x2) with a battleaxe (1d8, x3) and a scimitar (1d6, 18-20/x2).
longsword, V = 1.1*D = 1.1*4.5 = 4.95
battleaxe, V = 1.1*D = 1.1*4.5 = 4.95
scimtar, V = 1.15*3.5 = 4.025

To check this, assume the chance of hitting is 50% (needs to roll an 11 or greater), the expected damage is:
longsword: normal hit on 11-18 (40%), threat 10% of the time. A threat yields normal damage 50% of the time and double damage 50% of the time. Expected damage = 4.5*(40% + 10% * 50% + 10% * 50% * 2) = 4.5 * (40% + 5% + 10%) = 2.475
2.475 / 50% (the chance of hitting) = 4.95
battleaxe: normal hit on 11-19 (45%), threat 5% of the time. A threat yields normal damage 50% of the time and triple damage 50% of the time. Expected damage = 4.5*(45% + 5% * 50% + 5% * 50% * 3) = 4.5 * (45% + 2.5% + 7.5%) = 2.475
2.475 / 50% (the chance of hitting) = 4.95
scimitar: normal hit on 11-17 (35%), threat 15% of the time. A threat yields normal damage 50% of the time and double damage 50% of the time. Expected damage = 3.5*(35% + 15% * 50% + 15% * 50% * 2) = 3.5 * (35% + 7.5% + 15%) =
2.0125, 2.0125 / 50% (the chance of hitting) = 4.025.

Getting back to the original question,
"A short sword with 19-20/x2 and 1d6 damage, or a kukri with 18-20/x2 and 1d4 damage?"

Short sword, D=3.5, T=2, C=2. V = 3.5*(1+2*(2-1)/20) = 3.5*1.1 = 3.85
Kukri, D=2.5, T=3, C=2. V = 2.5*(1+3*(2-1)/20) = 2.5*1.15 = 2.875

If we increase the damage both weapons do, because of the wielder's Strength modifier, Weapon Specialization, etc., let that increase be X. From the above,
Short Sword, V = 3.85 + 1.1*X
Kukri, V = 2.875 + 1.15*X

These are equal when 0.975 = 0.05*X, or X=19.5

So, if your choice is use a swortsword doing 1d6+19 damage, or a kukri doing 1d4+19, use the shortsword (Vshortsword = 24.75 vs Vkukri = 24.725). If your choice is use a swortsword doing 1d6+20 damage, or a kukri doing 1d4+20, use the kukri (Vshortsword = 25.85 vs Vkukri = 25.875).

This only applies when the roll you need to hit, N, is ≤ 21-T, or in this case N ≤ 18. When you need to roll a 19 to hit, you're removing part of the kukri's threat range, making it essentially have an 19-20 threat range.


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A while ago I did an analysis of 4d6 vs. point buys. What drove me to do it was when, at the start of a campaign, one player looked at a second's character sheet and said "Wow! How did you get such great abilities?". The second character replied, with a straight face and not a trace of guilt, "I kept rolling until I got a set I liked."

The result of my analysis (I should post it to google docs to let others check my work) are below. For purposes of this analysis, I treated rolls of 3-6 as costing -4 points.

If I roll 3d6 for abilities,
27% of the time those abilities would have cost more than 10 points
14% of the time those abilities would have cost more than 15 points
6% of the time those abilities would have cost more than 20 points
3% of the time those abilities would have cost more than 25 points

If I roll 4d6-drop-the-lowest for abilities,
79% of the time those abilities would have cost more than 10 points
62% of the time those abilities would have cost more than 15 points
44% of the time those abilities would have cost more than 20 points
28% of the time those abilities would have cost more than 25 points

So the abilities from 20-point buy is slightly better than the average of those from a 4d6-drop-the-lowest method.

Another way of looking at it is, the mean result of 4d6-drop-the-lowest is 12.24. If I spend 3 points for each ability, I'd have 13s and 2 points left over. Again, a 20 point buy is slightly better.