Average people do not become adventurers. I am an average person in real life. I want to play a character of someone who is exceptional. That is why my fighters have at least a 17 strength and my wizards have at least an 18 intelligence. They are exceptional, and bored with the mundane nature of life in a village, and have become adventurers as a result. If my fighter had a 13 strength and a 12 charisma, he'd probably still be a farmer. It's safer that way. If my wizard had a 14 intelligence and a 7 constitution, he'd probably be a librarian. I figure my less powerfully built characters died to a single goblin attacking them on the road to the Grand Lodge, and that's why they don't go on Pathfinder Society missions.
I can't agree enough about the con thing. You can get by with a lower con if you're a more experienced player, but people get really attached to their first character, and it sucks to have that character die early before you have a plethora of other characters to take their place. That's why I always emphasize a 14 point con if at all possible.
It helps me to think of PFS as just another home game with a different set of house rules and a constantly rotating cast of players and GMs. I still love my home games, and I run one and play in one, but PFS fills my travel and spur of the moment play needs. Also, I get to learn from a large variety of different play and GM styles.
I also realized as I got home that my copy of Occult Adventures ended up sprouting legs from our hotel room and walking away
I think we ended up with it. I know we ended up with an extra copy, but I thought it was Corwin's. Zach messaged me the other day to let me know you lost yours. I sent you a PM. Let me know how I can get it back to you. :)
Request For Clarification of Rebuild Rules Or Alternatively Further "Grandfathering" After Recent Errata
I have nothing but good feedback for this Gen Con.
For the other GMs:
For the players:
Channeling in combat changes the math. It allows that fighter to survive one more full round and kill the BBEG. With Channel Revival, it saves the party the cost of a raise dead. It reverses the effects of the fireball that just landed on you. I think it's worth it, if you're gonna invest in the phylactery of positive channeling. You get the ioun stones for wisdom and charisma and the phylactery for channeling, and you can really make a difference. I know in high level play, there's some stuff that's just unbeatable without a cleric or life oracle along to change the math in your favor.
I agree that the Expanded Narrative boon doesn't seem to be causing any problems in my area. My wife has used hers to replay scenarios, either because she had a bad experience with them or because she realized after playing that a different character would've been a perfect fit. (Not for boons or anything, just because the character's background fit the scenario very well.) Personally, I've only replayed one scenario, and that was to help make a table. I plan to use stars to replay the bonekeep series with a table who actually knows what bonekeep is and is prepared for it. (Played Bonekeep 1 with a pregen and an 8 year old. Played BK 2 with a 9 year old.) I'll probably eventually use my expanded narrative boon, but TBH, for myself, play opportunities are so slim I hate to waste them on scenarios I've already played.
Again, just my take on it. I might use my stars at some point to replay Eyes of the Ten in a couple of years, when the memory of it is not so fresh, if only because that was the best series I've ever played.
I'm against most forms of replay simply because I have a hard time recruiting enough GMs as it is. If my players could simply play every single slot without ever having to GM, it would make it more difficult. If I didn't continually recruit new players by virtue of having open seats and get the "fresh blood," I wouldn't get the up-and-coming GMs out of that crop. I know I've seen a rotation of some of my original players showing up less, but I have more tables than ever. Some of my original players have migrated to home games, and that's okay, but you either grow or die. Having the exact same people in the exact same chairs week after week prohibits growth.
That's my two coppers, as a VO and an organizer with two years experience.
(Sidebar, that puts me on the opposite side of the argument with my wife, who's played a TON. But that's my opinion.)
I do the same thing when I'm playing, whether it's me or another player. I'm fond of saying stuff like, "I move to this square, provoking from this guy and this guy."
As one of my players likes to state, "It's everyone's responsibility to maintain game state." And I can't argue that. To be fair, he's something of a rules lawyer, but I can't complain when he argues against himself as often as for the party. At least I never feel like he's trying to slip something by me.
When I played it, the GMs rewrote the faction missions to come from the PC's faction leaders, flavored as a favor to an ally of the society. It was great. The Taldor faction mission for part III must stay. And it was written from the point of view of Ambrus Valsin, starting out, "I can't believe I'm actually putting this on paper, but could you..."
I find the third time running something for me is the sweet spot. I've got all weird mechanics figured out completely, I know where the players are likely to go off rails, I know exactly how to get them focused again, I've got unique voices for each NPC, and my roleplaying has more depth. But I haven't completely memorized all the stat blocks yet, and I can still be surprised when the players do something unexpected.
On topic, I'm bleeding for GMs locally. My area continues to grow, and I just don't have the GMs to back it up. I've got about 8 regular GMs, and we run 6-7 tables per week. That means that some GMs are running two tables a week, and playing every third or fourth week. I'll be honest, I'm just not sure what to do about it. I make it as easy for the GMs as possible by handling reporting, providing chronicle sheets and loaner copies of scenarios, maps when available, etc, but there's not much else I can do.
I'm interested in all suggestions.
If I want to participate in a story with no consequences for failure, I'll just read a book. I prefer my skill (or lack of skill) to matter in my success level. Otherwise, I have no reason to improve. I also believe that the dice should matter. Otherwise, why roll them at all? I believe that without the ever-present fear of death, victory ceases to have the savor. There's nothing better than dropping the big bad knowing your fighter can't eat another full round, or waiting with baited breath as the die slowly stops spinning to land on that 2 for the bad guy's saving throw, and knowing that it could've gone either way. And there's nothing like GMing a table that's on the cusp of utter defeat when someone pulls out just the right scroll or has the right spell prepped, or makes the right call and jukes left when his instincts should be telling him to dodge right and pulls out a win. The players are excited, everyone's blood is pumping, and you get to share in the celebration.
And sometimes, there's nothing like a crushing defeat to remind you how far you still have to come. We had what we thought was a perfect table for Waking Rune in hard mode, and by the end, it wasn't about winning, it was how many body retrievals we were gonna have to pay for. Died like a boss when my superstitious barbarian/fighter failed 2 fort saves in a row. That's not supposed to happen. But that's why we roll dice, folks. Sometimes, the good guys lose. And it was one of the best gaming experiences I've had. We had a phenomenal GM and great players, and I wouldn't change a moment of it.
Proposal: Please fix the "XP / PP / GM star credit" disparity between scenarios and Thornkeep / Emerald Spire
I disagree with this suggestion. I am currently running ES for a group attempting to play the entire thing on the same characters. The first levels went fast, but they are going slower and slower the deeper the delve. We complete a level about every other week now, and I expect it to get slower still.
I agree with Elder Basilisk. Giving both fighters an attack of opportunity deliberately might've been the GM's way of trying to soft ball. Obviously, it wasn't effective, but if the bad guy had been down to less than ten hit points and let two beefy characters swing swords, it could've been a "here's your chance to kill me and be a hero" moment on the GM's side. I try not to assume the worst of a GM without being there.
That being said, I've had my share of bad or killer GMs. It happens. And I've killed new player's characters before.
My general tactics with new players is before a player takes an action (such as charging a minotaur after their superior has stated that a minotaur is beyond their capabilities and they should run into a nearby cave, for example) is to explain exactly what the potential reprocussions are of a given action, give an alternate strategy, then ask the player if they truly want to complete said action. If they say yes, I let the dice fall where they may. I dislike the outcome, but I play a game in which we use dice for chance purposes. And who knows? The minotaur could miss his AOO, Valeros could crit and drop him to half health, and an archer could come out and longbow crit and roll max damage. Not likely, but if that's what the players are banking on, who am I to cheapen the experience?
Halflings are actually more expensive. I would rule you can only sell your children as regular slaves unless you happen to be a halfling. Common slaves are 50g as opposed to the more valuable, halfling, slaves at 100g. None of that "my children make more valuable slaves" cheese at my tables.
Tongue firmly in cheek.
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Now we're seeing who the smart ones are...
I built a Dr. Who clone bard that I regret making. He's good on knowledge and diplomacy, but in combat, he's pretty boring. He just entangles things and gives bonuses to everyone else. By the time he got good enough with dazzling display, the shaken condition doesn't matter enough to be worth a full round action. At the level he's at now, the bad guys hit on a 5 instead of a 3 when he demoralizes. He's mostly GM credit, so I didn't realize how boring he would be to play until after he hit level 8.