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RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16. RPG Superstar 9 Season Marathon Voter. **** Pathfinder Society GM. 1,213 posts (2,946 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 110 Organized Play characters. 5 aliases.

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Liberty's Edge

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I've seen far too many threads and posts on why people don't like resonance, so I don't want to repeat that here. However, I would like to do more of a "what it could have been" or "what it could be" concept.

When I first saw the resonance blog back in June, I was immediately in favor of resonance. I loved the idea of investment in items,although I was disappointed in the simple 1 resonance invested per item. Thematically, the first thing I thought back to, was an old system called Earthdawn, by FASA. One of my favorite concepts in it was weaving threads of magic into items to attune them. For those not familiar, here is an excert from the Earthdawn wikia:

Weaving Threads wrote:

Adepts often weave threads to magical items in order to empower them. A magical item with no threads attached appears to be a mundane item of its type. Similarly, an item to which an adept has threads woven becomes mundane in the hands of those that have not empowered it by attaching a thread.

Weaving threads to an item involves examining its true pattern and researching its history to learn Key Knowlegdes, such as the item’s Name, creator, from what or where it was crafted and so on. Once this knowledge is known, an adept can infuse some of his own essence in order to awaken the legend of the item.
The extent to which an item can be invested with an adept’s power can vary widely. It is contingent upon how much an adept knows about the history of the item, and the deeds with which it is associated. Thread Items with an unremarkable history will lack the same capacities as items wielded by legendary Name-givers to perform heroic deeds.

Although magic in the earthdawn world was themed much more around the idea of actually weaving the magic into patterns, the key element that really connected through resonance is the idea of someone being able to "infuse some of his own essence in order to awaken the legend of the item." Resonance becomes a mechanic within the new pathfinder system that allows that same kind of connection between a magic item and the one using it. Magic items become less of a commodity, and more special.

One of the places I had hoped a lot of inspiration for PF2 would come from was Pathfinder Unchained. I understand the it was written for a different system, but there were a lot of things in that book that just worked well, and were improvements over the core Pathfinder 1.0 system. One of the stand out items is scaling items. Items that grow with the character and become more legendary as they advance is a great concept. In unchained, the items scaled with level, but now with resonance, we have new way to allow a character to unlock the power of their items. As a character invests more resonance into their bond with an item, the item becomes more and more powerful. A character with multiple scaling items, would now have to decide which bonds to priortize investment in.

The power of an item should dictate how much resonance is needed to unlock it, even if it doesn't scale. Wands and potions at 1 resonance is fine. However, to unlock even the lowest power of that holy mcguffin of smiting all evil should require a much bigger investment. 1 resonance to activate some items won't seem like as big of a deal if magic weapons, armor, and invisibility cloaks are taking 3-5 resonance each. Item levels no longer need to be included, since resonance becomes the unlock.

Lets take an example:


Method of Use worn; Bulk —
This ring grants you protection against one type
of energy damage: acid, cold, electricity, fire, or
sonic. Each ring is crafted to protect against a particular type
of energy damage that can’t be changed later, and its design
usually embodies the type of energy it protects the wearer
from in some way. For instance, a ring of fire resistance might
be capped with a ruby, whereas a ring of cold resistance features
a sapphire instead.
Type lesser; Level 6; Price 245 gp; Resistance 5
Type standard; Level 10; Price 975 gp; Resistance 10
Type greater; Level 14; Price 4,400 gp; Resistance 15

First...the level 6, 10 and 14 can go.

Instead replace the level 6 with a cost like 4 resonance, the 10 with 7 resonance, and the 14 with 10 resonance. (Or 3/6/9 or 3/5/7...not here to argue the exact numbers.) With scaling items, this can even be the exact same item, with the resonance unlocks being the differentiation.

1) The 1 resonance to invest 1 item is limiting.
2) Use resonance levels on items instead of item levels.
3) Scaling items fit great with a variable resonance system.
4) Earthdawn is a great source of inspiration on how resonance COULD fit in thematically.

Liberty's Edge

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Right now, all archtype dedication feats start at level 2. For most characters, this seems very appropriate. However, I would suggest lowering the level requirements to 1.

Why? Humans have the ability to use their heritage feat for a class feat at level 1. This is the only time I see where it would be possible to include the archtypes before level 2, but I see no reason not to allow this early entry.

Liberty's Edge


With the way that templates work (which I like), are there some classes that really are not as needed? We already have an example of removing the cavalier class, converting it to an archtype. The classic cavalier is likely a fighter with the cavalier archtype, but we now get the variety of allowing cleric cavaliers or even wizard cavaliers as character options.

Barbarian, Paladin, and Ranger for example, seem like they would make excellent archtypes, allowing them to be added to other classes instead of necessitating a class on their own. Each of these are a martial class, that are variations off a fighter. I'm going to use the barbarian as my example.


The barbarian is a classic character filling the martial role, with a uncivilized warrior that depends more on their rage and ferocity than their training. A fighter with the barbarian archtype could easily fill that character trope. However, barbarians are not limited to warriors. A barbarian priest or druid servince as a tribal shaman, a barbarian bard serving as a skald, or even a sneakier barbarian rogue all make sense. Converting barbarian to an archtype instead of a class would allow it to fullfill all of these roles, giving more build options while at the same time simplifying the game by removing a class.

Barbarian Dedication (Archtype Dedication Feat lvl 2)
You are a barbarian, using your rage in battle to help defeat your enemies.
You gain rage (insert the description of rage.)
Special: (insert caveat about single rage)

Other feats-
Turn Totem into a feat.
Turn a selection of the other barbarian feats into archtype feats. (Most of them probably aren't needed.)

What about multiclass?
Of course, mixing barbarian into other classes can be done when the rest of the multiclass templates get created. (I'd argue that not having archtypes for all core rulebook classes in the core rulebook would be a mistake.) However, I'm not sure that the class itself is needed once th archtype exists. (I think both Ranger and Paladin are likely in the same situation.)

I welcome thoughts and debate both pro and con. Just putting another view out there based in my early playtest experience, that might create some useful debate.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

I've had several posts in various threads that all really come back to one topic: Quests.

1) Brief history of quests and similar content in PFS1.0?

2) What is the benefits of having quests as a part of organized play?

3) What works with the current quest system in PFS1.0?

4) What areas have opportunities for improvement around PFS1.0 quests?

5) What organized play systems need to consider quest?

6) Why is this important to address now?

1) Brief history of quests and similar content in PFS1.0?

Quests as most people know them have been a part of PFS since the release of Honor's Echo during season 5. It had 6 quests, built around a somewhat united plot, with the 6th quest being a finale. It was built for level 1 characters, and each quest was built to be about an hour long. 3 more quest packs followed this model with a release in each season from 6-8. The Season 8 entry varied a bit, expanding to a 1-5 tier and only having 5 quests instead of 6 in the set.

There are other similar types of content that have been flirted with including those published in kobold quarterly and demo table creations like those run at gencon each year (that offered boons but no experience, prestige, or gold.)

2) What is the benefits of having quests as a part of organized play?

PFS was built around 4 hour scenarios, which has proven a good basis for organized play, but doesn't work for all groups and situations. Quests allow organized play to target 1 hour slots, being better for those with lower attention spans (kid track!) or smaller windows of play (weekday evening slots at game and hobby stores). They give smaller building blocks to be able to fit into events. (Have a 2 or 3 hour slot to fill at a con? Quests can do that, where scenarios don't do it well.) Quests give us a better way to introduce players to a game. (Getting people to play a 1 hour quest is much easier than getting them to commit to a 4 hour scenario. Perfect for both game store recruiting and con demo tables.)

3) What works with the current quest system in PFS1.0?

PFS1.0 quests gave us these 1 hour timeslots we could build around. This let us work with shorter time slots and something to more easily catch the attention of players who couldn't give us a full 4 hours for a scenario. They gave smaller sized offerings to develop new writers with, are excellent for training GM's, and are good learning tools for new players.

4) What areas have opportunities for improvement around PFS1.0 quests?

Although each quest in PFS1.0 was an individual session, which could in theory be scheduled independently, the implementation didn't truly make them independent. Series of quests were all linked by a single chronicle sheet, effectively "locking" a character who wishes to play all of the content or to get rewards from the quest. Rewards were based on completing multiple quests from the same set. This creates scheduling problems for players in situations such as "our game store are going to run 1 quest per week on Wednesday nights after work." If you run all the quests from one set, players who made some weeks and not others end up with a partial chronicle and have to decide whether to shelve a character, or whether to live with the reduced rewards, putting their character behind the curve. Mixing multiple quest packs doesn't work at all, since each player needs to have a different character for each quest pack they have "open" and haven't completed the chronicle for.

When doing demo tables or con slots, you often end up with partial chronicles. This makes it so those just trying out the game don't really see any tangeable results at all in the progress of their character, where even small rewards of xp/pp/gp would show them moving forward and give a feeling of accomplishment.

Many veteran players avoid quest play altogether, for fear of "locking" a character or necessitating closing a chronicle without finishing.

Independent chronicles with independent rewards would resolve all of these issues. The current experience and prestige systems make this difficult, and would likely need to be addressed to realize improvement in this area.

5) What organized play systems need to consider quest?

Although the quests themselves don't need to change a whole lot, how the organized play supports them has some key factors to address.

Experience System: - The current 3xp/lvl system is based on scenarios being the smallest increment of adventuring. Each scenario was 1 xp, and larger sized adventures (modules and adventure paths) awarded larger increments of xp. This created some obstacles when figuring out how to best chronicle quests. A change to make the quest the base increment instead of a scenario, resulting in 1 xp per quest, would make expanding the role of quests in PFS2.0 much easier. If the base decision is made that 1 quest = 1 xp, then it's a matter of determining how many quests make up a scenario (4 or 5 are the likely choices) will tell us a resulting xp/lvl system. (This assumes we still want 3 scenarios to result in 1 level. That can change as well, but that is an independent decision from this discussion.)

Prestige System: - The prestige system is equally difficult to break down into increments to support quests. With 2 pp per scenario, the pp per quest is currently fractional, and only works due to the way combined chronicles for a set of quests is structured. In order to support independent chronicles per quest, I recommend we establish a new figure of 2 pp per quest (so that pp are still earned on a 2 to 1 ratio vs xp). Scenarios would be increated accordinly, awarding a maximum of 2 pp per xp. (This would result in them being worth 8 or 10.) Note, this also gives the advantage of allowing more variation in prestige rewards based on how successful a party was, or what tasks were accomplished, potentially moving away from the expectation that all prestige will be earned for every scenario.

Quest Independence: - Although I believe quests should still be released in packs, each quest should stand on it's own, allowing players to get a full "experience" for playing it. If a player is getting their first look at Pathfinder, or their first look at organized play, it's important that they feel that they have accomplished something, even if they are only playing a 1 hour demo.

6) Why is this important to address now?

To support some of the items here means some fundemental changes to the foundation calculations used in the campaign. Making those changes now, allows quests to be useful, in addition to giving a number of other side benefits by allowing more configurability when writing. I believe making quests more of a focus can go head to head with some of the advantages D&D gained over PFS, by giving content easily run in short slots. Most D&D AL players in my area started with 1 hour content. I want the option to win players back and find new players using the same tool.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

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I believe with starting from scratch, there are some very simple things that can be changed when reorganizing the society rules that will make logistics easier.

3xp per level had a nice simple elegance to it. It is easy to follow, and it is easy to explain. However, I think there are some other pretty simple mechanics that would make lives easier for other things. I'm going to put a straw man up for a new system for discussion. There may be cases for moving off of 3 scenarios per level (maybe 4?), and or even making it so things aren't even (so that 3 scenarios might not advance you, but 3 scenarios + 1 quest might.) My strawman isn't going to include those, but they may be good for additional discussion.

12 XP per level basis

PFS Scenario = 4 XP
"Module" or AP Part = 12 XP (w
Quests = 1 XP

The key purpose of this system is to make integrating quests into the overall system much easier. Each quest (assumed to be 1 hour each) can grant 1 xp, eliminating the need to group quests on single chronicles. Any combination of 4 quests from any source would be easier to manage. The logistics of modules and scenarios remains the same, with 3 scenarios or modules/AP's resulting in a level.

Easier integration of quests makes it easier to demo for new players, fit short time slots, or create more special content (for example the demo tables at gencon) that can easily award appropriate xp for the time spent.

12 isn't as elegant as 3 when thinking about how much it takes to level up.

Liberty's Edge

Dot and delete

Liberty's Edge

Solstice Scar
This is a CORE table.

Liberty's Edge

High Tier. Dot and delete. Kickoff post will be coming at end of day.

Liberty's Edge

Discussion Added for Table 2 (High Tier)

Please transfer across:
Player Name:
PFS-Character #:
Day Job:

Liberty's Edge

Discussion for Table 1 (low tier)

Please repost:
Player Name:
Character Name:

That will give us a clean list for the separate tables

Liberty's Edge

Replacement sought for Gallows of Madness.

The group has just completed Gallows of Madness Part 1. We will be doing Gallows 2 and 3. Each of these are independent adventures work 3 xp. You can bring in a character level 1-3, and are not required to have played part 1. (Note: If you bring a 3, they will possibly level out of part 3, so level 1 or 2 is preferred.)

Liberty's Edge

Dot and delete, to start getting ready for 8/25.

Liberty's Edge

I was going to sit out most of this game day, but I'll have a number of games winding down between now and game day, so I I'm not as concerned about stretching too thing. Taking players on a first come first serve basis for standard campaign Tome of Righteous Repose, level 3-7 evergreen.

Start will be 8-25 along with all GDVI material.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Had to move things around slightly to fix the gameplay thread.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Ninja Dot this thread. Dot is, then delete your post. This will keep this cleaner.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

You have been stationed at the Grand Lodge in Absalom, awaiting assignment for a mission of utmost importance. Things finally seemed in motion when Guaril Karela sent out a summons for available agents. Although the Varisian is known for less than reputable contacts, associations, and methods, he is a long time supporter of the pathfinder society and holds great influence within certain parts of the organization.

Braving the pounding rain, you head to the location indicated in the summons, the Pickled Imp. Although the shop is closed at this hour, there is a light within, and you find the door unlocked.

This creepy shop contains myriad odds and ends, most bereft of any discernible use. A number of malformed creatures and creature parts bob in jars on a long, prominent shelf, a tiny fetal devil centered in this macabre lineup. The shopkeeper, a greasy-haired Varisian with a thin mustache, speaks from behind the cluttered counter, "Ah, you have arrived. It's a goodthing I got hold of you when I did. Had I not, you might have beensent on some fools errand fetching alcohol for Drendle Drang, or someother such nonsense. I have a matter of much more importance, and I believe you are exactly the agents I need."

"I need all of you to go to the Wounded Wisp, a tavern frequented by many fellow pathfinders. I need you to find a way down into the basement, and to the wine stores. There is a specific bottle I need you to get."[b] Guaril smoothly passes a scrap of paper with a vintage and a date on it across the counter. [b]"This bottle is the key to getting some information I need. Get this information, and bring it back here. Should you prove yourselves resourceful in this task, I have a much bigger job in mind, and you might be just the pathfinders I need. Any questions?"

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

It seems the GM finder has struck again. I hear there is a group ready for a Jade Regent AP.

Wanted to give my assumptions up front. Thinking about whether there is anything else "special" I want to do with this, since it's campaign mode. I'm considering a couple different rules from unchained, but I won't force them on anybody, I'll discuss with the group first when I have recommendations.

Assumptions from my side:
-Campaign mode (chronicles for PFS will be given out at the end of each book in case any of you play PFS.)
-PFS rules for starting character building except:
-1 of your traits must be a campaign trait
-You may take a drawback to gain a 3rd trait
-No elemental races. Tien races seem appropriate.
-Legendary games came out with some expansion material for this AP that cleans up some of the special rules, and builds on them as well. I'll likely use them, although that likely will be transparent to the group
-I may go off script at times, although if you haven't read the campaign, that will likely be transparent too. I won't go too far off script, but there are some nice areas in this AP to dive deeper into than the campaign covers.
-1/day posting on weekdays, 1/weekend on weekends
-This AP is very heavy on relationships and social interactions. Dialogue will be very important.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Starting discussion thread to get everyone invited and campaign set up.
Please confirm final characters here, and feel free to work with the rest of the team for composition of the party.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16


Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Starting discussion thread to get everyone invited and campaign set up.
Please confirm final characters here, and feel free to work with the rest of the team for composition of the party.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16


Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16


Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Although I'm not willing to commit to a whole AP at this point, I'm thinking about running a module. This one has quickly become one of my favorites, partially due to how it's chronicled for PFS. Wanted to see if there would be interest in doing all 3 parts possibly in core.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I'm expecting to see this combination come up in a game soon. Wondering how others would rule it. Would frightening always take effect after the dazzling trail effect, or could dazzling trail be added to frightening?

Frightening: Whenever a thug successfully uses Intimidate to demoralize a creature, the duration of the shaken condition is increased by 1 round. In addition, if the target is shaken for 4 or more rounds, the thug can instead decide to make the target frightened for 1 round.

Dazzling Trail: When you successfully use intimidate to demoralize an opponent while wearing a cloak, you can increase the duration of the demoralize effect by 1d4 rounds.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

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This large catlike creature is covered in grey and brown scales and sports an oversized maw full of teeth. A third eye set in it's forehead moves independently of its other two eyes.

Thaumigorger CR 7
XP 3600
N Large aberration
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, magic sense, scent; Perception +15

----- Defense -----
AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+3 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 76 (8d8+40)
Fort +11, Ref +9, Will +3; +4 bonus on saves against mind-affecting effects
DR 5/non-magic; Immune disease, poison; SR 18

----- Offense -----
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +13 (1d8+7 plus grab), 2 claws +12 (1d6+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks consume magic, pounce, rake (2 claws +12, 1d6+7)

----- Statistics -----
Str 25, Dex 17, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +14 (+18 grapple); CMD 27 (31 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Run, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +12 (+16 to jump), Perception +15, Stealth +12, Swim +11; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics, +4 Perception, +8 Stealth
SQ absorb magic

----- Ecology -----
Environment Warm desert, hills, or plains
Organization Solitary, pair, or hunting pack (3-8)
Treasure Incidental

----- Special Abilities -----
Absorb Magic (Su) Any time a thaumigorger successfully dispels a spell or spell-like ability, or a spell or spell-like ability fails to affect a thaumigorger due to spell resistance, the thaumigorger heals hit points equal to caster level of the spell or spell-like ability. If this would put the thaumigorger above its maximum hit points, the extra are converted into temporary hit points (maximum 20) that expire after 1 hour.

Consume Magic (Su) Any time a thaumigorger successfully hits with a bite attack, it immediately makes a targeted dispel attempt as a dispel magic spell against that enemy as a free action, using the attack roll as the dispel check.

Damage Reduction (Ex) Due to a thaumigorger's magic absorption, enchanted weapons have less effect on it. Its damage reduction is overcome by using non-magical weapons.

Magic Sense (Ex) A thaumigorger can constantly see magical auras as if using detect magic. It identifies the strengths of auras, but is unable to distinguish spell schools or individual spells.

Thaumigorger are immense predators native to the Mana Wastes. Although the wastes are known for spawning mutant versions of various creatures, thaumigorgers have evolved over the milennia of strange magical effects and devastated environments, adapting to the magical energies of the area. The thaumigorger's favored prey are creatures with magical auras, consuming not only their flesh, but magical auras along with it. The thaumigorger's senses allow it to track creatures with enchantments and choose prey with stronger auras to get greater nourishment. These scaled beasts are not intelligent, but they are cunning hunters that are well adapted to an environment that is confusing and debilitating to most others. They stalk their prey, looking for rocks or other perches where they can pounce on their victims. With their senses, they also have an advantage in identifying anti-magic fields common to the wastes, and will use these areas to strike from or retreat to when overmatched.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

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All that remains of this ancient Gebbite ceremonial outpost and battle site in the Mana Wastes is a single multi-tiered shrine, a crumbling stone road, and tower foundations. The petrified trees are the only other sign life once existed where magic tainted Ustradi flood waters now create a lifeless swamp.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

Not that I think I'm likely to make top 32, but with the round 2 turnaround being pretty quick, I'm working on map possibilities right now. My favorite is likely pushing the limits of the rules on size (without knowing the rules yet) and I'm trying to decide whether to just cross that off my list for now.

1) Since we know it's going to be a flip mat, is the standard measurement for that 30x24?

2) In past competitions, did it seem to be alright to focus on part of a bigger location, or should we be trying to do complete locations. (I ask because the location I'd like to do will be a stretch to fit into 30x24, and I think it loses some good details at that size with the compromises that would be required. Half of that location however...could make a good map. Anyone who knows the location would know the other half was missing though.)

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Thrawn007

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Phantom Corsair Boots
Aura faint illusion; CL 1st
Slot feet; Price 10,600 gp; Weight 1 lb.
These thigh-high leather boots constantly permeate with a salty smell. The malleable material used to construct them allows for comfortable movement, providing a +2 bonus to Acrobatics checks.

The wearer of these boots becomes translucent and distorted as they move, becoming more insubstantial as they accelerate. Any time she moves more than 10 feet, she gains concealment (20% miss chance). This concealment ends when she stops moving.

When using two move actions in a single turn, or using a run or withdraw action, she instead becomes invisible (as invisibility) for one round.

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, blurred movement, vanish, creator must have 2 ranks in Acrobatics; Cost 5,300 gp

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I wanted to see if my reading of the Blurred Movement spell is correct.


This spell functions as blur, except that the blurring occurs only when you move at least 10 feet on your turn and ceases at the end of your movement. It is therefore mainly used to protect against attacks on your turn, such as attacks of opportunity. If you move at least twice your speed on your turn, the blurring lasts until the start of your next turn.

I think the first condition is very straight forward. However, the second (bolded) part of the spell is what I'd like to get clarified.

Since this spell does not say "base movement" it is referring to your current "movement" statistic. Since things like barbarian/monk speed and more importantly spells like haste and expeditious retreat modify "movement", my reading is this spell's conditions for full round blur still require a double move.

Speed 30 + 30 feet from haste = 60 feet as your movement, requiring you to move 120 feet to set off the condition for this spell.

Therefore the following conditions (not all inclusive) would be ways to set off this spell:
1) Double move (2 move actions) moving at full distance on each
2) Withdraw action moving maximum squares
3) Run action moving equal to or faster than 2x your movement
4) Charge moving at your maximum (2x movement) range

What about flying, climbing, or swimming? Would your movement in the case of climbing a wall be equal to your climb speed in that case, so that our 60 ft character above, climbing at 25% speed could double move to climb 30 feet and still get the full round blur effect? (My reading is that this is how that would work, but it's a strange enough case, I want other opinions/rulings.)

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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After several weeks of slipping vigilantes into regularly scheduled PFS games, jumping into online vigilante "blitzes", organizing all vigilante parties through full PFS scenarios and modules, and setting up specific tests with combats pulled from scenarios with PC's or NPC's replaced by vigilantes...I feel I have a pretty good perspective on the vigilante class. I've played all four vigilante specialties at various levels as a player, I've GMed full or partial vigilante groups, and I've NPCed a number of vigilantes in our "replacement" fights. All testing was level 12 or less (PFS play range) and here is my general results...

Social Identities

Since I'm focused on PFS style of play, social identities rarely played a major part in the game. It was a roleplaying gimmick at times, but the actual mechanics of it were usually just background noise and not
adding anything to play. The most memorable identity switch I can recall in over 10 tables was a vigilante getting thrown out of a bar, and switching identities in order to get back in. Not exactly big impact.

SUGGESTION: Make dual identity a talent instead of the base of the class. Dual identity is the thing that makes the class so hard to balance in the first place, and I think the downsides of the complexity
outweigh the benefits of what it brings to the class. I think some social talent chains should be based on disguise and alternate identities (preferably more like the spy master archtype than the current rendition), but I don't think it should be the entire basis of the class.

Low Level (1-4)

Renown never came into play (although I know a few vigilantes from PFS games will be able to have Absalom renown, but that's due to a chronicle sheet, and not the actual class. +4 intimidate will be very handy in Absalom based adventures with the boon, especially if you build part of your character to take advantage of it.

Social Grace has two schools of thought right now. On one hand, since there is no penalties for blowing your cover, a vigilante can always stay in their social identity in order to get their +4 bonus on an important skill like diplomacy or intimidate. This also became the default at many tables at level 1,

since you don't have any vigilante talents to blow your cover anyway. You simply play as if your vigilante identity doesn't exist. (The only thing you really lose is the +4 intimidate from renown, but if you take
intimidate as your social grace skill, then that is irrelevant.) The second way is if you stay with the

spirit of things and try not to blow your cover, the most consistent use of this talent was to pick a skill that would add +4 to your day job after the module, and then stay in vigilante identity. Note - This was the most common thing I saw...the entirety of the social identity came down to a +4 bonus on day job checks. The secondary use was diplomacy or a knowledge skill solely used for start of adventure info.

SUGGESTION: If dual identities are going to remain part of the class, the disadvantages/penalties for blowing cover need to be defined. Right now there is no downside to just going social mode all the time to have access to both social and vigilante talents.

Safehouse and Loyal Aid were the two options to come online at level 3. More often people took renown at 3 because social grace was almost always 1st level from what I saw in builds. I never saw either of these talents get used during the course of any games.

Mid Level (5-8)

Social grace at this level because useful for diplomacy additional knowledge skills at level 5, but didn't see anything else new brought to the table.

Feign Innocence, Great Renown, Many Guises, and Quick Change never came into play at any tables I played or GMed at.

High Level (9-12)

Social grace at this level because useful for diplomacy additional knowledge skills at level 10, but didn't see anything else new brought to the table.

Other talents never came into play at any tables I played or GMed at.

The social identity as a whole came out to the following:
1) +4 intimidate or diplomacy for those who felt there was no downside to blowing their cover
2) +4 diplomacy or knowledge checks to get starting information for scenarios 3) +4 to a dayjob check

(This was the most popular option by the end of the playtest)

SUGGESTION: More generally useful talents that don't require social identity, preferably non-combat abilities that are still useful for fleshing out a character and helping them contribute in some way. I'd also recommend combining some of the existing talents into single talents that scale as you level if you choose to select it, since the usefulness for most games is pretty narrow.

SUGGESTION: In addition to adding more usefulness to the social talents I recommend the number of social talents selected by characters be reduced. Players at my tables referred to odd levels as feat levels, and even levels as talent levels. Of course they were getting social talents along with those feats on those odd levels, but nobody really cared. I suggest a Social, Vigilante, Vigilant patter, so social talents are selected at 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 19, with vigilante talents at all othter levels. At level 12 this equates to 8 vigilante talents and 4 social talents instead of 6 and 6. This would resolve two things...all specialties are talent starved on the vigilante side, and the social talents aren't really a desirable addition to the class in most cases, it's just baggage.

SUGGESTION: If not committing to a weighted talent distribution as per the previous suggestion, I'd suggest a vigilante talent be granted as a bonus at level 1.

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The description of the module made it sound tailor made for a vigilante (especially a former Chelaxian slave who is looking to free halflings from enslavement.)

This is the first time I have ever seen two switches in a PFS module. Started in social guise, which was the only way the other characters ever saw the stalker. (4 of the PC's were dark archive former Cheliax faction members who were very pro-Cheliax, including one who was still played far more pro-cheliax/pro-devil than having any loyalty to the dark archive. Although evil isn't PFS legal, almost half the party was evil everywhere but on the character sheet.) The interesting part of this dynamic was that the social vs vigilante side became more of a tool to hide things from the party than any NPC's. It was different, but definitely not who I'd want to see things go most of the time. (Just made sense here.)

The main result of this is although I was in vigilante mode to go do things away from the party (probably the first time I recall of PFS party splitting up), when all the combats came with the party, I was also in social guise. I never ended up using my vigilante talent (twisting fear), instead acting basically as a warrior, and shooting a crossbow pretty much all the time. It wasn't very effective (especially with less damage as a halfling), but I could hit pretty consistently. Small light crossbows were less damage than I'd have been doing with a simple intimidate. (A lot of GM fiat made intimidation far less useful during this scenario however, so crossbows still probably were going to be the best option.)

The party ended up eating two fireballs in a fight, which resulted in the vigilante going down. While the rogue and the ninja danced out of the way and the beefier warriors just took the hits, my vigilante went down in spite of making both saves.

What I learned -
Although it wasn't great, level 3 stalkers were more interesting to play than level 1 stalkers in spite of never using my 1 talent the whole time. Looking forward to a couple more levels when the build will be built out better. I still think the character is very talent starved. Would love to grab things like evasion which would have kept me on my feet, but it's just not possible to get such luxuries right now without hampering offense too much.

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Minor Spoilers within
You've been warned

The situation
A small group of wannabe vigilantes hope to are trying to make a name for themselves and get established as a force within the Osirion City of Wati. In order to establish their cover as a group of archeologist scholars, they have applied with the Grand Mausoleum to get the rights to investigate one of the newly opened buildings in the Necropolis. Knowing that they may run into undead problems they have brought in the outside adventuring priestess (Kyra Pregen).

General Observations and Comments
1) I handpicked scenarios in round 1 of the playtest that generally had solid social aspects to them. The switch rules resulted in deaths when players got caught in social mode instead of vigilante mode. This time, I picked a good old fashioned dungeon crawl. After securing their contract in social mode, the 3 vigilantes (replaced the Zealot with pregen Kyra since we had 1 GM and 3 players and wanted to remain PFS legal) spent all of the rest of the adventure in vigilante mode. I quickly found this was a poor choice to take 3 vigilantes on.
2) Despite overall decent (not great) perception, the party got ambushed early on, and hit a couple traps that hurt.

Avenger Observations
Dr. Korgen Kain, Chellish Archeologist
aka Hellknight by Night
1) This character really pointed out the need for a social trait(s) to open up skills. In this case, making a scholar as the "day job" and social aspect of the character, he really didn't have knowledge skills available to him. This character ended up taking both Osirionologist and Scholar of ruins to be able to open up some knowledge skill options. That meant no combat traits on the other end.
2) Level 1 avengers are sooooo booooring in a dungeon crawl. At least a fighter has an extra feat to start down the road of an interesting build. In vigilante mode, the avenger is just a level 1 warrior. The character was planned to be a heavily armored tank (that would move surprisingly well) in the future, but at level 1, it didn't have much going for it.
3) 2 Less HP at level 1 doesn't seem like much of a difference, but it was in this case on one occasion. Front lining with low fort saves was painful as well in one case. He took a strength penalty very early in this adventure, and the party had no way to fix it.
4) This character was really hurting when hardness and DR came into play (along with a strength penalty). It made what seemed like an easy fight, a difficult one and a second fight into a deadly one that ended in the TPK.

Stalker Observations
Evalyen of Kyonin, Half-elf Osirionologist
aka Shadowbow
1) See Avenger #1...escept this character had self taught scholar and Osirionologist.
2) See Avenger #2...except hitting slightly less. This character was going to go the sniper route and build around that with stalker talents and feats.
3) He's definitely not as good of a dungeon scout as a rogue (or some other trap-spotting classes) although they aren't that good at it at level 1 either. The stalker found traps using the barbarian method as more often than not, except without the HP to back that up.
4) A trap with resulting in -2 CON was the beginning of the end.
5) Hardness/DR was a real problem. Party got through one fight that way, but a second resulted in a TPK.

Warlock Observations
Alamet Turth, Osirioni Scholar
aka The Sand Sage
1) When it came to skills, first thing that became very apparent was the lack of climb skill. Second was that there were several gaps in knowledges on this character, although with others filling in, this character didn't invest their traits in scholarly stuff, and focused on the knowledges they had.
2) Having spells at level 1, this character actually seemed far stronger than the others at this point. Didn't save him in the end, but he was the hero of a couple encounters where the more martial types weren't effective. Once he ran out of spells, that's when things turned really bad.

Kyra Observations
1) Kyra was the MVP of the party until her death. Part of that is because a cleric which was a good fit for undead. Part of it was because 2 of the 3 vigilantes just didn't bring that much to the table at level 1. Their selection of cool abilities hits at level 2.
2) Kyra burned through healing resources very quickly between traps and early fights. When the party found some cure light wounds potions, they already wanted them badly.

Overall Result
1) 1 Ambush got the drop on the party (in spite of decent perception across the party) and inflicted poison on the Avenger, which hurt damage output.
2) Two different traps used up some healing, but the addition of con damage hurt more.
3) A CR 1/2 combat ended up using up resources, because both the avenger and stalker had issues inflicting damage. The creatures fortunitely don't hit hard, but since the fight went 5 rounds, the damage actually ended up adding up and using up healing from the cleric and offensive spells from the warlock. This is the battle where the warlock actually was most valuable.
4) A CR1 and CR2 fight ran together and had 3 monsters that hit hard, and one of those who they couldn't really harm. Party got trapped between the two fights, Kyra got full attacked (bite/claw/claw/rend) and went down, and things went downhill from there.
5) One interesting item...1 character got branded. The party didn't live long enough to affect social/vigilante switches, but it would have been an interesting situation.
6) TPK happened about 1/4 of the way through the module.

1) This adventure was harder than I remember. (Ran it about a year ago for PFS.) We had no deaths, but I think we had 6 players + animal companions, so the action economy was more in the players favor. The vigilantes really were lacking the tools for a dungeon crawl though. The avenger wanting to go sword and board (to use the shield talent) meant the party just didn't have the damage output to overcome DR, and the warlock was only able to bail them out on that problem once, not twice. So party fit was a little bit of it.
2) Although we covered skill gaps with traits, it would be nice if the class actually had mechanics on the social side to actually get skills that go with your social identity, whether those are craft, knowledge, or profession. The +4 from social grace is nice, but (A) it doesn't help while in vigilante identities and (B) they are still out of class skills in many cases. (FYI After talking through this after the TPK, the party determined if they had to do it again, they'd have all gone into the dungeon in their social guises instead of their vigilante guises since the only witness who they'd be breaking cover for was Kyra. Everything else was bugs and dead stuff. That would have resulted in +4 knowledge or linguistics skills for each character.)
3) The biggest observation I had was just how bad level 1 avenger and stalker was. That WAS NOT what I was expecting or setting up. I've been starting at level 2 or higher in pretty much all builds, so I hadn't really seen level 1 in action. So that was a bit of a surprise for me. (Low fort saves bit the party twice, where someone failed a save they would have otherwise made. Party was 3/7 on fort saves on the whole, resulting in 2 str damage for the Avenger and 2 con damage for the stalker.)
4) At level 1 at least, you can't see much difference in a level 1 warlock and a level 1 wizard when it comes to the casting side, but the warlock has more HP and carries a better weapon.
5) We will lay off of multiple vigilante parties. During both rounds, we've had a lot of vigilante deaths that way. I figured that playtesting that way tests how well the 4 specialties fill the prototype roles in a party by filling them all. However, they all have so much in common, it looks like it leaves a lot of gaps in the party as a result. From this point forward, I'll focus on single vigilantes in more mixed parties. (The other issue with that is only gaining feedback on 1 specialty at a time, because the vigilante parties were good for gathering lots of data fast too.)

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I've made an argument during playtest 2 that a simple thing to help all 4 specializations would to be to give a level 1 vigilante talent. This would ease complaints a little about not enough talents, and it would strengthen the health and power level of the class overall.

I'm taking back this position for several reasons.
1) I already see this as a dip class, and adding more power at level 1 makes it even more prone to dipping.
2) The class isn't bad at level 1-2, it's the scaling where things become problematic.

Therefore, I'd recommend against my suggestion to add a vigilante talent at level 1, even though that was an easy change.


So where do we go from there...I'm looking at the following talent distribution to see what it adds good or bad.
1 Social
2 Vigilante
3 Vigilante
4 Social
5 Vigilante
6 Vigilante
7 Social
8 Vigilante
9 Vigilante
10 Social
11 Vigilante
12 Vigilante

This would mean...
4 social talents through level 12 (7 through level 20)
8 vigilante talents through level 12 (13 through level 20)
This effectively gives a shift of 3 traits from social to vigilante.

Some assumptions:
1) Social talents would need to streamline somewhat for the "core" talents, scaling with level instead of requiring multiple talents. (I'd still be happy with the social side building with less talents but using a list similar to the one I posted elsewhere.
2) Avenger and Stalker lists of talents wouldn't change dramatically, but would additional talents to what we've seen.
3) Both caster selections would still use talents to buy casting levels.
4) Some talent chains would be needed as alternative to spell levels for warlocks and zealots
5) Level requirements would obviously need to be reworked for all talents.

What does this mean for..The Avenger
1) If the Avenger takes pure combat feats, he catches up to the fighter at level 3, then starts swapping back and forth who has the most feats. The avenger pulls ahead at level 12, and gets two feats ahead at level 15, ending with those two feats extra at the end.
2) This is actually the class that worried me the most, but I'm pretty happy with those results. The class gets a slight feat advantage over the fighter in exchange for less hit points, and no complimentary combat boosters (weapon and armor training on the fighter). I would play the vigilante over the fighter in many cases, but I don't think it would be automatic, and I don't see this really being stronger than classes like the ranger, paladin, and slayer.

What does this mean for..The Stalker
1) This means more variety in builds. We love the stalker due to lots of unique talents. this gives room in a build for more complementary skills instead of the straight combat stuff. I could never fit many of the talents I loved in a build, and this gives just that little bit of extra room.
2) To make this work, new talents introduced should be more complementary than combat buffs, or if new combat buffs are introduced they should have tradeoffs with current options and not have too much synergy. I like the options the stalker has in combat right now, but don't want the class to be pushed towards "too good" just to "more fun"

What does this mean for..The Warlock
1) First, this means that by level 12, you double your number of non-casting talents, letting you actually make some selections.
2) Second, this would give the ability to not have 4 level gaps for casting talents. This could smooth out the curve a bit. Admittedly, no talent at 4th level is a little bit problematic for Arcane II though. A decision would have to be made on whether it belongs at 3 or 5.
3) I still feel that having a full talent chain for arcane bolts, a talent chain (or at least 1 additional talent to get throw anything + int bonus) for bombs, and the more I think about it...a tatoo container chain, would be good to compete with spellcasting or at least with each other.

What does this mean for..The Zealot
1) See Warlock #1 and #2
2) Some talent chains in the Zealot would be a good thing too.

What does this mean for..All Vigilantes
1) No increase in power for 1 and 2 level dips.
2) Accross the board buff and incentive for sticking with the class.
3) More ability to customize your vigilantes.
4) More things (talent slots) to trade out in the design of archypes.

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First one is actually pretty simple. It came up when discussing directions for the warlock. This archtype makes the warlock a versatile (but in some ways limited) caster, but could be fun to do everything with shadow conjuration.

Shadowmancer (warlock archtype)
Base Arane 1 replaced by Shadowmancy 1
2 Select as normal
4 Shadowmancy 2
6 Must Take Living Shadow
8 Shadowmancy 3
10 Shadowmancy 4
12 Shadow Jump
14 Shadowmancy 5
16 Shadowmancy 6
18 Select as normal
20 Select as normal

Shadowmancy - The caster can cast spells as if using the Shadow Conjuration spell. The shadowmancer does not keep a spell book, and does not need to learn spells. They can determine the effects of their casting according to the shadow conjuration spell, except the level of the spell slot is the highest level spell that the shadowmancer can replicate. Each shadowmancy level opens up spell slots as the equivalent arcane level.

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With v2 out for the playtest, in my opinion the Avenger is the specialization currently in the worst place. The stalker has a number of gimmicks that no other class can emulate. Warlocks have mystic bolts original to them. Zealots (who I haven't written up yet) have some tricks as well. The Avenger really only has a couple things that can't be done better elsewhere.

Some general observations:
1) The other three specializations seem to have more "high level" talents with level requirements. Avenger has some scaling abilities, but very little in the way of prereqs. Not saying this is bad, just saying it's not consistent with the other specialties, so it stood out to me.

2) The things that an avenger can potentially do that other classes don't do better (and are worth building around):
A - Armor skin can allow full move in medium armor. Combining with heavy training can upgrade that to heavy armor. This makes a heavy armor "mobile fighter" an option. This can pair up nicely with close the gap.
B - Vital Punishment allows AoO vital strikes. Creating a build to take maximum advantage of this can be viable. (My favorite is still snap shot.)

3) I think this specialty would benefit more than the others from a bonus Vigilante talent at level 1. If that isn't added in as an overall vigilante component (which is what I'd recommend) then I'd like to see it added to the Avenger Base ability.

4) I thought Mad rush was gone...then saw it was just a line return error. Don't scare me like that!

Individual Talents
Armor Skin - I'd consider moving the full move from level 8 to level 6. Those extra two levels just make it too late to build a concept around.

Close the Gap - It's an ok supporting skill. Just possibly a little blah.

Combat Skill - No change needed. This is the option to fill gaps in builds. It's actually one of the weaker skills straight up, but the versatility more than makes up for it.

Environment Weapon - I understand what this is going for, but even if it worked in all terrains from the start, I see this as a niche choice. The fact that it only works in one terrain type makes it more of a waste of print space. Thematically it's a good fit, but it needs a lot more oomf. While it's scaling up to do additional terrain types, enemies are scaling up with DR, and everyone not using improvised weapons are scaling up in damage with cool items. This needs a way to find improvised items that can get through DR, or do something else to stay relevant. (Perhaps allowing ignoring DR equal to half your level when within your selected you manage to find a silver candlestick to fight the werewolf in an urban terrain.)

Favored Maneuver - This one has potential to be one of the best things from this class. I'd highly recommend some tweaks to it however to make it scale better, and stand out a bit. 1) Make sure to specify that it ignores prereqs. I assume that's the intention, but it doesn't state it, even when other Avenger talents have that langauge. 2) "You may use this maneuver as if you had the Agile Maneuvers feat". This opens up nicely for dex builds on some maneuvers that aren't usually dex, giving something unique to the class. (I'm picturing improved dirty trick using dex...but also good with things like bull rush and drag with finesse options) 3) "You may ignore the combat expertise prereq when selecting additional feats for this maneuver." This allows the combat skill to scale up. We aren't giving the greater version of the feat for free, that would likely be slightly too good, but as it stands, the Improved maneuvuer feat is a dead end, unless you want to go pick up combat expertise anyway, in which case this talent just isn't that good.

Fist of the Avenger - Unarmed strike with some scaling. I don't think that it does quite enough to be worthwhile, but it's ok. 1/2 level might make it better.

Living Shield - This one is thematic and really cool and thematic. I can definitely see liking it on bad guys. (I need a Kraken vigilante! His secret identity is a giant squid.)

Mad Rush - Love this talent, but at level 12, I just can't build around it. It's a nice addition to a mobile fighter build though, which seems like one of the unique builds you can work on at lower levels too. I wonder if this could slip into level 10, or even level 8.

Nothing can stop me - Nice thematic support skill, but nothing to build around.

Shield of Fury - This is a two for one value when comparing to taking combat skill, so it's good if you wanted to go sword and board. It makes up for the 1 feat you start behind a fighter doing the same thing. It would be EVEN BETTER if it allowed you to ignore dexterity requirements when taking feats that have Two-Weapon Fighting as a prereq. At that point this can do sword and board builds that others can't. The question is whether waiting to 6th level to start a two weapon fighting chain is too late when planning a build.

Signature Weapon: Another two for one efficiency play if you were going to take these feats anyway. I see this one getting taken a lot for that reason. Nothing special to bring attention to the class though. Oracles are grabbing 3 for 1 with revelations.

Suckerpunch - This looks like it should be one of the signature abilities of the class, but any sneak attack class can just do it so much better, I don't see it being used. If you want to do this, be a Stalker instead of an avenger.

Unexpected Strike - Thematic, but nothing to right home about. It's purely a supporting talent. I was really expecting a bonus with a freshly drawn weapon here.

Unkillable - Going to 0 or less HP isn't something to build around, but this can be useful. Probably wouldn't change it.

Vital Punishment - I think this one might be the best of the bunch. No change needed.

My overall conclusion is I'm having the hardest time identifying what the Avenger needs, because I still can't identify what it's trying to be (other than a weak fighter). The Stalker is a burst monster that can pull of some crazy tricks that the unchained rogue can only dream of. The warlock at has the option of a ranged touch attack that others out there can't duplicate, and has a couple other themes that can be viable with some rework. Vigilante divine powers gave several ways to focus the zealot. I think the Avenger lacks the focus of what it wants to do to be special. There are a few nice tools, but it's kind of a mishmash of random combat stuff right now.

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So far it's only two, but I'm finding some talents under one of the four Vigilante types that would improve the overall class if they moved to social talents.

Why move them?

1) Unclogs vigilante talents a bit, by creating some of the decision making tree on the social side.

2) Some talents should be universally available to all four specializations.

Criteria for the list:

1) Makes thematic sense for all 4 specializations

2) Is a primarily social aspect, or uses the social persona of the character

3) Doesn't seem like it would create balance issues when paired with other vigilante talents

My two so far:

1) Case the Joint (Stalker) - This talent is actually done in the social identity. It makes sense for all of the vigilantes to do some foot work in their secret identity, not just the Stalker. Although many of the obvious bonuses may work best with the stalker, a little creativity can make this a boost for any of the specialties.

2)Stern Gaze (Zealot) - Nothing divine to this one. Straight up bonus to intimidate and sense motive (both social related skills), sounds like something all vigilantes should be using. It almost should just be built into the class, but a social skill seems like a nice compromise that supports the theme well.

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I've been playing with builds a bunch this evening, trying to convert a GM credit blob into a vigilante for an upcoming PFS game. During round 1, I simply made vigilantes of all kinds of levels, and we used them in varous test scenarios from full PFS scenarios (played non-credit) or testing specific types of fights from scenarios. I think the general concensus was the vigilante was lacking in all four forms when comparing them to similar classes.

I like a lot of what I see with round 2, but my first reaction is that something is still lacking. Then it hit me. A very simple thing that would make many builds (especially low level builds) more interesting is another vigilante talent. Just like fighters get combat feats at even levels + a bonus at level one, I think all 4 versions of the vigilante looks a lot better on paper if you simply add one extra vigilante talent at level 1.

I'm not saying this solves all the complaints people will bring up, but I think this is a very simple way to improve the overall health of the class. (The balance factor to look at is whether a talent at level 1 makes it too much of a dip candidate.)

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Objective: Ran a test with 4-09 Blakros Matrimony with a 4 Vigilante party. This was chosen specifically because it is a social adventure that includes a couple interesting combats. All characters were created at level 7 with 23,500 in equipment, and were all Cheliax based characters.

The Tiller (Halfling Avenger 7)
ShadowWalker (Half-elf Stalker 7)
The Mad Bomber(Human Warlock 7)
The Dawnbringer (Human Zealot 7)

I divided the module into 3 parts and the test actually did all 3 parts of that module in both social and vigilante modes. This allowed us to do "what if" scenarios for what would happen if the characters are in the wrong mode for the wrong scene. (We actually played through the whole thing once, then did each part individually in the opposite mode.)

Social/Diplomatic Scenes -
Social - The all social party was almost perfect. You hardly could ask for a party that didn't fit better. Everyone had good diplomacy (not great, since charisma was secondary to all characters) and an array of other skills, so they were able to make friends and influence people well. We had 2 of the four with +4 diplomacy making it even better.
Vigilante - All vigilante was almost as good, with the only real difference being 2 characters not getting +4 diplomacy. Everyone was still very solid at making friends, so it was still very heavy success for this aspect of the module.

Social - This party was good at investigating due to having 4 high skill characters. Most relevant skills were covered, with backups for many key skills. However, combat resulted in 2 PC's in negative HP (but not dead). The party very average in combat. It was a 4v4 fight, with 3 mooks and a boss on the other side. I think the big issue, was that the mooks were all lower level, but hit more often and had more HP than the PC's. (Fortunately the mooks don't hit that hard or it would be uglier.) The boss clearly outclassed the PC's. He easily could have killed on a critical hit, and he almost managed to beat down all four PC's.
Vigilante - This fight went much better, but still was a rough fight. There was still an issue that the enemies hit more often, and the boss was still relatively strong, in spite of his ridiculous build. The stalker went down (died), but nobody else went below half HP in the battle. Before dying, the stalker was absolutely amazing in the first round of combat exploding on one of the mooks.

Final Combat
Social - This was a flat out TPK. The enemies were strong, and the characters really had no answers to compete. The Avenger was the only one hitting consistently, and the other characters were missing their gimiicks to be useful in combat. 3/4 BAB just wasn't enough to contribute.
Vigilante - Much better fight, but was still tough. Had one death again (Zealot this time, due to a nasty pounce), and still came close to another one. Stalker was less impressive this time due to the parties being the ambushies instead of the ambushers in this encounter. Warlock was far less useful due to bombs and bolts being poor damage types for the encounter, but the avenger was able to keep most of the party alive.

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For fluff reasons, I'm trying to figure out how to make a PFS legal way to set up a portal, teleport circle, etc going between two points.

A Well of Welcome Respite would have been perfect, but not PFS legal.

Ring Gates are good for getting supplies and messages to the "destination", but I'm looking for an equivalent (or creative workaround) to get pathfinders to the destination as well.

Teleport spells wouldn't solve the issue, because the destination side of things would be moving around a lot.

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