Tim Hitchcock's page

Contributor. Organized Play Member. 495 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.

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You sir are fantastic human being! Thanks so much for years of patience and persistence in dealing with an old hack from a loud dirty city on the east coast. Please know that your diligence and skill meant a lot to me and never went without my appreciation.

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Davorin Blackridge wrote:
That sounds like a certain Tim Hitchcock not knowing the rules (which is not uncommon).

Actually, The reason I did it is because I'm a sociopath.

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baron arem heshvaun wrote:
James Martin wrote:
And if you wish to GM PFS at GenCon, you might want to start GMing elsewhere to gain some experience. I'm not seeing any GM Stars on your profile.

Maybe you can phrase that a little better, as could his own phrasing which did seem a bit belicose. Certainly having some con experience is definitely a plus and can only help but the Society stars are hardly the sole indicator of how good a game master has the potential of being.

** spoiler omitted **

Just saying.

I don't normally chime in on such threads, however...

The Baron has been steadfast for many many years. Anyone who thinks he needs more stars hasn't been paying attention. Not for nothing, anyone can collect stars, not anyone can be the Baron.

He was quintessential in helping me run both of the very first Gen Con specials before there was a Gen Con special and some how managed to retrieve a manuscript stolen from my personal belongings during the special which (perhaps ironically) happened to be the near final draft to Stolen Lands.

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Thea Peters wrote:

In a loud room (such as a convention) I'll get up and lean into the middle of the table to read the long parts -- this way I don't have to speak as loud (saving my voice some) and the players can all hear me.

The trick is to not read down into the table ... but look up and read "out" to the table.

My trick is to get Thea to run the game for me while I sleep "under" a table.

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15+ years of Gen Con and the best housing I could get (after being put on a wait list for 2+ hours) is at a hotel 12 miles away from the convention center.

I'm too old for that kind of nonsense.

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Aww shucks.. But really, who wouldn't want to ring in the Apocalypse?

Yeah! nightmares for everyone!

Besides it beats my old job as one of the four teletubbies.

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, wrote:

Help wanted!

Putting more 'City' into the "City of fallen stars":

Okay... so there are some interesting things for the players to do/interact with detailed in the book, what I am sort of thinking about though is more 'dressing'.

As in... the parties first walk down 'Light street' and the sort of things that can be used/said to help describe both the feel of the town and the people wandering about their-in.

So... would there be groups or 'Posses' of Barbarian types flaunting it all about?

Would 'Average Joe commoner' shy away from a group of well heeled looking party members?

Possible ideas for stat locations for NPC stats? (Other then, maybe, the NPC guide and rehashing stat block No: 1178 ?

If all the food and water is imported. How is it distributed/sold? Does a Barbarian run town have the Golarion equivalent of corner stores spread along Light street? How far 'back' from said establishments would such amenities likely be?

If the party wanted to actually buy property in the city. What might be the encounters? Would it almost be "Strongest takes what they can hold"?

Thoughts, ramblings and musings all appreciated. :)

For a decent image, google a couple of pictures of Kiberia in Nairobi and then picture that level of sprawling industrial shanty in well Numeria which I kind of imagine to look a little more like Northern Europe.

Culturally, I imagine the power base to be a sort of unacknowledged split between older clans of Kellid barbarians and newer transplants seeking to get their thrills by turning themselves on to unknown alien Tech. After centuries of competing for similar resources, I don't see clans don't necessarily like each other, but they work together out of respect, old clan blood pacts and clan law. I kind of picture them much like ancient celts in that respect. Old warrior clans that now control much of the resources/commodities with the oldest clans being the most powerful and holding most of the control. The extort and intimidate almost like barbaric crime families, but with less fitness. They might even possess kill rights or similar rights based on old clan pacts that place them above the law in certain circumstances, which would make them very dangerous. I also pictured street gangs, mostly made up of younger transplants, upstarts looking to cheat the existing monopolies. Think of Mockery as one of many such gang leaders, but with each gang having its own motive, some political, some not— just opportunists seeking to circumvent the establishment. They shift quickly as they fall in and out of fashion or as they get caught and killed.
I suggest making buying property in Starfall, difficult at best, especially for outsiders. The Kellids still own the city, though the PCs might be able to get asmall, crummy spot somewhere in a dangerous section of either Gritforge or Killbox.

I recently just finished reading Neuromancer by William Gibson, which was likely an unconscious influence on Starfall, both culturally and physically. Another influence were probably some of the cityscapes in the short stories of China Mieville, and obviously the fantasy work of REH, L.Sprague DeCamp and Pat Mills (who wrote the Slaine´ series for 2000AD). I think of the streets of Starfall as being dark, dangerous, easy to get rolled over for money or other supplies, and full of tricksters, con artists, and thugs. In other words, a lousy place to live but a great place for an adventurer. Everything is for all, but none of the deals are remotely fair and the better the deal you think your getting, the more strings are attached to it...Hope that helps.

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
I get feeling Dudemeister likes the class.

Yes, but with the problems and errors in it, I WILL ONLY LIKE IT AS A FRIEND.

Which is sad, because I had hoped this would be the class I could marry.


Hey Dudemaster.

I haven't seen the final piece yet, but let me see if I can clarify a couple of things which certainly appear to be errata.

Looking at save progression in my final turnover to Jason, it seems like between a lot of passing the document around my save table got worked, and badly. My intention was to give the class a save progression similar to the alchemist. That was my intention.

The DC should all be + "relevant" ability modifier. Originally I was going to tie specific abilities to specific ability scores, but I found that a little clunky as I was going forward and trying to make it more of a pick your powers type of thing.

Cyborgs should only be able to dump a number of nanite charges into power equal to their character level, so a first level character can only do 1d6 damage. That isn't explicit in the explanation of the nanite matrix description and it should be.

Lastly, yes the hour recharge is too long. That's a mistake as well, originally I wasn't going to have the matrix power up and power down for 8 hours (like regaining spells), so the hour was intended to limit that, but after play testing I was not happy with that and I was going to change the times to either 1d4 rounds or 1 minute. I totally forgot to make that change in the final turnover because I hadn't decided on the change yet. Being as I expect to change it now, I'm open for suggestions.

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As the high emissary of flumphs in Golarian, can you get spell check to acknowledge flumph as an actual word? Every time I type it, it either comes out "flu mph" or "fluff"

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I adore Nick both as an author and a human being.

He is hands down one of the most gifted game designers I have ever met.

He can write an entire game on the spot, just make it up in full detail as you're playing it.
He can write an entire game world (soup to nuts) in about a week.

He made IRON GM just because he figured thats how he could get the most people to have the most fun in one room at one time.

He consistently raises the bar for both writing and creativity. His ideas are always innovated and his characters never short of epic.

Most importantly, a five minute conversation with Nick Logue makes you a better person.

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Cosmo wrote:
Did we get up to enough hijinks at Gen Con, ya think?

No... no we didn't! There can always be more and better hijinks.

And there can never be too much Cosmo. I can never get enough Cosmo.

More hijinks I say. Next year we need to fill Nicky Blaine's with an entire crowd of people dressed as 18th century noblemen all playing Baron Munchausen at the same time.

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Justin Sluder wrote:
When can we expect an encore? ;)

I performed with Rockonomicon (Rone Barton, James Sutter, Jonathan Nelson, and myself) at this years ENnies... does that count?

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

@Tim Hitchcock

Ok, last questions I promise...

How do you repair/heal the tikiman once damaged in combat? Can you repair him outside combat/between combats?

Construct rules in the Bestiary indicate that the tikiman would get minimum 1 skill/HD, but most constructs are mindless, and don't ever have class skills. Apart from stealth, and assuming no tikipowersthat relate to skills are chosen, what would be appropriate skills to add to a tikiman?

Repair Object spells work.

I haven't gotten around to making a range of repair object spells for the yohunga yet, but my intent was to make a set of repair spells that followed a progression similar to the cleric's cure spells.

And yep, they are constructs so you can repair them outside of combat.

As far as skills go, the Yohunga determines what skills are most appropriate for his tikimen, and as he progresses, he might want each of his tikimen to have a different skill set. It depends entirely on what the Yohunga has built the tikiman to do. So like a tikiman designed to be an assassin tiki might do a stealth build, while a tiki designed to be a jungle hunter/tracker might build on acrobatics, climb, or survival. That was supposed to be one of the perks, that you could build your tiki to suit your needs.

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Hey Folks,
Lou asked me to go ahead and post this, though I haven't gone through FFG with this yet, so its not "official" errata however it was supposed to be in the original class and its how I run mine.

Basically, the tikiman was supposed to progress with the yohunga, and be modifiable by adding tweak powers. The progress with the yohunga rules are missing in the Freebooter's guide so as written, you could be 20th level with a bunch of 4 HD tikiman with 20 hit points each as your primary power. Which sucks, and is wrong. The following errata side bar fixes it.

Tikiman Errata
Armor Class: A tikiman gains an additional natural armor class bonus equal to ½ the yohunga's class level rounded down.
Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, a tikiman adds the yohunga's character level to its base Hit Dice.
Hit Points: In addition to own hit points a tikiman gains a number of bonus hit points equal to half the yohunga's total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded down.
Attacks: the tikiman adds the yohunga's base attack bonus (as calculated from all his classes) to all his attacks. Use the tikiman's Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to calculate the tikiman's melee attack bonus with natural weapons.
Saving Throws: For each saving throw, the tikiman adds the yohunga's base saving throws as calculated from all his classes. The tikiman adds this bonus to its base save modifiers and uses its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesn't share any of the other bonuses that the yohunga might have on saves.
<End Sidebar>

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You know... I make the encounters too soft, people complain.
I make the encounters too hard people complain.

Its a crapshoot. Lots of PFS players really work hard to optimize their characters so they function at a CR higher (perhaps more) than a typical character so its a tough juggling act.

Thus, you get the play up/play down option. Its supposed to help folks pick a path more towards their style of playing. Perhaps the GMs should stress that aspect more when preparing to run a group. I think often people get too hyped about playing the hard mode, but in my opinion, Hard mode is for crunch players who dig min/maxing and optimizing stats and the other mode is for fluff players who build characters based on their backgrounds and stories.
Yeah, I know there are folks out there that do both, but really everyone knows whether they lean towards power gaming or method acting. If the GMs stress that to their players first, then the players have little to complain about if they decide to run hardmode and get TPKed. Or if they run soft mode and its too easy.

The key is really trying to figure out what kind of game your players want to play. Make the players happy and you will have a good game. So yeah, get excited about finding the mode that'll make your players most happy instead of getting excited about making the players play up. The objective isn't to kill their characters, its to make everyone have fun.

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Paizo Con 2013 = Best Convention Ever!

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I just want to add that what really drew me into professional game design was the OGL. That was the whole point, that the whole concept of being "official" was really what was holding gaming back, because brilliant ideas became limited by an "official setting" or what have you.
3PP are really creators of house rules aren't they? Like most of us do in our home games.

I even liked some of the crappy 3.0 books because they gave me ideas or got me psyched to try something new, even if I was only going to pull that stunt once or even if the idea was mechanically broken. So really we're all getting this vast avalanche of ideas, and what's not fantastic about that?

I've been playing D&D now for about 35 years, how happy am I that people are cranking out new ideas like crazy. I just call that fun.

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I know nothing. I admit nothing.

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Jim Groves wrote:


Granted I have only studied this for about a half an hour, and I haven't read or dissected it thoroughly, but first impressions?

Tim knocked this sucker out of the park. Interesting NPCs, neat dungeons, cool story.

James Jacobs often says, "If you want to learn how to make better adventures, then read other people's adventures."

With some humility I am going to be studying this one. If people are enjoying the AP so far, I think they're in for a real treat.

Thanks Jim!

Ironically, I'm just about to start reading Shackled Hut. I'm a little behind on my AP reading.

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Jim Groves wrote:
"Insulting" is a rather odd expression for a design decision. One may not agree with the design choice, but the designer does not try to offend the reader. Let's keep it in perspective.

Well actually...

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There was not a doubt in my mine that Steven would win this competition.
Congrats my friend! You have certainly earned this victory.

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Louis Agresta wrote:
ok. who wants to have a Razor Coast release party at Gen Con sponsored by Kraken rum with Alestorm playing? I could figure out the costs and put up a kickstarter just for party and the Alestorm appearance

Of course I do!!!!!

which means you might want to rethink that plan.

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golem101 wrote:

Gully Foyle is my name

And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination

I owe my username to Alfred Bester, that was the least I could do.

Ok so I'm not the only one to jaunt over to this thread because of the Bester reference. I'm not sure whether I feel relieved about that or more nerdy, but thank you Golem101. Thank you very much.

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Wait... I missed most of this thread. Do I really get to see Pett in a dress?

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Nicolas Logue wrote:


I am so sorry the world, literally like mother nature herself, has been taking a huge dump on you. I however, love you tremendously!

GENCON! It shall be utterly glorious, indeed! I can't wait to see you. Been far too long. I love you, my man!

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, or more insane... one or the other.

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Azmyth wrote:

I'd like to offer Rich my services as his 'corner man' for this pugilist competition.

I love ya Nick, but I've seen the guns on that Brit and he's the smart money bet.

Love ya Az, you know I do, but Nick has magic wushu power. He's studied the mystic arts on top of mountains in china and has a necklace made from the teeth of the chinese secret police.

Never underestimate the power of Logue.

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Nicolas Logue wrote:
And a very personal and important shout-out to Tim Hitchcock.

Despite losing my home and car to the damn hurricane, the fates have made it possible for me to go to Gen Con. I will see then my good friend for it has been too long.

And this year... this year shall be tremendous!

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Orthos wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
It's what Clinton Boomer, Tim Hitchcock, and Nic Logue would do if they were told to write a Saturday morning cartoon show, with instructions to go crazy.
This both amuses and terrifies me.

Actually, if you told the three of us to write a cartoon show and go crazy, it'd never get finished on time to make the kickstarter.

Much love to the project... but the above statement is fact.

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Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
I am vehmenently against such major increases in player power. I believe that Pathfinder is nicely balanced as it is; and that mythic powers lead only to an inevitible furher power escalation in post mythic book releases. Soon, each player will assume Godlike status and this will destroy the heroic nature of the game- making Pathfinder an entirely different game. The nature of heroism is that of man or woman struggling against great odds, not battles between godlike beings.

One of the really cool things about Mythic is you can use it for a game and then take it away. You don't have to make them permanent.

That means for one game, maybe even the finale to an epic adventure, your "joe average" players can eat the flesh of a fallen god and gain mythic powers that enable them to defeat a legendary beast. How long they retain the powers is up to the GM, and they might only last a certain amount of time before they peter out. So in this regard, the might even work like a spell or something. They're just a tool.
GM giveth, GM taketh away.
As far as how they are used in Golarion, I wouldn't expect them to warp the basic flavor anymore than the addition of Guns did in Ultimate Combat. Which is, they didn't. Some home games probably have a lot of guns, but the core content hasn't changed and most games still don't have gunslingers.
Pathfinder is a very successful game. The designers don't want to break it.

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I love you. You are correct. Best Gen Con Ever!

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Care Baird wrote:
C'mon guys! You don't want to play at my table for part 2? :(

Its a pretty good bet that Kyle's table will at least have a little booze to easy the pain of all those poor dead character sheets.

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Apparently, the Golarion Apocalypse has seven horsemen.

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I think the point of offering the Beginner Box Set as part of the subscription, (and I could be off base here...) was to give subscribers first dibs on a product which might possibly sell out.
They're giving loyal subscribers the opportunity to say no thank you, instead of snubbing them and selling first come first serve.

Another thing that I'd like to comment on.
I too have been playing RPGS for a long time, and Pathfinder since before it existed.

I also like to turn on new players to RPGs. Thus, as much as a veteran as I am, I'm very excited to see an Introductory Set, not for me, but for people I might want to teach the game to in the future. I'll probably keep it in my car, that way when people ask me about RPGs, I can respond, "Actually, I have a copy of the Pathfinder Beginner Box in my car, want to check it out?"
I love turning on new players, which I totally intend to do with the Beginner Box.

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As a game designer of some of these scenarios, this topic is of great interest to me.

I think a number of you folks have nailed the reasoning behind the variance.

1. scaling the tiers can really wonk a scenario.
2. diversity of players and playing styles can really wonk a scenario.
3. increasing or decreasing the mount of PCs at a table can really wonk a scenario
4. Having a table with mixed levels can really wonk a scenario
5. different GMs can really wonk a scenario.

Neil Shackleton's suggestion to have a solid guide for adjusting a scenario for the number of players is spot on.

I also think Org Play tends to encourage character optimization and therefore, writers should err on the side of optimized encounters. That said, there might need to be clearer guidelines for scenario writers as to what an optimized encounter is.

I have another idea as well.

Create a solid guideline for GMs to tweak a scenario. And make those guidelines very very simple. The objective would not be to solve the problem (which is never going to happen nor should it, there should be diversity between different scenarios, otherwise everything becomes the same and therefore, boring), but instead should take a little of the sting away when the CR of an entire scenario seems way off.

Something like a once per game modification, which can only be applied under certain conditions.

For example:
If more than two characters die, the remaining characters gain a +2 "avenge the fallen" bonus for the rest of the scenario.
If the PCs complete two encounters with minimal damage (all party members have at least 3/4 of their total hp left.) Then play the next encounter up a tier. If the PCs at at the top tier, give their opponents a +2 bonus to every d20 roll.

Note: the aforementioned solutions likely need a little more thought than I gave them, they're just examples I used to showcase the concept.

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Oh thank God!

I had a completely different incident with a pig at Gen Con and for a minute I thought Chris was going post photos.

Thankfully I'm off the hook again!!!

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I like the d12's big thunk sound. Its like an ominous sounding d20. I like to roll it behind the screen a lot, look at it and grit my teeth as as if something not good just happened. You know, just to make my players nervous.

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Ice Titan wrote:

It's not


It's probably closer to



That's the correct pronunciation.

To answer this debate...
Its Croatian (slavic-hebraic origin). Its basically another female version of the name Ivan and means something along the lines of "god is gracious" actually.
I usually do a little research on names to make sure they fit the mood and flavor of the setting.
In this case, I choose something with an eastern European feel. I wanted a common name, with an uncommon spelling. I also wanted one suitable for a prostitute. In english, the name translates to "Jane".

Even more cool, the editor's at Paizo are sharp enough to know all that, without doing a google search (something I try to do whenever I make up a character name).

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Chris Mortika wrote:
Tim Hitchcock wrote:

For next year, I've been thinking about a really weird, lo-tech system of speaking tubes built out of PVP.!

Sorry,Tim. PvP isn't allowed in Pathfinder Society.

Oh, wait. I'm being told ...

Um, never mind.

Tell's you where my head's at huh? That should be PVC.

(except that I'm re-skinning it as a PVP- Pernicious Varisian Pig)

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Gear wrote:
So, who has to get 'disappeared' for PFS to get The Sagamore Ballroom? WotC doesn't look like they need all that space anymore.

They should just build another gigantic ballroom in the convention center and name it the Hall of Gear! Though it should probably have a bar in it. The Sagamore Ballroom is missing a bar.