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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle 74 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 18 Organized Play characters.


Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

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Attack DC would actually be 10 + attack bonus not their actual attack roll. I ran it how you said myself but afterwards realised that was probably a mistake.

Playtest has a habit of not having opposed rolls but attack DC is a pretty weird one.

Grand Lodge

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Just wondering if/when we might expect some of the community use packs to see any logos based on the 2E style?

I've got a convention I'm organizing part of in August where we're gonna mix in some 2E content to spark interest & we'll likely be putting some fliers in local game stores soon. It'd be great to be able to use 2E related art in the fliers as it may catch the eye of some people who aren't avid 1E players but might be intrigued by a new system.

Looking at the community use packs it doesn't seem any of the 2E stuff is available? I imagine it's a low priority with everything going on, but is there any ETA's around this or is this something you're holding off for now?

Grand Lodge

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My view on the Vancian casting front is that I want Vancian, Spontaneous, and Arcanist style. Cause it gives us 3 distinct cool ways to distinguish caster classes, giving 3 distinct styles of play & making everyone happy. Wizards don't have to have Arcanist casting - Arcanists can!

I'm a little sad Arcanist casting didn't make the core at all, but I hope it'll show up fairly soon after (Given the class's popularity I don't imagine Paizo will miss that chance). That said the book is already very big, I don't think they'd have wanted to cut any original core classes, and I can understand their argument for Alchemist (needing the most rules support to work how they wanted).

I imagine the request to keep all the existing stuff but fit another class without increasing page count may have a few minor conflicts with physics, but aside from that I feel like it's a perfectly reasonable request... :P

Grand Lodge

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In the playtest I felt the game had potential, I could see a lot of design space but there wasn't enough options, there were rough edges, and some of these really limited the game but I still had fun.

For 2E I played 3 delves at paizocon (30 mins, lvl 1) and was lucky enough to get into Mark Seifter's lottery game where I got to play as an Erinyes in a scenario-length longer game with a lot more story and roleplay (Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly - though a lot of that is a good story/gm and everyone getting in character).

While none of that is any substitute for laying hands on the rulebook and running a game across multiple levels, my experience is that the 2E I'm seeing has cleaned up all my big issues from the playtest & what I've seen of options (and somewhat based on sheer page count) really fleshed it out & I'm truly excited not just for launch but also the potential I see for the system to expand.

The proof is yet to come - but first impressions are very solid for me :)

Grand Lodge

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I hope we don't see a "plug & play" rune. I would be happy with a master or legendary skill feat for crafting that let you move a rune in the 10 minutes downtime though. Could make for an interesting set of options for a high level crafter being able to shift runes fast, while not making it ubiquitous like the "plug & play" rune would be.

Grand Lodge

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Also was in on the unreality incursion - and that was amazingly fun. Was my first paizocon & I'm not sure if that game or the multitable or just meeting so many awesome people was the highlight but it's up there! Big thanks to Mark for running it & all the other players for making it great :)

The only fears I had left for 2E after playtest & announcements were:
Variety, and the sheer number of pages in the rulebook and the size of the sections has me convinced.
Skill guidance, the amazing spoilers trick at banquet had a card for that (ps: I feel bad for Owen going on stage after that was announced lol)
Flavor, and the spoilers did that too!

Now I just have to go home & convince my local groups :)

Grand Lodge

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Honestly I think the main problem with that lock in DD was that it was a playtest & the first exposure people had to lockpicking and it FELT unfair. I think if it wasn't the first lock people ever saw in the edition they may have gone "Oh, it's too hard for me? Ok...". As it stood it went "A lock! Great, time to try out the new system... what do you mean I failed I specialized in this! /rage"

I think the base system is fine, and the adventure was fine, it just didn't serve well as an introduction to the new mechanic.

Grand Lodge

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My interpretation was the obols are more of a freak accident thing than a "everyone hit gets one" - so likely the number of survivors who got obols will directly relate to how many new PC's I need.

I think the hardest thing for me running this one is going to be explaining the unwillingness of the NPC's to be more helpful. Given they're chilling at a festival it's hard to say they have more important duties. Some of them have ulterior motives, and they're easy to play out in roleplay & not help the PC's too much, but the ones who legitimately would help if convinced... I'm trying to come up with ideas on how to keep them from directly helping the party too much.

Evni & Aylunna are the ones I feel like I'm at high risk of the party leaving me unsure how to in-character have them stay at the festival once they're convinced enough to give them magic items to support their investigations. I'm considering having them roleplay-wise start taking action after just 1 piece of evidence basically pre-fulfilling their "after catastrophe" stuff as a way to preoccupy them & let the PC's know how to contact them rather than staying at the festivities. I should be able to play off the value of mobilizing their assets as higher than anything they could personally do to help the PC's directly.

Grand Lodge

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Very glad I got this one too!

I'd happily put my hand up for a devil. Fighting each-other here seems rather unnecessary, I believe we're all agreed that reality is far superior and more orderly than unreality. While free will has made quite a mess of it, I'm sure the Prince of Darkness can more easily correct that mistake than form order without reality to start with...

Grand Lodge

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So... I've been trying to prepare for this & I'm a bit stumped on one element...

What if a character dies? How can you introduce a new PC?

I can't see any reasonable way to introduce another character into the mix in this book... and the Obols make me worried it won't get easier in later books? Have I missed something, or has anyone come up with any ideas around this?

Grand Lodge

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This is closer to the current design of staffs - charges per day but unlimited total uses.

That said, wands currently are essentially just scrolls with a "Buy 9 get 1 free!" card so making wands a more specialized staff (1 spell, no base bonuses) might actually be more interesting/varied.

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I've been a bit disheartened listening to recent podcasts where Jason has been saying that we're really only getting to the relevance of resonance in the higher levels and it hasn't had much impact at low levels.

At my tables low level resonance was a HUGE deal. And the way the surveys asked questions didn't really seem to convey this well as they only cared when people crit-failed trying to keep using it but things like potions have a huge cost on just a fail.

To hear it referenced like it was in those podcasts leaves me very worried that Paizo's designers haven't really seen this impact. I sincerely hope they mean they haven't had a chance to see it with the issues it was designed to combat, which I do understand is very true (And if that's the intended meaning I apologize for misinterpreting/misrepresenting your position & eagerly await the fixes you come up with).

Are we alone here? Have other people's gaming experiences been that resonance has truly been un-impactful at level 1 and 4? (I'm not trying to propose we solve the problem here, just asking has it explicitly been a problem for others in actual games as opposed to theory)

More detailed breakdown of my experiences in spoiler:

Spoiler:
Level 1 (2 games of Doomsday Dawn, 1 GM 1 Player, and 1 GM of the PFS scenario): We frequently had more consumables than we had resonance & making decisions about sleeping the night based on inability to drink potions. Every single player was discussing their resonance totals. The biggest impact was the death of a character when he was poisoned and failed his resonance check for a healing potion that would've bought him enough time to likely live (He started with 0 resonance as a dwarf with 8 cha level 1, and not realizing how bad that was had bought 3 healing potions). He didn't die, but someone else did while the druid ran to heal him. It wasn't as big a deal in the PFS scenario, I believe mostly cause the party wasn't pushed as hard.

Level 4 (1 game Doomsday Dawn Player): It was also impactful on our level 4 game. My cleric was the only one impacted really, and that's cause I had a wand and a staff. I actually found it an interesting resource to balance, and felt like it'd truly nailed it's goal for me here. Other players did comment they wouldn't want to manage as many resources as I was juggling (Resonance, Spell Points, Wand Charges, Staff Charges, Channel Pool, Spells Remaining & Hero Points - I had a wide range of tracking counters & dice out :) ), but personally I enjoyed it and felt I caused it with my gear choices so it's an option for those who want to manage resources. Resonance was typically the cause of our resting but it didn't feel too premature.

Grand Lodge

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Leedwashere wrote:

You don't have to make it relevant across all player levels. You only have to make it relevant for its own (item) level, as a function of the others.

In the other thread I posted what those numbers would have to be to make that happen. It's not a hard calculation. It can be tweaked to be more or less generous (I decided to go with nice, round numbers past level 1), but as soon as the higher-level items become worse than the lower-level items in value, your incentive to buy them becomes an incentive not to buy them. (You don't want to die, so you still have an incentive you use them if you find them, but you're literally throwing your money away if you buy it.)

Except that when you lower the price of the higher level items to the price of the lower level items you haven't stopped the problem you've just packaged it in a higher level purchase.

The problem not be addressed is that if healing is going to remain remotely expensive (e.g. Making healing between fights a decision & not just a "Obviously we use all the consumables") you need to be able to set a price on healing which is actually relevant to the players. Health and gold scale at very different rates. Any price you can put on healing for a level 1 character will either be pocket-change to a level 10 character or completely unaffordable for the level 1 unless there's some other cost outside gold. Lowering the price of high level consumables to the same cost per HP or even lower just makes the price of healing even more inconsequential at high levels.

The idea of using resonance as a buff on the heal really doesn't seem to work to me, as if we maintain the current rough economic pricing the second highest potion (lvl 12) charges 4.8g per HP on average. Which is to say the designers while writing felt that was a fair price to keep healing a relevant expense at that level. To lower that to the non-resonance d4 option it has to be lowered to 1.2g per HP which is 1/4 the price... or 1/8th if half it's healing is tied to resonance too. That's very rapidly becoming pocket-change. If a regular healing potion healed even 1 HP without resonance, which would make it uselessly expensive without resonance for a level 1, it'd still be the cheaper option for a level 12 character.

Now you might not consider that a problem - the question of "Is X problematic?" is a lot more subjective than "Does this design prevent X?". If people want cost of healing by consumable to only be a concern for low level characters then the whole point is moot, but if you agree that aspect of the design goals of the original resonance system is a desirable goal then these don't achieve it.

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It's actually not good against high AC enemies though. It's good on a narrow niche of 15 to 18ish to hit (varies slightly by level but it's typically negative or negligible outside this).

It's incredibly rare to find any level appropriate enemy in that range. When I went looking in the bestiary I took a few sample levels and the highest I found was 12 (admittedly didn't check all levels, just a few to sample). This basically means CR+3 enemies, which means only single enemy severe difficulty encounters that happen to also be one of the highest AC enemies & that you can actually work out have such a high AC... Talk about niche!

Grand Lodge

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I read it but I honestly didn't give it much attention purely on the extra effort necessary to have any idea how much damage everyone in the party has taken since they last got healed by this particular skill feat. Tracking how much damage each person has taken since last heal by this is too much, especially when other types of healing are in-between. It's just too much cognitive load for a single ability to add to the game in my view.

I intentionally avoided specific implementations, but if I was to try to give a solution I'd say a long duration use of medicine that increased it's DC for each prior use that day on that person (e.g. DC 10 first time, each attempt increases DC of next by 5, scale amount healed off proficiency, crit failure blocks further that day). The person with the skill just has to track how many times they used this on that person that day.

Grand Lodge

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Realistically right now Cleric is in a category of it's own for healing. They have a dedicated pool of heals separate to their combat ability & it's at their max level & they get 3+cha (So proabably 5-6 at low levels) & they can stack buffs onto it with class feats. Other healers (bard/druid/sorcerer) have it competing for their top level spells. Paladin is actually pretty good with Lay on Hands & the right build too.

And for in-combat healing I think that's a great place to be. Clerics are the masters of it, let them be. Other classes can do it at a pinch. In-combat healing with the new action economy feels quite effective as a part of your activities in combat. Consumables can be used to supplement weaker healing options & due to new actions are actually probably more effective than before (At least til you hit the resonance cap).

Where I see the problem is the impact of not having a cleric specifically in the party for out of combat healing.

Clerics are currently the only class who gets enough healing to manage out of combat healing over a decent length adventuring day (3-4 encounters) without having to dedicate almost all their spell slots to it, and consumables have been made prohibitive by resonance (Either by sheer lack of it at low levels or cost of consumables higher). Multi-class cleric doesn't even give that much healing power, though if enough did it it'd definitely chip away. Expanded health pools and resonance have made using consumables prohibitively expensive as a primary out of combat healing method.

My preference would be to add more out of combat healing options outside clerics specifically. Leave them their niche, it's pretty cool, but give more options. A bard song of rest, a druid coaxing natural healing at an accelerated rate, using skill in medicine to treat wounds in a slow methodical way. Don't hurt the cleric's combat niche but give some options to lengthen the adventuring day for a party without a cleric.

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Happy to hear that, all the abbreviation/heading options seem like they'll make it far more confusing.

You're probably all over this already, but if you do add a "Basic Saving Throw" as a concept, make sure to add it to the index so it's easier for first timers to work out what it means - both under "Basic Saving Throws" and "Saving Throws". Also capitalize so it's clear Basic has a rule meaning & isn't just the literal meaning of the word.

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I actually like the more clear language on saves that has come from including it in the text not the header. For the more complicated ones in 1E often the header-save is misleading or open to interpretation. I'd hate to see that go away, but the space saving of not having it on every spell is hard to say no to... so I'll just throw out please don't make it part of the standard template like some are asking.

The "Depending on" phrasing reads badly to me - I'd prefer we just add "Basic" to the existing words.
EG: "A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area. Creatures in the area must attempt a Basic reflex save."

Also, can we make sure that the definition of "Basic" makes clear how it interacts with non-damage aspects of a spell? My suggestion would be to say Basic saves only effect damage & any other aspect of the spell isn't affected.

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I think more ancestry feats at 1st level is the best option. I don't think you need more trickling in later, but maybe something as simple as getting 2-3 ancestry feats at level 1.

Or even better make the number you get part of your race - this would open a bit of design space so they can include more baseline in an ancestry if they give you less feats up front.

Because of adoption & other ways to access other ancestries, all the feats have to roughly balance (so that we don't get everyone adopted by the OP race) which currently means all race baselines have to roughly balance (As they have the same number of roughly equal feats). This could help give designers one more variable they can use if they want to add some flair to a new base ancestry (Like a swim speed etc).

It would mean trying to add some more ancestries to some races though, currently a lot of races really have ancestry feats that are very specialized (Like goblin which has a ton that suit either rogue or alchemist, but nothing for anyone else) and need a few more well-rounded ancestry options that could apply to any class.

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I dislike assurance because:
1) For it's intended purpose it is terrible. If you have assurance in something you're good at, choosing to use it is choosing to fail any check except ones the book says the GM shouldn't even make you roll anyway.

2) At some levels you're actually "Taking" a negative result. Level 14 is the first where it's actually explicitly negative even assuming:
- You've max'd out the rank ups for the skill (It's worse if you don't)
- You've got a +4 in the relevant stat (You probably have better, making it worse)
- You have no item or circumstance bonuses (You probably do, making this worse).

3) Ignoring conditional modifiers is very vague, because it's unclear normally if the DC should be higher or a conditional penalty should apply. Many of the examples in the book suggesting why a DC may be higher are circumstances that could apply a conditional penalty... so this rule probably only exists to remove your own bonuses and penalties.

4) The only spot I've found where it's effective is covering your penalties. Armor check penalty for things like stealth. Though it also gets silly in that if you're sneaking past someone you can be good but if they're looking for you then you go back to being clunky (Assurance can help with your stealth check, but not DC to spot you). Thematically this feels wrong for what Assurance is meant to be.

5) One last spot is combat maneuvers to hide your multiple attack penalty... which strikes me as an abuse rather than an intended way to use it.

6) The old "Should I take 10? I'm not sure if it succeeds" is back, but even worse. As the GM quietly hides the difficulty of a check despite the fact your character should be able to assess how hard it is.

7) Feats that require assurance first essentially have a feat tax on them with the uselessness of assurance.

I'd like to either see assurance gone, or have it replaced by something where you roll but if you get below X, you get X. Even if you made it that without changing the numbers I think it'd be balanced. Though I'd probably make sure the ACP and multiple attack penalty apply even with assurance either way, as they already seem open to abuse.

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I agree with the premise here. I have found myself looking at my skills to increase & not seeing much gain from becoming an expert, just a +1 which just lacks "wow factor".

This may just be a "more content" issue. I'd love to see a greater range of Skill Feats with proficiency prerequisites for each skill. They seem to have filled "Legendary" but not really given much love to trained/expert/master on many skills. Some skills have a good range of options, but others seem lacking and being a Master of those skills really just gives you +1.

I hope to see more options in the final rulebook on this, as currently skill advancements are very lacklustre unless you pick one of the skills that is actually fleshed out. For example Athletics and Deception both have a respectable set of core options. I'm sure splat-books will add more later but it'd be really good if every skill at least had 1-2 options at each tier.

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I was just making a character & decided he was a noble so I jumped to the noble background, and found a rather confusing result.

It grants the skill Nobility Lore - seems sensible enough on it's own.

It then grants the "Courtly Graces" feat - a feat that allows you to use Society in place of Nobility Lore for Recall Knowledge...

So the background both grants you a Lore, then immediately undercuts it by granting you a feat who's primary purpose is to let you use a different skill instead of having to be trained in that lore?

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I think at level 1 charisma is just too big a part & the fact a potion is wasted if you try to overspend means for a low-charisma or worse negative charisma level 1 character they often can't even drink potions.

I think it works fine by 4th level - the pool is big enough that low cha is an inconvenience not a lockout. Perhaps just a few extra points to make low level low cha hurt less? Even 2, which would be irrelevantly small at high level, would ease the low level pain. A toughness style approach would work but may be unnecessarily complex.

Alternatively give an option to those characters - it was a very "feels bad" moment when my party's dwarf realised his healing potions only worked 50% of the time and were used up regardless.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

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Only downside to me about PFSv1 going "Wild West" is from an explaining perspective. It's nice to let the guys who work at our FLGS know that we're running PFS and it's open to everyone so if they have people come in looking for rolelplay they can point them our way. Most our new players come to us via referral from the stores we play in.

Having to say "It's kinda PFS but it's not really PFS cause we break these rules..." makes that a lot more complex & probably makes them go "Uhuh... so I can remember all that or I could just point them at Adventurers League".

Admittedly we'll probably point new players to our second edition games once it's a thing, but having a nice banner we can say "We do this" is what separates PFS from the home-games in the store & if it takes a period for our games to move from 1E to 2E it'd be kinda nice to keep the banner.

That's the only thing I think we'll lose locally if the call is "No replay" - I'm 99% sure all nearby conventions will be dropping 1E so our 1E would just fall off the PFS map into home-game with suspiciously PFS-like rules.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

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Having thought about this one for a bit I really like it.


  • It encourages GM'ing while not locking all the rewards behind a GM barrier.
  • Successfully alleviates scheduling problems. As a GM I can go "I'm scheduling X. I know you've played it but you can have one of my replays if you want" - if we have our stars worth of those per season that's a lot of pressure relieved.
  • It firmly gives replay-permission to the GM's and in a way where people can't really complain if you say no (Unlike just "If GM says yes" this is actually a cost to the GM to give you a replay).

I kinda want to restrict using it on the same scenario repeatedly, but that does add a paperwork overhead.

As far as the regular paperwork goes, I'd just put tickboxes on the "expanded expanded narrative" sheet. Tick them as you give them out & write it on the chronicle (We already just write "GM Star" or "GM Credit", so "Gift Replay" or similar wouldn't be hard). Or just let the GM keep track of it themselves (Possibly by drawing their own boxes on their chronicle - that's what I already do for the GM ones).

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

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Well I wrote up a post but I just deleted it cause HMM said it all & better. Assuming others agree about the types of replay that are good & bad (I certainly do) then we can start asking what will encourage the good ones while reducing the bad ones.

The issue I'd see with the 1 season per year approach is that I feel like Paizo's quality of scenarios has improved over PFS's lifespan. While there's certainly gems in the old ones I think a lot of the stuff people would love us to re-run in our local lodge are from the later seasons and it'd be years before they were available. I like the idea, but I hope we can get something better.

Possible suggestion is a PFS 1E public download boon for replays released when 2E comes out with the following restrictions designed to reduce the problems:

  • Limited number of replays (5?) per person per year (Similar to expanded narrative - no GM star component though)
    Capped amount to help with BNW's point about re-players filling all the slots. Once per year since the campaign won't be getting new scenarios. Reasonably low number so existing GM replay rewards aren't invalidated.

  • Downloads with a generic chronicle which you earn when you do the replay instead of the actual chronicle (Same layout as a multi-table with gold amounts per tier).
    Help with HMM's "bad" scenario of boon farming

  • Can only be used to replay a scenario you have not replayed before via any mechanism.
    Hopefully helps with HMM's ugly "phoning it in" scenario - in my experience the more replays of a single scenario the more potential for it to fall into this problem.

  • Can only be used during the year it's for
    To encourage actually using them to let tables run rather than banking them up for some hypothetical future game like a lot of GM's do with stars.

  • Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

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    I agree with BNW on the overlapping played games, this is very common for my local lodge. We are close enough to a neighboring lodge that we schedule our events on the same warhorn and have some events at a half-way point & we have a very travel-happy group that goes to a lot of conventions in other cities. Combined with new & old players & some more casual than others we have a serious spread in played scenarios. Especially when it comes to the lore-heavy ones where people got excited to play them at conventions.

    I'm all on board for the "generic chronicle" approach, if it alleviates concerns about power-gaming & lets the rest of us get on with having a fun game without excluding anyone then it sounds like a fine compromise. If that allows a slightly more liberal (Even if not 100%) replay policy to be done it sounds good to me.

    I don't think regional variance is a good idea, mostly for the reasons Sebastian gave & also because it makes it feel less like one campaign and more like a pile of separate ones.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

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    The biggest negative sentiment around my local group around 2E has been from people who've heard of great stories in 1E scenarios that they feel like they'll never get to play. We don't have quite a big enough group to find full tables who haven't played the old lore-heavy scenarios that some of the players want. Replay without credit for numbers is cool, but the problem happens if someone comes in planning to replay to make numbers then another person shows up and they're left with nothing to do & that leaves a bad taste and makes people not want to.

    GM replays are one thing, and I use mine to try & fix things in the local group, but a lot of people only have 1 star or less so they don't add up to much. So I doubt Option 3 would help much.

    Option 2 is the best of those presented. I'd also recommend expanding the no-credit replay so it's an option regardless of table size - the idea simply being "Everyone gets a game!".

    Having said that, my view currently is that if 2E takes off & replaces 1E locally then I'll just run non-PFS games with the lore-heavy scenarios from 1E that the local playerbase wants to do. If replays allow for it they'll be official, if not we'll just have a home-game using remarkably PFS-like characters & not report/credit anything afterwards :)