WotC has a spotty history with Organized Play. PFS, on the other hand, is a record-breaking success.
I don't know that this is true; I think WotC's success with Living Greyhawk hasn't been matched by Pathfinder Society (yet?). WotC seemed to let a lot of people down with Living Forgotten Realms, but it continues to have very high play numbers, and WotC's Encounters program--also under their "organized play" umbrella--seems to be a real success. So maybe "spotty" is a fair statement for WotC if you see LFR as a failure--and I'm not sure it is--but I don't know that "record-breaking success" is fair for PFS (depends on your opinion of a "record," I suppose).
Since neither of these companies produces hard statistics about their organized play programs, however, any analysis here has to be anecdotal.
Humans seem to get +1 to every stat, which is basically "plus one-half" to everything they do. Seems like a pretty reasonable benefit for the "can be good at anything they try" race.
Welby, I'd like to reward your reasoned thinking by reading your book. Are you published?
Gosh, thanks! I'm Run Amok Games, with products here. I've also written (and am still writing) plenty for Headless Hydra games here, Paizo's Pathfinder Society, Rite Publishing, Open Design, and an upcoming adventure with Raging Swan.
Epic Meepo wrote:
I'm a freelance author and an attorney. I'm participating in the playtest. I find the terms and conditions to be well within the realm of expected and reasonable. I don't believe I'm jeopardizing any future work-for-hire contracts I enter into as a writer, and I don't believe anyone I hire for freelance work for my own gaming company will be jeopardized if they are playtesting for WotC.
You're welcome to think otherwise, but I think you're being overly cautious.
Neat work, and quite needed! I really thought Hyve was crying out to be an alchemist, but had the poor fortune to exist before there was an alchemist class. My players had little problem with him in his current incarnation, so if I run this again (such as part of Carrion Crown), I'll use these stats instead.
Third, myself and a couple of my players are visually impaired, while this has yet to be to much of an hurdle, I'm concerned about maps.
My wife is legally blind, but we make her GM anyway! :) She finds it best to magnify the map while prepping the adventure (usually with a hand-held magnifier, but sometimes electronically). When it comes to mapping during play, higher contrast is better: we use dark markers on a very light-colored battlemat, preferably one with darker grid lines. When possible, we make PC minis easily distinguishable from enemy minis (sometimes going so far as to use actual minis for PCs and dice or tokens for enemies). All these things seem to help her, so will probably help you and your players.
3pp-adventures in AQ? Awesome idea! I'd love to see more support for some 3pp settings out there and e.g. Ron Lundeen's short Kaidan adventure in Pathways was neat indeed!
Thanks much! Although I'm getting Run Amok Games up and running, I'm pleased that I've been able to work with so many other 3PPs as a freelancer. I'm deeply involved with Headless Hydra Games' Mor Aldenn setting, I've written a few Pathways articles to tie into Rite Publishing goodies (like #30 Fleshgrafts and Way of the Yakuza), and I'm right now working on an adventure for Raging Swan set on the Lonely Coast.
I'm very grateful that so many 3PPs are letting me play in their worlds!
M.Tyson Lane wrote:
The idea of "good min-maxing doesn't equal bad roleplaying" is called the Stormwind Fallacy. Lots of interesting stuff has been written on it.
I admit I've felt like a dodged a disaster by passing on Razor Coast and waiting for Cold Black. Games aside, I'm glad you're in a better place now and very impressed at your bravery in standing up in a community of people who have had some very ugly things to say about you in the last few years. That takes real guts. Best wishes going forward.
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Maybe a few near-death experiences for the critters will cause the players of those PCS to think twice before just blindly throwing their animals into battle.
Really? It would probably make me glad that the critter gave up his life so that a PC could survive.
At a table when I was playing my summoner (under Kyle Baird, no less!), my eidolon fell prey to a trap and was slain. Folks at the table seemed ready to offer condolences, until I pointed out "glad it was only my class feature, instead of one of us!"
Sure, an animal companion can't just be called back the next day as though nothing had happened, so there is some loss there that could be greater or lesser based on your roleplaying style, but I don't think the lesson learned would be "don't put the animal companion into combat."
I've played in and finished Shackled City and Curse of the Crimson Throne.
I've GMed and finished Rise of the Runelords.
I'm currently playing in Carrion Crown, Serpent's Skull and Council of Thieves; of these, I expect only Carrion Crown to finish in 2012, the rest sometime in 2013.
I played most of the way through (to 17th level or so), but never finished, Savage Tide. Since our group stalled out over two years ago, I can safely say we won't ever finish it.
I ran only the first adventure of, but never finished, Kingmaker. I had to cut back on gaming when I got twins a year ago, and this one wasn't one of the games that survived the pruning. I hope to someday revive it, but realistically I don't think it'll happen.
Seconded. And happy dance here, as well.
When have we, as players, ever affected a metaplot outcome before?
In the beginning I loved Paizo for their commitment and loyalty. I would have followed them anywhere. Somewhere along the line they lost that loyalty and fired two of the best three employees they've ever had. That just doesn't sit well with me, so I don't allow myself to support them much.
For the record, I don't believe Josh or Hyrum were fired. I believe they quit.
I don't think I can make you love Paizo for pointing this out, but maybe you'll hate them less?
Are there any rules or combos that you would like to see fixed or toned down?
Here's my two biggest gripes that I'd like to see fixed in the game:
* "Christmas tree" effects at higher levels. PCs have so many magic items and spells going on that tracking becomes a bookkeeping chore rather than fun (though I suppose plenty of people find that bookkeeping fun).
* Front-loaded and back-loaded builds. Pathfinder is an improvement over 3.5, but there are still plenty of classes that are just too good to dip into (barbarian and rogue, for example) and plenty of characters that have to "suffer" for several levels before coming into their own (arcane tricksters and mystic theurges, for example).
My thoughts, too, Jiggy. I'm not going to tell anyone not to use Herolab, but it's just a convenience and shouldn't replace chronicles for item/gold tracking.
Put it on your chronicles.
I don't like Herolab, I don't use it, and I don't trust it (it makes far too many mistakes to be useful, IMO). If a player told me "I keep track of all my gold, items, and spending in Herolab" they might as well be telling me "All my notes are in my vault on the Moon." Doesn't matter to me--show me on your chronicles. Use whatever program you like to help you with the math, but show it all on your chronicles.
This seems a fine opportunity to recommend my own adventure, "The Six Griffons Haunt," available right here.
It's fairly short (should take one to two play sessions), is primarily an investigation, has a lot of RP potential, and is for 3rd level PCs.
Within the next few weeks I'll be releasing a slightly longer rural investigation-based adventure, so look for "The Underdelve Menace" soon!
Registering my vote against the grain here, I would like to see this rule implemented and I trust the PFS heads to do it in a way that is reasonable. It would result in a lot more play of the 7-11 scenarios other than at large conventions (which seems the only place to find them).
When these sets of allowances were brought into LFR, it was one of the main reason I stopped playing LFR.
As long as we're registering personal experiences, when this rule came into LFR, I started playing LFR more, and I'm excited that I finally got to experience some of the higher-level adventures.
I think there's a problem, because Sylvan bloodline ability counts as both Bloodline Power and Bloodline Arcana. And you don't get the arcana with eldritch heritage. So you can't really take it.
This. I don't know of any problem generally with taking wildblooded bloodlines with the Eldritch Heritage feat, but the Sylvan bloodline is off-limits, because you need to give up your bloodline arcana to get the animal companion, and the Eldritch Heritage feat doesn't give you the bloodline arcana.
The PCs make one save right as Act 2 begins (just before they reach the logging camp) and a second save at a higher DC right as Act 3 begins (just before they reach the river crossing). Because the river crossing is somewhat near Briar Henge, they don't make another save between the river crossing and Briar Henge.
It's probably helpful, for this exercise, for you and your friend to agree on whether the advancement rules in the Bestiary are going to strictly apply, or whether they will be just used as guidelines. This seems to be your fundamental disagreement here (you're reading them like strict rules and he's reading them like guidelines).
If the latter, you should find some way to agree with each other upon whether classes will or won't add to CR on a 1-for-1 basis.
I would vote with your friend, and I would argue that anti-paladin is in fact a key class in this case (or, if not technically a key class, the class levels sufficiently empower the monster to add levels on a 1-for-1 basis).
Note the excessive use of terms like "generally" and "guidelines" in the text here:
Now, I have heard of players getting folks to buy them a spare longbow or a few vials of alchemist fire, only to be handed back at the end of the adventure. Isn't always a bad idea to carry around something handy to share.
True. I've ended up buying an item that makes another irrelevant; if I don't need the old item, I'll offer it for another PC's use for the session. Actual example, I decided on a cloak of elvenkind, but I'd previously bought a cloak of resistance +1; as I haven't yet needed the 500 gp from selling the cloak +1, I offer its use to anyone at the table that doesn't have a cloak yet.
James Jacobs wrote:
And since we're reprinting the big list of variant abilities and variant appearances
When I first heard about this book, just as I was coming off the disappointing reprint-fest of "Humans of Golarion," I thought "I sure hope this isn't just a reprint/retread of content I already have in Bastards of Erebus." Now I'm worried that's just what this product will be. It sounds like there is some new art and fluff, but the never-before-seen crunch seems limited: some feats and traits, and some limited class-specific stuff for just five classes. But the actual tiefling variants sound like reprint of earlier content.
I'll be watching the reviews carefully on this, but right now I plan to pass on this product and let the Bastards of Erebus tiefling article suffice.
If anyone finds this filled with awesome and substantially *new* material, shout out!
Bob Jonquet wrote:
As an organizer, I never schedule seven player tables and I try to find out from the GM's in advance if they would be accepting of a 7 player table. If not, I do not even broach the subject when it arises.
As a GM, this is appreciated: I feel like I can handle a 7-player table most of the time, and keep everyone engaged and interested, but actually *asking* if I'm okay with this ahead of time is very appreciated.
Funny story about the instant fortress.
I have a friend of mine who loves the "meta-meta-game." That is, messing with the GM's head.
In an earlier organized play campaign, he would ask the GM before the session started whether the GM was familiar with Daern's Instant Fortress. My friend would open up the DMG and show the GM the description.
In combat, my friend would take an action to throw a metal cube in the midst of his enemies. The enemies would then, almost invariably, flee from the metal cube, expecting it to sprout into a Daern's Instant Fortress and crush them in the next round, when my friend's PC spoke the command word. But with the enemies out of the area, my friend would look frustrated and not speak any command word at all. After the battle he'd sigh and pick up his metal cube again.
The trick: it wasn't a Daern's Instant Fortress. It was just an ordinary metal cube. But GMs would fall for it over and over, imputing his "knowledge" to the enemies.
Ran it once, killed one PC (the now-infamous crit with that first attack).
So, to state it in a very sensationalist way, I've killed at least one PC every single time I've GM'd this adventure!.
I vote against changing it, though: I think the credible threat of death is good for the campaign, and a few known "danger scenarios" is also good for the campaign.
Anyone know why that is? Or the correct way for creating a PC werewolf for Pathfinder.
I recommend taking a look at Moon's Folly from Headless Hydra Games. It has rules for lycanthrope PCs, integrating them into a party of ordinary PCs (particularly with respect to alignment), and a lycanthrope-specific feat and trait specifically designed for PC lycanthropes. Might be just what you need.
Fair disclaimer, I wrote it.
You could try a few of the thematically connected Pathfinder Society scenarios: the advantage is that you know each of the adventures runs 4 hours or so, allowing you to precisely plan the number of sessions you need.
I would recommend the three First Steps adventures, which allows the PCs to pick a faction, then the four-part "Devil You Know" series. You could also run some of the pairings like "City of Strangers", "Before the Dawn", or the three-part "Shades of Ice".
The advantage for your players is that they can take their PCs when you're done and play them in other Pathfinder Society events.
Michael Brock wrote:
It is hard for us to justify looking at doing a second Tier 12 retirement arc when people either aren't playing them or are not reporting the sessions when they are played.
I've done my part! Over seven weeknight sessions, our group finally completed the Eyes of the Ten retirement arc. I just finished reporting all four sessions just now.
Doug Miles wrote:
Doug's ruling matches my intent as author exactly. You gain claws, but could still wrap your hands around a sword if you'd prefer (or cast a spell, or do anything else you could otherwise do). I've had several players understand they can use their weapons, but for roleplaying reasons prefer to use their new natural attacks.
Thanks for writing a mini-Kaidan adventure. I thought it was very cool to see an author outside of Rite Publishing, creating awesome Kaidan content. Very cool!
Yeah, that was a lot of fun. "Way of the Yakuza" has so many cool pieces in it, I had a good time picking out a few of them and jumbling them together into a mini-adventure.