I had a similar conclusion with one of my players. If everyone just delayed their turn so they could all go in order, it would play out very similar to popcorn. The real meta of it is that my players have to deal with not letting the enemies get the last turn on the round. Enemies attacking back to back is just as strong as players choosing when they get to go. Since hazards have initiative as well, they can be popped just like anything else and players still make death saves if they are down.
Anyway, a separate question. What is the consensus on using the critical hit and critical fumble decks in society play? I'll also be picking up the hero point deck when that comes out.
Um... I honestly just wanted someone to point me to a specific resource so I could further clarify it to my group when it comes up. I was in no way trying to defend it.
I will say my group prefers popcorn because it forces people to pay closer attention to the game and get more into character along with understanding what others can do. Is it abusable? Absolutely. Just wanted to have a better idea on it and table variation rules as I work towards getting more into society game play. I would personally like to volunteer at conventions when that becomes a thing again. So, there you go. Thank you everyone who chipped in and I hope those of you who discovered popcorn initiative here give it a try and see if it works for you group in an unstructured setting
Overall, I want to see more melee oriented feats for builds that might not use guns or crossbows at all.
I mean, it's a gunslinger class. The name kind of dictates that you picked this class so you can use a gun or other ranged weapon. Why would Paizo make feats for a class that don't in some way utilize their namesake weapon. It just doesn't make sense to do that. You have four other classes that specialize in fighting with melee weapons or unarmed. There are also an abundant number of Archetypes that give you access to those classes feats. You'd be better off just picking up one of those.
Thanks for the input row66. I'm planning on running this AP on a regular schedule for my group and we all have the same feelings that you do on the subject of this being Paizo's take on a fantasy guard type of setting. I can understand all of the real world implications others have been talking about but, quite honestly, my group and I play Pathfinder to get away from that and to have fun. Many situations can become weird or even goofy with my group at the wheel and I expect this AP to be no different. My main hope is that they learn how to better handle situations in the others games I run for them based on what they pick up from this AP.
The stat block importer is found herepf2e-monster-import-ui
I haven't updated it in a while and it's not listed in the foundry modules directory so you need to supply the url to the module.json file. There is one slight bug in that one where a file, TestStrings.js, is named incorrectly but it's easy enough to rename.
The other is Pdf to Foundry which will take an official paizo pdf and set up the whole thing in foundry for you. That one only has so many things done in it so far by the creator is constantly working on it and adding new content. I think they are close to having all of age of ashes done.
I've tried multiple VTTs and Foundry is by far the best one I have used. It's amazing for PF2e and is constantly improving. All of my players have said that it is a much better experience than Roll20 with a much more intuitive UI. The main issue I've had with it is putting maps in it directly from the PDF for society missions but the Discord group for PF2e on the Foundry discord server directed me to a great tool called Map Align.
There is a module that will directly integrate Discord into Foundry but I have yet to try it out since my group was already using Discord over the build in audio/video of Roll20 anyway.
Heck, being aware of the fact that you can emulate Android on a PC is advanced knowledge.
This is exactly what I was trying to imply. Regardless of how easy this is to do, most people would not think of this as a possible solution. Furthermore, not everyone that plays Pathfinder is on these forums or is reading a thread that mentions bluestacks and pathbuilder. If the person isn't aware that this is even a possible solution, they won't know to look for it and it becomes an unknown unknown to them. That is what I meant by tech savvy.
I'm also not trying to mislead anyone. Using bluestacks to run pathbuilder on something other than an android device with the google play store is a completely solid option. Fact of the matter is, pathbuilder is only designed to run on the android platform and stating anything else is a lie.
No offense graystone, but not everyone is tech savvy enough to know to do that. Zaisters point still stands and is correct. Pathbuilder only runs on one platform. If you have to run up an emulator to get it to work then it is still only running on the one platform it was built for.
Anyway, my players and I have been using Herolabs online for our society and AP games. I have also been using their encounter builder. I'll admit that the naming convention they used for it is a little strange but the actual mechanisms of it work very well. The content sharing is also working well and can be applied to up to 4 campaigns. I'd recommend OP take another look at it, considering they already bought a license which is probably still in use.
Astral is pretty cool, but it is also requires a pretty decent machine to run. I tried running a session on it and once we got to a map with shadows, one of my players couldn't do or see anything. We went through the steps of turning on hardware acceleration in chrome and it still wasn't enough for him to use it. Kind of a bummer since my other players thought the system was wonderful. Back to roll20 we went.
Thanks Mathmuse. I knew I had read it some where. You are right that it is more of a tool for prepping and encounter but it is easy enough to make the adjustments on the fly.
I fully agree with Kasoh on the schools of thought. I tend to lean towards the first one myself and my players know it before we even start a game. I have been running Pathfinder Society for Pathfinder 2 since it started in August and my group has stuck by that rule. I also roll in front of my players. On top of all that we also play with the critical hit and critical fumble decks. Makes things very interesting and potentially very deadly.
Unfortunately, I don't think this helps Zapp with his original question though.
Honestly Zapp, there won't ever be a set answer to what you are looking for. Everyone, even among the Paizo team, runs adventures differently. If you want the adventure to be more realistic, then you set real time advancement and figure out what that means in the adventure. As per our previous conversation, if your players take too long to get to the family in the barn, then the family dies and your party gets to make the decision of how that affects them. Maybe it encourages them to act more quickly and as such take less breaks since they know lives are on the line. This can be a great push story wise for your group.
As others have mentioned, many of the encounters are setup to be scripted encounters. Paizo has found that this kind of encounter makes for a better adventure and helps players feel more empowered and heroic. If you want to drive a more heroic adventure then you should probably stick to these scripted encounters. Along with that though, if you want to provide a sense of urgency, most if not all dungeons I have seen presented by Paizo have a standard set of enemies that dwell there and can constantly be tossed at the party to keep them from healing up all the way after every encounter.
I have played with many different pen and paper systems and none of them tell you how to pace things out in the way you are asking for. The best you can hope for is other GMs experience. An AP like Rise of Runelords has been run thousands of times and people are happy to relay their experiences with it and tell you what pace made it fun for their group. If you want to mimic the pacing of a particular GM, then you do that. There is a blog on this site every Monday about streaming. That is probably the closest you'll ever get to a real answer. I just wouldn't ever expect the game system itself to tell me how to pace something outside of a scripted event.
Hi Zapp, I think for question 1, it's perfectly reasonable to just find bodies if the party is slow to get to the barn.
I had similar thoughts to you in question 2. I think you can either assume that the encounter takes place as described because it just so happens to occur as the party is passing by. If the party needs a rest in the hermitage, there are tons of empty rooms that probably wouldn't be checked unless the party does something like leaving the door wide open or make a bunch of noise.
You could also make the NPCs do reasonable things like wander the halls heading to the bathroom or maybe they find multiple people in the kitchen because it is dinner time. The destruction demons may have finished destroying the library and are starting to satisfy their needs destroying other rooms.
It really comes down to how you want to handle time. Typically if my players find a safe place to rest and don't do anything to give themselves away, I let them rest but allow some NPCs to move around if they have reason to and aren't a scripted event like the two hermits fighting over Harlocks room.
Rise of the Runelords has a good example of this:
End of Volume 1 for Rise of the Runelords:
Nemia has a gathering once a week in the chapel to Lamashtu. It is possible that the party arrives at the fort during one of these meetings and potentially have a TPK due to the full force of the fort being at one of these meetings out of fear of Nemia.
All valid points. I kind of wish the example in the book demonstrated this a bit better. The rogue attempts all three checks and fails his last one while the ranger performs her trick twice and sends in the clowns for her third action to recover from her botched second attempt. Doesn't really show what can be fully done even though the example takes up half the page.
I thoroughly appreciate the clarification and comments.
I have been using Hero Labs for quite a while and honestly, I have had zero issues with it. I used to run PF1e using Hero Labs Classic and when I saw they were switching to a subscription model I had very similar thoughts to everyone here. After buying the subscription for PF2e and actually using Hero Labs Online, I have found it to be very intuitive and mostly error free. Any bugs I have found I reported and they were fixed within the week.
None of my other players have HLO, nor would I require them to. I simply ask them to use Archives of Nehtys to put together there character and I enter it into HLO as a check to make sure we didn't miss anything in character creation. I also use it as a quick rules check when we need to question something in the game. I do this for both offline and online games that I GM as well as characters play with.
Lone Wolf has also started incorporating a Campaign feature into the service for running encounters which will eventually include the ability for users without a Hero Lab license to use the GMs content to create there character.
As a developer myself, I know that these things take time. Soon enough Hero Labs will have the features you are looking for and they will either lure you back or you'll have found a suitable replacement like Pathbuilder. I have a player right now using Pathbuilder to make his character for our Extinction Curse game starting next week.
For those comparing HLO to DnD Beyond, I'll say that while it is a different model, I feel like I have personally paid much more than a subscriptions worth to get what I want from DnD Beyond, essentially boiling down to them getting my money to maintain there servers and make a profit. It's just a different business model that is going to accomplish the same thing and I honestly prefer how HLO presents my characters than DnD Beyond.
All of this is just my opinion but give HLO a try or find a replacement like Pathbuilder. Some company will fill that want for you.
Male NG Dwarf | Monk 1 | HP 23/23 | AC 15 | Fort +8 | Reflex +5 | Will +6 | Perception +4 | Speed 20ft | Active Conditions: None
Ravelgar moves with the cart, ready to spring into action at the first sign of danger. He almost drops into stance of the mountain at the sign of the invisible creature but relaxes at his team mates words.
Ravelgar observes Lilic closing in on the spot where the Kami resides and thinks Oh my, that one certainly has heart. Glad to be traveling with one so brave!
Male NG Dwarf | Monk 1 | HP 23/23 | AC 15 | Fort +8 | Reflex +5 | Will +6 | Perception +4 | Speed 20ft | Active Conditions: None
You are correct Lilic. Rock Runner seemed like the more RP choice at the time but I may switch them up. Got one more session after this to really finalize this character so we will see. Thanks for the suggestion
Scaling feats and Point Buy feats both sound like good ways to go. I will say that while 5e made things super easy by having scaling class feats, they also made leveling a character incredibly boring past level 3 for anyone without spells. I'm enjoy playing pathfinder 1e and the playtest because every level I actually get to do something and would hate for that to disappear because of scaling feats.
I've been playtesting with a mostly new group. Only one actually experienced player is with us and I play a character as well as DM and even though we are only in Chapter 2, my experienced player as well as myself are feeling what you are talking about. Magic just doesn't seem as magical when you can whack something every round for equal or better damage.
They scale just like characters do with level. Giving them extra would make them stronger than a PC. The animal companion of an animal druid practically is stronger than their druid. They really don't need the extra help. Magic items would also mean having to give them resonance and they tend to have sub-par charisma.
I like the idea of using resonance for wands. I dislike the fact that they still have charges on them. Since they previewed the idea of using resonance for wands and staves I've thought of them as follows:
A wand that cast a specific spell has that spell engraved into it. You are literally channeling your personal magic field into that wand to cast the spell. Knowing the spell / having it on your spell list means you are more familiar with the engraving and know how to send the energy through the wand, otherwise you are just guessing at how to do so.
Staves are a bigger version of a wand that has more of those engravings and has some way of actually holding the energy, thus why they can cast spells by using power from the staff itself. This also explains why they are rechargeable.
Wands having charges and not being rechargeable bothers me because based on my above reasoning, how is the wand breaking down? Does the engraving for the spell slowly wear away? If so then that should also happen on a staff. Then you have the spell dueling wand which has no charges and breaks the rules for the rest of the system. It even states it has a focus that you invest in to, which works wonderfully thematically. It would be as if it had a special set of engravings just to give any spell passed through it a boost.
I understand all of this is thematics and my way of trying to make sense / rules for a fantasy world but if we could lay down base rules and stick to them then it becomes easier to define everything else.
I'll be GMing Doomsday Dawn for a mixed group. After that, I'll probably run the PFS scenarios and see how those go. I originally wanted to try running a converted Rise of the Rune Lords but I may hold off on that until the actual version of Pathfinder 2 is out. I got atleast one player who has been wanting to do a goblin alchemist but as for the others, no clue.
Why not place Orcs ancestry in the Bestiary instead? I understand wanting to play a full breed orc right of the bat but maybe they should be in another book besides the CRB. Assuming the CRB and Bestiary come out at the same time, what difference does it make to have them in one or the other? (I'm also aware this can be used as a counter argument against me...) Personally I want to play a bugbear but won't be seeing something like that as an ancestry for a LOOONNNGGGG time.