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Organized Play Member. 454 posts (2,902 including aliases). 102 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 39 Organized Play characters. 6 aliases.

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Folks, over in this thread it has become very apparent that people are confused about GM Star replays and whether or not they renew.

Here is the text from the Guide, page 20, with relevant text bolded:

Alternatively, campaign GMs who are recognized for their efforts by receiving GM stars (see page 37), may receive additional player or GM credit for a number of non-Tier 1 scenarios or sanctioned modules per GM star they have earned. For example, a three-star GM may select any three scenarios or sanctioned modules that she can then play or GM for credit one additional time each. For each of these adventures, she can thus earn a total of three Chronicle sheets, rather than the two normally allowed. When replaying a scenario with GM-star credit, the GM completing the Chronicle sheet will annotate the Notes section of the Chronicle sheet and add “GM Star Replay Credit × Star” to annotate the use of star credit replay. The GM Star Replay Credits are a once per star, lifetime benefit.

The confusion stems from the fact that the "Beta" version of the Guide 5.0, which was released before GenCon 2013, said that they would renew every season. However, from the time the Guide went live, the policy has been "lifetime"; this is not a mid-season shift.

If you have a version of the Guide that says otherwise, you need to download the new version of the Guide!

Now, it is possible that this will change in the future, but time will tell.

Finally, I want to note something here: I am concerned that this is going to be blamed on the fact that the Guide sees a beta release at all. While I definitely absolutely agree with the general sentiment that the next beta release should be clearly marked as such--not least because at least a few of the people who expressed confusion in that other thread are Venture Officers--I think it's worth noting that the confusion was internal as well as external (note not just the linked message but the one it was replying to, please). I don't think the policy of releasing the Guide early, for feedback, is to blame; it was in fact that same early release that caught this error. While the process of release obviously needs some refinement, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Shouldn't Bonekeep Level 2: Maze of the Mind Slave have a Season 5 cover? It's listed with the S5 releases, but it's got the same yellow background as the S4 stuff.

What are the dimensions of this sticker?

Since this is for Society play, I need a RAW answer:

What happens if a Tengu Oracle takes the Wolfscarred curse? The exact wording is "you gain a natural bite attack that deals 1d4 points of damage if you are a Medium creature or 1d3 points of damage if you are Small."

I can't find any indication in the Universal Monster Rules or the Natural Weapon rules that you can only have one bite attack, so ... do I get both?

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Since the general consensus seems to be that there's no synergy for prestige class retraining in PFS until the campaign leadership establishes a list of same, I figure we could put together a list of recommendations for leadership to start with, because they're very busy, and this will make the job much more likely to see the top of a to-do list some day. :)

Here is where I have started. Please give me feedback.

Aldori Swordlord: Fighter
Arcane Archer: Fighter, Ranger, Arcane casters
Arcane Trickster: Rogue, Arcane casters
Balanced Scale of Abadar: Rogue, Divine casters
Battle Herald: Cavalier, Bard
Bellflower Tiller: Rogue
Bloatmage: Arcane casters
Brother of the Seal: Monk
Champion of Irori: Monk, Paladin
Cyphermage: Arcane casters
Daivrat: Arcane or Divine casters
Dawnflower Dissident: Divine casters
Diabolist: Arcane or Divine casters
Divine Scion: Divine casters
Dragon Disciple: Arcane casters
Duelist: Fighter
Eldritch Knight: Fighter, Arcane casters
Golden Legionnaire: Fighter, Paladin
Green Faith Acolyte: Divine casters
Halfling Opportunist: Rogue
Hellknight: Fighter, Paladin
Hellknight Signifer: Arcane or Divine casters
Holy Vindicator: Cleric
Horizon Walker: Ranger
Inheritor's Crusader: Cleric, Paladin
Inner Sea Pirate: Rogue
Knight of Ozem: Fighter, Paladin
Lantern Bearer: Fighter, Ranger
Liberator: Rogue
Lion Blade: Rogue, Bard
Living Monolith: Fighter, Paladin, Ranger
Loremaster: Arcane or Divine casters
Low Templar: Fighter, Rogue
Magaambyan Arcanist: Wizard, Magus, Witch
Mammoth Rider: Druid; Cavalier; Samurai; mount-oriented Rangers, Paladins, or Oracles (too vague?)
Master Chymist: Alchemist
Master Spy: Rogue
Mystery Cultist: Divine casters
Mystic Theurge: Arcane or Divine casters
Nature Warden: Druid; Cavalier; Samurai; mount-oriented Rangers, Paladins, or Oracles (too vague?)
Pathfinder Chronicler: Any? None?
Pathfinder Delver: Bard
Pathfinder Field Agent: Any? None?
Pathfinder Savant: Arcane or Divine casters
Prophet of Kalistrade: ?
Rage Prophet: Oracle, Barbarian
Riftwarden: Arcane or Divine casters
Shadowdancer: Rogue, Arcane casters
Shieldmarshal: Gunslinger, Inquisitor, Paladin
Skyseeker: Ranger, Divine casters
Sleepless Detective: Rogue, Arcane casters (???)
Stalwart Defender: Fighter
Steel Falcon: Fighter, Rogue
Storm Kindler: Arcane or Divine casters
Student of War: Fighter
Tattooed Mystic: Arcane or Divine casters
Veiled Illusionist: Arcane or Divine casters
Winter Witch: Witch

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At various points over the weekend I was getting the traditional "no store" message, which ends with "Thank you for your patience."

I think we can all agree that I lack that particular virtue, as do many of the other posters here. I feel, therefore, that this error message misrepresents both me and those same other posters.

Accordingly, I propose that the message be changed from "Thank you for your patience" to "Suck it up, nerds."


I bought into a prestige class I don't think I want anymore. I am looking to retrain it to a base class. My question is this: Do we have a list of which PrCs have synergy with which classes for PFS classes, or is it up to the GM who approves the retraining?

In this thread the first post has occasionally been editable. I took advantage of that last night to add a flag to the title so campaign leadership will hopefully notice it, but on the whole I suspect this is not expected behavior.

TriOmegaZero (or "TOZ," as the kids say) earned his fourth GM star this New Years Eve, and I'm delighted to be able to congratulate him for it. TOZ has been GMing both online and in real life for a while now, and put the pedal to the metal last month to hit a table count of 100. I've consistently enjoyed sitting at his tables*, and I hope to do so many more times in the future. Well done, man!

* Well, except for the wasp incident. But we need not speak of that any further.

I have some questions about PFS retraining, and some thoughts.

Practically speaking: The first PFS character that I focused on (which is actually #2 but that's not the point) shows very clearly that I didn't know what I was doing: He has two separate level dips away from Paladin, both of which are stupid, and in combination with the vanities I bought and the Raise I got after our Sanctum of a Lost Age run went south, he only has a total of 14PP to his name at level 10. I've been thinking about retraining one or both of those levels back into Paladin to shore up his crappiness, but I'm a little concerned about the PP cost. Since a class level is 7 days--and since neither dip has synergy--it would be 7PP per, thus leaving him bereft. On the other hand, he's less likely to die if I make that retraining happen, so that's something. Basically, have people found retraining worth the effort with the PP cost factored in? It seems steep to me.

Theoretically speaking: I recognize that the "1PP per day" mechanism is to prevent people from accomplishing endless retraining, because the gold cost is fairly low: Days x Level x 10. For the example above, that's only 700gp to retrain a level. My thought is this: For PFS, might a better mechanic be increasing the gold cost? "Retraining in PFS costs 5 times the standard gold" bumps a level 10 class level retrain to 3500 ... even an x10 modifier would be workable; 7000 is a lot of gold but at 10th level it's not unreasonable for something as dramatic as a retrain.

Anyway, I freely admit that I have not utilized these rules yet, so this is all just theoretical. But I'm interested in input on the questions (should I?) and the ideas (should we?), so please have at.

The other day, one of my players said something along the lines of, "Nobody's using their GM-star replays, because they're per lifetime rather than per season, so they want to save them for just the right moment--I'm not sure they're ever going to get used."

I personally have only seen one star replay since they went into effect, and it was someone who had forgotten that he had already played a scenario, so he used a replay instead of dropping out after the briefing.

I know that I'm saving mine for after I've run my backlog of played scenarios, at least, and possibly longer. Once I run out of things to run for credit (without spoilers), I won't mind re-running, but even then I might be tempted to hold onto the credits for something special.

So, since we're about halfway through the season, I wanted to see where other people were at with this. Have you encountered similar mentalities? Are people using their replays in your area?

Is there any possibility that we could consider some options for the Secondary Success Condition document? Either for release this summer when the season changes, or maybe even next summer? Many of them make perfect sense, but in my opinion, there are a few that don't necessarily suit the overall "further the goals of the Society" theme that's supposed to clue us in, even though there are other, more obvious things that could be used instead.

An example of one I would bring up would be

Shades of Ice II: Exiles of Winter:
It seems to me that the secondary success condition, killing the dragon, doesn't actually accomplish anything for the Society. The other door is sealed beyond the capacity of any in-tier party to handle, and the dragon is bound to that room (although those magics are also beyond the party's capacity to even recognize, apparently). So even if that door is used in another scenario (is it?), whatever party is being sent to investigate it could handle that dragon a lot easier than the low-level characters running through Shades of Ice.

Right outside that room, though, is a bunch of slaves who need to be snuck out of the city and taken home. You only need to save one of them to make your primary mission, though. Since saving them all would bring goodwill to the Society, wouldn't that make a more logical secondary success mission? That is, in fact, the only reason my CN Naga Aspirant took the time to do so--it seemed like something the Society would want him to do. And while I don't begrudge that RP moment by any stretch, I was really surprised when I found that because we decided the dragon wasn't worth the effort (since it was protecting something we couldn't use anyway) we weren't getting the second prestige ... especially when I found out there was already a separate boon for killing the dragon.

There have been some others, though none spring directly to mind. I'm not trying to just complain about secondary missions I don't like--it just seems that this is something that might benefit from live feedback, now that we're actually playing through these, on the lookout for our secondary missions.

Basically, I'm asking if the document has potential for revision, or if it's locked in as is.

I'm going to be running The Harrowing, and one of my players has just gotten into animating the dead, and I'm conflicted. My first thought would be to argue that a dead storykin doesn't leave behind a body so much as a lump of plaster, so it can't be zombified. But the eclipse leads to a number of skeletons rising from the ground, so maybe that's not fair. On the other hand, those skeletons might just be storykin in the shape of skeletons, rather than skeletons of storykin, so ... I'm not sure how to handle it. Thoughts?

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At the end of Dark Menagerie, assuming you free Melabdara, you get one of two boons. One gives you 375gp; the other does this:

Millennial Lore: In return for her freedom, Melabdara promised you a future service. When you would fail to earn a Prestige Point at the end of a scenario, you may call upon Melabdara to provide you with long-lost information that might prove just as enticing to your faction as your assigned mission, and that earns you 1 Prestige Point as though you had completed the faction mission. This boon may only be used for faction missions, and may not apply to a scenario’s success conditions. When you use this boon, cross it off the Chronicle sheet.

Since there are no more faction missions, this boon as written does nothing. I see four possible outcomes:

1. People who chose this boon and didn't use it before S5 started can use it on a secondary success condition, but not a primary success condition. It remains available on new Chronicles.
2. People who chose this boon and didn't use it before S5 started can use it on a secondary success condition, but not a primary success condition. It is no longer available, and should be crossed off new Chronicles by the GM so that people who receive the sheet now automatically get the extra 375gp.
3. People who chose this boon and didn't use it before S5 started can go back and switch to the other boon, adding 375 gold onto their next chronicle. The other boon is no longer available, and should be crossed off new Chronicles by the GM so that people who receive the sheet now automatically get the extra 375gp.
4. People who chose this boon and didn't use it before S5 started get nothing. It is no longer available, and should be crossed off new Chronicles by the GM so that people who receive the sheet now automatically get the extra 375gp.

Would campaign leadership please let us know which we should implement? I just ran this for several people, and I don't know which to tell them.

I've had a few people at my table recently who were playing scenarios they've already run, and it got me thinking about the way I try to handle that. Then I thought maybe we could put together a list of suggestions. So here are mine; I'd love to see others.

1. Don't pester the GM with things you remember from the scenario. They might already be doing them, in which case they don't want to hear it; there might be something in the scenario you've forgotten that negates whatever you're reminding them of; and maybe you just don't remember it correctly. (I'm not saying I've never done this, just that I should not have. :P)

2. Don't drive. That means that you need to let the players who have not previously run the scenario make the decisions. No matter how much you try not to metagame, if you're making the decisions, it can be problematic. In essence, play a support character, even if that character is normally a rockstar.

2a. Speaking of which, please don't deliberately metagame. Buying equipment specifically designed to handle the BBEG's best move, making decisions that don't necessarily make sense because you know what the secondary success condition is, et cetera.

2b. Sometimes, not driving means making behavioral sacrifices. For instance, if you're in an area where you know a perception check will accomplish something, and you're certain that your character would make the perception check ... don't. Wait for the other players to make the perception check. If they roll it and you then roll higher, that's fine. But if they don't roll it, sometimes you just have to suck that up. Don't get me wrong--if they're missing a trap, and you're the rogue, you should be searching. And if there's a trap and you're not the rogue, it's okay to let someone who should have thought to search for it trip it. But if there's a secret entrance, and nobody thinks to scout for it, well, sometimes you just have to go in the front.

2c. When dealing with a puzzle, just walk away. Refresh your beverage, check your email, whatever. Or filibuster--I had someone the other day spouting gibberish math theory because he couldn't help with a math-based puzzle, and that was actually pretty funny. Just don't help! You already know the answer, and if there are clues to be delivered, the GM will deliver them. (See point 1.)

Uh ... I guess that's all I can think of right now. I'm sure more will come to me. Please tell me your thoughts on the matter.

Charitable Impulse is a spell from Chronicles of the Righteous. I am using the PSRD definition, because I don't own the resource, but here it is:

This spell makes a creature more charitable, compelling it to aid others rather than use violence.

An affected creature practices nonviolent combat behaviors according to the following list of priorities, beginning with the first priority. The subject continues to perform a priority until he can no longer fulfill its demands (at which point he moves to the next priority) or until the spell ends, whichever comes first.

1st Priority: Heal injured creatures within 30 feet, beginning with the closest creatures and using whatever methods the subject has at hand (including potions, spells, and so on).
2nd Priority: The subject gives his weapon away to the nearest creature within 30 feet who will accept it. If no creature accepts the weapon, the subject drops the weapon on the ground.
3rd Priority: Cast beneficial spells and/or use beneficial magic items (including potions, wands, and so on) on creatures within 30 feet, starting with the closest creatures.
4th Priority: The subject gives away his non-worn possessions—the contents of a backpack or similar item count as one item each, as does the container itself—to creatures within 30 feet. If no creature accepts the items, the subject drops the items on the ground.
5th Priority: The subject gives away his remaining possessions (including his armor, boots, cloak, and so on) to creatures within 30 feet. If no creature accepts the items, the subject drops them on the ground.
If the subject fulfills all five priorities, the spell effect ends.

The problem is there are implications here that I think (in fact, I hope) the designers didn't consider: Specifically, priority #5 with a long-duration spell. For example we were just playing Perils of the Pirate Pact, and during the last fight, an extended Charitable Impulse got cast on a certain female NPC then due to a series of area-affect spells, she could neither move nor see anyone nearby. So 1 & 3 aren't useful--instead, she just drops her weapon, then starts dropping her equipment, and eventually starts stripping off her "armor, boots cloak, and so on."

So we have a spell that, under the right circumstances, can make NPCs strip naked in the middle of the battlefield.

No me gusta! I got lucky, because I was playing with four dudes, so we just awkwardly cracked the expected jokes. But you throw in a kid or any number of people who wouldn't find that funny, and you have a huge problem. And frankly ... I found it unpleasantly awkward, so this isn't just a "what if" kind of concern.

So I think we should ban this spell. I'm not saying the spell isn't awesome, as it clearly is, but it needs to be adjudicated by GMs who can (1) know their players and what they like and (2) adjust spell effects accordingly. In PFS, where we GM for strangers and are bound by the rules, this spell is a recipe for disaster.

PS: I'm not calling the caster(s) of this spell creepy, nor am I saying that creepers will abuse it. In fact I'm not using the adjective "creep" or "creepy" in reference to any person or persons at all. I'm saying the spell itself has a presumably unanticipated but rather problematic creep factor.

I could swear I saw something about this the other day, but I don't recall where.

Once the playtest ends, are the classes legal in their final playtest form until the books come out? Or do they become unplayable during that time period?

When the Black Marquis lost all of the men he could trust on a failed treasure hunt, he did the only thing he could: turned to the Pathfinder Society for help. Offering an ancient lost text in return for assistance, the Black Marquis of Deadbridge sends you deep into the spider-haunted Echo Wood of the River Kingdoms to track down his missing pirates and recover an ancient treasure for the Society. You'll face brigands, pirates, spiders and more—but will you survive the perils of the Pirate Pact?

Written by Matthieu Dayon

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The eldest daughter of the prominent Blakros family is set to wed an influential Hellknight, and the Pathfinder Society is invited to the festivities. Dressed for a wedding befitting royalty, a team of Pathfinders attend the ceremony on behalf of the Decemvirate, but will their presence ultimately strengthen the Society's relationship with the influential Blakroses, or will events at the wedding bring the already tenuous alliance to a breaking point?

Written by Thurston Hillman

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Whenever someone proposes more GM rewards, a number of people argue that since PFS is the first campaign to give the GM rewards that it does give, everyone should just be happy with what they're getting.

Then this occurred to me: Given the consistent growth of PFS, it seems obvious that PFS is doing something right. Since PFS is the first campaign to give the GM rewards that it does give, doesn't that mean that's a good idea, which should be expanded? The argument that one of the things setting PFS apart from previous organized play campaigns is somehow not something that should be played upon for future expansion doesn't seem to make sense to me.

I'm hoping people can clarify their position on this, because it seems odd. I have at least two 5-star GMs in mind who have made this argument in the past; I'm hoping to see them here (and may email them if they don't arrive on their own).

When a Pathfinder agent working in the famed Blakros Museum in Absalom falls victim to a terrible, ancient evil, if falls to the PCs to hunt down the released terror before it can retrieve a relic of the mad astronomer Ralzeros the Overwatched.

Written by James F. Mackenzie

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Agents of the Pathfinder Society have discovered the location of a back door into their private demiplane that puts the entire realm at risk of plunder and exploitation at the hands of the Aspis Consortium. Rather than close the access point into their adventuring paradise, however, the Decemvirate sends a crack team of Pathfinders to secure the gate for future Society use... at any cost.

Written by Larry Wilhelm

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In the hour of Nhur Athemon’s greatest defeat, his three proud apprentices sought to betray their master by constructing a powerful array of ioun stones meant to project the apprentices into the distant future, far from their mad master’s grasp. The enraged archmage discovered their treachery too late to put an end to the plot, but early enough to bend and pervert the magic that fueled it. Instead of transporting the wizards to safety, the corrupted time vortex instead became a time lock, sequestering the three apprentices and their sprawling lair into a single moment of time that would itself stretch into eternity. The traitorous apprentices were forced to eke out their endless existences in these isolated halls for millennia before their chance discovery by explorers paved their way to freedom.

Written by Erik Mona

Plan on about six hours for this. Unless there's a TPK, in which case it might be shorter. :D

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When an unlucky historian in Absalom uncovers an infernal book from distant Tian Xia, he unwittingly unleashes a terrible evil into the city—the legions of devils imprisoned within its dusty pages. Only the book's holy counterpart can end the threat, and the Pathfinder Society has been called in to assist. Can the PCs locate and retrieve the key to ending the diabolical invasion of the City at the Center of the World, or will Absalom be drowned in the sea of destruction wrought by the Infernal Incantation?

Written by Thurston Hillman

(This scenario is especially amusing if you've played Silent Tide.)

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Hi! I've had a cancellation for tonight's game of Red Harvest, so I'm looking for an alternate. If you're interested, please drop me a line at pathar [at] gmail [dot] com.

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On 6 August 2012, Mike Brock said, "Simply casting an evil descriptor spell is not an evil act in and of itself."

An argument is being made that because the Guide 5.0 took out the language about committing evil acts for the purposes of completing faction missions, the more general clarification is being overridden.

Since this is a fairly important point, and very easily addressed by campaign staff, I have one question: Does the clarification from Aug 6 still apply, or are spells with the "evil" descriptor evil once more?

I just realized I hadn't posted this here!

Thornkeep wrote:
When the mad wizard Nhur Athemon wasn’t tinkering with his subjects on Golarion, he found his way to even stranger worlds, be they other planets, other planes, or even other dimensions. The myriad relics and strange mementos he returned with held great power, and in his hands they proved potent tools that he used to further explore the universe as well as solidify his earthly domain. The dread magician even managed to capture creatures from the impossibly distant locales he visited thanks in part to his stolen technology. His most prized findings inevitably found their way into his personal collection, a museum-like complex only recently unearthed and cryptically referred to by its strange denizens as the Enigma Vaults. Written by James Jacobs.

We have one slot open, and as always a potential need for alternates. If you're interested, sign up on the Warhorn:

After a year of searching and risking life and limb, the agents of the Pathfinder Society have discovered the resting place of the Runelord of Sloth, who has been sequestered from the world at large for 10,000 years awaiting the proper time for his return. Thanks to the efforts of the sinister cult of Lissala, that time is now. In a desperate attempt to defeat this ancient evil once and for all, the Decemvirate sends its best agents, armed with relics found throughout ancient Thassilon, to foil the cult's last-ditch efforts to usher in a new era of tyranny and strife. Will the party succeed in preventing Krune's return to Golarion, or will the Pathfinder Society serve simply as a speed-bump in the runelord's path to domination over the entire region?

Written by Tim Hitchcock

My semester will finally be over and I have decided to celebrate by killing some PCs.

We're starting at noon and going until we're done. Maybe that's 2pm. Maybe that's 6pm. I don't care.

Votes will be taken in advance to decide if we're doing hard mode. Votes will be submitted to me only, and hard mode will only happen if the vote is unanimously in favor.

Either way, bring your "A" game.

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This is springing off from my thread about increasing GM recognition; I decided it was too derail-y so I started a new one.

John Compton wrote:

A few reasons against GM feedback that I recall from previous discussions:

  • A player's bad experience may be tied to not liking the scenario and not to disliking the GM's performance. Nonetheless, the GM gets a bad rating for an unenjoyable experience.
  • A player's character dies in a scenario, and he takes it out on the GM's rating.
  • One or more players created a disruption at the table, generally ruining the experience for everyone. The GM may have been able to mitigate it but not stop it completely. The GM gets panned for circumstances that are partially outside her control.
  • There was no consensus on whether the GM would receive feedback directly or have to just watch as her rating goes up or down without knowing exactly why. Direct feedback risks quantifying what could otherwise be a low-pressure session of "Hey, I had a few thoughts about a recent game you ran."
  • Not all volunteers are comfortable receiving quantitative feedback. At that point we'd have to consider an opt-in system or the like.
  • Overall there are still concerns about how such ranking would be implemented and reported. If it's in the hands of the GM doing the reporting, is there the temptation to tinker with the numbers?
  • [Write your own concerns about jerks here.]

    GM ranking in this way has proven a very contentious subject. By all means feel free to discuss it—perhaps we'll hit on a good idea—but be aware that folks have debated many takes on it with little that approaches consensus.

  • Until I'm a tenured professor, my entire life is based on student ratings, which is subject to many of the same vagaries you've listed here, so maybe I'm just jaded. But those all seem like things that should theoretically wash out in the average over time.

    As for the rating vs feedback, that's a much more interesting concern. Speaking again from the metaphor of student evaluations, the more questions you ask, the fewer responses you'll get. To the point where ~20% of my students have just waited weeks for their grades to unlock instead of just filling out the eval to find out what they were immediately. So if you don't want a simple "How many stars would you give this GM," you're immediately going to cut out feedback from everyone who doesn't particularly care, and only get answers from people who feel very strongly about something. That might seem a good thing, but it means you'll only get extreme feedback, which can be overly inflating or overly deflating to the ego (depending).

    The idea of qualitative feedback--"How do you feel about this GM in 250 sessions or less" seems to open up a whole pile of problems, not the least of which is the ability of players to use that to say horrible things to GMs who, for instance, killed their character. On the other hand, quantitative feedback could be as simple as putting a column in the Sessions list that says "Rate this GM: *****" If you want to make sure people aren't rating the scenario, put a second column next to it: "Rate this Scenario: *****" Even if you just ignored that data, it would hopefully filter out people who were just pissed off about finding themselves playing ... oh ... On Shadow's Door, for instance. :P

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    Okay, I've just played Bonekeep 1, and it's everything it's supposed to be. Awesome.

    What that means is that people have complained enough that they got what they wanted--a hard scenario with absolutely no roleplay.


    But now it's time for the other half. We want a roleplay-only scenario. All skill checks, no combat.

    If agitating on the boards is how we get these things done, then let's agitate on the boards. C'mon, folks, let's do this.

    My messageboards (the main interface) re-expand every time I load the page. It just started this weekend.

    In the ruins of Xin-Bakrakhan—seat of power of the Runelord of Wrath—the Pathfinder Society stands on the verge of a great discovery, but first the brave agents exploring the ruins must survive ages-old dangers and contemporary threats to return with the knowledge and wealth they've unearthed.  Written by Mike Shel.

    I promised myself that if I finished grading today, I would run this tomorrow afternoon.  And I did!  Motivation works.  Now I just need to find some players. :D

    Warhorn signups:

    Couple spots open for this Friday. Warhorn sign up:

    Hey all. I'm gonna be in the Poughkeepsie area for Thanksgiving, and after a certain point (Thursday morning, probably, but let's shoot for Friday or Saturday night) I might be pretty happy to escape my in-laws. Anything going on? There's nothing on the Warhorn, but I don't know if that's because it hasn't gotten that far, or because everyone's off that weekend, so I thought I'd ask. :)

    A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1-2, 3-4 and 6-7).

    The Shadow Lodge’s assault on the Pathfinder Society has come to a head in the Andoren city of Almas, where renegade Shadow Pathfinders have taken over the Grand Cathedral of Aroden, holding the Pathfinders and Venture-Captain stationed there hostage. You must gain entry into the overrun Pathfinder lodge and put an end to the open warfare within the Society.

    Written by Steven Robert.

    If you're interested, email the following to pathar (at) gmail (dot) com.

    Your name
    PFS #
    Character name
    Race, Class, and Level
    Desired token (attached to email)

    Listen, I like a little cleavage as much as the next guy, but what is going on with the characters in this AP? Shalelu's got that little figleaf of a quiver strap, Nualia's armor leaves nearly all of her internal organs exposed, Lyrie is basically just t@~$ out, and don't even get me started about Shayliss. But the thing that really blows my mind is Erylium, whose barely-restrained bosom is causing her posture issues even in the artist's imagination, apparently. Why does a quasit need cleavage? Why does a quasit need breasts?! They aren't mammals. They don't reproduce at all, in fact!

    Look, I understand fantasy tropes means exposed flesh, I get that, but this is just downright embarrassing. I'm running a group that is 2/5 female, and it's getting to the point where they're rolling their eyes before I even flip the iPad to show them the portrait. What the hell is going on here?

    I want to clarify that I don't mind adult themes. The nudity in Tsuto's journal makes sense and does not bother me. The descriptions of the harem in Thistletop, sure. Even with Shayliss her portrait at least ties somewhat to her story arc, though I can't scroll past it without facepalming.

    But seriously, what was with the thought process behind this?

    I've just finished Burnt Offerings, and my players are all really interested in renovating and claiming Thistletop as their stronghold. In fact, in regards to the question of why they would want to do that, they all stared at me and asked why they wouldn't want to. Which is a compelling point. They're also doing some interesting work with NPCs that is resulting in them developing into interesting potential cohorts.

    However, it seems like the timeline of the campaign as written is very fast--the Swallowtail Festival is the 22nd of Rova (September), and then I'm supposed to be starting Hook Mountain Massacre by early Kuthona (i.e. December): The chapter introduction starts with "A few months have passed since the events of the fateful Swallowtail Festival." So this doesn't give a lot of game-world-time for construction, or for development of NPCs. I'm thinking of spacing it out a bit--maybe doing the Feast of Ravenmoor module in Gozran (tax season, naturally), then having the Skinsaw Murders occur in the heat of the summer to really play up the corpse stink. Then I could move on to Hook Mountain for the next winter, or even the winter after, depending on how far into the construction/downtime rules they want to get.

    Has anyone done this? Does anyone have any thoughts on it? It seems like the forces at play here have been scheming for years--millennia, in some cases--so it doesn't seem like a stretch that they'd be playing a slow game.

    Sometimes when I look at my Messageboard page (which is set to Hide ø, Flatten, Unfocused), I see Sticky threads from my open forums. Other times I don't.

    I don't actually mind seeing the sticky threads except that there are three I can't seem to hide. I have successfully hidden others; the inability to get rid of the ones I really don't care about is kind of irritating.

    Since PCs end Book 1 at level 4, and need to be level 5 as Book 2 starts, I'm going to run a module in between. I'm torn, because "Feast of Ravenmoor" seems like the obvious choice (with some increase in difficulty), but I'm worried the plot will be a little redundant once we get into Book 2. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    So obviously Reaper, Bones 2, yadda. That said, there are two other KS's that caught my eye today, and I'm wondering what people think.

    The first is Fairytale Games, which has a lot of stuff for the game itself which I don't care about, but it looks like the $100 pledge level gets you all the main boxed sets--presently 30 medium minis and four "boss" minis, and both numbers should go up significantly according to Kicktraq. The minis seem pretty high quality, and I'm pretty tempted. (There's also "the sacred 40," which are apparently minis from the last Kickstarter, but they're only available as add-ons, and at those prices I'm not particularly with the caring.)

    Then there's Chibi Asian Adventures which my girlfriend thinks is overwhelmingly cute. Presently $100 only gets you 21 minis of your choice; that'll climb to as much as 27 if Kicktraq's projections are correct. This seems a lot less efficient, price-wise.

    So, thoughts? I'd like to hear what people think before I go all in on these; I've backed a grand total of two Kickstarters in my life, and only one of them was about minis ... and it's Bones 2, so I can't exactly speak to the results yet. ;p

    1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Proposal: I would like to see some APs, which would be difficult to sanction as playable modules, be sanctioned as "campaign mode only."

    Explanation: This way the old OGL APs like Curse of the Crimson Throne can be sanctioned without having to worry about conversion for PFS. Additionally, APs like Wrath of the Righteous--and any subsequent APs that involve mythic tiers--can also be sanctioned without worrying about the problem of needing mythic tiers in PFS play.

    Exigence: I have encountered rumors that WotR will not be sanctioned because it cannot be played as a module without mythic tiers. This will impact future APs as well. It is also my understanding that the push to sanction past APs was not going to include the ones released for the 3.5 ruleset; I consider this unfortunate because I am a big fan of CotCT.

    Background: Presently, sanctioned APs can either be played as part of a home game (for chronicles that act like GM credit) or in part at a game day (for standard module-like chronicles). Since some APs simply don't lend themselves to being chopped into game-day module-like events, it becomes difficult to sanction them for both purposes.

    1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

    As of 10/4/2012, it was clarified that certain requirements for the Diabolist are not fully waived.

    First, on documentation: The Guide 5.0 says that "Roleplaying requirements for prestige classes (such as particular ceremonies or killing a devil) are waived in Pathfinder Society" and that needed adjustments are found on the Additional Resources page. From what I can see, the message board ruling has not made the transition to AR or FAQ, and the list of clarifications is now gone. This makes that information nonobvious, leading to confusion--people might make take Diabolist at 6th level, since all mechanical requirements are met at that point, only to find out later they were meant to wait until level 8 or 10 (the first level after they can cast 4th level cleric or 5th level wizard spells). Resolution of this is problematic.

    Second, on the requirement: This sets the Diabolist class apart from most others. In fact, unless there's a corner case of which I'm not aware, it makes it functionally unique. In PFS, roleplaying requirements "such as particular ceremonies or killing a devil" are waived (again, per the Guide). Additionally, the clarified requirements for Diabolist listed above require an expenditure of resources, which no other prestige class (of which I am aware) requires.

    Finally, on the class: As written, the mechanical requirements of the Diabolist class are set to post-5th-level, which is fairly standard. In a home game, the GM would presumably work with the player to meet the roleplaying requirements; since that can't be done in PFS the requirement moves the class back to post-7th- or post-9th-level (depending on divine/arcane). Considering the dearth of higher level play in PFS, this goes a long way to making the Diabolist difficult, if not impossible, to play with.

    Proposal: Waive this requirement. This brings Diabolist in line with other prestige classes both for requirements and availability. I do not feel that this is overpowering--the Diabolist PrC comes with some pretty serious limitations, especially in Organized Play (failed Raise Deads are not really affordable in this setup).

    Otherwise: I feel strongly that this requirement should be waived; I don't think it benefits anyone to have one specific PrC significantly more restricted than others. That said, if this requirement absolutely cannot be waived for whatever reasons, please note it on the Additional Resources page to avoid confusion in the future. The Guide does say that "any minor adjustments needed" will be noted on the AR page; while this isn't actually a change from RAW, it's a change from PFS RAW back to standard RAW (if that makes sense), so it should be noted visibly.

    I'm running Burnt Offerings right now--our first session was today--and I don't feel like my players are getting any cash. There's the reward from Aldern, and beyond that there's ...? The goblins had some crap gear, but that and Tsuto's ring of protection doesn't come close to bringing a level-5 party to 1000gp each as they enter the catacombs.

    Am I supposed to be including the "other treasure" notation (which presumably leads me to the "Treasure Values per Encounter" table) to add loose change to the pockets of the goblins they killed?

    I can't shake the feeling that this is a dumb question. In my defense, the only AP I've ever run was Curse of the Crimson Throne, and I seem to recall it having explicit loot information.

    It seems to me that capping the star count of our GMs at 5--or more to the point at 150 games--is unnecessarily limiting. That's not to say that it didn't make sense in the past, but as we go on, it seems like we might want to raise the cap, because the run count of long-term volunteers is just going to keep going up.

    I like the idea of needing to meet special requirements to move from 4 to 5 stars; it's not my intention to change that. But it seems like hitting 5 stars prevents further recognition--I think people who continue to run after reaching 5 stars should continue to earn stars.

    The earning pattern is pretty straightforward: 10 (+20) = 30 (+30) = 60 (+40) = 100 (+50) = 150. Just keep extending that: 150 (+60) = 210 (+70) = 280 (+80) = 360 and so forth. There's no need to limit it to any set number.

    For the recently-introduced rewards for star count, I see no problems. I have no issue with Kyle Baird being able to re-run an extra 10 scenarios for credit, and I actually get a huge kick out of the idea of his one +15 reroll per session. If others disagree, you can always cap either or both at 5 until we see how it works out.

    Side note: It used to be that 5 star GMs required recertification; as of Guide 4.3 that went away because, per Mike Brock, "there is no way I felt comfortable removing a fifth star from a GM who had dedicated nearly 1500 hours to the campaign. It wasn't right, it didn't sit well with me." I absolutely support that--but this proposed expansion opens the door for, not re-certification, but another certification at levels 10, 15, 20, whatever.


    10 people marked this as a favorite.

    I know you Paizo folks don't want to give us an ignore function, but I think that you should, and I'm going to give you several reasons.

    • You place a high premium on civility here. Allowing people to simply ignore each other will make civility easier to achieve.
    • I am not the first to request this, nor will I be the last. This is clearly something your users want. Your stated reasons for not giving it to us speak to your intended use of the boards--but our repeated requests for it speak to the realities of how they are used.
    • The ignore script is not exactly unpopular. I have spoken to several people who use it and consider it a blessing; as do I. However, the author has announced he will not support it anymore, which means it will some day break when the website format changes (which, to my understanding, has happened before). Also, it has one failing, which is that it can't prevent me from seeing threads started by people I have ignored; it only prevents me from seeing their posts. This can be problematic.
    • Speaking of which, there are a number of people who should long since have learned the rules who post thread after thread asking questions that are clearly answered in the documentation of this game, and when others tell them that they have been around long enough to know to check the documentation before posting, it is those others who are chastised. It is not our job to answer question after question from someone who knows perfectly well where those answers are found but refuses to open the PDF to look them up himself; if you won't allow us to point that out, it would be great if we had the option to just not see the question in the first place.
    • It is my personal contention that the very best thing about the Internet is the ability to simply block the people we can't stand from our perception of existence. I can direct emails I don't want to my trash, I can block people on Facebook, I can unsubscribe from certain blogs in Feedly, I can even use Google Voice to block phone numbers I don't want calling me. But I can't block posters on the Paizo boards; my options are all or nothing. This is a design decision that, in my opinion, does not benefit the users of the boards.

    So, please, reconsider. I recognize that I am not the first to ask for this. I hope you recognize that, should you refuse, I won't be the last.

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Both APs and the new multi-level modules sanction "campaign mode" play, where the game is run with whatever home rules the GM likes and PFS chronicles are distributed as though they were pregen credits.

    Is there any possibility we could open the door for older, already-sanctioned modules to be run the same way? The module format only lends itself moderately well to organized play (IMO), but the now-established "campaign mode" would allow for PFS players to enjoy older single-level modules with more freedom, in a setting more conducive to an ongoing story, while still allowing us to get credit for them in the same way we can choose to get credit for APs and new modules.

    Also, since it has been noted that some of the older modules fit into APs fairly well, this will allow GMs the ability to do that even when running APs for credit.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Presently, it seems that some GMs in face-to-face situations will accept scanned copies of Chronicles, but not all, and at least one GM has stated that they will accept the scans but not allow single-use boons to be used, since they can't be "crossed off."

    Online players, though, are expected to have digitized versions of their chronicles, and the online VC recently made a post explaining in no uncertain terms that GMs could refuse to allow players who can't produce digital chronicles.

    With the release of the Hero Lab character sheet, I have begun running my characters straight off my iPad; since we're allowed to maintain our own ITS, that will be digital as well. I would like to digitize my Chronicle sheets and keep them in PDF format so I don't have to carry a large folder full of paper to each game. This also makes my Chronicles less susceptible to damage and/or theft: If they are safety at home (since obviously I'll keep paper backups), and my backpack is lost or stolen at a con, I won't lose any irreplaceable data. (I'll lose my iPad, of course, but that's my problem, and if I'd instead lost my character sheets and Chronicles, I would've been screwed anyway--arguably more so, as far as playing PFS goes.)

    Since a counterargument is likely to be that this opens the door to cheating, I would like to preemptively point out that the same technologies allowing one to cheat their digital records allow for cheating of hardcopy records; modern (color) printing technology makes it pretty straightforward to move from one medium to the other. But PFS already runs on the honor system--the idea is that you won't cheat, and there's not a whole lot we can do to enforce that. As such, I don't believe that this will cause any problems that don't already exist.

    In essence, I think that the move away from the requirement for paper is not a bad thing, and the increased popularity of tablet technology makes it possible.

    Since digital chronicles suffice for online gaming, can we consider an official policy that they suffice for face-to-face gaming as well, thus removing the current table variation that makes them impractical?

    I don't know how people will feel about this idea but I, for one, would be very interested in a digital-only subscription. Even if it were full price, but came with the early PDF access that current subscribers have, I would subscribe to most of the product lines in a heartbeat.

    I don't think it would take away from the current hardcover subscription list, because I doubt there's many people who're paying for a full subscription just to get a PDF two weeks early. There may be one or two, but overall I doubt it will have impact. It will, however, likely get new subscribers, which is good, because Paizo has repeatedly noted that they use subscription income to run their business (since it's reliably stable in ways that retail sales are not).


    Since many of us use many different aliases for whatever reasons, is it possible that searching the posts and/or threads of a main username could incorporate posts made by aliases as well? This would make it a lot easier to find things.

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