My advice is talk about the great T-Rex chase (from the season 6 adventure) with the players before unning this scenario: They will immediately know what to do and not even think about challanging this poor helpless little creature. It worked when I played and both times I gmed it.
The only "downside" is that the final fight is completely and utterly underwhelming for the buildup.
I can see your argument but if I think this argument trough it gets WIERD:
So you misfire, then hit your gun with something that can only deal between 1 and HP of the gun -1 damage and then the mending works?
This does seem quite wrong, that a spell can not fix a problem but would be able to fix it once you have added another problem.
Well against loaded dice you can (and I have) let players roll with YOUR dice. I had to do it once during a game and I require it when rolling for the 10% chance at a boon at conventions or RSP tables and the numbers got FAR closer to 10% than before that change.
With the deck there NEEDS to be a way to check for cheating (full list of all cards and effects) as operating on a honor system requires a way to check if something is correct. (Audits exist for a reason)
So I know involuntary mishaps can happen and I know for a fact at least 2 players who I would fully expect to have only a 40 card crit deck (with the "bad" ones missing) or to by 2 decks and double up on the "best" cards. So trust is good but we NEED a way to control it.
But I am very against the idea of including the critical deck into organized play as it will cause balancing concerns and will be most likely a logistical nightmare to use, especially if the full rules are not available to everyone.
It might be the local metagame but all our powergames seem to have no problems in spaceship combat:
It helps tremendously that our local meta depends largely on unsing Longarms on everyone but the operative so everyone can at least be a decent gunner as they will have maxxed or near maxxed DEX. It also "helps" that the class most players view as the "strongest", the operative, has to actively try to be bad in spaceshipcombat as most operatives will have DEX maxxed and most of them will also have ranks in engeneering and computers.
But after a game with newer players yesterday I completely agree that a "starhip" part of a character and/or pregensheet would help a lot with explaining what to roll and especially where to find it.
Thursty, have you though about changing scenario design so that starship combat might be the best option but not the only option for the players. (Starship encounters seem to take less then a page of space so scenario word count wouldn't be a big issue).
Please do NOT do this, this will not only mess up the slot time most of the time but it will also lead to toxic discussions between the players who like Starship combat (and might have invested quite a bit into it) and those who hate it.Additionally as a GM those "choose 1 of 2 encounters tend to be double the work for next to no benefit.
I have to say the starshipcombat difficulty is ... wierd. There are some encounters, especially yeasteryears truth, which gave the system a VERY VERY bad reputation (we called it after around 3 hours and 11 killed drones).
Most spaceship combats work out rater well in the region but we are VERY clear to all level 1 characters: What does your character do in spaceship combat and what does he do if that role is already taken (and captain is not a role (see below)).
It helps that we have a very DEX based meta so everyone can at least be the secondary/tertiary gunner and with a LOT of 4-Player tables the usual setup is: Pilot (neccessary), 1st Gunner (neccessary), Second Gunner (Better than all alternatives) and the engeneer doubling as science officer for the first turns till the scans are done.
One problem is the ammount of stuff you can do in spaceship combat:
The 2 problem children are the science officer and the captain (especially before level 6):
The best spaceship encounters were the encounters where either the setup was great (cries form the drift) or you fight against multiple ships and do not get into a routine as fast (Dead Suns 5)
For me the archetype has the very big problem of being dippable: For a 1 level dip you get:
So the Archetype might be fine if taken single classed (But I still think Petals on the wind should be banned and Graceful Warrior should not unlock the additional weapons for finessability) it is too problematic if it is dipped, as the level 1 flourishes have some options that are too strong for some other classes to use.
I've seen PFS Legal archetypes get completely broken.
This does not mean that new problematic stuff should be added in. I personally see a big problem for the archetype in petal on the winds and its possible rammifications especially with creative use of "foe". But I do not know why it was banned but I can see this, or the fact that this archetype is one of the best dips for certain builds, as a reason for it.
Ok, to start off with: Yes I was wrong, the formula I used for weapon damage had a * instead of a + so there were some mistakes. Thanks Ade, AtlasSniperman and Blake´s Tiger for pointing that out.
But I will post the math here again (while not being sleepy) and include the way I got there so if there are any more mistakes we can pinpoint them.
Warning LOTS of Mathy Stuff:
21*12/20+42*1/20=14.7 (Hitting on a 8 will mean, that you have 12/20 chance to deal your average 21 damage and a 1/20 chance to deal 42)
DPR Mind Thrust 4:
DC: 21 (10 (Base)+6 (Wisdom) + 1 Spellfocus + 4 (Spellevel)
DPR Mind Thrust 3:
DC: 20 (10 (Base)+6 (Wisdom) + 1 Spellfocus + 3 (Spellevel)
DPR Mind Thrust 2:
DC: 19 (10 (Base)+6 (Wisdom) + 1 Spellfocus + 2 (Spellevel)
Single Shot: 14.7 Damage
The point is that in our area the only ones using small arms are operatives, everyone else is getting longarm acess as smallarms do no damage.
At level 10 you will most likely have a 2d10 (average 21 damage)Energy weapon. This deals as much damage per shot (fullattacks are a good option if you get even 1 debuff on the enemy)
Both characters are assumed to have 20 or 22 in the main attribute (Dex/Wis -> a lot of players seem to favor Dex over their casting stat on their second caster), the "shooter" has Longarm Proficiency, versatile specialisation and weapon focus (longarm).
The caster has Spell focus and (for the ease of math) Spell penetration and Greater spell Penetration which lets him (for this example) ignore Spell resistance. The weapon I used is the LFD sonic rifle, a weapon which will rarely be resisted but there will be stronger options if you just want the damage.
Compared to that the Mind Thrust will have a DC of: 10 (Base) + 5/6 (Wisdom) + 1 Spellfocus + 2/3/4 (Spellevel). This leads to a maximum DC of 21/20/19. This leads to an average damage of Mt4 (38.5 Slightly higher than a fulltattack), Mt3 (25.98 LESS than a fulltack), Mt2 (14.3 Less than even a single attack.) And you will be completely useless against anything immune to mind affecting damage.
I played with and Gmed for "casters" in Starfinder and SFS up to level 9 and excluding level 1 they felt very... disapointing. In nearly every siutuation they were better while using their guns (mostly longarms as time progressed) and spells were only used rarely.
A big problem is that only your highest (maybe second highest) level of spell is relevant damagewise.
I am happy that the only case I have seen this were 2 times a wildshaped PC offered to serve as a mount (out of combat) and no player in the group was interested in abusing mounted combat rules so it did not devolve into this. (The biggest reason for this is that most players do not know the rules for mounted combat and noone will want to learn them on the fly)
If you think this far enough this can lead to some insane builds but there is little in the rules to prevent it (for bipedal mounts) and none for wildshaped/polymorphed PCs.(Which can be as bad or even worse than bipedals)
I would prefer if a solution like Bobs suggestion (PCs can not be mounts) would be added to the FAQ but at the moment there is not that much support for a ban.
Bob at least here in Europe some conventions you would call "small" are also the only cons in the nation where specials CAN be offered. So even "small" events lead to long distance travel if you look outside of the US. For our big convention we have regulary players from multiple countries as this is one of the very few events that can offer specials in continental Europe.
And the Gencon boons are causing a bad divide between the communities because if you happen to live on one of the other 6 continents your chance of getting one without going to spend a 4-Digit ammount is miniscule.
While I am a big fan of everything that requires me to fill out less, purely online chronicles have one BIG downside:
A lot of conventions have shaky or no internet connection so they are worthless as a only solution as players will not be able to access the chronicle immediately. (And a lot of players will play more than one scenario per convention.)
My problem are the race boons.
I have GMed at a convention every quarter for the last 3 Years, so I should have seen all race boons that are out in free circulation. So where are race boons like changeling, catfolk, rougarou (and these are the only ones I KNOW that were given out at Gencon and not at a charity auction) etc? Not to alka about the goblin fiasko that I think even paizo realized it went WRONG.
Additionally the Glutton for Punishment and the full rebuild would be VERY helpfull boons to motivate GMs that have enough race boons. And for Starfinder (where races are worhtless as boons) the manifold host was not made available in continental europe yet to my knowlegde.
Regarding the boons, could we please adress the other elephant in the room?
Can we please get rid of boons that are completely unobtainable for 95% of the playerbase. With this I sepcifically mean the GenCon exclusive boons as these are boons that will almost never make it to the players outside of America.
For slotted boons:
While I somewhat like Starfinders approach it got diluted extremely fast as over 50% of all boons are slotless or "This might be relevant sometimes -> and the relevance was sometimes so low that we would have been better of slotting another boon but as we did not know the consequences we were not able to make an informed decission.
I think this is a good idea, especially as with the current system the items are all over the place and sometimes do not fit the flavour at all. A good example for that is the demon mask for intimidate, i found it very wierd that a paladin who wnats to be good at intimidating (which is encouraged by the need for CHA for some abilities and the spell points) needs to wear a demon mask to be viable.
How much weaker would a monster need to be to not be trivial at all?
I think their to hit should be lowered significantly, they should not be able to crit 25% of the time. (which happened against the animal companion when I played)I think a to hit of +2 or +3 should be fine for the "normal" monsters and maybe a +6 for the boss (currently it is +6 and +10)
I just finished GMing Doomsady Dawn part 1 (The lost Star). The party opted to play an “iconic” party so I had a wizard, a cleric, a fighter and a rogue. The scenario went relatively smoothly as we did not need to spend as much time looking through the rules as with the first Starfinder tables we had.
The encounters were all hard for the players; there were only 2 encounters (the fungus and the centipedes) where no player went to 0 HP. I had no kills but there were too many close calls and without the cleric the party would have definitely TPKed. (And I thought the “when do they die”- part would be later.) While the design philosophy of more “weaker” enemies seems fine it does require 2 things to work that were not given in this scenario:
1.) The weaker enemies have to be weaker. I hit my players far too often even with the mooks.
The players were surprised how fast they could create their characters, but as they told me the biggest reason for that was that they felt there were too few options. Another big complaint I heard from all players was that the characters did not feel “competent” the difference between characters was really low and especially the fighter told me that if all he could do is hit stuff but everyone else can hit stuff nearly as good as he can but can also do other things why should he play a fighter.
The Wizard had similar complaints as he said there were too few spell slots to really matter. And with enemies having this high boni on their saves the critical failure does not seem to be something that would happen realistically. But he told me that the general idea of variable degrees of success made spells very interesting and a promising upgrade to PF1.
In general the feedback was relatively negative, as the players found the combat too random and felt it was stacked against them. They would not hit very reliably and the enemies all had a better to hit which coupled with their numbers increased their feeling of “The enemy can do everything better than I can”. Another BIG complaint was the healing economy: The cleric felt forced to take all heals she could get and the rest of the party could only rely on her as there are not enough other ways of healing. After the sold some loot and got potions they got massively disappointed as these were far too expensive for 1st level players and they could not even heal full once with their resonance pools. So the party took a 1 day rest where the only thing they did was empty the cleric to get back to full HP and get back to rest. So if the intent is to have resonance to gate the adventure day of healing then the lest that should be done would be an way to fully restore HP for free (WITHOUT ANY CHECKS) once they rested for a day as without it some characters would have needed 2 weeks of rest to be back to full HP. The only system that was praised by everyone was the action economy as the “you have 3 actions”-paradigm felt very intuitive and seemed to solve some problems pathfinder 1 had.
After thinking about it for a night (and reading the Module to GM it) I can see a glaring problem:
The enemy to hit is too high.
It seems like they used the same formula for starfinder (enemies hit very good) but they forgot to also lower their defenses to compensate it. The biggest offender was the goblin commando encounter, the enemies are having a BETTER to hit than any character could possibly achieve but their defense is also comparable. So it realy feels like the odds are stacked against the PCs.
The best AC we had was a 18 (from the fighter) and he was hit on AT LEAST a 12 from every enemy in the whole dungeon, the animal companion with its 12 AC had it worse as everything could CRIT it at least on a 16, some enemies even on a 12 (one enemy in its best turn even on a 10). Maybe a solution would be to drop the enemy to hit down a bit as with the current numbers there is never a reason NOT to triple attack if you have the chance to it.
I just finished playing Doomsday Dawn 1 (The Lost Star) and as the Survey is not online (yet) available, here is my feedback.
Goblin Rogue (meele) (me)
Druid (Animal Companion)
Cleric (meele focused Cleric)
We finished the adventure in around 6 hours (real time) and 2 days (ingame time). The combats all felt very random and disappointing, there was no real difference in the to hit between the characters so it only mattered if we rolled good. (The druid and cleric had a +4, the rogue had a +5 and the fighter a +6) The actions of all characters were also the same as most rounds were Stride/Strike/Strike or Strike/Strike/Strike, with only the druid deviating as he used mostly Stride/Strike/Command or Cast or heal Animal/Command. So all classes played the same and there was no noticeable difference. This carried over to the skills where there was no notable difference between the characters, as all had skillboni between -2 and +5 (and the skills the characters rolled were in between +3 and +5)
All the casters complained about that they had far too few spells, especially as taking a healing option felt forced as there is not a real option to buy healing at this level. Even with 2 characters capable of healing someone went down in every encounter (except in A3 and A10)[in total we had at least 10 cases of players down]. The characters felt extremely fragile as nearly all enemies hit us on a 10 or 11, with a lot of them hitting even better. The worst experience had the druid whose animal companion had a 25% chance to be critted by the initial encounter and be instantly downed by it (which happened).
This was not helped with the fact that nearly every encounter was a bottleneck encounter as there was next to no room to maneuver.
The consensus was that the experience was far worse than the low level experinece in Pathfinder 1 (and this comes from a player who does not really like low level Pathfinder 1)
Auke Teeninga wrote:
Auke I do not know what your problem with Dans region is, it is continious and makes (somewhat) sense to be put together.
People may have differing opinions on my interpretation, but until the OPM tells me otherwise, I will continue to act in the manner and good faith I always have, as it has served me and my community quite well.
While I will not say that this is a problem in your case (I have next to no contact to your region) I am a firm believer in the philosophy that rules are not made for the "good" people to break. They have to apply to everyone. I already saw a region on the verge of collapsing because one VO thaught he did so much good for the region in the past that he could decide what course of action would be best for it (as long as noone told him otherwise) He often would use the words "VC-privilege" to describe his "reasoning" on why stuff was handled the way it was and I have seen the damage a individual with this way of handling his region can have.
We need the WRITTEN rules to apply to everyone because not only gives this everyone a chance to understand what he is in for but also protects everyone from a "bad" superior officer. One of the best things that came out of the restructuring of the VO-corps back when Tonya took over from Mike was that we now HAD definitions on what it meant to be an VO.
Act as the third step in conflict resolution process, working with VCs to resolve community issues utilizing established guidelines. Up channel any issue that cannot be resolved to the OPC.
While I agree that this establishes a chain of command this only exists in the area of resolving issues. Also where are the established guidlines to resolving these issues?
I’m sure I would be, but I appauld Michael’s decision to continue to be a leader in the community, to organize, to GM, to play. That is what makes all the difference to his community, not some badge on his shirt. For that, Michael has my respect.
I have to completely agree -> Michael does deserve our respect for that. But if he still does the work of an VO why should he not stay one?
We’re still in the middle of major convention season, with Origins this week and Gen Con about 8 weeks away.
Mark could you please post a time of year where we COULD discuss some of these matters?Because as I see it we go from convention season to "cooldown after con season" to holiday season to preparation for the next convention season.
Admittedly, that is not expressly listed in the Guide or in the NDA, but I have expressed this concept to my VO team and explained on numerous occasions my ideas on the philosophy of chain-of-command and the escalation process to the VCs.
Bob it is nice that your region has a procedure like this but could you please post the paragraph of the OPF contract or the written and to VO available source of your confidence that an RVC has the right to do this and the VC have to follow this?After Sebastians post I reviewed all materials available to me and I could not find a single point that gives the RVC more powers to order (Weisungsbefugnisse) the VCs or VLs except for the following:
Discuss local Growth/Local problems (See the emphasis on discuss)
Compile information on the Region by the information provided By the VOs (Here you can argue for a right to order the form of the information because we STILL do not have forms)
I am posting here NOT because of any involvement in the discussion about the incident itself, I am on another continent and my contact to Del is limited to around 5-6 posts here in the forums. This issue is something that shows that while the current ways of PFS-issue control has its flaws and FAR too much of it relies on unwritten rules the VO in question might have never heard of. Also I find it highly disturbing that apparently these unwritten rules take precedent to any written rule we are provided.
I have worked a bit with Michael in a taskforce and I remember that working with him was always productive and provided me with new perspectives to the presented problems. So while I cannot speak for how he is as a GM or as a player (but I would be interested to join him at an online table) I have only good memories of him as a VO.
Well I also think the SHEETS are fine, the problem is the procedure to fill them out. Most of the time they are handed out with all GM-fields filled out or the players should fill in their number and mark their tier/slowtrack and the GM uses this for reporting and gives back the chronicle filled out.
I agree with Bob that we VOs NEED the event code, it might be the most importat information for correcting wrong chronicles. The date is also needed to find out in which order chronicles have to be applied (or to order tham after the stack got mixxed up-> Especialy for players who do not use a binder) The GM-number is needed to identify who ran the game which can be important to find out if there was a error in reporting.
But I completely agree with BigNorseWolf that the procedure is not realy needed and is not folloewd in reality. And especially with PF2 coming up it would help to make the wanted procedure something that is feasible to follow. (Especially with cons/gamestores where we have maybe 3-5 minutes to wrap up the table and give out the chronicles)
The Event code is needed if you need to find an error with the event. If I would change the bottom I would remove the event line (As it is too short for most event names so most GMs use shorthands anyways)
I would vastly prefer a official praxis more in line with reality: Just fill out the "GM-ONLY" boxes (XP/PP/GP/Event details) This would be enough to convey the neccessary information and would lead to people actually following the rules.
At least locally I think the biggest "problem" is that most players are interested in what the NPC tells them or what he does (relevant to the plot) not about as what he identifies or what he is (no only regarding to gender but also race in most cases).
So when I am having problem to get the players care about that the mayor is an elf and the baker is an gnome - (most players will just refer to them as "mayor" and "baker") and if there is nothing VERY defining in their pictures they will forget their looks almost immediately - I dont see any big value in trying to even try to describe it as "you see a nonbinary". For once they will have no idea what that means and even if they would the most likely reactions would be: "And how would I see THAT?" or "Does he look like the person we seek/Does he want to kill us?" In most cases my first description of an NPC includes Race (or size if they need to identify it) and their state of action ("looking for you/wanting to talk" or "Draws his weapon and tries to kill you") and would try to inform them later if it interests the players.
As I GMed and played the Medda encounter always the focus was on how to resolve the situation without killing and the question was never even cosidered. It made literally no difference to how the encounter plays out and it does not help that this is happening in an HARD-time limited environment.
Also as someone who GMs mostly in German there are a LOT of different problems with the pronouns:
So the TLDR: I have no problem to try to fit this in if it is relevant but a lot of the players do not even bother to remember the NPCs name or Race so their Gender or sexual orientation is even more irrelevant to them. Additionally the pronouns make it VERY difficult for non english tables to represent this in an good way, especially if there are no people at the tabel from the LBGTQ? community that know what those pronouns mean or can tell the rest of the players why you could/should use them.
Also agree fully to that suggestion.
I would be in favour of either V2 or V2V but my favourite would be V3, as this not only allows to stagger the rewards a bit (not all goodies at the beginning) but it alos is the only option where you can get some "equal value" for your boon (race boon for race boon etc).
Absolutely no fan of option 1 and option 4 would need to provide MASSIVE benefits to be something more than a slap in the face. Most of the time the one time boons are very lackluster and nothing even close to comparable to the permanent boons we are asked to sacrifice.
I agree that the current way of filling out chronicles is far from everything I see in reality. I would agree to make it align more with reality because the current method is far too long and tedious.
This applies to online and offline games as well.
What would be wrong with:
"Give out the chroniclesheets with all GM-only areas filled out and cross of the boons/items the player did not qualify for"
So there is no back and forth and this is how I see it done at most games.
Name: Ogden the pyrite sage
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Class: Monk (Zen Archer)
Description: Ogden is a bald Osiriani dwarf with a splendidly groomed grey beard. Most of the time he can be seen with his archeological tools he ueses for excavations. With his vast breath of experience he dabbles in all fields of knowledge but his speciality is the osirian history and their engeneering techniques.
He started out as a member of the osirion Faction but was present during the evennts in sanctum of the sages that lead to tahonikepsu becoming the leader of the new scarab sages (with his support). He followed the path of the sages closely and used the first opportunity that was presented to join their ranks.