Clarification about First Steps


Pathfinder Society

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Grand Lodge

thaX wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
thaX wrote:
I really wanted to run part three at some point, but it seems that I might not be able to before retirement. Is there any chance the third part be turned into a regular scenario. Going through the island from Absolam and ending up on the other side is a fantastic experience, even without the "first steps" introduction being attached.
You have four months to schedule and run it. You really can't find one, four hour block in the next four months to GM it?

Not likely. Another is already planning to run it at the new store, and our player base have played it to the bone. (Who's Yer Con had a lot of players run though it recently)

I just got to run Black Waters (dramatic music hit) ! last weekend and the group thoroughly enjoyed it.

I have all for "flip mats" printed and everything!!!

Sigh. I just think the last encounter is one of the best in the pathfinder line. Hate to see it go.

You could always run it as a PbP, there are always people willing to play it here on the boards. Or talk Chris B into letting you run it at Redhawk Gaming, surely he hasn't ran it there yet.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

yeah... Curt is gonna run it after one and two. Hopefully, I get to run Rise of the Goblin Guild for Chris there this Sat. He has yet to play it.

Shadow Lodge

I'm still unclear as to why the scenarios have to be retired at all. Sure "everyone" has played them now, but anything they are replaced with will have the same problem. Sure some of the factions/faction leaders will change. That hasn't stopped me from enjoying Season 0-2 scenarios, so why would it make a difference with First Steps?

And of all the scenarios, why is In Service to Lore the one sticking around the longest? It seems the least able to be "adapted" to the faction changes, so wouldn't it be the first pick to retire?


Michael Brock wrote:
You would need to finish parts 2 and 3 by August 14.

Thanks. We should be able to manage that at the speed the group has been posting online.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

I think the simplest answer as to why the first is being continued in place of the 5th season replacement is that it is the first of the three.

I, personally, think the third one is more like a regular scenario than the other two. I can't think of another Pathfinder Society product that explores the island of Absolam (That is right, isn't it, the island and the city have the same name?) and to meet Centaurs is a rare occurrence.

The first one is block text and an evil little crit happy halfling.

Edit... Hmmm.. I was thinking that, but there is a second thing that is named Absolam... I can't think of what it is...

Contributor

Absalom is on the Isle of Kortos.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

The Kortos Envoy of course also explores the island and deal with Centaurs.


Part 1 is the only one that doesn't feature faction heads of factions that are getting the ax.

The Exchange 5/5

anyone besides me notice that the PCs get a lot of money, to go investigate the Orphanage? (thier take on that part of the adventure is 68GP - and on the Chronicle is a Scroll of Remove Disease - which I would assume was "recovered" from the orphanage... so the PC report her for:
1) "drinking to much" - that does't seem to have impacted the children.
2) "Black Market" - selling off curitives... though it seems that sometimes she, "...actually uses the medicines and potions sent from places like the Silver Crusade, especially when it comes to fast and fatal diseases. Otherwise, she relies on home remedies, long bed rest, and careful watch over time." - wait, how does she provide careful watch over time, if she drinks to much?
3) "Child Labor:" - wow, she makes the kids work, thou we are told "Even the children who work don’t call it that, and seem happy to keep busy and help out."

and for this information the PCs are paid 68gp each... and then most of them steal anything of value they can get away with from the house when she's not looking.

OH!, and this is the second on the list of places the PCs go. The first is an organized crime lord, who tells them they can take anything they want from the warehouse, "as far as I’m concerned, you can help yourself to the rest of the crate...." This part is maybe his stuff to give away ..."Honestly, anything else you want in the place too. I’m sure the once things get sorted out, the city will seize most everything else anyway." the stuff they recover from "his crate" is mostly thieves tools... wow.... So, you can steal anything you want from the warehouse - after all it just belongs to the city. And let's report the lady running the orphanage, 'cause she drinks to much and sells off extra donations.

Don't get me wrong - I love this scenario. I do run the Orphanage encounter a little different though. "so, why is it you took all these meds. you found hidden in the orphanage? As evidence that she was... what? Good at collecting donations?" Zadrian asks as she carefully starts to pack them into a box like the one the PCs delivered to Antie a few hours ago.

2/5

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@nosig- yup, it definitely seems to be a case of "let's demonize the functional alcoholic" (who happens to do a pretty decent job of taking care of the kids, who would be on the street otherwise). If you had to wrangle that many street urchins day in, day out you would drink too.

However, I think that is exactly what makes that encounter shine... it is not totally clear if something is really wrong there- there are shades of gray. I think that is what makes it memorable and I don't want to see it cut. Any chance we could just re-vamp the First Steps series by removing the acts with references to cut VCs and inserting new ones?

Oh, and one more thing... children working seems appropriate for a quasi medieval setting... how young do you think kids are when they start helping out on family farms these days anyway?


Well 2/5 encounters are not so morally ambiguous. I guess that's good enough for pathfinders.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I wanted to thank the posters talking about Carol Burnet- er Auntie Baldwin.

In the time left, you've given me a new way of looking at her in the scenario.

The Exchange 5/5

Lab_Rat wrote:
Well 2/5 encounters are not so morally ambiguous. I guess that's good enough for pathfinders.

Hay L.Rat! LOL! which two?

Maybe the ambush? that would be killing people in town - and leaveing the bodies in an ally.

The warehouse and the orphanage we talked about....

The puzzle encounter? Let's see "We are going to test to see if you can brake into locked containers, while bypassing traps....". Yep, Pathfinders got to be able to brake into tombs if they're going to make it as grave robbers.

Guess that leaves the Paracountess encounter. Hmmm.... "don't brake into the locked box", check... "Deal forcefully with an evil outsider - even unto killing it", check... "Suffer thru the Paracountess and her sexual teasing", well, maybe check?

OK - the Cheliaxian encounter passes on moral grounds I guess. So we get 1/5.

and I really DO love this scenario, it's one of the best!

The Exchange 5/5

Matthew Morris wrote:

I wanted to thank the posters talking about Carol Burnet- er Auntie Baldwin.

In the time left, you've given me a new way of looking at her in the scenario.

SO, if I make her as a PC, what class do I make her? I figure I can run a Generic in enough to get her to 2nd level, but what two levels? She needs a little healing, but not to much. OH! and she has to be Silver Crusade - they helped fund her Home after all! "They stuck by me in my time of need, I should do the same for them!" (Big Grin!)

Bard I think. Yeah, she "tells good bedtime stories" so perform Oratory.


Well your not actually breaking into someones vault. They are just testing your ability to handle traps. So that's not too bad. Though it does imply certain requirements of the job.

The alleyway is completely up to the group. You could run away or leave them all unconscious but alive.

5/5

nosig wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

I wanted to thank the posters talking about Carol Burnet- er Auntie Baldwin.

In the time left, you've given me a new way of looking at her in the scenario.

SO, if I make her as a PC, what class do I make her? I figure I can run a Generic in enough to get her to 2nd level, but what two levels? She needs a little healing, but not to much. OH! and she has to be Silver Crusade - they helped fund her Home after all! "They stuck by me in my time of need, I should do the same for them!" (Big Grin!)

Bard I think. Yeah, she "tells good bedtime stories" so perform Oratory.

I'd say witch. She has a cat familiar and can cast witchy spells.

The Exchange 5/5

Lab_Rat wrote:

Well your not actually breaking into someones vault. They are just testing your ability to handle traps. So that's not too bad. Though it does imply certain requirements of the job.

The alleyway is completely up to the group. You could run away or leave them all unconscious but alive.

Yeah, I've even talked to someone whose Sorcerer charmed 3 of the 4 and talked them into "having a beer later at the pub". As each of the bandits emerged from the fog it was "make a will save! Have a beer!".

But the puzzle encounter is to test to see if the PCs can brake into other peoples family crypts... heavily implied.

The Exchange 5/5

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
nosig wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

I wanted to thank the posters talking about Carol Burnet- er Auntie Baldwin.

In the time left, you've given me a new way of looking at her in the scenario.

SO, if I make her as a PC, what class do I make her? I figure I can run a Generic in enough to get her to 2nd level, but what two levels? She needs a little healing, but not to much. OH! and she has to be Silver Crusade - they helped fund her Home after all! "They stuck by me in my time of need, I should do the same for them!" (Big Grin!)

Bard I think. Yeah, she "tells good bedtime stories" so perform Oratory.

I'd say witch. She has a cat familiar and can cast witchy spells.

OOOOH! that sounds like it would work! wow! thanks!

5/5

nosig wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
nosig wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

I wanted to thank the posters talking about Carol Burnet- er Auntie Baldwin.

In the time left, you've given me a new way of looking at her in the scenario.

SO, if I make her as a PC, what class do I make her? I figure I can run a Generic in enough to get her to 2nd level, but what two levels? She needs a little healing, but not to much. OH! and she has to be Silver Crusade - they helped fund her Home after all! "They stuck by me in my time of need, I should do the same for them!" (Big Grin!)

Bard I think. Yeah, she "tells good bedtime stories" so perform Oratory.

I'd say witch. She has a cat familiar and can cast witchy spells.
OOOOH! that sounds like it would work! wow! thanks!

No problem--my players have often mistaken her for a witch given her adept-itude, so it came to mind easily. I'd say things like the healing hex (for obvious reasons) or the ward hex (now I'll know immediately if Timmy gets himself into trouble again) would totally make sense for her (and the children sniffing hex if only it were legal).


Definitely child-scent! It's illegal for players, but fair game for an NPC. That gives her the option of going super evil at later levels. A witch, an orphanage, and the Cook People Hex. I can already see the Tier 7-11 scenario. Poor Auntie Baltwin's fall from grace.

2/5

Auntie Baldwin's Orphanage and Empanada Take-away!

The Exchange 5/5

Lab_Rat wrote:

Definitely child-scent! It's illegal for players, but fair game for an NPC. That gives her the option of going super evil at later levels. A witch, an orphanage, and the Cook People Hex. I can already see the Tier 7-11 scenario. Poor Auntie Baltwin's fall from grace.

ramblings on an Auntie B. PC...:

Nah, I'm thinking of doing a PC version.
Witch with Healing Hex, and maybe Slumber (to strong to pass up, and she does put the kids to bed right? Come on, I'm reaching here).
I wouldn't normally do a cat familiar, but it fits for her.
Silver Crusade for a faction.
Not sure if I can keep the "thrown slipper" for a weapon. Maybe a level of Alchemist? For curitives too, and throw anything? And distilled spritits! wow... she can throw bottles as an alchimist!

5/5

Whiskey Jack wrote:
Auntie Baldwin's Orphanage and Empanada Take-away!

You're under arrest for child cruelty, child endangerment, depriving children of food, selling children as food and misrepresenting the weight of livestock.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

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Dagnabbit, I knew that calling it a "Kids Meal" was going too far!

2/5

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Whiskey Jack wrote:
Auntie Baldwin's Orphanage and Empanada Take-away!
You're under arrest for child cruelty, child endangerment, depriving children of food, selling children as food and misrepresenting the weight of livestock.

On second thought, since Auntie relies on the children to go out as day labor, opening the empanada take-away window would eat into her profits. (pun intended)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pauljathome wrote:


The following is a genuine question. Why do you believe Golarion is this socially advanced?

Considering that in most nations women aren't seen as property, or primarily as devices for cheap labor and child-bearing, or can hold positions of major religious and political influence, that puts Golarion ahead of much of present-day Earth including the U.S. A world in which things like the Gods and Afterlife don't have to be taken strictly on faith is going to have major differences given that many of our "big questions" are settled.

There's an Order of the Stick panel that lampshades this concept.


Whiskey Jack wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Whiskey Jack wrote:
Auntie Baldwin's Orphanage and Empanada Take-away!
You're under arrest for child cruelty, child endangerment, depriving children of food, selling children as food and misrepresenting the weight of livestock.
On second thought, since Auntie relies on the children to go out as day labor, opening the empanada take-away window would eat into her profits. (pun intended)

Your skipping the second half of Cook People. Auntie B. can turn the children into homunculi! They may not be able to do labor anymore but she sure can rent out her army of homunculi for other tasks.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I'm going to miss First Steps II a lot.

Reminiscence:
My favorite memory for all of the First Steps scenarios was one with some very-new-to-Pathfinder video-game-veterans.

I'd played up the NPCs who'd found the dungeon; they were the cock-sure top students from the days in Pathfinder Academy. And now, they're all emotional wrecks, shell-shocked from what they saw. One of them was taken by a ghoul attack, and the rest of them broke and ran, abandonning her.

So, the party finds her there, physically a full ghoul, but with her humanity in tatters and unravelling. Like Smeagol / gollum, she'll eventually turn into a monster, but now her humani personality asserts itself about half the time. She explains her situation, and every so often turns into a monster-pretending-to-be--innocent and then back again.

So, the player characters have a discussion in her presence. They decide that, despite their promises to get her to a cleric in Absalom, they'll kill her , but first they'll use her for a while as cannon fodder.

And her human personality quietly surrenders to the ghoul's vengeance.

They party puts her in front, where she'll be the first party member attacked. Even better yet, they give her the lantern to hold. They turn right and encounter the spider.

A first-level party against a giant spider is in for a fight.
A first-level party against a giant spider and the ghoul who just (a) extinguished the only light source in the room and (b) paralyzed the cleric, is in trouble.

I sure am going to miss First Steps II.


Whiskey Jack wrote:
However, I think that is exactly what makes that encounter shine... it is not totally clear if something is really wrong there- there are shades of gray.

I think it gives a good impression of the Silver Crusade faction as well. The Silver Crusade faction missions are dipped in shades of gray to downright black moral ambiguity at times. Auntie Baltwin is spot on in the moral ambiguity department.

Silver Crusade

Bearded Ben wrote:
Part 1 is the only one that doesn't feature faction heads of factions that are getting the ax.

Which is why I'm wondering why two servicable tier 1 scenerios must be retired. Would these modules require that much of an edit to change out who gives you the mission? Honestly can't recall how involved these factions were in either module.


sowhereaminow wrote:


Which is why I'm wondering why two servicable tier 1 scenerios must be retired. Would these modules require that much of an edit to change out who gives you the mission? Honestly can't recall how involved these factions were in either module.

Well, First Steps II starts with a party at Amara Li's estate, and the central macguffin of the story is her faction mission.

Silver Crusade

Mike Mistele wrote:

Well, First Steps II starts with a party at Amara Li's estate, and the central macguffin of the story is her faction mission.

Thanks, Mike. Been years since I played Part 2. Of course I was under the impression that the Latern Lodge was just being dropped as a PC faction, not going away entirely. Unless there's something more sinister going on than we've been told (dun-Dun-DUUUNNN!)...

Grand Lodge

Part of me is happy I can retire, at least, two costumes for my sock puppets in the near future; but part of me is sad that these costumes won't see much more play time. Such is life.

Personally, I've found that as a GM I normally see 2 or 3 factions, at the most, around a table. Certain factions speak to players better than others. (Silver Crusade gets your goodie goodies, Sczarni begs for rogues to join their ranks, Cheliax is just good "clean" fun for anyone.) Factions need a sense of style and I think the divide between Grand Lodge, Shadow Lodge and Lantern Lodge was too much with too little personal flavor; too many stepped on toes for groups that should all be running together.

I love running First Steps for players, and look forward to another "Welcome to Pathfinder" scenario(s)


sowhereaminow wrote:
Thanks, Mike. Been years since I played Part 2. Of course I was under the impression that the Latern Lodge was just being dropped as a PC faction, not going away entirely. Unless there's something more sinister going on than we've been told (dun-Dun-DUUUNNN!)...

I had that thought too, but then it seemed like it might be weird to say, "Go on a mission for this person who throws this big party where you will meet important people oh and by the way the two guys with whom you have thirty second each, those are the faction leaders."

I could argue it either way, really.


Lanith wrote:
Part of me is happy I can retire, at least, two costumes for my sock puppets in the near future; but part of me is sad that these costumes won't see much more play time. Such is life.

I want so badly to believe that you have actual sock puppets you use for the faction heads.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:


I had that thought too, but then it seemed like it might be weird to say, "Go on a mission for this person ... by the way the two guys with whom you have thirty second each, those are the faction leaders."

You mean, like in First Steps I and III?


Actually, I always thought First Steps never introduced Taldor. Taldor's involvement in Part 3 was so minuscule I had zero recollection of ever meeting Taldor at all when I played it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Technically speaking even with the factions dropped, there's no reason to remove the specific NPC's from First Steps, unless they themselves don't survive, or retain an appropriate position.

Then again, this may very well mean that more than two NPC's need to be accounted for. Just because the Faction remains, doesn't mean the incumbent leader is safe.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Baron Jacquo doesn't understand you.

Shadow Lodge

I'm not crazy! I have it here somewhere... No, the letter really was from Baron Jacquo!

Dark Archive 4/5

When you do introduce new replayable mods can you please make them less ambushy. In first steps 1 for example with new players I have to bite my tongue and not say stuff like

Spoilers omitted as I cant do them

But suffice to say Characters who complete first steps should be expecting an ambush every adventure and in replaying them I have to either keep quiet or go into Admiral Akbar mode at every opportunity.

Silver Crusade

Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Lanith wrote:
Part of me is happy I can retire, at least, two costumes for my sock puppets in the near future; but part of me is sad that these costumes won't see much more play time. Such is life.
I want so badly to believe that you have actual sock puppets you use for the faction heads.

I believe I've seen it mentioned a few times that he/she has sock puppets he/she uses for the faction heads.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Lanith wrote:
Part of me is happy I can retire, at least, two costumes for my sock puppets in the near future; but part of me is sad that these costumes won't see much more play time. Such is life.
I want so badly to believe that you have actual sock puppets you use for the faction heads.

I've finally gotten around to putting some pictures on Picasa, feel free to click the links if you wish. At this time I would like to apologize for the poor quality of these pictures.

Venture Captain Ambrus Valsin
Sczarni Venture Captain Guaril Karela with his dashing mustache.
Shining start of the Silver Crusade Olyystra Zadrian, yes I know she's not supposed to have a Swedish bonnet on, but I'm still experimenting with helmets.
Auntie Baltwin "Hello children"
Kreuvus looking as un-scary as possible.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Lanith, just between the two of us, Karela is not a member of the Society, lt alone a Venture Captain.


Lanith wrote:
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Lanith wrote:
Part of me is happy I can retire, at least, two costumes for my sock puppets in the near future; but part of me is sad that these costumes won't see much more play time. Such is life.
I want so badly to believe that you have actual sock puppets you use for the faction heads.

I've finally gotten around to putting some pictures on Picasa, feel free to click the links if you wish. At this time I would like to apologize for the poor quality of these pictures.

Venture Captain Ambrus Valsin
Sczarni Venture Captain Guaril Karela with his dashing mustache.
Shining start of the Silver Crusade Olyystra Zadrian, yes I know she's not supposed to have a Swedish bonnet on, but I'm still experimenting with helmets.
Auntie Baltwin "Hello children"
Kreuvus looking as un-scary as possible.

You are ... just ... my hero.


Lanith: Are you going to be at any conventions between now and August? I simply must play First Steps I at your table. =p

Grand Lodge

Chris Mortika wrote:
Lanith, just between the two of us, Karela is not a member of the Society, lt alone a Venture Captain.

That's good to know. Valsin gives that impression to me when he says "trust his word as you would mine".

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

As in, 'not at all'. ;)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

@nosig: Might want to look at it again, some of her kids are neither orphans, nor without money being given to Auntie for their healing and upkeep.

Spoiler:
Quote:
Auntie Baltwin’s Home for Recovery is known for being a place where sick kids go to get better, and the results seem amazing.
Quote:
Some of kids aren’t even orphans and are sent to recover under her care by wealthy merchants in the district. She sets a price according to what the family can pay, often inflating the price by 300% between favored and disliked families.
Quote:
Her talents for care became well known, and parents throughout the city sent their sick children to Gilga for healing.
Quote:
As her house filled with children left by their parents, Auntie Baltwin put them to work as servants and maids in other houses in the city, especially in the middle-class Eastgate district where she makes her home. She tells the children their work pays for their room and board, but the rates she charges for her pint-sized laborers easily pays for their lodging while she pockets the rest.

Indeed, looking at the spoilered quotes, it looks to me like she is double-dipping, charging the parents (probably outrageously) for healing the kids, and then sending them out to work while pocketing that money as well.

Alcoholism: Not a good thing in a caregiver, especially if she is going to have to be spending effort keeping a close watch on that really sick kid...

Black market: Besides the liquor, who knows what she is buying on the black market, as well as selling there. And it appears that she has a fair idea that the material she is selling is being used on people who are criminals, "can't go to legitimate sources of healing".

Child labor: Without their parents consent, usually while their parents think they are still ill, and after their parents have paid Auntie Baltwin for healing their kids?

Sorry, not terribly gray, there. Lots of black, very little white. Since the kids have parents, it is entirely possible that they are already being slated for apprenticeships of some sort, so Auntie ain't helping them learn relevant job skills.

Nope, Auntie Baltwin is purely a user and abuser, not worthy of the assistance of the Silver Crusade. And, in a city the size of Absolom, there have to be other caregivers who are actually caregivers worthy of gaining assistance from the Silver Crusade.

YMMV.

Grand Lodge

@kinevon She runs the orphanage, there are no parents. This is not a babysitting gig that she gets paid for either, she's doing it for free or as close to it as you can come AKA charity.

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