Has PFS gone too far into "hard mode"?


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Dennis Baker wrote:
I'd love more PFS scenarios where role playing is a bigger part of the scenario, I love writing them. I also love non-combat encounters, but they tend to get a lot of hate on the forums.

I think all encounters should have an option for non-combat if the players are smart enough to think of a way out fo them. Because you can always choose to let loose and start killing things. This is why I love venterans vault.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

MrSin wrote:
Would you be happy if at your table the whole game was stopped because n one in the party could make the DC 26 sleight of hand

No, because that's terrible encounter design. Just like I wouldn't like any encounter that required a DC 28 will save from everyone to make it past whatever mind control spell the BBEG threw at you.

Keeping that from happening is on the writers and on the development team. But being told that social encounters are a waste of time won't help them try to find out a way to build them in a fun way.

Dennis Baker wrote:
I'd love more PFS scenarios where role playing is a bigger part of the scenario, I love writing them. I also love non-combat encounters, but they tend to get a lot of hate on the forums.

I don't believe they are getting any more hate than the uber-deadly encounters that currently exist out there are getting.

Once again: I think these types of scenarios already exist. The results of failing the social encounters are simply not being realistically enforced.

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

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Drogon wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Would you be happy if at your table the whole game was stopped because n one in the party could make the DC 26 sleight of hand

No, because that's terrible encounter design. Just like I wouldn't like any encounter that required a DC 28 will save from everyone to make it past whatever mind control spell the BBEG threw at you.

Keeping that from happening is on the writers and on the development team. But being told that social encounters are a waste of time won't help them try to find out a way to build them in a fun way.

Dennis Baker wrote:
I'd love more PFS scenarios where role playing is a bigger part of the scenario, I love writing them. I also love non-combat encounters, but they tend to get a lot of hate on the forums.

I don't believe they are getting any more hate than the uber-deadly encounters that currently exist out there are getting.

Once again: I think these types of scenarios already exist. The results of failing the social encounters are simply not being realistically enforced.

I recently flunked a 2-star GM on Blakros Matrimony because his character was so utterly offensive to every partygoer...I won't reiterate the story here, but let's just say that the player was acting in character, and it was the wrong character for the mission. The player understood and graciously accepted the loss of PP.


Netopalis wrote:
MrSin wrote:

Would you be happy if at your table the whole game was stopped because n one in the party could make the DC 26 sleight of hand or the obscure knowledge check no one had a point in?

Its good to have skills used, just not interested in a game where it becomes a brick wall.

Well, frankly, that's why you don't see a lot of characters with those abilities. If scenarios started *requiring* them, you'd see them come up more.

You wouldn't walk into a scenario without a melee fighter or any sort of healing at all. Why should you expect to be able to walk into a scenario without somebody who can talk or pick locks?

That idealism only works if you accept its okay to kill of new players, that everyone reads the boards, or that no one builds a character who gives up a lot in the way of fun. I think that's being overly harsh and expecting a lot out of people myself.

You walk into a scenario without a melee fighter or an in combat healer all the time in my experience. I always bring my own wands but I can't make other people bring wands, make their character optimized, nor take the skills or class exactly ready for the scenario.

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

MrSin wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
MrSin wrote:

Would you be happy if at your table the whole game was stopped because n one in the party could make the DC 26 sleight of hand or the obscure knowledge check no one had a point in?

Its good to have skills used, just not interested in a game where it becomes a brick wall.

Well, frankly, that's why you don't see a lot of characters with those abilities. If scenarios started *requiring* them, you'd see them come up more.

You wouldn't walk into a scenario without a melee fighter or any sort of healing at all. Why should you expect to be able to walk into a scenario without somebody who can talk or pick locks?

That idealism only works if you accept its okay to kill of new players, that everyone reads the boards, or that no one builds a character who gives up a lot in the way of fun. I think that's being overly harsh and expecting a lot out of people myself.

You walk into a scenario without a melee fighter or an in combat healer all the time in my experience. I always bring my own wands but I can't make other people bring wands, make their character optimized, nor take the skills or class exactly ready for the scenario.

I've never went into a scenario without at least SOMEBODY who could soak up some damage. I think that the better solution is for there to be several alternative means of doing things. The door in My Enemy's Enemy is a great example of that. Both parties I've ran this for have had a heck of a time opening it, and it's taken them about 20 minutes. Given the fact that there are at least 4 different ways to open it, I don't think it's unreasonable to fail a party who can't figure it out.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

Netopalis wrote:
Note to Silbeg: For the record, lest anybody misconstrue my comments above, I'm not putting those scenarios down - they're some of my favorite memories in Pathfinder - I'm just using them as examples of an interesting way to add difficulty to the game without killing off every third player character. [Also, not saying that you were saying that I was criticizing, just putting this out there for posterity's sake.]

That's what I thought Netopalis. No offense taken at all... actually, I was trying to agree with you. Just giving more explanation of why I thought they were great!

I really think that a balance of problem solving, interactions, and combat makes the game more fun. Putting time pressure on the characters is good, and taking away some of their tools are also good

Blood Under Absalom:

I ran this a couple of weeks ago, and there was a comment from the players, who were struggling in the theater encounter, that this was a very fun encounter. Stripped of their normal gear, only allowed to do non-lethal damage... two of the characters, who did not have Heavy Armor proficiency were "forced" to use Splint Mail. They handled it well, and were doing pretty well...

Ok, the Glitterdust that made the Ronin blind, right after the Murderous COmmand was a bit funny... He would have crushed the Aspis Sorcerer, if it wasn't for the fact that he couldn't see her. D'oh!!!

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

I have only one thing to add....

King of the Stoval Stairs needs to be retired!!

End of Line...

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

thaX wrote:

I have only one thing to add....

King of the Stoval Stairs needs to be retired!!

End of Line...

Your timing, sir, is impeccable. (-:

5/5

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Quote:
increase the chance of mission failure, rather than the rate of death? If scenarios included an option that gave out reduced PP, Gold and/or XP if certain conditions were not met (The hostage not saved, the PCs arrested after losing the final battle, etc.)...
We already have that, its just that players refuse to run away when the challenge is too much for them. Gamers, by their nature, want to "win" as was stated above. When players seem to be over-matched and are deciding what to do, I often hear the GM say that running away is an option, but I have never seen that option taken. That would be a failed mission, and might involved lower gold, fame/prestige, and may even a loss of the XP award depending on how far into the scenario they progressed.

It's also good to ask oneself if there is a particular time pressure to fight that fight right then and there. Run away, heal up, prepare a little, even rest if you can, and come back with better tactics. Sure the enemy will be expecting you but it's still better than going down fighting. Fight smarter not deader.

I see too many people equate retreat with cowardice. "But I'm a hero/holy warrior/whatever, I can't back down." Does your code or god really honor stubborn failure more than delayed success? Really?

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

Drogon wrote:


But I also witnessed many GMs cave to peer pressure and simply let their tables succeed at whatever they were trying to pull off. A table with zero social skills is not outside the realm of possibility, and they should have absolutely no chance, at all, of succeeding in Fortress of the Nail. But I don't know of ANY tables who failed merely due to the social challenges that make up the opening series of encounters.

Asumingly enough I ran a Table of Blackros Matrimony where the most socially adept character with a Taldan Half Orc who believed himself to be 25th in line for the Taldan throne or somesuch, with a 10 charisma and 0 ranks in diplomacy. He even managed to achieve his mission. That was the only Prestige Point I awarded that session

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pirate Rob wrote:
Drogon wrote:


But I also witnessed many GMs cave to peer pressure and simply let their tables succeed at whatever they were trying to pull off. A table with zero social skills is not outside the realm of possibility, and they should have absolutely no chance, at all, of succeeding in Fortress of the Nail. But I don't know of ANY tables who failed merely due to the social challenges that make up the opening series of encounters.
Asumingly enough I ran a Table of Blackros Matrimony where the most socially adept character with a Taldan Half Orc who believed himself to be 25th in line for the Taldan throne or somesuch, with a 10 charisma and 0 ranks in diplomacy. He even managed to achieve his mission. That was the only Prestige Point I awarded that session

I say there, good sir, are you implying that we half-HUMANS cannot claim right to the Taldan throne? This is an OUTRAGE! I have never been so insulted in all of my life! The nerve of some people, believing that your race decides your future! It's sheer, unadulterated racist oppression, and I shall not stand for it! I'll have you know that I am a BARON of TALDOR, and I have PROUDLY served my nation for decades! Next you'll be telling me that you've never heard of gnomish strongmen! *shakes head*

Grand Lodge 4/5

Netopalis wrote:
MrSin: Nobody ever laments the fact that the bard party can't win combats.

Umm...since WHEN? I have run an entire all bard campaign and they were brutal in combat. Yes they were built in tandem to work together...but still, quite workable, this all bard party thing.

Grand Lodge 4/5

MrSin wrote:

Would you be happy if at your table the whole game was stopped because n one in the party could make the DC 26 sleight of hand or the obscure knowledge check no one had a point in?

Its good to have skills used, just not interested in a game where it becomes a brick wall.

That would be bad module writing. That would be like having a critter with 40 AC and +20 to all saves in a level 3-4 game. A brick wall is a brick wall.

So, how about social encounter being more like combat then? Have a list of appropriate skill for the encounter. For example if you are trying to sneak into a cultist temple, you can use bluff, disguise, stealth, knowledge local, knowledge religion, acrobatics, diplomacy, disable device and escape artist. The cultist try and stop you with sense motive, perceptions, knowledge local, knowledge religion, diplomacy and disable device. Spells can modify the rolls. Now each encounter has a "hp" which would be the number of success you need to get your side done. Each success has a DC and every 5 you beat the DC by gives you an extra success. Each person in the encounter rolls initiative and starts rolling which ever skill of choice and the DM explains how the encounter is going in favor or against them.

So example of play, the players need to sneak into a cultist temple. Player 1 goes at 24, 2 at 12, 3 at 16 and 4 at 7. For this encounter there are 6 cultists to "beat"...for the sake of post length, they all go at 15. and the success DC is 19 with 13 success winning the encounter.

Player 1 pick stealth and rolls 22 on it. So he managed to sneak the players a bit onto the premise and has one success.

Player 3 has no skills and picks bluff. He rolls a 9, so no progress.

Cultists all roll and gets 15, 19, 20, 8, 13 and 24. So the 19 and 20 is 1 each the 24 is 2. The player are in a bit of a pickle here as they are getting closed in on and called out.

Player 2 being a wizard tries knowledge local and gets 30...lucky roll. He remembers that there is a secret passage way over there and so the party gets even closer to getting into the cultists mists.

Player 4 is a bard and uses disguise self for +10 to his roll. With his MW disguise kit and his skills ranks, he rolls a 35...woot. He blends in with the cultists and he nets 4 success.

This way, you don't rely on just one skill that the group may or may not have and people not good at skills can still contribute, just like people not good at combat can still try and roll and get high numbers.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Netopalis wrote:


Well, frankly, that's why you don't see a lot of characters with those abilities. If scenarios started *requiring* them, you'd see them come up more.

You wouldn't walk into a scenario without a melee fighter or any sort of healing at all. Why should you expect to be able to walk into a scenario without somebody who can talk or pick locks?

Umm well I play in games with no front line fighters pretty often actually. And no combat healing is pretty much most of my EK's career. Why do you need to talk when you have a big sharp adamantine sword? Same with locks.

Dark Archive 5/5

FallofCamelot wrote:

OK assuming that is correct here's my take.

When I started playing PFS I created characters who interested me, that had a story and reflected character options that I found intriguing and characterful.

Now I am creating characters in order to get the maximum AC or the maximum damage or the most powerful spells. I have to disregard duellists and Horizon Walkers and all the other characters that I want to play because they are suboptimal and as a result I will just get murdered. I have to flat out reject a good 60-80% of...

I'm sorry to desagree :)

Since I play PFS I play only character I like. Some are uterly optimized (as my Kitsune Fey blooded Sorcerer and its suggestion at DC25 on level 6) others just average (my bard, my chelaxian Cavalier/Rogue/Hellknight or my ninja). I don't need my caracter to be all optimized, only good at what I intend they must do well.
If they do their job well I'm happy even if other player's characters shine better than mine.

S4 is clearly more challenging but if you play in your tier with average characters you it's not too hard.

Dark Archive 3/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

King of the Storval Stairs is way too difficult.

An Encounter:
The fight against the harpies took my group about an hour and a half to resolve.

Another Encounter:
The life oracle was one shotted from full health in the final encounter on the first round. The group had lost one other (can't remember which one). The remaining people had to run.

Some challenge is fine. This scenario was way too challenging.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
thaX wrote:

I have only one thing to add....

King of the Stoval Stairs needs to be retired!!

End of Line...

thaX: Based on your contentless assertion regarding it - I think the party you played with has more fault than the scenario.

King of the Storval Stairs is definitely balanced to "hard mode". No question. It is beatable - handily, even - by a party that is prepared to engage combats for its tier.

Many PFS groups do not appear to be able to play at-tier for CR8+ encounters.

I hope to have an easier time losing the bad things in Storval Stairs this GenCon after people have been educated through Season 4 on How Things Change between First Steps (A THF hitting hard autokills everything!) and the Storval Stairs.


Chris Ballard wrote:
Some challenge is fine. This scenario was way too challenging.
TetsujinOni wrote:

is definitely balanced to "hard mode". No question. It is beatable - handily, even - by a party that is prepared to engage combats for its tier.

Many PFS groups do not appear to be able to play at-tier for CR8+ encounters.

What is too much for one person's challenge level is just right for another's and too easy for yet another.

Let people self-select their level of challenge and more people will be 'just right' for more scenarios and they won't have to change for the campaign then watch the campaign change.

Rather let the campaign present a steady target, and then let people decide how they best hit that target.

Trying to mandate everyone play at the same challenge level is trying to get everyone to play the same game. Regardless of where this level is placed there will be people outside of that range, and they won't enjoy the game.

However, if they played at a challenge level below or above it, then they could have. Give them that freedom and you will avoid this 'arm's race' that most organized campaigns fall prey to..

-James


Netopalis wrote:
Uhhh...Blakros Marimony is one of the most popular PFS scenarios of all time.

How did you tabulate that? Oh personal experience. I see.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
Chris Ballard wrote:
Some challenge is fine. This scenario was way too challenging.
TetsujinOni wrote:

is definitely balanced to "hard mode". No question. It is beatable - handily, even - by a party that is prepared to engage combats for its tier.

Many PFS groups do not appear to be able to play at-tier for CR8+ encounters.

Trying to mandate everyone play at the same challenge level is trying to get everyone to play the same game. Regardless of where this level is placed there will be people outside of that range, and they won't enjoy the game.

No, trying to mandate everyone play at the level of "4 of your characters of this level will face 3 cohorts of encounters of THIS level to advance to your next level" is how PFRPG is designed.

This set of encounters is intentionally, by design, pushing a "are enough of your characters competent in a fight with feature X as its core" capability check.

It is a capability which is relevant from level 1. It is ignored by too many people.

It rips you apart in this adventure if your entire party lacks it or a way around it.

And that is appropriate. The policy of "bring anything and succeed most of the time" does a disservice to the writers by tying their hands and making common enemies overly relied upon.

Your concept of let everyone choose their challenge level and advance at the 1xp/adventure-3xp/level rate would make this capability-check even worse when you present things which ARE supposed to be major challenges, like Runecarved Key or Blood under Absalom.

Some of the lessons of encounter design from WOW are good to bring back to tabletop gaming - the capability check fight, especially when it's a common, non-gimmick capability, is one of them.

TLDR: The CR system is the basis for the capability expectations of PFRPG. A single player's character not being able to contribute in more than a quarter of encounters of equal CR to their level is a failing of the player and/or character, not the campaign. We cannot abandon the measured system PFRPG uses for evaluating relative capability in favor of something you won't quantify enough for realistic discussion.


Cold Napalm wrote:
MrSin wrote:

Would you be happy if at your table the whole game was stopped because n one in the party could make the DC 26 sleight of hand or the obscure knowledge check no one had a point in?

Its good to have skills used, just not interested in a game where it becomes a brick wall.

That would be bad module writing. That would be like having a critter with 40 AC and +20 to all saves in a level 3-4 game. A brick wall is a brick wall.

Yes, which is why I earlier said a single skill check or a need for a series of skill checks turning into a brick wall would be catastrophic. One with many options would be okay. Bit worried that people compared a single skill check to combat and were okay with it. Not my gig obviously.

Chalk Microbe wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
Uhhh...Blakros Marimony is one of the most popular PFS scenarios of all time.
How did you tabulate that? Oh personal experience. I see.

Anecdotal evidence is the best kind isn't it?


MrSin wrote:
Chalk Microbe wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
Uhhh...Blakros Marimony is one of the most popular PFS scenarios of all time.
How did you tabulate that? Oh personal experience. I see.
Anecdotal evidence is the best kind isn't it?

When presented as anecdotal it is useful. When stated as fact its misleading.

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

I'll believe Season 4 is too hard when I see it. So far, I have not seen it.

Liberty's Edge

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The arms race is progressing nicely as the NPCs have caught up somewhat. Season 4 is more dangerous; but not suicidal. Take care about playing up, playing with a group of fewer than six, think a bit more creatively and don't assume that all problems can be solved by a frontal assault, or that diplomacy or temporary retreat is not an option. Those who are adventurers do not whine, they overcome. And remember to bring extra wands and healing potions... I do think that the PFS danger level is more in line of what it should be now than in former years. One can't reasonably expect to just come to the table and be handed a cert.

Silver Crusade 3/5

thejeff wrote:
It's not clear to me whether sub-optimal is supposed to be "below standard" here. Or "less than the best".

The latter.

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

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Chalk Microbe wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Chalk Microbe wrote:
Netopalis wrote:
Uhhh...Blakros Marimony is one of the most popular PFS scenarios of all time.
How did you tabulate that? Oh personal experience. I see.
Anecdotal evidence is the best kind isn't it?
When presented as anecdotal it is useful. When stated as fact its misleading.

No, it is based on fact. If you will look at its product page, http://paizo.com/products/btpy8u8v?Pathfinder-Society-Scenario-4-09-The-Bla kros-Matrimony , you will see that it has a 4 1/2 star rating, which ties it for the highest rated scenario of Season 4. It also has more reviews than the other 4 1/2 star scenarios (Cultist's Kiss and Golemworks Incident, with 7 and 12 compared to Blakros Matrimony's 13). Also, if you look at the top sellers chart on the right hand side, it is currently #7 out of 19. Given the fact that it has been out for a few months, and given that it is not a Tier 1-5 (which are more popular), this is quite an accomplishment.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'll believe Season 4 is too hard when I see it. So far, I have not seen it.

The only Season 4 game I've played in that's had me sweating every minute, with the difference between my character living or dying balancing on a razor's edge, was Fortress of the Nail.

Spoiler:
I had a two shield others up (a rookie mistake, I know) when I got double breath weapon'd by you know what. I went from 90ish to -30 as I took damage 3 times from each cone.

Owwwwww!

Luckily, my imp familiar was able to get me up with a BOL scroll (he even beat the caster level check to raise my damned soul!), which allowed me to channel/quick channel and get back into the fight.

The rest of the fight was touch and go as the beast would basically destroy a person each turn. They'd go from a healthy PC to a bruised bag flesh each round, as my imp and I scrambled to push their intestines back in and stop the bleeding. Were it not for Abadar's blessing and a clutch dimension door, we would have all died down there.

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

Walter Sheppard wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'll believe Season 4 is too hard when I see it. So far, I have not seen it.

The only Season 4 game I've played in that's had me sweating every minute, with the difference between my character living or dying balancing on a razor's edge, was Fortress of the Nail.

** spoiler omitted **

Well, it's only fitting that Fortress be that difficult, given what you're doing. Personally, I am not concerned about fatalities in 5-9s and 7-11s. They happen with some frequency at those levels. In 1-5, it is a much bigger issue, as the resources simply aren't there for a single character to handle it, and having an entire party pitch in is difficult. That's why I have a Cyphermage Dilemma chronicle with -250ish GP. 1 XP and 2 PP.

Scarab Sages

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Speaking from the GM perspective, I have always found it easy to make tactical adjustments or NPC choices to adjust an encounter from deadly to epic or memorable. However, I have never been able to take an under-powered encounter and make it epic or memorable unless the PCs happen to do something incredibly, well... dumb.

I can recall many scenarios where I wished I had the option to add a little something to the encounter or throw out the tactics, just to make the encounter a bit more than 1 round of half the PC acting.

Much depends on the table IMHO also, a table of new players are probably looking for a different experience than a table of experienced players with new characters. GMs have to make adjustments in their style to accommodate this in my opinion.

At a table of new players I might use my character folio to re-roll an ill timed critical as the GM, or provide it to a player to re-roll a save (advising them it can be a good investment) my bad guys rarely concentrate fire and would only cou-de-grace if the tactics specifically called for it. You have to become a hero before you can die like a hero right? At the table of experienced players with new characters, my bad guys will concentrate fire on the most obvious threat and may even go for that coup-de-grace when it makes sense, again assuming the tactics would not prevent it. Of course there are some situations/tactics that are simply overpowered and not "winnable", I don't believe I have seen a Kobayashi Maru in PFS, yet, maybe Bonekeep?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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Brett Cochran wrote:
Speaking from the GM perspective, I have always found it easy to make tactical adjustments or NPC choices to adjust an encounter from deadly to epic or memorable. However, I have never been able to take an under-powered encounter and make it epic or memorable unless the PCs happen to do something incredibly, well... dumb.

That's true, up to a point. I think you can use tactics to adjust the difficulty down a little bit, but if you do it too much, the bad guys come off just looking like incompetents. So the difficulty still needs to be fairly well-tuned.

The strange thing is, Season 4 was changed to expect 6-person tables, which fit my experience at the time. But ever since then, it seems more and more of my games are 3 or 4-player tables. In the majority of the games I've GMed in the last few months, I've had to run a pregen. And I don't feel the scaling for smaller parties is very significant. For instance, giving the sickened condition to a monster who kills people with a breath weapon isn't being very generous...

Contributor

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I like this idea of using automobiles as a controlling metaphor (the Honda Civic/Yugo formulation from up thread), and think it could be a productive way to explore this topic.

It's clear, for example, that the specialized cars built for NASCAR races are among the very best choice for driving around oval tracks very fast. Of course, Indy-style cars are good at that, too, and have vastly different characteristics.

If you're trying to get from Point A to Point B along a straight line (and those points are not too far apart), then drag racers are your best best. Of course, they're hideously loud, ugly, uncomfortable, and not good for much else.

A daily commute in along a mixed city/highway route is a great place of cars like our Honda Fit to shine, where gas mileage, comfort, and utility are what counts towards "winning."

Yugos are great if you're trying to parallel park in Paris.

So the "builds" aren't what's important, maybe. Instead, the two factors to consider are the route/task (conveying 30 grade school children safely to the museum versus navigating the length of the Baja Peninsula off-road as quickly as possible) and the driver/player (a Formula One race car driver versus a London cabbie).

All kinds of conveyances driven by all kinds of drivers navigate the routes of PFS scenarios, right? Obviously, certain minimums have to be assumed in order to build any kind of route at all. Everyone must at least be able to know how to drive, and may even be expected to be able to have specialist training depending on their vehicle (I can drive most tractors, but I can't drive a long-haul truck, for example). The assumption has to exist that drivers are picking vehicles they know how to operate, I don't see a way around that.

Which just leaves the fact that the route is expected to challenge everything from the highly competent school bus driver tricked out for safely getting all those children to their destination (a life oracle, maybe?) to the world-class Formula One driver who can't drive a bus, but can ably navigate the twisting streets of Monaco at high speed (a fighter archer?).

What kind of route satisfies the requirement of not just being navigable by all these different kind of conveyances, but the further requirement that it be challenging for each of them, pass through gorgeous scenery, and at the end the rewards are commensurate with the risk of the journey?

I don't think there's a single answer. Variety within each route is required, obviously, but I think that what we're seeing more and more is that the routes are being varied from each other so that different kind of vehicles (and drivers!) will excel each time the starter's gun goes off.

My own strategy is to drive all-wheel drive utility vehicles that get decent gas mileage, have an excellent satellite navigation system, and haul a lot of stuff. I will never beat an Indy car around the track, but I can always finish the race. I can't haul 30 kids to the museum, but I can probably safely fit in five or six, and contribute to the task of getting them all there.

Others would rather win the race every time, so they want an oval track every time. I don't think the campaign can survive serving only those drivers. Neither can it survive serving only Driver's Education students tentatively working their way around a parking lot. And I rush to say, I don't think anyone is suggesting either of those extremes (just two among several possible extremities).

Hmmmm, I obviously like this metaphor a lot. ;)

Dark Archive 3/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chris Ballard wrote:

King of the Storval Stairs is way too difficult.

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Some challenge is fine. This scenario was way too challenging.

That was just my experience. The scenario could have been easy for others.

In my experience, the Blackros Matrimony was one of the easiest scenarios that I have played.

Digital Products Assistant

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Removed some posts. Flag and move on, please.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Christopher Rowe wrote:

My own strategy is to drive all-wheel drive utility vehicles that get decent gas mileage, have an excellent satellite navigation system, and haul a lot of stuff. I will never beat an Indy car around the track, but I can always finish the race. I can't haul 30 kids to the museum, but I can probably safely fit in five or six, and contribute to the task of getting them all there.

Others would rather win the race every time, so they want an oval track every time. I don't think the campaign can survive serving only those drivers. Neither can it survive serving only Driver's Education students tentatively working their way around a parking lot. And I rush to say, I don't think anyone is suggesting either of those extremes (just two among several possible extremities).

My useful definition of winning at PFS:

The GM will buy the sequel to what you just played and schedule a table to run it for the players you just played it with, as soon as it comes out, and the players are figuring out where to order the food from for that session.

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