|⦵ Steven Lau Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon|
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more stars are not an indication of better GMing, I mean have you SEEN what Dragnmoon posts? ;)
That's it! if you are ever at a table of mine all the monsters will attack you and kill you when you are down!
On Subject, In General Star can be an indication of Experience of PFS matters not GMing skill but one I don't normally trust. For that matter, VC/VL can be an indication Experience and knowledge of PFS rules and regulations but I have found it is not.
A GM that has GMed a 100 PFS games in his own little local game bubble and has never GMed out of his group is much more likely to pick up bad habits then a GM/Player that has GMed only 20 games but has gone outside their local bubble to conventions and other out of town game days.
What can be even worse is that most likely/possibly that 100 game GM has picked up bad habits and being such a prominent local GM has passed them along to all the other players.
When it comes to rule knowledge Stars usually means nothing.
When it come to PFS specific knowledge I have found that those that have traveled afar more often and are active in these forums are more likely to be reliable no matter how many stars they have.
I have learned more about GMing from Gms I have met at conventions out of town then I ever had from GMing locally.
I'm thankful that our local VL is both a strong community builder and keeps himself well informed of the PFS specific rules and regulations. I haven't actually met our VCs so I won't speak to that.
I'm going to break this down how I see it.
Rules knowledge: Stars = Nothing (many of the best rules folks on the forums have no stars)
PFS Specific knowledge: Stars = minor. things come up when you run PFS and you'll learn some of them while running. Specifically day jobs, clearing conditions, and things you can do with PP.
Opinion's on how hard a scenario is compared to the "norm" Stars = decent.
this is discussed a lot, people who have GMd more PFS scenarios are likely to have a better understanding of what scenario's are usually like just from experience. Ex: 95% of the traps I have run are completely pointless as they aren't tied to combats, so they just eat a couple wand charges and do nothing.
Another one that stars bear some weight on, how players react to certain things, you see a specific "thing".
Now Dragnmoon said something that I wanted to highlight, as it's very important to keep in mind.
"A GM that has GMed a 100 PFS games in his own little local game bubble and has never GMed out of his group is much more likely to pick up bad habits then a GM/Player that has GMed only 20 games but has gone outside their local bubble to conventions and other out of town game days."
This exact point is why GMs are to run as written.
100 games with the same group of people means a lot less then 100 games with 100 different groups of people. a HUGE part of what makes PFS what it is, is the fact that you get random groups, with players of varying skill/optimization/roleplaying levels, and running an adventure in a way that is fun and rewarding to those players despite their differences.
GMs that have 4/5 stars and often GM for different groups of players, DO have better perspective on some things.
going back to the PFS is too easy/hard. I'll take a 4/5 stars opinion more seriously in those threads, because they have SEEN more groups try and struggle/cakewalk through them.
6 fully optimized PCs that play together regularly cannot be challenged by the same combats that 6 pre-gens played by random strangers can defeat.
TLDR: A GM with more stars is more likely to have experience with a wider array of groups, which can lend strength to their arguments, but that shouldn't discount other peoples arguments.
|John Francis Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF|
There will always be situations where the high-star and/or venture officers get a rule wrong. Sometimes there will even be somebody else around who spots this.
A couple of days ago I was watching a game where almost everybody playing was a venture officer or a 4-star GM. A question came up at the table about a corner condition in the rules; nobody was 100% sure, but a ruling was made and play continued. I actually knew the correct answer (which wasn't the one they picked). Admittedly this was because I happened to have read the relevant FAQ entry earlier on that day. The ruling was from a couple of years ago, so this wasn't a grey area that had been resolved recently.
Would I generally still elect to play at a table judged by any of those guys than at one judged by a randomly-picked stranger? In the absence of any other information, sure. But that being said, I'm still hoping to get to play at a couple of tables judged by out-of-town 4+-star visitors in three weeks - Kublacon is almost on us!
|⦵⦵ Michael Costello Venture-Captain, Indiana—Lafayette aka Cactus-Jack|
As a GM with decades of GM experience in multiple RPG systems, a bunch of stars who travels to an average of 5 conventions of varying sizes each year and a VO I can freely admit that I don't always get the rules correct.
There is a lot of rules in Pathfinder, more so with the PFS campaign guidelines. It is easy to overlook finer points of some of the obscure rules and even common rules that sometimes break logic a tad for game play.
I am regularly frustrated when I have to look up rules during a scenario, especially stuff that should be already ingrained. Last year at GenCon I got the penalties wrong for fighting while prone. Not sure how I overlooked that rule, but the players were more than willing to help me get it right. It still boggles me that I missed those penalties for quite some time, but it isn't something that arises too often.
Most of the time the players are very willing to help by looking up rules and siting a page number if I feel the need to read it myself (mostly for interpretation). I find that this helps keep the game civil and moving along.
In my opinion this is a very good thread and one thing to take away from it is that nobody's input should be discounted, period. It is important to work together civilly to find the correct answer. As JohnF mentioned anyone can overlook sections of the rules, especially ones on the FAQs. Stars and titles do not make us infallible.
In summary work together and don't be a troll. :)