You know you're in trouble when you get to the table and...


Pathfinder Society

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3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie

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Auke Teeninga wrote:

This is why I don't allow people to roll their D20s in warmed/salted water at any table I GM.

Want to know if your dice is biased in actual use? roll it 1,000,000 times and track the results.

You know you're in trouble when you get to the table and someone fills their dice tray with water.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

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Auke Teeninga wrote:

This is why I don't allow people to roll their D20s in warmed/salted water at any table I GM.

Want to know if your dice is biased in actual use? roll it 1,000,000 times and track the results.

This is a fair point though. That die that consistently rolls a 20 in salt water isn't nearly as consistent on the table.

Dice rolling style can also play into this. I've seen someone roll 4 consecutive 20's with a die and then someone else roll 4 consecutive 1's with that same die.

You know you're in trouble when...

The GM borrows your killer dice and rolls against you. While you're playing Gods' Market Gamble. (True story.)


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It could be worse: they could be sneaking in Formula de dice.

Grand Lodge 3/5

Dana Huber wrote:
...you are the organizer and are running out of 'easy' 1-5 scenarios to schedule for the tightly-knit group of three quasi-new players of whom two have severe trouble adjusting to the increasing complexity of higher level play, or even the challenges of things like being prepared to deal with darkness, etc.

When they hit level 5, send them through Champion's Chalice, p.1: Blazing Dangerous Trails.

Announce at the start "Training wheels are OFF, get ready for the big leagues kiddos."
And relish in the awe as their jaws drop when you read the disclosure for the scenario.

4/5 * RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

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Selvaxri wrote:

When they hit level 5, send them through Champion's Chalice, p.1: Blazing Dangerous Trails.

Announce at the start "Training wheels are OFF, get ready for the big leagues kiddos."
And relish in the awe as their jaws drop when you read the disclosure for the scenario.

Yeahhhh but I'm trying not to schedule things that TPK them....

Dark Archive 5/5 *

Gm says...... I wont be rolling any dice.
I pre-rolled everything.


The table falls in the hole

Grand Lodge 3/5

Dana Huber wrote:
Selvaxri wrote:

When they hit level 5, send them through Champion's Chalice, p.1: Blazing Dangerous Trails.

Announce at the start "Training wheels are OFF, get ready for the big leagues kiddos."
And relish in the awe as their jaws drop when you read the disclosure for the scenario.
Yeahhhh but I'm trying not to schedule things that TPK them....

That scenario is only a TPK for those players who are unaware of mechanics of the game, and for possible lvl 1's.

You could always encourage the PC's to abandon the mission, telling them that no shame in failing a scenario. only shame in not embracing difficulty and stepping up to the challenge.

Maybe look into RP heavy scenarios- like Blackros Matrimony to really test their limits.

1/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Selvaxri wrote:


That scenario is only a TPK for those players who are unaware of mechanics of the game, and for possible lvl 1's.

You could always encourage the PC's to abandon the mission, telling them that no shame in failing a scenario. only shame in not embracing difficulty and stepping up to the challenge.

...some of my first tables of PFS were with GMs that encouraged abandoning the mission, and they took an almost sadistic glee in striking off items on the chronicle sheet and marking down minimal rewards.

...don't be that person.

Please.

It almost made me walk away from Society play before my first character had even reached second level.

The back half of that comment is even worse, basically passive-aggressively bullying a party to engage in something they are not prepared for, with more than likely negative results.

I would not recommend Blakros Matrimony as a role-play scenario because it also kind of needs build-up to know WHO the party is talking to, and that doesn't get portrayed well in a 4-5 hour slot.

Back on track, though:

You know when you're in trouble when you get to the table and the GM describes an amazing scene about occult mysteries and investigations, and the first encounter is nearly a party-killer that seems to have NONE of those hallmarks.

4/5 * RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

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At least one of the players in question isn't great at roleplay (one player is a teenager with Downs' syndrome [I think, but I'm not exactly qualified to diagnose things]), whose father helps him play, but the kid runs a straight tank-fighter whose build is as simple as possible so that basically he just has one simple thing to do every fight, run up and single smack it. So, roleplay-heavy scenario means that kid sits on the sidelines and feels frustrated/useless for much of the game, if not all of it. Alternately, anything that strips players of gear is going to mean the kid can't fill his role of being the shield-and-plate tank he is used to being.

It's a grandfather-father-son trio of players who want to play casually and play simple, straightforward scenarios that just let them enjoy this family bonding activity, etc. I don't really have any interest in scheduling things for them that I think will lead to TPKs, or lead to any of them feeling like it's ceased being fun.

It's just that as an organizer I'm running out of games that fit the criteria of scenarios I think will be enjoyable for them to play, casually. I'm trying to slowly schedule encounters with them that introduce other elements, like darkness, etc, so that they can learn the challenging bits, with GMs whom I trust to help give them appropriate hints without hand-holding... it's just not always the easiest.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

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...you realize you let an unoptimized party without healing play up in the high tier.

4/5

Dana Huber wrote:

At least one of the players in question isn't great at roleplay (one player is a teenager with Downs' syndrome [I think, but I'm not exactly qualified to diagnose things]), whose father helps him play, but the kid runs a straight tank-fighter whose build is as simple as possible so that basically he just has one simple thing to do every fight, run up and single smack it. So, roleplay-heavy scenario means that kid sits on the sidelines and feels frustrated/useless for much of the game, if not all of it. Alternately, anything that strips players of gear is going to mean the kid can't fill his role of being the shield-and-plate tank he is used to being.

It's a grandfather-father-son trio of players who want to play casually and play simple, straightforward scenarios that just let them enjoy this family bonding activity, etc. I don't really have any interest in scheduling things for them that I think will lead to TPKs, or lead to any of them feeling like it's ceased being fun.

It's just that as an organizer I'm running out of games that fit the criteria of scenarios I think will be enjoyable for them to play, casually. I'm trying to slowly schedule encounters with them that introduce other elements, like darkness, etc, so that they can learn the challenging bits, with GMs whom I trust to help give them appropriate hints without hand-holding... it's just not always the easiest.

Emerald Spire, yo. It's good for straightforward and casual play.

Grand Lodge 3/5

Dana Huber wrote:
It's a grandfather-father-son trio of players who want to play casually and play simple, straightforward scenarios that just let them enjoy this family bonding activity, etc. I don't really have any interest in scheduling things for them that I think will lead to TPKs, or lead to any of them feeling like it's ceased being fun.

Fair enough. I didn't know the player situation, thought it was a group of friends rather than a family

Have you made it aware to them that this is case? That it's difficult to get them scenarios that they can all play. At some point- the game's difficult does spike and they need to step up to the challenge.

Silver Crusade 4/5

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You know you're in trouble when you get to the table and ...

... there are 4 kids just looking to beat up some monsters, and it's an investigation mission with minimal combat.

... someone in the party says "I'll just set off the trap now, so we don't have to worry about it later".

... it matters whether the newbie grabs the level 1 or 4 pregen, because it'll decide which subtier you play.

... the party healer is playing up, and nobody else in the party can even activate a CLW wand without a UMD check.

Between a local convention last weekend and two weekly game days, I've had all of these in the last week. Those last two were actually at the same table - We played up with 5 people in a 1-5 The level 2 oracle was the only healer, and she kept getting slammed hard, and went unconscious once. My +7 UMD skill got a workout.

4/5

Fromper wrote:

You know you're in trouble when you get to the table and ...

... there are 4 kids just looking to beat up some monsters, and it's an investigation mission with minimal combat.

... someone in the party says "I'll just set off the trap now, so we don't have to worry about it later".

... it matters whether the newbie grabs the level 1 or 4 pregen, because it'll decide which subtier you play.

... the party healer is playing up, and nobody else in the party can even activate a CLW wand without a UMD check.

Between a local convention last weekend and two weekly game days, I've had all of these in the last week. Those last two were actually at the same table - We played up with 5 people in a 1-5 The level 2 oracle was the only healer, and she kept getting slammed hard, and went unconscious once. My +7 UMD skill got a workout.

Many years ago, my summoner's eidolon was the only UMD-capable individual in the party for several tables. There's some danger, right there.


You know you're in the doo-doo when the GM asks if he can borrow your CRB because he doesn't have his. (Later, same GM scowls at you like you're nuts when you clear your throat as he's about to multiply near-max die results for a crit rather than roll extra times and add them like you're supposed to. And he'll be keeping an eye on you now, buster; you're the troublemaker type that he doesn't need gumming up his style.)

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/55/55/5

you're supposed to be impersonating hell-knights but you have not only a halfling but a ratfolk in the party...

Sovereign Court 5/5

... you have three chaotic and no good characters show up to play a scenario set on a LG plane. All are small, one is a frog, and two are gnomes that spent too long a time infiltrating a goblin tribe.

1/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You're supposed to explore a sacred plane and no one in the party has either K: Planes or K: Religion.

5/5

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


You're supposed to explore a sacred plane and no one in the party has either K: Planes or K: Religion.

Oh that too! (one had one of those...) :)

5/5 *****

The society sends a party to heaven with a cleric of Urgathoa and an oracle who venerates Pharasma.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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andreww wrote:
The society sends a party to heaven with a cleric of Urgathoa and an oracle who venerates Pharasma.

To be fair they should routinely see such oracles, but only at the loading dock...

3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie

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... The 3 Player table brings the gunslinger pregen as the 4th character to the Plane of Water.

Local superstition is that the gunslinger is cursed. Time they brought her before this the boss had pre-buffed with protection from arrows; DR 10/magic vs ranged...

3/5 5/5

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Your mission is to sneak into a fancy dinner party in Cheliax to gather information about a missing ally with as little indecent as possible and the rest of the table is: Fighter, Barbarian, Warpriest, Archer Wizard

My desire to play my Oozemorph suddenly went from "just having fun" to a serious moral choice.

------------------------------------

Alternatively, when the entirety of your party's healing capacity counting spells, classes, and items consists of a single Cure Light Wounds potion.

And the potion is used after the opening throw-away fight.

And the scenario has you fight a swarm with a Bleed that triggers on its damage.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie

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Ok, Making the list from PaizoCon:

  • The group plays a scenario with 'Drow' in the title without any ability to counter invisibility.

  • The briefing involves a teleport. Those missions are never simple or easy.

  • The GM has a huge cthulhu like mini set aside, and appears to be very excited to use it. Alternatively, Osprey is at the briefing.

  • The scenario has a plot obstacle that can only be overcome by fire. But my group was amazing and had a surplus of fire.

  • The face character's player is tired and sleep deprived, and thinks that starting a fight might be easier than continuing the parody of a heist. I'm talking about me, I was tired.

  • The playtest GM admits they are more of a Starfinder person and they we are all learning this together. You were awesome and I loved RPing with you.

  • Someone came up with the brilliant idea of a pick-up special and it is the afternoon after some rushed drunk prepping, and this group of level 1-2, dash1 or dash2 characters are all looking at you with bright eyes, and you know you will have to fake it like you've never faked it before.

  • You've signed up for tier 10-11 in a special. Why do I keep signing up for that tier? I swear 5-6 or 7-8 is the sweet spot.

  • The scenario is in Bloodcove.

  • The groups counter to invisible stalkers is to hit it with a tanglefoot bag, then stab the floating goo...

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

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Ward Davis wrote:
  • You've signed up for tier 10-11 in a special. Why do I keep signing up for that tier? I swear 5-6 or 7-8 is the sweet spot.
    [/list]
  • This is sooo true. The 5-6's will have finished the encounter before the 10-11s are even half-way through. Just played a special at 10-11 and never finished a single encounter. Unfortunately, I have seven 10-11 characters and get to play them so seldom, I just don't really have a choice.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

    Fromper wrote:


    ... the party healer is playing up, and nobody else in the party can even activate a CLW wand without a UMD check.

    My Cleric of Sarenrae spent the entirety of her first two levels like this. The entirety of her low level purchases were for stuff just to help her survive.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

    You know you are in trouble when you, as the GM, just put a nasty dragon on the table that you are looking forward to challenging the party with and one of the players announces he has used shadow projection + beastshape II to turn himself into a shadow octopus that gets 8 touch attacks for 1d6 strength damage each.

    Sovereign Court 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 *** Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta

    Bill Baldwin wrote:
    You know you are in trouble when you, as the GM, just put a nasty dragon on the table that you are looking forward to challenging the party with and one of the players announces he has used shadow projection + beastshape II to turn himself into a shadow octopus that gets 8 touch attacks for 1d6 strength damage each.

    Was it a Quickened Shadow projection? Did the character have minutes to plan for the dragon's arrival?

    Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Melbourne

    The Masked Ferret wrote:
    Bill Baldwin wrote:
    You know you are in trouble when you, as the GM, just put a nasty dragon on the table that you are looking forward to challenging the party with and one of the players announces he has used shadow projection + beastshape II to turn himself into a shadow octopus that gets 8 touch attacks for 1d6 strength damage each.
    Was it a Quickened Shadow projection? Did the character have minutes to plan for the dragon's arrival?

    Not sure of all the details as this happened to a friend of mine, not me directly. I do know they had some buff time, but I do not know how much. Regardless, this resulted in 2 Con organizers getting involved to see if it was actually legal.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

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    trollbill wrote:
    Ward Davis wrote:
  • You've signed up for tier 10-11 in a special. Why do I keep signing up for that tier? I swear 5-6 or 7-8 is the sweet spot.
    [/list]
  • This is sooo true. The 5-6's will have finished the encounter before the 10-11s are even half-way through. Just played a special at 10-11 and never finished a single encounter. Unfortunately, I have seven 10-11 characters and get to play them so seldom, I just don't really have a choice.

    Yeah, not getting to finish some encounters was sad. Of course, sometimes it saves your character....

    Grand Lodge 3/5

    Ward Davis wrote:

    Ok, Making the list from PaizoCon:

    • The face character's player is tired and sleep deprived, and thinks that starting a fight might be easier than continuing the parody of a heist. I'm talking about me, I was tired.

    I can relate, playing Night in Nightarch as a pick-up game, my Envoy got fed up with a guard not believing his bluff attempts and just stabbed him.

    Not me, but a friend-
    You're playing Half-Alive Streets in SFS with a party of exo-cortex mechanics, and you're the only soldier.

    1/5

    You say you are grappling the litle girl and it is a large dragon.


    You arrive at the first game you have had the opportunity to go to and the table is full.

    Scarab Sages 4/5

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    Ward Davis wrote:

    Ok, Making the list from PaizoCon:

  • You've signed up for tier 10-11 in a special. Why do I keep signing up for that tier? I swear 5-6 or 7-8 is the sweet spot.

  • The groups counter to invisible stalkers is to hit it with a tanglefoot bag, then stab the floating goo...[/list]
  • I took this magus to L12 in the special in Jormadun (or however you spell it) and it was awesome. Dwarven historian blackblade magus, so it was too perfect. I had one spell left and no arcane pool by the time we were done, but we rocked it :)

    5/5 *****

    Bill Baldwin wrote:
    Ward Davis wrote:
  • You've signed up for tier 10-11 in a special. Why do I keep signing up for that tier? I swear 5-6 or 7-8 is the sweet spot.
    [/list]
  • This is sooo true. The 5-6's will have finished the encounter before the 10-11s are even half-way through. Just played a special at 10-11 and never finished a single encounter. Unfortunately, I have seven 10-11 characters and get to play them so seldom, I just don't really have a choice.

    While this is normally true it doesn't necessarily have to be. We played Solstice Scar C, 5 man tier 10-11 table and we were probably ahead of most other tables because we sat down together and discussed what we did, we co-operatively buffed, we were organised, we had people who knew their characters and they were quick with their turns. I think we provided the majority of the successes in the final encounter.

    Having two very high damage melee and three other people who could teleport them into position also helped enormously.

    We were also motivated by Tonya at the outset asking for our feedback as reports from Paizocon last week had multiple tpk's.

    Silver Crusade 4/5

    I remember playing Race for the Runecarved Key at the high tier (14-15?) with the same group of us who had gone through Eyes of the Ten together. There was one encounter where the GM flagged a "runner" over to the table to let them know we were done with an encounter, and they were like "already?".

    At high levels, a well coordinated group can sometimes totally break encounters. Things like teleportation to get ahead of the enemies or Dismissal spells to remove summoned foes can really wreak havoc, even besides the uber-optimized damage dealers.

    5/5 *****

    Fromper wrote:
    At high levels, a well coordinated group can sometimes totally break encounters. Things like teleportation to get ahead of the enemies or Dismissal spells to remove summoned foes can really wreak havoc, even besides the uber-optimized damage dealers.

    I played my Oracle with dismissal in Blood Under Absalom in pbp at tier 10-11. The end section went much quicker than anyone expected.

    Dark Archive 4/5

    Coordination definitely makes a big difference. Race in particular can get really wonky. I played in a group where we had played together through Eyes, All for Immortality and modules at high level. We could be quite efficient. We actually completed the entire set of final encounters in only 2 full combat rounds.

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