Forbidding players from my PFS table


Pathfinder Society

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

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trollbill wrote:
thejeff wrote:
trollbill wrote:
How does one not add weather or disallow it? Sunny with comfortable temperatures is as much a weather condition as a blizzard is.

If no weather is described in the scenario, don't apply any modifiers. If weather is described, but no modifiers are applied, you may apply them if you see fit. If weather is described and modifiers are applied in the scenario, use them.

It's really very simple.

My point is that there is no such thing as "no weather."

Well, there IS such a thing as "no weather modifiers".

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Weather is flavor when you're walking through a dull, dreary, acrid drizzle of acid rain from the worldwound.

Its mechanics when that starts doing acid damage or increases the listed DCs for finding tracks.


trollbill wrote:
thejeff wrote:
trollbill wrote:
How does one not add weather or disallow it? Sunny with comfortable temperatures is as much a weather condition as a blizzard is.

If no weather is described in the scenario, don't apply any modifiers. If weather is described, but no modifiers are applied, you may apply them if you see fit. If weather is described and modifiers are applied in the scenario, use them.

It's really very simple.

My point is that there is no such thing as "no weather."

Perhaps my phrasing was confusing? The scenario would not describe "No weather". The scenario would not mention weather at all.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

thejeff wrote:
trollbill wrote:
thejeff wrote:
trollbill wrote:
How does one not add weather or disallow it? Sunny with comfortable temperatures is as much a weather condition as a blizzard is.

If no weather is described in the scenario, don't apply any modifiers. If weather is described, but no modifiers are applied, you may apply them if you see fit. If weather is described and modifiers are applied in the scenario, use them.

It's really very simple.

My point is that there is no such thing as "no weather."

Perhaps my phrasing was confusing? The scenario would not describe "No weather". The scenario would not mention weather at all.

No, I get that. What I don't get is the assumption that if no weather is described then the weather is clear with moderate temperatures.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

trollbill wrote:
thejeff wrote:
trollbill wrote:
thejeff wrote:
trollbill wrote:
How does one not add weather or disallow it? Sunny with comfortable temperatures is as much a weather condition as a blizzard is.

If no weather is described in the scenario, don't apply any modifiers. If weather is described, but no modifiers are applied, you may apply them if you see fit. If weather is described and modifiers are applied in the scenario, use them.

It's really very simple.

My point is that there is no such thing as "no weather."

Perhaps my phrasing was confusing? The scenario would not describe "No weather". The scenario would not mention weather at all.

No, I get that. What I don't get is the assumption that if no weather is described then the weather is clear with moderate temperatures.

You may very well assume that - I couldn't possibly comment.

If no weather is described, then the weather has no mechanical effect on the adventure. That may be because the weather is clement, of it may be because all the action takes place underground, or it may be because of some other reason.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
trollbill wrote:
thejeff wrote:
trollbill wrote:
thejeff wrote:
trollbill wrote:
How does one not add weather or disallow it? Sunny with comfortable temperatures is as much a weather condition as a blizzard is.

If no weather is described in the scenario, don't apply any modifiers. If weather is described, but no modifiers are applied, you may apply them if you see fit. If weather is described and modifiers are applied in the scenario, use them.

It's really very simple.

My point is that there is no such thing as "no weather."
Perhaps my phrasing was confusing? The scenario would not describe "No weather". The scenario would not mention weather at all.
No, I get that. What I don't get is the assumption that if no weather is described then the weather is clear with moderate temperatures.

What it means is that if the author doesn't describe the weather one GM doesn't get to shut the entire encounter down with a blizzard while another gives you a boost against the cold creatures with a heat wave. One group doesn't get thick fog to sneak through while another has to do it on clear day.

Dark Archive

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Running a game only for people he enjoys, who likewise enjoy his GMing style is more likely a private game. Pretending to run PFS and supplying another experience is hijacking the game and players who showed up with a given expectation only to find another.

.

Silver Crusade

Raymond Lambert wrote:
Running a game only for people he enjoys, who likewise enjoy his GMing style is more likely a private game. Pretending to run PFS and supplying another experience is hijacking the game and players who showed up with a given expectation only to find another.

The ones hijacking a GM gaming experience are in this thread. This was supposed to be about coming up with solutions to deal with scenarios that are lopsided and encouraging a GM to continue with the society as a whole. I haven't seen much other than discrediting my explanation by simply stating I am wrong and dropping someone else's name to justify a bias opinion. Basically pretending to have authority through Paizo by utilizing another person's name who didn't give their express opinion on the topic. The amount of negative feedback and unconstructive comments in this thread outweighs any type of useful information directed to help the GM in the thread.

Why not try quoting rules exactly like I did? Simply because you know deep down inside I am right. You know my interpretation of the rules is valid. Maybe you don't like the changes of table variations for 5.0. If so, that's fine, but don't ruin another GM's opportunity to expand upon the scenario as allowed by Pathfinder rules. I will not encourage you to quit simply because you like the old guidelines better.

Does anyone who GM's bother to read about surviving in the Worldwound? There is a constant source of danger, with most food and water sources poisoned per the source guide. Doesn't mean you set the party up for failure, but you make sure that they are well prepared in how to deal with adventuring in such harsh conditions. No one should be foraging from the lands during a journey but have plenty of supplies.

For example, Frostmire in the Worldwound region has cold and windy with snow listed as typical weather and precipitation. Riftshadow is moderate, calm and rain as typical precipitation. The list goes on for the Worldwound Pathfinder Campaign Setting, mostly with rain as precipitation. Yet somehow, the rain is magically supposed to disappear because it was overlooked in a scenario... Now we have clear skies in Worldwound with an ambient temperature of 75 degrees and fluffy clouds floating nearby. Why not set up beach chairs and serve legs of mutton that swarms of demonic whippet dogs steal from the dwarves... Because demonic whippets in Worldwound make about as much sense as a sunny skies in the region.

I can't imagine running an Irrisen scenario without some type of snow, which has effect on movement. Even the Winter Witch pathfinder tales book by Elaine Cunningham depicts a snow storm at the beginning of the book. That's the way its supposed to be run. It's cold. It snows.

The mechanics of an encounter are clearly defined by 5.0 guidelines. Environmental and terrain is not one of them unless specifically written in the scenario. The change in weather is valid for a GM to add flavor to the scenario. It's a table variation.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Northern

Patrick,

Do you know why others have cited Mike Brock's other posts or comments? They do so because he is the Campaign Coordinator for Organized Play. His word is law around these parts, even if you happen to disagree with him. When Mike states something like, "GMs may do this, they may not do this" that is a rule, if you will, that is binding on the campaign.

I wish the tone of the conversation hadn't gotten to the point it did, and that's unfortunate.

However, in defense of WHAT others have been trying to say (as opposed to how it was said), you do understand that what you have said you have done (using the weather situation, as an example), is indeed in violation of the most recent Guide to Organized Play, correct?

Nothing in there allows a GM to throw in weather or environmental effects unless the scenario itself (not a campaign book, such as The Worldwound) refers (by way of flavor) to weather or environmental effects. And, if it does so, but does not provide the mechanics, a GM is free to add those.

If, however, weather or environmental effects are not included in the scenario itself, then the only impact weather can have is of a descriptive nature - that is, no mechanical effects.

I understand the goal of what you are trying to do, but inasmuch as the goal is noble, it does appear (to me, at any rate), that some of those actions run contradictory to the Guide to Organized Play.

It doesn't matter what the Core Rules say about "Item A" - if the GtOP says something different, it is what is in the GtOP that prevails.

I would add, given your comments about the tone of others, that your comment "...simply because you know deep down inside I am right. You know my interpretation of the rules is valid" is of a tone similar to that you have criticized. Something to think about.

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." (I don't remember where I heard this, but it's good advice for everyone.)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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If the scenario advises in boxed text or GM notes somewhere, that fog is rolling in, but no mechanical structure is giving for the fog, then the default is to use your best judgement as a GM to use the mechanics involved with fog as described in the CRB if desired.

If the scenario advises it is raining or snowing or whatever other weather, the same applies.

If there is no mention of weather whatsoever, you aren't allowed to just create a weather effect and place it into a scenario, and then start imposing penalties on the characters or NPCs.

We put the line in the Guide that GMs may use other source material so they specifically could enhance roleplay through fluff that has been written about already. This came about mainly because of the lack of description in The Cyphermage Dilemma. People wanted to roleplay up the aspects of Riddleport that were barely called out in the scenario. The line we added is to let people use names of pubs, or organizations, or whatever they came across while running that scenario to add extra flavor. What that line does not allow a GM to do is stretch the meaning to incorporate all manner of mechanical rules crunch into a scenario to make it harder on PCs.

Silver Crusade

Michael Brock wrote:

If the scenario advises in boxed text or GM notes somewhere, that fog is rolling in, but no mechanical structure is giving for the fog, then the default is to use your best judgement as a GM to use the mechanics involved with fog as described in the CRB if desired.

If the scenario advises it is raining or snowing or whatever other weather, the same applies.

If there is no mention of weather whatsoever, you aren't allowed to just create a weather effect and place it into a scenario, and then start imposing penalties on the characters or NPCs.

We put the line in the Guide that GMs may use other source material so they specifically could enhance roleplay through fluff that has been written about already. This came about mainly because of the lack of description in The Cyphermage Dilemma. People wanted to roleplay up the aspects of Riddleport that were barely called out in the scenario. The line we added is to let people use names of pubs, or organizations, or whatever they came across while running that scenario to add extra flavor. What that line does not allow a GM to do is stretch the meaning to incorporate all manner of mechanical rules crunch into a scenario to make it harder on PCs.

Then if that's what you want, please modify the text to state more clearly the parameters thereof -- that other source material is limited in scope to fluff. Which means if people want to forage for food in Worldwound in a Pathfinder Society event, then the food and water will not risk being contaminated, etc. because other source material mechanics are unallowable in a Pathfinder Scenario unless expressly written therein.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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I think that intent was pretty clear in what was written.

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

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Patrick F wrote:
Which means if people want to forage for food in Worldwound in a Pathfinder Society event, then the food and water will not risk being contaminated, etc. because other source material mechanics are unallowable in a Pathfinder Scenario unless expressly written therein.
A Certain Worldwound PFS Scenario wrote:
The Worldwound has no sources of food or potable water, and PCs should make sure they have ample rations and shelter for their journey into and back out of the Worldwound.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

Patrick F wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

If the scenario advises in boxed text or GM notes somewhere, that fog is rolling in, but no mechanical structure is giving for the fog, then the default is to use your best judgement as a GM to use the mechanics involved with fog as described in the CRB if desired.

If the scenario advises it is raining or snowing or whatever other weather, the same applies.

If there is no mention of weather whatsoever, you aren't allowed to just create a weather effect and place it into a scenario, and then start imposing penalties on the characters or NPCs.

We put the line in the Guide that GMs may use other source material so they specifically could enhance roleplay through fluff that has been written about already. This came about mainly because of the lack of description in The Cyphermage Dilemma. People wanted to roleplay up the aspects of Riddleport that were barely called out in the scenario. The line we added is to let people use names of pubs, or organizations, or whatever they came across while running that scenario to add extra flavor. What that line does not allow a GM to do is stretch the meaning to incorporate all manner of mechanical rules crunch into a scenario to make it harder on PCs.

Then if that's what you want, please modify the text to state more clearly the parameters thereof -- that other source material is limited in scope to fluff. Which means if people want to forage for food in Worldwound in a Pathfinder Society event, then the food and water will not risk being contaminated, etc. because other source material mechanics are unallowable in a Pathfinder Scenario unless expressly written therein.

Thanks for the feedback. We will consider it when we start making changes in guide 6.0. If you have suggestions on text that would clarify it for you and others, feel free to offer those up. You are the first to express confusion with this specific language in the Guide, so unless we find others with the same confusion, it is unlikely to change.

Silver Crusade

Michael Brock wrote:
Patrick F wrote:

Then if that's what you want, please modify the text to state more clearly the parameters thereof -- that other source material is limited in scope to fluff. Which means if people want to forage for food in Worldwound in a Pathfinder Society event, then the food and water will not risk being contaminated, etc. because other source material mechanics are unallowable in a Pathfinder Scenario unless expressly written therein.

Thanks for the feedback. We will consider it when we start making changes in guide 6.0. If you have suggestions on text that would clarify it for you and others, feel free to offer those up. You are the first to express confusion with this specific language in the Guide, so unless we find others with the same confusion, it is unlikely to change.

Mike, you marked as favorite BigNorseWolf's comment "I think that intent was pretty clear in what was written" along with the other comment below it. Please don't ask for my opinion on how the text should be worded if you don't intend on using it and its unlikely to change. You could have submitted your comments at any time to clarify the situation, but you decided to wait until the tonality shifted considerably in this thread before doing so.

I'd rather focus my time on the next gaming session I am running, within the new criteria you clarified accordingly.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

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"With that said, if you have any positive suggestions outside of the 'suck it up GM, that's how the Pathfinder Organized Play Society rolls' attitude, please feel free to share accordingly. I'd like to hear how others handle power gamers, so I can add to my learning experiences and provide an even greater roleplaying experience at the table."

People are going to power game..
People are going to have normal characters.
People are going to have characters so inept you have NO idea how they survive to the end of the scenario.
The only thing you can do is spend your 4 hours GMing to tell the best possible story you can. That's your job as GM. It's not you VS them in a titanic death match to see who the last one standing is.
Just tell a good story.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Vheod wrote:

"With that said, if you have any positive suggestions outside of the 'suck it up GM, that's how the Pathfinder Organized Play Society rolls' attitude, please feel free to share accordingly. I'd like to hear how others handle power gamers, so I can add to my learning experiences and provide an even greater roleplaying experience at the table."

People are going to power game..
People are going to have normal characters.
People are going to have characters so inept you have NO idea how they survive to the end of the scenario.
The only thing you can do is spend your 4 hours GMing to tell the best possible story you can. That's your job as GM. It's not you VS them in a titanic death match to see who the last one standing is.
Just tell a good story.

I really want to stop drawing the short straw of parent, 2 preteens to GM bonekeep 1. They Just. Don't. Listen. when the warnings get read. Twice, because really. And then emphasized.

Hopefully I get one of the power tables of players for Bonekeep 3 at gencon this year....


Patrick F wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Patrick F wrote:

Then if that's what you want, please modify the text to state more clearly the parameters thereof -- that other source material is limited in scope to fluff. Which means if people want to forage for food in Worldwound in a Pathfinder Society event, then the food and water will not risk being contaminated, etc. because other source material mechanics are unallowable in a Pathfinder Scenario unless expressly written therein.

Thanks for the feedback. We will consider it when we start making changes in guide 6.0. If you have suggestions on text that would clarify it for you and others, feel free to offer those up. You are the first to express confusion with this specific language in the Guide, so unless we find others with the same confusion, it is unlikely to change.

Mike, you marked as favorite BigNorseWolf's comment "I think that intent was pretty clear in what was written" along with the other comment below it. Please don't ask for my opinion on how the text should be worded if you don't intend on using it and its unlikely to change. You could have submitted your comments at any time to clarify the situation, but you decided to wait until the tonality shifted considerably in this thread before doing so.

I'd rather focus my time on the next gaming session I am running, within the new criteria you clarified accordingly.

Patrick before BNWs comment Mike already stated that you were the first person to express confusion and that if you were the only one then the rules were unlikely to change. You are making out like Mike is acting two-faced by asking for your input while at the same time Favouriting BNWs comment, how so? Is it just your input he is allowed accept? He is equally as obliged to take onboard BNWs comment.

I think it has clearly been pointed out by many people in this thread that you were probably interpreting the GM fiat too far and yet you act like this has come out of the blue and is somehow shocking. I myself posted stating that you should be entitled to run your game as you thought the rules allowed until such a time as Mike chimed in, and now that he has you are still unhappy. I'm not trying to have a go at you but you need to be aware that this entire thread really has been leading up to this conclusion and most people probably arent surprised by it.

Also in regards to Mike only jumping in now, I personally find that highly presumptuous and borderline offensive to the guy, I mean Gencon is approaching, there is a new core book coming out soon (which I'm sure will need to be vetted) and they are introducing Harrow decks to PFS. I can only imagine how busy Mike is, and assuming he had the time to come in here and put your thread to bed sooner than he has seems like a big ask to me.

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

Hell, Mike had already responded to the thread back on page three, to Chris Mortika thanking him for the clarification on the same subject.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

I'm not entirely sure what the solution is. (I'm pretty sure that multiple solutions are required) but i know what the solution isn't: arbitrary and capricious penalties by the dm to ensure their failure or banning people from the table for pretty minor offenses that are going to be found at nearly any table. If you start adding penalties they will just try harder to tack on more bonuses.

-Smaller tables help. As said above, add 2 players and you probably ~double the parties dps because you don't usually double up on healers and skill types.

-Optimization is like tennis. You need people near your own level. Since thats NOT going to be the scenario for the minmaxers, it has to be other minmaxers. Group them together, and then just accept that your monsters are going to die and let the players compete against each other to see who makes the orcs the crispiest or who lops the etins head off further.

-more hard mode options: possibly announce ahead of time that the scenario WILL be run in hard mode and that signing up is agreeing to go in hard mode.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

I'm not entirely sure what the solution is. (I'm pretty sure that multiple solutions are required) but i know what the solution isn't: arbitrary and capricious penalties by the dm to ensure their failure or banning people from the table for pretty minor offenses that are going to be found at nearly any table. If you start adding penalties they will just try harder to tack on more bonuses.

-Smaller tables help. As said above, add 2 players and you probably ~double the parties dps because you don't usually double up on healers and skill types.

-Optimization is like tennis. You need people near your own level. Since thats NOT going to be the scenario for the minmaxers, it has to be other minmaxers. Group them together, and then just accept that your monsters are going to die and let the players compete against each other to see who makes the orcs the crispiest or who lops the etins head off further.

-more hard mode options: possibly announce ahead of time that the scenario WILL be run in hard mode and that signing up is agreeing to go in hard mode.

BNW My own proposed solution earlier in the thread was that to give a "hard mode" that the option should be present (at higher levels at least) for the GM to completely use their own tactics. The benefits in my opinion would be:

- This would allow players who felt they wanted the extra challenge to get that.

- The GM would not feel like they were fighting with one hand tied behind their back (which is usually fine if your players are having fun, but if your players are complaining you arent challenging them then it leads to annoyed GMS!)

- It still limits the game. ie the Tactics can be changed completely, maybe the BB won't cast mage armor when the PCs enter his fortress, maybe he will hide and wait till they enter his actual room, etc. But the details, abilities, monster count won't change so its still going to be a SIMILAR game to most people on regular mode.

- Final point, it is easy to introduce retroactively, all you need is for guide 6.0 to state that if your players ask for a more challenging game and they are playing at level 5+ then you can ignore stated tactics for enemies and make use of your own. (The reason for the min level is to prevent newbies being dragged into hard mode by other players who are on their 12th character!)

One other solution I could imagine if you really wanted a hard mode is (and this wont suit ALL scenarios) you could roll the optional encounter into the final encounter. (just a random idea, not a well thought out suggestion!)

Silver Crusade

CathalFM wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

I'm not entirely sure what the solution is. (I'm pretty sure that multiple solutions are required) but i know what the solution isn't: arbitrary and capricious penalties by the dm to ensure their failure or banning people from the table for pretty minor offenses that are going to be found at nearly any table. If you start adding penalties they will just try harder to tack on more bonuses.

-Smaller tables help. As said above, add 2 players and you probably ~double the parties dps because you don't usually double up on healers and skill types.

-Optimization is like tennis. You need people near your own level. Since thats NOT going to be the scenario for the minmaxers, it has to be other minmaxers. Group them together, and then just accept that your monsters are going to die and let the players compete against each other to see who makes the orcs the crispiest or who lops the etins head off further.

-more hard mode options: possibly announce ahead of time that the scenario WILL be run in hard mode and that signing up is agreeing to go in hard mode.

BNW My own proposed solution earlier in the thread was that to give a "hard mode" that the option should be present (at higher levels at least) for the GM to completely use their own tactics. The benefits in my opinion would be:

- This would allow players who felt they wanted the extra challenge to get that.

- The GM would not feel like they were fighting with one hand tied behind their back (which is usually fine if your players are having fun, but if your players are complaining you arent challenging them then it leads to annoyed GMS!)

- It still limits the game. ie the Tactics can be changed completely, maybe the BB won't cast mage armor when the PCs enter his fortress, maybe he will hide and wait till they enter his actual room, etc. But the details, abilities, monster count won't change so its still going to be a SIMILAR game to most people on regular mode.

- Final point, it is easy to...

Nice suggestions.

Tonight I participated in a scenario where the GM hand waved the last fight, simply because the spell caster was taken out so quickly and the rest were simply armed goons. Same way with the creatures the boss was summoning -- hand wave the combat because he knew the table would wipe them out before the end of the first round.

Great GM, great storytelling capabilities, with the laptop, map, minis and the whole package. By the end of it all, we managed to have some fun, but the fights are so limited. The only reason why we were challenged at all is because the big boss cast charm monster on another player and the player started dealing damage to everyone else!

I need to talk to the Venture Captain in my area about the whole situation. We need to stop allowing six people to show up for a table. Tonight was seven people due to an unannounced guest.

Four people will provide adequate challenge in scenarios. We keep accommodating so many players to a table, just to have the same situation happen time and time again. Space is limited in the gaming stores as to the number of tables we can get in the first place, but there should be more focus on quality and less on quantity.

I may not be able to change the weather, but I can change the number of people at the GM table to increase challenge. Maybe decreasing the number of roleplayers attending events is the best solution overall.

With that said, I don't think GMs should bother to post suggestions for harder scenarios modifications. That's not what the Society wants, obviously.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Patrick F wrote:
With that said, I don't think GMs should bother to post suggestions for harder scenarios modifications. That's not what the Society wants, obviously.

Suggestions for a hard mode are being taken seriously and they do show up every once in a while. (bonekeep IS hard mode, The sealed gate has a hard mode, krune is a hard mode and comes with a blender mode)

Your suggestion got the response it did was because you were using eisegesis to say that this was already allowed.


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Patrick F wrote:
We need to stop allowing six people to show up for a table.

Six people is allowed though by the rules of PFS, yes you are entirely welcome to state to your VC your opinion on the matter and that you personally don't want to GM to tables of 6, but I would urge you not to try and impose this on other GMs as this just results in less players getting a game.

Patrick F wrote:
With that said, I don't think GMs should bother to post suggestions for harder scenarios modifications. That's not what the Society wants, obviously.

This just isn't fair, I again don't mean to be rude, but at this point you are coming across as the kid who is taking his ball and going home because he didn't get his way.

1) The "society" is all of us, and from the posts in this and other threads you are not the only one who would like to see a hard mode.

2) If you are talking about the society administration (ie the likes of Mike) then again you assume they a)aren't working on a way to increase difficulty (who knows?), b)don't care about the issue (the fact he posted in this thread says otherwise), and c)haven't done anything so far (most people agree season 5 is more challenging).

Also just read BNWs post, and "eisegesis", what a cool word!

Silver Crusade

CathalFM wrote:
Patrick F wrote:
We need to stop allowing six people to show up for a table.

Six people is allowed though by the rules of PFS, yes you are entirely welcome to state to your VC your opinion on the matter and that you personally don't want to GM to tables of 6, but I would urge you not to try and impose this on other GMs as this just results in less players getting a game.

The rules also state that four people are allowed at a table for legal play. If other GMs feel the same way that the scenarios are underpowered, why not advertise only four spots available at any given table? If someone shows up unannounced, we make room for a fifth, sixth or even a seventh in extreme cases. We just simply start with four slots available.

I think its a fair compromise and doesn't break society rules, now does it?


Patrick F wrote:
CathalFM wrote:
Patrick F wrote:
We need to stop allowing six people to show up for a table.

Six people is allowed though by the rules of PFS, yes you are entirely welcome to state to your VC your opinion on the matter and that you personally don't want to GM to tables of 6, but I would urge you not to try and impose this on other GMs as this just results in less players getting a game.

The rules also state that four people are allowed at a table for legal play. If other GMs feel the same way that the scenarios are underpowered, why not advertise only four spots available at any given table? If someone shows up unannounced, we make room for a fifth, sixth or even a seventh in extreme cases. We just simply start with four slots available.

I think its a fair compromise and doesn't break society rules, now does it?

I never stated it did, I simply urged you not to "push this" too much. By all means bring it up, just don't try and force the agenda on other GMs who don't feel the same way.

EDIT: I don't mean to imply you would force it, I'm just saying.

Silver Crusade

CathalFM wrote:
Patrick F wrote:
CathalFM wrote:
Patrick F wrote:
We need to stop allowing six people to show up for a table.

Six people is allowed though by the rules of PFS, yes you are entirely welcome to state to your VC your opinion on the matter and that you personally don't want to GM to tables of 6, but I would urge you not to try and impose this on other GMs as this just results in less players getting a game.

The rules also state that four people are allowed at a table for legal play. If other GMs feel the same way that the scenarios are underpowered, why not advertise only four spots available at any given table? If someone shows up unannounced, we make room for a fifth, sixth or even a seventh in extreme cases. We just simply start with four slots available.

I think its a fair compromise and doesn't break society rules, now does it?

I never stated it did, I simply urged you not to "push this" too much. By all means bring it up, just don't try and force the agenda on other GMs who don't feel the same way.

EDIT: I don't mean to imply you would force it, I'm just saying.

Then the title is somewhat fitting to the thread 'Forbidding players from my PFS table'.

As it currently stands, the only way to increase difficulty of a scenario by the Society rules is to advertise four slots available at a gaming table. Then, accommodate any extras that show up to the maximum amount. At least now, there is a viable solution to the GM's dilemma at the beginning of the thread for lopsided scenarios completed as quickly as possible by power gamers.

We could start rotating players every other week I suppose...


notes the tone of the thread has changed to the passive aggressive "fine, if I have to play by the rules then EVERYONE has to play by the rules and now we need some new rules" ... this is when these threads get fun


Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
notes the tone of the thread has changed to the passive aggressive "fine, if I have to play by the rules then EVERYONE has to play by the rules and now we need some new rules" ... this is when these threads get fun

OOOOOOHHHHH!!!! A Purple Fluffy!

Lol, hope my own suggestions for a "hard mode" didn't come across like that :)

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
trollbill wrote:
How does one not add weather or disallow it? Sunny with comfortable temperatures is as much a weather condition as a blizzard is.

The default should be whatever provides no mechanical effect as a general rule.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:

What ever happened to the idea of small annoyances being something you could just man up and shrug off, like paper cuts and malaria?

While I tend to agree with you on the majority of your posts throughout the forums, I think something you are not considering is that the OP stated that they have PTSD. I'm certified in trauma based therapy and a large percentage of the population I do therapy with suffers from trauma. I think people assume that only soldiers get PTSD or that all PTSD is based off of one large traumatic event. Neither of which is the whole truth.

I think you are certainly entitled to your position but the OP clearly stated that them having PTSD as part of their argument as to why certain behaviors in PFS have been overly negative for them. No one here really knows what their trauma triggers are or how intense they are, how much treatment they have received to manage their PTSD, how effective their treatment has been, or what their coping skills and stress management abilities are like. People who suffer from PTSD tend to practice avoidance behaviors and this person is stating that they would really rather not avoid PFS but is experience discomfort and negative feelings related to it based on their experiences. They also stated that Role Playing is something they does for fun, which for a person with PTSD can be more invaluable and more difficult to manage then you might realize.

You say small annoyances based on a perception that the things that bother them enough to quit are only minor slights (which for people without PTSD is almost certainly true). Based on that statement I can assume that you do not have PTSD or any other severe Anxiety Disorder. That is fantastic for you.

However, I believe that everyone’s time is better spent by figuring out what the OP can and cannot do within the rules of open play. Perhaps the OP is simply unfamiliar with PFS culture (as they state they have been playing pathfinder less than a year) and could use some tips and pointers of what to expect, what is typical, what bothers other people, and how they deal with it themselves. Or people can even spend their time discussing if open play events are right for the OP and if not what alternatives exist that could meet their needs.

It may behoove you to show a little compassion towards someone in the future, instead of just assuming they are being an overly sensitive, whiny, sissy.

Silver Crusade

Patrick F wrote:
CathalFM wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

I'm not entirely sure what the solution is. (I'm pretty sure that multiple solutions are required) but i know what the solution isn't: arbitrary and capricious penalties by the dm to ensure their failure or banning people from the table for pretty minor offenses that are going to be found at nearly any table. If you start adding penalties they will just try harder to tack on more bonuses.

-Smaller tables help. As said above, add 2 players and you probably ~double the parties dps because you don't usually double up on healers and skill types.

-Optimization is like tennis. You need people near your own level. Since thats NOT going to be the scenario for the minmaxers, it has to be other minmaxers. Group them together, and then just accept that your monsters are going to die and let the players compete against each other to see who makes the orcs the crispiest or who lops the etins head off further.

-more hard mode options: possibly announce ahead of time that the scenario WILL be run in hard mode and that signing up is agreeing to go in hard mode.

BNW My own proposed solution earlier in the thread was that to give a "hard mode" that the option should be present (at higher levels at least) for the GM to completely use their own tactics. The benefits in my opinion would be:

- This would allow players who felt they wanted the extra challenge to get that.

- The GM would not feel like they were fighting with one hand tied behind their back (which is usually fine if your players are having fun, but if your players are complaining you arent challenging them then it leads to annoyed GMS!)

- It still limits the game. ie the Tactics can be changed completely, maybe the BB won't cast mage armor when the PCs enter his fortress, maybe he will hide and wait till they enter his actual room, etc. But the details, abilities, monster count won't change so its still going to be a SIMILAR game to most people on regular mode.

- Final

...

Realize that season 4 was written for 6-player tables.

Silver Crusade

Patrick F wrote:
CathalFM wrote:
Patrick F wrote:
CathalFM wrote:
Patrick F wrote:
We need to stop allowing six people to show up for a table.

Six people is allowed though by the rules of PFS, yes you are entirely welcome to state to your VC your opinion on the matter and that you personally don't want to GM to tables of 6, but I would urge you not to try and impose this on other GMs as this just results in less players getting a game.

The rules also state that four people are allowed at a table for legal play. If other GMs feel the same way that the scenarios are underpowered, why not advertise only four spots available at any given table? If someone shows up unannounced, we make room for a fifth, sixth or even a seventh in extreme cases. We just simply start with four slots available.

I think its a fair compromise and doesn't break society rules, now does it?

I never stated it did, I simply urged you not to "push this" too much. By all means bring it up, just don't try and force the agenda on other GMs who don't feel the same way.

EDIT: I don't mean to imply you would force it, I'm just saying.

Then the title is somewhat fitting to the thread 'Forbidding players from my PFS table'.

As it currently stands, the only way to increase difficulty of a scenario by the Society rules is to advertise four slots available at a gaming table. Then, accommodate any extras that show up to the maximum amount. At least now, there is a viable solution to the GM's dilemma at the beginning of the thread for lopsided scenarios completed as quickly as possible by power gamers.

We could start rotating players every other week I suppose...

Or just accept that many scenarios are just easy and live with it. I don't understand the problem with the PCs winning. Yeah, sometimes its gonna be easy. So what?

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Northern

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David Bowles wrote:
Or just accept that many scenarios are just easy and live with it. I don't understand the problem with the PCs winning. Yeah, sometimes its gonna be easy. So what?

Very true, and sometimes scenarios are hard. It cuts both ways.

As well, though the scenario provides tactics for some enemies, one of the best things a GM can do to help increase the challenge is to become intimately familiar with the combat rules - knowing how to control the battlefield by movement, or combat maneuvers, or whatever can make a tremendous different, and doesn't require the GM to make up things whole-cloth, or insert things into the scenario in the first place.

There are a lot of things a GM can do, within the rules of both the core rules and the PFS rules, that can help to balance the scales at times.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Stratton wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Or just accept that many scenarios are just easy and live with it. I don't understand the problem with the PCs winning. Yeah, sometimes its gonna be easy. So what?

Very true, and sometimes scenarios are hard. It cuts both ways.

As well, though the scenario provides tactics for some enemies, one of the best things a GM can do to help increase the challenge is to become intimately familiar with the combat rules - knowing how to control the battlefield by movement, or combat maneuvers, or whatever can make a tremendous different, and doesn't require the GM to make up things whole-cloth, or insert things into the scenario in the first place.

There are a lot of things a GM can do, within the rules of both the core rules and the PFS rules, that can help to balance the scales at times.

Indeed. There is also enough ambiguity in the maps, tactics, and description of encounters, that a GM has to often make a choice. Is that bad guy behind a pillar, standing in the open, or squatting neck deep in a bog?

In First Steps Part 2, the opening encounter has the PCs run into a semi-sentient not fully turned ghoul. The intent of the scenario is that the PCs are presented with a moral quandary. Do they slay the ghoul outright as Major Maldriss suggests? Do they parlay with the ghoul, who has a couple good soliloquies if the PCs care to hear them.

The description is of a door 15' up from the ground with a pile of rubble that requires a DC 15 climb check. The ghoul is on the 20 foot cliff above. The encounter description says the ghoul jumps down in front of the PCs and delivers her first soliloquy.

Based on running this 7 times, as a GM, you can ensure combat if you have the ghoul jump 20' down to right in front if the PCs. Or you can nearly ensure a certain level of parlay if you have her jump 5' down to the top of the rubble pile.

Either fits the written scenario.

There are many instances of this level of ambiguity in scenarios. Finding these and deciding how you want things to go is part of both GM prep and reading your table.

Sure there will be encounters or entire scenarios that are quite rigid and don't have any wiggle room. But in my experience, those that have none are pretty rare.

Silver Crusade

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
notes the tone of the thread has changed to the passive aggressive "fine, if I have to play by the rules then EVERYONE has to play by the rules and now we need some new rules" ... this is when these threads get fun

Passive aggressive? How about practical advice. Nothing says you have to advertise a six person event all the time in the rules at the local gaming store. You can go with a minimum of four people for a legal table of play in Pathfinder Society and accommodate up to seven people at a table for legal play in case others show up unannounced.

Everyone gets EXACTLY what they wanted in this thread. Scenarios run without extra mechanics and the difficulty level increases accordingly.

After all, if the scenario was written for a *minimum* of four people at a table, then that means they were intended to run with a minimum of four players. Not five. Not Six. Not Seven. As far as I know, if you have four people at a table, a scenario doesn't require you to run an NPC to make the party bigger to overcome the challenges.

Why? Because the difficulty was originally intended for four players in the first place.

I'm happy about the positive outcome of this thread. I wouldn't want to break any society rules after all.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Patrick, you have one season 5 and 7 season 0-2 scenarios of experience in the one month you've participated in PFS. It is known that Seasons 0-2 are much easier and generally provide less of a challenge than season 4 and 5 do. The Devil We Know Series, Prince of Augustana, and Before the Dawn Part 1 are not the best experiences when you are looking for a challenging scenario for combats that will really test the party.

Please understand we have upped the challenge level of scenarios to cater to some of your concerns, expressed by people over the past several years. I would ask that you please get some additional experience in the latest two seasons before asking us to increase the challenge even more, or consider allowing GMs to increase the challenge.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

mswbear wrote:

You say small annoyances based on a perception that the things that bother them enough to quit are only minor slights (which for people without PTSD is almost certainly true)

Because they ARE, objectively, very small things. Body language is by and large an involuntary reaction. Gamers are are a group of people pretty much synonymous with a lack of normal social decorum, much less the select and rarefied few you would need to tip toe around around the shifting quagmire of things that could annoy someone with ptsd (something i have far more experience trying to do than I would like). The odds of getting half the table that can do that are pretty low, the odds of the entire table doing so is almost nil, and the odds of a rotating group of PFS Players all doing so should be narrated by carl sagan.

Quote:
Perhaps the OP is simply unfamiliar with PFS culture (as they state they have been playing pathfinder less than a year)

I directed them to watch the gamers movies. Can't give more fair warning than that without being there.

This is why I asked for numbers. I have no idea if the group is particularly munchkiny, typical, or possibly even below average.

Quote:
and could use some tips and pointers of what to expect, what is typical, what bothers other people

Tried, didn't work, partially because of the existentialism that I was railing against inherent in the 'anything that bothers me is wrong' attitude. Being bothered by small things is unavoidable. Blaming other people for that is.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Patrick F wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
Patrick F wrote:

Then if that's what you want, please modify the text to state more clearly the parameters thereof -- that other source material is limited in scope to fluff. Which means if people want to forage for food in Worldwound in a Pathfinder Society event, then the food and water will not risk being contaminated, etc. because other source material mechanics are unallowable in a Pathfinder Scenario unless expressly written therein.

Thanks for the feedback. We will consider it when we start making changes in guide 6.0. If you have suggestions on text that would clarify it for you and others, feel free to offer those up. You are the first to express confusion with this specific language in the Guide, so unless we find others with the same confusion, it is unlikely to change.

Mike, you marked as favorite BigNorseWolf's comment "I think that intent was pretty clear in what was written" along with the other comment below it. Please don't ask for my opinion on how the text should be worded if you don't intend on using it and its unlikely to change. You could have submitted your comments at any time to clarify the situation, but you decided to wait until the tonality shifted considerably in this thread before doing so.

I'd rather focus my time on the next gaming session I am running, within the new criteria you clarified accordingly.

I ask for opinions because it is how I form decisions on what is best for PFS. Just because people offer up opinions doesn't mean I'm always going to use them. But, I do consider them. I think I've shown a track record of changing things that need to be changed at the behest of the player base when a solid reasoning is given. But, if only one person, out of 65,000, has expressed confusion about one paragraph in the Guide, then it is unlikely to change. If you don't want to provide your opinion, or feel it would be a waste of time, then don't submit it. It's totally up to you.

And for the record, I did submit my comments back on page 3 of this thread. I didn't "wait until the tonality shifted considerably in this thread before doing so."


Patrick F wrote:

Nothing says you have to advertise a six person event all the time in the rules at the local gaming store. You can go with a minimum of four people for a legal table of play in Pathfinder Society and accommodate up to seven people at a table for legal play in case others show up unannounced.

Everyone gets EXACTLY what they wanted in this thread. Scenarios run without extra mechanics and the difficulty level increases accordingly.

After all, if the scenario was written for a *minimum* of four people at a table, then that means they were intended to run with a minimum of four players. Not five. Not Six. Not Seven. As far as I know, if you have four people at a table, a scenario doesn't require you to run an NPC to make the party bigger to overcome the challenges.

Why? Because the difficulty was originally intended for four players in the first place.

I'm happy about the positive outcome of this thread. I wouldn't want to break any society rules after all.

Season 5 (and 4?) are designed for 6 players. There are adjustments given to run them for 4.

Silver Crusade

I thought season 5 was balanced for 5 players. The encounters do seem more forgiving in general season 5 vs season 4.

At any rate, Mr. Brock is absolutely right. Most of the cakewalks are found in seasons 0-2. If you don't think there are ANY challenges, I'll run In Wrath's Shadow, King of Storval Stairs, or Elven Entanglement for you.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
David Bowles wrote:

I thought season 5 was balanced for 5 players. The encounters do seem more forgiving in general season 5 vs season 4.

At any rate, Mr. Brock is absolutely right. Most of the cakewalks are found in seasons 0-2. If you don't think there are ANY challenges, I'll run In Wrath's Shadow, King of Storval Stairs, or Elven Entanglement for you.

Cakewalks like Darkest Vengenace, Wrath of the Accursed, The Sarkorian Prophecy, The Dalsine Affair

;)

Silver Crusade

I didn't say everything was a cake walk; I said MOST of the them are found there in seasons 0-2.

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

Wait, people had trouble with Sarkorian Prophecy?


Michael Brock wrote:

Patrick, you have one season 5 and 7 season 0-2 scenarios of experience in the one month you've participated in PFS. It is known that Seasons 0-2 are much easier and generally provide less of a challenge than season 4 and 5 do. The Devil We Know Series, Prince of Augustana, and Before the Dawn Part 1 are not the best experiences when you are looking for a challenging scenario for combats that will really test the party.

Please understand we have upped the challenge level of scenarios to cater to some of your concerns, expressed by people over the past several years. I would ask that you please get some additional experience in the latest two seasons before asking us to increase the challenge even more, or consider allowing GMs to increase the challenge.

I play and DMed a lot of 4 and 5. I still want it more difficult...

The answer I see best fitting MORE HARD MODES!!!

I would really appreciate seeing this option used more.

Silver Crusade

I'm not sure I can agree with that. Locally, we have many newer players and their level 5/6/7 PCs would not fare well in In Wrath's Shadow.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

David Bowles wrote:
I'm not sure I can agree with that. Locally, we have many newer players and their level 5/6/7 PCs would not fare well in In Wrath's Shadow.

We have one guy who is a causal player who likes concept characters. He played a cleric that worked itself up to 8th but was frustrated at how much harder the higher level mods were than the lower level ones. So when the character died he decided not to get it raised because, "What's the point. Paizo would just kill him off again." Now he retires his characters when they reach 7th.

Silver Crusade

There is no magical rule that ordains higher level scenarios being functionally more difficult, seeing as how the PCs have more tools at their disposal. This guy sounds like he isn't good at blending concept with mechanical execution. Most concepts can be made at least "effective", even if they can not be made "optimal" or "elite". Effective is sufficient for nearly all PFS scenarios.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
trollbill wrote:
"What's the point. Paizo would just kill him off again."

I submit it is not Paizo that got his character killed.

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