I think my GM unintentionally "cheated" and TPKed, what do I do?


Pathfinder Society

1 to 50 of 97 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

I am relatively new to pathfinder society (tonight was only my third adventure). Tonight we played the scenario #6-01 trial by machine with a new GM who was about 12 years old. Spoilers below.

Spoiler:
At the beginning, he kept forgetting to mention plot and puzzle related details, which led to us being stumped more than once. I figured it wasn't a big deal, everyone forgets stuff. This continued throughout the scenario though, and eventually became very frustrating as no one knew what to do.

Then at the second encounter, he first of all tries to give the enemies a surprise round without a perception check or anything on our part; from what I could tell the enemies were basically as unprepared as we were. This the group did not let fly. Then on the monsters turn, they all attack the same character, he rolls a bunch of dice, does some math and says "33 damage." Bear in mind we are all level 1, so this is an outright kill from full health.

I thought this was a little strange, but hey, maybe that stuff happens. The sorcerer's animal companion also dies in this same battle.

After progressing through the module a bit and some frustration on both sides from incomplete descriptions on the GM's part, we finally get to the final encounter, and this is the worst part.

The monster wins initiative, and he says that everyone has to make a Will save. I and one of the other 5 remaining party members fail the save, and he tells us we're fascinated. Okay, that's fine. Then the monster continues to come up and slam one of our characters. This, I thought was a little strange, as I assumed the fascination effect was his action.

Then he proceeds to tell me that I don't get an additional will save, that the only way you can stop the fascination is by someone else using a standard action to shake you, and that this save must be made every turn at the beginning of your turn. So this guy is going around forcing DC 16 Will saves (as he later tells us, a VERY difficult save to make at first level) on everyone in the room EVery single round to avoid fascination and that he also forces a DC 14 Will save to avoid cowering on a successful hit (which he makes two of in a round).

I didn't even get to act for the first 5 rounds. By that time two characters were down and 1 other was fascinated. Needless to say, we eventually TPKed and he told us "we just didn't have the right party for this adventure," and that we "needed a healer." To which I reply that I don't know many 1st level healers that can consistently make DC 16 will saves round after round.

I come to the forums and find out that this monster was based on the scarecrow, and find out that his fascinating gaze attack does not function as an aura, but is a standard action affecting a SINGLE target.

My character was just about to hit level 2, and I feel really cheated. Is there anything I can do about this? I feel like all of my time playing has just been a complete waste of time, to no fault of my own.


1) That particular adventure is confusing with a prepared GM. I have GM'ed it and one other person has as well. It's difficult but what you describe is impossible at low tier (You were 1). It' possible he ran high tier which would be outright impossible unless the table was 1, 4, 5, 5, 4-5, 3-5 since you need to get to a minimum of 3.6 with 5 players to play up.
2) Contact your VC, it's highly unlikely you're all dead.

Shadow Lodge

If the GM made major mistakes and deaths resulted from it, you should be able to get it overturned.

Get some direction from either a Venture Officer or email mike.brock@paizo.com. Your VO's email addresses are in the PFS guide starting from page 39.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

In the copy of the Guide to organized play, there is a list at the back listing all the venture captains and lieutenants. Find your city, locate your local VL/VC, and tell him what happened. Mistakes happen.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

2 people marked this as a favorite.
NarciusTheBard wrote:
Tonight we played ... with a new GM ...

This is probably the key part of your post. If you haven't already done so, I would contact the GM first. (You will eventually have to go to the event organizer or a VC if the characters were reported as dead to get that corrected.) New GMs (and experienced ones) make mistakes. Try not to make this an adversarial event. Tell him you read the scenario afterwards and have some real concerns about how events played out. If he's reasonable and willing to discuss not only will your characters most likely come back to life with no drama, but you will also have improved his GM skills and made future scenarios better for everyone.

Undone wrote:
It's difficult but what you describe is impossible at low tier (You were 1). It' possible he ran high tier which would be outright impossible unless the table was 1, 4, 5, 5, 4-5, 3-5 since you need to get to a minimum of 3.6 with 5 players to play up.

Don't forget the "up with 4-player adjustments" option. I ran this last week for a table of APL 2.6 who had to play up because one character was level 4.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 aka Netopalis

For what it's worth, your GM was not entirely wrong.

Trial by Machine:
In regards to the first death, I could see 33 on a crit, but I'd probably like everything explained a bit more at the table. In regards to the fascination effect, it is a gaze attack, meaning that everybody must make the save unless they consciously choose not to look at the creature (which can either negate it entirely or give a miss chance; that's a story for another thread.) The scenario is not the most well-thought-out, especially for a new party and an inexperienced GM.

That being said, I'd still overturn the death. Chalk it up to a learning experience on all sides.

4/5

Belafon wrote:
NarciusTheBard wrote:
Tonight we played ... with a new GM ...

This is probably the key part of your post. If you haven't already done so, I would contact the GM first. (You will eventually have to go to the event organizer or a VC if the characters were reported as dead to get that corrected.) New GMs (and experienced ones) make mistakes. Try not to make this an adversarial event. Tell him you read the scenario afterwards and have some real concerns about how events played out. If he's reasonable and willing to discuss not only will your characters most likely come back to life with no drama, but you will also have improved his GM skills and made future scenarios better for everyone.

Undone wrote:
It's difficult but what you describe is impossible at low tier (You were 1). It' possible he ran high tier which would be outright impossible unless the table was 1, 4, 5, 5, 4-5, 3-5 since you need to get to a minimum of 3.6 with 5 players to play up.
Don't forget the "up with 4-player adjustments" option. I ran this last week for a table of APL 2.6 who had to play up because one character was level 4.

Even without the 4 it is still forced up with 4 player with 5+ pcs.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

David_Bross wrote:
Even without the 4 it is still forced up with 4 player with 5+ pcs.
PFS Guide to Organized Play v6.0 p.32 wrote:
In the fringe case where there are no players that are high enough to have reached the subtier level (such as a party of six 3rd level characters), the group may decide to play down to the lower subtier.

edit: Hmmm... that may be only for Seasons 0-3 now that I take another look. There's no paragraph break.

4/5

Yup, that paragraph is talking about season 0-3 only.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Okay - here is my advice:

A) a bad title of this thread even if the 'c' word is in quotation marks. This just causes bad blood. I understand the title unemotional but I'm far enough emotionally removed to avoid reading selective. Some words are best avoided to have a non emotional conversation - especially in the title.

B) new GM, 12 years old, complex new scenario makes a bad combination. I would suggest that someone locally organizes an experienced and respected GM as mentor for him.

C) lots of other advice given - not much to add here

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
NarciusTheBard wrote:
I am relatively new to pathfinder society (tonight was only my third adventure). Tonight we played the scenario #6-01 trial by machine with a new GM who was about 12 years old. Spoilers below.

I've ran this 4 times so here are some thoughts.

Spoiler:
The puzzles in the beginning of the scenario are already solved by other people, it's meant to be confusing. So it doesn't seem like that was run wrong.

Two monsters means he ran it high tier, especially if they could move. So that could be a mistake if everyone was indeed low level.

33 damage is within the possible damage output of one of the creatures with a confirmed critical and two handed power attack. (which is legal, though thematically odd.)

GM probably did fine with the descriptions, unless someone had Technologist feat and Knowledge Engineering. Without that feat a lot of those sections can be hard to grasp.

And you are wrong on the Fearmonger's gaze attack, it's a legit gaze attack which means it is constant and can be used as a standard action attack.

So, from my take it looked like maybe a mistake in the running of the first fight but everything else seemed fine. Calling the GM a cheater (even unintentionally) seems far from warranted though.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

The tactics for the Fearmonger (final monster) are as follows:

Spoiler:
"During Combat The fearmonger prototype tries locking down
all adversaries with its fascination gaze, then attempts to
pick off one opponent at a time."

Altough attacking someone that was already fascinated would be odd. Its way more sound that it would go after someone that made the will save.

The DC is indeed 16 for the will save. Its the same on high and low tier, making it a much easier fight for the high tier.
If you befriended the NPCs, they would reasonably slapped you out of the fascination.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

This is general Woran, not GM discussion. Please add spoiler tags if you can.


Fascinated: A fascinated creature is entranced by a supernatural or spell effect. The creature stands or sits quietly, taking no actions other than to pay attention to the fascinating effect, for as long as the effect lasts. It takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the fascinated creature a new saving throw against the fascinating effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the fascinated creature, automatically breaks the effect. A fascinated creature's ally may shake it free of the spell as a standard action.

Fascinate is a weaker daze like effect. If the monster facinated then came at ready to smash them they would get a new save. The person getting smashed would automatically break it.


From Scarecrow in b2:
The approach or animation of the scarecrow does not count as an obvious threat to the victim of this particular fascination effect (although the scarecrow’s attack does count as an obvious threat and ends the fascination immediately).

The attack would wake you up, if you survived it, but the approach wouldn't on this occasion.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Finlanderboy wrote:


Fascinated: A fascinated creature is entranced by a supernatural or spell effect. The creature stands or sits quietly, taking no actions other than to pay attention to the fascinating effect, for as long as the effect lasts. It takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the fascinated creature a new saving throw against the fascinating effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the fascinated creature, automatically breaks the effect. A fascinated creature's ally may shake it free of the spell as a standard action.

Fascinate is a weaker daze like effect. If the monster facinated then came at ready to smash them they would get a new save. The person getting smashed would automatically break it.

Heck, I've always interpreted fascinate as being broken by anything combat-like in the vicinity. As soon as the bad guy attacked one person it would break the fascinate for everybody. Fascinate is great for getting away or sneaking by, not great for combat.

Of course, based on the description of this monster, there would be a new check each round as the gaze is an ongoing effect. But each character would have a chance to avert their eyes or save every round while combat was happening.


Skaldi the Tallest wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

The attack would wake you up, if you survived it, but the approach wouldn't on this occasion.

Attacking your friends would give you another save as well.

Dark Archive

I am the player that took the 33 points of damage in one round. I wanted to verify the OP's story and expand a bit so that you don't think he is just giving a kneejerk reaction to being TPK'd. The first thing I want to point out is that he actually isn't a new GM. He has run a few scenarios in the past and players often leave his table questioning his decisions. He also TPK'd another group a few weeks ago, again because of a questionable decision.

TL;DR version

Spoiler:
The GM made several bad calls, has a very obvious lack of rules knowledge and made some very questionable choices during the session. Having GM'd a couple PFS scenarios myself, I do not think he ran the scenario properly, especially a level 1 scenario for new players.

Construct Fight

Spoiler:
To elaborate as last nights session, the OP is pretty spot on with what he said. Prior to actual first encounter, the GM basically went "There is a room. Ok, there is a trap. Here is another room. And there is a puzzle... *pauses for a minute* ok, it was solved before. There is another room. Roll Initiative. You are under attack." His GM style leaves a bit to be desired, but whatever. Better than a couple of people I have played with... which is depressing, now that I think about it...

When we began to fight the construct, the GM refused to believe that Constructs could be critical'd or sneak attacked. I do not know if this is in the scenario, but when it was critical'd, he said instead of extra damage it was stunned. We had to pull out the bestiary to prove to him that constructs could indeed be crit and SA. But we got through.

As a side note, I was testing out a kind of combat shaman. We had surrounded the construct and out of all the targets, he decides to attack my spirit animal. Dick move, but perfectly legal. It goes down, but is only -2, so still alive. Next round HE WANTS ATTACK MY SPIRIT ANIMAL AGAIN. 5 PCs and an animal companion trying to tear it apart and he is going to curb stomp the nearly dead pile of feathers? The hell?

My amazing death

Spoiler:
Next encounter, we walk into the room and he declares initiative. There are some burning skeletons. We roll and he says they are going to charge. We are a bit confused, as we can all see the initiative order. It is out on display for all to see on one of those wipe boards. A majority of us rolled higher than the monsters. The GM claims they get a surprise round because we didn't know they were undead. Nevermind that he didn't mention the undead when we walked into the room or the Rogue made a spot check or the like. But then, another player mentions that even if we are somehow surprised, you can't charge on a surprise round because it is a Full Round Action and you can only take Move or Standard on a surprise round. GM changes his mind and lets us act in initiative.

I move up to fight the skeletons. I take burn damage from standing next to them. That is how I found out they were burning skeletons. My Knowledge: Religion roll of 20 had not told me that, somehow... (I will admit that this may have been my fault, as the entire table was generally giving a "WTF?!" to the situation and either I didn't hear a response or he didn't hear me ask what they were.) Not to mention you don't take the fire damage until the start of your turn, but it wouldn't matter in a second... I think the fire aura spooks the other melee characters, because I somehow end the round the only melee character in the crowd. That may have been a poor tactical decision on my part and I was willing to accept a couple attacks coming my way.

The other players move about, a couple get within 15-20 feet, while the casters stay far away. All four burning skeletons attack me. While I could understand the two in base with me, all four seemed a bit excessive when there were other targets well within reach. Ok, that is still fine. I understand and that was legal. I was praying my armor would save me.

He rolled a scimitar and two claw attacks for all 4. Keep in mind, 2 of the skeletons had to move to reach me, so they wouldn't get a full attack anyways. And second, burning skeletons get a scimitar and 1 claw OR two claw attacks, not all three. He does the 33 points of damage and I just stare at him for a moment, close my character binder and basically go "GG, I'm out."

Ignoring the fact that he messed up and gave them all extra attacks and ignoring the fact that I was a perfectly legal target for the attacks sent my way, do you really think it is ok to make 12 attack rolls on a level 1 character? But again, whatever, it is fine. I put myself in a bad situation and while I was mad about losing him (he had a handful of pregen and GM credits assigned to him that would have let him skip several levels as he leveled up...), I was just going to try to brush it off. The druid offered me a chance to play his animal companion, but I decided to head home instead. Good choice, since the animal companion went down next round anyways because of similar swarm tactics...

The telephone game

Spoiler:
The following is what my uncle, who was also at the table, told me later that night on the phone after it was all said and done. Since the adventure was only half complete, I decided to go home instead of wait to see the outcome. I grabbed taco bell. It was delicious. (Important details)

From my conversation with him, the rest of the night went just as well. They would go onto another room where they had to press buttons at random until the GM was satisfied and allowed them to proceed. No skill checks or hints on what to do. Just round after round of "I press buttons... I press more buttons... is there some kind of skill I can make? No? I press more then..." Eventually, the GM lets them go on and in the next room, some Air Elements do some Con damage to them before combat even starts? Without a save or anything? They wail on the elementals, elementals go down.

They head for the exit and get ambushed by another construct. The construct has an always on gaze attack that locks down the group. If you attack the construct, you suffer the gaze attack. If the construct attacks you, you suffer the gaze attack. The creature has a huge AC for a level 1 encounter and apparently cover somehow. It was a mess. He said the last few rounds were entirely the GM playing wack-a-mole with PCs as they try to get out of the gaze effect, heal back from death and maybe get an attack off that had no chance of hitting.

Silver Crusade

"the GM refused to believe that Constructs could be critical'd or sneak attacked"

That's when you stop the game right there. Don't go any further. The GM's belief is irrelevant in this case. He literally can't make that decision.

Dark Archive 5/5

It sounds like most people commenting in this thread either haven't run this or don't understand the nuances of the monster in the final fight. I have run this, and it actually sounds like your GM ran it pretty much to the letter and did an admirable job. There were a lot of hard-to-grasp and hard-to-remember aspects to that scenario. For a twelve year old to have gotten them all (or even mostly) right is commendable. The truth is that is just an extremely killer scenario at 1st level.

Jeff covered most of this, but it bears reiteration.

Details:
1) The beginning of the scenario is meant to be confusing. You're told you're doing a practice dungeon crawl as a training mission, and when you get there bandits have already sprung most of the paint traps and accidentally activated a bunch of legitimately dangerous robots.

2) The robot you encountered is unbelievably hard at low levels. Its tactics explicitly say it Power Attacks if anyone closes to melee range, which means it hits at a +6 (+8 after round three) for 1d8+10 damage and crits on a 19-20. It also has hardness 5, which is hard for 1st level PCs to deal with. Jeff is right that there should only have been one robot at low tier, but there's also a really annoying electro-dart trap that hits two people per round and can stagger them. However, even at low tier it frees itself and can move after round three.

3) From that point on the dungeon is a blur of weird technology that your party can't identify without an obscure and brand new feat, so it's almost always going to be confusing. It's supposed to feel very alien.

4) The scarecrow has a gaze attack. Gaze attacks are very, very often misunderstood and they're insanely powerful. Gaze attacks happen automatically at the beginning of a creature's turn against every creature within range (in this case 30 ft.) who isn't averting his or her eyes. A creature with a gaze can also focus their attack as a standard action to get a second attempt against one specific creature. Scarecrows' gazes also explicitly say that their approach doesn't break fascination, so you're fascinated until it attacks you. If it can take you down in a turn you're pretty much out of luck.

I would say it sounds like legit TPK, which is probably the likely outcome of playing this scenario with all 1st level PCs.

5/5 Venture-Captain, Ohio—Northern aka GinoA

Koujow wrote:
But then, another player mentions that even if we are somehow surprised, you can't charge on a surprise round because it is a Full Round Action and you can only take Move or Standard on a surprise round. GM changes his mind and lets us act in initiative.

Small point, you can charge in a surprise round, with limitations.

Dark Archive 5/5

All right, with the clarification, it does sound like some bad calls were made. On the other hand, you absolutely can charge on a surprise round, you just only get to move single speed. It's often called a partial charge, and you can do it anytime you're denied a full-round action but can still take a standard.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Benn Roe wrote:

It sounds like most people commenting in this thread either haven't run this or don't understand the nuances of the monster in the final fight. I have run this, and it actually sounds like your GM ran it pretty much to the letter and did an admirable job. There were a lot of hard-to-grasp and hard-to-remember aspects to that scenario. For a twelve year old to have gotten them all (or even mostly) right is commendable. The truth is that is just an extremely killer scenario at 1st level.

Jeff covered most of this, but it bears reiteration.
** spoiler omitted **...

I'd just like to point out that the first encounter having 2 monsters at low tier not rusted is enough to invalidate the TPK alone.

Silver Crusade

And playing robots with illegal advantages as well. Of course, let this be a lesson. It's much easier to call out the GM at the time than to get this mes retconned.

Grand Lodge 2/5

PRD wrote:
If you are able to take only a standard action on your turn, you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up to your speed (instead of up to double your speed) and you cannot draw a weapon unless you possess the Quick Draw feat. You can't use this option unless you are restricted to taking only a standard action on your turn.

I'm just gonna put this whole thing in a spoiler block...

Spoiler:
The GM was right, the skeletons can charge in a surprise round. It does sound like you should've known what the skeletons were, though, with a 20 on your knowledge: religion roll. Again, you're right in that they wouldn't have gotten all three attacks.

As to the buttons, either no one looked, or no one rolled high enough on their perception check when searching around.

If I recall, the last guy had something like dr 5/fire, very painful for low level characters.

So most of the stuff it sounds like the GM was not wrong on, but wrong enough with the skeleton fight that you shouldn't have died (or at least not as quickly).

The Exchange 5/5

4 people marked this as a favorite.

"I think my GM unintentionally "cheated" and TPKed, what do I do?"

This is just my opinion- realizing that I was not there and am not likely to be able to effect this in any way...

#1 - Talk to the judge to express the issues. Always give them a chance to know and understand your feelings on the job they are doing. Feedback is important, it is often how bad judges improve, and good judges become great.

#2 - if you aren't satisfied with his response to your concerns...Never play for him again. If you don't think he will improve... don't waste the game time with him. Life is too short to waste on bad games... and the number of scenarios are limited.

"If it's not fun, don't play"

something to think about:

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her.

The senior monk carried this woman on his shoulder, forded the river and let her down on the other bank. The junior monk was very upset, but said nothing.

They both were walking and senior monk noticed that his junior was suddenly silent and enquired “Is something the matter, you seem very upset?”

The junior monk replied, “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The senior monk replied, “I left the woman a long time ago at the bank, however, you seem to be carrying her still.”

It is best to try to leave the bad games behind you... leave this judge at the river (if you can).

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Koujow wrote:


Construct Fight
** spoiler omitted **...

I think this is telling. The statblock for the construct excplicitly states:

Stat spoiler:
Defensive Abilities: hardness 5;
Immune: construct traits
Weaknesses: vulnerable to critical hits, electricity

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Added a spoiler tag.


If they had shields they'd be immune to crits until the shield dissipates. Haven't read the scenario though.


OK contact your VC. Here is what I would do for the future. I have been playing varius table top RPG's for 31 years. Have GM'd for 30 of those years almost exclusively. I would assign another GM and let him play for a while. If he does not want to play then find another player to round out your group. The only way to fix a "Bad GM" is to let him play under a good GM so he can learn. Keep in mind GM's do make mistakes. Many "Bad GM's can become great GM's if given the proper chance and training. Not everyone is meant to be a GM.

GM's must be good story tellers first and foremost. Missing plot que's and misinforming the PC's can be very detrimental to the group as a whole. Just remember though RPG's are not just hack and slash. You do have to RP to get information and solve puzzles. Some modules (not saying this one is one of those since I have not read or run it) intentionally misdirect the PC's if the right questions are not asked.

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Southwest aka Socalwarhammer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"I am relatively new to pathfinder society (tonight was only my third adventure). Tonight we played the scenario #6-01 trial by machine with a new GM who was about 12 years old."

While I don't want to sound like a typical 40-Something- I think the problem was simply stated, "A new GM who was about 12 years old."

I think this might be an issue, and has been in the area I play at on occasion. I simply refuse to play, the same way I refuse to play at a table with overly immature adults. When it comes down to a whether a Pre-Teen should be a GM, I think the local Venture Captain (or other experienced GM) should supervise until it is clearly demonstrated that the youngster has the experience and maturity necessary to properly run a game.

In all fairness, I have meet a few adults who haven't acted any more mature than the average 10-12 year old... but that is a topic for another discussion.

Sovereign Court

Let's also keep in mind that this kid is 12 years old.

EDIT: Ninja'd

Perhaps more local guidance is needed on the part of the VOs in the area.

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

8 people marked this as a favorite.

I think the age shouldn't/isn't an issue here.

My 10 year old is a 2 star GM, who ran games at GenCon this year -one table of PFS GMs. She did well and impressed people. But she puts in the prep-time that the scenario needed.

She also creates text documents with all of the stat blocks (including the information from abilities that are not fully described in the stat block - like grab, swallow hole, distract, etc..). Spells are fleshed out (range, damage, effect, etc) if there are spells or spell-like abilities.

She has a good systems mastery. I suspect that she wouldn't make the error of having a creature attack with both weapon and two claw attacks, nor would she focus all on one PC if there are multiple targets - especially for low or no intelleigence creatures.

She has stated in person and on the forums here that the most important thing about playing Pathfinder is to have fun - players and GMS.

If this GM is not presenting the scenarios properly, and does not have good grasp of the NPC abilities, then the VO or organizer needs to have a talk with them - perhaps emphasize more preparation is needed. Perhaps have the next few tables be ones with experienced players/GMs who are willing to help a new GM learn not only the system, but how to run a fun table.


Wow! 10?
Good job, sir.

Dark Archive 5/5

Given that nobody has explicitly said that the kid added an additional monster into the first combat, it doesn't sound to me like there's grounds for a death reversal. The original poster sort of implied it, but the other player who chimed in made it sound like it was run with the correct number of monsters. And the memories of the two distinct players from this game aren't 100% consistent with each other, so who knows what actually happened? From both player accounts so far, it seems to me like the kid did a great job for someone his age, demonstrating rules knowledge that exceeds many adults I've played with. It definitely sounds like he made some bad calls, and the "vulnerability" issue from the spoiler above is something I was going to mention as a particularly big "oops," but all GMs make mistakes. Most of what he did, and most of what it sounds like the players had problems with, sounds run as-written.

Sovereign Court

Right, my clearly poorly delivered point being that this 12 year old may need a little more guidance from local leadership than what is being provided. I'd be kind of a shame for a youngster to get discouraged.

Sounds like your daughter has a good role model!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mistwalker wrote:

I think the age shouldn't/isn't an issue here.

My 10 year old is a 2 star GM, who ran games at GenCon this year -one table of PFS GMs.

As I didn't seen an abundance of 10 y/o GMs at GenCon, I'm going to assume I was next to your daughter during the event. I heard players compliment her as a good GM. Not just a good kid trying to GM, but a straight up good GM.

If I'd known how to track you down at the event, I'd've passed the compliment along directly.

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

Acedio wrote:

Let's also keep in mind that this kid is 12 years old.

EDIT: Ninja'd

Perhaps more local guidance is needed on the part of the VOs in the area.

GM selection, etc., is generally handled by the store co-ordinator; the VOs are not expected to be part of the process.

Sure, we get to handle any complaints; should a situation like this arise in my area I'd try very hard to show up at that store the next time the GM in question is scheduled to run a table. But all this is reactive; we can't be at every game day in every store.

We encourage our event coordinators to support and nurture developing GMs - in fact the store where I played last night was running 'GM 101' in the next room. But unfortunately some of the GMs who could learn most from attending such an event are often in denial when it comes to their shortcomings. And no matter how much preparation and pre-screening you do, GMs, like players, will find new ways to surprise you at the table. At our recent convention I observed a couple of things being handled wrong that I'd never even have thought to ask about - they seemed to be such a fundamental part of running a PFS table that I couldn't imaging anybody not knowing the right way to proceed.

Grand Lodge 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Southwest aka Socalwarhammer

With all consideration due to your 10 year old, the key issue(s) are experience and maturity.

I think it is prudent for the local Venture Captain to be involved in the supervision (if it makes some people feel better, we can call it PFS young-adult development) until the necessary experience and maturity are demonstrated.

Mistwalker- in the case of your daughter, she has obviously demonstrated both of the prerequisites listed above. Congrats, on a job well done.

But I would venture to say that based on own experience, which is extensive, but geographically limited, many of the pre-teen PFS players need to be supervised (albeit gently) in order to maintain a positive role playing experience for everyone involved.

Sovereign Court

That's a good point, John. I came from an area where the VC and VL were directly involved in the store I played at, so I may have become a bit spoiled!

Dark Archive 5/5

Acedio wrote:
Right, my clearly poorly delivered point being that this 12 year old may need a little more guidance from local leadership than what is being provided. I'd be kind of a shame for a youngster to get discouraged.

Sorry! I should have used quote tags. I wasn't responding to you, and I agree with you completely. I was responding to someone up-thread who said the existence of the added monster alone was grounds for a TPK reversal. I just wanted to note that no player has explicitly stated that there was an extra monster. And having run the game myself, most of their other complaints (with a few noteable, but minor, exceptions) seem baseless.

Not that I think they're in the wrong to be upset. Unless you have a very specific party make-up, the scenario is written to be intentionally confusing, and incredibly lethal for 1st-level characters. I'd be mad about playing it too. It just doesn't sound like it was (entirely) the GM's fault.


Benn Roe wrote:
Acedio wrote:
Right, my clearly poorly delivered point being that this 12 year old may need a little more guidance from local leadership than what is being provided. I'd be kind of a shame for a youngster to get discouraged.

Sorry! I should have used quote tags. I wasn't responding to you, and I agree with you completely. I was responding to someone up-thread who said the existence of the added monster alone was grounds for a TPK reversal. I just wanted to note that no player has explicitly stated that there was an extra monster. And having run the game myself, most of their other complaints (with a few noteable, but minor, exceptions) seem baseless.

Not that I think they're in the wrong to be upset. Unless you have a very specific party make-up, the scenario is written to be intentionally confusing, and incredibly lethal for 1st-level characters. I'd be mad about playing it too. It just doesn't sound like it was (entirely) the GM's fault.

I'd just like to point out that the player pointed out that a player had his AC killed in the first encounter which is effectively almost losing a player in terms of party effectiveness. If they were forced to play down an entire class feature on the fault of a GM who put extra unhindered, high tier monsters in then it's almost definitely grounds for a TPK reversal.

I admit I'm somewhat of a nasty GM when it comes to tactics and some of the adventures in season 6 are tough (I very nearly TPK'ed a 6 man in 6-02 on the boss fight) or confusing (6-01 is confusing for players and somewhat complex for GM's) but adding a monster or placing high tier encounters in the lower tier adventure is grounds for TPK reversal.

TPK's happen. I've seen several of them in Waking rune/Bonekeep and a few other particularly deadly adventures, I've also seen a group TPK to flying swarms in a particular level 1 mod because they had no AOE. TPK's happen, they should never be the GM's fault. If the TPK is a result of the GM running things wrong it should be reversed.

I'd start by talking to the GM and confirming the facts.

1) Which monsters did he use?
2) How many monsters did he use?
3) If you were in the right tier was he using the appropriate 4 man adjustment or not if applicable?

Then if things seem fishy just talk to your local venture officer.

Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa aka Mistwalker

Kryzbyn wrote:

Wow! 10?

Good job, sir.

Thank you, I am quite proud of her.

Skaldi the Tallest wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:

I think the age shouldn't/isn't an issue here.

My 10 year old is a 2 star GM, who ran games at GenCon this year -one table of PFS GMs.

As I didn't seen an abundance of 10 y/o GMs at GenCon, I'm going to assume I was next to your daughter during the event. I heard players compliment her as a good GM. Not just a good kid trying to GM, but a straight up good GM.

If I'd known how to track you down at the event, I'd've passed the compliment along directly.

Thank you, I will make sure that she sees this.

Socalwarhammer wrote:
Mistwalker- in the case of your daughter, she has obviously demonstrated both of the prerequisites listed above. Congrats, on a job well done.

Thank you, and I agree, maturity has a lot to do with it.

But from everything that I have read in this thread, age/maturity didn't really seem to play any role in what happened.

The GM may have gotten the abilities of the NPCs wrong on a couple of points, but does seem to have followed the tactics as described in the scenario.

scenario tactics quote:
The skeletons’ simple tactics involve swarming a single foe if possible. They stay close together so that their plasmatic death explosions overlap if they are destroyed.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Fascinating. The longer this thread goes, the fewer things the GM actually got wrong; if the posted references the stats/tactics/etc are to be believed, then the players have made far more errors than the GM did, and all because they chose to make their declarations without fact-checking first.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The no criticals or sneak attack on robots is still pretty huge.

Grand Lodge

Mistwalker wrote:
But from everything that I have read in this thread, age/maturity didn't really seem to play any role in what happened.

I don't think this has all that much to do with age, but based on the second player's description of how the first bit of exploration went, it sounds to me like the GM just wanted to get to the combat as quickly as possible and smack the PCs around. And that's just not good GM'ing.

Not grounds to reverse the TPK but definitely something to talk with the GM about.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I want to point out one thing:
If it was unintentional, it wasn't "cheating". It was just a mistake.

When anyone talks to a GM or coordinator or VO, please, please keep this in mind. Don't assume malice where there was honest misreading.

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

Socalwarhammer wrote:
I think it is prudent for the local Venture Captain to be involved in the supervision (if it makes some people feel better, we can call it PFS young-adult development) until the necessary experience and maturity are demonstrated.

That may be practical in your neck of the woods, but it isn't universally so. The San Francisco Area, for example, covers something like 250 miles N/S (spanning at least 10 active game stores involved in PFS, and as many again that have expressed a desire to get involved, but which don't yet consistently have enough players ready to sign up for regular games), and hosts over 100 tables of PFS at each of three major conventions. It's impossible for a VO, let alone the VC, to be hands-on at every store on anything more than an occasional basis. That's why there are store coordinators to handle the day-to-day events.

Grand Lodge

David Bowles wrote:

The no criticals or sneak attack on robots is still pretty huge.

As Kyle stated upthread, if the thing had a forcefield/shield (I havent played it, so I dont know) it would have been immune to crits til that came down.

5/5 Venture-Captain, Ohio—Northern aka GinoA

David Bowles wrote:
The no criticals or sneak attack on robots is still pretty huge.

The text on the constructs in this scenario can be misunderstood fairly easily to behave the way the GM ruled at table.

Spoiler:

Vulnerable to Critical Hits: Whenever a robot takes extra damage from a critical hit, it must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round. If it succeeds at this saving throw, it is staggered for 1 round. The robot is still immune to other sources of the stunned condition.

He was wrong, but I can see misreading that in the heat of the moment and concluding as he (ultimately) did.

I could even see misreading it as invulnerable fairly easily.

1 to 50 of 97 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / I think my GM unintentionally "cheated" and TPKed, what do I do? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.