My first Pathfinder Society / Pathfinder game EVER n my character is Dead


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Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eric Brittain wrote:

jtaylor73003 a whole lot of stuff has been thrown at you in this thread and I will add my voice to the chorus that states that the experience you had is not the norm for most Pathfinder Society (PFS) play.

The flavor of each local community varies as you move from region to region, judge to judge, and table to table. In general areas tend to have a reasonably consistent style/flavor. I would strongly suggest reaching out to your local venture captain to let them know about the experience you had with this game. Such feedback is incredibly valuable and helps the local community improve by highlighting any potential 'bad actors' and allowing the early mitigation of their impact.

I would also echo the others who have suggested trying to find a game with a different GM in your area. If this is the only GM in your area please consider investigating online play or play by post. Both of these options allow you to connect with other wonderful members of the larger PFS community.

I sincerely hope that you give PFS another chance. It is a great way to meet a bunch of amazing new people and have a great fun time.

If you need any help in connecting with your local venture officer, finding other games in your area, or getting connected with the PFS online community please drop me a private message and I would be happy to help out.

It really is a fun ride to be part of this vast, diverse, and thriving community of gamers.

Eric is exactly correct.

I also want to point out something else. It really amazes me the amount of people trying to invalidate the OP's feelings in this.

Are you saying that if you had a limited income, and you went to a movie you'd be looking forward to for weeks or months, and new you wouldn't be able to afford one for at least another couple months if not longer, that if not only the movie ended up sucking, but the popcorn was cold and soggy and the soda was flat with no syrup, that you'd be ok with that? That you wouldn't be disappointed?

I don't think the OP is so much upset at the fact that his character died, but rather how everything went down. Heck, I understand there are always two stories to every situation, and the truth, but to the OP, this is how he perceived it. Lets have a bit of empathy here. If things went exactly as he said (he spent significant cash and time prepping for his first every RPG experience of this kind and in this system, the GM and other players were unhelpful to a beginner, rules of PFS were enforced particularly stringently and outside the scope and intent of the no PvP rule, the GM used the "as written rule" as an excuse to be purposefully deadly in actively trying to kill a PC of a brand new beginner at an advertised game for beginners.

If that happened to me, I'd likely question whether I ever wanted to come back too. I'd have been highly disappointed. I think he's shown a great amount of patience for those who are chastising him for reasonable feelings of disappointment.

Silver Crusade 3/5

Andrew, many posters here, especially Outshyn, have expressed tremendous amounts of empathy to the OP.

Numerous posters have provided words of both sympathy and encouragement. Several gave sound advice for both dealing with this particular situation (speak with the GM and speak with a VO) and for character survival in future scenarios (bolster the character, system mastery takes time and patience, ask other players or the GM for tactical advice, etc.).

Most agree that the OP's concerns about long-term character survival are well-founded; character death is not frequent, but it is common enough that I don't know anyone who has played for more than a few months has not lost a character.

Yes, the situation the OP experienced sucks. It is almost always a bummer when a character dies. It is especially tough when it happens to a new player. And yes I know this isn't just about losing the character, but rather the situation as a whole. The biggest problem is that the event description set up player expectations that were inconsistent with the reality of a particularly tough scenario being run by a hardcore GM.

Other than offer advice and sympathy, there isn't anything that most of us can do for the OP. It becomes especially difficult when he takes the empathy that Outshyn offered and throws it back at him.

I stand by what I said earlier. I think PFS might not be the right fit for the OP. I hope it is taken with all the compassion that I intend. The OP's free time is very valuable to him (I can totally relate, because I place a tremendous value on free time as well). He should spend that time doing something he enjoys. He enjoyed D&D 5th edition; he didn't enjoy PFS.

I agree with rknop who said he would be hesitant to GM for the OP. I don't get the impression that the OP is comfortable playing a game where his character might die. If he is okay with that kind of game, then he should give PFS another shot, hopefully with different expectations and a GM with a softer touch.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Thefox wrote:
He should spend that time doing something he enjoys. He enjoyed D&D 5th edition; he didn't enjoy PFS.

Small but important distinction: He enjoyed the games he had of 5th eddition. He didn't enjoy the game he had of PFS.

If that DM had been running 5e , or his evil(er) goateed twin had been running 5e instead of pathfinder the same thing probably would have happened.

Silver Crusade 3/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thefox wrote:
He should spend that time doing something he enjoys. He enjoyed D&D 5th edition; he didn't enjoy PFS.

Small but important distinction: He enjoyed the games he had of 5th eddition. He didn't enjoy the game he had of PFS.

If that DM had been running 5e , or his evil(er) goateed twin had been running 5e instead of pathfinder the same thing probably would have happened.

Quite probably. I don't know how lethal the mechanics of D&D 5 are. But your point is well-taken.

And if the DM from his D&D game was running the PFS table instead? Who knows? It is still a tough scenario. Much tougher than might be expected from a "beginner game" event. And there are many scenarios that are harder than that one in his future if he continues with PFS.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm not saying the OP's feelings are invalid. I think there may be issues with expectations though.

On the other hand, I would definitely cancel a gaming session, if I was being offered double overtime. (which is what I'd have to get to get 30 bucks an hour)


The Fox wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thefox wrote:
He should spend that time doing something he enjoys. He enjoyed D&D 5th edition; he didn't enjoy PFS.

Small but important distinction: He enjoyed the games he had of 5th eddition. He didn't enjoy the game he had of PFS.

If that DM had been running 5e , or his evil(er) goateed twin had been running 5e instead of pathfinder the same thing probably would have happened.

Quite probably. I don't know how lethal the mechanics of D&D 5 are. But your point is well-taken.

And if the DM from his D&D game was running the PFS table instead? Who knows? It is still a tough scenario. Much tougher than might be expected from a "beginner game" event. And there are many scenarios that are harder than that one in his future if he continues with PFS.

But there are also many easier. And you don't always hit the combo of hard GM + hard scenario.


LazarX wrote:
I'm not saying the OP's feelings are invalid. I think there may be issues with expectations though.

There may be. OTOH, expectations are often set in that initial experience.

Reassuring him that the session was unusually deadly is probably more helpful than telling him that death happens and if he can't accept that PFS isn't for him. Or even that he has to up his game and make a tougher character to survive.


The Fox wrote:
And if the DM from his D&D game was running the PFS table instead? Who knows? It is still a tough scenario. Much tougher than might be expected from a "beginner game" event. And there are many scenarios that are harder than that one in his future if he continues with PFS.

Many of those scenarios are higher level where death, even a TPK, is reversible, since you'll likely have the Prestige.

That makes a big difference.

Silver Crusade 3/5

thejeff wrote:
The Fox wrote:
And if the DM from his D&D game was running the PFS table instead? Who knows? It is still a tough scenario. Much tougher than might be expected from a "beginner game" event. And there are many scenarios that are harder than that one in his future if he continues with PFS.

Many of those scenarios are higher level where death, even a TPK, is reversible, since you'll likely have the Prestige.

That makes a big difference.

True, true.

I find level 3 to be the scariest. You are still low enough level to be vulnerable without having the prestige point cushion. Levels 1 and 2 are less scary because I have less invested in those characters. If I lose a character who has only 3 or 4 chronicles on them, oh well. When one has 10 chronicles on a character it stings a bit more.

jtaylor: character death is common enough that I don't know anyone who hasn't lost at least one character. But it is also rare enough that a vast majority of characters are able to make it to the upper levels of the game.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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jtaylor73003 wrote:
Amazingly good post about Opportunity Cost and Group Dynamics leading to a clear preference for a competing system.

Well, there it is, folks. 5th edition is out and, in at least one part of the country, is kicking our asses. We, as representatives of the hobby, can't just rock along like everything is the same now as it was when PFRPG had no real competitor.

There are amazing PFS groups across the world, and there are some that could use improvement. We should all take stock of our local scene and come up with ways to be more inclusive and friendly to newcomers so we can continue the success of a hobby we all love.


I remember my very first experience with an organized play living campaign.

I was playing some flavor of ranger, and some dogs were attacking the townsfolk. I, playing the heroic type, leapt into action.

My party members apparently had other ideas and remained hiding behind a bar counter.

It turns out the dogs were hellhounds.

It did not turn out well.

It is, however, a good thing I chalked the experience up to randomness rather than assuming this was a normal occurrence. This happened in the early 90's. I've been heavily involved in living campaigns in the following quarter century and have had a blast the whole time.

Probably the most important thing to take away from this is that it's not representative of the normal experience. You will occasionally run into this kinda thing, but generally it's a good time.

I hope you give it another try. I think you'll like it.

-j

1/5 Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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OP comes in says "I had an awful time, is this normal?" Forum responds saying "Sorry you had a rough time, it's not super normal but it happens" OP "Keeps going on and on about how much of a waste it was for him" Forum responds saying "Well we don't know how the future of it will go for you, it could be good or you could have another problem, you seem to value things a certain way that makes us wary of wanting to DM for you."

Like I feel you're not accepting what we're saying to you. I'm not sure what you're still looking for or wanting to find out from this thread.

1/5 Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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Also if I understand correctly here's what happened

OP finds out there's a "pathfinder for beginners" being hosted at some place. The OP just shows up, so no one especially the GM, knew to expect him. The OP shows up early, while the GM shows up just on time. But the OP didn't ask anyone else about his character or anything, and OP said there were two tables running that time, so I'd imagine that there were knowledgeable people there early, but he didn't ask any of them anything. Then the OP dies and just leaves, without waiting to finish the session to be able to talk things over with people after the session. Maybe the GM would have come up afterwards saying, "hey sorry that happened, here lets spend some time getting your character in a good shape."

I'm not discounting that the OP had a bad experience, but I feel there were things he could have done to have had a good experience, and that people might have helped him after the session if he had stayed. I know some people are uncomfortable stopping the session to help a new player/a player who died. He's basing it all off of 1 session that many posters have said was a rough session. If the OP is interested in giving it another shot he's now more prepared and aware of sources for help. If he's not then he moves on to something he feels is worth his time.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:

OP comes in says "I had an awful time, is this normal?" Forum responds saying "Sorry you had a rough time, it's not super normal but it happens" OP "Keeps going on and on about how much of a waste it was for him" Forum responds saying "Well we don't know how the future of it will go for you, it could be good or you could have another problem, you seem to value things a certain way that makes us wary of wanting to DM for you."

Like I feel you're not accepting what we're saying to you. I'm not sure what you're still looking for or wanting to find out from this thread.

It sounds like he wants us to chastise his DM for not giving him 120 dollars worth of a good time, since he did not get the climax he desired for the event. (going by his value rate for his free time, and assuming a 4 hour run)

2/5

Just one other thought - he only placed a dollar value on his free time in order to illustrate his larger point.

As a GM, I would have a very hard time providing everyone enjoyment that could be measured this way.

It is complicated because we have high school students gaming with adult professionals, tradespeople, service workers, etc. Not everyone has equal earning power.

Some of us work in fields known for relatively high pay. We have engineers, lawyers, and accountants among our ranks for example.

In my case if I owned my own accounting practice my billing rates would start at $100 per hour. When I worked in public accounting the firm charged much more than that for my time, although my own pay was a fraction of this figure.

Should I demand that a GM provide me $500 of value, at a minimum, every time I game? What about when I GM? Should I demand $500 from my players because I could have earned as much by acquiring new business?

The answer is an unequivocal "no" for me. But that doesn't diminish the usefulness of using dollars in helping you to evaluate how you spend your time. The specific dollar amount isn't the most relevant point, but as was said upthread, opportunity cost is real.

Time IS an absolutely fixed resource. We can't generate more of it no matter what we do.

And what Mystic Lemur said is especially insightful. There is NOTHING that says PFS must remain popular. If we want that to happen, the onus is largely on us. We need to make it the best experience for the largest number of people.

PFS is in its 7th season. How many TV shows last as long, for example? If we want there to be a season 11, a season 15, we need to make sure that it's the best OP campaign there ever was. Because Living Greyhawk didn't last nearly as long as that (8 or 9 years?).

1/5

rknop wrote:
In 58 tables of credit as GM, I've only managed to outright kill two characters. (Lots have been below zero.). I'm far from the best tactician, and I'm probably a softie. And, yet, still, if I got to a table and discovered the OP was one of the players, I'd recommend he not play with me. If for no other reason, I worry about the repercussions that would fall on me if something weren't to go right.

What repercussions would you be afraid of???

It this type of response I am concerned I will get if I approach the Game Master about how my first EVER Pathfinder/Pathfinder Society Game went.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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jtaylor73003 wrote:
rknop wrote:
In 58 tables of credit as GM, I've only managed to outright kill two characters. (Lots have been below zero.). I'm far from the best tactician, and I'm probably a softie. And, yet, still, if I got to a table and discovered the OP was one of the players, I'd recommend he not play with me. If for no other reason, I worry about the repercussions that would fall on me if something weren't to go right.

What repercussions would you be afraid of???

It this type of response I am concerned I will get if I approach the Game Master about how my first EVER Pathfinder/Pathfinder Society Game went.

Please don't misunderstand me, but as I and others have suggested, confronting that particular GM after your recent experience might not be the best option.

Talk to your Venture Captain, get some more experience and play with other players and GMs (not just talking about PFS here), after that you should be better equipped to talk to that particular GM again.

And to be honest, it happens, sometimes you have a bad experience and never want to play with a particular GM or player again, I am pretty sure that most of the people who have posted here have negative experiences with GMs or fellow players. It happens.

There is no test or any strict requirement to GM Pathfinder Society, after all we are all volunteers who try to keep our hobby alive, of course this means that when it comes to GM you can play with a 35 year RPG veteran or with someone who just bought the Core Rulebook last week... and frankly I am not certain that the veteran would always provide the better experience.

1/5

Chess Pwn wrote:

OP comes in says "I had an awful time, is this normal?" Forum responds saying "Sorry you had a rough time, it's not super normal but it happens" OP "Keeps going on and on about how much of a waste it was for him" Forum responds saying "Well we don't know how the future of it will go for you, it could be good or you could have another problem, you seem to value things a certain way that makes us wary of wanting to DM for you."

Like I feel you're not accepting what we're saying to you. I'm not sure what you're still looking for or wanting to find out from this thread.

Yet if you read the whole thread. I have thanked repeatly everyone for there helpful advice. I haven't made my decision on whether I return or not, because I waiting till I calm down enough to make an informed decision. I have responded to those who advice that didn't seem helpful, or seemed to question my reaction as being too strong.

No, I haven't announced if I will return. I will decide closer to day of the event, might even be the day of the event.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

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jtaylor73003 wrote:

Yet if you read the whole thread. I have thanked repeatly everyone for there helpful advice. I haven't made my decision on whether I return or not, because I waiting till I calm down enough to make an informed decision. I have responded to those who advice that didn't seem helpful, or seemed to question my reaction as being too strong.

No, I haven't announced if I will return. I will decide closer to day of the event, might even be the day of the event.

Given what you've written, I take "calm down" as meaning when you can look at it dispassionately.

I would suggest you give it another try, but with a different GM and possibly a different location. The GM always has a huge impact on the game, but for my area I've also seen a difference just depending on where the event is. I find some locations much more inviting than others.

I hope you find something that works for you.

Have fun!

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

So, jtaylor, if it matters,I will go out on a line and say that this is not a normal occurrence, especially in a "beginner" game. When I run a game with beginners, I make sure that the person knows all of his options, and doesn't get into bad situations because he didn't know. I am actually running games for some coworkers who are almost all novices in the game, and it has been an interesting experience for me to learn even better how to teach someone who doesn't have thirty-plus years of experience. Let us hope at your GM was honestly just not that experienced in running for inexperienced players... It is a different skill altogether

As for the specifics of your game, is hard to tell. But it does seem like the GM went a little beyond on his enforcing of the "no PVP" rule... Hitting a friendly with splash is sometimes permissible. Heck, hitting party members with the brunt of a spell can be permissible, though it is often nice (or required depending on a Table Variation) ask permission first. Tactical advantage should not be completely overcome by never hurting anyone, ever. But, that's also my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

We also don't know what he was trying with the channel energy... I can say that he had a really hot set of dice! Average go 2d6 is 7. However, I would agree that you probably want more hp... Both of my wizards have Toughness as their only first level feat, and one of them has a CON14.... It gets a little less critical after first level, but you need to one ready for being a little more fragile as an alchemist!

This might just be a complication that you will have to face if you choose this class... Perhaps at level 2 you will want to take the precise bombs as your discovery, to avoid this situation. It will help a LOT!

Finding another GM might also be good idea... And talking to your local venture officer, to get his or her suggestion of a good GM to try out. I will also go on record that if you would like to try a play-by-post, I would be willing to run for you.

Scarab Sages 4/5

As far as the no PvP, an alchemist is a case where allowing the splash damage against allies could seriously negatively impact them. A bomb's splash is equal to its minimum damage, so around 5 or 6, probably, with a reflex save for half. 5 points of damage is a big deal at first level. I still think the spirit of the no PvP rule means if the other players say it's ok, then you can do it, which the GM didn't allow for, but think how much worse that last fight could have been if the fighters were taking a 2d6 channel every round plus 5 points of splash damage from their own party. So while it sounds as though the GM could have addressed that point in a better way, I don't think he was necessarily wrong in not wanting the other PCs to take splash damage. First level is just a tough one for alchemists, because they have to aim bombs very carefully without precise bombs.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mystic Lemur wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Amazingly good post about Opportunity Cost and Group Dynamics leading to a clear preference for a competing system.

Well, there it is, folks. 5th edition is out and, in at least one part of the country, is kicking our asses. We, as representatives of the hobby, can't just rock along like everything is the same now as it was when PFRPG had no real competitor.

There are amazing PFS groups across the world, and there are some that could use improvement. We should all take stock of our local scene and come up with ways to be more inclusive and friendly to newcomers so we can continue the success of a hobby we all love.

This is exactly why I'm trying to get Pathfinder Society set up in my neck of the woods.

Also, as an up-and-coming PFS GM, I'd like to thank the original poster for discussing this here, as it gave me a good example of how not to run. I hope you try PFS again, and that things go much better for you. :)


Ferious Thune wrote:
As far as the no PvP, an alchemist is a case where allowing the splash damage against allies could seriously negatively impact them. A bomb's splash is equal to its minimum damage, so around 5 or 6, probably, with a reflex save for half. 5 points of damage is a big deal at first level. I still think the spirit of the no PvP rule means if the other players say it's ok, then you can do it, which the GM didn't allow for, but think how much worse that last fight could have been if the fighters were taking a 2d6 channel every round plus 5 points of splash damage from their own party. So while it sounds as though the GM could have addressed that point in a better way, I don't think he was necessarily wrong in not wanting the other PCs to take splash damage. First level is just a tough one for alchemists, because they have to aim bombs very carefully without precise bombs.

OTOH, some cooperation helps. As does a high initiative. :)

If you can get a shot off before everyone closes to melee, that helps a lot. If there are multiple targets, they're not always all engaged at once. Even if you can toss behind them to catch the bad guy in the splash, that's at least something.
If all else fails sometimes you just have to catch someone in the splash. I dropped one PC in my first scenario with my alchemist. Dropped the monster too.

1/5

Thanks for advice people are posting. Yes the precise bomb discovery sounds good. Again I notice, from what others have posted, that technically I could of had more hit points. If I play again I plan to replace brew potion, which is illegal, with Toughness. I also heard, from posts, that since Alchemist would favorite class I should get 1 more hp. That would take my total hp to 13. I do know that make me more comfortable that my Alchemist would survive a bad hit. I admit I don't know the experience level of Game Master, and I will keep in mind when make my decision.

I want to address the Game Master's warning against Player killing Player. My Game Master said I wasn't allowed to killing other Players, not that I wasn't to hit them with my splash damage. He gave this warning when I picking a target for a bomb attack so I chose an empty space. I took this I wasn't allowed at all to hit of players with my splash damage.

I was wrong for taking his warning like this. I know earlier I said that banned player killing therefore banning splash damage to other players, but on going over events of the nights before I see that I misinterpreted his intent.

Scarab Sages 4/5

EDIT: this is a response to thejeff. Just didn't want a wall of quote text.

All of those are good tactics that a GM might point out to a beginning player playing a 1st level alchemist at a beginning pathfinder session.

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

jtaylor73003 wrote:

Thanks for advice people are posting. Yes the precise bomb discovery sounds good. Again I notice, from what others have posted, that technically I could of had more hit points. If I play again I plan to replace brew potion, which is illegal, with Toughness. I also heard, from posts, that since Alchemist would favorite class I should get 1 more hp. That would take my total hp to 13. I do know that make me more comfortable that my Alchemist would survive a bad hit. I admit I don't know the experience level of Game Master, and I will keep in mind when make my decision.

I want to address the Game Master's warning against Player killing Player. My Game Master said I wasn't allowed to killing other Players, not that I wasn't to hit them with my splash damage. He gave this warning when I picking a target for a bomb attack so I chose an empty space. I took this I wasn't allowed at all to hit of players with my splash damage.

I was wrong for taking his warning like this. I know earlier I said that banned player killing therefore banning splash damage to other players, but on going over events of the nights before I see that I misinterpreted his intent.

Just to note: you cannot replace brew potion with toughness... For PFS the direct replacement is Extra Bombs.

But you still have your regular feat(s), one can be toughness!

1/5

Jack Brown wrote:


Just to note: you cannot replace brew potion with toughness... For PFS the direct replacement is Extra Bombs.

But you still have your regular feat(s), one can be toughness!

I apologize. My feats were Extra Bombs(1st), Point Blank Shot(human bonus), Throw Anything(Class), and Brew Potion(Class).

I plan to do Extra Bombs(Class), Point Blank Shot(human bonus), Throw Anything(Class), and Toughness(1st). Of course if there is a Better Feat than Point Blank Shot, maybe something that increase the range of my bombs since I could change it back to Point Blank Shot before Second level.

Silver Crusade 1/5

Precise Shot maybe. Otherwise you suffer a -4 penalty for shooting (well, throwing) into melee combat. Which is usually the case.

1/5

Blackbot wrote:
Precise Shot maybe. Otherwise you suffer a -4 penalty for shooting (well, throwing) into melee combat. Which is usually the case.

Point Blank Shot is a prerequisite for Precise Shot. Taking Precise Shot as soon as possible, probably level 3, would help with the -4 for throwing into melee.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
Mystic Lemur wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Amazingly good post about Opportunity Cost and Group Dynamics leading to a clear preference for a competing system.
Well, there it is, folks. 5th edition is out and, in at least one part of the country, is kicking our asses.

Correction: for one person, 5th edition is kicking PFS's asses.

There's not enough information, at least from this thread, to conclude anything beyond that.

It's certainly possible. But this thread hardly shows that. If there were a bunch of threads like this, it'd still be anecdotal, but it would start to suggest that. This one thread doesn't even suggest what you're concluding.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber
jtaylor73003 wrote:
rknop wrote:
In 58 tables of credit as GM, I've only managed to outright kill two characters. (Lots have been below zero.). I'm far from the best tactician, and I'm probably a softie. And, yet, still, if I got to a table and discovered the OP was one of the players, I'd recommend he not play with me. If for no other reason, I worry about the repercussions that would fall on me if something weren't to go right.
What repercussions would you be afraid of???

A thread like this one. Players coming in with unreasonable expectations (e.g. that I provide enough entertainment to them that they will consider it economically reasonable given their hourly wage) and then going away in an attempt to convince other PFS players to blame me if they don't get what they're after.

I've seen threads before where somebody complains about another PFS player. Sometimes, people will dump all over the anonymous third party in the thread; in this thread we've had a bit of that, although I'm also glad to see some people recognizing that we don't really have clear data on what really happened with the GM of your session. But, in threads like this I've seen before, where the OP made it pretty unambiguous what a bad guy the anonymous third party was, there have been times where I had first-had knowledge of the situation and recognized the degree to which the anonymous third party was being misrepresented.

Your first post was fine. But, as this reply rather succinctly points out, your subsequent replies have increasingly been of the sort to make some of us very wary.

Silver Crusade 3/5

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jtaylor73003 wrote:

My feats were Extra Bombs(1st), Point Blank Shot(human bonus), Throw Anything(Class), and Brew Potion(Class).

I plan to do Extra Bombs(Class), Point Blank Shot(human bonus), Throw Anything(Class), and Toughness(1st). Of course if there is a Better Feat than Point Blank Shot, maybe something that increase the range of my bombs since I could change it back to Point Blank Shot before Second level.

Those are good choices for feats. As mentioned above, Point Blank Shot is a prerequisite for Precise Shot, which you will want to get as soon as you can.

Toughness is great at first level. When you get to second level, you could keep Toughness or trade it out for Precise Shot instead. At that point you have a few more hp than you did at first level, so it is less imperative. Toughness is a feat that remains useful throughout your career, but decreasingly so.

At second level you should almost definitely take the Precise Bombs discovery. That allows you to ignore a number of squares equal to your Intelligence bonus of suffering splash damage. That means you can safely throw bombs in when your friends are engaged in melee with your enemies. (Beware that this only works on a hit, so if your bomb misses, you still might splash your friends.)

One other note: the extracts that you have chosen are okay, but they aren't great. Shield is actually the better of these two extracts for you. It gives you +4 shield bonus to your AC, but effectively for only one encounter at this level. True strike sounds great (who doesn't want a +20 to their attack roll, right?), but for alchemists it is usually unnecessary. Your bombs (and other splash weapons [see the next paragraph]) target touch AC. Usually touch AC is pretty easy to hit. And if you are fighting Large enemies, then touch AC is even easier to hit usually. (There are times that true strike is great, and it remains one of my favorite spells, just not for alchemists.) Either another preparation of shield or a prepping of cure light wounds might be better for you.

I don't know what equipment you have, but I would recommend that you carry a bunch of acid flasks and alchemist fires. You get to add your Int bonus to the damage with these weapons just like with your bombs. If you have ranks in Craft (alchemy), they cost 1/3 as much as their list price in the Core Rulebook (so you can get 3 acid flasks for 10 gp, and 3 alchemist fires for another 20 gp). These are useful for you to have in case you run out of bombs (even with Extra Bombs it can happen).

You might also want to carry a crossbow just in case you need to make ranged attacks at a greater distance. Also be sure to carry a melee weapon even if it is just a dagger (light weight) or a club (free). Have someone at your next session explain the Aid Another action to you.

Looking to the future, as soon as you earn 2 prestige points, look into spending that on a wand of cure light wounds. Then you won't need to prep a cure light wounds extract anymore; you can just use the wand. There are other good items to spend prestige points on, but I suggest you talk to other local players about that.

Edit to add: I don't expect that you would have known any of this in advance of your last game unless someone sat you down and told you. That is why we are telling you this stuff now.

1/5

rknop wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
rknop wrote:
In 58 tables of credit as GM, I've only managed to outright kill two characters. (Lots have been below zero.). I'm far from the best tactician, and I'm probably a softie. And, yet, still, if I got to a table and discovered the OP was one of the players, I'd recommend he not play with me. If for no other reason, I worry about the repercussions that would fall on me if something weren't to go right.
What repercussions would you be afraid of???

A thread like this one. Players coming in with unreasonable expectations (e.g. that I provide enough entertainment to them that they will consider it economically reasonable given their hourly wage) and then going away in an attempt to convince other PFS players to blame me if they don't get what they're after.

I've seen threads before where somebody complains about another PFS player. Sometimes, people will dump all over the anonymous third party in the thread; in this thread we've had a bit of that, although I'm also glad to see some people recognizing that we don't really have clear data on what really happened with the GM of your session. But, in threads like this I've seen before, where the OP made it pretty unambiguous what a bad guy the anonymous third party was, there have been times where I had first-had knowledge of the situation and recognized the degree to which the anonymous third party was being misrepresented.

Your first post was fine. But, as this reply rather succinctly points out, your subsequent replies have increasingly been of the sort to make some of us very wary.

Yet again you point only to point to responses where I defending my reasoning. You failed again to see the posts where I thanked people for their advice, which has included how to improve my character. You are cherry picking my responses please stop.

I don't know the Game Master, or why this happen. I do know what happen, what was said, and how I took things. Since all my posts have be about me or my motives, why do you think I throwing him under the bus?
Am I experienced as he is? No.
Did I go to a there with expectations? Yes
Do I value my personal time highly? Yes, and there are complex reasons behind this.
Did I give an objective value to illustrate this point? Yes, people have a better understand of subjective ideas when given objective facts.
Did I contrast my experience to another similar situation? Yes, I understand that mentioning Dungeons and Dragons could be seem as attacking you pastime, but that is not my motive. This my first time playing Pathfinder/Pathfinder Society, so I had nothing else to compare it to. Since that both are Organized Play, I only used it to show that step into a similar situation, and got different results. In no way does this reflect on Pathfinder/Pathfinder Society as a system.
Did I respond to posts that didn't seem helpful? Yes, I tried to clarify why it wasn't helpful, or get them to clarify why it was. If you notice, not cherrypick, many people posted how I should of had a Con of 14. This was very confusing to me, so I stated this. I clarified that I was in close quarters with no where to go, on the top deck of a ship. People responded stating that at least I had an extra 1 hp and could of ran. I still unsure where I was to go.
Did I state what the Game Master did or said? Yes, because what happen is crucial to determine if it was something he did or not do, the way the module was written, or other factors that I am not aware of.
Have I personally blamed the Game Master for what happen? I didn't blame him personally for the character death. I did hold him accountable for not ensuring my character was legal, which if he had I may be able to survive or not. I did hold him accountable for adversting an Event called Pathfinder for Beginner's which provide no contact info and was open to all. I didn't accept anybody who said I should of done this or that.

I don't know how more fair I could be to someone I don't know. I never accused him of killing character on purpose, but did say his choices slaughtered my character. I used slaughtered because this was no chance of my character surviving in any way. I don't understand why he made these choices, because I can only speak of his actions.

If you combine all his actions and decisions, then the excuses after Session, a message was sent. That message is You were unwelcomed here. I have to decide did he send this message intentionally or did other factors, like lack of experience being Game Master caused him to send this message. You may consider this attacking him or your pastime, but it isn't. Those are things I have to deal with. If you think he was the bad guy that was on you. If you think you would do what he did and make same choices that he made with a new player at the table, then you should expect possibility that may face the same reaction. The end result of all this could be me not returning. I started with that mindset when I posted this thread. The posts in this thread had shown things I didn't think of when first posted it, giving me several reasons to return. I now closer to being in the middle. I have complex reasons why I may not return that must consider.

1/5

Thank you The Fox. I will take that under advisement.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

If you can't target the bad guy because you're allies keep getting in the way, there are a couple things you can try:

-Ready to throw when/if the bad guy moves away. That way your shot goes off before the melee can step up.

-Aim for a square behind the bad guy. A square is only AC 5 and the splash damage is significant at low levels (as Ferious Thune points out).

-If you have a dagger and a decent AC (light armor and good dex) you can always get in there and provide a flank. Aid another is only an attack against 10 AC, and provides your ally +2 to hit. That's +4 they wouldn't have had without you.

1/5

Mystic Lemur wrote:

If you can't target the bad guy because you're allies keep getting in the way, there are a couple things you can try:

-Ready to throw when/if the bad guy moves away. That way your shot goes off before the melee can step up.

-Aim for a square behind the bad guy. A square is only AC 5 and the splash damage is significant at low levels (as Ferious Thune points out).

-If you have a dagger and a decent AC (light armor and good dex) you can always get in there and provide a flank. Aid another is only an attack against 10 AC, and provides your ally +2 to hit. That's +4 they wouldn't have had without you.

Thank you for the tactical advice. I have to ask If the melee fighter has Step Up and keeps stepping up with the caster, and I ready an action to throw a bomb when the caster steps back, does my ready action go off or does the Step take effect first?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Mystic Lemur wrote:

If you can't target the bad guy because you're allies keep getting in the way, there are a couple things you can try:

-Ready to throw when/if the bad guy moves away. That way your shot goes off before the melee can step up.

-Aim for a square behind the bad guy. A square is only AC 5 and the splash damage is significant at low levels (as Ferious Thune points out).

-If you have a dagger and a decent AC (light armor and good dex) you can always get in there and provide a flank. Aid another is only an attack against 10 AC, and provides your ally +2 to hit. That's +4 they wouldn't have had without you.

Thank you for the tactical advice. I have to ask If the melee fighter has Step Up and keeps stepping up with the caster, and I ready an action to throw a bomb when the caster steps back, does my ready action go off or does the Step take effect first?

The rules run into a timey whimey ball, break, the DM pops some asprin , picks one way or another and combat continues.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I was all ready to say yes, but the PRD actually says:

Quote:
The action occurs just before the action that triggers it.

So now I'm not sure when it happens. Do you throw before they even move, which means the fighter still takes the splash damage? Can you ready to throw after the enemy moves but before the fighter uses Step-Up? If they choose not to move too, does your readied action not go off? Bah. At my table it would work just fine, but I suppose your mileage could vary. If the GM is already out to get you, he probably wouldn't be open to "fancy" tactics like "ready" or "delay".

1/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Mystic Lemur wrote:

If you can't target the bad guy because you're allies keep getting in the way, there are a couple things you can try:

-Ready to throw when/if the bad guy moves away. That way your shot goes off before the melee can step up.

-Aim for a square behind the bad guy. A square is only AC 5 and the splash damage is significant at low levels (as Ferious Thune points out).

-If you have a dagger and a decent AC (light armor and good dex) you can always get in there and provide a flank. Aid another is only an attack against 10 AC, and provides your ally +2 to hit. That's +4 they wouldn't have had without you.

Thank you for the tactical advice. I have to ask If the melee fighter has Step Up and keeps stepping up with the caster, and I ready an action to throw a bomb when the caster steps back, does my ready action go off or does the Step take effect first?
The rules run into a timey whimey ball, break, the DM pops some asprin , picks one way or another and combat continues.

I found this reference to Doctor Who quite amusing. lol


jtaylor73003 wrote:
Thanks to everyone who been willing to post. I see there is a varity of opinions, but one of the general themes is that the situation could of been handle differently. I also like to thank the posters will to give tips on building the character, especially the ones willing to go into detail. I see now my Alchemist could had 13 hp instead of 9 hp. 1 hp from favorite class, I have find that in the book, and 3 hp from the Feat Toughness since Brew Potion isn't legal in Pathfinder Society. I can't say that would been the deciding factor, but would given more options on what to do on round two. I am still weary of playing Pathfinder Society and with this Game Master again. I admit if my character dies again, even if it isn't a complete slaughter like this time, I will be following the advice of the first post, and asking for my money back. I will think about everyone's advice, and make a decision when I feel comfortable when I can do without anger, hurt, and confusion I feel right now. The Game Master through his actions sent the message that I was unwanted at the group and in his game, and be extension Pathfinder Society.

I am reading this in two possible ways.

If you are expecting some leeway because you are new then I suggest that you cherry pick GM's and adventures.

If you expect to never die while playing Pathfinder then it is very possible you will be returning that book soon unless you cherry pick for as long as you play. Even GM's who are really nice about not killing characters sometimes have character deaths. The fact that the game has rules for it, shows that Pathfinder intends for it to be possible. I am not saying give up right now. I am just providing perspective.

PS: Also on one person represent PFS on their own. Anyone of use can become a GM, even you who just started playing. To say I had 800(just an example) GM's who never killed my character, but one who did so PFS does not want me makes no sense.

edit: Also just as you are new to playing he may have also been new to GM'ing. Playing experience, even being a good player, does not make one a good GM. It takes practice, so rather than assume the GM is out to get you, look at it as he might be learning just like you are.

1/5

wraithstrike wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Thanks to everyone who been willing to post. I see there is a varity of opinions, but one of the general themes is that the situation could of been handle differently. I also like to thank the posters will to give tips on building the character, especially the ones willing to go into detail. I see now my Alchemist could had 13 hp instead of 9 hp. 1 hp from favorite class, I have find that in the book, and 3 hp from the Feat Toughness since Brew Potion isn't legal in Pathfinder Society. I can't say that would been the deciding factor, but would given more options on what to do on round two. I am still weary of playing Pathfinder Society and with this Game Master again. I admit if my character dies again, even if it isn't a complete slaughter like this time, I will be following the advice of the first post, and asking for my money back. I will think about everyone's advice, and make a decision when I feel comfortable when I can do without anger, hurt, and confusion I feel right now. The Game Master through his actions sent the message that I was unwanted at the group and in his game, and be extension Pathfinder Society.

I am reading this in two possible ways.

If you are expecting some leeway because you are new then I suggest that you cherry pick GM's and adventures.

If you expect to never die while playing Pathfinder then it is very possible you will be returning that book soon unless you cherry pick for as long as you play. Even GM's who are really nice about not killing characters sometimes have character deaths. The fact that the game has rules for it, shows that Pathfinder intends for it to be possible. I am not saying give up right now. I am just providing perspective.

PS: Also on one person represent PFS on their own. Anyone of use can become a GM, even you who just started playing. To say I had 800(just an example) GM's who never killed my character, but one who did so PFS does not want me makes no sense.

edit: Also just as you are new to playing he may...

I address most of you talking points in later posts. I specifically explained why and how the Game Master sent that message. Please read all post since then. If you have any questions I will glad to respond.


jtaylor73003 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
jtaylor73003 wrote:
Thanks to everyone who been willing to post. I see there is a varity of opinions, but one of the general themes is that the situation could of been handle differently. I also like to thank the posters will to give tips on building the character, especially the ones willing to go into detail. I see now my Alchemist could had 13 hp instead of 9 hp. 1 hp from favorite class, I have find that in the book, and 3 hp from the Feat Toughness since Brew Potion isn't legal in Pathfinder Society. I can't say that would been the deciding factor, but would given more options on what to do on round two. I am still weary of playing Pathfinder Society and with this Game Master again. I admit if my character dies again, even if it isn't a complete slaughter like this time, I will be following the advice of the first post, and asking for my money back. I will think about everyone's advice, and make a decision when I feel comfortable when I can do without anger, hurt, and confusion I feel right now. The Game Master through his actions sent the message that I was unwanted at the group and in his game, and be extension Pathfinder Society.

I am reading this in two possible ways.

If you are expecting some leeway because you are new then I suggest that you cherry pick GM's and adventures.

If you expect to never die while playing Pathfinder then it is very possible you will be returning that book soon unless you cherry pick for as long as you play. Even GM's who are really nice about not killing characters sometimes have character deaths. The fact that the game has rules for it, shows that Pathfinder intends for it to be possible. I am not saying give up right now. I am just providing perspective.

PS: Also on one person represent PFS on their own. Anyone of use can become a GM, even you who just started playing. To say I had 800(just an example) GM's who never killed my character, but one who did so PFS does not want me makes no sense.

edit: Also just as

...

I am sure the community has already addressed those points then. I have no further questions.


I can definitely understand the frustration of losing some opportunity costs due to circumstances out of your control. I would be quite put off from organized play if I died due to (perceived) GM-being-mean or inattentive.

Around here there is 1 (known) PFS session a month, meaning 1 character would take many years to get to Seeker. If that character died it is a loss of a lot of time, in a home game I can pick up at a similar level with the group and at least keep playing at that level. If I had many sessions a week losing a dozen chronicles wouldn't hurt so much, but 1 per month is a lot of life time invested, and any time your long term goals would have been better served by not attending (losing everything regarding that character because you attended) a session is a pretty sad state of affairs.


LazarX wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Muser wrote:
But many enemy clerics don't have symbols. It's not cheating when the scenario itself is written wrong.
It is still cheating because the rules say you can't channel without a holy symbol so the GM can not let the cleric channel, or he can say the symbol is there. Holy symbol drawn on clothes can not be used to channel or cast spells. Many NPC's don't have things they should such as holy symbols or spell component pouches listed.
The silly obvious stuff is assumed to be there to save word count. You'd really have to be a Nigglemeister to harp on this.

Since this is a cutoff of the sub-topic, and may be misleading if you did not read how this started your statement is not clear.

However to save time what happened was a poster said the GM tried to say the cleric's holy symbol could not be sundered because it was not listed, and I was saying many casters don't have certain things listed, but they are assumed to be there. etc etc.

edit: I am aware that you may agree with me, but I was not sure.


I actually had read the entire thread. It seems I gave up at the finish line, so my last post to the OP still stands because his point was still not clear, with regard to "any future deaths until the end of time" meaning no more gaming.


To the OP: So, I have an idea that this post may get deleted by folks who think this is an unpopular opinion, but...

I haven't played in convention games in years, they are always mixed experiences. Sometimes great, sometimes not so much.

It is possible to have a bad experience with a GM who is not focused on making the game FUN for players. Unfortunately, everyone's definition of fun varies. I've GMed convention games of my own design (not PFS) and I focused more on the roleplaying and puzzle solving aspects of the game, and less on the combat/tactical aspects which have dominated modern rpging.

My suggestion would be to keep experimenting. Don't focus over much on this one experience. D&D can be a lot of fun. But you have to find the right mix.

It doesn't have to be convention games (which are the most swingy in my book as you can have a boring or irritating time if the group doesn't gel or if random GM is not up to par, or it could be great, luck of the draw). Putting together your own group the best way to go, even if you have to teach yourself the rules.

You can do it with Pathfinder if you enjoy the complexity and crunchiness, and it has plenty of support as well. But so do a lot of other systems that offer different kinds of things. With a group you know, you can figure out what's FUN for your group. My two cents.

Silver Crusade 3/5

Robert Carter 58 wrote:
To the OP: So, I have an idea that this post may get deleted by folks who think this is an unpopular opinion, but...

I will be very surprised if your post gets deleted.

The RPG publishing world is really quite small and the walls between the various companies are surprisingly permeable.

The reality is that the success of Pathfinder is good for D&D, and the launch of D&D 5th is good for Pathfinder. Their respective organized play campaigns are both good for the industry as a whole, as well as each other.

The owners and all of the employees of Paizo understand this. The board moderators actively discourage any bashing of other companies or any edition wars on these messageboards.

Mike Brock, the campaign organizer of PFS has often given players the advice that if PFS is not a good fit for you, that there are lots of other options available. Further, when playing Adventure Paths for PFS credit, one is explicitly allowed to use whatever rules system one's group prefers, including those systems printed and sold by Wizards of the Coast or other RPG publishers.

Edit: Lastly, yours is not an unpopular opinion. Several people in this thread have already advised that the OP should find a play experience that works best for him. If that can be found in PFS or otherwise with Pathfinder, then that is great. If that is instead only found elsewhere, that is also great.

1/5

wraithstrike wrote:
I actually had read the entire thread. It seems I gave up at the finish line, so my last post to the OP still stands because his point was still not clear, with regard to "any future deaths until the end of time" meaning no more gaming.

Thank you for clarifying you point. Again I knew answered most, but couldn't be answered all. So I said how I weary to go back, because if I died again I would be done with Pathfinder. So let me explain why this would happen and what, if anything, it mean.

My limited experience with Pathfinder, the community of Pathfinder, and my own limits on my personal time would come into this decision. I have complex reason why I value my time, and so anything I chose to do must meet a certain level of value or I wasted my time. This applies all things I decide to do from going to the movies to going on dates, etc. Another negative experience including again to getting any guidance from the Game Master to dying again will say I am wasting my time. Since I had a positive experience with Dungeons and Dragons Encounters, and expect another positive experience then I will have to decide that Pathfinder isn't for me. I know for a fact my definition of fun does not include dying every game, and I wouldn't play a system that seemed to be this harsh. This doesn't reflect on Pathfinder as a game, and doesn't reflect on Pathfinder Society. This would be my choice, based on several factors.


ok, I understand what you mean now. :)


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
jtaylor73003 wrote:
I have complex reason why I value my time, and so anything I chose to do must meet a certain level of value or I wasted my time. This applies all things I decide to do from going to the movies to going on dates, etc.

I almost hate to say it, but I think this will set you up for a lot of disappointment in the future. And not just with respect to gaming.

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