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4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

John Compton wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

The scenario is described as dealing with "delicate politics." I'm surprised that people read the blurb and came to the table without accounting for Knowledge (local, nobility) or Sense Motive.

How long has it been since we've seen either a knowledge nobility check or a local check you couldn't replicate with gather info from the much more useful diplomacy

Knowledge nobility is the go to skill for comparisons to something useless.

For me it's interesting that whenever an author, Linda, or I include a skill that's commonly perceived as useless (e.g. Appraise and Knowledge [nobility]), there's an outcry that we required a skill that nobody takes. By including an alternative skill, in some ways we only perpetuate the view that the former skills are useless. It's an amusing balancing act.

My son and I are on opposite ends about the contents of the blurb. My son feels that there should have been a statement about the intrigue rules being used. I feel that telling the " The Society has secured a few invitations for the PCs to attend the auction. Can they disrupt the event’s delicate politics in order to stop their rival..." is more than enough indication that this is a skill mission not a combat one.

I also haven't seen anyone mention the use of bias system to get bonuses to the roll. Or the fact that "The PCs usually must succeed at more than one influence check to sway an NPC. No matter how many PCs speak to the same NPC, only one check to influence that NPC can be attempted during that phase. Additional checks serve as aid another attempts tied to the principal check.

I loved the influence system as the mechanic used. It is far and away the BEST way used so far to handle social scenarios. Please don't let the criticism make you give up on this mechanic. Tweak it maybe, but don't do away with it.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

DarkKnight27 wrote:


Also, if a scenario is so complex to run (like people have been implying) because of the new, special, rule that's being used, I really think that these kinds of scenarios should be limited to Cons that have PFS leadership oversight or are limited to 5 star GM's to run.

It's not hard to run, it's new rules that I hadn't read yet because I don't have a copy of Intrigue yet. Any time a new mechanic is used in a scenario it takes longer to prep.

This scenario in no way requires a 5 star GM to run, just one that takes time to prep well and gives the players some information about the new mechanic. When I ran this, I took time to explain the way the system works to the players.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Mulgar wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:


Also, if a scenario is so complex to run (like people have been implying) because of the new, special, rule that's being used, I really think that these kinds of scenarios should be limited to Cons that have PFS leadership oversight or are limited to 5 star GM's to run.

It's not hard to run, it's new rules that I hadn't read yet because I don't have a copy of Intrigue yet. Any time a new mechanic is used in a scenario it takes longer to prep.

This scenario in no way requires a 5 star GM to run, just one that takes time to prep well and gives the players some information about the new mechanic. When I ran this, I took time to explain the way the system works to the players.

Pretty much.

1/5

Mulgar wrote:
DarkKnight27 wrote:


Also, if a scenario is so complex to run (like people have been implying) because of the new, special, rule that's being used, I really think that these kinds of scenarios should be limited to Cons that have PFS leadership oversight or are limited to 5 star GM's to run.

It's not hard to run, it's new rules that I hadn't read yet because I don't have a copy of Intrigue yet. Any time a new mechanic is used in a scenario it takes longer to prep.

This scenario in no way requires a 5 star GM to run, just one that takes time to prep well and gives the players some information about the new mechanic. When I ran this, I took time to explain the way the system works to the players.

So then someone who is familiar with the new stuff and a good teacher? That sounds like a really requirement, but not one that is unreasonable.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

Paul Jackson wrote:
Tony Lindman wrote:
However, I honestly can't imagine ever running a scenario that I spent *less* than 4-6 hours preparing, and I happily spend 10 or more if that is what it takes. I *want* my scenarios to require some work for the GM. That work then shows in the resulting game.

Good for you. Very few local GMs (most certainly including myself) are willing to spend over 4 hours on preparation, let alone 10. If scenarios start to require that level of preparation on a regular basis I'll stop running them.

That's just the point, most scenarios don't require 4 hours of prep. This one is an exception as it introduces a new mechanic in it. There have been some on those before. Remember season 5 using the armies rules?

4/5 Designer

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DarkKnight27 wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:

For those who feel the DCs were too high:

** spoiler omitted **...

Here's the problem that some people don't seem to understand, while we were a somewhat diplomatic table the highest diplomacy at the table was maybe +10. We did not have any super diplomats at the table. But we could not do any of the discoveries because we didn't have and of the right knowledge skills or profession skills. We were told that you needed multiple success (2 or more) to influence the 5 people and with the Diplomacy DC's being 25+ (as near as I could tell this was what we needed for every roll) only two of us could have even made those on our own so the others were stuck assisting. On average, we succeeded one out of every 2 or three checks or so. We completely failed this because of dice rolls and lack of Knowledge/profession skills. That is NOT a "fun" way to loose and scenarios should NOT be written to require specific skills to "win".

Like others have said, the discrepancy in skills between classes is vast and needs to be taken into account when writing scenarios like this.

Hey there DarkKnight. I wasn't involved with this scenario at all, but did some of the development on the influence rules themselves in Ultimate Intrigue. I've been watching this thread as well and have been very interested in your feedback and experience here. Thanks for giving it! I know this wasn't your most recent post I quoted above, but one thing I noticed in it is that it seems like your GM was actually giving you guys information that was supposed to require discovery checks for free, but in a way that seems to have colored a lot of the other dialogue here. I thought I'd clarify the mechanics slightly:

In the influence subsystem, there is a chart by level with suggestions for the "normal" DC. This is the DC you would have for typical skills that were a normal choice, and it's where Diplomacy usually ends up, since it's the normal choice for social situations. There's also a DC that's called the "easy DC" which is generally a more obscure skill that a particular character really enjoys, which you don't know you can use at first but receive knowledge about it as a reward for a discovery check (so using the easy DC is not expected, since you'd need a discovery, and then you have to possess the more obscure skill). The easy DC is generally 5 easier than the normal. There's also the hard DC. This is for skills that can still influence the NPC but are a particularly poor choice due to the NPC's personality (like Intimidating a strong confident leader or Diplomacying someone antisocial who doesn't want to talk).

In your report in the post I quoted, the GM was actually revealing the special "easy" skills to you without a discovery, but in the presentation of that information to you guys, it also seemed like you were taking penalties by using the normal skills, and in particular it made it seem like you were "expected" to have and use the easy skills, rather than the normal skills.

I hope that snapshot into the influence subsystem helped at least a little, and feel free to ask (here or in a PM if your prefer) if you have any other questions about the mechanics or thoughts you'd like to share!

5/5 5/55/55/5

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MadScientistWorking wrote:


Yeah you are your forgetting ** spoiler omitted **

No, I'm not. You either spend a round learning they're a red herring with a knowledge check or you spend a round learning they're a red herring with a diplomacy check.

Leave over trying to blame me for the mechanics of that scenario not working to make obscure skills useful. It's not working.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:


Yeah you are your forgetting ** spoiler omitted **

No, I'm not. You either spend a round learning they're a red herring with a knowledge check or you spend a round learning they're a red herring with a diplomacy check.

Leave over trying to blame me for the mechanics of that scenario not working to make obscure skills useful. It's not working.

That's certainly your opinion. I found them to work quite well.

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

RealAlchemy wrote:
Right now based on what I'm seeing, I'll withold further judgement until I see another scenario with the influence mechanic, and preferable play it run by one of the top GMs in my area. That might give a better idea about how much of my problem is with the mechanic, and how much is in the preparation.

The mechanic predates Ultimate Intrigue and has featured in previous obviously social scenarios like the Blakros Matrimony and Hellknight's Feast (very good scenarios, but easily running long) and Merchant's Wake (decent scenario). UI codifies a mechanic that has been field-tested several times already (with variations). I think those scenarios are better ones though for having more variation between scenes.

Dark Archive

I just played this 3 days ago and we got 2 PP while playing up using mainly one day job and two skills that weren't knowledge's.

4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

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This scenario is fatally flawed...

You MUST play this with a full table... 7 is even better...

A table of 4 has almost no chance to succeed at the primary success condition, let alone the poorly instructed Exchange mission or the secondary condition.

Why?
You have 20 chances to make successful Influence checks. You need to make 4 each on 3 different NPCs to make the primary, that leaves a cushion of 8, 12 if you include the Free Discovery Check.

If you want to know what skills to make for the checks, there go 4, if you want to know what their weakness is, there is another 4, and that doesn't grant you all the info for each NPC...

If you don't fail more then 4 checks, and only make 1 check each for a Weakness and Influence Discovery, You can JUST make it.

It is mathematically improbable. The odds are monumentally against you.

~

TL;DR - NEVER PLAY 7-22 Bid for Alabastrine WITH LESS THEN 6 PLAYERS.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

The table I ran did it with 4 by not even bothering with discovery checks.

4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

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Thus, we hit an issue...

They had; (at least one)
1) Obscenely good Diplomacy bonuses
2) Meta knowledge
3) Obscenely good luck
4) An overly permissive GM

I have never sat at your table at PaizoCon, so I have know idea as to your GM style... this is not meant as an attack, just covering all the bases.

~

That said, the cushion for failed checks is still very small.

How many checks did they fail?

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

There were quite a few. The success was skewed by the fact that two players got up and left midway through the bidding as they wanted combat and this scenario was not giving them that. The only reason the remaining party succeeded was because of the newly applied four player adjustment. The last success needed was scored on the last check of the bidding.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Tempest_Knight wrote:

This scenario is fatally flawed...

You MUST play this with a full table... 7 is even better...

A table of 4 has almost no chance to succeed at the primary success condition, let alone the poorly instructed Exchange mission or the secondary condition.

Why?
You have 20 chances to make successful Influence checks. You need to make 4 each on 3 different NPCs to make the primary, that leaves a cushion of 8, 12 if you include the Free Discovery Check.

If you want to know what skills to make for the checks, there go 4, if you want to know what their weakness is, there is another 4, and that doesn't grant you all the info for each NPC...

If you don't fail more then 4 checks, and only make 1 check each for a Weakness and Influence Discovery, You can JUST make it.

It is mathematically improbable. The odds are monumentally against you.

~

TL;DR - NEVER PLAY 7-22 Bid for Alabastrine WITH LESS THEN 6 PLAYERS.

These numbers are not correct.

Spoiler:
A table of 4 gets the 4-player adjustment. The 4-player adjustment for the scenario is that all participants require one less Influence Point. It is possible to succeed at both the primary and secondary success conditions with a total of 5 Influence Points for a 4-player table.

Passad - Only requires 1 influence point with the adjustment.
Irith - Only requires 2 Influence points with the adjustment.
The Luminous Wharf - Only requires 2 Influence points with the adjustment.

Granted, for reasons one of those Influence points will be taken away at the last minute, so you'll likely need 6 total successes, but that is easily workable for a 4-player table. If you choose to influence different people, the number of successes goes up. Worst case, if you choose Cyran and Petronax, you'll need 8 (or 9 for reasons) successes.


You're also forgetting that it's possible to achieve more than one success on a single roll. I ran this for a tier 1-2 table, and their one Diplomacy specialist hit a DC 30 a couple of times, netting 2 successes each time.

It sounds to me like you or your GM were not applying the 4-player adjustment. 5 players is the more difficult number to attempt this with, though it's still achievable.

EDIT: Or I suppose 4 players that fall between tiers and play down with the 6-player requirements might have a hard time if they also don't have high skill bonuses. In theory, they'd be more likely to hit the DC+10 level and get multiple successes, but if it's 4 low-skill characters that could be a challenge.

Grand Lodge 1/5

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Mark Seifter wrote:


Hey there DarkKnight. I wasn't involved with this scenario at all, but did some of the development on the influence rules themselves in Ultimate Intrigue. I've been watching this thread as well and have been very interested in your feedback and experience here. Thanks for giving it! I know this wasn't your most recent post I quoted above, but one thing I noticed in it is that it seems like your GM was actually giving you guys information that was supposed to require discovery checks for free, but in a way that seems to have colored a lot of the other dialogue here. I thought I'd clarify the mechanics slightly:

In the influence subsystem, there is a chart by level with suggestions for the "normal" DC. This is the DC you would have for typical skills that were a normal choice, and it's where Diplomacy usually ends up, since it's the normal choice for social situations. There's also...

We didn't get the Discovery information for free. We were told that the "normal" social skills would be harder to use and we should try to discover what alternate skills would be easier. We did manage a few of those Discovery Checks but knowledge and profession skills that were chosen were skills none of the characters at the table had (we had knowledge local and a random non-standard profession). We had talked a little after the event and it turns out that if we had chosen to bring our "combat" characters instead of our "social" ones we likely would have succeeded in this scenario because we would have had the right skills. The one time that knowledge local would have helped us, we had all decided to try and get information on our host and we were never allowed to make a knowledge local check again on anyone, we "missed our shot". When we tried our diplomacy or intimidate checks to influence the NPC's DC 25 was making it, DC 20 wasn't. Add to that that you only have one shot per round to influence each NPC no matter how many people are interacting with them makes the specter of bad dice rolls an even more powerful opponent than the NPC's.

So again, all I ask is that if a new rule is going to be heavily featured in a scenario (like these Influence rules, Mass Combat rules, etc) that it's clearly stated in the adventure blurb so people can prepare for it or choose not to play it.

This used to be done. Back in the early years there were EX scenarios that you could only run at a major Con or if you were a 4 or 5 star GM. These scenarios features the Chase rules for the first time, new classes that were complex to run, and other rules that were new and a little tough to get a handle on. I don't see any reason that the introduction of a new rule like the Influence rules can't be introduced like that.

It will improve player experience and make for a much more successful introduction of new rules.

Silver Crusade

Sorry if I'm coming in a bit from left field here, but how much different is the Influence system from normally interacting with NPCs so that it would require an advisement?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Rysky wrote:
Sorry if I'm coming in a bit from left field here, but how much different is the Influence system from normally interacting with NPCs so that it would require an advisement?

It is not significantly different than Blakros Matrimony or Hellknights Feast.

Silver Crusade

Andrew Christian wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Sorry if I'm coming in a bit from left field here, but how much different is the Influence system from normally interacting with NPCs so that it would require an advisement?
It is not significantly different than Blakros Matrimony or Hellknights Feast.

Sorry for being vague (I haven't played any of those scenarios) but what I mean is it different than just rolling skill checks when they come up at specific interactions or is it more nuanced than that?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Rysky wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Sorry if I'm coming in a bit from left field here, but how much different is the Influence system from normally interacting with NPCs so that it would require an advisement?
It is not significantly different than Blakros Matrimony or Hellknights Feast.
Sorry for being vague (I haven't played any of those scenarios) but what I mean is it different than just rolling skill checks when they come up at specific interactions or is it more nuanced than that?

If handled smoothly by the GM, it should feel like an organic conversation with the NPC where eventually a check gets made. So it shouldn't come as a shock when a knowledge check or profession check are asked for.

I'd say it's much like any other interaction, but the rules set allows for some nuances to account for the personal interests, private business dealings, or other things personal to the NPC. Almost all the standard social skills checks were standard for an indifferent NPC. So if that's all there was, the checks would be typical of any other scenario that asks for diplomacy vs an indifferent NPC.

The system just allows for a more robust system of skills to be useful, actually broadening the usefulness of almost any character to participate, and reward extremely versatile characters or those that specialize in obscure things.

Silver Crusade

Andrew Christian wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Sorry if I'm coming in a bit from left field here, but how much different is the Influence system from normally interacting with NPCs so that it would require an advisement?
It is not significantly different than Blakros Matrimony or Hellknights Feast.
Sorry for being vague (I haven't played any of those scenarios) but what I mean is it different than just rolling skill checks when they come up at specific interactions or is it more nuanced than that?

If handled smoothly by the GM, it should feel like an organic conversation with the NPC where eventually a check gets made. So it shouldn't come as a shock when a knowledge check or profession check are asked for.

I'd say it's much like any other interaction, but the rules set allows for some nuances to account for the personal interests, private business dealings, or other things personal to the NPC. Almost all the standard social skills checks were standard for an indifferent NPC. So if that's all there was, the checks would be typical of any other scenario that asks for diplomacy vs an indifferent NPC.

The system just allows for a more robust system of skills to be useful, actually broadening the usefulness of almost any character to participate, and reward extremely versatile characters or those that specialize in obscure things.

Okies, thanks for answering my questions ^w^

That's what I thought the system worked like but I just wanted to make sure.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

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DarkKnight, I do not know why your GM did that to you, but if what you say is tru (and I have no reason to doubt you) your GM did it wrong. There is no single roll for discovery (which takes kn:local, kn:nobility of sense motive with reasonable DCs), and that can any PCs check at any of events.

DIscovery check DCs and other things:
] discovery is DC15 at 1-2, DC19 at 4-5

Now,there is a free discovery (which cannot use sense motive, except for Passad, since this is what you know at the start) at a -5 on the check. Then, there is another bonus discovery at the beginning of Passad's event, this one is with no penalty.

On influence, yes, there can be only one check per bidder. However, every other check should be used as an aid another, and I would likely have the highest roll be the "one check" when I GMed. You only know if you have succeeded when you get a +5 result, though you always know when you have achieved the maximum results.

So, unfortunately, it appears there was something wrong in the way your GM ran it, based on your description. He made it much more difficult than it needed to be, I am sorry. I can understand, given what you have said, why you would think this is a subpar scenario. However, please understand that not everyone's experience was the same.

4/5

Jack Brown wrote:

DarkKnight, I do not know why your GM did that to you, but if what you say is tru (and I have no reason to doubt you) your GM did it wrong. There is no single roll for discovery (which takes kn:local, kn:nobility of sense motive with reasonable DCs), and that can any PCs check at any of events.

** spoiler omitted **

On influence, yes, there can be only one check per bidder. However, every other check should be used as an aid another, and I would likely have the highest roll be the "one check" when I GMed. You only know if you have succeeded when you get a +5 result, though you always know when you have achieved the maximum results.

So, unfortunately, it appears there was something wrong in the way your GM ran it, based on your description. He made it much more difficult than it needed to be, I am sorry. I can understand, given what you have said, why you would think this is a subpar scenario. However, please understand that not everyone's experience was the same.

It does seem like a number of people had subpar experiences. I know others really enjoyed it, so it must be a matter of preparation. I admit that I haven't purchased this scenario to consider running it myself because of my experience with it, but it sounds like more clarity in the scenario write-up would be helpful for the GMs so the players understand what to do.

5/5 5/5 *

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This scenario is getting a lot of backlash from people because they happened to have poor party composition for the kind of scenario it was. And are now demanding that we get told/warned exactly what we have to do/get/roll to win future scenarios before sitting down, or that PFS no longer make any skill-heavy or social scenarios.

Six months ago, I played a game that resulted in a TPK. It was a combat-heavy scenario and we came up against something with DR 5/- in the middle of it. We couldn't get past it because there was no way to bypass it without fighting it and the character with the highest Str was my cleric with a 14, who was also the only healer, so I was doing double-duty while the others couldn't contribute effectively. This is not our fault for having poor party balance nor is it no one's fault because sometimes you're just unlucky at the table - it is clearly the writer's fault and the campaign leadership's fault. Therefore, I demand that all future scenarios have full monster stat blocks posted in the scenario blurbs or that there never be a combat in a PFS scenario ever again.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The problem is players have been conditioned that when they are told about a social/political scenario, they assume the classic social skills are needed like bluff diplomacy and sense motive. In this case it sounds like those were both the most useful skills. I could see how some players could feel they were lured into a trap by the author.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I don't think I've ever seen a social scenario, and I mean not just a scenario with a social encounter, wherein you could win everything with just maximized Bluff and Diplo. To Judge a Soul 1, Merchant's Wake, the Blakros party duology, Deepmarket Deception, Slave Ships of Absalom, etc all either required or supported a wide variety of skills. I recall playing through The Merchant's Wake with my Ydersite Thulsa Dhoom expy laser pistoleer brawler guy of many grapples and still being able to contribute a lot.

Eh, maybe I'm just incapable of bridging the language barrier. This whole thread just seems like it's talking about a non-issue, is all.

If you want to rant about expectations and bad design, try Six Seconds to Minute. DC 28 Diplo check on tier 3-4 keklol

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

It wasn't a trap by the author. The dc's weren't that high for traditional social skills, it's just that some obscure skills were lower dc's.

Also, since when were you supposed to succeed at every mission? Getting 0 or 1 pp should have a chance of happening in a scenario.

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

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Muser wrote:

I don't think I've ever seen a social scenario, and I mean not just a scenario with a social encounter, wherein you could win everything with just maximized Bluff and Diplo. To Judge a Soul 1, Merchant's Wake, the Blakros party duology, Deepmarket Deception, Slave Ships of Absalom, etc all either required or supported a wide variety of skills. I recall playing through The Merchant's Wake with my Ydersite Thulsa Dhoom expy laser pistoleer brawler guy of many grapples and still being able to contribute a lot.

Eh, maybe I'm just incapable of bridging the language barrier. This whole thread just seems like it's talking about a non-issue, is all.

If you want to rant about expectations and bad design, try Six Seconds to Minute. DC 28 Diplo check on tier 3-4 keklol

Some things are in there to be rare unlocks. that's okay from time to time.

The party I ran this for

Spoiler:
Had a devote of Shyka with a holy symbol tattoo, and two people who were talking in her past / present / future jargon. They had no trouble *at all* with the diplomacy check.

It isn't supposed to happen all the time, or even often, but that is what makes it awesome when it does happen.

4/5 5/5

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DarkKnight27 wrote:
So again, all I ask is that if a new rule is going to be heavily featured in a scenario (like these Influence rules, Mass Combat rules, etc) that it's clearly stated in the adventure blurb so people can prepare for it or choose not to play it.

Whether this scenario is "good" or "bad", whether its use of Ultimate Intrigue's "influence" subsystem was appropriate or not, and whether GMs are running the scenario and its "special rules" correctly or not is not DarkKnight's point.

He's simply asking that such things be noted in the scenario blurb. And I agree.

Certain things are already called out in the scenario blurbs to call attention to metaplot or faction relevance. Adding a sentence to that blurb stating the scenario employs or highlights something new from a new book would be of considerable help to GMs and players alike. GMs would know that the scenario could require additional prep time and a review of rules with which they may not be entirely familiar. And players would better informed in deciding if the scenario is going to provide the experience for which they're looking.

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
...two players got up and left midway through the bidding as they wanted combat and this scenario was not giving them that.

And such a blurb may have helped these two players avoid this scenario, making their two seats available to two other players.

Grand Lodge 1/5

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TheFlyingPhoton wrote:

This scenario is getting a lot of backlash from people because they happened to have poor party composition for the kind of scenario it was. And are now demanding that we get told/warned exactly what we have to do/get/roll to win future scenarios before sitting down, or that PFS no longer make any skill-heavy or social scenarios.

Six months ago, I played a game that resulted in a TPK. It was a combat-heavy scenario and we came up against something with DR 5/- in the middle of it. We couldn't get past it because there was no way to bypass it without fighting it and the character with the highest Str was my cleric with a 14, who was also the only healer, so I was doing double-duty while the others couldn't contribute effectively. This is not our fault for having poor party balance nor is it no one's fault because sometimes you're just unlucky at the table - it is clearly the writer's fault and the campaign leadership's fault. Therefore, I demand that all future scenarios have full monster stat blocks posted in the scenario blurbs or that there never be a combat in a PFS scenario ever again.

We had social characters. But the problem is, is that the Influence system changes how social interactions work. There was no warning that the change was happening so while we had characters that would have been able hamdle a normal PFS social scenario, this scenario we were pretty much useless (or at least that's how it felt).

Not knowing what monsters you will fight is normal, not knowing what NPC you are going to negotiate with is normal. Having the rules suddenly change on you is NOT normal. Think of it this way, what if you were playing a PFS game that suddenly used the Wounds and Vigor rules out of Ultimate Combat. It's a change to how the Core game works and without giving the players a heads up it can be a jarring experience.
I really don't see how calling out a new rule that changes how the Core rules work in the blurb is a bad thing, but in my opinion it's a very good thing.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

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I guess I need to be done with this thread, for the more that I try and prove that the DCs on the checks are level appropriate, and that perhaps the GM that DarkKnight had may have made some mistakes, the more heels are getting dug in.

The Exchange 4/5

have read through this whole thread and so felt to put my input. My GM for this is perhaps one of the worst I know for social encounters, but gave him a chance since wanted to play it instead of GMing it myself.
My character was A gnome barber (sometimes shaman). At the table was a slayer, 1st level Merisel, and unchained summoner (azata). Last one played by a guy that struggles with RPing.
Now i say all that to say I had FUN!! with this one. The GM did a great job playing each NPC and explaining the rules to us. We did discovery checks to get bonus. Followed by influence checks(failed all mine) on our hosts and divided to conquer. After each party we discussed what we learned and adjusted for the next. We had good roles and bad. made one angry with us and barely got enough successes in the end to make it. The exchange person got her mission done at last minute too.
All this was done because we worked together and had fun doing it. We didnt know the rules going in but worked them out so we knew too whom to try what on. I am sorry some didnt have fun because of possible mistakes. Your character probably got 1XP, gold and one or no PP. It happens. They didnt die and lose out on gold or PP, as some characters have from new scenarios run with mistakes before enough GMs have run it to help figure out what went wrong (colossal scorpions), of course they still die from it.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Contributor—Canadian Maplecakes

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Michael Hallet wrote:
I could see how some players could feel they were lured into a trap by the author.

Well, the jig is up... thread can be closed now. My master plan was uncovered! :'(

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Michael Hallet wrote:
I could see how some players could feel they were lured into a trap by the author.
Well, the jig is up... thread can be closed now. My master plan was uncovered! :'(

Or... are you just saying that to throw us off guard, thus adding a trap to the trap of the trap?

Just because one might be paranoid doesn't mean that one doesn't have a master plan to deal with all the folks one thinks are coming after one, after all? :>

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

GM Eazy-Earl wrote:
And such a blurb may have helped these two players avoid this scenario, making their two seats available to two other players.

I gave just such a verbal disclaimer before we started the scenarios. I did not realize just how combat-exclusive these players were at the time.

4/5 5/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
I gave just such a verbal disclaimer before we started the scenarios. I did not realize just how combat-exclusive these players were at the time.

Well, you tried. Some folks just don't listen. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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One very strong impression that I'm getting from this thread is that quite a few GMs seemed to have made mistakes running it. More than usual.

I'll reiterate a point I've made before. When a scenario changes mechanics it should be made VERY clear how explict the GM should be on how the new mechanics work. Otherwise we get more table variation than desired.

I haven't read this one but other, similar, scenarios have NOT been ckear on how explicit the GM should be.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Paul Jackson wrote:

One very strong impression that I'm getting from this thread is that quite a few GMs seemed to have made mistakes running it. More than usual.

I'll reiterate a point I've made before. When a scenario changes mechanics it should be made VERY clear how explict the GM should be on how the new mechanics work. Otherwise we get more table variation than desired.

I haven't read this one but other, similar, scenarios have NOT been ckear on how explicit the GM should be.

This is a fair critique. The scenario does include a 2+ page summary of the Influence rules. However, I searched through it trying to find somewhere that mentioned actually showing them to or reviewing them with the players, and I couldn't find anything (doesn't mean it isn't there. I might have missed it). There's an in character explanation of how the events will go and how the bidding works in-world mentioned, but nothing about reviewing the Influence rules. I did review them with the players before my run of it, as I felt like that was the appropriate thing to do.

3/5

I had an unprepared Dm for this, and I can hardly blame the scenario for that.

But from what I see it seems like it is a polarizing scenario. For PCs that just want to kill things a boring talking scenario. With an unprepared/unwilling to RP DM, again boring. With roleplaying players and a prepared rollplaying DM then lotsa fun.

I know when I DM these dinner party scenarios I find ways to include the characters without social skills.

My complaint isn;t that there was one combat encounter, but that it was forced, and not related to the events as a whole. But I did not read this, and am just returning what the DM told us.

Silver Crusade

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pH unbalanced wrote:
This is a great scenario...as long as the GM has full prep time. Running it cold would be abysmal.

Tell me about it. I had to do just that on Saturday when I got railroaded into GMing something, anything, because it turned out that we had multiple players who had played every scenario that was planned to be on offer. DO NOT, under any circumstances, run this cold. It wound up devolving into a free-for-all of skill checks because I only had a tenuous grasp on how it was supposed to work (having only read through the Influence rules once when Ultimate Intrigue first came out) and my players had absolutely no idea because they'd never even looked at them. I as the GM didn't even know they would be used until we'd already started playing.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Ferious Thune wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:

One very strong impression that I'm getting from this thread is that quite a few GMs seemed to have made mistakes running it. More than usual.

I'll reiterate a point I've made before. When a scenario changes mechanics it should be made VERY clear how explict the GM should be on how the new mechanics work. Otherwise we get more table variation than desired.

I haven't read this one but other, similar, scenarios have NOT been ckear on how explicit the GM should be.

This is a fair critique. The scenario does include a 2+ page summary of the Influence rules. However, I searched through it trying to find somewhere that mentioned actually showing them to or reviewing them with the players, and I couldn't find anything (doesn't mean it isn't there. I might have missed it). There's an in character explanation of how the events will go and how the bidding works in-world mentioned, but nothing about reviewing the Influence rules. I did review them with the players before my run of it, as I felt like that was the appropriate thing to do.

I'm not sure why you'd need the scenario to tell you that the players need to know how the social combat system works. I mean with new players you explain how combat works, right?

Sovereign Court 2/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Andrew Christian wrote:
I'm not sure why you'd need the scenario to tell you that the players need to know how the social combat system works. I mean with new players you explain how combat works, right?

It's a fair point that if a scenario uses a new or rarely used subsystem (unlike standard combat, duh) then the blurb should point this out. On the one hand, this may well attract more players who want to see that subsystem in action. On the other hand, it may prevent unhelpful one-star votes with the only remark that "it uses subsystem X", which I've seen in the past.

Scarab Sages 2/5

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Christian wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:

One very strong impression that I'm getting from this thread is that quite a few GMs seemed to have made mistakes running it. More than usual.

I'll reiterate a point I've made before. When a scenario changes mechanics it should be made VERY clear how explict the GM should be on how the new mechanics work. Otherwise we get more table variation than desired.

I haven't read this one but other, similar, scenarios have NOT been ckear on how explicit the GM should be.

This is a fair critique. The scenario does include a 2+ page summary of the Influence rules. However, I searched through it trying to find somewhere that mentioned actually showing them to or reviewing them with the players, and I couldn't find anything (doesn't mean it isn't there. I might have missed it). There's an in character explanation of how the events will go and how the bidding works in-world mentioned, but nothing about reviewing the Influence rules. I did review them with the players before my run of it, as I felt like that was the appropriate thing to do.
I'm not sure why you'd need the scenario to tell you that the players need to know how the social combat system works. I mean with new players you explain how combat works, right?

If you don't see why then you've been lucky enough to never have run into a GM who doesn't give any clues/hints about how to proceed that are not explicitly written to be said in the scenario. Some GMs like playing the gotcha game. Which is okay for some things.... but never with how a mechanic works.

Scarab Sages 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Christian wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:

One very strong impression that I'm getting from this thread is that quite a few GMs seemed to have made mistakes running it. More than usual.

I'll reiterate a point I've made before. When a scenario changes mechanics it should be made VERY clear how explict the GM should be on how the new mechanics work. Otherwise we get more table variation than desired.

I haven't read this one but other, similar, scenarios have NOT been ckear on how explicit the GM should be.

This is a fair critique. The scenario does include a 2+ page summary of the Influence rules. However, I searched through it trying to find somewhere that mentioned actually showing them to or reviewing them with the players, and I couldn't find anything (doesn't mean it isn't there. I might have missed it). There's an in character explanation of how the events will go and how the bidding works in-world mentioned, but nothing about reviewing the Influence rules. I did review them with the players before my run of it, as I felt like that was the appropriate thing to do.
I'm not sure why you'd need the scenario to tell you that the players need to know how the social combat system works. I mean with new players you explain how combat works, right?

One of my takeaways from this thread is that some GMs took the approach when running the scenario that the details of how the mechanics work were unimportant to the players, so they did not fully explain them. For example, several people seemed unaware that they could get a Discovery in addition to an Influence point if they made the DC by 5. My only conclusion is that since the scenario didn't say to share the pages describing the rules of the Influence system with the players, that the GMs felt they were not supposed to share those with the players.

In past Influence scenarios, I think it was presented much more like a typical behind the scenes PFS tracking system. The players don't know they're accumulating "influence points." Just that they seem to be making progress. So past scenarios keeping the inner workings of the system abstracted from the players might have lead some GMs to think they were supposed to do the same thing here.

I'm with you as far as my running of the scenario went. I explained as much of the mechanic as I could (or that they were interested to hear), though I did not have handouts of the pages from the scenario to give the players.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Our GM was very up front with the mechanics, and I don't see any real problem with that. Reading the scenario after the game, I probably would be as well, though probably wouldn't do much more than a high level conceptual view. Honestly, being totally opaque about what's going on makes the scenario far, far more difficult.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

Andrew Christian wrote:


I'm not sure why you'd need the scenario to tell you that the players need to know how the social combat system works. I mean with new players you explain how combat works, right?

From posts here there seems to have been considerable table variation on how the mechanics were presented. And disagreement as to how they should be presented.

I know that in other similar scenarios I have experienced considerable table variation in how the mechanics were presented.

So I conclude that there is considerable variation in how the mechanics are presented.

And so, I conclude that guidance should be given to reduce this table variation

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

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Lorewalker wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:

One very strong impression that I'm getting from this thread is that quite a few GMs seemed to have made mistakes running it. More than usual.

I'll reiterate a point I've made before. When a scenario changes mechanics it should be made VERY clear how explict the GM should be on how the new mechanics work. Otherwise we get more table variation than desired.

I haven't read this one but other, similar, scenarios have NOT been ckear on how explicit the GM should be.

This is a fair critique. The scenario does include a 2+ page summary of the Influence rules. However, I searched through it trying to find somewhere that mentioned actually showing them to or reviewing them with the players, and I couldn't find anything (doesn't mean it isn't there. I might have missed it). There's an in character explanation of how the events will go and how the bidding works in-world mentioned, but nothing about reviewing the Influence rules. I did review them with the players before my run of it, as I felt like that was the appropriate thing to do.
I'm not sure why you'd need the scenario to tell you that the players need to know how the social combat system works. I mean with new players you explain how combat works, right?
If you don't see why then you've been lucky enough to never have run into a GM who doesn't give any clues/hints about how to proceed that are not explicitly written to be said in the scenario. Some GMs like playing the gotcha game. Which is okay for some things.... but never with how a mechanic works.

Gm's who play the "gotcha" game are gm's I don't play under. I'd rather have no game than one that is made into a miserable experience because the gm can't understand that his job is to ensure the players have the best experience possible. This game is NOT about seeing how many players you can kill or how you can find a way to screw the players.

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