Limitations in Pathfinder Scenerios


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3/5

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Just a small note.

I like PFS's more "On the rail" elements. Why? Because I know there is a fairly reasonable solution.

See, I've been GMing for almost 2 decades now, and I'm an annoyingly picky player about my GMs for home games in large part because I've been so burnt out on bad ones. Who want to tell "Their story" or get offended when I think "Their plot" Is stupid and full of plot holes.

When I'm at PFS, or someone is running a AP, I don't have that problem. I know for a fact their is a solution and that DMPC won't run in and save the day. I know for a fact that even if the GM is a total jerk, they can't arbitrarily jack up the DCs just to nerf my character or make me feel stupid (At least not without me getting it invalidated by the VL Later). If I get an awesome GM who can work with me with creative solutions? Awesome! If I get a GM who can't, I know I can at least play the scenario as written, and even if not then, all I have to do is slog out 4 hours before I just play with a different one without loosing the character I worked so hard to build and develop.

And importantly for people who think that Paizo writers can't write?

If the scenario is poorly written, at least me and the GM can complain about it together and smile and try it may it work anyways, rather than me upsetting a GM who's worked hard on a story that makes me cringe every step of the way.


Quote:
Who want to tell "Their story" or get offended when I think "Their plot" Is stupid and full of plot holes.

This sounds just like my experience with pfs! :)

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Upper Midwest aka Silbeg

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GM_Starson wrote:


And importantly for people who think that Paizo writers can't write?

If the scenario is poorly written, at least me and the GM can complain about it together and smile and try it may it work anyways, rather than me upsetting a GM who's worked hard on a story that makes me cringe every step of the way.

This is what reviewing scenarios is for. If you think a scenario is poorly written, has plot holes, is whatever... write a review of it.

If you think a scenario was marvelous, or whatever, write a review of it!

This is how Paizo knows what folks like and dislike more than anything.

3/5

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TheAlicornSage wrote:
Quote:
Who want to tell "Their story" or get offended when I think "Their plot" Is stupid and full of plot holes.
This sounds just like my experience with pfs! :)

Yes, but take this from a old hat at playing in home games. If a PFS scenario stinks, then I can do what Silbeg suggested and I can write a review, or just grip about it with friends. (People underestimate the ability of gripping about the "Boss" to build friendship! It is a point of shared experience after all.)

But when it happens at home, with a GM who wrote the story and who has characters and plot points near and dear to their heart, but they have vastly overestimated their ability as a storyteller? Then better shut up and suffer unless you are ready to damage a good friends feelings over a game. Or prepare to alienate an entire group of people when you advise you can't stick with a game, not because your schedule conflicted but because nails on a chalkboard are preferable to their plots.

Someday, I may regale you of the story of the GM who thought it would be a good idea to give each player a tiny anime girl robot with super powered magic lasers that they had to escort mission around. In a D&D campaign. Who felt it was an appropriate challenge to throw Tarrasques (Plural) at the team because they had the tiny anime girl robots who could kill them.

I'll happily take PFS and Paizo APs anyday.

2/5

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You cant write a good story from point A to Z without following some form of line. Therefor, most are written in a way, that the writer thinks is the most common way it will be interacted with. There is NO WAY someone can write to include every possible direction someone will think of. EX: In one of our PFS missions we had to assail a jailhouse full of goblins and a large pet scorpion. So we bought a donkey, loaded it with some alchemist fire and gunpowder, and lowered it into the scorpions grounds with a rope. The scorpion attacked the donkey, and exploded. The goblins came running at the noise, as is written they should when they know intruders are about, and they ran itno the yard, while we snuck around and shut the door on them from behind, and burned them all to death. NO AUTHOR i dont care how good they are, would see that coming. We essentially cleared three fights for around 300 gold, and no attacks being made.

As for the "goals" not actually being the goals? Thats the EXACT OPPOSIE of a video game. In a video game, you know your mission, you do your mission, you succeeed. In quite a few games at PFS our end goal didn't even effect our prestige, because we were supposed to "learn" something or figure out an alternative better option based on the information we had a chance to receive. Is it frustrating to think you succeeed and failed? Sure is. We always ask what the actual goal was and when we are told, our gm's explain it to us, and i have never been upset about the outcome.

It seems like you said prepping shouldn't take long? If you want a fluid session, sometimes prepping is HUGE. I am usually a skimmer, with quick notes on the adventure pages, but there have been times i needed a day or two to write things down because of wonky mechanics. If you got what you wanted with a more open story that would require FAR MORE time to prep, and probably turn off a lot of gm's.

As stated many times there is a rule to allow customization of some scenarios. Dm's have the choice when to do it or not. Sometimes it completely ruins half the scenario, so they may choose not to. It's their table, their call. Ex. We had a psychic mind read the correct npc on murder on the throaty mermaid 5 minutes in, so we already knew who the murderer was. That was not included in the adventure, but is obviously legit to do, and he did. That being said it was still fun because I CHOSE To have fun with it.

It sounds like you had a few bad experiences,which i cannot speak to being the gm or the story, but the common thread in the previous 104 posts, all of which i read, seems to be you having already decided you don't like it. So did you ever think that your biggest issue isnt the writing or the gm, but is in fact your own attitude? Seems to me you are a bit of a negative nancy, and just trying to force your negative view upon people, by haranguing them into your point of view.

A, I saying you are wrong? Absolutely not! There are a few adventures whivch lead almost no option to even try to go off rails, and thats just fine with me, because they make sense. The writer is allowing you to take place in their story. You are NOT making the story. Some writers have a broader skill allowing for broader options, some don't, that's life. I can do complicated calculus in my head without a calculator, does that mean everyone that cant sucks at math? Do i tease them for it or complain? Nope. I accept it, and enjoy helping showing or explaining. Maybe I have more patience because i am a father of four 2yr, 3yr,10yr,13yr old children. I'll tell you right now with all honesty and not intending to be insulting, you are acting, at leaszt in this post, just like the 13 yr old when she doesnt get her way.

Your basic stataement is that the modules are written linearly, like a videogame. They are. That way the story CAN be written as a guideline to the story with everything connecting to make sense. If you dont like this, then you are correct, this is not the medium for you. It IS however a basic neccessity.

I GM 3.5, 4th and PFS over the computer every tuesday night, (urrently on a break now) and I do an open world. This means i have a skeletal story but let the group decide what they want to do about it. I also have about 500 pages of notes JUST from the last campaign level 1-5. Do you really think any company is going to make a protfolio adventure like that? Do you think people want to pay 60+$ to buy it? SURE!~ Some might, but my money is on a big fat no from most when asked. Therefor, You seem to have gotten your point stated, everyone has basically disagreed, why not just let this thread die now?


A new gm is like rolling 3d6, you might get a three but you also might an 18. There is the expectation that pfs is like point buy.

It may be rare, but getting an 18 is so much better than a consistant 12.

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

*gets a large log, carves a point on it. Tap tap taps it*

The Exchange 5/5

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

A new gm is like rolling 3d6, you might get a three but you also might an 18. There is the expectation that pfs is like point buy.

It may be rare, but getting an 18 is so much better than a consistant 12.

a well run home game will beat PFS every time. Mostly true.

But then... not many home games have thousands of players active every single day, all over the world. When I go visit my family halfway across the country, I do not take my home game PC with the expectation that I am going to get a game in. But I do bring some of my PFS PCs... and know that if I have an afternoon free, maybe I'll swing by the shop up the road from Mums house and get in a game...

I have PCs in PFS that I have been playing for ... 9 years now? wow... and I don't have any home game PCs that old. I have heard of some home game running that long... but not many. And none that met every week, several times a week, even when some of the players couldn't make it.

Yeah - very different things PFS and Home games. Both have their advantages...

3/5

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

A new gm is like rolling 3d6, you might get a three but you also might an 18. There is the expectation that pfs is like point buy.

It may be rare, but getting an 18 is so much better than a consistant 12.

Perhaps.

But if your luck is so bad that you never see an 18, and you've had multiple 3s show up, and every 3 makes you deeply consider if perhaps the planet exploding and wiping out humanity wouldn't be for the best, then a consistent 12 starts to sound better and better.

I GM home games ALL the time. I'm no 18, but I'll humblebrag out a 15 or 16. Because of this, everyone wants me to GM. I don't resent it, I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it. But when I get a precious chance to be a player instead of a GM? I do not want to waste my time on a 3-9. It just isn't worth my sanity.


My opinion on PFS scenarios is this. They have to be simplistic. they have to be Railroads.

They are a adventures to be run in 4-5 hours... They are designed for 4-5 players and a DM who are all strangers... and they are designed to be played with any combination of FORTY FOUR classes, not counting multiclass or prestige Classes.

How in the world CAN you write something like that with any kind of nuance and fluidity? We ran a couple of these scnearios in our home game, we focused on character and roleplaying... and took between 10-15 hours to complete them. In PFS that would never be possible.

It's just the nature of the beast. If you want creative, fluid DMing... then something that's designed to run the same for hundreds of groups of thousands of classes all around the world.... isn't the right format.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I may be no 18 either, but that is what I aim for each and every time I GM -- and that includes PFS. In PFS, I love doing "value added" enrichment where I find setting details I can bring out, and NPCs to whom I can add a bit of personality and flair.

One thing that happens in PFS that doesn't happen in home games is the ability to learn from other GMs -- we exchange ideas, prep, talent. My abilities as a GM grow not only with every game that I GM, but also with all the ones that I play.

I have watched some new GMs flail in their first game, and then build confidence, finding their own voice. I also feel that PFS rewards me a bit more as a GM than home games because I don't have to experience arguments over loot and because everyone cooperates. This is a game where you might have a GM that starts out as a 7, and works their way up to being a 17.

Hmm

3/5

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:


One thing that happens in PFS that doesn't happen in home games is the ability to learn from other GMs -- we exchange ideas, prep, talent. My abilities as a GM grow not only with every game that I GM, but also with all the ones that I play.
Hmm

I'll second this. I've only been GMing for PFS for a year or two now, and I've already picked up a ton of tips, tricks, and cool things I never used to do that makes my games better both for my PFS players and my home group.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No lie, when I'm prepping for a scenario I'll look to other GMs and see what they did and how they handled certain scenes and encounters. Between their knowledge and my experience, I can amass a reasonable idea of how to handle the 'off-path' type items while at the same time maintaining flow of play for my players, versus going...

"Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... okay, sure, ah, roll something appropriate."


GM_Starson wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

A new gm is like rolling 3d6, you might get a three but you also might an 18. There is the expectation that pfs is like point buy.

It may be rare, but getting an 18 is so much better than a consistant 12.

Perhaps.

But if your luck is so bad that you never see an 18, and you've had multiple 3s show up, and every 3 makes you deeply consider if perhaps the planet exploding and wiping out humanity wouldn't be for the best, then a consistent 12 starts to sound better and better.

I GM home games ALL the time. I'm no 18, but I'll humblebrag out a 15 or 16. Because of this, everyone wants me to GM. I don't resent it, I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it. But when I get a precious chance to be a player instead of a GM? I do not want to waste my time on a 3-9. It just isn't worth my sanity.

If only that consistant 12 didn't come at the price of giving up the one thing that pnp can do that computers can't.

It is hard to describe, but it is what Gygax called the spirit of the game.

I don't think that is a good thing to call it because it makes it sound bad when you play without it, but I lack a better term for it right now. Of course, it is hard to not get bad feelings about games without it when the difference is so vastly impactful, yet so subtle that many can't perceive the difference.

But basically, a mediocre gm and group with that spirit of the game is more enjoyable than an awesome gm and group playing video game on paper.


phantom1592 wrote:

My opinion on PFS scenarios is this. They have to be simplistic. they have to be Railroads.

They are a adventures to be run in 4-5 hours... They are designed for 4-5 players and a DM who are all strangers... and they are designed to be played with any combination of FORTY FOUR classes, not counting multiclass or prestige Classes.

How in the world CAN you write something like that with any kind of nuance and fluidity? We ran a couple of these scnearios in our home game, we focused on character and roleplaying... and took between 10-15 hours to complete them. In PFS that would never be possible.

It's just the nature of the beast. If you want creative, fluid DMing... then something that's designed to run the same for hundreds of groups of thousands of classes all around the world.... isn't the right format.

I'm thinking I need to rewrite a few scenerios as not railroads and ljnk them here, because this insistance on "railroads is imprtant!" is tiring.

I got the season 6 ones from a humble bundle a while back. I haven't looked through them yet except wounded wisp. Any scenerios from that set you guys would like to see un-railroaded?

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Full Stop.

If you rewrite the scenario, then it is no longer the scenario.

It might be fine for a home campaign, but it won't have a home in Organized Play.

Silver Crusade 3/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

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I think Alicorn Sage is offering to show us how he or she thinks the scenario should have been written, not claiming the rewrite could be used in the society.


Do you plan on keeping the page count and layouts consisistant? Paizo are very particular about their word counts and time frames.

3/5

TheAlicornSage wrote:


I'm thinking I need to rewrite a few scenerios as not railroads and ljnk them here, because this insistance on "railroads is imprtant!" is tiring.

I got the season 6 ones from a humble bundle a while back. I haven't looked through them yet except wounded wisp. Any scenerios from that set you guys would like to see un-railroaded?

I'll buy your thought experiment.

Redo Hall of the Flesh Eaters, which already contains a fairly interesting possible side track, but is by it's nature fairly linear. It's also a classic, fairly well written scenario.

After all, no challenge to re-writing a scenario that everyone agrees is bad already.

And it's probably best if you send direct to avoid spoilers, or do a dropbox link or something. As mentioned, stick to word count and layout.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Anything which can't find into a 4 or 5-hour game slot (because this is the time scenarios should last except for some exceptions) can be eliminated, ditto for something which would add more work to the GM. Organized Play don't really need some chaos experiments.

Shadow Lodge

Philippe Lam wrote:
Anything which can't find into a 4 or 5-hour game slot (because this is the time scenarios should last except for some exceptions) can be eliminated, ditto for something which would add more work to the GM. Organized Play don't really need some chaos experiments.

Part of the work as a GM is to realize that players can use creative solutions and your job is be reasonably accomodating, because it is literally in the rules under creative solutions.

It is reasonable to say, "hey, is we have another two hours, we should move on" after 5 minutes of consideration that is going nowhere. It is unreasonable to say I'm going to take the time limit as an excuse not to take 2 minutes to try to understand your creative solution and take another 30 seconds to consider if it would reasonably work.

I had the luck to live in two communities large enough have a lot of GMs. I have met one GM who I've had a serious disagreement with along these lines and a few others who aren't as open as I think they should be. My solution is to avoid that one GM in the future and if there is a choice, go with the 'other' GM in the other cases.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Kerney wrote:
I had the luck to live in two communities large enough have a lot of GMs. I have met one GM who I've had a serious disagreement with along these lines and a few others who aren't as open as I think they should be. My solution is to avoid that one GM in the future and if there is a choice, go with the 'other' GM in the other cases.

Part of the problem is nobody should shun a GM because "not open-minded enough". Is opposing two sides of the coin the best idea to move forward ? I don't think so. I don't shy of arguments as I won't always avoid the problem and actively doing so will only amplify these when forced to face it. I'm on the minority unpopularish opinion on that, but players and GMs alike can't retreat forever to their comfort zone. Disagreements are part of the game and I evolve only with facing what I don't like. In the group where I am, disagreements are common, but we can discuss of it later or not letting disrupt a game. Not that I have much choice either, the group isn't that big.

As long the said GM doesn't infringe the Organized Play rules, it is not to be judged other than possibly not correct, but very legal. You could also be accused by some to be overaccomodating (merely relaying a possible opinion and not a reflection of what I think).

Kerney wrote:

Part of the work as a GM is to realize that players can use creative solutions and your job is be reasonably accomodating, because it is literally in the rules under creative solutions.

It is reasonable to say, "hey, is we have another two hours, we should move on" after 5 minutes of consideration that is going nowhere. It is unreasonable to say I'm going to take the time limit as an excuse not to take 2 minutes to try to understand your creative solution and take another 30 seconds to consider if it would reasonably work.

There is useful creativeness and negative creativeness. The former is when the GM can quickly think it's possible and reasonably successful, moving forward. The latter is when the player become obnoxious with it or insists despite having seen it doesn't yield results (usually getting along with the try but without results). This is forcing the GM to set a hard line.

I have time constraints as a GM. GMing in a shop once a month and not possible to take more than 3 hours and a half when I should have 5. I'm not forbidden in that case to take what it needs to finish within that window. Unless the players are ready to sacrifice on their possible loots, that's something I might seldom warn about at the start of a session. You think seconds and minutes as nothing, but it may not be the same for another GM.

Now I can relax GMing at conventions knowing I have 5 or 6 hours, and possibly not only half of it.

The Exchange 5/5

GM_Starson wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:


I'm thinking I need to rewrite a few scenerios as not railroads and ljnk them here, because this insistance on "railroads is imprtant!" is tiring.

I got the season 6 ones from a humble bundle a while back. I haven't looked through them yet except wounded wisp. Any scenerios from that set you guys would like to see un-railroaded?

I'll buy your thought experiment.

Redo Hall of the Flesh Eaters, which already contains a fairly interesting possible side track, but is by it's nature fairly linear. It's also a classic, fairly well written scenario.

After all, no challenge to re-writing a scenario that everyone agrees is bad already.

And it's probably best if you send direct to avoid spoilers, or do a dropbox link or something. As mentioned, stick to word count and layout.

wait! no, re-write First Steps Part I In Search of Lore please!

That one is a classic, played by almost everyone more than once (no need to spoiler as much) and should be simpler for TheAlicornSage to work on (mostly from the CRB, only one Sub-Tier, not in a multi-scenario plotline anymore and in need of up-dating anyway).

I wish TheAlicornSage luck at this task, even while realizing that the task is impossible.

Please be sure to include contingencies for PCs who try to MurderHobo all the encounters (particularly the encounters with the Faction Heads, and at the Orphanage). As well as for PCs who are unable to interact with anyone in a social setting. And for PCs who want to "go off script" and head out into the Carnlands to check out rumors of old siege fort recently opened for looting...(all of which I as a judge have had at PFS tables more than once).

Dark Archive 4/5

Might I suggest instead rewriting In Service parts II and III in cse there really good...

Shadow Lodge

Philippe Lam wrote:
Kerney wrote:
I had the luck to live in two communities large enough have a lot of GMs. I have met one GM who I've had a serious disagreement with along these lines and a few others who aren't as open as I think they should be. My solution is to avoid that one GM in the future and if there is a choice, go with the 'other' GM in the other cases.
Part of the problem is nobody should shun a GM because "not open-minded enough". Is opposing two sides of the coin the best idea to move forward ? I don't think so. I don't shy of arguments as I won't always avoid the problem and actively doing so will only amplify these when forced to face it. I'm on the minority unpopularish opinion on that, but players and GMs alike can't retreat forever to their comfort zone. Disagreements are part of the game and I evolve only with facing what I don't like. In the group where I am, disagreements are common, but we can discuss of it later or not letting disrupt a game. Not that I have much choice either, the group isn't that big.

Some disagreements are worth discussing and you can have a civil discussion. I'm all for that. There are also times where there doesn't need to be a conflict.

In the case of the gm I choose not to play with, I don't vocalize my opinion. Part of this is thier rulings as a GM. But suffice it to say, I think we dislike each other. Why should I spend time with a person I dislike?

As for "shunning", its more a matter of seeing two GMs setting up to play the same scenario. All other things being equal, shouldn't I play at the table where I think I'll have more fun? Is flexibility one of those factors I consider? Yes. I don't shun them, in fact one of those GMs is good friend. Sure, there might be another factor, like accommodating a new player or making allowing a married couple to play together, no problem. But all other things being equal, why shouldn't I play at the table I think I'll have more fun at!

Kerney wrote:

Part of the work as a GM is to realize that players can use creative solutions and your job is be reasonably accomodating, because it is literally in the rules under creative solutions.

It is reasonable to say, "hey, is we have another two hours, we should move on" after 5 minutes of consideration that is going nowhere. It is unreasonable to say I'm going to take the time limit as an excuse not to take 2 minutes to try to understand your creative solution and take another 30 seconds to consider if it would reasonably work.

There is useful creativeness and negative creativeness. The former is when the GM can quickly think it's possible and reasonably successful, moving forward. The latter is...

I think we're more in agreement than we think.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Tennessee—Chattanooga aka ZenithTN

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...has lost track of scenarios where "Mooks R Us" sends a team to assault the party and the first words out of the diplomancer are "How much were you being paid for this? We'll triple it if you lay low for a few days."

Funny... once.

However, thankfully, diplomacy [usually] takes a minute, not a mere combat action.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Harold Ervin wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...has lost track of scenarios where "Mooks R Us" sends a team to assault the party and the first words out of the diplomancer are "How much were you being paid for this? We'll triple it if you lay low for a few days."

Funny... once.

However, thankfully, diplomacy [usually] takes a minute, not a mere combat action.

here ya go, this actually happened at a PFS table I was playing at...

During a scenario with a "local thug" encounter, where the PCs are confronted by "hired thugs" intended to warn them off of their research, we captured several of the thugs and were questioning them.

Our judge had run another scenario for some of us the week before where we had much the same encounter... so he knew my PC and knew how I liked to handle the "Gather Information from the Thugs" (we had several "new" PCs in the group though - so it was their first experience with one of my "Face" PCs...). So the "interview" when something like this....

PC: "So Mook, we meet again!"
Judge speaking as Mook #417: "Yeah, if'n I'd knowed it was yous, I might not've takkan dis job".
PC: "and how's the wife? and the little mooks? three isn't it?"
The "new" players ears perk up as the watch me "being the Face"...
Mook #417: "same oh-same oh, off visitin' her mum again in Durma, and the lil ones is growin' like weeds..."
PC: glancing at the other mooks - stabilized and waiting their turn "So, does the local Thugs Union have ok Medical benifits? Looks like you guys will need it. Wait, you're Rent-A-Thug aren't you?"
Mook #417: "Not w'at it used ta be, w'at wit da cut backs and all. Had to switch over to Thugs-are-Us."
PC: "Tell ya what Mook, I'll pop for a couple charges off my happy stick when we're done here..."
Mook #417: "Hay, you're all ri't! T'anks!"
PC: "No problem! Least I can do. Now, about the guy who hired you... Take 10 on the Diplomacy to get a 35..."

All this while the other players just watched. After all, I said my guy was the "Face"...

When I noted to the judge that I was marking off a wand charge for each of the Mooks, one of the new players also offered to chip in on the healing... "heck, they put up a good fight for Mooks! Wont mind encountering them again sometime!"

Yeah - Clearly another of those "highly scripted railroad of a scenario..."

I've played this same sort of "Gather Information from the Thugs" encounter in several different PFS games, with different Judges and players, and each time it's loads of fun. In a home game? Would maybe get this to work once or twice, then it would get kind of old and the GM/Players would go "oh, yeah, you 'diplomancer the mooks' and find out the following...". In PFS, I can use the same jokes and get new laughs from judges/players who are hearing them for the first time...

;-)

4/5

TheAlicornSage wrote:


But basically, a mediocre gm and group with that spirit of the game is more enjoyable than an awesome gm and group playing video game on paper.

In your opinion, based on your interpretation. Clearly tens of thousands of people disagree that PFS isn't enjoyable, though.

4/5

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At the risk of injecting some subjective data here... I've seen probably 40 GM's at my PFS Lodge. Some were already GM's, some only started GM'ing as part of PFS to help build the community. Some do it every so often, some do it almost exclusively.

Of the folks I consider excellent GMs, none of them complain about PFS being "too limiting" to deliver an "18" game instead of a "12". Most of them realize that combat tactics and number of monsters are not the entire point of the scenario, and put equal time into NPC personalities, face cards, imagery, handouts, maps, 3D terrain, and whatever else they can bring to make the game an 18.

There are also some important sections of the Guide that many folks miss. To paraphrase: as soon as the PCs do something to invalidate the creature's tactics, then intelligent monsters will react. GMs can add in environmental factors that are mentioned in box text but not listed mechanically. Creative solutions are to be rewarded. That provides GMs with more than enough flexibility to allow for excellent games.

There's also the huge amount of Society lore and the amazing setting of Golarion to be mined and brought out in games. I'm concerned about running overtime on PFS 9-09 Beyond the Halflight Path, because it's in Kaer Maga and there's so much setting gold there that it's going to be hard to move past the investiagtion.

In my experience, the GMs who want to make changes to improve the scenario don't always turn the game from a 12 to an 18. Often, they're turning the game from a 12 to a 10 for the players, and an 18 for themselves. And yes, PFS works to prevent that, with no apologies.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Tennessee—Chattanooga aka ZenithTN

GM Lamplighter wrote:

...In my experience, the GMs who want to make changes to improve the scenario don't always turn the game from a 12 to an 18. Often, they're turning the game from a 12 to a 10 for the players, and an 18 for themselves. And yes, PFS works to prevent that, with no apologies.

I'm sorry, I'm going to need a reference point. What the heck kind of scale are you talking about where 18 seems to be the top end?

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

The 3d6 one the OP mentioned here.

4/5

Harold Ervin wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...has lost track of scenarios where "Mooks R Us" sends a team to assault the party and the first words out of the diplomancer are "How much were you being paid for this? We'll triple it if you lay low for a few days."

Funny... once.

However, thankfully, diplomacy [usually] takes a minute, not a mere combat action.

Isn't there a feat from Ultimate Intrigue to speed that up?


Quote:
First Steps Part I In Search of Lore

I can't do this one cause I don't have it. I only have the season 6 stuff and Hell's Rebels 1 through 3.

Even that I only have as a gift. I can't afford to buy any scenarios.

Quote:
I think Alicorn Sage is offering to show us how he or she thinks the scenario should have been written, not claiming the rewrite could be used in the society.

Less should, and more could. If everyone likes video game then fine (I'll just go pfs occasionally in that case, though some have contended that pfs isn't always video game style), but saying video game is the only way is the part I don't agree with.

Although I would indeed prefer to avoid video game style myself, but really, I think teaching new gms to go beyond video game style would be a very good thing that would make them better gms, and that teaching can happen via scenarios supporting more than video game style.

This is an interactive medium, therefore capitalizing on the interactivity seems like the natural to do in my opinion.

Quote:
In your opinion, based on your interpretation. Clearly tens of thousands of people disagree that PFS isn't enjoyable, though.

Never said it wasn't enjoyable, just much less enjoyable.

Of course there are many who don't realize the full potential of the medium cause they have never experienced it. I myself have opened a few eyes to folks who thought it was much better once the limits of video game style were removed. One player remarked how odd it was that he never realized just what he was missing before.

Of course, that was all in person. I'm not nearly as good at text. Probably my autism getting in the way, but also much of the theatrics and establishing the suspense of disbelief are next to impossible in text.

Quote:
Most of them realize that combat tactics and number of monsters are not the entire point of the scenario, and put equal time into NPC personalities, face cards, imagery, handouts, maps, 3D terrain, and whatever else they can bring to make the game an 18.

Much of this is no less video game style than pure combats, because video game style isn't about combat vs non-combat or rp. Video game style is about how the rules are utilized and viewed and interacted with.

For example, when a trap is encountered, do you tell the players some box text with a side note about type and dc of the trap? Or do they need to probe the situation to discover what kind of trap it is and figure out with-in the world milieu (not the rules milieu) how to handle it?

For example, a player far off into the extreme end of video game style will see a trip wire and just roll for disabling it, because "that is what the disable device mechanics are for, right?" The idea of stepping over the wire and moving on doesn't occur to them, because their perspective is so bound to the rules, they fail to see the solutions that would be obvious to the characters or anyone else that actually encounters a trip wire. Mostly because they don't see it as a trip wire, they see the tripwire part as nothing more than window dressing for the rules construct of a trap.

That is an extreme case obviously, but the same issue can crop up in many places and is tied pretty closely with the railroad concept, especially in design. Designers familiar with modern video games and the video game style tend to design things like a series of encounters and events with a story that serves the purpose only of tying the gameplay encounters together or like a separate thing to be explored alongside the "actual" game of killing things, rolling checks, and collecting loot.

Paizo, thus far for me anyway, seems to be in the second category, as though they see the story as one thing, and the gameplay as something else. This is seen a bit in the core book, but much more in the supplements and scenarios I've played.

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

TheAlicornSage wrote:
Quote:
First Steps Part I In Search of Lore

I can't do this one cause I don't have it. I only have the season 6 stuff and Hell's Rebels 1 through 3.

Even that I only have as a gift. I can't afford to buy any scenarios.

First Steps is a free download.


Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
Quote:
First Steps Part I In Search of Lore

I can't do this one cause I don't have it. I only have the season 6 stuff and Hell's Rebels 1 through 3.

Even that I only have as a gift. I can't afford to buy any scenarios.

First Steps is a free download.

Lol! Good to know. Any others?

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

A few. :)

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