Gen Con Veteran, PaizoCon noob questions!


PaizoCon General Discussion


It's is confirmed, I'll be attending PaizoCon this year for the first time with my wife and friend.

However, I've got a few questions.

I know official PaizoCon PFS games tickets are given out based on a lottery system. Does that mean my group may not be able to play with each other? Is there an additional cost per ticket like at GenCon?

We plan on arriving a day or two early- is it difficult to get into downtown Seattle; how about south into Portland?

We are worried about filling our time should we not get into games. We're coming from Indianapolis, so we finally get a taste of what everyone else feels when they come to our home for GenCon!

For booking the hotel, is there a block code we need to use with DoubleTree?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jacob Blair wrote:

It's is confirmed, I'll be attending PaizoCon this year for the first time with my wife and friend.

However, I've got a few questions.

Awesome! I have answers!

Jacob Blair wrote:
I know official PaizoCon PFS games tickets are given out based on a lottery system. Does that mean my group may not be able to play with each other? Is there an additional cost per ticket like at GenCon?

Not quite. The past year or two, the only PFS lottery game was the special; this year's is Solstice Scar D, I believe. I do not know if there will be a SFS special offered this year or not. The regular PFS and SFS games go live after the lotto results are published and the trade window closes. After that it is first come first sat. There is no additional cost per ticket.

Jacob Blair wrote:
We plan on arriving a day or two early- is it difficult to get into downtown Seattle; how about south into Portland?

You will have no issue getting to downtown Seattle. The tram runs from the airport to downtown. I'm sure one of the locals will chime in with specifics.

Portland is another animal. I believe there is a train that runs back and forth between the cities but do not know about price or frequency of times. You would be better served renting a car at Sea-Tac. It is about a 3.5-4 hour drive depending on "traffic issues". And it is a pretty drive; I've done it a few times now.

Jacob Blair wrote:
We are worried about filling our time should we not get into games. We're coming from Indianapolis, so we finally get a taste of what everyone else feels when they come to our home for GenCon!

There are numerous seminars and what not games happening through out the con. You should not have an issue filling your time cards. One thing I will recommend is leaving some space open to talk to other con goers and all your favorite Paizo staffers as well as to take in the ad hoc dungeon delves run by Paizo staffers. I do hope they bring back the "Terribly Unfair Dungeon Delve" this year. I can still see the look on John Compton's face when I told him why the demon could not attack me. Priceless.

Jacob Blair wrote:
For booking the hotel, is there a block code we need to use with DoubleTree?

Use the link provided in the con ad banner. It will take you to the hotel portal with the con rate already applied ($129/night).

One last thing; watch out for the feral cats.


great thanks!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The other thing that is very important to note is that [u]This is Not Gen Con[/u].

Sure, there's going to be a buncha people there, and you're going to be doing a bunch of things, but the atmosphere that is aimed for is relaxed.

Don't rush, don't stress, shut off the "Have to race across the campus to get such-and-such before next slot" training that GenCon has so dutifully provided you over your attending experience there.

People are approachable, if someone is busy they will let you know politely. Even if it seems a bit weird, it's a much, much more enjoyable experience*.

But most importantly, have fun.

It tends to get lost sometimes at bigger conventions when folks start running around.

*:
Been attending GenCon since 1994, consistently every year (2020 is going to be the first time I'll be missing it because of family obligations). I've only attended PaizoCon in 2016 and 2018.

Despite that, and losing my voice last year at the end, I find it a better overall gaming/relax experience than GenCon, and I'm only few hours away from Indy.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

Leg o' Lamb and Wei Ji the Learner both have great answers, so I'm just going to add some extra detail.

The Starfinder and Pathfinder Society games run by the Organized Play Foundation are not lottery events, they will be available after the lottery has been run and open registration begins. The way that they are entered into the schedule, we put the total number of seats for a given scenario into the same "event". If 2 tables of a scenario are running, we put all the open seats for both tables into the same event listing which helps optimize the chance that a group can sign up together (does not guarantee it though). From my perspective its always been difficult to judge how fast the Organize Play games will fill up so if you want to game as a group, I recommend signing up early. We've gone back and forth on whether to make the Organized Play Specials lottery events. I think ultimately the pros out weigh the cons and the special(s) will be lotteried event(s).

There are some lottery Pathfinder and Starfinder Society games. These are not run in the OPF Ballroom, they are usually in one of the Cascade game rooms where there is only one or two tables of games. They are usually run by Paizo staff or the authors of the scenarios (sometimes that's the same thing). There are also couple Paizo staff who usually run retired Pathfinder Society Scenarios. To my knowledge this is the only place (one of the only places?) where you can participate in the retired scenarios for society credit.

Other than the banquet, I try very hard to keep PaizoCon a place where events do not have any additional ticket cost or fee associated with them. It is very important to me that PaizoCon be a place where money is not a factor in why someone can't attend as many of the events they are interested in as they can get onto their schedule. We've talked about running a special event for charity, and its not off the table as an idea, but nothing we've settled on details for, partly because we want to be careful about pay-to-play convention situations.

One of the things I really like about the location near the airport is how close it is to the light rail that runs right into downtown Seattle. I've never taken transit to Portland, but I've done the Amtrak north to/from Bellingham and when they say that Amtrak Cascades is one of the most beautiful Amtrak lines in the country, they are not kidding around.

In addition to the games we schedule, we've got a bunch of seminars and panels which usually have some seats open. We will also have Delves which are walk up 30-60 minutes of Pathfinder and Starfinder. Usually mini combat scenarios. One of our consistent pieces of feedback is having more content for people to get into at the show itself and I am working on some things for 2019 to help with that. Tonya and I are already planning to leave a percentage of Org Play seats open so that folks who missed event registration have a chance at those. I'm also working on ideas to make at the show pick up gaming with other attendees more accessible (if anyone has ideas I am all ears right now).

Hope that helps!
Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

one thing you should do is sign up for Hilton Rewards BEFORE reserving your room. That way hotel reservations & website will have the correct information before you start the process. There be perks!

The tower rooms are above the convention so more convenient as it's just an elevator ride. If you want privacy, a lake view, and a morning walk choose the lake view rooms.

Local mass transit ORCA site. Busses run on the main streets next to the hotel and since you are next to the airport light rail lines go right into downtown. You can get an ORCA card for mass transit. Uber & Lyft are all over.

A trip to the space needle involves a walk or bus ride from mass transit. The gentrified Pike Place Market involves a steep climb and Uber/Lyft. visit TripAdvisor

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The Lottery is for paizo employee hosted games/events or other companies/groups limited seating game/event and is part of game selection.

You can link PaizoCon accounts or gift admissions to other accounts so you sit together AFTER you purchase a PaizoCon badge, however, you also need to submit the same selections from each account(it's not automatic). It's easiest if one person does it all. I've had good luck with the lottery seating two but odds turn against you with larger groups seating together.

I'd advise you to choose games first(they fill up fast) and then come back and do lottery game preferences. The lottery selection happens later in the series of events leading to the con. Some games will have the celebrity you want running your game without going through the lottery.
If you have a preference use the sorting filters!

For the lottery use topic or keywords and sort as you'll have to review and come back and then adjust your choices again. It's a balancing game as they're all interesting and fun. Remember there is a lottery ticket exchange afterwards if you want to switch something out.

There was a series of tables with demos(Delves?) run by paizo employees out in front of the main ballroom. People did that just to get a sense of their playstyle and get some stardust in their eyes 8^)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

well, only the paizo and company hosted games were lottery events... 8^)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

one thing that's worse at PaizoCon is pre-game mustering. It's a bit chaotic and narrow halls don't foster mustering before a game. Marshals quickly assign players as they come(typical random classes at your table) so there's not much time to self organize.
Last year different doors into the Grand Ballroom had different games and you had to ask to figure it out.
My only suggestion is to be there 30 min early with a 8.5*11" sign with your class and level on it (the line at the cafe is shorter also). Find your door and then work it out. Otherwise you *could* post your game and class in the PaizoCon forums and hope for replies to your thread.


Third year attendee here. First year I knew no one and had a blast. Last year was better. I allow ten days for the trip. Sightseeing takes a few and there are normally some precon games on during the day on Thursday.

Grand Lodge

I apologize for intruding on the OPs post but I also have some noob questions but more about travel. I need to plan what time to fly in and out of Seattle.

What time do events start on the Thursday, that would be May 23rd this year? What are those events typically?

What events happen on the Monday, that would be May 27th this year? What time could I expect the con to finish on the Monday?

Thanks

Scarab Sages

Hi Zagig! Thursday's games are set up by attendees, and are not part of the convention. Keep watching these boards, and on de overrule know when they are arriving they start organizing games in a thread called "early arrival games," "pre-con games" or something to that effect. Signups are done via Warhorn. In the past these have started as early as 8 am in my experience, and follow the Convention format of a morning, afternoon, and evening slot. If you have a Seeker level character the are fine if it's playing to show up as early as Monday to play through so much Seeker level games as we can manage to organize.

Monday is the last official day of the convention. There will be a morning slot for sure, and I think Sara Marie mentioned that some of the Paizo employees will be playing board games with people who are interested in one of the conference rooms into the early afternoon. Much like on Thursday there are games set up on Warhorn by other attendees going into the evening. These will most likely be discussed in the same forum thread as the early arrival games.

My advice is to figure out when you're going to arrive and depart, and then plan your gaming around that once the early arrival thread begins. This is how I've done it the last two years, and there has always been a game available. Of course sometimes you have to make suggestions for what scenarios you'd like to see as there won't always be one that you haven't previously played.

Scarab Sages

Another thing new attendees might want to keep an eye out for here on the boards is the Goblin Brain reservation thread. They are tasty treats made by a member of the community. Of course he may not decide to make them, but if they are available I highly recommend reserving one for yourself.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

You'll have an awesome time in Seattle. If you've got some extra time around the official dates of PaizoCon, then I'd highly recommend being around all-day on Monday, as there are usually a few unofficial after-Con games as well as the pre-Con games.

Also, the MoPOP (used to be EMP) is a kick-ass museum worth its own 1/2 day excursion. Very do-able.

Be sure to get in on the banquet; it's so much fun to sit and rub elbows (and actually talk!) with the Paizo peeps. Like has already been mentioned here, this convention is chill as 'Netflix and...' Getting to trivia-stomp with John Compton or filk with Erik Mona or make random Syrinscape recordings with Benjamin Loomes is all part of the fun of PaizoCon. I envy you, sir!

I will be there again, in time.

Scarab Sages

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Looking forward to your next visit to Seattle Dink!


Azothath wrote:


You can link PaizoCon accounts or gift admissions to other accounts so you sit together AFTER you purchase a PaizoCon badge, however, you also need to submit the same selections from each account(it's not automatic). It's easiest if one person does it all. I've had good luck with the lottery seating two but odds turn against you with larger groups seating together.

Thanks for this information. When I go to pick the games, will I be able to select more than one spot if the 3 of our accounts are not linked?


Will there be the end-game, or retirement scenarios, offered? It'd be a great way to retire my PF 1 guys as we move to PF2!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Unlikely to be retirement scenarios, though there should be at least one 7-11 scenario on the schedule.

Depending on what level PC(s) you have, organizing a seeker tier of faction specific scenario to play Thursday or Monday afternoon/evening might be yer best bet.

Scarab Sages

There will be several Seeker level games running Monday through Thursday before the Con as long as we are able to muster enough players. However, Leg is correct that I wouldn't count on them during the Con.


I apologize for all my questions, but i have one more:

about how long before the con will the game registration occur? I know for GenCon this usually occurs in May, so I was just wondering the timeline for Paizo.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Jacob Blair wrote:

I apologize for all my questions, but i have one more:

about how long before the con will the game registration occur? I know for GenCon this usually occurs in May, so I was just wondering the timeline for Paizo.

My current schedule has the Lottery Preference ranking from April 1- April 22 and Open Event registration from April 25th-May 16th.

Historically I have not met the dates I've set in advance. I have high hopes for 2019 though.

Grand Lodge

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Some notes for travelers, both veteran & newb:

There's a brand new hotel property immediately adjacent to the Doubletree. It's the Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Airport. It's not currently open, but will be open by PaizoCon (they're accepting reservations for the Con weekend.) I'll be staying there, cause I value quiet and new, and those with Hilton Honors Gold status get free breakfast before those 0800 slots.

There's also an Aloft just around the corner. It opened just before last year's PaizoCon so it may not be on many people's radar as an alternative. It's also very nice and clean (I'm staying there right this very minute!) Breakfast there opens at 5 AM!

Dave's Diner has closed. It was a restaurant across the intersection from the Doubletree, but it's now shuttered. Doesn't look like there's any effort being made to redevelop it.

If you arrive at SeaTac and don't mind a short 5-10 minute walk to the Doubletree, just follow the signs inside the airport down to the Transit Buses zone. Then just keep walking along the sidewalk out to International Blvd, cross, turn right, and it's less than 1/2 mile to the hotel.

With the Orca card that Azothath mentioned, it's only $2.75 to downtown on the Link light rail from the airport station.

Aviation enthusiasts looking for a tourist activity might want to check out The Museum of Flight. Or better yet, take a tour of the Boeing factory at the Future of Flight Center and see them building the 767, 777, 787 and the mighty and wonderful 747 (yeah, I'm a little biased). That one is quite a bit farther away, but if you're into aviation it's worth it since there's no where else you can see that.

If you're concerned about carrying too much stuff on the plane to the Con, consider shipping a box or two to yourself at the hotel. I do this frequently myself. Make sure you already have a reservation, and that the name you mail it to matches the reservation. You could also put (PaizoCon attendee) in parentheses after your name so they know to hold it until then. I checked with the Doubletree, and they do not charge guests anything for this service.


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Who are going to be the guest this year?

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

plassteel wrote:
Who are going to be the guest this year?

Liane Merciel & Wayne Reynolds

You can read their bio's here:https://paizo.com/paizocon#guests. I'm pretty stoked to have them at the show this year as each will be bringing a unique perspective and expertise to PaizoCon.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Liane Merciel introductory reading list:

Nightglass

The sequel - Nightblade

Both brilliant examples of bringing an RPG setting to life in novel form, imo.

Also Hellknight a book unrelated to the other two but equally brilliant. Plus she co-wrote the brilliantly evocative Nidal sourcebook. A great guest!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hello, this will be my first year attending, and I am bringing my teenage son along for his very first con. As he is a minor but who is over 10 years old, I have purchased a 4 day pass for him. My question is what is the best way to make sure we are both attending the same events together? Should I create a paizo.com account under his name or keep his pass under my account? Just want to make sure that we are together for any events that we are attending.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

Thanks for your question! Someone else just emailed me this question recently and I should have a FAQ written by tomorrow evening. I'll be sure to link it here when it's ready.

Scarab Sages

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Steve Geddes wrote:

Liane Merciel introductory reading list:

Nightglass

The sequel - Nightblade

Both brilliant examples of bringing an RPG setting to life in novel form, imo.

Also Hellknight a book unrelated to the other two but equally brilliant. Plus she co-wrote the brilliantly evocative Nidal sourcebook. A great guest!

Liane is one of my favorite Pathfinder Tales authors. I haven't gotten around to reading Hellknight yet, but Nightglass is my favorite Pathfinder novel yet and Nightblade was a really great sequel.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Hmmm...brilliant three adjectives in a row. You can tell i dont have an editor.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zach Davis wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Liane Merciel introductory reading list:

Nightglass

The sequel - Nightblade

Both brilliant examples of bringing an RPG setting to life in novel form, imo.

Also Hellknight a book unrelated to the other two but equally brilliant. Plus she co-wrote the brilliantly evocative Nidal sourcebook. A great guest!

Liane is one of my favorite Pathfinder Tales authors. I haven't gotten around to reading Hellknight yet, but Nightglass is my favorite Pathfinder novel yet and Nightblade was a really great sequel.

Nightglass took me a couple of goes due to the slow build. Once I got into it properly though I really loved it.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Took me a little longer than I expected to work the language out for Buddy stuff as it dependent on also explaining the lottery. I'm going to post these here tonight and add them to the FAQ on Tuesday. If you see anything I can adjust for clarity or have additional questions, feel free to let me know!

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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PaizoCon Lottery & Buddies

Event Registration
To have a reserved seat at a PaizoCon event, you must have either a 4-day Badge or a Kid’s 4-day Badge and it must be on a individual paizo.com account. At this time we are not able to accomodate multiple reserved seats for multiple badges on a single account, we understand and apologize for the inconvenience. Getting a paizo.com account set up for a minor takes an additional step of providing us with a parental waiver, so we recommend doing this as soon as possible if you plan on registering a minor for a reserved seat at a PaizoCon event.

Event registration occurs in two main phases. First we have an Event Lottery and second we have open registration and trading for all events with reservable seats.

Lottery Events: These events are generally unique games or events with a limited number of reservable seats available. We use a lottery system to place interested participants in these events so that we can provide as fair an opportunity as possible for attendees to get into events that are in high demand. Events that are not in the Event Lottery include most panels, seminars, and Society games run by the Organized Play Foundation. Registration for those events occurs after the Event Lottery has taken place, during Open Event Registration.

To be included in the lottery process, you must have a 4-day badge and select event preferences during the Lottery preference window. For 2019, we estimate to begin the lottery preference ranking in early April. In late April we expect to run and announce the lottery results. At that time, general registration of events will open up, as well as event trading.

How to participate:
Sometime in April, we will post the PaizoCon event schedule. Events eligible for the lottery will have a preference box to rank your preference of how much you would like to participate in that event. Attendees who have 4-day badges on their account may rank their preferences to attend various Lottery Events. Towards late April, we will run the special Event Lottery tool which will try to match attendees to events that they have ranked as an event they would like to attend.

It is important to note that ranking events in the lottery does not guarantee that you will be placed into events when the lottery is run. Your chances for getting an event you want during the lottery process will increase the more events you accurately rank with a preference. The lottery and event registration system only places a reservation for one seat at an event per account. Even if you have multiple badges on your account, only one seat will be reserved for each event. If you want a reserved seat at an event, you must have an individual paizo.com account with a 4-day badge on it.

The lottery system is designed to work best when you are as accurate with your rankings as possible:

  • 4: You would love to get into this event and it’s among your top choices for events.
  • 3: You would love to participate in this event, but only if the events ranked 4 are all filled.
  • 2. You’d enjoy this event and would like to participate, but you would really prefer to get into one that you ranked 3 or 4.
  • 1. You would have a good time in this event, but there are definitely others you’re more interested in.
  • 0. You would not want the lottery to place you in this event.

Attending PaizoCon with Another Person
If you're attending PaizoCon with another person, you may be okay with getting seats at different events, and meeting up when your individual schedules allow. If you are a personal aide or attendant for another attendee or a minor's parent or guardian you may be okay observing events without playing or participating in them. However, if you want to ensure you and another attendee both have reserved seats at a game and you want to participant in the event lottery, you can use the Buddy System.

You may request one other account with a PaizoCon 4-day badge as your "buddy." During the lottery process, you and your buddy will always be assigned to events together. Once the lottery has been run and has placed convention participants into events, the buddy system is no longer active. At that point, each account must register individually for an event if they wish to attend it together.

When you make a buddy request, your buddy will be sent an email asking them to accept your buddy request. That account must accept your request before the lottery preference ranking window closes. Each buddy can rank event preferences however they like. The lottery system will use the choices of the first buddy that comes up in the draw. Because the lottery system can only place buddies in events with two or more open seats, it may limit the number of events available for two buddies to be placed in. To maximize the chance of your pair being assigned to an event, both accounts should rank their event preferences. Whether you decide to synchronize your preferences or not is up to you.

Because it tends to be a common point of confusion, I’d like to reiterate that once the Event Lottery has been run, the Buddy System functionality is no longer active and any additional events you wish to reserve seats at together must be registered for on each separate account.

*Aides and Assistants helping with accessibility at PaizoCon, & Parents and Guardians of Minors*
Aides or assistants helping another attendee with accessibility at PaizoCon, or parents & guardians of minor attendees are not required to use the lottery buddy system or have tickets for reserved seats to be present at gaming events. You can always be present to provide assistance or guardianship, but if you do not have a reserved seat and want to participate in the game in addition to your role as assistant or guardian, it is up to the GM or event host to determine if they are able to accomodate an additional player. It is recommended to contact paizocon@paizo.com as soon as possible in advance to facilitate making this request or if you have any questions about about access of the convention for personal aides, assistants, or parents & guardians of minors.
Parents & guardians accompanying minors to panels, seminars or live play events, should register for a reserved seat at these events. While many of these events with 'theatre' style seating will have open seats, there are some that routinely fill to capacity. If a parent or guardian does not have a reserved seat at one of these events, we may not be able to accomodate the attendance of the minor at that event.

At this time we are not able to accomodate multiple reserved seats for multiple badges on a single account, we understand and apologize for the inconvenience. Getting a paizo.com account set up for a minor takes an additional step of providing us with a parental waiver, so we recommend doing this as soon as possible if you plan on registering a minor for a reserved seat at a PaizoCon event.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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I'm going to have to have Erik K help me explain event trading next week as I'm hazy on the mechanisms of how that works.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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I ended up marking a thread from 2013 as hidden since it contains what is now incorrect information about badges and how the lottery works.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sara Marie wrote:
Took me a little longer than I expected to work the language out for Buddy stuff as it dependent on also explaining the lottery. I'm going to post these here tonight and add them to the FAQ on Tuesday. If you see anything I can adjust for clarity or have additional questions, feel free to let me know!

Thanks for all the info. Will be setting up an account for my son. We are both excited for our first PaizoCon.


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

thanks i will hunt them down and read them


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Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

looks awesome i hope to get my Pathfinder book signed my the man who did the cove that would make my day

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hmmm...brilliant three adjectives in a row. You can tell i dont have an editor.

Technically, two adjectives and one adverb.

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