PF2 really makes GMing harder


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Silver Crusade 5/5

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There are several changes to the GMs responsibilities. Individually they vary from quite minor to fairly bad but the combination looks daunting.

1) Determining the party level is, uh, wow. With significantly more combinations of things to add and look at on the fly
2) Explaining level up to new players with their shiny pregen. Yeah, thats something else I really needed :-(
3) More paperwork at the end
4) Much more important to report online in a timely fashion
5) Making secret rolls
6) Having to come up with convincing false information on the fly and having to learn how to lie effectively (hey, new GM skill. Deception :-))
7) Actually keeping track of treasure bundles

That seems like a lot, especially right now when we're learning the new system

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

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Tracking treasure bundles is a lot easier than the old system, which involved keeping track of arbitrary amounts of gold missed during previous encounters.

(Treasure bundles replaces the "if the pcs failed to X, reduce their gold by Y)

Most of these just seem to be normal GMing skills.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Many changes will seem harder than the way it used to be because you're just not used to doing things the new way yet. Give it time.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I gave the guide a look. Item 1 is certainly a bit more, complex, but make yourself a quick reference sheet. I also expect that folks who will rise up to 3-5 glyph levels are going to start recognizing a number of 'common' combinations. 2 is the level bump I am guessing? Not a hard thing - until players with Mentor boons muck up the waters. :) Secret rolls are, by the rules, optionable to not use (though not preferred). GM Deception skill has always been a skill, though you may want to keep some generic falsehoods handy for when you're stumped. The bundles, as noted, are -during play- easier than the old system. The reward based on class level will take some getting used to, I will admit.

All in all, yes GMing is going to be a bit more on the 'bureaucracy' side, but the /system/ is much smoother and should take less mental tracking, so really it should, once we've been at it a bit, be a wash.

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Savannah aka KitsuneWarlock

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You can do secret rolls in advance. You can even use pregenerated secret rolls if you're hosting a convention.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Besides, secret rolls may be rolled by the players at GM discretion, so if you're REALLY concerned about having to roll those yourself, just have your players roll. That makes it basically no different than first edition play outside of the fact that you have to make up something when they botch a roll. The players will know the information is false, so it doesn't really matter how "good" a ruse it is—the characters are obligated to consider it real information.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Cincinnati

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Re: secret rolls and misinformation; Muhahaha! Muhahahaha! Mwahahahaha! *slinks back to evil GM bunker*

3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

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Coming up with false information is one more step in the GM prep. During the playtest I would write down an ability from a different ooze or skeleton than the one they were fighting.

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Secret Rolls: 1. You can opt out and let the players roll. 2. The scenarios actually come with scripted critical fail misinformation (if it's a monster, make something up on the fly is as easy as "it resists fire when it doesn't or no resistances when it has resist acid").

I have not noticed a difference in the paperwork. Having reported three tables of PFS2 and one of SFS over the past 3 days, it took me the same time/effort in both systems.

5/5

Jard Thaler has also put together a spreadsheet that does a bunch of the calculations already. Very helpful if you can sue it at a game. I'm working on a one-pager to go on the back of Chronicle sheets which covers player choices, level-up, and downtime stuff, but it's not done.

Which reminds me - for downtime, there are two parameters involved: the level of the task, and the DC of the check. I'm confused between the two, as one seems to be defined as (PC level -2) but the other is "set by the GM" in the Core Rulebook. Surely for PFS it's standardized, but I just can't find it. Anyone?

2/5 ⦵⦵

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GM Lamplighter wrote:
I'm working on a one-pager to go on the back of Chronicle sheets which covers player choices, level-up, and downtime stuff, but it's not done.

If you mean something you're going to print on the back of chronicle sheets, please give players an option to receive a sheet without the extra stuff on the back.

GM Lamplighter wrote:
Which reminds me - for downtime, there are two parameters involved: the level of the task, and the DC of the check. I'm confused between the two, as one seems to be defined as (PC level -2) but the other is "set by the GM" in the Core Rulebook. Surely for PFS it's standardized, but I just can't find it. Anyone?

Level-based DCs, pg. 503

https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=552

The "set by the GM" bit is the "Adjusting Difficulty" section, but I don't think that'll be done for Downtime.

2/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GM Lamplighter wrote:

Jard Thaler has also put together a spreadsheet that does a bunch of the calculations already. Very helpful if you can sue it at a game. I'm working on a one-pager to go on the back of Chronicle sheets which covers player choices, level-up, and downtime stuff, but it's not done.

Which reminds me - for downtime, there are two parameters involved: the level of the task, and the DC of the check. I'm confused between the two, as one seems to be defined as (PC level -2) but the other is "set by the GM" in the Core Rulebook. Surely for PFS it's standardized, but I just can't find it. Anyone?

Directly from Tonya, both are PC level - 2 [min 0]. I'm not certain if the guide is clear on that or not.

Although there is already a limited use boon that can bump the task level, so there will be exceptions.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As a note, I am reading The Absalom Initiation, and in this one, at least, they are providing Critical Failure information for the Gather Information/Recall Knowledges that are called out in addition to the success/critical success information. So if that trend continues, at least some of that load will be reduced - and I can already see how the examples here will help guide me on monster identification Recalls down the line.

Dark Archive 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Colorado—Denver aka masterslate

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For number 7 check out my treasure bundle tracker: http://www.pfsprep.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?3139

For some of the other things, check out my GM cheat sheet: http://www.pfsprep.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?3128

5/5

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Farrindor wrote:
As a note, I am reading The Absalom Initiation, and in this one, at least, they are providing Critical Failure information for the Gather Information/Recall Knowledges that are called out in addition to the success/critical success information. So if that trend continues, at least some of that load will be reduced - and I can already see how the examples here will help guide me on monster identification Recalls down the line.

I have been trying to decide how to deal wit critical failures to avoid metagaming. I dont really want to be making dozens of secret rolls so am thinking of two options:

1. Preroll a load of dice and put them in a random table. Pick a random dice toll and use that for them to speed things up.

2. Let the players roll their own checks but explain that if any of them get a 1 then I will give them all of the information in a combined lot without explaining where the 1 came from. The players will know something is up but not necessarily which piece of information is false. This obviously doesnt work if only one person is rolling or if there is a 1 and no other successes so I may use a mix of both methods.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
andreww wrote:
1. Preroll a load of dice and put them in a random table. Pick a random dice toll and use that for them to speed things up.

One of my GMs at GenCon did this, and it worked well enough, although it's best if you can predict what types of rolls you want so you can precalc them, as opposed to having to ask players for modifiers and do the math each time. He had us roll like 6 perception checks at the beginning and used them for a combination of perception and initiatives (he also had stealthy characters roll some stealth checks so he could use them for initiative if it came up).

2/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Waiting until all the rolls are done and then giving the information as a single lot is a good technique to avoid metagaming if the secret rolls are in the open. I did this even while doing secret rolls (they always suspect the +1 modifier vs. the +6 modifier character).

What works best is giving them two reasonable details rather than diametrically opposed details.

I'll say more in the GM discussion thread on the Absalom Initiation later since specific example would probably be clearer.

2/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I evolved to doing that as well, Blake's Tiger. There were times I needed to track something extra behind the scenes (circumstance bonus riders on particular follow-up interactions). But in general, especially when PCs got conflicting information on something they felt more involved in solving/understanding the world -- it felt like it encouraged more role-play and in character problem solving rather than out-of-character optimization.

Dark Archive 5/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Wiesbaden-Mainz

GMs did not get a downtime for their chronical in PFS 1. Is that still the case in PFS 2, considering that downtime has become a much more structured and relevant part of the game (retraining, crafting, etc.)?
I can't find anything about that topic, one way or the other, in the Guild Guide.

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

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Alexander Bielke wrote:

GMs did not get a downtime for their chronical in PFS 1. Is that still the case in PFS 2, considering that downtime has become a much more structured and relevant part of the game (retraining, crafting, etc.)?

I can't find anything about that topic, one way or the other, in the Guild Guide.

I will try to get a clarification on that, and make sure it makes it into the guide.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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It is just a matter of retraining ourselves to do some things differently. I'm enjoying running the scenarios. The basic stuff hasn't changed from when I ran AD&D 1e back in 1979. Secret rolls are great and add to the game. The admin part is just a matter of doing it a few times and learning what goes where.

The new guide is great. It's huge, but then again that's fine. It can be that size because it has more stuff in it. We wanted to get rid of ambiguities and this is going a long way to doing that. Once I master the GM part it'll all be routine.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

I found it quite useful to look over the skills of every character before game and put them into a table so I could do secret rolls without having to stop and ask each time.

Only recording the skills for rolls I knew would be coming up as secret, not everything or doing actual character audits.

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

I’m still trying to grok downtime, especially for Quests.

I think that I figured out how to do earned income. Find the DC for (level -2 min 0) on table 10-5. Have them roll against that DC. Look up results on table 4-2 by character level and proficiency level. They earn that for each day of downtime,

Note results and how many days of downtime (if any) are remaining in the task.

We are always going to need to see the previous chronicle sheet to determine results from Downtime, since each roll for Earn Income is 8 days.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Twin Cities Metro South

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pauljathome wrote:

There are several changes to the GMs responsibilities. Individually they vary from quite minor to fairly bad but the combination looks daunting.

1) .....

That seems like a lot, especially right now when we're learning the new system

4, 5, 6, 10 years of doing it one way in one game system.... is complaining the only thing many people can do with a new system?

#5 & 6: Secrets rolls? Thank god! Players across the board cannot help but metagame if they know the dice number was likely pass or fail.i WANT to not know if I rolled bad or well. Give me legitimate reaction to bad rolls! Deception is a great new element when many have called for more GM fiat/control over the game.

#4: about damn time! There was never a good excuse to not complete reporting day of, next day latest. Force incentive on gms/organizers to do their jobs.

#2: has anything really changed? 10% more work?

#7: tbd... too early for me to make a call on positive vs negative... but it is way easier to keep a tally than running gold count.

My 2 cents.

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bret Indrelee wrote:

I’m still trying to grok downtime, especially for Quests.

I think that I figured out how to do earned income. Find the DC for (level -2 min 0) on table 10-5. Have them roll against that DC. Look up results on table 4-2 by character level and proficiency level. They earn that for each day of downtime,

Note results and how many days of downtime (if any) are remaining in the task.

We are always going to need to see the previous chronicle sheet to determine results from Downtime, since each roll for Earn Income is 8 days.

Task level is character level - 2 as well.

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

Blake's Tiger wrote:
Bret Indrelee wrote:

I’m still trying to grok downtime, especially for Quests.

I think that I figured out how to do earned income. Find the DC for (level -2 min 0) on table 10-5. Have them roll against that DC. Look up results on table 4-2 by character level and proficiency level. They earn that for each day of downtime,

Note results and how many days of downtime (if any) are remaining in the task.

We are always going to need to see the previous chronicle sheet to determine results from Downtime, since each roll for Earn Income is 8 days.

Task level is character level - 2 as well.

Really?

What did I miss? The example in the CRB for Earn Income made me think it was against character level, but with things split between multiple places it is easy to miss something.

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bret Indrelee wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:
Bret Indrelee wrote:

I’m still trying to grok downtime, especially for Quests.

I think that I figured out how to do earned income. Find the DC for (level -2 min 0) on table 10-5. Have them roll against that DC. Look up results on table 4-2 by character level and proficiency level. They earn that for each day of downtime,

Note results and how many days of downtime (if any) are remaining in the task.

We are always going to need to see the previous chronicle sheet to determine results from Downtime, since each roll for Earn Income is 8 days.

Task level is character level - 2 as well.

Really?

What did I miss? The example in the CRB for Earn Income made me think it was against character level, but with things split between multiple places it is easy to miss something.

Technically the GM sets the task level, and Tonya set it at Character Level - 2. This is based on face-to-face discussion at GenCon, and also jives with the bulk announcement at GenCon that a level 1 character's successful Earn Income would net 4 silver pieces.

Now, I'm not entirely certain this is clear in the guide. Here is a not obvious place to see what the normal task level is. Look at the campaign clarification for Experienced Smuggler.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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Blake's Tiger wrote:

Waiting until all the rolls are done and then giving the information as a single lot is a good technique to avoid metagaming if the secret rolls are in the open. I did this even while doing secret rolls (they always suspect the +1 modifier vs. the +6 modifier character).

What works best is giving them two reasonable details rather than diametrically opposed details.

I'll say more in the GM discussion thread on the Absalom Initiation later since specific example would probably be clearer.

The way I handled the one secret roll I needed in 1-03 was ask the player for their modifier and I made the roll. After everyone who wanted to roll did, I then gave the information.

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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I mean this has been my refrain regarding Org Play bloat for a while. It is simply far too much for newer players and I have observed many older players simply roll their eyes and ignore much of it in favor of having a more simplified play experience. Things like factions and boon slotting and Colleges and the veritable spreadsheet's worth of information you need to have accurate for your characters is a step deeper into the mire than PF1 which was already a fair amount heavier than the competition*.

With SFS I feel compelled to have a printed version of the guide with me and if I decide to take the plunge with PF2** as a serious GM, rather than as an occasional one, I am going to feel compelled to the same to an even greater extent. There is simply a very large number of fiddly little moving parts here that seem like a real pain to administer, especially since knowing the character of many of my GMs that a lot of that administrative responsibility is going to fall on me as VO regardless of the level of PF2 I choose to run. And the extra level of administration and preparation required needed may drive potential GMs to refrain from GMing which is again going to make life more difficult for me as an organizer, so while the comments are negative I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for some reprieve here.

* I am aware AL has been having its issues on this front as well, so I am not pretending theirs is a model we could simply copy, simply pointing out that it is in fact a lot simpler.

** Currently I am choosing the focus my efforts on keeping my community in tact and that means focusing on SFS and finishing out PFS1 for the time being, while leaving 2 to other, newer faces.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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I disagree with the premise of many of your points

1)Determining Party level is distinctly easier. No more division potentially requiring a calculator. Taking a total is literally 1 less step than taking average, and never makes the monsters easier by adding another player.

2) Adding a level bump is definitely an extra layer of complication, luckily it's easy, one could even print out pre-bumped pregens as needed. Definitely a thing though.

5) Secret rolls have always been a thing in Pathfinder. Additionally in 2e you can literally ignore them and make the players roll anyway if you prefer.

PF1 CRB wrote:
When disarming a trap or other device, the Disable Device check is made secretly, so that you don’t necessarily know whether you’ve succeeded.
PF1 CRB wrote:
Disguise check is made secretly, so that you can’t be sure how good the result is.
CRB1 wrote:
Trap Spotter (Ex): Whenever a rogue with this talent comes within 10 feet of a trap, she receives an immediate Perception skill check to notice the trap. This check should be made in secret by the GM.
CRB2 p450 wrote:
The GM can choose to make any check secret, even if it’s not usually rolled secretly. Conversely, the GM can let you roll any check yourself, even if that check would usually be secret. Some groups find it simpler to have players roll all secret checks and just try to avoid acting on any out-of-character knowledge, while others enjoy the mystery

7)Treasure Bundles are way easier than subtracting odd amounts of coinage based on missing treasure/incomplete encounters.

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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Honestly, Treasure subtraction feels pretty archaic anyway, I had expected to go to a more uniform treasure system to get a smooth APL without punishing players for not looking under every crevice for treasure - it's basically what we were already doing anyway in practice that we simply couldn't phase out.

That said that part really isn't any more or less complicated, it's basically the same but it could have been made simpler by its removal.

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

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pauljathome wrote:

There are several changes to the GMs responsibilities. Individually they vary from quite minor to fairly bad but the combination looks daunting.

1) Determining the party level is, uh, wow. With significantly more combinations of things to add and look at on the fly
2) Explaining level up to new players with their shiny pregen. Yeah, thats something else I really needed :-(
3) More paperwork at the end
4) Much more important to report online in a timely fashion
5) Making secret rolls
6) Having to come up with convincing false information on the fly and having to learn how to lie effectively (hey, new GM skill. Deception :-))
7) Actually keeping track of treasure bundles

That seems like a lot, especially right now when we're learning the new system

I agree that there's a whole new lot of complications. But I'm not pessimistic.

1) Yeah this looks rather intimidating. I'd hoped we would use Starfinder's simple approach of "#player adjustments are only for #players". I suspect the level bumps may be needed to actually make the system well-balanced though for people playing out of tier. I think this needs a less intimidating presentation of how to compute it.
2) This is clearly asking for some sort of handy prep from the community. Maybe a reminder card "this changed on your character", or pregen versions that include the bump. I do think the faction bonuses that increase specific parts of the bump are an overreach.
3) I think this and 5) could best be handled with a custom reporting/character info sheet where people also fill in their stats for things that typically get secret rolls.
4) Yeah. Although for a good cause. And the sooner I report the less chance I have of losing my reporting sheet. I can live with this.
5) We did this anyway with several PF1 abilities.
6) Trust me, I'm a GM.
7) This can also go on the reporting sheet: 10 checkboxes with lines on where they're located in the adventure. Each encounter if they find it just check the box.

On the whole I think we need some innovation in our prep, but a lot of this can be solved generically with some GM versions of a chronicle zero/all-purpose reporting sheet.

The subtier and level bump part really is the scariest part.

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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Maybe I am overreacting but the notion that all of this can be handled with spreadsheets and ingenious bits of prep here and there sort of concedes the central point here doesn't it?

5/5

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Douglas Edwards wrote:
Maybe I am overreacting but the notion that all of this can be handled with spreadsheets and ingenious bits of prep here and there sort of concedes the central point here doesn't it?

Yes, I think it does a bit. Personally I am a bit disappointed that Paizo has kept the over complicated method for filling out chronicles and has added Starfinders rep tracking requirements to it. I dont think I have ever had anyone fill a starfinder chronicle in for me fully and I dont expect to see that happen with 2E either. It's not as if these issues haven't been widely known about for a long time either but someone seems to be really strongly in favour of lots of acconting but it isnt a preference most of the community seems to share.

1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey, there's at least one bit of paperwork GMs don't need to do at the table anymore!

The TPS ITS is gone. That should free up a smidgen of time.

5/5

I liked the ITS, much easier than having everything recorded on individual chronicle sheets. I shall continue to use mine as a google sheet with everything listed is far simpler.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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andreww wrote:
I liked the ITS, much easier than having everything recorded on individual chronicle sheets. I shall continue to use mine as a google sheet with everything listed is far simpler.

Since you needed a total on the chronicle sheet everything wound up on the chronicle sheet anyway

5/5

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
andreww wrote:
I liked the ITS, much easier than having everything recorded on individual chronicle sheets. I shall continue to use mine as a google sheet with everything listed is far simpler.
Since you needed a total on the chronicle sheet everything wound up on the chronicle sheet anyway

You only need the values on the chronicle sheet. That is a pretty straight forward transposition.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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I don't see the problems that some see for GMs vis a vis reporting. It's just a matter of adjusting to the new system. Most of the changes are positive. I did chronicles last night for my online session and now that I've done a few it was pretty simple.

As for what is in the guide, a lot of that is going to be for players. They are getting more. I do not expect to hear players complain about getting stuff for their characters like the guide explains. Based on what I've heard so far, the reception to it is positive. If anything, they want the link to the guide so they can find out what they can have.

As for VOs and the new edition, it's pretty clear we have a responsibility to help players out. If that means finding someone to take the lead in helping others with PFS2 or PFS1 or SFS or ACG, then that's fine. In fact, that's just downright good delegation of authority which is a hallmark of leadership. However, I think we all have to agree that we cannot refuse to help the players that come to us for assistance, whether that be advice or pointing them to others with knowledge of the games just because we do not like the particular game.

Being a VO is a responsibility and a privilege. We need to keep that in mind.

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

Xathos of Varisia wrote:


As for what is in the guide, a lot of that is going to be for players. They are getting more. I do not expect to hear players complain about getting stuff for their characters like the guide explains. Based on what I've heard so far, the reception to it is positive. If anything, they want the link to the guide so they can find out what they can have.

As for VOs and the new edition, it's pretty clear we have a responsibility to help players out. If that means finding someone to take the lead in helping others with PFS2 or PFS1 or SFS or ACG, then that's fine. In fact, that's just downright good delegation of authority which is a hallmark of leadership. However, I think we all have to agree that we cannot refuse to help the players that come to us for assistance, whether that be advice or pointing them to others with knowledge of the games just because we do not like the particular game.

On point one, it surprised me at first but out in the wild I have observed that quite a bit. Players will in fact turn down help if that means one less thing they have to manage. That's fine while all of the boons and extra resources are considered optional - a nice bonus for the meticulously prepared. My main worry with this whole system is that those bonuses will begin to become part of the power curve assumption of the game and make it much harder for a more casual player to survive.

And on that second point I agree. I don't really like 2nd edition at all. But I'm still learning the rules and will run it if thats what the con/community requires it simply won't be my preference when I have Starfinder available to run.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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andreww wrote:
I liked the ITS, much easier than having everything recorded on individual chronicle sheets. I shall continue to use mine as a google sheet with everything listed is far simpler.

My biggest issue with the ITS is that it didn't give me the information that I wanted.

On the (quite rare) occassions when I audited a character sheet for wealth what I REALLY wanted to see was
1) How much money (total) the character had ever earned
2) How much money (total) the characters current gear was worth
3) The value of the single most expensive item

Obviously, I could sum all that up from the Chronicle sheets (if the player happened to have them, hardly a given. But only one of those things is available from the ITS alone

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