PFS2 # 1-05 Trailblazer's Bounty GM thread


GM Discussion

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

Just started prepping it, but that custom map really is enormous, that works for an online game, but I have tables that will have a hard time fitting this map and the normal detritus players bring to the table.

I am starting to prep it soon for an online table, that will likely tell me how much of the actual map I need to print or draw.

One thing about the character art, it is very subjective, but I really like the art in this one, particularly the first two illustrated NPCs and would like to see more from this artist.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

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I have NO idea why that map is so huge... I submitted a map that was half a flipmat in size. So you have my blessing to shrink it down.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Newcastle aka Tim Schneider 908

That map seems to have a weird logic problem too where the cliff is shown as being about 50 ft horizontally in some areas but is only 25 ft high, making it more of a gentle slope than a cliff.

When I run this I'm very likely to draw a wavy line on a blank map and say "that's the cliff, that side is the bottom".

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

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The scenario also has the "Repeatable" Tag on page 2... which seems wrong for a scenario without random elements.

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

For the travel section:

Quote:
If the group collectively succeeds at a number of checks equal to or greater than the number of players, they make good time and the PCs earn 1 Discovery Point.

Is that 1 DP per encounter's travel checks or is it 1 DP at the end of the scenario?

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

There are only 9 treasure bundles from what I saw in the scenario. Was the noble's staff at the end supposed to be one too?

Here's what I found:

  • A
  • Orcs 1
  • Orcs 2
  • Orc Camp
  • E1
  • E3
  • E4 Ogre
  • E4 Refuse
  • E4 Refuse

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

zach armstrong wrote:
For the travel section:
Quote:
If the group collectively succeeds at a number of checks equal to or greater than the number of players, they make good time and the PCs earn 1 Discovery Point.
Is that 1 DP per encounter's travel checks or is it 1 DP at the end of the scenario?

Pretty sure that's 1 DP per section of travel for Athletics, and 1 per section of travel for Survival.

I ran the scenario yesterday, I was worried at first that it would be hard to get enough DP. But the investigation in area A provides double DP on a crit, and the rules for investigation earlier on say that for those checks everyone can try and the best result is used. So that got them a lot of DP.

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

zach armstrong wrote:

There are only 9 treasure bundles from what I saw in the scenario. Was the noble's staff at the end supposed to be one too?

Here's what I found:

  • A
  • Orcs 1
  • Orcs 2
  • Orc Camp
  • E1
  • E3
  • E4 Ogre
  • E4 Refuse
  • E4 Refuse

I also noticed the missing bundle, I decided that they would just get it regardless. Not punishing the players for an editing mistake.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

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It looks like a treasure bundle got lost in editing. E3 should have two treasure bundles.

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

Thanks Tineke, that helps a lot with my GM cheat sheet for this scenario!

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

Yeah I'm thinking that a treasure bundle checklist/map is going to be a common feature in scenario prep.

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

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Mine is shared on pfsprep Lau

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

What is the motivation for the PCs to approach the nobles? From a meta perspective, clearly the author put them there for a reason, but there doesn't seem to be any text indicating motive. Why wouldn't the PCs just go around and avoid the NPCs? If the PCs are afraid they are competitors for the trail bounty, why would they want to be nice to them and even help them out with survival advice? It would be more likely they would try to intimidate them to give up the effort, perhaps escalating to combat to drive the NPCs away.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

When the PCs encounter Bark, "Depending on how kind the PCs were to the ravens...he is even willing to cast a few spells for free"
That encounter was numerous days ago and quite a distance from his encounter. How does he know the raven encounter even happened, let alone how "kind" the PCs were to the birds? And what does "kind" mean? It seems that the birds will automatically attack the PCs when they enter the area. Once that happens, the PCs are also certainly going to fight them off. The chances of having a PC with the ability to deal with the birds non-violently (druid, calm emotions, etc.) is pretty rare. Seems a bit harsh to punish a party simply because they don't have a druid. Besides, if Bark is so attuned to the situation then he should know that it is the local orcs that are agitating the wildlife, not the PCs and as such he should not have an issue with them defending themselves. YMMV


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Bob Jonquet wrote:
What is the motivation for the PCs to approach the nobles? From a meta perspective, clearly the author put them there for a reason, but there doesn't seem to be any text indicating motive. Why wouldn't the PCs just go around and avoid the NPCs? If the PCs are afraid they are competitors for the trail bounty, why would they want to be nice to them and even help them out with survival advice? It would be more likely they would try to intimidate them to give up the effort, perhaps escalating to combat to drive the NPCs away.

The initial motivation is probably curiosity, since the nobles have made their camp in an open area with no watch set up, which are strong indicators they are not too good at this adventuring business and are not credible wilderness explorers, thus posing no real threat. Once the PCs meet the nobles, it should become clear that they are just silly kids who are going to get themselves killed out of ignorance, and at this point the motivation should be general human compassion.

Bob Jonquet wrote:
When the PCs encounter Bark, "Depending on how kind the PCs were to the ravens...he is even willing to cast a few spells for free" That encounter was numerous days ago and quite a distance from his encounter. How does he know the raven encounter even happened, let alone how "kind" the PCs were to the birds?

The implication is "mysterious druid powers" a.k.a the trees and/or animals told him.

Bob Jonquet wrote:
And what does "kind" mean? It seems that the birds will automatically attack the PCs when they enter the area. Once that happens, the PCs are also certainly going to fight them off. The chances of having a PC with the ability to deal with the birds non-violently (druid, calm emotions, etc.) is pretty rare.

Yep. But it isn't really a big deal, see below.

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Seems a bit harsh to punish a party simply because they don't have a druid.

I don't see it as a punishment. The likelihood that the party desperately needs free healing at this point (i.e. there isn't someone in the party with Medicine, or Heal) is pretty low. The party has had plenty of opportunity to rest and recover spells/limited-use abilities all through the scenario. They can even still get healing from him, just not for free.

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Besides, if Bark is so attuned to the situation then he should know that it is the local orcs that are agitating the wildlife, not the PCs and as such he should not have an issue with them defending themselves.

Well, I agree he should know it's the orcs' fault, and maybe he actually does, but would still have been impressed and preferred it if the PCs had found a peaceful way. Again, I don't see that he has a big issue with the PCs fighting the birds - he is still friendly, still offers them schnapps and a place to stay for the night and tells them about the orcs ahead, regardless.

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

Scenario wrote:
PCs earn 1 Reputation by earning 25 Discovery Points and helping out the young nobles, either when they met them in area A or at the snow line.

Based on the other 2 faction scenarios so far I'm guessing this is 1 rep for each of those (for a total of 2) and it's with the Horizon Hunters.

I wish we could get some standardized wording for this rather than making it different in every scenario.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Robert Hetherington wrote:
Scenario wrote:
PCs earn 1 Reputation by earning 25 Discovery Points and helping out the young nobles, either when they met them in area A or at the snow line.

Based on the other 2 faction scenarios so far I'm guessing this is 1 rep for each of those (for a total of 2) and it's with the Horizon Hunters.

I wish we could get some standardized wording for this rather than making it different in every scenario.

Sorry, cant help you there, as the desicion of how much rep is awarded is not something the author decides.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

logsig wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
What is the motivation for the PCs to approach the nobles? From a meta perspective, clearly the author put them there for a reason, but there doesn't seem to be any text indicating motive. Why wouldn't the PCs just go around and avoid the NPCs? If the PCs are afraid they are competitors for the trail bounty, why would they want to be nice to them and even help them out with survival advice? It would be more likely they would try to intimidate them to give up the effort, perhaps escalating to combat to drive the NPCs away.
The initial motivation is probably curiosity, since the nobles have made their camp in an open area with no watch set up, which are strong indicators they are not too good at this adventuring business and are not credible wilderness explorers, thus posing no real threat. Once the PCs meet the nobles, it should become clear that they are just silly kids who are going to get themselves killed out of ignorance, and at this point the motivation should be general human compassion.

Logsig is correct. There is another team on the route, but its clear they have no experience. Its also an encounter ment to set the mood and get the players in the right mindset. While a character might be a great outdoors person, skilled in survival and climbing and wilderness lore, a player could very well not be. By instructing the inexperienced nobles, it gives the players a chance to get ready.

This motivation is actually in the scenario. Right under the "Roleplaying the Nobles" header:

scenario wrote:

While the PCs might be knowledgeable mountaineers

and enjoy the outdoors, your actual players might not
be. Roleplaying with the nobles might steer the players
into the right mind‑set for this adventure.

Of course, if your players want to, they can skip the encounter. Nothing forces them to interact. They are of course also free to intimidate or try and fight the nobles, even after finding out the nobles are out of their league and no threat.

Choosing to attack a group of clueless kids however should result in infamy.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Maryland—Hagerstown aka Z...D...

Scenario wrote:
PCs earn 1 Reputation by earning 25 Discovery Points and helping out the young nobles, either when they met them in area A or at the snow line.

The way I am reading it is that if they get the DP and help the young nobles. Everyone gets 1 additional Reputation with the Horizon Hunter faction.

Meaning Horizon Hunter PC's get 3 reputation.

Everyone else gets 2 reputation with their slotted faction and 1 with the Horizon Hunters.

Sovereign Court 1/5

Zach, it's 2 for the Primary, 2 for the Secondary, and +1 to everyone to Horizon Hunters specifically if they met the Horizon Hunter goals.

Dark Archive 3/5

The Tier 1-2 Ogre's equipment lists him as having an "Ogre Hook" (which is 1d10 piercing damage), but his actual melee attack states he has a battle axe with 1d8 slashing damage.

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

How have others handled characters with the Forager feat? I'm trying to decide how to incorporate it at my table.

I'm really excited to run this, thank you Tineke!

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

bdk86 wrote:
The Tier 1-2 Ogre's equipment lists him as having an "Ogre Hook" (which is 1d10 piercing damage), but his actual melee attack states he has a battle axe with 1d8 slashing damage.

His actual melee attack is correct, looks like I forgot the Item line in the statblock, my apologies. The low tier ogre uses the battle axe.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Ward Davis wrote:

How have others handled characters with the Forager feat? I'm trying to decide how to incorporate it at my table.

I'm really excited to run this, thank you Tineke!

Thank you!

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

Ward Davis wrote:

How have others handled characters with the Forager feat? I'm trying to decide how to incorporate it at my table.

I'm really excited to run this, thank you Tineke!

It didn't come up when I ran it, but I would have probably given a +2 circumstance bonus to the Survival checks for travel between areas.

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

How are people doing the discovery checks? Are you just asking the PCs what to do, or kinda guiding them on if they get stuck? "You could ford the river to make it easier to cross. Would you like to try?"

It looks like it'll be a healthy mix of both depending on how stuck or how creative my players are being, especially with some discoveries being the kind of thing no one (other than an experienced mountaineer) would "think to look out for" (like looking for potential meltwater hazards you can only see from a high vantage point). The characters should be far more capable mountaineers than my players! (Like it says in the scenario.)

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

Ward Davis wrote:

How have others handled characters with the Forager feat? I'm trying to decide how to incorporate it at my table.

I'm really excited to run this, thank you Tineke!

In retrospect, I think giving the group a +1 circumstance bonus on those survival checks between areas sounds reasonable as looking for food is part of those.

This likely also applies to a select number of checks you make at some of the locations.

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

Dustin Knight wrote:

How are people doing the discovery checks? Are you just asking the PCs what to do, or kinda guiding them on if they get stuck? "You could ford the river to make it easier to cross. Would you like to try?"

It looks like it'll be a healthy mix of both depending on how stuck or how creative my players are being, especially with some discoveries being the kind of thing no one (other than an experienced mountaineer) would "think to look out for" (like looking for potential meltwater hazards you can only see from a high vantage point). The characters should be far more capable mountaineers than my players! (Like it says in the scenario.)

I have now run it several times, and just explaining what they can do and asking for rolls, is usually how it works, after all their characters likely have better training than the players.

Since the DCs are set there isn't really much room for improvisation and creative solutions (other than using different skills to basically do the same thing).

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

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Dustin Knight wrote:

How are people doing the discovery checks? Are you just asking the PCs what to do, or kinda guiding them on if they get stuck? "You could ford the river to make it easier to cross. Would you like to try?"

It looks like it'll be a healthy mix of both depending on how stuck or how creative my players are being, especially with some discoveries being the kind of thing no one (other than an experienced mountaineer) would "think to look out for" (like looking for potential meltwater hazards you can only see from a high vantage point). The characters should be far more capable mountaineers than my players! (Like it says in the scenario.)

I think the neatest way of doing this is to start out by offering one or two of the things they can do, especially if they are already sort of talking in that direction. Or if they mention something close to a stated goal say "well, you could..."

I would offer all of the options eventually, because it can be hard for a player to read the writer's mind :P But if you can pace it so that a lot of the time you're responding to the players' ideas and have to help them only a little, it's even nicer.

When I ran it I put a cup in the middle of the table and put in a bead every time they earned a discovery point, showing them making progress. That isn't something I'd do in every adventure with a points mechanic, but in this one I think the PCs should have a clear feeling that they're achieving stuff.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Maryland—Hagerstown aka Z...D...

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GM Suede wrote:
Zach, it's 2 for the Primary, 2 for the Secondary, and +1 to everyone to Horizon Hunters specifically if they met the Horizon Hunter goals.

I just realized I was counting PP and Fame of of PFS1.

So, to make sure I have it clear. For Horizon Hunter, if they get the primary, secondary and the HH requirement they get 5 reputation.

Everyone else just get the base of 4 for their factions.

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

Zachary Davis wrote:
GM Suede wrote:
Zach, it's 2 for the Primary, 2 for the Secondary, and +1 to everyone to Horizon Hunters specifically if they met the Horizon Hunter goals.

I just realized I was counting PP and Fame of of PFS1.

So, to make sure I have it clear. For Horizon Hunter, if they get the primary, secondary and the HH requirement they get 5 reputation.

Everyone else just get the base of 4 for their factions.

Correct.

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

Robert Hetherington wrote:
Scenario wrote:
PCs earn 1 Reputation by earning 25 Discovery Points and helping out the young nobles, either when they met them in area A or at the snow line.

Based on the other 2 faction scenarios so far I'm guessing this is 1 rep for each of those (for a total of 2) and it's with the Horizon Hunters.

I wish we could get some standardized wording for this rather than making it different in every scenario.

I am not reading it that the players can earn 2 Horizon Hunter reputation points. It is an "and" so that mean both conditions have to be met to earn 1 reputation.

Sovereign Court 1/5

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Incorrect, as I read it the HH rep functions the same as faction specific rep I SFS. It doesn’t say you have to be a horizon hunter to get the +1. Just if they meet the Hunter faction goal then everyone gets that rep.

So someone that slotted Horizon hunter faction boon that gets primary and secondary as well as meeting the Horizon Hunter goal gets a total of 5 Horizon Hunter rep.
Someone that slotted the Envoy’s Alliance faction boon and did the same gets 4 Envoy’s Alliance rep and 1 Horizon hunter rep.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

On page 15 (Encounter D at subtier 1-2), the scenario text says to use 2 Wounded Orc Brutes.
On page 26 (Encounter D at subtier 1-2), the encounter text says to use 3 Wounded Orc Brutes.

Which is correct?

Thanks in advance.

A guess:
A pending VA-appointee, who is our local 2nd Edition expert, thinks it's 2 based on building-encounter math, but author/devs overrule math, hence the question here.

2/5

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

Prepping this now for this weekend, compared to 1-04's revised Challenge Point based scaling guidelines, this one returned to the 4/5/6 player verbiage that we saw in 1-01/02/03.

My understanding of how they wanted us to run 01/02/03 was:
calculate the CP of the table, use that to determine tier and 'virtual' # players and then use the player chart from the scenario w/ any other adjustments as indicated by the CP chart. Does that still apply, or is this part of a different experiment on how to best communicate tiering/scaling?

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

This scenario was written before the "advanced" CP scaling. Do the same as in 01,02,03 :)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Ward Davis wrote:

How have others handled characters with the Forager feat? I'm trying to decide how to incorporate it at my table.

I'm really excited to run this, thank you Tineke!

It didn't come up when I ran it, but I would have probably given a +2 circumstance bonus to the Survival checks for travel between areas.

That’s what I did. Between skill feats and Lore, GMs need to be more attentive in 2E towards PC abilities and rewarding them whenever possible. Otherwise the player feels like they wasted their time selecting a variety of abilities or not simply picking the most optimized of options.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

NielsenE wrote:
Challenge point scaling

That’s how I see it. Just because there are five or six players at the table does not mean you use the player adjustments listed in the scenario. First, calculate the group’s challenge points and then refer to the chart in the Guide as to what adjustments to apply. If it says use the six player adjustment, it doesn’t matter if you have six players or not, that’s the adjustments you apply.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Tineke Bolleman wrote:
This motivation is actually in the scenario

I just feel this is pretty weak motivation. PCs being benevolent and altruistic helpers without a predictable reward kind of flies in the face of 10+ years of society play. To be fair, the players have no reason to think the nobles will give up and by helping them, the PCs strengthen a potential rival for the trail bounty not to mention perhaps a future enemy to fight. It seems to be contrary to their primary mission.

Of the parties I’ve run for so far, the only reason they went to help the nobles rather than just sneak around them is one group had a radiant oath player and the other had a champion, both of which had a narrative reason to have compassion for the NPCs. That’s going to be the case much less than usual. I felt like I had to strongly encourage the players to go help the nobles. Yes I know they can avoid it and go around, but clearly that is not the intent of the narrative. I think we could have done a bit better providing a stronger motivation for the players to stop and help them out. YMMV

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Mike Bramnik wrote:

On page 15 (Encounter D at subtier 1-2), the scenario text says to use 2 Wounded Orc Brutes.

On page 26 (Encounter D at subtier 1-2), the encounter text says to use 3 Wounded Orc Brutes.

Which is correct?

Thanks in advance.

** spoiler omitted **

I submitted the encounter with 3 wounded orc brutes. So it looks like the encouter was put correctly in the appendices, but somehow got changed in the scenario text.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Tineke Bolleman wrote:
This motivation is actually in the scenario

I just feel this is pretty weak motivation. PCs being benevolent and altruistic helpers without a predictable reward kind of flies in the face of 10+ years of society play. To be fair, the players have no reason to think the nobles will give up and by helping them, the PCs strengthen a potential rival for the trail bounty not to mention perhaps a future enemy to fight. It seems to be contrary to their primary mission.

Of the parties I’ve run for so far, the only reason they went to help the nobles rather than just sneak around them is one group had a radiant oath player and the other had a champion, both of which had a narrative reason to have compassion for the NPCs. That’s going to be the case much less than usual. I felt like I had to strongly encourage the players to go help the nobles. Yes I know they can avoid it and go around, but clearly that is not the intent of the narrative. I think we could have done a bit better providing a stronger motivation for the players to stop and help them out. YMMV

All I can say to this is that your local players are VERY different then mine. It might fly in the face of your 10+ years of society play. But my 5+ years of experience is that players will help others in need, regardless of reward.

YMMV.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

NielsenE wrote:

Prepping this now for this weekend, compared to 1-04's revised Challenge Point based scaling guidelines, this one returned to the 4/5/6 player verbiage that we saw in 1-01/02/03.

My understanding of how they wanted us to run 01/02/03 was:
calculate the CP of the table, use that to determine tier and 'virtual' # players and then use the player chart from the scenario w/ any other adjustments as indicated by the CP chart. Does that still apply, or is this part of a different experiment on how to best communicate tiering/scaling?

When I wrote the scenario, the Guid to Org play was not out and I was asked to use the old system of 'add more monsters' of adjusting to a table of more players.

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

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Tineke Bolleman wrote:
This motivation is actually in the scenario

I just feel this is pretty weak motivation. PCs being benevolent and altruistic helpers without a predictable reward kind of flies in the face of 10+ years of society play. To be fair, the players have no reason to think the nobles will give up and by helping them, the PCs strengthen a potential rival for the trail bounty not to mention perhaps a future enemy to fight. It seems to be contrary to their primary mission.

Of the parties I’ve run for so far, the only reason they went to help the nobles rather than just sneak around them is one group had a radiant oath player and the other had a champion, both of which had a narrative reason to have compassion for the NPCs. That’s going to be the case much less than usual. I felt like I had to strongly encourage the players to go help the nobles. Yes I know they can avoid it and go around, but clearly that is not the intent of the narrative. I think we could have done a bit better providing a stronger motivation for the players to stop and help them out. YMMV

I have run this several times, and irrespective of the faction, players at least wanted to take a look at those people camping in the wilderness.

As the players approach, they are pretty already pretty far from civilization, so any group they find is at the very least interesting and might provide them useful information about the area.

Whether your players want to help them to prepare them for the rigors of the journey out of altruism or just out of curiosity, or even if they want to sabotage them and steal their equipment, that is up to the players, but at least taking a look seems part of their main mission.

If Pathfinders find something interesting and don't care to look, that classes somewhat with their training, and at least the expectations of the Horizon Hunters.

Actually I can't remember a situation in a scenario where players got punished for interacting with other teams, sure some offered chances to annoy them a bit, or get some allies, but interacting with the scenario is usually something that is rewarded by the scenario.

Of course, I joined after the faction missions of old were no longer a thing, and personally I really do not miss those where player characters had conflicting motivations.

Thus far the nobles were a highlight of the scenario and I hope that they will appear in a future scenario since the idea of supporting others really works with the new factions.

It might be fair to say that the sensibilities of 10+ years of PFS1 might not be super relevant at this point since the new factions have different goals and expectations.

The whole interaction reminds of SFS 1-01 where players are also well advised to talk to some of the NPCs in a competition.

Sovereign Court 1/5

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I have to agree with Sebastian and Tineke. I didn't have to do anything more than point out there was a group, and my players wanted to approach them. And as they got close I described them a bit more, their gear, and the lack of a proper watch.

Then they were certain they wanted to talk to the nobles and see what these city slickers were up to. Not a moment of hesitation or dissent.

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

Discovery Points wrote:

This scenario is all about exploration. Travel times are deliberately nebulous. While it is possible to calculate distances in hilly and mountainous terrain and make an estimate of how many days an average adventurer would take depending upon the specific obstacles they face, this scenario takes a more abstract approach.
As the PCs progress move through the mountains, they earn Discovery Points. These represent how thorough PCs have been with gathering information about their path, recording it, and in some cases finding
creative solutions in improving their route. Players may wish to use a different skill for a certain activity. If it is a plausible substitute, allow them to make the check but increase the DC by 2.

Multiple PCs may attempt the same check, but only the highest check counts toward their success conditions.
Unless noted otherwise, PCs may Aid an ally’s check as described on page 470 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook

Location A Discovery points wrote:

The PCs can attempt the following checks to earn them

1 Discovery Point per check. A critical success earns them two points per check, and a critical failure actually loses them one point, due to writing down misinformation or unknowingly tying some knots wrong. Increase the DCs
by 2 in Subtier 3–4.

I suspect, that I have been duing it slightly wrong, and I would be keen to hear how everyone else handled this issue.

Example: Players make a discovery check to find a good location for something, they roll a crit success, a failure, a success, and a crit failure.

Does that result in 2 Discovery points or none since the crit failure ruins the resulting data?

I can see both arguments here, asking everyone to roll from the person with a +0 skill mod (she might roll a nat 20 after all) is a huge boost to your DP, but kinda goes against the trend that failures and crit fails should hurt.

Of course, if you go with the other interpretation fewer players will roll, some might aid (just ran this one again and we had an aid another bard and a human with the ancestry feat that makes it viable) which reduces your chance of successes significantly and even then the occasional low roll might trigger void any successes. That might feel more like PFS2 but unless you have a lot of characters with the right skills, getting 2 PP and the bonus rep becomes really really damn hard.

Area B does not have the same kind of text, but I am assuming that all of the discovery checks should follow the same kind of rules, though I am very keen to hear how it worked at your tables.

Thus far I had groups with druids and rangers and they really were the MVPs of those tables.

Page 5 Travel wrote:

To help with the flow between encounters and to give

players a sense of progress, have them roll an Athletics
check and a Survival check after encounters A, B,
and C. The checks are both DC 14 (DC 16 in Subtier
3–4). This represents how well they move through the
mountainous terrain and how they are able to provide
for themselves. Each PC makes a check for themself.

For each PC, keep track of the number of checks they
succeed or fail at during each interval. If the group
collectively succeeds at a number of checks equal to
or greater than the number of players, they
make good time and the PCs earn 1 Discovery
Point. If the PCs have a total number of
critical failures equal to or greater than the
number of PCs, they lose 1 Discovery Point
(so it is possible for a group to acquire a
total of 0 Discovery Points on a check by
having an equal number of critical failures
and successes.)

The way I was reading this part is that in total, the entire group could earn at max 3 DP throughout the scenario, but I have also seen people read this one as giving 2 DP per check, resulting in up to 6 DP per scenario.

Edit: It is a bit weird that a crit success does nothing here, but I guess the ability of the fighter to carry the load of the struggling wizard is somewhat limited. Of course, those untrained rolls tend to create a fair number of failures and everyone has to make them.

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

Separate post for a slightly different issue.

I now had 2 groups playing up due to their challenge points, and it feels like adjusting the number of required Discovery Points, based on challenge points might have been a good call.

Your group might have 5-6 players of level 1-2, but the increased DCs make it much harder to manage those crit successes, so for future scenarios, it might be an option to adjust the number of required DP like this:

8-9 CP: 10 CP for the primary objective, 20 for the secondary objective and 23 for the bonus reputation

10-11 CP: 11 CP for the primary objective, 21 for the secondary objective and 24 for the bonus reputation

12-13 CP: 12 CP for the primary objective, 22 for the secondary objective and 25 for the bonus reputation

14-15 CP: 12 CP for the primary objective, 22 for the secondary objective and 25 for the bonus reputation

16-18 CP: 10 CP for the primary objective, 20 for the secondary objective and 23 for the bonus reputation

19-22 CP: 11 CP for the primary objective, 21 for the secondary objective and 24 for the bonus reputation

etc.

I realize that the scenarios that were released last months were not initially designed with the challenge point system and that it was applied to 1-04 in a different fashion, but feedback from my players leads me to believe that accounting for a higher DC in skill intensive scenarios would be a good idea.

Fortunately, I can say, that the 4 players high subtier version of the encounters worked pretty well for my groups, though the "boss" monster tended to drop melee characters. It felt like a proper challenge though the setup if your group might also affect it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Discovery Points wrote:

Multiple PCs may attempt the same check, but only the highest check counts toward their success conditions.

I suspect, that I have been doing it slightly wrong, and I would be keen to hear how everyone else handled this issue.

Example: Players make a discovery check to find a good location for something, they roll a crit success, a failure, a success, and a crit failure.

My interpretation:

In your example of a check where 4 players roll, respectively, "a crit success, a failure, a success, and a crit failure", the highest roll is a crit success, which is the one that counts towards their success conditions, and the other rolls are ignored.

Because the other skill check sections did not specify the mechanic of 2 DP for a crit success, I took that to mean that crit successes do not gain 2 DP in those other areas.

Under the above assumptions, both times I ran this scenario (at high subtier), along with the time I played (also at high subtier) the party had no real trouble hitting the success conditions. All of these parties were well-equipped with outdoor-ish skills, though.

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

Sebastian and I have been arguing about this privately for a while now. Like logsig, I believe that "only the highest check counts" means that you would ignore critical failures if there were other results that weren't critical failures.

My breakdown of available points is:
3 from getting the Chelish nobles to abandon the quest and share their notes
3 from moving between locations efficiently
14 from location A (if you critically succeed at all 7 checks!)
3 from triggering no avalanches at all
7 from location B (this one lacks the language seen in area A about critical successes/failures; so I assume crits in area B are no different from ordinary successes/failures)
3 from doing something about/with the orcs
3 from destroying the ogre
= 36 possible points

Area A stands out as providing a LOT of points. Weirdly many more than area B. Because only the best result is used, the optimal thing for the party to do in area A (and B) is to have everyone try and fish for 20s. Chances of everyone critically failing a check are low, and chances that there will be at least one crit are substantial.

It's also got the effect that a 6-player party has a big statistical advantage, since the 6-player scaling doesn't make this challenge any harder but you do get two more rolls per check. The difference between "best of four" and "best of six" is real.

I sort of agree with Sebastian that this should be scaled better, but wouldn't tie it to Challenge Points directly, but rather to the 5/6 player scaling. A party of four PCs playing high tier is facing harder DCs and not scoring all that many criticals, while six players playing the six player low tier is getting more rolls and not necessarily a higher DC. So raising the amount of successes needed a bit in the 5/6 player adjustment seems to fit better with just how the party is stronger.

2/5

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

I would still use the CP -- remember that a low-level six player party is likely to be playing high tier or lower tier w/ level bump to the scenario. In either case their increased number of checks are offset by higher DCs. Same for a high-level table w/ 5/6 players -- they'll have higher DCs from the level bump.

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

When I ran it I had 6 L1 characters, so I chose the 6P low tier. I think the skill challenges ended up easier than if they'd been 4 L1 characters.

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