PFS2 5-08 Protecting the Firelight


GM Discussion

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In several places, PCs can earn Preparation Points, and depending on how many they earn, there are various degrees of success.

There is also an adjustment for 6 players, but it's confusing.

For 4 or 5 players, the three degrees of success require 0, 1–2, and 3+ Preparation Points.

For 6 players, the three degrees of success require 0, 1–3, and 5+ Preparation Points.

What if a 6-player group obtains exactly 4 Preparation points? Should the medium degree or the highest degree of success be used? Or is this a failure?

An adjustment of 1–4 and 5+ would make sense, as would one of 1–3 and 4+, but 1–3 and 5+ (leaving out 4) is confusing.

(Is this a result of an original "5 players: 0, 1–3, 4+; 6 players: 0, 1–4, 5+" being shortened into just "6 players: 0, 1–3, 5+" which is neither flesh now fowl?)

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Where are the "five marked areas outside the firelight" intended to be on the map?

I can only see the PCs' starting location.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I had the same questions as mizinamo, and also three more smaller ones:

1) In high subtier, encounter 1C has a variant monster called enraged little man of the woods, which is marked as both [unique] and [rare]. These traits are usually mutually exclusive. Moreover, with 28+ CP, more than one enraged little man of the woods will appear, making it impossible for them to be "unique" (which the rules specify to have the usual meaning of "one-of-a-kind"). PFS table variance rules say that traits can't be changed, nor can the number of monsters appearing, but what happens when they conflict with the rules of the game?

2) The conclusion has this sentence: "If the PCs aren’t fully clear on what happened, Anohatsa fills in missing details, willing to tell the true story following Wanikkawi’s death and the PCs’ breaking the silence." Just below that, the Reporting Notes says, "If the PCs learned of Wanikkawi’s fate and the true story of Niishan’s founding, check box B." Doesn't the first sentence mean that box B will always be checked in any non-TPK playthrough?

3) The secondary success conditions further confuse the preparation points thresholds. It says that the party "successfully help[s] prepare for the Festival of Fire by earning at least 2 Preparation Points (or 3 Preparation Points for groups of 6 PCs) in two or more Preparations." As written, the PCs can be *told* that they succeed at each of the three Preparation tasks (and get rewarded!), but *actually* fail them as far as reputation is concerned. Is this intended? What's going on?

5/55/55/55/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle

mizinamo wrote:
What if a 6-player group obtains exactly 4 Preparation points? Should the medium degree or the highest degree of success be used? Or is this a failure?

EDITED TO UPDATE: I hear (secondhand, but from a reliable source) the word from the Devs is that it's 1-4 for the lesser success and 5+ for the higher success.

mizinamo wrote:
Where are the "five marked areas outside the firelight" intended to be on the map?

It sure is annoying when references are made to marks on the map which don't exist. But, my guess is it probably matters very little in practice if GMs just put them wherever.

LeftHandShake wrote:
In high subtier, encounter 1C has a variant monster called enraged little man of the woods, which is marked as both [unique] and [rare].

Treating it as Rare seems the way to go, as the only thing this really affects is the DC of Recall Knowledge checks to Identify. If you don't like that, you could avoid the issue altogether by choosing a different encounter variant.

LeftHandShake wrote:
Anohatsa fills in missing details, willing to tell the true story following Wanikkawi’s death [...] Doesn't the first sentence mean that box B will always be checked in any non-TPK playthrough?

Besides TPKing, the party could also run away. But barring those corner cases which would fail the primary objective, yes, box B will get checked. This doesn't seem to really be a problem, though.

LeftHandShake wrote:
As written, the PCs can be *told* that they succeed at each of the three Preparation tasks (and get rewarded!), but *actually* fail them as far as reputation is concerned.

I suggest not telling the party they "succeeded" in each Preparation task but simply playing the quest-giver NPCs as merely polite or increasingly enthused, as appropriate. It does feel to me that the secondary success conditions should line up with the one of the thresholds on the Preparation tasks, but it isn't clear to me which threshold that would be. In any case, by not giving the PCs the impression of "success" even when they may have gotten the lesser reward from the NPC, we can run as written without being too misleading.

Envoy's Alliance 1/5 ***** Venture-Agent, Oklahoma—Oklahoma City

mizinamo wrote:

Where are the "five marked areas outside the firelight" intended to be on the map?

I can only see the PCs' starting location.

As logsig says, it doesn't really matter, but I was told the wording should be changed:

It should read as "randomly determine which of four outside huts it starts behind." The "outside huts" are the ones facing the map.

Sovereign Court 3/5 ****

The Fortune Eater in encounter 1B high tier is listed as a tiny undead, but is actually a large, incorporeal undead. The rest of the stat block is correct, so the absence of the incorporeal trait doesn’t change much, but the size difference is impactful.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Going from needing 3 points with five PCs to 5 points with 6 PCs (to get the top tier reward) is a big jump-- almost punitive for having a sixth PC.

Running away from the final encounter would still allow Anohatsa to "fill[] in missing details, willing to tell the true story
following Wanikkawi’s death". I suppose a table that fails to reach the final encounter at all (e.g. due to time constraints) but still survives would not get the conclusion.

In general, is there any way to summon a PFS dev / OrgPlay leader to resolve issues like the ones discussed here, especially with regard to success thresholds?

5/55/55/55/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle

LeftHandShake wrote:
Running away from the final encounter would still allow Anohatsa to "fill[] in missing details, willing to tell the true story following Wanikkawi’s death".

I guess it's possible the party first kills Wanikkawi in the final encounter and then runs away without killing his sidekick(s), but otherwise running away wouldn't meet the condition "following Wanikkawi's death" for Anohatsa to fill in the missing details.

LeftHandShake wrote:
Going from needing 3 points with five PCs to 5 points with 6 PCs (to get the top tier reward) is a big jump-- almost punitive for having a sixth PC.

Mission success does not require getting any top-tier rewards in the preparation activities. In practice, those rewards don't make a huge impact on the combat encounters and may be nice to have but are not at all necessary.

LeftHandShake wrote:
In general, is there any way to summon a PFS dev / OrgPlay leader to resolve issues like the ones discussed here, especially with regard to success thresholds?

In general, there is no way to summon anyone official to clarify these sorts of things, but perhaps a dev will come into the thread after the holiday season and publicly post what has already been clarified privately about the success threshold (see above).

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Another small issue that should be fixed: on p11, left column, the DC of Deception or Performance checks to swap tales is not increased in high subtier, unlike all other skill checks in the preparation segment.

5/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Hungary—Budapest

Also the Waldgeist (option D for high tier) in the first fight is relatively harsh compared to the others as it might bestow slowed or petrified to multiple characters with unlimited duration as it seems, so some extra foreshadowing might be in order if you roll that version.

4/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska

The four variants of Preparation 1 are supposed to be what *all* pathfinders are working on or is it a choice for each pathfinder to decide what they want to help with? There's a 1d4 table for the dishes but no instructions when you query that result.

Grand Archive 4/5 ****

Talon Stormwarden wrote:
The Fortune Eater in encounter 1B high tier is listed as a tiny undead, but is actually a large, incorporeal undead. The rest of the stat block is correct, so the absence of the incorporeal trait doesn’t change much, but the size difference is impactful.

The fortune eater is a really weird creature to include on this due to it's Rejuvenation ability.

It seems like a knowledgeable and persuasive group (who are in the middle of a heroic deed after all) should be able to convince it to switch sides...

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