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 Post subject: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:26 pm 
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11/22/15

First session, whoo!

I thought it went fairly smoothly overall, and our characters had some good chemistry. Phaedra is starting to feel protective of Alfie and mixed amusement and serious interest in Kari... although I keep getting their names mixed up. Confession; Alfie sounds more like a guy's name, and Kari like a girl's name to me.

Hot damn, whoever decided that Pugwampis were CR 1 is a sadist. Yeah, they weren't much for damage or hp, I'll give you that. On the other hand, that "roll twice and take worst" for an entire fight, with no way to stop it, is just bloody mean. Especially when you slap DR and SR on them too.

I liked how you played the NPCs, and was genuinely surprised that the snootier one turned out to be the famous adventurer. Oh well, just more in common with my character! Zograthy seems one part fraud, one part dirty old man to one part broker, but I hope his tip pans out. Both for our job, and for Alfie.

Glad I was able to squeeze in the dragon bit at the end there with Kari.


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:19 am 
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I was surprised at how quickly we got into the action, perhaps because in my experiences so far with this group, first sessions tend not to have combat. That said, it was kind of fun to start with a combat so quickly and nearly reach a second one by the end of the session.

Pugwampis were frustrating buggers, yes, but I never felt like we were ever in danger of actually losing the fight. They snagged hits on us - surprising me a little, considering Alfie has a pretty formidable AC for her level - but I don't think they were actually able to even bring down so much as one of Phaedra's summons. I'm not convinced they're CR-inappropriate, considering their damage output, but I'm not convinced they're a fun encounter, either, throwing resources like spells at them with no effect.

Felt like we stumbled over each other a bit with Zograthy - a bit like Kain mentioned us doing with Crimson's sister. Feel like that was mostly my fault. Makes sense with a group jut learning to work together, but hopefully that doesn't turn into something recurring.

It was a really stark contrast between the pugwampi fight and our Wicked fight this past week. Even with the re-rolling and the boatload of rolling Phaedra did for her summons, it still felt like each round was much snappier than Wicked, which makes me a little concerned about Wicked rounds getting even longer than they already are when we aren't even at the halfway mark as far as levels go.


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:09 pm 
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Whew, sorry this took a while to write. Been without internet in the new Waltham place this week. Still am, but there's a library handy.

Pugwampis, **** those guys.

Yeah, the rounds were vastly snappier. One factor beyond mere levels is the number of creatures on the board - each PC just controlling one person here, and the DM just three identical blocks - but the difference between high and low levels is indeed stark.

I have had a bit much on my mind this past couple weeks and I think I could stand to open up the game this coming weekend with a recap.


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:10 pm 
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Coriat wrote:
I have had a bit much on my mind this past couple weeks and I think I could stand to open up the game this coming weekend with a recap.


Noted


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:55 pm 
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WarDragon wrote:
I thought it went fairly smoothly overall, and our characters had some good chemistry. Phaedra is starting to feel protective of Alfie and mixed amusement and serious interest in Kari... although I keep getting their names mixed up. Confession; Alfie sounds more like a guy's name, and Kari like a girl's name to me.


I thought there was an interesting and fun dynamic to it. Very interesting with the three Charisma casters. You weren't alone with the name/gender mix ups.

WarDragon wrote:
Hot damn, whoever decided that Pugwampis were CR 1 is a sadist. Yeah, they weren't much for damage or hp, I'll give you that. On the other hand, that "roll twice and take worst" for an entire fight, with no way to stop it, is just bloody mean. Especially when you slap DR and SR on them too.


CR 1/2 actually. In hindsight I shorted Alfie, since any luck bonus negates it. It's a frustrating combat though for sure. They definitely feel more like a nuisance though alone. IF you guys hadn't cleaned then up that round they were going to get cleaned up in the next. Glad that didn't happen.

WarDragon wrote:
I liked how you played the NPCs, and was genuinely surprised that the snootier one turned out to be the famous adventurer. Oh well, just more in common with my character!


Interesting. The clue-bat is a funny thing. Must adjust use of it.

WarDragon wrote:
Zograthy seems one part fraud, one part dirty old man to one part broker, but I hope his tip pans out. Both for our job, and for Alfie.


The good news is you get to find out.

WarDragon wrote:
Glad I was able to squeeze in the dragon bit at the end there with Kari.


I liked that scene.

Glabrezubane wrote:
I was surprised at how quickly we got into the action, perhaps because in my experiences so far with this group, first sessions tend not to have combat. That said, it was kind of fun to start with a combat so quickly and nearly reach a second one by the end of the session.


I liked the setup. Slightly quicker start. Overall I feel the AP lines up pretty nicely in this regard.

Glabrezubane wrote:
Pugwampis were frustrating buggers, yes, but I never felt like we were ever in danger of actually losing the fight. They snagged hits on us - surprising me a little, considering Alfie has a pretty formidable AC for her level - but I don't think they were actually able to even bring down so much as one of Phaedra's summons. I'm not convinced they're CR-inappropriate, considering their damage output, but I'm not convinced they're a fun encounter, either, throwing resources like spells at them with no effect.


Agreed on all counts.

Glabrezubane wrote:
Felt like we stumbled over each other a bit with Zograthy - a bit like Kain mentioned us doing with Crimson's sister. Feel like that was mostly my fault. Makes sense with a group jut learning to work together, but hopefully that doesn't turn into something recurring.


I also got this feeling, and I know it's the sort of thing that historically Kain tended to come down hard on. Having seen that type of dynamic in real life, I sympathize and understand why he did so, but having been on the other side, and given the medium, I'd rather have you all interacting in than worrying about it overly much. Unlike real life, where one person talking precludes another from interrupting, IRC almost promotes this kind of dynamic. I'd rather you guys be in sync as a whole, but don't let that stop you from jumping into things. I'd rather have three different lines of conversation than the alternative in people being slow on the draw for fear of talking over each other.

Glabrezubane wrote:
It was a really stark contrast between the pugwampi fight and our Wicked fight this past week. Even with the re-rolling and the boatload of rolling Phaedra did for her summons, it still felt like each round was much snappier than Wicked, which makes me a little concerned about Wicked rounds getting even longer than they already are when we aren't even at the halfway mark as far as levels go.


I'm glad the combat was snappy. That's part of my goal.


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:57 am 
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Posts: 1182
Welp I was gonna wait and see what the rest of you said but I guess that didn't really work out.

I enjoyed the ready action standoff, with us both down to low hit points, that happened during the fight.

Heh. And the post-fight made me glad I blew off defensive spells and picked Charm Person instead.

Next time Kari gets lost, Mike Tyson better not give him any ****.

Fenster was a charming one, wasn't he? Can't imagine why he isn't getting the girl.

you better watch out, you better not spy
you better back out, I'm telling you why
Magic Man is coming to town


Though my companions' lack of faith is deeply hurtful.

Speaking of deeply hurtful, crossbow bolts deep in the chest are also deeply hurtful. That said, I have a certain impatience for waiting around for one of you two to open a door, and past a minute or two, I will tend to do it myself, low AC be damned.

Maybe I should learn open/close for this.

Glad you had fun dumping Kari in the pit.

Can someone post what we got in the first session - including pay - to the loot thread? I don't have first session logs.

I am available whenever, except Wednesday night.


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:14 am
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I knew I was forgetting something.

Very unexpected result of the initial encounter. Not entirely sure what to make of the girl, and her two flunkies. Concern is partly metagamed since smite evil worked on at least one of them. Yeah, probably not the wisest way of dealing with the little girl, even if it was the smartest. Funny to see people in game and out thrown off balance by the direct approach, heh.

The old guy was kinda pathetic, but still incredibly creepy. I still felt a little bad for our treatment of him. I feel like this party has a hard time overall deciding whether to be nice or assholes.

That second fight was... interesting. Pretty good tactics all around on the Goblins' part, sniping and dumping us in muck.


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:46 am 
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Might as well write some feedback. Fastest draw on the team again, woo.

I had a lot of fun with both fights. In particular, with Natalya I liked solving an environmental challenge, the rafters, socially. And I really enjoyed shooting my mouth off in the fight against the thugs and drawing all sorts of nearly-lethal attention when in reality I had no spells left.

That said, before that part, in the first couple rounds of that fight I put on a small tactics laboratory, for those interested in Pathfinder tactics.

Quote:
It takes a bit of doing to climb out of the pit on the other side and manage the unconcious woman with them. It takes a bit longer as well for the sharp kicks of the magic man and the claws of the dragon to tear through the cheap walls. The building shudders, but they make it out.
Four individuals are waiting for them with leveled crossbows.
Alfie breathes a sigh of relief once they're out. "Maybe... not walking through the streets as a dragon on our way would be good. Also it may be hard to explain why we're carrying a wounded Tower Girl with us..."
Kari blinks.
Then he puts on his brightest smile.
"Have you heard of us?"
"I'm Kari the Magic Man..."
<@Phaedra> "Oh gods, what now."
Three have the look of rough men from Underbridge. Toughs. The fourth stands out.
http://i.imgur.com/XDXCQxY.jpg
"... Oh. Uhm. Hi?"
Blond haired and golden armored she carries a bullwhip in one hand and hand crossbow in the other. "Magic man? Well, you seem to have conjurered up my missing 'sister' well enough."
 "Sure did."
<@Phaedra> "One of the Tower Girls, I presume? I assure you, this isn't what it looks like."
The woman's smile is anything but friendly. "It looks like you dragged that ***** out of her hole for me."
"For which I am _eternally_ grateful. We'll be happy to take over from here though."
<@Phaedra> "Ah. Then it's definitely not what it looks like, since we certainly are not doing it for you."
"It's cute that you think you have a choice in this."
"Yeah, I gotta admit, I think this probably goes way over your head."
"I don't WANT to have to freeze you where you stand, Miss Tower Girl, but this is serious business."
I'm being real obvious about being a spellcaster here. Oh no! What if the guys with ranged weapons do the obvious thing you would do against a spellcaster?
Quote:
"Hey, what's wrong with things going over someone's head?"
That same cruel smile, "I'll make this easy. Because you did me a favor and spared me that stinking pit. Walk way and leave her behind. One chance."
<@Phaedra> "I'll give you one chance. I am tired, filthy, and very much done with this. You let us pass and deliver her to our - and her- employer, and I won't rip you and your thugs to shreds."
She looks to her men, "If the 'magic man' starts gesturing, shoot him."
Yyyyup. Saw that one coming.
Quote:
"You, little beast, are all mine."
<@Phaedra> Phaedra snarls back at her. She swears, when her wings grow in, people will stop underestimating her.
Before they can spring into action, the halfling reminds them she's they're, snapping off a slingshot at their leader.
"That was a warning shot."
The bullet glances off the woman's golden armor. "Here's mine."
The tiny crossbow in her hand barks right at Phaedra's throat (9 damage).
"Phaedra!"
Her thugs smirk and raise their crossbows at Kari, daring him to intervene.
Kari grins, moving in on the archers. "Careful now. Shoot too soon, and it won't interrupt my spell. Shoot too late... well I don't need to tell you what happens if you shoot too late, do I?"
"Ever fought a magic man before?"
But when a foe has a readied action with an obvious trigger, what it really is is an opportunity to manipulate his trigger. Such as by not taking the action they readied against, costing the enemy team three turns to our (my) one. Action economy!
(*Note that while Kari doesn't have much loot yet, this would otherwise be an excellent opportunity to win even more at action economy by, say, drinking a potion. Basically take a free turn doing something else while your foe waits helplessly.)

Quote:
<@Phaedra> "Guh." She rips the bolt out, in a spurt of ectoplasm.
"You're tougher than you look, I'll give you that." The golden garbed woman observes.
Their hands clinch on their weapons.
Alfie snaps off a second shot at the blonde.
The bullet strikes the blond across her pretty face, opening up her cheek. Her eyes flash with anger as blood runs. "Change of plans. Kill them all."
She lashes out with the bullwhip at the tiny woman that struck her. The whip cracks across the Alfie, ripping flesh as it goes (5 damage).
Her thugs smile and raise their crossbows at Kari. Two shots go wide in nervous hands, but the last sinks into his shoulder (8 damage).
This is where the enemy realizes that readying won't work out for them; them readying = them handing control of their turns to me
Quote:
"Nggh... heh."
"Too soon."
The wave washes over them, leaving devestation in its wake. One man manages to dodge the worst of it, but the second sways like a sapling in a hurricane when the wave of frost has passed, barely on his feet. The golden armored woman tries to duck out of the way, but the blast hits her head on as well. She emerges less scathed than the others. "Magic man huh?"

So taking a regular action instead of a ready let them act instead of losing another turn. But since there's no more readied actions, I get to cast my spell without risk of disruption. Last round with heads I won, this round with tails you lose.

That's how you turn being a low-level low-AC spellcaster who loses init to three guys with readied crossbows into an advantage. I really enjoyed that part too.


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:10 am 
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Even as I marvel at your grasp of tactics generally speaking and your specific system mastery, I do have to admit, if that was the plan all along (which I imagine it would have to have been, as you point out you had no spells left), it feels like calling for a Bluff check would have been appropriate for the situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Shattered Star Feedback
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:35 am 
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I disagree. They readied on him, he didn't trick them into readying on him. Also, it appears he did have a spell to cast, he simply observed the obvious trigger and chose, logically, to not trigger it. If they don't ready on him (like they do the next round), he casts the spell.

That's not Bluff so much as reacting logically to your foes' actions. Now, from a DM standpoint, you can adjust this to not be quite so obvious. The twitchy one, for instance, readies an action to fire if he moves at all (takes a move or standard action). The one who wants to time his shot right holds off and triggers on a spell cast. The fair minded one triggers on 'takes a hostile action'.

Now, if the wizard casts a spell, these all go off. If the wizard charges his foe, only two get shots off. If the wizard drinks a potion, Twitchy fires.

This probably isn't how I'd run it the first time though, but with experienced players (ala Sean), absolutely. The varied triggers adds potential for RP/personality development, and also keeps a tactic from being too overpowered while still providing it with some point (you still suck up one and possibly two people's rounds, all three if you just stand there).


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