Paizo Fight Club (4 PM)
My last event before the banquet was Paizo Fight Club. I went into this expecting something PvPish, not usually my favorite. Got something completely different. We were broken up into tables of 8-10 and told to pick a 3rd level iconic. The 11 single-classed Paizo iconics were all represented, using Pathfinder Final rules. There were some special rules for the event: crits automatically confirmed, no duration tracking for spells (they last as long as the character is sitll alive), various squares that scored points, gave bonuses, or healed. Our judge for the event was the worthy Wes Schnieder, who was tasked with taking our actions one by one around the table and with running the monsters whenever the head judge iuztheevil
called out for a monster turn (Jason also sometimes ran the turns himselves, but with four tables to oversee, he was quite busy). Our table pretty quickly twigged to the idea that if we took our turns lickety-split, we'd get more than one action in before the monsters activated. Int theory our goal was to score the most invidual points, but aside from some fireball friendly-fire we more or less cooperated. Upon a death, you grabbed a new character from one of the unused iconics, putting your old character back for future use.
Wave 1 was a band of rather nasty ogres. Once they were dispatched, we found ourselves hip deep in undead lead by a deranged sorcerer. As all this went on, strange terrain effects happened: entanglement (no moving for one round), reinforcements (which thankfully did nothing, as when it triggered we'd just started the undead battle, and nothing was dead), gain 10 hp, rotate characters, lose 10 hp (even if you hadn't gained the 10 hp before), and fog of war (can't see anything). Despite this, we slaughtered the last of the undead, and found ourselves fighting the final wave - a juvenile blue dragon. Despite horrific losses, we finished off the dragon - 20 minutes before time was called. We were the only table to defeat said dragon :)
In the course of the event, I played Sajan the monk, Amiri the barbarian, Harsk the ranger (due to the rotation event, he wasn't too great a draw but I did double-crit with him), Seoni the sorcerer (loved that scroll of fireball). All but the barbarian died under my leadership, with the dragon dropping right around when I lost the sorcerer. Early in the session, when Jason called out that their would be a prize for most deaths, I shouted "right her!", and I did indeed tie for most deaths. Sadly, I had too many points to win the tiebreak.
During the event, a number of prizes were tossed out at the tables - item card packs and a Legacy of Fire deck at my table. I won a few of them, but shared them with the table. For the overall prizes, Brandon at our table won the event (and a future copy of the PF RPG, as I recall), 3 others won some Paizo books, the player with the most deaths won a Critical Fumble deck, and one player, the one with the most crits I think, won a Critical Hits deck. The event itself was a blast, particularly considering I had thought about skipping it in favor of more sleep. Many thanks Jason for putting it together, and to Wes for being such an on-the-ball judge.
Unfortunately, the game was so fast-paced I never got a good in-depth look at the PF RPG final characters. I get the impression that may have been intentional.
Oh, and for the wisenheimers - we are in fact encouraged to talk, nay boast, about Paizo Fight Club. See you next year!PaizonCon 2009 Pathfinder RPG Preview Banquet (7 PM)
Finally! The main event! Amazingly, I hear some attendees didn't pay the extra few bucks to go to the banquet. First we queued up, during which process I acquired TheLesuit (my old pal Chris Jarvis from the early days of Living Greyhawk) and Fray as table-mates. They let us in to the buffet a few at a time, after which we were to find tables. The food was surprisingly good. Roast beef, turkey, a stellar selection of desserts including rolo pie, and various halfway healthy things. We were joined at our table by Dario of Pact Magic fame, Yehuda who I believe traveled from Israel, and Melissa, Dan and Darien who I don't know too much about. About the time we were mostly done with our food, the special guests and Paizo folk began arriving. Our special guest was Jason Nelson, of RPG Superstar top 4 fame, and our Paizo employee was none other than esteemed publisher Erik Mona ( lemuriapress
in these parts). As we enjoyed desserts and drinks, Fray kept our table in stitches with stories about his Crimson Throne groups, including highlights like setting helpless townspeople on fire with a flaming bear. Not a typo.
All good things must pass, and soon the dining portion of the banquet came to an end. Joshua Frost introduced Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens, the first speaker. She talked about the early days of Paizo, now almost 7 years old (and will be as of July 1st this year), and what a shift it was from those days of running Dragon, Dungeon, and the Star Wars fan club. She compared her mood aboutPathfinder RPG with other seminal events in RPG history, like the car ride that led to Vampire, and the basement where she first heard the Magic the Gathering pitch. "They have to buy more cards to play? What a stupid idea!" She also gave a quick-shout out for Gary for starting up the messageboards on Paizo.com 4 or 5 years ago, and what a community it has grown up to. Apparently board members even come up in discussions during lunch!
The next speaker was Jason Buhlman ( iuztheevil
), and the purpose of the banquet: the Pathfinder RPG Preview. I'll just go ahead and call it Pathfinder RPG Omega, my favorite nickname for it. What follows is what I wrote down during Jason's tour through the PDF of the 578 page masterpiece that is Omega. Note some of these details are already known from Beta, the Paizo blog, or other sources.
HERE BE SPOILERS!
- Cover - of course we've all seen this by now. Some of us even have the poster!
- Page 22 The Races in their Underwear
- Page 25 The Half-Elf
- Everyone can pick a favored class now. Half-elves can pick two.
- Half-elves and half-orcs add +2 to any one ability
- Page 29 I think this was the barbarian's page.
- ogre art from Hook Mountain Massacre
- Rage points are gone, rage is tracked in rounds per day now
- Page 43 Domains
- Domains, bloodlines and speciality schools are now in the classes chapter, even if they weren't before
- Domain spells are back
- Many of the domain powers stayed. Usually gained at 1st and 6th or 8th level.
- Page 62 The Paladin
- Uses the iconic art
- Detect evil can zero in on a single target instantly
- Smite evil lasts until the target you are smiting is DEAD
- Evil outsiders, dragons and undead take double the bonus damage from smites
- Smites ignore DR
- Paladins now have mercies. At various levels, they select a single condition from a small list. Their lay on hands ability now cures this condition. Cure disease has been rolled into the mercies.
- Paladin caster level is now level - 3 rather than 1/2 level.
- Page 103 Skills
- Perception is no longer broken down by sense in Omega. Thank goodness. By extension, racial sense bonuses are gone.
- Concentration is no longer based off of Spellcraft, as revealed on the Blog.
- Page 115 Feats
- Page 117 Even More Feats (that's a lot of feats)
- Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, and Greater Vital Strike form a feat chain that allows extra damage on a standard action attack.
- Page ?? Equipment
- nice armor illustration
- All medium and heavy armors went up by 1
- Special materials (darkwood, mithral, etc) are now in the Equipment chapter
- Mithral now overcomes DR/silver
- The weapon chart shows more weapon properties, such as which can be used to trip
- Page 195 Combat
- Combat Manuevers are now defended against by Combat Manuever Defense (CMD). Essentially it is 10 + Str + Dex + size modifier + AC modifiers that count against touch attacks.
- Page 220, 222 Magic (I believe, notes are fuzzy)
- Nice illustration of Karzog
- Scribing spells in a wizard's spellbook is cheaper. 1st level spells for 10 gp, 9th level spells in the vicinity of 800 gp.
- Page 367 Spells
- Nice illustration of Seltyiel (I think) barbecuing a bunch of yeti with a wall of fire
- Over 100 pages of spells
- Light now ranges across dark, dim, normal, and bright. Darkness and light spells shift the light condition. Bright light is the level needed to hurt creatures inconvenienced by light.
- Page 380 Prestige Classes
- Art is a half-orc assassin
- Assasins can make you dead, permanently. Makes it easier to get paid when your target isn't standing next to your employer laughing at you.
- The shadowdancer will be previewed in Kobold Quarterly #10!
- Page 403 Gamemastery (not 100% sure on that being the section header)
- Art of our old friend Treerazer
- Campaign tips
- A touch of epic rules
- Tips for ending your campaign
- XP charts
- Wealth by level charts. Now in ONE PLACE for PCs and NPCs.
- Page 430 Environment
- Avalanche art. Jason: "See those guys there? They're DONE!"
- Rules for dungeons. And probably stairs.
- Underwater combat. And a chart that makes sense. Though I have to say that I always understood what the tail column meant - it is what damage and to-hit penalties your tail has, based on your swim category.
- Page 453 NPCS (another probably erroneous section header)
- Art: commoner with a pig! No, it isn't a class feature.
- Our favorite NPC classes are back.
- Page 504 Magic Items
- Ones I could pick out of the art: bracers of archery, strand of prayer beads, marvelous pigments, horn of Valhalla, lyre of building
- Jason's now famous story about the marvelous pigments: over and over again, folks turned in the page with marvelous pigments on it with "The pigments are applied by a stick tipped with bristles, hair, or fur" circled, and "Like a BRUSH??" written next to it. So the Paizo folks researched it, and found that it had been like that in every version since the first appearance of t he items. Says Jason: "So we kept it!" The room roars with applause. Apparently Monte Cook then told his table "That's pretty much what happened when we designed 3rd edition too". And folks, this is why I buy Paizo stuff.
- For no particular reason, right about now we were told monks now get full BAB progression when they flurry. Yum!
- Page 560 Appendix
- Diseases are here. Now including the plague.
- Some changes to poison and disease in the final, including longer onset times and slower frequencies. Jason referred to this as the "How to Poison the King" dilemma, as in, if he starts taking rapid damage, he's going to get healed right away.
- Recommended reading list, a la the classic Appendix N. No, it isn't literally Appendix N in Omega.
- Character sheet
- Glosssary of conditions
- INDEX!!! (ooh, pretty)
- Final Thoughts and Questions
- ECL's replacement will be in the Bestiary. Pronounced "Best", not "Beast", by the way, despite the mocking calls from the room. I certainly did not know that.
- There are a few new wondrous items
- No Golarion artifacts, but there are some from interesting sources
- Jason took time out to thank all the staff for helping, except for Sean Renyolds ( seankreynolds ) who was no help at all :)
And we're still not done! Now Erik Mona, the publisher, stepped away from our table to take the stage. He first commented on the oddness of having to raise the microphone when speaking after Jason the man-mountain. He then thanked Josh Frost for all the hard work organizing the banquet - much applause. He talked about his 10 years in publishing, due entirely to his love of books and RPGs. Unfortunately, with the work of publishing, designing and editing there is a loss of joy when a new book comes out - by that time, your sick of it. Then he held up the Wayfinder fanzine
, and said "this brings that back". Much applause. More thanks: Jeff Alvarez, "in charge of everything real" at Paizo. Also a shout-out to Gary for all his hard work on the web site.
New announcements from Erik:
- RPG subscription starting next week (now old news). Preorders to be rolled into it, free PDF as usual.
- The long-awaited hold this order to ship with my next subscription option!
- "Super-exciting RPG line announcement" GM Screen in September. $14.99, 4 panels, bulletproof iron (okay, hardcover book stock)
- "Super-duper-exciting RPG line announcement" Gamemastery Guide in March
- Campign and world building
- 320 pages, $39.99
- How to write an adventure path
- How to get a group together
- How to run one-on-one sessions
- Premade statblocks, such as guards, pirates, and cultists
- Lots of 1st ed DMG style charts (which lead to a shout-out from our table about the harlot sub-table), including diseases, poisons, rules niblets
The closing preview speaker was Vic Wertz,who announced that those two products would be available for pre-order at 11 PM that very evening, and that the art on the screen was by Wayne Reynolds.
Josh Frost took over the microphone to run what turned out to be the highlight of the evening - the PaizoCon trivia contest. 25 questions were asked, 5 each in the categories of Combat, Fate, Magic, Persona, and Social. The questions themselves can be found by scrolling down on this thread
. Josh did an amazing job keeping it fun, alternately praising the good tables and mocking the poorer answers. After rounds 2 and 4 we got scoring updates, which I kept hasty notes on to verify our lead (or lack thereof). Half the fun was the team names, listed below with their scores. We were the Brazen Strumpets, name chosen from the aforementioned Harlot Subtable.
4 - Operation Mmmm Daddy YumYum
(that's an average score of zero
5 - 1, 2, 3 ACD
6 - East Coast Gamers
6 - Sons of the Sea Serpent
7 - Bristlestick
7 - I Rolled a Four
9 - Paziomaniacs
(if you have trouble saying Paizo, use Lisa's advice - rhyme it with Pie-Dough)
9 - Licktoads
13 - Hot Cross Buns
14 - Aroden's Faithful
15 - Critical Fumble
18 - Team Thistletop
18 - Sanctimonious Trout
18 - Cook Until Done
20 - Boomer's Tumors
(with special guest Clinton Boomer)
21 - The Mighty Muttonchops
22 - Bestmasters
(making fun of the aforementioned Bestiary pronunciation, with special guest Neil Spicer )
22 - Brazen Strumpets
22 - Razmiran Faith Barge Union #107
(Sean Reynolds as Paizo guest did a one-man wave, a total hoot)
The three way tie went into sudden death. Each time had to write the name of as many continents as they could. All three tables turned in five. Into Overtime Round two, the planets. This time, the Bestmasters andd the Brazen Strumpets tied at 3, while the Faith Barge Union, bouyed by wikimaster yoda8myhead, fan without peer Lilith, and former PaizoCon organizer Timitius, clocked in at a whoppin' six. So my table settled for 2nd-place-by-tie-break, and were relieved when Erik said we indeed did not let him down. I didn't really need a $50 gift certificate for the Paizo store, right? And I should give credit to Jason Nelson, Thelesuit, and Fray, who answered a lot more questions right than I managed to.
With that, the banquet wound down, and we went on about our merry ways. Could not believe how much fun the banquet was. The trivia contest was the perfect way to go out on a high note.
I'd intended for this blog post to finish off day two, but it is already quite long, and I'm running out of steam. Stay tuned for what went on AFTER the banquet...
BRAZEN STRUMPETS FOR LIFE!