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GM Lorenzo's #5-99 The Paths We Choose (Subtier 3-4) - Redelia's PbP GM Mentorship Program

Game Master Lawrence Smith 2

Maps, Handouts, and More!


51 to 90 of 90 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A GM can, and I think should, present reasonable clues the PCs can pick up on to handle a particular situation. That doesn't mean the PCs will always take advantage of them. ;-)

Silver Crusade

HP: 24/24 l AC: 16, T 11, FF 15 l CMD 14 l F +3, R +2, W +5, +7 vs. madness/confusion l Knowledge of the Ages (3/3), Time Flicker (3 min/day) l L1: 5/6 l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +2
Skills:
Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +10, Kn. History/Religion +6, Kn. Planes +9, Profession: Baker +8, Spellcraft +5
Female Human Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 3 | Active Conditions:

Hehe yep >.>

You can also prod the PCs to do something and they'll talk about doing the thing but not actually post anything to the effect of doing the thing. I finally got to be on the other side of that when I started GMing and now I understand the frustration so very much >.<

Grand Lodge

@Zadim: Study target = move action. Sheathe a weapon = move action. Pick up an item = move action.
You could drop a kukri (free action), pick up the shard of glass (move action), study the target (move action), and still take a 5-ft step into an unoccupied space.
If I've overlooked something, let me know.

Silver Crusade

M NN Human Slayer 4
Bot Me!:
[dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+5[/dice][dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+2[/dice]
| HP: 36 | AC: 17 (12 Tch, 14 FF) | CMB: 9, CMD: 21 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 | Init: +2 | Perc: +7, SM: +7

Thank you, I took my 5 foot step.

I might have to pick up the alchemy manual, these reagents are pretty Sweet!

Grand Lodge

male half-elf Magus 4 | HP 1/32 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | F: +6,3 R: +4, W: +5 | Perc +2 | Init +4 | Arcane Pool 3/5

GM Lorenzo, can you please (either now or after the fight if that would be better) tell us a little bit about setting up a fight with opponents the PCs can't see? That's one of the situations I've been trying to avoid because it makes me nervous.

Grand Lodge

1. @Seltyiel: Please create a tagline with the basic stats. Otherwise, the GM has to open up the PC's page to review stats.

2. Re an unseen opponent, when only Lady Vanessa could see it, I described its location in adequate detail to let her target it. Once others could see it, I revealed it on the map.

In the description of the creature, the room and its contents, evolving as the party learned more through actions, spells and skill checks, I provided hints about the creature, the darkness, and how to deal with it. When some in the party didn't pick up on the clues, I decided to repeat myself, underscoring some important clues that I determined the party ought to have noticed. That seemed reasonable and fair.

3. Re misfortune, this is the first time I've GMed a PC with the misfortune ability. I wrestled with how to handle that challenge as a GM. What I've decided to do is show the d20 rolls, but not reveal the creature's bonuses. That enables the PC to choose whether or not use the ability without revealing more than the die roll. Again, trying to be reasonable and fair.

Grand Lodge

@Seltyiel. Thanks, now I can see the PC's tagline.

Grand Lodge

male half-elf Magus 4 | HP 1/32 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | F: +6,3 R: +4, W: +5 | Perc +2 | Init +4 | Arcane Pool 3/5

I just noticed this morning the header was not there and fixed it. I'll add a few more things like arcane points later today, and will also add the botting spoiler in the character sheet.

Grand Lodge

@Zadim, I'm calculating your AC dropped to 16 when you were enlarged. If that's in error let me know.

Grand Lodge

@Lady Vanessa: Thanks for pointing out that the PC had rolled the miss chance.

Everybody: I prefer to roll miss chances as the GM, but I hadn't informed the table. It's the sort of rules of engagement (ROE), a GM should consider including at the outset.

Regarding the penalties or bonuses/buffs/debuffs from conditions, these are issues that should also be included in the GM's ROE. As a player, I usually indicate my bonuses to attacks, damage, etc separately--to remind myself and to help out the GM.

Let's try to handle it that way going forward, and when mistakes are made or clarifications are necessary, just let me know in the discussion thread. I prefer to keep the ooc text in the gameplay thread to a minimum.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Another caution to GMs: Posting late at night increases the chances of making unfortunate errors. Sometimes, a night's rest is a better idea than firing off one more post before you go to bed. ;-)

Grand Lodge

male half-elf Magus 4 | HP 1/32 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | F: +6,3 R: +4, W: +5 | Perc +2 | Init +4 | Arcane Pool 3/5

While we are talking 'behind the curtain,' I noticed the GM hints about using the shards like daggers. Can you tell us what the mechanical consequence was of that?

Grand Lodge

hp 28/28; AC (18, 18t, 15ff); saves F 5 ref 7 will 7; bab 3 melee 6 ranged 7; cmb 7, cmd 20; init 3; wand clw 47; inspire 4/6; elem fist 4/4; ki pool 5/5 | Grippli drunken master of the four winds, sensei, quinggong monk / 4 | -14 | image
skills:
acro 10, climb 5, escape 7, ling 2, perc 10, prof: brewer/vintner/distiller 10, stealth 14, surv 3, swim 5

sorry if I'm slow posting the last few days and the next few as well... We are suffering from high winds and surrounded by fires in all directions. Constant power outages from the winds and service outages from both power problems and the fires are playing hell with my connection. I will post as I can, but please bot me if necessary.. thanks.

Grand Lodge

hp 28/28; AC (18, 18t, 15ff); saves F 5 ref 7 will 7; bab 3 melee 6 ranged 7; cmb 7, cmd 20; init 3; wand clw 47; inspire 4/6; elem fist 4/4; ki pool 5/5 | Grippli drunken master of the four winds, sensei, quinggong monk / 4 | -14 | image
skills:
acro 10, climb 5, escape 7, ling 2, perc 10, prof: brewer/vintner/distiller 10, stealth 14, surv 3, swim 5
Seltyiel by Redelia wrote:
While we are talking 'behind the curtain,' I noticed the GM hints about using the shards like daggers. Can you tell us what the mechanical consequence was of that?

That was why Hunter picked up two shards!

Grand Lodge

male half-elf Magus 4 | HP 1/32 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | F: +6,3 R: +4, W: +5 | Perc +2 | Init +4 | Arcane Pool 3/5

Ah, I was right about Bathory being the inspiration!

Grand Lodge

@Seltyiel: The improvised daggers would have been a more important factor in the higher subtier, bypassing the tougher creatures' significant DR.

However, even in the lower subtier, identifying the nature of the shards and the mirror they came from were important contributors to a successful faction mission. They also provided an alternative weapon to PCs who normally use two-handed weapons and to PCs whose spells proved ineffective. Most important, they provided the only means of seeing the creature, because no one had the means to overcome the deeper darkness. The owb could cast that spell at will for a duration of 80 minutes each time.

I did not apply the usual -4 penalty to attack rolls for improvised weapons. The scenario didn't explicitly call for that, and the fight already seemed a tough one as otherwise designed.

Grand Lodge

It's not uncommon for a scenario to introduce new mechanics. To keep the game moving, I prefer to spell out such mechanics as clearly as I can.

---

The auction is straightforward.

First, agree on your bid.

You must bid at least 8 coins.

You only have 30 coins to purchase all three slaves, so you need to figure out how to make the coins last for all three auctions.

You don’t necessarily need the highest bid, only the highest unique bid.

Once you've submitted your bid, Bounder Stig will reveal all of the bids for a slave. He'll discard any results that match. The highest remaining bid wins that auction.

Dark Archive

Female LN Dhampir Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 5 | HP: 38/38 | AC: 16 (12 T, 14 FL) | CMB: +2, CMD: 14 | F: +3, R: +4, W: +5 (+2 all saves vs Disease & Mind-Affecting | Init: +4 | Perc: +4 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 1st 8/8 2nd 6/6 | Active conditions: None

I think I'm missing something here. We're bidding against ... what, exactly? (Not who, but what.) What's the mechanical aspect of generating the opposing bids? Really just curious. Are they preset in the scenario, or rolled?

We pick 3 numbers, each greater than or equal to 8, the sum of which cannot exceed 30.

Grand Lodge

AC 14, T 14, FF 11, hp 10/20 F +2, R+5, W +4 Female human (Ulfen) sorcerer 4 Int +7; Low Light; Perception +8

Is it just a random in the dark pick for the first one?

Dark Archive

Female LN Dhampir Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 5 | HP: 38/38 | AC: 16 (12 T, 14 FL) | CMB: +2, CMD: 14 | F: +3, R: +4, W: +5 (+2 all saves vs Disease & Mind-Affecting | Init: +4 | Perc: +4 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 1st 8/8 2nd 6/6 | Active conditions: None

I agree with Seltyiel that 11, 10, and 9 are probably the right combination of the three, but not sure what we can do to influence the outcome. I posted in ooc in gameplay, maybe working the opposing bidders thru Diplo or Intimidate or Bluff. Or cause a distraction? Or if we had a rogue, steal their coins? There has to be something we can do to influence the bidding other than just picking 3 numbers.

Silver Crusade

M NN Human Slayer 4
Bot Me!:
[dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+5[/dice][dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+2[/dice]
| HP: 36 | AC: 17 (12 Tch, 14 FF) | CMB: 9, CMD: 21 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 | Init: +2 | Perc: +7, SM: +7

Agreed, there has to be a way for us to influence the bidding. Otherwise it would be very random.

I do have a potion of invisibility, but am not trained in Slight of Hand...

Grand Lodge

I'll reveal the game mechanics after the action.

You've got 30 coins. You're trying to purchase three slaves. Other bidders are interested, too, and will submit their own sealed bids. Bounder Stig will keep all the bids, winners' and losers'.

Venture-Captain Ollysta Zadrian gave you coins as a way to legally purchase the slaves and avoid killing anyone. She gave you an amount of coins she deemed sufficient to buy slaves of this calibre.

The GM Discussion boards (try not to peek until after you've played) are full of overwrought angst and the gnashing of milk teeth, "But this doesn't makes sense..." Neither do fireballs and faerie fire.

In fact, there are many types of auctions in real-life. Bounder Stig's method seems like a combination of the "blind auction" and the "all-pay auction" with the added nuance of awarding the item to the highest unique bid. For example, if two bids are for 9 coins and a third is for 8 coins, then the 8-coin bid wins.

I imagined this as sort of a James Bond scene with a bunch of elite high-rollers enjoying the thrill of the gamble and showing off to their peers more than what the prize itself might be worth.

Let's just play it out and have fun.

Silver Crusade

HP: 24/24 l AC: 16, T 11, FF 15 l CMD 14 l F +3, R +2, W +5, +7 vs. madness/confusion l Knowledge of the Ages (3/3), Time Flicker (3 min/day) l L1: 5/6 l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +2
Skills:
Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +10, Kn. History/Religion +6, Kn. Planes +9, Profession: Baker +8, Spellcraft +5
Female Human Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 3 | Active Conditions:

Checking in to say that I'm still here, but I decided to take most of the evening off from PbP to chill and work on some Christmas-related stuff. As it is, I'm a little at a loss on what to write in-game at the moment so I'll come back to this one tomorrow at some point. Feel free to bot Corona in the meantime, of course.

Grand Lodge

I offered an opportunity to roleplay through the slave auction. Some players gave it the college try in the first round of bidding. No one seems interested in roleplaying through the final two bids. Not judging anyone, just assessing the situation at this point in the scenario.

I don't think it's appropriate for the GM to force the players into something they're not interested in, unless it's critical to overall success. A nudge or two, fine. But then it's time to move on. There's a couple of ways this chapter can conclude, so no harm.

I'll post something in the gameplay thread to advance the plot. All that remains is for the party to submit their two sealed bids. I'll use the amounts Seltyiel suggested, 11 then 9. If anyone objects, please let me know.

Grand Lodge

male half-elf Magus 4 | HP 1/32 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | F: +6,3 R: +4, W: +5 | Perc +2 | Init +4 | Arcane Pool 3/5

I think the problem was less lack of interest, and more paralysis from feeling like what we did didn't matter. There wasn't really anything we could do to make it more likely we would win, and it was incredibly unlikely we could do anything such that we would win all three. And so, out of frustration, I kept telling myself I would post later, and I would guess that so did many others. (I want to be completely clear here; it's frustration with the mechanics, not with you.)

Silver Crusade

HP: 24/24 l AC: 16, T 11, FF 15 l CMD 14 l F +3, R +2, W +5, +7 vs. madness/confusion l Knowledge of the Ages (3/3), Time Flicker (3 min/day) l L1: 5/6 l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +2
Skills:
Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +10, Kn. History/Religion +6, Kn. Planes +9, Profession: Baker +8, Spellcraft +5
Female Human Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 3 | Active Conditions:

I think Redelia's point is probably the gist of it, though for me specifically I've also been busy at work all day *and* unexpectedly have to be back at 4am tomorrow - so posting time today/tonight is limited. So I've been dealing with a bit of frustration stemming from multiple sources - but as Redelia also said, none of it has to do with you or your GMing :)

Silver Crusade

HP: 24/24 l AC: 16, T 11, FF 15 l CMD 14 l F +3, R +2, W +5, +7 vs. madness/confusion l Knowledge of the Ages (3/3), Time Flicker (3 min/day) l L1: 5/6 l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +2
Skills:
Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +10, Kn. History/Religion +6, Kn. Planes +9, Profession: Baker +8, Spellcraft +5
Female Human Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 3 | Active Conditions:

Totally off-topic: Baron Samedi? Really? Is that someone's idea of a joke? Because if so, that's pretty funny. Took me a second read to catch that!

Silver Crusade

M NN Human Slayer 4
Bot Me!:
[dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+5[/dice][dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+2[/dice]
| HP: 36 | AC: 17 (12 Tch, 14 FF) | CMB: 9, CMD: 21 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 | Init: +2 | Perc: +7, SM: +7

I am inclined to agree with the above comments. Not for a lack of trying on your part, but the writing and the mechanics in this section seem kind of railroad-y. It feels like one of the "intentionally unfair" hooks that some scenarios have.

Once I realized this auction was, most likely, just the beginning of this section, I was more ambivalent.

Silver Crusade

HP: 24/24 l AC: 16, T 11, FF 15 l CMD 14 l F +3, R +2, W +5, +7 vs. madness/confusion l Knowledge of the Ages (3/3), Time Flicker (3 min/day) l L1: 5/6 l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +2
Skills:
Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +10, Kn. History/Religion +6, Kn. Planes +9, Profession: Baker +8, Spellcraft +5
Female Human Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 3 | Active Conditions:

Hey folks, I've got to be at work at 4am tomorrow so I'm out for the night. Bot Corona as needed and I'll catch up tomorrow afternoon/evening once I get home from work (and possibly have a nap)!

Grand Lodge

AC 14, T 14, FF 11, hp 10/20 F +2, R+5, W +4 Female human (Ulfen) sorcerer 4 Int +7; Low Light; Perception +8

And Francisco Scaramanga. This must be a Bond James Bond scenario.

Grand Lodge

Okay. The scene evoked an image from James Bond movies for me, an auction as a high stakes game of chance. I borrowed a couple of my favorite villains, from The Man with the Golden Gun and Live and Let Die.

Here's what the scenario provided regarding running the auction:

Quote:

Running the auction is straightforward. First, have the PCs write down their bid. Remind them that they must bid at least 8 coins. If need be, clarify that the PCs don’t necessarily need the highest bid, only the highest unique bid. Because the PCs only have 30 coins to purchase all three slaves, they need to figure out how to make the coins last for all four auctions. For each of the three slaves, assume that there are two rival bidders, each of which bids 1d4+8 coins. Reveal all of the bids for a slave, and discard any results that match. The highest remaining bid wins that auction.

While a number of disreputable purchasers have arrived to bid on the war heroes, not all of them bid every auction. The only serious bidder among them is a ruthless agent of a Qadiran shipping company who goes by the name of Midley Blackburn. Assume any of the GM’s winning bids go to Midley.

That seemed a little boring but a useful framework for some improv. I ad-libbed a bit, trying to make it a role-playing opportunity rather than a series of three quick die rolls.

I gave the competition a penalty to the first bid roll as reward for interesting and effective role-play as much as for any particular skill check.

Such GM improvisation won't appeal to everybody, but I do it because it's the sort of free play I enjoy, and I want to offer that chance to any players that might be interested. You react, the NPCs react and so unless there's no response.

Grand Lodge

AC 14, T 14, FF 11, hp 10/20 F +2, R+5, W +4 Female human (Ulfen) sorcerer 4 Int +7; Low Light; Perception +8

Makes sense, and was fun. I've found that a lot of the "new" mechanics trip up players even when I tell them what the mechanic is. It slows us down trying to figure out how to "win" it.

Silver Crusade

M NN Human Slayer 4
Bot Me!:
[dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+5[/dice][dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+2[/dice]
| HP: 36 | AC: 17 (12 Tch, 14 FF) | CMB: 9, CMD: 21 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 | Init: +2 | Perc: +7, SM: +7

Interesting... if only the author had allowed for, or suggested, various skill checks to make it winnable. Fighting against those odds, it's fairly unlikely a party would win all three slaves. (Which is probably the point, I'm guessing.)

Silver Crusade

M NN Human Slayer 4
Bot Me!:
[dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+5[/dice][dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+2[/dice]
| HP: 36 | AC: 17 (12 Tch, 14 FF) | CMB: 9, CMD: 21 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 | Init: +2 | Perc: +7, SM: +7

GM, what map is this? I want to own it...

Grand Lodge

AC 14, T 14, FF 11, hp 10/20 F +2, R+5, W +4 Female human (Ulfen) sorcerer 4 Int +7; Low Light; Perception +8

Spent time with family this evening. I'll post tomorrow am. I ran out of time tonight

Silver Crusade

HP: 24/24 l AC: 16, T 11, FF 15 l CMD 14 l F +3, R +2, W +5, +7 vs. madness/confusion l Knowledge of the Ages (3/3), Time Flicker (3 min/day) l L1: 5/6 l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +2
Skills:
Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +10, Kn. History/Religion +6, Kn. Planes +9, Profession: Baker +8, Spellcraft +5
Female Human Oracle (Dual-Cursed) 3 | Active Conditions:

Checking in; I'm at work today but hopefully should have time to post my turn once it comes up. Otherwise I'll post when I get home tonight :)

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A great way for a PbP GM to make subsequent posts in combat encounters is to click "reply" on your last post.

The copied entry will include most of the formatting and typing you entered in your previous post. Spoilers get omitted, and lengthy posts may lose some of what you typed earlier, but it's real time-saver.

After weeks of fat-fingering things each time I posted, I ran across another GM's post recommending the "reply" technique. I've never looked back.

Grand Lodge

All:
I'll be preparing your chronicle sheets later today/tomorrow. Is there anything you'd like me to annotate on them?

Grand Lodge

male half-elf Magus 4 | HP 1/32 | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | F: +6,3 R: +4, W: +5 | Perc +2 | Init +4 | Arcane Pool 3/5

Only that the chronicle is being held for the appropriate level. (some GMs like to put a note like that on, others prefer not to)

Silver Crusade

M NN Human Slayer 4
Bot Me!:
[dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+5[/dice][dice=Kukri]1d20+9[/dice] [dice=Damage]1d4+2[/dice]
| HP: 36 | AC: 17 (12 Tch, 14 FF) | CMB: 9, CMD: 21 | F: +6, R: +7, W: +4 | Init: +2 | Perc: +7, SM: +7

I, too, am holding the chronicle for an appropriate level. If you could put that on there, I'd appreciate it. If the dates are in a weird order that may mess me up one day.

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