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Well, you should try it IMHO. The good thing about playing a PBP is that you don't have to dedicate it hours a day, even 10 minutes every day or so could be enough (depending on the campaign of course)
I'll give it some thought. I appreciate the encouragement to give it a shot. Do you know any PbP's that are accepting new players or any that are starting up from scratch?
I haven't, but I've thought about it. Just not sure how it works. I'm so used to face to face gaming I don't know if it would be my thing.
For a very brief time last summer I got to play a bit. One of my friends had moved back to the area and we started in Serpent's Skull. But as is his typical MO, we played 3, maybe 4 sessions and he lost interest in running and moved away again. It felt so good to be a player with the guys I've been with for so many years. And a couple of years before that I tried to sit in on some games with another friend, but his game turned into the Magic Mart in a PF Spelljammer Campaign and that, as hard as I tried to like it, just wasn't for me.
Well, while the city council held an emergency meeting to discuss what the PCs found out about him (they didn't know he was an ex convict and murderer, among other things) the Bard and Pugilist went to see if they could find him as he didn't appear at the meeting. They found him in his private chambers preparing to flee. I will admit that his minions were not present and that's my fault because I was distracted by pain (I have chronic pain in my leg and back and it was VERY bad last night and the minions escaped my attention).
So they, using a carpet of flying and the spell Invisibility Sphere, flew to the window of his chambers, they Bard launched Magic Missiles at him with a wand while the Pugilist leaped from the carpet and got the drop on him, doing an ungodly amount of damage to him in the surprise round. The initiative round came up, the BBEG lost the initiative to the other two and more Magic Missiles and pounding by the Pugilist brought him to below 0 hp before he could do a single thing.
By this time I remembered his cohorts through the haze of pain I was in and they were pounding on his door, but before they could get in the PCs grabbed him, tossed him onto the flying carpet and whisked him off to the council chambers where they bound, gagged, and blindfolded him, leaving them to deal with him.
But even in prior encounters with the assassins he sent after the PCs and their benefactor the players just waded through equal CR and higher adversaries like they were wheat before the scythe. I sent fighters, slayers, Red Mantis assassins, and scores of mooks. The Psion manages to stop most of them while the Bard buffs and supports, and the Pugilist just beats everything to a pulp before I can do anything. Often it's the fault of bad initiative rolls on my part and the PCs get to go first, but I can't seem to throw anything at them to challenge them, no matter what it is.
I think part of my problem is even though we only play every 2-6 weeks depending on schedules I'm the ONLY one who GMs because no one else will. Period. I'm burned out after decades of this. Once or twice a year we'll play Call of Cthulhu as a one shot and I get to be a player in that instead of GM. But it's not enough.
Anyway, that's a whine for another day. I wasn't looking for advice initially, just griping. But the input you guys have offered, as always, is welcome.
I'll probably bring the BBEG back at some point, his cohorts having rescued him. I worked too hard on him. But for now they want to spend a session or two developing the trade network they've been building between three very distant cities. That idea came about after a teleportation mishap in last night's game. So I guess instead of studying spells I need to brush up on economics. Oy.
I am using PF. This is the system we've decided to "retire" with eventually. After decades of gaming and spending collectively thousands of dollars on different editions and games we just don't get together enough anymore or have the free income to spend like we used to. So I'll have to figure out something within confines of the system.
Sorry for the Wall of Text and Wall of Whine. Just need to vent.
I used to write and run challenging encounters in my adventures. The last several, and by that I mean nearly everything in the last couple of years, has seen me work and work to come up with a BBEG or encounter that would be a fun event for my group of players only to have them defeat it in two or three rounds w/out getting a scratch.
Except for occasional "guest appearances" by friends who don't get to play very often anymore, my group consists of me (The GM), a Psion telepath, a Bard (investigator archetype) and a Pugilist (3PP class). The last is the only combat oriented character in the group.
Last night's game was the end of a three session arc where they were supposed to go up against an Arcanist who had been sending assassins after them and their sometime benefactor. Rather than outright fighting him, they spent a nearly 5 hour session planning a character assassination of him that would ultimately see him disgraced and run out of town by the city council (he was the mayor of a large trading city).
That's all well and good. I don't mind when the game takes a turn like this. But then there was a fight. The Bard and Pugilist, under cover of an Invisibility Sphere, get the jump on the guy and take him down in a surprise round and then one actual round of combat. He never got a chance to cast a spell or use an SLA. All characters, the BBEG included, were 9th level. After a 5 hour session and weeks of planning, this was how the story arc ended. I hated it.
I applaud my players for thinking of discrediting him before the city council. I didn't see that coming. They constantly challenge me by doing Option Q out of Options A,B, and C. But I can't challenge them anymore, and it's really wearing on me, no matter what I do.
Bats and moles have incredibly soft fur.
My $5 computer chair (yes, 5 bux from a junk sale) pitched me out onto the floor today. I replaced it with a $3 chair from the same junk sale. So far so good.
My dog ate a bee today. He's fine.
I suffer from really severe depression and anxiety. I found that listening to the heavy metal band WASP helps me. And meds.
Though my wife and I are separated, we're best friends. She brought me an Easter basket with candy and socks today.
There's a nest being built by a pair of sparrows right outside my front window. I can see it through the blinds.
Well, nothing very helpful or insightful here. Just random moments from my day. Hope they offered a bit of distraction for ya!
"Whenever you use a bludgeoning weapon to deal nonlethal sneak attack damage, you gain a bonus on your damage roll equal to twice the number of sneak attack damage dice you rolled."
For instance, a 9th level Rogue gets 5d6 sneak attack damage. Does this mean the Rogue's player would roll 10d6 for the nonlethal damage?
I keep hearing this is a fun series. I need to watch it.
"At 7th level, a stygian slayer is able to use spell completion and spell trigger items as if he were an arcane caster with these spells on his spell list: darkness, forced quiet, modify memory, nondetection, obscuring mist, phantom steed, shadow walk, and wizard spells of the illusion school of spell level 0 through 4th. The slayer's uses his class level as his caster level for this ability.
This ability replaces stalker."
Does this mean the Stygian Slayer gets these spells or just the ability to use spell trigger or spell completion items using these spells or abilities?
Well, we got started 2 hours late and for reasons they couldn't avoid half the players had to bow out at the last minute, but the remaining three and I did have a good time. I really thought about cancelling because of the lateness and suddenly smaller party, but I managed to shuffle things around so the encounters were less deadly to a smaller group and we had a good time. At some point we all reverted to the fifth grade because of a derail about poop and testicles (my sides still ache) so things worked out fine.
Thanks for the good vibes!! (And no, we were listening to 2 Steps From Hell, instead!... lol)
Ivan Rûski wrote:
It should also be noted that I'm not a big fan of supremely intelligent dragons or spellcasting dragons either, so take that as you will. They're already flying death machines that breathe fire or acid or what have you and have scales as strong as/stronger than steel. Spellcasting is overkill.
Do you remove the spellcasting? If so, how does this affect CR?
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
I've given that some serious thought. I may do it, now. I'm a big fan of skills and using them in game.
I've always tried to maintain that they are extremely rare and their appearance is wondrous or disastrous depending on the type. In 30 years of game mastering I've probably thrown less than a dozen dragons at my players.
In another thread someone said they only have one representative dragon of the chromatic and metallic "true" dragons, using drakes and wyverns as more common encounters. I really like this idea, and think I'll adopt it for my homebrew. The 10 classic dragons are near mythical and haven't been seen in centuries. No one knows if they even truly exist anymore or if they do, where they are or what their agendas are.
So how do you treat dragons in your campaigns? Are they common or rare? Do they interact with the lesser races, either benignly or malignantly? What are their agendas, if any? I'd love to hear about them.
I'll say. They stink on ice!
I ran a 10 year long 2e campaign that ended in 2000. One of the major characters was my friend Tam's ranger, Diana Brownsparrow. Her backstory included leaving her homeland to escape her abusive lover, another ranger.
At one point I ran a couple of adventures where he showed up and joined the party. The roleplaying was awesome between her and "him". But soon he showed his true colors and turned on her again, so she told him to leave under threat of death.
A year later (in real time) I'd run a few adventures that made them think he was somewhere still around. Sure enough he was, as he showed up in the nick of time to save Diana and the rest of the group from a pack of ghouls. He sacrificed his life so they could escape.
6 more real time months go by, with lots of gaming. At the end of a particularly harrowing adventure, they faced off against a wight, who they discovered was her former lover. He told her he that, "I swore I would love you until I die, and now we'll be together forever!" He attacked, and after a really good combat segment, she killed him for good. Tam, the ranger's player, actually broke down and cried because she was imagining the emotional agony Diana would be going through after it was all over.
Yeah. Pretty proud of that one.