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Fake Healer's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 7,429 posts (9,958 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. 2 wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 15 aliases.


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The Exchange

Certain things should have never been given stats. Cthulhu is one of those things. He is madness, aberrations and abominations. Even the books that actually have him in them don't usually mess with him except to have the very edge of his consciousness touch this world and create chaos. Hitting him for hp damage is a joke as is cutting off his head imo and a campaign where he is released upon the world should have been about stopping that release because if The Big C is released he will devour the world for starters...there is no stopping him, or the other Elder Gods.

The Exchange

So you are looking to change someone into an animal with Polymorph any Object? It says it acts like the lower polymorphs which already outline that type isn't included and what the limitations are there even if it may say "from one thing to another".
If you want to read it wrong and look for more out of the spell then let's just say for a minute that it DOES change you from one thing to another, say from a human to a squirrel...spell is cast, PC is turned into an animal, animals have too low of an intelligence to be playable, great, you just turned your PC into an animal that is no longer playable.

You don't get to cherry pick which rules transfer from one spell to another, all the polymorphs revert to the original and none say they bestow type along with the change.
I WOULD allow you to use PaO to change your PC into an animal though....just to make your PC into an unplayable animal before I asked you to leave the game for arguing over something so ridiculous. It's always funny to mess with argumentative hard-heads.

The Exchange

Trigger Loaded wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
That's descriptive. So Godzilla is stomping around in Chicago while the Illuminati wage a shadow war on the zombie apocalypse and politicians are kidnapping babies to serve as supersoldiers for Pentex that has set an absolute monopoly in place?

No he meant that it is a whole lot like

The Exchange

I live in Central Florida in Celebration (30 mins from Orlando, 15 mins from Disney) and when I first got here there was no real gaming community and it was hard to find games. I found one 45 mins away and decided to start looking more locally and started a RPG/Boardgame club for our town with 2 other guys I found in town. We now have 3 different groups running games and roughly 22 regulars in town who attend those groups.
Cost of living in Celebration is highish but just outside our lil' town is much cheaper.
Work is available in many varieties but I don't know about if they pay good in the area or not...I assume it depends on the field.
If you do come our way I can set you up with a game in town or help direct you to anything within around 45 minutes of me. Just let me know.

The Exchange

If it doesn't you can get it here _

The Exchange

Imbicatus wrote:

What I want is Temple of Elemental Evil's engine with the Co8 modpack, updated to Pathfinder rules, with updated graphics.

Then that engine can be applied to any number of adventure paths or modules.

Barring that, I'll just replay Temple of Elemental Evil with the Co8 modpack for the best possible representation of tactical 3.5 gameplay on a video game that is available. much this....

Also as a bonus I would love a part of the game where you could just run your party through a randomly generated dungeon for fun with a minimal story to it....I feel that sometimes just running through the random is a good thing and cathartic.

The Exchange

I got about 15 crown royal bags, including a couple of the black ones that I get from asking the liquor store cashiers if they have any extra, that I use for a bunch of stuff. Some hold the week's minis that I need to run with, some hold one or two sets of dice, some hold a games like 3 dragon ante and a mini settlers of catan game, and a large one holds about 3 lbs of random dice.
I also have 3 velvet bags that are large and hold a couple of books each, a chainmail bag for my cooler dice, a couple of leather/leatherette bags for dice and about a half dozen random drawstring bags from various sources like sunglass holders, and such....
Basically if it has drawstrings and is cool looking I use it as a bag for my various RPG needs. I am a bit of a bag-whore.

The Exchange

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To answer the People don't think they are mutually exclusive. Here is the caveat though. People who look at the game and tend to be into number crunching and trying to "win" aren't usually putting the roleplaying in a high priority. There are always exceptions to the rules and there are shade of grade all along the scale also. It isn't an either or proposition, it is that everyone has a sliding scale for numbers and a separate scale for roleplay and unfortunately enough people slide up the numbers scale and don't focus on the other and vice versa that it makes some absolutists decide it is an either or state.

The Exchange

SheepishEidolon wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
I would never play in a game where someone is that controlling.

To be fair, Paizo is way more controlling since they set up way more rules - Core Rulebook alone is close to 600 pages. It's just that most players are much less willing to dive into GM's or 3pp rules than the 'official' ones. As a player I am no exception. And I think it's about what we think we can find in the respective documents:

Are you really comparing a game company putting out a rulebook with a team of professionals working on it to a single, non-professional deciding that their idea of how rules work is right?

The Exchange

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
If you have to ask...

This. I look at the KISS rule...keep it simple stupid. 13 pages is just too much. I would never play in a game where someone is that controlling. If you are rewriting tons of rules then you really should look into other systems or figure out how to let go of some of the control issues that are going on. Or write your own game system...I know some people who did that.

The point of using a open and published game system is ease of use and joint familiarity with the rules for the players. Change a bunch of the rules hinders the purpose of using a published system. If I have to balance my life, kids, work, extracurriculars and whatnot, and some goof hands me 13 pages of houserules for a game that I am trying to fit in for fun then the game is now more work then it may be worth to me. Life is busy for some people, this hobby is an escape...don't make it into work.

The Exchange

How is it looking? I have been waiting for it to come out and holding off on the beta....scared it's not gonna be good. I've had too many disappointments on the Xbox One lately and afraid that this is gonna be one also...

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A bunch of people like to decide that playing a PC that doesn't kill is a genius, awesome idea and shows their creativity off. The truth is it sucks. This is a game that is about killing evil stuff and taking it's stuff. The game is designed to work that way. When you try to throw in this type of change all you get is a PC that at best doesn't quite work well or at worst a drag on the party that makes the whole group struggle. I always cringe when a player tells us how his PC is looking to be a "pacifist cleric" or some such...and how it isn't going to be another drag on the party, and how "brilliant" the concept is. It always ends up the same. Basically a crap character that doesn't fit into the party or the game unless every other person caters to the one "brilliant" person's idea.
Please make sure to post in the future to tell us how horrible this ended up, but I'm sure that if that happened it will be because the players wouldn't play along or the DM sucked at making special circumstances for the one true snowflake....

The Exchange

"went along with Rowyn's idea of joining the Lotus Dragons and they want to rebuild the guild and undermine the nobles, essentially taking over Sasserine's port and ousting the ruling government in favor of turning it back into a bandit-kingdom cityish thing....
They are currently double agenting between Lavinia and Rowyn with their primary allegiance being to Rowyn. They met and took down Vanthus and have retrieved a couple journals of the Vanderboren's parents that outline plans to settle a remote island rich in resources and corner the market on the exotic exports of the island, a journal of Vanthus' outlining his plans to backstab the Lotus Dragons and kill his sister, and some maps outlining the route to the Isle of Dread with some cool stop offs on the way like Tomoachan (sp?) and such....
My problem....I am free-forming the entire adventure from here on. I need some ideas on what resources I can mine for good adventure locales and maps. I need a good Tomoachan stand in. I would love to find some good ship-at-sea adventures besides the ones from Savage Tide. And I need to figure out how to roll in some political intrigue and the taking over of the city.
I need ideas. "

Just to refresh what I was looking for...not a "you can still run it like it is" response. I am looking for changes that show the changes in their expectations and character developments. I am certainly going to mine a lot of Savage Tide for the going to Isle of Dread parts but I am looking to make it more personalized for them and what they have decided would be fun in their game. Anyone that can provide advice and help along those lines would be appreciated.

The Exchange

You could say they land in a cavern full of lush, squishy mushrooms that break their fall reducing the damage taken in the fall to 2d6 or whatever you think would knock a few out without killing them and leave a few to help wake/heal the rest. The mushrooms are of a foul type that causes nausea for 10 minutes unless they make a Con save. The mushrooms are roughly 30-60 feet tall and the the ones they landed on/in were the puffy ones that were prepared to release their spores.

The Exchange

I am running a 5E game through Savage Tide but I took it totally off the rails. The group was borderline amoral and went along with Rowyn's idea of joining the Lotus Dragons and they want to rebuild the guild and undermine the nobles, essentially taking over Sasserine's port and ousting the ruling government in favor of turning it back into a bandit-kingdom cityish thing....
They are currently double agenting between Lavinia and Rowyn with their primary allegiance being to Rowyn. They met and took down Vanthus and have retrieved a couple journals of the Vanderboren's parents that outline plans to settle a remote island rich in resources and corner the market on the exotic exports of the island, a journal of Vanthus' outlining his plans to backstab the Lotus Dragons and kill his sister, and some maps outlining the route to the Isle of Dread with some cool stop offs on the way like Tomoachan (sp?) and such....
My problem....I am free-forming the entire adventure from here on. I need some ideas on what resources I can mine for good adventure locales and maps. I need a good Tomoachan stand in. I would love to find some good ship-at-sea adventures besides the ones from Savage Tide. And I need to figure out how to roll in some political intrigue and the taking over of the city.
I need ideas.
I have also added in Sanity as a stat and toss in some madness in a Lovecraftian manner with my game (the Savage Fever feeds into this well).
Thanks for any ideas and thoughts that may help.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Co8 is mostly about fixing a ton of the bugs in the ToEE adds some stuff also but it is mostly there to make the game run well.

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I am currently running through Eye of the Beholder and messing with Dungeon Hack. I picked up the GOG packs and I am planning on doing all the EOBs in order then moving onto Menzoberranzan and then into some of the others. The packs were so cheap that I couldn't resist picking them up.

The Exchange

"How to mess with a player's wish?" is the thread's title.
Mess with = "to bother or interfere with someone or something".
Screw over = "To treat someone unfairly; to bother someone; take advantage of someone".
They literally mean the same thing and you used one for the title of the thread. No one is putting words in anyone's mouth.

The Exchange

DiceBagChick wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I'd meet him in the middle. "It's just a single Wish, it lacks the power to give you such an ability at will. You have three free permanencies, use them wisely."
I really like this. I feel like its a bit too powerful for a 5th level character, but i dig this. I'm compiling all the suggestions and will see what works without completely screwing over his wish.

If it's too powerful for a 5th level character then you probably shouldn't have whipped out the Deck of Many Things on a 5th level group. Sounds like you wanted all the cool punishment of a DoMT without the chance of honoring all the cool benefits of a DoMT. Pretty crappy DM play there....

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I like it, they more or less emulate emotion and behaviors that have been taught to them to try to remain inconspicuous. Lots of RP-able stuff there and good fodder for integration into plotlines.

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SmiloDan wrote:

Instead of tracking lunar cycles, how about a series of checks?

Like each day, you would make an Intelligence (Arcana) check (or Nature or History or Religion, whatever is determined is more appropriate for lunar magic) for Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari.

White Robes would have advantage on Solinari rolls, but disadvantage on Nuitari rolls.

Black Robes would have advantage on Nuitari rolls, but disadvantage on Solinari rolls.

DC 25 = Full Moon
DC 20 = Waxing Moon
DC 15 = Waning Moon
DC 15 > New Moon

If you get 2 of the same, it's a conjunction.
If you get 3 of the same, it's a grand conjunction.

Now I just need to come up with what you get....

I'm thinking some kind of pool of dice, that can be used on Saving Throws, Attack Rolls, and/or Ability checks. The number you get is based on your rolls and the type of dice are based on Conjunctions.

Like 0 dice for New Moon
1 for Waning Moon
2 for Waxing Moon
3 for Full Moon.

Die Types are....
1d4 for single moon
1d8 for conjunction
1d12 for grand conjunction

The Battlemaster path for fighters uses a certain number of dice to power abilities, perhaps you could work in something like that where you use the dice to power Metamagic-y type spells and the amount of dice you get and some of the metamagics are determined by your robe color and the phases of the moons. I do like the variable dice though....must look into this.

Just a thought.
Anywho, didn't they put out an article with a playable minotaur race that was geared after the Dragonlance one?

The Exchange

Zombieneighbours wrote:
fosterlings and fetches, two sides of the same coin.

So if a fetch survives for a long time do they mature and grow, essentially becoming like a warforged or emotionless android? Or are they usually more humanlike in appearance and emotion? Or is there another ideal that personifies them better?

The Exchange

I'm just tossing in my 2 bits and mirroring other people's statements when they say this or similar: WOTC forums became difficult to navigate, always seemed to function in a non-intuitive manner, and were difficult to search through for content.
Perhaps this is for the best....I don't where I will end up discussing 5E but Paizo has been a mostly positive experience so I am leaning that way although the population is a bit sparce. EnWorld is something I never got into because I was always here but I will have to explore that option....anyone have any experience there that can give a review of the site and how the people there are?

The Exchange

I like what you did here. I was actually hoping to see a new branch on an existing class though instead of an actual whole class though. It seems like not many people are taking that route to variety and I don't understand why.
Is there something about making this fit in as a cleric, paladin or ranger path that turned you away from that or did you just never think to try to fit it into one of the existing classes as a new path? I am not being judgemental, I am just curious as to the thought process as I seem to be more inclined to try to add paths to existing classes rather than adding a whole new class.

The Exchange

Just play pretend....foam swords and shields, magic wands, dress up costumes, someone plays the bad guy....basically LARPing with a child.
Worked for just about every 4 year old ever....

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I would prefer a partnership with TSI at this point. They are the people that were behind SSI back in the day and made a bunch of Gold Box D&D RPGs. I think they would have a better idea of what is good for a D&D/Pathfinder game. A Witcher-style game, or any other style without a party fully under the control of the player is IMO a bad game waiting to be made. I would like to see either something like Temple of Elemental Evil or one of the older games with first person exploration that shifts into a 3d/isometric view during combat, so basically a hybrid of ToEE and something like Eye of the Beholder or the Might and Magic:World of Xeen series.

The Exchange

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Jiggy wrote:
Seth Dresari wrote:
That Bounded Accuracy thing sounds cool, but it also takes the uniqueness out of certain items, traits and/or feats that provide bonuses to certain skills, including but not limited to circumstance bonuses.

Those things are gone, too. And let's be honest: in a game where the math is a pile of +1s and +2s all adding up to be a level-appropriate total, there's nothing "unique" about those individual pluses. By contrast, in a game where the math is your stat mod plus a binary yes/no for adding your proficiency bonus, the small handful of things that actually further modify the math are far more "unique" than any given brick in Pathfinder's mathwall.

In 5E, the fact that the rogue can double his proficiency bonus on a couple of skills is actually special. In 5E, the fact that some bards can add half their proficiency bonus to every skill they're not already proficient in is actually meaningful. In 5E, bless can be your math-changer for the whole game, instead of fading into insignificance around 4th level or so.

The pluses you accrue in Pathfinder aren't unique. The pluses in 5E are.

Exactly my thoughts. I love the simpler math instead of the "I have a +8bab, +4 from strength, +2 for flank, +2 from weapon, +2 from spell, and...damn, missed..." next round: "crap, I missed last round because I forgot about my X bonus or I would've hit last round".

5E makes any bonus into something special and makes magic items mean something again instead of just a bonus that needs to be worked up level appropriately just to stay viable in the game.

That said there isn't really anything I would shunt over from 5E to PRPG. They are 2 different beasts that behave totally differently. Change one minor thing in PRPG and you may find you need to revamp entire areas of the system that are effected.
I liked Pathfinder but I love 5E and since I switched I really don't miss it. Prep is a breeze, combat is fast and easy to follow, adding in homebrew classes, races, backgrounds, etc.. are simple to do.
Pathfinder to me is it's own thing, as is 5E. Trying to shoehorn elements of one into the other is not a great idea IMO. Just play whichever one suits your group better.

The Exchange

Zombieneighbours wrote:
The sons and daughters of Tir Varnrag

Wow. I love the dwarf creation backstory and the sons and daughters of Tir Varnrag. Brilliant twist.

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Why not allow Fly to work as burrowing also? I'll answer, because it's a dumb assumption. Air is gas, Water is liquid, Ground is a solid. The three are vastly different and there are rules to govern each. Flying does not give a swim speed just like walking doesn't give a burrow speed. There are different rules for the different modes of travel and if you are using a spell to give you a different mode of travel then it is specific to that mode of travel. You don't fly through water, you don't burrow through water, you don't climb through water. You also don't climb through the ground, swim through the ground, or fly through the ground.
Come on, common sense. Fly spell. "Can I swim with it?" is just a ludicrous question from someone wanting to make a spell do more than it should.

The Exchange

I like that it has a "Birthright" feel to it but that it is totally different than the Birthright setting. It just feels like a good campaign world without using any of the cliche' ideas.

I like the history of the Nil and the timeline with expansionist kingdoms and warring nations. I would love to see more on the Pantheon and more backstory on the other humanoid races, dwarves, halflings, and any uncommon ones that you may have in the area. I just really love reading the histories I guess, it makes a race, nation, or idea come alive to me.

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Nice! I love the timeline. Some really good occurances and good variety in there. Hungry for more.

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Zombieneighbours wrote:

hi fake healer. First off, thanks for your interest and nice comments.

if you finding the reasoning behind decisions stuff interesting, you might also find this interesting as it covers a chunk of the throught process that led to the underworld and the grey elves.

i hope you'll keep reading.

Yeah, I read that already...I kinda scoured your stuff for all the different pages once I read the ones you had linked to. I really like the grey elves and could see the Drow elf stats being used with no changes besides flavor or customized to help enhance them. I was also thinking it might be cool if they had some spirit ancestors that offer assistance at times....maybe they are the ones providing the spell-like abilities? After a while the grey elf begins forgetting about grandfather Iglluef, the spirit that brings the Darkness, but Iglluef won't forget about his grandson and will continue helping even when forgotten.

Just a random thought I had....

The Exchange

Going on an in-general basis about the Adventure Paths as I am unfamiliar with Reign of Winter.....
APs tend to be fairly challenging unless you have a group of really experienced players that work well as a team and build well-designed characters. Most have a RIP thread on the boards with people posting about how their PCs died.
My suggestions:
DMPC is a good idea if you are a DM that can handle it well. Ask your players how they feel about a DMPC also to ensure that they would be ok with one because there is a general distrust of most DMs' ability to run one without favoritism and bias coming into play.

Another idea is to give each PC a trusted contact who occasionally is willing to go adventuring. If you have a stable of 3 NPCs who are ready to join the party if needed, and they have a variety of roles to fill to help out the party in different types of adventure, then you could easily decide that the strapping Barbarian is a good choice to join the party in taking out a tribe of hobgoblins or that the Cleric of Goody-2-shoes is the go to person for the heavily undead section of the path....

One more option would be to give each of the PCs a retainer or follower that joins them. Figuring out a reason they would have such followers is not too difficult and you could either make them of lower level than the PCs or (the idea I like better) have them make them from NPC classes like Adept, Warrior, Expert, ect, of the same level as the PCs. They would never over-shadow the PCs and all three together would probably add up to 1.5 PCs or close to that, which would give the party a bit more staying power.

I would lean toward the last option myself, letting the PCs run their followers along with their PCs, and if something should happen to their main PC during the game at least they would have a sort-of backup to play while trying to get the main PC resurrected or whatever.

The Exchange

Zombie, I read everything you have so far and love what I see so far. Reading about your reasonings behind different decisions is pretty cool and allows me get in touch with your rationale and see the minor variances between yours and mine which makes tweaking to personal desire easier. Also I love how you break down the world building into small, easy to digest, chunks. It makes the process much easier to deal with and, once again, makes it easy to adjust to personal preferences.

I especially like the item cards idea and the 2 you have written up are really nice. They have a lot of flavour with minor abilities that won't tear apart a campaign like magic items did in previous iterations of the D&D game. I really hope you delve more into them and create a bunch for me to snatch up.
Excellent job so far and I am looking forward to seeing more on this World in the future.

The Exchange

Most of the posts in this section use a subject line that contains the city and state where a person is looking for a group to narrow down and highlight posts for people that may be from the area. It makes the search faster for people and guarantees that everyone that enters this section will see where you are looking instead of hoping that people open your post and look. You may be able to edit it.

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Black Dougal wrote:
I am worried we will have a story about a drow ranger exiled from his people.
That could be the best thing happening in terms of movie actually... all indoor sets, etc. (save money by not flying to locations.. spend more on actors?)

Yeah, and Gods forbid that they base a movie on a great selling series that comes from Forgotten Realms. Most of the people hating Drizzt do so because they liked the first few books then it was pointed out how whiny he was in his self-reflective internal monologues...and that Salvatore has a sort of formulaic bent to his writing, and then they decided to think like they were told to and hate on the entire series and the author. I personally don't care if they use the Dark Elf stuff but if they do it will do well and would have more fans out-of-the-gate than most other Realms series.

My vote would be for the Cleric Quintet, personally, but I also wouldn't mind a foray into the Harper stuff.

The Exchange

anyone still playing appears there are some expansions to it and I am just starting to play it...seems OK.

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Mordo wrote:
What's in the box? wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

You can use the Herbalism toolkit to make a potion of healing, too.

I saw this in the players handbook as well, but... How? There weren't any instructions for it or an equivalent exchange nod that I could find (I was not exhaustive in reading the book so I may very well have overlooked it). I didn't see anything about HOW you would use tools to MAKE stuff: Like Alchemists tools to make Acid flasks... I tried finding that too...?

I am confident it is stated plainly in the book and just in an odd section (kinda like DR and Enhancement bonuses in PF... that $#!+ irritates the #311 outta me).

How to make healing potions, alchemist fire, acid flask, poison, and the like is up to the DM.

GitPG user Fralex, did a nice job writing down rules for foraging, and potion crafting, including a list of recipe for a lot of potions and alchemy concoction.

Wow, those rules look really interesting and seem to add a whole new level of detail to a relatively overlooked and handwaved aspect of the game. I can't wait to discuss adding them with my group....thanks for posting them!

The Exchange

I gotta say, no complaints. I am enamored of this edition. I have been playing since it came out and there are some class/race imbalances but nothing that makes any class or race combo a "broken win" build nor are any combos made into "weak-sauce" builds.
I love it. Combat is smooth and quick, character creation is a breeze, designing new aspects such as homebrew races, classes, and archetypes is fairly simple.
I have no complaints and I really thought I would when the edition first came out.

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3 people marked this as a favorite.
Morzadian wrote:

Every badDM has a bias or personal preference.

Fixed that for you.

I can't do a front flip from a standing position. It doesn't mean no one can. I can't breakdance. It doesn't mean no one can. I can't skateboard. It doesn't mean no one can.
If you can't put away personal bias and preference as a DM it doesn't mean no one can. Your limitations are your own, not mine, and my limitations don't determine your own.
Rolling to make unbiased decisions doesn't break immersion any more than rolling a saving throw or an attack roll does. Dice rolls determine the random aspects of the game. If you can't separate the dice rolls of the mechanics of the game from your immersion in the game then you are genuinely screwed when you have to roll your 3 attacks and reflex save this round in combat. But sure, the DM rolling to determine who a baddie attacks is breaking immersion...

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Seerow wrote:

So you genuinely don't see the difference between making a personal PC that the DM takes control of and has personal vested interest in vs giving your players the ability to call upon allies made in game to work with them on their own terms?

Because the former only works if the DM is really, really, good at avoiding personal bias. In my experience a lot of them aren't. I'm conscious of it being a problem, and still would rather avoid it by putting most of the power there into player hands rather than maintaining direct control. Games where the DM insists on running their DMPC isn't...

If you show me a DM who runs a DMPC badly with personal biases and such I would place a bet that the DM also is one of those that has his favorite Big Bad Evil Guy escape at the last moment no matter what the PCs do, and somehow combats last exactly as long as the DM deems it to despite whatever damage the PCs have done, and NPCs seem to always survive as long as he decides they do, and the PCs will be knocked unconscious and taken prisoner when he decides that is what he wants the story to do.....This is all bad DMing. It isn't about a certain aspect of the game being wrong, it's about a DM's inability to properly use a certain aspect of the game fairly without bias. If a DM is gonna lay favorites with a DMPC he is gonna do it with NPCs and BBEGs also. Part of being a good arbitrator(which is what DMs should be) is being unbiased. I roll in the open so the PCs can see that I don't "cheat" rolls for effect. I do not adjust HP on the fly to make things more harrowing. I do not play favorites with BBEGs by making up a last minute way for them to survive the encounter. If a monster is fighting 2 PCs and needs to attack one and neither has stood out as the more imminent threat, I roll to see who he attacks. Fairness. That is what DMing is about and if it isn't done well then the problem isn't in the tool (the DMPC) it's in the user of the tool.

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Seerow wrote:

I dislike GMPCs. If there's a legitimate need for an extra party member, I prefer to give the players the ability to run a second character to fill out the gaps.

For my upcoming campaign, since we have 3 players, what I'm doing is starting out with just those 3, but working in a stable of PC-caliber allies, that the party can call in to help out as needed/desired (I have about 7 prepared so far that they will meet on their way to level 4). These allies all fade to the background when the PCs don't want their help, and play minimal to no part in the story after their introduction. The players will control all of their actions within certain bounds while they are within the party (those bounds will basically be "Don't make them act wildly out of character").

I also plan to let the players introduce any potential backup characters they want in case of PC death to add to this roster, so it feels a little less out of nowhere when a PC dies and his replacement automatically shows up. And of course if a PC who dies wants to take over one of the NPCs, they're welcome to adopt it as their new PC, at which point any restrictions I did have on them are gone.

"I dislike DMPCs but I created a slew of them for the party, but wait it's different, THEY control the DMPC...."

Yeah, glad to hear that your flavor is the right one but almost the same flavor is bad/wrong.

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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Would greyhawk inspired adventures for 5e be of interest to anyone? I can't do Greyhawk itself, but I can certainly make adventures that would fit will in Greyhawk.

Absolutely, maybe with a section in front of the adventure advising what area(s) would be a good sub in Greyhawk.

I personally love Greyhawk because it was the default for a long while and some of the best old adventures were set there. There was never a feel that the world would end if the PCs didn't do there job which always seemed more believable to me. A world that could end every couple years if the right group of heroes doesn't come along in the nick of time to save it just isn't something I find attractive or feasible.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

This wasn't a random list, it's an actual upcoming group. As I recall, the oracle is the only one who hasn't fleshed out much, though I assume she'll have a modicum of recovery magic given the spell list, the rogue being skirmish style melee with trap popping, the gendarme a mounted charge beast, the zen archer....Well, duh, ranged attacks, and the witch battlefield control and knowledge skills. I'm not sure beyond that what you mean by "roles", unless you meant the forge analogy, in which case it looks like an arm, an anvil, and three hammers.

It's kingmaker, and the GMPC is to join when the monk is around, who is a part time player, for ease of switching from original to 6-player conversion.

Probably a bard or a sorcerer with a couple blast spells and some good buffs but only if the party wanted another character in the game....they covered most everything and there are 5 of them so to me they have enough to survive OK. I usually offer a DMPC up when the group decides that they don't want to cover a main base like arcane caster, divine caster, trap/lock dude, and meat shield. The only real lack in that group is a dedicated arcane caster which a fairly built sorcerer or even a bard (backup healing for a bonus) can cover decently.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

So, question - for those of you who think a GMPC can be done right, do you prefer built before game so it compliments their needs without outshining anyone, or introduced as a regular NPC who may or may not join and evolved naturally into a companion?

Say you had a party of an aasimar oracle (undecided mystery thus far), tiefling unchained rogue, half elf bonded and white haired witch, human gendarme cavalier, and dwarf zen archer monk, what would you toss their way?

Can you maybe tone down the "one part from each book" characteristics and make the list into something easily digestible? Many of those characters could be played to cover different roles.

Make a list that covers their roles more than the names of what they are and I would be glad to answer.

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pres man wrote:
If you have every played in a module or AP that you had previous played either as a GM or player, do you play as if you always have the answers and make the other PCs bystanders? Why or why not?

I have run The Sunless Citadel twice for different groups and played in it once afterwards and each time it was 3 totally different adventures besides the areas and creatures being the same. I had intimate knowledge of all the encounters which according to some in this thread would ruin the game for me or make me act in a manner that showed partiality to the knowledge I have. To those I say, Roleplaying. That is part of the game's name and it involves immersing yourself into a character including knowledge that the character has and removing knowledge that a player has.

When I fight a troll for the first time with a PC he doesn't have any knowledge on how to fight a troll unless he gathered that info somehow. It is an exercise in impartiality that has happened with every character fighting every troll for the first time over the last 32 or so years of characters. Anyone saying that impartiality is unattainable is painting everyone with their own experience and ignoring that people are varied and disparate. I can't run a 4 minute mile. That doesn't mean that no one can, just that I can't.

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The whole argument breaks down into 2 sides: People that are good at running or have DMs who are good at running DMPCs and People who are not good at running or have DMs who are bad at running DMPCs.
There is no absolute "DMPCs are BAD/WRONG" or "DMPCs are TEH AWESOME" because their usage is based on the DM doing a good job at running them. If the DM can't do this, whether due to inability to not metagame, desire to play the Lord of the PCs, lack of time and effort to put into the roll, lack of fairly applying the rules across the whole table including his own PC, then a DMPC is gonna be a failure.
Mine are successes and my groups have agreed to the point that several people who were skeptics to the idea have switched sides on the issue. Long story short: DMs define whether the DMPC is going to be a success in the party or a failure by their ability to DM impartially and fairly without metagaming.
If you can't do that that doesn't mean everyone else can't also. No absolutes. I can do it as can many others on this thread. If you can't perhaps you should look to improve your skills and see this as a chance to broaden your skills or accept that there is some shortcoming in this area that effects your ability to play a DMPC but doesn't make you a bad DM.

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Ashiel wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Ashiel says he always runs one. Ashiel says he always runs one.

Actually, I said "pretty much every time thereafter" referring to that specific group. Sorry if I was unclear. Perhaps amusingly enough, it began at their suggestion and then continued by their request so I assume that it's not merely conjecture that it was being done in a way that was good for the players.

One of the benefits I've found for GMPCs* is that it provides a roleplaying opportunity for players in virtually any situation. It can make dungeon crawls less of a crawl, for example. It's also really spiffy for dropping bits of lore into the game that would otherwise be overlooked, such as the character commenting on things or asking characters questions about themselves.

I have the same sort of experience with GMPCs. I use them a lot and the group(s) have all liked them because they are basically followers that are there to fill a role that no one in the party seemed to want to fill (like a locksmith/trapfinder or an arcanist). Their personality is more of a background character and i usually build them to be a totaly average PC but if there is some cool story element to get to the PCs I can use the GMPC as a delivery method or a sudden inspiration. I don't outshine anyone else with them and if the GMPC happens to land a final blow to a mook then there is not a jealous kill-steal moment.

I have had one DM that really was bad with GMPCs and he basically had Elminster with a different name join the group. Combats didn't end until he ended them and he chose ineffective actions constantly so the party drained resources for many rounds before jumping into the fray and dropping the nuke to save us all. BUT that has nothing to do with GMPCs and everything to do with Bad GMs.
If you can't run a GMPC without outshining and ruining the PC's fun then you may be a bad GM. A good GM sees what the group likes and is looking at making the game fun for the players. I've had players that told me that they usually hate GMPCs but that they love the ones I play because they aren't spotlighters, resource hogs, and party drags. They contribute to the party in a useful fashion and allow the party to shine.
That's what a GMPC is supposed to do and if it isn't, there is bad playing by the GM going on.

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DrDeth wrote:

Well, I have been playing know. And, I found the best way to spice up a game is to do a weird campaign. All Uncommon Races, no full spellcasters. Everyone rolls (5d5 drop 2, re-roll 1s) and takes the stats in order.

Or try another RPG that isn't fantasy- wild west, supers, 1920's Cthulhu*.

* is it weird that spellchecker knows this?

*not in the least....

My group is me running a D&D 5e campaign and the alternate GM running a 1920's era Cthulhu campaign set in Tuxedo Park, New York. We alternate in 2 week blocks and whenever one campaign is ready to be shelved for a bit someone else will pick up the GM seat and start another game...possibly something Steampunkish, Star Warsy, or Dark Fantasy. But whatever is next it is all good because we know there is an end point and other options on the horizon.
I personally dislike the giant campaign arcs anymore. The stories last forever and it seems like you are trapped in a book with no way out but to keep reading until the end. I am looking at my D&D sessions and have started to look into crafting more of a "comic book" or short story approach into my game. Players stay more focused and on task when they know the story is only going to last for 4-6 months of real time and there is less "hey back in Sept of 2013 didn't that guy say that such-and-such had a certain item in his possession?" The last few Pathfinder and 3.5 games I was in were 2 to 2-1/2 year campaigns from level 1 to level 15+. That's a long time to be on one story. I feel like as an adventurer you should have a much more episodic career with short adventures. Mini-series of 5 shows, not a 5 season series.

I am really enjoying the variety and the Cthulhu game is being run by a dude who actually grew up in Tuxedo Park so his details of the area really help to get you into the game. I hope everyone can find such good gaming. Between the switch to 5E and this alternate game it is a welcome change at a time when I was starting to get jaded by the long, drawn-out campaigns that drew to a standstill once higher level combat set in. The role play seemed to die when tactical combat started taking almost the entire session. I like the quick eloquence of 5E and the heavy roleplay involved in Call of Cthulhu.
Just wish that the dreams of the 3 armed lady's head that crawled into my 1916 Packard and made us careen into a lake would settle down a bit!

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Kolokotroni wrote:

One thing I have found really effective is to rotate games. Wether your group plays weekly, monthly, or whatever, get 2-3 games going (each run by a different member of the group), and rotate them in and out of play.

It can take a bit more work to keep track of everything, but it also keeps everything fresh, and you look forward to getting back to each game more. It also gives each gm more time to prepare, and lets them relax when they are just the player for a session or two. Even if your preference is to run exclusively, its good to take off the dm hat every now and then.

It also helps to build the idea of collective storytelling as opposed to single sided story telling. Even more so if you are all working in the same game world. Nothing is more fun (in my mind) then seeing an organization you created for one game show up in another campaign. That has definately helped me recharge and stay excited for a game.

This is excellent advice. I tend to do that in my groups, lets me stop being a DM for a couple weeks so I can just enjoy a story without making up all the details and during those weeks I can also use the extra free time to prep for my own campaign's return which makes it run better and allows me to toss in more interesting and creative stuff.

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