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Guide to keeping your players interested. How to keep your players coming back to your table week after week.
Guide to storytelling. How to weave popular/historical fiction into your campaign.
Guide to improv. How to make stuff up and keep the game running smoothly when the PC's go in the direction you never ever envisioned.
More character stuff may make more interesting characters, however more GM stuff makes for more interesting campaigns. That in the end, will draw more people into this hobby.
This is why you have henchmen.
The menu itself could be called The adventure path. It could also be called "A meal at the alehouse. A Pathfinder chroniclers culinary adventure sponsored by Scottys brewpub." That might be a bit long though.
Starters or appetizers, The initiative.
Rawr. That's usally on every other tuesday though.
He could be the son of a minor noble in the outlying area that the PC's need to court favor with. Maybe a bastard with the half orc parentage. "I will join/agree to trade with your kingdom only if you accept my son into your service" kind of a thing.
He comes from an area close to the Varnhold is the easiest way to go. Who better than a Ranger native to the area to guide you around? That way if he doesn't continue to play with the group it can be assumed that he went back to/stayed in the Varnhold area when the AP is over.
I would find a friend who is also playing in any game you may be interested in to act as your spotter to help you with things like dice rolls and miniature placement. That's all you really need if it gets right down to it. It's called "theater of the mind" for a good reason.
I personally would make any adjustment I had to as a DM to make a visually impared person feel comfortable at my table. From the looks of it so far, there are many others who feel the same way.
Best of luck to you sir.
For RP reasons, I have decided to give my warforged fighter in a 3.5 campaign that I am in prestige class levels in planar champion and horizon walker.
However, I might be able to get the DM to allow me to use the Pathfinder version of the horizon walker prestige class. The questions are:
The character concept here if needed is that my character is a warforged who was purchased for the sole purpose of warding a newborn child of two powerful mages. The child was the only humanoid he had ever seen develop from "A small misshapen lump of clay that needed a day or two more in the blacksmiths forge" to a young girl that " Could still use some work in the forge, but somewhat presentable if she must be human"
That girl was then abducted by powerful enemies which led to many many years of my character searching the world (and planes) for her before this adventure even began.
Obviously this is a RP heavy campaign, which is why I am considering levels of horizon walker in the first place. So. What should I do?
You really dont need more than a 13 wis to start. a +6 wis headband can bump it all the way up to 19, for your 9th level spells if you get that far.
It may just be the old school paranoid former first edition player talking here, but what happens when the headband gets stolen? Or targeted by a dispel magic? Or an Anti magic field?
Don't get me wrong here, I found the channel smite feat long after I had made my own decision to sideline chr on my character. (Sigh) Switching dex for chr is a solid choice, but I have a hard time giving up good physical stats in a needed area (Wis) for being forced to rely on an item to let me cast my high level spells.
That's all off topic, but what is on topic is that there are plenty of creative ways to avoid being the party's band aid. The reach cleric would fit the battlefield control slot nicely I would think.
Battle Cleric of Gorum. 18 str, 15 wis, 14 con, 13 dex, 10 int & chr. Be a human to make up for lack of skill points. Still choose HP every level. You can be CG to keep the good requirement. Take offensive domains for self and team buffs. Keep your spell list stocked with combat buffs. Tell your party that you heal by "Killing the enemy in glorious battle with better planning, better buffs and better tactics than your foes."
Before you get to battle however, have arm wrestling events with every party member you have. Constantly try to test everyone you meet and your party members in other contests of strength and skill as well. Tell your teamates that Gorum demands that they "Prove themselves worthy of healing by showing their couarge in combat before you can heal them." Etc. Etc.
captain yesterday wrote:
i would buy updated books of old AP's, but not a 7th book just to get the updates. thats what the message boards are for:)
The message boards for Second Darkness specifically are somewhat underpopulated. Don't get me wrong, what's there is good (and what I'm using now) but I personally would like to see an "official" conversion.
Besides I think given the titles left available for sale for that particular AP in stock, a seventh part of the AP might well be the only shot it has at being converted. After all if enough people bought this one it would bode well for the other AP's. (IMHO once again) The pros would be that you could set one person to do it. But it would still take time, treasure and talent from Paizo to have it come to print. (Printed by users as it would be a PDF) Without a large groundswell of support to make it come to life however, I just don't see it happening anytime soon.
Sure I want to see a conversion of all the 3.5 AP's. However, if you can prove that there is interest in a full conversion of the 3.5 AP's to PF by buying out a more budget sensative alternative (Seventh issue of a 3.5 AP, Second Darkness to be specific in this example) You have a much more budget freindly way to prove that this should happen.
Just my two Electrum pieces (Oh, the Rogue didn't tell you they were rare and worth five times their face value? How did that happen?)
I agree with this. Even if it were PDF only to keep costs down, I would like to see an "official" version of an update to all the 3.5 AP's. This would keep people buying the older stuff (like I did with one of the SD AP sales), without being overly cost prohibative. Note that this would still cost time, treasure and talent from Paizo to do however even in a PDF. Without a clear indicator that this would sell well, it is unlikely to occur.
If you want to see the conversions happen though, supporting the option most likely to be funded IMHO(a "7th part of the 3.5 AP's) is most likely the best horse to back at this current time.
I liked the idea of critical hit/fumbles as a DM, until I sat on the other side of the screen and did the math. I realized that on a very bad run run of luck, my entire party could be killed by one kobold who wouldn't even have to raise his weapon as we all could (theoreticaly) kill ourselves with our own weapons. Extreme? Yes, but possible with what I was using in my own game at the time.
I have since modified my views on critical hit/miss charts. Do I still use them? Yes. But it involves much more of my players interaction and consent to use them now.
Mr. Creighton. I currently have 26 of your products. I have found them all to be enjoyable although not all of them are five star worthy. (IMHO of course) I don't post much in general, (lurker mostly) so real review write ups would be more than I am willing to do right now.
Some of those were free of course, and most of them were obtained on sale. However, every one of them was worth the price I paid for it. Including the ones I purchased at full price. I keep track of your products and will continue to do so. I like them quite a bit.
So the final score here so far is you 26 (27 after I DL portcullis) and the other gentleman 0. 27-0 is a sound thrashing sir, regardless of the sport. Keep up the good work.
So I want to build a campaign from level one with Keyser Soze (from The usual suspects) as the eventual BBEG. Mr. Soze, (working through a Kobayashi type to be named later) is the one who will initiate the party getting together using the movie device of "You have all stolen from Mr. Soze and now it's time to pay off your debt". (It beats having them all meet up in a tavern) They are all CN for this adventure so far so this will not be a good oriented adventure. I also know that regardless of whatever happens they will want a shot a Mr. Soze eventually (I know I would) which is why I will need to get him stated up at some point.
But it raises the question. Who exactly should Keyser Soze be? Godfather of gangsters working out of a place like Riddleport? A legendary mythical free Pirate of the Shackles? A major player behind the scenes in Cheliax? Not one person but a group of people working for some nefarious goal?
Expanding on that theme, which high level champion of a God or Goddess in the Golarion pantheon would be the most interested in the role if the campaign makes it that far? Asmodeus? Norgorber? What AP's are the most easily adapted to such a premise?
I have some thoughts, but more input is very welcome.
He got the shaft when 4th ed. came out but I'm an old 2nd ed guy anyway so that didn't matter much to me. I had a Batman style Paladin dedicated to him back in the day.
These days as a part time DM I like what my PC's approach to being a cleric of Besmara has been so far. I like Gorum myself.
I wouldn't punish the players for making a sound (but harrowing) tactical choice. Instead I would move the goalposts on them.
So you originally planned to have the end battle in a fortress. Great! Use that same fortress, but leave a high level lackey lieutenant guarding a teleportation circle to wherever you want the new "final battle" to take place. As Mario taught me as a wee lad, "Your princess is in another castle."
I wouldn't just make another castle though. And now you have time to make it Epic. Mini demi plane of Frost? Why not? Your circle could go anywhere. Does your BBEG realize that the PC's are adapted for cold magic? Make the final fight deep in a scalding desert with a powerful previously unrevealed fire wielding ally. Or the reveal of the BBEG's long term plan of trying to slay said fire creature by bringing Ice to a fire realm. The choices are endless.
The bottom line is that your players shouldn't know that this is where the final battle is. If they think so, let them. It makes the reveal of yet another place to go that much better.
Don't extend this out to far however. Having the "real" princess never get rescued really does get old after a while.
Thanks again. You have all raised interesting questions. I made it a point OOC before the group broke for the night to ask if everyone had fun. We all said yes. The rest of the players (and the DM) are enjoying themselves which is all that really matters at the end of any gaming session. No one got loud or obnoxious about this incident OOC before or after it happened.
I honestly don't remember why the fighter insisted he wanted to go in there. The room description wasn't indicating some kind of gigantic treasure hoard. Right after the up or down vote failed his character immediately moved into "I'm going in there!" mode and it was grapple check time. He did mention the xpees after the fact though, but I don't think it was the whole reason for going in. On a side note we didn't search the room after the fight, we left and camped so we do not know what's in there.
I will call for a OOC meeting before this weeks game to see what's going on and deconstruct last week. It could be as simple as the fighter feels he's not getting enough spotlight time. That can happen in a six person group.
First off, wow. Thanks for all of the replies even if most of them are pointing out flaws in my take on the situation. Secondly, I'm currently on my break and can't give a full reply at this time.
Ok, my domains are tactics and ferocity. They are not Leroy and Jenkins. The party had a plan to deal with the skeleton after we found the Clerics who are currently our top priority. We have found out through an NPC we rescued that the bad guys have reinforcements on the way and that they are rapidly trying to finish whatever escavation they're doing. So time is a major issue with us at the moment.
My character already had his "moment of glory" by rushing in to a bar fight in hommlet. He ran in, threw some punches, slipped on a puddle of spilled beer, (nat 1+ fumble check) and cracked his head against a table. This knocked him out for three rounds. The character decided this was his gods way of telling him to use proper tactics, even in something as simple as a tavern brawl. This has altered his view of all combat since then.
The skeleton in question did not move towards us as we opened the door. We backed away and observed it for a round or two, making skill checks to figure out what it was and why it wasn't attacking. The room was the last one on a level and had another door we could lock/bar to hinder anyone who came to claim it. Not perfect, but we still are pressed for time.
We do also have a Druid and a Summoner in this game so extra healing is available. I concede the point that not healing him is also bad tactics but because I told the character beforehand that I wouldn't heal him I couldn't take that back afterwords.
Lastly, the fighter in question is a bow specialist who had his bow out when he went into that 20 by 20 room.(Ogre skeleton in middle) His only actions were to get hit and run away yelling "run!" to the rest of the party at the top of his lungs as he ran by us.
Thanks again for all the replies.
So my party is currently investigating the moathouse in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. (Retooled for PF) I'm playing a battle cleric of Gorum, although I am CG instead of CN.
The fighter of the party decided that he wanted to enter a room guarded by an Ogre skeleton, even though it didn't aggro when we opened the door.
The fighter ended up being grappled by our Monk (aided by our Gunslinger)when he attempted to go in and was told in no uncertain terms that if he went into the room that he was on his own. The rest of the party went out into the hallway before the fighter was released from the grapple.
He promptly entered the room with the Ogre. By the time the party retreated to the courtyard upstairs (to give us more room to fight the Skeleton) he was at one hp. Other members of the party were attacked by the Ogre and saved only by a combination of poor dice rolls by the DM and good buffs. The skeleton was defeated.
But the party was forced to retreat from the moathouse in part because of the increased spell consumption due to this fight and the fighter still being bloody after downing his two cure light potions. I told him "I refuse to heal your stupidity and lack of common sense." even though I had cures available before we rested for the night. I did offer long term care overnight, which was accepted. He is still bloody now as we are poised to head deeper into the moathouse.
In short the fighter acted against the wishes of the entire group. He displayed a complete lack of common sense, proper tactics (by going in alone and aggroing it back to us, and failure to listen to the will of the party.
Everyone seems to be fine with what happened (DM included), but I thought I would check with those of you who have experience with Gorum to see if this is character appropriate.
*A bent and bedraggled old Gnome steps forth from the shadows of the rain lashed deck you are currently standing upon. He serves little purpose now but to regale the crew with stories and songs of the times that used to be. This aged man spins his tales with such force and conviction however that all who listen are convinced that they are standing next to these legends of a forgotten era. He pauses for a moment before he begins to speak.*
Avast yea scurvy ridden old sea dogs! Gather round now! For this is a tale of a group of unlikely companions. A story of men and women from different backgrounds, kingdoms, and countries from all across (and underneath) the various nations of Golarion. These poor sods were thrown together in the hold of a pirate ship called the Wormwood. Those people, these beings, and ultimately this crew, may have gone on to change the face of politics and (more importantly) the opportunity for plunder in and around the islands called the Shackles forevermore.
The Goddess of pirates and sea monsters is a fickle lady however, and she may have turned her gaze (and luck on saves) away from these particular humanoids in due time... But every epic yarn has a beginning, and this one is theirs.
The Formidably Maid in Port Peril’s “dockside neighborhood” may seem an… unlikely source of a launching point for such a world altering narrative. It is true however, that every person of interest to you, my gathered listeners would have noticed had passed through this rather ordinary, rough around the edges, run down, and oftentimes downright mean old tavern at some point during the evening of the now legendary parties “recruitment”. The fact that they later had a “burning desire” to revisit it (and its bartender) at some point only adds to its appeal and luster.
These creatures ran the gamut of races in Golarion, although to be honest most of them were half elven. All were of different nationalities to be sure, and most would have never even dared to dream of working with let along fighting alongside a Drow, a half Elf from another land, an Undine, or a Gnome. But such is life aboard a pirate vessel. You adapt or you get keelhauled. If you are lucky.
The only party member not to be found inside the Maid when the excitement began was the half elven Druid. She was (not so) secretly following the senior officers of the Wormwood after their attempted sale of an exotic snow leopard for the infamous pirate Captain Harrigan. She wished to save the beast from such a cruel fate. A blow to the back of her head while she was “surveying the ship for weaknesses” ended her crusade for the remainder of the evening.
The rest of our band of surly cutthroats were enjoying the “atmosphere” of the Maid. To be honest actually, all were by turns content or ecstatic except the half elf Fighter. She was much too busy getting kicked in the face by a monk (npc) in a “bare knuckles brawl“ contest in the fighting pit at the far end of the bar. After her defeat (pun intended) she did come around long enough to try and spit defiantly at the winner. “Yea kicked me in the face you swarmy blasted son of a goat!” She spat, “By Besmara’s blade I swear I’ll get you back for that!” She cried.
The half elven cleric of Besmara actually won quite a bit of gold betting on the Monk in the fight. She was very, very happy about that, but the (several) rounds of drinks she bought in celebration of that fact were not exactly what she had ordered. And cost quite a bit more than she thought they would as well.
The Gnomish Rogue and his “new bestest friend *hic*” the Undine Sorcerer were too excited by the prospect of the “free booze!” being offered by the Cleric to notice its odd aftertaste. Until the next morning that is when it was much too late to start being wary of such things.
Which leaves us with the Drow. A “slightly abnormal” surface dwelling Drow to be sure, but a dark elf none the less. His bearing and mannerisms reminded the oldest patrons of the alehouse of a similar looking elf who had brought a reign of infamy and terror to the Shackles decades ago. He stayed aloof of the goings on around him, politely refusing all “extra” food and drink offered to him. When he noticed the others being dragged out by their “friends” though, he decided that it was time to go to his nearby inn for the evening. Four additional “friends” with saps from the Wormwoods crew ensured that his peaceful nights sleep would be aboard a ship of Captain Harrigans choosing however.
So it was that this wild bunch of hooligans from far away places found their fates intertwined in the hold of a creaky, aging, and decidedly deadly pirate vessel. Where did it take them? Aye lads, that is a story for another day.
*His job done for the night the aged Gnome Bard retires for the evening, to continue his tale on another night.*
So. I am old. Let me throw that out there as this post harkens back to the days of yore when Top Secret was brand new and full of new car smell goodness.
The three of us (1 DM/whatever they called it and two PCs) had finally found a free weekend where we could all get together and test drive this new game. (Average age 17)
The DM had been able to run an encounter or two beforehand without us and he was the DM in our semi regular D&D game so that made him an expert in our eyes. We were total noobs.
We spent the better part of two hours crafting our characters and outfitting ourselves as IRA "freedom fighters" on an op in London. Remember that this was "back in the day" when judging from the news at the time, you could see it happening.
Well, not like this.
We start actually playing and my friend (who was driving our car) drives to the nearest pub "full of loyal Britons" and sets about five pounds of C-4 off on a timer in the mens bathroom.
They try to stop us. The bartender calls the cops. My friend starts shooting. As we get out, the C-4 goes off just as "all the cops in London" seem to be headed to our location. "No worries" Says my friend. "I have a plan"
We abandon the car and run to the tube/subway/whatever and get into a subway car filled with "terrorized" cityfolk. My friends plan at this point is brought to the fore as he calmly pulls a grenade off of his web belt, pulls the pin, holds it up in the air and screams "I HAVE A GRENADE!!"
The panicked townsfolk scatter slamming into both of us in a mad rush for the doors. I fall prone, and my friend sadly looses his grip on the white phosphorus grenade he's holding.
I told the DM I was going to try to run, but he said "don't bother" as he explained to us in great painstaking detail for several minutes about the rules on cooking off additional ammo and grenades. (This would be after we were all long dead from the original grenade of course)
I didn't get to fire one shot, drive one car, or punch one patron of the bar. It was the best twenty three minutes of roleplaying in my entire life.
To this day I call up my best friend once a year and yell "I HAVE A GRENADE!!" into the phone. I am most likely on an FBI watchlist somewhere.