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Wow. I know it is soon to say this having just turned the last page, but my strong first impression is that this little adventure is one of the best examples of adventure module writing I think I have read in the modern era, full stop.
It has that gygaxian detail thing I love from the old classics, but manages to strike a balance so that none of the detail is wasted. The author somehow also includes a strong story/plot element that will satisfy the expectations of modern gamers, all without taking any agency away from the players, as narrative elements in adventures can do.
In my view this is a future classic and a turnkey piece of adventure module writing.
TrollFace Mafia wrote:
Ok well with that information, I guess what I would have done is award the full unadjusted 800 xp (but to the whole party). The reason I would, is to encourage outside the box thinking because I think the strategy you used was awesome and the possibility of play like that is one of the reasons tabletop rpg are so great. But the way he did it is not so bad, give him a little leeway. He might have written right in his pre-written notes "sleeping dire wolf, CR2" or heck that might have been even written in a pre-written module he was using. That's really not unheard of to adjust the CR because of circumstance or environment that make it less or more difficult than encountering the creature normally.
Come to think of it, what matter more than the XP is this... was it a high five moment at the table when you basically solo'd a dire wolf with wits alone? Because that would be high fives all around at my table I bet if someone did that.
There's two separate things to consider here
1.)Should you still get XP for overcoming a challenge if you do it without combat
2.)Should the CR rating of a creature ever be adjusted because of conditions that affect the difficulty of facing it
I say yes to both questions.
Your GM says he gave an adjusted CR to the wolf because it was asleep but he might be offering that explanation because it has more support. There's a possibility there are other factors making him feel inclined not to give a full XP award here.
-Was this an individual XP award to you alone? That is mostly a holdover from AD&D, it really doesn't suit Pathfinder well at all. Level disparity is rarely fun in a standard PF game.
-Was this dire wolf encountered while you were striking out on your own? Again here there are some groups and tables where this sort of thing is expected and ok, but it could violate table etiquette in other groups where splitting the party is frowned upon.
There's no doubt when a challenge is placed before the party they should get full XP for overcoming the challenge, but was this dire wolf actually a challenge that was placed before the party? Or was it just some scenery the GM had to insert when you went off for a jaunt through the woods while everyone else waited to get on with the adventure? And by scenery I guess I really mean "warning sign to get back with the rest of the group before you become wolf meat". Not saying that's the case but those sort of things do happen sometimes.
Every table is different so we don't know, table top games have a very fluid social contract. In any case, adjusting the dire wolfs CR by one because it was asleep when it was met wouldn't be unheard of even if it had been placed as an obstacle for the party to overcome.
Adjusting it just because it was overcome by another means other than combat would not be too cool, but even with that there are cases when I have wondered what was best to do. For example if it was something that would eventually be faced again, do you just get awarded the full XP multiple times? I'm not sure what's best in those cases, but as long as there's trust between the players and GM and things aren't devolving into an adversarial state, then it usually isn't too hard to come up with something that works for the needs of the particular adventure.
While I had never specifically likened my PbP habits to an addiction before, I have always kept an eye on my online gaming to make sure I was approaching it in a healthy, positive way, and it has lapsed at times into something that was a source of great stress for me.
The issues for me have had to do with managing what I commit to. Respecting and valuing the shared time of others, and trusting a group of strangers to do the same.
IRL I don't get to game as much as I'd like to, for the usual reasons.. difficulty co-ordinating the schedules of gaming friends. PbP seemed like such a boon when I discovered it... play with any one any time! But of course it's not that simple.
The games I joined didn't move fast enough for me, so I tried starting my own games, and it was better, but still not fast enough, so I started another, and another, trying to find the right bunch of players who wanted to post as often as I did. Of course I ended up very over-extended and burned out.
I think the trouble is that I was looking for the same thrill of real time face to face gaming, and comparing my PbP experience to that standard, I thought something was falling short, even when things were going very well.
In the end something I was told by an experienced PbP'er who joined my first game I launched turned out to be true. PbP is a marathon, not a sprint.
There are other difficulties I face but they are more particular to my own specific circumstances. For example, my work has very slow periods and very busy periods, so I have to force myself not to bite off more than I can chew during work down-time, because before long I will be busy again and all those games I joined or started will still be going, and trying to keep up with them will be very stressful.
Also, I have a mental illness, and there are days or even weeks when I know I'm not particularly well, and I would not show up to game with a face-to-face gaming group on those days because I'm not feeling like myself. In PbP you make a commitment to have a constant presence, and for me that means I have to put myself out there and be seen at my best and my worst, which is a little scary.
Guys! Sorry. trux PM'd me and said that my post was not appropriate for public, and should have been said privately or not at all. I'm sure he is right. Guys I suffer from bi-polar disorder... I have something called manic episodes, and mild hypo-manic phases, during which I basically have no filter if that makes sense. Basically I see a dot in my campaign page, click it, read the new posts, whatever goes through my mind comes out my finger :/ Not an excuse, I am an adult and need to manage these behaviors in my day to day life all the time. Some people (a few) actually like me when I'm like this and even feel that it is the real me, but the general public usually is made uncomfortable by it. Just sharing this so you know I was not intending to make a value judgement about anyones contributions, just "I read this and it made me feel this way shrug" I'm an odd duck I know :/ If you know me though, I am actually full of love for the world.
Maybe it is a good idea if I undot this thread 0_o So I don't lurk it and leave unsolicited observations (-_-) Oh well.
Sorry! Game on.
Yeah that was it, I remember there was some comment about NPC's that made me feel funny I think. Because hey, Trux is not running GMPC's to steal spotlight, he is just running them for continuity (one is his character he had to give up to take over running, and the other was abandoned by a player and he's been running that PC so the party can be healed and stuff). I mean come on now he usually leaves them in the barn and they only come with if requested, you know?
Anyway I didn't know if I was imagining it, there just seemed to be some undercurrent of tension.
Just commenting as a lurker reading the game.
I am not enjoying reading this game as a lurker so much the past couple weeks. There is a hint of an adversarial mood coming through with the posts from the new players or something? Dunno, can't put my finger on it. I always chalk it up to misunderstanding based on the limits of a text based medium (no body language to read) but reading this game gives me a case of GM burnout just by proxy lately :/
Hope you are not burning out Trux, and hope work is good too...
Maybe this is not the best place to bring this up, but I am wanting to make a house-rule to just give that early entry to everybody instead of specific races. I have wanted to do this pretty much ever since magus came out and I never saw another eldritch knight ever again. With ACG out now, I especially want to make a house-rule to make the old "hybrid" style PrC's viable compared to new hybrid classes.
My question is, what would be a good way to word such a house-rule, to make it formal for my games? And what balance issues should I be wary of in attempting such a thing?
Basically my thinking is that going straight into EK didn't turn out to be ZOMG broken for aasimar it should be ok for anyone else too.
Kind of an unnecessarily unpleasant post here overall but this part in particular is flat out wrong if I'm not mistaken. The design team explicitly stated that they were trying this FAQ as an experiment to see if it opened up some new possibilities without breaking anything. They asked for feedback from those who implemented the ruling. They most definitely never claimed it was "always what the rules have said". It was a change and was presented as such (IIRC).
This is the SKR quote I was talking about earlier. I'm glad someone with better search-fu found it.
I remember SKR or someone explaining that the danger of the task you are performing with the skill check doesn't count as a distraction. It's only outside danger/distraction that stops take 10. The example given was a long jump over a pit I think.
Take ten helps realism I think. Someone who can jump 5' can pretty much always jump 5'. Try to jump 10 you might trip. Try to jump 5' while an arrow whizzes past your head you might trip.
Just gotta make those calls I guess. I would have had it work normally. Surface is still there under the water.
If I did decide water was going to stop the spell from working I'd call for a low DC spell craft or knowledge arcana check on the spot to determine it wasn't going to work before the player wasted the action and the spell slot. Caster should have some idea how his magic works.
I'm running a published campaign that doesn't have "magic marts" and I'm constantly paranoid that the players will be pissed off.
I thought about just allowing normal pathfinder shopping even though it kills the vibe for me, but that makes a whole new set of problems I would have to tweak for, because this campaign has weird things like low level evil cultists each carrying an unholy mace. If the party can sell all those for 50% and buy what they want they will end up with monty haul levels of loot.
I was surprised too, but if you think about it, the advice was very good if the player is indeed meta-gaming. If this is the exception to the rule and isn't what it looks like, there's no need to create an adversarial situation over nothing, but Magda's post still has a lot of good points.
Seems like the OP's group is getting along fine though, and everyone still read the OP as a "help me deal with problem player" post.
My advice: You as GM know if that worg was alone KingmakerDM. If he was alone, even if that's unusual for a wort, don't just make his whole pack appear as a "gotcha" moment to punish the PC.
Instead just have the worg try to ambush the lone PC.
Hmm, well I just started this game. It's supposed to be some urban investigation but it's converging on orcus cult activity in a big cemetery outside the city.
I have a little dungeon under a barrow mound already (cemetery was built over ancient burial site) but I could use some other set piece encounters for crypts and things, or city locations they hit during the investigation.
Come to think of it I could probably slot the first Alvena adventures right in.
I'm really good, I went and played 5e for a while and it scratched that rules-light itch that had been bugging me, so now when I play pathfinder I feel like "gimme the crunch!"
Seriously, the preferred play style when my group gets together is about as far to the opposite extreme of an Ashiel game as you can get. But it is so fascinating to think that maybe the problems we try to avoid by reigning things in, could also iron themselves out by pushing the system to it's limits.
I haven't seen it with my own eyes but it looks good on paper and seems like it would be a blast.