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When I run my APs I like them to go fast and smooth, as such I'm thinking of moving away from the idea of handing out the loot detailed in the APs. I find that rewarding x number of copper, gold, Platinum and valuable objects combined with mwk or magical this-and-thats, tends to be a bit of a time sink. Especially when it comes to the party dividing the loot and occasional drama that ensues when two players want the same item and looking up item costs for selling all seems to slow down my games. So what Im thinking of doing is rewarding the entire party up to its expected wealth by level each time they level and then let them go shopping on their own (in-between games) with my supervision of whats allowed.
I may lower the pay day if they miss, not bypass, certain treasure rooms or fail in encounters. But otherwise grant them full incremental WBL.
I'm also considering dropping consumables as an exclusion from WBL. So the occasional Cure Light Wounds potion won't hurt them.
So I'm looking for opinions, is this a good idea? What problems may come of such a policy? Are there recommendations I should consider in adapting this?
In considering the Giantslayer AP, I'm mulling over an idea to give Giants an automatic CMB check on their attacks for bull rush or knocking opponents prone (trip). The reason is because while I love giants, they tend to be rather boring inn combat. This might make them more of a menace as well as more cinematic as their great strength and size can send PC's flying.
So what are some thoughts? Would I be completely gimping the melee characters with this?
This is an interest check for a Pathfinder game featuring the Kingmaker Adventure Path. The blurb from Paizo describes it as:
Kingmaker: The wild and dangerous Stolen Lands lie in the northern reaches of the River Kingdoms, realms ripe for the taking! Yet those who would become rulers of these new lands will soon learn that claiming a kingdom and keeping it are two different beasts. Can the heroes protect their lands from jealous and deadly enemies?
Time: Monday evenings EST
Programs required: Maptools 87, ventrillo and skype. I use voice chat for both IC and OoC.
Character creation: Use the 20 point build system starting with 150 gps. I'm open to third party content so long as it makes sense to the power level and setting.
I'm an experienced GM with a good deal of experience running online. I recently completed the Shattered Star AP and am interested to explore this one. To measure my play style I think I can split RP and combat at around 50-50. I like strong characters with big personalities but also enjoy a good battle. I'm not a rules lawyer GM but rather prefer to live by Rule of Cool, in other words if you got a great scene I'm willing to work with you to make it happen.
Let me know if your interested. The game wont start till early May.
I had a wonderful time running 5 tables of the Glass River Rescue. At all my tables I had both new and veteran players looking to have a good time and I think I delivered. I got a lot of positive feedback on my GMing that has me feeling really good about the experience. I definitely am going to volunteer to GM PFS at GenCon again! On that note, let me pass along some kudos to thelich who ran a great game of Wardstone. He didn't even use a map for the game but had us all immersed in the action. Well done!
Take the time and give some of the GMs who did a good job a shout out!
As the title says, I'd really like to get a races of Golarion for the Kitsune book. It could cover several of the different themes they bring to the game such as the Japanese fox-human, the Annubis Dog-Man thing - perhaps based out of Osirion, maybe a take on the Coyote myth so popular among the Native Americans, and perhaps some manwolf thing out of Ustalov. Furthermore with an expanded race on the Kitsune it might even open up some of the Shifter fluff from 3.5 and 4e.
Just a suggestion hope it gains some interest.
I'd really like to see more outdoor flipmats rather than the Dungeon ones which are always too situational for my needs. Some of the things I'd like to see:
1. Winter Forest - another forest with snow on the ground.
2. A proper Desert one without statues and oasis like the previous.
3. A jungle for those Mwangi games
4. An Airship/sky map - I know its a bit odd but sometimes aerial combat happens.
5. Hellscape Worldwound style burnt out landscape
6. Farmstead - A small farm with space for the pigs and creepy scarecrow
7. City Scenes - I'd love a few selections here, flip mat of slums, arab bazaar, and more streets.
I'm prepping to run the Shattered Star: Shards of Sin at the FLGS as a PFS module. So the expectation is that the PFS requirements be met within a 6 hour slot. I'm looking at the rules that govern Shattered Star and it begins with B1 and ends with D15. Altogether this amounts to 8 levels of dungeon grinding!!!!
I'm currently running Shattered Star as a home game as well and when played this particular part, with an admittedly high RP group, it took 4 game sessions to cover this amount of material.
Have others found this to be a bit much for a 6 hour slot?
I ran Thornkeep at the FLGS and will run it again tomorrow at a Con and there was one encounter I had issue with and would like to hear some others thoughts on it:
As a lvl 1-2 module, all of the characters last night, and I anticipate tomorrow will be new characters. With that in mind the Shadow turned into a pretty nasty encounter with its incorporeal condition making it immune to most lvl 1 characters ability to do significant damage.
How I ran it, was let the party make an intimidate check after it got a burn from the Clerics channel energy.
How do other GMs play this out to prevent it from turning into a game stopper, especially when running for potentially brand new players?
Over the last few months Ive had a couple of players use this spell and the problems it creates are making me wonder how other PFS GMs deal with it.
My first problem is the reaction of other players. For example I recently had a table composed mostly of strangers, another one of more regular players with a new person to the group playing an Animate Dead focused character. In both tables there was a Paladin and several other good aligned characters. When the Animate Dead specialized cleric began raising his platoon (one of the games was high tier and he raised 18 HD of zombies, I made sure he marked down the cost of onyx gem and he had the purchases already recorded on his chronicle sheet) the other characters were really put off by it and as a GM it took a lot to get the game back on track by asking players to make RP compromises and allowances. Was this a mistake on my part? I know there is no PVP in PFS and I felt it was inching close to that with the souring tone the RP was taking on.
The next problem is managing 18 or less HD on undead. I know the FAQ suggests 1 combat pet, but these aren't pets. It seems like it falls somewhere between a Pet and a Summon Monster as they stick around for the entire game. My inclination was to invoke the pet rule.
The final problem was that it is a spell with the evil descriptor. In a home game/AP casting this spell frequently would have implications to ones alignment yet in PFS thats not the case for unless I am making a mistake, there is mechanic of tracking influences upon a characters alignment from scenario to scenario. How do other GMs handle these issues?
So I have a player itching to do Lyrics of Extinction because he heard there is a Chronicle item - +2 Cloak of Charisma, an item traditionally part of Pathfinder. Other items have come up as well such as a Potion of See Invisibility, again not traditionally part of Pathfinder. As a GM how should I handle them? Equate them as a unique item and let them buy it? If so would a +2 Cloak of Charisma stack with a headband of Charisma?
After playing in a few Cons over the last few weeks I have to ask are PFS scenarios too long for the the 4 hour block of time required to complete them. The reason I ask is that in every game (5 total) I played in at a recent Con the GM had to either pull some shenanigans like skipping or narrating us through encounters to get to the end or we failed due to time constraints. Admittedly Im a heavy RPer and like to interact with other players and deal with diplomacy issues in character which Im guessing can slow things down a bit. But Im wondering if this is a shared experience among Con goers or something that is particular to my experiences.
EDIT: Let me state I had a great time regardless.
Ive rolled up a new character Undead Lord. I know a lot of the actions he does walks the line with evil but I am trying to play him neutral and sympathic (maybe even pathetic). He follows the NE goddess Urgathoa in a misguided way.
A bit of his backstory, he lost family members to a plague and now seeks to find the cures to various ailments. However his research has led him to near successes - undead. He is also a grave digger by profession and often walks about with the old Monty Python, "bring out your dead" call. Loads of fun.
So Im concerned that other players and GMs in our RPG community might react to him as evil. What are some bits of advice I can use to balance the alignment of the character as True Neutral while often engaged in activity so often associated as evil?
In my game the other day, I ran a new group of old players through Crypt of the Everflame. One of the players is a witch and for a little RP fun, I decided to RP the witch's familiar as being demanding. So to give the witch his spells I required him to get 4 hair strands from one PC, feed it the corpse of a recently slain enemy (its a centipede), and taste the blood of another PC who was injured. The player took it in stride and enjoyed the RP.
That being said, my question is fair or foul?
With the Witches Familiar described:
"Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware."
later emphasized as:
"At 1st level, a witch forms a close bond with a familiar, a creature that teaches her magic and helps to guide her along her path. Familiars also aid a witch by granting her skill bonuses, additional spells, and help with some types of magic. "
Should the GM spice things up on the RP side by making the witches familiar more than a walking spell book? What about in Pathfinder Society play?
Ive just recently put together a group for running the Jade Regent AP and at least half the party have built their characters around tripping, grappling and pinning the bad guys. Some of the examples are a Druid with the giant frog companion (grapple, pull) and a Maneuver Master Half-Giant monk that can take most BBEGs out of a fight within a round. All are properly built and played by smart and cool people. So my advice question, what are some of the ways I can put together new and interesting challenges to them while not making their builds useless?
So Ive just joined a new game with a GM that is really open to the idea of letting the players use material from Psionics Unleashed and Super Genius Games. I've decided to try something new. I usually play Wizards but this time I want to go beyond the pale and try out a 3rd party class - The Psion.
Ive looked over the material and like what I see but having no experience with the class or mechanics I'd like to ask for advice.
What sort of things should I look for? What are great feats, spells and other bits to consider?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I ran my first game of the Serpent Skull AP and my party and I had a great great time with it. They did a great job of talking with the NPCs and working together.
Im interested in seeing if there are any products out there that can assist me in recreating that Pulp Feel with some puzzles/traps. So Im looking to see if anyone can recommend me to simple puzzle books that can easily be incorporated into a RPG game. I hate to rely upon a simple disable device or knowledge roll to figure something out (though I use them to give great hints).
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
So Ive run a couple of games of Kingmaker and have just about finished Stolen Lands. Here are some of my thoughts, and I would love to hear from others who have run, read it.
1. I found the encounters very bland. For the most part I've had to alter many of them to add spice. For example there is a part where the PCs encounter 4 passed out Kobolds. I gave them a few traps and ended up holding off the party for several rounds.
2. I love that the AP has a lot of background detail for the NPCs. As such I was able to integrate them into the adventure in pretty interesting ways. For example from one of the early bandit encounters, Knapps, has become a regular scout for the party.
3. I find the Stag Lord to be kinda boring. He needs some spice and ways raise the menace of him as a BBEG. I spooked the party by having them spot a large ghostly looking stag from time to time, dropping hints about terrible stuff he's done, and giving the PCs a chance to interrogate captured bandits about them and conveying a sense of him uber evilness. I may give him some magical abilities in the big fight, perhaps as gifts from the end boss Nyrissa.
4. I really had to read and re-read then map out the line of information of this module. In other words, if you meet encounter A, he'll tell you about B, C and D. That got tough by just referring to the module itself. As such I had to create a basic information tree for easy reference on the who-know-whats and where quest items are.
5. Also had trouble getting my party back to Oleg's. They wanted to stay out exploring/killing the entire time. So I implemented a house rule that if brought to negative hit points they had a lingering debilitation (-2 speed as example) that would require a small bit of recovery time. That worked to bring them back and even created a sense of time advancement and allowed for more RP situations that might not have otherwise been there in the constant grind.
Sorry if that went on a bit of a ramble.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
So for a bit of fun I made a gnome cavalier for a new starting game of Pathfinder. The Role-Playing side of it was fantastic and had me in stitches... however mechanically it is a nightmare as Im not able to do much damage. I focused on giving him a high Con and Dex (17 and 16 respectively) but my str suffers at a 10 (was a 12 but -2 for race).
So went with Weapon Finesse short sword to give bonuses to hit but rolling that d 4 is brutal.
Please advise on how to up the dmg output and make a mechanically sound character to match the awesome RP potential.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
I got my first taste of the new Gamma World last night. Overall pretty damn fun for a one-shot. But I really enjoyed the new mechanic of drawing an alpha card for every encounter. I loved the added ability and gamble to increase it or suffer in failure.
Id love to see some sorta 3rd party product that gives this sorta option to 4e or PF games. Anyone heard anything along those lines?