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The PFS lawyers take care of everything. We're above the law.
Just because someone is in a rival organization (Shadow Lodge, Aspis, another criminal organization) doesn't give us the right to break and enter, assault with a deadly weapon or kill people, and then steal their stuff.
We'd get caught eventually, because let's face it, most scenarios the PCs make no attempts at covering up any evidence, or even wear a disguise when leaving the scene of the crime. That doesn't even take into account magic.
Murderous hobos pretty much sums it up.
Recently quit because I couldn't handle the bad music and sound effects. So super annoying and unpleasant.
The questing and storyline was also horrible of course, but I'm guessing most people don't care about that. Also, the game practically requires you to take a Diablo 3 view of the action in dungeons, hardly immersive.
Anyway, some people definitely like it and it has exceeded expectations, so that's cool. I want to like it, just can't do it.
The biggest thing about the game is this:
1) The questing is bad and it takes forever to level. For a lot of people, this just kills the game for them, sometimes even before level 10. It gets harder to level as you gain more levels.
2) The (levelling!) dungeons are extremely hard and unforgiving for the average player. If people are failing at the levelling dungeons (which are normally not that hard in most games), imagine how hard the end-cap dungeons and raids will be? Only the best of the best will be able to do them.
I predict this game will not do well in a few months due to it being too difficult. Every other game that I've seen that was difficult has eventually become a niche game. They will either dumb their game down or become niche imo.
OK, so it sounds like I should go ahead.
Balance changes have never bothered me in any game. What concerns me now is how you build your character. If you make a mistake when picking skills or abilities in your talent tree (or whatever the game calls it), are they mistakes you have to live with forever? Or do you just have to pay X gold to reset it (like Warcraft)? Are there dual specs (so you can be good at 2 roles)?
I thought you could only play any race in any faction is you pre-ordered? How is the Imperial Horse different from the Palamino horse (Palamino costs another $15)? Also, if I buy Imperial and a friend does not, do we still get the benefit of the rings of mara?
Your response helped a lot, thanks for your help!
I was pretty sure AD was going to be dominant with most players, with cats and elves. Gotta admit, kinda wanted to make a cat character... lol. But I will refrain.
Spoke to some friends and their objections were mostly silly things, like $$$, and bugs (they played the beta, what did you expect?). Some people should just avoid betas imo.
OK, I'll avoid starting for now. Let me know when it's OK to start if you could. Thanks.
I have a few questions about this game. I might start playing, but I’ve read mixed reviews. I’ve never played any other Elder Scrolls games, I only have second hand information.
1) Skills: As I understand it, in ESO your skills level up the more you use them.
My brother played Oblivion and he found that levelling your abilities was extremely tedious. At first he couldn’t hurt anything and was incompetent. He ended up levelling his bow skill by finding a glitched out animal (that couldn’t move and kill him) and he ended up firing 3000+ cheap arrows into it as target practice. 3 hours later he was “ok” (30/100?).
Is that the kind of stupid boring grind I’m looking at in this game as well? Or was he doing it wrong?
2) Enjoyment: Is it worth playing? Are the most annoying bugs fixed? How does it compare to other MMOs? Does it deserve the 6/10 that was given by Gamespot?
3) Computer: Do you need a new computer to enjoy this game or will a 2 year old (high end) computer do the trick?
4) Combat: Is combat acceptable or are the naysayer exaggerating?
In Oblivion you had to aim your ranged weapon crosshairs, is that still true? Is melee combat really difficult as well? If combat is difficult, is it at least rewarding?
5) How are the graphics? I’m not a fan of cartoon stuff now, especially coming from Secret World. Are there a variety of creature models? Or mostly humanoids running around?
6) Which race / alliance / class is the most popular? Is any alliance dominating in terms of population?
In early polls it was suggested that the Ebonheart was going to be the most popular, followed by Dominion and then Covenant. Is that true? (poll was for 5000 players, but there are 1 million subscribers).
The reason I ask is that when I started WoW I played a night elf hunter (because of my D&D background it was unique for me since I never play rangers), but it ended up being ridiculously overpopulated with LotR coming out a few months later.
I’ve also found that it’s more fun to play the underdog faction in other MMOs, especially in PVP. Parts of it suck, but queuing was always great.
7) PVP Servers: Are gank fests possible or is it fair? Do you need to make another toon to keep playing at times?
8) Subscribers: After the first month do they still have 1 million subscribers?
9) End Game: Do they have any end game content yet?
I think every game will have good endgame stuff if they have enough subscribers.
Thanks for your answers!
I have a number of friends trying this game, but I don't think I can get past the cartoon graphics. Warcraft got too cartoony and it's just not for me. Been there, done that, I strongly prefer "realistic" graphics now.
The combat is different, but I think ground and cone based heals won't be that fun for the healer, it will be stressful and annoying after awhile. I don't think anyone will want to heal. Either that or it will force the tank to not move, which is boring in it's own way.
The questing is horrible.
The big upside to this game is that the end game looks very complete and if they can get enough subscribers, the game should be successful.
So I've been playing this game for the last 6 months and it's been amazing. I play almost every day and it's been a great time.
Yes, to fully appreciate this game I think you need a good computer and GPU (or two).
The only problem I have with this game now is that content patches aren't coming out fast enough. Although Tokyo (which is a huge zone and a huge amount of content) is coming out in the next week or two, it's been 8 months since the last patch, which is really bad. It's un-motivating for new players (like me) and veteran players are getting fed up.
I'll continue playing but I'm going to start playing other games as well as I also wait for more content. We're all crossing our fingers hoping that Tokyo will be as awesome as they say.
I still think Secret World is a bargain at $30, it's one of the best MMOs I've ever played, especially the questing and adventure game aspect of it.
I've been running the campaign in Pathfinder, with the help of free Pathfinder NPC conversions, and it's been great. Hasn't been a problem at all.
If you're running in Pathfinder you absolutely need to use the free conversions, or it will be too easy.
The real crux of the issue is whether you want to start playing Pathfinder or if you want to stay with 3.5.
Personally, I think Pathfinder is a much better (and balanced) game system with lots of fun options that 3.5 didn't have. And it's current, which means I get to enjoy playing PFS (so I don't have to GM all the time).
Most of the changes in Pathfinder were done to character creation (and re-balancing spells), so the combat and skill systems are almost identical. Basically anyone who knows 3.5 can play Pathfinder with no coaching.
Having said that, some of the changes are subtle (Ex. Sneak attack now affects almost every opponent), so it's likely you will be making some mistakes for awhile, but it's not a big deal.
Either way, welcome to the boards!
So I’ve been playing the last 2 months and here’s my report.
This is the best MMO I’ve played since WOW vanilla. The game is a horror/survival/Lovecraft based game and meant for adults. The game is actually challenging, both in terms of combat and quests. (Of course if you cry “Uncle” and read the walkthroughs, it can be less challenging).
There’s lots of content for both grouping and solo play, and definitely the best questing I’ve experienced of any MMO. In terms of questing, its worlds ahead of WOW.
There are also lots of people still playing and lots of people levelling up in the old zones (thanks to the Steam sale). So you can still find groups for dungeons.
For $30, this game is a great deal. I like the game so much; I’ve recently bought all of their additional content and have a subscription as well. And it’s worth every penny.
I’ve completed every single quest and every dungeon until Transylvania (maybe 200 hours of content?) and there have been no bugs. I’ve read this game was buggy on release but it’s completely clean ATM.
The game hasn’t been a grind at all; you only need do at most 25% of the quests before you have the gear and XP to leave a zone. Having said that, I find the story/questing to be so well done, I usually do every single quest before leaving.
In terms of progression, I’m still not at end game yet (after 2 months) and I’m a fast at levelling in WOW. I think my PC has 15% of the abilities and that’s only on one ability wheel out of three. So in terms of horizontal progression, there is a lot to go. I’m still not sure how much vertical progression there is, but it takes a while.
They have substantial content updates every 4 months. Like any MMO, I assume eventually I will run out of casual-player content, and will need to do elite content if I want to play every day.
This game is not for people who want to:
1) Level up as quickly as possible: If your goal is to level up as fast as possible and to get the most uber gear as possible, you won’t enjoy the game. And quite frankly, you’re missing the best parts of the game. Yes, you can probably do 25% of the quests in each zone (less with an XP booster or a friend) and get the gear/XP you need, but you’ll be missing all of the content and you’ll get to end game and say “is that it”? And then the content becomes more horizontal and challenging, which most grinders will not enjoy.
2) If you skip watching videos to do the quest as fast as possible, this is not the game for you. If you don’t take the time to listen to the optional voice dialog offered, this is not the game for you. It’s extremely entertaining stuff.
3) Like to be handheld through quests. If you like your quests to be “kill 10 rats”, you might not like this game and you’ll probably spend most of your time reading the walkthroughs for every quest. Congrats on making the game easy mode, but again you missed the point.
This is a game for:
1) People who like a good story.
2) People who like dark horror themes and mature content. Zombies, werewolves, vampires, ghost, etc.
3) People who don’t like questing and dungeons to be super easy.
4) People who like to try different builds and options for their PC.
5) People who like to customize how their PC looks and dresses.
6) People who want something different in an MMO.
It’s a great game, I give it 9.5/10 stars.
Mark Hoover wrote:
Is "auto-win-while-looking-more-awesome-than-anything-ever" count as a campaign setting?
If you don't fudge, there's no such thing anyway.
For example last session a challenging encounter almost ended with a TPK (3 hp and 1 guy standing). It wasn't intended. If I had intended a killer encounter, I would have needed to cheat and fudge. Fudging and cheating to keep the campaign going is auto-win to me, and the worst part is the players know exactly what you're doing.
In my experience when everything is hard all the time, it gets boring too. And... arduous. Variety is best.
I think it’s very uncool if GMs don’t help players understand the next step to the campaign. In one campaign, we were stuck on a puzzle for 4 hours (without a single hint!). And it was a campaign killer.
In video games, if I’m stuck for any longer than 20-30 minutes, I’m just not “getting it” and it’s best if I look at the walk through. And (depending on the game) it’s almost always a good thing. I think you can pretty much use the same logic with RPGs.
With combats, I just don’t want them to be ridiculously easy. Well, some can be easy. But when it comes to bosses, I don’t need there to be 1 person standing at the end, but I also don’t want to see the boss die in 1 round without taking an action. Two extremes, neither of them good.
And just because a boss fight is moderating challenging doesn’t make it good. I want stuff to be unique... and interesting. But that’s just me.
I say I like challenge, but like most people, I don’t like to die. Well, I wouldn’t mind dying if the penalty was much lower (if there was no penalty for dying except not playing the game for a bit, I wouldn’t mind at all). In APs, I definitely don’t want to die more than once per book.
Laric: Your analysis is really good and it’s not an easy answer.
Having said that, I would make an escape before the party spends any money. Maybe make it look like a theft. That will piss the party off, so you might want to let them chase a red herring (the party has been asking around town to understand the item, maybe it informed someone who wants to steal powerful magic items). I think that is both interesting and the party also doesn’t spend any $$$.
Vimara could also try to use Cerulean society resources to send a very good pickpocket to get the dagger. Considering how very difficult it is to make one (5000 gold, 1500+ gold in spellcasting services, 500 XP, not to mention a Prince’s heart), I think she would use considerable resources to get it back. She could even offer to buy it back.
If the party guards the dagger extremely well and escape/theft doesn’t seem likely, it could always just turned itself into a non-magical piece of parchment/scroll that has writing on it. You could write a long letter or perhaps even a short message like “Sorry” or “Maybe next time you should negotiate”. Player rage! Hahahaha.
When the Pounce ability was first created, it was only meant to be used by animals like cats, so they could jump on you and use all 4 claw attacks and bite when charging.
In my opinion, Pounce should only be used with two weapon fighting or unarmed. You shouldn't be able to "pounce" with a two handed weapon, that's completely against the original intent of the ability (and it's impossible to explain (or imagine visually) like we did with the cat).
This change would help make two weapon fighting (and unarmed combat) more comparable to 2H weapons, which is badly needed.
First problem was the Crane Style feats were a little too good. Everyone was trying to get them. This was made possible because of MoMs, which was the real problem.
Second problem is that it should have been a monk only buff, because monks desperately need it.
But the nerf was completely too harsh. Crane Style has gone from one of the best feat chains in the game to something no one will use. They did a poor job at redesigning it imo, they should have selected something in between the extremes.
I guess one of the things I was trying to get out of this thread was “on a conceptual basis, what would the church of Asmodeus do in the battle for Korvosa”?
Did anyone have the Hell Knights return? Are they even a significant force (I think I read that there are only 50-100 of them). Yes I know they went back to Citadel Vraid, but what are the changes of them coming back? What about if the PCs recruited them?
What can the Arkonas and Cereleon society bring to the table? What about the other "big guy" (demon) that is sitting behind the scenes and everyone thinks he's dead?
Surely almost every faction would be doing something in this state of crisis. The question remains, what are the factions and what can they do?
walter mcwilliams wrote:
Do you advise that I purchase one of the Kingmaker books and run the mass war using those rules? Or the rules regarding Ultimate Campaign? Would that kind of mini game even be fun?
I’ll keep an open mind, but my initial thought was I wanted to keep it abstract, rules light, and feature personal combat (not mass).
I personally wouldn't be too harsh on the PCs unless they actually kill Krojun. Maybe remove one point... but more likely I'd roleplay it out and see what happens. If the PCs are apologetic, don't remove a point, if they are idiots/jerks, remove 1+ respect points.
I forget Krojun's alignment, but there would probably be fallout in some way during the Grand Finale. If he is CN and the PCs are jerks, it's entirely possible that he could even try to kill them (maybe even with a few buddies helping).
I think it all depends on how the PCs handle the roleplay after the attack. Jokes about burning a burn rider will probably not help.
Pretty obvious: Charm Person. There are practically no limits with this spell (if you’re a little/lot shady). When I’m a billionaire, I can hire dozens of servants to do whatever I want.
Runners up: Disguise Self (same as charm), Comprehend Languages (lots of applications with dead languages), Expeditious Retreat (running twice as fast as a normal human would be awesome).
Probably the most fun would be disguise self.
I also haven't read the source material recently, but I think it should have the following effects:
2) I might remove any Shoanti points that were earned from gaining his respect. I might even give the PCs some negative points (in other words, making it harder for the PCs to earn the nice boon at the end of book #4) for killing a chieftain's son unprovoked.
You might want to remind the PCs who he is (son of a powerful chieftain) after the 1st fireball is cast. This is probably not something they want to do... for diplomatic reasons.
Has anyone found a way to incorporate the Church of Asmodeus or the Acadamae into the AP?
To me, it seems really unlikely that either of these organizations would sit on the sidelines during the battle of Korvosa.
I read that some GMs ran "Academy of Secrets", but I find it ... strange that the party would take part in the Breaching Festival, especially since they're wanted by both the ___ and ___ at level 13. Or they're right in the middle of the battle for Korvosa. Doesn't seem the right time to enter a dangerous (and famous) contest.
Is there another use of Academy of Secrets besides running The Breaching? (For example a map of the Academae with major NPCs?).
Well, Cerulean Society isn't technically in the campaign, but the masters of it are.
The Cerulean Society is the major thieves guild in Korvosa, and because of that there are lots of plot hooks and uses for their services. I've allowed my PCs to fence items, buy blackmarket gear, and purchase information. They sold Lamm's severed head to the Cerulean Society (could be useful for information using Speak to Dead).
One of my PCs is a ninja, so she had contacts within the organization which helped her with various things. At one point we were "wanted" and being hunted, and they provided a safe house for several nights.
Plus what the other's said above. They probably have an interest in restoring order to the city.
doc the grey wrote:
How often do gm's and players find themselves in gaming groups that are composed in large part or entirely of players who are not the traditionally thought of players of tabletop games (i.e. hetero, white, cis, male players)?
I think it matters more that you like the people that you play with (or at least like playing with them), regardless of gender or race.
I successfully introduced 2 women (out of 6 players) to Pathfinder who had never played RPGs before, so it feels non-traditional to me in the sense that they don't bring any pre-conceptions to the game (unlike the other players), which makes it better imo (less metagaming, treating the situations like they were real). And they're great roleplayers. (I don't say this just because they are women, I'm sure I'd find the same thing if they were male as well. At this stage of life however, I find women to be more open-minded to RPGs than men for whatever reason.).
So sick of people not understanding that the written word and film are two completely different medium and dont work in the same way to entertain.
I think you just have to accept the fact that some adaptations are good and some are bad. And sometimes the movie is just bad on it's own and being a fan of the original work just rubs salt in the wound.
I agree, some fans take it way too far (that *any* change makes the movie horrible), but saying a fan can't dislike the movie/TV show is going in the opposite extreme.
I think what bugs me most these days is that many directors and writers don't even make an attempt to pay homage to the original material. For example, why did "World War Z" even have the same title as the book if the only thing they have in common was zombies? Yeah, that makes fans mad, and rightfully so.
My group doesn't have a healer and has only a Wizard and two Magus to provide healing in the form of wands of Infernal Healing. I might have to do some tests in Scarwall, but instead of it being trivial (with a level 12 Paladin and aura of justice), it should be interesting. The (unmodified) hit points of creatures in Scarwall are so low, I wouldn't even want a paladin in there. The two Zon Kuthon clerics can help with restorations and support. I'm actually more concerned about Seven Days.
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
And the only reason that people do adaptations is to make money, by and large.
The only reason to do *anything* is for money. If they didn't think a book/movie/TV show would make money, they wouldn't do it!
Loved Lord of the Rings movies and did not find the combat overly cheesy (it is fantasy after all, I don't hold Legolas accountable to the same physics that we are), and count them among my favorite movies of all time. Can't say the same about The Hobbit!
Starship Troopers is actually a great movie, kind of a guilty pleasure. While it's cheesy in parts, it actually has really powerful and subtle messages that just go *way* over most people's heads. People are dumb.
That's kind of my point. For Star Wars, lots of Marvel comics, and many books, there's often no need to stray so strongly from the original material. When it comes to movies, the original material is almost always significantly better than the director's vision. Especially when the director is Bay or Abrams. IMO at least. Failures like the current Hobbit really bother me.
I am glad that someone is consolidating all of the material into cannon and non-cannon. Well, it should be good in theory anyway.
As others said, I don't think you should ignore it, I think you should tell him that the death was cheesy, unfair, and you feel singled out. And that if he wants to run s~+&ty campaigns like this, you won't be participating.
I'd also talk with the other players about this, maybe others feel this way and it will make it easier for him to change his ways. Maybe they like his style, maybe not, but it's best to find out.
When you GM I wouldn't stoop to his level. You don't have to do things to be extra nice to him (like fudge dice or make up nice backstories), but you also shouldn't outright kill him in a very obvious and immature way. If you run like that, things will only escalate. The group will break up and you might be the one that looks like the bad guy.
Jeff Way wrote:
We tend to dismiss the spirit of the rule.
This I agree with. I wish everyone followed the spirit of the rules, it would be more fun for everyone.
Jeff Way wrote:
People that tend to lawyer up can slow a game down to a crawl, frustrate the GM and players (new and old) leaving several dissatisfied customers. If you have an issue, hold it till after the scenario unless it is something that the GM is doing wrong that results in a player death.
I want to play by the rules whether I’m GMing or a player. As long as the dispute takes no time (the player can look it up), I don’t see the problem.
Of course if it starts making the game unfun, that's a problem.
Jeff Way wrote:
I personally do not need others to tell me how to play or build my character.
That’s not being a rules lawyer. That’s being an overpowering, opinionated, powergamer. Different problem altogether. No need to complain to the community about this, just tell whoever is bothering you exactly what you just said in this post!
How can you answer this question without having huge assumptions about the aliens?
On one hand, one alien like Galactus could conquer Earth, and if you had weaker aliens that didn't want to use weapon of mass destruction, it could take millions of aliens to do it.
If you want to see how many tanks, planes, and infantry each country has, it's pretty easy to Google. Then take whatever alien assumption you have and divide.
Don't know why they can't do it well. I think the best sci-fi films are actually character and psychology focused. For example, please compare the original "Total Recall" to the new one. Hated the new one but I loved so many subtle elements from the old one.
Love Aliens 2 and Predator also, two of my favorite movies. Again, I think they were awesome because of the unique characters, lines, and psychology behind the whole thing. And the music.
Wheel of Time would be awesome in either TV or film. It would be really hard to do well however, especially in the later books.
Marvel Comics from the 80s: I'd like to see more of the Marvel comic book stories I loved in the 80s made into movies. I really dislike how directors (who don't even know the characters!) change so much about the characters, change the plotline, change everything, when it was never needed. The reason why the Lord of the Rings movies were so successful is that Jackson made very few changes to the book.
Stuff I like: Contest of Champions, Spiderman mini-series (Kraven, Venom), X-Men (Brood aliens, Days of Future Past which I hope they don't mess up, sentinels, Hellfire Club), Dr Strange, Iron Fist, Secret Wars, Mutant Massacre, Scourge.
Star Wars Expanded Universe: I'd like to see some of the Star Wars novels made into movies. Again, a wealth of great storylines, no need to change everything, it just needs to be changed into screenplays.
Dragonlance: God, I would love if they could do it right, but it seems like when they try it always comes out cheesy.
World of Darkness: Writing content using the World of Darkness (masquerade - older version). Vampires, werewolves, mages, wraiths. All good stuff. Would be hard to do since it's the characters that matter... but still.
Game of Thrones is awesome btw. :)
I see a number of homebrew GMs have responded to me and seem to take the snub personally. It's not personal, they're just my experiences.
The fact that you feel snubbed tells me that your ego is involved (in a negative way), otherwise you'd just listen to my statement and realize that I'm not talking about you; I'm talking about maybe ten GMs total.
Personally I've had enough bad experiences that I won't do 100% homebrew again. The homebrew campaigns I've been involved with have always been more about the GM fulfilling the GM's fantasies than the GM fulfilling my fantasies. Thanks, but I have better things to do with my time.
Sorry, I forgot to say something. I think the boons in general have been great, especially in season 4.
And... goblins aren't a class. :) But opening up restricted classes with a boon would be something that would be very desirable.
Michael Brock wrote:
Just out of curiosity, Have you seen any boons that made you suspicious?
No, I just noticed this year that all of the (regular) Gencon boons were photocopies and that metallic ink wasn't used on any of them, unlike prior years.
I like the following boons that I've received in the past:
1) Boons that offer one shot spells or abilities (like "Night March of Kalkamedes", "Crypt of the Everflame", the boons from Gencon specials, or some of the holiday boons).
2) Boons that offers a static modifier to a skill or ability. Example, "The Ghenett Manor Gauntlet".
3) Powerful circumstantial modifiers: I love the following boon (even if I haven't been able to use it in 4 levels) "The Rats of Round Mountain Part 2". Some of the season 4 scenarios involving Krune runes could also be placed into this category.
4) Special Items: Special items are great but they come with two caveats. First, they should be slightly cheaper to purchase compared to normal (this might be a nice perk in general if you find an item in a scenario, -10% cost). Second, they should be useful.
Quest for Perfection example/rant:
For example, the braid in "Quest for Perfection Part 3" should have been useful, but unfortunately the item uses the neck slot which is a must-have slot for unarmed monks (Amulet of Mighty Fists), so it can't be used. Also it's not cheap. In addition, some abilities overlap (and don't stack) with Monk's Robes. So I liked what PFS was trying to do in theory, in practice the item was a tease and was annoying because it couldn't be used. I'd rather they made it use a different slot or if all else failed, make it slotless and a weaker and cheaper item.
5) Race boons. Everyone loves them.
6) Class boons. I saw a boon that provided the ability for a player to use the prestige class Assassin at gencon (charity auction only). And then there was the goblin boon at Gencon for completing . Players LOVE these boons.
Static bonuses for skills in certain circumstances are nice filler, but most players won't remember them, and the bonuses aren't large enough to matter. Example, +2 Intimidate in Riddleport, or +2 Sense Motive against former Pathfinders. They do add a good story though, for players that care about that kind of thing. It might be better to have a one time skill bonus, but make it large (+6?).
I personally found the boons that you earned with chips at Gencon this year to be completely underwhelming. Some of those boons were identical to a boon I earned in a chronicle in season 5, however the Gencon boon only gave the boon after paying a huge amount of gold or prestige. In other words, not useful.
Regarding the security of boons, if you're going to have special or powerful boons, you need to at least put some minimal effort into their security. For example, using a colored pen to "sign" them.
You realize that the GM makes the rules and that you can (and should) limit anything that is not core and broken right?
I believe "Council of Thieves" ends at levels 11-13 but it's one of the worst APs.
Instead I would consider playing "Curse of the Crimson Throne" (levels 14-16) and just level them up at appropriate times. It's 3.5, so the PCs don't necessarily need to be levels 14-16 to finish imo.
(GM advice?) Got Pathfinder for my bros and I as a gift and it's exploded through our circle of friends.
Instead of homebrew, I'd strongly recommend Pathfinder adventure path, modules, and even Pathfinder society scenarios to start. With the APs and modules you can still homebrew a tonne of stuff, but the campaign will have a solid basis and it will save you lots of work, especially if you are GMing 2 campaigns.
I wish I had that growing up. Yeah, we played homebrew and it was OK and no one left, but it could have been a lot better.
There's so much advice to give, but you can find a start here. There are some great links there, check them out.