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Watch action economy also. You only have two characters worth of actions, not four. Adjusting the cr down should help some. But if one person gets held or stunned or knocked out, that's a fifty percent reduction in PC actions, not twenty five as with a four man group.
It can be fun with only two PCs, I know, I've done it before.
Andrew R wrote:
Oh I am quite familiar with rocket tag. My group suffers from it currently. Just don't know how to change it or prevent it in the first place.
A fight at high levels should be short and brutal (for both PCs and Enemies) with people being removed from combat in a single round, simply because that is what the system expects at this level.
How do we know this is what the system expects? Genuinely curious as to this, not trying to be argumentative. Was pathfinder truly designed to be rocket tag at higher levels?
Ross Byers wrote:
Basically in the game I was GMing I had a colossal dragon attack the PCs. Long story short, the dragon dropped AMF on itself. Player says is there any square the dragon is in that's not protected by the field so we looked up AMF:
An invisible barrier surrounds you and moves with you. The space within this barrier is impervious to most magical effects, including spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. Likewise, it prevents the functioning of any magic items or spells within its confines.
An antimagic field suppresses any spell or magical effect used within, brought into, or cast into the area, but does not dispel it. Time spent within an antimagic field counts against the suppressed spell's duration.
I had to answer yes to his question because the colossal dragon is larger than 10 feet.
The 10' radius emanation portion seems to be at odds with the last bolded paragraph.
Curious, how does AMF protect a collossal red dragon when parts of it won't be in the AMF? Per the description of AMF, any creature larger than 10 feet would have parts of it outside the field and thus not protected.
There would be quite a few 20th level people that come in and out of the Pathfinder Lodge and those that work with various elements in the city, but I would think that the call of home would have most higher level characters go to thier homelands to live, if only to come back when they are needed. Absalom has a very active rotation of dignetaries, sailors, and travelers as well as those that live their lives in the city
Why would there be quite a few 20th level persons coming in and out of the Pathfinder Lodge? What is the source for this?
I would think that any high level people would either be running the place or transient.
In a town of 3300? I bet there are zero.
Mike Franke wrote:
Exactly this. Couldn't have said it better myself.
We did this back in the day. Using 1st edition rules just before 2nd ed came out. We had a group large enough that we had 4-5 GMs running different groups in a shared world set up. The problems I saw was that really only 2 of the GMs were seen as the "true" GMs of the shared world and would often undo what the other GMs did. Clear guidelines on the authority of one GM over another would have helped.
Example: one PC did something dumb and got some of their magic items destroyed by a rust monster. Next thing I know the next week rolls around and another GM hand waived all the destroyed items back into existence.
Its scenarios like that that you would need to watch for. Again having clear guidelines from the beginning may have helped.
This whole thread baffles me as a gm. Since when do players feel they have the "right" to question the gm? Forgot why you banned something? Who cares. Its banned the player needs to deal with it. Or leave. Player does not equal gm.
That's what players and some GMs forget. The players have and always have had the ultimate power. To leave the game. Without players there is no game.
As a gm, I would never apologize if I was in the OPs shoes.
As a GM, I killed my friends' animal companion because it was annoying. Another GM brought it back to life a couple sessions later. This was a large group shared world thing, several GMs rotated in and out. We're still friends to this day and that was 20+ years ago. He doesn't let me forget........
As a GM, and this is were my forum name comes from, I sorta offed two PCs for no reason. I was GMing for only two PCs, they had practically begged me to GM that day. Don't know if I was having a bad day, or what. Rolled up fresh level 5 PCs, second encounter in I said and a "Molten Dragon" rises from the lava and "bleh" - 20d6. Killed both, packed up my books and left. Still friends with both and again 20+ years ago. They also don't let me forget.........XD.
These are example of bad GMing.
@ vs Kevin.
Not sure about pre-gens.
Yes to your question about strength bonuses.
Your carry weight is also based on your strength it should be listed either near the strength description or in equipment. Technically there is no limit but you start to take penalties to your dex (I think) after so much.
Hope that helps.
EDIT: Just quickly flipped through the BB manuals and there does not seem to be any weights attached to equipment. Just use your best judgment I guess. Nobody can carry full plate armor and twenty long swords around. I would just go with what feels right and everyone can agree on.
1) Up to you. You can make all potions of cure light wounds the same in appearance or not. Same for other potions. They know something is magical with a detect magic spell or other ability that specifically says so. There are rules in the Core Books for using Spellcraft to identify items. Not sure about Beginner Box. I don't think they need to know something is necessarily magical before they try to identify it. Even if they suspect something is magical I have always allowed a spellcraft to identify.
2) The details not in the blue boxes are things the PCs may or may not know/learn from different skill checks or specific questions they might ask, etc. for example, "I examine the body of the dead goblin" a PC says. Then you would reveal if there is any other information, after appropriate skills checks if required by the text or not.
3) Not sure what you mean by "awaken", but based on your description that would be right next to the PC. That is no squares/fields in between.
Remember, you are in charge. There is no right or wrong way to GM. As long as everyone is having fun, including you, go with it.
Good luck. You will do fine.
EDIT: Be sure to come back and tell us how it went!
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Well put, Evil Lincoln. I get more RPG satisfaction out of "running" the world/campaign than I ever did playing a PC.
I have been the primary DM for our group for a long (long) time. I enjoy the storytelling, making up worlds to interact in and making up fun NPCs. Pretty much what others have said above.
That bums me out that your players are treating you like you are the computer in their computer game. Just give me the quest, no talky-talky! Load me into the instance and send the mobs at us. That would not be fun to DM.
Maybe find another group, if possible, just to be a PC in. See how other DM's are doing it? The Internets has video of RPG groups. Just a thought.
I sympathize with the OP. The way Pathfinder does encounters was a tough learning curve for me as well. (Not that I'm an expert, far from it). I faced the exact same problem the OP had. I was so frustrated as a DM that I couldn't challenge my players. How did I learn?
I sent basically an APL+3 encounter at them. This set of monsters had action economy in their favor as well as one monster with flight (PCs didn't at the time). These monsters targeted the parties weakest saves and members. I had to, it was the only way I could find their breaking point and subsequently design better encounters. (don't worry they lived through the encounter, barely). I do not add anything less than APL-1 as an encounter. The party just steamrolls it. (boring for everyone, including me the DM). If I want a tough fight its APL+2 or 3. Standard is APL+1.
Pathfinder is basically an arms (more like Hit Point) race between the DM (read monsters) and the Players with the amount of healing the party has being the pivot. I know more or less how much damage they can dish out and how much healing they have (a lot!). I design my encounters to try and match that. There is no point in doing anything less, again they just plow through it without any resources consumed. And if they are not consuming resources, whats all that treasure for?
tl;dr More encounters. I have been trying this very same thing because the one or two fights a day does not phase them in the slightest. I have waves of attacks come at them. If they are resting I send the goon squad after them (when appropriate). I increase the encounter frequency and they are all APL+0,1,or 2.
All my notes for this are hand written in notebooks. Typing this is going slow, I type memos into databases for a living. People are interested in this so I want to do it, but it feels a bit too much like work. Sorry to say I'll most likely need another month to finish this.
Count me as interested also.
I was wondering if I could get some help with the module Broken Chains.
Spoilered so not to ruin the fun:
At the end of the module there is a CR 10 ghost as the BBEG. My 3 person group is level 7. They could probably handle the ghost but the ghost, in my mind, is out of the blue. I would like to change the ghost to something else. It could be anywhere from CR 8-10 but I really don't know what. I would like to keep the theme of the module. Desert slavers worshiping demons/Lamashtu, i.e. gnolls etc. Really, I ain't afraid of no ghost.
I thought about just putting a different gnoll cleric and some minions at the end but I am kind of drawing a blank. What have other people done? Kept the ghost? Did something different? Basically this is a call for some inspiration.
Thanks in advance.
We use Skype when there is just the one long distance player and we also have used Google Hangout when there was two long distance players. It worked fine. I actually felt that Hangout worked better for reasons I cannot articulate. We have not tried the d20 VTT or its ilk. The hardest part I have found DMing with persons over Skype is I find I often have to repeat myself or hearing what the players are saying. Speak into the mic, please. Could be the connection or other things also.
Also, I'm not quite sure I am tracking your question #1. Do you mean DMing in general or DMing over Skype?
Ellis Mirari wrote:
This, a thousand times this.
We would dock levels if people got out of hand (or back talked the DM). If you joined the group to play then play. Socialize before, after or during breaks fine. But when the DM said lets get started that was it.
I completely understand the obsession. I would echo what Azixirad stated above (except for the parts about golf carts etc XD) During my obsessive period I worked at our local gaming store/bookstore/coffee shop. It was towards the latter end of 2nd edition DnD and MtG was in full swing (around the time of the MtG Ice Age expansion if that helps date me.)
I had access to any RPG book I could ever hope to want. We, being a college town, had a wide player base. We played every weekend and several times during the week. Name an RPG from that time period and I bet we played it. During that time period when I was not busy with school, I would spend hours coming up with content for my players in whatever game we were playing. (I usually DMed).
So, yeah I had my obsessive period. Then, marriage-moving away-advanced degrees, pretty much put the brakes on gaming until recently. Now back in same town with a few (3 to 6) of the original members and we game about 3 times a month on average.
I like Pathfinder and I get my obsessive fix usually by reading the forums here when I cannot actually play. PFS never held an interest for me and our group is pretty relaxed as to optimizing builds (well, except maybe one).
I would not at all say it is unhealthy unless it detracts from "normal" life. Thankfully, my wife seems to put up with it............so far.
My group loves all these conversion of the old modules so thanks to everyone who put in a lot of hard work and time.
But, alas, the link doesn't appear to be working.
This module has been a walk in the park for the 3 sometimes 4 PC's I dm for. I would start with first level characters.
Sounds like my table. we have a genetic engineer and 3 practicing attorneys one of which is a judge. Its funny because we all look to the engineer when there is a rule question. And like others have said above, communication is key. We will stop in mid swing in combat to hash out a rule if need be. GM has final say of course. "Rules lawyering" is ok in our group but be prepared to "cite" your authority and be prpared for oral argument on it as well.
Tharg The Pirate King wrote:
Allow 3.5 gestalt rules. this will allow the party to take on risks that would be above their challenge and allow roles to be filled with short number of people.
This is what I do with my group. We regularly only have 3 players and a DM. The gestalt rules are great. The party can frequently take on anything a 4 person group can do.
I really want to give 4E a try with my gaming group. They all have indicated a willingness to play/try 4E as long as I DM. I am the usual DM anyway. We are all veteran RPG-ers from back in the day and enjoy all styles of playing.
Question to all 4E players and DMs. Is it possible to play 4E with only 3 players and DM?
I'm sure it is possible in the strictest sense but after reading the 4E DMG it states the game is designed for 5 players and DM. It even states at one point that serious modification is needed if you have less than 4 players. (Page 6 of the DMG).
Has anyone ever had this experience with 4E? What problems did you encounter? Or if anyone can point me to a thread that already covers this topic that would be great also.
Thanks in advance.
Posting more love for Space Master/RM/Merp/Cyberspace. I still miss the critical charts. (though my players don't)
One more for Fading Suns! Woot. Enjoyed the d20 reboot of that also.
One of my personal favorite under rated games:
Tack on Flashing Blades by the same company.
I feel your pain. I am not new to GMing and the over-use of detect magic is a little irritating. My group does the exact same thing. The suggestions above are good ones.
Wasn't that a rule/guideline in the Champions RPG. My GM in the Champions game we were running at the time, who I still game with, called it the "villain soliloquy". In fact, I use the rule too when I GM sometimes. Not so sure about the sneaking bit, but sometimes we do that.
DOH! Sneaky sneaky Talynonyx. You snuck the answer in while i was typing my question.
I have these same observations and questions regarding SA and Crits v. Undead. This came up in one of our games recently and after scouring the PF rulebook and Bestiary, we came up empty. I ruled undead could be both SAed and Critted and we moved on.
Thats usually what I do. I GM far more than I am a player and all my players are way better actual negotiators than me.
I solve this by have a determined out come or set of options that I want to happen as a result of the negotiation. This end result is always in furtherance of the plot/story rather than necessarily anything the NPC wants.
For example, and I am not familiar with the Kingmaker AP, if the PCs have to negotiate so that Faction X will attack Faction Y, before any rolls are made we roleplay it out. If they do a good job, I have them maybe make a couple of "ghost" rolls and on we go. If they do a terrible job I back that up with some rolls that will dictate the outcome more than poor role play. (Not a slam on anyone, it happens sometimes, self included.) If that doesn't get the PCs what they want, as the GM I inform them of the consequences and maybe they need to spend some time fixing the problem.
Back to my example, if Faction X now adamantly refuses to attack Faction Y, but that's what the plot calls for, maybe the PCs need to do a side quest to retrieve Leader X's lost dog or something and we can re-do the negotiations with some bonuses.
I think the ultimate advice that I can give, is knowing what you, the GM, want to happen. If, though, by the PCs choices/rolls/roleplay takes the plot off course then so be it. I dont think its so much about being to hard or easy on the players, its about, in my mind, keeping things moving. If the PC's seemingly breeze through a negotiation, awesome, lets go. If the PCs fail at it, cool lets go off the rails for a while and see if we can come back to it.
I am probably the most unorganized Player/DM around. When I play (as opposed to DM) I usually carry my character in a yellow tablet stuck between the pages. Said yellow tablet has all the notes and such from the play sessions, along usually with notes from previous games too. Usually I only take my PH or Rules Compendium when I'm a player. As far as dice, I only barely have two sets (long story), I think I only have 1 d8 in that mix. I carry them in a Crown Royal bag, you know purple with the yellow draw strings. All of that is stuffed in an old nylon backpack from my college days (the early 90s).
Now when I DM, things get more chaotic. I came into the possession of a first responder bag. Big duffel bag with lots of pockets, you get the picture. I usually stuff as many books as I can comfortable carry in it, DMG, PH, RC, MM1,2,4; forgotten realms stuff etc. All my campaign notes, when I take them, are on said yellow tablet above, or backs of maps, scraps of paper next to the taco place's number, on top of old player notes....
Curiously no laptop, I have one but where we play space is at a premium with two other laptops. I would love to use a screen but again space limitations.
Ok, you can't leave us hanging. You have to post how your first time as DM went. (If its happened yet.)
(This is a bump in disguise, in case you couldn't tell.) ;)
David Fryer wrote:
I thought you were my alias and I was hearing (reading?) voices.
I've been on the boards only a short time also, but my posts usually only consist of snarky remarks like the above. ;)
Navigation by committee, only PCs would think of that. I would have it turn out like most committee work. Many wasted hours talking about it, followed by long stretches of no action and finally letting the guy with the lowest navigation skill make the roll.
I would probably let one person of their choice make the roll with the others adding the aid another bonus with no "try again" rolls.
Page 81 of the 3.5 Players Handbook indicates that Sense motive can be used untrained. So the only modifier would be the Wisdom bonus. A Pit Fiend for example has a 26 wisdom according to the Monster Manual or +8 modifier. Thus against a normal human with a Wis of 10 or so the Pit Fiend would have a d20+8 to the humans roll of d20+0. Still pretty decent against normals, but against a high level PC with ranks in Sense motive it may not be so great.
If it was me, I would chalk it up to an oversight and make Sense motive equivalent to Bluff or Diplomacy. Of course that's just a quick fix.