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Disenchanter

MurphysParadox's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,059 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.




I have been pondering how, mechanically, to make Pathfinder more friendly to non-combat options. I have a mixed group of players that want different things and the structure of Pathfinder makes it hard even contribute in both combat and noncombat, let alone survive.

There are rules and skills and feats and traits that can be used, but they are decidedly less detailed than the those surrounding the combat side of things. Primarily this is because the combat rules seek to describe a predictable system for handing physical situations and because the consequences for failure in combat are far greater than in a social scenario.

It is hard to, say, pick Skill Focus over Weapon Focus in most Pathfinder games. I am, of course, ignoring either the prerequisite usage of Skill Focus or the cases where the skill is a combat-important one (bards with perform, rogues with bluff, spell casters with spell craft). Instead, assume something like Skill Focus (sense motive) because my character is a detective and I know my GM never uses the bluff skill in combat.

My initial idea is to allow the players a few extra skill points, say 3, plus one profession or craft. These would be usable on anything, but recommended to be used to broaden the character's non-combat usefulness. I'd also allow an extra feat every even level that cannot be a combat feat or used as prerequisites for combat feats. I think it could still be used in combat if it is applicable, such as Skill Focus (bluff) to do misdirection checks.

Does anyone else run house rules to make it easier to have entire sessions without combat? How do you keep the fighter interested and useful in a session where you have to be nice at a formal dinner? Any ideas that you have regarding my proposed changes or different proposals you'd like to suggest? I'm also interested in means of rewards to promote and encourage roleplaying.


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I have been GMing for the same group of five players going on three years now. Unfortunately, since we're all adults with families and jobs and such, we can only game once every 4-6 weeks. On a game day we can put down 7-8 hour sessions, so we do progress through content at a reasonable rate (well, if ~25 sessions over ~2.33 years is reasonable to cover five Carrion Crown books).

The problem I've been having is keeping the players interested in the game during the time they aren't sitting in my living room holding dice. It is very hard to run an adventure path when none of the players can remember what happened five weeks ago, let alone five months ago when the adventure began.

I've tried providing emails after the game to recap what happened, I've tried going over the details of the last game before starting, and I've tried asking them to keep notes. None of this really seems to work. Considering the difficulty I have in getting them to use email to discuss things like treasure allocation and item creation requests, perhaps it just cannot be done? Perhaps they just can't/won't/haven't the time to pay the story much time outside of the dedicated time of a game day.

I was wondering if anyone else has had problems with long sessions separated by weeks of downtime. How do you handle it? How do you maintain the player interest in the story? Are there tricks or suggestions that helped? Ways to keep them involved or make them care at all about the plot-related goings-on? Is there a good bribery option? Is it is a lost cause given the periodicity of the games and the complexity of an adventure path? Should I just go to smaller shorter disconnected modules and give up on overarching story lines?


So my players have just exonerated the Beast and are preparing for the Castle and I'm having a problem keeping their motivation to continue.

HH is easy because they'll be paid a grand each for helping out and no one likes to let the undead wander around. Supporting the Beast is also easy because another grand and they think they'll be able to convince him to join the party. The castle has loot (and another chance to get the Beast to join). But they don't care about the effigy (probably don't even remember it) or Vrood.

I have a larger storyline. Ancient evil being brought back; last sealed away by family patriarch; will be out for revenge if it breaks free... but the players just don't care. They are not adventurers for the sake of saving the world; they are more adventurers for the sake of immediate concrete gain (money, items). Suggestions?

Also, how are other GMs managing party motivation?

Do your players care about saving the world? Are they sleeping with Kendra? Are they secretly hoping to join the cult? Do like just play along with whatever motivation they are prescribed?


I am starting a Zeitgeist game (early industrial revolution; early firearms are commonplace) and my wife is eyeing the Grenadier archetype for alchemist.

Her desire is to play a technologist, so she has drawn issue with the idea that despite growing up in a city with steam power and marvelous technology, she is still required to "hit things with stone-age clubs" (her interpretation of needing a weapon when not blowing things up). She wants to be completely ranged and has no interest in poison.

I suggested using the free martial weapon prof. that grenadiers get to pick up musket or pistol, which she liked until she learned she can only fire every other round (until the Rapid Reload feat). She worries will hurt her combat effectiveness.

So I thought of two things.

First, giving the alchemist a "cantrip bomb". It can be used as many times as the alchemist wants but is limited to 1d6 + int and never benefits from any bomb-based discoveries. It is pretty nice at the start but quickly becomes boring as more discoveries are gained and damage dice increase for the normal level + int / day bombs.

Second thing was to ask the Advice boards for suggestions. Specifically how to make the alchemist not depend on medieval weaponry while maintaining combat usefulness.

PS - I'm not too worried about overpowered characters; none of the players are powergamer types and Zeitgeist is more RP/skill based than combat.


My players were fighting an Earth Elemental and they tripped it.

I had it burrow from prone and glide elsewhere, ending the move standing above ground. The question came up as to how it worked with AOOs.

1) Should the players around it get an AOO when it burrowed out of threatened areas?
2) Should the players around it when it surfaced in a threatened area?
3) Should either group get AOOs for it standing up (or was that part of its burrowing action, effectively letting it stand up for free)?

I said no, no, no (part of the burrowing) and tabled the issue for future consultation (and here we are).


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