So I've had "shatter" come up a few times in my campaign.
For some reason up until now I was sure there was a DC associated with casting it on a weapon or object, but no upon closer inspection of the spell it doesn't mention this. We're playing Rise of the Runelords and up until recently we didn't have the Anniversary Edition so all the rules in the book were referencing D&D 3.5E, as far as I'm aware, so this may be where some of my confusion has arisen.
The specific text related to targeting an object with shatter is as follows:
"Alternatively, you can target shatter against a single solid non-magical object, regardless of composition, weighing up to 10 pounds per caster level. Targeted against a crystalline creature (of any weight), shatter deals 1d6 points of sonic damage per caster level (maximum 10d6), with a Fortitude save for half damage."
So I believe I'm correct in assuming there is no longer a DC related to this. Is there a saving throw related to casting it on an object? From what I read it incurs a will save, but I'd like to be sure. Again, the saving throw text for the spell is as follows:
"Saving Throw Will negates (object); Will negates (object) or Fortitude half; see text; Spell"
I *think* I'm reading this all correctly, but I'd just like some help clearing up some of my confusion. While I have a tonne of experience with CRPGs I've wanted to play tabletop for a few decades now and only this year did I find a group, so I don't have a lot of experience reading these spell blocks.
My final question related to shatter is to do with broken objects. If an object (more specifically, a weapon) has been broken, how does the PC go about repairing it? I've not been able to find this information in the manual, if anyone can point me in the right direction I'd be happy to do the reading myself. Thanks!
Brilliant advice again, thank you. I thought I had been quite open and honest to my players but simply considering the fact that I didn't bring this up with them and came here first indicates that maybe that isn't quite so. I'll make more of an effort with that in future.
Thanks to everyone, the members of these boards never fail to give amazing advice, and the points that zean has mentioned regarding the complexities of tying people up and the stunned condition will help immensely. Cheers! :D
Some great advice here, thanks to all!
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Obviously I don't know exactly how he is capturing NPCs he stunned. If he's having allies grab them that's one thing. But do make sure to keep in mind that the stun from a Stunning Fist ends just before the monk's next turn. By the time the monk can make another attack, the stun has worn off.
This would be very helpful to me in game, and would instantly help remedy these situations transparently, but doesn't Stunning Fist stun the opponent for 1d4 rounds? This alone has been what is giving the monk sufficient time to tie up his enemy.
Thanks for the advice, blackbloodtroll. This leads me to another question - how do you handle evil PCs? I presume the town (and the other non-evil PCs) would begin trying to put an end to his exploits. Also, are PCs able to play an evil alignment "undercover"? It's slightly off-topic to my OP but I have someone wanting to play an evil assassin. Lack of experience as DM has caused me to say "no" for now.
I've not found anything in the books about this and my lack of RPG experience doesn't help. More than happy to do the reading if you can point me in the right direction. :)
So we've been playing for about 6 months now, maybe a touch longer. One of my players, a monk, likes to hit NPCs (not just any NPCs, luckily, they're always the bad guy.. thankfully) with a stunning fist, and while the NPC is stunned he likes to tie them up and take them prisoner... After which he does what he can to torture them seeking information.
Usually when he gets into this situation he likes to mutilate their hands for some reason. One time he chopped off each of the NPCs one by one and another time he attempted to melt the NPCs hands together with a slice of ham in-between them in order to make a "Ham Handwich".
Luckily the other players held him back from making the Ham Handwich, but it took two of them to hold him back and he's quite a strong monk, I was worried he would overcome the two of them.
I personally don't like torture coming into my games as it really starts to put a negative spin on the fun aspect of the game. At the same time however, and more than anything, I respect my player's freedom. Considering I'm relatively new to DMing, and the players are all quite new to tabletop RPGs, I try not to enforce alignment too much. I rather like them to take actions and have their actions *define* their alignment, but this can cause all sorts of grey areas and it puts a bit more work on me while I'm still learning all the rules and the complexities of being a DM.
Does anybody have any advice on how to handle this? Do the rules actually allow an NPC to be tied up after being stunned? I use a survival skill check to see how well he ties his knots, at least.
I've been considering having an NPC seek revenge at some point so the monk ends up with his own deformities, but as I said, I'd ideally like to keep that kind of morbid play off of my table. :)
I've seen some, but they're not listed in the Core Rulebook from what I can see. I'm not sure which online sources are "official" or not and I want to ensure that what we choose is balanced. He's looking for a "traveling swordsman" type of character. I'm going to suggest he multi-classes as a fighter/ranger, but if you know of any archetypes that match, or can point me to an online source where I can read myself it would be greatly appreciated. :)
So my friend found this: http://www.pathfinderdb.com/character-options/classes/540-blademaster
He's quite sick of his fighter as a standalone fighter, so I really want to help him along to create a character he really likes. I'm wondering if this sub-class is well balanced. I was a bit dubious about a Ki pool on a fighter, but then again I've never actually played one and we all have very little experience with the game.
Wow, Doug, those suggestions are amazing! I especially love the idea of having Tobyn in the final fight with Nualia!
I can use Combat Manager to advance monster levels, that's no problem. Thank you so much for the ideas, you've also managed to highlight exactly how flexible the stories can be for me.
I've *really* been enjoying being the DM, and now I'm looking forward to our next session even more. :)
This is exciting news for me, because the cleric in our party has been inquiring further about certain things in the story, making the appropriate skill checks, and I've had a chance to slowly piece together Nualia's back story for them and it seems to really be getting them engaged... This has given me some more confidence and you've helped to settle my paranoia quite a bit, thank you both for the advice.
I've unfortunately also been having trouble taking some of the lore in because of the way it's presented. While not exactly "wiki-like" I feel the text reads more like a wiki or encyclopedia than a novel and while I understand completely that this is by design it's making it a touch more difficult for me. I wish I could really read this stuff in bed easily but I find that when I'm taking notes, which I don't really want to do in bed, it's of course really working much better.
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Doing my best to catch up. :) I find it really hard to remember a lot of the details but I started to do far better when I started taking notes. Unfortunately my lack of time lately isn't helping there, either.
I'm really seeking answers to both of those questions, but I'm slowly getting the hang of how much information I should release, although it becomes really tricky to know what the *characters* should know. This seems to constantly flow into how I should release the information - if I knew HOW the characters encounter the information I'd have a much better sense of when they're meant to find out certain things. I completely understand that there are so many different sources of information but my lack of experience really doesn't help, I'm sure that will come with time.
Week after week I become exceedingly more paranoid that I'll break something later in the campaign that I don't know about yet, again likely due to lack of experience.
[ WARNING: Minor Rise of the Runelords spoilers ahead ]
So my friends and I jumped into the beginner box a little while back and loved it. They're all quite a bit younger than I am and I've been wanting to play D&D for about 20 years and never found anyone who wanted to play until a little later in life. Anyhow, some very quick background on my experience, I played some Vampire: The Masquerade about 7-8 years ago as a player but unfortunately didn't play for long. I'm extremely experienced with CRPGs, and when we started playing Pathfinder I was very quickly elected as GM.
My players have been exceptionally patient as we all learn the game, and I feel like I'm picking it up very quickly. We all loved it so much that we jumped into the core rules quite fast deciding to try to slowly build on our beginner box knowledge. I very quickly began a second group with two other friends of mine who had finally found themselves a DM, and they again are patient, eager, and very experienced with CRPGs. Players from each group are making a significant effort to learn the rules in between play sessions and in doing so they've been asking me about some of the rules we're not using yet (like attacks of opportunity, which I just introduced last night). Mostly because of this we're moving ahead and picking new things up very quickly.
Well, with all of this I'm feeling a little bit left behind when delivering story. I've not had extensive experience as a *player* with tabletop RPGs, and so I'm always trying to step back and analyse how I deliver everything.
I made a near-regrettable mistake when after about 6 weeks of playing I jumped right into the Rise of the Runelords adventure path. I say near-regrettable because I don't regret it yet. I had no idea it was ideal to read the entire adventure path before starting it, and I'm having a very hard time catching up due to life being so busy for me lately. One group just finished the Glassworks (about 1/4 through the first book) and another group just started on Thistletop (about 1/2 way through the first book, I think). The story got extremely deep very quickly... For *ME*.
Sorry for the rambling, but this all finally leads me to my topic. I've been having trouble delivering the story at times. More specifically, I'm having trouble knowing when and how to (and if I should) deliver information to the players. I've been using NPCs to the best of my ability to help the players learn about the Runelords and Nualia to a degree, but that's the only ideal way I've really found. I don't know if adding to or revealing the game world will harm the campaign at all. (Maybe I've played too many CRPGs? :P)
I know the ideal situation would be if I could just simply catch up with my reading and get well ahead of them, but right now it isn't quite so easy. If anyone has any additional advice it would be most welcome.
Thanks for reading my lengthy post. :)
So I'm fairly certain that ranged spells add a ranged attack bonus, is this correct?
My main dilemma was when I encountered my first offensive touch spell yesterday and I had a quick skim through the rule book and couldn't find anything specific about this, and so now my party and myself are left wondering... It didn't make sense to us to add a melee attack bonus to touch spells simply because it takes strength into account rather than dex, and now I'm quite simply left unsure about this. Feel free to point me to the correct page in the rule book so I can read for myself if you like, I just couldn't find specifics.
Thanks for the help! :)
I'm also wondering how to handle some information.. The AP describes a bit about what's happening to cause all these problems for Sandpoint, but from a role-playing perspective, the PCs haven't really come across this knowledge... I'm having trouble figuring out where and how to introduce them to this information, if at all.
Thanks to all for the advice. I'm in a tough spot having started this AP already, but I'll be making a big effort to read ahead as much as possible in our downtime over the next week.
Also using the advancement track instead of tracking and giving experience points has done nothing but make my games awesome.
Can you elaborate on this please? What is the "advancement track"? Sorry if it's a little bit of a newbish question, but... I'm a newb. :)
I've done a couple of sessions so far with Rise of the Runelords, and I'm just wondering if any DMs out there have any pointers on how to prepare for them properly. I'm quite new to this and I've been worried I might let the PCs do something with (or to) the NPCs that might render them useless for their role later in the adventure. I've noticed so far that the AP is generally pretty good with letting you know which NPCs are important.
Other than that, what sort of notes should I be focused on taking? I was considering getting the PDF to print pages and highlight passages of interest, too. There's just so much to take in, and then relaying back to the players without revealing too much is proving a challenge too.
Also, what about maps? The first map that we've been presented with is larger than the flip mat we have, should I just split it in two?
I forgot to mention I haven't been able to afford the Pathfinder Bestiary yet, but I do still intend to buy them all when I can... Still, I imagine the closed content monsters might be fun and easy enough to convert. From what I've read conversion from D&D 3.0/3.5 isn't that tough, is that right?
A friend went to someone's house who was selling minis for $1 each, and he discovered the guy selling the D&D Monster Manual for $10. He couldn't tell whether it was 3.0 or 3.5 for some reason, so I also have no idea as I haven't seen it yet.
I told him to buy it for me. Given the cheap price, was this a good deal considering we only play Pathfinder or am I going to find this book useless? :)
Thanks for your replies, guys, some fantastic ideas. If they were to run a side quest in my absence what would be the best way to handle xp/items and not having the characters get too far ahead of the AP? Should I just allow this to happen and compensate by raising the CR for the encounters by adding more enemies?
I had an idea of maybe getting the other DM to play "prequel" stories that could really help them flesh out their characters backgrounds. This is the first time many of them have role played like this, so the back story isn't very strong and I thought this could help them. Again, though, I just don't know how to handle xp, or the items they already have... Obviously if their characters are playing in the "past" then they can't use items they haven't acquired yet...
So my group isn't very consistent, some people work shift work, some are young people with a love life, and I have a baby that needs babysitting which doesn't always work out and I'm wondering what the best way to handle the situation is.
I'm the groups major DM, and we're all very new to this. We've only been playing weekly sessions for about 7 or 8 weeks. I've had one of the other members DM for a couple of weeks while I played, and this felt really awkward to me. I don't want to come across like I'm having a power trip or anything, but I feel like I'm having the most success when I'm the only DM for this set of characters. I've got more experience playing table top RPGs than the rest of the guys, and even though this has been my first time as DM everyone seems to be having a great time and I feel like I'm quite natural at it even though I'm still coming to terms with a lot of the core/basic rules. The other DM ended up handing out overpowered items which have since been deleted (at the groups request), and allowed people to upgrade to prestige classes way too early due to not reading the rules/prerequisites properly and in general things got quite out of whack. Over the last few weeks as a group we've made an effort to reverse all these changes and things are finally back to normal.
I can't make it this week and they'll have him as DM again, but this time I won't even be there and I kind of feel it's my responsibility to keep everything on track for the most part. We've just started "Rise of the Runelords" after doing the beginner box quest and some custom quests prior, so the characters are already somewhat overpowered for the content we're doing, and balancing pre-designed encounters like Rise of the Runelords is proving difficult for me given my lack of experience.
I've suggested people roll alts to play with the other DM, so that each DM has explicit control over his story lines and the party involved but haven't heard what they think about this idea yet. They weren't impressed a few weeks ago when I suggested re-rolling new characters to start Rise of the Runelords with and everyone ended up using their original characters (which I was happy with in the end) anyway.
I'm hoping some experienced DMs can offer some pointers here. Should I just be happy with them using their characters wherever/whenever they want and just do my best dealing with the balancing act when I DM? How do other groups handle this kind of thing? I kind of feel it's my responsibility as DM to allow them to use whichever characters they have in my campaigns and I feel it should be my problem dealing with balance, but I just don't know how to yet.
Sorry for the rambling and lengthy post. If there's any points that I should elaborate on in order to get some clear feedback just let me know and I'll try to be concise. Thanks to you all. :)
edit: I should also mention that we're having trouble maintaining exactly the same group each week. Most weeks we have at least one player who can't make it, and I presume this is a common problem with tabletop RPGs... I'm wondering how other groups handle this as well, what with everyone's levels starting to vary quite considerably.
Thanks for the replies! Not to sound ungrateful, I truly am, but I'm fairly confident with the formulas involved, and in turn comfortable with how BaB is actually used.
My biggest concern is how to simplify it at the table so that there is a minimum of math going on.
For a melee attack for example, to streamline combat a little bit, instead of having the players check their BaB, add their strength mod and size mod, and add their weapon focus, is it feasible to list the total attack bonus in the "Attack Bonus" box for the weapon? The way we had always done it in the past with the beginner's box we only listed the actual bonus the weapon had, if any, not the total.
Sorry if it seems like a mundane question, but I only just got the core rulebook and it's a little overwhelming. My focus right now is streamlining the mechanics - I don't like to let rules get in the way of a good game, but I want to make sure we're doing the best we can to learn them as we go.
I'm just wondering How to handle keeping track of attack bonus, more specifically, the "Attack Bonus" box for each weapon - should we just list the *total* attack bonus when using that weapon here? It seems logical to me. We're only just learning about CMB and CMD, and there's the Base Attack Bonus box above that, so it has kind of confused the issue a little for us.
My friends and I are starting to migrate from the beginner's box rules to the core rules and I'm generating a character at the moment. I'm wondering exactly what the "Hit Dice" are, listed under each class section. A fighter for example is 1d10. Does this relate to hit points? In the beginner's box we just started with what I think is Max Hit Dice + CON, and I just wanted to be sure that this is what the "Hit Dice" was referring to, as well as checking whether we can just go for Max Hit Dice + CON for the first level. :)
So my group and I have been having a LOT of fun with Pathfinder weekly sessions over the past four weeks. I'd like to present my latest adventure, the fourth part (third sequel) in the beginner box "Black Fang" quest line.
After our initial encounter with the first beginner box quest, I put together some custom content for the map provided in the GM guide as the sequel, which included Thelsikar the evil cleric in the depths of Raven's Watch.
After that second quest, I created my very first complete module that would follow on as a sequel to Raven's Watch, which can be found here. The feedback I received was immensely beneficial and really helped to make the night memorable.
My adventurers now have their hands on two vials of elixir that Thelsikar was using to strengthen Black Fang, and since defeating Black Fang herself they have managed to acquire a black dragon egg. I understand raising a dragon is not easy, but I intend to modify the rules slightly as we go along to create a fun and engaging experience for my players. I intend to use this experience for us all to explore some of the more uncommon rules as we all progress through our very first Pathfinder experience.
I'm quite proud of these modules so far, considering I'm very new to all this, and I'd honestly love to show them off a little as well as receive any constructive criticism that anybody would like to offer. I only had two nights to work on this, and ideally I'd love to get some more time to polish this up. I've been pretty busy lately, but given more time I'd love to add more detail to my notes so that I have an easier time making the story flow while at the table. Some of these notes are designed to read directly to the party, while others are for my eyes only and simply meant as a guide. In future I hope to divide this information in a cleaner manner so the modules are easier to read.
So thank you for reading my slab of text, and without further ado I present the module itself, which has been loosely designed for an average party level of 4 (I'm still getting the hang of encounter design!)
The Search for an Answer
The party encounters the adventurer they freed from the trap in Black Fang’s Nest and he finally introduces himself as Trynn Farrows, Ranger of the South. He has recovered well and is very friendly with the group. During conversation he discovers the party have found Black Fang’s last surviving egg, and mentions a very wise Dryad who goes by the name of Nim who may be able to provide more information on its uses.
Trynn, being the trusty ranger that he is, provides the adventurers a map of the area of Nettlewood that Nim resides in. He also warns the adventurers of werewolves that inhabit Nettlewood… Trynn recommends the adventurers seek a silver weapon if they intend to venture into the woods at night.
As he is a ranger who has an extreme aversion to all things unnatural, he offers the party 250gp for each werewolf tail the party brings back to him. The tails must be cut from the corpses quickly, before they return to human form.
You step into a large clearing, occupied by a pack of hungry wolves. Bones litter the ground, and the grass is quite tall here. The rough terrain of their home turf gives the wolves an attack bonus of +5. Upon being discovered, the majority of wolves hide, ready to hunt.
A shallow (5ft deep) pit is here, filled with venomous snakes. The first adventurer to step into this area takes automatic poison damage of 1d4 with a Fort Save DC13. Once the snakes are cleared, a second group appears from the trees and attack the adventurers, receiving an automatic surprise attack.
A small lake is here and lies very still. Upon interacting with the water in any way two water elementals springs to life, receiving a surprise attack on the party.
The party enters a peaceful grove with an open canopy. A very large tree is here, the home of Nim. She agrees to help the adventurers with the information they seek, but only if they agree to clear the nearby forest of the cursed werewolves whom are responsible for upsetting the natural balance.
Upon returning to Nim, she explains; “The egg is warm to the touch, I expect it will hatch within the next six months or so. This is no easy feat, adventurers, dragons are extremely difficult to rear and they can take centuries to mature. This is not to mention the fact that what you hold in your hands is indeed a black dragon egg. Black dragons are evil creatures by nature, but are also incredibly intelligent - even at a young age. Do not expect this dragon to mature with a weak will; the creature will eventually develop its own agenda and will stop at nothing to satisfy its own desires. That is, unless you can find some way to make a deal with it or otherwise make yourselves necessary.
Be aware that while it is young it will need guidance in order to survive and will initially become attached to one or more members of your group, provided you are the first living beings that it awakens to.
You have helped me by ridding my forest of the werewolves and so I will tell you that I have heard of methods that have been used to speed up the aging process significantly through the use of magic or alchemy, but such things are unnatural and I will take no part in these rituals.”
A half-buried treasure chest lies here containing a potion of remove curse and 5 gems worth 20gp each.
A small clearing appears to be occupied by wolves. As the party enters this area, the foremost wolf shape shifts into a Barghest and attempts to charm the first person it sees before initiating an attack.
As you enter this part of the forest the foul stench of rotting flesh causes you to recoil and cover your nose. A large pile of bones can clearly be seen, with tracks leading to and from the west.
A skill check reveals that some of these tracks are belong to wolves, while others belong to humans.
A search of the bone pile reveals some gems worth 50gp total, a gold necklace worth 10gp, and a campfire bead (page 57, GM handbook), all contained in a belt pouch.
A quaint old cottage is here. This must be the home of the werewolves disturbing the balance of this forest! Two werewolves are discovered inside the cottage, and as combat is initiated two stealthed wolves join the fray from outside the cottage.
After rereading this I realise I should probably mention that I was hoping this dungeon would be suitable for a party of 4 players around level 3.. Although we may end up with two new players (including the original four) that I'm hoping progress to level 2 just prior to starting this part of the quest. There's also a chance two of the level 3 players may not make it this weekend, but if it's balanced enough for four level 3's I'm hoping that won't be an issue... My main concern is that the party of six may overpower what I've set up here, although I'm not afraid to increase the number of enemies in any given encounter if I foresee that being a problem. :)
Sorry for the bump but I'm really hoping I can get some more advice on this before Sunday rolls around (it's almost midday on Friday here in AU).
I'm looking for feedback on balance, particularly, as well as NPCs. I'm pretty sure the one NPC is more than enough, but I've never controlled any as a DM other than the basic monsters, so I'm not sure what to expect from either the NPC or the players.
I still have to write in the traps I want to include too, but they'll get done over the next day or so.
Thanks for your time reading all this. :)
Wow, thanks for the compliments Kolokotroni! I've played CRPGs for almost 25 years now, played around with MUDs and played a little bit of Vampire in the past but that's my only tabletop experience apart from the past weekend which was my first time as DM. We had open dice rolls as we all learned the game, and I made some adjustments as we played so the party didn't die while we were learning.
After that I was determined to build an awesome experience for my friends. The community here is extremely helpful and offered me a *lot* of fantastic advice, and I picked up the first notebook I'd used since high school and started jotting down notes on how to DM and how to build an experience. There's still a lot to learn, but those processes (passed on pretty much exclusively from the community here) are pretty much wholly responsible for my organisation :P
Thanks for the advice on the dragon egg. I presumed dragons were quite strong and wasn't sure if (or how) they could have it hatch. I thought it could create some interesting plot lines nonetheless, and maybe add a layer to the combat/travel at times, just for a bit of fun, to ensure that it didn't break.
The party composition is the hard part. They played one session before I joined, and had a fighter, cleric and wizard. The next session (the one that I joined) the wizard player was busy and the old DM rolled a rogue to play. This time, however, we're not sure who can make it, and another friend or two wants to join us. I will be hiding my dice rolls however, and I'm not afraid to fudge a result or two if I'm sure it will lead to great story and fun.
Black Fang is just a regular black dragon that takes part in the first beginner's box quest. The stats, though are as follows (hope I'm not including too much useless information here or anything. I'm pretty sure the beginner's blocks outlines stat blocks a little differently to the core rulebook/bestiary):
So I've created my very first custom quest! I'm very new to all of this, and while I'm happy with the way it's coming together so far, I'm hoping it plays out okay and I'm open to any criticism. :)
My friends and I started with the Beginner's Box last weekend. They ventured through the first dungeon, but alas, Black Fang escaped! This weekend they will be sent to Raven's Watch. The Raven's Watch quest is outlined briefly in the GM Guide but it allows you to flesh it out yourself. In this quest the PCs discover an Evil Cleric by the name of Thelsikar and discover the location of Black Fang. This first quest of mine is the third entry in the series, and will have the PCs tracking Black Fang to "his" nest!
It's only a small map, as the Thelsikar/Raven's Watch map is relatively big and will likely take up most of the day, but I'm hoping that I'm starting to get the idea of how to put a little module together myself. My plans are to allow the PCs to take a dragon egg with them at the end of the quest, if they so choose, and eventually allow it to hatch (if it's looked after), granting the party a dragon familiar. It should be noted that I've not read through all the bestiaries yet and I'm not sure how this will turn out, but it was a cool idea I had that I thought I'd like to include.
Also please note that I have some refining to do before our gaming session on Sunday, and all these notes were slapped together over the past 2-3 hours.
I've uploaded the map to http://imgur.com/nXG1r while the quest notes are written out below:
The party has overcome the evil cleric Thelsikar and discovered the location of Black Fang’s nest in a cave under Devil’s Platter. They are aware that Thelsikar has been making the dragon stronger through alchemy and are determined to put a stop to “his” plans to terrorise Sandpoint.
The tunnel gets darker as the party ventures in. A search further down the tunnel reveals a tunnel that has been mostly caved in. There is a space large enough for a full grown humanoid to slip through, but it is covered in spider webs.
2. Gray Ooze
This area of the cavern system is particularly moist and humid as drops of water fall from the ceiling. Small puddles litter the floor. A DC15 Perception check reveals a puddle in the centre of the room to be a Grey Ooze!
3. Secret Room
Webs line this area of the cave and a Giant Spider lies in wait. Close to the entrance is a humanoid object wrapped in spider silk. If the adventurers attempt to free the prisoner before discovering the Giant Spider they are attacked and all party members are surprised, otherwise the spider acts as normal and remains hidden unless a party member comes within 5 feet (1 square) of its hiding spot marked on the mini-map. When a PC gets that close, all PCs must make a Perception skill check against the spider’s Stealth skill check (1d20+11). Those who fail are surprised.
4. Troglodyte Ambush!
As the players enter this room a Troglodyte Cleric emerges from the shadows, hissing “The brood mother must live! You will never leave this cavern alive, adventurers!”
5. Black Fang
6. Treasure & Dragon Eggs
Sean, that was most certainly not a TLDR, thank you so much for your effort with this post. I've got experience with a lot of the things you mention, from archery, hiking, severe multitasking (thank you RTS games!) right down to Buffy, Angel and Battlestar (I won't be reading GoT until I finish watching the series now, I've promised myself that, but I *am* looking forward to the read). Because of this I'm having an easy time relating, but I'd never thought about them to help with different areas of storytelling like you've mentioned which has opened my eyes a lot. I've marked this as a favourite and I'll be going back to this post a lot so you have my sincerest gratitude.
Thank you to everyone else replying in this thread, too. I'm constantly reading back to learn what I can. This community is amazing and I'm overwhelmed by the massive, polite responses I'm getting.
The worst part? Now I'm aching to get back in the DM chair! Starting to jot some notes down tonight to create some of my own scenarios for my players. I can't wait to see them start to have a great time with this. :D
Thanks for the advice! I can safely say the cleric was leaving the group prior to me trying to address loot issues myself, but I've since learned it's not such a good idea to get involved. :)
This was my first session being a GM and the PCs had only played one game prior, the previous GM stepped down and created a character for the party because they all requested me for GM, so we're all quite new. Roleplay really seems to be the way to go, but I think I'll continue to split gold amongst the party members and let them roleplay for loot and see how that goes! :)
As some of you may know from my previous post, I'm pretty new to running tabletop RPGs for my friends. Our group has only had one play session, but one of the aspects of the game we had trouble figuring out was loot distribution.
For all gold drops I was simply making the characters split the value evenly, but for other pieces it was getting quite tough as all my PCs seem to be a little greedy. I had an extremely lucky random loot roll and a Hat of Disguise dropped. I made the mistake of just giving it to the Rogue over the Cleric or Fighter simply because I thought it would be the best thing for the group (I played too much of a particular MMO over recent years and got used to the idea of a "Loot Master").
I've since learned that the GM really shouldn't intervene in this situation... So what is the best way to handle loot for a group? I have one player, the Cleric, who just likes to abandon his friends to search treasure chests mid battle, or take a different route to find his own things, so I'd like to get this under control.
Once the Cleric decided to leave a group while his friends fought a wolf, the only thing that stopped him was me mentioning the fact that if he didn't participate in the fight then he'd get no XP for it at all. I'm also prepared to put monsters in his way that require a full party to defeat, so I have that aspect under control, but I'd still like to find a decent way of handling loot and treasure when the group is together.
I'm guessing characters should roll a % to see who gets which loot, that seems like a fine solution to me, but more importantly, what about loot that is more class-specific? Should I not allow my Fighter to roll on robes? What about a sword that is obviously more beneficial for a Fighter, but happens to be something everyone in the party could equip if they wanted to?
Thank you all for your detailed responses. I'm going to print this thread and start highlighting the ideas that I feel best suit my group. There's a lot of extremely helpful information here and I'm surprised at such deep responses to my questions, especially given my long initial post, what a fantastic community. I'll be lurking these forums to learn as much as I can. Thanks again!!
Fantastic idea, and thank you for the links! I'll check them out properly in the morning, it's 3am now, time to sleep! :)
I should also mention that my friends loaned me the books from the beginner's box so I can have a good read through them to get a better grasp on the way everything is laid out, so although I haven't read all the information here yet, I will be doing so over the next few days.
So some quick(?) background so people can understand my experience...
I'm a very (very very) experienced CRPG player. Been playing RPGs on computers and consoles for about 25 years.
I've dreamed of partaking in table top RPGs (D&D specifically) since I discovered D&D about 20 years ago now, but none of my friends were ever interested. I own both Hero Quest and Space Crusade, got them when I was quite young right near their release, and had a fair bit of fun fooling around with these two basic tabletop RPGs during my teens.
About 10 years ago I had my first (and really only) experience with hardcore tabletop role playing with Vampire: The Masquerade and had a *heap* of fun with it. Our GM was very experienced, having played tabletop for most of his life and nearing 30 years old, which made for an incredibly streamlined experience which was very memorable.
Now a few of my friends have picked up the Pathfinder Beginner Box and after being asked to GM for them we've just worked out way through the first quest. They seemed to enjoy themselves and were hungry for more so with some prodding from the PCs I agreed to improvise another map. I found improvising to be quite difficult due to my lack of experience, but everything turned out okay. My friends had quite a challenge overcoming the final boss and after I rolled a 100 for one of their loot checks they found some excellent treasure.
So my friends *seemed* to be having a good time, but they were getting tired and a little bored by the end of it all and I realised that my story telling skills left something to be desired. This obviously wasn't an issue with the pre-written quest in the beginner's box, but during improv I found it very difficult but did my best.
So I'm left with a few questions that I'm hoping the community can help me with. Firstly, I notice there are a *lot* of books.
(1) Which books should I be looking at for a decent amount of content? Something as nicely laid out as Black Fang, formatting wise, would be brilliant - with maps of the current area printed up the top right, and the creature stat boxes on the page to save me flicking through the bestiary would be ideal for us while we learn.
(2) Should I be bothering with maps? My experience with Vampire: The Masquerade was actually mapless, but was a lot of fun. I presume these maps help a lot with tactics, and if executed correctly will probably add a lot to the experience.
(3) How on earth can I become better with my story telling? I know I should be describing areas in detail and using a lot of adjectives, but my mind tends to just lock up when I'm presented with a blank canvas. Are there processes to go through to start to flesh out custom stories?
It should be noted that I've already downloaded the free PDFs that tie into the beginner's box and I'm planning to have them run through the follow up campaign in the "Beginner Box GM Kit" PDF.
Thank you so much to anyone who sat through this and read my massive wall of text. I really want to bring this experience to life for my friends and I'm guessing a lot of it will come with experience, but if anyone could offer some tips regarding my 3 points above I'd appreciate it so much. :)