Very interesting take on the AP - did they interact with the librarian in the sphere at all?
They met him, but didn't interact with him much. initially they tried to discuss the drow and so on, but once they realized his knowledge stopped prior to earth fall they just asked about the identification of various buildings and the like.
Do you have any suggestions about how to get the most out of him?
They will have further interaction I expect once they enter the Armageddon Echo. They also saw the blacksmith ghost in the graveyard but too were caught up in hunting for the huecava's lair to follow.
All part of the stuff I have to make sure they recall when next we play.
I have just completed running the third weekend and the party is only part way through Armageddon Echo. However this session was the first time they really got to be elves within elven society. Instead of adventurers or outsiders they were part of the establishment. This was the best session so far.
Now I wanted elves to be different from humans, ie not just humans with pointy ears. So I decided to again stress the longevity, the respect for life, the chaotic nature and the fact that they have no god of war.
So the party were introduced to Evianna who as mayor of Crying Leaf was the head of the bulk of the troops launching an all out attack on Celwynvian. To Khaerisiel who most knew as the head of the Rath in Mierani - which meant them and the new replacement PC's. To Shalelu, the head of the Mierani Forest rangers, an autonomous collection of scouts who worked with, but not for the Crying Leaf forces. There was no single leader although Evianna was in notional command. Part way through the battle I let them know that Khaerisiel had sent for a powerful Mordants spire elf wizard who was an ally of the Rath to come and help with the battle - he hadn't arrived by the end of the session.
She stressed that this was to be an all out assault, possibly finding and taking out all the dark elves in as little as a fortnight. The elven equivalent of a Blitzkrieg. She stressed that if anyone got badly hurt they should retreat back to base camp where the clerics would are for them.
The half elf fighter was put in charge of the party as this was going to be a war. More special forces than secret agents.
So the battle commenced, small groups of elves sneaking into the ruins taking out small groups of drow etc. it took the players a little while to get into the idea of no sense of urgency, chaotic command structures, preservation of life but they eventually accepted, then relished it as the elven way.
I played the drow as similarly chaotic, sneaky and interested in preserving life ( well their own anyway, perfectly happy to cut and run and leave a fellow drow in the lurch). I had the drow run off quite frequently so the Players really got into the value of an elf life ( the drow used zombies and left troglodytes, spiders and dretch to cover their escape)
I was heavily influenced by Joanna's posting of her experience with the battle- especially as to the bits taken from the article on Celwynvian. I had the party discover the recorporeal incarnation spell from the necromancers - they were suitably repulsed by the foul drow magic when the elven skin sloughed off (though i had a drow fighter rogue wearing the skin rather than a troglodyte). I had the necromancers being essentially here on their own frolic, and not co-operating with Nolveniss.
One combat the players loved was an encounter as they circled north of the city and were coming in they walked into some drow forest traps ( pits, springing spikes etc) and a small contingent of drow. I played the combat full of drow hiding in the bushes, appearing shooting a crossbow bolt then running off and hiding again. It had little melee and everyone felt it was a definitive sneaky elf v sneaky drow combat.
One players comment " trust a drow to bring a hand crossbow to a bow fight"
They also met a couple of elf scouts who had met and chased off a medusa ( the party later killed the three medusa) but had two of their number petrified. Initially there was some discussion about just leaving the statues as they couldn't restore them but following on the elven creed of preserving elven lives ( they still have five centuries in front of them) the party helped get them safely back to camp.
The ap set up to get into the Academy and then into the Arnageddon Echo seemed a bit weak. So I had Khaerisiel possessed by a shadow demon ( who lead the party onto the shadow road for a Babau, shadows ambush) and when he recovered he remembered that he had also sent Shalelu into the Academy. Sneaky drow trap! The party followed.
The party was repulsed by the beasts within and we finished the session at that point.
I feel the need to revisit why Vrock is there - such a powerful demon bound to wait until someone comes in then you are free seems lame.
The battle has taken 8 days so far. All the NPC elves ( except Khaerisiel ) talk about how rushed it is. The only thing that spurs them on to hurry now is the fact that Shalelu and her squad have apparently disappeared I to the Academy.
Anyway that's my experience so far. I hope it is useful to someone as i have found reading your experiences and thoughts useful. Probably won't play again until March. The players have really enjoyed getting into elven society. I am gonna have to work hard on the next 2 books to keep than elf society immersion going (book 6 is just a bug hunt). I am contemplating incorporating the dungeon magazine adventure about the daughter of lolth and the demon web into this adventure at higher levels but haven't quite worked out how.
The second session started with the half-Orc player deciding to drink the cool-aid and switch characters to become a half elf fighter/ranger. Also another player who couldn't make the first session joined us,mhe played an elf rogue. So I explained this by having some upper level Rath that were visiting Crying Leaf scry the party, teleport in ( essentially about half an hour after the drow fight while they were tidying up) they took all the notes etc, left the rogue in charge of the next mission, tinkered with the half orcs memory so he would think they had fought hobgoblins and left. Before leaving they told the new leader to try and track & kill the drow, then return to Riddleport and tidy up any loose ends before returning to Crying leaf within a month or so.
Part of what I was trying to impart in my portrayal of elves was a lack of the sense of urgency, and a respect for individuals rights and the desire to protect elven lives.
So this next weekend was in essence spent tidying up loose ends. They chased the drow across the seas, eventually caught & killed them. They played around with the noqual and returned to Riddleport to extricate themselves. Then, just before deciding to sail to the Mierani forest, they returned to the island to deal with the ghost as they had promised. They went to where the wraith ( who i had toughened up a bit) was and the dice turned against them - 4 out of 7 of them died and became wraiths. The others fled the island and returned to the Meirani forest shattered at what had happened.
I am not sure why this took so long. I think it was because they kept failing. They nearly caught the drow twice but the leaders kept getting away before they eventually died. This weekend ended up being almost entirely off script as far as the adventure path goes. They had a couple of nautical adventures etc.
Before running an adventure path I generally comb through the boards and have a look at what other people have done to add to it or change it. These are a great source of inspiration. I run a heavily house ruled version of the game, half way between 3.5 and pathfinder ( so heavily houseruled we have essentially re written the players handbook) with emphasis on minimizing the power spikes. We have played this for about 3 years and are on version 18 of our everchanging draft rules. However i pretty much just use the stats in the ap, the monster manual or a bestiary as I see fit. Most of this isn't important but I am putting it out there so if something I say later doesn't gel with the rules you will know why.
Also the group I run ap's with can only meet 2-3 times a year when we go away and play Friday evening to Sunday evening, generally finishing 1 book per weekend session ( although we got through 2 in the first session). We have been playing together for between 20-30 years.
In starting this ap I took heed of those who ran elf only campaigns and went with that. The players were told they would be members of, or associated with, the Shin'Rakorath which I described as being a private mercenary force heavily tied to the elven nation and a cross between special forces military and secret agents. I strongly suggested they be elves, though I said half elves and to a lesser extent gnomes were acceptable. I said that while they could be any race these were the best fit for a roleplaying sense. I advised against half-orcs or dwarves. I also said they should be mostly good but could be neutral leaning toward good, and I recommended against playing paladins and to go with more standard elven stereotypes to get the most from the game.
As part of the way I decided to assist in the immersion side of things I decided that the Shin'Rakorath ( or Rath as they were known for short) were
I also decided that as a result of the dreadful events that occurred in the upper echelons of the Winter Council which precipitated the whole ap there would be some elements of the Winter Council that wanted to find out what Allevrah was up to, others just want to find and to silence her to protect the WC, others just maintaining business of drow hunting and secret keeping as usual etc
So first session off they went to Riddleport:
Upon arrival in Riddleport they had two contacts, Kwava who had been observing the city from outside and a half Orc cleric of Calistria ( yes despite my suggestions as to race someone played a half Orc).
They understood that their mission was to track down a renegade elf who was working with the Enemy within the Rains and had come to Riddleport presumably to ally with one or more of the pirates there.
I mixed up how I ran the adventures but essentially followed the script. They could t figure out where this elf was staying in town, but people had seen her talking with the cypher mages, dealing with Cromarky etc. I threw in that they traced this mysterious elf to an inn located out of the city where she had stayed on several occasions. ( here I ran a shadow plane connection adventure to foreshadow the creation of the Armageddon echo). Eventually they found the lair but Despora ( wearing a hat of disguise) got away. They did find a barrel with rotting elven flesh in it ( she had also had recorporeal incarnation cast on her, which had expired), but thought nothing of it ( beyond eww!).
Because they were playing as elven secret agents they didn't get heavily invested in Riddleport, which was fine by me as I had just run crimson throne where the leaving of Korvosa was a bit of a sore point and I heard that had become an issue for groups not wanting to leave Riddleport.
Anyway they had some wierd notes seemingly about the Cyphergate and other stuff written in a combination of elven and some strange language ( under common) and were in the process of trying to figure out where she had gone when the meteor struck.
The children of the void went as expected. The high point for me was when they met the drow. After they killed the sentry drow and headed into the complex the Mierani elf intelligence officer stayed behind, then when he though no one was looking he poured acid on the drow faces to hide their elven nature and tossed the bodies into the sea. Unfortunately the others saw this and were a bit freaked out.
The first session finished with quite a few of the drow escaping ( inculding Despora again) and the intelligence officers explaining the secret of the existence of the drow to their companions and everyone agreeing to acid up the dead dark elves and feed them to the orca.
Yep I get all that. It's just that what the two elf gates located near to the drow city means is
1.Before the elves left golarion before earthfall The elves had explored the underground realms sufficiently, and with enough permanence, to build 2 of their special gates in this relatively small section of it/ or the drow have built elf gates but not really using them ( which doesn't seem to be the case)
Point 1 seems odd as elves arent really deep earth explorers, and to the extent they are they are just visitors rather than establishing and building gates - or it means elves used to be much more widely spread over the world. Ie why aren't these elf gates everywhere on the surface if they are located 2 within 50 miles underground?
3 means why aren't the evil drow using this to wreak evil - or are drow more of a mind their own business kind of evil?
I don't have such an issue with point 3 it just seems contrary to my understanding of pre star fall elves that they would be building gates in the underdark.
When my players come across these underground gates they will be perplexed and it may seem a bit convenient and gamey.
Ok, that helps. Thanks.
It just feels odd that the ancient elves were mucking around in the Darklands enough to build 2 gates in such relatively close proximity to each other.
I re-read the bit about how the Celwynian gate was directed - Ley lines path etc. I might go with the reprogramming of the Celwynian gate created a second portal that then connected the pre existing link. Or maybe just go with some other way back to the surface.
New wtf moment.
So the elf gates were created before earth fall by ancient elves before the existence of the Drow right?
Why are there two such gates in the Darklands ( one leading to Celwynian so the PC's can enter and one leading to Kyonin so the PC's can exit)?
Why is the one that leads to Kyonin not guarded at either end ( to stop incursions or spies) - or used by either side to send through spies to spy in the other?
In fact the whole premise of this part of the AP is that the PC's are urged to take the unique opportunity to pass through the corrupted elf gate to go to the drow city when
Am I missing something that makes this make sense?
Agreed, BBT uses stereotypes like any sitcom.
Mark Sweetman wrote:
Objectively, no, subjectively stated.
And that's the point, some of those people that don't like it, don't like it because they subjectively perceive that it is "merciless" , that it reinforces " every single negative stereotype" etc ( where are the overweight bearded gamers dammit?!)
this is not my perception
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
I Did not know that, I will have to track it down for a look see.( I like Friends too)
Doodlebug I pretty much agree with your Mum ( although Leonard's my favorite - Sheldon is too selfish imo, even if he probably can't help it). I would say would say it pokes fun at geeks and everyone else in the show ( geek or not).
I like BBT and Community ( position declared ) and IMO
1. BBT is a more mainstream sitcom than Community ( but they are both sitcoms). As part of the sitcom formula the characters have flaws and are periodically the butt of jokes. The characters flaws and idiosyncrasies are exaggerated, they tend to do stupid things and it generally works out alright in the end. Like all sitcoms, like Friends - Monica had her neat freak, competitiveness exaggerated, Joey is enfatuated by food and is dumb. The purpose of these exaggerated characteristics is to poke fun at these fictional characters weaknesses as they may be reflected in people we know. This is intentional, they are not intending to say all people who like things to be neat are OCD or hyper competitive, or chefs,. Or that all people who love food are dumb.
2. In BBT they do this same thing. The premise of the show is that a bunch of socially awkward but academically intelligent types struggle to be less socially awkward. By it's sitcom nature it pokes fun at all of the main characters. I guess they could have been socially awkward by being jocks or frat boys but that has probably been done before - in hundreds of frat boy movies. But they weren't, they were geeks. The geek characters ( especially leonard )are meant to be identified with and sympathized with to some extent. Yes their foibles are meant to be laughed at but that has been the same since I Love Lucy.
3. If you know people who think that because you like star trek or play RPG's you must be like Sheldon or Raj etc that is their ignorance. It is the same if they believe that all people of a certain gender should be more nurturing or all people of a certain race be better at certain sports. That ignorance is not the shows issue, it is the issue of the person who holds that belief. Just because Howard is Jewish and comes from a broken home with an odd mother relationship doesn't mean anything about anyone except Howard. BBT portrays its main characters as having certain flaws. It has portrayed scientists as cool motorcycle riding womanisers as well. So what? Surely just because William Shatner portrayed a Crazy lawyer in Boston legal people don't believe all lawyers in Boston are like Denny Crane? ( though that would be freaky)
4. The portrayal of the BBT characters does laugh at them but it also shows them as caring smart vulnerable people. In one episode Penny ( the non geek girl) watches a show recommended by Leonard ( her boyfriend ) because she is envious of the passion she sees the geeks have in the things they like. It's a passion she doesn't really have for anything. The geek hobbies are non mainstream, they are not baseball - to suggest they should not be treated as being a bit different is pointless.
5. Community has no greater relevance to the debate than Friends or Seinfeild. It is a show about characters who ( in the main) are not geeks. Jeff is a selfish lawyer, Annie is a swat, Shirley is a Christian mum, Pierce is an old bigot, Troy is a jock, Britta is a protester, Abed is somewhat Aspergers who lives his life through TV. They are not portrayed as particularly geeky in their hobbies ( apart from Abed and later Troy but that is more TV geek ). When they do portray RPG like in the second season Advanced Dungeons & Dragons episode the relevant person that is the reason they play the game is an outsider to the group who they have previously mocked and referred to as 'Fat Neil' . He is expressly described as a loser who is considering committing suicide due to his sucky life choices ( epitomized by his being overweight, playing D&D and consequently having no friends). How is this a good portrayal of geeks? The game itself ( in which senor chang plays an awesome Drow) involves a scene where one player intimately describes sex with an NPC ( thus crossing into the other roleplaying reference) . I get it's a joke but do your friends think that is an accurate portrayal of role players, or what happens in roleplaying games? How is this portrayal better than BBT.
6. Finally as someone who enjoys both these shows, but believes they are merely sitcoms and therefore no more realistic than the story about two men who walk into a bar one of them holding a duck ( ie i believe men and bars exist, and men sometimes carry ducks or walk into bars - but on this occasion it's just the set up for a joke, i do not draw any adverse inferences against bar patrons, bar tenders or duck owners because of it). I say if you don't like them it doesn't necessarily mean its badly written, or that you are too dumb to get it. It just might mean it doesn't appeal to your sense of humor. I thoroughly enjoy the warmth beneath the sense of humor of both the shows .
judas 147 wrote:
The BA is the most appealing thing in DDN for me, the possibility of still being able to valuably participate in melee even if you aren't the melee specialist and of a high level character being able to be effected by a group of low level monsters is key.
For mine the over specialization of roles, rules mastery and the just add more plusses to make you better is where 3e went wrong & Pathfinder sadly just went further down the path.
I currently prefer Savage Worlds where as characters advance they get more tricks, more breadth but generally not specialized in their own niche that no-one else can enter. If DDN brings that approach I will be very happy.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Except that needing a 12 vs needing a 16 means you are about twice as likely to succeed ( 45% vs 25%) and needing a 20 vs needing a 16 means you are only 1/5 as likely to succeed ( 25% vs 5% ) . So having advantage makes you twice as good, but having disadvantage doesn't make you twice as bad it makes you 5 times worse.
This is a significant point of varying chances of success. If you need to roll a 19 to succeed getting a 1 point penalty halves you chance of success. It is equivalent of getting a 4 point penalty when you need a 13 to succeed.
But the point you make is valid ( as it ever was in no advantage / disadvantage systems) the relevant issue is getting the DC right. If the system was +4/-4instead of roll 2d20 having disadvantage on a roll where you needed a 16 would be massive and having advantage would be good but not great.
1. Can someone link the SKR comment that gave the idea for this thread.
2. My homebrew solution is to make 'death' from adventuring much less likely. As long as you have the body and can cast enough cures to get it up to a certain negative point within about a minute you do not have the 'dead' condition; you have the 'at deaths door' condition, this condition means you cannot be healed above 0 hp until you have a weeks rest and when you can you have a negative level for a period of time ( or until you gain a level) The raise dead spell removes this weeks requirement and reduces the time , or if cast within 1 hour you don't get the negative level.
The effect is that people really only die if their bodies are abandoned or lost or the bad guys rip them to shreds, behead them etc. at that point you need serious magic to come back.
The logic is that if you are going to make death easy to ignore it isn't really death in the classic fantasy sense is it? Don't call it death, call it something else then when you kill the bad guy it is a win and when you risk your life it actually matters.
3. My other game I play savage worlds, death means the end. The (same) players love the actual character risk, they don't find it unfun.
My recollection is that some who have run Blackwall Keep first ran a prequel with the players playing standard militia in the Keep and interacting with the infected & lizard men etc. I suggest finding that ( on the boards, probably in archives somewhere) as it sounds very different.
Another possible event for your characters future would be to try and intertwine Expedition to Greyhawk Ruins when they get to Greyhawk. This would require some foreshadowing now most likely
I also recall reading an interesting plot development for the faceless one
Otherwise I suggest focus on foreshadowing and npc depth through things other than journals, adventure paths always need more foreshadowing.
My feeling is that the GM stepped over the line but its difficult to judge. You haven't given a lot of background info. This appears to be a social game situation issue, so i would say depends a little on the game system and a lot on the social game situation.
It also depends how personally you identify with the PC as to how personally violated you feel. Would you feel violated if the result was you agree to break your sacred oath and reveal the secret formula enabling the bad npc to poison the towns well supply? In this instance as i understand it you were new to the game? the player objected, did they object because they felt uncomfortable with the ruling on control or the sex or because they felt the GM had the rules mechanic wrong ?
In some ( ok most) social game situations I would consider the idea of mental domination leading to sex inappropriate but not all. Sometimes the playing group does accept this as ok.
I don't really understand the game system. If the system was that on failing the roll the character became mentally dominated and lost their free will, and the social game situation allowed rape ( as well as the usual murder and torture) to be part of the game then it might be ok.
I have run a game (D&D 3.5 rule set) where a bunch of good pcs were disguised as evil, it was set at the time in a drow city marketplace where I ( male dm) had a charming but evil male drow vampire charm/ seduce a PC ( female human fighter - played by female player - a friend) and teleport her away to his city apartment, for nefarious unspecified purposes. She rolled back to back 20's on diplomacy rolls while the charm was being set up and failed her save - so i ruled he became obsessed with her ( maybe i had watched too much Buffy or read too much True Blood and Anne Rice ). The other players ( including her husband and my wife) panicked and tracked her down. When they burst into the apartment a short time later the encounter was resolved without fighting and through role playing. The player of the fighter defended her new 'friend' and despite numerous dispels and being taken away she couldnt clearly recall what happened and maintained he was just misunderstood etc. It set up a great role playing session that continued on as she adopted the typical vampire victim/star crossed lover role. Eventually some demons captured the vamp and you guessed it the PCs were gearing up for the rescue mission.
All the players loved it. It added to the game. It wouldn't have been possible without player/ GM comfort. I acknowledge we never mentioned sex, I deliberately made that time when she was first captured blank to allow people to read into it what they felt comfortable with.
If I hadn't felt comfortable, and the players hadnt felt comfortable we would have missed out on some good flavor to our game story.
Now as I read vampires the non horrible brute ones nearly always have a sexual component to their behavior, the obsession, the domination, the seduction, the feeding etc. I just felt if we were going to deal with smooth talking vamps it would include that element if it came up. Of course I credit the player with much of that interaction. Had she decided upon being rescued to pull out her sword and skewer the evil creep I would have rolled the dice and played out the fight. Or even earlier if she had indicated a lack of comfort with the seduction side of the domination i would have made him less the charmer and more the black & white villain. But the starting point, the Npc seducing and taking away the pc was a path I took as GM that I was able to take due to the social game situation.
you can now get the softcover version for about $30 at rpgnow. Good deal!
I have read but not played it. I love the story and character/npc interaction. Cant tell how the mechanics would pan out
I have used all sorts of variations. I had con 14 and one other stat of choice 16 roll the rest in order once to allow people some control but some chaos. Roll 2 characters choose the best. Reroll one stat, whatever. As long as the dice mean something they eliminate the dump stat, which is the most important thing.
You have to remember in old school it generally didn't matter mechanically if you had a 9 or a 14 they we're just for flavor. That matters in pathfinder, it's a 3 point difference. So old school you could roll and if one person got two 16's and 4 10's they were no worse off than someone getting 2 16's and 4 14's
Neither way is better. But if you really do want old school flavor you gotta roll.
Besides everyone knows dwarven coins are at best 10 karat gold. ; )
1. Roll for stats
* the first adventure I ran when 3e came out in 2000 was a converted 2e campaign Night Below. I stretched it to 20th level and it took about 7 years of fortnightly gaming to complete and it was a ball. We had an almost TPK at 4th or 5th level ( one survivor who recruited a new bunch of adventurers) and another at 13/14th ( one survivor who brought the dead ones back to life).
Gnoll Bard wrote:
Well I didn't say they didn't exist in 1e ( there were bettere and worse optiona but they were a few choices that you made ) what I said was that they are more a thing of 3e and I expanded on what I meant ( more customization = more possibility for optimization etc) & I was being sincere.
Optimization is not antithetical to RP. Characters if RPed are far more than the sum of their bonuses. I mean if you are against optimization have you considered playing an aristocrat or expert.
But practical optimizationers or power gamers ( " charop" from hereon ) or whatever you call it is also largely a 3e + thing isn't it?
Greater ability to customize = greater ability to optimize.
I played 1e not 2e and didn't play 2e kits rules so I guess they could have had some charop potential but in my recollection was that the whole charop thing in 1e involved not choosing to play a monk or thief or half Orc cleric ( level limit 4 d'oh!) . Or maybe choosing to use a Longsword instead of a broadsword or battle axe. But that was it.
The big charop moment came after you rolled up your stats.
Once bill had a human fighter with a Longsword if I had a human fighter with a longsword it didn't matter how much better he knew the rules of the game we would still be comparable as characters. ( stats aside, if he had 18/00 str and I had 16 I would be better off switching it to int and being a magic user)
Power gamers were the monty haul guys and that was a play style choice of the campaign, not of members within the campaign.
So it kinda makes sense that someone hankering for the old style feel of the game is turned of by charop and the way it can ( not always does) warp the balance of a party and effect enjoyment.
Btw when I saw the suggestion that getting players to write paragraphs about their characters for in game rewards to encourage roleplaying I knew that in my group the main charop player would definitely complete this task for his 225gp - making no difference to how he actually played in game. The best role players might, but would summarize their character in probably a shorter word count and still be better roleplayers in game.
Bill Webb wrote:
Thank you for this. This is helpful to get an understanding of the whole process and cost.
For mine as a prepaid person from outside USA ( ie postage conscious) who is interested in adventures and content but not model boats, miniatures, sigmed books and the like I would like to be able to get the new adventure and the players guide. If this didn't add overly to postage I would want them as print but if it did I would want them as PDF 's . But the new adventure seems to require going to the $225 level - if it was available as a reasonably priced add on it may lure me in. Again if I was a dm planning on running this I would convince my players to get pdf's of the players guides each.
Hope that helps.
Re attacks of opportunity:
A possible suggestion is to allow attacks of opportunity ONLY if you leave a threatened square ( we always had the ' if you run away the other guy gets a free hit' rule) and any other thing that might provoke an attack of opportunity just drops your AC by 2 until your next turn.
We didn't allow casting if 'in combat' .
To the OP: I have to say pathfinder is a very rules intensive game with a fair focus on the grid style combat. This is a big part of 3.x gaming and for the style of gaming it is well done imo. For some players I know the grid is the thing that brought them back to gaming. You do appear to be trying to hack it into something it is not. AD&D 1e is available to buy and play, other rules lite versions of D&D may be better as they may evoke the less controlled combat style you are looking for. I found crossing over too confusing and going back the old rules seemed clunky ( nostalgia sometimes means leaving memories alone) so play Savage Worlds when I want rules lite grid free gaming.
Edit : having glanced at the Op recent dot points about how they will make it feel like AD&D I may have gone off on a tangent and focused too much on the feel of combat in the two games. Maybe to change the feel is by racial class restrictions, wilderness danger and making the PC's weaker but keeping the current combat system. That would be fine as a campaign flavor that has an old school feel.
Jeremy Smith wrote:
I was also surprised at the cost and the level of the fund goal. I pledged for the Savage Worlds Land of Fire Kickstarter. That was an Arabian style campaign full color 192 page hardback book and for approx $ 61 you got the book plus PDF and a couple of extra PDF ' s ( players guides, adventure etc ).
Their goal was only $15,000.00 ( they only just made it - yes savage worlds vs pathfinder makes a big difference but still)
Plus their PDF players guide was only $11 so I was able to cajole and bribe with in game benefits my players to each buy one.
FGG doesn't seem to have a players guide PDF level and at $30 plus overseas postage the book doesn't have the same appeal.
I know from a distance you can't accurately compare one project with another as to quality of binding etc and I am sure FGG has done the math. This isn't meant as a criticism at all, each product is different and I am sure this one will be great.
Bill Dunn wrote:
Fair cop guv. We didn't use the gp = xp rule, and played pretty fast & loose with the whole cost of training issue as well. But hey those were DMG rules. Did anyone use all the 1e rules?
There were heaps of rules we ignored, adapted or interpreted ( weapon speed, weapon vs armor etc) This would have sucked for us if we ever played tournament but we only did that once in over 30 years of gaming.
But my point about going up levels slower ( in actual game play) may have been a little exaggerated but it took longer than in 3.x right?
IMO here are some differences between AD&D & 3.x/pathfinder.
1. The main combat and encounter rules are now in the PHB not the DMG meaning the feel of the game is one of less control and trust reposing in the DM's hands. The 'rule for everything' has taken away from the intuitive feel of the game imo. This is largely a psychological thing but to help the old world feel I suggest what has been said above about being a little fast and loose with the rules.
2. The character creation system is more like you are designing a build than rolling up a character. The magic deck builders in my group love this part. In old school you designed mechs or cars for car wars, you rolled up characters and they had abilities that sometimes suited a class, and others that didn't. Roll 4d6 in order, allow one swap and one reroll.
3. Adventures were less clinically designed. They became even more clinical in 4e with each encounter almost becoming its own mini war game. But even in 3e I (as dm and player) found myself thinking more about the encounter than the dungeon. The encounters always have to be balanced ( don't put in an encounter that is more than 4 cr's different from the party etc). This lead to some great dynamic encounters but also some monotony like the BBEG being 4 encounters into the dungeon etc. In the giant series for example you meet the big encounter in G1 almost straight away, in G2 it's way at the back, in G 3 you meet one BBEG virtually in the first room and another 3/4 of the way through the dungeon. Try and have less organized dungeon design.
4. Characters level up so much faster. I once ran a 1e game in high school and uni and beyond lasting about 15 years where the characters ended up about 18 th level. I like being able to experience some high level gaming every now and again but you now barely get to get the feeling of being 3rd level when suddenly you are 5th. We used to go through 5-10 dungeons to go up a level. Now that is a 1st - 20th campaign. What that means is if you meet a BBEG you can't beat ( say a rakshassa at 2nd level) just wander off adventuring for a month or two and you will be 8th+ level and you can splat him. Old school ( Monty haul excepted) was IMO a lower level game. Take a long time to go up levels.
4. Finally the characters are tougher now. More hit points, less SOD effects means longer to determine a way through the encounter, less risk, more warning if things are going wrong. less risk means less value to what was gained.
Most of these have one thing in common, chaos over order. The other rule is that adventuring is hard, risky and the rewards you earn are well earned.
I don't think heroic fantasy is always about highly superior specimens, IMO it's more about overcoming tremendous difficulties and fighting against the odds. Even if you are just a gifted tatooine farm boy, or a hobbit with some natural gifts you are not a superhero and everyone warns you to stay home. Optimization style character parties is more about doing the job everyone else would struggle to do, but you find it easier because of your superior natural gifts, because you are better than them. Like the Avengers.
I prefer my heroic fantasy rpg like the former and my superhero rpg like the latter but each are valid styles of play IMO.
Sorry I was being facetious.
Lots of heavily armed dudes, unless that's a good thing?
Agreed, however from my reading of the thread its the people who live in America who want to keep guns who make the primary disparaging remarks about American culture. When asked why do you beleive you need to have the weapons most other countries have controlled freely available the response is sometimes along the lines of "to protect myself from gangs of armed home invading criminals/the government" or "it's necessary because of where we live (ie USA)" or "a gun control law brought in here like in other countries (Italy/Australia/UK) wouldnt be obeyed here because of our culture".
The non americans tend to say - "its not that bad, you can do it, dont be afraid just give up your guns - we did it and it has reduced gun deaths" Now apart from perhaps ascribing fear of being attacked to the American (pro gun)people (which fear has been stated as existing) and being mildly disparaging by disagreeing with them that it is a rational fear this is not really a culture bash.
I am Australian, I struggle to believe any of those reasons are actually rational. I believe your culture is better than that. I beleive that you dont have as much a reason to be afraid as some seem to think. Its the american pro gun lobby who says it isnt IMO.
I just read an article by Nicholas Kristof in the NY times which said In Australia in 1996 we had a mass shooting which resulted in political courage to impose some restrictions on gun ownership, mostly automatic weapons etc. there was a buy back scheme so they could be handed in. It reduced the number of guns by 20% ( so 80% still out there) but it restricted the type of guns. In the 18 years prior we had 13 mass killings but none in the 14 years since. In addition firearm murder rate down 50% and firearm suicide down 40%.
Worth a try?
war of the burning sky is 3pp, is awesome, is its own world and for good neutral PC's, has plenty of support stuff so thats a plus for a new GM and is available at rpgnow in pdf & softcover for $30.
Shackeld city hardcover is $30 is great, is a bit disjointed but the boards here have some awesome support material for it, its for good/neutral PC's and was the 'first adventure path 1-20' that was run in dungeon magazine.
both are 3.5e (i think war of the burning sky is 4e as well, ) so if you are a pathfinder player they need a bit of tweaking.
But i have to say for the price they are both more than worth it
Looking forward to them both. I am a pre-orderer for RC and will get Ebon Shroud if it is made.
At one point Nic mentioned a savage worlds conversion for the stuff he was making (cant recall if it was just RC or both). Is this still a possibility?
We havent given it serious time, quite the opposite I must admit. We tried the first playtest a few times and did not like the effect of the advantage/disadvantage system. We found the impact too much and too all emcompassing- every time you get an advantage its the same mechanical benefit feels blah, so we abandoned it. I cant really comment on how the other changes effected the game (like fighter dice or whatever) as we had given up by then.
Now I recognize that we may not have given it a fair go but my group has limited gaming time so if we dont like a system after a few tries we move onto something we do like.
Having said this I will buy D&D Next when it comes out, and I will run it. I dont know how long my group will last.
(off topic)I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that WOTC put a whole lot of effort into making the start up adventure a compelling, knock the ball out of the park storyline, with awesome villain characters, brilliant combat encounters and the like right at the start. If they do then that will keep us playing, it will make us want to find out what is going on in the adventure. It will mean we will overlook things that irk us to start with and maybe by the time the great adventure is over we will want to play more and any complaints with the system will be lessened by familiarity.
I was that player that kept wanting to play PF. What I would do is try to get them hooked is ask them to play one or two sessions instead of a full campaign. That why they don't feel committed, and if they do like the system they will ask you to run it again. If not then at least you know you tried, and they will know they won't be asked again if they don't a particular game.
Agreed, propose running a 'one-shot', two or three session adventure. It May be the genre of fantasy that they like, maybe they aren't interested in a switch to horror investigation, or superheroes or whatever in which case your first foray you should stick with a fantasy game. But, Most importantly pick and run a simple game system. If they are exclusively pathfinder players ( which is a rules intensive game ) they probably expect any new system to be a fair bit of work to just get the hang of and they are comfortable with the level of skill with the system they know. Run something that they can get into straight away.
The below ideas are all someone elses but suit the urban environment
1. have a look at the Styes adventures for crazy odd cults urban stuff
2 here is an adventure thread/series that might work- a shadowy figure who later turns out to be the mayor (or someone else important) is gathering bits for a ritual to become a half fiend. he has a vampire working for him who helps collect the bits, such as bones from a particular family crypt, a specal medallion from the museum, a delivery from an exotic location etc. He also tries to kill particular person who has a half fiend bane sword and so forth. The PC's get involved initially becuase the vamp kills a few people and they hunt him down, but eventually they realise whats going on (the bard gets knowledge rolls or whatever). after the vamp is taken down the real bad guy becomes apparrent as he seeks to culminate the ritual with a mass slaughter. (Buffy season 3)
3. A heavily pregnant wealthy woman is kidnapped, the husband seeks help to deliver the ransom. it goes bad as the kidnappers snatch the husband and the ransom & head for an abandoned district. turns out wifey is a crazy cultists about to give birth to an omen like child and wants the husband as a sacrifice (dungeon87- tharizduns love child + potential The Omen mash up)
4. kids are sick and dying, turns out they are all kids of the thieves guild which has been cursed for being involved in the theft of a maguffin and killing the guardian by burning him to death. The youngest of them will die first. A fey ghost is doing the deed. he is weak but getting more powerful. he can only be defeated by destroying the bauble he was guarding, but it has been sold to a wizard who knew what would happen but has taken magical precautions (nightmare on elm street)- find out whats happening, get the bauble back & save the children
I have no issue with the way you ran that event alientude...
See now in my day of playing 1e we had a liberal interpretation of the rules. I would read this effect to be that the paladin got sucked into the astral plane ( "the void" ) and is floating there lost forever ....until he is found. This seems like a great opportunity for a side adventure/ campaign ( at 11th level I recommend one of the giyhyanki ones in dungeon magazine - maybe that awesome one set in the giyhyanki city) If the pcs had the ability to scry they could search for their lost companion, then learn plane shift or get a scroll of limited wish or greater teleport or whatever and go find him.
If the party doesn't bother to look for him then instead next time someone dies just have him turn up with a friendly astral deva ( ( do they still exist?) who has quested him to end the threat of Slumbering Tsar - then he becomes the replacement character. If two people die, maybe the deva can join the party as well.
ST saga is an epic scale dungeon in all ways, I agree cheap tawdry death ain't much fun but it can be.
My issue with ST is I will never have the time to run it or play in it ( sigh)
Does either the spell or the amulet remove the need to sleep? If so which?