I am running CotCT right now. I think that a most useful thing is having the players writing down (prior to beginning the campaign) their stories, so you can have a nice first scene.
In my case, I asked the players to choose a "mundane" profession. I wanted them to feel they were not heroes at all, kind of Frodo or Bilbo. One of them choosed to run a tavern, so I had the first scene there. It was a nice first session. It was the city anniversary, and a lot of people were there having a drink. The (secretly) beloved of one of the pcs was there, acomppanied by a handsome and rich man (or halfling, in this case). I told the tavern owner that in the city anniversary the owner of the house had to tell a tale about the founding of the city (I made him improvise, but I also had given the players a pdf with the city history).
So... every campaign is different, but I wanted this to feel very low profile. I wanted them to have some nice feelings about the city, so there were a lot of neighbours there, all of them kind in some way, a lot of good food and drink (described the korvosan delicacies), music and tales, children with their parents, some patriotic hails... kind of 4th july for those from USA, i think.
Glitterdust is a Conjuration (Creation) spell, so it creates something "real"; in this case, it is a "cloud of golden particles". it doesn't say anything about being a light effect, it just seems that the particles "sparkle", which I think it just means that they reflect light.
Rogue: "I check for traps in the wole corridor, for 20 rounds every square"
Let's take a 16th level sorcerer (I use 16th because that's where most APs end), with CHA 24 (+7 bonus). A CR 16 creature's average saves go from 14 (bad saves) to 19 (good saves). If the sorcerer is lucky or wise and targets the bad save, his chances of affecting it go from 15% (spell level 1) to 50% (level 8). Using persistent spell, it increases the chances by 13% (spell level 1) to 24% (level 6), for a total of 28% to 64%. But if he uses heighten, he can increase the chances to 50%, and the the original spell level doesn't matter.
From these numbers we see that persistent is more efficient and even more effective in some cases.
Now let's see what happens when a sorcerer targets the good save or the creature is of a greater CR (save bonus 19). The initial chances of affecting the target go from 5% to 25%. Using Persistent increases the chances only by 5% if the spell is level 1st to 4th (to 10%), and by 13% (to 28%) if the spell is 6th level. Heighten can increase the chances of any spell to 25%.
From these other numbers we see that persistant may be less efficient and less effective than heighten.
So final thoughts:
Heighten is better when you are fighting enemies of relative high CR or/and you don't know which the bad saves are. It is good for the whole range of spells you have, so it is more versatile as you can choose a 1st level spell if it's the right one for that situation. As you level up, you don't really have to change many of the spells you rely on.
PD: Persistant should be better as a whole for the bard, who's got less spells than the sorcerer (so he shouldn't be wasting them), can't heighten to a so higher level, and has good chances via knowledges and abilities to target the bad save.
The purpose of this thread is discussing about the goodness of the Heighten Spell feat when it is taken by a Sorcerer (or an Oracle by the way). Hey maybe this has been taken into these boards before, but I didn't read it.
My point may be broken into:
To show it by example, let's take a sorcerer that is quite focused in hindering (debuffing) his enemies, but also wants to do some damage. He just reached 16th level, and is considering which spell should he choose. Let's say he chooses Irresistible Dance (Maybe there are better spells, but Ive chosen this one for this example as it is very similar to Irresistible Dance). For dealing damage, he usually casts Scorching Ray (among others, this is only for comparison).
If we compare Irresistible Dance vs [Heightened] Hideous Laughter
The DC for both spells is the same, and while ID has got some advantages (esp. for the effective duration and the AoO), the HL spell has a greater range, which makes it more probable to be cast.
What happens if we extend this principles to the whole spell selection? That the sorcerer can choose lower level spells that target will, reflex and fortitude, one specific for undead, another one for creatures with SR.... etc... and then, maybe, Irresistible Dance for that nasty grappling creatures (no somatic, will partial). And all of these, may be cast, if needed, at the highest DC the sorcerer is capable of (or at lower one if he chooses so).
I hope I made my point clear, and please those rather probable English errors.
In room L20 (Grand Ballroom) : "four statues of a beautiful woman
DM Fflash wrote:
Shards of Sin mentions the characters should be level 4 by the end yet Curse states they're 5 at the start. While minor, where was(were) the intended level up(s)?
My PDF of Shards of Sin reads (in advancement track)The PCs should reach 4th level during their exploration of the Ancient Laboratories.
The PCs should be well into 5th level by the end of this adventure.
Let's see if this example is better:You have a chicken and eat it.
I give you another chicken. You eat it too.
You say "I only ate one chicken more".
I say "You have eaten today double the food you had".
Are you right? Yes. Am I right? Yes.
Now let's say I don't know how many chickens you have eaten. If I give you one chicken, you can still say "I only ate one chicken more". But what determines the utility of a new chicken is how many chickens you ate before. If you didn't ate anything before, that chicken is really meaningful to calm your hunger; if you ate 20 chickens (well let's say 19 to avoid corner cases of critical chickens), the new one is not very useful to you.
So... if you have a 20-sided die, and you only hit with a natural 20, and then I buff you for a +1 to hit, you have 5% more chances of hitting than before, but you ALSO have doubled the die sides that mean a success hit.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
If what you want is maximizing the group DPR (ie the sum of the individual DPRs), you don't buff the one that is hitting less or the one that is hitting more, but the one that is hitting harder.
Let's say you have a fighter (hits 80% of the time for 10 hp, DPR 8) and a cleric (hits 50% of the time for 8 hp, DPR 4). If we follow the "buff the one hitting less" principle, we'll buff the cleric. Let's say it is a +2 bonus, the cleric dpr increases to: 60% * 8 = 4.8, which is a 20% increase. That buff, applied to the fighter, would have been an increase of 12.5% (DPR goes from 8 to 9). Hey look like the cleric option is better.
But for the group, the total DPR has gone from 12 (fighter 8 + cleric 4) to 12.8 (Fighter 8 + Cleric 4.8)
This is because the greater increase (in %) is countered by the lower base which we are increasing.
Remember that a +1 to hit means adding 5% of your average damage per hit (ie how hard you hit) to your DPR.
If the cleric hits 50% of the time for 12 hp (DPR 6), a +2 bunus is still a 20% increase (to 7.2), BUT this time the plain DPR increase is 1.2 (while the fighter is 1).
There are some reasons though (like tactical ones), to buff the cleric.
A +1 to hit is not +5% damage: as many people has stated before, if your chances were 5% before applying that +1, a +1 to hit means +100% on average or expected damage per attack roll.
A +1 to hit is +5% damage: add 5% of your average damage ___per hit___ to your expected damage ____per attack roll_____
"+1 = +5% Damage is a perfectly accurate statement. It refers to average damage done, not damage in any particular scenario."
Tabulated increase in DPR for a +1 bonus (without criticals):
90% 95% 5,56%
Lowest DPR increase: 5,56%
So, for any random scenario we can say that DPR increase should be roughly 20%.
I stated it before:
For a weapon that crits on 20 x3, CR=5%, CM=2 -->CR*CM = 10%
CR*CM is the average damage that the critical adds.
You're saying the same thing:
Let's take your example: 90% chance of hitting. Let's take a damage roll of 2d6+3. That's an average damage of 10 hp when he hits. Per round the expected damage is
What he says is:
9 + 0.5 = 9.5
Average damage per hit (DPH): sum your max and min damage and divide by 2.
So... a 7% or a 10% more damage does not make sense unless you define what is "damage", because:
EDIT: Some wrong maths :P
Its better to think about it the other way. Start with a table that shows a relationship of skill bonus and monsters, with the time you think it's right for that monster to break the ward. For ex. a Demon (Babau) [CR 6, attack +12 dmg 1d8+7] could break a ward of +10 skill bonus in 48 hours, a ward of +3 skill bonus in 3 hours, and a ward of +20 skill bonus in 72 hours. He couldn't break a wall of +30 or more.
Then choose a measure of the monster "power", it colud be attack bonus or damage, but I would choose CR to account for possible uses of spells or other abilities. It also allows to add any number of monsters if they are working together to break the ward (2 CR 1 monsters equal 1 CR 3 monster, etc.)
Then you may have to add some randomness to the time needed to break, using the table you made before. For ex. roll 3d6, and substract 10. That is the % of time to increase or reduce from the average. For a Babau vs a +10 skill bonus ward, with an average of 48 hours, if you roll a 13 it comes for a +30% time or about 15 hours more.
Im also trying to lead my players to Eel's End. But I have done it other way. First of all, they have friends in the city, which Ive been introducing to them. An old couple, neighbourgs of one Pc, have their house burned. They rescue them from fire, and they find out that an imp is the starter of the fire. Some other houses of the district are burned, too. Now, a lawyer (hired by the cheliax ambassador, who also hired the imps that are burning the houses) has been trying to buy houses for the last weeks in that district. The group is now investigating about the lawyer, and hopefully they'll know who pays him, and will try to stop the ambassador.
I'd begin showing examples of actual fantasy characters that could only be translated to PF as multiclassing characters. For ex. Elric, Conan, Gilthanas... If they haven't read about them, pick some from the materials they read or watch on tv (animation series, films, ...)
I would also limit them to those options that you think are fine; for ex. giving each of them two options to choose from.
Maybe you could tweak some rules here. Let's say the fighter is very interested in being a wizard, but he's got just 12 in INT. You could say him that as he train as a wizard (level 1 and 2) he'll be less strong (drop his STR) and more intelligent (rise INT).
Same problem here. We stopped the campaign some time ago, but I remember that the Magnimar Mayor was a really disgusting and selfish man (I don't know if he was supposed to be so, because our GM usually plays characters like that), who told us to go to Turtleback to learn what happened there, offering a 300 gp reward. I was so tired of this man that I told my GM outright "I am gonna go because I know it's supposed to go there, but it's not a hook for my character in any possible way". There was no hint of the shiedron which could attract us, if I remember it right.
Have you thought in writing down the deeds of the campaign? In this forums there are multiple examples of this. Your kids could and should help, of course. Then, after they end an adventure, you can print the whole thing adding drawings, maps, images of the npcs and locations, all with a nice "fantasy" font. They just wrote a book!
I'm doing this and you can see it here:
As a general rule, I allow the players to do whatever they want if that would be possible in the "real" world ... with the "real" world consecuences. If you spend all your gold you can't buy food or shelter, but for this you don't need much gold. You can "teach" them how to save introducing a new cool magic item that a local wizard made. Then you can say "If you had saved your money you could buy now this item, but you just only have a lot of weapons".
Keeping time: I use a word document to keep the passing of time or some other information about the campaign. I recommend just buy a (paper) notebook so you write everyting you need to remember or track.
Character sheets: you use them as you want; usually, you learn to keep a blank sheet along your character sheet to write down information as pnc names, gold and hp, so you don't have to rewrite the whole information in a new sheet (and/or buy a new one)
Spell name Wiz Cleric Bard
From my spells DB. All Bard 6th level spells, which are the same level for other classes, except 5:
Question: What are you going to do if the bonus starts to exceed +20?
You have to roll over/equal the DC-20 or below/equal your bonus-20OR if you want to see the other way, you always add 20 to your roll, and 40 if you roll below your bonus -20.
Example my bonus is +23 and AC is 38. I hit if I roll 18+ or 3-.
What Lord Snow said. For a group of six players, you should have eoncounters 50% more hard. That means 50% more monsters or add 1 to the level of each NPC or the advanced template for monsters. If you don't scale now, they will have less xp and will advance slower. This could be for worse when facing enemies with area attacks and high DCs.
My best advice for new DMs is the next one:
Insist your players to develope their characters background and personality.
This has a lot of beneficial influences on a game:
How to achieve it. Creating a whole new life can be overwhelming, so it is fine to do it slowly. I usually ask my players to begin with a broad description of the Pc story, and then I ask them to bring each session a bit (a paragraph or so) of new information. I state which information should it be and also stablish a reward (1-2% of the pc level xp). So for example this is what I asked:
I try to mix the questions, one week personality, one week story.
I am the father of a 2 year boy and i'm very glad to read how you are introducing them to the game! The other two fellows I play with just have bring children so in a few years we can play all together!
Now, I came up with a method for not having to do sums when checking skills and attacks. Maybe it could be useful for you, as it is easier for kids:
I came up with this method after reading one thread in which one of the players (new to the game) complained about having to sum the attack modifier all the time. I don't now if it has been developed before (maybe it's very old because it's really simple), but as I haven't seen it I will take credit for it.
In this method, when you roll 1d20, you don't add the modifier to the roll. You are succesful if you roll equal or higher the DC (the AC for an attack) or if you roll lower or equal your bonus in that skill or attack. What we are doing here is transforming the roll directly into the modified roll.
For DCs higher than 20, you should roll lower/equal than your bonus and higher/equal than the DC-20. Example: If the DC is 22 and your bonus is +5, you should roll 2-5.
Critical hits: you rolled your bonus number (which would be a 20).
I think this method could be useful for some people:
please share thoughts comments and possible developments
I tried to have this question answered by FAQ in 2009. Staff response: no reply required. Perhaps now that there's a 800+ posts thread we'll be more lucky.
A 13th level ranger with favored enemy humans (not so weird if you are usually fighting shoantis) and a human bane bolt (something obvious if he were going to kill the queen) could do the following damage in a critical:
Critical: 1d10x2+2d10+1d6+2d10+2d6+(6+1+8+1)x2 = 6d10+3d6+32
Average: 76 hp
I'm sure there are other modifiers that could be applied by drinking potions or having a wizard or cleric casting Greater Magic Weapon, etc.
Maybe some people want to post their created stuff here. Myself I will run hopefully this AP after my CotCT campaign (so maybe a year or two from now). Anyways, I will share the maps I will make for my VTT application, as I have done with the CotCT maps. I suppose they could be good for printing too (100 pixels = 5').
For now I have finished Natalya's Hideout:
In the CotCT AP i'm using an excel sheet to generate random numbers. I take some of them and look in the Korvosa guide which pages those numbers correspond. For ex. if the number is 17 I look at the page 17, which has information about two taverns and the temple of Asmodeus. Another column in the excel sheet generate the row number, for the case I am not quite sure of the subject of the rumor. For ex. the row reads "Most of the prof its made by the semi-independent Gilded Orrery funnel directly into the Acadamae’s coffers." Third to sixth column have random Diplomacy rolls for each of my players. Seventh have a formula that tells me if the rumor is false, depending on the rolls, but this is not definitive if I don't think it should.
Seven Days to the Grave
Escape from Old Korvosa
A History of Ashes
I have uploaded HERE
In the link above, there is also the pdf I share with my players with all the information about the campaign, including npcs, maps and session logs (updated by lazy players, so it's half filled). It's also in spanish, but I thought someone would like to have a look.
Meredith Jones wrote:
I'm sorry I have self learned photoshop just a few months ago and don't really master the resolution and size optimization. And neither I thought about printing the maps as I play with a virtual tabletop - Fantasy Grounds. So you will surely find lot of different printing sizes.
Side question - does anyone know where to find the info on a Thaumaturge? I've been upgrading my NPCs to Pathfinder, and I can't find that class anywhere. I'm thinking of just making him a Cleric/Summoner instead.
Same question here. After a bit of research, I found that the real PrC name was "thaumturgist", mainly a "permanent ally summoner":You can see it here
I don't know if I am using this class anyway; I'll see if there are any better PF options.