That's one of the reasons I don't like the ship rules in the players guide. I'm going to try out the rules from Fire as she Bears next time I run in a week or 2, they seem a lot better.
Ram in that book has no CMB check and does a ton more damage too. If you are having issues with the rules it might be a good idea. Its a REALLY good book trust me.
Depends. As a GM the plethora of 3.5 Adventures, settings, traps, monsters, Magic items and crunch is a really good resource. I tend to look and see if there is anything around I can adapt and utilise when I plan/run a game.
My s&s game makes extensive use of Dead Man's Chest (it doess look as if the devs have used this too) and bits from d20 conan Pirate Isles too. However, I dont use 3.5 NPC's or spells I just hero lab them with relevent pf ones to ensure balance. Tome of Horrors PF has really helped too.
BUT I don't let the players use any material as most of what I hear is that it is broken or over powered. I already had one game fold due to 3rd party material abuse and am rather weary of using it now (though I am starting to warm to Rite publishing and some of Super Genius). The players don't seem to care anyway as there are plenty of PF only options availible now (I guess 3 years ago the options were lower so more people were using 3.5 options to spruce their games up).
Seems to me like a really bad peice of journalism to me. No school can ban people from this outside of shool. I think maybe what the school is saying is that they will not be advocating Mothers and Fathers day at the school ie no lessons or activites will mention it or evolve around it. They will instead be observing an international day.
The journalist I think is just posting it as sensationalism to get peoples reactions up...like Hama's.
Used to hate them, never really knew how to make the most out of them.
Im running S&S with a heavy sanbox element, I have random tables for EVERYTHING! Weather, ships, monsters, hazards, shipboard encounters, settlements, treasure, dockside encounters and so on and so on...
Now I would never be without them the amount of really intersting Role-play opertunites that have sprung up by just rolling one thing on a table has really made the game.
For example the players raided a random settlement, the tables gave me a small walled fishing village of natives in huts, rolling on a comlictaion table gave me a spirit protected the site, I rolled on the wandering monster coast table giving me a Coral Golem. So the village had an statue/totem as its centre. Players raided said village, killing the guards and elder, Golem came to life, players ran away with tails between legs barley escaping with thier lives.
Granted I may have thought about something like this but the beauty of tables is that the ideas are instant and can get the imagination flowing during the game prompting many improve sessions with ideas bouncing between you and the players. They break the monotony of an otherwise scripted adventure and keep you as a GM on you're toes.
Love them now, im a true convert.
Yep, seen that one a lot too. Once the helmsman is dead the flaming sphere normally moves on to the Captain...
Oh and never underestimate animate rope, rope trick and unseen servent too. (using the ropes scatterd on deck to hang officers from the rigging upside down)
one pecific spells that I have found to be a pain...
Stone call 2nd level spell. 40ft radius, 20ft high, range 120-130ft ish by book 2 ..that will cover the whole deck, 2d6 bludgeon damage, no save. If you cast on the deck you end up wiping out most of the crew on the target ship with one spell if you roll high enough!
I agree with brvheart, it a REALLY great AP if it's handled correctly. It does need a GM who is pretty experienced as you need to know when to either rack up the pain or slow it down a bit. My players found book 1 to be REALLY punishing but enjoyable at the same time. One thing to try to do is not to have the days on the Wormwood turn into a series of dice rolls. Use the rolls the players make and adapt them, let them Role-play as much as possible, use the crew and NPC's, give them character and flavour, by the end the players should have latched on to some of the crew and they will be like henchmen to them or even full blown PC's to a certain extent. Make Plugg and Scourge menacing and his lackies like school bullies but also give the players some breathing space too, mix some laughs into it if you can. The aim is for the players to gain hatred for Plugg et al and a certain amount of awe, fear and respect for Harrigan when the players see him which can then make things a little easier later on. The best and only way you can tell if the days need condensing is to look at the players. If they are enjoying it let them carry on, if they look bored move it forward. My group were not bored and were enjoying it but it was more a case of them wanting to mutiny as they hated Plugg so much, I knew it would be suicide so I condensed the days had the storm happen on day 10 and the Man's Promise fight happen straight after. Then as soon as the PC's left with Plugg on the Man's Promise I just left them to their own devices. The mutiny happened on night 2 in my eyes at the right time. Be very careful on the island and Grindy caves too, they can be a TPK if you have a bunch of trigger happy run and kill without thinking types. I had one death but we use hero points so he came back (at a price though).
Book 2 is fantastic if you sandbox it after Ricketys. My group were just going up and down the coast raiding ships, villages and spending plunder in ports for nigh on 20 3 hour sessions. they have only just finished Tidewater after roughly 35 sessions of play overall.
My advice is to let the players have the riegns on this one. Stick with the plot and sets when needed but for the most part react to what they do and only railroad them if you need too to further the plot.
I way I think and the way we run is the crew are just the normal everyday sailors on the ship. In game terms this would be all those with the wormwood pirate stats, shipmate stats or sailor stat block. Essentaily any stats the a group share (I would also count any marines on board as well as they would have a group stat block). Anybody else ie those that have thier own stat block are either NPC officers or PC's and are needed to make sure the jobs are done properly and to organise the crew.
The question I can see though is a good point. Does the minimum crew of 10 include EVERYBODY. As has been pointed out if there is a storm or a problem with the ship everyone pitches in to help (rigging, masts, squarring the deck etc). I personaly would say that looking at it, this would include everybody bar the Captian and the Navigator. The Captain needs to make sure everyone is doing things the way they need to be done and issuing orders and the Navigator does what he/she always does and steers the ship.
So my thinking is 10 crew minimum to crew the ship (rigging, masts and deck hands),PLUS the Captian to keep the crew in order and the Navigator to steer as he won't be able to do anything else, that would make it a minimum of 12 bodies on the ship..possibly?
However, This I would say would only be if the ship is in dire straits (limping back to port, crew decimated etc). You would only be able to sail the ocean, the remaining crew would start to get mutinous, there would be no cooked food and no way of firing any weapons(basically you are signing a death warrant to everyone on board).
A NORMAL everyday journey would need the minimium crew of 20 (that being a single stat block for all of them), The Captain, First Mate and Navigator, cook etc. Also remember of you have a min of 20 crew (single stat block) you can't fire any siege weapons effectivly leaving you a sitting duck. So a functional ship in my opinion needs a minimum of 24 bodies with a gunners mate and the crew to man any siege engines on top of that if needed (eg a ship with 3 ballistas would need 28 bodies on board to function).
We use the crit fumble house rule but that's only because we are all od school and ALL love fumbles.
If you don't like them ask the other players, if they agree then you need to ask the GM collectivley to do away with them. If you are the only one on the table who dosnt like them then you may have problems....
Yep I agree pretty much with the last 2 posters. I'll just add to read this forum. There are some really good tips to make the AP really good. It's not too difficult to do either. There is a wonderful post on making a Sandbox out of the AP and getting the most out of it I think its exporing the shackles if i recall. Definatley do as Dazz said and read it all through first as some of the plot hooks and NPC motivations don't show up until later volumes. The first part is ruthless so be careful and the 21 days on the wormwood can become a bit tedious if not careful (I cut them down to 12 in the end). Book 2 suffers from the same type of end dungeon as 1, I just used a mini island treasure hunt instead. Book 3 is kind of all over the place and back and forth, Im not there yet so im still figuring out whether I want to change it or not. Book 4 as the other 2 said but im not bothered as its a change of pace and my players won't mind dry feet for a bit. Part 5 is OK but as the others say the BBEG dies here. Easy fix just bring him back at the end of 6, speaking of which 6 is good but I would suggest switching it round. Have the cave first then finish with the fleet battle.
Also I would suggest using Fire as She Bears for the ship combat, Dead Man's Chest has some great ideas (ship travel, wind, weather tables for every season, better navigation rules, random shipboard event tables and a great island treasure hunt mini adventure to boot).
Yeah as Turin says. I did a little research. Golems are not as easy to make as you first think. With the max level of the AP only reaching 14 you will be limited to what you can make. You're class will also limit you too.
Gnome Wizard is the best way to go I think but in order to make golems you need caster levels, spells and the relevent skills. Although it may say you can make a Flesh golem at 8th level you need to be able to cast geas/quest which you can't get until level 11 as its a 6th level spell.
the list of Golems you can create within the level framework are as follows:
Carrion Golem 8th level
Clay Golem 11th level but needs access to cleric spells.
Flesh Golem 11th level
Wood Golem 12th level
Alchemical golem 11th level
Bone golem 11th level
Glass golem 10th level but needs access to flame strike divine spell.
This means you cant really start building until the tail end of book 3. As im gming it i can tell you without spoiling things that you will not have 11 days spare to build even 1 carrion golem until later though. As I said earlier it will more than likely be towards the end of book 4/start of book 5.
Forget Golems. Think constructs, maybe some small clockworks and if you are going wonderous item creation think animated figurehead maybe instead if you want to go down this route.
Personaly as Shaun says something else might be more benefical.
Probably between book 4 and 5 then is best as there maybe some downtime (should be 11th level by then)and book 6 there will be no time at all I would think as its fast paced, you will finish at around level 14,unless the gm adds anything else after. Personally I can't see you making much use out craft construct to be honest. But it might work and it sounds fun. I'd also ask the GM as he might say the same as me or he could make some allowances along the way.
Not sure how it would work though. Cost wise to staff the entire crew would be astromomical.
Golems start at 18'000gp to build plus half in raw materials so thats 27'000gp. Not to put too much of a point on it but im not sure if you would have the funds handy to do this. Running a ship, crew and eventually a fleet is expensive in itself. Plunder will only get you so much gold etc and that would need to be shared out amoung other players and crew and pay for the upkeep of the ship. Also not sure if you would have the time or the place to actaully build them either. There is not much downtime in this AP and you will be on board a ship for most of it, probaly helping with the running of it I would have thought. A single construct takes 1 day per 1'0000gp to make so for a wood golem you are looking at 20 days.
You may be able to squeeze 2-3 out later in the AP maybe? But would it be worth the feats and money involved?
It could work but personally I have no idea what to suggest. You may want to talk to the other players first to find out what they are playing and work with them otherwise you may find you're plan of a crew of golems or constucts not fitting very well with what they have in mind.
Only that i added more to the wasp attack. I had a fiendish queen wasp move in to the watchtower. The wasps were bringing the villagers there and cocooning them on the back wall like a scene from aliens. Made the search for the lookout a bit more interesting. Sorting the nagas problem is a good idea too
It's not too difficult to convert the ships over. All you need is length and width. Sail ship I did as 100ft by 40ft instead. I gave them 3 masts too as well as a poop/stern castle and bow castle. Seems to work ok I think. Mostly it's a case of round up or round down really. Speed is different though, it works out about twice as fast dependent on wind, sail ship with a base speed of 9 can move 18 squares if with the wind. You may need to use either a bigger table if using inch squares or change to cm squares for ship combat. Also Daily ship speed is about twice too. I decided to keep the pf rules for daily speed otherwise traveling from one side of the shackles to the other would take around 3 days. Other than that I think it's a great rule set for s&s
Pretty much as above but remember you need a minimum of 20 crew per ship, a captain, navigator, cook and gunners mate at a minimum for the officers too.
This is where my guys have become stuck, they have 2 ships, enough crew but are lacking officers. They decided in the end to dock the ship at a safe port until they can get more officers. Hireing crew is one thing, finding capable and trustworthy officers is another.
Yes I have used 1 so far, the silver toucan. I changed it to a parrot and gave used the queen's magpie magic item in UE then added a clockwork spy template. I then built a small adventure around it using Smugglers Shiv island and the Vegepygmies venerating it as a god in a stepped pyramid. The PC's managed to grab it and run (Indy style). Thye now have something like Bobo the owl in the original Clash of the Titans on thier ship.
The others I picked 10 and stated them up as either magic or cursed items (using other items as guides). For example the skeletal cutlass is a +3 cursed intelgent cutlass with vicous template. When picked up it fuses with the hand and the flesh of the arm drops away. The weapon is pretty powerful though so it compensates for this. The only way to get rid of it is with death (it drops from the hand)remove curse or wish and the victim must dangle the arm in a pool of lava (nasty I know but once in a while there needs to be a good ol pirate cursed item thrown in).
I intend to use the other 10 items as random treasure either on ships or within settlements the pc's decide to raid.
Quick question. How do you work out where the below the waterline part of the ship is?
The ship in designing has 1 base deck of 5 locations by 2 locations, a poopdeck and a bow castle giving me 14 hull locations. It has 2 floors in the base deck each 10 feet tall, crew and galley in 1 and cargo below that. Do I assume the 20ft high base deck, the bottom say 5ft is below the waterline or is it something else that im missing?
And yes it is straightforward and it looks like it works incredibly well. I'm playing around with it now to refine it for my s&s game.
Great job :)
Its a good idea but the only probelm I see (its a small one though) is that in not including Wormwood you have to somehow try and incorporate Harrigan in to the plot as the players nemesis. In wormwood having him as the captain gave a glimpse of how this guy operates and the need to bring him down later, its not big an deal though and is easily done.
The other small issue I see are the NPC cew members introduced in wormwood (Sandara, Conch, Owlbear and Rosie) again not a big problem as you could always either use the castaway NPC (Aerys was a good one if I remember) or the Wormwood NPC's on Shiv with the players as they are washed up on the beach, simple solution.
Personally Lord Fyre I really wish I had used you're Idea as the start but as my group had played through book 1-2 and part of 3 of Seperpents Skull before it folded I couldn't use it.
To Anyone just starting or wanting to start using shiv instead of Wormwood is such a good idea as that book is just so damn good. I also like the idea of using the temple as a Ghol Gan ruin which you could tie in to Emptty Eyes too.
Oh well if I ever get to run it again....
Dead easy. You run smuggelers Shiv up to the cannibal camp and have them recused by a ship...the Wormwood...part 1 of skull and shackels then starts with no problems. It means chopping certain parts out of the shiv adventure though
Or you could just carry on with the island and then have them rescued as above but chance the sub plot of the temple. Of course if you did this the players would be 3 levels higher than they should be when they start wormwood.
I have run serpents skull and hated it form book 2 onwards. Im running skull and shackels and both me and the players love it.
Not really no, there are tactics for the monsters NPC's but its only one possible way to deal with the situation, more like pointers really.
As any GM will tell you those players are pseky things and will 9 times out of 10 do something you have not planned for (create pit anyone?). Therefore when it comes to combat yes you can have a round by round plan for the BBEG or monster of the night but at the end of the day its the players that dictate how combat is run.
In my experience round 1 follow written tactic, round 2 if you are lucky but normaly its throw written tactics out the window as players have done something unpredictable...improvise, adapt, look at BBEG/Monster stats and do something else.
In other words yes it probably is the inexperianced GM's not using them. But they can be quiet compliacted to learn. I'm sure given time once they have mastered the basic combat system they will start to add some in, indead some monsters such as snakes or giant frogs have grab, and constrict so grapple would need to be implimented for these critters at the very least.
In essence it's a Marmite syndrome..(if you don't know what this is it's a rather nice tasting yeast product similar to aussie vegemite, and you either love it or hate it)
You either love an autofail/success or you hate it. Ethier way is good so long as everybody is happy with it. The probelm I think starts when one player out the group hates the idea.
Our group has been using the houserule for years, when they roll a 1 there is normally a groan, they are so used to it I almost never have to adjudicate, 9 times out of 10 they adapt the situation and let me know what they were probably doing (failed perception check, tying shoes or something). Auto success with a 20 you do have to be careful with though, sometimes this is not going to cut the mustard and needs looking at eg disable traps or any other very daramatic moment, its at this point I don't allow an auto success and use the normal skill rules.
I may be wrong but I think most of the game systems I have read have some kind of fumble system for any dice roll, shadowrun and Savage Worlds I think of off the top of my head and no doubt countless more. I think Pathfinder is one of the few games that don't have one, which is maybe why a lot of people like this kind of system and make theri own houserule for something that does not exist but they like.
Raw yep you can succeed on a 1.
Our group, the what seems to be a common houserule, 1 fumble (no matter what you are rolling for). I also like the idea backlash for spells that go wrong but we dont use them so much in pathfinder (only for concentration rolls).
It's a house rule our group has used for ANY game system since 1st ed. It works for us so we use it, don't really care if its RAW or not..its fun. We try to make sure its not to detrimental or lethal though, nothing like the tables in MERP! Things like bowstrings snapping, falling, stumbling, making noises when stealthing.
To be honest it always seems a bit odd that you can succeed even if you roll a 1. I mean even in real life you can't succeed everytime and there is ALWAYS a chance you will stuff something up (you might be the best computer techniction in the company but there is always the chance you will press the wrong button that will bring the whole damn server down,or maybe you are a top chef, you leave the food in the oven for some reason and it comes out ruined nobodys perfect). A roll of 1 in my opinion should always be a fumble for this reason, a fail is just a fail but there should always be a way to adjudicate a catasrophic fail.
One point here to make and one only. Why do you feel the need to point out on a forum board about the pathfinder rpg that you are christian or for that matter ANY religous/political/sexual orientation at all?
In all the post I have read on this forum not one do I see any need at all to bring it up. It's just asking for trouble if you do. Not everybody is of the same religous bent as you im afraid (me being one of them though I respect ANY religion).
So my point here is carry on going on as many forums as you like but just bear in mind the moment you say something like I'm a Christian you will instantly get some kind of backlash whether you like it or not, you may be proud of it but not everyone shares the same views I'm afraid.
My advice. Just don't mention it at all, there really is no need to and just enjoy this forum as it is
Starting to read it looks great. Now..how to integarte it or parts of it into S&S. I am at the right point, the last bit of fever sea so an ideal time to integrate would be from Port Peril. Im thinking of doing something to get rid of or make the spy investigation in book 3 more intersting and open ended as oppossed to the back and forth that it is. No doubt when I have finished reading ideas will start to flow.
Great job though
Yes, sounds fun and kudos to you for pulling it off BUT I'm with most of the posters here.
The only reason you managed to pull it off is due to crit house rules, weird class combinations (you may be playtesting it but I think this may show the class might by over balanced maybe?).However, the biggest reason was due to a GM not actually playing the Kraken to its strengths and not rally knowing what he's doing (its easliy done though especailly if the encounter does not go to plan).
I think under normal circumatances it might not have played out the way it did for you.
The problem with posting this is that you're GM/and/or the group will get pulled apart for something that clearly should not have happened sorry.
But hey, you had fun so who cares
All seems fine to me, shame about the magic system, the Conan one is really rather good. The Khitian Scholar in my group really loved it and normally only likes normal wizards, its his favorite charcter in his 30+ years of roleplaying.
Maybe use the Words of Power from UM? or there is a runecasting system in Northlands for the Midgard campaign the might help a little (im think of using this).
I agree with you about the Druid, the Witch and sorcerer are also good class fits too. Level range is good as is the treasure aspect (conan uses something similar, next to no magic items, no + weapons and wealth is usually squandered on getting drunk, feasting, spreading the wealth and whores).
There are an awful lot of ideas you have in the conan rulebook maybe you have read the conan book, it seems that way.
Technology too seems about right and its dead easy to acheive now with all the bone, stone, bronze rules. Bone armour?
I have been thinking along the same lines as you but its kind of a backburner at the mo. Im taking the Conan ruleset, pathfindering aspects of it and then using the Northlands Saga with the Linorm sourcebook and seeing what I can do with it. My group has played the Conan game and Pathfinder but for some reason they like Conan better. I think its because its less magic heavy. Sure the combat is a bit harder but it has a slightly better feel with the dodge and parry and armour as dr makes so much more sense. As you say though I think my biggest problem is going to be converting the pathfinder monsters over
Never had nightwatches on the wormwood, I kind of thought that may have been taken in to account.
As soon as they had they started on th Man's Promise however I did. I decided to have a skeleton crew at night with Scourge in control and Plugg in charge of the day shift.
Once they left for the fever sea in part 2 my group decided on a full complient of crew both day and night. They have 1 ship with 50 crew, the 3 players are in the days shift and the night shift has the NPC's as the officers on watch. They also have enough crew to man the weapons day and night without penalties.
Sounds good :)
Pretty similar for my group (apart from consolidting the days that is). They hated Scourge and Plugg and Coundn't wait to mutiny (one of the reasons I cut the days a bit, they were getting restless and wanted them off the ship, I knew it would be suicide for them so i speeded things up a bit, they mutinied night 2 of the mans promise trip).
I kept all the encounters in part 1 and 2 just cut back on the number of days where nothing happened. The bilge was a masterpiece. The Druid player was locked in and using a combination of obscuring mist he manged to kill both of them leaving the murder weapon and arrangning the bodies to look like they killed each other, a good bluff roll made it all work so Harrigan belived him (although it was another notch on the hate meter for Plugg). They formed lasting friendships with Conch and Rosie who became the officers for the PC's later along with Sandara and Kroop and Ratty is the lookout in the crows nest on the day shift.
As for the rum ration...the cooks mate started the game as an alcholic anyway. Bad news for him as he constantley felt the lash from Scourge though for being drunk pretty much most of the time. The Druid managed to get away with purify water a few times and the swashbuckler has bluff and sleight of hand so managed to fake it most of the time so it worked out pretty much OK in the end.
Sounds like a good idea with the Lacedons in the cave. Gibbet sounds OK too so long as its not dropped into the water (could be deadly as they will be trapped inside though, OK if its just left hanging I guess).
The Devilfish can be a nightmare but my guys somehow managed to bypass it and sneak past it (after it nearly killed one of them they used daze and and went hell for leather in to the next room then on the way out they left it alone (long story but it involved a flask), then legged it out.
What we know is that...it's going to be expensive.... (if you buy everything that looks like it's going to be useful/helpful that is)
I count the following so far (I guess there could be more as the year is not finished yet)
AP 1-6 Plus the map pack.
Does anyone know if all of these are needed to run the AP to its best or are there certina ones you could leave out if needs be?
Looking forward to it though :))
In answer to your'e questions you need to ask the writers and play testers I guess only they can give you the answers, other than that read the threads here in particular the obituary thread. Yes part 1 is lethal is the answer you are looking for...you need to adapt it if its not for you is the answer.
Wormwood...No it was not worse than I make it sound for my group really I chose to change or adapt things I don't run the adventures as written I see them as a canvas to work with. The jobs were kept as was the punishments and the rum ration though the the sessions we played were some of the best I have ever run. The players had great fun and no it was not tedious at all for me or them had yes but not tedious, the crew they made friendly helped on that front (Rosie and Conch in for the most part, some very comic moments). There are a on of great ideas here I used them to flesh things out and make it better that's all (rolling the jobs for the crew in adavance for example helped).
I just felt that as each session consisted of 2-3 days it would have taken ages to get to the next part and I wanted to speed it up a bit (and yes the lashings were played out, the cooks mate getting it nearly everyday). As I said you will need to ask the devs as to whether it was play tested and how many deaths they had.
The lethal aspect of the island had been mentioned in plenty of threads so its not worth repeating here again. if you didn't like what you saw just change it.
At the ned of the day its what you as a GM makes of it that matters.
If you plan on playing more I strongly suggest to read the forums as there are some truly great ideas on here which flesh out the parts that are missing and make it really good. I can't recommend this enough my group is having a blast with this one (Tip...get Dead man's chest by necromancer games as well, it is a god send).
As a lot of people have pointed out part 1 of this AP is NOT a cakewalk and is not for a beginner GM. There are a lot of parts in the book which are is not careful can be a TPK.
I think it all depends how you handle it and how you're group like to play to be honest. The 20 days on the wormwood I think work better if you're group are Role-players.
The swarms and the deadliness of the island have been mentioned everywhere in these forums. Its not a new point.
As with all written adventures you need to modify it for the group you are running with, not everything will play out exactley as the book says.
Ninja I can see but an android? Does seem a little overpowered for the first book of the path to me.
Immune to disease, exhaustion, fatique along with +4 bonus for poison saves? That kind of says that it won't suffer from the rum ration, daliy job roles will not have any effect and the island (swarms)is going to be a complete cake walk for it...
I can't see any drawbacks for the race so yes I would consider it to be a tad overpowered for this game.
The stat block in the innersea bestiary has no mention of how the thing is powered or what its made of which is kind of vague to me. Metal of somekind? Seawater corrodes it a bit?
Personally as a GM I would have said yes to the Ninja but no to the android race.
When my players are... I no longer feel bad for DMs who hate on whiny players, also i have results about the entire party of wizards thing
Best advice I can see, don't rise to anything, don't antagonise anyone by killing them off, don't be angry just learn from it and move on. As much as it my bug you and you want to make a point by killing them off and teach them a lesson it will just make things worse for you and them.
Throw in the towel and say you may revisit it another time and do something else instead or have a break.
Don't give in to anger...it leads to the Darkside...
When my players are... I no longer feel bad for DMs who hate on whiny players, also i have results about the entire party of wizards thing
well I shall defend you anyway...kind of.
Rule number 1 for a GM...The players will ALWAYS do what you least expect and have a habit of wrecking you're best made plans.
I think it all went wrong when you designed the adventure setting, spending ages getting every detail right for the kind of game YOU would love to play in. Along come the players...we DON'T want to play that kind of game, we have our own ideas what we want to play..
Game goes downhill VERY quickly, players get bored, GM gets frustrated and angry even though he tries to help them as much as possible.
4 solutions spring to mind.
Hey guys, I want to run a Pathfinder game, I have a few ideas but I need you're help, first off do you want to make you're caharcters up or give me an idea what you want to play?
Then when you have the players ideas of what they want to play you can then decide on the game world and the adventure.
In other words it sounds like you had the right intenstions but went round it the wrong way with the group of players you have.
Treat it as a learnign experinence. It sounds like you can create an awesome world and adventure so don't beat yourself up about it.
Min-maxing is referring to an 18 (or 20) high stat and a 7 low stat, I'd recommend doing this only if you feel your character is going to be underpowered if he/she doesn't, otherwise you're entering munchkin territory.
I second this and would not recommend it, the Druid in my group decided on an 18 stat for str and 15 for wis keeping a fairly high char. No idea why but he gave himself an 8 in dex even when I said are you sure about this. He suffered a lot in the early levels as he tended to wade in to combat and although he hit well if he got hit...he got hit badly to the point where he died once. Also his skills suffered too S&S needs pretty good acrobatics and climb early on, with him in the minuses for those skills (he also wore hide armour adding even more penalties) it was very dangerous for him.
Point buy makes you think more and to be honest from the feedback from the players they enjoyed the learning curve
The other players were very careful with the point buy favouring a more even spread with no scores below 10. Needless to say they faired better.
So Advice..just be careful where you add the stats and you will be fine you need to think what it will impact if you have a low ability score and how you want to play you're charcter,
Whatever roll you make and EVEN if it is a success a it's the players that will need to make the choice if they believe it or not, you may not be able to convince them. No amount of dice rolling is going to be able to give you that information i'm afraid. If so you are not really giving the players any kind of choice and you end up railroading them to a certain extent.
As above, roll the dice if the npc or player succeeds they are telling the truth and they SHOULD believe them.
No more rolls needed as its just going to be the same end result, don't complicate matters, they either believe it or they don't then its just a case of good old role-playing not roll-playing i'm afraid.
As in real life there is only so much you can do, either someone believes you or they don't, no amount of convincing is going to sway the mind without some kind of proof.
I Gm about 3/4 of the time. It used to be 50/50 but the other guys don't seem to have the time or dont feel they need to now. I'm running s&s on book 2 and have at least another year or 2 of play left In out yet. The other guys take over when I start to get burnout, say after 20-30 sessions to give me a break for a month or 2. The fillers are either 1st ed or savage worlds. The trouble is I would really like to play a pathfinder game but have never had the chance, nor will I in my current group as I am the only one with the books and everyone else likes to play it and no one wants to run it, they marvel at my grasp of the rules and wonder how I do it lol ( in other words they find it too complicated to Gm but love to play the game)
In my opinion the point buy system is great. Although the old school rolling dice has works is does tend to produce a very uneven party. Some players may roll high and some low producing 1 or 2 more powerful players which could outshine the others. The point buy system is a lot fairer as all players start off on the same footing, you will either have a balanced character or one that is good in one or 2 areas and poor in others depending how you add the points (tip...try to leave a odd number or 2 so when you level up at level 4 one of the stats will increase for the better).
I just think its a confusing rule that contridicts the other so the best course of action that I can see is either.
a) Get an official responce as to how its used with differnt kinds of vision/sight. or Until then....
b) Just make a damn judgement call and house rule it with everybody else at the table and stick with it. The argument could go on and on and on and on with no clear winner as everybody seems to have a different opinion on how it works. If you want to use it as written then fine, if you don't agree with it be sure the player of the shadowdancer is aware of the ruling BEFORE they decide to play one otherwise you may have one fed up playeron you're hands.
Remember its a fantasy role-playing game its not meant to be realistic (if thats the way you play though that's fine but not everybody wants things to be ultra realistic)
Above all EVERBODY is meant to be having fun.