I just picked up the SCAP Hardcover at GenCon a few weeks ago and can't wait to start running it in little under a month.
I have a couple of questions though about the large number of deaths that I'm seeing reported in these forums.
1. When your PCs die (especially in droves or the same PC repeatedly) how do you handle raising? Do you just rely on Raise Dead spell? If so, from whom/where? and how do the PCs defray the cost of 5,000gp especially if the total costs are 10k or 15k for several deaths?
2. With all these deaths occurring, do you find the PCs falling behind in levels and having even a MORE difficult time with the challenges resulting in more deaths (and keep on repeating till the PCs give up)?
3. When a PC DOES die, what are some good suggestions for getting the player/PC back into the adventure and action as quickly as possible without making death seem like a completely trivial thing?
Excellent questions! As a supposed "Killer-DM" (players can be so hurtful!), here's how I handle it ...
When PCs die, they have to pay the raise dead (or resurrection) cost, as normal -- I really don't recommend you waive this. However, there is a cheaper option: Reincarnate. At low levels, your players simply have to re-roll characters, not having that sort of gold lying about.
If the PCs (as a group) fall way behind, you may need to run some "padding" adventures between chapters to get them back up to speed. If it's just one unlucky soul who's wearing the red shirt, as a lower level character he will gain a higher proportion of experience, and catch up reasonably quickly -- unless he keeps dying, of course.
If the PCs are far into an adventure, and popping off for a day or two to get someone raised, you could do a number of things - let a PC run an NPC goon, a hireling, or even run the bad guys in combat. You don't want to treat death trivially, or your players won't be prudent, cautious, and think.
On that last point, if you find your PCs are dying like bugs, sit down after the session and hash out what went wrong. Are your players using smart tactics, and the resources at their disposal? Are they checking for traps? Are they healing themselves? While the SCAP is nasty-nasty, and you don't have an utterly bizarre party composition, if the PCs are meeting challenge ratings equal to their Level, or one or two higher occassionally, there shouldn't be any reason that PCs die ... too often.
In our group, we've got 6 players, and one player is on his second character (and his first character was reincarnated as an orc), another has been raised, but all of them have come close to dying at some point.
I'm looking for a SCAP Obituary thread and I can't find one. My husband GMs most Pathfinder adventure paths for us and recommends I read the obituaries because a) they're funny and b) I can see where all the death comes in. Having said that, I've killed 3 characters so far, one of them the party has paid to raise.
I've got 3 players and 1 DPC that the players control (so my husband has 2 characters to worry about). So we've basically got a 4 man team in a game written for 6. I'm hoping one of our players will move back soon and we can have 5 characters, but they've just got through the
We'll see how it goes, anyone with a nifty fix, please let me know.
Personally, and I am finishing Lord of Oblivion this week with my PC's..
I Pathfinderized the game. The Paladin is way awesome. The rogue, who is a "tripper" is brutal, and the Monk, who is a grappler is awesome...I have (and am) converting most of the bad guys with Hero Labs, to PF, and they are tough, but I think I needed to follow the loot distribution better in the AP, because my PC's, while even a level behind, seem to be having a field day..
I have had about 5 deaths so far...but 2 of them have been sacrifices by the Paladin...and,iam running 5-6 PC's..so to me, a group of 4 would be awesome...
If you are running it "pathfinder" and don't have hero lab..shoot me a message..I would gladly share my conversions...
Thanks Patman, at the moment they're just about holding their own against things, although there have been 3 deaths so far and 1 TPK, (although only 2 characters actually 'died' the rest stabilised on negative HP) I'm not sure converting the monsters is worth the extra time. Sadly we have to put the campaign on hold for a couple of months, but I'm hoping when we get back to it we can get straight back in. :)