|Myron Pauls Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Winnipeg aka NoStrings|
|Stormfriend RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|
|Andrei Buters Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Melbourne aka KestlerGunner|
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / Pathfinder Society GM Discussion
I have now judged PFS tables three times and each time there has been at least one point during the session that has been a great moment for the players.
1. and 2. In Service to Lore
Ambush fight: each time half or more of the table is down on the ground unconscious or dying while half or more of the bad guys are still living, the casters and ranged who are left come through with a couple of well timed crits and just barely save the party.
3. and my personal favorite so far comes from: To Delve the Dungeon Deep
In the fight with the Skulk Illusionist, the skulk hides against the wall, the caster sends a magic missile in the area the skulk is expected to be, hits for a few damage. Next turn the ranger shoots at the now reveled skulk hitting right through the head right between the eyes with a confirmed crit for triple damage of 21 points, leaving it to fall to the floor to bleed out.
Anyone else have any great table moments where the party prevailed or didn't at a critical point?
Blood Under Absalom, tier 10-11.
Alexander Damocles, Sorcerer 9/Oracle of Lore 1/Paladin 1
We grind it out to the final fight, and the Barbarian and the Sorc short their will save on Glitterdust. And then 3 water elementals show up. The monk can't grapple em, but he can try to hold em off (with DR, he isn't doing much here...). Which leaves me to do something. Dispel magic on the glitterdust for the Sorc so she can cast spells to actually hurt stuff (I'm a buffer, and those elementals sure didn't need a buff!). Kissed the caster level *EXACTLY*. Had a boon for signiture spell on my Dispel Magic, which is what saved that. Sorc begins to selective fireball the hell out of the room. Barbarian gets dropped through his stoneskin to the floor, and stabilizes. Damocles and Sarai manage to smack the suckers to death using some magic missiles and some nifty defensive casting. Huzzah, we win! K, bring up the barbarian, get ready to claim our prize....but why are we in init? Oh. Cause an elder fire elemental showed up...who has DR to block all of the monks attacks. Monk total defense, Casters just spam magic missile. Elder Fire Elemental gets taken out after 5-6 rounds (poor barbaran could only hide in the back). Drop it, low level crows about its lesser elemental victory. We shout back "Elder elemental, magic missile only. SUCK EM!". So, surely we won now, right? I mean, we're only mostly dead and running low on....aww hell. Monks. 3 of em. Sarai hastes, our Monk goes to tangle up two, and the barbarian and I start wailing on one monk (Note, nothing in this fight has been able to be targeted by my smite). We can't really hit the effing monk, and their reflex saves won't let the offensive sorc fireball them. So.....MAGIC MISSILE TIME! Barbarian goes down again, but stabilizes. So...yeah. Crap. Damocles, in just a robe, now tanks a monk, swinging his sword a few times but mostly body blocking for the Sorc who is dropping maximized magic missiles. My last magic missile takes out our monk. Our monk manages to kill off one of theirs, and then we start spamming the last one. Our monk grinds him down with a punishing flurry of blows and a bleed effect that really added up. Our table finished our set of monks first, triggering a cascading effect of lower challenges for the rest of the tables, who dropped theirs to end it before a 2nd wave of monks could hit us.
We ended it with our monk at 10 HP and 10 points of DR left in his stone skin. And me at 17 hit points, and a decent stone skin left, but will within flurry range to drop. A party, set up for a nasty challenge, overcame through sheer bloody determination, spells, and 43 charges from a cure light wand.
TEAM SUICIDE JOCKEYS FOR THE WIN!!!!
I once ran a group of 4 low-level clerics through City of Strangers, Part 1 & 2. It was an interesting couple of sessions. They all had decent armour, and low attack bonuses, so the typical combat went something like this:
I think each scenario took about 6 hours to play, but everyone had fun. It sped up a bit when they got the hang of aiding another on attack rolls, but I think they had an average DPR of 5 for the entire party.
My favorite moment had to be playing a scenario with a couple of very enthusiastic brothers who were both under 10. Both were playing rogues. At one point, having maneuvered into flanking positions, they both cheered and yelled, "Alright, we got him in a rogue sandwich!" and punctuated that sentence with a high five.
That sheer glee in the game is precious and amazing to partake in -- even if second-hand.
So at the end, we find out about the trade agreements. And the entire party has a gianormous arguement about who gets the trade agreement. In the end, my cleric of Gozreh decides to hold onto it because both parties involved decided to be haters and not tell us the truth. So she decided and declared that the trade agreements should instead belong to the Pathfinder Society since they were both being dishonest and for my hard work and money.
So we take the trade agreements, and when Amara Li asks if we find any trade agreements I just straight up tell her no.
Sense Motive: 10 vs. my bluff of NAT 20!!
The entire party desperately tried to give me away as a result so they could take it and sell it, but upon hearing that they would receive nothing for their work in comparison to what the Society will do for them, they quickly realized that I was in the right and gave in. :D
In the end on my chronicle sheet, Sarta wrote on my chronicle sheet "Silver Tongued". So now I have deemed her Miss Ondrea Stormslayer, the "Silver Tongued" Cleric of Gozreh, member of the Silver Crusade!
In the end, I am reminded why the Intros Series is one of the most fun and insane adventures in Pathfinder Society.
Blood Under Absalom
Four man party, me as an Undeadlord (before the nerf)
So i dress up my undead companion along with the rest of our group to make us a five man troupe. Given clubs and told not to do lethal damage to our opponents as they can't do any to us. We get on stage and I send "Nigeal" to the other side. With a decent disguise check and them failing their perception checks, they think he's a normal person and begin wailing on him. Yea me an another member of the team play to the crowd while the other members make short work of the opposing troupe.
That same game, we climb down into the graveyard to face the monk that will let us into the final area. Our GM has an elaborate set up, the board is made of sty. with much detail, has had made mini of the gong we are to ring, a custom monk. I mean A+ on the visuals here. Combat begins, I win Init. and have my "Nigeal" go first. He charges and crits. I then confirm the crit. with another 20. My companion is wielding a scythe, I roll damage, max damage. This is at a Con so their are still some people getting read the description of the room and then the hear the move on signal.
My party was protecting an NPC in a building as the (corrupt) town guard demanded entry and threatened to break in and kill us all. The party had the main door well prepared, so I took my heavily-armored fighter over to the side door. Wanting to fight on my terms instead of theirs, I opened the door and stood in the doorway as the captain of the guard came to engage me one-on-one.
After a couple of swings, a pair of ghouls approached outside.
I wished the BBEG luck, and closed the door on both him and the ghouls.
The party is in persuit of the BBE, and get to a building with two NPC guards outside. Uthdan barbarian types. Plainly they do not want to persue the BBE into the building, and so we push our "Face" PC to the front to tell them that we'll handle it.
Yeah, this fight was handled by the women and children - and one of the ladies was pregnant.
We Be Goblins.
The rogue has been badly poisoned, and essentially sits out the fighting in the final area. The BBEG proceeds to wipe the floor with the other three. The rogue enters the fray by leaping down onto the BBEG's animal compaion, knocking it out, and barely manages to get a potion down the cleric's throat. After a long drawn-out battle that had the fighter going down multiple times, they finally win without losing anybody.
This reminds me of a good one.
Underground tunnel system. We open the door to see some derro and mites with large jars. The jars are filled with centipedes, enough of em to drop two swarms on my fighter. I rush further into the hall, bottlenecking all the NPCs from getting into the room.
I start getting eaten alive, and the cleric throws up a wind wall to keep the swarms out of the room. My Andoran companions cry out that they need a mite alive, so I keep soaking the swarm and pick up the unconscious faction mission NPC and throw him back towards the group. The derro have been unloading crossbows into me, but can't hit s%%%, so after another round of failed attacks on their part, I step back through the door.
There's a moment where the derro see me give a haggard smile, look down at the centipedes who turn to converge on them (swarms go after the closest target) and slam the door shut. We listen to them scream and get eaten for a couple of rounds, then open the door and toast the swarm.
We Be Goblins:
The PCs fought and killed the giant spider and decided that, since Lotsalegs was so scary, they would try to "hollow out" the carcass and use it to scare off any random encounters in the swamp.
Of course, they decided that they needed to be more "spidery", so they constantly twitched the carcass's legs and yelled, "GRRAARR! I'm a spider!" as they traveled through the swamp. When they got to the fence around Vorka's ship, they had a big IC argument about whether spiders can open gates or if they should just try to climb over the fence in a "spidery" fashion.
Needless to say, Vorka was not at all surprised by the party.
0-01 Silent Tide:
In the last fight at the Pyramid of the Dog we snuck up to the toward from the south side.
I cast Vanish and move to the base of the tower. I then Slumber the dog and then move to the base of the tower. Next I Cackle and make a readied action to Slumber the first enemy I see.
Well lucky for us the BBEG peeked over the edge and my Slumber landed. The BBEG then failed a reflex save and fell next to me. The Cleric then finished him off.
Shadows Fall on Absalom:
Playing at Gallard @ APL 10-11 (druid/barbarian). Wildshaping into a bear to grapple/pin the huge black dragon long enough for the party to kill it.
Grand Melee - PaizoCon 2011:
Playing as Brom. Scaring off one of the dragons in the final encounter long enough for my party to get control and finish the scenario with only one death at Kyle Baird's table.
Monte cook's Ptolus
we (11th level) started a fight with a 15th level cleric.
Here's a couple from when I was the GM:
I tried out a homebrew 4E campaign, and in a "practice fight" to teach my family the system, my brother wanted his warlock to pick up a handful of dirt to throw in someone's face. Seeing as the intent was to accomplish it as a single move action (so no spending time tugging or whatever) and he was standing on grass (as opposed to a pile of loose dirt), I called for a DC 5 STR check. He failed, and has yet to live it down ("the warlock who can't pick up dirt").
I ran Citadel of Flame recently, and during an intermission one of the players spontaneously thanked me for (quoting as best I can recall) "your application of the rules and knowing them so well". Felt pretty good. :)
GMing Rise of the Goblin Guild (no spoilers) and three dwarven brothers who work for the Szcarni are interacting with the owner of a knackery.
Dwarves: "If we solve this problem for you, what's in it for us?"
At the end of the session, I wrote the following on each of their chronicles:
"While in Magnimar, once per session may receive one free portion of Horse-on-a-Stick from *specific vendor whose name I can't remember* per session. (No game effect.)"
You should have seen their faces light up when I handed out the chronicles.
Jeff Mahood wrote:
I take my hat off to you sir.Bravo, Jeff. Bravo!
Here's my best story. I posted it elsewhere once before, but if you can handle it, it's worth the read.
the I AM ALL THAT IS MAN story:
This is the story of my game last night. I wanted to share it here because there's been a lot of really stressful discussions happening on the boards and I think that sometimes we forget why we play this game. People get so adamant about a position -- be it reskinning, new races, RAW, RAI, over powered characters, etc -- that they let it get in the way of having a good time.
The game was Sniper in the Deep, and all you need to know about it is that it is a mainly aquatic affair. There were four players at my 5-9 table: gnome oracle (7), gnome summoner (5), human ranger (9), and half-orc barbarian (9).
Regarding the barbarian: As a result of a previous game, the barbarian currently owned only two items – a Rod of Wonder and his +1 keen greatsword. He had been unlucky while questing through Hersey of Man pt. 3, resulting in a TPK and a guilty conscious. He sold all his other gear to paid for everyone else’s raise dead, and shelved the character. Months passed, and he decided to give the character a play and see what happened.
During their second fight against a swarm of crabs, the barbarian reduced his size to tiny, and then to fine as a result of his Rod of Wonder. The fine size gave him a space of ½ a foot and a reach of 0. His AC increased by 8, stealth by 16, and CMD/CMB dropped by 8. His strength was 18. The effects lasted for 24 hours. None of his gear was reduced as well, leaving him unarmed and naked at about an inch tall. He gave all his equipment to the ranger for safe keeping.
23 hours remaining As the party is healing up from the crab fight, the barbarian dives into the waters and stealths into the sea cave. He finds it bare, save for some Macguffins, which he snatches up and returns with. The spellcasters decide to rest and recover spells. The barbarian and the ranger head to the local smithy, so he can purchase a masterwork fine sized greatsword. It is the size of a pin and deals 1d3 damage. They stay up drinking instead of sleeping.
9 hours remaining The party heads to the ship wreck. The summoner conjures a bat, and the barbarian flies in, under the radar, to scout it out. With a +26 on his stealth and rolling a natural 20 on the check, he dives off the bat and is able to swim through the entire wreck and report back what lies ahead, although he misses the lookouts on the top deck, as they were stealthing as well. He informs his friends: 3 spectral looking undead, 2 giant eels, 2 slimy humanoids, and a clerical fellow and his ghost minion.
8 hours 40 minutes remaining The party swims down stealthily, drawing the attention of the two rogues above deck. They end up getting into a fight with the specters and the rogues at the same time. In the combat, the barbarian is only using his rod, as the non magical fine sized sword cannot effect the undead – the humans having being killed off by the ranger one round after the other, but not before the oracle dies gruesomely to a pair of sneak attacks. The summoner’s eidolon takes 6 negative levels and poofs, and the barbarian takes 6 as well, reducing him to around 40 HP. They finish off the undead. The begin healing up, and the summoner heads to the sea floor to resummon his pet. This draws the attention of the eels and the two skum barbarians.
8 hours 38 minutes remaining Combat starts and the three remaining players are woefully unprepared and split. The barbarian becomes the focus of the eels, who have substantial trouble hitting him. The ranger takes on the two skum, and drops after a round, getting ripped apart. The summoner goes invisible and retreats as he sees the barbarian get grabbed by an eel’s bite. The eel drops the barbarian to -4, who then stabilizes. I rule that the eel then swallows the barbarian, as he is the size of a quarter. The skum take the body of the ranger below, and begin to loot him. The summoner returns to town, intending to return the next day to retrieve their bodies.
38 minutes remaining After a night of rest in the belly of the eel, the barbarian awakens with 5 hit points. His water breathing is still in effect, and his fine sized greatsword is at the ready. He just needs to wait…
0 minutes remaining The barbarian returns to size, exploding from the eels intestine (which I decide kills the poor thing) and immediately begins raging. Before him is the other eel, baffled at what is going on. They roll initiative. He wins, takes two attacks with his fine sized greatsword. He has penalties to hit, but still manages to crit on a natural 20, confirming and one shotting the other eel from bonus damage alone.
1 round of rage used He heads into the next room, bare ass naked, and sees the two skum fast asleep, recovering from the wounds the received earlier. He also sees the ranger’s body and his +1 keen greatsword. He grabs the blade -- "Coup de grace! Coup de grace!" He swims to the opening at the end of the room.
4 rounds of rage used Dargo Mar is praying, his ghost patrolling around outside. The skum informed him earlier that one of the interlopers had escaped, and he was hoping to catch the summoner by surprise when he returned to get his allies bodies. With that in mind, he went to bed to rest, and has recently awoken, equipped, and begun his prayer so he could prepare animate dead again -- hoping to use the ranger as another meat shield. His prayers are violently interrupted as he takes a blade through the chest. He turns to see a stark naked man covered in blood swimming over him. Before he can react, the blade cuts through him even more, dropping him to 0 health exactly. He staggers back, and casts his mightiest spell – slay living. The barbarian shrugs off the effects, steps forward, and the last thing Dargo sees before leaving this world is the steel of the sword cleaving through his skull, along with an image of the barbarian’s wang burned in his mind, along with the question: “Wait, what?”
Some time later The summoner is violently awoken as his door is smashed open. Before him is a naked, sopping wet man with a sword strapped to his back. Over one shoulder he holds the two bodies of their fallen companions, with a bloated eel carcass over the other. He slams the eel body to the ground, its mouth regurgitating the various corpses stuffed within. He sets his allies to the ground and points at the summoner:
It was the most outrageous, exciting, and all around fun game I've GM'd in a while, and everyone had a blast. A barbarian with 5 health killed four mobs and the BBEG, all while naked and entirely by himself. No one questioned how a barbarian the size of a thumbtack could live in the gut of an eel (don't worry about it, he had water breathing yo) -- we just rolled with it and had fun.
This is a recent story from Pacificon, so it is fresh in my mind.
Storming the Diamond Gate:
We were in the final encounter. The wizard successfully split our party due to his teleporting(high tier). We then hid out in the corner of the cavern to get out of his line of sight. There were 3 unconscious people already. One of them being the halfling gunslinger who I had to carry off the burning bridge right before it came down. So we thought we were safe since we were out of line of sight. Then the wall of fire came down and killed the druid and cleric. The fighter in the party walked out to finish fighting his summons. The wizard, being out of spells, teleported to us next round, the only spell he had left being burning hands. So my barbarian walked out of the fire, fatigued(had to exit rage to stabilize the cleric the round right before the wall of fire killed him), saw the caster, walked up and spartan-kicked(bull-rushed) him off the cliff into the deepest part of the pit. All with 10 hp left. Apparently it was 190 feet down which killed the BBEG wizard. It felt very epic and one of my proudest moments.
Jeff Mahood wrote:
I think there's another thread where Mike is asking what we want to see on our chronicles going forwards. Horse on a stick (no game effect) is far more interesting than a +2 flaming greataxe!
I still have my peppermint flavored Cure Light Wounds Potion from <redacted>.
God's Market Gamble
To be honest, I think making sure GMs know they are allowed to add flavour bits like this to a chronicle - as well as ensuring there's time to do so - is a really important part of recruiting GMs.
This last Dundracon, I ran a table of First Steps Part 3 for a group of 11 year olds. Before leaving the city, one asked about buying a pet. He wanted to know what the cheapest animal he could buy was. I told him that if he succeeded on a gather information roll he could find a free cat. This was definitely inspired by earlier editions of D&D, when cats were listed with horses as free.
The entire table quickly got very excited. A flurry of die rolling ensued and most everyone wound up with one. One of the unfortunates told me he was willing to pay for a trained cat. For ten gold, he wound up with a cat that knows the following tricks: Will use a litter box after a one week adjustment period to a new location, will occasionally heel when repeatedly called by name, and will occasionally play with a ball if rolled to her. All the cats were added to chronicle sheets.
Fast forward three months to KublaCon and those kids still had the cats (and were role playing with them). Even better, the owner of the "trained" cat had purchased barding for his cat.
Customizing chronicle sheets is so simple and has an amazing payout - especially for role players.
I played at a 7-player table where I was the only non-Osirion (well, Osirion/Grand Lodge; it was an older scenario, so they shared a mission) at the table. Between the six players who were not me, they managed to completely miss a faction mission, yet I accomplished the goal myself as a byproduct of my roleplaying, earning the six of them their Prestige point.
Myron Paul wrote:
Sounds like 85% of watching a baseball game unfold! (well, except for that damage stuff)
Had another awesome moment tonight. Vati, Sacred Shielding Light of Abadar, goes busting into the middle of the room. 6 Skeletons charge, none hit. She starts laying about her with her silver morningstar, and then the cleric walks up, channels, and no more skeletons. Tanking an entire charge and their follow up attacks? Yeah, Vati is a boss like that. WOOT!
#3-07 Echoes of the Overwatched -
Characters are exploring the first level of the Tower of the Horn, and I've been having the party roll random Perception checks to make the players paranoid (also because they hadn't run afoul of the Merrow or Reefclaws yet). I mention that they see the mosaic at the far end of the northern hall (3C), when...
Player 1: "Ok, I take out my crossbow."
Maybe not a "proud" moment, but I think the players all enjoyed it :)
Alright, two groups, same scenario.
Shenanigans in Storming the Diamond Gate:
So, this is my first time GMing this scenario after having played it at Paizocon. They're playing at the upper tier and manage to get down to the room with the holding cells after some... Entertaining encounters above. Due to their own placement in the hall of tablets, caught 4 of them in the explosive runes trap, much to my amusement. They waltzed right past the graven guardians thanks to wearing the amulets. I shock the everloving carp out of the barbarian in the false gate room. Oh the lulz.
Anyway, they get down to the room with the aspis guards and their dire wolf. The guards jump to arms and sick the wolf on the party while they stand back pelting them with arrows. Que awesomeness by the hurling focused barbarian and the wacky gnome bear shaman.
Druid: I ready an action to wildshape into a dire bear.
Once again, a wacky barbarian causes shenanigans. He went down, ripped the door off the hinges into the holding cells room. Squashes one of the aspis mooks in one hit using the door. Next turn, squashes the wolf in one hit (they played the lower tier) with the door again. The other two surrender after one heck of an intimidation roll (because, really, we were a little low on time and they weren't going to slow the PC's down for long).
They get down to face the BBEG. The fight goes on for a few rounds as they PC's figure out what's going on, two bridges are taken out with a fireball, yadda yadda.
So. Marion, the librarian barbarian, hucks the door at the BBEG, taking him from a few points away from full health (he got hit by one arrow from the cleric) all the way down to two from unconscious. D-dooring away for fear for his life, the BBEG tries to retreat out of his range. Marion, on his next turn, pulls a book from his bag and hucks it across the room at a -8 to hit at the range penalties. He hits.
Marion: *hucks door at BBEG*
Quite probably the most amusing death of a BBEG I've seen in a long time.
TLDR: hurling focused barbarians are the bane of Storming the Diamond Gate's BBEG, and they really do create some of the most hilarious shenanigans.
Most of my proudest moments can be labelled 'How to flirt with death regularly as a Con 10 frontline Bard, AKA "I'm a Lover, Not a Fighter."'
Suffice to say, relying on Mirror Image and clever use of Silent Image to stay alive for just one more round is a great way to play PFS.
Great stories! Here's a few shining moments from the career of my "Bard-Barian", Herger Storhoi (Human (Ulfen) Fighter 1/Bard X).
Tiring of the hit'n'run tactics of a small white dragon, he readies an action to grapple a dragon (and no, he does not have improved grapple). He does so, then walks him bodily into a Flaming Sphere.
(He had a reputation at lower levels of doing the same with swarms in his space, just breaking the alchemist's fire over his head and stating the same line.)
The party is on a raft, silently approaching a pirate ship at anchor. Tired of waiting in line to climb the rope to stealthily board the ship, he makes an Expeditious Retreat-assisted climb and acrobatics check to leap from the raft, grab the rigging, fling himself onto the deck Tarzan-style amongst the startled pirate crew and yelling "Get off my ship!!"
Herger has also (before they outlawed Intimidate-Fear stacking) forced a tower shield-weilding half-orc bodyguard to flee not one, but two encounters in a single scenario. He forced some kind of evil outsider to fly away just by flexing his massive biceps and doing his best Macho Man Randy Savage impersonation. When struck in the chest with a "sticky bomb", his response was to hack down the stack of crates his assailant was standing on, then dive onto his foe's prone body like he came off the top rope. His Perform/Oratory are speeches about how awesome he is mixed with pro-wrestler style self-aggrandizing. His Perform/Singing are songs about how awesome he is. Let's not talk about his Perform/Wind skill, as it might involve beans and/or cabbage. His ability to roll any Knowledge skill while having a single digit Int score is entertaining, to say the least.
But the best tales involve his buddy, Nyss. Herger, a huge ulfen, magic-weilding warrior of Taldor, and Nyss, the slight, magic wielding rogue (rogue/diviner/arcane trickster) of the Quadira faction, together they look and act a lot like a certain other pair from fiction...
Herger Storhoi: Men fear him! Women... well they probably do too.
The board seems a little negitive today - a bit of a downer.
My heavy armor cleric can't hit the broad side of a barn. It's the -2 from the tower shield and the fact that his strength is 10... anyway, I usually don't even try.
During character introductions, I explain that he has the Love domain, and profession matchmaker, so as he introduces himself to each PC he says in a faux french accent, "so, are you currently involved in a long term relationship?"... this often leaves players speachless (esp. female players), but moving on, he forges ahead with the introduction.
Now flash forward to the middle of a dungeon crawl and the PCs are searching a room. My cleric is against one wall in the center of the room, when a LARGE secret door opens to reveal a LARGE demon right next to my cleric. The judge says - "what do you do?" and with out missing a beat I reply "I look up at the Demon and say 'so, are you currently involved in a long term relationship?'"
0-02: The Hydra's Fang Incident:
I GM'd this module about weeks ago and really liked how one of the players passed the entire Act 2: The Underdocks solo with no combat. She was a Ninja that disguised herself as a Katyia from Act 1. She was able to bluff her way pass the guards, convincing them she worked for The Consortium. She even was able to Slight of Hand the leather-bound manifest log as they left the bunker.
These poor guards have too low a Sense Motive and Perception...but was fun for everyone at the table.
I was a last minute volunteer for Space City Con, signing up to run the entire First Steps series on Friday. (Last minute volunteer seems to be my role since Paizo Con. )
It was totally worth it to DM for the two nieces of my one player, and help coax them into the game. They were incredibly shy, and the other players had already been through the series, so we tried to get them to make decisions about where to go. From pushing dire rat minis slowly across the table while asking them what they were going to do about it, to roleplaying the old sea dog captain for them. Just a real pleasure.
My favorite GMing moment was also from 0-02: The Hydra's Fang Incident:
When the players arrived at the ship, they managed to convince the random crew members that they were some of the new recruits (with an outstanding Diplomacy check). Once on board, they failed to impress the Captain. When the players mentioned that they were there to solve the Captain's problems, he agreed they could be of use and showed them the way down to the hold. Not wanting to admit they didn't know what the "problem" was, the players agreed. Once they were all down the hatch, the sailors closed the trapdoor and pushed a barrel over the top of it.
The players figured they might as well see what was behind the door and proceeded to fight the bloated ghouls. After a close fight, the PCs asked to be let back up, which was denied. The pirates figured after starving the PCs out for a few days they'd be too weak to fight back.
Well, the half-orc PC started to hack away at the side of the ship with his greataxe, figuring they could swim out. As soon as the Captain hears this, he sends his mates down below to take care of them before they make a hole in the side of his ship.
By the time the pirates managed to get below, almost all the PCs had escaped out the hole with great swim checks or by summoning dolphins to bring them back to the row-boat. The only one left was the pre-gen fighter who fought and killed all but one pirate, who decided it was time to retreat and leave him in there to die. Valeros chases after and takes an AOO crit which drops him to negatives and he falls off the ladder, taking more falling damage. He's now only a few hp away from bleeding to death, but he manages to stabilize.
Meanwhile the escaped PCs got back into their row boats and retrieved the stashes of alchemist fire they had bought. They spent the next several rounds rowing around the Hyrda's Fang and bombarding the deck with fire. The Captain eventually tries to escape on his own dinghy, but they light that on fire too. The captain then gives up, trading his life for promises of riches. The PCs accept, only long enough for the rogue to sneak attack him, then feed his body to the druid's raptor pet.
Not, as GM, how I thought that fight would go, but better than anything I could have anticipated.
I've had a few really great moments, but here is my favorite, by far. I've posted this before in the Rats of Round Mountain Part I thread, so this may be familiar to some of you.
Spoilers for Rats of Round Mountain Part I - The Sundered Path:
I had a table of six playing subtier 7-8. I was initially a little nervous, as our local group plays a bit conservatively compared to a lot of other regions and I wasn't sure how they'd handle the challenges of Rat Mountain. They totally surprised me though, especially during the Dark Stalker/Slayer fight with an awesome 1-2 combo of Daylight and then Pilfering Hand to steal the Dispel Magic wand.
The swarm and cave-in definitely hurt them, but no one was too seriously wounded. The gug fight was a different story though. One of the clerics was dropped to -13 after rend, with his 14 CON. One party member selflessly ran through an AoO to get to the unconscious ally and hit him with a wand of CLW before expiring.
However, the most entertaining and memorable part of the scenario came at the very end.
When Xiangnuer approached the party, they had a difficult time coming to any sort of agreement in terms of proper tribute. The Halfling Alchemist offered "sexual services" and the Halfling Bard offered up a song instead of items of monetary value. This, of course, angered Xiangnuer, but gave the party one last chance to pay proper tribute. As the party went back to deciding what to give up, the Alchemist has a brilliant thought.
Alchemist: "Guys, this dragon isn't real. It's totally an illusion."
Party: "NO. It's real."
GM (Me): "Well, you'll have to interact with it in order to tell if it's an illusion or not."
Alchemist: "I've seen this before. Trust me guys, I know what I'm doing."
A little context...
Spoilers for Sewer Dragons of Absalom:
: This same Alchemist had played Sewer Dragons that I ran for them a while back. When the final encounter occurred, the player was absolutely certain the dragon was real. He insisted on the party fleeing and running away, claiming that there was no way they could take on such a creature. He was genuinely nervous, and almost convinced the whole party to leave before someone else decided to take a pot shot at the dragon, succeeding on his Will save and overcoming the illusion for himself. The Alchemist player was a little embarrassed and didn't say much else the rest of the game.
Rats of Round Mountain Part I Continued:
Flash-forward to the present. This player was determined to not be fooled yet again. The rest of the party was either yelling at him to stop, or throwing themselves at Xiangnuer's feet to appease her. And then, the Alchemist did what I feared he'd do.
He walked up and touched the dragon, telling her she wasn't real.
You have no idea how difficult it was for me to contain my laughter at this point. But, based on the fact that they had previously insulted her, especially the same player with his sexual offers, I felt that she wouldn't take such an insult so lightly as being told she doesn't really exist, especially based on the backstory provided.
So, I had them roll initiative, stating that the dragon looked pissed and incredibly unhappy that he did that to her. The Alchemist wins at initiative and proceeds to draw his weapon and Power Attack her. And missed. If he would've thrown himself down and apologized, I would've let him walk away, but I felt that he cemented himself in this combat by striking first. And thus, Grumblebelly the Halfling Alchemist was slain that day after a breath weapon, followed by a critical hit on a bite the following round.
The rest of the party stayed out of the fight, either falling prone and praising the great Xiangnuer, or going invisible and hiding. It was absolutely hilarious, and everybody was laughing hysterically, even the Alchemist player. I didn't necessarily intend to kill him, as dropping him unconscious would've been adequate in my mind. Unfortunately, he chose not to heal after the Breath Attack and the successful crit did him in. He wasn't upset though, thankfully, and the Cleric had Raise Dead along with the appropriate components on hand.
It was definitely one of the most hilarious and memorable moments I've ever had GM'ing for Pathfinder Society. I'm looking forward to the damage (and stories) to come from Part II.
Party is about to jump into the final fight.
The Dwarven cleric, wanting to try out the new spell IronBeard, gets the druid to let him cast it on her AC - a Large T-Rex. So they burst in on the BBE and rushing into melee is a Bearded T-Rex. To make it worse - the Sorcerer in the party hits the (non-humaniod) BBE with a Hidious Laughter, and we have the following....
Judges discription went something like this - "As the doors burst open and a Large figure rushing into the room, (insert BBE name) whips around ready to respond to the thread - only to catch sight of the animal companion and collapse into gales of laughter. Hand clutching his sides the rocks back and forth, drumming his heels on the floor. Every few seconds he draws a breath - only to catch sight of the bearded lizard again and erupt all over again in giggles."
Needless to say - the fight went well for the PC's. The BBE missed the second save and it was all over from there....
I do think the AC was a little hurt by the reaction to his charge though. It was kind of a Toy Story moment.
A very long time ago a fresh set of Pathfinders attempted to play Hydra's Fang at my house.
We had four players plus me as a GM. We were all getting excited about PFS and the fact pathfinder was keeping our 3.5 book useful. (Core Rulebook wasn't out yet)
So the party get their mission from Osprey and off we go for some fun.
...then it went bad....Monte Python style...
Death by Tim:
The party get to Lubor's Imports and buys the girl in distress crying hook, line, and sinker but the party does stay outside of the office and the thugs successfully make hide checks to stay out of view flanking the door.
Finally the party wizard somehow see through her crap-tastic story and charges into the room and we go to initiative. The Big Bad Evil Girl wins the initiative and critically hits the wizard with her quarterstaff and he drops. The Thugs take their turn and stay hidden in the shadows awaiting more people to enter.
The Cleric gets all heroic and moves into the room and is hit by both longsword attacks and it knocked out as well. The remaining two players (both fighters) wade to combat and are killed in the next round as the thugs hit again with the longswords and the "wizard" critically hits with the quarterstaff again.
The rolls for the bad guys are just scary good while the players never hit anyone. The session was over in a span of 20 minutes....
We are all laughing how bad it went luck wise and the players changed their PFS #'s on the sheet to -2's and we decided to try again for the scenario. The wizard changes his PC to a rouge and the party tries again.
The were able to get past the 1st act this time but for some reason took lots of time "scouting" the place out ;-) Of coarse the RPG's gods above don't like this so when the party get to act three. The group is in small boats and are flipped by two Sahuagin. No one has ranks in swim (3.5 days Armor Check penalty was doubled for swim) and with all that armor everyone either dies by drowning or is torn apart by the Sahuagin.
So my first time GM'ing I TPK'ed the party twice in the same scenario but to be honest the whole day was a blast and we laugh about it once in a while but my players at least put 1 rank in swim now.
The game was more of an experiment to see if we liked what we saw from Paizo involving PFS. As you can see it sort of stuck with me.
We Be Goblins!
The party is having an amazing good-time right from the start during the challenges and dares, but no one beat the "Earbiter" even though they each gave it a shot once. They go for a second round each and the tribe is getting really angry now since no one can beat it. The rogue (Chuffy) figures out that when getting stuck you can "grease yourself up", and when she (female player) invariably does, she looks at me with a grin and says "it says Chuffy is covered in pimples, boils, etc - I'm going to pop them all and grease myself up with them!" The table breaks out laughing and I give the rogue a re-roll and she gets a natural 20 - so now all the goblins think that Chuffy is quite smart *and* sexy for that.
The players then declared WBG their favorite scenario/module of all time, and that was all within the first 30 minutes of playing :)
#4–01: Rise of the Goblin Guild:
So we come to a hallway and there are a bunch of goblins at the other end not really attentive. The fighter charges ahead but falls into a 15-foot long 20-foot pit with a Gelatinous Cube. The archers steps up and fires a volley. The goblins then move to the other edge of the pit and start throwing fire at us and the fighter.
I step back 15-feet and then move and jump over the pit in a rage, bull-rush two of them out of the way and am now in the middle of them.
Shadow's Last Stand—Part I: At Shadow's Door
Küssmir was a typical paladin: he was not only stupid, but also an idiot. His life accomplishments included tearing down window bars with his bare hands and smashing a glass window (golem?).
What killed him was a epic sneak attack performed by certain hobgoblin. During the surprise round very high AC protected him from the initial attack. Unfortunately on the following full round the highish initiative of 18 was not enough to beat that of the hobgoblin. Therefore Küssmir didn't see the second surprise sneak attack which critted and made a whopping 23 points of damage.
This would have killed the paladin if not the player had forgotten to use favourite class option and GM ruled that it was OK to put that to hit points on the fly. This gave one extra round for Küssmir to survive. He died on his following round because while init of 18 was not enough to beat the hobgoblin, it was barely enough to beat both of the healers in the party.
What makes the death ironic is that before the encounter Küssmir had suffered two points of damage: one from the last fight and the other from fishing things out from acid vats (faction mission). Had this damage be healed, Küssmir would still be alive and hitting. In the fight before the encounter channel energy was used. It was able to affect everybody, including monsters, besides the poor Küssmir.
As a side note the scenario took place in a cathedral. The party of 1 level characters included a cleric, a paladin, an oracle and a monk - of which no one knew anything about the religion.