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First time GM


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Hey guys,

I am looking at running my first, short-term, campaign in Pathfinder. I have not GM'd before, but I have played in several systems, and I think I have a fairly good grasp on the Pathfinder mechanics. I do have a fairly noob question though.

I am going to run a Module, but the recommendation is for Four Players. I am likely to run a group of about 5 players. What overall recommendations can people give me for adjusting to suit additional players?

I have seen that some people recommend adding smaller minions to higher challenging encounters. Would you recommend that I recalculate the APL with CR as per description in the Pathfinder Corebook for each encounter? Or would you recommend only doing it for counters that are significant? Or, does it not matter so much with only one additional player?

Cheers,
Pranachan


Pathfinder Cards Subscriber

Welcome to the Pathfinder GM club!

In my opinion...

Adjusting Adventure:
I believe that it truly depends on the group composition and the player experience as well. I'm DMing a group of 5 people right now through an adventure in Pathfinder, however they are younger and without much experience in the roleplaying/pathfinder world. I adjusted things very little for right now and they are doing alright, and they are learning the different tactics specific to each type of character. If your characters have experience playing as well as have a decently balanced group (at least one type of healer, etc), then you might want to adjust the encounters a little bit.

Adjusting them by adding smaller minions to the encounters, is most of the time a good idea. It helps out the morale of the players as they quickly destroy the chump monsters, but it also makes the normal encounters harder because it gives more turns to the planned evil creatures because the minions are the first to go. (Magneto X-Men 3 "That is why the pawns go first" during the endbattle.)

I would probably upgrade the CR on encounters that you feel are significant. But in the end, you're the GM! If you feel after the fact that the encounter drained more resources then was planned (after you adjusted the monsters) give them more XP by upping the CR. A good GM needs to be able to adjust things on the fly, cause even if you completely prepare for an encounter, you never know what ideas can occur in the minds of the players, good or bad.

Also, unless you're planning to play the entire adventure in one sit down, you'll be able to see the power level of your players and be able to adjust accordingly! If they get destroyed in one encounter you adapted, then don't change a later one down the path and see what happens.

When you GM more, you'll get better at this!

Hope this helped!


Hey Garm,

Thank you on both accounts. This has been helpful. I am both excited and nervous about running my own game. I have played in plenty but being on the other side of the screen is going to be a different experience.

Cheers,
Pranachan


I second Garm's suggestions.

And I would add -- if most of your players are new, best to err on the side of caution and make things a tad easier rather than harder/more deadly. You can always make things more challenging as the players gain experience and the campaign progresses... but multiple/re-curring character deaths early on might turn some people off the game.


Pathfinder Cards Subscriber

No problem, glad to be of help!

Update us on how your first session goes!


TwiceBorn wrote:


And I would add -- if most of your players are new, best to err on the side of caution and make things a tad easier rather than harder/more deadly. You can always make things more challenging as the players gain experience and the campaign progresses... but multiple/re-curring character deaths early on might turn some people off the game.

I actually have a varied group of players. 2 Veterans (one is the GM in another game I play in), one intermediate who has played in a Pathfinder campaign, and the last two are complete noobs. Prior to jumping into the module, I am planning 2 prelude encounters to set up the story. I have made some alterations to setting and flavour, so the first couple of combats I can guage party cohesion and efficacy. I have read forward into the module at some of the later encounters that includes Vampires and a few various Demons. As a player, that scared me, as a GM, I was a little too excited. Mostly because the player who is also my GM was responsible for my first ever PC death (I had been pretty lucky to have never had one of my PCs die until he ran a campaign for us). Looking forward to putting him into some awkward situations :D

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