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GM and Players for Necromancer Games dungeon crawl


Recruitment


I've been wanting to play some of Necromancer Games' - I guess they're Frog God Games now? - dungeons forever. Sadly, my current gaming group is pretty much only into APs, and so I turn to the forums.

Slumbering Tsar, The Tomb of Abysthor or Rappan Athuk, would a GM be interested of running one of those for pathfinder? They're more or less listed in declining order of interest.

And would there be other players interested in joining such a venture? I know dungeon crawls aren't for everyone; my current real-life group does not enjoy it, for instance.


You occasionally see recruitments on here for Rappan Athuk or Emerald Spire Superdungeon.

I'm not familiar with Slumbering Tsar or Tomb of Abysthor but I think I have seen those names once in a while.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's been a pretty good while since I've looked at my copies of those modules, but let's say I might be interested. I can't say how quickly I would have things ready to go, so if no one else comes along looking to GM beforehand, I would ask your patience.

Hmmm...I think I'll need to find the storage box in my garage currently housing those massive tomes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just going to dot this thread to say that I'd be interested in playing if this ever comes about!


pinvendor wrote:

It's been a pretty good while since I've looked at my copies of those modules, but let's say I might be interested. I can't say how quickly I would have things ready to go, so if no one else comes along looking to GM beforehand, I would ask your patience.

Hmmm...I think I'll need to find the storage box in my garage currently housing those massive tomes.

Thanks for offering! I've loads of patience - truth be told I didn't expect any potential GMs to come forward at all.


Bump to see if this can get a GM - or if pinvendor will raid his garage.


So I've been thinking about running The Slumbering Tsar for awhile now but I have a similar problem to you. My players have proven themselves to be really, really bad at sandboxes and just aren't interested. So, I'll look into the possibility, but I'm a little worried about finding four players suited to this type of game.

As a sandbox dungeon crawl, the story is driven entirely by the players and indecisive players can make the game drag. Also, as open as it is, you will eventually take the path into someplace you're not ready for and characters will die.

It states that specifically at the beginning of the book.

So, we need four players who are not afraid to push things along and who can handle their characters dying.

If we manage that, I'm probably up for it. Dungeon crawls are my favorite by far. The other game I'm running is a dungeon crawl. I'd probably have to run it relatively rules-limited, like my other game, and as big as the book is, I'd try to post daily but I couldn't guarantee more than 3 posts a week.


I would be interested in submitting a character to this should someone decide to run it. I've applied to Rappan Athuk recruitments in the past, but haven't done anything with Slumbering Tsar or The Tomb of Abysthor.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lazyclownfish wrote:

As a sandbox dungeon crawl, the story is driven entirely by the players and indecisive players can make the game drag. Also, as open as it is, you will eventually take the path into someplace you're not ready for and characters will die.

It states that specifically at the beginning of the book.

So, we need four players who are not afraid to push things along and who can handle their characters dying.

I have actually been thinking about this very thing. I've been mulling over the idea of actually collaborating with another GM(s) to run The Slumbering Tsar with multiple parties depending on the level of interest. The idea being the different parties explore different areas but live and exist in the same world kind of like MMO. There could even be a "Base Camp" RP thread where potential players can RP and maybe even "build" up the facilities and get tapped in as other players die as I suspect it may happen semi-frequently.

Since I'm expecting the game wouldn't really require a whole of characterization and background sub-plots for each PC, other than their personalities, it will be pretty research lite for the GMs. We would just need to coordinate somewhere on a master sheet (probably a Google doc) of what each party has explored and which encounters have already been triggered in case parties paths crossover to where the others have been.

Concept still in infancy obviously. Mostly just posting here to show I haven't forgotten about you, Groundhog-with-a-fox-face.


The slumbering Tsar would be awesome!


Lazyclownfish wrote:

So I've been thinking about running The Slumbering Tsar for awhile now but I have a similar problem to you. My players have proven themselves to be really, really bad at sandboxes and just aren't interested. So, I'll look into the possibility, but I'm a little worried about finding four players suited to this type of game.

As a sandbox dungeon crawl, the story is driven entirely by the players and indecisive players can make the game drag. Also, as open as it is, you will eventually take the path into someplace you're not ready for and characters will die.

It states that specifically at the beginning of the book.

So, we need four players who are not afraid to push things along and who can handle their characters dying.

If we manage that, I'm probably up for it. Dungeon crawls are my favorite by far. The other game I'm running is a dungeon crawl. I'd probably have to run it relatively rules-limited, like my other game, and as big as the book is, I'd try to post daily but I couldn't guarantee more than 3 posts a week.

It never rains GMs, but then it pours! I'm certainly willing to die a couple times, although I'd prefer to have the run of paizo-material in the doing. That's just personal preference though.

And the sandbox-ness of this kind of thing is part of the appeal, for me.

pinvendor wrote:

I have actually been thinking about this very thing. I've been mulling over the idea of actually collaborating with another GM(s) to run The Slumbering Tsar with multiple parties depending on the level of interest. The idea being the different parties explore different areas but live and exist in the same world kind of like MMO. There could even be a "Base Camp" RP thread where potential players can RP and maybe even "build" up the facilities and get tapped in as other players die as I suspect it may happen semi-frequently.

Since I'm expecting the game wouldn't really require a whole of characterization and background sub-plots for each PC, other than their personalities, it will be pretty research lite for the GMs. We would just need to coordinate somewhere on a master sheet (probably a Google doc) of what each party has explored and which encounters have already been triggered in case parties paths crossover to where the others have been.

Concept still in infancy obviously. Mostly just posting here to show I haven't forgotten about you, Groundhog-with-a-fox-face.

I enjoy not being forgot, it feels nice.

As for a larger game, that's certainly a neat idea. Maybe there's someone, a church or nobleman or merchant or whoever, who's interested in seeing the dungeon dealt with, and so they've hired a bunch of adventurers for the task? That could help explain why the adventurers replenish every time someone dies in remote locations like a dungeon.

Or we could just go with a standard structure - there's no reason it *has* to be a multi-group endeavor. The idea is cool, though.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Definitely it does not. I was trying to simply have some foresight into the difficulty level, and PC death being a likely outcome over the course of it. It can definitely create some drain on the game, and if two of four people die deep in, suddenly the likelihood the other two will make it out alive as they work their way back drops dramatically.

What I had been thinking:
In terms of how the old school video game RPGs handled it, there are always adventurers to recruit at the tavern whenever you selected it, so this would kind of make that similar and explain why the hell someone would be nearby to join up when people died in this in-the-middle-of-nowhere dungeon. Especially having a "revolving door" of actual players to give other players a chance to try their hand and the now-KO'd player some time to decide if they want to try again with a different PC and get statted up, or if they've reached their personal real life frustration level which can happen in PC death heavy campaigns.

I would probably institute some kind of 'Town Scroll' concept if you're familiar with Blizzard's Diablo series but more of a one way trip either to take the beleaguered party out, or bring the new fresh PC(s) in.

Quite frankly, if I were to run this, I would definitely run it very straight and not pull any punches as I feel that would be a complete disservice to the material. My fear is that we would get into, and a couple of (un)lucky rolls would kill the game as all momentum would tank if (lol, probably when) a NTPK or TPK shows up. It would kind of be a lot of trouble for little reward if I start this and a month later one or two PC deaths stall the game as we have to pause to do a new recruitment. The constant recruitment pausing and evaluating potential PCs/players is what would make this super undesireable to run which is what LCF was referring to, I believe. If only four players are chosen, they need to really understand that it's their PC's epitaph which will most likely be the most memorable part of the game, and if that's discouraging, they really don't understand what Frog God Games is trying to accomplish with their material.

;)


I definitely think it's more important to recruit the player over the concept. Maybe make character creation happen after recruitment even.

The book has a bunch of reasonable ways to recruit new characters, including actual NPCs that the players could stat up and play if they wanted.

I'd stay very far away from the idea of recruiting a new player when a character dies. The players need to go into it expecting to have to make a replacement character at some point.

When I've run things at the table that were this dangerous, I've even had players bring backup characters on occasion.


Or go real old school and have Dave the Barbarian wander by. Yes, even 7 levels deep because when PCs are going 'I cast magic missile' physics and common sense are just polite suggestions. :)

On the Rp side, if high fatalities can be expected, have RP be 'As you go' Get the crunch up and submitted and any Rp details can be done as the adventure continues since there are just so many orphans,exiled nobles and the like in the world. It can help when a player is out of ideas right then and they can hash out something later. 'Oh! Yea, I am exploring to get an answer from that weird skull' 'About what? Oh..a curse on my village because of some necromancer that fled into the dungeon."


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lazyclownfish wrote:

I'd stay very far away from the idea of recruiting a new player when a character dies. The players need to go into it expecting to have to make a replacement character at some point.

When I've run things at the table that were this dangerous, I've even had players bring backup characters on occasion.

Of course, that is indeed the ideal state. :D

I've personally been a part of a very hardcore version of Kingmaker that ended up with a revolving door of PC characters mostly due to some really harsh results from the RET dropping things like a Shambling Mound on a 1st level party or exploring a location that was above our current CR level. Just that alone caused severe player attrition as people got frustrated and discouraged seeing their brand spankin' new PCs get killed in one or two encounters. Almost all were given the opportunity to reroll, but several chose to leave the game as they found less drive to continue after they lost their character idea.

Having witnessed the effect this has on both the departing players and continuing players, I'm just trying to make sure I'm setting some realistic expectations of what might happen and address some of the potential game killers. Nothing I've suggested so far has to become the game vision. I have definitely seen how quickly things can disintegrate from enthusiastic start to discouraged slog, and I was merely trying to think of ways that could help keep it interesting and fresh for everyone who considers the game to help prevent burnout or lack of interest due to having to replace characters and/or players.

If each player is already thinking in the back of their mind what kind of new character they want to run in case their current one dies pretty much at all times, that's pretty much what you want. But sadly, people can be pretty flaky in PbP, and hoping you will never have to recruit new players is definitely setting yourself up for disappointment. Or so my time on these boards has indicated. Any of your experiences may be very different, of course.


Early low-level D&D adventures were a lot like a Tontine. Nine adventurers went in the dungeon, and only three came out. But those three got more XP because they were the only survivors, and next time the party went in some of the original characters might have leveled, giving the new party a better chance.

I have found that if players flake out they usually do it fairly early in the adventure. You could just over-recruit a bit and then let the party reduce itself naturally.


So are we actually doing this?

Grand Lodge

Dot...

Played both modules but both collapse in the early stages either due to disagreement (Rappan Athuk) and inactivity (Slumbering Tsar) after the first battle. I hope this game has more staying power if we are starting this.


Peet wrote:

Early low-level D&D adventures were a lot like a Tontine. Nine adventurers went in the dungeon, and only three came out. But those three got more XP because they were the only survivors, and next time the party went in some of the original characters might have leveled, giving the new party a better chance.

I have found that if players flake out they usually do it fairly early in the adventure. You could just over-recruit a bit and then let the party reduce itself naturally.

That could work, maybe. Actually, one thing that's different is that, as I recall, Slumbering Tsar doesn't start at first level, so we'd have to do something with regards to starting gold. People dying over and over coming up with WBL each time could get out of hand, if we loot people's corpses.

DoubleGold wrote:
So are we actually doing this?

Well, we need to give pinvendor time to prepare for GMing. Can't be rushed, that stuff. But eventually this game should happen, yes.


Level 7 is recommended. I have read very little of the module so if pinvendor is running it, I wouldn't mind playing.

I get the impression that if a player character dies, it's very hard to loot his stuff. Probably due to the frantic fleeing that the other players are likely doing.


Let me put it this way, are we doing this here in Paizo or Play by Post? Rather not play on Rolld20 or any other real time site.


One thing that could be done is a general rule for that exact circumstance - any loot found in the dungeon gets divvied up by the survivors, but the character's original equipment stays with their body and gets sent back to their family. That would keep their WBL from being taken by the players, hopefully preventing the WBL from spiraling out of control.

Of course, since the party is level 7, they aren't that far from Raise Dead if they have a Cleric. I don't know if Slumbering Tsar is close to a town with a spellcaster who can provide the service.


I have heard great things about both these publications. Is this game still just a discussion, or has someone officially taken up the GM mantle? It seems like there are a couple that have expressed interest, and admittedly I am curious if this could come to pass.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Would be interested in Slumbering Tsar. I'm currently in a Rappan Athuk game. I like old school dungeon crawls.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I was out of town last weekend, but I should have some time this weekend to go dig around my garage. Hopefully all of wife's Halloween and Christmas decorations didn't get stacked on top of my RPG storage. XD


wanderer82 wrote:
I have heard great things about both these publications. Is this game still just a discussion, or has someone officially taken up the GM mantle? It seems like there are a couple that have expressed interest, and admittedly I am curious if this could come to pass.

Pinvendor is planning on running it. If he ends up being unable to, I'll start prepping to run it instead. My time is somewhat limited so it'll probably move quicker if he does it though.

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