AncientVaults&EldritchSecrets's page

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You might also try them on a simpler game for them to get the concepts down then ease into the mechanics. I run a plethora of games, from Labyrinth Lord to Barbarians of Lemuria to Call of Cthulhu to Pathfinder and the basic ideas are all the same for these games, but the mechanics of a game like Barbarians of Lemuria are much simpler for new players to grasp then jumping into a more advanced game like Pathfinder. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT knocking Pathfinder, I love it, but it isn't a game for a new person to just leap into that has never played a tabletop rpg and there is no concept that you can introduce in a game like Barbarians of Lemuria that you cannot port over to Pathfinder and vice versa, I do it all the time.

I would like to see the Pathfinderization of some Lord of the Rings Online classes, monsters and magic items. There are some very unusual and odd things in that game, especially at the higher levels that are pretty cool (although the Good Professor is probably spinning in his grave over it).

I must say, that Shoe Cloud is awesome. I wish there was one of those in LOTRO so I could see it happen. I am pinching that spell for my Pathfinder and LL game.

Yerv Kinkash wrote:
Thanks for the responces and glad to know I am not the only 30+ person still playing> ;)

Are you kidding? I turned 41 last week and there are players of the oldschool stuff in their 60's .

Now this is an interesting thread, if a bit maligned. The rules back in the day weren't rules, they were guidelines, back when the world was a bit more DIY than it is now. It was a toolkit.

Those old games with the "terrible" rules? They are still around. Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy Roleplaying are just three of these. I run S&W, Labyrinth Lord and Pathfinder. And you know what? My group likes them all and although we are older gamers, we aren't snobbish, nor do we think that any system is better than the other. Pathfinder was a hard sell on my group at first because, in this day and age, you cannot beat the retro-clones for price: free downloads of all the core rules, dozens of bloggers (like myself) providing free add-on material-I do this daily), and in addition, Pathfinder is more complicated and it does take time to learn many more rules, newer editions are not sit down, crack out a character and start playing, it is more complicated than that.

What game is superior? The one that your group has FUN playing, regardless of edition or rules or anything else. Memorable times are the aim, and name, of the game.

I would have encounters that float, but then that is how I run games.

We roll dice, 4d6, drop the lowest, arrange to taste. Everyone just rolls six times, there are no re-re-rolls and we have fun. The point buy mentality is another option, mythically better, but no better or worse.

Heck, a player rolled up a Labyrinth Lord character a couple of weeks ago that would stand toe to toe against any Pathfinder or 4e starting character and that game is based on Basic D&D from 1980.

Point buy better? No. Another option, certainly.

This is pretty darned slick. I might try to flesh one out as an NPC...

I would also love to see this come about.
My Labyrinth Lord crew could play more Pathfinder and this would be an excellent reason to!

My replacement for RIFTS would be Barbarians of Lemuria + Barbarians of the Aftermath.

Even as a big proponent of the retro-clones/Old School Renaissance I would still suggest trying Pathfinder as others have said here, with description and immersion. I like the simulacrums, but we all also like the level of detail in Pathfinder in my group.

Just received mine from FRPGames.
Very nice, indeed.
The package was so thick I thought it was a book.

Sheyd wrote:

Reading over three pages (114 posts at the the time of typing this) I saw many things (too many to quote or recall) that I agreed with and many that I did not. As a gamer with nearly 31 years experience as DM and Player I can't recall ever using the 'Because I said so' rule. I have made situational rulings on things where I couldn't remember the particular rule and neither could the players. Rather than look it up and slow play I said 'Okay here's how this works for now but it might change later' and we went on. I hate slowing play especially combat to find the proper rule.

Trust is the ultimate key to this game. Players have to trust their DM to do what he feels is necessary for everyone to have fun, DMs have to trust their players to build and play their characters in the manner that suits the campaign.

As a DM I believe in:

DM Screens
Plot Twists
Critical Fumbles
DM Fiats used wisely

I do admit to some Player chicanery. Under one DM who is known to be stingy with magic items I was forced to make do with some strange things that I have since been banned from using.

I as a Player cannot:

Buy or obtain in any manner marbles in numbers greater than 10
Buy or obtain in any manner pickles in any barrel of any size
Buy or obtain in any manner Lye soap in any amount.

Now these seem like arbitrary DM rulings but I understand why. I've killed werewolves, the Captain of the Guard and his knights and a red dragon with those things. He used his Fiat wisely. :)

And this is a great post on the matter.

I am oldschool, I DM/GM/referee several games, most of them oldschool, but with Pathfinder and Savage Worlds being the exceptions.

Many people think that we grognards are all about DM fiat, yet this isn't so. The advantage of oldschool games is minimalism of rules, which allows the greatest amount of rules knowledge on hand at any given time. A few printed charts, tables, a handful of 3x5 cards and I am ready to run Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord. I don't alter rules or change horses midstream. What works for the NPCs works for the PCs. All houserules are presented before game play.

Taking this into more modern games, there is more preparation time, and also more detail. This actually doesn't make a game run smoother, but it does give much more depth to a game. I print out more to run Pathfinder, yet every aspect of the game is more fleshed out, most of the time these additions are relevant, sometimes not.

Regardless of edition, the person running the game and the players need to be on the same page as to which direction the game is going in. I am not a generous GM for Pathfinder a lot because the world is not always a happy, shiny place that my players are in. They know this and they expect to struggle and strive at times, but I am generous when the rewards are passed around after times of strife and struggle.

Skill Focus(Magic Use) seems to be your answer, as per the write up of the wizard Silent in the 3.5 Green Ronin Black Company setting.

If you want something like basic D&D to work on, why not try Swords & Wizardry by Mythmere Games? The rules are free in pdf form and the print version (which is now in distribution) is pretty nifty too. Labyrinth Lord is a bit more complex, being a simulacrum of Basic/Expert D&D. Swords & Wizardry even has a d6 only based Whitebox version that is extremely easy to run and teach.

Goblinoid Games Labyrinth Lord
Mythmere Games Swords & Wizardry
Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets (my oldschool blog)

Gorbacz wrote:
YawarFiesta wrote:
Dork Lord wrote:

Ha! Not a PC "Happy Holidays" thread. Right on. :-D

Merry Christmas, everyone.

What's a PC ¨Happy Holidays¨ thread?


It's a thread where Americans take great pains to wish each other the best without getting sued ;-)

Luckily, us Europeans don't have that problem. Wesolych Swiat !

You must live in some obscure part of Europe. There is very little difference in the Litiginous Urge anymore between you and us. My better half is European and I always hear about how there is just like here nowadays. Darned civilization. We were better off without it.

Happy Holidays, by the way. I wonder though, if less than PC, it is showing respect for others. As a pagan, I can enjoy the holiday season as much as anyone else.

My group is perfectly happy with the G/PG rated game. My blog has been called Disney-esque and I don't mind at all. It is a very "The Hobbit" meets Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser meets Zothique as if Lord Dunsany was editing the latter two to keep them in a Disney vein.

We grew out of all the adult themes in our early twenties. Now we enjoy getting back to the innocent (except for the slaying of any monster within eyesight) path.

Plus, it is nice to feel comfortable around one player's two pre-teen children, they can approach the table and watch the game at any time (and they often do) without us losing our flow. However, we retain this style of play even without children present.

Grond123 wrote:
I get up from the table and go find a DM that wants to run 3.5/Pathfinder not AD&D/Pathfinder.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I GM both oldschool and Pathfinder and there are different approaches to take as there are different mindsets involved in the way the games are played.

In AD&D/OSRIC/LL+AEC, etc, the game is more fluid and less complicated. In these games you start out as an ordinary person and work up.

This doesn't make it better, just simpler.

In Pathfinder, skills, feats and other game options add detail and really open up the game for customization. In this game you start out ahead of the average bear.

This doesn't make it better either, just more detailed.

Either way, I would never say 3d6 down the line as I agree that you need an edge. I usually allow for 4d6, drop the lowest and place where you want the score. There is a big difference between working with challenges and a Wizard with a 7 Int.

In any of these games mutual fun is the ultimate goal, restrictive rules that hobble characters is a step in the wrong direction, in my opinion. A flexible GM leads to a fun game, as long as that GM is fair to everyone equally.

Wolfthulhu wrote:

Don't confuse what Paizo can do with what we, the gamers, can. You can make a PRPG game that completely revolves around Illithid and Githyanki. But the moment you start mass producing and selling your games, the lawyer machine would get cranked up.

(And I'm sure there are more details involved, but the basic point is YOU can use whatever IP you want for whatever game system you choose. Just keep it in your own game room and nobody gets hurt.)

I realize that and was saying two different things.

1) We (as GMs) can just grab the source from a 3.5 book or make one up, easily.

2) Paizo CAN make any of these monsters, with an altered name and changes to the statistics, this has been done legally several times.

Therefore, I am not confused, there are two different approaches, I was addressing the OP with one, and a Paizo staff member with the other.

James Jacobs wrote:
AncientVaults&EldritchSecrets wrote:
Well, ok, you have stopped this from happening, and that is your perogative. However, nothing LEGAL stops you from making a "Carcass Scavenger" (Labyrinth Lord's Carrion Crawler) or a "Phase Tiger" (the LL equivalent to the Displacer Beast).
Just because something's not illegal doesn't make it a good thing to do.

Most legal things aren't all that fun to do. In the context of the conversation, however, it is still your perogative to do this for the official game world.

I think what sort of gets my goat more than the IP or Not-IP issue is that if you want an illithid for your game, just whip one up, it doesn't matter and isn't worth posting any angst about. Nobody will know unless you post about it anyway. I use all sorts of weird things in my game. Who cares? As long as we aren't making it a product and it is just in the context of the game, it is all well and good.

James Jacobs wrote:

Not quite true. I'm stopping Paizo from doing this. I don't think that disrespecting WotC's wish to maintain control over the monsters they've identified as their protected intellectual property is good for either Paizo OR WotC. With a few exceptions (such as the eye of the deep, which we made sure to make look as different from a beholder as we could, and which I doubt we'll ever use again), I'd much rather focus on monsters that we make up, monsters from myth and legend and cryptozoology, monsters from public domain sources, and monsters that ARE already open content.

It's easy to get hung up on the fact that there's 11 monster types that WotC has kept to themselves and forget the fact that there's a few hundred that they did not. We can still use otyughs, bulettes, rust monsters, aboleths, ankhegs, intellect devourers, aasimars, tieflings, all of the demons and devils, the dragons, black puddings, invisible stalkers, mimics, owlbears, gelatinous cubes, sahuagins, and xorns, to just scratch the surface of things that they probably COULD Have claimed as product identity. They didn't. That's worth keeping in mind.

Well, ok, you have stopped this from happening, and that is your perogative. However, nothing LEGAL stops you from making a "Carcass Scavenger" (Labyrinth Lord's Carrion Crawler) or a "Phase Tiger" (the LL equivalent to the Displacer Beast).

I don't think that the choice of making an alternative version of a WotC IP creature is being disrespectful myself, it is filling a niche that they have chosen to remove (at their own choice, no foul there) but that some people may want to use out of nostalgia, converting an older module or just because they like that idea as presented originally.

Really, why would you use a creature like a bulette in the Pathfinder game? Probably because it is a creature that many of us are already familiar with, not just because WotC allows you to.

James Jacobs wrote:

But it's a pretty easy house rule to say that rangers can get any animal companion they want. Just check with your GM!

Just as an observation, not a criticism; it seems that many people who game in a newer style are more apprehensive about houseruling, possibly because of the sheer abundance of rules presented in newer games.

I am not an edition war person, I run Swords & Wizardry, Mutant Future, Labyrinth Lord and Pathfinder. Sure I favor oldschool, but we also all enjoy Pathfinder. Being from an older tradition, with less options, houserules and add-ons were natural. Post 3.0, with the abundance of rules, it seems that people have a tendency to not want to break these rules as much.

As long as your GM approves, go for it. What does it hurt to ask the GM and work with them? We aren't your adversaries, we just get the adventure rolling and present the scenery and the (un)usual suspects.

Abraham spalding wrote:
The One Who Makes You Angry wrote:

Since the OP was *ahem* very vocal about his unhappiness with the monsters missing, what are the chances of paizo doing some sort of "pay to play" with those monsters?

I know it is probably a question that will get me attacked to no end, but I was just curious.

It can't be done by Paizo... it's intellectual property... Wizards owns said creatures and isn't letting anyone else have them for gaming purposes... so it doesn't matter what Paizo might want to do, they can't touch them at all.

Well, actually, Paizo can easily make a "Mindbreaker" that looks just like a mindflayer and does the same thing. Nobody is stopping Paizo from doing that and the other retro-clones do it all the time. So you call the Githyanki "Astral Raiders" (I do on my oldschool blog). If you can stomach a name change then you can toss in any of these monsters. Nothing stops you from using the 3.5 books (as has been pointed out), so either way, your problem is solved.

Kyrt-Ryder: in response to your spoiler point. I just stated that the eidolon will be treated as a tulpa in my game, the character is Chaotic Neutral, which makes sense, however you slice it, this is the enslavement of a creature, as we talked about it at the table, a Good alignment didn't make sense. Bear in mind that my decision was a consensus, we are oldschoolers, we aren't tyrants, the rules are fast and loose and up for debate. Rulings, not rules, is the motto at the table. I proposed the tulpa aspect, we read through the summoner class together and this was agreed on. As a thought form given life, each time that the eidolon evolves, it will attempt to break free and has a 15% chance (with a cumulative 1% added each additional evolution). So really, it probably won't happen, the player is fine with it, and no toes were stepped on during the creation of the character.

I would say that this aspect of the summoner would be penalized only at the time that the eidolon evolves to point out that life is not something to play about with or to be taken as something absolutely under one's control by a mere mortal. In my first post on this subject you will notice that I mentioned using the eidolon as a tulpa, a thought form made manifest.

Life is a strange thing in the real world that persists and has qualities that are at times unusual and stronger than one might imagine.

In the end, I am not going to sell you on it and really, it doesn't matter anyway, everyone's game world is different. I enjoy keeping player's on their toes and adding elements of danger, I don't furnish a cakewalk. You want to summon a weird lifeform and use it to fight for you? It might just rebel when it gets stronger, it might yearn to strike out on its own.

Not to point out anyone else, but then Quijenoth posts about limiting the eidolon's gear. Does that not penalize the summoner by not allowing the same gear that anyone else might have?

[I like the idea though, I must say.]

Fighters don't always hit, do they? Are they assured a strike with every sword swing? Alas, no.
Is a Rogue always going to disarm the trap? Every time? Ah, nay again.

It isn't about silliness, it is about predictability in process. Why should a magic-user's spells always go according to plan every time? It isn't about thinking three steps ahead of the game, it is about not knowing how the game will unfold. How boring for a player to always know the end result, to always think that they are in charge and master each situation.

Kolokotroni wrote:

Why exactly should magic be dangerous? Do wizard spells have backlash? (perhaps an errant teleport but thats about it) Do dieties sometimes tell their servant clerics 'Nah no spells for you today, come back tommorrow at dawn and we'll talk'? Does a conjuration wizard run the risk of losing control of his giant spiders?

Magic should be dangerous as there is no reason for it to be always reliable, magic is a raw power of unknown origin. In my game world, if the cleric did something that their deity (ies) would find questionable then yes, there are no spells for that day, however, it is more likely that the spells would be weirded out somehow. If the God of Spiders knows of some reason to mess with the conjured spiders then yes, there is a chance that they may scuttle amok.

I wasn't planning on a massive chance of the eidolon breaking free, however it makes sense to me that such a creature, upon evolving, would want to be an independent creature. Certainly there are factors to consider, however the chance of the creature breaking free should be a real thing and therefore the summoner would do everything that they could to keep this from happening, which I would allow.

Predictability is boring, a possibility of things going awry keeps people on their toes.

This is a repost of my post about eidolons on ENWorld:

Call me cruel, but I am letting a player run a Summoner but with a twist. The eidolon will be more like a tulpa and at each evolution it will strain to be free and independent of the summoner. If it gets the chance to break free it will be an independent creature, a thought-form made manifest in physical form and under its own control.

Such a creature would long to become a power in its own right and would strive to evolve through its own actions.

If the eidolon breaks free a summoner may conjure another, but there will always be a slight chance of the creature breaking free and becoming a creature under its own power as the new one evolves.

This throws in a little unpredictability as I find the class too stable considering all of the summoning and conjuring of creatures. Magic should be dangerous and it should backlash every so often.

A LOT of people play the oldschool games and the retro-clones and get by nicely without THAC0. In these days of cheap printing it really isn't a big deal to print out the basics of each class for a player to have at the ready.
BAB is good and certainly helps a detailed game run smoothly, but the oldschool way runs just as smoothly and there are several "one table" charts out there even for oldschool games that encompass PC and monster strikes in combat.

Khezial Tahr wrote:

AncientVaults&EldritchSecrets- Or he could just not have the time or inclination to go through all of that. I know I did not. If you have a point to make, make it. Use the extra material to flesh it out. Not make your case. I think you got the wrong impression from Ray's post.

If you have the time to create a Pathfinder character, you have the time to read a handful of small articles. I despise THAC0 myself, so I wouldn't suggest reading anything on the mechanics, but what harm is there in reading on the philosophy?

I believe I made my point quite clearly, but that nicely sums it up.

That "if you have a point to make, make it" comment sounds a bit gruff. I hope I didn't step on your sensitive little toes there by suggesting that people read up on the history and philosophy of the game that they are playing.

W E Ray wrote:

I'm interested in browsing -- though it is kinda funny that you couldn't count to 4 -- but, yeah, looking up those old sites does not look fun.

How 'bout this -- copy/paste a few teaser paragraphs from one or two of those sites here and then we can talk about them.

That'd be cool.

I will say that this is a bit unfair, because it sounds like you consider previous games boring or not worth your time. Now, I am a staunch supporter of any game that works for your group being the perfect game, regardless of edition, but I run more oldschool games because not everyone has the time for Pathfinder in my group (we often like to just play a game, but the depth of class in Pathfinder is very appealing to the group), although I enjoy running the system as an oldschool game.

Much of that information, beyond THAC0 is relevant to any fantasy game, and Philotomy's treatise on the dungeon as a Mythic Underworld should be read by anyone running a fantasy game.

I would like to see (or leap into) a Google Wave Pathfinder game, or even Skype.

Ok, I am an oldschooler and I don't feel that this is necessary, except that Robert Fisher and Philotomy's websites have a lot of great gaming information that can be used for any fantasy game. I will always use Philotomy's dungeon as Mythic Underworld philosophy, but it isn't that relavent to Paizo in my opinion.

Virgil wrote:

But that's sliding into off-topic territory. Gish has become the term many envision differently such that you're not going to ever come to a universal consensus as to exactly how they should be portrayed. It can be simplified to mean someone who fights like a fighter (armor and sword) while retaining arcane spells, with a common expectation of it being in a setting where the two roles are commonly segregated.

And more is the pity as a gish is a specially trained member of a race of astral creatures and not a player option. Wanting this type of character in my game would be akin to wanting to breathe fire like a dragon, breathing underwater like a sea devil or flying like a griffon, all of these as natural abilities and not spells. Even with 2e, where the Githyanki were a possible player race, their abilities were dampened from a normal member of their race.

This looks quite nice and is a handy guide, thank you for writing it. I did chuckle at the red indicator for a dwarf sorcerer as one of my players chose that lineup, but really, it isn't all that bad and this player choice is part of the backstory of the character. The dwarf's family delved too deep in the wrong cavern and ran into something that wasn't meant to be uncovered. With the advent of 3.0 and beyond any race can be anything much easier than before, even as a devout oldschooler I can appreciate that.

So much would need to be altered it hardly seems worth it.
As Matt Finch says about Swords & Wizardry: It is like being Batman, no super powers, nothing that makes you superior to anyone else other than your ambition, drive and the fact that you are scouring dungeons.

More modern games are very centered on gimmicks and additions like skills and feats. However, I sold Pathfinder on my Labyrinth Lord group because sometimes you want to be Spiderman and stand out from the crowd.

Neither approach is better than the other, but newer versions of the game just don't strike one as being as grim as struggling to keep a wizard based on 0E or B/X D&D alive.

Grim and gritty just doesn't jive with 3.0+, not even Green Ronin's Black Company setting was that grim, and the books are quite gritty for any who have read them.

One thing to remember: This game (and I am referring to D&D) began with the idea of the DM (now GM) using the rules as a guideline and houseruling where they see fit. There is no reason whatsoever to abandon this sentiment. Anything you see as a concern, just houserule it. Coming from the oldschool, the group and I find Pathfinder to be a fun game. I posted a thread on ENWorld about my game world (and would like to hear about others) as I think I should keep my posts here to a minimum. Sometimes the threads disappear or some posts are deleted after I post something.

I would like to see a bleak Victorian Era setting, much akin to Philip Reed's vs. Monsters. Sinister, dark and somewhat nihilistic in nature.

Luminiere Solas wrote:

not all blondes are dumb, my mother is proof that blondes are smart, and that a degree says nothing about your skill. she is effectively the superaccountant of raleys. and the reason they're still in business. hopefully this dispels the dumb blonde steriotype.

back to Merisiel and her intellegence score

Merisiel is a developmentally delayed elf, which is actually average intellegence for a human. elves would possibly make jokes about her though. but she grew up in human society. so she probably hasn't known an elf to insult her.

Well, you have half-way dispelled the stereotype. Now run out and convince the 100 million blondes who use the dumb blonde cliche to their advantage to stop right this instant!

I started with the core and bestiary, a few ancient D&D and AD&D modules for inspiration and a pad of graph paper, a pencil and the dice. Nothing else is necessary, really.

Our group, when we play a modern version of D&D, will be playing Pathfinder without WotC books. The only thing made for 3.5 that we will be using that is non-Paizo is the Necromancer Games character sheets that look like the old 1e character sheets.

Thank you for the insights, everyone.
I will send my players towards your endeavors, Treantmonk, so that they may read the bounty and encourage them to read the advice therein.

Purposely forgetting feats and skills has gotten us off the path of dealing with the concepts of using these to their full potential.

wraithstrike wrote:

Could you explain this for me?

I run oldschool games mostly, or retro-clones. Pathfinder is a beautiful book, and I bought the core and bestiary and as we had 3.x experience we dove in.

With newer editions (mind you, I am not in on any edition wars, any game that you and your group likes is perfect, regardless of edition) there are skills and feats that help to make up for flaws or lack of power in a particular area, especially spell related feats. My group is more used to figuring things out without these options, which are basically just mechanical reminders of something that your character can do. Earning a feat that circumnavigates a fault is a great patch for an inadequacy in the character.

I do like the idea of helping people enjoy their game, that truly is great, optimizing just sounds like trying to squeeze every bit of potential from a character when overcoming one's shortcomings is also important. Character is forged through adversity, not taking the easy road.

Maybe I am just used to a bunch of scoundrels who sometimes do heroic things, usually for some profit to themselves, than characters that start out as heroes.

Thank you Wraithstrike and Treantmonk for your explanations.
I ran 3.0 & 3.5 and I did have a player thatr tried figuring out his prestige classes while creating his character. This is fine, and I had a RIFTS player that squeezed every possible mechanical benefit from his character and the game system, which was a bit annoying at times.

With 3.x and Pathfinder there are enough pulled punches with the system that optimization just seems overly busy. It is a game. If your wizard doesn't have the best spells, his mentor taught him what he could and sent him out into the world. The character and the rest of the party get to deal with that and make the best of it. With skills and feats one could make up for a few discrepancies here and there, I would imagine.

I don't want to put down your efforts, it is a noble venture to help people enjoy a game, it just seems that the game hands a player so many options that dealing with the pros and cons would keep a group on their toes.

Why does anyone want to optimize any class? That sounds too much like min/max-ing. Why not make the character and roll with the punches? Part of the fun of roleplaying is working with drawbacks as well as advantages. Roll the dice and run with your character.

The group I run is going from oldschool to Pathfinder and while Feats are annoying, nobody is cherrypicking abilities, a character is thrown together and hits the ground running. Is that so bad? So far nobody is making career choices based on where they are at, we have just dived in.

A batch of Chaotic Neutral would be awesome for a city or twon encounter with competing mercenaries, cutthroats, thieves, etc.

As far as dungeons go, there are a plethora of them out there. I am gearing up to run an oldschool dungeon called Orc's Nest that was written for OSRIC for Pathfinder. The premise? The characters were finding lost sheep when they see that the sheep have been taken into a hole in the side of a mountain. Wicked looking bootmarks are easily seen in the mud accompanying the prints of the lost flock. Once inside, the dungeon has many branches and the players drive the action from there.

The beginning scene will need to be set up, from there allow the players to move the story forward, with a few nudges here and there.