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Some great ideas here! Thanks!!


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After giving this some thought, I'm now thinking about making the ACTUAL MUSIC the monster; the skeletons are playing instruments that keep it on the material plane; so something like a summoned/elemental creature.


Kyrone, we are definitely thinking along the same lines! Thanks for your input!


Super stoked to pour through the monster creation guidelines for PF2! As I am currently running a playtest of the rules for the next few sessions, I am in need of a boss level encounter for our next session.

The party is Level 2, 6-7 PCs. I am looking to design an encounter with a being called the THRENODY OF FATE, based off of this image from Gustave Dore's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lrq7YBDBGLMSl35F9_AaL927y4jao2id

I am thinking it will be a 100(ish) XP encounter; somewhere between 100-120XP. It will comprise of three skeleton-based creatures (I've already introduced them to a few low-level skeletons); two of them will play musical instruments that will buff the third one, who will be melee-based, and it will also debuff the PCs; kinda like the Demoralize effect of the Skeleton's skull toss, but more effective.

So, here's the scene: the party enters a large chamber and, after appropriate clues have been dropped (such as a room with dead adventurers that have pierced their own eardrums), come face to face with the Threnody of Fate standing upon a dais. The room seems to darken and fill with a chill air as two of the skeletons begin playing a violent, madness-inducing tune. The third draws a bastard sword from its scabbard and charges the party ...

How would you design this triple-threat using the guidelines in the PDF?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


Darksyde wrote:
Any tips for folks looking to run their first PF2 session?

Yes, I have a few. EDIT: These are things that worked for me; YMMV.

Personally, I think it's probably harder for an experienced Pathfinder GM to just port over to PF2 than someone who's only run another edition of D&D or a different rpg. A lot of things have the same names but behave differently, so my first tip is to read the CRB cover to cover; it took me about a month and a half, but I actually read it straight through, from the intro through the appendix. It really helped me get an overview to the design aesthetic, particularly how magic and magic items fit into the new edition.

Second tip, run simulations. I made purposely OP/min-max'd PCs to test encounters; almost all of the builds used flaws and had max'd out key Ability scores. I took time, especially, to study the reactions for each class and tested how they synergize with other classes; an unwary GM will get his or her clock cleaned if you aren't watching the PCs, especially when they start using the Delay action to set up synergies. EDIT: To Paizo's credit, they've actually made it REALLY difficult to make broken characters with this edition.

Third tip, the monsters have lots of fun, quirky abilities in this edition. Try to use all of them, it keeps the players guessing what else they have up their sleeves and will definitely invite caution on the part of the PCs.

Fourth tip, have a good look at your player's choice in weapons for their characters -- the traits of weapons can be used to set up synergies as well, so be aware of who's got what: trip, fatal, reach, forceful, etc, and what those traits mean.

Final tip, don't deny the players these opportunities to synergize; this edition of Pathfinder, even moreso than first edition, lets PCs do some bananas things -- embrace it and lose gracefully.

EDIT: REALLY final tip -- get the GM screen! It's a life saver!

I hope you find these helpful!


LOL, yeah! Gotta up the ante! The players want an arms race, I'll give em an arms race lol.


Ravingdork wrote:
One must wonder though, why was there a need to glide over the gorge in the first place?

Ah, therein lies the hook. :)

They had three options: (1) walk through the gorge, which has a mineral mine, and is in three sections; this would require a caravan and constant watch for the gnoll raiders who have been poaching the mine for slaves; (2) walk through the Osirion desert with all of its inherent dangers; (3) Take the express route via glider. Due to an anomaly in the way the gorge was cut, there are strong thermal gusts which form from the heat of the ground above colliding with the cooler gorge and mine entrances. Even more curious, the thermal flows' direction changes depending on the phase of the moon, kinda like a wind-tide. The PCs waited until the last 3 days of the current phase of the moon to ride the thermals out, allowing them 28 days to fly back to the outpost if need be.

They are investigating one of the sky pyramids which has crashed; that's a whole other big map/terain piece that I made for the rest of this playtest. :p


Excaliburproxy wrote:

That is a really neat encounter, man.

Do you find that the game scales up to 7 players well? I am running a game with just 5 players and I already feel like combat rounds tend to take a little while.

I'm used to running large groups, and compared to first edition, this flowed really quick. I don't usually plan on encounters taking X amount of minutes to run; for PFS I could see this being a concern, but for a home-brew game if the combat takes an hour, it takes an hour. It didn't feel like a slog at any point, though.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Sounds amazing! So how does the Stride action work when you're stuck to the confines of a little glider?

Abstraction. :)

You have to move a minimum of 5 ft, or the glider starts to fall. After two rounds, the glider falls to the gorge floor, 75 feet below — you probably don’t want to do that. That made healing a primary concern.

Maximum movement is 30 feet. You are suspended in a harness, so once you are within reach, you can attack as normal. I also had areas with loose rock and shale that the PCs could pick up and drop on opponents or knock loose to fall on an opponent chasing them.

This is what it looked like, in-game:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/3L9sJzYQ61gKTZb77


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Wow, glider battle over a massive gorge against river drakes is a really epic first encounter to start on a high note!

Well, thanks to you, Mark and the other designers, for keeping true to what Pathfinder means to so many of us and making a game that allows epic, crazy ideas to be brought to life with a robust rules set that doesn't pander to the lowest common denominator!

(It was a lot of fun to run! I tend to plan encounters around terrain ideas; I think of a cool set piece to build, and then the encounter kinda springs out of that. I've been playing for four decades now so I tend to think in term of, 'hmm, what have I not seen happen yet?')


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I had seven players sit in on my inaugural session of PF2 this past Saturday. We played for four hours and had two encounters. The party was Level 1.

A bit of background - I finished my last Pathfinder campaign about a year ago; it ran from levels 12-20, plus one Mythic Tier. It was epic and over the top in every way that only high level Pathfinder can be. If you've played high level Pathfinder, then you know of which I speak. It was a glorious mess, indeed!

My campaign coincidentally ended just as the 2e playtest began and we eagerly dug into the playtest .... but I ran out of steam about 3/4 of the way through and we left the rest of the playtest and further development to the good people of Paizo. I did get to participate in most of the surveys, though. At that point I was pretty down on 2e.

The playtest finishes and as the hype starts for 2e I find myself getting more and more excited by what I am hearing. When the game dropped, I picked up the CRB, GM screen, Bestiary; and preordered that Lost Omens guides, as well as the as-then-very-incomplete Fantasy Grounds ruleset.

Flash forward two months, and after reading the rules cover to cover, felt ready to start play testing the various systems to see how they feel.

Here are my impressions:

The party consisted of a sword and board fighter; bard; monk (stances, no ki), ranger; elementalist sorcerer; cleric, and storm druid.

I am VERY PLEASED to announce that the session went GREAT! We had to refer to the rules a few times throughout the session, but by and large, the information in the GM screen was enough to keep the session rolling with virtually no pauses.

The first encounter was against two River Drakes while they were in gliders traveling through a massive gorge. The second encounter was against a handful of skeletons.

My take aways thus far:

1 - it still feels like Pathfinder! I was secretly dreading that PF2 would end up feeling like 5e with it's veneer of awesome but in fact leading to the most monotonous combats. The 3 action economy really created natural drama and the players quickly learned that the third action is not something to be squandered .

2 - it's a very intuitive ruleset; just about everything I thought felt balanced, really was, without having to check a bunch of math first.

3 - the players absolutely loved feeling like they could do multiple things during an encounter, besides fighting; it didn't take long for them to start utilizing the Delay action to set up synergies within the party based on certain triggers.

4 - as much as I loved the critical failure/success mechanic on paper, it paled compared to the way it played at the table. It created so much drama and excitement, it adds a nice little gambling mechanic to every roll.

Overall, the session went super-smooth, even with such a large party, and never dragged once. I'm really looking forward to exploring the rules some more at the next session!


That sounds right, but I don't know if there is a 'zero' level for encounter building; without the GMG, there's nothing explaining that yet.

I'm having the same problem building level 1 encounters by the numbers, there are no -2 threats in the Bestiary.

You could start with 2, and if they are getting shellacked, have one retreat, or if they are doing well, bring in a 3rd as a reinforcement.


See the spell, Dragon Form. It says you can take the Manipulate action only, and gain a breath weapon and some other things; nothing about speaking or casting spells.


I subscribed, really like what I've seen so far!


Thanks for the insights, NumenorKing!


Thanks for the replies! I suspect this has something to do with PFS play, but I guess the first errata will show us what the actual intent was/is.


When using a staff, the CRB clearly states:

"You can Cast a Spell from a staff only if you have that spell on your spell list, are able to cast spells of the appropriate level, and expend a number of charges from the staff equal to the spell’s level." (page 592)

However, for scrolls, it says:

"To Cast a Spell from a scroll, the spell must appear on your spell list." (page 564)

Nothing about having the appropriate level to cast the spell on the scroll. Was this intentional, or an oversight? If intentional, does that mean that a caster can cast a higher level spell from a scroll just because it appears on their spell list (Arcane, Divine, Occult, Primal)?


When using a staff, the CRB clearly states:

"You can Cast a Spell from a staff only if you have that spell on your spell list, are able to cast spells of the appropriate level, and expend a number of charges from the staff equal to the spell’s level." (page 592)

However, for scrolls, it says:

"To Cast a Spell from a scroll, the spell must appear on your spell list." (page 564)

Nothing about having the appropriate level to cast the spell on the scroll. Was this intentional, or an oversight? If intentional, does that mean that a caster can cast a higher level spell from a scroll just because it appears on their spell list (Arcane, Divine, Occult, Primal)?

Any thoughts on this? Thanks!


Thanks! I am loving what I'm seeing from 2e thus far but it definitely feels like it has some major holes to be filled before I can run a campaign with it.


I was hoping this would have been in the Lost Omens World Guide, but I am wondering if there is going to be a chart released that shows what the maximum crafter level for a given population is for formulas, rune etching, etc.

I guess this is going to be with the GMG?


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Denim N Leather wrote:
Good thing it's Uncommon, then, and has the Gnome trait. Easily dealt with if you're using GM Fiat for Uncommon items, especially those that should have the associated heritage Weapon Familiarity feat. I would say that this weapon is not one seen by most people and if by some chance a player of mine really wanted it, I would have them find it at some point and use it untrained until they found a Gnome fighter that's an Expert or above to train them in how to use it. I would probably use it as an extended Downtime quest/activity in lieu of crafting or earning a living.

Except, now I see the Unconventional Weaponry feat! Doh!


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Good thing it's Uncommon, then, and has the Gnome trait. Easily dealt with if you're using GM Fiat for Uncommon items, especially those that should have the associated heritage Weapon Familiarity feat. I would say that this weapon is not one seen by most people and if by some chance a player of mine really wanted it, I would have them find it at some point and use it untrained until they found a Gnome fighter that's an Expert or above to train them in how to use it. I would probably use it as an extended Downtime quest/activity in lieu of crafting or earning a living.


Great work, thanks for this! I'm doing the same thing on Fantasy Grounds, but working from the bottom up, level-wise.


Mine came out great as well. I use 24lb paper and printed them in greyscale; looks fine!


Thanks, Wheldrake! It may be vestigial, as well... Just want to make sure I'm not short-changing my players!


@Nicolas Paradise, vision goes under SENSES on Page 1.


Thanks for replying!

That was my guess, too; but the CRB doesn't specify, from what I can see.

Maybe this was just future-proofing by Paizo?


Hi there, can someone please explain what the SPECIAL 1st feat is on the character sheet under ANCESTRY, and when you apply it? I can't seem to find a reference to it anywhere.

(Apologies is this double posts, my threads don't seem to be appearing on the forum)


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I sure hope it was! Since the gaming world has changed so drastically in the past 10 years, I hope Paizo was able to parlay that into satisfactory numbers. The Core Rulebook and Bestiary are definitely quality products!


Okay, thanks for the info!


Just curiosity, as I have already preordered the core rulebook and the bestiary from my FLGS.

Will Paizo be providing PDF copies of the CRB as well when you purchase a hard copy? Or is that for subs only?

Thanks!


Thanks so much, guys! This really puts my mind at ease (seriously).

I am a grog (1e is my main jam, actually) and these sorts of things really get under my skin lol. It's not the streamlining, per se; more the continual watering down of the game to a diluted, washed out version of its former self. 5e is not the only victim of this but I will cut the rant here lest I upset some folks.

I was going to preorder Pathfinder 2e and was holding off pending the answer to this question. Going to pull the trigger on the preorder now, however! I was not a huge fan of the Playtest version of 2e (we played roughly half of the playtest but it got pretty ridiculous at high level) but am cautiously optimistic, leaning towards optimistic, about 2e, after the recent Know Direction episode. (In AD&D speak, it would be CO (O))

I will refrain from 5e bashing here because it's not good form, but let's just say it's not the game for me. :D


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After a two-year hiatus from 5e during which I ran a long Pathfinder campaign (set in the Dragon Empires, yeah!), I ran three sessions of 5e for Free RPG Day on Saturday at my FLGS (shout out to Brooklyn Strategist!). I was dismayed to learn that Smite can be used against any creature regardless of alignment (something that really annoyed me about 5e, I had repressed, and then was re-really annoyed with yesterday).

First thing yesterday morning I cracked open my Playtest rulebook and was relieved/pleased to see the word evil in the descriptor for the Paladin smite feat.

My question: Will Paizo be retaining Smite vs EVIL? Or is it going to be genericized like 5e? Please tell me it's the former! :)

Thanks in advance!


Thanks, Fuzzy-Fuzzy; I shall do that!


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After a two-year hiatus from 5e during which I ran a long Pathfinder campaign, I ran three sessions of 5e for Free RPG Day yesterday at my FLGS (shout out to Brooklyn Strategist!). I was dismayed to learn that Smite can be used against any creature regardless of alignment (something that really annoyed me about 5e, I had repressed, and then was re-really annoyed with yesterday).

First thing this morning I cracked open my Playtest rulebook and was relieved/pleased to see the word evil in the descriptor for the Paladin smite feat.

My question: Will Paizo be retaining Smite vs EVIL? Or is it going to be genericized like 5e? Please tell me it's the former! :)

Thanks in advance!


Dakratha wrote:

I've been trying to read the pdf, but all I have now is a headache.

If I continue typing, this will turn into a certifiable rant about all the things I really HATE about this whole experience.

So I'll just shut up now.

I haven’t bothered with the PDF. I am already over this and it’s not even started yet.

There is no way that this is a single-sided/single-department/single-person botch. Paizo has been amazingly diplomatic in their explanations thus far. We will never know the total truth. I’m past caring, to be honest, I just want the books I paid $100 for an August 2 delivery to arrive so I can get on with it.


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This is a huge fumble. Huge. We forked over good money in good faith for a product that can be downloaded for free, to have zero tracking info, zero amount of real feedback, and just a disappointing ‘oops’ email.

I ordered the book because I don’t like large PDFs. I like books. I ordered a book. There is no book, at least no this week. I suspect this won’t be sorted until after GenCon.

Major, major disappointment here. I will not make this mistake again, more fool me.


I am thrilled to see UE added to this line; so much easier than trawling through the pdf when coming up with treasure hoards!!


Would love to see the Ultimates in this format! I got the CrB and will probably get the APG, but Ultimate Campaign would be super sweet.


This is my favorite Bestiary cover to date!


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Lemartes wrote:
Leukodaemons...I love attacking pcs with those guys! :)

Me, too. One my my favourite baddies!


Ectar wrote:

First off: an encounter with a CR equal to the average party level (APL) is not challenging, it should be pretty easy, barring truly horrible die rolls. APL+1 is a bit tougher, and APL+2 is where fights start getting challenging. APL+4, by comparison, should be approximately an even fight. If the party were to fight a mirror of itself, including gear, feats, spells, and everything, that would be an APL+4 fight.

Moving on.
I find the easiest way to do encounter design is to decide how much of a challenge you want the fight to be, ie: APL, APL+1, APL+2, ect.
A tough fight that shouldn't be a TPK was your description, so I'm going to do an APL+3 example. APL +2 could work if you want to be a little more conservative.
First, look up any monster with a CR equal to the APL+3. In this case, that's CR 15, which equals 51,200xp. This is 51,200 xp for an assumed 4 people. To figure out how tough of a fight you need to make for an 8 people party, we do maths.
Divide your xp (51,200) by 4 for 12800. This is your xp budget per person. Take that number and multiply it by your total number of players. 12800*8=102,400xp. This is our xp budget.
Now, you could, in theory, throw a CR 17 baddie at the party, because that's 102400 xp right there. The party might win, but probably with casualties. That monster in question is much much stronger than any individual PC and will probably end lives with a full-attack.

Instead, it's almost always better to use several monsters instead of one big one. This is because of action economy. With 8 players you have 8 sets of actions each round, versus one monster with one. To make that one monster a challenge, it has to be significantly stronger than the PCs.

You can absolutely still have a strongest foe, with supporting ones. I'd generally recommend not having the strongest foe have a CR higher than APL+3, with minion-types to fill in the rest.
For this example, let's start with an adult forest dragon, a CR 15 monster.
We take the xp for the dragon, and subtract it from our total...

This is superb, thank you. I got it now.

And thanks to everyone else for commenting as well!


Sounds logical, thanks for your input! The first encounter is, in fact, going to be against a re-skinned Linnorm. I also have a backup just in case things go sideways for me and they dispatch the Linnorm quickly.


Hi all,

According to the CrB, if you have more than 6 players, the APL goes up by one.
I am running a group of 8 players, level 12 (96 total levels).

According to the CrB, an Average encounter would be CR 13. This seems rather low to me; should I be looking at the APL as higher than 13 due to the large group?

I have only run high level Pathfinder once before and it was the end of a campaign final boss fight. Since then I have been playing 5e which has very abstract CR values. So, going back to Pathfinder I want to push the party but not cause a TPK.

Would a single CR 16 creature cause a TPK?

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks!


Hi all,

Within Ultimate Campaign, there is a gold piece conversion if you are not using the Kingdom Building rules. For my upcoming campaign, I will have mass combat, but no Kingdom Building.

Do you know if anyone has compiled a conversion for the mass combat/army options to their gp equivalents?


Thanks for the insights!


Hi there!

I am going to be running a high level home-brew Pathfinder campaign set in the Dragon Empires (starting at level 12) and am thinking that I may want to introduce secret goals for each character or groups of characters (I think I will have 6-7 players for this campaign), and am wondering how any fellow GMs out there would introduce them to the players? Ideally I would like the players to have reasons to need to keep them secret and perhaps even be at cross-purposes to the secret or known goals to others in the party.

Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated. Thanks!


Thanks! Will probably skip the ACG but Mythic interests me.

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