Drazmorg the Damned

Doomed Hero's page

Organized Play Member. 4,224 posts (36,714 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 214 aliases.


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HP 32/32, Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +5 Shift 4/4, Spells- 1st: 7/7, 2nd: 5/5 Active effects: Lowlight vision, See In Darkness

Not taking anything on the loot list.

Done leveling.

Besides the basic number stuff, she's picked up 2nd level spells, including Make Whole so she can heal our warforged friends.

Also, she has an animal companion now too. Hers is a lion. I'll have stats soon.

Did I really read that the game has added robot porn and the cow is going to be riding a chicken?


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

There's an old video game called Evil Genius where you play as a pastiche James Bond villain, and create a mountain base full of elaborate death traps.

It's one of my all time favorites. :)


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

9th level... yessssss....


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Not Athiest. Antithiest. :)


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HP 29/29, AC 17, Fort +6, Dex +5, Will +1, Bombs 6/6, Mutagen 1/1

"Eh, I just reverse engineer the wizardy stuff. There's a lot of arcane nonsense that ain't useful tae me. Alchemy is physical. So when a scroll says tae "evoke the aether at point nine of Avedaro's Constant" or some such garbage, I gotta figure out what that means in terms of ingredients. It's an awful lot like makin' a recipe out of someone else's book when they use different measurements and different words for ingredients. It's a giant pain in the arse, but once I figure it out I can do it by the numbers an crank 'em out quick."

"An' don't even get me started on Sorcerer scrolls. They don't ever know what the eff they're talkin' 'bout."


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HP 29/29, AC 17, Fort +6, Dex +5, Will +1, Bombs 6/6, Mutagen 1/1

Boomer smiles are the scrolls and alchemical supplies.

"Adu, lemme hang ontae those scrolls. I'll work 'em out and make potions from 'em," he said, adding his own list of scrolls to the purchase.

I can add those to my formulae book and make potions for the party on the cheap, Much better than only getting one use out of them.

Adding-
1x Scroll Alarm @ 25gp
1x Scroll Summon Instrument @ 12.5gp
1x Scroll Animate Rope @ 25gp
1x Scroll Detect Metal @ 25gp
1x Scroll Grease @ 25gp


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Xanos rarely came out of his laboratory. He was punctual, meeting with the members of the Knot who were present each night for their debriefing.

His presence was felt almost constantly. Severed hands ran throughout the horn delivering messages and checking guard positions and entry points. His undead horde watched passersby carefully from behind the arrow slits. The haunting melody played by one of the hands never stopped. Instead it simply moved around. One skeleton carried the lyre tirelessly, played by a severed hand that scuttled across the surface of the instrument like a musical spider. Where the song went, the Horn changed. Walls smoothed and thickened. Doorways damaged by the Victor's attack a lifetime ago repaired themselves. Traps and tunnels dug themselves in the catacombs. New walls and rooms formed. The entire mountain soon bore the subtle mark of the ancient necromancer.


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HP 29/29, AC 17, Fort +6, Dex +5, Will +1, Bombs 6/6, Mutagen 1/1

Boomer stuffed a rag into his cask, lit it off of his cigar, and tossed it, looking pained at the waste of good liquor.

Thunderbottle Express, ranged touch, point blank: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 4 + 1 = 17
Damage, point blank, focused blast: 1d6 + 3 + 1 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 + 1 + 3 = 9


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

The tall wizard looked vaguely amused. "Competition by nature requires rules, and that the competitors be at least somewhat evenly matched. I have no interest in such things."


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Oh, right. Our tavern, where the barkeep is a torturer. Wretched hive of scum and villainy, and all that jazz.


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HP 29/29, AC 17, Fort +6, Dex +5, Will +1, Bombs 6/6, Mutagen 1/1

Boomer has Explosive Bombs. His splash radius is 10 feet.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

"Hmm. These wilds have a reputation for being extremely dangerous. I expected more," the tall man said, a tad disappointed.

"The Asmodean temple is on the second floor. There is also an unclaimed room you may take as your own."

"We have a planning meeting each night in the Tavern with our evening meal. Join us then, after you have settled in."

The tall man seemed to have said as much as he was going to for now. Without segue or preamble, he walked out of the room.

It just occurred to me that none of us besides Urmurn actually introduced ourselves. We are such a+@#~#*s.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

The tall man looked exasperated and a bit disgusted at the vampire's zealous ranting. He changed the subject.

"We have done little in the way of exploring the wilds of Caer Bryr. You have been surviving in them for some time now. What can you tell us?"


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

"An excellent point," Xanos nodded. "We should keep his presence secret from the Seventh, and the Baron. They know the most about us, and I do not trust them."

"Let us make our introductions."

The necromancer drifted to the teleportation circle, spoke the command word and a moment later appeared in the first floor throne room.

For the sake of movign things along, I'll assume Haruk and Molsabar follow me.

Urmurn and the pair of vampires made their way through the receiving room into a massive chamber lines on all sides with carvings lionizing daemonic rule. The four horsemen were venerated here, but the room itself was barren. It was clean, but everything had been removed. All that remained were the carvings on the walls and the six massive stone pillars supporting the chamber.

The last time Urmurn had been in this chamber it had been the site of an battle nearly a hundred years old, full of broken pews, brittle bones, and a cracked alter. All that was gone now.

The only things in the chamber were three men, two human, one half-orc.

I'll let Haruk and Molsabar describe themselves.

One of the human men was quite tall. His height matched the hulking vampire behemoth, but without the bulk of armor and muscles. This man's skin was dark, but his eyes were icy, pale blue. His head was bald. In fact, he appeared to have no body hair at all.

He wore simple but finely made dark grey robes and what appeared to be a butcher's smock. It was tied around his waist, but not his neck, so it hung folded in half from his belt.

The other thing that hung from his belt were chains attached to spiked gauntlets. The disembodied hands each stood on their finger tips arrayed around the tall man like small pets on leashes.


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Male HP 53/53, AC 23, Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +6

Jack walked across the room to Nate's bed, grabbed it by it's frame, and unceremoniously tipped it over.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Down the entry hall corridor and around the corner the trio wound. Behind the arrow slits Umurn could make out flames and skeletal faces. Sharpened spikes a foot in length jutted from the walls every few feet, alternating sides, and also heights. Some were high, some were low. They looked sinister, but their purpose was not obvious.

Above, small holes in the ceiling dotted the length of the hall. They were bored up through the thick stone for quite a ways. Faint light shone from above, occasionally shadowed over by figures walking above.

At the end of the corridor was a heavy portcullis which ground open to let them pass. Behind the portcullis was a mechanical automaton covered in thick plating, it's cogs and servos whirring as it watched them pass. Behind the golem, on the wall opposite the portcullis was another portcullis. Two leering skeletons strained against the bars, reaching for flesh. It ignored the vampires, striving mindlessly to slay the only living thing in the room.

The only door out of this room was reinforced with a latice of steel bands. It too opened on it's own as they neared.

On the other side was a guard station and two massive chain winches. The room was empty though, no guards were present here.

Next to the steel-bound door was a standard heavy wooden door that led to a room that looked like it might be the beginnings of a receiving room. The basics there there. A table, a few chairs, a rug, but it was spartan and unimpressive. It looked like a number of things had recently been pried off the walls. Urmurn's memory of this room was foggy, but he loosely remembered there being plaques on the wall that had once labeled trophies, but all the trophies had been long destroyed by the time he'd arrived the first time.

The only thing of note in the room was a spiked gauntlet int he center of the rug, balanced motionless on it's fingertips

Feel free to keep up the conversation. I'm having fun playing Lifestyles of the Rich and Murderous.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

As the newcomer reached for the door, it slowly opened on it's own volition. Beyond was a darkened hallway lit by ruddy, muted flames shining from the other side of a series of arrow slits that lined the corridor.

In the distance he could make out two silhouettes, one male, towering and armored, the other female, lithe and graceful. Their eyes caught the firelight and reflected it back in sinister, unnatural fashion.

Umurn, This Link will take you to the Roll20 map. Once you join I'll give you control over your token.

DC 25 Perception check:

There is a trap in the wall on the approach to the door. It looks like it is probably some sort of pop-out blade trap.

It was not there the last time you were here.

separate DC 20 perception check:

There is a floor trap directly in front of the door.

It was not there the last time you were here.

Yet another DC 25 perception check:

Just inside the door, after it opens, there is some sort of trap in the ceiling. Likely a swinging pendulum of some kind.

It was not there the last time you were here.


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HP 29/29, AC 17, Fort +6, Dex +5, Will +1, Bombs 6/6, Mutagen 1/1

Migrants arrive!


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HP: 10/10 | AC: 17 | CMB: +3, CMD: 15 | F: +6, R: +4, W: +7 | Perc: +8 | Init: +5 | Active Conditions: none

Grial was a bit surprised to see another of his orcish kin in this town, but he wasn't the sort to go interrupt a group of women in conversation. He still bore scars from that particular lesson.

He tried not to watch them, but mostly failed. They were all very pretty. Even the child seemed like she would grow up to be quite striking.

He found his gaze wandering back and forth between the human and the orc-kin. It was strange to see such different kinds of beauty side by side.

He ordered a drink to give himself something else to do rather than stare.


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HP 30/34, 1 Con damage, AC 18, Fort +5, Ref +10, Will +4, Perc. +7, Init +5, Panache 0/1

Wrong goblin. I like the idea that Ivan still can't tell us apart though. :)


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Understandable choice. Best wishes to your family.


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HP 34/48, AC 20, CMD 17, Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +10, Perception +5, Initiative +4 Corruption 9/9, Channel, 0/7, Oath 2/2, Suicidal 1/1, Active effects:

"His. Mess." Marcus said flatly. He looked over to Ishanna for confirmation of what he'd just heard.

After he'd warned them back at the tower not to leave live enemies behind them.

After he'd chosen to stay behind to protect the camp while they left it undefended because he knew there were enemies following them.

After he'd done his best to organize a bunch of untrained peasants into something resembling a functional watch patrol.

After he and Ishanna had risked their lives to rescue the ones who'd ran into an entire family of ogres who possessed magic and advanced weapons.

After the planning, and the risks, all necessary only because he and Ishanna were the only ones with the sense to stay behind.

Now it was his mess?

"Go f$%* yourself." the doctor snarled. He turned his back on the group and headed to his clinic without another word.

Why am I doing this again?

Because it is the right thing to do.

They are ungrateful and shortsighted.

Their choices are reflections on them. Your choices are a reflection on you.

I'm used to not liking my reflection.

She isn't. That's why she is blaming you.

For once I don't deserve it.

She'll come around. Until then, just endure it.

I can do that.


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The Baron is one of the few surviving members of the House of Barca, the line of kings that Markadian the Victor overthrew. Raaven whispered into the minds of the Ninth Knot at the Manor House.

As an Elf, the Baron is old enough to remember The Victor's Rebellion. This man watched his entire family line deposed, most of them killed or executed, then saw the members of his faith rounded up and slaughtered. He survived all of this, and has lived among his enemies holding his true loyalties secret for a human lifetime.

"Do not underestimate this man. Beneath his mask of civility, he is likely cautious to the point of paranoia, extremely cunning, and deeply bitter."


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Those of us out of the fight will idle the time with conversation.


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Male Changeling Fighter 1, Monk 1, Rogue 1, Ranger 1, Actor 5
Sharon Goldtree wrote:
Gauntlet of Sharn wrote:
Storyteller Shadow wrote:
First my daughter. Then my girlfriend. I only have one dog left and he's male, he's no trouble at all :-)

A girlfriend!? Excellent news Shadow! Last I heard you were still dealing with you divorce problems. Good to know you're heading in a better direction personally.

=)

I know storyteller in Real life so I have known about the girlfriend...and she has away of...distracting him. ;)

Isn't that what girlfriends are supposed to do?


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HP 32/32, Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +5 Shift 4/4, Spells- 1st: 7/7, 2nd: 5/5 Active effects: Lowlight vision, See In Darkness

"The Black Cats. Don't make us cross your path," Aerin suggested.


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HP 34/48, AC 20, CMD 17, Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +10, Perception +5, Initiative +4 Corruption 9/9, Channel, 0/7, Oath 2/2, Suicidal 1/1, Active effects:

Marcus was content to settle back into work. He needed to hurt something. Whoever these three in the distance were would do just fine. He moved into the shadows quietly.

Stealth: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9

That could have been handled better.

Pride is the most common sin.

You would know.

As would you.

I'm not sure who we're even talking about anymore.

All of us.


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HP 32/32, Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +5 Shift 4/4, Spells- 1st: 7/7, 2nd: 5/5 Active effects: Lowlight vision, See In Darkness

Or maybe he's just horny? It's funny because he's a minotaur.


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HP 32/32, Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +5 Shift 4/4, Spells- 1st: 7/7, 2nd: 5/5 Active effects: Lowlight vision, See In Darkness

Also, we have two excellent healers in the group. Pretty sure everyone is at full.


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HP 34/48, AC 20, CMD 17, Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +10, Perception +5, Initiative +4 Corruption 9/9, Channel, 0/7, Oath 2/2, Suicidal 1/1, Active effects:

Before resting, Marcus uses his last two channels in the medical tent, to heal his patients and himself.

Channel: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Channel: 1d6 ⇒ 5

Then resting heals him 4, bringing his HP up to 43 of 48

When he and Ishana arrived, Marcus dismounted and scanned the group for obvious wounds, but said nothing.

The doctor was difficult to read. His stoic nature combined with his bird-like mask made his feelings on anything difficult to gauge. The best indication of what was going on in his mind were the shadows near him. Though he shed no light, the shadows near him reacted as though he did. They wavered and danced. When he was helping in the medical tent or protecting people on the battlefield, they tended to pull away from him in long lines, like he was a bright bonfire.

Right now, they were pulling towards him.

Marcus was angry.

Marcus is such a drama queen. Such dark. So brood. Wow.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Typos. Fixed. It's only Righty in this fight.

GM said Lefty because I used the Lefty alias for the Boggards. I got confused because I'm writing this at work, multitasking, and clearly don't know my left from my right.

The people responsible have been sacked.


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HP: 52/59, AC 22 (many variables), Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +5, Perc +4, Blindsense, Panache 3/4

A scuttling, armored hand leaped out of the shadows and hit the priestess, clamping down on her throat with a force that belied it's size.

Since this is the first time Righty has seen action, I'll break down his combat sequence. If there's questions, we can do them in Discussion after.

Since combat's been going on for a while, Monkey Style and Snake Style are active.

Righty 5' adjusts into Marta's space (no roll needed due to size. Since Righty has a natural reach of zero, he has to share a space with an enemy to attack them)

Stunning Fist vs Flat Footed, piranha strike: 1d20 + 11 - 2 ⇒ (20) + 11 - 2 = 29
Nonlethal Damage, unarmed strike, piranha strike, sneak attack: 1d2 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 4 + (2) = 7 Sunning Fist Fort Save DC is 14

Crit Confirm vs Flat Footed: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Bonus Crit damage: 1d2 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6

This hit triggers Marked Target, Grab, and Limb Climber

Grab (if attack hits), marked target: 1d20 + 13 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 13 + 1 = 34 If marta is Stunned, Righty gets a +4 bonus to this roll.

If the Grapple is successful, it triggers Strangle (grappled foe cannot speak, or cast spells with verbal components until the grapple is broken)

Climb vs Flat Footed CMD, limb climber, Derring Do: 1d20 + 13 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 13 + (1) = 16 (If Marta is Stunned and/or Grappled, her CMD might be lower than usual)
Adding Derring Do for 1 Panache.

Assuming all these rolls are successful, Marta has the following problems now-

Poor Marta:

Stunned (drops everything held, can’t take actions, takes a –2 penalty to AC, and loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). Attackers receive a +4 bonus on attack rolls to perform combat maneuvers against her)

Grappled (Can't move, -4 dex, -2 to all attacks and MD checks other than Grapples. Can't take 2-handed actions. Must make Consentration checks to cast spells)

Strangled (can't speak or cast Verbal spells while grappled)

Total of -10 penalty to attack Lefty (on top of Grappled penalties)

Marta grants Lefty Cover against other foes.

Marta is considered Flanked by any enemy who threatens her.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

I want to keep a tally of the stuff we've learned from this test of our defense system. Feel free to add to it.

1) The bear traps are too easy to spot. We need to upgrade that.

2) Boggards have really s!&+ty ranged attacks. Not sure if there's a fix for that.

3) Portcullis trap seems like a big success. Since the hands and the vamps can pass through the bars, it seems like our best feature so far.


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HP 29/29, AC 17, Fort +6, Dex +5, Will +1, Bombs 6/6, Mutagen 1/1

Thanks Glor!: 1d20 + 4 - 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 - 4 = 20
Crit damage?: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5


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HP 34/48, AC 20, CMD 17, Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +10, Perception +5, Initiative +4 Corruption 9/9, Channel, 0/7, Oath 2/2, Suicidal 1/1, Active effects:

Marcus did not like the idea of an ogre left alive on the borders of the town. This group seemed to have a bad habit of thinking problems would disappear if they left them alone.

People were going to start disappearing. Then they'd lament the loss and wish they'd done something sooner. There would be much anger, and a heroic charge. A good story.

He hated it.

It wasn't really his problem. He was just along for the ride. Still, he didn't like the idea of knowing an enemy was there and doing nothing.

He debated going to find the ogre himself. He was reasonably sure he could kill it, but he decided against it. These people needed to learn the price of being short-sighted in the Stolen Lands. Such lessons were harsh, but necessary.

So you've consigned a number of innocent people to death so others will learn? the voice in his head asked.

Not death. Ogres take prisoners. There is a good chance we will be able to save anyone who is taken.

Oh, that certainly makes it alright then.

Marcus ignored the sarcasm . The empty Varnhold was the issue in front of him at the moment. Arguing morality with his second soul could wait.

"An evacuation, perhaps?"

Marcus began looking to see if things were missing, indicating that people had left and taken what they could with them, or if everything was left behind.


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HP 20/20, DHP 14/14, AC 20, FF 19, Touch 11, Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +8, Perception +7, Initiative +1 Fervor 4/4. Active Effects: Antiplague,

I'm still in the thrall of work-demons. The snowstorms are really making my life hellish right now.

I'm going to try to get my character sheet finished tonight, but I'm not sure if I'll have long enough breaks between activity. Last night I didn't.


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HP 32/32, Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +5 Shift 4/4, Spells- 1st: 7/7, 2nd: 5/5 Active effects: Lowlight vision, See In Darkness

*eyes the door*


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

I kind love how we get a letter about being invaded and the Vamps are all "food's here!" and the rest of us just go about our business like we aren't about to be invaded.

This lackadaisical approach really makes me understand dungeons better. The boss monsters probably know the adventurers are there. They just have more important things to do wit their time then charge to the entrance and wipe out some noobs.


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HP 18/18, TempHP: 5, AC 15, Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +3, Spells, 1st 3/4, Summon 7/7. ACTIVE EFFECTS: Mage Armor

"Ghosts," Judah said with a small shrug and a grin.


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HP: 52/59, AC 22 (many variables), Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +5, Perc +4, Blindsense, Panache 3/4

One more quick note. I've added "ninja" markers to all the guards and critters that spend most of their time hiding.

Interestingly, this includes Golgotha. Now that Al's loyal steed has been improved, he has a climb speed and a burrow speed. My suggestion is to have him climb up to the ceiling and burrow in, mostly because I think the idea of an armored zombie horse dropping out of the ceiling onto some poor sap is hilarious.


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HP 34/48, AC 20, CMD 17, Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +10, Perception +5, Initiative +4 Corruption 9/9, Channel, 0/7, Oath 2/2, Suicidal 1/1, Active effects:

Aisha's genre savvy meta-narrative is hilarious.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Ok. I'm not sure how long she's been here with us, but since the moment she arrived, Xanos has been casting Nondetection on her. That covers 21 hours a day. The other three hours a day Xanos hides her in a Rope Trick spell. That keeps her from being Scry'd on, or found with Locate Creature.

Every single thing she showed up with is temporarily stowed in a Bag of Holding. That prevents Locate Object.

Finally, Xanos is taking one of the human skeletons, casting Restore Corpse on it, then casting Sculpt Corpse to make a body that matches Sister Badluck. Then that body is dressed in the sister's clothes and mauled in such a way that the jaw/tongue is destroyed (preventing Speak With Dead unless they can restore the corpse).

Then the fake sister corpse is stuffed into a bag of holding. Albrekt can then take a trip back to town on his terrible horse and hand the body off to the other Knot. They can hide it somewhere that the people seeking it will find it and come to the wrong conclusions about how she died.

Hopefully that's enough coutermeasures that anyone trying to find her will be thrown off our trail.


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HP 32/32, Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +5 Shift 4/4, Spells- 1st: 7/7, 2nd: 5/5 Active effects: Lowlight vision, See In Darkness

The healing happens at the end of Aerin's turn each round. It's a free action on her turn.


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Personally I don't track XP, but I left it out of the guide because I don't feel like there's a significant difference between using that system in a table top game and using it in a PbP game. If you like using the XP system, you won't notice a difference between your home game and your online game.


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Well, I finally did it. Here's the GMing guide. Better late than never, right?


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This is the long overdue companion to DH's Guide to PBP Gaming.

In this guide I'll try to cover all the details of running a successful Play By Post game on the Paizo forums. Much like playing a character in a PBP game, GMing a PBP game is a whole different animal than GMing a tabletop game. It's the difference between sprinting through an obstacle course and running a marathon. The fundamentals are mostly the same. The techniques for success are vastly different.

Everything this guide will list are suggestions. I tend to have a very matter-of-fact writing style. Don't think that means I think other ways are wrong. I'm trying to give you ideas of how to experiment and find the way that works best for you. In the end, the ways that are wrong weed themselves out. If you are successful at running a PbP game, that means your way is one of the right ones. If you are unsuccessful, it might be a good idea to do some critical analysis and look at where things didn't work the way you wanted them to before trying it again.

If you want to start GMing a PBP game, I'm going to assume you've played in them before and understand things from that perspective. I'm not going to cover text formatting, plot structuring, or how to write immersive descriptions. If you feel like you don't already have a handle on those elements of gameplay, you might want to wait before jumping into running a PbP game.

Just like my last guide, what I'm going to cover is organization.

The Commitment:

I'm going to put this right at the beginning. If you decide to run a PbP game, make sure you're in it for the long haul. Games can easily last years. While no one owes anyone else a game, it is still very disheartening to invest in a story that abruptly ends because the GM decides they don't want to do it anymore. Don't do that to your players. PbP has the benefit of not needing to coordinate schedules or be in the same physical space. It's a slower format, but as long as you can find 20 minutes of free time a day, you have the time to run a PbP game. You just have to be willing to stick with it. There will be times when it feels like a chore. When that happens, hopefully the techniques I'll discuss here will help you quickly move through the slog and get back to the fun. It's hard to describe exactly how to build momentum, but you'll know it when you have it. You'll also know it when you don't.

Most likely, if you're reading this it's because you have a grand idea for a story you want to tell, but haven't ever run a PbP game before. You want to know how to get started. You aren't going to like my advice.

Don't. Tell. That. Story.

Not yet. Get your feet wet first. Grab a short Pathfinder Society scenario, or We Be Goblins, or another very short, straightforward adventure. Run that. Think of it like a playtest.

The shortest adventure you can find will take months to play through. You'll learn a lot about your own particular playstyle, and how to keep things moving. You'll also learn that even a short scenario can feel like a slog sometimes.

By the time you make it through your short scenario, you'll have a good idea of whether or not the big story you wanted to run first is something you can realistically pull off. Hopefully, this guide will help get you on that path.

The Basics:

Your GM Face

First, make a GM Alias by going up to your Account settings. GM Alias' are handy because the forums allow you to search posts by a particular Alias. Sometimes you'll need to search back through your game. It's a lot easier when you don't have to deal with your other messageboard posts being mixed in with your GM posts. Also, your GM Alias gives you a handy spot to put all your GM notes. More on that later

Now that you have a GM Alias, go ahead and go to the Recruitment boards and click New Thread to get the ball rolling.

Getting the Party Started

So you have a story to tell. You need now are players. Think of it like a director with a screenplay. You need to pitch it to your actors. If you want a your dream cast, you'll need a good pitch.

You're going to start by going to the Recruitment boards and clicking the "new thread" link. Then you're going to make your first Recruitment post. Your Recruitment post should start with a pitch.

Your pitch should consist of Three things:

1) The Hook
This is the relevant backstory to your adventure. Please note the emphasis on relevant.

This is where you show off your skills as a writer. Think of it like the back of a novel or a trailer for a movie. You don't want to give away too much, but you want to give your audience just enough information to interest them.

The most effective way I've seen this executed is to write a very short story about the events leading up to the adventure. Just a snippet. An excerpt. Consider formatting it in Italics to visually separate it from the rest of the character creation guidelines.

Another option is to simply describe the style of story that you'd like to tell. Mixing basic genre descriptions with movies or books you are using for inspiration can provide a lot of information. For example "low-magic dungeon crawl through a labyrinth, in the style of Greek mythology" or "Indiana Jones-style jungle exploration action adventure" gives potential players a lot of information.

I can't stress enough that this should be concise. Think of it like a teaser trailer. Recruitment is not the place for the history textbook of your homebrew setting.

That said, posting both an except and a stylistic description will give players a great way to get on board with your creative vision for the game

2) Setting Information
If your adventure is set in a published campaign setting, providing a link to a wiki article might be all that's necessary. For large, well known settings you'll need to narrow down the area your story takes place in, but that's about it.

If this is a homebrew, things get more complex.

What you don't want to do here is dump a bunch of history and/or places full of fantasy-gibberish names. No one cares yet. Recruitment is not where people become invested in your story. You'll make readers go cross-eyed and skim over all that stuff you spent so long writing. Save your energy. Those details are for the Campaign Info tab, or to be revealed through Gameplay.

Instead, just give the basic overview of the themes of the setting, and where the players will be starting. If you just can't help but write out a ton of campaign info, put it in the Campaign Tab and link it for people that are interested. Then put a summarized version in your Recruitment thread. Often, a description of the basic geography, climate, culture, and some highlights of local politics are enough to put in this section.

Character Creation Guidelines
This is the most critical part of your sales pitch. This is where you set the tone of the potential main characters in your story. Lay out your criteria up front. Don't spring limitations on your players later. That just starts unnecessary discussions and makes people grumpy.

Here's the things you'll want to include, and the choices you need to make about them.

--------Attributes----------

Point Buy
First, understand that the idea that Point Buy is somehow connected to starting power level is a myth. The power level differences between a party of 15 point characters and a party of 25 point characters is actually pretty small, especially by about 3rd level.

(If you want a Low Power game, what you need to do is set the Maximum starting statistic. Max of 16, after race mods, is a good low power baseline. Not many games use this method)

What Point Buy actually governs is the kinds of characters you're going to see submitted.

Low point buy games are going to create more "traditional" parties. You'll see characters that rely heavily on a single attribute, and that attribute will be in the 17-19 range. You'll see a lot of Wizards, Druids, Clerics, and Barbarians submitted. If you want a "classic" feel to your game, this is how to do it.

In a High Point Buy game, you're going to see more varied character concepts. You'll start seeing stranger builds. Monks, Paladins, Magi, Dex-based fighters, multi-class characters, and other M.A.D. concepts all require more than one high stat, so they basically only exist in higher point buy games. If you don't mind complex character concepts, go with high point buy.

Rolling
This is the traditional attribute generation method. 4d6 take away the lowest is the typical rolling scheme, however 2d6+6 creates characters that fall more in line with what most players deem playable. The average stats are actually the same. 2d6+6 just squeezes up the potential minimum to 8.

I don't recommend this method because it will fill your recruitment thread with seemingly endless posts containing nothing but rolls. You'll also get a lot of people who will stick their heads in, roll, and if they get a below average spread, they'll either ask if they can reroll (which requires you to set a precedent for everyone, potentially causing another cascade of rolling posts), or they'll just leave, removing a potentially good candidate because of random chance.

Assigning an Array
This is one you don't see very often. It's primary benefit is that it allows a GM to tightly control the power scale of the candidates. If you want to set the maximum stat at 16, give out an array with 14 as the high number. If you want to force players to really play up their weaknesses, put an 8 in all the arrays. Generally speaking, this is the method used by GMs who want to tell a low-fantasy gritty story.

Here are some example 20 point spreads. These will create 18 maximums and 6 minimums from almost all characters.
16, 14, 14, 12, 10, 8
16, 14, 14, 10, 10, 10
14, 14, 14, 14, 12, 8

-----------Classes------------
Not all classes are suited to every game. Make your limitations known. Personally, I'm not a big fan of "Pet" classes, so when I run games I make it clear that players should choose class options that do not include animal companions, or other pets. Your mileage may vary.

That being said, don't be afraid to re-flavor a class. There's no reason a Gunslinger couldn't use the exact same mechanics but actually be a guy with an extra-powerful crossbow (See: Bolt Ace), or even a special kind of wand-slinger in a magitech setting. There's no reason a Samurai has to be Asian themed. A warrior devoted to honor and duty towards a lord or kingdom could fit into just about any fantasy culture. The mechanics are all setting-neutral. Everything can be re-fluffed to fit your story.

Something to consider for your story is how high you want the scale of magic to go. It's perfectly acceptable to ban all 9th level caster classes and keep your magical scaling manageable, especially if you're new to Gming.

-----------Traits-------------
Does your game include them? Most do, but they are optional.

If you are running a non-Golarion setting, I advise allowing Golarion specific traits to be re-fluffed to fit your game. "Havoc of the Society" could just as easily be named "Potent Sorcery" with the same effect.

If you're running a Homebrew setting, or converting a non-pathfinder setting, creating your own Campaign Traits is a great way to get players invested in your story and kickstart the kinds of submissions you want to see. This requires some skill at mechanical balancing. In general, traits are worth about half a feat. Be careful granting things like "perception as a class skill" or "+1 initiative" or "+1 damage with a specific weapon." If you decide to allow those as a campaign trait, you're going to see a lot of submissions that pick those particular traits. Your other traits will be largely ignored. Instead, your traits should give bonuses to the kinds of skill challenges and situations your game is likely to present. If you know that tracking down a missing child in the woods is going to be how your game starts, creating a trait that gives a +1 bonus to Survival and makes it a class skill is a good option.

Note: Story Traits are awesome rewards. Did your players survive a story arc that had them stuck at sea for months? Why not give them each a sailor-themed trait related to the most significant experience their character had while aboard the ship. Something as simple as allowing the Fighter to Charge across unstable ground because of all those fights on a stormy deck, or giving the Wizard proficiency with the Boarding Pike from that time they used it to hook an enemy boat, can shape characters in profound ways. Players love story-related cookies. Even if it's not an amazingly useful ability, they'll still love it.

-----------Equipment-----------
Remember to set starting character wealth and purchase limits. The standard guideline is usually normal Wealth By Level, no one item worth more than half the allotted wealth.

For low power games, you'll probably want to put strong limits of available magic items.

Personally, I'm a strong advocate of the Automatic Bonus Progression rules. That allows you to worry less about making sure every scenario has level appropriate magic items and loot baked into it. It also allows magic item slots to be used for more than just the Big 6 magic items.

-----------House Rules------------
Everyone has them. If they are relevant to character creation, make sure to list them. If they aren't, make a list and put it in a spoiler in the campaign tab for easy reference. Be careful of bogging down your players with House Rules. A few is novel and interesting. Too many will turn players away from your game.

Managing Your Recruitment Thread:

I'm just going to go ahead and say it. Recruitment threads suck. They are pretty much all barely manageable f&$*tangles.

Here's a few tips for making it easier:

Request characters sheets be submitted in an alias, or in a spoiler. Players who submit their raw character info as a post create walls of text in the thread, making navigating the thread itself a lot harder.

Request that potential players not roleplay in the recruitment thread. If you want to see how characters interact and how players write, tell them that there will be opportunity for recruitment thread roleplay after the submission deadline, but before you make your final choices.
Trust me on this one. It'll make picking characters a lot easier if you don't have to try to chew through a dozen extra pages of "tavern talk" to find the posts you're looking for.

Some players will start talking to other players, trying to tie their characters' backstories together. Ask them to wait until after party selection is made. This will cut back on thread chatter and stop any characters from becoming "Package Deals". That being said, sometimes Package Deal characters can be very rewarding story-wise, so if a couple players take that initiative, you may consider asking them to pursue it via Instant Message, and make a contingency plan for the possibility of only one of the characters being picked.

When addressing a player to ask them questions or give feedback, put your comments in a Spoiler. Spoilers are big, bold and save space. They're a lot more likely to be noticed by a player, and most of the time, players will respond to your spoiler with one of their own, which continues the trend of keeping the thread easy to navigate.

-----------Backgrounds------------
This is the first chance you have to get a party that falls in line with your creative vision. When you ask players for background, ask them to reinforce the themes you've described, and show how they have bought into the story through their character's narrative.

I recommend asking prospective players to keep their backgrounds fairly brief. They can be expanded upon after party selection happens.

On the other hand, reading a fleshed out backstory can give you a good idea of a given player's skill at writing. In the end it's up to you how much you want to read.

Picking Your Party

Pick good, reliable writers.

That's it.

Check a player's posting stats for other games. Read some examples of their writing. See what they are like in message board discussions. Snoop around. Most of the time their posting history will speak for itself.

If you like how they write, consider them for the game. Don't worry too much about party composition. Just go with the people who's concepts make you excited. This is the fun and easy part of your job.

Oh, one more thing. Stick to your deadline. If you need more time to pick a party, at least check in with your thread. Don't tell people when selection will happen and then ghost your own thread for a week. That's not a good way to inspire trust from your new players.

Closing Recruitment

By the time you announce your party, have the Discussion Thread and Gameplay thread open and ready to go. Don't announce your party and then make your new players wait for you to get your game together. Let your players jump right in and make first posts in each thread. That will attach the threads to the player's campaign tabs and let them get updates a lot easier.

This probably shouldn't need to be said, but I'm trying to make this guide as thorough as possible. When you announce your party, link them to your game thread. Don't make them hunt. I've seen games lose as many as half the party just from the GM not giving the players a link to follow when they announced the group (yes, that really happened).

Starting Your Game:

Congratulations, you made it through your first Recruitment. I know, it was painful. Get yourself a beer, you earned it.

Now you can actually start to play!

Your GM Alias
This is your Behind the Scenes stuff. Keep notes to yourself here. Create dice scripts for the whole party's perception rolls, and initiative rolls. Leave yourself links to the SRD Bestiary listing you're currently using.

Use your Race, Class, and Gender spaces for links you and your players will need frequently. I usually use it for a link to the current map. That way every time I post, the map is right there. Other GMs put their map link in the About This Campaign section of the Campaign Tab, but I find that putting the link in the Gender space is more efficient.

The Campaign Tab
Your Campaign Info tab is your game's reference library. Fill it up.

Make a setting almanac and put it in a spoiler. Search the internet for pictures that fit the landscape or architecture of the areas. Link them in the descriptions.

Make an NPC list and put it in a spoiler. In each NPC's short description, link the gameplay post the NPC was introduced in, and any posts that the NPC did something significant, in with their description so the players can easily remember who they are.

Make a House Rules list and put it in a spoiler.

You get the idea.

The Gameplay Tab
You set the tone. If you want it to read like a novel, be strict about keeping OOC conversations in the Discussion thread. Reserve Blue Text for clarifications of actions. (This is my recommendation. It provides the greatest level of immersion. If you're more laid back about that stuff, do it how you want.)

The most important thing is that what you write is able to be understood clearly by the players. Make liberal use of Blue Text and the Enter key to break up text walls. Use spell-checker.

The Discussion Tab
Don't underestimate the power of healthy OOC banter to keep the IC thread moving. Even if a character isn't in a scene, keeping them engaged in the Discussion thread can keep them interested in the story while they aren't in it. If your Discussion thread's been dead for a while, liven it up. It will only help your game. The Discussion thread is just as much a part of the game as the Gameplay thread. Don't neglect it.

Setting The Stage
Don't take too long setting things up, and don't leave the introductions up to the players. The intro is not the place to let the players take the reins. Seriously, don't do it.

For example, do not tell your players "the game will be starting at this village" and then let them roleplay how they get there. You'll end up with one person describing walking on a road, then another player will jump in and describe meeting the first character on the road. A conversation will start, and all the other players will be forced to either sit it out, or have their character inexplicably showing up on the same road also, just so they can be included. It's awful. Don't do it.

Instead, let them work out how they know each other in the Discussion thread, or tell them that they'll meet on the job. A neat way of combining the two approaches is to split the party into a few different smaller groups. Within their given group, they know each other, but dont know the others. Maybe a cleric and a paladin are from the dame church and have known each other for a long time. Maybe an Inquisitor and a Ranger are partners tracking down criminals. Starting with a few character ties will help your game along.

Once character ties (or lack of them) are established, the next thing to do is establish the setting. Describe where they are and why. Try to be concise. You can fill in any gaps later once motives are established and the starting choices are made. Before those things happen, players will skim descriptions to find what is most relevant to them. After that, everything is relevant to them.

Then, drop them into the fire.

Nothing sets the tone of a game quite like the first fight. Don't let them get their bearings. Don't let them ask questions. Just bloody them.

Everything else will fall into place after that.

Keeping Things Moving:

The most important tool at a PBP GM's disposal is the "Cut Away".

Think of it like a movie. Once the plot-relevant stuff has happened, the story doesn't hang around and show us how the main characters get ready for bed, or the entirety of their shopping trip. It skips forward.

Do that. If a scene is lagging, skip ahead. If a fight is basically over and posting has slowed down, resolve the end of it "cinematicly" and get on with the story.

Games live and die by their momentum, and you are the one with the reins.

Handle shopping trips, divvying up treasure, lengthy discussions about what to do next, and anything that slows the story down, in the Discussion thread.

If nothing happens during travel, don't roleplay it out. If you aren't playing a Survival themed game, don't make a big deal out of things like Rations or how exactly camp is laid out.

Always keep in mind momentum. If it's flagging, change things.

I really can't stress this enough. I've seen a good PbP GM cut away in the middle of a fight because posting rates were down to one or two a week after a high-level fight had become a drawn out slog. The GM just wrapped things up with a few lines of description and pushed the game forward. It was a fantastic way of gutting away the fat and keeping to the meat of the story.

Maps:

You need to decide if you're going to use them. If you aren't, you need to get used to doing a lot of extra writing. Combat will be heavy on description. You'll probably want to use Blue Text to describe the schematics of the area, like the exact size of a room, or the size category of the monster you just described.

If you are going to use maps, there are a number of options, I'll list them in order of complexity.

MS Paint works for drawing out rough maps. You can host them on Imagr, or any other image hosting site. This is probably the lowest tech/skill option possible in a PbP game.

Google Spreadsheets also works fine. Just adjust the grid to be squares, and use initials to represent players and enemies. Setting the background color of various squares can create simple topography like rocks, doors, trees and water.

Google Slides is the point where you can start using more professional quality maps. If you're running an Adventure Path, you'll need a PDF file of the maps, or a scanner to upload the image. Then, just create opaque polygons to cover your map with (simulating a kind of "fog of war"). Upload images of your player's tokens (a screen capture or image download of their avatar image works for this). Make the Slide Doc accessabe via the link, and set the edit preferences to anyone with the link. Then players can drag their tokens around on the map. As the players move on the map, delete or move the opaque polygons and reveal the map beneath.

Map Tools or Roll20 are both pretty intuitive to use and seem to be the preferred method of most GMs on these boards. It just takes some time investment to get used to it. There are some good tutorials on YouTube. Personally, I'm a fan of Roll20. The Dynamic Lighting system is incredible at creating atmosphere and reminding players how much light conditions matter.

To give you an example of the kinds of things you can do in Roll20, Here's a map for a game I'm running. I created this using a few map builder sets from the Roll20 Marketplace, some tiles I found on Deviant Art and the Map Makers reddit forum, and tokens pulled from Pintrest and stamped with the Token tool I will link a few paragraphs below. If you've never used Roll20, you'll need to make an account. Then, the link will take you right to the map. On the left you can use the magnifying glass tool to alter the map scale. I recommend 40% or so to give you a good, wide view of the terrain. Once the map loads, you should be able to scroll down a bit, pick up the Orc PC token, and enjoy wandering around the map. (Once you're done, please drop your token off int he upper left area of the map so the next person can find it easily)

For post apocalyptic games set on earth (or any other modern world), Google Maps Streetview makes an amazing tool. A screen shot of a street, slightly altered with Photoshop or MS Paint to show damaged buildings and things like that, then posted to a hosting site or game wiki, can make a powerful visual aid. There are areas of the world that don't need any alterations at all to depict a convincing urban sprawl for Shadowrun or a Ghost Town for Deadlands. Go on a virtual tour of the streets of St. Petersburg or Namie, Japan. Encounter ideas will jump out at you, I promise. Here's my favorite example of real-world places that make great RPG backdrops- Villa Epecuen. A south american resort town that was underwater for 25 years. Now it's been revealed. Take a look a these pictures. Tell me you don't want to run a game in this place.

Google Maps also has great pictures of places in the world that fit right in to fantasy games. Go on a virtual tour of the Yucatan or of some obscure town in Eastern Europe or Northern Scotland. You'll find some amazing pictures that are ready-to-go lanscapes and maps for your games.

Using Roll20, you can even combine a real-world image taken from Google Satellite View (the top-down street map) and various Tokens. What you do is zoom in as far as you can, and take a screenshot of a map. Then upload it to Roll20 (you can even tile a few screenshots together for a large map that encompasses a few blocks). Then pick up a "damage sticker" pack on the Roll20 Marketplace (they cost abut 5 bucks). Slap down some "stone damage" and some "fire" stickers (or whatever else you want), and then drop your player and enemy tokens onto the map. With this method you can create an impressively immersive map for any modern setting game in about 15 minutes.

That brings us to Map Tokens. Personally, I prefer using the TokenStamp2 online tool. It's free and easy. I also like that I can use the border color to easily keep track of factions in any encounter with more than two sides. It's an incredibly easy site to use. Grab a picture from google image search (or wherever), drop it into the window, resize it, and hit the Download button. Then switch over to your map hosting site and drag the downloaded token onto the map. Done.

Running Combat:

This is where the organization starts to make a huge difference in the success of your game. Document everything, but do it with style.

It's a balancing act. On one hand, you don't want to hit your players with walls of text that leave them unsure of the nuts and bolts of what happened to their characters. On the other hand, you don't want them to feel like they just got slapped with a math text book.

I find that alternating my rolls and the descriptions attached to them is a good general guideline to format combat posts. Bascially, just make a roll, use the Preview button to see the result, and then write a description of what the results of the roll actuall mean in game. Then do the next roll.

With that in mind, lets get specific.

Combat Conditions
The first thing players need to know is what the complications are. A pre-combat chart can help a lot. Mine looks like this:

Enemy Description
Area Description
Lighting Conditions
Additional Complications

For example

Goblin Raid
Mountain Road
Dusk, Dim Light
Steep Incline, moving uphill costs 2x movement.

or

Zombie Horde
In Graveyard, Outside Mausoleum
Foggy Night, Dim Light, everything past 10' has Concealment
Tombstones are Difficult Terrain (see map)

This chart can be re-posted at the top of each round as a reminder to the players, and it can be altered if conditions change (a single casting of Daylight is often enough to remove lighting issues for an entire fight, for example. A Gust of Wind spell might clear away fog for a time.)

Initiative
Roll it for them. Seriously. You'll waste a day or more if you say "roll initiative" and wait to compile the results. Pre-combat perception checks too. Basically, do as many of the preliminary rolls as possible.

Block Initiative: This is an optional initiative system that speeds things up a lot. It relies on one simple fundamental: All the enemies go at the same time. The players either go before the bad guys, or after them. I have found that the best way to implement this system is to have the enemies take 10 on Initiative, or to average the enemy initiative rolls.

Once you know when the block of enemies goes, just compare the players to it. Think of it like setting an Initiative DC for the players. Higher initiative players get put in group A, before the enemies. Lower initiative players get put in Group B, after the enemies.

Within a given group, players may act in whatever order they want. This means that for the most part, players don't need to wait for anyone else before posting. They can just post according to when they are able to. It also allows players within a given group to coordinate their actions, which is a nice way of facilitating teamwork.

The GM would then only need to make two posts a round.

The first post would be the results of Group A's actions and the actions of the Enemies.
The second post would be the results of Group B's actions, and the announcement of the new round. Any "round countdown" stuff (like trap timers or spell duration) happens here in the second post of the round as well.

Tracking Actions
If you have a large party, or a lot of NPCs to keep track of, you're going to find that remembering everything that happened in a round can be tricky. A chart can be very helpful.

I recommend making yourself a pre-written and pre-formatted template and putting it in your GM Alias for ease of reference.

Something Like-

Action Tracker wrote:

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION: Dim Light. Everything has 20% concealment without darkvision or a light source. There is a bullseye lantern at the front of each boat to guide them. This is negated within 60' of Price from her Daylight spell.

ROUND 8
Shulme (CLW on Gwyn)
Xanos (Prepares net, cast's True Strike)
Gwyndolin (Looks for crossbow)
Triton N (Total Defense, inspire on warriors)
Price (Alchemist fire to TN, hit)
Odenkirk's men (Varied Assaults)
Kalina (Claims a shortbow?)
Cain (Two arrows, T6 hit and kill, D3 miss)
Slave ()
Dolphins (Delay)
Fargo ()
Fiendish Giant Frog [6/30] (Attacks D6, miss)
Odenkirk ()
Tritons (Reload)

CONDITION TRACKER
Party Haste: Rnd 3/5
Odenkirk Rage: Rnd 3
Inspire Courage: Round 2

You can see how the empty parenthesis indicate that those characters have not yet acted. Also, note the link to the Giant Frog bestiary entry. That's there because the party Druid rolled well enough on Knowledge Nature that the GM decided they knew pretty much all there was to know about Giant Frogs. It's a handy little time saving tip that doubles as a player reward.

Attacks and Damage
The key here is that your posts are easy to read.

Take a look at the following formats-

Quote:


1) Attack 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14 Damage 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Quote:


2) Attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9 Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Quote:


3) Attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Quote:


4) Longsword Attack to Goblin 3: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Slashing Damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Quote:


5) Longsword Attack to Goblin 3, flanking, power attack: 1d20 + 5 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (3) + 5 + 2 - 1 = 9
Slashing Damage, power attack: 1d8 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 + 2 = 10

Hopefully it's easy to tell which example is the one with the clearest format and most easily accessible information. If you've been a PbP player, you're probably used to this stuff. As a GM, it's much the same, but there's a matter of volume to consider.

Lets flip around to the goblin's turn. Showing four examples of bad formats would be messy, so I'll jump straight to a good example and let it speak for itself-

Quote:


Goblin 1, dogslicer attack to Fang, goblin foolhardiness: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 5 + 1 = 15
Slashing Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

The rusty goblin blade scrapes off Fang's armor. No damage

Goblin 2, dogslicer attack to Bron, flanking: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 2 = 25
Slashing Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

Goblin 3, dogslicer attack to Bron, flanking: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 5 + 2 = 13
Slashing Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6

The two goblins facing Bron manage to distract her long enough to open up a raged cut on the back of her thigh. 7 damage

Goblin 4, Dirty Trick attempt to Wiz vs. Flat Footed: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20 If this beats Wiz's CMD, Wiz is Blinded for one round

The Goblin Mystic chants and screams and sends a cone of fire from his hands into Fang and Bron, as well as one of his own goblins allies.

Burning Hands: 3d4 ⇒ (1, 3, 2) = 6 DC 14 Reflex save for half
Goblin 2 Reflex Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24 Fail, gobbo 2 is toast.

Group B, you may take your actions for the end of round 2. Group A, you may take your actions for the beginning of Round 3.

Another option is to Spoiler all the roles and just present the relevant information. Here's that same post, reformated to hide the dice-

Quote:


Combat Rolls
Spoiler:

Goblin 1, dogslicer attack to Fang, goblin foolhardiness: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 1 = 24
Slashing Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6

Goblin 2, dogslicer attack to Bron, flanking: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 5 + 2 = 24
Slashing Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

Goblin 3, dogslicer attack to Bron, flanking: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 5 + 2 = 11
Slashing Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

Goblin 4, Dirty Trick attempt to Wiz vs. Flat Footed: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20 If this beats Wiz's CMD, Wiz is Blinded for one round

Burning Hands: 3d4 ⇒ (1, 2, 1) = 4 DC 14 Reflex save for half
Goblin 2 Reflex Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9

The rusty goblin blade scrapes off Fang's armor. No damage

The two goblins facing Bron manage to distract her long enough to open up a raged cut on the back of her thigh. 7 damage

The Goblin Mystic chants and screams and sends a cone of fire from his hands into Fang and Bron, as well as one of his own goblins allies. The goblin screams and collapses. Fang, Bron, take 6 Fire damage. Reflex save DC 14 for half damage

Group B, you may take your actions for the end of round 2. Group A, you may take your actions for the beginning of Round 3.

Both formats work well. The second is moer aesthetically pleasing, but many players wont open the spoiler so mistakes might slip through and go unaddressed. It's up to you whether that's important to you or not.

The Postmonster

Always, always always copy your posts before you click any button. The Paizo boards are notorious for timing out, eating posts, or otherwise ruining all your hard work.

Personaly, before I click anything, I Select All, Copy, refresh the page, then Select All, and paste my completed post back into the text box. Then I post.

Yes, it's extra steps. Yes, it's a pain in the ass. It's better than losing an hour's worth of work to a random site glitch.

Skill Checks:

Many times, the overall success of a skill check is going to be based on the total of the roll. Higher might mean noticing something of particular importance, or remembering more detailed knowledge.

A great way of front-loading the work for skill checks you know are coming is to to put the results in Spoilers.

You might describe a ransacked bedroom, and then ask for Perception checks. Instead of waiting a day for everyone in the game to make their checks, and then responding based on the results, you can speed things up by posting the results right away. Something like-

Perception DC 15

Spoiler:

You notice a spot of blood on the window sill

Perception DC 20

Spoiler:

You notice a spot of blood on the window sill.
The way the glass is scattered makes you think that the window was broken from the inside.

Perception DC 25

Spoiler:

You notice a spot of blood on the window sill.
The way the glass is scattered makes you think that the window was broken from the inside.
A section of the floor where the rug has been rumpled by the struggle looks like it is less worn than others, like the boards were replaced at some point.

Then, when the players roll their checks they can consult the appropriate spoilers and react immediately to the information.

Another way of handling skill checks you know are coming is to simply roll for everyone with the appropriate skill, and post the results in individual spoilers.

Wiz's Knowledge Arcana Check: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13

What Wiz Knows

Spoiler:

It's a glyph of warding. Feel fee to look up the spell if you aren't familiar with it.

A handy way of handling general knowledge checks is to assume everyone with the appropriate Knowledge Takes 10 and then write a spoiler for them describing what they recall. Often this is really going to be an info dump for the bard or wizard. I find Spoilers for the information to be the best way of handling knowledge checks because it allows the players to put things in their own words, or to withhold information if they feel the need to. Simply writing out "what the bard tells the party" removes the bard's autonomy. As a GM, that's usually a bad idea. I advise against it.

Saving Throws:

Nothing slows down a fight quite like Saves against multi-target monster abilities.

Compare the following examples:

----

Quote:

GM: "The Gorgon breathes all over the party. Everyone make a Fort save."

Two days later, after the results are in
GM: "Fangaran the Wizard turns to stone! What do the rest of you do?"

--or--

Quote:

GM: "The Gorgon breathes all over the party!"

*GM rolls the party's saves in a spoiler*
GM: "Fangaran the Wizard turns to stone! The rest of you may take your actions.

--or--

Quote:

GM"The Gorgon breathes all over the party!"

Fort Save DC 22 (open if you fail)
Spoiler:

You turn to stone!

Player: Fort Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19 "Fangaren makes a strangled sound as his flesh hardens to stone." Dammit! Cleric, do you have Stone To Flesh prepared?
GM: The rest of you may take your actions.

-----

Which takes the least amount of time? Which seems like the best narrative tool?

Don't be afraid to make Save rolls for your players. If you make it known up front that you'll occasionally do it, there won't be any complaints. It's all the same dice roller after all.

Loot Tracking:

This is actually pretty simple. There's a lot of ways to do it, and none of them are really wrong, but one stands out as particulalry right. Google is your friend.

Google sheets is the easiest and best way of tracking loot. Just make a spreadsheet that list the collected gear, what it's worth, and who's carrying it. Set the permissions to "anyone with the link" and then put the link in the Race section of your GM Alias, or in the About This Campaign section of the Campaign Info tab.

Ask one of your players if they'd like to be the party's quartermaster. One of them will do it. Then all you need to do is drop loot lists into the Discussion thread. Your players will do the rest.

Traps:

Traps are always hard to pull off. Their flaws are extra hard in PbP games.

When your players suspect traps they move slowly and cautiously. In PbP that can translate to weeks of back and forth between a scout making Perception checks and you posting results and them moving forward a bit. Rinse repeat, ad nauseum. It's terrible.

If you want to use Traps in a PbP game, talk to your players (especially your scout). Tell them that you will be handling all the roles regarding Search and Disable Device. All they need to do is give you a destination on the map ("down the hall to the corner ahead. I want to go there and sneakily peek around to the next hall.").

Then you make all the appropriate rolls and tell them what happens. Either they bypass the trap, find the trap but fail to bypass it, or they fail to find the trap and set it off (in which case you make their save for them and tell them what happens). Jump right to the descriptions of those results. In any case, you job is to get the game past the trap as quickly as possible.

Making Traps Useful: A good trap is a storytelling tool. It pushes the momentum of the game, rather than stalling it. Traps are best used in the middle of other encounters, or to drive the party in certain directions. Think about the big rolling bolder from Indiana Jones. That's a great trap. It's an encounter all to itself. It has a movement speed. There's only one way for the hero to go. There are obstacles along the path. At the end, the hero avoids the trap, but runs right into the next encounter. That's an excellent of a trap as a storytelling device. Try to default to that methodology as a GM.

Other kinds of traps along the same vein are things like slowly filling rooms of water, auto-turrets on top of a cliffside that have to be turned off manually, hidden pits or mines in the middle of a fight, haunts with lingering effects (like mini-curses), and the often-overlooked alarm-trap.

If you find that any kind of trap is slowing the game down, move past it. Just say something like "you discover that the trap's mechanism is jammed and it poses no threat any longer" and get on with the game.

Timesaving Tips:

Wayfinder: It's an app specifically for posting to the Paizo gameplay forums. Look it up, try it out. I don't personally use it because my phone is old. If you have a fancy phone, you might like the fancy app.

Keyboard Macros: Did you know that you can program your keyboard to automatically paste in something if you press the right key sequence? Super handy.

Look up a Keyboard Macro tutorial for your operating system on youtube. They are usually super easy. Then set a keystroke combination to do something like type out [ spoiler=[ ooc][ /ooc]] [ /spoiler] whenever you press Control+Shift+S+P. Then you just need to fill in the gaps. Putting the ooc text in the spoiler code puts the spoiler wording in Blue Text. I prefer it for aesthetics. Oh, and for Nested Spoilers, you can't give a spoiler inside another spoiler a description in green ("[spoiler=whatever" doesn't work for nested spoilers). Use Blue Text for the description of what is inside the spoiler instead.

Pre-coding Dice Rolls: If you put dice coding into an Alias, the dice roller doesn't get the instructions. That means you can store the dice coding in your GM Alias so you don't have to type them all out every round.

For Example-
If you have a bunch of multi-attacking Meriliths to keep track of, and you know that each one of them is going to be making 12 attacks per round with a slew of different weapons, you can pre-code all their attacks and save it in your alias, and then just copy-paste when their turn comes around.

Super handy.

Advanced Storytelling Tips:

Establishing a Creative Agenda: This could really be an entire full length post to itself. I'm just going to touch on it as food for thought.
There's literally nothing more important to a game than having all the players on the same page as far as what kind of a story it being told. There's nothing more detrimental to a game than having one or more players trying to tell fundamentally different stories than the one the GM has set up.

As the GM, it's your job to clearly lay out the kind of story you want to tell. This is mostly about the establishment of themes. Talk about your inspirations as a storyteller. See if you can get your players to buy into your creative vision from the very beginning. If someone doesn't seem to be meshing well with the group, it is most likely a problem with their understanding, or their buy-in, of the Creative Agenda. Nearly all non-organizational problems games have come back to this concept.

I find that it's useful to reinforce the creative agenda scene by scene. At the beginning of a scene I'll post something in Discussion like "this next fight is a chase sequence. I'll be moving fast and winging it a bit with the rules. I'm going to try for a more action movie feel here" or "This is a tactical fight. There's a lot of moving parts. Don't be afraid to take your time and try to out think the scenario. Teamwork will be rewarded" or "you're looking for information in a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Everyone is out to get everyone here. The wrong words could get you shot."

Something as simple as that works wonders when it comes to getting players to approach the game with similar expectations.

Major NPCs: Make separate Aliases for them. Put vital information and notes in their profile. This will help establish them as important, and give the players a "face to the name."

The Narrator: Fantasy stories use this a lot. The Princess Bride, Conan, and The Never-Ending Story are good examples in cinema.

Creating a separate Alias to be "the guy telling the story", and posting as that character whenever you need to cut to a new scene is a good way of establishing a narrative theme, and making it very clear when one scene ends and the next begins.

The Narrator could be an NPC, older in the future, telling the story of the great heroes he knew in his youth, or it could be an archivist, far in the future, written like a history text book or lecture, telling the story as a chronicle of the distant past. It could even be a villain, or a ghost, or a god. It might not be clear who the narrator is, or what side they are on, which creates a new mystery for the players to speculate at out of game.

Languages: Google Translate is very cool. Pick a few real-world languages to represent fantasy world analogues. Post them, and spoiler the English translation. This method creates very immersive and interesting visual storytelling.

Links!: Learn to use the [url ] code. Learn to love it. Does your villain have a theme song? Link it when they show up. Is the forest on fire? Link a video. Need to remind the players of an encounter that happened a year ago? Find the relevant post, click the time stamp, and copy that address into the url link.
Seriously. Links are your most useful formatting storytelling tool. Use them.

Care and Feeding of Gamers:

Handling Cranky Players
It happens. Sometimes players get frustrated. In a face to face game, most likely you're all friends, and non-verbal communication and social cues can help everyone at the table sort out any unhappiness. In PbP that isn't an option. That can make personality conflicts or bruised feelings harder to notice and easier to ignore. The flip side is that PbP gamers tend to be pretty good at communication in general, and being forced to write out issues helps clarify them. It also takes time, so grievances tend to be cooler and less potentially explosive.

As a GM, it's important to listen to your players. You don't necessarily have to agree with their assessment, but it is your responsibility to let them know you've heard them. The most powerful tool in your arsenal for getting the game back on track is the following question: "How can I make the game fun for you again?"

A lot of times, that question is all it takes to move the conversation in the direction of getting everyone's creative agenda back on the same page.

The List of Don'ts

There's certain storytelling staples that are very hard to pull of in PbP due to the nature of the format. Most are essentially traps that new PbP GMs fall into. They are game killers. Consider this your warning.

Mysteries- Following clue to clue, and wrangling information out of NPCs is vary hard when it takes months to get fom one clue to the next. Players just don't have the memory to make it work. If you want to do a mystery storyline, make it absurdly simple. Even if you dumb it down to only three clues, expect to be doing a lot of reminding, nudging and railroading. Better yet, don't bother. Instead, just describe a narrative where the players start at one clue, follow some leads, and end up at the end ready to get on with the story. Make your mysteries into montages. Trust me, this will save you months of work and frustration.

Base Building- Every Kingmaker game I've ever been in on these boards has died when it got to the point of trying to use the Kingdom Building rules. They're too unfamiliar to most people, take too long to resolve, and have too many options to consider. If your game includes an element of base building, hand wave it, or handle the mechanics yourself. Your players will be pretty clear about what kinds of things they want to focus on. Don't make them spend Kingdom Points or bean-count how much is in the treasury, or futz about with the crafting rules. Just montage it and get on with the game. PbP games live and die by their momentum, and nothing kills momentum quite like base building.

Dungeon Crawls- This is a staple. You'll want to do one at some point. If you don't know where the pit traps are, you're going to end up in them. There are techniques to make it work. I'll try to list them all-
1) The Approach- Ask the party to pick an approach. They can go into the dungeon like Special Forces (stealth checks, carefully checking corners, listening at doors, setting ambushes, etc), or they can go into the dungeon like Marauders (move fast, blitz attack, kick in doors, stealth-be-damned). Both have strengths and are fun, but the whole party has to be on board for one or the other or it's going to turn into a mess. With the Special Forces approach, expect the Scout character(s) to be posting 3-5x as often as the rest of the party. If you don't have a prolific poster playing the scout, don't use the Special Forces approach. If your group moves like Marauders, the party Tank will be the one leading the way through the dungeon. Again, that player will be posting more frequently than the others. Make sure whoever is at the front knows they are setting the pace. Ideally, you as the GM should be having a hard time keeping up with them (and not the other way around).
2) The Map- Absolutely required for a PbP dungeon crawl. Don't even try it if you aren't a fan of using maps.
3) Time Limits- This is more of a tip than a hazard. Because of how slow PbP games move it can be easy for a party to spend months of gameplay exploring a large dungeon. Eventually the players will start to get frustrated with the "sameness" of everything. A good way of avoiding this is to give characters a time incentive to come back out (or get through at another exit). Start with three days. That might not seem like a long time for a solid dungeon delve, but trust me. Start with that. See how much real world time it takes you to get through 3 days of dungeon crawl gameplay. You'll thank me, and you can adjust your time expectations from there.

The List of Dos

There's a few things that don't work well in Tabletop games that PbP handles nicely. Here's the list-

Hordes of Enemies: In a tabletop game waiting for the GM to roll out all 30 of the attacks from the goblin horde is annoying. In a PbP game it isn't. If you want to throw a giant pile of weak enemies at your players, go for it. The ability to Copy/Paste attacks means that all you really have to do is make sure you give a good TL;DR overview at the end of the enemy horde's combat turn. (An especially fun version of this is one or two real threats, and a big rush of cannon fodder. Let the party Wizard really show off the power of Fireball. Then have the enemy leader call in reinforcements after the first wave dies.)

Environmental Complications: The ability do take your time with descriptions means that you can really set the stage when it comes to things like environmental conditions. Give the players a good description of the hot steam in the air from the waterfall that pours down into the bubbling lava (or whatever). Being able to post a reminder of environmental effects at the top of each round makes sure that the conditions of the area aren't forgotten.

Countdowns: This is a GM technique that works just as well in PbP as it does in Tabletop, and is a great way to rebuild momentum. A rising water level, a bomb fuse, a ritual nearly completed. There's lots of ways to play with the idea of "beating the clock." If your players seem disengaged or momentum is flagging, introduce a time component and watch what happens.

Attrition:

Loss of a Player

You will lose players. Expect it. Accept it. Don't blame yourself. You could be the best PbP GM on the planet and you'd still most likely lose one or two players in the first six months of gameplay.

For that reason, many GMs choose to go with a starting party size of 5 or 6. That way, if you lose one or two players you still have a viable party size.

There may be a time when you'll need to recruit a new player for an existing game. Here's my advice about that-

Make a new Recruitment thread. If you start making new posts in your original thread, prospective players are going to see that it has 100+ post already and figure they are either late to the party, or that there's super stiff competition. Both are reasons prospective players might scroll past your attempt to recruit.

Ask players to take over an orphaned PC[i]. By the time you need to recruit a new player, you've probably invested a lot of story time into their character. Losing that hard work sucks. There are quite a few players out there willing to take over a roll began by someone else. This approach is the easiest way to work new players into an existing game. Their character is already baked into your game. Consider allowing them to rework the mechanics of the player they are taking over to suit their vision. A change of a few feats or an archetype can make a big difference. Another similar option is to have a new player take over an NPC that is important to the game, or to upgrade another player's Cohort to a full fledged PC. All these options make it very easy to get a new player immediately invested and feeling like part of the team.

[i]Ask your players for their input. Your players are a great resource. Use them. Often, they'll have gamed with other players on the boards before, and can tell you if they'd be a good fit for your game or not. Also, by the time a re-recruitment is happening, the game is as much your players' as it is yours. They should have a say in who joins. Getting the players invested in who a new party member is can be a great way of generating new momentum (often momentum takes a big hit leading up to a player leaving a game, so the injection of new energy can really help).

Winter's Chill

Winter kills games.

Seriously. The stretch from Halloween to Christmas is absolute hell on PbP games. Everyone's busy, tired, stressed, and trying to make it through holiday madness. Expect it and plan for it. I've seen games go on a hiatus from the end of November through New Year's Day. I've seen games use the down time to execute a long Kingdom Building or Crafting phase. More frequently though, I've seen games end.

It's a sad reality and you, as the GM, need to be aware that you might lose players to the jaws of Winter. You might also decide you're too busy to keep running your game. I highly recommend putting your game on hold rather than letting it bog down, get frustrating, and become a chore you no longer enjoy.

Final Thoughts:

Nothing in this guide is sacrosanct. I'm not the guru on the mountain. I'm just telling you what's worked for me as a player and as a GM so that you hopefully won't have to learn by screwing up a lot like I did.

If you have better way of doing things, post it here. I'd love to hear it.

If you have questions, feel free to ask them here. Myself or someone else will answer. I've tried to provide you a clear path to follow, but ultimately the only way to really learn how to do it is to do it.

Go do it.


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HP 30/34, 1 Con damage, AC 18, Fort +5, Ref +10, Will +4, Perc. +7, Init +5, Panache 0/1

Scrabbler didn't really understand economics. He could only count to seven. He knew he was a smart gob because back in his home village, the biggest number he'd ever heard used was four. Seven was much more numbery than four. He liked seven because that was the most balls he could juggle. He'd heard of a mythical "eight" but to him eight was pretty much everything more than seven.

So when he wanted to get a new jester suit made, he scampered into the local seamstress shop, said "I's needs new clownsing clothes, please!" and then proceeded to count out seven coins onto the counter.

He didn't really know what the comparative values of the coins were, and had never even heard the word "platinum" before. To him they looked like the silver ones. They were the same shiny color, after all.

In the end, Scrabblers new clothes were fine indeed, durable, tailored, soft, full of hidden pockets and sheathes, and made with the kind of care that only a craftsman who feels guilty about fleecing their client puts into their work.

Scrabbler couldn't have been happier.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

I love the idea of an illusory maze that our people know about but the enemy doesn't. That would be a fantastic use of 1-27.

Another fun idea is to overlap an illusion of a normal door over the top of an actual door made permanently invisible. Intruders would be fiddling with the door on one side, and everyone on the other side could see them plain as day and prep for when they finally got through.

Right now we only had enough spare cash for one casting of Permanent Image, and I used it on the Floor 3 balcony (it's marked by the upside down rainbow), so other permanent illusion ideas will have to wait until the next time we have some loot.


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

I'm prety sure everyone has had a chance to take the tour of the Catacombs now, so I've moved the players to the Upper Levels on my map. I'll do this one in stages since it's a bit more complex.

Everyone should be able to grab any NPC token and move it around to see the layout. I have the map set to global illumination right now for ease.

The entrance is a winding staircase that leads to a couple of arrow slits and a pair of iron banded double doors. Right off the bat there's a trap. The minion on watch here has a lever next to them that manually triggers and resets a trap right in front of the doors. It causes the floor to drop back at an angle (it's hinged right beneath the double doors). Anyone caught by the trap falls down onto the stalagmites in front of the entrance to the Catacombs. The distance is ambiguous, but based on the map legend, I think it's a 50' drop before hitting the spiky rocks.

The Entry Hall is lines with arrow slits. Behind them are guard minions with crossbows and longspears. Right now they're flaming skeletons with Fiery Auras.
All along this hallway at roughly thigh height, between each arrow slit, are deployable metal bars to obstruct movement. Here's how they work- On one side of the wall are holes that look like the entrance to a pencil sharpener. Opposite them are metal spikes sticking out of the wall about a foot. In the guard rooms are long metal poles that can be pushed through into the hall and locked into place with a twist. These can either be deployed ahead of intruders, or used as an attack from a Large sized longspear during deployment (if an enemy is in the right square). Once deployed, these metal bars turn the square they cross into Difficult Terrain.
At the end of the hall, behind the wall is a light ballista instillation.
Just before the curve of the hall you'll see grating. On the map it appears to be the floor, but it actually represents murder holes in the ceiling. Stone shape and the lyre's magic allowed us to bore a bunch of two inch wide holes straight down from the level above (see 2nd floor guardstation 1).
After the hallway turns left, intruders will have a Hwatcha siege engine at their back (basically an arrow volley launcher. Look them up, they're cool).
At the end of the hall is a portcullis with our new golem friend, who is basically a siege weapon all on his own.
Anyone trying to come in the front door is in for a painful experience.

If enemies manage to get past the portcullis they're in a room with our golem, and another portcullis on the far side can be opened to release uncontrolled undead into the room. The only door out of this room is steel with a Masterwork lock.

1-20 is the entrance to our first floor guard station. You can see the winches that control the portcullises here. Down the hall to 1-2 you'll see a Ram Trap Winch. ignore that. It's for a trap that hasn't been fully installed yet.

1-21 The Trophy Room. Right now it's just an unadorned parlor/receiving room. We can fancy it up if we want to.

1-23 The Cage Room. Anyone who falls down the 2nd floor pit trap ends up here. This is also the entrance to Molsabar's corner of the horn. He's kind of our Warden, keeping an eye on our guards, the capture cell, and the first floor prison. Molsabar's room has a few arrow slits to let him keep an eye on the outside too.

1-27 The Old Temple. This space is still decked out as a temple to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. If anyone wants to convert it to something else, that's fine. It's a lot of usable space.

1-16 The Courtyard. This is the common area living space for the folks living on the first floor (Molsabar, Xanos, Halthus, and Xanos' cultists). It's also the central social hub due to Halthus' tavern, so any minion not on duty or sleeping is likely to be found here.
Above Halthus' bedroom is our torture chamber. Flanking his room is a couple empty rooms for special minions who might show up later. Right now they're empty.

That's about it for important features of the first floor. You'll notice that the tavern is now attached to the kitchens and the larder (because duh). I also sectioned off an area of the larder for corpses we want to preserve. Xanos has a secret door from his workshop into corpse storage so he doesn't have to wander through the social central whenever he needs bodies.

Any questions or comments on Floor One?


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HP 33/35, Temp HP 11, AC: 17, Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +6, Perception:+7, Channel 8/8, Bolster 10/10 Map Active Effects: message, stoneskin Ritual Calendar

Well that's horrifying.

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