About GM Doug H
My goal is for you to have fun while playing a balanced Pathfinder Society game.
Be ready to post at least once a day and once on weekends (however, if players want to keep things moving over the weekend, I'm game). I am more active than many other PbP GMs and am willing to post more than once a day to keep things moving at a good clip.
Maturity and communicativeness go a long way: 2E has components that do not always translate smoothly into the PbP medium; let's be kind to one another and willing to embrace learning opportunities.
If you are looking for more, here are some recommended resources — while some of them are geared towards 1E, the fundamentals are still relevant for 2E:
Put your character's pronoun, ancestry, class (optional), and their status in the tagline labeled "Race". "Status" means current/maximum hit points, AC, Saving Throws, Spells slots by level, Hero Points, and Spell Points. The raw status tagline might look like this:
Brock Enroll wrote:
Female goblin bard | HP: 14/16 | AC: 14 | F: +2 R: +4 W: +0 | Spells: 1: 2/3 2: 2/2 | SP: 1/1 | Hero Point: 0/3
In your character profile, please include the complete stat block as well, so I can fully understand how your character works.
Please keep your tagline up-to-date as much as possible. If you cannot add an update to the tagline, add an OOC note to your post.
TOKENS & MAPS
Making Round tokens in Slides:
Where possible I try to keep maps as large as possible. my preference is to slice up a map to "zoom in" on the combat area instead of having a bunch of tiny tokens on a huge playing field.
Include botting instructions in your profile. If you have a preference for who runs your character, write that down too. If you or your preferred botter have not posted in more than 24 hours, I may bot your character to keep the game moving. Generally, I will bot conservatively, keeping safety in mind!
To speed things up I ask the group for a marching order at the beginning of the adventure, and the tactics each PCs typically use when in Exploration Mode. This is located on the game's Google Slide. I will use my best discretion in situations where the standard marching orders aren't possible due to terrain, etc.
When there is a decision to be made I will present it, and when two players agree we move in that direction. This helps us avoid spending a week staring at a door.
I will roll all Initiative checks for PCs and NPCs, sort them, and organize them into blocks. I will bold the names of characters whose turn it is to act.
When it is your turn to act, post. Do not wait for someone else to post just because they had a higher Initiative within your initiative block. If you know what you want to do but are waiting for someone else’s action first, just say that. For example,
Mete Sheeld wrote:
To encourage timely posting and avoid unnecessary delays, I will retroactively include bonuses for allies who are in the same initiative block, even if one player posts before getting that bonus. For example, if the fighter post right before the bard, and the bard then uses the Inspire Courage cantrip, I will retroactively include the inspire bonus in the fighter's attack rolls even though the player didn't do so. Where possible, I will update initiatives and note the bonuses each player is receiving.
That said, if you want to change your initiative to another block (for example, going after a monster or after an ally within a different initiative block), you will need to tell me your are Delaying. You can then come in as a free action wherever you want.
Remember: in 2E Readying costs two actions and gives you a single reaction, so we move around in initiative a bit less often now!
Reactions can be tricky in play-by-post. Please pre-roll reactions where applicable, and designate their trigger, on your turn. (It might help you to make a macro for this, or save text that you can copy/paste somewhere.) For example:
Mete Sheeld wrote:
If you have multiple reactions, note your preference on which one you will take and what the triggers are. For example:
Brock Enroll wrote:
I understand how odious this can be for certain builds, and will work with the player to help keep the game flowing smoothly (for example, a defensive-oriented Champion might ask me to assume she shield blocks, and automatically reduce the damage for her and note her shield damage). We can work together to keep things flowing, and as we play together we'll establish a repertoire!
Let's look again at the post above. Perhaps Brock Enrol is a bard, and casts the Inspire Courage cantrip before Mete Sheeld strikes Dee Monic. Mete Shield knows the best way to format this — by noting the buff separately in both the roll description and the modifiers:
Mete Sheeld wrote:
Mete Shield wrote Inspire Courage in both his attack and damage roll descriptions. He also included Inspire Courage's +1 bonus in the attack and damage rolls separately from his normal bonus of +2. In his second Strike's attack roll, he even included the -5 for the Multiple Attack Penalty. This is excellent! Every bonus and penalty to the d20 roll is clear, and we can understand how each total was achieved.
Mete shield even included the damage type in the damage roll, for even more style points. Including the damage type is important, especially for Versatile weapons like the short sword that can do either Piercing or Slashing.
Making Rolls More Friendly for the Colorblind
I am colorblind. Please place attack damage rolls on a new line; it is already difficult for me to parse the green dice text on white background, and putting each dice roll on a separate line helps me a lot.
This is a small courtesy to your GM (and fellow players who may also have vision impairments), and one I greatly appreciate. If you have any needs that should be accommodated, I will always do my best to help you have a comfortable game. Just let me know.
Clarity is important, but so is flavor and narrative! You can use OOC text to highlight game mechanics while keeping things flavorful in "normal" text:
Brock Enrol wrote:
Brock Enrol sings an arcane word and then flicks a dollop of butter at the aberration. Grease (V, M); DC 16 Reflex save.
This is both flavorful from a story perspective, and clear from a mechanical perspective.
When asked to roll a save, it must always be the first dice roll on your next post, or if necessary rolled in the narrative order of operations. If you do not follow this rule, I will roll the save for you.
In combat, I will nest spoilers for knowledge checks where possible, as it's a necessity of keeping combat moving in PbP. It's human nature to metagame — but not to cheat. I expect all my players to act maturely and not cheat at Pathfinder. Do not read GM Screen spoilers (it's ok to read some spoilers labeled as "attacks" and such, or spoilers for checks after you roll and beat the DC), and lean into failure! In fact, embracing failure and having fun with it will probably earn you a hero point, helping you in the longer term from both an optimization and roleplay standpoint!
If you think you failed a save or skill check, pre-emptively roll your hero point to keep the game moving. If you end up not needing it, then you will not have spent the Hero Point.
If you do not pre-emptively make these rolls, I will move the game along with the tacit understanding that you decided not to use a hero point.
Please post rules questions in the discussion thread. Try not to interrupt the flow of gameplay. I am also happy to start a Google Hangouts or a channel in Slack / Discord for ooc conversation. In fact, I believe these channels can greatly enhance a PbP game — especially if it's a high-level endeavor, a module, or a complex scenario.
I am also willing to help you with any questions or concerns that you may have in private, and always open to constructive suggestions!