GM TOP's page

1,600 posts. Alias of Pete H..


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About GM TOP

GM TOP (aka "The Original Pete")

If I ever disappear and you need to get hold of me, the following player knows me IRL: GM RePete

I have a chunk of specific things that I do when I run PbP Pathfinder Version 1 stuff. That can be found spoilered below this section. This area is reserved for general GM stuff and any particular oddities that V2 might require in a PbP setting.

General Rules

1. The primary goal of games like these are to have fun. Just remember that sometimes a fun thing for you isn't fun for someone else and vice-versa. So if someone isn't playing the way you like, just think that maybe they are playing the way they like and move on. This community is great because we have a huge variety of people and play styles meshing together to create a story.

2. I come from a strict rules as written background, which is sometimes hard for me to let go. While my goal is to stay consistent when GM'ing, I also want to keep gameplay smooth and enjoyable. Simply put, that is something I'm working on as I continue to attempt to improve my style.

3. Weekends & Holidays are unlikely to see much posting from me and I usually most of you. I may sneak a post in or I may not post until the next available work morning. I do expect 3-4 posts per week from you all. But if we get more, we move quicker, simple as that. Please don't stress over the content too much, sometimes a couple lines of what you are doing and a few words spoken are worth a ton to keep the group moving along.

4. That's about it for now. I'll put any specific ways I manage stuff for Version 2 below.

- I have one little method for handling secret rolls in PbP that GM Blake introduced me to. Secret Rolls are an issue in PbP because they player shouldn't technically know the result and should only be basing their reaction upon what is revealed by the GM. So, when a secret roll is called for or you feel your action warrants one, just put it in a spoiler and don't look at it!

Secret Recall Knowledge: Religion:
*Dice Roll*

I'll look at the roll and reveal the information your character gathered back to you in a spoiler. Easy enough!

Secret Roll List

Pathfinder Society PbP Version 1:

GM Style

This is likely the most probably thing that will cause player vs. gm conflicts. Simply put, I'm very rules as written when it comes to how things work. I love to use narrative to fill in setting, background and other details. I also attempt to throw some levity out there, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I most certainly read and often enjoy any lengthy RP attempts.

Posting Expectations (credit to GM Granta)

I ask for one in character post per weekday and one per weekend. Even when you think your character has nothing to say or do, a little post can make a big difference. It prevents the table from stalling, wondering whether you need more time to post. In my experience, if everyone can average six posts a week our group will rocket along.

Botting & Decisions

Botting in my games slightly varies between combat and non-combat. In combat it is pretty simple, no post in 24 hours and you will be put into delay. If it is direly necessary for the group to have you act, I will do my best to use your abilities or follow botting instructions, but only if it will help the situation. I am not going to play your character for you and being in delay means when you get back you can easily jump into the action.

Out of combat is slightly more lax, but similar. If the group is handling skill challenges, then I may throw out bot rolls to keep things moving quickly or progress the narrative. However, I do my best to avoid risking your PC on dangerous skill checks so it is very unlikely that you hop on to see a bot skill check that ended up in PC harm.

If you give warning about missing time and if you have sufficient botting instructions on your profile, I have no issue with your fellow players handling botting duties for you.

Group decisions in PbP can be difficult as each player may not check the game that often. Thus, I'll use a loose rule of 2 for most decisions. That means, if two players wish to pursue an option and no one objects (within 5-10 hours) then that course of action will be pursued. If someone objects, then I'll wait for 3 votes and then go with whatever decision wins.

Roll Play vs. Roleplay

I do give bonuses for excellent role-playing when the mechanics allow. For example, you want to avoid a combat by using a social skill and you make an excellent post including RP, you will likely gain a bonus on that check. Plus, I will not penalize poor role-play, so at least give it a try!

Furthermore, please try to remember that many of the skills that are usable untrained can be aided. If your group is just barely short I may 'nudge' you all to at least attempt an aid. Any in game mechanic that limits the Aid Another action will be posted about ahead of time.


For Percentile rolls, I view it as the following example.

Johny Flambe has normal vision. There isn't much light in the room so he has a 20% miss chance on his ranged touch fire attack. Johnny rolls 1d100 and anything between 1-20 is a miss. The enemy then casts vanish and Johny has a 50% miss chance, he rolls 1d100 and anything between 1-50 is a miss.

The only exception is if I am a player in a game with a different GM interpretation of those rules.


I will roll an Initiative block at the start of combat. I assume pets act on owner's count, if you built your Companion and PC to act on separate Initiatives then let me know so I can adjust. Most enemies will be rolled individually, but in situations with stacks of enemies I will group them up to speed things along. Please feel to post your actions whenever you are tagged with the Bold highlight.

For speed of play, I will hedge initiative order around for the benefit of the players. Essentially, I don't want players to worry about readied actions or delays or losing a big bonus just because they already posted. For example, if another PC throws out another Buff or Debuff in the same block of activity, I'll get it applied if you haven't already. (This may be subject to change, but so far no issues.)

Group Perceptions

This is your character so other than initiative I'm not going to be doing rolls for you unless we reach a point where you need to be botted.

Knowledge Checks to ID a creature

I'll give a spoiler with the knowledge check to identify a creature. If you make the check, I will identify the creature and give you a tidbit of information about it. For each additional 5 you beat the DC, you will be granted an additional tidbit.


When I roll for boons (like during a special event), I will always place the PC's in alphabetical order by character names that were used in the very commonly rolled initiative blocks. I will place myself in the grouping as "GM TOP" if GM's are allowed to roll for the same boons.


Fun to Use Language list, credit to RePete:

I take what I want to say, copy to google translate, change it into the new language, copy it back and put it in as what the PC is saying. Then a simple spoiler with the language tag and done!

Abyssal = Gujarati
Aklo = Bangla
Aquan = Hawaiian
Auran = Sinhala
Azlanti = Latin
Boggard = Belerusian
Celestial = Armenian
Draconic = Chinese (Traditional)
Drow = Tamil
Druidic = Arabic
Dwarven = Russian
Elven = Finnish
Giant = Afrikaan
Gnome = Yoruba
Goblin = Hmong
Halfling = Dutch
Hallit = Mongolian
Infernal = Tajik
Kelish = Persian
Orc = Klingon
Polyglot = Swahili
Shoanti = Maori
Skald = Danish
Sylph = Irish
Sylvan = Italian
Terran = Welsh
Thassilonian = Greek
Tien = Japanese
Undercommon = Khmer
Varisian = Romanian
Vudrani = Hindi