What I like about this is that the tortoise probably just likes to move along at its normal speed unless it has to do otherwise.
This means that if encountered by players, it will likely be moving its normal slow speed, unless it or its rider is provoked.
Imagine the look on their faces when the sedate, plodding beastie suddenly springs from one side of the battlefield to the other......!!
Those of you who insist on realism in your games, are you going to let any human who gets to a 125 ft land speed with the Run feat run on water?
Alright, I've done a bit of digging, but it's mostly full 1-20 builds that far surpass the 125' base move speed (+run feat) that don't always give a level breakdown.
What's the lowest level someone thinks they can get there?
What's the lowest level without a spell/magic item?
A multi-level Barb/Cleric(Travel)/Monk dip with the run feat and a handful of fleet selections?
Maybe use the barbarian rage power to get 6x speed, meaning we're only looking at 100(and a bit)'/round?
I'm not really worried about characters that can do this for 1 round, or even a handful. If you can't do it consistently, who cares?
Seems 9th level might be a reasonable level to see this come online this with a hell of an investment...
Hell, if that's how you want to build your character, good luck getting to that level and, if you do, run across all the water you want.
You'll be dead soon anyway.
My players are all relatively new and not super good at optimising and also don't have the system or historic knowledge to plan well.
I combat this in two ways.
1: I am generous with the need for and results of knowledge rolls. Assuming a lot of things to be reasonably common knowledge. their PCs have lived in this world, as mercenary soldiers, for years and would know things from experience, barrack room stories and training.
2: They roll 3d6+6, drop lowest for all stats. And I have happily told the poor saps to re-roll if this somehow still results in a character with the expected lifespan of a chocolate teapot.
Matthew Downie wrote:
"I make mistakes all the time. Sometimes these mistakes will doom the party. In these cases I will secretly fudge things to avoid killing you, unless I don't feel like it. I'm not notably competent or honest or fair, but I still expect you to trust me!"
I love this line and might just add it to the start of my house-rule document. I especially like the 'unless I don't feel like it'!
Mark Hoover wrote:
Overall, I would say the average party alignment would work out to be true neutral.
There is maybe one Good PC, who is pretty flighty and distracted at the best of times. And even she is probably closer to 'little-g' good than 'big-G'.
From what I know of the players, if they're betrayed, they'll go with Nirandir. He has the most resource to allow them to adopt a scorched-earth revenge policy.
To be honest, he also approached them first, and is the most active outside of his own country. That means they hear his name more, which is a strong contributing factor. I can see the conversation now:
'That b@st@rd Caliph betrayed us?! We can't let him get away with that.'
The world is quite dark but it's compensated for by my players' attitude and humour.
Thanks for some amazing input so far.
Without going into way too much of the backstory and current politics of my setting...
There are many nearby rulers who were contemporaries of this guy. For clarity, I'll call him the Caliph because that's a good loose model for how that country operates. The Caliph and these other guys/gals from the same time period have all been extending their rule artificially, just in different ways. They all banded together way back when to conspire against another ruler who they felt was becoming too powerful. Ominously, this other country/empire was called the Dominion of Nirandir (the name of the guy in charge) so it sure sounds like a bad place. Essentially, they were a neutral/evil party who got countries to run as a campaign wrap up.
There are obviously other countries nearby that had nothing to do with any of this. Those countries are for the most part unaware of the relationship between our group of eternal friends above.
The Caliph and his buddies betrayed Nirandir, murdered his wife and destroyed his empire before finally killing him. But now he's back and he wasn't a nice man before he wanted to go on a roaring rampage of revenge.
The setting is a bit Animal Farm: 'All rulers are evil but some are more evil than others' is a bit of an over simplification but not too far off.
The Caliph is planning to betray the party soon anyway but he will be doing it in such a way that it will be very difficult, not impossible, to trace it back to him. One or two other rulers have already approached the mercenary company the party are a part of to ask them to betray the Caliph, but the company declined - mostly for business/reputation reasons. All of those offers of employment will still stand after events eventuate.
The Calpih and these other folks might be evil, but for the most part, they're sensible evil. They don't unnecessarily grind the faces of the poor or eat puppies. So The DM Of's idea that some of the nobility are aware might work...
I'm just in the early days of a new campaign in my homebrew world and I'll be playing with two new to the game players (they've played some Cthulu but not much), one player with a some small experience (about a year, maybe two) and two players who have been gaming for decades, but aren't too familiar with Pathfinder.
Everyone is starting at level 5.
Part of the story that will eventually affect the players is that the leader of the country they are currently in, and whom they currently work for through their mercenary company, has essentially been on the throne for millenia thanks to certain magical properties he imbued in the crown. It has a pseudo-magic-jar effect, which only works on members of his bloodline, and instantly allows him to take over their bodies once they put on the crown.
Long story short, the party now have a reason to soon visit the cemetery in which the royal tomb resides and I want to leak some details of his cunning plan without turning this into priority one for the players. They have other things they're trying to do for now, and that's ok, they don't have the raw strength to deal with this yet anyway.
The royal crypt keeper is a necromancer of some note and is, by necessity, in on the ruse. The PCs shouldn't have to engage him in combat on this encounter and he would be an epic level encounter if they did. He is also deathgagged, so if they do decide to ice the fool, they can't compel his shade to assist.
I was toying with the idea of haunts to indicate that all is not right in the royal crypt but wanted to see if the genius hivemind could suggest how they would go about it.
I haven't fully decided if the ruler's body needs to still exist for the crown to work or other smaller details like that.
Why you guys talking about a guy who ain't here?
There's no point in talking about someone if they're around to defend themselves.
Plus, it's not like he's the only guy that's ever had the experience.
Anyway, it's not like nobody in the world ever discussed the motivations and actions of a fictional character. Does that make it pointless because they can't add anything new on account of not existing? Sure, the creator can clarify certain things, but only to certain English Lit students who don't say the author might as well be dead for all their opinion matters.
The thread would be just as useful a discussion if it started with 'Once upon a time...'
Not clear to me. Someone caught him. Just because the druid wasn't present, doesn't mean they weren't informed.
The OP says the druid player meta-gamed to come in and get involved. While not exactly open-and-shut, I interpreted that to mean that he was acting on OOC info.
If the druid's player was OOC spoiling for a fight, the OP was OOC starting one by stealing.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying anything OP did was right. I'm just saying he doesn't seem to be the only one in the wrong.
By hug it out, I thought I was implying, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way that both players (hell, the whole group) needed to sit down and talk through their expectations around various levels of PVP, which the theft definitely qualifies as. I just think that there may be some other underlying issue which the OP and the druid's player need to hash out in more depth than the general group talk, and it may be best if that were done without the presence of the rest of the group. Although the DM may be in a situation where it might be better if he moderated the chat so some extent. And not all DMs would be happy to do that. It also shouldn't necessarily be a DMs job.
And your experience seems to be more of a regular occurrence. From the story in the OP, I can only assume that this was a one off thing, especially since it was anew character. I can see why your party were frustrated, but if it was one off, I think the druid's player seriously overreacted.
I would say no. Not really for power level reasons, but because I see Summon Nature's Ally more as a Tarzan style call to the creatures of the wilds rather than "Abracadabra, badger appear!".
I don't see Lantern Archons responding to a yodel.
Like I said, that's just me and I would be open to a good argument from a player.
Do you have any reasons why you think it should work?
I prefer to let the in-game accounting take a back seat, provided nobody abuses the privilege.
If I notice that your character is essentially always carrying just the right mundane item, or the party try to loot everything down to and including teeth, then you better believe I'll be checking encumbrance.
If nothing stands out as particularly suspicious then I'm happy to have all of these numbers slightly fuzzy.
TOZ is right though. The Gods do care more about magic arrows, or anything magic in my games.
Of course, planar binding doesn't have to be used for subjugation (it's just very good at it). You can simply use the spell to call an outsider...Nothing stops you from using social skills like Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate to try to get something to agree to your terms.
See that's how I think a Good PC would deal with a Good outsider.
I don't see anyone being... brave... enough to do this to a even a little Cambion, never mind a Balor.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
It's actually incredibly unreasonable. They likely have no idea who you are and what you will ask them to do. For all they know you intend on using the spell to have them slaughter innocents, trick a pious follower of a good aligned deity, or commit other evil acts.
QFT. If a friend calls and asks me for a favour, I get details before I agree.
Many of the outsiders a wizard would prefer to call have higher INT than I do.
And this isn't all OOC. The Druid (IC) doesn't trust him and doesn't want him back.
To be fair, the druid's character wasn't in the room and couldn't have known IC that anything had been stolen.
This definitely seems like more of a inter-player issue to me. It seems like the druid's player was OOC spoiling for a fight.
OP and the druid's player need to hug it out.
None of us said it was a good pun.
My campaign is one of those 'you're all in the same mercenary company' style deals. I give everyone free ranks in Profession: Soldier each level.
If I get a good backstory, I also include free ranks in skills that would have been relevant, but these skills can't be some of the 'essentials'. If you want perception, you better believe that you're investing in it yourself.
I also try to work these background skills into the game every so often. It's nice when a player's backstory is used to do more than just find kidnap victims.
Smell is also hard because it's so subjective though.
A paladin based on me would fall the first time they smelled lavender for example. Can't stand the stuff and will forever associate it with evil. Whereas I can see a GM using it as a benign old lady smell.
I've no reason to hate the smell but I've paid extra money to stay somewhere away from the plant in the past.
As usual, the lesson is 'know your players'.
Now to weigh in on the actual thrust of the thread with no regard for what anyone has said before (he lies, having read the whole thing).
The point the people I agree with are making is that there need to be certain assumptions about what is involved in something before we can make a reasonable decision about whether or not it's a pastime we want to become involved with.
If I say 'Hey, wanna come over for some roleplay?', that's nice and inviting, but also really vague. I can get everything from BDSM enthusiasts to 3.X players to *shudder* FATAL players.
If I say any of the following:
'Wanna come over for BDSM?'
Well, these all mean different things. and they only mean different things because of the previously defined rules each of these scenarios includes.
If I offer Pathfinder but remove any of the core assumptions, you are just as right to be annoyed as if I offer BDSM and you arrive to a game of Grimm.
If I offer FATAL and you come over to anything but an intervention, you don't have rights anymore.
66. You encounter a roadblock preventing travellers from reaching a village. The block is off a fork in the road the party had no intention of taking. The villagers manning the barricade are quite belligerent and attempt to order the party to keep an unreasonable distance. They say that they do not want outsiders bringing plague to their village. There has been no news of any plague on this entire landmass for as far back as you can reliably recall.
You're dead right.
And while the majority of Asmodeus' clerics would be evil aligned, the few LN clerics he has can even choose to spontaneously cast cure spells.
Don't mind me.
I don't get it.
Everyone assumes that this spell is part of 'some nefarious scheme by Asmodeus to exert influence over more people and someday maybe he'll rule the world through it and puppies will always look sad and ice-cream will melt too quickly...' and so on and so forth.
And sure, it would be in character for the guy.
But seriously, maybe he just realised that he needed an evil aligned healing spell for his human clerics to cast since they're restricted from casting spells with the 'good' alignment. Sure he doesn't care about his mooks on the deep emotional level that all of the good gods care about theirs, but he probably still recognises that they operate better when undamaged.
None of the nefarious scheme fluff appears in my Inner Sea World Guide anyway.
Qakisst Vishtani wrote:
Character alignment is the sum of all your actions, not the cause of it.
I maintain that the entire alignment section has been written wrong in most of the books that include it.
Rather than say ' Chaotic Good people perform these actions and have these attitudes' it should read 'These actions and attitudes will lead to/are a sign of a Chaotic Good alignment'.
I get that the overall chapter does give that impression, provided you read and interpret it the way I do - correctly ;), but the problem is that too many people read it identically to the harder delineated rules sections of the books and this means they, often subconsciously, view it in shades of black and white.
Now, I love a drink as much as the next man (provided the next man really likes a drink). I'm also not against the idea of a bit of a smoke of the combustible of one's choice.
But the key thing here is, we're playing a game. I can drink with people, or even alone, whenever I want. Hell, I'm having a few drinks right now.
When I'm gaming, I also like a drink, or a smoke. But what I'm doing then is gaming, not drinking. Once my drinking doesn't affect the people I'm playing with (and that includes how I play my character), then everything is gravy, as they say.
If my drinking or smoking is affecting how I play, or - even worse - how I GM, then the mind-altering substances have to take second place.
My house, wheterh I GM or not, is the hosting house for my group. I allow smoking at the table, smoking at the table and drinking at the table, because I'm happy to do all three.
But always remember, you're at the table, not at a bar or party.
EDIT: I'm not going to correct the typos. I just thought it was appropriate that they were there.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Fair call on Anzyr's post being less absolutist, I did say rarely, but in discussions like these, rarely can often be a weasel word used to make the other side seem less reasonable while still allowing one to cover one's behind. I do think though that even the attitude that it needs to be discussed before a game comes back to 'know your table'.
I'm curently GMing for the first time and my party are two former, and probably future, GMs of mine and my wife (conflict of what now?) and one more guy who's played under both previous GMs before and GMed for them himself.
I haven't asked any of the players how they feel about fudging, but I do know how they feel about the old Gygaxism that a GM rolls dice for the sound they make.
That's enough for me. Like everything in life, the key to fudging successfully is being judicious with its use.
Some people think that isn't possible, others disagree.
EDIT: I think my wireless keyboard is running low on battery, not all button presses are making it through.
As far as why there might be different races, just look at the colonies in the Americas and Australia throughout history.
While a lot of people heading to the new world are seeking a fresh start and an opportunity to make it big, some can be convicts, sent against their will to far flung lands.
Between the two of these broad strokes, you can probably fit every type of PC or NPC. Some might not be deported, but might be escaping scandal of some sort and so be 'exiled' in a less legal fashion.
While you can bring a police force over from the mother/father-land, it's worht noting that in Australia, some of the better behaved convicts could also be given these jobs. This allows for a few options for both LG and CG characters.
An adventuring party could have many origins, from a royal commission to find valuable natural resources, to escaped cons, to a rough and ready pseudo-police force, tryong to forge some semblance of justice out of a wild frontier.
Westerns are a good start for themes because the idea of exploration and new lands was a big factor, but there are a lot of South American and Australian films that can also give some great ideas. For an Australian example that gives some great moral conflict, I recommend The Proposition by musician Nick Cave.
Haven't spell checked, sorry.
EDIT: Is it weird that I can favourite my own post?
I just want to second any of the 'have him GM his own game' options.
A far as finding a group goes, I don't know where you live and what the gaming community is like but I'm sure you could find some people willing to help out, even if it is just the rest of your normal group.
A PFS scenario is a great idea for a start, but since you say your son is quite mature and intelligent I would suggest that you as a player not be afraid to go off the rails (but know the limitations to this, you should probably know the scenario as well or better than if you were planning to run it yourself).
Challenge him and let him know that the success of the night was his doing and not some Paizo author's.
I like a big game. But I find that number of PCs is less important than number of players.
I'm currently running for four players (even though one has yet to start in my campaign, he's still part of the group from previous campaigns, so he counts).
That said, I've given everyone two characters. I think it's a godsend.
I've got one PC captive at the moment and while I haven't had time (yet) to run a solo session for that PC, the player still has stuff to do with his other character. So he's not left out.
I'm reasonably sure, there will be a number of deaths in my campaign so having a second char means, again, no long boring hours of watch ing other people take too long to get to where you can be introduced.
That said, as noted above, there is a definite trend of one character acting as a players 'main' and the other really not getting much RP opportunities. Even as a first time GM, it's still reasonably easy to provide chances for each individual character to get really involved though.
Hi, my name is Muad'Dib and I'm a deviant.
All: "Hi Muad'Dib!"
But tongue removed from cheek for a second; the CRB does explicitly list fudging as an option for DMs. It's right there in black and... sort-of-beige.
Page 402, bottom of the first column and top of the second.
So while a person can say that they don't like fudging. They can't say that the DM is cheating since there is a word perfect allowance for it in the rules.
I haven't seen any of the posts deleted from this thread, but I have to say it seems that there is a lot more absolutism from the anti-fudging side than there is from the pro.
I've never sdeen a pro-fudger say anything more than know your audience, read the room and only use it when appropriate. I've rarely seen an anti-fudger do anything but denounce the practice utterly.
This probably irks me more than the argument itself. The fact that only one side seems prepared to make concessions.
Then again, maybe it's just that I see the side that I'm on as more persecuted, human nature and all that.
Fudging has its pros and its cons.
In my first ever game, my introduction to roleplaying as it were, I had to roll a stealth check about an hour into the session.
Taking bonuses, penalties, etc into account, I rolled the grand total of -3. The GM ruled that my scale mail clad dwarf cleric managed to run full tilt into a cave wall and draw almost every creature in the cave complex to the entrance, where we were. This was fun.
Failing a roll can be fun. And nobody on this thread advocating fudging is sayingthat there should never be a chance for failure.
A few sessions later, I managed to fail every single roll I made that night.
Skill checks - failed
That wasn't fun. I felt like I might as well have left the room and spent the night doing something else. I couldn't even distract opponents because let's face it: What reasonably intelligent enemy is going to go for the idiot drooling in the corner, still trying to untangle his warhammer from his belt when there are credible threats in the room? Sure, I might have slowed a monster hunting for food down as they went for the weakest member of the group, but not for long and we didn't face any due to the exigencies of the situation. That wasn't fun.
If it had been my second session ever, or my first, I can see myself deciding that this game wasn't for me. I have limited free time and I need what I do with it to be enjoyable, not a perpetual uphill slog.
An individual failure does not make a game less fun, but having no effect on an event that requires a significant, read minimum 12 hour, time commitment on my part (we even game at my place and the room needs to be set up before hand every time) is definitely less fun.
I've never read a thread on these boards, or others, where somebody says 'My best gaming experience was not rolling above a 2 for a whole session. Best four hours of my life!'
Now I fudge and you'd better believe I do. If I notice a player getting frustrated over a lack of ability to affect the game, but that player is still trying to engage, you bet your sweet bippy I'll fluff a will save from an enemy, or allow a hit, or something.
If the player still has the mental fortitude (probably a high will DC) to attempt something cool on a night when the dice are against them, you'd better believe that I'm at least going to fudge for a partial success.
I've also never seen any couterpoint to the fact (brought up more than once in this and every other thread on these boards about fudging) that fudging is in fact RAW. It's listed in the CRB as an option available to DMs. If you fudge, you certainly don't need to tell your players. You're only following RAW.
If you don't fudge, you're the deviant and need to 'fess up :P
I did find a rather nice image that lists some collective nouns suitable for PF here.
I don't think divination will be used to find out what happened, unless the PCs fail a bluff check. People die in the field all the time, that's why mercenaries make the the big bucks of PC WBL. They might not get found out at all.
That said, our Kobold friend had friends of her own in the ranks. A lot of those friends might ask the party what happened. The odds are certainly against them passing every check they need to make. And I would guess that mercenaries gossip worse than washerwomen.
To begin with, I basically stole the conditions at the start of the campaign from the opening of the Black Company novels. The way my party are playing, it's more like A Series of Unfortunate Events now.
I genuinely think they thought the right thing to do was press on, based on some of the other... impulsive... decisions they've made. That's why I want a punishment that they can RP through that still makes the game fun. The players' attitudes seem fine, if misguided.
Firstly, thanks for all the quick replies folks. Definitely given me some stuff to work with.
Secondly, I'll answer some of the questions posted and give a bit more detail.
They have no authority whatsoever. They're grunts that have worked together before but there are no discrete squads
in the outift, so they just happened to be the ones selected for this mission. In part because they have worked
together well in the past.
What's the alignment of the PC?
Alignments vary throughout the group but none of them are evil (Evil wasn't restricted, so I don't have anyone playing CN just to get away with stuff).
They were also told during char gen that it would be a mercenary campaing and regardless of alignment there would be rules in the outfit.
Nobody is going to change alignment for this anyway.
How big is the troop?
The mercenary outfit has about 700 troops. The current squad is 8 PCs strong. There are no surviving NPCs :(
The outfit as a whole is employed by the ruler of an Ottoman style country. The party were given two to three weeks to investigate reports of unrest in a town about three days travel to the North. They were told during briefing that there was no real rush.
Oh their other comrades will definitely have some of the above reactions.
To fill in on the actual story:
The NPC was a Kobold sorceror. To make this a bit more playable, I developed a bit of background to say that Kobolds are a slave race in this part of the world, rather than a monster race to be exterminated on sight. The mercenary outfit isn't from this part of the world and has a pretty open door policy for membership - like Vimes' watch. The group encountered a bunch (what's the collective noun for Kobolds?) of escaped slaves who took exception to the race traitor accompanying the (mostly) human oppressors of her own free will.
The ensuing fight killed the other switched out PC and the Kobolds shrieking about a race traitor eventually fled with a captive.
As it turns out the Kobold NPC isn't dead but has been viewed as a prophesised liberator by the Kobolds' shaman. She was the only red scaled kobold they'd ever seen, green is the normal colour but there are others.
She has undergone a ritual which has given her the half-dragon template and four levels of Oracle. The PCs will defintely see her again and she's not pleased. Her shock and anger at being abandoned pretty much made her an easy convert to the cause.
The party are still investigating the unrest, so they haven't had to report yet.
I am expecting them to try to bluff it out but we shall see.
Sorry for the length and thanks again for all the input so far.
To be honest, this has already sparked a huge campaign re-write. The slavery deal was going to be background but these events have encouraged me to push it further to the fore, especially since the party has a nemesis now.
So here's the thing...
My group are playing longstanding members of a mercenary outfit with a strict code. The code includes the usual mercenary rules:
The outfit comes first.
After our first session, one of my players decided he wasn't too keen on the characters he was usng and asked if he could switch them out. Since we were only one session in, I, in my infinite benevolence, said we would just retcon his two new characters into the group but his previous two characters would become NPCs.
Fast-forward to the end of the next session, where one of these NPCs was captured and dragged screaming into the bushes by a random encounter (not entirely random, I'd planned it to add some colour to a detail that came up during character creation, but unrelated to their current mission).
The entire party voted unanimously to forge ahead with their mission rather than attempt any form of rescue.
We had a bit of a back and forth, where I explained to them in numerous forms that this went against the outfit's code and would likely have repurcussions.
They insisted that they were following the code by putting the outfit first and honouring the contract.
I explained that they would know from experience that the code wasn't interpreted in this way but left the decision to them. It's not my job to tell them they can't jump off a cliff, it's my job to roll the falling damage.
I've no interest in punishing the players for this decision. But their characters can definitely expect punishment.
Does anyone have any suggestions for good in-character punishements from the leader of the outfit that would be fun to roleplay.
The rest of the outfit will already treat them worse once word gets out.
This dichotomy, the rather intense difference between their alignment and faith fascinated me, and was something that really caught me off guard.
My first 'favorited' post and my first post in two years of lurking, and however long it's been since I created an account.
Really liked that story and I think it'll come in useful in my current campaign.
Thank you (and yoink!).