You'd probably have better luck elsewhere, but I can take a stab at it.
1) It's not overwhelming to keep track of things. However, it's also not an AP. It's just a very large dungeon. A dungeon that can last you for well over 20 levels. Little story, mostly history, much dungeon.
2) You can start wherever you like, if you create an entry point to an appropriate dungeon floor. 1 works just fine.
3) As a third party product, it exists completely independently of Golarion. FGG has their own setting material, but none of it is super important to Rappan Athuk.
Just putting the finishing touches on my submissions. I have a question for you. You say make sure we give you some idea of how to keep spellcasters within the word count. Aside from simply giving up some spells (either by fewer levels, a different class, or an archetype), what are some ways you have seen this accomplished?
Thanks in advance.
Step one: make sure everyone is a player or a GM first, and friends/significant others/spouses second. If for some reason being a player first is a problem, do not play the game. That would be dumb.
Step two: abide all customary rules of etiquette as if you are a group of friends spending time together and enjoying a shared hobby. Because you are.
That's it. All you have to do is act like non-terrible people and handle any issues as they arise.
Though if I can offer some more semi-solicited advice, try to sucker someone else into GMing for your significant other's intro to gaming. That way, not only are not in the role of impartiality, but nobody is going to compete too hard for your attention.
Working in weird or difficult characters in WotW is just a matter of making the PCs' patrons a little more controlling. You're in prison, they bust you out, they own you now. If you also want to make the jailors big jerks just to encourage a revenge motivation, more power to you. Same if you go into some detail about who sent the PC to prison, why, and how mad they should be about it.
But yeah, if you can get through the first book, you're fine. Asmodeus doesn't appreciate quitters.
Mikko Kallio wrote:
I'm mainly doing this because a) it's fun and educational for everyone involved (including us judges; I always learn something new when I read other people's work), b) I like to help aspiring freelancers, and c) for the judge cred. (And d) because a lot of people were asking "When will HBM2 begin???")
Time to start the grindstone then: when will HBM3 begin???
Liz, if I may be so bold as to hijack Matis's thread, what sort of Kickstart gotchas are you talking about? I imagine that physical goods then require working with third parties, which adds time and complexity, the whole fulfillment process itself is a lot of unpaid grunt work, especially if you're shipping physical items, and of course, no matter what you're promising you may fail to take into account the true total costs of those things...
But aside from that, what sorts of hidden traps are there in KS?
I have a few questions for you.
Have you ever written an adventure module before?
Do you worry that rewarding evil for its own sake will result in cartoonish cariactures of evil, or is that your intended result?
How much do you already have written?
Congratulations on hitting your goal, you're doing great.
@Tacticslion: The way to stop being nervous when submitting work is to devote every waking moment to writing and submitting, forgetting every work as soon as you hit that "send" button, forever damning your work to electronic purgatory where it will be read and evaluated only once more by human eyes and then never considered again.
You grow numb to the chill grip of nervousness and the fiery sting of rejection; your mind never wanders, instead immediately returning to its cell of ever more writing, until one day you are pushed beyond your breaking point and you tell yourself you don't need anybody, and decide to write everything yourself, at which point you realize you also need to design, illustrate, lay out, publish, market, and deliver everything yourself. After weeks of fevered, mad work, you realize that you are just an interchangeable human in an ineffably vast machine, sitting alone in your office putting letters into different orders in a vain hope of achieving the creation of some kind of novelty, where millions of previous permutations of letters have failed. You die alone and unloved, having forsaken all friends and family for the company of the letters and your own opium dreams.
Or so I hear. Hope that helps!
In other news, just submitted. I'm cool. I'm fine.
First, decide whether you really love the idea of a campaign where the PCs are fragile (as in, normal, not superheroic) mentally and to an extent physically, or if you just are really into Darkest Dungeon. Trust me, I've been at both places at varying times. If you're not super taken by Darkest Dungeon specifically, just go ahead and yank Call of Cthulhu's systems and adapt them.
If you do specifically want DD's system, I'd recommend keeping it as close to DD as you can.
Triggers: enemy crits, seeing an ally go down, time spent in the dungeon, scary enemy attacks, seeing horrible things, getting bonked by a trap, and so forth.
Point values: anywhere from 1d6 to like, 5d4 depending on awfulness.
Break points: 100 and 200 would be traditional, but I might also introduce a smaller effect at 50 and 150. Something minor, like a DC 10+level will save or act as if confused for one round.
Cap: 200. Just keep it the same unless you have reason to want otherwise.
As a sidebar, I'd say CoC does a better job representing real mental health. First of all, in DD you get afflictions like "abusive" or "hopeless" from becoming too stressed. The cure? Spend a week praying or gambling. It also cures the stress. How do you get the actual insanities like hagiomania or kleptomania? You start with some, and it's a random chance on finishing a dungeon later on. With some good luck, good planning, and the use of several camp skills that decrease stress, you could walk out of a dungeon less stressed than you began it, and still bring a dose of crazy out with you. Also, the cure for any of these insanities is a week in the asylum.
In CoC, spending time in the sanitarium is a much longer term affair, and even modern psychiatric drugs do little to get you out the door in a hurry. CoC investigators aren't Dungeon Bowl players who go crazy and have to spend a week on the bench before going back into the game, they're real people who, when something terrible happens to them, it doesn't just ruin their week, but months or years. They're real people whose real lives get destroyed by merely brushing against the ineffable terror of the Great Old Ones. The Cthulhu Mythos stat also, admittedly imperfectly, stands for the idea that some things you can't fully come back from. That you'll never be as strong as you were, or as someone who hasn't been through what you have. In DD, a week in the sanitarium and a week of drinking is enough to fix any dungeon's worth of issues.
It's called exaggeration for effect. Nice job deflecting, by the way.
I hope the desired effect was distraction and obfuscation of original issues.
There's a big difference between "what might happen" "what will probably happen" and "how Pathfinder works without GM intervention".
My experience with PFS, for better or ill, lines up a lot more closely with MrSin's expectations.
For the most part, enemies in Mythic campaigns are NOT mythic. That tends to saved for BBEGs and minibosses. That means you wreck all over them. And then the mythic BBEG, well, the PCs burn all the MP they can per round, the BBEG burns all that he can burn and...the PCs burn four times as much.
There are also arguments to be made about how Paizo totally miscalibrated their tier --> CR conversions. Smarter people have made them more eloquently, so I'll let you go look if you're interested.
Does releasing material under the DM's Guild likely to cause "Paizo to believe you are in the publishing business"
Note well the difference between "a publisher", and "in the publishing business".
Further note the phrasing "If Paizo believes". That means no matter how clever we are, all the speculating in the world won't help even a tiny bit. Only Paizo can explain what might lead Paizo to believe or not believe a proposition. And even then, they could change their mind. Though if they give you an answer here, and they change their mind later, it would be less than ideal for them.
Do what you'll have fun doing. If I caught your reference and understood it, I'd roll my eyes, and if you spend half the session talking to yourself, I'd be generally displeased with you, but when I show up for PFS, it's to roll some dice and kill some stuff. RP is a lot better when you can count on things like having the same group for two adventures in a row, or actual friends at the table.
So just have fun, and ignore the eyerollers. But also don't waste a lot of table time.
Which is why you don't use damage. (Mass) Primal Hold Person, CDGs for everybody. Especially if the BBEG has a couple minions who know where the pointy end of the sword goes. Same for Sleep. On principle, roughly half the crowd control spells should be regarded as save-or-dies.
Not a fan of the Primal Magic angle (for precisely some of those "why doesn't he just kill everyone right now?" concerns), but other than that, DM_Blake has the right of it. It's so much harder to NOT kill people.
As far as "those types of players", keep in mind that those are mostly very good players to have. The "we made a powerful enemy, let's hide out in Mexico" guy? He's telling you that realism is important in his game, and rather than expecting you to provide a one way ticket down the Heroic Railroad, last stop Saving the World, he's willing to see the story play out based on how he feels it actually would. The Liam Neeson in Taken guy? He's telling you that he's totally willing to plan ahead and get creative instead of just expecting to win in a rematch because of some plot device, or after they level up twice going through the BBEG's dungeon before the final encounter. Even the "I'm going to fight no matter what" guy is showing that he has complete trust in you as a GM.
It's just that the particular plot device you want to use doesn't work for any of those kinds of players.
Lying as a good action? Easily.
"Why yes, the king is TOTALLY FINE. He came back from his adventuring in the dead of night, when no one saw it except me. He has Adventuring Flu and is currently resting in bed, and no, nobody can see him because they'll get instantly infected and die. See, only the king is strong enough to withstand Adventuring Flu. That means Evil Lord Buttmouth, the king's brother and heir apparent isn't king right now."
Lying about the nature or status of rulers has been a fantasy staple, both good and evil, forever.
Having a puppet ruler to inspire confidence and loyalty among the people? Yeah, that's not evil, unless the PCs are already planning on abusing that loyalty. Neutral at worst. And not every action Good people take have to be good. Everyone does tons of neutral things every day.
If the kingdom rules cause the PCs to take ridiculous actions (like appointing a familiar to be ruler), don't blame the PCs, blame the rules. And fix them.
Lowering point buy is only going to reduce the PCs' hp by, like, 1 point per level unless they're foolish enough to take the entire hit to their con. For dex users, it'll also reduce their AC and init by a whopping 1. Even on 10 point buy, the PCs are still PCs. The primary PC advantages are numbers, cooperation, superior equipment, and reliable casting. It is not superior point buy (though it never hurts). They're not going to "turn into minions". They'll just feel worse about their characters since even SAD characters will have a hard time covering their bases.
No, I don't think that having 5 less point buy points will counteract 2 extra bodies taking full turns per round. If you have 6 PCs, you generally need more foes, not better foes, which means yes, even bigger, clunkier combats. Sorry.
OSW is correct. Unless you create mechanical abilities or a separate spell list, or something else unique...all you've got is a Wizard where every spell has material component: scroll and stylus.
That's not to say that there's not a lot of precedent for this kind of thing. You think Green Lantern, I think...Once Upon a Time.
Don't judge me. I'm secure in my preferences.
So you're saying it's around 8 to 12. Let's assume that's an average of 10, making his CL for Fly also 10. That's 15 points right there, between max ranks and the bonus from the spell. 3 more for class skill. You can't roll lower than a 1, so having a +1 dex puts you at the threshold for never having to make rolls unless you're flying in strong winds or worse.
So I submit to you that the optimal breakpoints are 19:
I don't think that a character can be dominating as Lu Bu at both melee and archery in the constraints of your game. A demigod compared to most generals? Sure. But Lu Bu is often depicted as an unstoppable force. So I'd make him the best at one or the other. Having a Lu Bu inferior at melee to another PC, and inferior at archery to a different PC just wouldn't fly in my opinion, so switch hitting is out.
Agree about the Cavalier though, unless you go for something even more exotic and horsey.
For what it's worth, while I am intimately familiar with ToB, I lack such familiarity with PoW and just assume it is similar.
As far as Arthurian lore goes, there are a lot of different versions, and I'll concede that it's evidence that highly supernatural warriors do exist in Westerns canons, I don't think your average Fighter player has Super Saiyan Gawain as his inspiration for his PC.
Personally, I loved my Warblade and especially his Iron Heart Maneuvers (IHS to shrug off anything, ANYTHING was a personal favorite), but I was seduced by the shiny new mechanics. I imagine a lot of diehard martial players don't want change, don't want to rebuild their characters, and don't want their previous PCs invalidated in a new rule environment.
I hope my first post didn't come across as yet another "ToB rules/sucks" argument; OP expressed genuine confusion as to why anyone would take up a position against ToB/PoW, and I did my best to explain as best I can without being in that camp myself.