I’m a little late to the party, but I just came across Rappan Athuk and I’m thinking of running it for a some family that hasn’t played much. Does anybody have any suggestions or advice about the Pathfinder version?
I was looking at the Mouth of Doom and there’s some attempt at Dungeon ecology, but it doesn’t actually make complete sense.
There are supposed to be gnolls and bandits on the 2nd and 1st level, using the dungeon as a Hideout, but there’s no real way for them to get in and out without triggering traps and other monsters.
Thank you for the responses. You hit a lot of my thoughts and I just wanted to see what others thought.
This is the feeling that I'm afraid of. My goal is to make it occur quickly enough in the encounter with the BBEG and lead right back outside, so hopefully there isn't too much time that PCs can't act. The goal is introducing the BBEG without causing it be a fight or just narrative description. Do you think there is any way to introduce a BBEG in a powerful fashion well?
Pizza Lord wrote:
Thank you for the response. I'll hit it again below, but hopefully not everybody has protection, though I can work around it if I need to. I'm hoping it sets up a threat that they will feel passionate about returning to crush.
Thank you for the response. As you said, hopefully it will create a memorable villain that the PCs want to defeat. I've seen a number of adventures that tell the PCs how powerful the BBEG is, but nothing is as strong as the one that got away.As far as plan B. Some of it will depend on the specific PCs. If possible, I may work in a dispel, or a Worf Effect to drive home how powerful the creature is. I'll hopefully have figured out the PCs well enough by this encounter that I will have an idea if they will stay if only a few pass the check. I may respond with a mocking laugh, "I like you mortal," and a strange gift, especially if its only one PC.
Happy Sunday y’all
I've been on cruise ships, navy ships, barges, and ferries; in general, they all have 5ish foot hallway size corridors. If they aren't smaller. Many times they are just wide enough to say excuse me and pass without brushing against the other person. Obviously, I've never been on a space faring vessel of any sort, but I imagine that the space would be similar.
Once again its the Starfinder copout that monsters just have whatever stats you want with some vague guidelines because that's easier. Making NPCs and monsters follow PC rules is too hard, so just do whatever you want.
The starship combat rules are a half baked, tacked on mess that are not balanced around anything. They included the statement that class abilities don't work without actually including anything that does work. There are some abilities that pretty obviously shouldn't work, like trick attack, or fireball. On the other hand, many abilities conceptually should work, they just didn't want to deal with it.
This doesn't actually solve the problem though. While there may be some small difference in time to create an NPC NPC and a PC NPC, time is not the major concern.
This could be an interesting impetus for a story. If you are running low on supplies, do you keep your comm, trying to call for help or slot it in for ammo to keep yourself safe. Maybe switch it back and forth, praying that somebody hears you for the 5 minutes you have your comm on while dreading every shot required from your laser.
One benefit is to remember is that by having them all in the book, players and GM's can talk about them. I 5e it's not entirely unlikely that the GM will just pull the DC out of a hat and the same action may be a DC 15 one session and then a DC 12 or 17 the next. This makes it very difficult for the players to make logical choices about their actions. Being given a lot of DC's helps clarify expectations. You as the GM are still allowed to add or subtract a bit from the DC, but now you don't have to remember, "did I say DC 12 last time? Or was it 16?"
You might be right, but that makes the Guest Quarters upgrade even more nonsensical than it currently is on large ships with laughably small number of bays. If a big ship can carry its max crew x3 or x4 in living quarters, but only needs a fraction of that to actually function, you'd be insane to ever use bay space for passengers rather than just handwave a much larger number of empty crew berths.
I do agree that the number of expansion bays is extremely problematic. Huge+ ships are orders of magnitude larger than a “Large” ship, and yet most of them have at most double the number of expansion bays. I think there is some problem trying to create a PC ship system that can’t be exploited that still is useable for civilian and pleasure NPC ships.
It’s difficult to directly compare starships to anything modern, the amount of room required to maintain atmosphere and gravity, the thickness required of the hull, the armor and weapons systems, all add to the volume in ways that we don’t really account for.
To me, one of the funniest aspects of this is that upgrading the crew quarters. The table makes it appear as an all or nothing decision, which makes no sense. It appears to be a static cost, not scaling with ship size (unless the cost is per good/luxurious room) but there is not mention of how much room they require. Maybe that it, everybody has their own size queen bed with a desk and private bath, that’s why there isn’t room for anything else.
Maximum crew covers the max number of creatures that can live on a ship without putting in (tiny) guest quarters. It's absurdly small for Huge and up ships.
Are you sure?
“Page 293” wrote:
In a base frame stat block, these entries note the minimum and maximum number of characters who can take actions on that vessel during starship combat. Larger starships use teams that report to a higher officer who performs an assigned role in starship combat (see Large and Small Crews on page 316 for more about large crews). A starship without its minimum crew can’t be operated.
“Page 316” wrote:
However, when a large NPC starship with its full complement enters starship combat, each individual crew member doesn’t take a regular action—it would take hours to resolve a single round! In such cases, usually on Large or larger starships, most roles simulate entire teams of personnel. The number of crew members required to assist a single officer who wants to attempt a check in that role is listed after the role’s name in a starship stat block.
Based on this, it appears that the “complement” is how many are involved with in Starship Combat. The true population could be much, much larger. There are probably multiple shifts, MPs, logistics personnel, etc.
I think the concern can be that you don’t know which it’s going to be until the PCs show up. PCs have a remarkable tendency to befriend things they are supposed to kill and kill things that they should befriend.
The problem arises in that NPCs made with monster rules and NPCs made with PC rules can have pretty different abilities. It can lead to some confusion if an enemy can all of a sudden do something that an ally couldn’t or vice versa.
First, note the errata to ghost operative. The Trick/Stealth bonus has been lowered, I believe to +1.
Noted. I still like the early access to cloaking field and the Phase Shift Escape.
Second, you're nearly assured of having a skilled Technomancer or Mechanic w/ Int in the party so I'm not sure I'd bother with Engineering or Computers. Two is the fewest I've run with, even in random groups.
The engineering/computers fits the character, and I'd hate to sneak in to a complex or ahead to scout and get stuck with a closed door. In addition, since the mechanic will be flying our ship, somebody needs to take over those roles.
Third, starship combat, what do you do? Your tech skills are too mediocre and your shooting is average. Pick up Piloting (even if you don't plan on Piloting) so you can shoot well, maybe even Pilot.
To continue from the previous response, since our mechanic wants to pilot, I don't want to take that role. Looking briefly through the starship combat, my engineering will likely mean that easy checks need a 5/6, medium checks a 10/11, and difficult checks 15/16. Computers start out even easier, though the checks add countermeasures. I have a high enough Dex that I'm not sure even a 3/4 BAB puts me that far behind. I haven't looked at starship combat enough to know what the expected bonus should be.
Fourth, I'd let Int be 8 (if you drop the techie skills). You'll get 9 skills already, meaning you'll have the best ones covered and more. Diminishing returns and such. Rely on Sam & Finch for some things. :) Unless Int is doing double-duty, it's not worth the cost.
Sam & Finch? I'd like to take the tech skills, so Int will be doing some duty.
Fifth, 18 Dex. I'd put the other two stat points wherever suits the campaign. (Cha if primarily roleplay, Con if you prefer melee to get those flanks, Wis if lots of magic or insanity issues, Str if you expect to haul equipment through the wilderness, or want +1 damage) Con would be the default, as it helps your weak save too.
I think the racial bonus to Strength and Con will be enough. I'm not sure I really need to max Dex. It seems like I will get it maxed quick enough with level upgrades.
At this point, I think we have a pilot mechanic and a soldier. The soldier will most likely take gunner and the mechanic pilot. That leaves me with captain, engineer, or science officer in starship combat, which I can cover any of those. The mechanic will be ranged firepower and the soldier melee, so I can range in between the two as needed. Finally, the stealth skills will allow us to gather information, scout out, and generally give me options outside of combat.
Seventh, build a 5th level version of yourself, or even 10th, to see if everything you want is coming together. Those stat boosts can make dramatic differences. For example, if you feel you'll be boosting Int (after Dex, Wis, & Con), then maybe don't drop Int, but also maybe pick up those Int skills with the stat boost.
Thanks for this advice. I'll look at some advancements.
Lastly, I think Nimble Moves is way cooler, and Improved Initiative has only put our Operative in harm's way that much sooner! Note that battles are longer in SF and their will be jetpacks, so maybe neither works well. (And no on Fleet unless that's your shtick....
I'll keep Nimble Moves in mind. Maybe Mobility so that I can pick up Shot on the Run.
Consider been a hacker to bost your com and engineering this can come in handy for ship combat and back up for the mechanic
I don't know if I want to focus on hacker with a mechanic in the party. Taking the skills will let me play backup and support. Taking hacker might just mean we are stepping on eachother's toes.
I am going to be starting a Starfinder game soon and I would appreciate some advice. Our party will probably consist of three people, possibly with or without a DMPC/hireling. One player is pretty settled on an android ace pilot exocortex mechanic and the second player is undecided. I’ve had an idea since Starfinder was announced that I’d like to make work.
K’Thrax’ll was born on Vesk Prime. His mother was an respected member of the military police and his father worked in a weapons factory. His mother brought some amount of honor to their family and a decent living. K’Thrax’ll grew up hearing a great many stories of raids and military actions as well as watching too many crime dramas and reading the odd mystery novel. Throughout school, he performed admirably at all tasks, but never in a way that was expected or celebrated. In sports, he was quick and dexterous, instead of standing up to overwhelming punishment. In academics, he was as likely to figure out what the teachers didn’t say as what they did. While he was never exactly a disappointment, he was never a source of familial pride. As a young adult, he attempted to enroll in the Veskarium Police Academy to follow his mother’s footprints and earn her respect.
As far as personality, K’Thrax’ll follows the Vesk belief that his word is his bond and if he says he will do something, it is as good as done. He’s not as sold on the honor thing, and is more than willing to break some eggs to make an omelette. K’Thrax’ll’s opinion is that the mission can’t get finished if he’s dead.
Overall, my thought is a general fixer and troubleshooter. I’m thinking something like Michael Westen (Burn Notice) or Reese (Person of Interest).
Does this seem to work? Is there anything I am missing? Would a soldier specialization be better? I know that Vesk isn't the best for Operative, but it seemed to fit the character idea.
I'm sure this has been discussed before, but my search is not working. I don't have a regular group and I've struggled to keep a consistent schedule for PBP games. I'd be interested in playing a bit by myself "Choose your own adventure" style. Does anything like that exist? I've seen some intro adventures, but most of them seem designed to teach the rules as well.
Since this is just for your own home game, then just make it a feat. It’s a nifty ability, but nothing game breaking. It depends on how much you try to disarm your players or make them go places that weapons aren’t allowed. In a lot of campaigns, I’m not sure this will come up every sessions unless you really work at it.
So, many years ago I read a fantasy series that I’ve been trying to find. It was 20 years ago, so I’m not sure I remember much except a few snippets. Some things I remember
Underground armadillo people.
I know it’s not a lot to go off of, but maybe somebody can help me. Or I’m crazy and it is some Frankenstein of books.
Here's my problem.
Therefore, skill focus is really for a narrow set of characters and not actually most characters. IMO, giving abilities that are GOING to be taken together, and not explicitly stating that they don't stack is bad design. The number of arguments that players are going to have is going to be absurd.
The other thing to remember is that the "max crew" is the maximum number that can contribute to Space Combat, I.e. The roles of "Pilot," "Captain," "Gunner," "Science Officer," and "Engineer." You could easily argue that larger ships have thousands of crew, but most of them are taking care of other jobs. Things like maintaining fighters, food prep, cleaning and trash, navigation and communication outside of combat, payroll, entertainment, etc. Then you want to remember that a large ship probably means there are enough crew to have all the positions covered at all times, which means 2 or 3 shifts.
No, they don't. Chapter 7 says up to half strength and then more than half strength. Chapter 2 says less than half strength and half strength or more. So chapter 7 is inclusive of your stats while Chapter 2 is exclusive.
I usually use group initiative to speed up play. I only roll one initiative per group of the same combatant. I have enough different colored d20s that I can roll all the Attacks at once. Then I can roll damage. It also is slightly faster since I spend less time analyzing decisions.
It's still irrelevant. Individual NPCs vs individual pcs is not the real point of comparison. It's the gestalt of your opponents, plural, vs you.
I'm not sure how to rephrase my statement. What I am looking at is the effect on the story/campaign of having a fumble. A PC having a fumble may break their weapon, become unable to attack for multiple rounds, lose their weapon, become cursed, take ability damage, etc (looking at the Paizo Critical Fumble deck) Those effects lead to a player not playing the game for multiple rounds and/or having a penalty that lasts through multiple scenes and possibly sessions. If an NPC fumbles, the same effect will last for, usually, a scene. A single NPC being unable to act usually'does not lead to a player(including the GM) being unable to participate, usually does not change the story, and usually does not effect multiple scenes, sessions, and combats.If you could provide some more information, I would be happy to continue discussing this.
The reason is because of effect on the campaign as a whole. Im referring to fumble rules in general (beyond just auto-miss), not just the specific example of "hit yourself." An individual PC will roll more critical fumbles than any individual NPC. Especially those fumbles that create lasting effects, e.g. weapon destroyed, multi-round penalties, when fumbled by a PC will have a greater effect on the campaign as a whole. If goblin #4829 breaks his sword, loses it down a pit, stumbles off a cliff, or otherwise fumbles, then it only effects the campaign for that one scene.
I have always opposed critical fumble rules (beyond auto miss) emphatically and vociferously.
Therefore, player characters are getting more critical fumbles than any NPC/monster, but fumbles frequently have a greater effect on a PC than a fleeting, single-scene NPC.
They also just seem ridiculous. Watch any trained professional at their area of expertise. Even when they fail the worst, I.e. critical fumble, do they ever hit themselves or anything as similarly silly?
Board games like Descent or Arkham Horror are definitely an option. Descent can be a little pricy though. CRPGs do not interest most of the group, so that's a negative.
Pathfinder will be a suggestion on the table, but I don't think the basic rules would be significantly better. It still struggles with the basic Pathfinder/d20 problem that if you don't devote feats/skills towards something, it's not even worth trying. I do have the beginner box though, if they are interested.
I'm going to first present them as setting/genres and go from there. I thing being familiar and comfortable with that aspect will help a lot.
So, I've looked through my collection of a couple dozen games and I've narrowed it down to about half a dozen to pitch. These are the games that I think I'm comfortable running and the group might enjoy. I would prefer something I already own. I don't really have the funds to invest in another system at this time.
Overall, they prefer a less rules complex game. We struggled with Pathfinder because half the group couldn't keep their options straight. They were unwilling to read over rules outside of the game and had little interest in poring over databases of rules and options. Therefore I have excluded Shadowrun and the like from the list.
On the other hand, one player specifically has stated that he prefers clear and discrete options. He stated that he struggled, especially in social encounters, because there was no dialogue tree or choose your own adventure style options. Tangentially related to this, many in the group chose actions based on that single round, with little thought to tactics or further actions. E.x. I can't reach a foe this round, so I will just throw my shield/sword at somebody without attempting to move close enough to charge/engage next round either.Though I'm suggesting it, I'm worried that Dresden Files (Fate/Fudge) might put too much responsibility on the player.
Games I Suggest
I know this was a long post. Thanks for your assistance.
TLDR: what game should I pitch to a group that thinks Pathfinder is too complex?
Somebody already mentioned Harry Dresden, but I'll second the suggestion.
There is Shawn Spencer from Psych. Pretty mundane with a high perception, but might be fun to roleplay.
Depending on what you include with detective from pop culture, there is
I'm going to add this one room at a time, and see how it goes. I'm trying for a mixture of real misdirection and illusions.
I'd think of your sense of smell. You are always smelling, just like you are always looking and hearing. If I walk into a house and there is an apple pie cooking, I don't need to take a move action to tell that there is cinnamon. Just like if there is an apple pie on the counter and I see it, I don't need to take a move action to tell that it is a pie. If it was a scent you are less familiar with or you were trying to pinpoint, then it would require actions. Just like I have to sometimes stop and smell to figure out where the toddler stashed a banana last week.
Visions of hell on a trap looks good, I need to combine it with another spell or creature. Maybe animated objects that look like puppets. Add a custom magic item that makes them look like something else, maybe an elemental.
phantom trap can't be within 50 ft of another, so I can probably get a few in the tomb. I'll use a few by themselves and a few on trapped doors.
Maybe ghost sound made permanent to confound perception checks.
I like the idea of an illusion of a bridge that covers an invisible bridge. detect magic will reveal illusions, so they might waste resources trying to cross.
What spells/traps would an illusionist use to trap an area? I'm thinking 14th level with access to permancy tried to hide/trap his tomb before he died.
Illusory walls that hide explosive runes so that disbelieving the walls activates the runes.
These are just some thoughts.
For the 2nd level spells, I was going back and forth between mirror image and blur as a defensive spell. Something like web can create an opportunity for escape or limit PC action economy.
I'm hesitant to spend a spellslot on a damage spell with how few slots he has. Ray of enervation was mostly to take advantage of the close spell magus arcana.
Thank you for your suggestions.
Yeah, as the GM, I'm fudging that bit based on the extensive time spent in the lower planes. I also started with random stats, 4d6 drop lowest straight in order. I wanted to do something different/interesting with the higher Con as well.
The rod was just something a bit different. The following adventure will involve incorporeal/ethereal creatures. Either a town overrun by shadows, or a phase spider hunting a caravan while being pursued by xill.
From the few blogs I've read through, it sounds like there are a few more things that are dependent on character level, so those would encourage more multiclassing. On the other hand, looking at the abilities they have previewed, i.e. Cloaking field and backlash, are you really going to want to delay those fun (ex) and (su) abilities?
Lykus CR5 XP 1600
Lykus’ father was almost destroyed when his wife was killed by a Hellknight patrol. As the clan proceeded to destroy the nearby garrison, Lykus’ father performed rites to summon fiendish help. In exchange, the devil took Lykus to live amongst the lower planes. What followed for Lykus was a dozen years of hellish tutors, changing homes, and little stability. He tried to find companionship amongst residents of the lower planes, but they were fleeting and lasted only as long as Lykus was helpful. An occasional ally and frequent rival, Khartzdum, was a true fiend. He frequently bullied and mocked Lykus, drestroying many of his plans. Lykus disrupted a recent plan of Khartzdum's that involved a trapped archon. The resulting humiliation and embarrassment sent Khartzdum into a rage. He chased Lykus onto the material plane, where Lykus has set up a small cult of outcasts and strix. He has even managed to acquire a few nepuribo to guard his lair.