LankyOgre's page

Organized Play Member. 206 posts (215 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 4 aliases.


1 to 50 of 206 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

Okay. Thanks for the responses.
I was looking specifically at the schools from Inner Sea Magic. And on a related note, the Combat Schools in Inner Sea Combat.
They have specific rules for PCs gaining benefits based on the organization, but they seem to straddle the line between calling themselves a school and maybe being more an organization.

What is really expected from a semester in a magical school (Inner Sea Magic)?
The sidebar suggests that you should have several semesters per level, but for a lot of games, you can easily earn several levels in a single week if there are a lot of encounters. Also, are characters just running out in the world the entire time? Is there no real expectation that they are attending classes of any sort?
I'm not really sure how you would actually tie them into a campaign.

Sorry for the necro.
But I'm trying to grok this ability and not coming up with a rational explanation. It seems almost like an auto-take and completely illogical.
Each benefit is a separate sentence and the "higher station" benefit is attached to only a single modifier of a single skill and tucked in as an "also" at the end. I'm not sure how you would even read that it applies to the entire thing.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not really sure where Golarion specific questions go.
My players are running around Varisia; have the smaller Settlements, Nybor, Wolf's Ear, Galduria, Ravenmoor, Wartle, etc gotten any treatment in any other PFS scenarios or modules, 1E or 2E? I know Jade Regent goes through them, but they just got a mention. The Magnimar book and Varisia book mention them as well, but again, just as a footnote. Just trying to see where to focus my time.

Since this is still probably the best place.
My players are running around Varisia between chapters, have the smaller Settlements, Nybor, Wolf's Ear, Galduria, Ravenmoor, etc gotten any treatment in any other PFS scenarios or modules? I know Jade Regent goes through them, but they just got a mention.

I will be waiting to see what the players think. I’m just looking through it now. Having just a giant sprawling dungeon is definitely something I look forward to as the DM. I’ve run a couple of APs, and I still find myself spending hours smoothing plot points and tweaking the encounters, so having something to just run from the bug is appealing.

Thanks. That’s actually pretty helpful.

Thanks for the response. Seems like there isn’t a lot of recent interest. I may try to reach out to groups already running the adventure and see what they’ve done on Roll20.

I am planning to make it clear that it’s a deadly adventure that is just as likely to kill you as anything else.

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’m looking at Roll20, but I haven’t done much with it. Does anybody have any experience with Rappan Athuk in Roll20? The tokens and monsters seem easy enough to add, but the maps themselves may be harder.
I’ve done some searches and I can find product pages and advice about the 3.5 version. There was some mention that the Pathfinder version has some rules discrepancies, are they that bad?

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.

Dragonborn3 wrote:

I would be bored out of my mind and upset I wouldn't be able to actually contribute to a fight that has such a powerful spellcaster that most likely needs a full party to handle.

That is just me though, so results may vary.

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:

I'd likely appreciate the fact that the powerful end guy stuck true to form by using his enchantments first and allowing the PCs to live rather than obliterating them straight away. The suggestion will wear off shortly, now the party will know what to expect when they go back.

A simple protection from evil will likely be all that's needed. I know some people get so hooked on their PCs being super awesome and never failing that they probably won't appreciate the fact that they've been given a fair foreshadowing, though, so it might also depend how stylishly it's done.

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.

Lucy_Valentine wrote:

I like it as a plot thing. An encounter with the principal villain which doesn't end in a fight to the death is a good story element that you see in a lot of fiction. It allows the players to know the villain a bit as a person, rather than as a problem they've heard of. Also "losing" an encounter gives them something to work toward, and contributes to a theme of personal power growth, which is a theme built into the mechanics.

It seems like there are a couple of potential practical problems, though:
1) what happens if the entire party pass their saves? Or if some fail but then someone casts "suppress charms and compulsions" or similar?

2) what happens if half the party pass, and decide to try and fight even though the other half have run off?

Basically, you have to have a backup plan in case the PCs decide to fight, whether they be at full strength or not.

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’m mulling over some different adventure ideas and I’m wondering how you would respond if your GM did this.
The adventure starts off fairly typical; goblins or bandits or something are riled up and attacking the town or roads. You and your fellow PCs storm off to defeat them. Everything is going according to plan, though there are hints that something is controlling or egging them on. You get past the leader and encounter a high level spellcaster/demon/dragon/undead that casts mass suggestion and tells you all to flee and tell of his coming glory or demand tribute. The DC is high enough that a few PCs will likely fail, even if some pass. The duration may or may not actually take you back to a town, but it will get you out of the dungeon.
Now, you know that there is something big going on, but you have a clear example of how much stronger than you it is.

Cellion wrote:

Now that I've had a bit of a sneak peek myself:

** spoiler omitted **

Can you clarify the Vesk bit?

On a first glance, it seem like nothing really competes with the 1st level weapons from Core. Am I just missing something?

Would you allow a feat that or other ability that allows damage to be dealt in addition to the normal effects when bullrushing under the power of a jetpack? I was thinking the damage could be equal to a battle glove of the level of armor worn.

But at some point, do the resources invested outweigh the crime committed? Just like modern police don’t bring in FBI, and every specialist for every mugging and robbery. Aren’t some of these spells, abilities, and drones excessive?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think you are going at it backwards. It doesn't reference AOE rules does it? It states within 10feet. Even though it is an effect that covers an area, since it doesn't call out the AOE rules, don't use them. The ability tells you exactly what to do.

I haven't looked at them too close, but could you use them to create some sort of survival scene? Some combination of trying to keep shields up, activate drift engines, etc. Almost like some of the chase scenes from Last Jedi or Battlestar Galactica.

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.

In the context of "unencumbered, light armor, or no armor" it is reasonable time infer that something about wearing less is required for Evasion to work. In the context of "unencumbered, light armor, or no armor" power armor doesn't match.

US astronauts can currently survive in a space suit, but we still make the International Space Station sealed so that they don't have to be suited up all the time.

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.
Which incidentally makes it more difficult for new players to make decisions. Since they only see the Core Book rules and try to make decisions based on the abilities available it's completely confusing when NPCs break those rules. It also leads to the very off result that NPCs have AC 18 and deal 1d10 damage, because their CR says so. But then a PC equips the same armor and weapons and is AC 15 and does half the damage.

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.

The Pact World archetypes are a little better, but in general my problem with the Archetypes is not that you give up class talents, but that you give up most class talents. I understand what Big Lemon is saying, but it's unfortunately a lot of "talent"-type abilities that are given up.

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.
PCs and NPCs operate under such wildly different assumptions that they have a strong likelihood of wrecking encounters if made the "wrong" way. The design assumptions behind AC, to-hit, and hit points make them entirely not interchangeable.

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?"

Xenocrat wrote:
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.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:
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.

Castilliano wrote:
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.

Castilliano wrote:
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.

Castilliano wrote:
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.

Castilliano wrote:
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.

Castilliano wrote:
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.

Castilliano wrote:

Sixth, don't listen to me in a bubble. Look at the other PCs and what they're bringing to the table. Will you be frontlining due to their choices? Then you definitely need that Dex for AC. Will they be low tech, so you actually need to boost your Int? Will your adventure end at 8th so 16 Dex will get you to your cap anyway?

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.

Castilliano wrote:
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.

Castilliano wrote:
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.

OtrovaGomas wrote:
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.
While in the Police Academy, he continued his pattern of avoiding rules and finding success every way except the Vesk way. In capture the flag, he was as likely to go through the ducts and through the field. During drills, he paid the bare minimum attention to “probable cause” or “reasonable search,” assuming that a good end justified questionable means. He never quite stepped far enough out of bounds to be discharged, but didn’t make anybody proud. The night before graduation, a sergeant came to him and informed K’Thrax’ll that, due to respect for his mother, he would be allowed to graduate, but if he didn’t want to find himself fragged very quickly, he may want to resign. Therefore as soon as K’Thrax’ll received his enlistment, he resigned.
He’s still not sure how he is going to tell his parents and figures he will think about it while having a drink. While drowning his sorrows, a flyer for the Starfinder Society catches his eye and seems as good an excuse as any to avoid his mother.

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.

Vesk Mercenary Operative - Specialization:Ghost

Acrobatics, Athletics, Bluff, Computers, Cultures, Engineering, Intimidate, Perception, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Stealth
Improved Initiative (Maybe Fleet or Nimble Moves)

Tactical baton
Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol
Second Skin
-Infrared Sensor

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 did post something about this last year, but that was before the book was out.

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.
Dragon riders
Gryphon king playing chess
Abandoned villa in a forest with a dragon trapped in a giant gem

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.
There are 5 out of the 7 classes that have insight bonuses. Out of those 5
1 is better than Skill Focus at 1st level 50% of the time, as good or better at 9th level
2 are as good as Skill Focus at 7th level
2 are as good as Skill Focus at 9th
2 specifically give or interact with Skill Focus
1 provides an insight bonus to all skills
2 provide insight bonuses that can be chosen by the player

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.

If you are a spacefarer, you can add +2 at 1st level and +4 at 13th. So then you are at +22 compared to +23 with ranks. Not sure it's worth a theme and two exploits, but it's there.

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.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

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 would go with Chapter 7, because usually stats represent what you can do, not what is too hard.

Spell Focus would be a bonus, therefore it is in addition to your feat given on the table pg 26.

On page 26, the chart shows when you get feats. You get a feat at 1st level and every odd level. In addition, humans get a bonus 1st level feat and many classes get additional bonus feats at various levels.

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.
So far it seems to be how most of the games I've participated in have run initiative.

RDM42 wrote:
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.

RDM42 wrote:
LankyOgre wrote:

I have always opposed critical fumble rules (beyond auto miss) emphatically and vociferously.

1) An individual character will roll more d20 rolls than any individual NPCs, which means that each character has a higher probability of rolling a fumble than any individual NPC.
2) A character is a lasting member of the campaign while each individual NPC/monster is usually a fleeting encounter frequently only exists for a single scene.

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?

Why are the results of any specific Npc compared to you relevant? The only thing relevant is the number of total rolls against you by everyone you face vs the total number of rolls you make. And THAT math swings the other direction.

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.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have always opposed critical fumble rules (beyond auto miss) emphatically and vociferously.
1) An individual character will roll more d20 rolls than any individual NPCs, which means that each character has a higher probability of rolling a fumble than any individual NPC.
2) A character is a lasting member of the campaign while each individual NPC/monster is usually a fleeting encounter frequently only exists for a single scene.

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
Pathfinder - We have played a bit, so we can use that to improve the next game. I have a better understanding of the players, so I can steer them towards characters they will enjoy. I am extremely familiar with the system and have pregens and one-shots to reintroduce the game if necessary.
Vampire - I have played/GMed White Wolf games twice, but I have some grasp. If anybody has any suggestions making Vampire work (or just that it won't) I'd love to hear. Urban fantasy is a genre that appeals to at least half the group. I think character creation has fairly limited options, and the modern setting may help with out of combat decisions. I don't have any pregens rated characters or one-shots to introduce the game though.
Savage Worlds Pulp/Deadlands/Necessary Evil - I've played and ran a handful of different Savage Worlds games, and the different settings mean we can find one to agree on. Stats and dice are directly correlated, so it's right on the sheet. There are only a couple of action options with clear results, but a lot of freedom to narrate those options. I've got a ton of pregenerated characters and one-shots to run.
Dresden Files Fate - I love the genre and the novels. I've DMed a few demos and one aborted campaign. I'm a little hesitant because so much can depend on player initiative. I have pregens and one-shots to introduce the game.
Star Wars a Edge of the Empire - I've been dieing to run this since it was released. I played a Free RPG adventure and have DMed once or twice. The options seem clean enough that they can accomplish a lot, and character creation appears to limit itself somewhat. I have pregens and intro adventures.
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying - I picked this up because I like comics and it looks fun. I've ran a number of Margaret Weis games and Marvel looks fun. The rules seem lite enough that they won't be overwhelming. On the other hand, it can require a lot of setting knowledge. I have one shots and characters to use.

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?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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
Neal Caffrey from White Color.
John Anderson in Minority Report
John McLane from Die Hard
The Great Mouse Detective
Wax from Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (human kineticist)

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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.
A 50 ft clearing with a permanent mirage arcana to appear as a normal clearing with a scattering of trees and statues. A programmed illusion appears of a basilisk walking across the clearing. The illusion has kept most people away from the clearing. Though in this case, it will probably be what draws the PCs to the clearing. Investigating the clearing through the illusion will reveal a mostly bare clearing with 6 real "things", a tree, a boulder, a fallen log, a pair of obelisks, and a "mausoleum". Each "thing" has a hidden door that leads to some version of a 5 ft hallway into a 10x10 room trapped with different CR 1 or 2 traps (arrow, poison dart, swinging axe, burning hands), just enough to feel real. Each room has an illusion of a looted tomb. One appears to have a dozen terra-cotta like soldiers broken and scattered about. The second has dozens of vases tipped and broken, with a few coins and bits of jewelry. The third has baskets of rotting food. The fourth is just a bare and empty room. The fifth appears to be rotting taxidermied animals; lions, bears, a drake/dragonling, etc. The sixth (one of the two obelisks) has a sarcophagus on a dais and a programmed illusion of a wraith like creature. The first five a primarily trying to make any would be looters think it's already been ransacked. If you see through the illusion, it ends up being the same thing, just not looted; a rank of terra-cotta like soldiers guarding a dais, vases filled with gold and jewelry (gilded or cheap replicas), piles of magically preserved food, a funeral ship, a collection of animals stuffed and preserved. The sixth one continues to be a sarcophagus on a dais, but it actually hides the entrance to the true tomb.

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.
Scent could have a use in any situation. Telling that the NPC spends a lot of time around the sea, or that an item is from a pig farm. There might also be times when it will alert you to a hiding foe or allow you to explore a darkened cave. Tell that a room hasn't been open for a long time. Identify a poison or something funny in a food dish. There are a lot of clues that smell could tell you.
I think it depends a lot on the environment in general. A farm with a lot of manure, a barracks, or a kitchen might have more smells to confuse you. A closed up warehouse or empty field might have less.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

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.
A maze of illusory walls around scattered spiked pits. Some of the walls cover spiked pits and some of the pits are illusions. Therefore the players can't just jump over the pits they see, but can't depend on them all being real or fake.
Trap that activates phantasmal web or shadow conjuration summon monster.
Maybe a shadow conjuration of a wall over pit so that disbelieving the wall causes it to only hold 1/5 the weight. That would make most PCs fall in.

These are just some thoughts.

1 to 50 of 206 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>