In one of our old AD&D campaigns, our DM LOVED using some crit/fumble table from an old Dragon magazine. We were on top of a tower, losing horribly to perytons (of all things). My ranger with a 2-handed sword was the last standing - I was going to take one last desperate swing before backing through the door dragging the nearest of my fallen comrades. Of course, rolled a 1. Told to roll percentile - rolled a d20 for a natural 20. Rolled again - nat 20. 100 on the fumble table was self-decapitation. I managed to take off my own head with some wild flailing back swing with a 2-handed sword. I can only assume it was carried off to feed peryton young in a nearby nest...
I’m sorry - I’m not entirely sure how to run the Vision of Dahak hazard. Granted, I never really got the hang of running Haunts in 1E, and it appears the tradition continues.
It has a stealth of +16 (Expert) - does that mean characters that are Expert in perception get a perception check before it manifests? If so, what does a success actually provide the player? Or is the stealth bonus purely for its initiative (in which case what does the (Expert) signify)?
Do the appropriate characters simply “know” that a Religion check can be used to disable it (or a thievery check or a dispel magic)? Or is there some appropriate recall knowledge check that has to be done first to give them this info?
Some of our group were frustrated at the lack of PF1-style static bonuses they could stack up. I'm slowly convincing them that those bonuses are still there, just not in the form of must-have feats. Intimidate, flanking, feinting, aid, tripping, etc. now swings the math of the game on a round-by-round basis, making combat more fluid & dynamic. They might not be PF1's guaranteed bonuses each and every time, but they pay off often enough to make things exciting. And since they're part of combat mechanics, picking a feat just because it sounds cool isn't a sub-optimal, wasted choice.
The first thing in PF1 I ever ran was Crown of the Kobold King, and the pair of kobold slave’s - Kibbo and Jarrgdreg rapidly became the party’s favorite NPC’s. By the end of the module they were left as co-rulers of the remaining kobold tribe. It only made sense, years later, to replace the two kobolds in the AP with Kibbo and Jarrgdreg.
In the lower level of the citadel, the party came across the door marked “Mitey Dragonz. Stoopid Frog Peeple Keeep Owt” and politely knocked. The kobolds responded with “Go away stupid frog people! Can’t you read our informative yet adorably misspelled sign?!” (in my campaigns, the kobold speech pattern is to always use at least 2 adjectives separated by ‘yet.’) Even after entering the room, it took a couple of minutes to convince the kobolds that the party was not in fact stupid frog people in an alternate form, and the mitey dragonz threatened to immediately Burning Hands anyone who looked like they might climb up on the ceiling and begin spinning a cocoon. Eventually the party won their trust. Kibbo and Jarrgdreg explained to the party that after many “glorious yet fiscally irresponsible years” as rulers in Droskar's Crag they were politely asked to leave on the “best yet friendliest terms” - certainly that’s what “exile” means. The other kobolds shouted and shook their weapons in encouragement as the pair left.
Currently the pair guard the upper level of the citadel for the party as they go off to the goblin caves. They hope that given enough room they will grow to be full-size dragons, sort of like how goldfish grow to the size of their environment.
I’ve recently helped a friend convert a 7th level 1E Life Oracle to 2E (APG playtest), using just the CRB and playtest pdf’s and printed character sheet. Took about an hour, including gear, picking spells, etc. - granted oracle feats pretty limited at this point. On a side note, even with dedicating most general and skill feats to Medicine skill stuff, it made the character a very effective healer, but still interesting and capable of a broader range of activities, instead of really getting to do nothing but be the party healbot.
Monsters also generally get a cool one or two action ability, so they frequently don't just do 3 attacks. In the hell hound example, they get a breath weapon that takes one action. It could use its breath weapon for one action, move for one action, then melee attack at its full bonus. It's also not too bad at athletics checks, so it could spend an action trying a combat maneuver instead of just a melee attack.
My favorite moment of the campaign so far:
The party captured one of the bandits at Guardians Way, and the group's very lawful fighter decided to question him:
PC: So what will you do with your life if we let you go?
One of our campaigns is the Age of Ashes AP that I run (they just made it to 3rd level). This was actually just so that one of the other GMs in the group could see what running 2E would be like (he's feeling very bogged down by running a 15th level 1E campaign & is kinda wanting to end it for that reason). We had thought about making this a kinda alternate universe/possible dream sequence just in case it went bad.
But I do agree with what many have stated - our group has only played a handful of times in my 2E campaign & will quite probably fall back on their high-level 1E tactics, which would be frustrating at best. And with my own limited 2E GMing experience perhaps designing high-level encounters might be a bit of a reach for me. It might be best for him to just try running a low-level PFS scenario or something.
Thank you everyone for your advice!
I apologize in advance for the ridiculously long post, but I had several inter-related questions so I kinda wanted to keep them together as opposed to breaking them into several more-reasonably sized posts.
We have several GMs in our group, so we have about 3 campaigns going on different nights - currently I’m the only 2E GM, and my campaign’s pretty low level so far. My friend runs a 15th-level PF1 campaign, but he’s interested in converting. So as an experiment I offered to come up with a series of encounters for his current campaign (a temple of Orcus, so kind of demon-y) for him to run as a one-shot, with everyone temporarily converting their characters. (I would play as well, but keep silent during any decision-making.)
So going by the encounter-building tables, it looks like a 17th level creature would make for a good boss fight against our 15th level party - I chose a marilith. I then used the Pathbuilder 2E app to convert a couple of our characters, just to see how things might line up (the party’s light-armored archer-fighter and my own draconic-bloodlined sorcerer.)
At first, numbers for our characters looked incredible - ACs in the 30s, saves in the low 20’s, mid to high 20’s for skills that you wanted to excel at. But then I compared the numbers with a couple of the encounters. The marilith (granted, boss fight so should be tough) has an AC of 40 - archer/fighter shouldn’t have a problem with that, but my sorcerer’s spell attack bonus of 26 needs a 14+ to hit, and its appr. +30 saves vs. my 36 DC seems kinda mismatched - although I totally get this is offsetting 2E’s lack of spell resistance. And I’m hoping a lot of spells with “take x on a successful save helps out as well. But its attack bonus of 35 seems to suggest LOTS of successful hits, as well as its own save DCs of near 40 means its damaging spells are extremely likely to succeed.
Does this all balance out in high-level play & I’m needlessly concerned? Is the idea that you do get hit a lot more, but you now have more HPs to cover it, and with 4 or more party members spreading out the damage taken and with numerically more actions it all evens out? Or am I totally messing up the character conversion and numbers for 15th level characters are generally higher? Or am I reading the encounter building table wrong and 17 is just too high?
Rise of the Runelords will always be number one for me. The villains were so incredibly awesome with such compelling backstories. Some of them were truly sympathetic stories of social outcasts & seeking acceptance. And for just pure evil, I don't think my players have ever wanted to kill bad guys more than the Grauls and the Kreegs...
Quick question about innate spells and monsters: In the CRB it says: “The ability that gives you an innate spell tells you how often you can cast it—usually once per day.” While in the introduction of the Bestiary it says: “Spells that can be used an unlimited number of times list “(at will)” after the spell’s name.” Does this mean if no number per day is given (or “at will”), it’s once/day by default? For instance, soulbound dolls have an innate 3rd level spell (levitate), plus an additional one depending on alignment - with no frequency listed does this mean they can only cast each once per day?
In our group, as for actual AP’s I’ve run ROTRL, Shattered Star and currently Age of Ashes. Someone else has run Mummy’s Mask. and yet another Carrion Crown. In Shattered Star it was fairly easy to omit the Pathfinder Society membership stuff, hence my hope with the upcoming APs.
In my group, our best campaigns have started off as simple adventuring parties. There might be siblings among them, childhood friends, sometimes total strangers thrown together by events, what have you. Everyone pretty much played whatever class/ancestry/background they wanted - the course of the AP or campaign might lead you down a given developmental path, but that’s simply a character choice to take or leave as you see fit.
Failures tend to be heavily themed campaigns (these are generally home-brew ideas). This has included the whole party starting off as city constables, campaigns where a few people had a “we should all be elves/dwarves/gnomes/what have you” idea, the party’s part of some military campaign, etc.
I think the problem with a themed campaign (at least with our group) is that even if you find something that 4 out of 6 people are ready to dive into, it kind of means that 2 people might feel that the character they’ve been wanting to play has to be put on hold for a considerable length of time. Thus, when I’m GMing for the group, I find the best way to avoid that is to keep it theme-light - you're certainly welcome to play an elf ex-constable with a couple of your fellow elf ex-constable buddies, and if life throws you in with a gnome barbarian, well, life does that sometimes.
Like I said - if we wrap up Age of Ashes before the next 2 APs are done & I’m still GMing for the group, I’ll just finish up my Age of Worms conversion. No problems!
Like I said, I realize I'm probably in a weird minority. My group has tried variously-themed campaigns numerous times (including city constables) - each with a varying degree of failure. I think the problem is coming up with a theme that all within the group find equally engaging enough to devote the next couple of years of gameplay to.
It's no problem whatsoever - worse case scenario overarching plots get used and encounters/individual elements get lifted/reworked. I was just hoping for maybe some sidebar advice within the APs to help in doing so - especially early on when it's hard to tell what given element you're leaving out becomes important in the 3rd book or something.
I know I’m probably in a weird minority on this, (really, that’s where I am most times in life), but I was just wondering if the next two APs might include sidebars on how how to run them NOT as part of a circus or as Absalom cops?
My characters all may have wildly different motivations, but at the end of the day, they’re all simply adventurers. They don’t have to get up at a given time in the morning, they don’t care about gluten or saturated fats or health care costs. They adventure. One thing they would never, ever do is hold down a real job - that’s exactly the kind of thing I play to NOT think about. I don’t want to answer to employers, or deal with unreasonable clients, or deal with anything that comes close to looking like actual responsibilities.
I certainly don’t mind the occasional AP that says you might not want to be a paladin in this, or a cleric of X might really do well here, but when it’s themed that you simply ARE real estate agents in Nidal or a crack team of building superintendents from Druma, it just kind of makes me hope there might be some tips on reworking things to make them suitable for traditional adventuring parties. Or am I just really weird in thinking this? OK, maybe real estate agents in Nidal has some potential...
I’m sorry - I’m still kind of confused on some matters of timing and motivation. So Voz has been checking out Alsetta’s Ring at the instruction of the Scarlet Triad for a few weeks now - presumably using the secret tunnel there, and then sneaking past the Bumblebrasher goblins inhabiting the level to the stairway down to the actual Ring chamber. So this goes on until the Cinderclaws reactivate Huntergate, collapsing the stairwell and basically starting the events of the whole book. At some point Voz uses the secret tunnel again to visit the Hall of Graves to find out about the Goblinblood Caves entrance - is she sneaking past the Cinderclaws trapped on this level? Is she working with them as fellow Scarlet Triad buddies? If so, why wouldn’t she just tell them about the secret tunnel so that they could get out? Or is she freaked out that they’re there and could potentially ruin everything, so she’s avoiding them?
I haven’t gotten book 2 yet, but are the Cinderclaws’ motivations for activating the gate explained there? Currently it seems like perhaps an accident, or an attempt by Malarunk to impress a superior - I’m just worried that if I go with either explanation, book 2 will contradict me & i’ll have to retcon or rework things. Hopefully I’ll have gotten book 2 before the party gets that far.
I’m sorry - I’m positive these are stupid questions & probably belong in the rules thread, but I didn’t think I could get specific enough without my post being nothing but spoiler tags. There’s 2 encounters with flying creatures - a giant bat on the first level and the Emperor Birds a level down, and for the life of me I’m not getting how to GM this. On most rounds, would a flying creature fly towards a PC (1 action), hover (1 action) and then get one attack? Could it fly to a PC (1 action), then take 2 attacks with the assumption that it’s still moving & its first action next round would be to fly past? Or does a flying creature generally swoop down, attack once & keep going? And if they ARE just constantly flapping around the room, is it an acrobatics check to turn at every wall? Or am I just overthinking everything?
That sure is a convenient coincidence so that one bookseller's apprentice with a dagger can hold their tribe hostage. :>
As the party is probably going to come across the courtyard battle fairly early, I wonder if it might not work out better to simply have the goblins trapped on the battlements with no Calmont in sight. After being rescued, they would say they were attacked by him demanding to know the location of the lower level entrance, but that they drove him off, and he's probably still lurking in whatever parts of the first level the party has yet to explore. When they go off looking for him, he could stealth up behind and sneak attack whoever is in back, revealing somewhat more sparse info regarding voz and alseta's ring as necessary in the ensuing combat.
On the map of the citadel's first level, there are four circular shapes with three doors each in the hallway that circles the courtyard (A2) - they're also mirrored in the inset map of the battlements. I assume these are towers - but wouldn't there be stairs or a ladder/trapdoor between the tower levels? Which would make the A22 encounter extremely early. Or do they serve some other function?
So Voz has been instructed by the Scarlet Triad to investigate the gates and activate as many as possible, which she apparently has been unable to do. The Cinderclaws have activated Huntergate - was this on their own? Or were they being instructed to do so by the Scarlet Triad? Or an accident? Is Voz working with the Cinderclaws or is their appearance unexpected & and a problem she's seeking to address?
We’ve got a pretty long-running group, with several people GMing different campaigns. When PF1 came out, my group was absolutely adamant they’d never touch anything but 3.5. So I offered to GM a Rise of the Runelords campaign to convince everyone. Within 2 months we’d switched all of our campaigns to PF.
When PF2 was announced, my group was absolutely adamant they’d never touch anything but PF1. I’m starting an Age of Ashes campaign mid-August. I expect we’ll be completely switched over before Fall...
One of my current PF1 characters is a 15th level human sorcerer, draconic bloodline (bronze), which I’ve played for quite a few years. Thanks to retraining I’ve been able to adopt a lot of options that have come out since character creation - alternate human trait for more spells known, bloodline mutations to get rid of useless claws and get +1 damage/dice for evocation, all the latest spells, items, etc. I have to admit, tossing a bunch of chain lightning spells around for 15d6+30 in a combat can be pretty satisfying. So while all of these options have made him numerically powerful with select spells, many of them were unavailable at character creation, and adding them in later really just required waiting to retrain at the next level. And while they made him more numerically powerful in a lot of ways, he’s still pretty useless with virtually any skill outside of Use Magic Device and Bluff. And with a wisdom of 10 even his strongest save not too impressive.
So the other day I converted him to what I know of 2E and what will most likely remain of playtest rules. No, I don’t have nearly as many spells, but lower level spells remain way more useful. No more +1 damage/dice for evocation, or electricity damage bonuses for draconic bloodline, but with double damage for crit fails and various weaknesses, decent cantrips, I think i’ll still be doing appreciable damage with just the core rulebook options. But for everything I’m losing, I’m also gaining skills that I can actually use (after 15 levels he stands a good chance of climbing a rope), saving throws I can make without devoting every item slot and at least 3 feats and a trait for, and I can take feats for cool options instead of +2 against SR and 1.5 damage, etc. And combat will be against PF2 monsters with stats and game play balanced in a different manner, so comparisons become even more losing-this-but-gaining-that.
And his Varisian-caravan backstory not only requires no changing, but the background system makes an organic difference in the character’s stats and skills. I think the character will still feel the same, and actually even closer to original concept. I know many will disagree and am not trying to diminish their opinions, but for me, I honestly think with faster and smoother combat rounds (and fewer of them), plus monsters with memorable abilities the game will be even better, despite losing some options. Although I still want to get rid of the useless claws as soon as possible...
I think that Paizo deliberately wrote it in a technical, minimalist style because they expected to be changing the rules and did not want any redundancy.
That's an excellent point - I hadn't thought of that and sincerely hope that's the case. The initial read-through and presentation of the rules were a huge turn-off for for me. In all honesty I still don't get how Dispel Magic works despite countless page-chases through the book. It took quite some time for me to see through the technical presentation to actually appreciate the rules for themselves, and then found myself solidly behind almost everything (well, not resonance...) If Paizo can present 1E in so understandable a manner, with all of its complexities, I imagine the final 2E rule book with its more streamlined systems will be at least as good.
I had concerns about the “soul” of the game when the playtest first released. I hated every aspect of it, with the exception of finding a slight enjoyment in the character creation process. But eventually, mostly due to insomnia and a lack of other reading material, I began to finally click with a lot of elements in the new rules. I discovered I really liked the rules per se, but what had turned me off initially was the very presentation of the rules; the language, the codifying, what felt like endless flowcharts of “if then” statements sending me all over the book. I’m hoping the final product will be presented more like 1E - I’m hoping they lose a few dozen Conditions, sacrifice a bit of word count for less page-flipping, etc. I think they’ll make an excellent storytelling tool and I have every hope the language and presentation will reflect that in the final product. That, combined with adventures that are written purely for enjoyment and not “spend 5 hours seeing how difficult terrain messes with you”
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I would have to go with 3 from those options. Or a varation of 2 - have the 1.6 update not start on the first round, or allow Con bonus to the roll or something.
I would say a majority of the spells that don't heighten are defensive or utility spells that don't need heightening to still be useful at higher levels. And all of them benefit from now using the same Save DCs.
But if complete auto-heightening isn't desirable, I would think some kind of compromise could be reached by some static increase to the original 2 spells/day. Even 4 per day would allow for at least one heightened spell per combat per day.
I think it's a fascinating narrative concept, just not a mechanic that works. Randomizing the key feature of a class could easily be a reason to not play that class. Kind of like archers being forced into escalating flat checks to see when bow strings snap, or a fighter's sword becoming useless from notches.
In all honesty, the only problem I had with the PF1 amount of Rage was that there wasn't nearly enough at first level, forcing you to take Extra Rage, but then by 3rd or 4th level you had more than you could ever use. That, and the whole dying when knocked unconscious thing, which has thankfully been addressed.
I'm confused by this as well. Of the universal set of spells, a rough estimate is that only about half can be heightened, with a smaller number still of ones that a sorcerer would want in his repertoire (A sorcerer repeatedly casting Heightened Negate Aroma would definitely be a very niche character :)). I'd guess that a 10th level sorcerer, knowing 20 spells, would only have about 10 spells from levels 1-4 that even could be heightened, and the given situation would lessen that number even further. I honestly don't feel freely allowing Heightening would be over powered or bog the game down more than the number of choices open to other classes.