Turelus's page

Organized Play Member. 213 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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I think they will get an advanced race guide out very fast, considering Bestiary books are not holding player rules for that and they've said they want to get all the old options back to us ASAP.

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Overall I found the Playtest rules a big improvement on PF1 and it got rid of a lot of my issues with PF1, I'll pre-order as soon as PDF and GenCon collections are confirmed. Anything I don't enjoy I can house rule any way (planning PF2 for my homebrew game).

I do think Paizo might benefit from getting some preview documentation out though so people like OP can view how things changed. Although we're still four months out so plenty of time for PF Friday etc. to show the game off.

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The playtest was brutal and I hope they changed rules to make the game more forgiving over what that showed, however I stand by that I had more fun in the playtest as a GM than I have in a long time as a GM for PF1.

Sara Marie wrote:

We also did pick up for the Playtest books last year, in fact, that was the first time we've have a pick up option for non-subscribers...

Stay tuned for more details though.

Awesome, will keep my eyes peeled as I really want to make sure I get a copy at GenCon.

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Any chance these can be pre-ordered for collection at GenCon?

I really wanted to get mine at GenCon as my big memory item for the trip, but don't want to miss out on a special edition.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Ephialtes wrote:

I am actually playing in the AP War for the Crown and there are many possibilities and options for both, social encounters and combat. I am enjoying it pretty much and am delighted that PF is able to cover this aspect of roleplaying as well, so very nicely.

My hope for PF2 would be to include some more options and depth to social encounters in their new Core Rulebook. Are there any infos or hints if that is the case? Maybe is there any official statement from one of the Devs on that matter?

I've been having a lot of fun in my PF2 War for the Crown game I'm running on Saturdays (currently near the end of Book 2). I'd imagine some of the more detailed sections for lots of these mechanics wouldn't fit in the CRB, but it'd be really neat if we could get some of it out to you guys ASAP in a GM-focused Gamemastery-Guide-style book!

Until such time as we have official rules, I can tell you that using the influence system from PF1 with no adjustments other than changing the skill names and DCs has worked perfectly!

A little off topic so apologies, but if there is to be another GM-focused book please consider adding some of the information in the PFS GM 101 and 102 free PDF's.

Some of that information might even be best suited for CRB (or as a free download talked about in the CRB) as it gives so much good and basic advice for being a GM. Some of that I wish I had when I started to GM as a guideline for how to handle situations or keep the game engaging.

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The speed issue has bothered me as a dwarf as well.

I've been playing Doomsday Dawn as a Dwarven fighter, started during v1.3 and updated to v1.4 last session.

Version 1.3
To start with I chose to use a breastplate rather than fullplate just because 15ft movement on a fighter didn't sound fun. The module I've been playing has a lot of difficult terrain as well so some fights even with the unhindered movement I was getting only 10ft per action (sudden charge for 20ft)
I would never consider heavy armour on a dwarf after this experience (this could be expanded to most 25ft ancestries with heavy armour as well).

Version 1.4
Not a big change, I just chose the heritage which let me keep the movement from above, however it didn't seem like a choice nor a fun part of creation.

The reasons for it being a heritage was because people who didn't need to use it could avoid choosing it. However if you want to be a melee person in heavy armour you "HAVE" to choose that heritage option.

This to me doesn't add to a level of character design choice but rather forces dwarven armour users into a "mandatory" heritage selection.

I personally feel this should be a base ability of all dwarves as it was before, so there is more freedom of choice on which heritage to choose.

(quote marks on my hyperbolic terms)

I've been wondering this as well as there are some monsters which have 1d4-1 for damage rolls.

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I really love the sound of some of these ideas.

The idea that the group can stop for 10mins and perform some actions to get back into fighting condition (with everyone contributing) would be an interesting change.

Makes me think of Darkest Dungeon (video game) where when you camp for the night you can choose what skill everyone in your party uses during the rest period.

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I'm one of those who really hates wand spam.
To me it feels super cheesy and mechanics based, not something immersive on the roleplay side.

The game's I've run as a GM have mostly fallen into the same pattern, the players beat an encounter then stand around for x rounds whilst people spam wands so they can enter the next fight with full HP.

This allows the cleric or other casters to then save more of their spell slots for buffs, adding to power levels in every fight etc.
Due to their near infinite source of cheap healing they won't question fights or consider alternative tactics, it's run in and attack everything because resources are not an issue.

I don't want to have the situation where players are forced to stop adventuring after every fight in order to recover fully, but at the same time I want to stimulate that old school fear and decisions of if the group should push on or should they charge right at that giant rather than employ ranged weapons as long as they can.

I like the new healing skill use because although it in theory grants them full healing, there is a time investment involved, you also (in theory) can't just sit in the centre of a room for 10mins during the assault on the BBEG's base.

I understand why CLW spam happens, and I allow it because it's only fair in the systems rules. However it doesn't mean I enjoy it being and if Paizo can find a way to remove it or tone it back without crippling adventure times I would be more than happy to embrace that.

vagabond_666 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Uh...did you miss Treat Wounds? The unlimited out-of-combat healing option without a gold cost? This is a solved issue.
So, I was aware that they added a healing option that took some time and could potentially become unusable on a crit fail, but until now I hadn't looked at a mathematical analysis and realized that they had basically flipped positions from "CLW spam is bad" to "The party will go into every fight at full HP", which is what it looks like is the case as long as you've got someone willing to put a little investment into being decent at medicine.

However that healing does come at a invested time of 10 minutes. This means you need to find somewhere safe to sit and rest for a while, it also makes it harder during time sensitive missions.

I'm one of those against the CLW spam because it's always felt so cheesy and immersion breaking for me. I understand why it's done but I would rather it went away.

I'll be interested to see if this new system fixes that or not, depending how viable it is to buy potions and chug them we could just move over to that system of healing everyone to max after every fight.

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Tank McDoomulus wrote:
3.) When did cantrips become so powerful and why is magic missile so powerful?? You use vebral, somatic and material and you get 3 missiles at 4th level??? Nonsense.

I'd imagine because playing Evocation in PF1 was boring.

I'm running a PF1 campaign right now with a player who wanted to play a wizard specialised in Evocation spells to see "if it's really that bad" we're now at mid levels (13th) and he feels useless in most combat scenarios.

Sure he can get a big damage spell off for 40-80 damage (maybe AoE) but when the Paladin and Slayer are doing 100-200 per round it makes his spells seem meaningless. He's already agreed he would have been more use being a CC or buff bases wizard again.

I think buffing Evocation spells to actually do damage is one of the things Paizo got very right with the Playtest. Wizards should be allowed to throw out a spell and not feel like they only tickled an enemy.

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With my best ability of not trying to come off as rude or attacking them, how well versed was your GM with the rules?

Most of the "I don't want to look it up" rules I know myself with just one read through of the book, or at least the knowledge of where to find them fast should I need to confirm them.

The monsters feeling bland I can kind of understand, but I would hope they all have enough special abilities to make use of to make the combat more interesting.
The high level ones (not appearing in Doomsday Dawn) have some great stuff like the ancient dragons etc.

I like the changes in choice and picking some more speciality to the characters.

I am not sure how I feel about the heavy focus on variant/sub-races. Looking at Elf for example you really only have one option if you want to be a "normal" elf.

I feel human is perfect, that choice of a half-X or skills or feats.

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I support this request as well.

I read other threads about it before reaching the sections of the book where temperatures came up and kind of waved it off as a non-issue.

However on actually getting to those sections a while later I did find it very difficult to understand instantly.
If it could be possible to list temperatures in both formats I think everyone who uses it as the primary for their country would very much appreciate it.

If I remember correctly the page already has some information within brackets following the temperatures, so it might not read well if you used them. Maybe a simple xF/xC if that's not too ugly for print?

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Rysky wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
The 'big 6' and the 'magic utility belt' are a large part of what makes PF mechanically fun, they aren't a 'problem' that needs fixing they are a core and interesting feature. That for me is the disconnect here, Paizo are introducing a system to 'fix' what makes high magic, high fantasy games fun.

You will find this position highly debatable.

Having magic items is fun. Having to have certain magic items so you don’t fall behind which means you’re cut off from using other fun magic items, not so much.

Pretty much every game I've run my players eventually end up disappointed they had to give up that interesting item they found for a +bonus item in that slot.

I *REALLY* like how the new attribute buff items work, you can only have one and you have to choose a +2 or instant 18.

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Thanks for the Signature Skill changes (removal) this is exactly what my group wanted and everyone seems really happy with that system now.
Especially as we have a system now where anyone can disable device all the way to high level (with rogues being better due to feats).

Curious though with the rebalance of numbers of skills.
Wizard for example went from 2+INT skills to 1+4+INT skills.

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Filled it out but for me it was done more on a GM view (as I've not been a player in a number of years)

I don't 100% like resonance but I am 100% behind some of what it wants to achieve.

I personally can't stand the situation where combat ends and the first thing the group does is start spamming cure light wounds wands and chugging potions.
I understand fully why players do this and that it's more viable than alternatives, but for me personally it's an immersion and roleplay killer.

Now, for resonance itself (not played yet, only read the books) I wasn't super against the idea of it for attuning items and use for item activations.

For scrolls and potions it felt very out of place. Especially scrolls because I've always seen them in my mind as magically infused as part of the scribing, or a formula which becomes magical on reading, not something which required someone to infuse with magic during the casting.

I want Paizo to kill off low level item spam, and I hope they can find a way to do it without the gamey feeling system of resonance.

Running a bit behind in the schedule of what's being played due to RL events hitting my group hard right now.

Just wondering what changes other made for 6 player groups?

A1. Made the Sewer Ooze Elite (costs 10 XP, had 10 XP to spend)
A2. Added 2x Goblins
A3. I could afford to add 2x more Giant Centipedes but this would make 8 of them in total in an already crowded area/fight. Other option is to make them all elite (XP spent is the same both ways)
A6. Added 1x Quasit
A7. I could either add 1x more of the harder two Goblins or 2x of the weaker ones.
A8. Same issues as with A3, I could add 2x more Skeleton Guards but it starts to feel crowded.
A10. I was originally going to add a couple more dire rats, but as it's now been revealed the original was not meant to be there the only option is to give Drakus the elite template?

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This is my new favourite story from Paizo.

I kind of feel like we need a token dire rat in every adventure path going forward with second edition.

Mathmuse wrote:

As for poison marked as healing:

ROGUE: I drink a healing potion, 5 points healing.
GM: Where did that potion come from.
ROGUE: My inventory.
GM: Was it a potion from the room with the ogre?
ROGUE: I don't know. I just have 6 healing potions listed in my...

This actually came up in my campaign recently, the parties slayer had one cursed potion and five normal ones. I just rolled a percentile every time he drank a potion to see if it was the cursed one.

Couple of other posts about this but they're more mixed into other discussions so wanted something more focused.

It seems during the shuffling around of spells that Finger of Death and Wail of Banshee got bumped out of the arcane lists. This means Necromancers now lose access to two of the most iconic necromancy spells.

I'm not against other classes getting access to these spells but I feel there should be a way for the Necromancer specialist at least to gain access to them.
This way not all wizards would have them (if that's Paizo's intent), but those truly focused on death would.

Personally I am okay with a few more secret rolls, because no matter how good a roleplayer you are knowing you've rolled <5 on a d20 makes you act or think differently about a situation.
I find it can also add some suspense not knowing if you're being good at your stealth or not.

I've seen it many times when someone rolls low and suddenly someone else rolls the same check without their character having any reason to if they trusted their allies abilities.

On the other hand, the kinds of players who do the above will also just roll on everything someone else does (that they're skilled at) if dice are hidden.

Considering the rules say you can show or hide as many rolls as you want as a GM I think each group will continue to go as they have previously, although it might empower some GM's to to take rolls back from players who demand open rolls because the rules don't state it's hidden.

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I have to agree with the people saying about too much cross referencing.

I've been reading the book page by page and it seems almost everything I read is telling me to flip all over the book to understand it.
I know this is a rulebook and not a novel, but at the same time I can't help but feel if someone new is reading this they're going to be flicking back and forth constantly.
I would say maybe make sure the reference has to be there, if you don't HAVE To mention Strike (see page xx) then just leave it at Strike (made up example).

I would say personally I am not a fan of the coloured page backgrounds as well, this makes it very printer unfriendly and I just feel text on white (Crimson Throne Hardback) was a cleaner look.

I'm kind of fine with all the mechanics of this being removed, it's an area where a GM or table which want to have age effects can house rule something up (the old rules aren't going away).

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Rysky wrote:
And they are trying to make right by us, despite that they were not responsible for this mess. Amazon screwed everyone over.

Yeah, I mean I am super annoyed and bummed out, especially with it looking like September deliveries for the UK, however I can't be mad at Paizo because they've been so communicative and honest about it.

I'm also thinking I can use that $15 to pick up some flip-mat PDF's or the Fantasy Grounds modules for Doomsday Dawn (if sold via Paizo) so that's made me happier.

My biggest gripe now is if Amazon will still hold that charge for shipping, as for me as a UK customer I had to pay almost the cost of the books again in shipping as I wanted a guaranteed delivery. As others have said I have Prime so I could have ordered via Amazon themselves and not paid a penny in shipping so... yeah, give me my money back Amazon! (and don't charge my Paizo friends either).

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Turelus wrote:
Vic I noticed in the orders your checked you didn't list the UK, are you able to check any UK orders to give us a rough ETA? As the EU countries listed have a few days difference in them.

Some UK orders:

London, shipped yesterday, Delivery Estimate: September 6
Cumbria, shipped yesterday, Delivery Estimate: September 6
Aberdeen, shipped today, Delivery Estimate: September 6

Not UK:
Ireland, shipped yesterday, Delivery Estimate: September 6

Damn, that's way later than I was imagining. Was hoping to have the copy to read on my travels later this month.

Thanks for the information, I really appreciate the transparency you're showing in regards to this.

I'm disappointed to not be getting the physical book for the weekend like I hoped but glad to see Paizo on the case and the $15 is appreciated.

I do hope that Amazon gives back a bit of the shipping cost as well though, as like mentioned by others I ordered via Paizo to make sure I got something and UK shipping is harsh.

Vic I noticed in the orders your checked you didn't list the UK, are you able to check any UK orders to give us a rough ETA? As the EU countries listed have a few days difference in them.

Thanks for all the work resolving this, I hope you have a wonderful launch day regardless of these issues.

Running an adventure which has a Trench Mist and number of Juju Zombies in the same room.

If the Trench Mist moves over the Juju Zombies in order to engulf the PC's would it also have to engulf the Juju Zombies and thus deal damage to them on their turns?

If it does deal damage would be be both the damage of the acid and then healing from negative energy damage?

Trench Mist
Juju Zombie

I've hit Google, Reddit and the forums with this but I'll be honest and say even with the debates and FAQ I don't fully understand what's actually considered an ability based check.

Concerning planar travel and strongly aligned planes.



Strongly Aligned: On planes that are strongly aligned, a –2 circumstance penalty applies on all Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks made by all creatures not of the plane's alignment. The penalties for the moral and ethical components of the alignment trait stack.

So what will this actually make a difference to?

Base ability checks - Yes
Skills using Int/Wis/Cha?
Spell caster checks using on Int/Wis/Cha?
Will saves?

I've seen the argument for "d20 + ability + other" is an ability based check but "d20 + other + ability" isn't an ability based check.
However under those conditions doesn't the penalty of being on another plane strongly opposing your alignment become a little weak? There are not a great number of "d20 + ability + other" checks in the game.

Only FAQ information I could find close to this. Which leads me to think all skills using an ability are an ability based check?


Alternate Ability Score-Based Checks: If I change the key ability score of a skill (or other check), for example, if I change Knowledge from Intelligence to Charisma, is it no-longer an Intelligence-based check? Is it now a Charisma-based check?

Generally yes—at the time of rolling a check, if you substitute the ability score, the check is now based on the new ability score. In the example, at the time of rolling, Knowledge would now be a Charisma-based skill and not an Intelligence-based skill for you, which would affect things like feats, spells, or items that grant bonuses on checks based on their key ability score (like circlet of persuasion). However, if you are adding a second ability modifier to a check, this is not the case. For instance, when adding both Wisdom and Dexterity on initiative checks, initiative is still a Dexterity check, not a Wisdom check. Also, this changes the check only at the time of rolling, so this does not change static class features or options made during character building such as your class’s class skills. Classes that receive “all Intelligence-based skills” as class skills, for instance, are the victim of sloppy writing, and furthermore sometimes effects might muddy the water by only changing the ability dependency sometimes and not others, which is why you check the new dependency only for a specific given roll.

Appreciate the help and clarification to come.

Gorbacz wrote:

Pre-errata Heirloom Weapon + Reactionary. Anybody who failed to take that pair clearly has no idea how to play Pathfinder or, in fact, to how to live his or her life.


I so hope it fixes this. I liked the idea of the trait system a lot but it just became another "choose best min/max options" over RP or thematic choices.

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CrystalSeas wrote:
Turelus wrote:
An official statement won't end it, it will just start a "CHANGE IT THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!" or "OMG CHANGE IT BACK!" spam of threads.

Or, the people who threaten to leave if Paizo doesn't do what they demand will actually LEAVE.

But that doesn't happen on the internet. The loudest "I'm gonna leave unless ...." people are always there 6 months later, with some other foot-stomping threat.

It would be nice to see people behave ethically and do what they say they're going to do. But those "ethical" stances are almost always a bluff. They don't actually follow their own code.

I think I am far too cynical and spend too much time on forums (not these ones though) to believe an official statement will ever end a debate like this.

Even well into the release of 2E the debate will be had by people because there are groups who just want different things from their Paladins. Which is fine and can be solved around home games, but people will have to accept the choices Paizo make will be law in society gaming.


I want what Pathfinder is (builds, mechanics, tactical grid based combat) but without the slow crunch and cheese.
So far almost everything I have heard leads me towards this hitting close to what I desire.

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An official statement won't end it, it will just start a "CHANGE IT THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!" or "OMG CHANGE IT BACK!" spam of threads.

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From what I've heard/read from Paizo it sounds like they're all remaining if their classes are* but they might have their looks changed a little.

Like Hask having two weapons, Valerous a shield.

* The recent Know Direction Erik made it sound like they want to bring every class over but some will have more focused intensive play testing (Gunslinger) however they're also not interested in just preprinting the same books updated.

baron arem heshvaun wrote:
More The Empire Strikes Back, less The Phantom Menace. We cool?

So no double ended weapons? :(

Ryan Freire wrote:
Voss wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Yes, i'll be frank, the long period of wait is just going to drag out ugliness in the community. I'd rather know right now if its headed to a place where i'm not going to play rather than spend 5-6 more months fighting over whether paladins should be lawful good or not.
Honestly, then don't bicker over Paladins being LG. That is exactly the sort of noise that doesn't matter for a playtest- it's just a he said, she said of i want/don't want, with a lot of vocal minorities but little representation (on all sides). It's the kind of thing that needs to be decided in house if it fits the new edition and the setting and maybe slipped into a reaction poll later to see if they're is a major unexpected pushback on the decision. A bickering thread isn't going to decide it.
This is an unrealistic position, its a thing thats going to happen over wishlisting and people's worries over the game, by the time it comes around everyone should have been subtly goaded by the opposite sides of the debate into a frothing rage.

People should probably start acting a bit more grown up then.

I've read a whole bunch of threads and posts of what I would consider stuff to annoy me but have just scrolled past and joined the conversation where I can say something more interesting or positive.

I could actually see and enjoy Paladin as a bolt on or unlock kind of deal for all classes.
You're true to the deities beliefs, you're lawful good and act it, here have some powers to make you better.

However I think after listening to most of the Know Direction interview with Erik they're not going to take away the base options we have now, Paladin will be a full class because they don't want to screw up that for people.

TerraNova wrote:

I for one am not a huge fan of advancing timelines as it is - simply because the GM has the additional task of matching publication dates with the "current year" to determine which material is "trustworthy", and which may contain evolutions that either have not happened yet, or will be spoilers to the players.

That being said, if a advancing timeline is set in stone, I would rather have editorial control over it, instead of "crowdfunding" the setting. Legend of the five Rings and Seventh Sea tried that. The results were not pretty (to me, at least).

I think here though matching up the publication date and timeline will be pretty simple. 1E modules will be on Inner Sea World Guild timeline, 2E modules will be CRB/Inner Sea 2.0 timeline.

For me the move to this kind of system is one of the things which draws me more towards it.

I've long hated the 3.X / Pathfinder skill system because of how quickly it breaks and how little the characters base power has to do with that.

From what I have heard/read so far this seems close to Star Wars Saga style skills which I was really okay with (I've not read 5E rules for skills but probably should).

The biggest issue I had with the Saga system was the lack of ways to pick up skills outside your class, meaning making that Fighter who was well versed in Arcane knowledge (their father was a wizard, they sucked at magic)becomes hard if there is no way to make that skill trained/specialised etc.

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Goblin playable race is so far the only thing I don't really like from what I've heard of the new edition.

I love the Pathfinder goblins but I love them as the wacky evil enemies they are, but making them a player race in the core book means they're now something which has to be considered normal citizens in the world. There are enough not evil goblins to be considered a common race for heroes.

I feel these civilised goblins will have to have a lot of changes to be something players can actually make heroes with.

I'll have to wait until I see the information in the book for final judgement, hoping with it being at UK Games Expo I can get a sneak peak (like they did with Starfinder) at the ancestry pages.

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Sounds good, this system seems interesting and much simpler.

I'll echo others concerns that AoO might be class specific now but on the other hand it means BBEG mages might actually be able to cast spells from time to time when swarmed by PC's.

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If it's how I'm expecting it to work I am fine with that.

3 actions, you just say what you want to do with them, they get done. No more tracking "you used you move action to do X so you can't do Y unless you expend your standard, oh sorry I didn't know you had the thing to make that a swift, so that next thing was a free action, so now this is your standard action?"

I know that's a little dramatic but at higher level play with groups who are not flawless in the rules that can be how it goes. A system when you just say what you to and mark off action uses is fine by me.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Information-based indicates that the rules are more for those trying to get the rules rather than something written as fiction or to solely entertain. In otherwords, just as it says, information based. Facts and Rules.

I really hope this breaks away from some of the RAW/RAI arguments especially around spells.

One of my biggest gripes with pathfinder has been how the spells often seem long winded and open to different interpretations rather than just saying "It does X, Y and Z it can't do A, B and C"

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da_asmodai wrote:
I'm not convinced most RPG players are big enough history buffs to even realize it's incorrect.

I fall under this.

I'd never heard of brigandine before this thread, If you asked me what it was I wouldn't have known. However ask me what Studded Leather was and I could tell you.
I've played years of RPG games which use historically incorrect names so for me and my players to start a system where we had to learn new names for what mostly has standardised ones in the gaming world would be confusing.

Damn the conflict of emotions right now.

As a GM and someone who over the last year has come to despise elements of the Pathfinder rules I am hyped for a cleaner, smoother game system.

The other side of me is pained that I dropped a lot of money on Frog God books over the last year and now might have to do additional work to use the content from them.

I'm also interested to see how Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds do with this, considering they've just in the last year go their licences and started rolling out items those items are now in effect going to be less desired over time.

Will pick up the free PDF copies of things and run this for my RP group at the end of the year, I have hopes for the new system and will give it a go before I lose all hope.

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I want this now, I can has please?

Also if as James said Runelords was a trilogy idea is Shattered Star #2 with this being #3?

A few questions regarding knowledge and how others handle it.

I've read other threads and got bits of information here and there but figured starting a thread to get some feedback on my specifics would be beneficial.

Question 1
When two characters with the same knowledge roll on the same monster for known information, how much knowledge do you give the group?


Rakshasa DC10+CR(10) for a DC 20 Knowledge Planes check.
PC 1: rolls a 32 (three bits of information)
PC 2: rolls a 26 (two bits of information)

Does the group get five bits of separate knowledge or would PC1 and PC2 have some cross overs in what they know?

I've previously been giving out separate information (so five as per above example) but have noticed recently that now my group is basically walking into encounters and knowing everything about a given monster.

For the Rakshasa in the example above they would know:-
Name and type (I give these for hitting the DC)
DR Type, but not value (PC 1's 20)
Has SR, but not value (PC 1's 25)
Has SLA's (PC 1's 30)
Has Detect Thoughts at will (PC 2's 20)
Common SLA is Lightning Bolt (PC 2's 25)

So this is pretty much everything special about a Rakshasa, leaving little mystery about such a creature. Now it's not that I want my players to be clueless and get killed or not have fun, but it feels like nothing is new and exciting (even ToH stuff) because the group will just know everything.

In searching I've seen some people talk about lower rolls counting as assists (to represent shared knowledge) and speaking with my group about this limiting it to not one per success was seen as a nerf to their characters.

Question 2
When giving out information what's the best breakdown?

Should "defences" be lumped together or should each defence be a separate bit of useful information?

Example something has Immune: Fire; Resist: Cold 10, Acid 10.
Should that be one bit of information (all), two bits (immune and resists) or three bits (all separate)?

Question 3
How is best to give out information?

Currently my group does rolls, counts up number of pieces of useful information then says what areas they want to know "defences, attacks, special abilities" etc.
Now to me this still feels a little outside of immersive RP. I would rather give the players information totally the number they earned but am not sure how best to give that information.

If they've got three bits of information and a creature has DR, SR, Immunities & Special attacks which one gets left out.
If I don't give the DR information the martial classes are going to get annoyed, if I don't give the SR/Immunities the casters will get annoyed, if I don't give a special ability and then slap them with it they'll wonder WTF just happened.
This is why I have been in favour of them choosing the information as then it doesn't create that feeling the GM did it to mess with them.

As mentioned above there are megaswarm rules from Vaughan.

They're published in Tome of Horrors 4 as well.

If you haven't before then give this link a read.
It's a guide on building more challenging encounters.

Otherwise you can make encounters a bit more challenging by playing with the terrain in which they fight. Hamper their movement (difficault terrain), limit their sight (fog/mist), strong winds to mess with spells/ranged attacks.

Add some spell like abilities or a caster who's there just to CC/debuff/dispell them. In my current Crimson Throne game there were some low level cultists (clerics) who the players came to hate because they each cast spiritual weapon, then hold person before attacking.

If the enemy knows of your PC's have them factor in some defences vs their most common attacks.

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