Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide (OGL)
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Rule Your World!

Players may be the heroes of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but whole worlds rest on the Game Master's shoulders. Fortunately for GMs, the Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide is here to back you up. Packed with invaluable hints and information, this book contains everything you need to take your game to the next level, from advice on the nuts and bolts of running a session to the greater mysteries of crafting engaging worlds and storylines. Whether you've run one game or a thousand, this book has page after page of secrets to make you sharper, faster, and more creative, while always staying one step ahead of your players.

The 320-page Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide is a must-have companion volume to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into the new millennium.

The Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide includes:

  • Tips and tricks for preparing and running a better game, suitable for beginning GMs and battle-hardened veterans.
  • Step-by-step walkthroughs for creating campaign worlds, cities, cosmologies, feudal systems, and alternate dimensions.
  • Difficult player types, and how to handle them gracefully.
  • New rules for subsystems like hauntings, chase scenes, fortune-telling, gambling games, mysteries, and insanity.
  • Charts to help you generate everything from interesting NPCs and fantastic treasures to instant encounters in any terrain.
  • Advanced topics such as PC death, game-breaking rules, overpowered parties, solo campaigns, and derailed storylines.
  • Sample NPC statistics for dozens of common adventuring situations, such as cultists, guardsmen, barmaids, and pirates.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-217-3

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Last Updated - 1/22/2014

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Essential for New GMs, Handy for Veterans

5/5

Published back in 2009, the GameMastery Guide was one of the early hardcover books released for Pathfinder. I think it's an overlooked gem, as I crack it open before and during sessions as often as any book other than the Core Rulebook. Weighing in at a hefty 320 pages, the GameMastery Guide has advice on the usual topics that new GMs need help with, but it also contains so much more, like little new rules subsystems, a gallery of pre-made NPCs, all sorts of random tables, tracking sheets, etc. It's a very handy compilation of material specifically designed for Pathfinder, and I'd recommend it as an early purchase for any GM getting into the game.

We have to start with a shout-out to that awesome cover, featuring Runelord Karzoug seated on his throne. I'm partial, since I'm running a certain AP at the moment, but artist Wayne Reynolds knocked it out of the park there. There's no way the interior artwork could be as good, and it's true that many of the interstitial drawings are recycled from other products or are forgettable placeholders. However, the artwork accompanying the NPC gallery is solid and fits the feel of Golarion. If I were using letter ratings, the cover art would get an A+ and the interior art and layout would get a C+.

The book is divided into 9 chapters, with multiple appendices and indices.

Chapter 1, "Getting Started", is stuff that experienced GMs will have seen a thousand times before, but that new GMs will appreciate. It covers stuff like a gaming glossary, how to deal with sensitive topics, how to find players and set aside a place to play, developing house rules, etc. It's standard advice, and if I had to quibble with anything it's that the section is so focussed on catering to players' desires that it leaves out a crucial consideration: the GM needs to have fun too! I did like the idea of creating a custom player's guide before each new campaign, and that's something I'll probably do in the future.

Chapter 2, "Running the Game", talks about preparation, presentation (music, handouts, lighting, etc.), building encounters and adventures, and how to handle in-game problems (PCs missing a clue, getting too much treasure, etc.). Again, it's all solid advice (though I don't agree with customising encounters for PC abilities, as that holds the risk of undermining the very advantages they've worked to gain). I think the best bit in the chapter is the "Game Changers" section, with talks about how to handle problems specific to Pathfinder: spells involving invisibility, teleportation, lie/evil detection, flying, auguries, and more. These spells can dramatically change the game and wreck certain types of plots if a GM isn't careful. The section ends with some good tables: fifty different adventure plots, twenty plot twists, and a bunch of macguffins. Good material if you're creating your own adventures and get stuck in the brainstorming.

Chapter 3, "Player Characters," talks about handling metagaming, introducing new players into the game, handling treasure and character death, whether to allow evil PCs, and different types of common players like the "One-Trick Pony" and the "Rules Lawyer". It's a good and useful discussion, as experienced GMs will encounter these various player types sooner or later and knowing what to look out for and handle them is important if groups are going to persist in the long-run. I think what the chapter is missing is the frank advice that some players just aren't right for some groups, some groups are dysfunctional and need to disband, and that the GM (unfortunately) often has to make the hard calls. It's a responsibility that goes beyond preparing and running adventures, since real people, real relationships, and real emotions can be involved. I'd rank the chapter as average.

Chapter 4, "Nonplayer Characters," goes into the basics of giving NPCs personalities and roles in the game. I especially liked the section on traps a GM needs to avoid when running NPCs (such as making them too intrusive, too decisive, too good at combat, etc.). The section introduces a new concept of "NPC Boons," which are special little plot or mechanical advantages that NPCs of different types can give to PCs. We'll see this concept more in the NPC Gallery at the end of the book, but the idea would be that, for example, befriending a local tracker would give the PCs a +2 on Survival checks in the area for one month, or that buying a drink for a down-on-his-luck nobleman could result in a primer on local politics and a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nobility) in the city. Etc. It's a nice way to quantify and reward PCs for good role-playing and encourage those players who are only in it for the bottom line to have more patience with what may at first seem like irrelevant asides. After some fairly mundane advice on villains, the chapter concludes with a great collection of tables: NPC backgrounds, goals, physical characteristics, personality characteristics (some of these are hilarious and memorable, and I wish players were as creative!), occupations, secrets and rewards, and even the surely-delightful "Random Adventuring Party Name Generator". If you want to be cool, join the "Reputable Pearly Kraken Monster-Slayers in the Shadow of Angels"!

Chapter 5, "Rewards," contains an insightful discussion of why rewards manner and the different ways they can be conceptualised and allocated. It goes through the difference between steady small rewards versus occasional big ones, intrinsic vs. extrinsic rewards, and how different players value different things (e.g., is it all about the gold, or is getting on a first-name basis with the barmaid better?). It even gets into little details, such as exactly when XP can be awarded (I forget that some groups do it after every single encounter, while others only do it during true in-game downtime). There's some good advice on how to handle spell research and magic item crafting that makes it clear the whole process needs to be treated more as an art than a mechanical formula. This chapter has a *lot* of random item and random magic item tables, which is really useful when you need to see what a little shop in a small town happens to have in stock, or what that NPC wizard you weren't expecting the PCs to rob from has in his satchel.

Chapter 6, "Creating a World," is for GMs who do something I've never really done in Pathfinder (though I have in science fiction settings): create a brand new campaign setting. It has a nice process of answering a set list of questions to gradually firm up the details of the new world and to simplify (to some degree) the difficulty of conceptualising everything all at once. The geography advice is probably over-ambitious, but the concepts are explained really well. The chapter goes through different types of societies and different technological levels. It's not a chapter I'll use, but it's very good for homebrew GMs.

Chapter 7, "Adventures," has tips for running stories in different environments (dungeons, the wilderness, etc.). It has particularly good advice on dungeons, with a useful key to map symbols that I should use more often. Again, there's a ton of great tables to stimulate creativity, including random tables on where dungeons can be found, what type they are, what's in different rooms, and several random monster encounter tables (which I wouldn't actually roll on, as they have the common problem of spreading CRs from as low as 1 to as high as 13 in the same table!). The chapter has a section on planes and planar traits, which is an important reference for later products that make specific use of the mechanics presented here. Similarly, it has a section on stat blocks for settlements (used in most Pathfinder products) that is quite important in determining what's for sale in a community, the highest-level of spellcaster available, etc. I use the settlement rules a lot, and although I think they're sometimes a bit cumbersome in play, they're important in making sure that a hamlet "acts" differently than a metropolis. This chapter is packed with a lot of other material, including a two-page rules-set for ship combat (it seems worth trying), lots of random tables for ships and sailors, and, one of my favourite things, random tables for tavern names and unique traits. There's a lot here that I'm going to photocopy and keep with my GM screen to help me quickly come up with more flavourful interludes when I'm running games.

Chapter 8, "Advanced Topics," introduces several new little rules sub-systems: chases (elegant, but not completely satisfying), natural disasters, drugs and addiction (happens too quickly and needs a slower progression of effects), fortune-telling (too general), gambling (done well), haunts (one of the best innovations of Pathfinder, great for story-telling), hazards (mostly supernatural ones, but very clever), and sanity/madness (too simplistic, but not bad for just 2 pages). Some of these sub-systems, like chases and haunts, are seen in a lot of other Paizo products, so having the rules on how to run them is really useful. Other topics touched on in this chapter have been developed in far more detail elsewhere, and may be of more limited usefulness. Still, there's enough of enduring value to make the material here worth reading.

Chapter 9, "NPC Gallery", is one of those things every Pathfinder GM needs: full stats (and even pictures and descriptions) for NPCs encountered on short notice: bandits to spice up overland travel, city guards for when the "Chaotic Stupid" PC gets too obnoxious, the bard intended purely as tavern-dressing that the PCs are surprisingly interested in, the shopkeep they want to try to bluff for a discount, etc. There are dozens and dozens of great NPCs here, both low-level "townsfolk" and high-level threats, and all are fully fleshed out with gear and boons (from Chapter 4). In addition, there's really good advice on how to swap out a feat here or a weapon there to create different variations on the stock NPC. I've used this chapter a lot (as have many PFS scenarios). The later publication of the NPC Codex and Villain Codex makes this section slightly less crucial, but I still get a lot of use out of it.

Apart from indices and an appendix (on recommend reading and films), the book ends with a miscellany of tracking sheets--a Campaign Sheet, a Settlement Sheet (something I should actually use, now that I think of it), an NPC Sheet, and a Basic Rules Cheat Sheet (that I'm going to start handing out to new players to ease their transition into the game).

From the chapter summaries above, you can tell the book is just chock-full of useful advice and resources for running the game. Although essential for new GMs, even experienced ones will still find a lot here to make the book worth buying and reading.


Right Next To The Core Rulebook On My Shelf!

5/5

This product was amazing. I was blown away by the advice given to create a world and how to deal with several issues that have come up in recent gaming sessions. The crunchy side of the book was OK, but I really haven't had any need to pull out those rules and use them in my games. I overall really enjoyed this product, and can't wait to see what comes next!


The Essential Tome of GM'ing

5/5

This pearl of GM manuals should be found from every already practising or aspiring-to-be GM's collection. Yes, it's that great, even for folks who don't run Pathfinder. Well written, easy to understand, beautiful to look at... not to mention a well of inspiration it also achieves to be. It's a near perfect package of knowledge how to run smooth, richer, better RPG campaign. Sure, there are chunks of system specific stuff inside, but the most important bits of knowledge of how to run your game are universal and will fit in any system and game table. For juniors, it is essential. For the vets, well, if you're already good at what you're doing, you can always be better, and perhaps you're not perfect and can learn at least one useful new trick out of it.


Great addition

4/5

Read the book cover to cover. Although most of it is repetition for old-time gm's I like the style, flavour and content of the book. It's pure inspiration and also a few goodies that are easily put to work: chases, hazards, haunts - now tried out with success in my current campaign.

A bit to many references to the Core Rulebook annoys a bit.


As a veteran GM thus book left me pining for alot more

3/5

Honestly this book is not at all needed if you have any GM experience at all. Has some good world creation tips but otherwise feels overly simplistic. My opinion would change greatly on this book if I was new to gaming however.


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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Chewing my way through it slowly. (Yes I'll read the section on maps, thank you very much).

Shadow Lodge

Lanx wrote:


I don't think so, since they are in the chapter about Golarion's cosmology.

Actually, no, the chapter is not about Golarion's cosmology. It's about a more generic cosmology that is very similar to Golarion's. And as such, it uses more generic worlds for a few of the planex.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Lanx wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Lanx wrote:


Limbo, Purgatory and Utopia - meet the old Maelstrom, Boneyard and Axis under their new name.

Did they slip in accidentaly? (pp. 192-193)

I would imagine that it's merely a way to be more world-neutral.

I don't think so, since they are in the chapter about Golarion's cosmology.

Quote:
The GMG is a part of the Pathfinder RPG, but it is NOT part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line.
This is true, but in this context it is not applicable, IMHO.

Kthulhu is correct—that section is a generic version of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting cosmology, and those names are part of what makes it generic. (You'll note that we never specifically talk about Golarion in there.)

Shadow Lodge

Vic Wertz wrote:
Kthulhu is correct

Ahhh...it's like music to my tentacles.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I concede myself defeated and corrected.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kthulhu wrote:
Lanx wrote:


Limbo, Purgatory and Utopia - meet the old Maelstrom, Boneyard and Axis under their new name.

Did they slip in accidentaly? (pp. 192-193)

I would imagine that it's merely a way to be more world-neutral. The GMG is a part of the Pathfinder RPG, but it is NOT part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line.

Yup. The three names that got changed are the only three that we at Paizo can really claim as "our own." The Maelstrom, the Boneyard, and Axis are not open content. By referring to those planes as "Limbo, Purgatory, and Utopia," (all "generic" real-world names) we keep more of the GMG as 100% open content.

It'd be lame, in other words, if three of the planes were closed content.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

As a publisher, I just want to say, "Thank you. I appreciate that."


I am reading thru the Gamemastery Guide PDF and is it just me or does some of the text look 'funny'? I am not talking about the variable spacing between words (I understand justification). I am talking about the variable spacing actually within words. Some letters look 'scrunched' together and some appear to be too far apart. There are too many examples in the text to list. Not a huge deal for me but I'm just wondering why it looks this way.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

How about one reference so I can see what you're talking about?


Erik Mona wrote:
How about one reference so I can see what you're talking about?

Ok. Look at page 143 under the section titled "Where can I sell this loot?" The first word in the paragraph, Assuming, has an unusual amount of space between the 'A' and the first 's'. Maybe it's just the font but it looks strange to me.

Ok. Scratch that. When I zoom the text in Acrobat from 79.9% to 100%, the spacing issue goes away. Very weird...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AnthonyRoberson wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
How about one reference so I can see what you're talking about?

Ok. Look at page 143 under the section titled "Where can I sell this loot?" The first word in the paragraph, Assuming, has an unusual amount of space between the 'A' and the first 's'. Maybe it's just the font but it looks strange to me.

Ok. Scratch that. When I zoom the text in Acrobat from 79.9% to 100%, the spacing issue goes away. Very weird...

Sounds to me like what's going on is that Adobe's got weird spacing issues rendering a font or something like that. The words look fine in the print version of the book.


gnargl *inarticulate muttering*

I'm extremly jealous of all the people reading the pdf - how many shipments are there still to handle? Is it possible that there are still days or just hours?

Sry, I am really looking forward to some reading on the last days of my vacation... *sigh*


Ok, now that is so representative for my life.
I get all antsy, struggle with myself for some time about writing sth or not, finally do it - and about 5 minutes after that, i get my "it got shipped" e-mail.

Ha Ha...

Maybe this, finally, thaught me something... Maybe

Sry for being annoying & anxious & whatever


James Jacobs wrote:
Sounds to me like what's going on is that Adobe's got weird spacing issues rendering a font or something like that. The words look fine in the print version of the book.

That's what I am thinking too James. Awesome book BTW. 50+ pages of NPCs at my fingertips? *SNIFF* You do an old, harried GM's heart good!


Arthun wrote:

Ok, now that is so representative for my life.

I get all antsy, struggle with myself for some time about writing sth or not, finally do it - and about 5 minutes after that, i get my "it got shipped" e-mail.

That... that worked?? o.O

"gnargl sargl bargl nargl"

I too am jealous. Please finish all the shipping today still?

The PDF gods move in mysterious ways, so I guess this is worth a try ^_^

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Arthun wrote:

Ok, now that is so representative for my life.

I get all antsy, struggle with myself for some time about writing sth or not, finally do it - and about 5 minutes after that, i get my "it got shipped" e-mail.

Ha Ha...

Maybe this, finally, thaught me something... Maybe

Sry for being annoying & anxious & whatever

That's okay ... some of us are still waiting :)

Dark Archive

What about haunts? And new traps?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

After spending the day perusing this wonderful book, I have to say the most impressive thing is the versatility of the contents. If you are an experienced GM, things like haunts, random treasure tables, NPC writeups, rewards section, etc you are going to love. If you are a beginner GM, there is so much goodness, it makes me jealous that I did not have a similar resource when I started out 30 years ago. Types of different players, sticky situations you can get into as a less experienced GM directly addressed, advice for how not to get in some common sticky situations in the first place, etc.

Probably the nicest thing I can say as an experienced GM looking over everything is that you even made me want to read the material I already know by heart, because the graphics, layout, and presentation are so clean and well thought out, its a pleasure to view, for example the different types of adventures (sandbox, linear, etc). I am going to be savoring this book for a long time.

Gentlemen and Ladies, in my eyes, you have outdone yourselves! :)

/Salutes the Paizo staff.


I just took a look at my order history and it says shipped Tuesday! The Morrigan be praised! Which means hopefully the earliest I could have a print copy in grubby paws is Friday! My goddess she loves even if the Phantom Queen makes me her jester at times.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ravenmantle wrote:
Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.

Yeah... I had a few more sample haunts in there but the format of that chapter kept us from being able to do more than one sample haunt.

Of course, that just tempts me to do a big book of haunts and traps and hazards...

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

James Jacobs wrote:
Of course, that just tempts me to do a big book of haunts and traps and hazards...

I support that temptation.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Of course, that just tempts me to do a big book of haunts and traps and hazards...

Preordered!

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Ravenmantle wrote:
Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.

Yeah... I had a few more sample haunts in there but the format of that chapter kept us from being able to do more than one sample haunt.

Of course, that just tempts me to do a big book of haunts and traps and hazards...

You should give into temptation it is good for the soul. :)


For is it not written, that temptation is a blessing from Calistria and her scorn and wrath shall come upon those who squander her gifts.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Ok finished browsing, dove into the appendix. Yeah for Bear McCreary getting a mention! I just got Razor/The Plan and have Terminator and Eureka being sent to me. No word on a Human Target soundtrack.

I'd also recommend Bear's Blog for any bard player. He really gets into the compositon and scoring process. Vital for anyone who wants to 'get into' a bard's head.

Spoiler:
And this man has full versions of Caprica Abides and turned the ramblings he wrote for Kara's dad into a full out musical piece, because he 'had to'. Definately Bardic inspiration there.


After having a couple of days now to peruse the pdf, I have to say, as a 20 year + DM, experienced with all the previous editions of the game, this has got to be one of the best, if not THE best DM/GM Guides I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Dark Archive

Dark_Mistress wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ravenmantle wrote:
Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.

Yeah... I had a few more sample haunts in there but the format of that chapter kept us from being able to do more than one sample haunt.

Of course, that just tempts me to do a big book of haunts and traps and hazards...

You should give into temptation it is good for the soul. :)

Absolutely! I always give into temptation... and there are so many of them in Chealix! :)

@James: I would instantly buy that book! Sounds like a solid idea for the next PF RPG hardcover book after Bestiary II, right? :)

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

drkfathr1 wrote:
After having a couple of days now to peruse the pdf, I have to say, as a 20 year + DM, experienced with all the previous editions of the game, this has got to be one of the best, if not THE best DM/GM Guides I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

I feel like Vizzini.

me: Stop taunting me about the GMG, I mean it!
everyone: We all have the GMG. You wanna peanut?

Waugh!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

gbonehead wrote:


I feel like Vizzini.

me: Stop taunting me about the GMG, I mean it!
everyone: We all have the GMG. You wanna peanut?

Waugh!

I understand your pain, I've been on the hind end of the orders before.

That said, it is a really good book.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Matthew Morris wrote:
gbonehead wrote:


I feel like Vizzini.

me: Stop taunting me about the GMG, I mean it!
everyone: We all have the GMG. You wanna peanut?

Waugh!

I understand your pain, I've been on the hind end of the orders before.

That said, it is a really good book.

Waugh!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ravenmantle wrote:
Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.
Dark_Mistress wrote:
You should give into temptation it is good for the soul. :)

I've written two and posted them on my blog.

Dark Archive

Matthew Morris wrote:
gbonehead wrote:


I feel like Vizzini.

me: Stop taunting me about the GMG, I mean it!
everyone: We all have the GMG. You wanna peanut?

Waugh!

I understand your pain, I've been on the hind end of the orders before.

That said, it is a really good book.

I certainly believe it is... and my pet squirrels can be vicous! Beware, thou shameless braggart! ;P

Now that we're talking about traps and haunts... I ran a heavily modified version of Jason Buhlman's Mad God's Key (for 6th level PCs) this week, and I really felt I needed more "plug'n'play" mid-level mechanical traps. And I also would have wanted to use haunts in a couple of rooms for campaign-related reasons (in the end I used Allips as a less-elegant solution). Ergo, I want more of them... as soon as possible! :)

A book about haunts, afflictions and traps/hazards (beyond acid pools and such) would be FANTASTIC!


The only dissapointment that I have had so far with the book (unless I have missed it somehow) is there is nothing that addresses the biggest problem I had with 3.5 - handling high level characters. I would have liked to see any of the following topics addressed:

- balancing/running high level encounters
- tips for running smooth encounters/combats with high level NPCs
- challenging high level PCs, with a focus on how to deal with particular high level spells and magic items


gbonehead wrote:

I feel like Vizzini.

me: Stop taunting me about the GMG, I mean it!
everyone: We all have the GMG. You wanna peanut?

Well, not everyone. I won't have the PDF til 7/7 and the book till much later in July.


Thatzit! Put Cosmo on tripple-shift duty. Make those shipments move!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AnthonyRoberson wrote:

The only dissapointment that I have had so far with the book (unless I have missed it somehow) is there is nothing that addresses the biggest problem I had with 3.5 - handling high level characters. I would have liked to see any of the following topics addressed:

- balancing/running high level encounters
- tips for running smooth encounters/combats with high level NPCs
- challenging high level PCs, with a focus on how to deal with particular high level spells and magic items

I've been pushing for us to publish a "Guide to High Level Play" for a while now. And I do wish we'd had a larger portion of that in the GameMastery Guide, but we decided it'd be better to skew this book toward more broad game support. After all... the VAST majority of those who play RPGs don't play super high level, and this is only our third book.

I'll keep pushing for some sort of "Guide to High Level Play" though. Whether or not that manifests as a big giant hardcover rulebook or something smaller... can't really say yet.


Rar!! Rar I say!!

If griping about shipping makes shipping happen, I shall gripe!

Rar!!

Grand Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
AnthonyRoberson wrote:

The only dissapointment that I have had so far with the book (unless I have missed it somehow) is there is nothing that addresses the biggest problem I had with 3.5 - handling high level characters. I would have liked to see any of the following topics addressed:

- balancing/running high level encounters
- tips for running smooth encounters/combats with high level NPCs
- challenging high level PCs, with a focus on how to deal with particular high level spells and magic items

I've been pushing for us to publish a "Guide to High Level Play" for a while now. And I do wish we'd had a larger portion of that in the GameMastery Guide, but we decided it'd be better to skew this book toward more broad game support. After all... the VAST majority of those who play RPGs don't play super high level, and this is only our third book.

I'll keep pushing for some sort of "Guide to High Level Play" though. Whether or not that manifests as a big giant hardcover rulebook or something smaller... can't really say yet.

That sounds like a great idea! Thanks James and Anthony! I never really thought about it, but I guess that's because I usually run lower level campaigns... We'll see if my Runes of Varisia campaign survives to become a High-Level campaign!

Dark Archive

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
Ravenmantle wrote:
Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.
Dark_Mistress wrote:
You should give into temptation it is good for the soul. :)
I've written two and posted them on my blog.

Pretty cool the ones you have so far. Maybe you should do a product for this? That is if you are who I think you are, which you might not be cause I have lots of blond moments.


Mwa ha ha ha! It worked!!

I do not endorse complaining as a way of invoking shipment. But it apparently works.


James Jacobs wrote:
AnthonyRoberson wrote:

The only dissapointment that I have had so far with the book (unless I have missed it somehow) is there is nothing that addresses the biggest problem I had with 3.5 - handling high level characters. I would have liked to see any of the following topics addressed:

- balancing/running high level encounters
- tips for running smooth encounters/combats with high level NPCs
- challenging high level PCs, with a focus on how to deal with particular high level spells and magic items

I've been pushing for us to publish a "Guide to High Level Play" for a while now. And I do wish we'd had a larger portion of that in the GameMastery Guide, but we decided it'd be better to skew this book toward more broad game support. After all... the VAST majority of those who play RPGs don't play super high level, and this is only our third book.

I'll keep pushing for some sort of "Guide to High Level Play" though. Whether or not that manifests as a big giant hardcover rulebook or something smaller... can't really say yet.

HELL YES!!! Do it! Do it! Do it!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Dark_Mistress wrote:
DMcCoy1693 wrote:
Ravenmantle wrote:
Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.
Dark_Mistress wrote:
You should give into temptation it is good for the soul. :)
I've written two and posted them on my blog.
Pretty cool the ones you have so far. Maybe you should do a product for this? That is if you are who I think you are, which you might not be cause I have lots of blond moments.

Spoiler:

I'd PM this to you if there was a PM system on these forums but ... anyways. I'm currently thinking to put a page or two of some crunch using the GMM rules. Since it is behind schedule, I might as well use it to my advantage.

And yes, this is Dale McCoy of Jon Brazer Enterprises. ;)

Dark Archive

Yes that's who I thought you was, hence why i said what I said. I just wasn't 100% positive.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There are 3 very nice forms in the back of this book:

1) A Campaign Sheet
2) A Settlement Sheet
3) A NPC Sheet

Any chance these could be posted to the website separately, and form-fillable? I'm really glad to have these, and printed off several stacks of each from the PDF, but it would be good to be able to type them up and save them locally.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Attack Kobold #23 wrote:

Mwa ha ha ha! It worked!!

I do not endorse complaining as a way of invoking shipment. But it apparently works.

Well, I wasn't gonna say anything, but if it works...

"Harumph! Harumph! Where is my copy of the GMG?! Arrrgh! Khaaaaann!!!"

Okay, hopefully that does the trick. ;)

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Ravenmantle wrote:
Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.

Yeah... I had a few more sample haunts in there but the format of that chapter kept us from being able to do more than one sample haunt.

Of course, that just tempts me to do a big book of haunts and traps and hazards...

Would be cool as a companion book, I know those are supposed to be Player oriented, so just throw in a Trapmaking PrC and a Haunter PrC =p


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I'll keep pushing for some sort of "Guide to High Level Play" though. Whether or not that manifests as a big giant hardcover rulebook or something smaller... can't really say yet.

I expect hardcover will wait for epic, but I'd buy a Chronicles sized (64 page) book on high level play.

Liberty's Edge

All the places i checked online, FLGS I have called have said the same thingt until July 13, that the Gamastery Guide will not be out until July 13.

But Paizo is saying it is shipping now. So what one is it?

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