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

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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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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Looks good!

Can anyone confirm that this will be part of the PFRPG subscription?

Sovereign Court

DaveMage wrote:
Of course, for this last suggestion, a living document that appears on the Paizo website would be fine too. :)

Yes, an online document would be preferable. Otherwise, it would out of date a month after being printed.

Liberty's Edge

I'll chime in for Stronghold/building construction rules, they always come in useful.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Brian E. Harris wrote:

Looks good!

Can anyone confirm that this will be part of the PFRPG subscription?

Yes! This and the GM Screen will follow the Bestiary as part of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game subscription.

I actually wrote that into the product description, but it looks like it accidentally landed on the cutting-room floor.


Watcher wrote:

Its just that there's a lot painstaking detail in many campaign settings, and trying to wrap my head around this image of a little old man in a shop with a handful of +1 swords.. Well, it always makes me cringe. I'm an old grognard from 1st Edition, and "the Magic Item Shoppe" is a legacy where I say that the good old days weren't always great.

Are magic items for sale always salvage? Are they always custom works (and if so, shouldn't that make them inconvenient to acquire mid-adventure)? Does some mage just make Handy Haversacks to supplement his retirement?

I like the rules (in 3.5e anyway) of upgrading magic weapons. When our party barbarian came into town and wanted to go a step beyond his +1 greatsword, he didn't go to Ye Olde Magic Shoppe and buy a +2 greatsword, he went to the local wizardress that does that kind of work and paid her to upgrade his +1 greatsword to a +2 greatsword. She also sells magical weapons, but I would assume she actually only keeps a small selection of masterwork weapons in stock and enchants them when someone buys one. ("Oh, you like that one, do you? What kind of magic were you wanting to get on it?" "Oh. Come back in a week and it will be ready.") If the character doesn't like the look of the weapons she has, or wants a weapon she doesn't carry, he would have to provide the masterwork item to be enchanted (and perhaps pay a small service fee).

I'm actually running a pre-fab and it has a magic item black market dealer written into the plot, but I don't think any of the characters discovered him. (It's literally been months and months since my PCs were in town.) Both those two NPCs seem to make sense though. The magic item dealer had wizard levels so I just assume she does it how I described above, and the black market guy is trading in illicit goods secretly so he doesn't have to worry as much about getting robbed.

I once played in a guy's game and he and one of his regular players talked about how nobody ever robs the magic shops in his games because all his merchants are level 20 characters. That, to me, is precisely the wrong way to handle merchants and shops.

Liberty's Edge

KaeYoss wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:


I dunno about whore tables.

But it does have "NPC favour" tables. I guess they include sexual favours, yes?

Kill an ogre - lapdance by mayor's daughter (we all know mayors' daughters are always easy)
Defeat evil necromancer terrorising forest with undead bunny rabbits and other previously cute critters - threesome with two nymphs

And so on. We really need guidelines for that sort of thing.

We have treasure tables, we should know when a kiss is appropriate, and when a hero can expect to get some play. That's one of the reasons adventurers become adventurers, after all. It's all about money, alcohol and fooling around!

Is is that just me and the people I play with.

Depends on the character for the alcohol but money is usually a big plus. As for fooling around, I get to tabletop with my wife so my characters are always getting play (until I finally get around to making my half orc that is).

... damn I love this game.

Anyway, excited about this book and I'm rather glad it's a bit further down the line. Given the Adventure Paths, the Chronicles, and of course the Bestiary and RPG coming out soon, I'll need time to refuel my wallet.

The Exchange

DaveMage wrote:
I'd also like a summary chart that lists (up to the date of publication) all the Paizo adventures (modules and adventure paths) and what type they are (wilderness, dungeon crawl, city, mixed, etc.) and what levels they are for (again, for plug-and-play or one-shot purposes).

I would be sad to see pages dedicated to something that would be out of date before it hit the shelves, but this would be a great as a separate download.

Scarab Sages

Darkwolf wrote:
DaveMage wrote:
I'd also like a summary chart that lists (up to the date of publication) all the Paizo adventures (modules and adventure paths) and what type they are (wilderness, dungeon crawl, city, mixed, etc.) and what levels they are for (again, for plug-and-play or one-shot purposes).
I would be sad to see pages dedicated to something that would be out of date before it hit the shelves, but this would be a great as a separate download.

Yes it does.

I started a thread about Appendix A.. from the Campaign setting where it has exactly that. No one seemed interested in commenting... until here and now. :)

Paizo needs a link off there page here... I think something like that would be an excellent selling point for their products.

Dark Archive

Darkwolf wrote:
DaveMage wrote:
I'd also like a summary chart that lists (up to the date of publication) all the Paizo adventures (modules and adventure paths) and what type they are (wilderness, dungeon crawl, city, mixed, etc.) and what levels they are for (again, for plug-and-play or one-shot purposes).
I would be sad to see pages dedicated to something that would be out of date before it hit the shelves, but this would be a great as a separate download.

I'm sure it could be worked into here


It could be part of the Wiki, but the idea is to both find sources for a sandbox game as well as increase the value of the Adventure Paths.

I've seen a lot of people on other boards post about how they don't like the "railroading" of Adventure Paths, so rather than have them ignore the line completely, if, say, there's a shrine to a particular evil goddess in Pathfiner [X], they could at least pick up that one adventure in the series to steal the adventure site for their home game.

Having a chart that tells them where to find such things would be a nice selling point, I would think.

Want a shrine to an evil god? - get Pathfiner [x].
Want a large dungeon? Pathfinder [x]
Want a mad druid encounter? Pathfinder [x]

etc...

It would also help those who may not be able to afford all six volumes in an adventure path (but could afford 1).

And of course, once they have one in their hands, they may want more.


Erik Mona wrote:

I think we might hold off on that type of thing for a more player-focused book.

I love the old "Central Casting" books, though, which I think pulled this off best.

We still use "Central Casting" on occassion. It is worth it just for the wierd and funny possibilities that crop up.

Liberty's Edge

I hope you can find room for gunpowder rules here if they are not
in the main rulebook.


Michael Koch wrote:
I hope you can find room for gunpowder rules here if they are not in the main rulebook.

I demand conversion rules for Boot Hill and Gamma World!

(O.K., not really.)


One of the things I really liked in Green Ronin's Advanced GM's Guide was the chart of NPC skill modifiers. Some encounters with NPCs really don't require a full stat block, but at the same time, you may need to know what kind of skill check the person could make, and I found those charts kind of handy.

For anyone that hasn't seen them, it would give the skill check for something they weren't heavily trained in, moderately trained in, and had a specific focus in per level.

Scarab Sages

Appendex A could be kept off site... but I think having as a selling/marketing tool makes more sense. Have it on the Paizo page... or an obvious link to the wiki off paizo page.


How is it that I had not seen this yet? WTF?

I was waiting so long! How did I not get the memo? You going to blog this or what Paizo!?


toyrobots wrote:

How is it that I had not seen this yet? WTF?

I was waiting so long! How did I not get the memo? You going to blog this or what Paizo!?

It doesn't come out until February. I'm sure they'll get around to mentioning it more prominently at some point.


Erik Mona wrote:
Masika wrote:
I wonder if this will be the art for the cover. It is the pic on the Gamemastery treasure chest.
No. It is a mock-up.

Bummer, it's an excellent piece that would have worked great for a GM's guide, I definitely prefer it over the final cover for the core book.

At any rate, sounds like a very useful book, I for one am pleased with what's been announced for the RPG line so far.


Davelozzi wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Masika wrote:
I wonder if this will be the art for the cover. It is the pic on the Gamemastery treasure chest.
No. It is a mock-up.

Bummer, it's an excellent piece that would have worked great for a GM's guide, I definitely prefer it over the final cover for the core book.

At any rate, sounds like a very useful book, I for one am pleased with what's been announced for the RPG line so far.

Heh, funny how taste works, I thought it was a poor cover compared to the two core books. So glad it is a mock-up! :p


Erik Mona wrote:


I dunno about whore tables...

What's not to love about whore tables?!?

(no pun intended)

Liberty's Edge

Watcher wrote:

I'd like to see "Ye Old Magic Shoppe" concepts addressed.

James has said that the players ability to shop and buy better gear is a basic assumption in any Paizo AP. That is, you have to let players sell magic gear and buy the stuff that they want and need. Or, tailor their treasure exactly.

But usually the dreaded Magic Item Shop makes me cringe because it shatters my own suspension of disbelief, even as the GM. I deal with it as best I can.

But rather complaining about it, Erik Mona, I'd love to see some insight on how to handle "shopping for magic gear" in a way that feels smart and looks good.

My suggestion.

  • I too have never liked the Corner Magic Shop version of D&D and have NEVER used it in any game I have ever run. I have played in games that used it and, while I can certainly adapt to that style of play, it is not my preference.

    So I agree there NEEDS to be a section on how to compromise on this and make Magic Shops feel logical, 'realistic', rare, unique and wondrous and not ... Magic Item Walmarts.

  • I also would like to second the idea of having some Unearthed Arcana type alternate rules in here ... some 'official' Pathfinder RPG alternate class abilities etc.

  • One last thing that I would LOVE to see in this book would be rules for starting at first level as a multi class. Remember in 3.0, there was the option (I think it was called apprentice rules or something) that let you essentially play a lower powered multiclass character at 1st level and then, when you leveled up to 2nd level, you become a true, full power multi class. That rule was a great option and I never understood why it went away in 3.5.

    Please please PLEASE do something like this in this book!!!

Having said all that, I can't wait for this book and look forward to taking advantage of the RPG Subscription ... ahem ... whenever we get the Official Announcement about it that is ... ahem ...


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Marc Radle 81 wrote:


  • I too have never liked the Corner Magic Shop version of D&D and have NEVER used it in any game I have ever run. I have played in games that used it and, while I can certainly adapt to that style of play, it is not my preference.

    So I agree there NEEDS to be a section on how to compromise on this and make Magic Shops feel logical, 'realistic', rare, unique and wondrous and not ... Magic Item Walmarts.

  • One last thing that I would LOVE to see in this book would be rules for starting at first level as a multi class. Remember in 3.0, there was the option (I think it was called apprentice rules or something) that let you essentially play a lower powered multiclass character at 1st level and then, when you leveled up to 2nd level, you become a true, full power multi class. That rule was a great option and I never understood why it went away in 3.5.

    Please please PLEASE do something like this in this book!!!

Having said all that, I can't wait for this book and look forward to taking advantage of the RPG Subscription ... ahem ... whenever we get the Official Announcement about it that is ... ahem ...

Re: Corner Magic Shop. You might want to look at Complete Gear over at Dream Scarred Press. For a couple of dollars, it is an alternate method where the Character "infuses" his items with magic instead of buying them. My guys will be using it in our next campaign.

Re: Multiclass at 1st level. Somewhere I have a PDF for Apprentice characters that is based on V3.5.

Re: RPG Subscription. Please oh please announce it. I need another title on my ID... lol

-- david
Papa.DRB

Scarab Sages

Marc Radle 81 wrote:
... ahem ... whenever we get the Official Announcement about it that is ... ahem ...

~ jeopardy music ~


I believe James Jacobs wrote a quite well-reasoned essay on the Magic Shop for Pathfinder #21 "The Jackal's Price".

Given what he says there, I can expect that there will be similarly well-reasoned advice in this GMing tome. Of course, the beauty of having a full-length volume like this is that maybe we will have enough advice to accommodate different all styles of play — Ye Olde Magick Shoppe included, though not mandatory.

I'm looking forward to better encounter-building guidelines, as this is plainly an art that this company has mastery over.

Liberty's Edge

My only compliant why no new products for four months after release? I figured they want to get at least one more book for Chrismas at least.


well theydo have monthly things coming out.

Grand Lodge

At least I won't have to buy it until February of next year.


YES!

I'd love such a manual of advanced optional rules!
Things I'd love to see (apart the already announced ones):

-Handling of conflicts situations (disputes among players, chasings, etc)
-Rules for traits
-Rules for multiclass pcs that improve the existing ones
-Mass and naval combat. yes yes yes!
-Simple rules for npc. A npc creation system that differs from PC one.
-rules that improve interpretation, derived from narrative rpg systems.
-fate/action poits or similar

I'll edit this post with my further concerns...anyway...thanks a lot Paizo. You're trying to improve my gamemaster life every day. :)


I think these have been covered but
-rewards for players other than loot & exp
-how to swap in character abilites in a balanced way (ie fighter with a bit of sneak attack)

I would really love some sort of economics info other than magic items- ie trade, costs of a slave, cost of a poor/average/fine/luxurious dwelling in a town/city/metropolis, cost of living like a king etc.

I am happy to have rough and ready guidelines ie

to live like a wealthy merchant in a city costs 100gp per week. You must be in a city to get access to all the benefitsThis means you get fine food, decent wine with your meals, access to a manservant for running errands, a private room.
to live live a prince costs 500gp per week you get all of the above, sevearl fine sets of clothes, a couple of bodyguard warriors of 1/2 you level, you can have a lavish dinner party 3 times a week with up to a dozen guests...etc

The problems I want this info to solve is when my players say
a) that they have just returned from a brutal adventure and they want to have a lavish meal and live it up for a couple of weeks in a big city-(like the Grey Mouser or Conan would)
b) I tell a Cayden Cailean worshipper someone is enslaved in a city where it is legal and they ask how much it is to buy her out
c) The party is about to travel to a distant land and someone with some profession merchant skills says they want to know what sort of trade goods they can sell there-- and then when we get there how much profit they make
d) someone has a bit of cash and wants to buy or build a big house in Sandpoint

these are all mundane sorts of things but I find they invest the players in the world. I have had a player sell his magic shield becasue I told him there was a really good deal on spices that he could make a killing on when he got back home. You should have seen his face when he thought his pack mule was going to be taken by a wyvern

The Exchange

Werecorpse wrote:
-how to swap in character abilites in a balanced way (ie fighter with a bit of sneak attack)

I wonder if anyone has tried to break down class abilities into feats.

Feat:
Cutthroat (Combat)
You are practiced in the arts of attacking an opponents weak spots.

Prerequisite: BAB +1

Benefit: You can use the Sneak Attack ability as if you were a Rogue of 1/2 your class level.

---

This could allow for things like Sneak Attacking Fighters or Tracking Clerics. Probably not something that should be applied to spellcasting and such, but... Hmmm, I should see what I can come up with after I see the book in August.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Darkwolf wrote:
I wonder if anyone has tried to break down class abilities into feats.

I'm not sure about that but there are at least 3 third party products out there that attempt to do this from various point buy systems:

Buy the Numbers
Complete Control
Class Construction Kit

The first one is more complex but I think it's my favorite. The second is a very solid and reasonable approach that especially good for things like you're talking about. The third is published by a company that has a lot of really bad press over on the ENWorld boards so I'm leery to recommend it (but I do own it).

Paizo Employee CEO

memorax wrote:
My only compliant why no new products for four months after release? I figured they want to get at least one more book for Chrismas at least.

We originally wanted this book out for Christmas, but when we realized that trying to do that might compromise the quality of the product, we decided for the February release so that we can make it the best that it can be. You know the old saying, "we will sell no wine before its time." Well, I have a similar corollary, "we will release no product until it is the best that we can make it."

-Lisa

The Exchange

DitheringFool wrote:
Darkwolf wrote:
I wonder if anyone has tried to break down class abilities into feats.

I'm not sure about that but there are at least 3 third party products out there that attempt to do this from various point buy systems:

Buy the Numbers
Complete Control
Class Construction Kit

The first one is more complex but I think it's my favorite. The second is a very solid and reasonable approach that especially good for things like you're talking about. The third is published by a company that has a lot of really bad press over on the ENWorld boards so I'm leery to recommend it (but I do own it).

I'm familiar with the concept behind those products, but it's not quite what I'm thinking. Perhaps I can get some ideas from them though.


Darkwolf wrote:
Werecorpse wrote:
-how to swap in character abilites in a balanced way (ie fighter with a bit of sneak attack)

I wonder if anyone has tried to break down class abilities into feats.

Feat:
Cutthroat (Combat)
You are practiced in the arts of attacking an opponents weak spots.

Prerequisite: BAB +1

Benefit: You can use the Sneak Attack ability as if you were a Rogue of 1/2 your class level.

---

This could allow for things like Sneak Attacking Fighters or Tracking Clerics. Probably not something that should be applied to spellcasting and such, but... Hmmm, I should see what I can come up with after I see the book in August.

How about alternative class features, replacing some of what fighter gets. This feat approach steps way too much on rogues toes with really small price to pay, you get half of rogue's signature ability by spending only one feat (fighter gets 20 in his career). I generally like alternative class features, like those in PHB 2(or PCCS). They are nice variations without the need of a whole new class. I'd like to see these in future supplements, but maybe in a more player oriented book than Gamemastery guide.

The Exchange

Salama wrote:
Darkwolf wrote:
Werecorpse wrote:
-how to swap in character abilites in a balanced way (ie fighter with a bit of sneak attack)

I wonder if anyone has tried to break down class abilities into feats.

Feat:
Cutthroat (Combat)
You are practiced in the arts of attacking an opponents weak spots.

Prerequisite: BAB +1

Benefit: You can use the Sneak Attack ability as if you were a Rogue of 1/2 your class level.

---

This could allow for things like Sneak Attacking Fighters or Tracking Clerics. Probably not something that should be applied to spellcasting and such, but... Hmmm, I should see what I can come up with after I see the book in August.

How about alternative class features, replacing some of what fighter gets. This feat approach steps way too much on rogues toes with really small price to pay, you get half of rogue's signature ability by spending only one feat (fighter gets 20 in his career). I generally like alternative class features, like those in PHB 2(or PCCS). They are nice variations without the need of a whole new class. I'd like to see these in future supplements, but maybe in a more player oriented book than Gamemastery guide.

Hmmm, you're right it is a bit strong. While I like alternate class features, I think they should be used for more 'unique' abilities.

What about:
Cutthroat (Combat)
You are practiced in the arts of attacking an opponents weak spots.

Prerequisite: BAB +1

Benefit: You can use the Sneak Attack ability as if you were a level 1 Rogue.

That only grants 1d6 and progressive feats could stack with pre-reqs BAB +4, +8, +12 and +16 capping at 5d6. Thus increasing the cost to 5 feats for half the Rogues skill.


Lisa Stevens wrote:
memorax wrote:
My only compliant why no new products for four months after release? I figured they want to get at least one more book for Chrismas at least.

We originally wanted this book out for Christmas, but when we realized that trying to do that might compromise the quality of the product, we decided for the February release so that we can make it the best that it can be. You know the old saying, "we will sell no wine before its time." Well, I have a similar corollary, "we will release no product until it is the best that we can make it."

-Lisa

Hi Lisa!

I completely agree with your post.

I'd like to know... Are you planning to insert epic rules in this handbook?


Darkwolf wrote:
Werecorpse wrote:
-how to swap in character abilites in a balanced way (ie fighter with a bit of sneak attack)

I wonder if anyone has tried to break down class abilities into feats.

Feat:
Cutthroat (Combat)
You are practiced in the arts of attacking an opponents weak spots.

Prerequisite: BAB +1

Benefit: You can use the Sneak Attack ability as if you were a Rogue of 1/2 your class level.

---

This could allow for things like Sneak Attacking Fighters or Tracking Clerics. Probably not something that should be applied to spellcasting and such, but... Hmmm, I should see what I can come up with after I see the book in August.

Did you ever look at the Unearthed Arcana generic classes?

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/genericClasses.htm

I would love to see a book full of build-your-own-class principles like "you can swap out any ability from column A (sneak attack, fighter bonus feats, bard spellcasting, etc.)".

The Exchange

I have, but I think I'm looking at this differently than you guys are. I don't neccissarily want to change the classes as written, I'm thinking about a way to mix it up a little within the confines of the existing rules. These other ideas all change the rule to something else.

Of course if I'm a clear minority, and it seems I am, maybe there's no need to look at it as anything more than a houserule idea for my own campaign.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darkwolf wrote:

I have, but I think I'm looking at this differently than you guys are. I don't neccissarily want to change the classes as written, I'm thinking about a way to mix it up a little within the confines of the existing rules. These other ideas all change the rule to something else.

Of course if I'm a clear minority, and it seems I am, maybe there's no need to look at it as anything more than a houserule idea for my own campaign.

Darkwolf,

You could use the generic class as ways of giving other classes the abilities as feats. That's how they've been set up. I think that's what Hogarth was suggesting.

The Exchange

Paul Watson wrote:
Darkwolf wrote:

I have, but I think I'm looking at this differently than you guys are. I don't neccissarily want to change the classes as written, I'm thinking about a way to mix it up a little within the confines of the existing rules. These other ideas all change the rule to something else.

Of course if I'm a clear minority, and it seems I am, maybe there's no need to look at it as anything more than a houserule idea for my own campaign.

Darkwolf,

You could use the generic class as ways of giving other classes the abilities as feats. That's how they've been set up. I think that's what Hogarth was suggesting.

Maybe, It's been awhile since I read the UA. I'll have a look when I get home. (The SRD is blocked content at work. :-/)

Anyway, /threadjack.


Paul Watson wrote:
Darkwolf wrote:

I have, but I think I'm looking at this differently than you guys are. I don't neccissarily want to change the classes as written, I'm thinking about a way to mix it up a little within the confines of the existing rules. These other ideas all change the rule to something else.

Of course if I'm a clear minority, and it seems I am, maybe there's no need to look at it as anything more than a houserule idea for my own campaign.

Darkwolf,

You could use the generic class as ways of giving other classes the abilities as feats. That's how they've been set up. I think that's what Hogarth was suggesting.

I was suggesting using those feats (e.g. Improved Sneak Attack) as examples.

But I'm more interested in swapping out one class feature for another (e.g. the Unearthed Arcana sneak attack fighter), personally.

Sovereign Court

balakus01 wrote:
At least I won't have to buy it until February of next year.

Thanks! Now I have that Killers song in my head. ;)


Darkwolf wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Darkwolf wrote:

I have, but I think I'm looking at this differently than you guys are. I don't neccissarily want to change the classes as written, I'm thinking about a way to mix it up a little within the confines of the existing rules. These other ideas all change the rule to something else.

Of course if I'm a clear minority, and it seems I am, maybe there's no need to look at it as anything more than a houserule idea for my own campaign.

Darkwolf,

You could use the generic class as ways of giving other classes the abilities as feats. That's how they've been set up. I think that's what Hogarth was suggesting.

Maybe, It's been awhile since I read the UA. I'll have a look when I get home. (The SRD is blocked content at work. :-/)

Anyway, /threadjack.

Not so threadjacky, if we're talking about what would be cool to see in this kind of book. Although this kind of stuff probably calls for a more player oriented book.

I mostly run Adventure paths and other ready-to-run adventures, but I still think this Gamemastery guide will be one of the most used book for me. Only sad thing is that I could use it NOW.

Sovereign Court

Zootcat wrote:
balakus01 wrote:
At least I won't have to buy it until February of next year.
Thanks! Now I have that Killers song in my head. ;)

Dude, it's not confidential. It's got potential!

Paizo Employee CEO

Hayden wrote:


I'd like to know... Are you planning to insert epic rules in this handbook?

No. Epic rules will require their own book. I wouldn't want to marginalize them by trying to squash them into this book. Also, this book is for GMs. It is meant to be a tool to make you a better GM. Epic rules would be for both players and GMs. So we would want to make it a book that would be accessible to both. This book is strictly geared towards the GM.

-Lisa


Cool! I'm really looking forward to this!

I would love to see trading rules in there, similar to the trading rules in Traveller. Rules that would allow you to play a caravan guard/merchant prince game, with charts and modifiers telling you what you might be able to buy and giving you a chance, based on your skills and the risks you're willing to take, to improve your profits...

Also, I'd like to reiterate the call for mass-combat rules. Something similar to Frank Mentzer's "Warmachine" for BECMI-D&D/Rules Cyclopedia. Those are the best mass-combat rules I've ever seen.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

memorax wrote:
My only compliant why no new products for four months after release? I figured they want to get at least one more book for Chrismas at least.

We did, but it was just not tenable given our existing work schedule. We'll still be doing something like five products a month for the rest of the year.

Liberty's Edge

Hey Eric, while you here, any chance of this???

From my earlier post:
"One last thing that I would LOVE to see in this book would be rules for starting at first level as a multi class. Remember in 3.0, there was the option (I think it was called apprentice rules or something) that let you essentially play a lower powered multiclass character at 1st level and then, when you leveled up to 2nd level, you become a true, full power multi class. That rule was a great option and I never understood why it went away in 3.5.

Please please PLEASE do something like this in this book!!! "

Thanks!


Erik Mona wrote:
Masika wrote:
I wonder if this will be the art for the cover. It is the pic on the Gamemastery treasure chest.
No. It is a mock-up.

That picture would make a great poster...

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