Running the Manor


Rise of the Runelords


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I was curious how other GMs approached a specific element of the Manor ...

Spoiler:
Specifically the PC-specific haunts. Did you only tell the particular PC, or did you offer the description to the whole party?

I'm trying to figure out the best way to approach the situation for maximum impact. On the one hand I think keeping the specic ones secret for that PC would make the most interesting scene, but on the otherhand I don't want to slow things down to a crawl. What has been your experience?

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

When I ran it,

Spoiler:
I only told the character that was the target. Most of the haunts are written with elements that the whole group would see and what the specific character being haunted would see.If they reacted, I would either let their reaction go to the whole table of I would tell the whole group what the reaction was. I think that letting the haunts be personal had much more impact and kept everyone on their toes.


When I ran it,

Spoiler:
I facilitated not telling all the PCs at the same time by printing out this document and cutting it up into haunt-specific pieces that I just handed to the players:

Haunst Word Doc

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

rironin wrote:

When I ran it,

** spoiler omitted **

Dude! That's tight! That would have been real handy a few months ago. :)


rironin wrote:

When I ran it,

** spoiler omitted **

Awesome man, thanks! I DL'ed the doc. and I am going to use it when I run my players through this. I thought the haunts were one of the coolest things about this module.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Thank you for the observations all!


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Precisely what I was considering, thank you for offering!

rironin wrote:

When I ran it,

** spoiler omitted **


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I had the players roll initiative when they entered the manor grounds, and they stayed in initiative for the next six hours while they did the manor. It really ratcheted up the tension.

This meant that I could trigger the haunts easily when they ought to be triggered, and I just described them out loud.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Nice idea. Consider it poached! Thanks.

tbug wrote:

I had the players roll initiative when they entered the manor grounds, and they stayed in initiative for the next six hours while they did the manor. It really ratcheted up the tension.

This meant that I could trigger the haunts easily when they ought to be triggered, and I just described them out loud.


When I ran it I typed up my own "flavor text" for each haunt and then handed them to the appropriate player and as they described what they did I in turn described what the others could see (or not see). It did bring up the tension level quite a bit and allowed the players to role play easier not having player knowledge of what was going on.


Okay, but other than a good saving throw is there anything a typical PC can do (even with a great initiative roll) if they can't turn the haunt? Only the cleric can turn the haunt. What can the rest of them do but spin and hope for a good roll? Am I doing it right?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Nope. A good save and some friends that won't let him jump out the windows is about it. We just ran this today, and it plays pretty well. Even without extra effort to make it creepy, by the time they got through the place they were pretty creeped out.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Our DM made a couple visible (like the dancing scene) and others not, based on gut feel I think... It's more scary to see the ones that do something to you, and to not see the ones that make you do something to yourself/others.

Dark Archive

Rirorin, the link is broken. can you please repost the Haunts?

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

My solution was to just take the appropriate player into the corner and describe the situation to him/her. It really freaks the players out when you do stuff like that, especially if you occasionally bring someone over and just say, "Keep nodding like I'm telling you something important. Ok, good. Now get scared. . . perfect. All right, let's go back to the table now, and don't let anyone know what I just told you."

Evil DM grin >:-}


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I used rironin and tbug's ideas, and we have a marvelous time. I have to say that is one cool setpiece. Big time kudos to Pett.

Thanks guys!


I'll be running this next week for my group. I went with all the great suggestions on this board and found some of my own.

1. Will have the pc's roll for initiative before entering the manor and have them stay in that turn order.

2. Using the word doc. of haunts off this forum "great stuff".

3. I have the maps already printed out, so theres no down time to ruin the mood. Used the maps of the manor off this forum somewhere, someone was nice enough to create player maps of the manor.

4. Once the pc's enter the manor, I found some really cool mood music and it's free on youtube. Music is by Nox Arcana, here is a link Manor music and it's really easy to create a play list - just hit play and when they enter let the good times roll!!!

5. Went to home depot got some red flood lights and purple party lights to really set the mood. Here are some pics (I had to turn the lights on so you could see, but you get the idea).

Pic1

Pic2

I'll post back and tell you all how it went.

p.s. How do you get links to work in here? Ahh, I got it!


Great game room Vansung!


I dont get why you have the PC's roll initiative when they enter the manor and stay in initiative. I usually think initiative sequence slows down action and makes it clunky (ie it is a necessary evil in combat) as everyone waits for everyone else to do stuff.

I am just trying to understand why it was done

Can someone please explain to me why this is a good idea?


Werecorpse wrote:

I dont get why you have the PC's roll initiative when they enter the manor and stay in initiative. I usually think initiative sequence slows down action and makes it clunky (ie it is a necessary evil in combat) as everyone waits for everyone else to do stuff.

I am just trying to understand why it was done

Can someone please explain to me why this is a good idea?

To build suspense. Having the pc’s go in turns keeps them guessing and on their toes. I will find out how well it works next week.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Vansung wrote:
Werecorpse wrote:
Can someone please explain to me why this is a good idea?
To build suspense.

It varies from group to group. If this slows things down for you then it's probably not what you're after. In our group, initiative can happen very quickly. It also makes the players tense, particularly when round after round passes without any antagonists appearing and yet I insist on keeping them in initiative.

It worked really, really well for my group. I would recommend that GMs evaluate how their groups react to being in initiative before deciding whether or not to do this.


rironin wrote:

When I ran it,

** spoiler omitted **

Cooool! I'll translate this to Danish for my RotRL campaign!

People are coming up with such cool stuff...
GRU


veector wrote:
Great game room Vansung!

Thanks! I actually have a waiting list to play in my game, I like to think it's my great GM skills - but I know it's the game room :)

Dark Archive

GRU, I'm translating it to Danish right now, and running it on monday night. You want me to send it to you?


The session went great! Here's what my players are saying on our forum:

WOW, I had a blast during this session . It's amazing we only had one combat. Post your thoughts on the session - any rules we need to go over?

do agree it was really fun...heh i think the reason why i "tried" to kick down the door was just cuz i wanted to kill things

the session was really awesome and it was a lot different from the other sessions ive played which made it cool. I have a feeling this next session is going to top it off though now that were in the house and have a little taste of what its about. So far so good

I have to agree, this session was a little different than the others, I actually found myself picturing what the house would feel like and what it would be like to be inside, plus the little forced character "RPing" via the notes was a good touch.

I feel that this session went really really well.... Not only did a fair amount of role play, inactive combat happened. Not the typical fight fight fight, but combat that involved us using our minds to navigate and feel out this house, that we still haven't gotten out of. I liked the fact that I felt the creepiness of the house, and I also liked the fact that we didn't get ambushed. Not because an ambush could have hurt our party, but because there were ways to keep us on our toes without throwing a group of minions at us in the dark environment. It was nice to have interaction that still had dire consequences without combat.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Thanks for the update! I'm glad that it worked out so well!

Any advice based on your experience?


Vansung wrote:

I'll be running this next week for my group. I went with all the great suggestions on this board and found some of my own.

1. Will have the pc's roll for initiative before entering the manor and have them stay in that turn order.

2. Using the word doc. of haunts off this forum "great stuff".

3. I have the maps already printed out, so theres no down time to ruin the mood. Used the maps of the manor off this forum somewhere, someone was nice enough to create player maps of the manor.

4. Once the pc's enter the manor, I found some really cool mood music and it's free on youtube. Music is by Nox Arcana, here is a link Manor music and it's really easy to create a play list - just hit play and when they enter let the good times roll!!!

5. Went to home depot got some red flood lights and purple party lights to really set the mood. Here are some pics (I had to turn the lights on so you could see, but you get the idea).

Pic1

Pic2

I'll post back and tell you all how it went.

p.s. How do you get links to work in here? Ahh, I got it!

Tbug, I basically followed this format with a little improvisation. Before the session I sent an email to all the players to bring a small flashlight, they bugged me all week to tell them what for! When they went into the manor I turned all the lights off, except a blue one that gave a really creepy feeling. They ended up using the small flashlights to read the haunts I passed out...good times!

Dark Archive

Vansung wrote:
When they went into the manor I turned all the lights off, except a blue one that gave a really creepy feeling. They ended up using the small flashlights to read the haunts I passed out...good times!

Brilliant and bravo ! I did this for a few Ravenloft games a way back, bonus xp for scented candles : )

thanks for bringing back memories; and judging from your game room your not a resident of (expensive real estate) Manhattan.

Scarab Sages

Dunno if this is useful to any of you, but I've been working on some maps and visuals for the Skinsaw Murders.

Player Visual Aids
This is a Picasa web album that I will be updating as I make stuff. The next few items will include the rest of the stained glass windows.

All of my Skinsaw Murders Content
This includes the handouts above plus battlemaps of the Hambley Farm & fields, and soon to include Misgivings at full 200 pixels / 5 ft resolution.

I will also be posting 4E conversion statblocks of any creatures I make, if they are different from those on the Tales from the Rusty Dragon blog that Scott has done.

Hope these help. I think being able to see the stained glass, plus seeing Misgivings in all it's putrid glory might put my players in the mood.
Misgivings WIP: lo-res


Nicely done!

Dark Archive

Very nicely done indeed !

Scarab Sages

Misgivings, level 1 (and grounds) is done.

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