Arch's Homebrew Pathfinder


Playtest Reports

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

So I've adapted my homebrew setting to the wonderful Pathfinder RPG ruleset. I'll detail the 'mis'adventures of my group of heroes traversing across the realm of Praetor.

NOTE: We are an online group, and play over OpenRPG, with our first few sessions happened on maptool.

==First Few Sessions==
Cast (ECL 1):
Chupin the Halfling Klepto (Rogue, Ranged Specialist)
Mora the Human Headhunter (Ranger, Ranged Specialist)
Dirk the Human Womanizer (Fighter, 2h Weapon Overruner)
Iiana the Human Preistess (Cleric of Iomedae)
Shindoar the Half-elf Spellslinger (Sorcerer (Dragon))

The group are all independent agents who come together to answer a job posting about evicting a few miscreants. The job poster, who happens to be a local Merchant Lord on the nation's ruling council, tells the group about a rental estate of his that has recently had troubles with its tenets. The patron tells them that Devil Worshippers have taken up residence, and he wants them out, forcefully or otherwise.

A day or so later, the group comes upon the said estate and encounters our first pathfinder fight: A single, half-drunk guard. A well placed arrow startles him awake, and the group kills him before he can do much warning besides yelling. This fight went smooth, with the party of five taking the man down in 1 round.

The group then tried to get through the door. This happened to be a bit tougher, because the door was barred from the inside. A few failed strength checks to bash the door had the party frustrated, but they finally got through. The door smashed down, but our fighter was immediately set on fire by a flying alchemist fire.

The doorway was blocked by two 5-foot cube crates side-by-side, so the party couldn't immediatly charge in and wreak havok. The ranged fighters began flinging equipment toward the under-cover thugs inside, while our fighter decided to give CMB a test. We fumbled a few minutes on the mechanics of it, but eventually settled on how it worked, as he shoved one of the crates backwards against an opposing thug. Door now breached, the others moved in and finished off the thugs.

The rogues skills were put to the test on a trapped room with a few hidden locked treasures within it. The group went to the estates final room, and found it securely secured. The rogue spent a few attempts on opening the lock, nearly ruining it on his first try, and the group entered to a macabre chapel, with a bloody Asmodean priest and his pair of vicious guard dogs. Sleep effects were exchanged with the rogue and the half elf being the only ones staying awake to face the priest and his sleeping dogs. After waking up a few companions, the priest was dispatched and the group was clued into a mysterious human trafficking ring led by a man called A.M.

The group then returned to town and recieved their reward, and decided to look for more work.

==Impressions==
We all picked up on the changed mechanics pretty easily. Consolidated skills being the best change for this leg. Our characters held up really good against the three fights, and only the sorc ran out of level 1 spells. We used the 2d6+6 generation method, and gave every character an extra 6hp at first level. This resulted in a pretty strong group who had only 1 unconscious drop the entire adventure (the poor fighter who was being burned alive and had daggers being hurled at him). Overall, impressions were very positive.

Scarab Sages

archmagi1 wrote:
NOTE: We are an online group, and play over OpenRPG, with our first few sessions happened on maptool.

I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'd like to chat about you choice of tool: pros and cons of each. If you would send a note to frank/at/eec/com :) I'd appreciate getting your opinion. Thanks!


I'm curious about this also, do you have any opinions on the difference between live and online play? I've recently lost a couple of players to moves and was considering this...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Not a problem on the expanation, I'll shoot you a specific email, but I'll give general impressions here too.

Maptool:
Pros - Active Devs, Robust mapping features, lots of stuff can be exported, fast
Cons - Its only as good as your ISP allows, Documentation is 2 release versions old, hard to learn
Impressions - Past games have run smoother with this program than this one did. Having 4/5 players in CONUS and one in Europe made our connectivity a bit iffy. Building maps is easy as pie, and the built-in combat tools (like effect templates) speed up combat tremendously. I recommend the program if you have time to sit down for a few days and figure out how to run it properly.

OpenRPG:
Pros - Robust game tree feature, intuitive chat, centralized servers as opposed to each game being its own server, has an output window to see errors in.
Cons - 95% inactive development, at times buggy at other times flawless, very primitive mapping solution
Impressions - Its like an old truck, it may not be the best or the brightest, but it works when you need it too. Its easier to learn how to use than Maptool, but its features are dated, and its no longer really in active development.

I like both programs, but Maptool is better at mapping than openrpg. The latter is easier to get new players to VGT (virtual game tables) introduced to online D&D. I would love to see openrpg in as active development as it was two years ago before maptool took off, but much of the secondary developers from then have jumped ship to the new dog on the block.

If you've never tried an online d&d game, its worth giving a shot. There are quite a few communities dedicated to gaming this way, but be forewarned that a good 70-80% of such games die pretty quick. Its not as fulfilling as gaming in person with your buds, but for those who's groups have dispersed or who live in areas where the pool of gamers is quite small, you couldn't ask for a better solution.

Scarab Sages

archmagi1 wrote:
Not a problem on the expanation, I'll shoot you a specific email, but I'll give general impressions here too.

Thanks. As we've discussed over email, the MapTool development has been "full steam ahead" and is making progress on many of these areas.

Truly, I didn't want to hijack your thread. Your posting the reply here seems to imply you don't consider it a hijack and I'm grateful for that. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

==Tomb of the Pharasman Priest==
Cast, ECL1 then 2:
Dirk, smasher of doors
Iiana, turner of undead
Shindoar, spammer of ray of frost
Mora, the explora (for 1/2 the adventure)

The group was comissioned to rid a construction site of the undead spilling forth from a revealed chamber beneath the site. They travelled to the site, meeting a drunkard on the way. Once there, they were filled in about the undead who've slain the dwarven workers. The party headed down the hole to retrieve the corpses and rid the dwarfs of the undead.

The first battle was against a number of dwarf zombies (some of the recently deceased construction workers). I added the same 6hp i did for the players into the zombie's HP, which made these 2hd buggers aweful tough for the party of level 1's. Our priestess kept everybody healthy and the zombies crying with her channel energy, however when i say healthy, i mean she healed for 1 maybe 2 hp each time.

The rest of the dungeon was filled with traps and locked doors, which with their trapsmith dropping out of the game, became problematic. Our fighter resorted into becoming a door-basher in order to bypass the DC25 locks, which resulted in a few interesting trap scenarios. The swinging axe and javelin traps (with a bit of tetanus thrown in for good taste) were easily referenced from the pdf.

Many skeletons and zombies later (with a vasuthant thrown in for good measure), the party uncovered the tomb of a long ago defiled pharasman priest, brought the zombie corpses back to the surface, and collected their rewards. They then headed off east to free some captured bards from an ogre camp.

==Impressions==
The playeres were picking up their changed mechanics quite well. We had numerous CMB checks for the fighter using his new spiked armor as a viscious accessory for spamming overruns. A lot of failed strength checks happened as the fighter had issues with the stone doors. As I implied above, the cleric never got above a 2 on her channel energy damage, but the undead did fail nearly every save for flee. The party got their first level up after the dungeon, and effortlessly leveled up.

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