The goblins are OP? I think we were doing something wrong.


Beginner Box


So, yesterday was the first time we tried Pathfinder. This was not the first RPG we did, we actually started with Call of Cthulhu but everone was really excited to try this game.

We started off with the beginners box while my brother was DM. This was his first time and in the greatest scheme of things he didnt do that bad. He rewrote a large portion of the beginning of the scenario just to give it context and to get rid of the rather corny start. We also played with a lot of classes that were not in the beginners box, being that no one in the group wanted to feel confined to a class and person that had no input on.

He explained we were all mercenaries, who had come to Sandpoint in order to deal with a problem they were having. After a meeting with a extraordinary dumb mayor we went in search of the Sheriff. Through speach we managed to learn that unlike what was originally in the scenario, some people have died so far from very large bite wounds. We wanted to investigate this, so we did.

We ended up grave robbing, and through one of our parties knowlege in nature, my brother had to begrudgingly tell us it was the bite wound of a dragon. This was apparently supposed to be a surprise.

Everything was going fine so far, but it all went down hill when we got to the dungeon.

The first encounter with the goblins was at first tedious and slightly overkill. All of our fighters including a monk, barbarian and a cleric all tried to go in and attack without success. Our wizard then took several hits totaling in seven points of damage, while everyone else was trying to hit and basically swinging at thin air. It took a very long time to kill these goblins but in the end one of our players was very low on health. We decided to sleep, only recovering a small bit of health.

After we went through the room with the golden liquid in the center we came upon a room filled with goblins and a goblin boss. And this was when s*&* hit the fan.

Our rogue tried to sneak around the corner and hit them with a sneak crossbow. He missed. Everyone else made it into the room and a few more characters with ranged attacks went to fire, they all missed. Then the goblins charged.

Again, we were swinging at thin air, hitting nothing. While the goblins came in and started beating on us left in right. And then i, the monk, found myself completely surrounded.
This seemed to all be going bad, but at the same time it was incredibly dull. We rolled for initiative and came up with a long list of who went after who.

My brotehr told me afterwards that he should have probably rolled initiative for all the goblins instead of them individually, but im not sure that would have helped out making every single goblin have to roll to hit. In fact that would have just made all the goblins be able to hit in quick succession.

Meanwhile every single person at the table is bored. Two people across from me are sitting there playing with magnets, my brother told them to stop but they just simply told him no because they were just sitting there with no input until it was their turn.

This was a crapfest and we basically ended the session at this point, broken, bloody, beaten but worst of all bored.

I really need to understand what we did wrong. I cannot believe that this is how the game is played.


1.) How large was the party?

2.) If you've not played Pathfinder before, where did you get the different classes from?

Due to the game's inherent flexibility, it can be a bit of a balancing act to have everyone enjoying themselves, but teamwork is rewarding. As a GM I've found out-of-character but relevant chatting between turns fairly harmless. And if the group has yet to acquire a passion for the game, or attention span, then you'd be missing out on a classic experience by not taking the first sessions of the rpg somewhat... goofily. Seriously, you can't really do it when you're more familiar with the game, but it's golden.


Yucale wrote:

1.) How large was the party?

2.) If you've not played Pathfinder before, where did you get the different classes from?

Due to the game's inherent flexibility, it can be a bit of a balancing act to have everyone enjoying themselves, but teamwork is rewarding. As a GM I've found out-of-character but relevant chatting between turns fairly harmless. And if the group has yet to acquire a passion for the game, or attention span, then you'd be missing out on a classic experience by not taking the first sessions of the rpg somewhat... goofily. Seriously, you can't really do it when you're more familiar with the game, but it's golden.

We had five people. 1 Dwarf Cleric, 1 Half-Orc monk, 1 Human Wizard, 1 Human Barbarian, 1 half elf rogue.

We have never played pathfinder before but because everybody was so excited to play it they all basically went out and bought the core rulebook. We had played Call of Cthulhu before this though.

I understand what your saying. Its just that we have played at least 5 other sessions of COC before so we understood the basics of roleplay. What happened to our group was we basically got stuck in one part of the dungeon fighting goblins and losing... terribly. Not only that though everybody was having to wait so long for their turn. It just became boring so i supsect we were doing something wrong. Should basic characters not be able to hit armor class 16 goblins? Im thinking something could have been wrong with our characters or something was missing.

Also i want to understand how fast does combat rounds usually go, because that was the largest factor that led to slowness of the session.


Goblin rogues are pretty strong if that's what hurt you guys. Their ac is also pretty darn good as well.


Were you rolling over 10 on the dice?
If you couldn't hit AC16 goblins, something sounds off, like not adding stat bonuses to hit. You should be looking at ~+4-6 to hit with your Barbarian, +2-3 with the rogue, +1-2 with the cleric, and 2 +1 attacks with the monk. More optimized characters will likely be higher. Also, the cleric can cast spells like Bless to increase everyone's chances.

AC is more front loaded than bonuses to hit, so at lower levels you tend to have less people getting hit. But damage also tends to be a bigger portion of your HP, so lethality can ballance out. Lower levels tend to rely on dice more.

As far as people being bored when its not your turn, it sounds like you need to speed things up. Knowing your spell lists, rolling multiple dice at the same time, and thinking about what you want to do when it isn't your turn can help. At level 1, no person's turn should take more than 30 seconds or so.


IrishWristwatch wrote:

Should basic characters not be able to hit armor class 16 goblins? Im thinking something could have been wrong with our characters or something was missing.

Also i want to understand how fast does combat rounds usually go, because that was the largest factor that led to slowness of the session.

My first level group has 5 players in it, 4 have never played pathfinder before, 3 of them are 12 and under. Each round of combat can take about 3-5 minutes with rules look ups for spells and special actions.

As far as hitting AC 16, My son plays a half-orc barbarian (20 pt buy) with 18 or 20 strength, and uses an earth breaker which I think is a 2d6 weapon. +4 or + 5 for strength, +1 for weapon focus, and +1 BAB gives him a +6 or +7 so he only needs to roll a 9 or a 10 to hit. When he rages he gets an additional +2 to attack and damage.

My other son plays an elven rogue with 18 or 20 dex, can't remember, but with weapon finesse he gets a +4 or +5 to hit. Add in flanking for an additional +2 which he does a lot, and that helps the barbarian. Or he is using a short bow to great effect.

We have a magus, cleric, and wizard for the other three characters. I don't remember their stats, but the cleric uses summon monster 1 to great effect (goblins hate dogs, so guess what he summons). The wizard is working on being a god-mage, so he doesn't do direct damage spells, instead he uses battlefield control type spells. I think he has had the greatest effect on combat so far.

The magus player is new to role-playing, the cleric player hasn't played D&D since 2e. The wizard player (Magus' father) and I are the only ones with 3e experience (been playing since it came out back in 2000, plus we started back in the early 80's with basic, advanced, and 2e). This has helped and during off turns while I'm helping my sons with rules options or explaining things to them, the cleric's player is looking up spells and getting ready for his turn, the wizard player is helping his son with options and such. So this does speed up play quite a bit.

I haven't had the players run up against goblin rogues yet, that would be killer, especially for first level. But they have battled classed goblins. If this is your first time playing pathfinder, I would have just stuck with the pre-gens until you guys were a bit more familiar with the rules. Monks are tough to get right due to MAD (Multiple Ability Dependency). With 5 new players I would have asked them to play fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard, and then have the 5th player play one of those classes or a barbarian, ranger, or bard. After a few sessions, once people are used to the rules and things go faster, throw away those characters and explore other race/class types.

How many opponents are you facing at one time? I don't think I've thrown more than 8 at the party and the wizard cast obscuring mist blocking off 3 of them, making the combat a lot more manageable. Sorry this post has gotten long, I hope you found some of what I said helpful.


Thank you for the replys guys.

Creeping Death wrote:
IrishWristwatch wrote:

Should basic characters not be able to hit armor class 16 goblins? Im thinking something could have been wrong with our characters or something was missing.

Also i want to understand how fast does combat rounds usually go, because that was the largest factor that led to slowness of the session.

My first level group has 5 players in it, 4 have never played pathfinder before, 3 of them are 12 and under. Each round of combat can take about 3-5 minutes with rules look ups for spells and special actions.

As far as hitting AC 16, My son plays a half-orc barbarian (20 pt buy) with 18 or 20 strength, and uses an earth breaker which I think is a 2d6 weapon. +4 or + 5 for strength, +1 for weapon focus, and +1 BAB gives him a +6 or +7 so he only needs to roll a 9 or a 10 to hit. When he rages he gets an additional +2 to attack and damage.

My other son plays an elven rogue with 18 or 20 dex, can't remember, but with weapon finesse he gets a +4 or +5 to hit. Add in flanking for an additional +2 which he does a lot, and that helps the barbarian. Or he is using a short bow to great effect.

We have a magus, cleric, and wizard for the other three characters. I don't remember their stats, but the cleric uses summon monster 1 to great effect (goblins hate dogs, so guess what he summons). The wizard is working on being a god-mage, so he doesn't do direct damage spells, instead he uses battlefield control type spells. I think he has had the greatest effect on combat so far.

The magus player is new to role-playing, the cleric player hasn't played D&D since 2e. The wizard player (Magus' father) and I are the only ones with 3e experience (been playing since it came out back in 2000, plus we started back in the early 80's with basic, advanced, and 2e). This has helped and during off turns while I'm helping my sons with rules options or explaining things to them, the cleric's player is looking up spells and getting ready for his turn, the wizard player is helping his son

...

It would have been great to do the pregens for our first characters. The problem is that none of the people at our table would have wanted to. They went out and bought all their own core rulebooks for themselves and probably would not have done anything but make their own characters.

There are two people at our table who are not very quick on the draw. As in one of them is still trying to wrap his head around D20 die rules (Even after five times of explaining it to him). They were both given the pregens for their characters and were basically allowed to copy those stats.

Ok, now i understand that our die rolls werent as slow as we thought. But now is the point of how do i make this interesting? Is there any tips on how to make constant dice rolls interesting? So far my brother seemed to not be very expressive with everyones actions.


IrishWristwatch wrote:

It would have been great to do the pregens for our first characters. The problem is that none of the people at our table would have wanted to. They went out and bought all their own core rulebooks for themselves and probably would not have done anything but make their own characters.

There are two people at our table who are not very quick on the draw. As in one of them is still trying to wrap his head around D20 die rules (Even after five times of explaining it to him). They were both given the pregens for their characters and were basically allowed to copy those stats.

Ok, now i understand that our die rolls werent as slow as we thought. But now is the point of how do i make this interesting? Is there any tips on how to make constant dice rolls interesting? So far my brother seemed to not be very expressive with everyones actions.

It will take time for everyone to get settled on the rules after all there are alot of them and some of them can be counterintuitive to say the least.

But one problem I think you may be having is that you sound like you expect your brother to express what you're doing, why not just do that yourself? For example after your 3rd miss in a row you can yell out in character "Errr uhhh ... I meant to do that, die you damn filthy cockroaches!" And say that your character managed to give the floor a real whooping.

To me it sounds like none of you are acting particularly engaged and expect the DM to weave a story while managing combat which is pretty difficult for him.


gnomersy wrote:
IrishWristwatch wrote:

It would have been great to do the pregens for our first characters. The problem is that none of the people at our table would have wanted to. They went out and bought all their own core rulebooks for themselves and probably would not have done anything but make their own characters.

There are two people at our table who are not very quick on the draw. As in one of them is still trying to wrap his head around D20 die rules (Even after five times of explaining it to him). They were both given the pregens for their characters and were basically allowed to copy those stats.

Ok, now i understand that our die rolls werent as slow as we thought. But now is the point of how do i make this interesting? Is there any tips on how to make constant dice rolls interesting? So far my brother seemed to not be very expressive with everyones actions.

It will take time for everyone to get settled on the rules after all there are alot of them and some of them can be counterintuitive to say the least.

But one problem I think you may be having is that you sound like you expect your brother to express what you're doing, why not just do that yourself? For example after your 3rd miss in a row you can yell out in character "Errr uhhh ... I meant to do that, die you damn filthy cockroaches!" And say that your character managed to give the floor a real whooping.

To me it sounds like none of you are acting particularly engaged and expect the DM to weave a story while managing combat which is pretty difficult for him.

Oh i understand how difficult it is, and yeah i am probably being too hard on him.

How could i get the other people in the group to act up and be interested while they are sitting there waiting for their turn.

Grand Lodge

Before you give up on the game, check out this page and contact your closest Venture-Captain. Explain the situation and see if they can get a GM with more experience to run a game for you. I mean no disrespect to your brother, but if this was his first Pathfinder game you may get a better idea of exactly what Pathfinder is all about by playing with a seasoned GM who can answer questions and explain the game. After which you'll be in a better position to decide if you want to continue.


I think another thing is that you didn't actually have to fight the 5 goblins. When I ran this adventure, my group talked to the goblins. Violence doesn't solve everything. LOL


IrishWristwatch wrote:


How could i get the other people in the group to act up and be interested while they are sitting there waiting for their turn.

Suggest everyone gets 30 seconds to state their action. If there is a rules question they have that 30 seconds to read/quote the rule, if they can't, then the DM gets to make something up or cancel their action.

If they want to be into the game (i.e. get a good return on investment for purchasing the books) they will do more than just stand and try to hit the enemy. They will try tactics, such as flanking, overrun, charging, grappling, etc. (Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to feats to do those things, the feats just make them easier or less risky)

with 5 players and the GM running the monsters, each player should have 2 and half minutes to decide their action and have the rules reference ready so that they get to do what they want during their 30 seconds. They can then explain outside of their 30 seconds to other players, what they hope to accomplish and how the other players can help. Such as, I want to flank this guy and backstab him, can you move 2 spaces this way so that on my turn, I can do this... or, I'm going to cast color spray, but I go after you, can you try to push this goblin 1 space back so I can get him as well. (Now they have to look up the rules for pushing an opponent) As they do this more an more, things will move quicker.

Oh, and grapple isn't just wrestling on the ground. A medium size character can attempt to pick that goblin up and chuck him over the ledge. The goblin can in turn attempt a second grapple to not be thrown, basically grabbing onto the monk's arm for dear life.


Creeping Death wrote:
IrishWristwatch wrote:


How could i get the other people in the group to act up and be interested while they are sitting there waiting for their turn.

Suggest everyone gets 30 seconds to state their action. If there is a rules question they have that 30 seconds to read/quote the rule, if they can't, then the DM gets to make something up or cancel their action.

If they want to be into the game (i.e. get a good return on investment for purchasing the books) they will do more than just stand and try to hit the enemy. They will try tactics, such as flanking, overrun, charging, grappling, etc. (Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to feats to do those things, the feats just make them easier or less risky)

with 5 players and the GM running the monsters, each player should have 2 and half minutes to decide their action and have the rules reference ready so that they get to do what they want during their 30 seconds. They can then explain outside of their 30 seconds to other players, what they hope to accomplish and how the other players can help. Such as, I want to flank this guy and backstab him, can you move 2 spaces this way so that on my turn, I can do this... or, I'm going to cast color spray, but I go after you, can you try to push this goblin 1 space back so I can get him as well. (Now they have to look up the rules for pushing an opponent) As they do this more an more, things will move quicker.

Oh, and grapple isn't just wrestling on the ground. A medium size character can attempt to pick that goblin up and chuck him over the ledge. The goblin can in turn attempt a second grapple to not be thrown, basically grabbing onto the monk's arm for dear life.

That is a great idea, thank you.


IrishWristwatch wrote:

Oh i understand how difficult it is, and yeah i am probably being too hard on him.

How could i get the other people in the group to act up and be interested while they are sitting there waiting for their turn.

Interact with the other players for example after he shoots and whiffs your character calls out "Hah (inset character's name here) I'd say you couldn't hit the broadside of a barn except that would be far too much of a compliment I'm sure if you were aiming at the ground you'd manage to miss somehow, but no need to worry once I finish with these roaches I'll take care of those pesky goblins!"


I'd recommend the GM do all the foes on the same initiative number rather than individually. I think it might be more efficient and keep players engaged more if everyone is being threatened at once rather than having folks tune out with intermittent breaks while goblins attack someone else and their character has nothing going on.

That said sometimes the dice are just cold and it can be frustrating and possibly boring if no one is hitting, but coming up with inventive ways for your character to vent their frustration is one way to stay in it.


WE BE GOBLINS YOU BE FOOD!

Funny episode, thanks for the read. I got no input at all, other than singing the goblin songs out loud.


Tyki11 wrote:

WE BE GOBLINS YOU BE FOOD!

Funny episode, thanks for the read. I got no input at all, other than singing the goblin songs out loud.

Put this on repeat


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If I were you and your friends, I'd return to the beginner box and do the adventure as written one more time. One thing to keep in mind is that the adventure is not a traditional adventure, but a rules tutorial. It's not trying to give you a strong motivation of why you are looking for Black Fang, instead it's trying to teach you how to play.

Also, even though I think it's great that you had access to the Core book, not using the beginner box premade characters on this adventure most likely is a bad idea. The Monk for example is a much harder class to play than the Fighter. And I'm not going to say that the premade characters are perfect, but they are solid characters and I love the rules sidebars on the character sheet. Where the rogue character comes with the rules for Flanking for example. If nothing else, have those rules right in front of you. Not only do they speed up play, but they remind you to do other things than just roll dice.

The next part goes into the stats of the premade characters and the goblins. It talks about how the premades should work against the goblins and gives away some DM information about the adventure.

Spoiler:

The fact that you guys had so much trouble hitting sounds like something was off. The first two Goblins you fight at the entrance only have an AC 13. The premade Fighter has a +5 to hit with his longsword (in the character sheet the have a +4, they forgot his Weapon focus feat --a silly mistake on Paizo's part). He should be able to hit these guys with a roll of 8 or higher. Now he's the best combat character, but the Rogue has a +3 to hit and it's highly suggested on his character sheet to flank, giving him sneak attack damage. But it also gives him a +2 to hit. So when flanking, the rogue is as good in combat as the Fighter. And if he's flanking with the Fighter, both characters gain a +2 to hit. So in the first combat the Fighter might be able to hit these goblins with a roll of 6.

Now I will admit that the next goblin fight is harder. Not only are there more to fight, but the AC goes up to 16, the only AC higher in the adventure belongs to the main boss. But the fighter should still be able to hit on a roll of 11, lowered to 9 with Flanking or Charging. And as mentioned above, this fight can be avoided.

Also all these rolls are with normal weapons, the adventure has masterwork and magical weapons that give at least a +1 to hit.

And on the flip side, the goblins (all of them) only have a +2 to hit. The Fighter has an AC 17 (notice he hasn't equipped his shield which would bring his AC up to 19 --another mistake--who worked on this fighter? grrr). That means that every goblin in the adventure will only hit the fighter on rolls of 17 or higher. They of course can also flank and charge. The rogue has AC 16, the cleric an AC 14 (note: I would have given the cleric a shield to improve this, but whatever), and the Wizard an AC 10. So while the goblins could hit the Rogue and Cleric, the Wizard is the only one that should almost always get hit. That should also tell you how close the Wizard should ever get to a creature.

So let's take a closer look at the spellcasters. The wizard has a number of combat abilities, everything from a low level area effect spell (burning hands). This spell needs to be cast early in the fight to avoid hitting other party members, but a d4 to all creatures in a fight can be significant. Many of the low level creatures only have 6 hit points. This is the only spell that the wizard has to be close to cast, with his AC of 10, you'll want to spend most of the game at a distance. And the wizard has a ton of ranged single enemy spells. Magic Missile that can't miss, Hand of the Apprentice that allows him to fight as well as the Rogue from 30' away, and Ray of Frost (which honestly will miss more often than it hits, but it hits on Touch AC, which is almost always lower and he can cast it all day long).

The cleric sucks in combat. With a +1 to hit, expect to miss. However, if you flank with the rogue, you both gain +2 to hit, which helps. And frankly, hitting with your sword isn't you goal. You can cast a group heal 6 times a day, heal the dying 6 times a day, and you have Bless (+1 to all allies) and Protection from Evil (+2 against evil and almost all the creatures in the adventure are evil). And there are at least two moments in the adventure that were designed to be defeated by this character. One involves Undead (group heal is also a group harm to undead) and the other is the large goblin fight. The cleric is the only one with a good Diplomacy skill. With a roll of 10, the character can not only avoid the fight, the party also gets a ton of useful information about the dungeon. Not to mention that the spellcasters have Knowledge skills that can help in various moments of the game.

So take a good look at your characters and see if they have stats better or worse than the premade. If your characters aren't as capable as these, try to figure out why not. What ability scores, equipment, spells, or feats do these characters have that your characters didn't.

Contributor

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Hi.

If you want to learn how to play using the Beginner Box, you should use the Beginner Box. NOT the Core Rulebook.

The Beginner Box was designed from the ground up to teach a new player how to play Pathfinder.

The Core Rulebook is a reference book that isn't designed to teach a new player how to play. In fact, it's not really good at teaching ANYONE how to play. It's not a teaching book, it's a reference book.

Put away your Core Rulebooks and start over with the Beginner Box. It's designed to let you play with it and not need any other game materials for a full 5 levels of play. When you've played a few sessions and have the hang of how things work (which may be after 1 level, or after 5), THEN you can consider looking at the Core Rulebook for what else you can do with the game. This isn't like skipping the tutorial in a video game and going right to the full game--what you're doing is like skipping the tutorial and using a friend's saved game to play from halfway through the full game, where there's already a plot, your character has 20 abilities, and a bag full of items you don't know how to use.

Take it easy. The Beginner Box was written to make it easy for you to get started. I worked my butt off for 5 months to make it like that. Give it a chance. :)


Listen to Sean's advice.

My own three cents:

1) Beginner Box pregenerated characters are meant to be used straight out of the box, no need to know stuff beyond that which is already on your character sheet.

2) Core Rulebook is for people who made more mistakes and know how not to make them again. It was originally addressed to people very well versed in 3.5 version of d20 system.

3) In order to have fun, the GM should (1) know rules well enough to help players, (2) adjust the game to make it easier for beginners and (3) which buttons to push to help everyone have fun.

From your post I would assume that your GM was overwhelmed and tried to do everything by the book. At the same time, some players brought advanced rules to the table adding a little chaos.
The solution here would be to request help from a bit more experienced GM - let him invite your GM for a session or two, or alternatively, visit you and run a game or two for you.

Being a GM is the hardest part - you're not just playing a single character - you have a world, plots, non-player characters and, on the top of this, you need to set the mood, roleplay and teach players. Nobody gets to be perfect at the very first attempt to play, and it's especially true when you try to run the game.

There was a stellar advice up the thread about contacting Venture-Captain (these guys organize Pathfinder Society Organized Play):
http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/about/regionalCoordinators

That might be just the thing you need.

Regards,
Ruemere

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