Do you know old school tricks for new school Pathfinder?


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DrDeth wrote:

...

Harder, yes.... until you got to a certain level. At say level 12 or so you were dripping with magic and special abilities.

Rings of Elemental Command and Staffs of Power were not so rare. Any party (at that high of level) likely had at least one artifact.

No less than two of my PC's were Demi-Gods, another was a Proxy of a deity , at least two others were immortal....

I don't think I ever had more than 1 PC survive to higher than 9th (name) level. I think it was a cleric.

Everyone I knew required you to restart at 1st level when you died.


DrDeth wrote:
Quote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


Alot of us olden timers have the opinion that PF and 3.x are much 'easier' than 1st and 2nd ed DnD. Not saying it is necessarily true, but the opinion is out there.
I started in AD&D 2e, and for sure it was much harder. That does not mean it was better, or more fun, but it was harder, that's sure.

Harder, yes.... until you got to a certain level. At say level 12 or so you were dripping with magic and special abilities.

Rings of Elemental Command and Staffs of Power were not so rare. Any party (at that high of level) likely had at least one artifact.

No less than two of my PC's were Demi-Gods, another was a Proxy of a deity , at least two others were immortal....

That does not mean the game wasn't harder. It means the rewards also were more powerful and probably over the top.

But in 2e, most poisons were lethal. Type E was often Dead or DEad for caster guys (who had d4 hp and pitiful maximun con bonus) Level draining monsters were horrible. At low levels, you were incredibly weak, even more so than in Pathfinder. HP scaled way less, so a lot of damage was more dangerous (falling, for example, follow the same 1d6X10' rule, but now a lot of PC had half the HP they have now because of con Bonus, and hit dice capped at 9 HD) And there were a ton of "save or die" stuff. You couldn't point buy, and the standard method of rolling stats meant you probably had a few low scores (I played a druid with a 5 and two 7m which died shortly after)

Not that I miss it, but it was harder.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:

=/

So if I'm to understand the OP correctly, no one new to Pathfinder in PFS ever had the idea that one could send light ahead of the party by putting a spell on a coin and tossing it into a dark room.

By that logic, no one in PFS has ever done the same thing with a torch...which is what you use when you can't cast light.

I weep for future generations.

Alot of us olden timers have the opinion that PF and 3.x are much 'easier' than 1st and 2nd ed DnD. Not saying it is necessarily true, but the opinion is out there.

I'm aware of the differences. I've played every incarnation of D&D since the blue box. Is it easier? Perhaps. What I'm expressing incredulity towards is the idea that players are that limited in imagination and creativity when it comes to solving problems in the game.


Shadowborn wrote:
What I'm expressing incredulity towards is the idea that players are that limited in imagination and creativity when it comes to solving problems in the game.

What I have witnessed is this limited ability is linked to experiance (not game but real life). My 8 year old went through the adventure in the basic box and did not ask anything about secret doors, traps, etc. I helped him think of those things. In his third game he entered a room, stopped and said "I wonder if there is a trap in that alter". clearly he is learning. :-)

Some of the people I have played paper and pen RPGs with do need some coaching at first. They do get better though. And in a few cases have become better at roleplaying then I ever was.

Sovereign Court

Not just experience. If you have a separate skill for everything, no player will bother coming up with something smart, if he can just roll a disable device check and disarm the trap.

I have a problem with an old-school player though. He keeps doing that stuff even though we all explained that it doesn't do anything anymore.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I started in AD&D 2e, and for sure it was much harder. That does not mean it was better, or more fun, but it was harder, that's sure.

It was certainly harder for a DM. When I look at a module (or AP) today, and compare it to even the richest environment from the 2e days, I don't feel a longing to return to the simpler time.

Sovereign Court

2nd ed Zaratan bomb:
- Fly over enemy
- Pull out a bag of mosquitoes
- Cast Polymorph Other on a mosquito, turning it into a zaratan.
- Fly away with a job well done.


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Hey guys, why does this scroll read "Hastur Hastur Hastur"?

..sadly that doesn't work anymore.

Silver Crusade

Do you remember the story about a party that fought over who should get the artifact 'Hand of Vecna'?

The 'winner' of this 'debate', after stepping over the bodies of his murdered teammates, confidently told the DM that he has chopped off his hand and is now pressing the Hand of Vecna to the bloody stump, ready for it to magically graft itself to him and make him, to all intents and purposes, rule!

DM asks, 'Which hand?'

Player: 'What?'

DM: 'Which hand did you chop off?'

Player: '...er...my le..NO..my ri..NO..my left hand...er...yeah...my left...'

DM: 'The Hand is a right hand!'

Player: 'Aarrgh! Okay, I now cut off my right hand!'

DM: '...How??'


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Player: 'Aarrgh! Okay, I now cut off my right hand!'

DM: '...How??'

You stab your sword into something sturdy. Then slam your wrist into the blade. Seems easy enough.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Do you remember the story about a party that fought over who should get the artifact 'Hand of Vecna'?

That's nothing compared to the Head of Vecna anecdote. :)

As for the description versus rolling for thigns like trapfinding, as a GM I'd generally ask players to explain what they're trying to do, and possibly give a circumstance bonus if they were particularly inspired.

But there is a set of players who don't want to (or can't) be as creative as that, and you have to cater to that when you GM for them.

As for the flat "you can't do that because the rules don't say you can", I've left games because of GMs with that attitude, and I would again. Improvisation is the primary requisite of being a GM. If you can't do that at all, don't GM.


Sir Ophiuchus wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Do you remember the story about a party that fought over who should get the artifact 'Hand of Vecna'?

That's nothing compared to the Head of Vecna anecdote. :)

We pulled that off with the Heart of Vecna :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Hama wrote:

Not just experience. If you have a separate skill for everything, no player will bother coming up with something smart, if he can just roll a disable device check and disarm the trap.

I have a problem with an old-school player though. He keeps doing that stuff even though we all explained that it doesn't do anything anymore.

Technically, describing what he's doing could/should net him a +2 bonus from the DM for playing his character.

Just so's ya know.

And also, it's perfectly possible for someone who fails his Search check to describe what he's doing and still find something he missed by activating it. If he describes turning the torch after blowing his Search check, and turning it opens the secret door, what are you going to do, tell him he failed?

==Aelryinth

Sovereign Court

Aelryinth wrote:
Hama wrote:

Not just experience. If you have a separate skill for everything, no player will bother coming up with something smart, if he can just roll a disable device check and disarm the trap.

I have a problem with an old-school player though. He keeps doing that stuff even though we all explained that it doesn't do anything anymore.

Technically, describing what he's doing could/should net him a +2 bonus from the DM for playing his character.

Just so's ya know.

And also, it's perfectly possible for someone who fails his Search check to describe what he's doing and still find something he missed by activating it. If he describes turning the torch after blowing his Search check, and turning it opens the secret door, what are you going to do, tell him he failed?

==Aelryinth

Not really. He's expected to play his character. Now a particularly detailed description or something i haven't thought off? Sure. But that's a +2 bonus not a success.

No, if he says that he turned the specific torch which opens the door, the door will open. That is why there is more then one torch in a chamber.

Haven't had that happen before. Players trust their checks too much, and if they don't find anything, they don't keep looking or poking.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

One word. Illusion, illusion, illusion... from the old days to now, illusions force the DM to react to unexpected events,and "force" the players to pay attention to the DM (story, stragic info, tactical info, background and cultural bias, etc). Mosts DMs worth their salt encourage that level of gameplay because it tells her/him that the players are fully engaged in his/her game.

Running away from a group of baddies, find an intersection and cast ghost sound down the other hallways.

Throw a few 10 foot "pits" on the floor behind you.

turn a corner and cast ghost sound to make the sounds of a noisy ambush awaiting the creatures.

make a bag of food appear.

make a bag of coins appear.

Make a "celestial hound" guard the hallway...

then cast summon monster to create a real celestial hound (surprise!).


following ottovar's illusion tricks:

hiding in rooms with silent image to look like a door--they check it and stumble through, you gank them.toss a pebble of silence near the door to stop anyone from hearing the whole kerfuffle.

illusions of walls still can't be seen through in most cases, which can foil archers and chargers (since they no longer have LoS on you). you can put up real walls (force wall, wall of stone, etc.) mixed in as well to mess with battlefields even more.

combining the pit spells and illusions makes for lots of fun, as is making a wall look like its COVERED in explosive runes (with a few real ones thrown in for a surprise), "extending" a hallway is great for chases (make the corner you just rounded look like a wall, with the far wall looking a good ten feet back, with the "corner" set into it), making an illusionary pillar/pile of rubble/etc. and hiding yourself (or summoned beasties) inside for ambushes.

you can emulate invisibility if for some reason you lack that spell by looking like the wall behind/under you (useful for tripwires).

basically you can troll people incredibly well with proper usage of low level spells.

one of the most hilarious i've seen so far combined a 10x10x10 pit, an illusion overtop of it to look like the floor, and filled it with an appropriately-sized gelatinous cube (cant remember if someone else had encountered this earlier in the thread as well).

not sure if the "oozes can take on potion effects" thing still applies, but if it does you can toss in a potion of whatever you want (invisibility and spider climb are great candidates) to make it trickier.


I also like illusions. But only IF...

IF, IF, IF, ...

You have a GM that you know well and can consistently predict how he will adjucate illusions.

Most of the GM's I have met in recent years are very inconsistent in what they will allow illusions to accomplish. Or they will almost always say your illusion isn't perfect so eveyone gets a saving throw, some one saves, tells everyone else it's an illusion, gains you almost nothing.

I almost never use illusions anymore except for the 'standard effect' ones like vanish, mirror image, and color spray.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

I also like illusions. But only IF...

IF, IF, IF, ...

You have a GM that you know well and can consistently predict how he will adjucate illusions.

Most of the GM's I have met in recent years are very inconsistent in what they will allow illusions to accomplish. Or they will almost always say your illusion isn't perfect so eveyone gets a saving throw, some one saves, tells everyone else it's an illusion, gains you almost nothing.

I almost never use illusions anymore except for the 'standard effect' ones like vanish, mirror image, and color spray.

thats great and all, but even if one knows its an illusion, they dont know what's behind it, or if there are other different illusions nearby. and a lot of the uses posted for illusions seem to be for chases or scenarios where people wont have time to do an in-depth search-- even if everyone gets a save for the imperfect illusion they still have to slow down and be careful of it or willingly walk (or run!) into an ambush/trap.

Quote:

Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief)

Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.

A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline.

A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. a character faced with proof that an illusion isn't real needs no saving throw. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.

emphasis mine. if they have to stop and investigate then you're very likely going to escape with that time, and if they directly interact with it they're only doing what you want--stumbling directly into the nasty surprises you left behind.

that "usually" does allow a DM to pull the "its imperfect so they get a save" card, but that's not a feasible card to pull during high-tension moments (like a chase), since they're concentrating on not letting you escape, not "oh hey does this pillar look funny to you?"


I agree, that's the way it should be, but ...

Most of the GM's I've seen recently say that:

1) It is too extensive or complex for a second level spell. So it just fails with no effect.

2) The monsters know the area, party has casters, illusion isn't perfect, etc... That counts as interacting with it. They all get a save.

3) One makes the save and shouts out to the others. They get a new save at +4 or better. So most of them will make it. Everytime some that made the save runs through the rest will get another save.

{Here's a biggie.}
4) Any that made their save can see through the illusion. It does not cover or conceal anything anymore.

So at best, you might get a 1 round delay during a chase while they are telling each other. Since it took you most of a round to cast the spell, it just hasn't seemed worth it.

If you read these boards much, that does not seem to be how it should be ruled. But that is how I usually see it actually happening. { shrug }

I think they just do not like low level spells ruining their carefully crafted scenes.

Silver Crusade

If you make your save you can see through the illusion and still see the outline if the illusion.

CRB wrote:-

'A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline.'

Automatically assuming the illusion is imperfect is bogus. If hove never seen a dragon your illusion of one may be imperfect, but only those who've seen a dragon should be allowed a save for interacting in this case.

I'm confident everyone has seen a corridor. Saying an illusion must be imperfect is lazy DMing and nerfs a good spell for no other reason.


To be fair 2 of those 3 guys did not automatically assume it was imperfect. They would have you make a knowledge check to see if you knoew the creature or thing well enough then a spell craft check to see if your illusion was good enough.

They would just set those DC's high enough that you would usually fail at least one of them.

And as far as I could tell, the bad guys never had to make a knowledge roll to see if they knew the thing well enough to recognize the mistakes.


I completely see what you mean, and agree with you. what bothers me is:

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
1) It is too extensive or complex for a second level spell. So it just fails with no effect.

"it looks like a wall", "it looks like the floor", "it looks like a pile of rubble/pillar/other stationary object" are too complex? now, the 'hallway extension' idea I posted I could see requiring a bigger illusion spell, but the others are fairly simple things--just applied creatively.


Like I said, I think they just don't want illusions to ruin their plans. So they find some 'reason' it won't work.

It's too complex, they know where the wall is, too much area, you don't know how to do the shading right, you can't make it convincing because you aren't looking at the same side they are, they can feel the air blowing in from the hallway, flying creatures can tell from the airflow that the ceiling is farther than that, or even just illusions don't work like that.

It seems to be a trend in almost all the GM's I've met in recent years. Illusions were too powerful before so now they don't work at all.

BUT, I don't want to derail this thread any farther. If you have a GM that will work with you, illusions can be an effective dirty trick when used creatively.


I gotcha, 'was just voicing my thoughts on that one.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Let's see...

muddy field
transform mud to stone for hard surface to retreat over.
transform stone to mud to mire pursuing army
transform mud to stone to trap pursuing army

cursed items where very common
most players eventually had a home or stronghold
so we tended to fill out homes with cursed items incase someone broke in to rob us (also common while out adventuring)

i don't remember the details, but there was a plan with exploding bags of holding full of acid and/or alch fire and throwing those close to the etherial plane (but i don't think the bags do that anymore)

We used to do alot with shrink item until the GM blew a gasket and eliminated the spell

shrink a bunch of boulders
put in small locked box
pay merchant to take on his ship to whereverstan
follow ship
boulders regain size crunch through hull
ship sinks
loot wreck with skeletons

shrink item on the pins holding a bridge together

shrink item on large stone pillars
then bury them upright under the castle walls

shrink item on a 35 foot long ballista bolt
cast unerring strike (or something like that)
fire at dragon

pay patient elves to grom giant sugar crystals
cast shrink item on crystal
give to fat baron as candy
watch his head explode when he bites down

We had one wizard with a "shrink and turn to crystal" spell, like creating a figurine of wondrous power. Our fighter managed to keep an enraged grizzly bear at bay long enough for the wizard to cast the spell.

Later, when we spotted the small army of Big Bads over the next hill, the fighter tied the Crystal Bear to an arrow and fired into the group. The grizzly bear reappears, still enraged, and kept the Big Bads entertained while we made it over the hill.

Ah, good times!


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
... By 2nd Ed, the Thief has % skill rolls for those things, and most folks just rolled...

Every DM I had back then wouldn't give your roll a chance to succeed until after you had described a method that seemed like it had a chance to work.

But I can see that not all of them would have been like that.

I actually had the opposite experience: we'd come up with a brilliant way to check for or beat a trap, and the GM would just say "whatever--you didn't roll high enough."


large post, i didnt read all of it but thought i might add 2 suggestions if they havent already been said

1) give a rock to your unseen servant, cast silence on the rock and order it to follow enemy spellcasters around

2) have a fire elemental familiar, or any loyal follower immune to fire. give them an adamantine sheet of metal inscribed with the 'HI! YOU GO BOOM!' on it. cast explosive runes on the metal sheet and have him hold it up in front of enemies, who will instinctively read it and set it off.

alternatively you could just use cheap metal sheets, and in your off time makes tons of them since they are permanent until discharged. just have your elemental carry around stacks of sheets that say funny explosive things :)


asthyril wrote:

large post, i didnt read all of it but thought i might add 2 suggestions if they havent already been said

1) give a rock to your unseen servant, cast silence on the rock and order it to follow enemy spellcasters around

2) have a fire elemental familiar, or any loyal follower immune to fire. give them an adamantine sheet of metal inscribed with the 'HI! YOU GO BOOM!' on it. cast explosive runes on the metal sheet and have him hold it up in front of enemies, who will instinctively read it and set it off.

alternatively you could just use cheap metal sheets, and in your off time makes tons of them since they are permanent until discharged. just have your elemental carry around stacks of sheets that say funny explosive things :)

Explosive Runes deals Force Damage, not fire damage. Being immune to fire does nothing for you.

On the illusions: I have to agree, but not with recent GMs. The older GMs who played 1E and 2E nerf illusions like crazy. Every time we complain that just glancing at it shouldn't automatically give a save, they bring up stories of Illusionists that would cast Lightning Bolt, then cast an illusion of Lightning Bolt. Since you have no reason to disbelieve, you believe the damage is real.

I'm a 'new gamer' in that I start playing 10 years ago, but for the first 8 years, I only played 1 character. Since playing Pathfinder, I've been able to play a lot more characters, and GM'd a couple games.

One of my favorite current tricks is carrying around sticky-notes of Explosive Runes. When I turn Invisible, I'll use Mage Hand to dangle the notes in front of people until they read it.

My GM ruled that attempting to cut the note in half was a Disable Device check and since the one cutting wasn't a Rogue, he failed and blew it up anyway. After only 2 explosions, I managed to get a party of ogres to flee from a 2 inch by 2 inch piece of parchment with some squiggles on it!


Tels wrote:
asthyril wrote:

large post, i didnt read all of it but thought i might add 2 suggestions if they havent already been said

1) give a rock to your unseen servant, cast silence on the rock and order it to follow enemy spellcasters around

2) have a fire elemental familiar, or any loyal follower immune to fire. give them an adamantine sheet of metal inscribed with the 'HI! YOU GO BOOM!' on it. cast explosive runes on the metal sheet and have him hold it up in front of enemies, who will instinctively read it and set it off.

alternatively you could just use cheap metal sheets, and in your off time makes tons of them since they are permanent until discharged. just have your elemental carry around stacks of sheets that say funny explosive things :)

Explosive Runes deals Force Damage, not fire damage. Being immune to fire does nothing for you.

ah yea my bad, i was probably mixing it up with fire trap. i think the 1st edition version didnt harm the object, i was trying to quickly make a pathfinder version of it, since now it does damage what its on. used to be you could cast explosive runes on the fighter's shield, have it covered up with a tarp and remove the tarp when he got into melee.

i have a pretty good link about illusions being specifically explained in 3.5, and i think it works very well for pathfinder. i will try to find my post and link it here.

EDIT:my post that links to the 4 articles explaining how illusions worked in 3.5 listed at the bottom

Scarab Sages

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stringburka wrote:
Poke *everything* with a 10 ft spear. If it moves, poke harder.

Of course, old-school GMs just started setting the trap effects 10' from the thing you were likely to poke.

The Exchange

Trick: cast invis on a door to see in....


I used to love using shrink item to take things apart.

"How many hinges attach the door to the castle?
What? Uhmm... Two I guess. Why?
I cast shrink item on both hinge pins."

"The lock is magically reinforced. You can not pick it with normal nonmagical tools.
I cast shrink on the rivets attaching the lock to the door."

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