GM advice needed: Am I too soft?


Advice

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Leaving out most of the specifics, there was a trap followed by a long fall, and a long fall would have killed the PC in question.

I allowed another character to make two saves in a row in order to pop off a levitation spell before the first one hit the ground, as an immediate action.

This is the PC's second character this campaign, the first died crawling through a fire in order to take an AoO so he could then attack someone the following round.

The players second character has been much more cautious.

I've killed one other PC as well. But it's also not the first time I've fudged the rules in the PC's favor to save them from being killed, and combined with this chapter of the AP generally being easier than the first chapter, I'm worried that the PC's will grow complacent.

Or worse; bored.

Part of the reason I allowed the save was because the dice HATED the PC all night.

Thoughts?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You live by the die or your die by the die.

(You big softy.)


Sounds to me like you might have been too soft, but I haven't had a character die in a campaign for years, so I'm one to talk.

In our current campaign, I did swap an enemy for a weaker version of the same enemy in the first round of combat in their first or second encounter at level 1 when I realized at the first swing that it was too strong--CR 2 vampire-festrog (festrog with advanced simple template and fast healing 2 and turn resistance +2) replaced by a CR 1 festrog. I did let the party know I did it later, after they'd actually fought a few of the CR 2 critters. My party drops to bleeding all the time because I do take deadly risks with their HP, but so far no casualties.

I wouldn't have let them take all those extra out-of-order actions though. If you're worried about unlucky rolls killing them, you might consider using Hero Points or Plot Twist Cards or something that will give the players an edge that's still marginally quantifiable. (I tried to use Plot Twist cards in my game, but how I wanted them to use them was apparently too abstract for them to wrap their heads around, so I dropped the Plot Twist Cards after level 1. They kept looking at them as a strictly mechanical thing.)

Liberty's Edge

RedEric wrote:

Leaving out most of the specifics, there was a trap followed by a long fall, and a long fall would have killed the PC in question.

I allowed another character to make two saves in a row in order to pop off a levitation spell before the first one hit the ground, as an immediate action.

This is the PC's second character this campaign, the first died crawling through a fire in order to take an AoO so he could then attack someone the following round.

The players second character has been much more cautious.

I've killed one other PC as well. But it's also not the first time I've fudged the rules in the PC's favor to save them from being killed, and combined with this chapter of the AP generally being easier than the first chapter, I'm worried that the PC's will grow complacent.

Or worse; bored.

Part of the reason I allowed the save was because the dice HATED the PC all night.

Thoughts?

Check with your players how they feel about it and adapt your playstyle to one you can all enjoy.

I would not say that a GM who already killed 2 PCs in an AP is too soft.

However, if you need to soften the game on the PCs, use your awesome GM's powers. You decide how long the fall is, or if there are debris on the way down that will cushion it and make it non-lethal, or jutting rocks that the falling character can catch, and so on.

For my part, both as a player and as a GM, I hate random deaths for PCs.

Liberty's Edge

It sounds like the PC's first death was due to some bad judgement on his part. That will get you killed.

Were you a softy on the second character? Indeed, you were sir. To an experienced player, you were blatantly so since performing a standard action spell as an immediate action is very much outside the rules.

You need to ask yourself, what are you going to do the next time that player is in over his head? Will you save him again?

A few years ago, I was in a group that very nice guy as a GM. He was intelligent, creative, and enjoyed running the game. Unfortunately, he tended to make encounters too difficult. That, and the parties propensity to not work as a team, usually lead to very dangerous situations for the PCs. Too many times, the GM took it upon himself to save the party by doing some GM fiat. When it became obvious that he was struggling with PC deaths, the game became a real disappointment to me.

It really depends on your players. Some like to be told a story. Some like to be the story. Some want to know that they stood up to the challenge and won.

I have two suggestions for you. One, if you want to play on the softer side, choose situations where the players cannot find out; and two, pinpoint the dangerous/insta-death situations in your session and decide how they will play out ahead of time.


If you want to pull no punches while still preventing killing too many of your players, you could consider playing with the hero points system. Basically, your PCs get a couple of hero points, which they can spend to pull of amazing feats of heroic luck when they're in trouble. The kind of thing you allowed (casting an extra spell as an immediate action) is one of the things specifically mentioned as an example. That way they can still survive, but they use up their own resource doing so instead of seeing you be soft on them.


I have no qualms about pc's dying IF it is a key moment in the adventure e.g. BBG fight. I do if it is a minor encounter and the pc was incredibly unlucky. This is why I don't use randomised encounters unless the party rest in a dangerous place.

PC deaths serve the narrative ultimately. Players remember a good death and if there were none then the game would lack the sense of achievement.

My suggestion would be look at character death in the context of the story, then judge if the challenge that led to the death was merited as a device.

That said, I find the casualties are disproportionately taken by front liners, to complain about something logical and obvious I know sounds oxymoronic but it makes it harder to encourage players to play fighters, etc. and reinforces this desire to play wizards and the such who have 'get out of jail free' cards like Teleport.

As a player I am an advocate of prioritising the front liners when it comes to distributing magic items (even if an arcane spell user). Again, encourage your players to talk about how they can minimise casualties. It might be they start to pick different spells, fight more defensively (we've all the seen the fighter that charges straight into the middle of the enemy and drags the rest of the pcs with them) or as I've said, distribute treasure more effectively.

Good luck, the fact that you are asking the question shows that you are trying to find the right balance

G


Ravingdork wrote:
You live by the die or you die by the die.

+1

but really I would look at the player do they love that PC have they been role playing and adding to the game? if not you die a NPCs death. just how I deal with death players who make the game for fun die less often just how I feel.


RedEric wrote:
Am I too soft?

*knibbles on RedEric*

No, is just right.

----------------------

Seriously though, if the PC just hit an unlucky streak, it's completely alright to cut him some slack.


"Soft" varies group by group. You need to find a groove that works for you and the rest of the people you play with. Some people are of the mindset that you leave the dice where they lie, for good or for ill. If that means a peasant just punched out a dragon, so be it. Similarly, if your epic rogue just tripped down the stairs and broke his neck, too bad how sad. Others prefer to fudge a bit both for the sake of an epic story and to avoid the 'downtime' of how to introduce new chars etc etc

I think I've put this somewhere else, but when I GM, I don't kill characters. Players kill characters. That's my rule when I sit down and GM. I will forgive poor dice rolls. I will give leniency with playing in character (to a point). I will not forgive people just not thinking about what they are doing, or deciding on a foolish plan. I think it keeps it a nice blend of avoiding meaningless deaths and re-enforces 'Actions have consequences'.

If you act intelligently, and consider what your doing, I will instead (most likely) drop you to -8 and bleeding, and it'll be up to the rest of the party to patch you up. If they choose not to, then that's up to them, but you had a chance both to stabilise yourself mundanely, and for the party to save you.

OTOH, if you decide to crawl through a fire and eat an AAO on the way... that was an action your char did, without a plan to survive beyond 'take a fist full of dice damage and hope for the best' you best be good at hoping, because I'll have little sympathy. Similarly, if you ran up to an Elven archmage and pee'd on his robe... you might not end up dead, but the char certainly wouldn't be playable by the end of it. Poorly thought out plans and ideas I... I won't say I punish them, but I will say I do not forgive them.


I agree with Ecaterina. It depends on the group what they consider soft and what sort of game they want. This also means it depends on that situation. I personally agree with Bitey Tinygob as well -- cutting someone some slack if they are having bad luck is ok (if it is ok with the group). The game can be dang swingy.

For instance, if this was a pit trap just designed to have a long fall and did too much damage for the level, then I'd probably get a bit upset as a player. I do not like "you made a bad spot/save/whatever roll and now you are dead!" games. On the other hand, raising is easier than ever, so death is more meaningless. On the gripping hand, a poorly timed death can derail a session since you don't want to leave a player doing nothing for multiple hours.

Some groups like random and ridiculously lethal stuff popping up though. They'd probably be fine with it. I don't think most groups are like this, but I don't really know.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

To me "am I too soft" is the wrong question...i'm broadly in agreement with ecaterina and Drachasor here. Each group is different.

The questions I think you should be asking are

are all the players all having fun in the game?
Are you having fun running the game ?
Do the players trust your judgement as GM ?
Does everyone look forward to playing the game every week?

If the answer is "yes" then youre doing it right.
If the answer is yes, what the rules say or anyone else outside the game thinks is pretty much irrelevant, imo.

The Psychology of a group is definitely a big factor.

If you're worried about complacency then dont forget one of your greatest tools is *description. *

for example, Bugbears arent really all that scary statistically speaking for medium level characters, but if you describe their blows as hurling people around the room (etc) then trust me, complacency goes out the window.
I have a nineth level party that still are very wary of facing even a single bugbear, despite slaying quite a few giants and ogres in a certain AP.

Basically, if you make it sound dangerous and exciting then the players wont notice the fudging quite so much. Much like many action movies, if action sequences are fast, dramatic and exciting, the audience might not notice (or care) that the characters failed to reload...

Plus, most gamers are used to end of adventure bosses...so if you play up to this trope, that'll also help. You can take the gloves off and if you get party deaths during that scene, this will tend to be seen as expected ....just remember to try to avoid a TPK.

Shadow Lodge

Tigger_mk4 and others have basically nailed it: ask your group.

Put it this way, you can find both answers on a message board like this. Yes you were too soft, and no you weren't. But neither of those matter much if you have an (unknown) unhappy player at your table.

In my opinion, so long as you are consistent, be confident that you're using your judgement for the benefit of your friends.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Agree with what people are saying. If you and your group are having fun you arent too soft. Some groups dont like characters to die often, some think if someone isnt dieing or nearly dieing every session the game is too easy.

For me its perfectly ok to cut the pc some slack in a run of bad luck, particularly if that player has already lost a character this campaign. And its not like you handwaived it, you allowed another character to intervene, thats a dramatic story moment if I've ever heard one.

Personally like others have said, I like hero points or something similar, to allow the difficulty to be high, but lethality low. In that situation I would have had the other character spend a hero point to get off the levitation spell (or some similar form of rescue). Or for the victim of the trap to use hero points to prevent death at the bottom of the trap.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I always find it hard to strike a balance. My players even taunt me sometimes, 'pussy GM, give us a challenge!'

But those same players go quiet and sulky whenever things start looking even remotely bad for them.

What do you cretins want from me!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Of course you're too soft- all GMs are these days. Back in the day, players were ecstatic if they got past the first room of a dungeon without any deaths, and it was expected that there would be at least a 500% overturn in PCs through a dungeon. It's this lax attitude on the part of GMs N nowadays that leads to player entitlement like expecting to survive to level 2.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You can expect a slew of obligatory "if you are having fun, you're doing it right" platitudes.

Ignore them.

You are allowing the rules to be ignored in order to protect characters from their own decisions.

Sure, you can all have fun that way. But I suggest from my own experience that it is MORE fun when actions have consequences.


RedEric wrote:

Leaving out most of the specifics, there was a trap followed by a long fall, and a long fall would have killed the PC in question.

I allowed another character to make two saves in a row in order to pop off a levitation spell before the first one hit the ground, as an immediate action.

This is the PC's second character this campaign, the first died crawling through a fire in order to take an AoO so he could then attack someone the following round.

For this specific situation, sounds like the trap was overpowered. D&D has historically been bad at using traps, either having them being there just to sap hit points or other resources, or having them be entire encounters.

Quote:

I've killed one other PC as well. But it's also not the first time I've fudged the rules in the PC's favor to save them from being killed, and combined with this chapter of the AP generally being easier than the first chapter, I'm worried that the PC's will grow complacent.

Or worse; bored.

Part of the reason I allowed the save was because the dice HATED the PC all night.

Thoughts?

You should only save a PC if you think the situation isn't fair. It sounds like this situation wasn't fair.

Liberty's Edge

Macona wrote:

I always find it hard to strike a balance. My players even taunt me sometimes, 'pussy GM, give us a challenge!'

But those same players go quiet and sulky whenever things start looking even remotely bad for them.

What do you cretins want from me!

EVERYTHING of course. It is part and parcel of God's job after all ;-)

What do you mean you never saw the fine prints in the job description ? :-))

Liberty's Edge

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

You can expect a slew of obligatory "if you are having fun, you're doing it right" platitudes.

Ignore them.

You are allowing the rules to be ignored in order to protect characters from their own decisions.

Sure, you can all have fun that way. But I suggest from my own experience that it is MORE fun when actions have consequences.

Very much this.

It is kind of like when you rode a bike and then took off the training wheels. Sure, it was fun with the training wheels. But the risk of falling is part of the fun.


RedEric wrote:

Leaving out most of the specifics, there was a trap followed by a long fall, and a long fall would have killed the PC in question. [...]

Thoughts?

I'm not a fan of death traps like this. While certainly a bad guy would want traps like this they suck for players, two bad rolls (fail preception, fail reflex save) and you're walking along, you fall into a pit, you die. Feels like a meaningless death and certainly not 'heroic'.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

It sounds okay to me, but then I know I AM a big softy as a GM, so, take that with the appropriately sized salt crystal.

But in particular, the reason I think this is okay:

You DIDN'T fudge the dice. Other PC said, "is there any way I can cast a spell to save him?"

You judged that if he makes a Reflex save--makes a reaction quickly enough--he can cast. He made the save. I am assuming the drop was long enough he probably did have time to get off a standard action to cast (I realize you allowed it as an immediate action) that he could do this.

So it wasn't just you deciding to take it easy on the guy. PCs proposed a reasonable solution which only had a chance of success; they took the chance, they succeeded. They in fact saved him, not you, save for your allowing them to make the roll.

To me, being a softy would be doing something like halving the falling damage or not letting the trap go off after all.

Liberty's Edge

In a Word, YES. The threat of death is 1 of the most important factors that adds excitement(at least for me)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Thanks for all the constructive responses guys =)

The input is much appreciated.

I'll discuss this with my group before making any decisions, but my thought in general is that I am too soft and need to give them less fudging.
If they also think I'm too soft, I'll do my best not to fudge anymore.

If not, I think I'll switch from open fudging like that to hero points. That way they can still have a measure of safety, but instead of it being me making an exception to save them, they are doing it on their own.

This trap did seem a bit overpowered. It was a huge object dropped onto the PC's who were on a small platform. +15 to attack, for 6d6 damage, followed by a dc 15 reflex to avoid being knocked off, for a 60-80 foot drop. With the fall included, It did enough damage to kill the PC in question twice over; the PC had a very low CON score.


RedEric wrote:

Thanks for all the constructive responses guys =)

The input is much appreciated.

I'll discuss this with my group before making any decisions, but my thought in general is that I am too soft and need to give them less fudging.
If they also think I'm too soft, I'll do my best not to fudge anymore.

If not, I think I'll switch from open fudging like that to hero points. That way they can still have a measure of safety, but instead of it being me making an exception to save them, they are doing it on their own.

I switched to hero points quite a while ago, and I have to say that I like them. You almost never have to fudge things since a single hero point a level makes a surprisingly big difference.


Matrix Dragon wrote:


I switched to hero points quite a while ago, and I have to say that I like them. You almost never have to fudge things since a single hero point a level makes a surprisingly big difference.

If hero points allow you to do the same thing as fudging rolls without fudging rolls, then they are essentially codifying GM die fudging into the rules. Which explains why I've avoided using them.

I'm all for the team being able to overcome obstacles. But pulling out a "hero point" to Harry Potter the problem into insignificance is not really my idea of "solving" a problem.

Liberty's Edge

RedEric wrote:
With the fall included, It did enough damage to kill the PC in question twice over; the PC had a very low CON score.

You had a Darwin then.

Both deaths are fully OK in my book. First one is choosing a dangerous action and suffering the consequences. Second one is choosing a fragile build and suffering the consequences. Both are teaching tools for the players so that they can enjoy their next character even more.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:


I switched to hero points quite a while ago, and I have to say that I like them. You almost never have to fudge things since a single hero point a level makes a surprisingly big difference.

If hero points allow you to do the same thing as fudging rolls without fudging rolls, then they are essentially codifying GM die fudging into the rules. Which explains why I've avoided using them.

I'm all for the team being able to overcome obstacles. But pulling out a "hero point" to Harry Potter the problem into insignificance is not really my idea of "solving" a problem.

It depends on the group. The group I'm using hero points for is very attached to their characters. A permanent character death that happens in an unsatisfying manner could make people lose interest in the campaign. So, I instead let them use hero points to avoid death.

In my opinion it is far more preferable to fudging the dice or letting the game end prematurely. Also, it also gives the sense that the GM will NOT fudge the dice to save anyone. The players have a number of 'get out of jail free' cards, and that if they run out they have to be extra careful. When a player runs out of hero points, he knows that he is vulnerable and if he isn't careful he may lose his character.


~Didn't read the post at all... Not one word. Just title thread~

Yes.


My Matrix Dragon brother...

Character death should not mean premature game end. It certainly doesn't have to. I've had lots of characters die. You pull out your backup character and on you go...

Action points were part of 4e and are very similar to hero points. My experience with action points is that they allowed such impossible events to occur that I had to sort of turn my head and squint to maintain any semblance whatsoever of verisimilitude. Especially when whatever my character did with an action point was somehow impossible to do without one, even if it involved no limited use actions.

Anyway, I think this is partially game style preference. In my mind "heroic" game play means overcoming incredible odds through sheer perseverance and skill. In other people's minds "heroic" means pulling some miracle out of your.... er... hat.

Liberty's Edge

One thing "heroic" does not mean to me is going through heaps after heaps of character sheets as the campaign unfolds. You know it is getting bad enough when you stop trying to find a name for your PCs because they are likely to die this session or the next anyway.

Shadow Lodge

Are you sure the fall was going to kill him?

I had a similar case last night when the 3rd level fighter walked into a pit trap. I was worried the 60ft drop might kill him but rolled honestly. The character ended up alive but very upset.


The black raven wrote:
One thing "heroic" does not mean to me is going through heaps after heaps of character sheets as the campaign unfolds. You know it is getting bad enough when you stop trying to find a name for your PCs because they are likely to die this session or the next anyway.

Indeed, dying all the time is just as bad a never dying. Couldn't agree more.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If hero points allow you to do the same thing as fudging rolls without fudging rolls, then they are essentially codifying GM die fudging into the rules. Which explains why I've avoided using them.

I'm all for the team being able to overcome obstacles. But pulling out a "hero point" to Harry Potter the problem into insignificance is not really my idea of "solving" a problem.

I think the advantage is Hero points have more strictly codified rules than GM fudging. Whenever I fudged things myself, I wasn't sure just how far to go to help out or not. Having the options listed for hero points should help. It also lets me set hard limits on how many they get.

I'm planning on giving them only one point for each volume of the AP, instead of 1 per level. I might replace a point once a volume, but only if they've already used theirs, so no one can have two at once.

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Also, it also gives the sense that the GM will NOT fudge the dice to save anyone. The players have a number of 'get out of jail free' cards, and that if they run out they have to be extra careful.

This is more the feel I'm going to be shooting for with the hero points. Like kicking the game up to hard mode, or a 'Sh*t just got real' moment.

Only, instead of 'a number' of them, it's just one.

Previously, I've been against having hero points in general. We had a shadowrun game where the GM gave us a pool of 1 to 3 extra dice we could use at almost any test or roll. It was almost like having a second edge pool that could only be used to add to dice pools.

For those who haven't played shadowrun, they weren't quite the same as hero points are in pathfinder. It was more like having a pool of 5-15 to add to a d20 roll at any point, refilled each session.

That game was on easy street, and I was bored a lot during combat because we could throw those extra dice in to dodge attacks at any moment, and if we used them all up there was more to be had next week.

By limiting the hero points much more severely, I'm hoping to avoid that easy mode.

Honestly, the hero points might be more for me than the players though; I think I might just end up backsliding and fudging rolls and rules in the players favor if I don't give them the points.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber
TOZ wrote:

Are you sure the fall was going to kill him?

I had a similar case last night when the 3rd level fighter walked into a pit trap. I was worried the 60ft drop might kill him but rolled honestly. The character ended up alive but very upset.

100% Sure. The 6d6 initial took them down to 7 HP. The 8d6 falling would have done 37 more damage on top of that.


My main problem with 4e action points was that I actually planned combat around them. My ranger was pretty well optimized already and when a well-planned action point round was taken the amount of damage he could do was just insane.

With a little bit of planning and effort I was able to cram a crazy number of attacks into a single round, and do so while under buffs that pretty much meant I missed only on a 1, and even then I had ways to reroll if I did roll a 1, so I really only missed if I rolled two 1s in a row.

In fact it was so crazy that in some cases the entire table just basically watched to see if I could set yet another damage record in this particular attack.

And I usually did.

The problem was that I actually found those rounds quite boring. I rolled a ton of dice and generally managed to either outright kill the BBEG or else damage him so severely that he was dead by the next round anyway.

Hero points seem to me to provide that same ability. If our group used them, I'd plan entire attack tactics around them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The black raven wrote:

You had a Darwin then.

Both deaths are fully OK in my book. First one is choosing a dangerous action and suffering the consequences. Second one is choosing a fragile build and suffering the consequences. Both are teaching tools for the players so that they can enjoy their next character even more.

The first one was done in character. The barbarian was raging at the time, and wasn't interested in waiting to kill his foes. The wizard had just tried to destroy his war hammer, and needed to be squished for the insult post-haste.

The player accepted the death as a natural consequence of his bad decision.

Later that week, the player killed my PC in the game he was GMing. Not sure if coincidence...

The second death would have been a lot of damage for any caster of that level. She's a cleric with 9 con. Her max HP is only 34.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

My main problem with 4e action points was that I actually planned combat around them. My ranger was pretty well optimized already and when a well-planned action point round was taken the amount of damage he could do was just insane.

With a little bit of planning and effort I was able to cram a crazy number of attacks into a single round, and do so while under buffs that pretty much meant I missed only on a 1, and even then I had ways to reroll if I did roll a 1, so I really only missed if I rolled two 1s in a row.

In fact it was so crazy that in some cases the entire table just basically watched to see if I could set yet another damage record in this particular attack.

And I usually did.

The problem was that I actually found those rounds quite boring. I rolled a ton of dice and generally managed to either outright kill the BBEG or else damage him so severely that he was dead by the next round anyway.

Hero points seem to me to provide that same ability. If our group used them, I'd plan entire attack tactics around them.

How many action points did you get? I'm hoping to avoid them using hero points offensively by limiting availability.


RedEric wrote:


How many action points did you get? I'm hoping to avoid them using hero points offensively by limiting availability.

4e had the concept of "milestones". Upon reaching certain milestones your character would gain an "action point". You could only have a certain number of action points available, based on your level as I recall. So this encouraged using your action points so that you could restore it upon your next milestone.

Also, GMs could hand out action points as rewards.

An action point in 4e allowed you to take another action in your round. 4e is based on the idea that you can do three actions per round, one standard action, one move action and one minor action. A minor can replace a move and a move can replace a standard.

So with an action point you could take two standard actions.

Now, some powers allowed you to attack with a move or a minor action.

So you could, with some planning, get four actions, each of which allowed you to make an attack. Some of those actions could be multiple attacks on their own.

I think the best I ever managed to get with an action point was to use a daily power that allowed me to do up to five attacks as a standard action, an encounter that allowed me to do up to three attacks, a move action that gave one attack and a minor action that gave one attack. So that was ten attacks in one round.

And, of course, I would plan for that to happen after getting as buffed as I possibly could.

With all ten hits the damage output I could pull off was just silly.

As I recall it, my ranger killed a Beholder Tyrant in one round, before the Beholder even got a chance to act.

Oh, to more directly answer your question, you regained an action point at least after every extended rest. You could get more during the day by reaching milestones. But you could only use one per round.

Liberty's Edge

RedEric wrote:
The black raven wrote:

You had a Darwin then.

Both deaths are fully OK in my book. First one is choosing a dangerous action and suffering the consequences. Second one is choosing a fragile build and suffering the consequences. Both are teaching tools for the players so that they can enjoy their next character even more.

The first one was done in character. The barbarian was raging at the time, and wasn't interested in waiting to kill his foes. The wizard had just tried to destroy his war hammer, and needed to be squished for the insult post-haste.

The player accepted the death as a natural consequence of his bad decision.

Good for him :-)

Quote:
Later that week, the player killed my PC in the game he was GMing. Not sure if coincidence...

Not so good. Talk with him about your suspicion rather than let it fester and damage your relation

Quote:
The second death would have been a lot of damage for any caster of that level. She's a cleric with 9 con. Her max HP is only 34.

A Cleric with CON lower than 14 is a very bad idea IMO. Because you need to be rather close to melee to heal and because the evil Cleric on the other side will get you with his repeated Channel Negative.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ecaterina Ducaird wrote:
Similarly, if you ran up to an Elven archmage and pee'd on his robe... you might not end up dead, but the char certainly wouldn't be playable by the end of it. Poorly thought out plans and ideas I... I won't say I punish them, but I will say I do not forgive them.

We had a player sneak all the way up a lighthouse where evil cultists were enacting a ritual. This rogue carefully weighed her options, and decided to try to delay the ritual. She slowly snuck forward... lit a tindertwig... splashed some lamp oil... and set one of the cultists robes on fire, from 5 feet away. The other three captured her nearly immediately. She did not survive the night.

Her next replacement character lasted only two encounters before he climbed into the mouth of a monster.

I killed her zen archer who decided to delay initiative to get one last shot in before retreating while the rest of the party was running away. This was after a hilarious comedy of errors and fudging in players favor, the last straw so to speak for that encounter. Thrown poop was involved. Not their finest hour.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
RedEric wrote:


How many action points did you get? I'm hoping to avoid them using hero points offensively by limiting availability.

4e had the concept of "milestones". Upon reaching certain milestones your character would gain an "action point". You could only have a certain number of action points available, based on your level as I recall. So this encouraged using your action points so that you could restore it upon your next milestone.

Also, GMs could hand out action points as rewards.

An action point in 4e allowed you to take another action in your round. 4e is based on the idea that you can do three actions per round, one standard action, one move action and one minor action. A minor can replace a move and a move can replace a standard.

So with an action point you could take two standard actions.

Now, some powers allowed you to attack with a move or a minor action.

So you could, with some planning, get four actions, each of which allowed you to make an attack. Some of those actions could be multiple attacks on their own.

I think the best I ever managed to get with an action point was to use a daily power that allowed me to do up to five attacks as a standard action, an encounter that allowed me to do up to three attacks, a move action that gave one attack and a minor action that gave one attack. So that was ten attacks in one round.

And, of course, I would plan for that to happen after getting as buffed as I possibly could.

With all ten hits the damage output I could pull off was just silly.

As I recall it, my ranger killed a Beholder Tyrant in one round, before the Beholder even got a chance to act.

Oh, to more directly answer your question, you regained an action point at least after every extended rest. You could get more during the day by reaching milestones. But you could only use one per round.

Ok, wow. That is a LOT more than I'm planning on giving, so I think I'm safe for now.


RedEric wrote:


Ok, wow. That is a LOT more than I'm planning on giving, so I think I'm safe for now.

It really doesn't matter that much how frequently you give "action" or "hero" points. What matters is what they allow the player to do with their PC.

If 4e only allowed one action point per day, I would still have killed a Beholder Tyrant in one round. If it was one action point per campaign, I'd still have used it in the final boss fight.

I am sure that the 4e designers did not intend to allow my ranger to become a monster-chewing cuisinart by invoking action points. But that's what they accomplished.

If I were to allow hero points I would probably restrict them to no more than allowing a reroll of a poor roll. So you could reroll a missed attack, or if you rolled crap damage on a successful attack, you could reroll that. Or a save.

But I'd be very stingy in handing them out.

I would, in particular, avoid any "hero point" mechanic that encouraged the player to construct tactics around using them.

But that's nigh impossible. Even something as simple as "reroll an attack roll" can be exploited by a clever player.


My perspective on playing soft has come to this: If it's MY fault the player's are in over their heads, I might softball. i.e. if I realize partway through that I made the encounter much more difficult than is appropriate, I might peel back things like the number of monsters or how strong they are. But if a player makes a bad decision (And I had a case where this came up recently, I had to seek advice myself) then they should reap unbiased consequences of those decisions.

In this case, if you're playing an adventure path, it's probably balanced appropriately so you might have been softballing too much, but I wasn't at the gaming table so I can't actually say.

Shadow Lodge

RedEric wrote:
100% Sure. The 6d6 initial took them down to 7 HP. The 8d6 falling would have done 37 more damage on top of that.

Then you were soft. 'Too soft' depends on the group.

I've done it myself. I didn't do it yesterday when the 1st level ninja was the only one in melee with the golem and took two slams at 1d8+5 each. I knew it was going to kill him, but I let the dice fall.


Alright, I'm actually curious... why was a 1st level ninja in combat against a Golem?


You don't want to baby them, but at the same time, you don't want them to think there aren't consequences for things like crawling through fires to provoke AoP for a follow up attack...that doesn't sound like a very smart thing to do.


Why are you asking us what we like instead of asking your players what they like?

Shadow Lodge

DetectiveKatana wrote:
Alright, I'm actually curious... why was a 1st level ninja in combat against a Golem?

Pathfinder Society has some rough encounters for unprepared parties.


As one of your players (though not in this particular adventure), my opinion is that you do tend to find a good balance between the extremes. You tend to punish ignorance (really dumb and out of character ideas, ignoring the clues you leave, disregarding warnings, etc) and tend to protect us from super bad luck.

The problem you have is that your PCs tend to set up their characters based on a backstory concept and so often their characters builds are suboptimal and way less hearty than one might expect. In addition, some of us are unbelievably suicidal in game. We're talking lemming-like levels of self preservation.

If we died as often as the rules said, we'd lose any narrative cohesion. Since most of us are really invested in the AP story, I appreciate it that you save us from ourselves sometimes. When we get to some higher levels and can start accessing Raise Dead and the like, I think you could let us die more often, at least without sacrificing the story.

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / GM advice needed: Am I too soft? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.