NobodysHome's Silly Serpent's Skull Moments [***Spoilers***]


Serpent's Skull

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I fondly recall a session when I took all the players to kitchen leaving only the GM in his room... We had a habit of discussing things alone with the GM (or in small groups) in the kitchen, when we wanted to keep certain things secret from the rest of group so GM started getting up to go with us and I had expressly state that we are all going to kitchen to intrigue against his plans.

Someone asked why then we are going to kitchen instead of sending GM there, to which I replied that it's his place, it would be rude to throw him out of his own room.


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NobodysHome wrote:

What's awesome to me is that the kids have a 2-week break to decide how they're going to deal with all the politics.

During previous breaks, they've always included me in on the discussion.

This time, someone consciously removed me from the recipient list.

Cunning they're getting, my little imps...

That is two sided sword, though, because it prevents you from point flaws in their plan that their characters would knew of but they might not know (aka "things that are obvious to anyone with the right Knowledge/Craft/Heal/Linguistics/Profession/Spellcraft").


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Yep. But I've made them well aware that *they* need to check with *me* to make sure something is viable.

It's my favorite group to run. They're AWESOME about rolling with my decisions.

They're not so awesome about asking me about repercussions before doing things... yet. (Burning haunted house, anyone?) But they're learning!


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Yeah, and it also wrongly implies (well mostly wrongly) an adversarial relationship between the GM and PCs.


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NobodysHome wrote:

What's awesome to me is that the kids have a 2-week break to decide how they're going to deal with all the politics.

During previous breaks, they've always included me in on the discussion.

This time, someone consciously removed me from the recipient list.

Cunning they're getting, my little imps...

We haven't even talked though, so we still aren't cunning.


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Sometimes, tenacity is not an asset

When Shiro's player and I advise less-experienced GMs on running sandboxes, we point out that sandboxes are remarkably easier to run than you'd expect: All you need to do is prep one section of a sandbox, then dangle a thread in front of the players and they'll grab it and worry it forever.

This is usually a good thing.

Unfortunately, sometimes it can lead to a great deal of frustration.

Last night, after a two-week hiatus, the group yet again decided that they were going to try to negotiate with the Sargavans. I'd done everything I could short of telling them, "This will not work," to discuorage them. In fact, Amivor Glaur said explicitly, "This will not work."
The reason is very simple: They alerted Yog'Oltha to the presence of the camps, and then left for 10 days to deal with the lich. So Yog'Oltha has had all the time in the world to poison the camps against each other, and no one remotely capable of detecting him or undoing his damage is in either camp. Given the description of the Sargavan commander as a by-the-book military man, I figure it's very much like a Soviet base in a foreign country during the Cold War: Shoot first, ask questions later.

But again, after about an hour of real-time discussion, the group yet again decided to try walking up to the Sargavans, this time after dropping a nice note. Yet again, they were met with ballista fire. The party proposed burning the Sargavan camp to the ground. In a bit of hilarity, Templari's player said, "I want to roll Knowledge: Religion to know whether my goddess would be OK with that."
On rolling a natural 1, "Well, I think my goddess is OK with it, but I'm not OK with it."
I patiently explained to him that if he was going to ask the GM for hints in the form of Knowledge rolls, he was going to have to accept the consequences, good or bad.

The best idea of the night (Scrying for the Free Captains) failed when Kassata rolled a natural 17 on her Will save. What I really didn't understand was the hesitancy to try Scrying for anyone else (Yog'Oltha or Lord Garaub, for example). Other people kept suggesting other people to scry, and Mr. Stereotype kept shooting it down. It's a free spell, it could break this logjam, and you don't want to try it... why?

And yes, once again they approached the Muse for advice on dealing with their delicate political situation. Seriously? She really didn't care at all about the political machinations of the various factions, and was not helpful.

In about the *only* good news of the night, they decided to search the bodies of water near the two camps and Hooken's natural 20 gave him a 47 Perception check, plenty to see Yog'Oltha at the bottom of the pond north of the Pathfinder camp. But with the party unwilling to enter the water, and Yog'Oltha not stupid enough to surface, it was a half-hour stalemate of a fight, which Yog'Oltha eventually just left (swimming to the center and the bottom of the large pond) without taking any damage.

In any case, it was a long, frustrating session, with lots of arguments as to what to do, very little action, and quite a few of the players leaving the table out of sheer boredom because no one took leadership and said, "We're doing X", and no one had a plan.
I have out-and-out ordered them to have a plan ready before next session, as this one was so frustrating to everyone involved.


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I finally put my finger on it:

  • In the "fun", effective games, someone suggests a course of action and the other players discuss, "What's the worst possible outcome of this?", then, if the outcome is acceptable, they try it. Because it's DOING something, rather than arguing about doing nothing.
  • In the frustrating games, someone suggests a course of action and someone else says, "Well, that might not work because xxx." And they decide not to do anything, and you get an entire night of nothing. My Crimson Throne group is particularly adept at this maneuver, but I'd like to get the kids out of that habit before it sets in...

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    NobodysHome wrote:

    I finally put my finger on it:

  • In the "fun", effective games, someone suggests a course of action and the other players discuss, "What's the worst possible outcome of this?", then, if the outcome is acceptable, they try it. Because it's DOING something, rather than arguing about doing nothing.
  • In the frustrating games, someone suggests a course of action and someone else says, "Well, that might not work because xxx." And they decide not to do anything, and you get an entire night of nothing. My Crimson Throne group is particularly adept at this maneuver, but I'd like to get the kids out of that habit before it sets in...
  • I was in one of the latter games: in my case one of the players got too worried about what might happen to his PC and we/the rest wouldn't want to split the party as he would not agree to anything until all possible mishaps where ruled out.

    Ruyan.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    From my experience, most sandbox games run to the latter choice. Add more people in and the indecision gets worse.


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    Well, the kids have been *great* about choosing action over concern so far in the campaign. Which is why I'm concerned that two recent sessions have been marred by indecision paralysis.

    We'll see how things progress over the summer...

    Dark Archive

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    I kinda think though that Paladins and Clerics should be aware of their diety's teachings without a roll though .-. I mean, how in the world they are paladins/clerics if they don't know basic stuff? xD

    Anyway, so have they finally figure out what creature the shapeshifter is? :D

    Anyway, I'm kinda confused about talk of indecision and stuff .-. I mean, like, are GMs usually kinda like "I'm silent until players decide something?"

    Like, I just tell players to make a decision if they are being indecisive and that has worked. And if they can't figure out what to do, I give suggestions of what they know they could do .-. Has worked out great so far.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I'm torn on this issue.
    From a logical point of view I'd agree: deities play a big role in/on Golarion and the teachings/general do's and dont's should be known to "the clergy".
    Then again, it would be like giving away skill ranks for free to certain classes.
    I mean it's not that you'd say: hey, she's a bard, one pick for free in all perfomances.

    We had a cleric in our homebrew campaign who took his first skill rank in Knowledge (rel) at lvl 7. My druid used to prompt him the--usually right--answers. Good times, good times...

    Ruyan.


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    RuyanVe wrote:

    I'm torn on this issue.

    From a logical point of view I'd agree: deities play a big role in/on Golarion and the teachings/general do's and dont's should be known to "the clergy".
    Then again, it would be like giving away skill ranks for free to certain classes.

    There is a big difference between requiring the character to have certain number of ranks in skill to know things without rolling because of expected familiarity with the specific topic and giving knowledge away without having any skill ranks.


    NH Preview Before Permission:
    Besides, two ranks is all you need for most all answers that would ever come up for religious teachings that aren't esoteric mysteries of the great thinkers, unless you're intellect is less than stellar... in which case, you'd need three.

    Knowledge

    1 rank + 3 class skill = 4; take 10 = 14 check (Roll a d20: 50/50 chance to roll an 11+ for a 15)
    2 ranks + 3 class skill = 5; take 10 = 15 check
    3 ranks + 3 class skill - 1 intelligence = 5; take 10 = 15 check

    Knowing common mythology and tenets of any given deity is a DC 15.

    That's all.

    Obscure deity stuff is a DC 20. So, you know, seven (or eight!) ranks.

    Templari: take 10! Llllllots of 10!

    The thing is, by this point, the players are pretty high level. Giving them a free pass at their own gods' stuff means they miss out on the other uses of Knowledge (religion):
    - recognizing other gods' or clergies' symbols
    - recognizing other gods' or clergies' tenets
    - identifying undeads' abilities and weaknesses
    (- identifying outsiders' abilities and weaknesses)*

    * Not, technically, part of the Knowledge (religion) purview. But I allow it for either common enemies or servants of the faith.

    Ultimately, however, it depends on local table variation. Everyone has different expectations. You can't always just presume that everyone plays the same way. I certainly don't...

    EDIT: That said, if you have questions about my playing style, you're probably better served to put them here so as to avoid bogging down Ash's thread (which I've done quite a lot of, unfortunately). >.>


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    CorvusMask wrote:
    I kinda think though that Paladins and Clerics should be aware of their diety's teachings without a roll though .-. I mean, how in the world they are paladins/clerics if they don't know basic stuff? xD

    *I* didn't require the roll. He just said, "I'm going to roll" and roll. As Drejk said, my feeling is that if he put ranks into a Knowledge skill then he knows basic stuff.

    So it was more, "I wanna roll a die!" and so since he insisted on rolling, I insisted him on accepting the consequences of that roll.

    CorvusMask wrote:
    Anyway, so have they finally figure out what creature the shapeshifter is? :D

    Yes.

    CorvusMask wrote:

    Anyway, I'm kinda confused about talk of indecision and stuff .-. I mean, like, are GMs usually kinda like "I'm silent until players decide something?"

    Like, I just tell players to make a decision if they are being indecisive and that has worked. And if they can't figure out what to do, I give suggestions of what they know they could do .-. Has worked out great so far.

    Yes, I've pretty much said outright, "OK, guys. I'm waiting for you to come up with something."

    I prod them, I push them. I will summarize the ideas I've heard and tell them they should choose one. But I will never out-and-out suggest a course of action.
    EDIT: I highlighted that. I'm not silent. I pay attention, note the ideas, and try to give them summaries.

    My experience has been that, especially in sandboxes, if you start giving players direction then they come to rely on you as a crutch. I answer questions. I remind them of what they know. I remind them of available options. But if I suggest a course of action and it fails, I'm a "jerk GM", whereas if I suggest a course of action and it succeeds then they don't make ANY decisions, and just wait for me to tell them what to do. At which point why do I need players?

    It's kind of like the whole Divination issue I'm having with Athelya. "I want to just cast Divination every day and have the GM tell me what to do," is no fun as a GM. I'd like my players to be telling the story, with me providing the scenario, rather than me just sitting there telling them what happens and making them occasionally roll dice.

    NobodysWife is in a Wrath of the Righteous campaign where one player took the "auto-divination" special ability that tells him everything about every encounter. He's happy because he longer faces any risk of making the wrong decision. The GM and the other players HATE it.

    I think next session I'll try just setting a timer and saying, "When this dings, you have to DO something."


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    Tacticslion wrote:

    ** spoiler omitted **

    Ultimately, however, it depends on local table variation. Everyone has different expectations. You can't always just presume that everyone plays the same way. I certainly don't...

    EDIT: That said, if you have questions about my playing style, you're probably better served to put them here so as to avoid bogging down Ash's thread (which I've done quite a lot of, unfortunately). >.>

    Except you can't take 10 on a Knowledge check unless you're a bard...

    PRD wrote:
    Lore Master (Ex): At 5th level, the bard becomes a master of lore and can take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in.

    Dark Archive

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    RuyanVe wrote:


    Then again, it would be like giving away skill ranks for free to certain classes.

    How so? They would only know about one area of religion. I certainly think most useful aspect of knowledge religion is recognizing undead and other gods than your own .-. (plus more obscure knowledge about your god, but thats kinda rare if you pick deities rarely featured anywhere)

    NobodysHome wrote:


    CorvusMask wrote:

    Anyway, I'm kinda confused about talk of indecision and stuff .-. I mean, like, are GMs usually kinda like "I'm silent until players decide something?"

    Like, I just tell players to make a decision if they are being indecisive and that has worked. And if they can't figure out what to do, I give suggestions of what they know they could do .-. Has worked out great so far.

    Yes, I've pretty much said outright, "OK, guys. I'm waiting for you to come up with something."

    I prod them, I push them. I will summarize the ideas I've heard and tell them they should choose one. But I will never out-and-out suggest a course of action.

    My experience has been that, especially in sandboxes, if you start giving players direction then they come to rely on you as a crutch. I answer questions. I remind them of what they know. I remind them of available options. But if I suggest a course of action and it fails, I'm a "jerk GM", whereas if I suggest a course of action and it succeeds then they don't make ANY decisions, and just wait for me to tell them what to do. At which point why do I need players?

    It's kind of like the whole Divination issue I'm having with Athelya. "I want to just cast Divination every day and have the GM tell me what to do," is no fun as a GM. I'd like my players to be telling the story,...

    Huh. My experience is that if I give hint to players, they will end up remembering that they came up with idea themselves. They certainly have never became passive about decision making, that just sounds kinda bizarre to me.

    Then again, I'm talking less about telling them what to do and more stuff like reminding them of what they know, reminding them of common sense and telling them what they should know in character but hasn't come up yet.(like, basic stuff about culture they belong to, or stuff like preventing players from arguing about whether to sell or destroy evil magic items by telling them that they can just take them to Church for bounty) So basically just stuff that helps them coming up with what they want to do, but I never actually make decisions for them.

    Edit: Yeah, timer that goes ding is good idea. Its basically what I do in situations like that.

    And wait, there is auto-divination ability? O-o Isn't divinations always like cryptic rhyming or something? Is that mythic ability or something? ._.;


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    CorvusMask wrote:
    I kinda think though that Paladins and Clerics should be aware of their diety's teachings without a roll though .-. I mean, how in the world they are paladins/clerics if they don't know basic stuff? xD

    *I* didn't require the roll. He just said, "I'm going to roll" and roll. As Drejk said, my feeling is that if he put ranks into a Knowledge skill then he knows basic stuff.

    So it was more, "I wanna roll a die!" and so since he insisted on rolling, I insisted him on accepting the consequences of that roll.

    Been there.

    So many times.

    On both sides.

    Oh, so many times...

    Dark Archive

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    Drejk wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    CorvusMask wrote:
    I kinda think though that Paladins and Clerics should be aware of their diety's teachings without a roll though .-. I mean, how in the world they are paladins/clerics if they don't know basic stuff? xD

    *I* didn't require the roll. He just said, "I'm going to roll" and roll. As Drejk said, my feeling is that if he put ranks into a Knowledge skill then he knows basic stuff.

    So it was more, "I wanna roll a die!" and so since he insisted on rolling, I insisted him on accepting the consequences of that roll.

    Been there.

    So many times.

    On both sides.

    Oh, so many times...

    Is that also a common occurrence? .-. In tables I have played and GM'd, it usually goes Player: [asks gm a question] GM: [tells player whether to roll or not] instead of player being the one who says they wanna roll(unless its for comedic effect. Thats really common, them rolling knowledge just to see whether they roll really badly on something common)


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    CorvusMask wrote:
    Then again, I'm talking less about telling them what to do and more stuff like reminding them of what they know, reminding them of common sense and telling them what they should know in character but hasn't come up yet.(like, basic stuff about culture they belong to, or stuff like preventing players from arguing about whether to sell or destroy evil magic items by telling them that they can just take them to Church for bounty) So basically just stuff that helps them coming up with what they want to do, but I never actually make decisions for them.

    Yes, that's what I do.

    In *both* "indecision campaigns", I've made the mistake of saying, "Well, you suggested this, and that seems like the most reasonable course of action," and watched the entire "story of the day" degenerate into, "Well, the GM said we should do XX, so that's what we're doing."

    Get burned like that a couple of times, and you're very careful never to espouse one course of action again.

    But what you describe above is pretty much exactly the way I approach things. Yet I still have indecision issues.

    CorvusMask wrote:
    Is that also a common occurrence? .-. In tables I have played and GM'd, it usually goes Player: [asks gm a question] GM: [tells player whether to roll or not] instead of player being the one who says they wanna roll(unless its for comedic effect. Thats really common, them rolling knowledge just to see whether they roll really badly on something common)

    Oh, gods. WAAAAAY too common!

    I can't tell you HOW many times I've told players, "I assume you're taking 10 on skills unless you tell me otherwise. I assume you're checking for secret doors and so forth unless you tell me otherwise. I assume that you are a rational group of adventurers who are being careful."

    Doesn't matter. Every time someone want to do ANYTHING, they say, "I'm doing XXX!", grab a die, and roll it before I can get a word in edgewise.

    So I'm slowly trying to train them NOT to do so by forcing them to live with the result of whatever nonsense they roll.

    I TELL them not to roll unless I explicitly ask them to, but people love to roll them some dice.


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    It really depends. It usually works more like "I do x/do I know fact y with a Knowledge roll of... Crap." with player making the roll while declaring action/asking question before the GM orders the roll because player knows what exactly roll will be involved and wanting to save the GM time of saying "roll your Acrobatics/Knowledge/whatever".


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    Oh, and my absolute favorite: "I'm searching for secret doors!"
    Rolls a 1
    "OK. Never mind. I'm just going to take 10."

    That one NEVER gets old.

    Oh, wait. *ALWAYS*. That's the word I was looking for...


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    Nobody ninjas* my post! Nobody!

    *ninja now fully functions as noun, verb, and adjective. Ninjitsu is that versatile!


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19

    ...what was that for again, I wasn't paying attention. I hope it's something good!


    NobodysHome wrote:
    Tacticslion wrote:

    ** spoiler omitted **

    Ultimately, however, it depends on local table variation. Everyone has different expectations. You can't always just presume that everyone plays the same way. I certainly don't...

    EDIT: That said, if you have questions about my playing style, you're probably better served to put them here so as to avoid bogging down Ash's thread (which I've done quite a lot of, unfortunately). >.>

    Except you can't take 10 on a Knowledge check unless you're a bard...

    PRD wrote:
    Lore Master (Ex): At 5th level, the bard becomes a master of lore and can take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in.

    Debate! ... well, not really. :):

    Hm. That's a reasonable read. While I'd forgotten about that as a bard-specific ability, I never actually interpreted it that way.

    The rules don't make mention of skills you can or cannot take 10 in, except that it notes "immediate danger or distracted" - I always interpreted that ability as just negating that limitation, and going, "You may Take 10, now and always!" regardless of the circumstances.

    I can understand your take, however; it makes sense.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Drejk wrote:
    RuyanVe wrote:

    I'm torn on this issue.

    From a logical point of view I'd agree: deities play a big role in/on Golarion and the teachings/general do's and dont's should be known to "the clergy".
    Then again, it would be like giving away skill ranks for free to certain classes.
    There is a big difference between requiring the character to have certain number of ranks in skill to know things without rolling because of expected familiarity with the specific topic and giving knowledge away without having any skill ranks.

    Maybe.

    But my point was: as you cannot use Knowledge skills without having any ranks in it per the rules a cleric without any rules in Know (rel) doesn't know the teachings of any god or anything about undead.

    Thus, if you allow her to know stuff without ranks in Knowledge it's like free ranks for the cleric.

    Ruyan.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    One thing I am going to start doing for the Tabletop group and eventually for the Skype group is have the players preroll 30 skill checks. When I need a Perception check or a Knowledge check? I will look at the sheet, mark off the latest one, and use that for the roll. The player will not know what they rolled.

    Obviously that's easier to do with groups with four or fewer players. ;)


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    The taking 10 on knowledges and the bard's ability was FAQ'd. Anyone can take a 10 on a knowledge, bards can do it while under stress.

    FAQ wrote:
    Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”

    I believe it was also clarified that after this everyone in the world can know what a knowledge check DC 10 would give them as it is common knowledge.

    Its also an oddity of PF that divine classes inherently know less about religions, including their own than many other classes.


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    It's intentional, ignorance is bliss.


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    Seannoss wrote:

    The taking 10 on knowledges and the bard's ability was FAQ'd. Anyone can take a 10 on a knowledge, bards can do it while under stress.

    FAQ wrote:
    Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”

    I believe it was also clarified that after this everyone in the world can know what a knowledge check DC 10 would give them as it is common knowledge.

    Its also an oddity of PF that divine classes inherently know less about religions, including their own than many other classes.

    Don't get NobodysWife started on the fact that paladins of Iomedae do NOT get Knowledge: Planes as a class skill.

    Seriously?


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    Sent via e-mail to the kids:
    =====
    Since no conversation has been forthcoming, and I will reiterate that I don't want a repeat of Monday night, here are some topics:

    The Sargavans: They are battened-down, locked-up, and not interested in visitors, negotiations, or hearing what you have to say. PLEASE do not try walking up to them with another, "Well, this NEW way of walking up to them and talking at them will work!" idea. Templari, it's very simple: If you burn down the fortress of a group for the crime of not being willing to talk to you, Iomedae will be displeased. If a single Sargavan perishes in the resulting conflagration, you will fall. No ifs, ands, or buts. They're a terrified group of neutrals doing their utmost to defend themselves from those more powerful than themselves. Killing them for their lack of judgement is not paladinly.

    Lord Garaub: You destroyed his phylactery, and he has not been seen since. However, Athelya made the Divination that, if you are with the Pathfinders when he returns, they will all die. It has only been 5 days since that Divination. What kind of a GM would I be if I let an opportunity like that pass?
    On the other hand, he's got to find you, then risk his very existence wreaking revenge. Why would he do that?

    The Pathfinders: You have Dispelled one of the four Dominates. I don't care what you all keep saying, Voren has neither marked off the resources nor made the rolls to Dispel the others, and it hasn't even been a single day since you discovered them.
    Amivor Glaur has out-and-out ordered you to stay with them and defend them.

    The Muse: She is taking care of the nekkid Feebleminded elf girl for you, is crafting Hooken's bow, and is training her people to survive in Saventh-Yhi after her departure. And you keep bothering her with interfaction politics. She is... displeased with these constant interruptions.

    Yog'Oltha: You finally found him in his true form at the bottom of a huge pond. We ended the session with you at the edge of the pond, unwilling to engage him or enter the water with him. It's a stalemate. You know that he is very slow on land, so he's "trapped" in the pond. Except that he's a master of at-will illusions that you know you can't penetrate...

    The Free Captains: They have withdrawn, and your first attempt to Scry Kassata (also today) failed.

    Chivane: You haven't seen her since you agreed to get her artifact as soon as you Healed the Muse a couple of weeks ago. Oops.

    The charau'ka: Don't forget that your only hold on them is that you're holding their high priestess hostage. It has now been weeks. How long before a chaotic evil tribe decides their priestess just isn't all that important to them?

    Other than that, the serpentfolk in the government district know you're in town but you haven't seen overt interference from them, and you haven't engaged the boggards or trogs yet.


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    Addenda:

  • You DID loot Lord Garaub's corpse and take all of his magic items. Perhaps one of them might be so important to him that he'd risk his existence to get it back?
  • The Muse has stated outright that if you can get the aboleth within her range, she WILL kill it. She remembers Earthfall.

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    NobodysHome wrote:
    Seannoss wrote:

    The taking 10 on knowledges and the bard's ability was FAQ'd. Anyone can take a 10 on a knowledge, bards can do it while under stress.

    FAQ wrote:
    Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”

    I believe it was also clarified that after this everyone in the world can know what a knowledge check DC 10 would give them as it is common knowledge.

    Its also an oddity of PF that divine classes inherently know less about religions, including their own than many other classes.

    Don't get NobodysWife started on the fact that paladins of Iomedae do NOT get Knowledge: Planes as a class skill.

    Seriously?

    It's always funnier to watch someone fall when they don't see it coming. Plus then they wouldn't be surprised by my righteous tunes!!

    Begins jamming out on her air guitar

    Liberty's Edge

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    Seannoss wrote:

    The taking 10 on knowledges and the bard's ability was FAQ'd. Anyone can take a 10 on a knowledge, bards can do it while under stress.

    FAQ wrote:
    Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”

    I believe it was also clarified that after this everyone in the world can know what a knowledge check DC 10 would give them as it is common knowledge.

    Its also an oddity of PF that divine classes inherently know less about religions, including their own than many other classes.

    Linked

    The kids better get on that artifact . . . cheated assassins are NOT fun.


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    Gark the Goblin wrote:
    Seannoss wrote:

    The taking 10 on knowledges and the bard's ability was FAQ'd. Anyone can take a 10 on a knowledge, bards can do it while under stress.

    FAQ wrote:
    Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”

    I believe it was also clarified that after this everyone in the world can know what a knowledge check DC 10 would give them as it is common knowledge.

    Its also an oddity of PF that divine classes inherently know less about religions, including their own than many other classes.

    Linked

    The kids better get on that artifact . . . cheated assassins are NOT fun.

    Y'know, there's also the whole aspect of, "Well, we know we agreed to get this for you, but now that we're square, how much to deal with this 'aboleth problem' of ours?"


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
    Iomedae, The Inheritor wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    Seannoss wrote:

    The taking 10 on knowledges and the bard's ability was FAQ'd. Anyone can take a 10 on a knowledge, bards can do it while under stress.

    FAQ wrote:
    Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”

    I believe it was also clarified that after this everyone in the world can know what a knowledge check DC 10 would give them as it is common knowledge.

    Its also an oddity of PF that divine classes inherently know less about religions, including their own than many other classes.

    Don't get NobodysWife started on the fact that paladins of Iomedae do NOT get Knowledge: Planes as a class skill.

    Seriously?

    It's always funnier to watch someone fall when they don't see it coming. Plus then they wouldn't be surprised by my righteous tunes!!

    Begins jamming out on her air guitar

    *pulls out a newspaper, rolls it up, and swats Iomedae on the nose with it*

    Wasn't Wrath of the Righteous warning enough? How long before YOU fall, hmm?


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    Tangent101 wrote:
    Iomedae, The Inheritor wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    Seannoss wrote:

    The taking 10 on knowledges and the bard's ability was FAQ'd. Anyone can take a 10 on a knowledge, bards can do it while under stress.

    FAQ wrote:
    Yes, you can. The lore master bard ability should add to the end of that first sentence “even when threatened or distracted.”

    I believe it was also clarified that after this everyone in the world can know what a knowledge check DC 10 would give them as it is common knowledge.

    Its also an oddity of PF that divine classes inherently know less about religions, including their own than many other classes.

    Don't get NobodysWife started on the fact that paladins of Iomedae do NOT get Knowledge: Planes as a class skill.

    Seriously?

    It's always funnier to watch someone fall when they don't see it coming. Plus then they wouldn't be surprised by my righteous tunes!!

    Begins jamming out on her air guitar

    *pulls out a newspaper, rolls it up, and swats Iomedae on the nose with it*

    Wasn't Wrath of the Righteous warning enough? How long before YOU fall, hmm?

    And then Iomedae reveled that she isn't even a paladin herself...


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    Class levels are for mortals, I've moved beyond that. Besides, no one's getting hurt.


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    We should see just how far we derail this thread before one of the kids actually does something sensible, like, say, READS it?

    It's the first week of summer break, so I understand the blahs.

    But as I was telling Shiro's player, I don't mind a bad, "We do nothing!" session. They happen. But when your GM spends the next couple of days saying, "OK, guys. That session was bad. Let's work on some ideas here. What are you thinking of doing? Here's the current climate. What do you think is important? What do you want to talk about? Let's make a plan for next week's session" and the response is, "...", said GM gets... testy.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    Maybe a new campaign is in order. I have yet to have my kids (or their friends) get past tenth or eleventh level.


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    captain yesterday wrote:
    Maybe a new campaign is in order. I have yet to have my kids (or their friends) get past tenth or eleventh level.

    Oh, I don't think one bad session is grounds for calling it quits.

    I'm still having a blast running it, and the kids have a vast number of things they can still do.

    The problem is that they stomped through the initial areas in a relatively reasonable way (encounter locals, determine hostility level, conquer or ally region, move on), then got in a hurry to try to wrap up the city so it became, "Drop by, alert the locals to our presence without dealing with them in any way, then give them time to react accordingly."

    So there are a whole ton of logs on the fire right now, and I can understand their difficulty in choosing one.

    So my job is to remove the logs, one by one, until they choose.

    The Sargavans were log #1. If they don't read this thread, don't respond to the e-mails, and don't think about it, it's likely the Pathfinders will be log #2...


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    What about that half-elf they found? Have they done anything else with her yet?


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    Supperman wrote:
    What about that half-elf they found? Have they done anything else with her yet?

    They dropped her in the Muse's lap for safekeeping. The Muse, having been until recently rather insane herself, told them she would take care of the half-elf for a month, free of charge.

    The issue the kids are having is that until recently they haven't been a "sit still and let things happen" group. If you count up the total time they've been in Saventh-Yhi, it's been less than a month.

    So they still have nearly half of Book 3 to deal with (the boggards, trogs, degenerate serpentfolk, and individual encounters such as Yog'Oltha). But I let them level up to 10 so they're supposed to start Book 4, so I've put in the half-elf and started all the planning for Book 4.

    And so far, as far as I can tell, they're going to spend an infinite number of sessions trying to talk to the Sargavans until I end up killing them all (the Sargavans, not the PCs) out of sheer frustration and a desire for them to choose another path... ANY path... that does not involve negotiating with the Sargavans.

    EDIT: And since they have no full arcane caster to give them Teleport, I provided the Free Captains as a "magic mart" where they could buy up to 6th-level spells, including scrolls of Heal. Once they woke up Yog'Oltha and let him run amok, I yoinked the Free Captains as an option until they do something to deal with him. So far, they're unwilling to engage him on his home turf, and he's not stupid enough to emerge from the waters, so we're in for a LOOOONG stalemate until the group either decides that they don't need a magic mart after all, or they're willing to take their lumps and take him on on his own terms.


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    -Takes the log that represents the Sargavans out of the fire and runs off with it...right towards another part of the plot-


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    *SIGH*

    It's now Friday. And not a peep out of any of the kids.

    So it looks like Monday is going to be, "Wait a minute! Where were we last time? What do we need to do? Oh, yeah! Let's try talking to the Sargavans again!"

    And I had such hopes that both posting to Paizo and e-mailing them multiple times would have SOME effect on the summertime inertia!

    Ah, well, prepare for a rather uninspired writeup on Monday...

    Liberty's Edge

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    Well . . . good luck. Maybe they'll surprise you!

    I gotta say that when we were playing as kids, we never made it past about 5th level before switching campaigns (except for one game where the GMNPC rolled 4d6 for abilities rather than 4d6 drop lowest, and someone ended up playing an ice devil, and my character helped rob the town bank with no repercussions . . .). You and captain yesterday have some good players. Or maybe having an adult GM helps :V


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    Whelp, killed Athelya again.

    Getting to be a bad habit with me.

    On the bright side, this time it was because she had a GOOD idea and sacrificed herself to save the Pathfinders.

    So yeah, they paid for her Raise Dead and her stoopid dhampir powers mean her deaths are minor inconveniences.

    Maybe that's why I kill her so often...


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    At Long Last, a Noble Death

    Feelings ran rather hot this evening, as I was listening for various key phrases such as, "I do xxx" in a very tense situation, and when one of the kids finally said it and I said, "Now we're in initiatives," he got quite upset and insisted that he included the words "prepare to". After a bit of back-and-forth I essentially let it go, and it all worked out, but it's really one of those painful GM moments when you're waiting for a key phrase, one of the players says it, you pounce, and the player gets very upset with you because, "That's not what I said!"

    Happens in every campaign. And trust me, "That's not what you MEANT to say," is NOT the proper response.

    Anyway, water under the bridge.

    The group started off with a plan: They told the Pathfinders to be ready to move in the morning, Dispelled Magic successfully on the remaining 3 Dominated Pathfinders, and held a very careful watch that evening. Other than the arguments about who said exactly what, the only shortcoming of the evening was a looooong debate as to whether Hooken was going to stand on the ramparts to watch (which would have been a blast, since I could have used him to shoot all the other players), or whether everyone was going to remain out of sight. Kwai Chang had the ingenious idea of using his mirror (on his character sheet no less!) to watch the pond.

    The night passed peacefully.

    In the morning as the Pathfinders moved out to their new camp (the old location of the Free Captains' camp), Athelya successfully Scried Kassata. She learned several important things: The Free Captains were in a camp in the woods, they were discussing the movements of both the Sargavans and the Pathfinders, and they had very carefully avoided marking their own location on the map they were examining (kind of as if someone had failed to Scry Kassata just the day before), and they were clearly still in Saventh-Yhi. Our first significant argument of the evening started off when the group insisted that Athelya could examine the shadows of the trees and determine by their length approximately how far from the party the Free Captains were, and by their direction which way was north. As an experienced woodsman who's taken many a novice into the forest, the notion that someone with NO skill ranks in any kind of forestry or relevant knowledge skills and a SINGLE rank in Survival would be able to make this determination was... less than realistic to me. Then they set off a fireball in the sky (why why why why WHY do they keep settting off massive signals that attract everything within a 2-mile radius?) and started discussing how they were going to use the height of the blast and the angle of elevation to the blast from Athelya's point of view to determine the distance to the Free Captains. I asked which of them had Knowledge: Trigonometry to be able to perform this miracle of mathematics.
    In short, feelings were already a bit rough because the group was strongly using personal knowledge to try to determine what the PCs could determine based on shadow length, position of the sun, altitude of the fireball, angle of elevation, and so forth, and I kept pointing out that Athelya did not have any of the requisite skills to be able to make this determination.

    The day passed relatively uneventfully: Kwai Chang traced out a 36-mile search pattern he was going to follow to try to find the Free Captains. He found neither them, nor any encounters. In the meantime, the Pathfinders finished their move in the morning, and the remaining party members took them to the Artisan District, where they learned the activation ritual for the ziggurat. This made the Muse extremely happy because she could easily activate her own ziggurat and shorten all of her followers' crafting times. Athelya attempted (but failed) to Scry Lord Garaub. Pesky liches and their high Will saves!

    Now, I *did* send an e-mail to the group warning that Lord Garaub was still out there, and if they stayed with the Pathfinders then all of the Pathfinders would die, so I feel a little bit of GM self-justification is called for here.

    In the morning, on the 7th day after Athelya's Divination, they were awoken before sunrise by Lord Garaub's raspy voice, this time using Tongues so everyone would understand him: "If anyone leaves their tents, you will all die. One of you has something of mine, and I want it back."

    Hooken, Malek, and Athelya were on watch, so Athelya knew he was looking at her and his very nice staff she had liberated after their first encounter.

    So I was all set. I had my 3 GM rerolls. I was certain that one of the kids was going to do something silly, and Garaub was going to unleash his Cloudkill on the Pathfinders. I'd even pre-rolled their saves; there was going to be ONE survivor. (They rolled... poorly.)
    Then, Athelya did the unthinkable. She walked forward, alone, staff in hand, to give it to Lord Garaub.
    It was an extremely tense situation. He sat there, smirking (which is quite a feat with no lips), his undead tracker beast (a custom undead construct he'd purchased to help him find the party) sitting next to him. So as she moved forward, I asked people what they were doing. Voren's player, in the heat of the moment, said, "I start buffing."
    He wanted to say, "I prepare to start buffing," but I was specifically listening for someone to perform a concrete action. It didn't help that another player sided with me that he had said that he DID start buffing. Giving the tenseness of the situation, I allowed a "semi-reroll". We went into initiatives (and I used my first birthday reroll to reroll the pathetic 7 he got on his first try), but Garaub didn't cast the Cloudkill immediately, instead saying that the next person who moved would doom the Pathfinders. For whatever strange reason, Kwai Chang decided to start pacing back and forth in the back of his tent. Right after Garaub's threat. I guess he doesn't like the Pathfinders or something.

    Honestly, I think it's one of those things about RPGs and initiatives. You're so fixated on the mindset of, "I have to do something" when the GM calls on you that you forget that, "I do absolutely nothing to provoke the lich that is about to kill my faction," is the correct answer.

    Fortunately, Garaub (barely) failed his Perception check to hear Kwai Chang pacing, and the Pathfinders lived another round.

    So Athelya handed over the staff, Garaub cast Greater Invisibility on himself, and, as he flew away, he remarked, "Oh, and this is for my phylactery!" and hit Athelya with a Disintegrate. I gleefully reminded the group that I still had two birthday rerolls left. I didn't need them. Athelya failed her save, but the 79 points wasn't enough to knock her into the negatives, so Garaub just snarled, "Finish her off!" as he flew away, calling out, "I'll see you again in 6 months!" Unfortunately for the group, the only "person" in the group between Garaub and his hound's initiatives was Heron, and Heron was still guarding Hooken. So the hound went and I didn't even need a GM reroll: Three solid hits (rather embarrassingly solid, actually) and Athelya was a corpse... again.

    The rest of the party (especially Hooken) obliterated the hound with ease, although it did get in a couple of nice criticals and some Dex drain on Heron.

    Since Athelya died protecting the Pathfinders, they paid for her Raise Dead, and, as a dhampir, she'll recover in a couple of days. The Pathfinders also paid for the Lesser Restorations on Heron.

    To wrap up the evening, the party went into charau-ka territory and learned that the serpentfolk had invaded while they were away. With no higher-level charau-ka to help defend, the charau-ka were slaughered en masse, and over 100 charau-ka corpses littered the battlefield. The party was pragmatic. "Well, that takes care of THAT problem!"

    They proceeded south to the edge of troglodyte territory: It was time to get Chivane her artifact.

    EDIT: And here's the link to the obit.


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    They really, really hate that lich.


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    Supperman wrote:
    They really, really hate that lich.

    I am *SOOOOO* sad that I have to pull him from the campaign for 9 months.

    But he's got to go find some money, then rebuild his phylactery, so he's out of the picture for quite a while.

    Athelya's sacrifice wasn't in vain... you just have to listen to the group describe what they're going to do to the poor lich when he returns and they're all 16th level.

    But if you think he's going to be carrying his phylactery on a convenient neck chain when he finally returns...

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