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


Serpent's Skull

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The Mad Comrade wrote:

Sure, Greater Trip and Vicious Stomp pack a mean whallop for, say, a Flowing Monk with the Snake Style chain.

Get missed, AoO to trip, trip provokes via Greater Trip, becoming prone provokes via Vicious Stomp. Assuming a +3 Dex mod that adds an AoO-driven 4 attacks/round right there at the cost of every feat they've gotten through 9th level.

Purely offensive attacks/round still not seeing >6/round for a monk.

So, you're a Hasted, flurrying, 9th-level monk, spending a ki point to get to 6.

With your first attack, you do a trip. Assuming you have Improved Trip, Greater Trip, Vicious Stomp, and Combat Reflexes if you trip your opponent you get two more attacks (as Attacks of Opportunity, but during your full-round action), so I can get it up to 8.

Assuming, of course, the monk gets off a successful trip.

But that's my limit, and the author said 9-10.

I'd love to ask, "Er, exactly how does your monk get in 9 attacks per round?", but that usually ends up with either snarkiness at me for bringing it up, or snarkiness at the player for "cheating".

So I was trying to figure it out here...


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NobodysHome wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Best I can come up with is 6/round: 4/round via flurry, +1 from ki, +1 from haste. Where're they coming up with another 3?!

I'm sure it's 3rd-party stuff.

The rest of the quote includes, "One of my monks routinely makes 9-10 attacks a round, and has a full on flowchart of how her attack progression works."

So my guess is a lot of, "If you succeed at xxx, you get another attack to do yyy," fluff that seems harmless enough, but turns into a storm of stupid relatively quickly. Very much like all those teamwork feats that stack up AoOs based on what you or your opponent do, "If you hit your ally gets an AoO. If you miss your ally gets an AoO. If you crit your ally gets an AoO," etc.

In the PRD alone we've got Vicious Stomp (get an AoO if you trip your opponent, so basically a free extra attack for a monk and we're up to 7), but none of the other AoO-generating ones are in the PRD where you can generate your own AoO.

I'm betting someone added third-party styles where, "If you do xxx you get an AoO."

Breaking economy of action. It's what splat books live on.

I see 6 attacks per round as Mad Comrade mentioned, and yes, there are ways to add AOOs like Vicious Stomp, but those I don't count as part of the attack routine. Like you said, that may be how they're counting 9-10 attacks per round, but if they are, those 3-4 AOOs should not be guaranteed to happen every round.

It's also possible the DM is erroneously allowing two-weap fighting feats to stack with flurry.

I have seen some 3rd party Ninja Tricks that allowed some stuff that blew past what I would allow in a game. Like ways to get 11 shuriken thrown in a round. Which...eh...11d2 + minor flat bonus, I wouldn't care. But it's 11d2 + 11 sneak attacks, which seriously changes the equation when you can reliably sneak attack at range.

In my bi/tri-monthly group (we're doing Giantslayer in that one, which is a better one for remembering the plot a couple months later) I have a player doing a trip-focused brawler with Vicious Stomp. Other people have added the teamwork feats that trigger AOOs when flanking with a crit (Paired Opportunist or something like that; I don't remember off the top of my head). Personally, I don't have a big issue with these tactics. One, it's a smart way to handle dangerous opponents when it works. For another, they've been spending feats on Combat Reflexes, and teamwork feats, rather than some of the other things that makes their main schtick better. Their investments should pay off more often than not. It encourages teamwork and tactical thinking. There's also 6 characters, so I'm already having to modify the campaign's difficulty anyway, so taking that into account isn't really anything extra.

I max out hit points for all opponents by default. That's easy to do on the fly, and I think I remember NH mentioning that he does that frequently too. For groups of opponents, I increase their numbers by 50-100% depending on the situation and logistics involved. Single opponents get the advanced template applied in my head on the fly when I feel it necessary (again, add +2 to attacks and spell DCs, +4 to AC (DEX +4 and +2 natural), +2 to saves and all skill checks and you're effectively done). Depends how the day has been going overall. Once in a while I'm merciful. Don't let that get around though.

Even with their shenanigans we've had 4 characters die and I haven't seen any steamrolling of major bosses. But, I also don't have crit fumbles, 1s and 20s are not auto anything, and some other house rules that make things different than expected. Many of them are actually in the players' favor.


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NobodysHome wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:

Sure, Greater Trip and Vicious Stomp pack a mean whallop for, say, a Flowing Monk with the Snake Style chain.

Get missed, AoO to trip, trip provokes via Greater Trip, becoming prone provokes via Vicious Stomp. Assuming a +3 Dex mod that adds an AoO-driven 4 attacks/round right there at the cost of every feat they've gotten through 9th level.

Purely offensive attacks/round still not seeing >6/round for a monk.

So, you're a Hasted, flurrying, 9th-level monk, spending a ki point to get to 6.

With your first attack, you do a trip. Assuming you have Improved Trip, Greater Trip, Vicious Stomp, and Combat Reflexes if you trip your opponent you get two more attacks (as Attacks of Opportunity, but during your full-round action), so I can get it up to 8.

Assuming, of course, the monk gets off a successful trip.

But that's my limit, and the author said 9-10.

I'd love to ask, "Er, exactly how does your monk get in 9 attacks per round?", but that usually ends up with either snarkiness at me for bringing it up, or snarkiness at the player for "cheating".

So I was trying to figure it out here...

But if you *didn't* have Improved Trip and got Greater Trip without prerequesistes, you could provoke on the first trip attempt and hit them for trying with Snake Style.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I’m occasional lurker on this thread and just wanted to thank NH, Tangent, Tacticslion, and everyone else who participated in the AC-boosting discussion on the previous page. I was aware of most of the items and tactics you mentioned - I mean, yes, rings of protection are a thing - but your emphasis on buying them with high bonuses much earlier than I had thought, as well as some of the other tactics, was very helpful. In our home Runelords campaign (all PCs at level 12), our CRB monk - unarmored - has the highest AC in the party when the PCs are fighting giants - dwarven defensive training, earth child style, wisdom bonus, dex bonus, ring of force shield, dusty rose ioun stone, and mage armor from the wizard gets him to 34; fighting any other enemy, he is at 28. My GMPC fighter 10/sorcerer 2 has a 28 (+2 mithril full plate, +2 ring of protection, +1 amulet of natural armor, +2 dex bonus, dodge, ironhide). The rogue has a 25 most of the time, at most a 27 if the cleric casts shield of faith on her. The cleric and wizard each have a 21 normally; the cleric a 23 if she casts shield of faith on herself, the wizard a 25 if he casts shield. If they survive to do some shopping, I may send them over here for some ideas.


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I'm glad it's helpful! There are two major issues I see:

(1) The "optimizers" in their build guides focus on getting an AC of 50+ ASAP, using non-PRD content, bizarre combinations that must work together because "it never says that they don't", and essentially sacrificing any flavor or breath in favor of being the baddest-a$$ melee character any GM has ever seen. Non-optimizers see such behavior and it turns them off so much with an, "I don't want to be like that" that they forget that AC is an important part of the game: Every point is essentially a 5% miss chance for every attack on you. EVER!!! Just because you read a build guide doesn't mean you have to do every cheesy thing in it. If you think it's cheesy, skip it. But if it sounds reasonable, use it.

(2) Less-experienced players don't understand the fundamental shift in combat a single "plug" can provide. As a GM, I will always have more guys than you do. Given half the chance, my guys will always go around your front line and swarm your squishies. One regular old sword-and-board fighter who's been willing to put maybe 20k-30k into armor can easily be in the mid-30s, and a couple of feats lets him stop anyone trying to get past him.
In my Crimson Throne game, Arkwhal, Impus Major's defense-focused fighter, has an AC of around 38 before any buffs. Add the standard set (Protection from Evil, Barkskin, Cat's Grace, Haste, and Magic Vestment) , and things just get stupid.
Add reach, Stand Still, and Combat Reflexes, and good luck getting past THAT roadblock, bad guys! (I think Arkwhal lacks reach, but Impus Major is amazing at positioning him to ruin my fun. It's really where Impus Major shines. "I need to block... THIS point...")


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OK, kids: Neutral jin:

In Shiro's game, we were attacked at night in the open by a flying undead creature with a really nasty bow. In the first round, it took my rogue from full hit points (55) to 18. The paladin healed her, but in the second round it shot her again and dropped her to -7. The paladin healed her again up to 5 hit points and her turn came up, so I had a decision to make: Stand up and run for cover? Use a potion?

Nope. I just lay there. Uselessly. And rolled Bluff to pretend to still be at negative hit points. A 23.

The creature just happened to have a "steal soul" ability it could use on dying or dead creatures at close range. Had I given it any indication I was alive, it would have killed me. Instead, it failed its Sense Motive and didn't have Heal, so it moved into the paladin's range to get the +5d6+10 hit points + Haste it would have received for killing me.

Instead, not only did I lure it in, but I made my Fortitude save, so it still didn't know I wasn't unconscious (GM's call there, but his feeling was that if I was making my saves, how was it supposed to know that it wouldn't work even if I failed). Because it didn't know what went wrong, it tried a second time (made my save again).

So, by sitting there doing nothing, I:

  • Survived, when the GM had me dead to rights and could have killed me in a non-resurrectible manner had I chosen any other action
  • Prevented the creature from attacking anyone else for two full rounds. Mages and clerics take up spell slots for save-or-suck spells that'll be that effective
  • Brought the creature within reach of the amazingly irritating paladin, who still refuses to carry any ranged weapon at all at 7th level. Of course all the creatures we're fighting can fly at this point, so he's at the point that he's spending every other combat just waiting for the rest of us to do something to bring the critters in range, but that's just another tirade that I don't have about YOUR group. You HAVE a howitzer who can kill things at range!

  • It always wants me want to bang my head against the table when some player sits there with no obvious action, and so spends 10 minutes trying to figure out something to do.
    You don't have to do anything. And that is sometimes the wisest action.


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    Going along with that theme, but from the caster bent:

    Casters also don't have to cast something every round. Don't look at me like that. They really don't. Yes, there are plenty of people who will tell you otherwise, and some of them are quite vocal about it. That won't be me. Sometimes all they need to do is 1-2 rounds of the right spells and let the martials take care of the rest. Sometimes they don't really need to do even that much. I've seen fights completely turned upside down just from one spell, and everything else the caster did, while nice, was not necessary for victory.

    Sure, there are fights where you need to unleash everything you have. Those are usually called boss fights. Not we're-running-through-a-hallway-dealing-with-what-are-supposed-to-be-mooks fights.

    Also...and this part is simply my personal opinion...your mileage and experience may vary wildly and I think I've said this before...the best spells are not the flashy ones. This group already has plenty of offense. In my opinion, the best spells for this group are ones that accentuate and assist your heavy hitters. Buffs and control spells. Summon monster x is fantastic for that sort of thing - gives the bad guys more targets to go after, and you can summon things that also casts buffs and control spells themselves. Or you can summon more offensive juggernauts. Depending on NH's feelings/rules about the summon spells and how many you can have at any given time, with summon V and VI you have a lot of good options. Bralanis, lillends, celestial dire lions, celestial dire tigers, celestial dire bears (oh my!)...large and huge elementals...other creatures such as a vulpinal with NH's permission (AP 50 suggests it for summon V)...your options are simply huge. These are very versatile spells because you pick what you need based on your current situation. Low on healing? Summon something that can cast multiple cure/healing/condition removal spells.

    Just some things to think about. Whether you use the advice now or not is completely up to you of course, and I want to stress that NH's rules trump any advice any of us can give as long as he's your GM. He's a pretty reasonable guy from what I've seen.


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    Two quick notes while I'm waiting for Impus Major to get out of the shower so I can get to bed:

  • In my previous post I neglected to credit our inquisitor. The paladin didn't have a bow, and maybe did 5 points of damage total to the critter. But I did bring the critter within his range. The inquisitor shot the living cr*p out of the thing, and she got to because I was taking up the thing's actions. If it had stayed in the air and just shot her, I think we might have had a TPK.
  • I will agree/disagree with Vankyre on Summon Monster, because the higher level you are, the less useful the spells are in terms of overall combat. At 1st level, Summon Monster I gives you a nice CR 1/2 monster, good enough to be involved in a fight. Even at your current level (14), Summon Monster VII summons... CR 9-10 creatures, which are barely more than a speed bump for the CR 14 bad guys you're facing. And that full-round to cast is painful; is it really worth summoning a creature that likely won't last even a full round if it takes a round to summon it?

    But:
    - They take up space and can provide battlefield control. Especially the dinosaurs.
    - The casters. OMG the azatas are some of the best summons in the game. When you think of summoning, think of summoning something to cast spells on your behalf. There are some nice buffers on the standard list, and Sacred Summons is a nice totally-allowed feat.


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    Two quick notes while I'm waiting for Impus Major to get out of the shower so I can get to bed:

  • In my previous post I neglected to credit our inquisitor. The paladin didn't have a bow, and maybe did 5 points of damage total to the critter. But I did bring the critter within his range. The inquisitor shot the living cr*p out of the thing, and she got to because I was taking up the thing's actions. If it had stayed in the air and just shot her, I think we might have had a TPK.
  • I will agree/disagree with Vankyre on Summon Monster, because the higher level you are, the less useful the spells are in terms of overall combat. At 1st level, Summon Monster I gives you a nice CR 1/2 monster, good enough to be involved in a fight. Even at your current level (14), Summon Monster VII summons... CR 9-10 creatures, which are barely more than a speed bump for the CR 14 bad guys you're facing. And that full-round to cast is painful; is it really worth summoning a creature that likely won't last even a full round if it takes a round to summon it?

    But:
    - They take up space and can provide battlefield control. Especially the dinosaurs.
    - The casters. OMG the azatas are some of the best summons in the game. When you think of summoning, think of summoning something to cast spells on your behalf. There are some nice buffers on the standard list, and Sacred Summons is a nice totally-allowed feat.

  • Oh, there are drawbacks, no doubt. Besides the ones you mentioned, the extra time it takes to resolve the turns can be a pain, which is why some people add additional restrictions.

    At low levels...1-2...it's not even worth casting. The full round to cast it just to have a 1 round/level duration makes it not worth the effort. But, Summon III - VI, I think that's where things are hitting the right bang-for-your-buck ratio and you can find that Swiss Army Knife versatility. For Summon VII, well, that list is simply not great overall - most things are evil or aquatic, and therefore niche or alignment restricted, but it's a great way to get 1d3 lillends or 1d4+1 bralanis.

    I rarely play a character built around summoning (my current cleric in Giantslayer being an exception), but it is a good thing to have in your toolbox.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    There are ways to have almost-effective Summoners. But that means building a caster that specializes on Summons... and it likely has to be a Cleric so to get Sacred Summons and cast a summon monster spell as a standard action. (Only Clerics and Paladins get the Aura which is a prerequisite for Sacred Summons.)

    The Feats are Sacred Summons, Spell Focus (Conjuration), Augment Summons (+4 to Str and Con), Superior Summoning (+1 Summoned critter when summoning multiple critters), and possibly Moonlight Summons (as it treats the creature's natural attacks as silver). If you've a half-orc Cleric, then Ferocious Summons also gives monsters the Ferocity ability so they don't just vanish at 0 or negative hit points.

    Mind you, what this does is give you the ability to summon critters with +2 hit points per hit die, does +2 extra damage with its attacks, and can be called into being on the same turn as the spell is cast. And if you're casting a lower level version, immediately allow 1d3+1 instead of just 1d3 critters (or 1d3+2 if you do one two levels lower). That said... if you summoned multiple critters who can cast healing spells? Then you just got a group of folk casting healing spells on your party, even if not probably the high level spells.

    Now, let me speak as a GM here. Summons are a royal pain in the ass. Your group is already HOW many folk? How slow are your combats? And as you gain higher levels it will get even slower! Avoid summons like the plague! Please!


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    Tangent101 wrote:

    There are ways to have almost-effective Summoners. But that means building a caster that specializes on Summons... and it likely has to be a Cleric so to get Sacred Summons and cast a summon monster spell as a standard action. (Only Clerics and Paladins get the Aura which is a prerequisite for Sacred Summons.)

    The Feats are Sacred Summons, Spell Focus (Conjuration), Augment Summons (+4 to Str and Con), Superior Summoning (+1 Summoned critter when summoning multiple critters), and possibly Moonlight Summons (as it treats the creature's natural attacks as silver). If you've a half-orc Cleric, then Ferocious Summons also gives monsters the Ferocity ability so they don't just vanish at 0 or negative hit points.

    Mind you, what this does is give you the ability to summon critters with +2 hit points per hit die, does +2 extra damage with its attacks, and can be called into being on the same turn as the spell is cast. And if you're casting a lower level version, immediately allow 1d3+1 instead of just 1d3 critters (or 1d3+2 if you do one two levels lower). That said... if you summoned multiple critters who can cast healing spells? Then you just got a group of folk casting healing spells on your party, even if not probably the high level spells.

    Now, let me speak as a GM here. Summons are a royal pain in the ass. Your group is already HOW many folk? How slow are your combats? And as you gain higher levels it will get even slower! Avoid summons like the plague! Please!

    Hilariously, this group's combats run about 10x as fast as my all-adult Crimson Throne game.

    Shiro did a nice job of showing how to use Summon Monster in our Rise of the Runelords campaign by having his bard spam bunches of bralani azata ("Shiro's Angels") who then healed the living c**p out of the party and did nothing else. Mass Cure Serious Wounds has nothing on a flock of bralani azata. And spamming for natural 20s on 2 attacks per round, or a free 3d6 (probably halved) per round with 3-6 azata flapping around adds up fast. And since they were all the same creature type, he had the sheet printed up, and they all did the same action, he ran them really quickly. And hilariously. "Oh, Shiro! You're our hero!"

    *SIGH*. The good old days!

    EDIT: But yeah, Tangent's right about one thing: The first time you tell me you cast Summon Monster and then, at the table tell me you need to look at the table to decide what to summon (as a certain someone has done multiple times at my CT table until I asked him not to use the spell any more), you'll be forgetting the spell by divine fiat.


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    Vanykrye wrote:

    Casters also don't have to cast something every round. Don't look at me like that. They really don't. Yes, there are plenty of people who will tell you otherwise, and some of them are quite vocal about it. That won't be me. Sometimes all they need to do is 1-2 rounds of the right spells and let the martials take care of the rest. Sometimes they don't really need to do even that much. I've seen fights completely turned upside down just from one spell, and everything else the caster did, while nice, was not necessary for victory.

    Sure, there are fights where you need to unleash everything you have. Those are usually called boss fights. Not we're-running-through-a-hallway-dealing-with-what-are-supposed-to-be-mooks fights.

    That's something I've come to find as I play Narlock. Most of the time all she needs to do is start playing, maybe Grease, and Vanish. I have buffs like Cat's Grace and Good Hope, but otherwise almost every spell I take is to fill some niche the party doesn't have.

    This is mostly because NH's long time Bard player was around while I was making Narlock, resulting in a lot of spells and feats I wouldn't have otherwise taken.


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    Intentional TacticsLion Provoking:

    I know you're avoiding FaWtL due to time constraints, but someone just popped on and asked for people to look over a new RPG idea he's toying with.

    Not that I think you'd have any idea in looking at something like that...
    ...ever...


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    Dawning Aegis wrote:

    That's something I've come to find as I play Narlock. Most of the time all she needs to do is start playing, maybe Grease, and Vanish. I have buffs like Cat's Grace and Good Hope, but otherwise almost every spell I take is to fill some niche the party doesn't have.

    This is mostly because NH's long time Bard player was around while I was making Narlock, resulting in a lot of spells and feats I wouldn't have otherwise taken.

    And bards aren't half-bad at hitting things with pointy sticks (either hand-held bladey things or device propelled sticks, I don't care which), so there's even more options that don't involve *having* to cast spells.

    A well-played bard, in my experience, makes everyone operate better and then have them turn around and ask you what you're doing to contribute because they honestly have no idea what it is you're doing for them.


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    Intentional TacticsLion Provoking:

    I know you're avoiding FaWtL due to time constraints, but someone just popped on and asked for people to look over a new RPG idea he's toying with.

    Not that I think you'd have any idea in looking at something like that...
    ...ever...

    Light the TL Symbol!

    Liberty's Edge

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    Something worth adding to the last page or two of discussion (hey, I just archive binged like 200 posts!) is that some of these characters have very low saves. A +5 Will or Fortitude at 14th level is begging for death in a hundred different ways. One of the lessons I first learned when I started getting into Pathfinder theory is that high AC is only a partial protection - you ought to have decent saves, too. If you're failing more than 50% of your Fortitude saves, all the armor class in the world won't help you. Take a look at the saves in our alias titles to get a good idea of what saves can look like at this level.

    In the case of this game, where the books' loot for four players is so much less than that 2x figure NH quoted (did a quick roundup of all possible treasure from SFSS & RTR for my own game yesterday), and you have six players dividing and haven't been downright moneygrubbers at every chance, boosting your saves still doesn't have to break bank.

    #1 option for the cash-strapped character, and not a bad option for the well-endowed character, is one of the feats that shores up saves. Great Fortitude and Iron Will are actually quite decent, despite how boring they look.
    #2 is the bare minimum in cloaks. We're talking upgrading those +1 cloaks to a +2. We're talking using the magic item creation rules to add a resistance property to that dirt-cheap cloak of fiery vanishing for 1.5x the price of just buying a new cloak (it's really not a net win, but I as a player don't like the feeling of giving up gear, either). Anyway, you get so much more bang for your buck if you buy an assortment of items - a +2 ring, a +2 amulet, a +2 cloak, and a +2 armor costs just 24000-odd gold (less if NH lets you take time in camp and pay the difference between a +1 ring and a +2 ring rather than selling the +1 and buying a whole new one) - than if you just invest in one specific type of bonus (armor shouldn't be at +5 before cloak's at +4, for example). Chase the cheapest bonuses.
    #3 You're Pathfinders. You have wayfinders. You have ioun stones. You know what to do with these things.
    #4 Keep doing what you're doing, with regards to buffs. But those who buff ought to take a look at their friends' character sheets and figure out who they need to put owl's wisdom on, and who they need to put bear's endurance on.
    #5 is a one- or two-level dip in another class with good saves (or abilities that allow rerolls, or adding Charisma to Will and so forth). Stuff like cleric, paladin, monk, skald, and druid grant a +2 to the two most important saves. The spellcasting classes even give you some slots you can use to cut down on wand and potion expenditures.

    Hope things go well in the continued assault on the Fortress! I'll be taking hella notes.


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    Thanks for the input, Gark! Yeah, there's a reason the +5 cloaks are only 25,000 gp -- EVERYONE NEEDS ONE!

    In terms of play, some of the kids are really enjoying the "down time" that the end-of-year mayhem is providing, and others aren't.

    This week Kwai Chang can't make it, but as the "adult in the room" I've put, "Play or another bad movie/Quiplash" up for a vote, and so far it's 1-1.

    Liberty's Edge

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    My brother's still got four weeks left of classes, so we don't quite have end-of-year mayhem in our group. But it is nice to relax and do something besides Pathfinder. The fact that this thread has had this many posts about different varieties of item that provide a set numerical bonus is kind of archetypal for a fun simulationist system that in later levels becomes that one nuclear warfare-based game described in Infinite Jest*.

    *not necessarily an endorsement


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    Well, I think the kids are definitely suffering from "end of year" burnout, plus they were really pretty sick of running into overwhelming fights.

    Of the 6 players I e-mailed, I received -0- responses. Yesterday Bacon Boy said, "Oh, I've already invited another person to the Quiplash night" before the vote even happened. Mr. Stereotype dropped by and said, "Oh, my dad (Kwai Chang) can make it by Skype after all."

    So no one even wants to communicate about the game at the moment (except Talky, who'd really like to wrap the AP up), which is a good sign that some down time is in order.

    Thus, tonight's another "Bad movie/Quiplash" night.

    We'll see how the players feel about resuming next week, or whether they just want to take a month or two off to replenish their gaming stores.


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    Intentional TacticsLion Provoking:

    I know you're avoiding FaWtL due to time constraints, but someone just popped on and asked for people to look over a new RPG idea he's toying with.

    Not that I think you'd have any idea in looking at something like that...
    ...ever...

    Dang it, man, just because it works...

    :P


    Vanykrye wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:

    Intentional TacticsLion Provoking:

    I know you're avoiding FaWtL due to time constraints, but someone just popped on and asked for people to look over a new RPG idea he's toying with.

    Not that I think you'd have any idea in looking at something like that...
    ...ever...

    Light the TL Symbol!

    Hey! I got stuff to fo$ my life is busy! YOU DONT KNOW~...!


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    FINE, I’ve responded: I hope you’re happy! Dang it! And I’m missing my free entertainment! :P


    AAAAAGGGGGHHHH ANDNOWIMRUNNINGLATE


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    (I mean, I already was, buit I’m blaming you, anyway.)


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    Yeah, but you didn't stay up 'til 5 a.m. finishing work because you procrastinated all day, Tacticslion. So I've got you beat on lateness.


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    Well, geez.

    Impus Major is in a variety show tomorrow and Friday, and had rehearsals yesterday and today. He humbly asked me to cancel the game tonight, since he won't even be home before 6:00 or 6:30 pm, and last night after rehearsal he was really tired.

    So yep. Another week, another cancellation.

    Next week may be bad (it's Dead Week, and more than half the teachers at the school think this means, "Pile on extra projects until the students are dead"). The 13th is definitely out (finals week) as is the 20th (my birthday).

    So this game may well be on hold until June 27th!!

    On the other hand, my feeling about the whole thing is that everyone was feeling pretty burned out anyway, hence the large number of cancellations, so taking a few more sessions off probably won't hurt anything.


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    With summer break looming will it be possible to run longer sessions? IIRC your sessions are generally pretty short at 3-4 hours' length.


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    The Mad Comrade wrote:
    With summer break looming will it be possible to run longer sessions? IIRC your sessions are generally pretty short at 3-4 hours' length.

    The sessions are typically 6:30 - 9:00 pm, so 2.5 hours, minus a bit to get organized.

    Longer sessions are extremely unlikely:

  • While the kids are on summer break, *I* still have to work, meaning that even in an ideal world where I just get off work, set up, and run we wouldn't be able to start before 4:30 pm. And that would be very hard on me. A more reasonable start time would be 5:30 pm.
  • Unfortunately, with Mr. Stereotype in Germany, and his father over there some weeks, the 6:30 pm start time for us translates to him getting up at 2:30 am, playing until 5:00 am, and then getting ready for and going to school. Making him get up even earlier at 1:30 am would be even more of a hardship on him.
  • End times are similarly problematic: I get up at 5:00 am, so I prefer to end the game at 9:00 pm sharp. Bacon Boy will be on the East Coast for the summer, meaning we're already playing until midnight, and he's doing some kind of internship, so playing later would be hard on him.

  • The 2.5-hour sessions work for us, and I think longer sessions would just result in more burnout. And the logistics just aren't there.


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    The Mad Comrade wrote:
    With summer break looming will it be possible to run longer sessions? IIRC your sessions are generally pretty short at 3-4 hours' length.

    The sessions are typically 6:30 - 9:00 pm, so 2.5 hours, minus a bit to get organized.

    Longer sessions are extremely unlikely:

  • While the kids are on summer break, *I* still have to work, meaning that even in an ideal world where I just get off work, set up, and run we wouldn't be able to start before 4:30 pm. And that would be very hard on me. A more reasonable start time would be 5:30 pm.
  • Unfortunately, with Mr. Stereotype in Germany, and his father over there some weeks, the 6:30 pm start time for us translates to him getting up at 2:30 am, playing until 5:00 am, and then getting ready for and going to school. Making him get up even earlier at 1:30 am would be even more of a hardship on him.
  • End times are similarly problematic: I get up at 5:00 am, so I prefer to end the game at 9:00 pm sharp. Bacon Boy will be on the East Coast for the summer, meaning we're already playing until midnight, and he's doing some kind of internship, so playing later would be hard on him.

  • The 2.5-hour sessions work for us, and I think longer sessions would just result in more burnout. And the logistics just aren't there.

    Oh wowza, that'd do it. Hadn't grokked your group's logistics. Game on!


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    I want more free entertainment!


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    I e-mailed Papa Stereotype yesterday and we'll see whether we have a game on tonight; otherwise nothing 'til the 27th.


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    Ok Nobody's Home:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoAfb3f04mo


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    pad300 wrote:

    Ok Nobody's Home:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoAfb3f04mo

    OMG! That is SOOOOOOO awesome!!!!

    Unfortunately, due to child labor laws:

  • No game tonight. The science club is putting on a stargazing party, and Papa Stereotype is providing one of the telescopes, so both Papa and Mr. Stereotype will be there.
  • No game next week. Finals week.
  • No game the 20th. I don't run on my birthday

  • So we'll do our best to have a game on the 27th for everyone!


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    Still a faster gaming schedule than my tabletop group... which is heading toward a year since the last game. Again. And that's a gaming group that is DOWN to TWO people who are married to each other, and myself as GM.

    No wonder I run Skype games... (just wish I could figure out what I'm doing wrong on Roll20 or I'd use their chat system instead!)


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    Tangent101 wrote:

    Still a faster gaming schedule than my tabletop group... which is heading toward a year since the last game. Again. And that's a gaming group that is DOWN to TWO people who are married to each other, and myself as GM.

    No wonder I run Skype games... (just wish I could figure out what I'm doing wrong on Roll20 or I'd use their chat system instead!)

    (1) Make sure neither you nor your friends are using a browser produced by Microsoft. No Internet Explorer. No Edge. Honestly, you'll be doing everyone a favor in the long run anyway.

    (2) There's a wonderful Windows sound setting called, "Allow applications to take exclusive control of sound devices". It should be off by default, but because it's Microsoft, it's on. Turn it off.

    (3) Check your browser's (you're using Firefox or Chrome now, right?) security settings; they default to being able to use the speakers and microphone after asking your permission. It might be that something like AdBlock is blocking the pop-up where Chrome is asking permission to use the microphone, for example.

    (4) Turn chat off in Roll20 and then back on again.

    Having worked with people in Germany, New York, and elsewhere, all of whom have had serious issues, I've gotten pretty good at debugging Roll20 chat...


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    Not until the 27th! Why, whatever will I do? I will lie here and wait. Patiently. With puppy dog eyes.

    Either that or I'll actually think about whatever game it is I may or may not be running myself this weekend. No kids, so potentially Reign of Winter, but Saturday is booked full for Zelda's birthday celebration. So either tonight or Sunday. Maybe.


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    pad300 wrote:

    Ok Nobody's Home:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoAfb3f04mo

    OMG! That is SOOOOOOO awesome!!!!

    Unfortunately, due to child labor laws:

  • No game tonight. The science club is putting on a stargazing party, and Papa Stereotype is providing one of the telescopes, so both Papa and Mr. Stereotype will be there.
  • No game next week. Finals week.
  • No game the 20th. I don't run on my birthday

  • So we'll do our best to have a game on the 27th for everyone!

    I'm not quite sure you've got into the spirit of things here...


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
    NobodysHome wrote:
    Tangent101 wrote:

    Still a faster gaming schedule than my tabletop group... which is heading toward a year since the last game. Again. And that's a gaming group that is DOWN to TWO people who are married to each other, and myself as GM.

    No wonder I run Skype games... (just wish I could figure out what I'm doing wrong on Roll20 or I'd use their chat system instead!)

    (1) Make sure neither you nor your friends are using a browser produced by Microsoft. No Internet Explorer. No Edge. Honestly, you'll be doing everyone a favor in the long run anyway.

    (snipped)

    Having worked with people in Germany, New York, and elsewhere, all of whom have had serious issues, I've gotten pretty good at debugging Roll20 chat...

    Thank you. As far as I know, no one in my group uses Edge or Exploder with Roll20, seeing that Roll20 actually didn't work at all with it for quite some time. ^^;;

    Hopefully it's either #2 or #3 causing troubles. I *have* gotten it to work intermittently with one person at a time. All four players though? Not so much. I'm wondering if it's the exclusive control thing causing troubles and we'll see if we can get it working properly in the next few weeks. :)

    Liberty's Edge

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    Roll 20 used to have p garbage voice chat but I've heard they upgraded it within the last year or two. I use discord for all my nonpbp games now, though. And it works as well, maybe better.

    Looking forward to a potential June 27th writeup! I definitely understand the fatigue but it will be so cool for this group to finish the AP. One way or another ;)

    (Speaking as someone who runs games across three continents, I recommend examining weekend schedules closely. Teens can stay up hella late on a Saturday night, or wake up all kinds of early. But the fact that you'be got adults in the group too may rule this out . . .)


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    NH has other groups and activities dominating his weekends right now.


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    Vanykrye wrote:
    NH has other groups and activities dominating his weekends right now.

    Right. Here's the "short" version:

  • At least one weekend game every week since roughly 2012
  • From roughly 2014 on, two weekend games every weekend
  • Our house needed major repairs when we bought it in 2002. Impus Major moved into the uninsulated, leaky garage in the summer of 2016, with promises that I would wire, wall, and insulate it
  • Between running games Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, and playing on Sundays, I have:
    (a) Not managed to finish Impus Major's garage
    (b) Seriously burned myself out on gaming at all
  • I'm old. I get exhausted staying up past around 10:30 pm. So while the kids would be fine playing until midnight or 1:00 am (I used to do it 7 days a week back in my early 20s), their GM couldn't handle it

  • So this weekend I have a rare two days off (Shiro will be radioactive again), meaning I can work on the garage, catch up on all my game prep, and prepare to wrap up Crimson Throne. But I've already told all my players that I'm 100% NOT starting ANY games until Impus' garage is complete, and even then it'll depend on what my schedule is like. Running even two games a week is hard work. Adding a third doesn't sound all that fun, so it may wait until the kids finish or give up on Serpent's Skull and we let Impus Minor take over the GM'ing duties for the "kids' game".

    The big issue will be getting a couple of players to quit. After running two 6-person groups, I'll openly state that long-running games just aren't fun for groups that big. If you plan on running an AP, stick with the recommended 4.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Hey NH, I'm looking to take the lazy way out of searching. I'm about to start running RotRL and I thought you had a campaign journal for it.

    If I'm right, do you have link easily available?


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    Seannoss wrote:

    Hey NH, I'm looking to take the lazy way out of searching. I'm about to start running RotRL and I thought you had a campaign journal for it.

    If I'm right, do you have link easily available?

    Oh, you are looking for trouble.

    I salute you on the journey you are about to undertake.

    My Magnum Opus.

    EDIT: Holy carp! It's up to 26 favorites! Who DOES that for a campaign journal?


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Thank you very much! I had started to read this once upon a time and had lost it since then.

    Also, judging by the length of this thread, I'd say a lot of people enjoy this sort of thing. Although it is a bit sad that your group has grown in ways, there aren't nearly as many silly moments anymore.


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    My experience is that groups of 4 or 5 work just fine in APs as-written. The extra set of actions offsets the slightly watered down loot. The quick-n-dirty XP division chart shows the exact same XP awards for groups of 4 or 5, so that's what I use for groups of 4 or 5.

    The bigger, nastier published campaigns that are written for larger groups are another beast altogether. Rappan Athuk and especially the Slumbering Tsar are brutal and (at least for tST) are explicitly written to accommodate larger player groups.

    My experience has also been that high-ability-score groups have more fun. I'm sure others disagree, but we routinely use a 25-point-buy, have been the entire time we've been playing Pathfinder (since the Alpha/Beta playtest). YMMV. :)


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    Oh, it's not adjusting the encounters that's the issue, it's just giving everyone a chance to participate and roleplay. I've never had a table of 6 or more players where at least one player didn't just sit there silently for the entire game, occasionally rolling dice and otherwise not participating at all.

    With 4 players, everyone's invested, everyone's involved, and the game goes really well. Once you get more than 4, you start having people lose interest because there just isn't enough time at the table to give everyone personal attention.

    Shiro manages it in one-offs at conventions and such, but in terms of long-time campaigns, every GM I know, no matter how experienced, says, "No, for campaigns you need to limit it to 4."

    And after running a few 6+ person campaigns, I 100% agree with that sentiment.


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    6+, absolutely. 5 or less works well for me. :)


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    LOL. I've never had a 5-person campaign, so I have no idea. :-P


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    LOL. I've never had a 5-person campaign, so I have no idea. :-P

    ^______^

    Doesn't feel any different while leaving room for a "fifth wheel" character to shine instead of having to step into one of the four "classic positions". I like it.

    Given my druthers I'd prefer a 5-player table as both GM and player.

    The primary difficulty I've found is that the larger the group the greater the likelihood of inter-player drama cropping up. Four is often a sweet spot from that perspective too, as the less drama, the better.

    I get the burnout, NBH. Young, healthy and nothing better to do lends for copious gaming time. Getting A Life slaps brakes onto that runaway wagon PDQ. I'm impressed you've managed to keep that many games going for so long after Getting A Life. Kudos!


    Man, when I was younger, my 16-24 campaign would have made NH shudder - true, we rarely had more than 8-10 at a time, but still...

    (It was a good time for most, though.)

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