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


Serpent's Skull

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NobodysHome wrote:

And I think that, in a nutshell, exemplifies my frustration with running this group: It's not only that it was 7 players (now 6), which doesn't work well in and of itself.

It's that one player will propose the most-obvious, most-straightforward solution to a problem as one of the initial ideas. And the other players will shoot it down with a jaded, "Oh, that'll never work," as if I've gone out of my way to screw them over at every possible opportunity.

Except I haven't. They've managed to do it to themselves over and over and over again, by throwing away an obvious and tactically-sound plan in favor of random thoughts and "every man for himself".

As a GM, it gets really frustrating to hear, "Hey, let's try xxx!" and to think, "Wow! That's a really good idea! I hope they do that!", only to have it followed up with, "No, NobodysHome'll screw us over. He always does, so it can't possibly work, so we need to do something else."
And they do something else, and it fails horribly, and yet again, "NobodysHome screwed us over."

Yeah, it gets extremely frustrating being accused of doing things I've never even tried to do...

One of my favorite 'it won't work' moments from my group::

Being 7th level group of six characters built on 25 point buy, with some really decent gear (which combined together basically made them somewhere around effective 9th or possibly even 10th level) they were "ambushed" on a mountainside road by an evil cavalier and a few stone giants (three I think). The cavalier being honorable combatant, and a sort of acquaintance of theirs since they meet in somewhat peaceful conditions before, asked them to surrender promising them they will be treated fairly (or so he believed).

...

The players immediately and unanimously decided that they have no chance and should surrender.

I had to tell the bard make a Knowledge check to let them know they are fully capable of defeating the opponents, with fight being challenging but not unwinnable. Honestly, I would not expect them to listen to NPC and surrender and made no plans for them being taken captive...

In fact, they steamrolled over the giants and captured the cavalier instead. But I had to tell them that they can. I think they might played too much with GMs who forced such things or sent unreasonable forces against them in the past.


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I'd advise speaking with the negative folks about their negativity in game, and how it can disrupt the game. Maybe they still might be saved and turned into proactive players?


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Well, we *finally* got everyone together tonight, but there were significant life issues to be dealt with, so we ended up playing Jackbox games all night.

Maybe next week.

(And since the issues were not mine, no, I do not feel free to discuss them.)

Liberty's Edge

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Hope everyone is safe!


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Gark the Goblin wrote:
Hope everyone is safe!

"Safe" is a relative term. Everyone's physically safe, and I've declared my home "neutral ground" with a zero-tolerance policy for teenage grar, so things should be OK. Though I may have more random visitors seeking shelter for a few weeks...

It's something serious, and something I will not discuss out of respect for those involved's privacy, but the least I can do is provide a safe haven for those who want shelter from the storm.


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Thumbs up to you NH, quality fellow you are indeed!


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Aiymi and I did the same when The Adult Kid was in junior high and high school. We always told the kids we wouldn't go running to their parents/authorities unless we felt there was a certifiable physical danger, and if they needed support when they did talk to their parents we'd go with them.


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So... how bad is the grar?

Impus Minor just called to tell me he's not coming home for the game. He intends to stay away from the house until it's over an all the guests have left.

Yeah, it's far past time to end it.


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OK. Serious props to Bacon Boy this evening. We were doing a post-mortem on the campaign and its failings, and he got seriously dumped on (most notable moment -- I told him Deady left because of him, he asked, "Was I really that bad?", and the entire rest of the table chorused in unison, "Yes!"). He took it extremely well, better than most adults would, and talked about steps he's been taking to try to improve.

Did I mention I have a bunch of good kids?

So all in all, I was extremely happy with how things turned out. We aired all the dirty laundry and nobody got excessively upset about the whole thing. The kids'll grow from it, I'll get a much-needed break, and I'm helping ensure they're all getting placed in new campaigns without me as their GM.

Woot!

I'll write the final wrap-up tomorrow some time...


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While unpleasant, sometimes it is needed.

But overall, I do believe, it is a good learning experience for them. IIRC, for most of them, it was their first go at RPGs so bound to have some issues, but now that they have been identified, the kids can work on it, improve and become better gamers.

So ultimately, it is a good thing.


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Good job, Baconator. Personal growth is always hard, but it's always so worth it. You're gonna go far.


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Good to see the young-ins' showing some maturity and sense, good job!

Side note, when Bacon Boy hits 18, does he become Bacon Man and gain delicious super powers related to cured salted pork?


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Yep...not whether you fall down, because you absolutely will, but how you get back up. Time to get back up, Bacon.


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The Final Session, played 10-Oct-2018

I'd love to say that something spectacular, or different, or miraculous happened this session, but overall the kids just worked out the bare basics of what they had to do and we rolled through it, then had an hourlong post-mortem of what went well and what went poorly in the campaign.

We left off last session with the group in combat with a lone remaining spirit naga (blinded by Glitterdust), with a pack of serpentfolk guards coming in from the north but being miraculously blocked by Narlock's Grease spell. (I swear, they only needed a 9 or better to walk through it, but noooooooo...)

Kwai Chang and Malek took a few rounds to finish off the spirit naga, but the only really "interesting" part of that battle was Malek's Disruptive feat preventing her from getting a spell off. Otherwise, it was just a, "Gosh, her armor class is really high for a caster" miss-and-occasionally-smashfest. My first roll playing Hooken as a GMNPC was a confirmed crit against the first serpentfolk guard to make it across the Grease. And yep, even in Impus Minor's absence Hooken continued to one-shot everything. Athelya and Voren looked for ways to free the morlocks, finally settling on bringing Narlock over to tell the morlocks to stand back, then using Blade Barrier. Impressively wasteful, but it did get an entire wall of cells open, and, unlike the casters in the party, a bunch of morlock barbarians with makeshift clubs made from the remains of their cages made short work of their comrades' cages.

In the meantime, the serpentfolk were dealing with Hooken under Greater Invisibility. Guess who lost THAT fight? The surviving serpentfolk (about half their original number) fled to get reinforcements. But it was too late; the party was bolstered by 240 morlocks and 60 morlock barbarians, all of whom can sit in one square at once. Morlock swarms are evil.

So yeah, nothing stood a chance any more, so we went out of initiatives.

In my sole remaining moment of delight, the party found the torture chamber, slaughtered the torturer and the guards without remorse, and found Eando Kline and his fellow party member, "Selennia", who had "been through a lot".

If you check out a Master Spy succubus with additional levels for a party of 6, she can Detect as any alignment she chooses, doesn't detect as magic, and has a Bluff of +61. I figured Selaxasp was a shoo-in to run off with the party, much to her delight. But Athelya pulled something I never expected: A Heal check of 41 on her. I had to admit that Selennia did not have a scratch on her. I started getting ready for a fight that might have been more than the party could deal with.

But they accepted Eando's explanation that she had been cut down by the spirit nagas, then raised from the dead to be Sskhavo's sex slave. Many comments such as "Serpentfolk are worse than furries" followed, but they believed her story.

So we did a hand-waving session where they summoned a large earth elemental to open the floodgates into the rest of the fortress, and the morlocks ran amok. They grabbed Belkor's head and gear, and Sskhavo's just 'cause Selennia had told such a good story.

With the fortress sacked, the party celebrated, we ended the campaign, and went into a post-mortem (which I'll have to post later, as I'm still at work).


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And the wrap-up notes:

  • GM Feedback: I couldn't get them to give me any significant negative feedback, which is nice, but I really prefer to hear, "Well, you could have done this better." Kwai Chang's player said that I was one of the best GMs he's had, so I just walk away feeling better about the whole fiasco.
  • Favorite Moments: This also surprised me in how hard it was to get any real answers. Bacon Boy said that he really liked that the fights "felt really intense". So it seems like I balanced them well, and ran their enemies well. Mr. Stereotype said that his favorite book was Book 2 because, "We knew where we were going and we had a clear goal."
    It's funny, because it was one of my least-favorite books to run, but the kids appreciated having a very clear storyline, unlike...
  • Least Favorite Moments: Book 3 and the exploration of Saventh-Yhi. This one really surprised me, as I spent tens of hours building up the entire region to provide them with a sandbox wherein they really could do anything they wanted. And that was the problem for them: There were no goals. There was no sign of, "Oh, we're done." They had no idea what to do, and ended up just muddling around doing very little.
    And I have to admit, that's really where the AP started falling apart. By the time they were ready to do the vaults most of the players had already lost interest.

  • So, lessons learned, and I'll make a note in the AP book thread.


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    I can see it. Sandbox are great and gives loads of fun place to poke around and the freedom to choose out path, but that freedom can be overwhelming, especially for beginners, as we tend to equate "game = end goal/objectif(s) to reach".


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    Andre Roy wrote:
    I can see it. Sandbox are great and gives loads of fun place to poke around and the freedom to choose out path, but that freedom can be overwhelming, especially for beginners, as we tend to equate "game = end goal/objectif(s) to reach".

    And I really think that is amplified when talking about teenagers.

    I mean, Minecraft, sure, but that's a sandbox where they decide their own goals and there's no feeling of "There's a point to this we're missing". In an AP, particularly with beginners, they had to feel like they were just missing the entire point of the place.


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    I think Book 3 went unusually smoothly for my group, but that was because we inexplicably all thought that we had to activate every spire.


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    Wait...

    That means...

    No.

    No more adventures of Malek, Hooken, and their companions?!

    NOOOOO!

    NOOOOOOOOO!

    *sad dragon is sad*


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    Drejk wrote:

    Wait...

    That means...

    No.

    No more adventures of Malek, Hooken, and their companions?!

    NOOOOO!

    NOOOOOOOOO!

    *sad dragon is sad*

    Well, look forward to Impus Major running a similar group through Rise of the Runelords!


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    Drejk wrote:

    Wait...

    That means...

    No.

    No more adventures of Malek, Hooken, and their companions?!

    NOOOOO!

    NOOOOOOOOO!

    *sad dragon is sad*

    Well, look forward to Impus Major running a similar group through Rise of the Runelords!

    That sounds like a promise of making journal of their antics...

    Who will be writing them down?

    (is that the moment to get either of the Impii (Impuses?) to polish his writing?)


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    Drejk wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    Drejk wrote:

    Wait...

    That means...

    No.

    No more adventures of Malek, Hooken, and their companions?!

    NOOOOO!

    NOOOOOOOOO!

    *sad dragon is sad*

    Well, look forward to Impus Major running a similar group through Rise of the Runelords!

    That sounds like a promise of making journal of their antics...

    Who will be writing them down?

    (is that the moment to get either of the Impii (Impuses?) to polish his writing?)

    I'll be co-GMing and providing a full journal. :-D


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    Woot!


    *SIGH*

    Don't "Woot" yet.

    Last night as a complete surprise 2 of the 4 players came over.

    Does any of this sound sad and familiar?

  • Neither of them, nor Impus Major, nor Impus Minor, had read the Player's Guide I sent them all a week ago. None of them bothered to ask about the environment, their surroundings, or how the campaign would start.
    So after an entire campaign collapsing because it was "all grind, no roleplay", they actively, obviously, determinedly did not give a rat's patootie about the story in RotRL. And considering that it's the best, most epic story of all the APs I've run, that's just sad.
  • None of them communicated with each other on what type of character they would run. So so far we have a barbarian, a bard, and a rogue. Ah, good! They haven't even started and they're already missing an entire school of magic (either divine or arcane), have redundant classes (bard and rogue), and are, yet again, missing a front-line "stopper". So, apparently all my post-SS tactical advice about choosing the proper mix of character classes went in one ear and out the other.
  • One player (who shall remain nameless) immediately asked to play a rage-pounce barbarian. Against a noob GM. Just plain Not OK.

  • So I sent an e-mail suggesting that if this was the attitude going IN to the campaign, they might want to consider not starting at all. Players need to make at least a LITTLE commitment to immerse themselves in the world; otherwise you're better off running one-offs or homebrews.


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    Alright, I had my fun at the lads expense last time...but NH IS trying to teach, and IS a damn good GM (as a fellow GM, we know our own), I feel like I gotta actually be a bit helpful here.

    Impi, take it from a guy who has been playing RPG's for 27 years, runs a 3pp PF compatible publisher, and takes HUGE pride in his RPG knowledge and skills, your ol' Pa is very much correct with his concern ATM!

    It looks like the madness and issues with SS have already begun to fade from your YA minds. That is the LAST thing that should be happening in the gaming group right now.

    If anything, you all should be working from your "I need to be better about X, Y, and/or Z" notes from SS, and making sure not to fall into those pits again, not dig them all over again.

    ::settles down on the ol’ gamer stump o’ Wisdom::

    Ok lads, first thing, say it with me now….”party roles are important!”

    They really, REALLY are! It is good to play classes that interest you, that get your creative mojo working, etc, but….you need to be an effective team player, and effective teams do not have large gaps or holes. Someone should be covering some sort of divine caster, someone should have an arcane caster, someone should be tanking, and someone should be doing the scouty/stealty thing at the very least.

    IF and WHEN a party has the basics covered, then it becomes allot more OK to overlap, but with glaring holes, nope!

    Plus…..it pays to read the players guide for an AP before creating a PC for said AP. The campaign specific stuff is there for a reason, as are the suggestions and tips.

    Alright, some final thoughts, along side party composition being a thing that should be carefully considered and managed, it really does pay to spend some mental energy figuring out ways that your PC’s abilities work TOGTHER, not just work as a single player, but WORK TOGETHER with the others in your group (this is key both IC and OOC).

    And the final bit of Wisdom, it is very true that sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing, or something simple. Spells, per day abilities, etc, are all resources you should manage carefully. There is a certain chaostician from Jurassic Park who says it best “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” Never waste a fireball when magic missile will do, never waste a magic missile when a ray of frost will do, and so on, and well, you can’t run outa 0th’s.

    As long as NH and Impus Major take no issue, I would be happy to offer further specific advice as RotRL’s progesses, cause I want to see all of you succeed and become better players, I really do love my craft, and that craft don’t work without good players, and you lads (and lasses, should any appear) are the future of the hobby, I am sure that NH like myself just wants you all to have the best experience possible.

    How does that happen….TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK, and TEAMWORK!


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    NobodysHome wrote:


    ...
    So after an entire campaign collapsing because it was "all grind, no roleplay", they actively, obviously, determinedly did not give a rat's patootie about the story in RotRL. And considering that it's the best, most epic story of all the APs I've run, that's just sad.
  • None of them communicated with each other on what type of character they would run. So so far we have a barbarian, a bard, and a rogue. Ah, good! They haven't even started and they're already missing an entire school of magic (either divine or arcane), have redundant classes (bard and rogue), and are, yet again, missing a front-line "stopper". So, apparently all my post-SS tactical advice about choosing the proper mix of character classes went in one ear and out the other.
    ...
  • I think Barbarian - Rogue - Bard - XXX could work well as a party, provided player #4 is willing to play a divine full caster (very preferably prepared rather than spontaneous), who is going to be strongly casting & magical versatility focused. That leaves lots of choices:

    For pure party fit, Shaman might be the strongest choice. Lore spirit as a wandering spirit would offer the ability to snag odd arcane spells, with Life as the primary spirit for full spectrum healing capabilities. A very complex class to play though.

    Next would be a cleric of some sort. Channel energy and the full healing spectrum, with a lot of niche spells available on preparation

    Then a druid. The animal companion is nice and would bolster the fron line, but the spell list is less versatile.

    Lower ranked fill ins for the slot would be an Oracle (due to a fixed spell list, unless you use some cheese...), a Witch ( much less capable healer), and maybe a psychic (fixed list, much less capable healer...)

    With regards to the other players, the rogue needs to spend some effort being capable/survivable in front-line combat. The bard should consider their spell choices carefully. All players should consider possible archetypes.


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    Little hint, bards happen to be good at casting spells of an energy type that is a rare resistance, sonic...to our possible bard player, this is worth remembering.


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    I mean...strictly speaking, a Bard with the Sound Striker archetype out of Ultimate Magic, coupled with a focus on Charisma, can step into a role as a primary arcane caster.

    It doesn't stack, but the Thundercaller, out of Varisia - Birthplace of Legends (reprinted in Ultimate Wilderness), is capable of filling that role as well, with a great synergy into the Barbarian, given their ability to use Bardic Performance to inspire Rage.

    I don't know if you allow either of those books, but a Bard can fulfill the role if they're willing to fully devote their character to that role. They cannot dabble, however, and they need to surrender the Skill Monkey role to the Rogue.


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    Phntm888 wrote:

    I mean...strictly speaking, a Bard with the Sound Striker archetype out of Ultimate Magic, coupled with a focus on Charisma, can step into a role as a primary arcane caster.

    It doesn't stack, but the Thundercaller, out of Varisia - Birthplace of Legends (reprinted in Ultimate Wilderness), is capable of filling that role as well, with a great synergy into the Barbarian, given their ability to use Bardic Performance to inspire Rage.

    I don't know if you allow either of those books, but a Bard can fulfill the role if they're willing to fully devote their character to that role. They cannot dabble, however, and they need to surrender the Skill Monkey role to the Rogue.

    Uh, the primary role of an arcane caster isn't damage. If you're building an arcane caster to do damage I'd argue that you're doing it "wrong".

    You're looking for:
    (1) Battlefield control (black tentacles, create pit, etc.)
    (2) Movement powers (fly is the big one)
    (3) Out-of-combat long-range transportation (teleport)

    A cleric of Desna could successfully fulfill the needed roles: Take the travel domain to get teleport, get communal air walk ASAP, and Wall of Stone is a favorite bit of hilarity.

    Trouble is, fourth player took sorcerer.

    Yep. Going through an AP with NO divine caster. That's going to be... er... "interesting".


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    No real healer... that could sting. Cohort anyone?


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    pad300 wrote:
    No real healer... that could sting. Cohort anyone?

    Considering the brutality of some of the early areas, we're going to have a dead PC before Thistletop. Since they won't be able to afford resurrections, I'll encourage a cleric of Desna to show up.

    I loves me some clerics of Desna: Take the Travel and Freedom domains and holy carp! All your movement issues are solved!

    EDIT: I'm running a Wandering Spirit Shaman with Life as the base spirit in Strange Aeons, and I think shaman is a bit powerful for an AP. The Slumber Hex alone ends far too many combats with a quick coup de grace.


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    Hallelujah!

    The Impii, Talky, and I were in the car last night discussing the game, and:
    (1) Impus Minor agreed to play a paladin. An INT-dumped, CHA-pumped paladin of stupidity and righteousness, but hey, if he's having fun and he's effective, more power to him. Tank and divine caster are suddenly covered! Paladins rock! Ironically, this also gives them the exact same barbarian-paladin-sorcerer-bard makeup of my original crew.

    (2) The group agreed to do some scenario-building: November 7 will be nothing but a gathering to discuss character backgrounds and WHY they're all going to Sandpoint. November 14 will be the classic "Festival Games" night. November 21 will be the start of the campaign proper.

    I am quite heartened that THIS group was very willing to listen to my intensely-negative feedback and make adjustments.
    It's one thing to accept negative feedback gracefully (which they all did). It's another thing to actually do something about it.


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    Phntm888 wrote:

    I mean...strictly speaking, a Bard with the Sound Striker archetype out of Ultimate Magic, coupled with a focus on Charisma, can step into a role as a primary arcane caster.

    It doesn't stack, but the Thundercaller, out of Varisia - Birthplace of Legends (reprinted in Ultimate Wilderness), is capable of filling that role as well, with a great synergy into the Barbarian, given their ability to use Bardic Performance to inspire Rage.

    I don't know if you allow either of those books, but a Bard can fulfill the role if they're willing to fully devote their character to that role. They cannot dabble, however, and they need to surrender the Skill Monkey role to the Rogue.

    Uh, the primary role of an arcane caster isn't damage. If you're building an arcane caster to do damage I'd argue that you're doing it "wrong".

    You're looking for:
    (1) Battlefield control (black tentacles, create pit, etc.)
    (2) Movement powers (fly is the big one)
    (3) Out-of-combat long-range transportation (teleport)

    A cleric of Desna could successfully fulfill the needed roles: Take the travel domain to get teleport, get communal air walk ASAP, and Wall of Stone is a favorite bit of hilarity.

    Trouble is, fourth player took sorcerer.

    Yep. Going through an AP with NO divine caster. That's going to be... er... "interesting".

    *Shrug* I find being able to do both to be rather useful, and since Bards already have Grease, a large number of Enchantment spells (Hideous Laughter, Charm/Dominate, Hold Person/Monster) and Haste, plus a good Use Magic Device check (generally), giving them the ability to do a little damage without magic helps round them into form. You just have to sacrifice being good at several different things and go into it heavily, and spend money on scrolls of utility spells you need but don't have on your spell list.

    Mileage may vary, though. It's not for everyone. I'll admit I'm also a player who likes seeing if I can make what seem to be castoff options effective, so it might be a quirk of my personal playstyle.

    I'm glad to see the rogue has switched to a paladin, though. They make great tanks, and good healing in a pinch.


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    Update: Impus Major is finally showing some maturity. Tonight was supposed to be a brainstorm session for character backgrounds and making sure the PCs meshed well together. Impus Major told everyone: "I'm not ready; I haven't done any prep" and called the evening off.

    Honesty is the first step towards being a good GM.
    Knowing that you're not prepped is a GREAT second step.


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    nae, not primary job normally, just offering a info for thought nugget


    I’ll miss this game, it I’m glad folk are doing better! As an aside, make two characters, kids. Might never come up, but make two, introduce them both at the beginning of the AP (thing them to the story) and you can let a couple of characters be part of the story background, even though they aren’t the first one you started playing with.

    (As an aside, if the sorcerer is a Razmiran priest, it works like a cleric if you keep your stuff with you.)


    So, for example, the paladin makes a rogue. The rogue might get hurt or be sick or poisoned or whatever at the beginning of the game, but is notably present, so that in case the paladin bites it, rogue can step up and volunteer. That is exactly one example. It is only important if you die between levels 1-7 or so (at 8 you start being able to afford the ability to raise the dead), but it’s nice to have as a “just in case” given the noted deadlines of the AP.


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    Just know that this isn’t a cause to switch freely or chaotically, and you should most definitely not use them both at the same time - you’re just making an extra character to keep a coherent story thread going.


    Tacticslion wrote:
    So, for example, the paladin makes a rogue. The rogue might get hurt or be sick or poisoned or whatever at the beginning of the game, but is notably present, so that in case the paladin bites it, rogue can step up and volunteer. That is exactly one example. It is only important if you die between levels 1-7 or so (at 8 you start being able to afford the ability to raise the dead), but it’s nice to have as a “just in case” given the noted deadlines of the AP.

    Alright, just because I need a creative outlet for stuff, I'll give an example of how this might work.

    Session -2 or whatever
    > determine barbarian, bard, paladin, sorcerer; major characters

    Session -1 or whatever
    > suggest alt characters, say monk, cleric of Desna, rogue, ranger
    > build relationships; ex: the rogue and paladin are travel buddies who got to know each other on the way to the town (each traveling for their own reasons); the two became buddies and arrived together to <STARTING LOCALE>, but, rather foolishly, the rogue ate some really skeevy-looking soup (or whatever) on a dare and is now out with nigh-crippling food poisoning; the paladin brought him to a place to rest and recover, and helped cover some of those expenses while the rogue was out of it ('cause he's just that kind of a stand-up guy)
    > adventure starts, but rogue (not in danger of dying, but baaaasically useless) is just hanging around
    > rogue may be seen every once in a while hanging around town, or may get sick and/or wounded from <PLOT> event and be forced to be bedridden even longer
    > if the paladin bites it, the rogue effectively makes his recovery, or, feeling an obligation to a buddy who helped him out but got shanked, steps up to take his place
    > do something similar for the other characters: maybe the all got food poisoning from the same place/food/skeevy bar because it was a bad run, or maybe one was mugged in a back ally while another got wounded working for a fishing vessel and a third has been ill for the last half of the journey to town after being stung by a local brand of giant swampsquito or stirge or whatever and the last just... does not feel the call of adventure their erstwhile companion does (until said companion perishes doing something important). Really, it doesn't matter: they're present, around, something you'd enjoy playing, and have a logical place in the game.

    Another option is building the character, building their ties to the town or PC or whatever you feel appropriate, but then just shrugging and leaving the character in the GM's hands. That character either just isn't there until <time> but is still emotionally tied in some way, isn't part of the main focus of events until feeling compelled by the sacrifice of the fallen, has been doing their own side-adventures (with or without others) but is the current last survivor of said group being bound in the dungeon, or whatever else you and/or the GM want to say. This latter option differs little from just creating and introducing a character later, but it does give the GM tools and ideas to work with tying your character into your backstory in advance.

    I keep going back to the paladin/rogue pairing because I know the player was originally thinking rogue, but switched to paladin: it really doesn't have to be a paladin/rogue and probably shouldn't due to game roles, see below, or any other specific combination: two paladins coming from the same faith makes sense (either as friends, rivals, literal-or-metaphorical family - as long as they're not both named Bob or Bob and Bob 2, or such thing - unless the group is okay with that sort of nonsense, of course, in which case have fun! - or whatever), or a paladin and cleric of the same (or different, debating) faith(s), or devoted paladin and atheist maltheist wizard debating the merits of faith (or, for a weirder but possible twist, a atheist maltheist paladin and devoted wizard - clerics need a god in Golarion, but paladins do not), or really whatever!

    Any backstory I crafted up there is both perfectly functional as-is (no real alterations necessary), and entirely unoriginal to me (so steal away, adapt or alter as needed or desired, etc.). Obviously, you have to get any or all of your GMs to be "on board" with this idea, first.

    And, remember, the only real reason for this is to give a logical sense of continuity while characters can't afford resurrection magic. Don't have the second character be the one you most want to play - just as a fun backup for if the first one bites it!

    (And, yes, do keep in mind party roles and whatnot. That's pretty important. Eventually, though, magic items - hopefully! - can cover a host of sins, though not all of them. If you don't have "similar enough" - usually "one step" of roles - covered, you're going to have to learn to play reeeaaaaaaally smart and/or hard, and that... you might not want to do that.)

    Anyway, that's what I've got for now!


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    Heh. It's been a while. I'm really glad you guys were able to sit down and hammer things out.

    Also that while there were some hiccups, that both GM and players of the new group are coming to terms with how to work together and have an effective party.

    I've actually started up a new mostly-tabletop group myself for Reign of Winter, and have a campaign journal that I'm including, which can be found in this linked thread. Party composition is a GMPC Bard (for healing and buffs), Oracle of Stone, Druid with the Earth Domain, Witch with Elemental Patron, and a half-orc Barbarian.

    One thing I might suggest to Impus Major: don't hesitate to alter the adventure and create stuff on your own. For instance, when I ran RotRL I created rules for the festival including various contests (pie eating, archery, three-card monte, and so forth). I actually created a rules supplement for this, but sadly couldn't get in touch with the right people to sell it through Paizo so... it's currently in limbo (though I use it myself).

    For my RoW game, I not only used a festival to help get the players to connect more with Heldren (and this is one reason why I suggest using festival games for Sandpoint), but I also created a one-off adventure where the Oracle sought out an Oracle of the Dream Mystery to decipher her warning dream hinting at what was to come... and then after the group reached her, had everyone set off on a Vision Quest and laid even more hints while at the end telling them to return to Heldren. No doubt I'll craft several other adventures and expand on encounters in the game to make them creepier and more interesting.

    That's the thing. If your party is interested in roleplaying, you can do some truly enjoyable things with atmosphere and setting to make things more fascinating and at times disturbing. And RotRL has some excellent base material from which you can build upon. Don't hesitate to expand on stuff and add in stuff of your own - think of the AP as just a foundation and blueprints - what you build is your own thing. :)


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    It did not start well....

    But it was funny!

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