My wishlist - GM's guide unchained - or - GM's blog corner


Product Discussion


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As per a recent thread where it was discussed that this type of product is deemed unfeasible (due to business reasons which I'm not here to critique or complain about) it was suggested that discussion of this type of product have it's own thread.

So here it is.

Given that the *product* atm seems out of reach I'm going to focus on the blog side of things - so with that in mind - what I'd like to see:

A New blog setup with a (bi-weekly?) post that gives GM's advice and guidance on how to run the rules. NOT an errata or FAQ. I'd rather see *from a GM perspective* how Paizo would handle things like mounted combat, underwater combat, aerial combat, spells such as freedom of movement, odd corner cases... (perception to see the sun?). I'd like to see posts by Paizo GM's and possibly devs with ideas and suggestion that don't fall into (if this is a blog format) published rules, although if a FAQ deserves a talk, that'd be ok also. For an example of what I mean take a look at this: http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5lc12

High level play, how to scale up or down, when to gestalt or not, how to play high level without rocket tag, what to do to avoid rocket tag, etc.

So - I'm posting this looking for the following: Would you guys also be interested in this kind of product from Paizo? If So what other suggestions for topics could you bring up?


That'd be neat I guess.


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Have you looked at Ultimate Campaign?

I will offer my insight as to the best way of keeping a high level campaign from running out of control.

Don't start the PC's at high level, with a ton of cash to outfit themselves. and magic item creation feats to further munchkinise their assets.

Start them at first level and have them work up there the long way, you'll have the advantage of knowing your player's characters much more organically, and they won't have the same freedoms to hyper optmise their feats and possessions.

Ignore anyone who says that first level is a lousy place to start because the characters are "too weak".


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I would love this. The blog on poison (and then later the one on darkness) really helped me. For starting GMs there is a lot of stuff to keep in mind and players always seem to find some odd thing that you didn't prepare for. At this point with all the rules, feats, spells, class abilities etc it is really easy to second guess yourself when starting out--you don't want to cheat the players out of something cool, but you also don't want to set the precedent for something working one way that will have a domino effect on some other part of the game later (I'm still trying to parse ranger camouflage vs hide in plain sight with the stealth skill as it is written). Any experienced input, especially from devs, is always welcome.


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More guidance for GMs either from Paizo or created by experienced GMs in the community would be great for GMs both new and old.


D'oh...

I just started a thread along the same lines for a Advanced Gamemastery Guide book...

For some reason, my phone is only showing 5 threads in this section... sorry for stepping on toes... :o(

(I'm sooo Smurfed)


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I think I'd rather have something like a second dictionary/glossary resource. What are the rules for sleep? What does and does not qualify as an object? What does and does not qualify as a location?


I would love it! I don't know if there's enough of this sort of stuff out there (or if I'm just having a hard time finding it). I enjoy the Chronicles podcast and what recently has begun (in terms of GM advice) on the Trailblazer Network. I would love, love, love something I could check in with more regularly. The more the better. I wonder if a community of GM bloggers is possible. A full community of bloggers would provide the potential for a shortish article to be posted daily.

Or maybe I'm imagining something slightly different than is suggested here. I would like a ring of GM bloggers who are sharing what is happening in their campaigns specific to rules questions/disputes and storytelling lessons that individual GMs are learning along the way. Does anyone know if something like this already exists? I'd be grateful.


Eirvit wrote:

I would love it! I don't know if there's enough of this sort of stuff out there (or if I'm just having a hard time finding it). I enjoy the Chronicles podcast and what recently has begun (in terms of GM advice) on the Trailblazer Network. I would love, love, love something I could check in with more regularly. The more the better. I wonder if a community of GM bloggers is possible. A full community of bloggers would provide the potential for a shortish article to be posted daily.

Or maybe I'm imagining something slightly different than is suggested here. I would like a ring of GM bloggers who are sharing what is happening in their campaigns specific to rules questions/disputes and storytelling lessons that individual GMs are learning along the way. Does anyone know if something like this already exists? I'd be grateful.

I've been bugging James for an advanced GM's guide now for around a year - in a recent discussion he talked about how that most likely isn't going to happen due to the fact that (paraphrasing) they pay people money and run a business and the interest in such a product is not enough to justify the expense.

We did get a GM's guide - well because every edition has had one - and so we got one - because like the core rulebook it's kind of a loss leader to get people to buy the product. What was suggested however was possibly a blog series to do the same thing - then the art, formatting, printing, and other costs wouldn't need to be baked into the production.

What we also know from following James Jacobs like a stalker - is that they have an "in house GM" review all the adventures before publication and they make suggestions to the adventures that would help you or I run the thing. Who the "in-house GM" is was not made clear - my guess is that it's rotating and not someone involved in the production otherwise to keep a fresh eye on things. From blog/forum posts we know that James Jacobs, Eric Mona, Jason Bulmahn and others have all run or currently run campaigns in the offices of Paizo itself. My guess would be that a majority of the company in some way either plays or runs games - though I expect it's not 100%.

What I would like to see at the end of the day is *some* kind of GM resource that lets us get answers and guidance to some of the trickier questions that float around - preferably as optional or 'NON FAQ' type answers with perhaps even more than one way of doing things - Now I'm not opposed to 'official' information but if we get a blog format I'd prefer even 'official' stuff followed by the favorite 'I don't like it - here is how I'd do it' - why? Because it'd be nice to see how the people who make the game - play the game, and to get suggestions and help in running the game without the answer having to be 'THE OFFICIAL WORD' or people spending the next year arguing over if the text before the third period was in fact referring to the adjacent clause in subparagraph 10 section 2a.


Ckorik wrote:
Eirvit wrote:

I would love it! I don't know if there's enough of this sort of stuff out there (or if I'm just having a hard time finding it). I enjoy the Chronicles podcast and what recently has begun (in terms of GM advice) on the Trailblazer Network. I would love, love, love something I could check in with more regularly. The more the better. I wonder if a community of GM bloggers is possible. A full community of bloggers would provide the potential for a shortish article to be posted daily.

Or maybe I'm imagining something slightly different than is suggested here. I would like a ring of GM bloggers who are sharing what is happening in their campaigns specific to rules questions/disputes and storytelling lessons that individual GMs are learning along the way. Does anyone know if something like this already exists? I'd be grateful.

I've been bugging James for an advanced GM's guide now for around a year - in a recent discussion he talked about how that most likely isn't going to happen due to the fact that (paraphrasing) they pay people money and run a business and the interest in such a product is not enough to justify the expense.

We did get a GM's guide - well because every edition has had one - and so we got one - because like the core rulebook it's kind of a loss leader to get people to buy the product. What was suggested however was possibly a blog series to do the same thing - then the art, formatting, printing, and other costs wouldn't need to be baked into the production.

What we also know from following James Jacobs like a stalker - is that they have an "in house GM" review all the adventures before publication and they make suggestions to the adventures that would help you or I run the thing. Who the "in-house GM" is was not made clear - my guess is that it's rotating and not someone involved in the production otherwise to keep a fresh eye on things. From blog/forum posts we know that James Jacobs, Eric Mona, Jason Bulmahn and others have all run or currently run...

The profitability factor is why this might be better as a community use project or series of project. Probably relatively short PDFs on a relatively narrow topic of GMing. Say one on how to run different types of enemies and another on scaling encounters to different party sizes and optimization levels, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see more official GM related stuff from Paizo, but I am trying to think realistically.


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

I like this blog idea. I like the idea of a book, as well, but if that's not feasible maybe the blog is.


I'd be really into a book--I like books--but something like a blog'd be interesting. Always trying to be a better GM.

Probably be cool to have something more interactive than static PDF's, though.


A regular blog would be fantastic. I'd also be a fan of a book if it were forthcoming.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Loved the GM guide idea bouncing around in the CotCT thread, would gladly buy something to help scale things up to 6 or even 8 players. It would be nice to also have something on running for small groups, or adding in support for newer classes that something wasn't written considering (I am looking at you gunslinger, with your touch AC targeting and very different sets of gear). Throw in handling rare rules and spells *coughsimulacrumcough* and I am even more sold.

That being said, if something like the "spells of intrigue" section from Ultimate Intrigue started regularly sneaking into more of the hardbacks, or maybe even APs, I would be pretty happy with that too. It sure seemed like quite a few people were sold on UI when they heard about that section.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd prefer a book over a blog, but I'd take the blog if nothing else is possible.

Paizo Employee Designer

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xobmaps wrote:
That being said, if something like the "spells of intrigue" section from Ultimate Intrigue started regularly sneaking into more of the hardbacks, or maybe even APs, I would be pretty happy with that too. It sure seemed like quite a few people were sold on UI when they heard about that section.

I'm sure they're going to look at how Ultimate Intrigue, which does have two of that kind of section (Spells of Intrigue and Skills in Conflict), compares to other Ultimate books, so I suppose one concrete thing you could do if you're interested in this kind of content is be sure to buy Ultimate Intrigue to show your support.


Eirvit wrote:

I would love it! I don't know if there's enough of this sort of stuff out there (or if I'm just having a hard time finding it). I enjoy the Chronicles podcast and what recently has begun (in terms of GM advice) on the Trailblazer Network. I would love, love, love something I could check in with more regularly. The more the better. I wonder if a community of GM bloggers is possible. A full community of bloggers would provide the potential for a shortish article to be posted daily.

Or maybe I'm imagining something slightly different than is suggested here. I would like a ring of GM bloggers who are sharing what is happening in their campaigns specific to rules questions/disputes and storytelling lessons that individual GMs are learning along the way. Does anyone know if something like this already exists? I'd be grateful.

There is the DMs_Block forums. it a 5E focus, and there are some PF folks on there, but much of what they share is system neutral.

http://dungeonmasterblock.freeforums.net/

They have a great weekly podcast as well.


Mark Seifter wrote:
xobmaps wrote:
That being said, if something like the "spells of intrigue" section from Ultimate Intrigue started regularly sneaking into more of the hardbacks, or maybe even APs, I would be pretty happy with that too. It sure seemed like quite a few people were sold on UI when they heard about that section.
I'm sure they're going to look at how Ultimate Intrigue, which does have two of that kind of section (Spells of Intrigue and Skills in Conflict), compares to other Ultimate books, so I suppose one concrete thing you could do if you're interested in this kind of content is be sure to buy Ultimate Intrigue to show your support.

This is a good point.

Although, until just a few posts that came out this week (like the one from Ultimate Dork) I personally had no idea what U-I was even about.

"could be" the avg forum or Paizo customer still doesn't realize how much of the system issue areas that give GM's headaches are covered in it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There is also the gnomestew blog, a real good resource.

Yet i would fully back up such a product.
There´s more than enough stuff and insights Paizo designers could share about Pathfinder to justify it.
I imagine stuff there could be a lot more system and mechanic specific.
Like scaling pathfinder encounters to smaller or larger groups, how to beef up those single BBEG encounters against a larger group, how to deal with groups with heavy power level differences better, how to deal with players using different resources like CRB, ACG and OA, resulting in greatly different power levels again, but also different action economy.
Or what to do when your GM is very strong on the story telling side, but lacks the rulesfu and powergaming attitude?
The newer classes making it a lot easier to reach a very strong game make this a large point in my eyes.
Practical tips in such direction would be real gold.
I think that´s a great help to new GMs as well.

Sovereign Court

Converting for player numbers with an AP would be the kind of content that a podcast like Private Sanctuary / Know Direction could cover.


GeraintElberion wrote:
Converting for player numbers with an AP would be the kind of content that a podcast like Private Sanctuary / Know Direction could cover.

Or it could be part of what Paizo could cover - considering they wrote the game some support for the GM's that run it wouldn't be a bad thing - we do have ... how many numbers of 'options/feats/rules' books?

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