Whats your pace looking like?

Doomsday Dawn Game Master Feedback

Just wondering for the GMs out there running Doomsday Dawn, what is your pace looking like? are you currently finishing up Mirrored Moon?

My group and I are still on Pale Mountain! Which is fine, we're having fun, but at this rate we're probably not going to be able to be involved with all of the feedback process as we'll probably be on part 5 or 6 by the time it's all wrapped up. We play once a week for about 4 hours of actual game time in a 5-ish hour meet up.

A section of the playtest, if I recall correctly, mentioned that we should play as we normally play Pathfinder -- which is we get super into our characters and the world, and really dig into the role playing portion of the game. I leaned into this pretty heavily during Part 1, and we ended up taking five sessions to complete it. The PCs wanted to do other things that just explore the dungeon, so I let them go for it. I knew it would be a slower pace because that's our style. (The dungeon was located in Magnimar, which is a huge city, so of course my players end up exploring the city half the time instead of doing the dungeon, haha.)

But for Pale Mountain, I feel like I'm really pushing the group onto the rails of the adventure as much as I can, and keeping role play moments at a bare minimum, and it we're still on pace to complete the adventure in five sessions. ... or maybe more than five sessions depending on how long they take in the Tomb? Boy howdy.

Even in Paizo's official streams, and other streams like the Glass Cannon Podcast, it seems like sizable portions of the adventure path are hand waved and skipped in order to keep on pace, so at times it seems like it's impossible to actually keep up with the Playtest pace without doing the same, but in order to provide feedback in the best way possible I probably shouldn't?

I have found one group on Youtube running the playtest that is on pace without skipping anything, but they're pretty much speed running the entire thing, so it seems like the only way to keep on pace without cutting stuff is to just roll dice as fast as possible and just see what the book says next instead of doing any sort of role playing or character interactions at all.

Overall I guess my questions for you are:

Where is your group currently in the Playtest?

For those of you that are on pace with the Playtest schedule, what have your sessions been like? Are they super fast with a huge focus on getting through the content, or are you playing more or less as you typically do?

Has anyone skipped or cut content to keep on pace?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Both of the groups I'm involved in are in the middle of Sombrefell Hall and will finish it on our next session.

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kpulv wrote:

Where is your group currently in the Playtest?

For those of you that are on pace with the Playtest schedule, what have your sessions been like? Are they super fast with a huge focus on getting through the content, or are you playing more or less as you typically do?

Has anyone skipped or cut content to keep on pace?

We are done with The Mirrored Moon and starting Heroes of Undarin on Tuesday (keeping pace with the schedule.)

We are playing as we normally do, mostly. Around 3.5-4 hours per night, but I have pushed a little longer a couple times to fit in a whole scenario. (The Mirrored Moon and In Pale Mountain's Shadow both took a bit longer than the other scenarios so far.) I'm also cutting off roleplay and long planning sessions sooner than I normally would, but they still occur. I've honestly been railroading pretty hard to keep everyone on schedule, and breaks are minimal once we get started.

I have not skipped any adventure content.

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My playtest group is on Area B4 of In Pale Mountain's Shadow.

We meet once a week and play about 3 hours. In case of disruption, such as an out of town science fiction convention, a work-related evening meeting, or illness, we cancel. Thus, we won't keep to the schedule.

I think my players are more interested in the lower-level characters, so we probably won't skip chapters.

The roleplaying is mostly in Session 0, the character design phase, where I give the plot hook. The characters often start the roleplaying while only half finished, but that helps define their personality and guides later decisions. The rest is roleplaying decisions, such as the PCs deciding to take to the mountainside early at Pale Mountain to avoid wildlife.

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My main group is about two weeks behind. I think Affair at Sombrefell Hall really wore out everyone. Fortunately, we have until the end of 2018 to playtest.

Ironically, the easiest PCs to make (the levelled-up PCs for Mirrored Moon) seem to be the most difficult, because they aren't disposable pre-gens. They have to be good enough now for level 9, and again in the last chapter. My group is leaning towards being generalist, not leaning too hard toward any kind of specialization, especially given how wide open the level 9 adventure is.

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I only played Lost Star with my main group (one month after everyone), and I'm just after zone B4 with one player playing four characters...

I'm part of a club, and it is impossible for us to follow the playtest's pace. We can only meet the weekends because 5 out of my 6 players are working. Since we are a bunch in our club, we are part of other campaigns (which are deemed more important than the playtest by everyone since they are more fun to play and we are more invested into it, me included), so I have to juggle with that. Plus, there are times when we do club activities (such as helping out at a convention) and when we just want to lay down at home and take a rest from our week, after a month of doing nothing but RPGs all weekends. We can only make one session of playtest per month top, when we are lucky.

My group is way behind, and is only going to be starting Pale Mountain the weekend after next. The group both started late, and have only been running roughly every other weekend. And with everyone having completely different schedules, there are time it takes even longer to get a session together.

I don't really plan to skip content in order to keep pace, since keeping pace is already a lost cause and I think my group would be happier if they got exposed to the new system gradually rather than being expected to make high level characters all at once.

We play once a week for about 4 hours. My group completed the first chapter in 1 session (they basically skipped most of the rooms and went straight to where they were told Drakus tended to hang out) and all the other chapters have been completed in 2 sessions, so we just played the first half of Chapter 5 today (got through the first 3 waves. Would have gotten through more but the first hour was spent trying to get the players to actually decide who had what items). The only thing I've really skipped/handwaved was the last fight in Sombrefell Hall because one of the clerics managed to force Ilvoresh to become non-hostile (forget which spell it was though), so he went invisible and started trying to get to the professor. By the time they figured out where he was, it was getting late, so we hand-waved them defeating him.

It probably helps the overall pace that my players have been avoiding a lot of combat. As mentioned, they skipped most of the chapter 1 dungeon because they had no reason to really explore it. In chapter 2, they ran away from the elemental fights and just kept rolling skill checks to complete the puzzle (they also got there well before the Night Heralds, so that wasn't a fight). Then in Mirrored Moon, while they found everything except the dryad, they went the diplomacy option whenever they could (even managing to catch the dragon's fire giant guard alone and convincing him to be conveniently gone when they attacked).

It may also help that we've been playing using Roll20, and I do a lot of prep work for all the enemies to have macros for basically everything they're likely to do, so a given monster's turn only takes a few seconds as I just click a bunch of stuff.

The group in which I play has slipped behind. We just finished Part 2 and we'll have character creation for Part 3 this week.

I'm running Doomsday Dawn for two separate groups and we can't keep up with the schedule. We skipped Part 3 entirely. Part 4 and 5 are scheduled in October. We may skip Part 6... Though, actually, there's more interest in Part 6 than Part 7 so we may skip the climax instead!

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Trying to keep up, but most of my chapters take 3 sessions over the 2 it seems to have been initially scheduled for - and I have to skip this week due to exams. Soooooo I'm at the start of Mirrored Moon rather than the end.

The group meets for 4 hours every other week. They needed 2 sessions to complete each of the first two parts of Doomsday Dawn. They just completed about half of the Affair at Sombrefall Hall yesterday. The group seems on pace to finish the sixth part at the end of the year. Most likely they will play all seven parts even if the playtest period ends before they get to the showdown. The group really enjoys high level adventures and looks forward to testing how the playtest rules hold up with 17th level characters.

Finished Mirrored Moon 3 weeks ago. Took a hiatus due to player having exams. Resuming with part 5 on Wednesday.

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We got a late start(3 weeks ago), we just finished Pale Mountain.

I imagine Somberfell will take me 2 sessions, so I don't expect to ever be 'caught up'.

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Our PF Group meets biweekly for about 4 hours per session, and we just finished Chapter 3.

Chapter 1 - finished in one session.
Chapter 2 - finished in two sessions.
Chapter 3 - finished in two sessions.

No idea how the others will go yet.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We got a bit of a late start due to scheduling conflicts, and we can only do 3-hour play sessions. Consequently, we are quite behind the official pace.

We seem to take 3 to 4 sessions per chapter...

Chapter 1: Ran three sessions, but still had the final encounter to fight. Summed it up rather than played it out, so we could start Chapter 2 "on time".

Chapter 2: We have run three sessions, but aren't done yet. (We also had to take off two weeks due to scheduling conflicts.) As a side note, we had two "single-encounter adventuring days" due to fights that ran over 15 rounds and caused the PCs to blow pretty much all of their resources. (i.e. the manitcore [16 rounds] and the water elemental [18 rounds].)

I think we'll be able to finish Chapter 2 this week.

We are debating whether or not to skip a chapter.

Honestly... we're also debating whether or not to quit the playtest entirely. My group is not really having a whole lot of fun with this module, or with the playtest rules.

To me, the playtest is feeling more like a chore than a game.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My group is also in part two. We play every other week for four or five hours, but this part is going much slower than I expected. Last night they fought the gnolls at the river camp and that battle took just over three hours to resolve all twelve rounds. That's fifteen minutes per round for four PCs and three enemies (plus two summons at various points). So about two minutes per actor each time they take a turn.

Four total sessions for the playtest so far and they're going to face the manticore when we play in two weeks. I suspect we will barely finish part seven by the time the final rules are released next August. :)

My group is in part two. we finished the first part in two sessions and finished the first session of part two after the Gnoll camp. But to be honest, a) our regular group is more important to us so when we have time to get together we prefer to play our regular game and b) we had major issues with the game last session and the little improvements 1.3 brought and we probably wait until a bigger rule update comes along that fixes a lot of the issues

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My group is planning to have our first playtest session a week from Saturday.

Needless to say, I opted to run the PFS modules rather than Doomsday Dawn, as at our current rate there is no way to finish that epic in a timely manner.

Haladir wrote:
Honestly... we're also debating whether or not to quit the playtest entirely. My group is not really having a whole lot of fun with this module, or with the playtest rules.

It's probably better to bow out now and circle back later to see how the final rules try out. No benefit to burning out.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I'm in two groups (one as a GM and one as a player), and both are WAY behind because we don't play every week.

Group 1 is halfway through Part 2 and will finish next Friday.

Group 2 just finished Part 1 and will start Part 2 next Wednesday.

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Finished Mirrored Moon last Saturday.

Beginning Heroes of Undarin Saturday after this coming one.

(We're a bi-weekly gaming group.)

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My group is just BARELY keeping up. We finished Mirrored Moon the night that Update 1.4 was released and the playtest for Heroes of Undarin started.

The pace has been pretty grueling. We play every week but we usually need 3 sessions to finish a chapter. The last session is usually just an hour or two for the last big fight of the chapter. We’ve been scheduling that on a weeknight just to get it done so we can keep up with the playtest schedule!

I know we don’t have to stay with the schedule but it’s a good motivator and honestly we may have stopped playing if we didn’t have that extra feeling of contributing on-schedule and following the updates as they come out too.

We’re not having as much *fun* actually playing the playtest as I’d hoped. But giving timely feedback and the feeling of being involved gives a certain level of enjoyment.

I’m GMing (and playing a PC in order for the group to have the magic number of 4 PCs) so between prepping 3 sessions and creating a PC every two weeks, I haven’t found myself with the time to type up all the game feedback posts as I’d like.

Like I said, it’s a grueling pace but one we’ve chosen

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Currently my group is about to finish the playtest. A bit of an aberration to be sure. Running 6-hour sessions and knocking out a section per week, with two sessions for Heroes of Undarin and When the Stars Go Dark as the players were not available for the whole time and one section canceled.

As far as "HOW?" goes, the answer is mostly planning and experience. Every session the players come prepared and we start on time, and we have premade characters for people that can't come until later. Everyone pretty much has a decent amount of d20 experience and grokked the combat quickly, so the table moves fast.

It has also been a little RP-lite compared my normal games, as the characters don't get much time to really explore a character. So we get into and out of combat quick.

Silver Crusade

Just finished Mirrored Moon today.

Very seriously considering skipping Heroes of Undarin both due to time considerations and due to the fact that I expect to absolutely HATE running it (totally not to my personal taste in scenarios).

Well at least I don't feel totally alone in this, LOL

-Playtested as a Player chapter 1, finished in 1 session and had little problems but had 6 vet players and a GM from PF1. Final takeaway "interesting but needs a lot of work" All related survey's filled out and sent by everyone. :)

-Playtested as a GM 4 different groups (4-6 players each) in Chapter 1, mixed results, some did not like it, at all, some were ok with it and some can't wait to see the final product. I'd say about 75% of the related surveys were filled and sent out by the players and a the Gm survey and the open discussion one filled out by me, sadly only the 1 time. Overall take away, the improvements help (latest had 1.3 used) less middle ground and people either liked it or did not.

-Playtested as a GM 2 groups (6 players each) PFS 2nd Ed The Rose Street Revenge finished all 4 scenario's in 3 sessions total. Most seemed interested in continuing back to Chapter 2 in Doomsday Dawn. 80% of surveys filled out I beleave

Players came and went some because of the new system but many went for other games (new 5th Ed AP was just out as well as Runelords new AP) and some could only do the Roll20 Time slot once or twice. Others in one of my 4 groups wanted to get back to, Kingmaker, War for the Crown and Return of the Runelords so we put everything on hold til we get to a good stopping point then break out Doomsday again.

I will be running one group through chapter 2 this next weekend finally, then the other the following week.

To date no TPK's and 3 deaths out of 42 total players

Of note RPing like it was a regular module compared to just rolling dice and going as fast as you can to complete cranks up the fun/intersting factor for most players and me as the GM, not a surprise there though :)

I'm holding off my thoughts (on the forum) til I get more experience in the game but from the day the playtest boards went live til about 3 weeks ago I daily checked the threads and am now up to date on all twitch vids out!!


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