Advice for a new P2E GM?


Advice


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So...it seems I've been co-opted to host our first P2E game this weekend. It's going to be a short and sweet one-shot, likely a Society adventure, albeit not Society play. Everyone participating are intimately familiar with P1E, but have not yet tried the new system (most of us have not been reading the new rules for more than a week).

For those of you who have already played and/or hosted games, do you have any advice on things to watch out for, or on making things run as smoothly as possible?

Any help or advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


Have your players made their characters in advance? Did they plan builds out together? They will have more fun with the tactics if they have a little bit of an idea how they will work together.

Also there can be a lot of confusion for PF1 players on how little rules changes make certain things work differently. It’s a good idea to look over their sheets if you don’t help them build their characters so the don’t misconstrue how certain traits and abilities will work in play.


I would suggest creating pregens for them so you can learn all of the rules for the characters involved but only have to learn how 4-6 classes work rather than 12 classes.


An adjustment for me was a need for a GM screen. I didn't have to do secret rolls much at all before so generally rolled in the open, but bought the 2e GM Screen from my FLGS. The references inside are also a great resource because I don't have nearly as much by memory yet as I did in 2e.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Unicore wrote:

Have your players made their characters in advance? Did they plan builds out together? They will have more fun with the tactics if they have a little bit of an idea how they will work together.

Also there can be a lot of confusion for PF1 players on how little rules changes make certain things work differently. It’s a good idea to look over their sheets if you don’t help them build their characters so the don’t misconstrue how certain traits and abilities will work in play.

They are currently making their characters. They are largely working on them independently, but they've sent a few texts back and forth, so we all have some idea of what's going on (if not the particulars).

Looks like it's going to be a party entirely consisting of dwarves. There will likely be a ranger, champion or monk, barbarian, and bard from the sounds of the way things are going.

They're 3rd-level and will most likely be run through The Absalom Initiation.

I've laid out some character creation guidelines for them, and have asked that they email me their character details before the game so that I can audit them for mistakes, offer advice, or pass down rulings.


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If you have access to the GM screen it is pretty amazing for how much info it covers.

If you coming from 1e I would watch out for:
* Flat footed is a penalty on the enemy's AC, not a bonus to attack
* Attack of opportunity is rare on creatures and often appears on "boss" type enemies
* Things with the "Attack" trait take the multiple attack penalty
* Maneuvers are a lot easier to pull off than 1e with athletics checks vs. enemy's reflex or fortitude DCs (10 + their save)
* Initiative is rolled when there is an intent to start a conflict. No surprise round. If you want to shoot a bandit with an arrow from hiding, you need to roll initiative before you do. You can grant circumstance bonuses to initiative for well executed ambushes.
* Get familiar with how Hide, Sneak, and the different levels of awareness play out.
* readying an action costs two actions. you use the readied action as a reaction when the trigger occurs.
* at the start of your turn you can delay and be put back into the initiative at the end of another creature's turn.
* you can't go below 0 hp. get familiar with how the dying condition and recovery rolls play out.
* Remember all the basic actions available to you and your players. It's very easy to get into the mindset of "attack attack attack" but you have things like aid, demoralize, take cover, raise shield, seek, feint, tumble through, etc. sometimes that -10 or -8 attack just ain't worth it.
* Establish a party order for exploration mode and scenes where time matters, but you're not in an encounter. In an IRL game, going around the table should work fine.
* Remember the exploration tactics available to the players. some are pretty important like defend, or scout. what you're doing in exploration mode determines what you roll for initiative if an encounter starts.
* Remember that certain skill actions are gated behind being trained in the skill.
* Get familiar with how persistent damage and flat checks work. Characters can help douse flames, or patch up bleeding, or clean the burning acid off which reduces the DC of the flat check, and can even grant the character additional checks to end the damage.
* 10 minute activities like treat wounds and refocus will probably come up a lot. you should probably expect PCs to walk into every encounter with full hp and focus unless they're really pushed on time.
* a lot of monsters have "grab" or "knockdown" and other maneuver type things included with their melee attacks (usually they have to spend an action after a successful hit to auto succeed on the maneuver)
* the four degrees of success matter with almost everything. critically failing a save against a spell can mean double damage. make sure you check for the +10 and -10 on results. (this might feel annoying at first, but you should get a feel for when you should check for plus or minus 10)
* there are no critical confirms.
* critical hits double all the damage except from sources that are triggered from crits, like deadly.

so far one of the most fun aspects I've noticed from the GM side is that it's a lot easier to move the difficulty slider without risking breaking the entire game and killing all the PCs. player characters can't be instakilled (for the most part) so you can push them quite hard and really ramp up the action and drama, but they still have a chance to push back, or make it out of really bad situations alive.

good luck have fun!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So things I found helpful.

* Make or print out little condition cards for any conditions your enemies can give. This helps remind players what is happening to them as well as giving them aides to remember conditions without having to flip to the book or try learning all the conditions day 1.

*Point out new strategies (at least for the first two combats.) Players coming from the PF1 paradigm might struggle a bit making the most of the new action economy (I saw this with my Starfinder players) and it can take a while to click. If your players are the kind to not enjoy this sort of advice, perhaps instead elucidate on the choices you made with the NPCs after the first combat in order to highlight differences.

*Note each PCs Perception AND highest Skill modifier. Encourage use of that highest skill mod for initiative if it makes sense.

*Don't bog them down in the details. Exploration mode can seem like a chore if run too clinically. Your job is to translate casual descriptions of actions to the mechanical meat.

*Run through the adventure and see if there are any skill checks that don't have Crit Fail and Crit Succ written in, try to think of some before the game starts as it can add some spice to those rolls.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Great advice here.

I'd like to add that you might want to try explicitly testing all 3 modes of gameplay. In my first game last Friday, I started with two weeks of downtime mode, to get them invested in the place they would be using as a base of operations for the first session or two. You can do this even if it's explicitly a one-shot adventure. How well the PCs do on their Earn Income check, and whether they pay for upkeep or use the Subsist action will determine whether they have a few extra silver pieces in their pockets. My players loved doing this, and look forward to future downtime activities. It only took us like 15 minutes to explain and roll for two weeks downtime. Once players get the hang of it, it'll be even quicker.

Lastly, as a DM feel free to call out Recall Knowledge checks from time to time, to give them some extra clues or nudges. Players love collecting knowledge, especially when there is a direct bearing on what they're trying to accomplish.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thank you everyone! That's exactly the kind of advice that I was hoping for.

kpulv wrote:

If you coming from 1e I would watch out for:

* Flat footed is a penalty on the enemy's AC, not a bonus to attack

Er, it was never a bonus to attack, even in P1E.

Liberty's Edge

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Ravingdork wrote:
Er, it was never a bonus to attack, even in P1E.

Flanking, however, was (but is not in PF2, since it just inflicts flat footed). Which is, I suspect what kpulv was thinking of.


Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Thank you everyone! That's exactly the kind of advice that I was hoping for.

kpulv wrote:

If you coming from 1e I would watch out for:

* Flat footed is a penalty on the enemy's AC, not a bonus to attack
Er, it was never a bonus to attack, even in P1E.

It really only affects flanking (flanked opponents are flat-footed as opposed to getting the +2 bonus to hit from PF1)


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Good to know!

It's not like I'm nervous or anything.
This is just my one chance to sell all my closest friends on Second Edition. That's all. No big deal...


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Good to know!

It's not like I'm nervous or anything.
This is just my one chance to sell all my closest friends on Second Edition. That's all. No big deal...

I don't think you have anything to worry about. It seems from your post that they are talking to each other about their characters, and from my experience that means they are already invested. Just be the awesome GM I'm sure you normally are and it'll all be good.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Er, it was never a bonus to attack, even in P1E.
Flanking, however, was (but is not in PF2, since it just inflicts flat footed). Which is, I suspect what kpulv was thinking of.

yeah that's the one!

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wheldrake wrote:
I started with two weeks of downtime mode, to get them invested in the place they would be using as a base of operations for the first session or two.

I love this idea. Definitely going to use it. Thanks for sharing.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Not even game day and I think I've lost one of my players.

"A lot of skill feats are garbage until expert proficiency."

He made a dwarven fighter with Power Attack, Exacting Strike, and Lunge. He intended to open up with Power Attack (at a -5 penalty), then attack with Exacting Strike at no penalty, while attacking from 15 feet away with Lunge.

I had to explain to him about the traits and how they impacted his desired build.

"Are you f&!*ing serious? They put rules within rules!? That's garbage! What happened to streamlining!?"

I then calmly explained what he could and could not do with his chosen feats; said that they worked great independently, but didn't combo particularly well.

"I can tell you I've spent about 8 hours reading [the Core Rulebook] today and I'm not impressed. I like the skill system and how they reworked the spells. However I believe even low level magic is overpowered."

I explained how high-end magic was brought WAY down, and how low-end at-will magic was raised up so as to narrow the gap between martials and casters, and to eliminate the 5-minute adventurer workday when the casters ran out of spells. Now everyone has at-will abilities and more staying power.

"Okay, I'll be over Saturday morning. I'm already over this s++&. I don't like it! I like Starfinder!* I'm only coming to see my friends and maybe punch a hole in your wall."

Maybe I'm doing too much explaining. Or he made up his mind long before he ever started and P2E never had a chance for him.

*:
He has professed many times before that he HATES Starfinder.

Exo-Guardians

Ravingdork wrote:

"I'm already over this s@!*. I don't like it! I like Starfinder!"

He has professed many times before that he HATES Starfinder.

He sure sounds like a swell guy...

Remind me, why did you want him at your table again?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I should probably also add that he doesn't literally mean he's going to punch a hole in my wall. It's a euphemism for "play VR games." We've had a lot of VR related accidents recently...

Saros Palanthios wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

"I'm already over this s@!*. I don't like it! I like Starfinder!"

He has professed many times before that he HATES Starfinder.

He sure sounds like a swell guy...

Remind me, why did you want him at your table again?

He's the charismatic glue holding the rest of us together.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thats a shame. I can't help (by his change of attitude to Starfinder) but think that perhaps he doesn't like to change systems too much? I mean those "rules within rules" are all written out in the fighters class page and are just as prevalent in PF1 and Starfinder. I mean the alternative is to write out the full rules for Flourish every time it comes up.

Hopefully if you make the game fun for the rest of the group he'll want to join in and he'll have a character there to go right away.


Ravingdork wrote:

Not even game day and I think I've lost one of my players.

"A lot of skill feats are garbage until expert proficiency."

He made a dwarven fighter with Power Attack, Exacting Strike, and Lunge. He intended to open up with Power Attack (at a -5 penalty), then attack with Exacting Strike at no penalty, while attacking from 15 feet away with Lunge.

I had to explain to him about the traits and how they impacted his desired build.

"Are you f&@+ing serious? They put rules within rules!? That's garbage! What happened to streamlining!?"

I then calmly explained what he could and could not do with his chosen feats; said that they worked great independently, but didn't combo particularly well.

"I can tell you I've spent about 8 hours reading [the Core Rulebook] today and I'm not impressed. I like the skill system and how they reworked the spells. However I believe even low level magic is overpowered."

I explained how high-end magic was brought WAY down, and how low-end at-will magic was raised up so as to narrow the gap between martials and casters, and to eliminate the 5-minute adventurer workday when the casters ran out of spells. Now everyone has at-will abilities and more staying power.

"Okay, I'll be over Saturday morning. I'm already over this s%#%. I don't like it! I like Starfinder!* I'm only coming to see my friends and maybe punch a hole in your wall."

Maybe I'm doing too much explaining. Or he made up his mind long before he ever started and P2E never had a chance for him.

** spoiler omitted **

That's gonna be a yikes for me, dog.

I don't think you should put any blame on yourself for what clearly is an attitude problem. Sounds toxic af.


Ravingdork wrote:

Not even game day and I think I've lost one of my players.

"A lot of skill feats are garbage until expert proficiency."

He made a dwarven fighter with Power Attack, Exacting Strike, and Lunge. He intended to open up with Power Attack (at a -5 penalty), then attack with Exacting Strike at no penalty, while attacking from 15 feet away with Lunge.

I had to explain to him about the traits and how they impacted his desired build.

"Are you f&$@ing serious? They put rules within rules!? That's garbage! What happened to streamlining!?"

I then calmly explained what he could and could not do with his chosen feats; said that they worked great independently, but didn't combo particularly well.

"I can tell you I've spent about 8 hours reading [the Core Rulebook] today and I'm not impressed. I like the skill system and how they reworked the spells. However I believe even low level magic is overpowered."

I explained how high-end magic was brought WAY down, and how low-end at-will magic was raised up so as to narrow the gap between martials and casters, and to eliminate the 5-minute adventurer workday when the casters ran out of spells. Now everyone has at-will abilities and more staying power.

"Okay, I'll be over Saturday morning. I'm already over this s+!@. I don't like it! I like Starfinder!* I'm only coming to see my friends and maybe punch a hole in your wall."

Maybe I'm doing too much explaining. Or he made up his mind long before he ever started and P2E never had a chance for him.

** spoiler omitted **

I haven't the slightest idea how this person tolerated PF1 if these are his criticisms of PF2.


One thing to remember is how nat 1 and nat 20 works now. Remember your players to tell you when they roll 1 or 20, and not just give you the result, because a 23 (20+3) is not the same as a 23 (19+4).

We missed some of those at first.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It’s probably too late now, but why start at level 3? Standard wisdom is to start any new system at level 1. Less complexity so everybody, players and GM, can ease into it and make less mistakes.

But if it’s this weekend, they have already made their characters, you have already read up on your adventure... better at this point to stick with the plan I suppose.


Ravingdork wrote:

Not even game day and I think I've lost one of my players.

"A lot of skill feats are garbage until expert proficiency."

He made a dwarven fighter with Power Attack, Exacting Strike, and Lunge. He intended to open up with Power Attack (at a -5 penalty), then attack with Exacting Strike at no penalty, while attacking from 15 feet away with Lunge.

I had to explain to him about the traits and how they impacted his desired build.

"Are you f~!@ing serious? They put rules within rules!? That's garbage! What happened to streamlining!?"

I then calmly explained what he could and could not do with his chosen feats; said that they worked great independently, but didn't combo particularly well.

"I can tell you I've spent about 8 hours reading [the Core Rulebook] today and I'm not impressed. I like the skill system and how they reworked the spells. However I believe even low level magic is overpowered."

I explained how high-end magic was brought WAY down, and how low-end at-will magic was raised up so as to narrow the gap between martials and casters, and to eliminate the 5-minute adventurer workday when the casters ran out of spells. Now everyone has at-will abilities and more staying power.

"Okay, I'll be over Saturday morning. I'm already over this s#%%. I don't like it! I like Starfinder!* I'm only coming to see my friends and maybe punch a hole in your wall."

Maybe I'm doing too much explaining. Or he made up his mind long before he ever started and P2E never had a chance for him.

** spoiler omitted **

Can't help you with your problem player, but if Power Attack is your first action, it's at -0, not -5. Attacks after that are at -10.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
jdripley wrote:

It’s probably too late now, but why start at level 3? Standard wisdom is to start any new system at level 1. Less complexity so everybody, players and GM, can ease into it and make less mistakes.

But if it’s this weekend, they have already made their characters, you have already read up on your adventure... better at this point to stick with the plan I suppose.

We voted for levels 1-4, and 3 won out. The thought was that 1st-level would be easiest, and would be most authentic; 2nd-level would let us try out some skill and class feats; 3rd-level would let us try some general feats; and 4th-level would let us try some multiclassing options.

Kind of hard to differentiate and test the new classes well without any class feats.

lordcirth wrote:
Can't help you with your problem player, but if Power Attack is your first action, it's at -0, not -5. Attacks after that are at -10.

I'm well aware. It's one of the many things I had to clarify for him. I'm not sure I explained it well though, as I don't think it stuck.

Part of the problem is communicating via text. I'm hoping when I next speak to him in person it will make more sense. Probably best to just let him cool down for now. He's got a lot of stressers in his life at the moment, and I'm sure an edition change isn't helping.

Since he's resolved to come anyways, I'm hoping he'll decide to play after all, and through play start understanding some of the more basic concepts.

What I'm worried about is that he may well bring his toxic attitude with him and actively try to dissuade the other players from accepting 2nd Edition. If they opt not to go for it, that's fine, but I want it to be their decision, not just because the most charismatic of us never gave it a chance and then made a good roll on his Diplomacy/Intimidate to convince/bully everyone else.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well, today's the big day. Anyone got any additional last minute advice for me before the big game in 5 hours?

I'm happy to say that the disgruntled player I spoke about earlier has calmed down (starting to think it was just real life stresses). He came by last night and we spent a few hours talking about his dwarf fighter, P2E in general, and playing VR games. It was a blast.

He now has a much better idea of how the rules work, and much of his frustrations and confusion about the rules before seems to have been less to do with his actual understanding, and more to do with our limited communication medium.

I'm optimistic about today's game. :)


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Relax. Remember we're all still settling into the rules. Don't get caught up with being capital Right, get caught up in the fun :)

If the rules feel like they're getting in the way, make a ruling, move on, and investigate later if it was a mis-interpretation/error/or a bad rule for your table, etc Nothing kills the first couple of experiences with a new game system more than letting the table slip into griping about rules (even if its only one tiny corner case, it spreads).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also if you do need a moment (because a something makes a pivotal difference) call for a tea break!


If you didn't see it yet, pathfinder easy library for quick spell, action, and rule lookups.


Good Luck! Have fun! Let us know how it goes.


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All the best, and enjoy! My advice is 1) have a cheat sheet at the ready for stuff that comes up often, like basic actions, detection vs stealth, and conditions; 2) don't sweat the details, be easy on the players and yourself. We're all beginners with these rules, and a heck of a lot of that stuff is new, plus many of us need to "unlearn" PF1 habits. If you miss the effect of a manipulate trait or a non-stacking bonus here or there, it's no big deal, just roll with it and move on.


Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Best of luck!


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Post Game Analysis

Wow. That took FOREVER.

A simple Society one-shot adventure, designed specifically for new players, and meant to be completed in a 4-hour time frame, took us eight and a half hours!*

And we only got through one of the four parts. (ఠ్ఠ ˓̭ ఠ్ఠ)

My critical observations end there.

The rest was great. Combat felt smooth (though our turns took a LONG time as people insisted on looking up unfamiliar rules or even DEBATING THEM MID-SESSION!) and people were really thrilled with the new 3-action system. Players also seemed to really enjoy the range of strategic options available to them.

Traps worked amazingly well as my players all failed to notice A SINGLE ONE, and plowed through ALL OF THEM like the Cool-Aid Man goes through walls. By the end of the obstacle course they all had a new appreciation for hazards.

Traps and hazards never really felt all that relevant before. Now they are considered SERIOUSLY DEADLY. Fortunately, TWO of the players (the gnome rogue and dwarven fighter) invested in Medicine and had the Battle Medicine skill feat (the latter even had Continual Recovery). Thus they were able to quickly patch up the party in between encounters.

There was a LOT of patching up to do! I can't imagine how they ever would have survived without mundane healing. The players also have a new-found appreciation for mundane healing (also something that we never took seriously before), and will likely never have someone without Medicine ever again.

I made the mistake of having monsters popup in the middle of the party, starting the ONE main combat encounter of the evening with everyone bunched up. For the most party, the combat stayed that way. I guess everyone is still too used to the stand-still combat techniques of 1st Edition, as everyone just kind of stood around and used most of their actions to make repeated attacks.

The cantrip-wielding rogue was the only one who broke away to use his telekinetic projectile cantrip. Not surprisingly, he also took the least damage of anyone.

The enemies never left their squares. They couldn't. They were surrounded.

I don't honestly believe anyone did anything more than Step away or Step into flanking. Unfortunate.

Hopefully, we'll do better next time.

Story was great. Skills were great. At least half the players are absolutely in LOVE with the new skill system, and likely all of them are. It just seems easier and more intuitive to use, and it offers far more RELEVANT options than it ever seemed to before. Not having to invest in Perception helped diversify skill options too. People weren't afraid to take things like Alcohol Lore or Legal Lore, for example, and both of which ACTUALLY SAW A LOT OF USE in the game! ("Is that beverage the NPC offered us 'safe?'" "What kind of drinks are generally preferred by our patron's ancestry?" "How far does the legal authority of a Pathfinder extend?" "What are the legal ramifications of Pathfinders burning down the abandoned building a few days before the city formally plans on demolishing it anyways?" "Can I convince the judge that it was all, ultimately, done for the benefit of the city?") ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

I ran everyone through a bit of downtime before the game, just so they can experience that rule set. Most everyone chose the earn income option (or some variant of that) and made skill checks at jobs of their choice at various difficulty levels to try and earn their wage. Our goblin monk got hired by a candle maker for a week to help develop a new series of scented candles. After several bad rolls against a high DCs, the candlemaker had a bunch of candles that reminded people of alleys, sewers, junkyards, and other such marvelous scents, and the goblin monk was back on the streets.

Then the goblin bard in the party went to some of the lower-end establishments to do a series of Goblin cultural musical performances in order to raise awareness of Goblin culture in Absalom. Confident in her success after a few days, she moved her performance to the richer parts of town to a more discerning clientele. Patrons of some of the lower clubs had recommended her, allowing her to get her foot in the door of places that otherwise wouldn't have accepted her. She botched the rolls against the higher DCs and was thrown out. Her previous employers, incensed that they recommended her only to be embarrassed refused to hire her back at the previous venues. She spent the rest of her week succeeding at checks in other seedy places around the city.

The dwarven fighter worked at a blacksmith, performing menial jobs and successfully earning a basic wage.

The dwarven druid wrestled his bear in the park for a day, earning some copper, but otherwise not impressing an already jaded populace that had "already seen everything and were seldom surprised anymore." He spent the rest of the week meandering about subsisting in the settlement complaining about how much he hated cities.

The gnome rogue infiltrated a noble's manse, stole their fine silverware and other valuables, sought out a fence, and sold it for copper on the gold.

Downtime was quick. Exploration mode was fairly quick. Combat dragged on. (Our first round took 40 minutes!)

Everyone is now thoroughly excited about 2nd Edition and we will undoubtedly have more games in the future. Many of my players who don't already have books of their own, have claimed they are now going to pick up copies for themselves.

We're still not ready to make a decision on whether we're going to switch editions yet though. We have THOUSANDS of dollars invested in 1st edition, hundreds of books with NUMEROUS options that haven't been tried yet, and as good as 2nd Edition is, simply discarding much of that seems impractical to a lot of my players.

In all likelihood, we will have a mix of 1st Edition and 2nd Edition games, with GMs deciding individually which kinds of games they want to run.

Sorry for the long winded rant. Hopefully some of you will find it helpful in some way. Let me know if you have any questions! I tried to be fairly general, as I didn't want to spoil the Society adventure for anyone. If you want to know more though, I can resort to private messaging or spoiler tags.

*:
I know some of you will inevitably ask how that happened. Well, 2.5 hours disappeared as 2 players showed up WITHOUT CHARACTERS (an hour late). When asked what they were playing, they quickly answered, so they clearly knew what they wanted to play already, but apparently hadn't statted anything out. Why they did this even though I clearly told everyone LAST WEEK to have their characters ready and emailed to me the DAY BEFORE the game is anybody's guess. Real life stuff got in the way perhaps? I was kind of miffed that we all had to sit at a table for 2.5 hours WAITING on them to stat their characters while also having to answer their constant questions (they apparently hadn't read the shiny new books they bought either). I tried to start the game once they had their skills done (since the introductory part of the adventure is all skill checks anyways), but the other players insisted we be nice and let them finish before starting. So we waited, in our chairs, at the table, the ENTIRE time. Ugh!

Phones came out. They never really got put away. (ఠ్ఠ ˓̭ ఠ్ఠ)

Even without all that though, we took half again as long to get through the introductions and first part of the adventure as it (supposedly) takes other people to get through the introductions and all FOUR parts! Guess I'm never going to cut it as a Society GM. Ugh!


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

It sounds like y'all had fun (at least once past the character making slowdown) and found things to appreciate in 2e.

Regarding how long it took ~6 hours for intro/mission briefing and one of the four following missions. If people are having fun, and its not at a venue where you have to leave when times up, I don't see it being a problem.

I've run that mission (1-01) 7 times now, and its varied from ~3 hours to 4 hours. I've played it once and it probably came close to the experience you described, I think we had a bit of a late start, coupled with maybe spending two hours on the intro/mission briefing and then having to rush through everything else to finish before the store closed. In that case it was a RP-heavy table, who had played lots of PFS1 and wanted to interact at length with all the NPCs. There's a lot going on, which makes it seem like its a focus of the adventure and can cause that. It sometimes helps (if you know your table is prone to that style RP-attention capture) to be a little upfront about the goal of the party, something like Janira pulling an individual/party aside and giving them a tip like 'You're doing a great job making friends here, but make sure to leave with a mission from each of the primary faction leaders and don't wear yourselves out, I suspect you'll have quite a bit of work to do" or something even more in character. Just to make sure the party realizes that a) the goal is to get 4 missions and b) the missions are the focus of the adventure, not the party. This style hinting is usually more needed at tables that both love RP and don't know PFS scenario conventions


Yeah looks like it went pretty great! Awesome :D

My group is also the kind of group that would take a 4 hour adventure and turn it into a 4 month campaign. We all dig into the details so much and role play everything out so the plot moves at a pretty slow pace, but it's the experience we want. So if that works for you then I wouldn't sweat the pacing.

As for the stand still attacking problem, I definitely can relate to that. It's tough to remember and utilize all of the other options when going for damage is always the most alluring choice. Monsters can always step then move to escape, or shove away a foe before trying to escape. Some enemies have cool reactions that allow them to move after being attacked which spices things up. Flanking is really really important in this game so it's expected that your PCs will always be going for it. Enemies should be going for it too.

As for switching from 1e to 2e, my 1e group is also slowly making the change. We all really want to play with the 2e rules, but our characters aren't supported properly yet and we don't want to homebrew everything. We're hoping that the October playtest of the new classes will give us what we need to make the jump.

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