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Triple posting ftw. Should probably make a dedicated PF thread, but what the hell:

 

We finished Rise of the Runelords #1: Burnt Offerings. It was about bloody time, since the relatively compact scenario had spread itself out to cover six sessions already. In a way that's understandable, since we usually spent no more then 4 hours in a single session. Our longest run had us playing about 6 hours, but that's counting random bull**** about hillbilly treants and enlarged duergars with spiked chains that we had to get through before the actual game began. Please, we only meet every other week at most, of course we socialize. Generally a session saw us playing for about three and a half hours straight. Since the story was largely a coherent and rail-roaded thing, most of that time was spent in dungeons and when recuperating, with discussions and dialogues being very short occasions, springled among dead bodies of goblins and heroes. Another element which affected the sessions besides time was the introduction of our fifth player, who wanted vehemently to play a dwarven fighter. This posed two problems: First of all was that he came in two sessions later than everyone else, which meant reshuffling both party strategies and character relations, taking a complete stranger, characterwise, along to our dungeon romps "just because". It really did annoy me, we had barely managed to hold a flimsy shroud of roleplaying over the medieval combat simulation our party interaction had been from the very start and now there was another player introduced. Second thing that became a problem was his choice of character. I had been planning a fighter/rogue/shadowdancer build for a while, thinking that once our fifth member would join, we'd have an arcane or divine caster to take care of support buffing and long range offensive. Someone with a bent for the eldritch and arcane would have opened up a few story points as well, since no one in the group had outer planar languages or nonnatural or arcane knowledge skills. Instead, suddenly we had a third freaking martial class in the group(a barbarian, a scout and now a fighter), so of course it meant me cutting back taking combat feats and multiclassing and instead concentrating on being a skill monkey and sneaking. Neither in which I was very good at to begin with. Both of these problems strained our group quite a bit.

 

Now, on to the actual meat of Burnt Offerings, I have to admit first that, besides Pathfinder Society scenarios which are all one-shots, this was my first long running rpg campaign that I've played, so bear with me if I sound newbish and green. That said, I loved the offerings there, the adventure was tons of fun. Truthfully, there were times when I felt like strangling some of the players(not nearly as much as the Society players though) and one or two occasions where I felt like doing the same to the writers, but then the scenario itself wasn't at fault. Mostly me, heh. Our gaming group was special in the regard that everyone had played some(others a lot more) D&D previously, but not enough that we were absolutely sure how to progress in the game. The party, unfortunately, lacked a leader and that resulted in a sense of aimlessness, we really lacked direction and it fell to me(the rogue of the group) and my friend(the shoanti barbarian) to take point when ennui started to set in. Often this caused unfavorable situations for the party, since I was the least experienced player of the group and had only a general idea of how environments worked and by what rules the game world lived by. Probably the silliest bit was when a bugbear ranger charged through a door and had the drop on us when I was stupid enough to not announce that I was talking out-of-character when Niero was sneaking behind the door of the goblinoid's room. Fortunately the idiot didn't have enough space to maneuver into an aiming position with his composite bow and elfbane arrows, otherwise the party ranger and druid would have surely dropped. Anyway, I digress, we had a lot of these mess-ups along the way.

 

That all changed with the final session however, once the party had managed to kill my rogue by leaving him unconscious and bleeding out behind a trap door in our last session. Yes, they took the "allies, not friends"-thing to heart, for once. Anyhow, the change came with both the party members starting to get to grips with how the game worked and with Michiell Garrim("Glow" to his compatriots), my cleric of Sarenrae, being introduced as a replacement for my dead character, Niero. Now, Michiell, hmm... originally, when we were in the planning stages for the campaign back in the autumn of 2008, I had been thinking of starting as a divine caster class, since the domain powers looked really flavourful and I liked the balance Paizo had brought to clerics vs. other classes that had been a major source of whine ever since 3.5 came out. Later I got told one of the members of our party would be a druid and let the idea go. I have to admit that there was a lot of regret later on when we had seen how lousy(not to say that he played the class wrong) a healer and buffer the druid had been. So, making another divine caster was a natural thing. And it really paid off, since the cleric energy channel class feature Pathfinder introduced to replace the fairly pointless undead turning turned out to be a really powerful support ability. It almost removed the need to memorise low level healing spells(+1d6/every third caster lvl hp restoration for living creatures in a 30 ft burst centered on the cleric) and those freed slots could instead be used to memorize buffs, raising the overall combat effectiveness of the group by a good margin. Fire domain spells were also reasonably effective, since our high int ranger, Jearis, who decided to fill the party's lack of the arcane by multiclassing to a transmuter didn't yet have the spell prowess to offer proper magic support. All in all, the party had direction and drive and since this final session was mostly about traveling through the wilderness and avoiding large encounters, the party druid had his chance to shine, tracking our escaped BBEG all over western Varisia. Fun times were had and the final encounter was really rather epic, with half the party running away due to failed fear check and the Big Bad trying to cleave us in two.

 

With the scenario finished, we humbly looted what we had left behind, including Niero's body for burial, went back to Sandpoint for a welcome back -party and I took my just dues by taking the BBEG's bastard sword and renaming it, in a stroke of casual genius, "Bastard". Woe is me.

 

The rest, as they often say, is history. Or will be at least, once we tackle #2: The Skinsaw Murders next. I'll be excited to deliver sacred vengeance over death cultists, finally in urban environ.

 

tl;dr version "zomg, wus awesome, plz send moar! plz"

Edited by Musopticon?

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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Hahhah, yeah, they do give you that "skin of your teeth" feel that a good adventure almost always requires. There's also something to be said about their great revamp of classic monsters like Goblins, but I'll save that for the Paizo boards, since it would spoil the fun of people who've yet to play any of their adventures. Suffice it to say that they have interesting, often gruesome and brilliant ideas that they are not afraid to use.

 

Oh right, here's Michiell. Say "hi" to Michiell everyone, he's generic and lovable.

Edited by Musopticon?

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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I don't really care for Psionic myself, but obviously they've left themselves open for it. Just look at the neighbouring planet of Castrovel. The Darklands region, basically the Golarion Underdark, also has some psionic monsters. All in all though, it's likely going to stay a third party product,

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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  • 1 month later...

I admire your patience for playing p&p. I ended up selling all my books, tiles and miniatures as it was more of a chore playing d&d. At least 1 and a half hour to create characters and endless calculations and numbers that became too hard to track. I just gave up even though the concept was fun...

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p
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I can't even begin to fathom what an assload of work DM'ing a scenario, let alone a campaign like Paizo Adventure paths, would be, but so many people seem to be doing it so maybe there's a secret recipe for patience somewhere. I've actually contemplated on taking a bunch of stand-alone adventures available and DM'ing to my heart's content, but it takes such a massive amount of time that I doubt I ever get the thing launched.

 

If making sure you got all the numbers and charts correct and still doing coherent narration to excite people is getting you down, there's two very easy ways to help yourself: DM fiat and more narrative-oriented roleplaying. Instead of checking and double-checking, accept that you are the boss of the gaming table and can maneuver and rule as you see fit. Or just play something less rule intensive. Hell, like the rpg I'm gonna play next(after the Sunday Runelords sessions), Veggie Patch, a totalitaristic rpg about vegetables.

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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Actually, I am into Magic the Gathering at the moment and it's way more fun and easy to play than p&p d&d. I only play casual and stay away from competitive so I don't have to spend thousands of bucks.

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p
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  • 1 month later...
I admire your patience for playing p&p. I ended up selling all my books, tiles and miniatures as it was more of a chore playing d&d. At least 1 and a half hour to create characters and endless calculations and numbers that became too hard to track. I just gave up even though the concept was fun...

 

There are piles upon piles of simple PnP systems.

 

Talislanta is ten times better than DnD and you could learn all the relevant rules in one afternoon. And you only need one book.

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Imperium Thought for the Day: Even a man who has nothing can still offer his life

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  • 4 weeks later...
I admire your patience for playing p&p. I ended up selling all my books, tiles and miniatures as it was more of a chore playing d&d. At least 1 and a half hour to create characters and endless calculations and numbers that became too hard to track. I just gave up even though the concept was fun...

 

Well, it might take 1 and a half hours to create characters if you have never done it before or perhaps if you have all of the optional books and search them all for character options, but using the core rulebooks (say in Pathfinder or 3E) it should take no more than half an hour to create a character (excluding the background story, which you may make as short or as long as you like and as is appropriate in the group/setting and with the DM).

 

The only math involved, really, is addition and subtraction. It may seem more complex than that to begin with, but it really isn't. Once you take a deeper look at the system, you realize that there is only one basic type of roll: you roll a d20 die and add a modifier (be it to attack, or to use a skill or to do something else entirely). If it beats the target number (Armor Class, DC, etc.) you succeed and if it fails, you do not succeed.

 

There are only two exceptions I can think of in standard 3.5E D&D:

 

1) d10 die is used for stabilization when dying

2) Various dice can be used for damage

 

It may be described in a more complex way, but that's really all there is to it. :lol: Do not let the perceived difficulty discourage you - it really is much easier than it seems! :)

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I admire your patience for playing p&p. I ended up selling all my books, tiles and miniatures as it was more of a chore playing d&d. At least 1 and a half hour to create characters and endless calculations and numbers that became too hard to track. I just gave up even though the concept was fun...

 

There are piles upon piles of simple PnP systems.

 

Talislanta is ten times better than DnD and you could learn all the relevant rules in one afternoon. And you only need one book.

 

D&D is fundamentally very simple. Throw a d20 and add a modifier. If it exceeds a target number you succeed and if it doesn't you fail. The core mechanic cannot really get much simpler than that, but there are many options, which may create perceived difficulty.

 

I have checked your Talislanta links in the other thread - I will be downloading the huge library of materials that the authors have gracefully made available for free. I will likely stick with heavily modified D&D, but I might draw some inspiration from it if it proves to be good.

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I can't even begin to fathom what an assload of work DM'ing a scenario, let alone a campaign like Paizo Adventure paths, would be, but so many people seem to be doing it so maybe there's a secret recipe for patience somewhere. I've actually contemplated on taking a bunch of stand-alone adventures available and DM'ing to my heart's content, but it takes such a massive amount of time that I doubt I ever get the thing launched.

 

If making sure you got all the numbers and charts correct and still doing coherent narration to excite people is getting you down, there's two very easy ways to help yourself: DM fiat and more narrative-oriented roleplaying. Instead of checking and double-checking, accept that you are the boss of the gaming table and can maneuver and rule as you see fit. Or just play something less rule intensive. Hell, like the rpg I'm gonna play next(after the Sunday Runelords sessions), Veggie Patch, a totalitaristic rpg about vegetables.

 

I am mostly (well, overwhelmingly) the DM and I mostly agree with you that DM fiat is important.

 

Here are some tips:

1) Think of the rules as your toolbox, rather than absolute law. Apply only the rules which you feel are relevant. There is no point tracking encumberance, for example, in normal situations. I only track it if I feel it becomes important to do so, such as if the players want to abuse it by carrying out the entire dragon's hoard from the remote lair, or if they want to go to through a desert and it is important to know how much they can carry. In fact, scarcity situations (or preparations for them) are the only ones in which I will track food and water too. I also don't usually bother tracking gold for daily expenses (maybe at 1st or 2nd level) - in fact, I have justified it by saying that the rich parents of the PCs are providing them with an allowance for living expenses. If they want to buy something expensive, of course, they have to use their gold. So, I ignore these kinds of rules until they become relevant to the game, but I still appreciate that they exist, because I can lean on them when I need to do so to resolve a situation where they make a difference.

2) If you don't like some rules (too complex, too slow, too unrealistic, too boring, too...), change them! I implement a lot of changes to the rules to forge the game to my vision or to the flavor I want the campaign to have.

3) Find aspects of DMing you enjoy and concentrate on those. If you hate creating the numbers for NPCs (assigning skills, etc.), use one of the generators available online for free to do this for you and concentrate on doing something else. If you dislike inventing a story, use an adventure path. If you dislike world creation use a published campaign world. And so on... then DMing will no longer feel like work, but like an enjoyable activity. :lol:

 

There is much more, of course, but even by following just the above three points, you will be a much happier DM! :)

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I admire your patience for playing p&p. I ended up selling all my books, tiles and miniatures as it was more of a chore playing d&d. At least 1 and a half hour to create characters and endless calculations and numbers that became too hard to track. I just gave up even though the concept was fun...

 

There are piles upon piles of simple PnP systems.

 

Talislanta is ten times better than DnD and you could learn all the relevant rules in one afternoon. And you only need one book.

 

D&D is fundamentally very simple. Throw a d20 and add a modifier. If it exceeds a target number you succeed and if it doesn't you fail. The core mechanic cannot really get much simpler than that, but there are many options, which may create perceived difficulty.

 

I have checked your Talislanta links in the other thread - I will be downloading the huge library of materials that the authors have gracefully made available for free. I will likely stick with heavily modified D&D, but I might draw some inspiration from it if it proves to be good.

 

There are too many things you have to know on the fly as you are playing compared to other RPG systems I've seen.

You'll see that the Talislanta rules have about 20 pages altogether, while a complete grasp of the system requires that you read about a hundred pages. Compared to DnD I found it extremely quick and elegant.

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Imperium Thought for the Day: Even a man who has nothing can still offer his life

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  • 3 weeks later...

My main problem with p&p is keeping track of all the modifiers. I don't trust my players (they often give me the wrong numbers either voluntarily or by miscalculation) and prefer to do the calculations myself. The thing is that it's too time consuming...

 

For example, during a battle, a barbarian decides to rage and receives one or two spell boosts in addition to that. He may also drink a potion or use a magic item. Apply this to multiple characters at the same time and you will understand it's a nightmare keeping track of all the numbers (especially when boosts last for a certain number of rounds, then you have to remember when to remove them, etc)...

 

No p&p for me, thank you.

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p
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My main problem with p&p is keeping track of all the modifiers. I don't trust my players (they often give me the wrong numbers either voluntarily or by miscalculation) and prefer to do the calculations myself. The thing is that it's too time consuming...

 

For example, during a battle, a barbarian decides to rage and receives one or two spell boosts in addition to that. He may also drink a potion or use a magic item. Apply this to multiple characters at the same time and you will understand it's a nightmare keeping track of all the numbers (especially when boosts last for a certain number of rounds, then you have to remember when to remove them, etc)...

 

No p&p for me, thank you.

 

To be honest a big part of it comes out of maturity of the players.

My experience has been like this : everyone STARTS a cheater in D&D, but if you keep the challenge reasonable and give the player the chance to shine, they'll drop off the habit in no time.

Though I eventually stopped using D&D as a P&P system since I was fed up with medieval-ish settings and that abomination of a multi-classing system and started to use GURPS which I find elegant and pretty simple.

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My main problem with p&p is keeping track of all the modifiers. I don't trust my players (they often give me the wrong numbers either voluntarily or by miscalculation) and prefer to do the calculations myself. The thing is that it's too time consuming...

 

For example, during a battle, a barbarian decides to rage and receives one or two spell boosts in addition to that. He may also drink a potion or use a magic item. Apply this to multiple characters at the same time and you will understand it's a nightmare keeping track of all the numbers (especially when boosts last for a certain number of rounds, then you have to remember when to remove them, etc)...

 

No p&p for me, thank you.

 

I can definitely understand the frustration of things like that. But like RPGMasterBoo said there are many system that are much simpler then D&D that don't involve as many charts and graphs and frequent calculations. Heck my first posts on this forum was talking about the game system I play Dark Refuge which is designed for people who have gotten sick and tired of all the overly complex rules of P&P type games. There is a single page of rules, and in relatively large print heh heh.

If you are willing to give P&P another chance and look around, I am sure there are a few games that can renew your faith in them. However if you need a vacation from them i can totally understand.

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Sure, it might be worth trying another system but this is a Pathfinder thread. Since Pathfinder is heavily based on d&d, I am sure the aforementioned problems will still be present in the game. I was, at first, excited with p&p and then Pathfinder but, after a sessions, I came to realize the whole thing was more tedious than enjoyable. I really regret buying all the d&d materials and books. They are still in mint condition so I might be able to sell them someday.

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p
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My main problem with p&p is keeping track of all the modifiers. I don't trust my players (they often give me the wrong numbers either voluntarily or by miscalculation) and prefer to do the calculations myself. The thing is that it's too time consuming...

 

For example, during a battle, a barbarian decides to rage and receives one or two spell boosts in addition to that. He may also drink a potion or use a magic item. Apply this to multiple characters at the same time and you will understand it's a nightmare keeping track of all the numbers (especially when boosts last for a certain number of rounds, then you have to remember when to remove them, etc)...

 

No p&p for me, thank you.

 

Well, yes, those responsibilities (tracking their own numbers) are generally delegated to the players, so if you are doing it for them I can see how it could be rather annoying. Since you don't have players you can trust with the numbers and you already have the books and PnP would likely be something you would enjoy were it not for the above, perhaps instead of being the DM, you ought to try being a player in a game. Don't get me wrong, I think DMing is awesome and I love being the DM, but many people prefer being players and there is nothing wrong with that, so it is an option you might want to consider.

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