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So what are you all playing?

Discussion in 'Pathfinder' started by Blueter, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Blueter

    Blueter New Member

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    Personally I've kept myself busy GMing, the Ironfang Legion AP. Gotten handy with the maps and making of tokens, Started making my monster library as I come across creatures in the adventures. I sure wish that SR (spell resistance) had a simple click and add a number like DR!

    The biggest issue, that I have noticed, is the lack of maps inside of Ironfang. Encounters without a map equals I have to make one or download one. It's a sticking point that I have yet to overcome without doing...well more work than I want to put to into a single encounter or even worse a random encounter!
     
  2. Tay-Dor

    Tay-Dor Active Member

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    Spell Resistance does have a click and add a number in the Pathfinder template.

    Look for the little red "C" button
    Custom1.png

    Click that and behold...
    custom2.png
    Type in a number. :) As you can see, you can also do CMD and flat-footed values. These fields are customizeable in the Options panel.


    As to maps, I started doing my own in GIMP and it gets a little easier with practice. But yes, it can be time consuming.
     
  3. Ualaa

    Ualaa Member

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    I'm running Rise of the Drow (6th to 17th), having completed the prequel The Darkness Arrives (1st to 6th). There is an epilogue, Commander of Malice for 17th to 20th.

    We're currently on the "back road" from a dwarven city to the drow city, having chosen to take the longer but less traveled route between the two cities. The drow are kidnapping people, and sacrificing them to some extra planar creature, or something to that effect -- at least as far as the PCs are aware. The original group has gradually been replaced, as characters have died and recruits added; none of the current characters are the original or have even met the originals... so the quest is not totally clear to the characters, even if it is to the players.



    As I need a creature type, I built it in Hero Lab. I purchased the hero lab files on Drive Thru RPG, so most of the basis is there but the sources need to be activated and often the encounter needs to be searched for due to their organizational method. I've been renaming encounters with the page range they appear in and the name of the encounter as it appears within the text of the adventure. I've got pretty much all Paizo content, within Hero Lab, so while I may not have a Marilith or a Pixie within d20Pro or Realm Works, I have their picture and all relevant information within a tool which can export to my other tools.

    Once I've got that, I ensure I have a picture (either from the adventure, or in the public domain... mainly for named NPCs that aren't generic versions of their race) both in the portfolio and saved to an image folder. Then I custom save the HL portfolio and import the creature into d20Pro. D20Pro doesn't translate the stats; everything is 10s, so I edit the imported creature with as much information as I can. Saving throws are often off by +/- 2 to 4 points from the HL version, not really sure why. Feats don't translate and attacks are often off by +/1 one attack rating, either way. Damage reduction translates, but not energy immunity/resistances.
    Still, for my purposes all I really need to be accurate is picture, size of token, attack/damage values and armor class values. We're using dice, rolled by hand by players in the same room...

    The creature gets imported into Realm Works next. I need to link the Hero Lab file with the Realm Works entry, and find the picture for the creature. At that stage, it's a question of filling in relevant details that I'd like to have at a glance without needing to click to open the linked HL portfolio. The information works best, broken into a lot of snipets, so if the group does a Knowledge check I can "share" the snipets of resistances or other creature information with the group. If they battle something and discover that fire barely touches the creature or conversely that it deals extra damage, that snipet can be revealed so next time they encounter that creature type... the group can ask what they know about it.

    In addition to learning d20Pro and Realm Works, I'm fairly new to Campaign Cartographer (current version is Campaign Cartographer 3 Plus). Making maps within the program is a little bit of a challenge, but the free effects upon sheets make maps beautiful, and it's hard to beat the thousands of symbols available all of which I can freely use and if I were so inclined sell my maps commercially with full rights to them. Plopping down d20Pro walls gave the PCs no clue as to why their vision ended. Coloring the ground brown in front of dirt, a different brown in front of wood, and grey in front of stone gives the PCs clues, but making a beautiful map within CC3+ and then drawing the d20Pro walls (vision blockers) slightly into the wall or cavern edge is much better looking.
    I've had CC (or the previous version of it) for about a decade, but each of the previous times it got too frustrating and was shelved; this time I'm sticking with it, and d20Pro is the reason.
    While I can make a map of massive size within CC3, and my players prefer the massive battlemaps where you can travel from an encounter to the next without loading the next map... and I can make a cavern 2000 squares across with d20Pro, such a cavern doesn't export from CC3+ format into a PNG that quickly, nor can d20Pro open a 356mb picture for the map. I'm experimenting with map sizes, pixels per square, formats, compression, quality, etc...
     
  4. Blueter

    Blueter New Member

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    I guess I knew that SR click and tab with CMD was there but, I meant I wish it was listed under immunities or right there on the front page like DR. Ualaa, Rise of the Drow seems to be a "cult classic". I have never read or played it myself but I was wondering is it designed for the typical 4 players or is it more of a Rappan Athuk designed for a larger group ( 6 players worked well in Rappan.)?

    We play with a larger group and converting all the encounters to fit 6 players in an AP can be a chore all in itself.
     
  5. Krilion_GD

    Krilion_GD Community Manager
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    Our group runs a variety of things and systems. (5e, Star Trek, 5e futures)
     
  6. Ualaa

    Ualaa Member

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    I could see it (Rise of the Drow) working with a larger group. For the most part, we have had five consistent players.

    The magic system (our system, not that assumed by the adventure) is Spheres of Power, so the casters are essentially 50-75% of the power of a traditional Wizard, Cleric, or Druid type.
    That's mainly because like a Sorcerer, they define what they're good at during character creation.
    Sure, they gain talents/spheres as they gain levels, but like a Sorcerer or Psion, they're limited to what they've chosen.
    The Wizard or Cleric can vary their spell list, for the situation... a sphere caster cannot.
    Spheres is non-Vancian casting, where you either have a talent/sphere combination, or you don't; but there are no level 1, level 2, level 3 type effects.
    Essentially a sphere guy defines what kind of caster they are, and thus are much more flexible in what they can do, at the character creation stage, but once defined are much less flexible than the classic Wizard, Druid, Cleric type.


    Conversely, our martial types (again, our charcters... not the assumption of the adventure) are almost exclusively Path of War, or Path of War expanded.
    So with maneuvers effectively being martial spells, that while their parts don't vary/scale with level xd6 per level, the level of the maneuver increases.
    The martials are effectively, a martial caster whose Magic Missile never improves from 1d4+1, but who gets a much better maneuver (Scorching Ray) at 3rd (which never improves over that initial version) but then again getting an improved spell the next level.
    So our martial types are much stronger than a typical Fighter, Barbarian, Monk, Ranger or Rogue type.


    With five regular players, for most of the adventure, and with up to seven at one time...
    The players constantly felt that the adventure was throwing more at them than they could handle.
    But the encounters weren't really higher CR/EL than the party could handle.
    Having four CR 4 creatures, when there are six Level 3 characters isn't really that outrageous, but the group acted as if Centaurs were CR 9 or 10... they still won the battle rather easily.

    The encounters aren't necessarily that far beyond the group, aside from a very early fight against something which 99% of groups won't have a means of overcoming the Damage Reduction.
    The encounters do feature mobs which engage in situations which favor their innate strengths.
    If you're in darkness and humans/elves/dwarves see 60 feet (or less) distance in the dark, but you can see 120 ft... why engage very close, when you can engage while they're effectively blind...
    That kind of thing.
    Adversaries playing smart, taking advantage of their own abilities in an intelligent manner.


    The Underdark component doesn't have enough encounters...
    The players choose whether their characters take the direct route or a back road, at a certain point.
    I've put the encounters for each, along their path, so they get all of the encounters rather than half.
    Despite that, they'll reach the city 3 or 4 levels too low to be there.
    So I'm having to add underdark related encounters, so that the party is the suggested level by the time they get to their destination.
    That's not necessarily a bad thing.

    With a larger group, you'd want more adversaries at each step along the way.
    That's probably par for the course, with a typical adventure already.
    That is the only adjustment for a larger group.

    Rappan Athuk was the previous adventure.
    In terms of difficulty, this is probably similar.
    Not necessarily things that are so much beyond the group's capability, if they take a wrong turn (which could easily occur within RA's status-quo encounter system), but usually encounters with creatures playing to their own strengths in a logical manner.
    I'd say it's been comparable difficulty to our (immediately) prior RA campaign.
     
  7. Ualaa

    Ualaa Member

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    For comparison...

    Rappan Athuk was 98 character deaths, over 72 sessions of play.
    Roughly two years of real time, for those 72 sessions.
    I'd say we were roughly 40% through the dungeon, in terms of levels/areas that the players had seen.
    During RA, we had just hit level 14, when one of the players convinced the group to call it quits, unfinished.

    Rise of the Drow has had 44 character deaths, over 33 sessions of play.
    So far, roughly a year of real time, as due to work I had to take 4 months of the summer off from gaming, and am the DM for the group.
    We finished 60 pages of prologue, are 110/300 pages into the main adventure, and have 28 pages of prologue to go.
    The party is currently 10th level.


    *Edit*
    RA ate 1.36 characters, per session (average).
    RotD is eating 1.33 characters, per session (average).
     
    #7 Ualaa, Oct 27, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  8. Tay-Dor

    Tay-Dor Active Member

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    When I make my maps (as stated earlier, in GIMP), the lines for my walls are drawn three pixels wide and then replaced with whatever wall texture I want. This way, when I put the D20PRO wall down in the middle (snapped to grid), there's still some of my wall texture showing so players know the light stopped because of a wall.
     
  9. Ualaa

    Ualaa Member

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    My first take on walls, was simply the wall (vision blocking) tool.

    The next take was coloring the square, as that was a simple addition.

    Messing around with Campaign Cartographer 3 Plus... was a lot more work, to have a passable map (far better looking than my artistic talents), but there is a large amount of improvement available.
    Following an annual, with the draw tools and fills and style, and then a PDF guide saying place this, now place this but go from back to front and then activate this tool for that effect, to duplicate the example of this style...
    The annual (12-14 per year) showcase what can be done...
     
  10. owlbear

    owlbear Administrator
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    Interesting tangent question. what do you think of maybe being albe to push the wall lines from fog of war to players as "drawn" art?

    So the orange lines -- I'm thinking we could provide a simple "thickness" control for the wall, door and edge lines. I know this isn't entirely on topic.

    upload_2017-11-24_16-17-49.png
     
  11. Tay-Dor

    Tay-Dor Active Member

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    YES!
     
  12. Blueter

    Blueter New Member

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    yes, that would be a great idea. it's sometimes had to tell if it the end of a masked space or the end of the hall, due to the way it's masked. I often find myself trying to guess which directions the PC's will be coming from and mask as appropriate ( and my player never cease to amaze my incompetence at guessing what their next move will be!) The orange walls however will a better standard to help them "see". Long story short, t late I know, yeah I like that idea!
     
  13. Zandu

    Zandu New Member

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    Nice thoughts. I concur that it can be difficult to tell where the maps end or if there is something there. I try to create the maps so that a bit of wall shows though from the edges of my shadowcasting to help give players the understanding when its the end of a room. So having another method might work well and help creating maps.
     
  14. Zandu

    Zandu New Member

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    I am currently running a Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path for three people. We started this game three years ago and played through the second chapter. We have been on break for two years and I just kicked it back off. Three of my dedicated players came back and several did not. I've got some learning to do on the changes of the last two years. Looks like lots of great advances.
     

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