Pathfinder 5 – Newbs ahoy!

I has newbShort adventure this week. Two friends express interest in joining us, however, so we invited them to do so. Due to this, we spent a fair while finalising characters (and leveling up from 3 to 5) before we played. Thus, I give you this week’s roster.

  • Nox, NG female Changeling Swordsage
  • Nonnie, CE male Halfling Sorcerer
  • Reza, CG female Dwarven Cleric

and introducing

  • Thorbar, CN male Dwarven Barbarian
  • Ristan, CN male Half-Elf Bard (player female)

Now, Thorbar has played before, though his experience is not all that extensive. He knows the rules well, and is comfortable with character creation. He is also the most… well, the most eager player I’ve seen in a while. He brings a lot of energy to the table, that’s for sure.

Ristan’s player is Thorbar’s fiancee. She is nearly brand new to the game, having played once before as a bad experience. But she seems optimistic about our group, and seemed to enjoy herself while here. She is still just learning some of the rules, but is catching on quickly seems very eager to become self-sufficient in her rules knowledge and ability, which is good.

Additionally, we rarely have cross-gender roleplaying in our group (unless it’s taken to extremes, as in the case of Nonnie’s Arcane Archer named Thongdra) so this will be something new for me.

The Bard. Now, this is a fun class, at least thematically. But in play, things bog down. Despite the sheer number of bards we’ve had in our groups over the years (and there’s been quite a few), nobody has ever used Bardic Music, as we then couldn’t cast spells or attack while maintaining it. In any case, we decided to take a page from Mike Mearls, and make a couple changes.

  • Bards now get d8 hit points.
  • Bardic Music – swift action to begin, swift action to maintain. Suggestion might be a standard action still, however, though since it won’t usually be used in combat, it’s not a big deal.

And let me tell you, you never realise just how useful a Bard is until she uses Countersong to ensure the Barbarian doesn’t run away pissing himself due to a Yeth Hound’s Bay. Go second save that’s a perform check and thus much better than a Barbarian’s Will Save.

In any case, short session.

But first, we had to introduce the new players.

“Alright, so you three and the barbarian and bard who have been travelling with you all along…”

And onwards to the first combat. A rather easy one with a level three wizard.

Downstairs to the second level of the dungeon, which all slopes west. Reza decides to try to read the runes on the door on the other side of the square of floor that is suspiciously cleaner than the rest and, of course, gets caught in a trap. A very interesting one, too. Two portcullises drop, trapping her. One round later, two glaives scythe down, missing her. And one round later the floor gives way, dropping her down 10 feet.

A few hardness-ignoring attacks from our Swordsage makes short work of the portcullis, and they haul her back up. Nox spider climbs over to the other portcullis, and makes similar scrap out of it, and everyone jumps across. Nonnie rolls poorly, however, but a quick Reflex save allows Nox to catch the rugrat.

The party picks the left door (of course), and encounter a face very familiar to some of them (Nualia).

Battle ensues, Nualia charges and does some nice damage to the Barbarian. Thorbar laughs, rages, and does the same back. And Nualia’s Yeth Hound bays, affecting only Thorbar, sending him into a panic.

And this is where the Bard came in the most handy. Bay is a sonic effect, so Countersong works lovely against it. Thorbar gets a new save equal to the Perform check (save DC is 11, Perform is at +11, so he’s sitting pretty), and is no longer pissing himself.

A couple more rounds and both Nualia and the Yeth Hound are taken care of. Treasure is looted, and we end for the week.

Things the players liked:

  • Go Bard! Woot!

Things the players didn’t like:

  • We didn’t get to play for very long. This week will be better.

Lessons Learned:

  • Um… Go Bard?

13 Comments

ChattyDm  on March 2nd, 2008

Lol… No lessons learned in making characters with newbies?

I approve 100% the Bardic Music as swift… As we often spoke about, I think that everything that isn’t game breaking but that prevents players from doing cool stuff should be made a swift action.

Looking forward to the rest…

Graham  on March 2nd, 2008

Surprisingly, no. No big lessons from character creation last week. Everything went smoothly.

Combine that with the fact that I have brought in 5 or 6 newbies over the past two years, and it’s nothing new to me.

(I may have some if / when my brother joins us, of course… :) )

Perhaps “house rules are easiest to introduce with:
1) Experienced players who are quick to learn and not resistant to change
or 2) Brand-newbies with no preconceptions
anything else makes it harder.”

Tommi  on March 2nd, 2008

“Alright, so you three and the barbarian and bard who have been travelling with you all along…”

Elegant. Were there any jokes or complaints?

Graham  on March 2nd, 2008

Nope. They laughed, and said “alright, sounds good”

There are times when I like to make some sort of elegant solution, but when it means that a couple players wouldn’t be playing for a bit, I will almost always forego it.

We tend to ignore metagame things like this a lot. For instance, the Bard won’t be here today, due to working every second Sunday or so (can’t be helped), so she’ll fade out for a day, and appear right where she would have been.

It’s not elegant, but it works well.

Tommi  on March 3rd, 2008

I was serious about it being elegant. It is elegant exactly because everyone gets to play immediately and there is no need for the almost always contrived introducing-a-stranger-and-immediately-trusting-him/her-part.

I’m sufficiently interested in the fiction being as consistent as possible, and so am likely to try other solutions besides retconning like that.

Graham  on March 3rd, 2008

Ah, I see. Sorry, I kind of assumed sarcasm there, as many GMs would seriously balk at my methodology sometimes.

Tommi  on March 3rd, 2008

Misunderstanding the tone of a person is one of the greatest joys of internet communication.

ChattyDm  on March 3rd, 2008

I’m with Tommi (and you) here.

We try to give a new character one key link to the party (a cousin, a friend…) and we drop them in a ‘fancy seeing you here, care to come along’ scene and we’re good to go.

Graham  on March 3rd, 2008

Heh. Go along “The Gamers” route.

DM: “Now remember, guys, you’re in the woods and the last people you met tried to kill you. I want you to roleplay this.”

Players: “Okay. Hello, mage. You look trustworthy. Would you like to join us on our quest?”

Dave T. Game  on March 3rd, 2008

Oh yes, we’ve had quite a number of “You seem trustworthy!” moments.

Introducing players has not been a problem in my current campaign, but the actual attendance of the group fluctuates, so I have to come up with reasons for them to not be there. (I hate playing PCs as NPCs)

Lately, I’ve just been coming up with ailments and illnesses to explain why they can’t go on that day.

“Sorry guys, I’d like to be your sorcerer today, but I had a really bad allergy attack.”

Graham  on March 3rd, 2008

For yesterday’s game, our Bard wasn’t there. So she faded out, and came back in after battles to heal a bit. That’s all.

As for playing PCs as NPCs, well… wait for my writeup this week. ;)

Reza  on March 4th, 2008

Reza Here!

Things we learned…I had not realized and/or forgotten that Thorbar has played DnD before….he is VERY exuberant…usually we just yell “Settle down!” and “no, you cant smash everything!” and he settles down…a bit. It may be a bit more hyper than your used to, but at least none of us will be able to sleep at the table? lol. Just dont mention anime….PLEASE dont mention anime! (Except avatar). :P

Ristan definitley wants to play and half fun, but is a bit nervous about not knowing the rules. I just keep repeating that i just roll d20s for millions of search checks, and ask you how to do anything else!

All in all, a good game, i enjoyed it, even if i didnt get my boat OR the chance to burn down the goblin fort….at least i still have my warhorse. :P

Christine aka Nox aka Karen aka Legolas  on March 5th, 2008

Hey, at least you got to burn the bridge… you pyro :P

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