Archive for April, 2008

Pathfinder 10 – Evil, nasty clockses, we hates them!

Well, this past session ended up going quite well. Good combat, a bit of roleplaying, and a decent feeling of danger as well.

It took quite some effort to get there, though.

Warning to all reading this, this writeup will be half DM log, half rant. I’ll try to contain the rant to sidebars, so feel free to skip them if you don’t care, don’t want to become disenfranchised with the Pathfinder series and Paizo, or dislike mechanical discussions.

As per usual, let’s start with roll call. Present this week:

  • Nox, Changeling Swordsage
  • Nonnie, Chaotic Evil Halfling Psychopath Sorcerer
  • Reza, Dwarven Cleric of Desna
  • Thorbar, Dwarf Barbarian
  • Ristan, Half-Elf Bard

So, we started where we left off last time. Actually, that’s a lie. We started this session with Reza and I going through spells. This being her first cleric (and most of the players being relative newbies), she was inexperienced with spell selection, and unaware of the benefits of scrolls. As such, Reza now has more generally-useful spells prepared each day, with her big thematic-but-less-general ones (calm emotions, consecrate, speak with dead) on scrolls. I believe she was much happier with her character’s performance this time.


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D&D Helpline – Charmed, I’m sure

So we had no game last week, due to sickness and exams, but we’ll be back tomorrow.

Today, though, I’m tackling something that I’ve been meaning to for a while.  Specifically, giving a bit of help to Noumenon, who is looking for some workable rules (and more to the point, a second opinion) about casting spells during social encounters.

His problem:

I would like a better way to handle “Charm Person” type spells. I can never start spellcasting in a conversation without making the person so suspicious my DM wants to roll initiative. I don’t want to be reduced to casting a flavorful spell like Hypnotism from around the corner, and I don’t want to waste my feats on silent spells.

Well, unfortunately, I can understand your DM’s point, but he’s taking it a bit too far.

When you cast a spell while someone’s watching you, if it has verbal or somatic components they are going to know you’re casting a spell.

That said, they won’t immediately attack you, unless they’re already unfriendly towards you.

But really, the biggest problem with your DM’s handling of the situation is timing.

Let’s say Tim the Rogue is talking to an unfriendly town guard, and decides to pull a knife and stab him.  Fine, surprise round, stabby, roll damage, and (if the target is still alive) roll for initiative.

So let’s say Billy the Wizard is talking to the same unfriendly guard, and decides to cast Charm Person.  Same thing, surprise round, cast spell, roll saving throw, determine effect.  THEN, if the spell failed, roll for initiative.

If the spell succeeded, the target’s attitude towards you should increase by 2 categories, after which they wouldn’t mind you casting a spell on them, as they’re friendly now.

If the spell fails, however, I’d say there’s a good chance that the target’s attitude towards you might change from unfriendly to hostile (or indifferent to unfriendly).  If the target has allies around, who aren’t targets of the spell, to witness this, they will also likely move down one step.

That said, there are ways to prevent people noticing the spell.  The primary one involves using the Bluff skill to create a distraction.  This should effectively prevent attitudes from dropping, if the save succeeds and the spell fails.  The alternative is, of course, preventing the target from hearing and seeing you while you cast.  Around the corner works (as long as you still have line of sight), but so does just being further away, or in a crowd.

So this one really isn’t a houserule, but rather advice on handling the situation.  I hope it proves helpful to
Noumenon and his DM, as well as anyone else with similar issues.

I have yet to tackle Tommi’s request from back in February, mostly due to lack of time, and then forgetting about it. :P  I may still, but it is quite the complex issue.  Additionally, I foresee at least some of that issue being dealt with by the new 4e rules.  We’ll have to see.

In the meantime, feel free to submit new questions the the Helpline, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Pathfinder 9 – Utter confusion

Y’know, I had meant to get this up around Wednesday. Stupid rest of life making me busy.

In any case, the game last week went surprisingly well.

I say surprisingly, because I had done pretty much no prep until about an hour before the game. Projects and assignments were keeping me far too busy. So on Sunday morning, I began to prep.

Withing 5 minutes, people began arriving. On the one day when I wanted people to be late, everyone was early. Fate has a cruel sense of humour, eh?

Anyways, I managed to skim what I needed before we began to play, but I was still worried things would bomb out.

I guess I need to put more faith in my ability to run things on the fly, though, because the game actually went pretty well.

Everyone was present this time.

Now, last time, we left off with the group headed to Magnimar, the big city.


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Pathfinder 8 – Late Post, with Conan O’GameTomorrow

Iesha - RevenantYeah, so, we had a game two weeks ago…

‘Bout time I got around to writing about it, eh?

Cast:

  • Nonnie, Halfling Sorcerer
  • Nox, Changeling Swordsage
  • Reza, Dwarven Cleric
  • Thorbar, Dwarven Barbarian
  • Ristan, Half-Elf Bard

So, yeah, everyone.

I’m going to go through a bit fast. A lot, while flavourful and interesting, wouldn’t make a good read, so I’ll skim it. Also, it’s late.

In any case, it was an interesting juxtaposition of a game.

Creepy murder, haunting, and seriousness, right alongside complete random sillyness from the players.

The interesting thing? Both emotions ended up being felt.


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