Session 2 – Thoughts from the GM


So, quite a session last night!  Hopefully you all had as much fun as I did and found the rules less of a challenge to get your heads around!

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For me it felt like you were all more comfortable, got into your roles (and your rolls!), interacted more with the storyline and listened (mostly) to what I was saying and describing.

The main points that I want to raise are the following:

  1. Know your Character and HeroLabs

  2. Share the Spotlight and encourage others

  3. Notes

  4. Keep checking this site!

All in all, I was very impressed with the session and you all.  (Take that for what it’s worth!).  I really enjoyed myself and although some of you had a very hard week at work, you all seemed to be able to relax and enjoy yourselves, which is great.

I’ve decided that I’m going to introduce a format to these session reports, partially to keep me on my toes and partially make them easier to read – you know…  So… You know…  You actually read them!

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Who? Me?  YUP

Ok, so here are my points, and in true Litigious American Fashion, let’s get this out of the way straight away…

None of this is talking to you, these comments are to the entire group.

All this is done in the spirit of helping the game be more exciting and giving everyone the best experience possible.

Otherwise, why bother playing? Right?!

 

Four Main Points From Last Session

1. Know your Character & HeroLabs.

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It’s YOUR character after all.  Now over time, this is something that will get easier and easier, but taking a little time between sessions to familiarise yourself with your character will help enormously.

I don’t expect you to read as much as I do, I have a genuine love of this system and really enjoy it so it’s no ‘hardship’ for me to read over rules and scenarios.  I spend a great amount of time between sessions preparing notes on the upcoming encounters, familiarising myself with how all the scenes / encounters connect to future and past events, working out how your choice of actions could affect / change the story’s progress, balancing the encounters so you don’t cake walk or TPK, and understanding all the NPC and enemy: feats, traits, skills, weapons, effects, combat actions, special attacks, poisons, spells,  diseases, natural abilities, etc etc etc.

Everyone’s interests are different, and everyone’s busy (including me!), I get that, I really do, so all I’m asking is that you each spend 30 minutes of the 19,920 minutes between sessions, to check over your own classes special abilities, actions, spells, and have a look at the blog site.

As part of that time, have a play with HeroLabs, it’s quite intuitive but Pathfinder character sheets have a LOT of information on them, and knowing where it is and how to find or adjust it will help the Session keep moving.

2. Share the spotlight and encourage others.

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We are all guilty of talking over others, and there are numerous excuses for doing so, but it’s rarely “ok” to do it.  There will be times where the party will need to rely on a particular PC to get something done, that’s the way of the game, and trust me when I tell you that everyone will have their moment!  That’s part of my job as a GM!

So, when there’s a bit of a…  Let’s call it a ‘Soliloquy Situation’, listen in and encourage the player, and please don’t give advice or push your agenda unless it’s either asked for, or appropriate!

Encourage each other generally, congratulate each other for a good roll, or a good idea, or a great idea.  I’m not talking about creating some artificial, stupid, group flagellating, reach-around, that would be… Awkward. Think of your old sports coaches encouraging you all to do your best and be a team!

3. Notes

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There was a few times last night where I noticed very few notes being taken during what were clearly important scenes.  Now this is entirely up to you, I’m not going to try and insist on anything here, but I will say this.  This is not a ‘teen-fiction’ story, and even if it was, you’d read part of it every night so it’s that much harder to forget anything.  We play, maximum, every fortnight, and it could be very easy to forget something very important during that time.

Help yourselves by taking some notes.

The point in getting you to put them on this site was purely so all of you could see them and add to them.  Only you guys know if anyone added to Pasta’s notes.

Actually I lied, I know too.

4. Keep checking this Site

important

While I ‘m reading through Pathfinder things that I don’t understand or find something that surprises me, I put a post on this site.  Now, it’s partially to help me try and remember but it’s also to give you the benefit of that information / research.

Please keep an eye on the site, and the posts I make.  I try and make them entertaining and easy to read, and try to make them as short as possible (honest!).  If you read a post and have any thoughts or found it useful, give it a ‘Like’ or make a comment!

 

Quiz From Last Session

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This is something I’ll do at each session, they will tend to be relevant something that players character will typically do, but sometimes they will be purely as a reminder.

Once again, these are not focused on a particular player, they are supposed to be a fun way of help everyone learn the more prevalent rules and therefore, benefit everyone!

>If you really want to end up on a certain square on the map, but will draw an AoO if you do, how can you avoid it?

  • Acrobatics Check versus the Enemy’s CMD – If successful, you complete the move and get no AoO on you.  Note that you can only move half your max movement value.  If you want to try and move your full movement value, the enemy gets a +5 to it’s CMD score.

>You’ve been caught Flat Footed in Combat, what does that mean in the game mechanics?

  • It means that you do not get to add your DEX mod to your AC.

>You’re casting a level 1 spell and are adjacent to an enemy, so they get an AoO on you.  It hits for 5 damage.  What do you need to roll on your Concentration Check to avoid losing the spell?

  • 10 + Damage Received + Casting level of the spell
    • (Some characters can cast spells at a higher level to get increased benefits)

>What are three situations that grant you a Sneak Attack?

  • There are LOADS!!  1. Blinded. 2. Cowering. 3. Flat Footed. 4. Attacker is Invisible. 5. Stunned. 6. Paralysed. 7. Helpless. 8. Pinned (via Grapple). 9. Acrobatics to cross narrow/uneven ground. 10. Climbing. 11. Running. 12. Squeezing. 13. Social Situations preventing awareness of the attack. 14. Successful Feint against target. 15. Overloaded from encumbrance. 16. Some Feats (Disengaging Shot, False Opening). 17. Some Class Abilities.

 

House Rules & Relevant Posts That Came Into Play

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Combat, what can you do?

HR – Vigour / HP System

HR – Perception / Sense Motive

Acrobatics

Bluff – just for Hadyn!

 

Other Comments

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  • We didn’t start playing properly until around 7:45 – we need to settle in quicker (And yes I know there was a new player and some character details being sorted but even after that…).
  • Everyone is steadily learning the mechanics which is great.
  • For Bryan, there’s a free Pathfinder character generator that works on Android called ‘PCGen’.  Below is a link to the program and a ‘how to’ on making it work on Android.
  • Again for Bryan, please, please don’t think that your entire Pathfinder experience will be ‘spamming the heal button’.  It honestly won’t be.  I promise!!

 

Highlights For Me.

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  • I absolutely LOVED the Roleplay, and there was some from everyone!  F*cking sweet!!!
  • Really good progress with the investigation – Oil of Taggit, Brinya, the Hopeknife, searching for Umlo, Sara Morninghawk.  Absolutely CLUTCH to progressing the story.  Seriously, give yourselves a reach-around…  But outside the session please.
  • Fighting in close quarters with no armour, and prone.  It’s nasty isn’t it?!  What are you learning though…?
  • Hoss getting into character 🙂 Voices / Itonations…  LOVE IT.
  • Gary entertaining the crowds with his drums stories.
  • Potential love interest for Hoss…  Mutual or unrequited?  (Sara Morninghawk)
  • Lots of Roleplay.
  • The first Gold Coin Award (GCA) for Bravery in the face of 2 potential AoO’s goes to Hoss!  Bloody marvellous!!  Be brave!  Be heroic!  The rewards are there!
  • Shortly followed by the first use of a GCA!  Perfect!  Let’s keep the GCA economy moving.

 

Cast

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Persistent Characters

Garlin ‘Gary’ Lancaster – Hadyn

Hoss – Pasta

Mervyn T Butterscotch II – Bryan

Stabby McStabsalot* – Jeff

 

Support Characters

Brinya Kelver – Gennifer Jarner

Sara Morninghawk – Eorey Cverson

Tyari Varvatos – Hnne Aathaway

 

* Placeholder only.

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2 thoughts on “Session 2 – Thoughts from the GM

  1. zhap77

    Thoroughly enjoyed the night.

    Although not levelling was a bit of a letdown. However we were slow to start (7pm), and we didn’t realise (nor could we) that the reason you were over stating how much time had gone by during the day is that you were trying to get us to the assassination scene. Had we moved through the day faster we could’ve completed our combat session and probably levelled. Oh well, it’ll happen next time.

    Something i thought about in the game, and you’ve partially stated here is about sharing the spotlight. As the face of the group Gary will naturally be mister talky talky. But i am conscious of always being so and how i share that around. My take was that if we’re talking with a major NPC, then it should be me, but if we are just talking to the bar keep, etc etc then i should try and not say anything so as to let the other characters come forward. Thoughts?

    1. I thought you would have hit L2 as well, but there was a lot of faffing about before we got to start. Hey, almost guaranteed next time though!!

      As the Face, yes, you’ll be talking more often than not, but there are many ways to share the spotlight, not just chatting with NPCs. No reason for you to stop doing what you’re doing, that’s part of your “shizzle”, and it would be out of character if you didn’t.

      To give a little more explanation over my comment, although you’ll be the main talkie talkie (funny how games mirror life isn’t it! ;-)), there’s no reason for others not to ask questions of their own. You can always use your l337 skillz if they commit a bit of a ‘conversational’ faux pas!

      There’s no reason for you to ‘step back’, I’m just encouraging the whole party to ‘step forwards’.

      Don’t forget that this is your character’s LIFE! THEY’RE not in a ‘game’, only YOU are.

      Thanks for reading!

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