Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pathfinder Barrowmaze Game 2

We had our second game this afternoon.  We were joined by our 3rd player who had to leave early last game during character creation due to a real-life commitment.

The party is as follows:

2nd Level Half-Elf Barbarian
2nd Level Human Monk
2nd Level Half-Orc Cleric of Gorum

We came up with a reason why the Cleric wasn't in the first game session, as he was being briefed at the temple of his god, Gorum of the presence of  Urgathoa worshippers somewhere within the Barrowmaze.  He has been charged to investigate and see if they pose a threat to the city of Magnimar.  The Cleric was aware of the quest they took at the Pathfinder Society Lodge to find a missing member who went into Barrowmaze.

They party backtracked through some areas they went past (marked in yellow) and I told them that several of the doors they went through were closed.  This got them a bit worried, but little did they know that I am using the old school rule that all doors close after about a minute.  I have also determined that all the doors in Barrowmaze open outward into the halls, so as to discourage camping in the dungeon (as they can't spike doors shut).  This will allow me to roll for dungeon restocking.

The areas marked in Purple are the areas they explored or could see from their darkvision/light-source range during today's game.

They managed to kill a Gray Ooze (which was the longest fight in the game due to it having 50 HP), 7 Giant Carnivorous Flies, 2 Huecuva (the room said there was 6, but I toned it down since they had Damage Reduction of 5), and 4 Ghouls.

The party did search the burial alcoves in several rooms, which they had skipped doing in the first game and found much more treasure.  But with the extended amount of time doing so I made several wandering monster checks, but none showed up.  The magic items they found were a Potion of Hold Portal, a Bag of Holding and Gloves of Swimming and Climbing.  The coins and gems they found will put them on target for the amount of wealth they should have at 2nd Level, according to Pathfinder.

At the end of the evening, the party debated as to whether or not to camp and rest in Barrowmaze.  When they found out all doors swung outwards and there was no way to secure themselves, they decided to head back to Magnimar and rest and divide up their treasure.

It will be fun to see if any of the rooms get new occupants.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday.  And may the Force be with you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tonight's Barrowmaze Game using Pathfinder

I DM'd my first Pathfinder game tonight with some friends.  They made characters and one of my friends had to bail early because of a prior commitment, so that left me with two PC's.  I ran them through Barrowmaze.  The premise was that they are looking for a missing Pathfinder Society explorer who went to the barrow mounds and hadn't returned in 2 weeks.  They were hired to find him.

I'm using stats in Barrowmaze as is.  I'm not going to bother doing any conversions.  For Armor Class I just take 20 and subtract the number in the book.  The monster's Hit Dice I use as their To hit bonus.  I use the damage as presented in the book.

They encountered one Sapphire Skeleton as a wandering monster.  They "killed" it, but noticed the bones were assembling back together, so they grabbed the skull with the gem in it and kept it from fully assembling.  They managed to pry the gem loose, but since they did not destroy it, the bones of the skeleton's body kept knitting back and following them.  They decided to move away from the bones and went into a room and closed the door.  That was when a stone wall dropped from the ceiling and sealed them in.  A door on the opposite side of the room opened and 7 skeletons emerged.

I thought they were doomed being outnumbered 3 to 1.  But some really bad to hit rolls on my part worked in their favor.  The player playing the Monk was kicking some ass and was more effective in combat than the Barbarian.  After they defeated the skeletons, I ruled that the stone wall eventually reset itself.  When they opened the door to exit, the Sapphire Skeleton's body was assembled sans skull and attacked them as it waited for them outside.  They managed to "kill" it again and tossed the bones into the room they left and closed the door.  They still have the intact gem.

They encountered a room with 11 Giant Rats and promptly closed the door, deciding not fight them.

They explored some other rooms, which were empty.  One of them fell into a covered pit trap and they decided to go back, thinking they person they were looking for hadn't gone the way they were headed.
They found two rooms with burial niches, but didn't want to waste time looking through them.  They narrowly avoided a Poltergeist encounter by not entering the room.

They found a room with two dead adventurers and took their backpack that had their loot in it.  Later they found a room with gems in the ceiling (Room 26).  We ended the game there as it was getting late.

Below is the map area they travelled and explored (marked in yellow).  I kept a rough track of time, but wasn't successful  at rolling any further Wandering Monsters.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pathfinder Game Prep

I want to thank the commentors on my last post for their suggestions on what rules changes would be necessary to make Pathfinder more Old School.  The game will have 3 players to start, so I have to be mindful of encounter creation which assumes the standard of 4-5 players.

The House Rules draft I have come up with is as follows:

1) Attacks of Opportunity will remain.  With 3 players I don't see it slowing the game down.  A map grid will be used for combat.

2)  Slow XP Advancement table will be used.

3) Ability scores are determined by 3d6 rolled and assigned to how the players want.  I'm already getting flak on this from the players.  Damn you Point-Buy method!!!

4) PC's will start at 2nd Level, with max HP for Level 1 and they will roll for their Level 2 hit die.  This will help compensate for the missing 4th player.

5)  Level cap is 10th level. I doubt that this will mean much, since I haven't ever had a campaign that lasted long enough to reach such a lofty level.  This is mostly due to scheduling conflicts of the players and hence the game loses momentum.

6)  Critical Hits.  No confirmation roll is required.

7)  Standard races and classes from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook only.

8)  No Prestige classes.

9) Skills will be used, but player actions will trump a skill roll (this mostly applies to the role-playing skills such as Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate).

The players are coming over on Saturday to make their characters, so lets see how everything goes.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pathfinder: Old School Style?

As I mentioned in my last post, I was contacted by some of the old group of players and we have been kicking around what we would like to play/DM.

After some thought, I am considering running Pathfinder, but in an Old School style of play.  I really dislike the crunchiness and the sheer amount of rules in the Core Rulebook.  I really want to strip it down.

One of the things I have noticed as a player in a Pathfinder game, is the effects of Attacks of Oppurtunity and how that can slow down the game as players mull over the best way to move their miniature on the grid to avoid such attacks.  I am considering removing that aspect of the game altogether.  Though I am concerned what impact that will have on other rules.

Anyone have any ideas on this particular mechanic?  And any ideas of Old-Schooling Pathfinder in general?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Getting the Band back Together.....Maybe.

So, out of the blue last week I get an email from one of the players in the old 4E game I was DMing.  The email had the names of the other players attached so they would be receiving a copy as well.  The email was expressing interest to get a game going again.  I think it's been over a year since we last played as a group.  Many of the players had scheduling issues with family and work commitments which contributed to not being able to sustain a continuing campaign.  Alas, things fell apart.

Since then, I was able to join a group of different players and play in a monthly Pathfinder game with 5 other players that has been fairly steady.  I hadn't heard anything from the old crew of players since that time until now.

Well, I am not sure a game is going to happen with this group.  We are all pulling in different directions as to what game and/or system we want to play/DM.  I expressed my desire to run an old-school version of D&D using Castles & Crusades.  I also expressed that I would not DM any new-school system such as 3E, 4E or Pathfinder as there is just too many damn rules and game prep is a bitch.  One of the players is willing to play anything and one of the others is learning more to AD&D.  But my friend Matt is a notorious power-gamer and of course he is leaning to 4E or Pathfinder.  Figures.

I'm not sure all this will lead to a game.  I am happy with playing my monthly Pathfinder game and my host of computer games to fill the gap.

I really want to run an old-school campaign using the Barrowmaze as a tent-pole megadungeon.  I just got word from RPGNow that my hard-copy of Barrowmaze II just shipped, so I am eagerly waiting for it to arrive.  I did get the PDF of the book as part of my contribution to the Indigogo campaign, but I do like having a physical book.  But it doesn't seem I'll find a group to run it for.