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Showing posts from May, 2015

Krasis is Over: Death of a Campaign

Krasis had one session, weeks missed while gathering players, and in the end, I just couldn't get 4 players to commit, let alone 6.  When a game falls apart, it is good to deconstruct it.


Many of the "experienced" players had never played on roll20 before and had unrealistic expectations.Many of the players could not follow directions, forcing me to tell them no, sometimes over and over.  This made me feel like the bad guy and didn't help the GM-player relationships.Many of the players built a full race and character and then dropped out.At least one player could not build a race ecology, despite it being a condition for joining.None of the players really admitted to anything being wrong with the game.  One admitted that he expected to have better role playing during the first session, but never played a second session. Now a few general observations I have gathered from the experience, which, in total, included about 10 players: Pathfinder players don't like to be…

Krasis Crash and Burn: Will it Rise from the Ashes

It was a bad week.  Krasis, my Pathfinder campaign, has been limping along.  Then, we lost two players and a 3rd was going to be absent from the session, leaving us with 3, 1 too few for a game.  I called it off with 2 new players incoming and low and behold, two of the original players dropped out without even notice.

The most disheartening part of the whole thing is that these players put in the time to build a race and a character, got the standard request for input about what they would like to see in the game, and then left without a word.  It boggles the mind.

It leaves me asking all sorts of questions.  Are all these players used to GMs that say yes to every crazy character concept they come up with, no matter how rule breaking it is?  Are all of these players so used to video games, that they don't even have simple courtesy enough to let me know that they are leaving a live game.  It is truly bizarre.  How could a player think that a game isn't going to be what they w…

So When Did Roll20 Pathfinder Players become Jerks?

I've been involved in setting up and running quite a few games online on roll20 over the past few months.  The trends I have seen is startling.  The D&D 5e players are generally nice, appreciate getting a spot in a game, they are respectful of the GM, and they generally are good players.  Pathfinder players mostly have become the opposite -- bratty, min-maxing, disrespectful.  It is startling to me, because Pathfinder use to have a solid player base.  Has 5e sucked up all the good players?

Thinking about the anecdotally-backed trend I have noticed, I think back to when Pathfinder was the newcomer and 3.5 was the old game.  It was very similar in attitude, at least in that 3.5 drew in the power gamers.  It really upsets me that I can't hardly run a decent Pathfinder game now with all of the min-maxing attitude.

Worse yet, making Pathfinder playable in a balanced sense is becoming harder and harder.  In my latest Pathfinder game, I had to restrict the players to Core Ruleboo…

Exploiting Weakness in D&D 5e: A Guide for the Evil Plotting GM

I wrote a similar article to this on Pathfinder, and though this is a pretty evil topic, it has been of use to a lot of folks out there.  So, now, I think, is the time to start a similar article for D&D 5e.  This will be a living document to be updated with suggestions and more information as I find better methods.

In general, 5e is a lot more challenging for a GM, because the classes are reasonably balanced and because the game mechanics don't have a lot of scale over the 20 levels.

Here's a general list of things to increase the difficulty for the party:

Increase the number of foes and the CR (ignore the book CR system if it isn't offering a challenge)Spells against the PCs low saves.  A high level sleep spell, for example, could take out a party with no elves.Drag out the opportunity for the long rest.  After 2 short rests, the 3rd battle of the day is tough.Hit the most vulnerable PC first. It almost always forces another teammate to take an action to assist.Use ter…

Krasis: An Experiment in Collaborative World Building

Recently, I started a new Friday night Pathfinder game that has been an experiment in collaborative world building, where the players take a major role in determining the feel and history and social dynamics of the planet.  Since then, we've gotten 5 players through the first session, I thought I would start sharing some of the results and my own personal observations.

So I got this idea about a year ago of a world where solar wind started degrading the atmosphere of a planet, essentially turning the surface into lifeless wastes.  However, long, long ago, the planet had been struck by a catastrophic meteor that had blown a deep crater into the planet.  As the atmosphere was drained away on the surface, this crater had become the last refuge of the plants, animals, and intelligent races that used to be separated over the surface.

Within this crater, I created circular biomes reaching from the outer edge of the crater to the deep center where the fragment of the meteorite still lie.…