LandWalker
 member, 288 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 13:32
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Varsovian:
Okay, so this is an idea (possibly a bad one) that keeps coming back to me...

Currently, I own about 80 Pathfinder 1E PDFs. I have yet to use them. Considering I paid actual money for them, I'm really itching to do something with them. GMing-wise, that is.

The problem is, I haven't had much luck in playing (as a player, not a GM) in any PF games - they all imploded for one reason or another. So, I can't say I actually know the system. Especially as it's quite robust. Nevertheless, I'm currently tempted to try running it - if only to see if D&D / PF is something I am even compatible with.

I'm in this post and I don't like it.

A few years ago I actually threw in the towel and resold all of my books (which in my case was like 40 pounds of GURPS books, old 3.5 books, and d20 Modern books), but somewhere the PDFs I had are still lurking in the shadows, and of course there's always the SRDs for me to refer to.  So I'll never be completely free of that siren call.

That said, if you do get something going, I might be interested in tagging along on the player side of things, if my schedule allows me the time and if you don't mind at least one player with almost no actual-playing experience.
gorchek
 member, 28 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 15:15
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
I'd be glad to join. I've played Pathfinder since it came out, so I can help people figure out the rules. And I've got time for an extra game, so I'll be sure to apply if I you start it.
Drackler
 member, 93 posts
 That is not dead
 Which eternal may lie
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 15:42
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
I'll throw my hat in if you still need players. I'm pretty well versed in PF, been DMing mostly and playing for about five years. Plus I'm always happy to help people learn.
Varsovian
 member, 1505 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 18:02
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Thanks for encouragement, guys :)

To clarify: I wouldn't be running any massive campaign, I think, or a pre-published Adventure Path... I would try to come up with something on my own - and something easy.

Also, I don't think I'd be using the Golarion setting. Heck, I suspect I might actually drop some of the races and / or classes (for the reason of me not liking them :)).

I wonder if that would be a dealbreaker?
Drackler
 member, 95 posts
 That is not dead
 Which eternal may lie
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 18:18
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
No deal breaker for me. I'd be curious what you want to drop and why though.
LandWalker
 member, 289 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 18:47
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Varsovian:
To clarify: I wouldn't be running any massive campaign, I think, or a pre-published Adventure Path... I would try to come up with something on my own - and something easy.

I'm a tax accountant in the US, and it's the start of tax season for us.  Easy is 100% not a dealbreaker.  Easy is good.  =P
Hunter
 member, 1550 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 19:07
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 12):

Everyone has their own house rules, and the system is usually flexible enough for any changes you want to make.  Just be up front and clear about as much as possible up front.
gorchek
 member, 29 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 20:09
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Yeah, cutting down the class list would probably be a good thing for a first game. Some of them can have fiddly rules that makes them more complicated. Not to mention that some of the hybrid classes can be a bit too good at times.

Cutting the Advanced Races is also a good idea, if only to avoid the weird out of place race that was only picked for the stats bonus. So no objections from me on that side either.
Varsovian
 member, 1506 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 20:28
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Well, I'd probably dropping bards (because I never bought into the idea of travelling musicians with magic powers). Race-wise, I'd probably drop gnomes...
Drackler
 member, 96 posts
 That is not dead
 Which eternal may lie
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 21:26
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
@gorchek My usual advice for first time PF DMs is to just stick with the core book. There's enough in there to work with for a while. The exception being the unchained monk and rogue classes if anything.
kckolbe
 member, 139 posts
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 22:52
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Varsovian:
Well, I'd probably dropping bards (because I never bought into the idea of travelling musicians with magic powers). Race-wise, I'd probably drop gnomes...


I would be hesitant to drop a class because of tone.  One feature of PF is "archetypes" which are minor class changes to give the class a new feel.  There are several bard ones that do this as well.  Some archetypes (not many, but some) completely drop the bardic music abilities and instead treat the class as more a jack of all trades type.
Hunter
 member, 1551 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 00:29
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
In reply to Drackler (msg # 18):

I pretty much have to second this, unless you have someone looking over your shoulder and answering questions that might pop up.   It also helps if you have players willing to stick to core, and not get overly min-max on you.
gorchek
 member, 30 posts
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 02:23
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 17):

Funny you should mention the bard, just when I'm reading GURPS Celtic Myth. The Celt bards are pretty much druids in training, who learns basic spellcasting in their early training through the studies of the world's mystery.

As kckolbe mentioned, the archetype can change the flavor of a class in a major way. For example, the Archivist turns the bard from a performer to a teacher, guiding his allies by pointing out opponent's weaknesses.
Varsovian
 member, 1507 posts
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 23:05
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Okay, so my question is: what do PF players expect from a PF game? A lot of combat encounters? Or more of a story-focused game?

Also, is it acceptable and / or a good idea to start the game with character of level higher than 1? I look at the bestiaries and I keep thinking that level 1 characters can't do much aside from killing rats and goblins?
zeone3000
 member, 534 posts
Tue 4 Feb 2020
at 23:13
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
What each player except is a case-by-case basis. No two players are completely the same.

Starting at a higher level then 1 is perfectly acceptable. Plus, there are a lot of things that are round ECL 1 if you go by more then just the first bestiary.
kckolbe
 member, 140 posts
Wed 5 Feb 2020
at 01:04
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
I think PF is still a bit more combat than intrigue, but forum games can be dragged down by combat, so a mix is nice.

As for acceptability, depends on what kind of tone you want early on for the campaign.  If all the characters start off summoned by the king for some mission, probably not level 1.  If they start off as lowly peasants stumbling upon some dark magic, probably not level 20.  In general, though, I think your best bet is lower level (harder to get confused by abilities) but above first.
LandWalker
 member, 290 posts
Wed 5 Feb 2020
at 12:54
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Varsovian:
Okay, so my question is: what do PF players expect from a PF game? A lot of combat encounters? Or more of a story-focused game?

Also, is it acceptable and / or a good idea to start the game with character of level higher than 1? I look at the bestiaries and I keep thinking that level 1 characters can't do much aside from killing rats and goblins?

d20 systems/games in general tend to come down more on the "combat" side of the scale, perhaps as an evolution from their very combat-focused ancestry, but they don't require combat-heavy adventures.  That said, if someone creates a Fighter whose primary role is, well, fighting, and who has little to mechanically contribute to the more "social" aspects of an adventure, that player is probably going to get bored if they don't get to hit something once in a while.

As far as the low-level stuff, you might be surprised.  The first couple of levels in the Kingmaker adventure path, for example (and just off the top of my head) involve fights with other "civilized humanoids", kobolds, mites, wolves and other hostile canine-derivatives, a corrupted bear, giant frogs, giant centipedes, giant spiders (lots of giant creepy-crawlies), and undead.  Other humans/elves/dwarves/etc. are pretty flexible opponents, since you can make them more or less whatever challenge level you want.  Want an encounter for Level 1 characters?  Make some Level 1 / trash-mob humanoid NPCs.  Want an encounter for Level 20 characters?  Make some high-level, elite humanoid NPCs.  Boom, challenge!
Drackler
 member, 97 posts
 That is not dead
 Which eternal may lie
Wed 5 Feb 2020
at 15:53
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Starting at level 1 can be easier if you're not familiar with the system (less abilities and spells to keep track of) but I recommend starting around level 3. It makes the characters less squishy in the case of combat. I know when I started DMing PF/3.x it was hard to gauge encounter balance right off the bat.
Hunter
 member, 1553 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 00:01
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 05:19, Sun 09 Feb.

Varsovian
 member, 1509 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 02:06
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Thanks for all the input so far, guys!

Now I need to think of what I'd actually want to do with PF... Pure fantasy with many colourful monsters etc.? Low fantasy, like Conan? Horror? Or maybe I should do something with stuff like Occult Adventures etc.?

So many options, gah!

BTW. Is there some default mood / style PF is expected to run at? Judging by the bestiaries etc., there might be some built-in comic-booky style to PF... but maybe I'm wrong?
gorchek
 member, 31 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 02:22
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Default Pathfinder is clearly high fantasy, with the average character lighting up like a Christmas tree under a Detect Magic spell. There are optional rules to reduce the number of magic items, but they do so my making the character more powerful, not by bringing the setting down to earth.

If you want a low fantasy game, keep the game at low level. The average character in Pathfinder is stronger than the equivalent 3.5 character, and the gaps increases fast.
kckolbe
 member, 142 posts
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 03:05
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
Gotta agree with gorchek that the system is geared for high fantasy, though the campaigns authored often try to tone it down by focusing on issues that seem more "mundane" by comparison.

But yeah, when a level 5 character can throw fireballs, high fantasy becomes the only viable option pretty quickly.
steelsmiter
 member, 2074 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Sat 8 Feb 2020
at 19:17
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
gorchek:
If you want a low fantasy game, keep the game at low level.

I've heard the AGE system is better for low fantasy or other more gritty games. I'm not sure how welcome that comment is in this thread, sorry if it's out of place. On to what is on topic though. I've been meaning to find a PF2e game starting at first level that's NB friendly.
JRScott
 member, 32 posts
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 03:17
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
I've not got to play much PF myself.

Lots of good advice, incidentally Bard in 1E AD&D was much closer to the Celt Bard.

Start out small, pick an adventure.

Get 4-5 players, don't get more at start.

Limit to core a good idea
souldiver
 member, 2 posts
Tue 11 Feb 2020
at 11:15
Re: Interested in learning to GM Pathfinder...
In reply to gorchek (msg # 29):

Also, anyone interested in low-fantasy PF should check out:
http://p6codex.com/

P6 basically limits everyone to 6th level, and then after that XP goes towards buying feats. which, for a spell caster, might say include being able to buy one to cast a 4th level spell once per day. also other cool feats to tack on some aspects of higher level abilities gradually.

I've run it before, and it is gritty.