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32

In an "anything is possible" game, this is fair. In this kind of game, it is necessary for players to actually, truly believe that they can get themselves into so much trouble that they will not have a "final warning" that their PC is about to die, and Death is the most (and often only) effective teacher in this regard.* And fortunately, players always get ...


23

As the GM, you have the burden of considering the game, not just the moment. Believing you don't have a choice, as indicated by saying: "...I only did what any city guard would have done given the situation." smacks of "My Guy" syndrome, and is something you need to watch out for, since you're responsible for a lot of "guys". As GM's, we all develop ...


17

Involve the players What strikes me as I read both of these situations is that the players seem only tenuously involved in the events that occur. The major action seems to be on your side of the screen, or in the hands of the dice. In any game, this will tend to make players dissatisfied, because there seems to be little reason for the players to actually ...


12

I'm pretty new to this sort of thing as well, and I've had to seriously consider this threat for thundertree (especially considering the damage the dragon can pull off with breath weapons). If you don't want the dragon to follow them, just come up with a good role play reason for that reaction. Dragons are territorial, and maybe he doesn't want the ...


10

The adventure actually gives you a great rationale for the dragon staying put in or very near to his tower. Venomfang does not want to give up such a promising lair... (p33). This is basically all you need as a DM to know that the dragon doesn't really want or need to follow your PCs (you really don't even need this much, but it's a good hint). There ...


10

There were three entry ways into the hall all of which were entered by 8 guards each. I rolled fairly low on the initiative for the three sets of guards but none as low as the character that was killed. The party all made their escape through the various windows at which point the character was the last option as a target. If the players had the ...


8

The duel isn't meant to be deadly, it's meant to be impossible. A CR 4 creature would be a deadly encounter for a single level 5 PC. With that in mind, you need to know that your players fight this NPC again towards the end of the 3rd chapter. At that time, they would usually be 4 level 3 PCs, so a CR 4 creature would be a hard encounter. He has other NPCs ...


7

Given your answers in the comments, then I see your actions as more than fair... Your players did not take the Opportunity to scout/recon the area -- though they had the opportunity. You gave them time to 'notice' that there was a response to their assassination action -- the fact that they took too long to decide to escape wasn't your fault. That the ...


6

Every game has a different focus. If it's supposed to be roleplaying heavy, often those games succeed when both the GM and the players are pushing roleplaying. The players should be asking questions of NPCs, sharing their personal stories, or thoughts, etc. Now, the reason most players might NOT be doing that is they may be stuck on "mission-based" gaming ...


4

This situation is only fair if the party was given the opportunities to know about and react to the threat. The party could have had knowledge of the strength of the city guard before going to the meeting. They should have had an opportunity to notice the city guard in the adjacent rooms. Everyone should have had at least one initiative round to escape. ...


4

Yikes: that's a tall order. Step one might be a conversation with the GM... 1. Recon You have an advantage in that you know who will be trying to collect the bounty. Try to sneak a peek at the cleric's favored tactics, and that of his pirate crew. Knowing the tactics should let you come up with counters (eg., if the cleric prefers offensive magic, ...


3

Overview These rules have not changed substantially, although it's my experience that a hard fight is much more fun with a lot of equal-level enemies rather than a few Level +4 enemies. Your quote refers to the distinction between monster level and encounter level. As you probably know, an encounter has a level that is used to determine its XP budget. You ...


3

As defined in the Pathfinder SRD: An encounter is a short scene in which the PCs are actively doing something. Examples of encounters include a combat with a monster, a social interaction significant to the adventure’s plot, an attempt to disarm a trap, or the discovery of a mystery or clue requiring further investigation. So, unless the whole level of ...


2

Hit Dice The easiest and most painless way to increase the CR of an encounter is to give the creature one or more extra Hit Dice. The creature itself will have the same power, as you aren't boosting its attributes, attack bonuses, etc. It will just be slightly harder to kill it.


2

Especially when improvising social scenes I found it best to have one or at most two NPCs there to interact with. A larger social event (like a party) usually never takes more than two sentences from me because I found them to be bad for gameplay. The reason is that usually only one PC interacts with one NPC when many are there so I basically have to play ...


1

I'm actually going to take an opposing stance compared to most other answers and say that you should have given the player a chance to flee. Here is my reasoning for it: Initiative and turn order are a way to abstract the story using mechanics. Obviously, nobody thinks that everyone stands still and waits for whoever is currently up in the initiative to ...


1

I've handled things like this in several ways. Once they reach the edge of the grid or their intent to flee is clear (and unanimous): You take control of the narrative and describe some suitably harrowing escape with the dragon circling and the characters scurrying from cover to cover until it goes away and they flee. Since they wanted to run away in the ...


1

You have two different sub-questions here. Using a battlemat, how mechanically do I handle fleeing off it? The 4e-type answers to that are at What happens when you step off the battle map?, the 5e answer is more "That is why God cursed the battlemat and sent it shrieking from 5th Edition." But if you want a mechanical solution to the scrolling grid ...


1

Something you have to look at: How much effort is the creature able to expend on such protections. The best defense is to not fight in the first place--say, a fake lair. The clever monster living in that cave? Remember that big chamber with all the stalactites you passed through to get there? His real lair entrance is up there where it is completely ...


1

I would firstly base what they'd do on their Intelligence -- a low Intelligence creature might not do much beyond simple concealment and crude traps. Plus, some are social creatures -- so a lair's defense might be sheer numbers. However, more intelligent creatures might be pulling of Grimtooth's Traps level defenses on you (some of which could be ...



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