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Tips & Strategies (14)

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6
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Amateur Advisor
Sophomore
41 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“Character Builder”

If you haven’t found it, Hero Lab has a great tool to help build your Pathfinder character and make sure you get all your bonuses. You can download the trial version for free and try it out. There are also a ton of customization options and extra source books you can download but there are additional fees for extra books. As the GM, I paid for the full set and each player comes over early when it is time to level up. Check it out and see if it will streamline part of your game.

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8
Gamer - Level 8
Knight-errant
40 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“Pathfinder SRD”

The Pathfinder System Resource Document(www.d20pfsrd.com)is a free online resource that contains many of, if not all, the rules of the game. Definitely worth checking out.

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8
Gamer - Level 8
Expert Recruiter
Count / Countess
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
40 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“Passive Perception checks”

I dislike metagaming, and I think anything you can do to reduce metagaming is great thing. For instance, Perception checks. If you ask a player to roll a Perception check, he knows something is going on, even on a failed check. The metagamer will act on this knowledge, and all of a sudden the PC is on emergency lockdown procedures even though he should be unaware of anything happening. To prevent this, I use a rule introduced in D&D 4E: the passive Perception check. When the PC is not actively looking, he is effectively “taking 10” and has a check of 10 + Perception skill check bonus. Opponents will still make checks, however, it will just be compared to the PC’s passive Perception score. This has the additional bonus of speeding things up, too!

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6
Z-Man Games fan
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
AEG fan
Went to Gen Con 2012
40 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Begin on the beginning Path”

If you are new to Pathfinder, I would highly recommend the Pathfinder: Beginner Box. The Beginner Box is a complete RPG introduction kit designed to welcome players new to paper RPGs and the Pathfinder system. It includes everything you need to run a full campaign in one box such as counters, dice, maps, character sheets, rules for players and GM. Also included are cardboard stand-up pawns of heroes and monsters which allow you to play the game without buying expensive miniatures. The most important components are the two rulebooks: The Hero’s Handbook and the Game Master Guide.

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2
Went to Gen Con 2012
39 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“Limit archetypes!”

I suggest that, to limit power gaming and GMing headaches, that you limit your players to one archetype apiece. It will help you keep track of what your players are capable of as well as avoid cheesy things like players taking a single level of Alchemist for the Mutagen, and choosing the Vivisectionist so they get a sneak attack die rather than lvl 1 bombs.

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3
I Own a Game!
40 of 46 gamers found this helpful
“Play a Bard.”

When first playing this game, I decided I wanted to play a Bard. This is something that I have always done with RPGs, since my first one, when my buddy said, “Dude, Bards are hard to play…”

This is true, especially as a first timer. BUT, it MAKES YOU LEARN the game! Since you are a little bit of everything (healer, fighter, skiller, caster), it makes you figure out how all the mechanics work. That way, when you GM, or roll up another character, you don’t have to shift your thinking as much, and learn another set of mechanics, because you have been exposed to it already.

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6
Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Crane Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Smash Up Fan
41 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“For the DM: Steal, Steal, Steal!!”

There’s a reason why authors have been “inspired” by those that come before for centuries, because when a story is good, it’s good. Some of the best DMs I’ve gamed with have been blatant plagiarists. This benefits the DM and the group in several ways:

If the DM skins a familiar story with his world it’s easy for the players to immerse themselves, mostly because they already know the story (even if they don’t recognize it).

It also saves the DM time. Being the DM can be a thankless endeavor. There’s a lot of prep time involved, even for a short game. If someone has already done the legwork of framing the story the DM can flesh it out as he sees fit.

I’m not suggesting the DM should create a paragraph by paragraph remake of Tolkien’s work (unless of course that is what the group is into), but taking certain elements can really spice up a campaign.

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5
The Big Cheese 2012
Went to Gen Con 2012
38 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Optional Hit Locations”

Often my players want to know a little more about what their attack does. Every killing blow can’t be chopping someone’s head off. Sometimes it’s tough as a DM to describe the battle on a blow-by-blow basis, and several of my groups want that level of detail. I enjoy a good descriptive kill, but I find that my players come up with a way better narrative of how they finish off an opponent. Sometimes they just want to know where they hit an opponent – even for one point of damage.

We roll dice whenever someone hits to see where they hit. There are hit location dice for this, and you can have your players roll the die with every attack (or every time they hit) and let them describe what they do (briefly). If you don’t have access to hit location dice, I use a 2d6 roll and use the front/rear location charts from Battletech – another game I enjoy.

2 – Head
3 or 4 Right Arm
5 Right Leg
6 Right Chest or Side
7 Front (or back) of body
8 Left Chest or Side
9 Left Leg
10 or 11 Left Arm
12 Roll a critical (we use an old d100 Chart)

Example: Jarred’s paladin swings at the ogre who has been abducting villagers and refuses to release them. It has come to blows and the paladin swings at the ogre. He rolls a 17 and hits. On the Hit Location he rolls a 3 and for damage he rolls a 1 + 2 for strength bonus (minimum damage). Normally “I hit for 3 damage” and the DM responds “okay. it’s just a scratch”. Now it can be something like “You get the jump on the ogre this round and do your best to keep his attention. You duck under his swing and strike him on his Right Hand – a minor cut that he seems to ignore.” You can let the players describe the action, but don’t let them take up too much time. It’s exciting for me to listen to how they are imagining the action.

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3
I Own a Game!
38 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“Play an MMORPG”

The game seems to be slanted so that those who have played MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games: World of Warcraft, Everquest, etc) can relate to it. If you are not familiar with these types of games, try one, as it will help you get into the mindset of what the publisher’s were trying to do.

Many people will say that this a rules heavy game. While that it true, it also allows for varying skill levels of game masters. Especially those who have never played a pen and paper RPG before.

So if you find you don’t understand what they were getting at when they made the rules. Go online and see how those games are played. It will open it up for you to make the connections that may not be readily apparent.

Just one man’s opinion.

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3
US Army Service
38 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Just the Math”

When I first started playing dnd it was by the book. But when I learn dnd math, it was easyer to break away from tradition dnd and make a better game. Not say a redesigned the game, but if you strip it do to its core ( dnd math) you can build it to you. I know theres a lot of people who HAVE TO PLAY by the book, but its not the book the makes the game fun, its your own imagination. There are so many power nerds out there that see it one way but remember dnd is about exploring and adventuring. So love and be let loved.

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1
38 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“JUST PLAY”

This is a much less strategic game than dungeons and dragons so the best you can do is get more weapons, because this is a game about walking up to npcs and hitting them. also it can be a rough transition for any person who has been a wizard in d and d.

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3
4 of 5 gamers found this helpful
“Just play and let it go!”

Dont make anyone act out their part or discourage anyone who DOES want to act out their part. Just focus on the gameplay and leave the amateur theater hour for some other group. However, if someone can get into their part, let them and just play!!!

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6
Spread the Word
Zealot
“Parrying vs. Critical Hits”

​Parrying vs. Critical: a successful parry vs. an opponent’s natural 20 or a confirmed critical parries the attack, but the precision and/or ferocity of the attack precludes a riposte.​

Gamer Avatar
6
Spread the Word
Zealot
“Targeting via Detect Magic”

After 3 rounds, you can isolate the square, but not pinpoint the source. Thus, targeting an object (say with magic missile to destroy it) requires a concealment check vs. full concealment to succeed, following any required to-hit roll.

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