Hope all's working well for a go-live at some point in the new year.
For those on the lookout for new audio, the Sugar Fuelled Gamers have around 125 new episodes of this, that and the other for the new site
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Episode 48 now uploaded.
The Strange Expedition A Time Travelling Band of Leftovers in... Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure Through Time and Space (Final Part)
Episode 47 now uploaded.
The Strange Expedition A Time Travelling Band of Leftovers in... Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure Through Time and Space (Part 3)
Clearly, time to quit the job and revel in the vast fortune that comes of owning RPGMP3.com. Tropical islands, cocktails, dancing girls... it can all be yours!
I'm sure copious nagging and obnoxious poking by certain users is of great assistance in helping motivate you
Episode 46 now uploaded.
The Strange Expedition A Time Travelling Band of Leftovers in... Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure Through Time and Space (Part 2)
Episodes 43 and 44 now uploaded.
Episode 44 - in which Kesten's Bowmen and Mikmik's Kobolds face off against the Zombie Horde...
Episode 45 now uploaded.
The Strange Expedition in... The Lost World (Final Part) / Dr Morrow's Excellent Adventure Through Time and Space
Episodes 40 and 41 now uploaded.
Episode 41 - in which Stagthorne participates in the long-awaited Kankerata Run. Is Kaylen fast enough on his feet to win the trust of the centaur herd?
Episode 43 now uploaded.
The Strange Expedition in... The Lost World (Part 5).
I'm uncertain exactly what format we'll take. I do like the concept of keeping it simple with two characters, one protagonist for the player and an NPC companion. There are some thoughts to try and just have one of each instead of an NPC roster, provided the two are still reasonably balanced (the combo being thrown about is an Occultist and Gunslinger, the occultist being just extraordinarily flexible in its spells and the Gunslinger being a good assist for combat and ranged attacking). With a roster, I'm worried I will be overly generous in allowing more than one NPC to join on quests if requested or in character. But obviously a certain amount of meta comes towards fixing that.
I'm somewhat making a "Heroic" template for the Protagonist so that they'll be extra buffered and capable. 30-Pathfinder Point Buy and a bonus to HP equal to Con score. Though i intend the NPCs to be of regular squishiness so retreat actions will depend upon the Hero calling things if their friends are in danger.
If I didn't think it might overwhelm and over complicate characters, I might look into gestalt rules, but Heather is still fairly new in the mechanics of D&D and I don't want to overwhelm and make the grindy bits too heavy and the game unfun for her.
My first thought was Gestalt, too, and alas, Helen rejected it for the exact same reason - too many mechanics to keep track of running two classes simultaneously. We found the killer problems for a solo AP were:
Through trial and error through Jade Regent, we ended up with the Extraordinary Heroes rule. In our set-up:
You seem to be doing some not insignificant prep, changes, and foreshadowing in kingmaker, and I'm trying to fully prepare whatever we choose as an AP to really tie all six books into something special though sometimes I can take too much time there.
Foreshadowing is what we do best! I don't consider the game a success unless I get that moment at some point when all the players slap their heads, curse, and agree they should have seen this coming - in retrospect, the clues were all right there. That's the best part of being the GM. As for prep for Kingmaker... not significantly, really? There was a moderate amount at the start, writing the GMPCs into the adventure (but that's the fun bit, like building a character is), and several chunks borrowed from the Paizo forums, but I barely do a thing in terms of individual session prep. The AP is so heavily based around what your players do - your kingdom is forged by the personalities on the Council, whom the GM has no control over - that I often feel more reactive than proactive GMing this particular one.
Regarding the Hero points, do you have any cap for unused points? 4 per level is quite generous.
Ah, I think I'm not quite clear - you refresh back up to 4 at each level, not gain an additional 4 each level. If a player earned one in play, had 5, and leveled, they'd recieve none. If they had 1 left, they'd receive 3. It's incentive to spend them. We started by using 2 a level in Jade Regent, the Kami spirits gifted Helen an extra one, and adjusting to taste we defaulted to 4 for the main protagonist in Kingmaker, 3 for the support GMPCs.
If you're using my "two characters adventuring at a time", any Adventure Path which provides a built-in excuse for the others to be doing something is ideal. We deliberately picked Kingmaker and Jade Regent for this (and the next one we're looking at is Skull and Shackles for a similar reason), because anyone off-screen is easily explained away as guarding the caravan / filling kingdom duties / minding the ship.
As for Hero Points, these are primarily a death-saver, and a chance for rerolls. We generally prefer to have death harder to come by in a DnD game, and the Hero Points allow me to throw around save-or-die effects without worrying about it. Particularly in a one-player game - without Kaylen, it's not as if we could just slot another 8th level adventurer in there and keep going with the campaign. Without a party to carry on the plot, it's all on Kaylen's shoulders.
The 'Harrow Cards' are mostly a bit of extra descriptor - we starting using these mid-way through Legacy of Fire to make the players pay attention to the situation they're in. Everybody picks one that best represents their character (a bit stolen from Curse of the Crimson Throne), and then bonuses are given if you use that, one of the same attribute as your card, your enemies character card (which means it's in the players interests to pay attention to what's motivating the Big Bad Guy), or one appropriate to the situation.But that's relatively minor - you could trivially drop it and use simple poker chips as markers instead.
Each character gets an appropriate number of Hero Points per level - we're using 4 for the solo game, with a feat available to gain an extra one every time you level (Korwin Steelriver, being a character of strong destiny and nothing better to do with his feats, has taken this over and over again), and the ability to use them on behalf of other PCs. At the start of each session, you re-draw your hand, getting new cards each time (although only the number you have left).
For all their uses (spoiler blocked for length):
Regular: Reroll any dice roll. You must take the second roll, even if it’s worse.
Attribute: Reroll a dice roll at a +2 bonus. You must take the second roll, even if it’s worse.
Special: Reroll any dice roll twice. Take the best possible result.
Damage Or Fatal Spell (Finger of Death, etc)
Regular: Upon taking damage that would drop you to negatives or kill you, you drop to -5 and Dying.
Attribute: Upon taking damage that would drop you to negatives or kill you, you drop to -5 and Stablise.
Special: Upon taking damage that would drop you to negatives or kill you, you drop to 1 HP and remain active.
Regular: If dying and losing -1HP per round, you may remain at -9 and Dying.
Attribute: If dying and losing -1HP per round, you may remain at -9 and Stablise.
Special: If dying and losing -1HP per round, you may remain at -9 and Stablise.
Regular: Spend a point to confirm a critical hit instead of rolling to confirm.
Attribute: Spend a point to confirm a critical hit instead of rolling to confirm. You may reroll the damage dice if you choose, but have to take the second roll.
Special: Spend a point to confirm a critical hit instead of rolling to confirm. You may reroll the damage dice, taking the better roll.
Incapacitating Effect (Blindness, Flesh to Stone, Polymorph, etc)
Regular: The effect still succeeds, but lasts only 2d6 rounds, hours, or days (GM’s discretion) before reversing itself.
Attribute: The effect still succeeds, but lasts only 1d6 rounds, hours, or days (GM’s discretion) before reversing itself.
Special: You pass your saving throw retroactively.
Regular: You may regain any one spell (prepared caster) or spell slot (spontaneous caster) you have expended today. If the spell had metamagic applied, you receive only a normal version of it. This usage takes a full round action.
Attribute: As before, but this usage takes a standard action.
Special: As before, but this usage is a free action.
That's ironic, given that the YGG's Jade Regent was what convinced me it could be run as a good solo game for my wife, which lead directly to Kingmaker... Alas, we ran out of Jade Regent podcasts halfway through Book 3 and had to improvise the rest of it ourselves instead of just blatantly stealing!
It's the circle of Actual Plays... and it moves us all...
If you want more on the method of actual tweaks I'm making to play DnD in solo mode, the relationship rules, that sort of thing, sing out.