This is one of the main advantages of Homebrew adventures. The PCs can literally travel from one side of the planet to the other. Adventure Paths tend to break down if you do that, without a SERIOUSLY skilled GM.
Semi sandbox RPG advice.
Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:57 PM
On the subject of a party that splits - it is a pain sometimes but it can also be a lot of fun, for players and GM alike. If I'm GMing such a situation, I try to make it suspenseful and engaging, even to those who are only listening.
Drop a little hint to those not playing of something from the villain's / monster's point of view. Try an off-hand comment of how much easier a time they'd be having if only the other party members were here. Or, the opposite, tempt the active characters with a profitable secret they might keep from the rest when they regroup later. Of course you have to trust that all your players can separate player and character knowledge but if the characters aren't in a position to alter anything that's happening to the other half of the party, you can have a lot of fun with it.
Also, always try to end your session with one sub-group on a cliff-hanger - right before combat, just as the Bigbad is stepping from the shadows behind the unsuspecting characters, or maybe just after combat when the tired but triumphant sub-group reaches for the treasure and suddenly get a "bad feeling that something just isn't right". This steers everyone into wanting to get back to that group again soon, even while they're playing their own side of the adventure elsewhere.
This all works best with a sandbox and even semi-impromptu adventure, which is my favorite kind to run. I do a lot of preparation (my own original adventures usually) and like to have an idea of things that are going on everywhere in the world even if the players never see it or even get a chance to affect the outcome. That way I have a better idea of what will happen differently when they do get into the mix, no matter where it is. It's a holistic and involved approach but it pays off.
Admittedly there are times with this approach when you might want or even need the players to be a part of something, sometimes ANYTHING, just to get the ball rolling. And there are times when the devious bastar... your fine gaming friends, that is - see your desperation and push even harder in the other direction. There are creative ways to railroad (hopefully without it being noticed) even at the worst of times. Sometimes you just have to flip the map and make that door go over there to that room instead.
Other times, especially when you begin to get frustrated or feel stuck, you can just beg a player to cooperate for just a moment so you can all get to enjoying the game instead of running in increasingly mundane and uneventful circles. Ask @LightPagoda about that. I believe the quote was something like "A bloody hand from under the trash? I shut the dumpster lid, pretend I didn't see it and walk away. I want no part of that."
Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:06 AM
I have to say I never allow myself to get frustrated with teh team. Whatever they do it will all be fun. As for my planned encounters, I've set them to start from any area of the map by any PC. That way i wont be caught out. Not to mention, if I set up an underground dungeon and they decide to go somewhere else I'll just edit it to fit such as a mountain cave complex, a city sewer or a hidden wall in a castle that leads to the dungeon .
I've started giving my players point counters whenever they role play really well or make an excellent action. It gives them 1 re-roll. They love this idea. I've also included the Critical Hit and fumble card deck which seem to be going well.
My next game is this Friday night and i have several story-lines for them but I'd decided to wait and see what they come up with before I decide where they are going.
I've definitely caught the bug. I recently discovered that I'd cancelled all of my online MMO accounts in favour of preparing for my games. If i'm not working on the game I'm reading Paizo books or watching online videos for tips and hints (during my spare time at least haha).
Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:45 AM
Ask @LightPagoda about that. I believe the quote was something like "A bloody hand from under the trash? I shut the dumpster lid, pretend I didn't see it and walk away. I want no part of that."
Aww, don't be so harsh on poor old Jayson. That was a perfectly valid response to seeing a mangled corpse in a dumpster.
Posted 27 May 2015 - 06:40 AM
I haven't read this Adventure Path for a long while either. I agree with being up front with the party. It is often best to have that talk before character generation so they have some idea of the kind of things they are going to be facing and can avoid making a lame duck as well.
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