Technical blog and writings by Micah Webner.

Blogrimage 2014 Day 8: Back for Another Round

We played our third session of Pathfinder today. It went much more smoothly than our initial sessions last weekend. Even though I still spent a lot of time in the books, the index cards helped.

I was also a lot more comfortable in general. I think I stopped trying to make the session be anything and just focused on playing through the encounters. I did subject my players to a whole lot of "here are some things you need to know since last week" details before we got into actually playing, but once we got rolling, it went great.

My player characters started off the session by surprising me a bit. In a cliffhanger ending last Sunday, the PCs were prepared to start a fight that would not otherwise have been inevitable. When we started play this evening, they reconsidered, and decided to move on to other areas of Black Fang's lair instead. We had a great time playing through three more encounters, and then decided to call it a night, leaving the climactic encounter for the next session.

The hardest part of actual game play for me was probably perception checks. These are needed both to determine surprise at the beginning of combat encounters, and also when our rogue is looking for traps or otherwise trying to detect trouble ahead of the party. Even after going to the more detailed rules in the Pathfinder Reference Document, I'm still not quite sure what I'm doing with this. I did, however, manage to irritate my rogue because at some point this week I read that GMs should roll certain skill checks and saving throws for the players, especially perception checks, so the player won't know if they didn't detect anything because of a low roll or if there was actually nothing there.

Since we're starting to wrap up this first adventure, it's time for me to get in gear and start developing the rest of the world. I've learned a lot this week, but it's time to put my research into practice. I finished skimming through the Game Master's Guide this evening, not reading the pages and pages of details, but at least checking out the beginnings of every section to get a feel for what I need to incorporate.

So next I need to prep some details on the half-dozen NPCs that are the more notable citizens of Sandpoint. I also need to stock up some special items for the party to consider purchasing when the return to town to collect their reward and spend some of the gold they've discovered while preparing for their next adventure. Most importantly, I need to plan a few new adventures that they'll quickly hear about, and get some rumors going about bigger adventures yet to come.