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View Full Version : Some basic questions about running a Pathfinder / 3.5 game



RyanRMC
December 23rd, 2012, 01:47
I picked up my license last week, and have spent the time since then watching the online videos and reading the instructions here. I feel like I know all the pieces for FG2, but at times I am still unsure at how to put them all together.

So test out today, before starting the first test game with my friends, I made a quick encounter, then logged a player in from my laptop to run a quick session and see what would not work. I was able to get through the whole encounter, but I feel like some things should be (and probably are) easier than I made them out to be, so I figured I would ask for advice here.

1) Is there a way to have defeated enemies cleared from the CT automatically once their HP drops to or below 0? Or do I need to manually delete them? It seems that now they show up as 'dying' or 'dead', but still remain in the tracker, and will still come up in initiative order.

2) Can the 'dying' option be removed for NPCs? Once they hit zero or below, can they just be counted as dead, since I won't be giving them saving throws to stabilize?

3) I am not sure if I am doing something wrong, but all damage that I roll (for both players and NPCs) gets tabulated as 'wounds' instead of just deducting from the HP pool. I was under the impression 'wounds' were damage that temporary lowered your max HP pool? Why would the game not take damage from the HP? I can manually take it out of HP, and when wounds=HP the character is listed as dead just the same, I am just not sure why it is done this way.

4) I had a heck of time figuring out how to add my party members to the CT. It was easy to click one button and get the NPCs for the combat encounter added, but getting PCs on there seemed less so. It seems the only way to do so was to drag the portrait from the upper left of the screen onto the CT. If there some option from the party window to add all or add individual PCs? Or a toggle somewhere to add all PCs to CT?

5) When every I open my CT to add players and NPCs for combat, there is always one blank slot in there, that I need to manually remove. What is causing this blank NPC to show up in the CT? Its there before I chose to add any players or NPCs, and stays once they have been added until I remove it manually.

Thats what I have so far. I'm sure I will have more questions after we run our game tonight, but this is a good start. Thanks in advance for any help.

JohnD
December 23rd, 2012, 03:50
1) You have to remove them manually.

2) As per 1 above.

3) Not sure I understand. Is damage being applied as if it were "temp" damage instead of actual HP?

4) You have to drag from top left like you did. To note, if ownership of a PC changes, you need to remove them from the CT and re-add again or some things won't work.

5) Yeah that's a pain in the ... what I do is simply leave all PCs in the CT and then this isn't a problem.

Trenloe
December 23rd, 2012, 06:02
Some feedback:

1) As JohnD says - you have to manually remove them from the CT.

2) The dying option could be removed - but it would require "someone" to write an extension to do this. Something similar to this: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15917

3) HP in the Combat Tracker (CT) is a direct link to the HP entry on the character sheet, which shows the character's max HP. Reducing the HP entry on the CT as wounds are taken would reduce the HP entry on the character sheet and you'd no longer know what the characters max HP was when you come to heal them back up. Thus, loss of HP is tracked as wounds taken - counting up, rather than down from the max. It's just a slight shift from what we're normally used to in face-to-face games (reducing HP as we take damage) and something you'll get used to very quickly.

4) As JohnD says - it's a manual drag-and-drop from the PC portraits. It's really not a hassle as you do it once at the beginning of the game and leave the PCs in the CT and just remove the NPCs as they die. The next time there is an encounter, get the PCs to roll for initiative and it will overwrite their previous init rolls.

5) As per JohnD.

Moon Wizard
December 23rd, 2012, 06:29
The challenge with auto-deleting NPCs on death or dying condition is that it quickly becomes an issue if a player or GM rolls or applies damage incorrectly and an NPC is removed that shouldn't be. I've been thinking about this a bit, since I want this too. I'm thinking it would need to be some sort of quick remove button for dying NPCs.

For adding PCs to the combat tracker, you can also drag from the Character Selection window to the combat tracker.

The first time that the combat tracker is open, a blank entry is added to let people know that they can enter combatants. I've been thinking about changing to show a message instead, like the party sheet. In my games, I typically leave all the PCs in the tracker, and just delete the NPCs between encounters. There is an option in the combat tracker radial menu to remove all NPCs from the combat tracker in one click.

Regards,
JPG

RyanRMC
December 23rd, 2012, 07:05
Thanks for all the help! We had out first game tonight, and it was a blast! Some small problems came up, but we worked most of them out. I need to research effects more too, since I am lost there, but I know there are some good videos on that which will help.

Willot
December 23rd, 2012, 10:35
Thanks for all the help! We had out first game tonight, and it was a blast! Some small problems came up, but we worked most of them out. I need to research effects more too, since I am lost there, but I know there are some good videos on that which will help.
Understanding effects makes things alot easier. You can use then to handle alot of situtations. If you dont know already you can sorta create your own by using variables like ATK: 1; AC: 1 (your write these in yourself when you apply an effect on the CT. Theres a EXT where alot of them have been down for you.

So if you are surprized I just drag the effect Flat-Footed over and set a duration on 1 round

Cant rember the name of the extension but its on here somewhere

Trenloe
December 23rd, 2012, 11:46
So if you are surprized I just drag the effect Flat-Footed over and set a duration on 1 round

Cant rember the name of the extension but its on here somewhere
It's a module, and it's here: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showpost.php?p=115496&postcount=5 Unzip this file to your <FG App Data Directory\modules directory.

The there is a lot of info on effects in the user guide, but it is not obvious where it all is. Go to the "Library" link at the top of this page and select the 3.5E User Guide - most of the info is hiding under the "Effects" menu item way down in the bottom left of the guide - clicking this menu appears to give very little information, but it does expand the sub-menu on the left (under "Effects") which gives a lot more information on conditions, modifiers, etc.

Tiqon
December 23rd, 2012, 13:41
The dead/defeated npc thing has bothered me too. Especially as I have a hard time actually seeing that they ARE below 0 hp. my player have a much easier time I must say. Its been a while since I played D&D or PFRPG but it goes for RM also... Normally it like this:
Me: "ok so its Orc 3 who attacks.."
Players shouting together : "Hes down!"
Me: "oh yeah you'r right.. now Orc 4..."

I have no idea at this moment how to handle it, but a CLEAR indication of the status would be a boon, the way it is now, is not clear enough for my eyes.

I guess the are still in the initiative order because you need to track bleeding, and potentially an ally could help and heal the npc to his feet.

Moon Wizard
December 23rd, 2012, 19:58
I was thinking about this last night. Maybe a bright "X" icon on the right hand side of the combat tracker entry when the combatant is an NPC in the dying/dead category. Clicking this box would delete the NPC without confirmation (i.e. quick delete).

Cheers,
JPG

Tiqon
December 23rd, 2012, 20:19
Sounds like a nice, simple solution Moon.

RyanRMC
December 24th, 2012, 20:32
I have been looking over the effects overviews, and I think I understand better how those work. I found Trenloe's description of how to add effects to spells:


right-click on the spell entry in the Actions tab on the character sheet, select "Add Spell Action" -> "Add Effect" - enter the effect (either the status name or the actual results of the effect) and click the down-arrows on the right which then allows you to enter how the duration is calculated

This is a big help! I need to test it out once my players are around again, but I think this solves our Mage Armor problem.

Some other questions that I do have, and have yet to solve:

As some of my players are totally new to PnP gaming, I am locking token movement until I approve. This is not only forcing them to plan moves (and therefore hopefully lean about tactical movement) but also let me see all the steps before it happens, so I can stop them if they are doing something wrong (moving through a hostile space, hard corners, etc.) I see there is the option to 'Accept Move', but is there no 'Reject Move' option? Or better yet, a way to accept the move up to a given point (IE when the players hits a trap, gets an OoO, or uncovers a new enemy)?

I love the /lighting option to make custom colors on top of the pre defined ones. At some point I will go through photoshop and document a bunch of useful hex values as a note to use on the fly, but I did have one question - can the color of chat text be changed as well? Darker colors (dark blues especially, will make all chat text unreadable. Can I use any commands to make text becoming white / black / etc?

Last, I am having some trouble identifying mobs from the CT when I have multiple of the same mob. For instance, I ran a test game last night of the classic MMO variety - I made my players kill 10 rats and bring back their tails as proof to an NPC. This meant I had 10 identical tokens on the screen, and 10 identical entries in the CT. Normal combat worked fine, as you could click on a mob on the map to target it for an attack, but I ran into trouble when, say, provoking an attack of opportunity. A player would be attempting to pass a mob, and I wanted that mob to roll an AoO on the player. It is not that mobs turn, and just clicking his token does nothing to let me know which of the mobs in the CT should be making the roll. The only way to locate of specific mob was to move the current actor marker up and down until the one I needed got denoted, then move it back to the current PC. Should I make numbered versions of token for similar mobs that there will be more than one of?

Thanks again for all the help.

Skellan
December 24th, 2012, 22:18
Locking teh tokens is dead handy as it stops the players running all over the show :) I sometimes take it off when they are out of initiative but mostly I like them to be locked

I don't think you can change text colours, I may be wrong though...

There is an option in the options tab which is auto npc numbering and auto npc initiative. If you drop your npcs into the encounter tab, then drop the tokens on the map, when you shut it back down you can click on the bottom of the encounter box and it will drop all your npcs onto the map, number them and roll their initiatives
:)

I have been looking over the effects overviews, and I think I understand better how those work. I found Trenloe's description of how to add effects to spells:



This is a big help! I need to test it out once my players are around again, but I think this solves our Mage Armor problem.

Some other questions that I do have, and have yet to solve:

As some of my players are totally new to PnP gaming, I am locking token movement until I approve. This is not only forcing them to plan moves (and therefore hopefully lean about tactical movement) but also let me see all the steps before it happens, so I can stop them if they are doing something wrong (moving through a hostile space, hard corners, etc.) I see there is the option to 'Accept Move', but is there no 'Reject Move' option? Or better yet, a way to accept the move up to a given point (IE when the players hits a trap, gets an OoO, or uncovers a new enemy)?

I love the /lighting option to make custom colors on top of the pre defined ones. At some point I will go through photoshop and document a bunch of useful hex values as a note to use on the fly, but I did have one question - can the color of chat text be changed as well? Darker colors (dark blues especially, will make all chat text unreadable. Can I use any commands to make text becoming white / black / etc?

Last, I am having some trouble identifying mobs from the CT when I have multiple of the same mob. For instance, I ran a test game last night of the classic MMO variety - I made my players kill 10 rats and bring back their tails as proof to an NPC. This meant I had 10 identical tokens on the screen, and 10 identical entries in the CT. Normal combat worked fine, as you could click on a mob on the map to target it for an attack, but I ran into trouble when, say, provoking an attack of opportunity. A player would be attempting to pass a mob, and I wanted that mob to roll an AoO on the player. It is not that mobs turn, and just clicking his token does nothing to let me know which of the mobs in the CT should be making the roll. The only way to locate of specific mob was to move the current actor marker up and down until the one I needed got denoted, then move it back to the current PC. Should I make numbered versions of token for similar mobs that there will be more than one of?

Thanks again for all the help.

JohnD
December 25th, 2012, 18:10
If you're doing the auto numbering (highly suggested), also consider selecting the random option. This way you get instead of Rat 1-10 you get Rat 2, 6, 11, 14, 52 etc... handy when you don't want the players to know there's 10.

Moon Wizard
December 26th, 2012, 22:57
Just added a quick delete button to dying NPCs in the v2.9.3 beta in the Laboratory forum.

Cheers,
JPG