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First session:

Tuesday, 3/1, 7:15 PM EST. Let’s meet on Skype. Look for Busterbluth2 and I’ll IM you the port #s & IP address.

My goal is to get all the PC details taken care of this weekend, but if needed, we can spend time with character creation. I’ll be online prior to 7:15 .. probably starting around 5:30 in order to get characters made.

In the meantime, please get a copy of the Serpent’s Skull Player’s Guide from Paizo.com. This will help you with character creation. In addition, I’m reposting the guidelines that I made available on rptools.net:

Serpent’s Skull campaign notes & expectations:

We’ll be using the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, the Advanced Player’s Guide, and the Gamemastery Guide. Generally, all options from those books are available to players, with a few restrictions noted below. For determining your ability scores, use the Low Fantasy (10 points) option. I like the lower point buy, since it gives you an incentive to lower some scores in order to boost others. When everyone’s good at everything, the game isn’t as exciting.

You should also download the Serpent’s Skull Player’s Guide from Paizo.com. It’s a free download, but you’ll need to setup an account on that site, if you don’t already have one.

In the process of downloading the Player’s Guide, please don’t snoop around Paizo’s website (or any other internet site!) for info on this series of adventures. In fact, you don’t even have to know how to play the game. I prefer a great deal of ignorance on the part of any players … the more ignorance, the better!

We’ll be playing via Maptool, generally whatever is the latest version, and Skype. We’ll also be using the PF/3.5 framework. My username on Skype is ‘busterbluth2’. I’ll give you Maptool connection details from there. The sessions will feature artwork, music, and sounds to enhance the play experience of this particular campaign.

In between the weekly sessions, gameplay will continue on a blog. We can cover a lot of ground in between sessions, but in order to do so, you’ll need to participate. To help you remember the NPCs, I’ll also have a roster online of their names and faces. Knowing the folks you’ve met will go a long way towards helping your character realize his or her goals.

Magic will be somewhat restricted. Generally, few magic items are available for purchase in cities and other settlements. Specifically, I’ll only be using table 15-1 on pg 461 of the core book to determine what a community has available. I won’t be using the ‘75%’ rule that’s also on pg 460. There won’t be any ‘magic shops’. Instead, you’ll have to Gather Info via Diplomacy to find items rumored to be blessed with some enchantment. Perhaps some dusty old merchant’s display has a few forgotten potions tucked away in a corner thick with cobwebs, or the town blacksmith has his old rapier hanging from his furnace, used long ago by his ancestors in the goblin wars.

Also, not every spell in the Core rules and the APG will be immediately available. Most will be, though. There’s only a few that I want to restrict access and what’s not available at first will be discoverable. Also, some spells with a permanent duration won’t really be perm. Mainly, I’m thinking of Continual Flame, which will last half a day.

Time-tracking will be observed closely. Specifically, we’ll be using tables 7-6, 7-7, and 7-8 for movement and distance. For the local movement rates, if you’re expending effort exploring an area extensively (ie., using Perception), trying to be stealthy to avoid detection, etc., then local movement will be halved. If you don’t mind attracting attention and aren’t interested in the details of your environment, we’ll use the full local movement.

My goal for combat is to deliver dynamic, cinematic action. Your characters are heroes and, even at beginning levels, are larger than life. Even their failures may yield some result … whether it’s terrain becoming more favorable, non-lethal damage on an opponent even with a miss, or perhaps a close shave will leave an enemy sprawled on the ground. Basically, I want combat to feel chaotic and exciting!

Also, at this point, I’d like to use Herolab as a repository for all the PCs. I know most players like to hand in a character sheet, but in order to serve up a game that’s most interesting to the players and that best fits their character’s abilities, I need the PC info in one handy place. Plus, Herolab makes it easy to track encumbrance. So, if you’ve got Herolab, please use that software to create your PC and send me the POR file. If you don’t, create one in whatever method is best for you, send the stats to me, and I’ll key into my POR file.

Player absence is often unavoidable. If you’re out, I’ll run your character as an NPC, but play probably won’t be optimized. For example, special class abilities, like spell casting, probably won’t get a lot of use. I’ll also post brief summaries of each session on the blog, so if you’re out, you can catch the high spots and know what’s going on. On the other hand, if we have a majority of players absent, we’ll probably have to cancel that session. It’s most fair to everyone to let us know ahead of time if you can’t make it.

If your character ever feels the need to adventure apart from the group, that’s OK. But that activity will be handled abstractly, and most likely on the blog. Gametime will focus on what the party is doing.

That about covers it. I’ll be creating a site for the game very soon, with more specific information. It sounds like Tuesdays are going to work best. I’m on Eastern Standard time, and I was thinking that starting at 6:00 PM might work best.

Any other questions … fire away.

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Serpent's Skull BusterBluth