February 7, 2011

An Experiment, Hero Lab, 7 Nations Session #2 – Brief Word From Johnn

Herolab for Pathfinder

Hero Lab for Pathfinder

An Experiment

As part of my goal to offer optional HTML and mobile friendly versions of the newsletter this year, I’m experimenting with the first stage, which is posting the newsletter in chunks on this blog before mailout.

This offers a number of advantages:

  • Your feedback on tips before they go into the newsletter
  • You can finally comment on tips that go into the newsletter! (Gee, that only took me 11 years….)
  • Your tips and comments might wind up in the newsletter, which would be of great value to your fellow GMs
  • Smoother editing process – I can edit as I post instead of editing the whole newsletter in one massive chunk
  • Tips can be Categorized and Tagged thanks to those WordPress features – this will help you find past tips much easier
  • HTML – WordPress will markup the content for me, ready for insertion into a future HTML version of the newsletter

This means RPT blog readers will see the content before it hits the newsletter. That might mean people will unsubscribe from the newsletter, which would make me sad. However, the newsletter offers all the tips edited and assembled in one neat package, and it gets sent to your inbox for easy reading and archiving. It gets sent to you, so you don’t have to bookmark and remember to come back every two weeks. So, maybe the pros and cons wash out. You tell me. Feedback is always appreciated.

I’ll try this experiment until it dies in a fire or for a few newsletter issues, whichever happens first. I hope you like the newsletter content featured this way on the blog, though; I’m excited by the tagging and commenting possibilities!

Anyone Use Hero Lab For Pathfinder?

I am using this great software to make NPCs for my Pathfinder game. And I am wondering if anyone else is using it for Pathfinder and if you wanted to trade NPCs? I’m not sure yet how to export and import characters, but there must be a way.

If interested, drop me an email. I only have a few NPCs crafted so far, but they are yours if we can figure out how to trade.

Seven Nations Session #2

Last Thursday, my Riddleport campaign was delayed due to player availability, so we got in a session of the 4E Seven Nations campaign my friend is running instead.

Players present: Dave, Jason, Johnn. GM: Colin.

We had just returned victorious from defeating chaos creatures at a comet crash site while questing for the lost arms merchant father of an elven lady. We cash in and decide to go back for more. We purchase a cart to haul back some big crystals and other potentially valuable items. Jason dubs this the Loot Sled. Soon after, it was renamed the Toro 5000 and it works by running it over treasure that then gets sucked up through the loot shoot into a catcher at the back. I guess we were giddy about playing, but we settled down after that.

A big battle ensues after going deeper into the comet site. It is a close battle. I receive pocket points for good tactics. Jason receives none. I suggest we hold back and weaken the enemy with ranged attacks, but Jason’s character Tryn charges in and manages to get teleported before the Stage Boss’s feet. We have to compromise our tactical advantage to save his hide. We get to Tryn, who is drowning in a pool of water, just in time. Pity. We Toro 5000 some crystals and leave.

On the way back to town we encounter an NPC we have been wanting to talk with: Ivian the Unpredictable. We tried to find him before but he was strangely not where he was supposed to be.

Ivian helps us with clues about the nature of the crystals and pays us a small amount of gold for selling him some.

Last session we hired a guide, Adnin. She costs 1 gold per day and does not fight, but it’s worth not getting lost and having a native help us work over the locals. (We’re a Good party, but we serve a higher purpose.) We convince Adnin to return with us to our headquarters for ongoing guiding services.

In case you missed the background on this campaign in RPT#511, we are members of The Red Sashes, a group part MI5, part FBI. We were sent to the city of Rask to help out a Red Sash leader – Bishan Sing – with some local problems. The first thing he said to us was he wanted us to leave. He hates our guts or our presence or both. Sounds to me like he’s got something to hide. I’m keeping my ears open. And that’s where Adnin comes in. She’s not a Red Sash, so she’ll have more freedoms and access to information sources than we will, as we have a pesky code to follow and all.

Our business in this smelly town done, we hightail it back to Rask and report to our handler, Bishan Sing. We’re instead greeted by his guard who starts pumping us for information. We say we only report to Bishan. He says he speaks for Bishan. I let him know he can speak to the back of my hand if he does not stop lying. He keeps trying, so we leave.

I’m curious where Bishan is. Before I can sniff around we get a new assignment. We’re to head to the elven forest of Sarabask. Raiders are attacking settlements but not stealing anything. Strange. I figure it’s a territorial or resource dispute. Looks like Bishan is safe from my prying….for now.

We equip ourselves, shedding desert gear and donning forest apparel. We swap camels for horses and leave, Adnin guiding.

Within a few days we reach a large settlement near the forest. We report to the local Red Sashes and ask for news about the raids. No useful information there, so we head into the thick forest.

As we enter one particular clearing we’re attacked by snipers using the forest edge for cover. Before I can say let’s target one sniper nest at a time, the group splits up. Trynn goes left, Bront the dragonborn warrior goes right. Adnin hits reverse. That leaves me in the middle holding my staff.

The battle is another close one. Divide and conquer works both ways, and once we’re able to close with our respective opponents and make them get into hand-to-hand it becomes a contest of stamina. Fortunately, my spells help delay my foes long enough from slitting my throat and my comrades arrive to finish them off.

We ended the session with one prisoner and a good idea of what we’re facing: some power or effect is giving elves in the forest brain blenders, making them crazy and aggressive.

It seems simple to me: next session we interrogate the prisoner, find the source, confront and destroy it. Then we can return to Rask so I can find out what Bishan’s been up to.

Quote of the session: “The best armor class is someone else’s armor class.” – Dave.

What’s in RPT#513

This issue you can look forward to an encounter design tip by yours truly, an article about player body language, 5 Non-Epic Prophecies and more. Stay tuned.


Richard Whipple

Hi Johnn,

I don’t know how others feel but I have a hard time with newsletters I have subscribed to in the past. They pile up in my inbox because I do not read them. I intend to read them, each and everyone I subscribe to, but, in a week or two, I am left with 2 or 3 newsletters from 2 or 3 mailings ago making me feel guilty. Sometimes I do not read them because I am not in the mood at that moment they arrive. Other times, often, I am too busy. Always the problem is that reading newsletters is not part of my schedule.

As OCB as I can be, I like to start and finish what I read when it is a newsletter, especially in an electronic form. I can then proudly file it someplace so I have the feeling of accomplishment. If I do not finish the e-newsletter, I feel I have wasted my time. THAT IS NOT LOGICAL but it has logic: I have not used what I received to its full potential.I feel cognitive dissonance: not doing what I say I will do.

I prefer to visit RPTs. I have a favourites file list for RPTs. I can access it and I am free of its responsibilities of receiving, reading and filing. I can skim it and return to it via the appropriate favourite file. If I want to know more about the essentials of NPC creation, for example, I can skim it, bookmark it into the favourite folder, and move on with my busy day.

The same article arrives in my eMail and, MAYBE, I make the valiant effort to squeeze a little time into reading (which amounts to skimming) and then the newsletter sits in my inbox, forever. The only lasting impression I take away is my own failure which I try to project away from me.

I do not know how anyone else feels. I know I have had some pretty odd opinions in my day – some spot on and others not so. But I thought I would share since you asked.

Johnn Four

Thanks for the feedback, Richard. It’s a good habit to finish what one starts. Good on you.

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