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xPANCAKEx
2010-07-22, 11:15 PM
so im tooling around with the idea of GMing and have a few questions (and yes, some of them will be dumb as a box of rocks - sorry). Most of my gaming has been in GURPS form, so im rusty at best with 3.5

1) how do you bring a campaign to a conclusion?
2) how many sessions would aim to go between leveling up a pc?
3) is pathfinder easier to run than 3.5? go off the basis of the group being a blank slate, having never played either

edit:

4) how would a low character activate a scroll way above their power level? (say a level 4 PC using activating a level 7 spell scroll). Are DM fiat or the UMD skill the only route?

Prodan
2010-07-22, 11:16 PM
1) how do you bring a campaign to a conclusion?
With a series of very large explosions.


2) how many sessions would aim to go between leveling up a pc?
Depends on the pacing of your campaign.


3) is pathfinder easier to run than 3.5? go off the basis of the group being a blank slate, having never played either
Eh, maybe.

Anxe
2010-07-22, 11:48 PM
You finish a campaign with all the players being dead, the players running away from the bad guys to live in peace somewhere else, or a scene like at the end of Star Wars 4: New Hope. The heroes get medals, titles, awards, land, and maybe a wife/husband or a cool pet or something.

My players usually level up every two sessions or so.

I believe Pathfinder is harder because you have no physical books to reference. That might make it easier for some though...

I think there are rules for Casters activating scrolls that aren't in their power range if the scroll is of the same kind of magic that the caster uses. For non-casters the rule is UMD or no using scrolls.

Kylarra
2010-07-22, 11:50 PM
1) sadly I've never played a campaign to completion, generally we lose players, interest, scheduling changes blah. :smallfrown:

2) Whatever is comfortable for your group really. Many people have simply abolished the exp system and just level up when their DM says to.

3) Pathfinder is probably better for options, given only a single source. 3.X is naturally better if sheer book numbers aren't an issue.

Devils_Advocate
2010-07-23, 02:05 AM
how do you bring a campaign to a conclusion?
If the PbP games I've seen are any guide, you just stop participating. This can work even if you aren't the GM! Hot diggitty!

Seriously, though... If you set up a big, overarching goal for the player characters to achieve, like "Stop the evil lich sorcerer from using a magic gate to destroy or conquer the world", then once they accomplish it, it's pretty much a matter of wrapping up any loose ends. Not that they couldn't go on another epic quest, but that would be more another campaign with the same characters. (Lord of the Rings 2: The Son of Sauron: This Time It's Personal: The Electric Boogaloo!)

Alternately, if the entire party gets killed, that could mark the end of the campaign. Not necessarily, though, if their quest is taken up -- or was already being pursued -- by someone else.

Hurlbut
2010-07-23, 02:12 AM
2) how many sessions would aim to go between leveling up a pc?
3) is pathfinder easier to run than 3.5? go off the basis of the group being a blank slate, having never played either
It's the challenges you should be going by for leveling up a pc.

I should say go with Pathfinder. For one thing; you have everything you need to run a game with just the core rulebook. (althought you might want the bestiary for more creatures) For another thing, every level alway have something. Plus 3.5 sourcebooks are allowed when the DM allow them.

SilverLeaf167
2010-07-23, 07:49 AM
4) I think he has to make a Spellcraft check or something, with the DC being Scroll Caster Level + 1 or something like that. It is true that it should probably be changed, as with those rules, a lv 1 Sorcerer with some luck could cast a lv 20 "Scroll of Epic Destruction to all and also some Pie".

Greenish
2010-07-23, 08:33 AM
1) Rocks fall, everyone dies. Alternatively, after completing the overarching objective, defeating the BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy, the main villain of your PCs), you can narrate how the PCs live their lives happily (or not) ever after. If it's a sandbox, you'll do the narration part when your players wish to start another game.

2) You pick a pacing that feels good for you. The PC's might level once every 1-3 sessions, after defeating a major encounter, or just at dramatically appropriate time. If you're using experience points, they level when they level, just remember that there are encounters other than combat, and that bypassing an encounter (through stealth, diplomacy, ingenious plan or fast horses) is to be rewarded too.

3) Combat maneuvers are much simpler in PF, and most everything is in a few books, but then the strength of 3.5 is it's width.

4)
To have any chance of activating a scroll spell, the scroll user must meet the following requirements.


The spell must be of the correct type (arcane or divine). Arcane spellcasters (wizards, sorcerers, and bards) can only use scrolls containing arcane spells, and divine spellcasters (clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers) can only use scrolls containing divine spells. (The type of scroll a character creates is also determined by his or her class.)
The user must have the spell on his or her class list.
The user must have the requisite ability score.
If the user meets all the requirements noted above, and her caster level is at least equal to the spellís caster level, she can automatically activate the spell without a check. If she meets all three requirements but her own caster level is lower than the scroll spellís caster level, then she has to make a caster level check (DC = scrollís caster level + 1) to cast the spell successfully. If she fails, she must make a DC 5 Wisdom check to avoid a mishap (see Scroll Mishaps, below). A natural roll of 1 always fails, whatever the modifiers.You can also use UMD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/useMagicDevice.htm) to emulate any of the requirements.

[Edit]: "The requisite ability score" is always 10 + spell's level in the score the scroll's maker uses for spellcasting.
[Another edit]: Now that I think of it, I'm not actually sure about that very last bit.

Aroka
2010-07-23, 08:41 AM
1) how do you bring a campaign to a conclusion?

The same as any story. Once the campaign's goal has been reached, or an appropriate "final story/adventure" played, you can go with "and they lived happily ever after" or "and that was that... for now." Both can leave the door open for a sequel - that is, returning to the same characters, perhaps at a later point in the campaign's time.


2) how many sessions would aim to go between leveling up a pc?

That's up to you. I've run a campaign where every session was one adventure that leveled the entire party up - we play very seldom, so having concrete changes like that between each session was nice, and let me keep ramping up the challenges.

If you play more regularly, three is a nice number.

AslanCross
2010-07-23, 10:53 AM
so im tooling around with the idea of GMing and have a few questions (and yes, some of them will be dumb as a box of rocks - sorry). Most of my gaming has been in GURPS form, so im rusty at best with 3.5

1) how do you bring a campaign to a conclusion?

My RHOD campaign ended with a giant explosion high above the surface of Eberron. (The PCs had successfully banished the Aspect of Tiamat back to its prison.) We might have an epilogue session, but given our massively busy schedules, we're content with a big explosion.


2) how many sessions would aim to go between leveling up a pc?

My PCs leveled up rather quickly thanks to high-EL encounters. It was tougher for everyone, but I needed to raise the challenge due to the strong party.



3) is pathfinder easier to run than 3.5? go off the basis of the group being a blank slate, having never played either

It does simplify some of the skills, but I haven't really gone over the other rules in detail.



edit:

4) how would a low character activate a scroll way above their power level? (say a level 4 PC using activating a level 7 spell scroll). Are DM fiat or the UMD skill the only route?

A. If the character is of the appropriate class, a caster level check (DC=Scroll's CL +1) will suffice; failure may result in a mishap. (It's a VERY easy check to make anyway.) See the SRD entry on scrolls. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/scrolls.htm)

B. If the character is not of the appropriate class, then he must make two UMD checks: One to activate the scoll (DC = 20+scroll's CL) AND if he or she lacks the appropriate ability score needed to cast the scroll (a Lv 7 scroll would require a 17 in the appropriate score, say, Wisdom for a Lv 7 Cleric spell), she needs to make a UMD check to emulate the score.

The ability emulation check is a lot harder to make, since your effective ability score = UMD check -15. :P She'd have to roll a 32 to use that scroll. At level 4? Highly unlikely.

Optimystik
2010-07-23, 10:56 AM
From the sticky: So You Wanna Be A DM? (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76474)

Hurlbut
2010-07-23, 12:46 PM
and that bypassing an encounter (through stealth, diplomacy, ingenious plan or fast horses) is to be rewarded too.
So as long as they were aware that there was a challenge to bypass.

Shpadoinkle
2010-07-23, 03:06 PM
Seriously, though... If you set up a big, overarching goal for the player characters to achieve, like "Stop the evil lich sorcerer from using a magic gate to destroy or conquer the world", then once they accomplish it, it's pretty much a matter of wrapping up any loose ends. Not that they couldn't go on another epic quest, but that would be more another campaign with the same characters. (Lord of the Rings 2: The Son of Sauron: This Time It's Personal: The Electric Boogaloo!)

Pretty much. This is essentially what happened with Draon Ball Z. Toriyama wanted to end it LONG before it actually ended, which is why it transformed into the "They yell at each other to power up for fifty episodes then something unlikely happens and it's over" zombie series that people now make fun of, sometime during the middle of the whole Namek/Frieza arc. As such, quality suffered and it wasn't really as entertaining as it had been.

It depends on the group, though. If you enjoy playing with the same characters for that long, great, go for it. But players shouldn't be afraid to retire a character if they feel the time has come, either.

liquid150
2010-07-23, 03:43 PM
Assuming they are fighting all at-level encounters, usually PC's will level up every 13.33 encounters on average.

To activate a scroll of higher level, you roll a caster level check (1d20+Caster Level) that must beat the DC for the scroll (Required Caster level to use scroll +1). As an example, a level 4 wizard using a level 4 scroll (which requires a CL of 7 for a wizard) must roll a d20 + 4 >= 8, so he must roll a 4 or higher.

To finish a campaign, you let the PC's win. Let them retire, or give them rewards, whatever you want. Either that or they all die.