Session Twelve: GM Commentary

Interesting fact: the module has a random monster encounter table but no instructions on how often the party should encounter something. The descriptions do strongly imply that there will be numerous dangerous encounters, but don’t bother giving us a table or a percentage chance or a frequency of encounters, nor could I find a standard one in the Pathfinder rules. Maybe it’s an oversight, maybe they subscribe to the idea that there are no truly random encounters, but that the DM should just throw in encounters to spice things up when nothing exciting is happening (or he wants to mess with his players). I find that a little too manipulative for my taste, so I just made up a frequency and rolled d6 for encounters during a given time period. I figured it would average out to an encounter a day.

The downside of rolling for encounters, of course, is that sometimes the dice stray from the average, sometimes by a lot. We could’ve had a journey with no encounters, which would’ve been supremely boring, or we could’ve had too many encounters and the party would have been overwhelmed, especially since I also rolled for type of monster, number encountered, and encounter distance. Yes, I know, the GM can always ignore die results and just declare what happens, but I think that’s better for more story-oriented games, like Fate. If I’m going to have tables and roll dice, I want the results to count, both when I’m a player and when I’m a DM. Ok, I’ll admit I’ve fudged a roll or two in my lifetime, but I try to keep it to the most egregious of campaign-destroying rolls.

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Posted in GM Commentary

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