View Full Version : Campaigns / Adventures New GM looking for advice on a Pathfinder campaign.

06-22-2013, 01:10 AM
am new to tabletop RPG's. I have been playing some Pathfinder recently on roll20 and I have enjoyed it quite a lot. But I'd also like to try being a GM. I don't want to run a standard cookie-cutter hero save the kingdom story. I came up with this idea for a campaign to run either on roll20 or IRL. It's an evil PC only campaign, the players would start off as a dirt poor street gang in a medieval high fantasy city similar to the fictional city of Roanapur from Black Lagoon. the players goal would be to build up a criminal syndicate and drive out all of their rivals for control of the city. as the players become more more successful they'd be able to create NPC lieutenants that would serve to run aspects of the organization such as drug manufacturing and distribution or protection. I would also have them have illegal weapons limiting their ability to get more powerful items and magic weapons. With the advantage of this being that the players would eventually have large amounts of gold to be able to just buy out right magical items. as the players become more more successful they would be attacked by the other mobs and because the city is carefully balanced by the four pre-existing organized crime groups the city would plunge more and more into chaos, until eventually the players drive out or kill all the competition and reestablish order under their rules.

I have hopefully come up with a way to keep the players from killing each other First resurrection's not allowed generally my head hurt at the implications of a potentially immortal society depending on how much money you have. The second is that the new character that the play would take over would be one of the previous NPC lieutenants and they are one level below the now dead character. And that the group's primary income would be from activities performed between encounters, with the amount of money being decided based on skill rolls, for example the player with craft alchemy skill would roll their skill check to see the potency of the drugs and thus how much they could sell them, I would multiply the result they got by multiplications of 10^x so at beginning it would be multiplied by 10, then later on it would be multiplied by 100, and even later by 1000 based on how much territory they had control of. also all the player would be be sharing from the same pool of money with no players having independent funds. Thus players repeatedly killing each other would mean they are permanently poor and that magical items would be virtually unattainable because the only they would be able to get the magical items would be to either craft them, buy them out right but because in the setting all magical items are illegal there'd be a big price increase on them, or pick them from their dead enemies but because of the requirements only the most powerful of their enemies would even have magical items.

I'm also looking for some general advice on this because the story would be going into darker places and I want to know how to handle that so that the players still have fun. My idea would be to make it clear to the players that if something the stories making them uncomfortable tell me private and I will either remove it or scale back on that subject.

I also hope to make it possible for players to have multiple methods of completing objectives. For example one of the objects would be to get inside a well guarded mansion to kill one of their rival gang leaders. One method would be to just go straight through and kill everything that stands in there way, another would be to try to talk their way to the enemy's office and then get out, another one I thought of was to speak in underneath using the sewers that they would need to get assistance by a goblin that had been tested on by a wizard and so it is much smarter than the average goblin but requires the players do something for him. suggestions for other scenarios and solutions on how the players could complete them would be welcomed.

I'm looking for general advice on all facets, general GM advice, story and campaign creation advice, and advice if running an evil campaign is even a good idea.

06-23-2013, 04:54 PM
btw, the rules for resurrection do not allow for an immortal society. plus, the material component makes it less common than one might otherwise think.

deus ex (the first one) was a great game for providing multiple resolution paths for almost every given point in the game. might be good spot to mine some ideas from.

06-25-2013, 04:20 AM
deus ex is one of my favorite games of all time which is where I got this idea. and thank you for the information on resurrection. I was also going to have a house rule just for this campaign, that all players at level 7 get the Leadership feat, as well as their normal feet selection.

06-25-2013, 05:58 PM
here are some handy links:



the resurrection spell funcitons like the raise dead spell, except where specifically stated differently.

note that in the raise dead spell, it specifically states that a creature that has died of old age cannot be brought back, and the resurrection spell does NOT override that. ergo - no immortals via resurrection. so, unless they are using specific tricks, they cannot become immortal. if you want, i can link you to a handbook where it details the possible ways to immortality that exist in the d&d game (3rd edition).

06-30-2013, 11:17 PM
I realize that you may not want to hear this, but after over 30 years of DMing, I have found that running a campaign with evil characters is SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult than running one with good PC's. Don't forget that there will be good parties - and NPC's that will want to stop your characters - especially if they actually break the law.

Also, from the little you've given us, it almost sounds like you are trying to run a "good" campaign, with the "evil" PC's only doing bad to the other bad people in the world. That isn't necessarily evil...

Your hardest task will be to convince the players that it is in their best interest to work together - and that isn't in most evil PC's mindset at all. I know people will yell and scream over this, but the HUGE majority if evil PC's were played Chaotic Evil to the max - and that is NOT a good thing for party cohesion.

Also, you don't actually think that Denton was "evil," do you? When Deus Ex started, he was already questioning his motivations and actually TRIED to do good (by wiping out two of the three evil factions).

Oh, and "greasy, greasy greasels" to you, as well!

07-01-2013, 10:14 AM
wandering off onto a bit of a deus ex tangent... i actually beat the entire UN strike force mid-game that was sent to capture me, with the exception of what's-his-name-gear-head-with-a-big-chip-on-his-shoulder-about-nanotech who apparently was programmatically made invulnerable and couldn't be killed. for a game which prides itself on multiple resolution methods, that railroad plot point really irked me badly. oh, that and the un-pickable door down in the UN base... i guess they don't want to reveal the plot too soon or something. i think they just should have added alternate threads to deal with those possibilities, instead of railroading them. =P oh well.

Hey I Can Chan
07-02-2013, 04:40 AM
I wouldn't sweat the mechanics yet.

Low-level PCs are incredibly fragile. A lucky kobold drops all but a Con 18+ Bbn1. Explain that the campaign's premise is that all PCs initially work for a small, desperate, struggling thieves guild, and the guildmaster, Ol' Crafty (or whatever), gives out assignments--don't try to have them self-motivate at level 1. Ol' Crafty makes it clear that backstabbing other guild members is dangerous and stupid as the entire world--no, universe--is out to kill them all except for other members of this thieves guild.

Ol' Crafty's assignments should give players an indication of the kinds of tasks you're expecting them to undertake. This lets you avoid uncomfortable horrors like rape, torture, and child murder. Ol' Crafty explains, "Such things just aren't done--makes things worse for everybody," and done. There're reasons those lines aren't crossed or whatever.

So, yeah. Same game. Different dungeons.

When you decide it's time for Ol' Crafty to go (e.g. exiled to a remote island, murdered by rivals, mysteriously disappear, reveal himself as The Trickster and divinely ascend, thrown in jail), maybe at about level 6, then the PCs can take over as guildmasters.

I'd be more concerned about players who want to run characters who wear heavy armor or who can't sneak. That's a bigger mechanical full-stop in this game than anything else.