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I really appreciate all the information. I got through the shopping part of our session last night pretty fluidly with all the help. I am going to be working up some of the simple shops I know my players will have access to, and keep a few random ones on hand for when they just need a quick resupply.

 

Lots of great info and ideas here. We are running a low magic game, so keeping magic items out of most shops is a priority for me. I am going to be throwing one or two into some of the shops to give the players something to work towards, but beyond that they will have to earn their magic items.

 

I really like the suggestion of keeping magic weapons out of the shops. Luckily the most complicated thing one of the players asked for was a bird token as a one use message carrier. I figures someone could feasibly craft one in Absalom for them.

just remember what I posted above, if your going low magic your players are going to be very squishy, make sure you lower the cr a bit. good luck with it, let us know how it works out.

 

I will do. Most of my players have a bit of experience, so they really like the challenge. I also have 6 players, so I have to beef up encounters a bit to keep them on their toes. I have been monitoring them throughout the encounters. I expect once they level a bit, I will have to dial back encounters as we go.

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I really appreciate all the information. I got through the shopping part of our session last night pretty fluidly with all the help. I am going to be working up some of the simple shops I know my players will have access to, and keep a few random ones on hand for when they just need a quick resupply.

 

Lots of great info and ideas here. We are running a low magic game, so keeping magic items out of most shops is a priority for me. I am going to be throwing one or two into some of the shops to give the players something to work towards, but beyond that they will have to earn their magic items.

 

I really like the suggestion of keeping magic weapons out of the shops. Luckily the most complicated thing one of the players asked for was a bird token as a one use message carrier. I figures someone could feasibly craft one in Absalom for them.

just remember what I posted above, if your going low magic your players are going to be very squishy, make sure you lower the cr a bit. good luck with it, let us know how it works out.

 

I will do. Most of my players have a bit of experience, so they really like the challenge. I also have 6 players, so I have to beef up encounters a bit to keep them on their toes. I have been monitoring them throughout the encounters. I expect once they level a bit, I will have to dial back encounters as we go.

 

 

Off the top of my head... 6 players is average party level plus 2 so six level 4's would have a normal challange of a cr 6 encounter, So I would start with their cr +2 and then tone down 1-2 cr's to get the desired difficulty.

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[...]

  1. Only have mundane item shops. [...]
  2. I love to offer things that are not weapons for people to buy. [...]
  3. Before each session create (or select from pre-made items) an item that is better (or arguably better) than an item each character is using. [...]
  4. Lastly, focus on cool loot rather than giving gold. [..]

Your mileage may vary but I really thing the four above guidelines can help you keep a fluid game and story moving while still giving players enough options to satisfy power gaming tendencies.

I have a couple of issues with your list.

 

#1 Keep in mind in Pf encounters are built for 4 characters of X level Included in the formula is X amount of gold of gear both magic and mundane around 7th level it's about 15.5k gold worth of gear while deviating from this formula is fine just keep in mind if you go for a ultra low magic game you Have to adjust the power curve of the game or your players will get pounded into the ground when they are meant to have a easy victory. Say a party of level 7 characters vs 3 cr 6 critters should be a good fight Ie a cr 8 encounter but in a low magic game that could very well be a total party wipe. Last Thursday my group of 5 level 9 characters fought 2 cr 9's and they ended up with two dead pc's because they didn't have a way to deal consistent damage to incorporeal creatures aside from a barbarian with a +2 axe an small alchemist with a +1 spear and a couple of wands of magic missiles that was a Long fight. and that was with the standard magic loadout, more or less magic Greatly changes the dynamic of the combat system.

 

 

#2 a skull key that opens any lock is Majorly overpowered , why do we need a rogue when i have a magic key that opens any lock? also a basket of infinite food, instead of a pc buying a ring of substance the entire party gets the same benefit.

 

#3 I have been shoehorned by a dm who hand picked my gear and as a player/dm this sort of thing can Really piss your players off I suggest cation with this route, a lot of favortisum can show it's head this way even if you don't mean to, in the game I was thinking of the male players got one or two small items like a +1 shield and +1 chainmail one of the female players gets a +1 set of full plate and wings and flight speed of 60 while the other gets a magic sword that gave her dr 5 and and something else silly even if you don't do something stupid like the example above you can still run into issues by handing out gear. Long story short Thing twice before limiting player choice, it's not all about power gamers.

 

# 4I'm with you on the loot, my players spend a lot of time moving loot around and getting it appraised, but don't skimp on the coinage.

 

Based off of your comments it sounds like you are using a lot of . . .

  • Premade adventures
  • Premade monsters

I never do those things. To me the huge advantage of tabletop RPGs is that you can do a ton more unique things than video games - part of creating a unique and exploratory feel require a DM to create on such a large and daunting scale that every fight, encounter, NPC, and enemy is something unique, memorable, and exhilarating.

 

For #1, it seems like you could just slightly monster or encounter levels to work better for a low magic world.

 

For #2, why would giving these items to players be overpowered? You're a DM, the world exists how you conceptualize it. So what if I give my party a Skull Key or a Basket of Plenty. It's overpowered if I make run quests with mundane locks everywhere. But why would I do that? I know the party has a Skull key - I can tailor my adventure to require different barriers than "this door is locked." What is more likely to happen is that my players start to think outside of "dat enemy, punch enemy" because they have these non-traditional items. The party might try to use stealth rather than brute force to infiltrate a building - just because the key gives them a chance to get by lock now. etc.

 

#3 - Sounds like your DM sucked. All I can say about that. If a DM can't handle reading players; eyeballing their stats, and then giving them the chance to secure the equipment they would most likely want - well that person has no business DMing.

 

#4 - Seems we have the same ideas here - If your player base loves derping around with gold buying stuff in stores, then give them gold. I personally hate doing that, because we should be playing a video game instead at that stage; but again it really depends on your player group.

 

- Also excellent points pocketcthulhu . . . sounds like our players and styles are vastly different but all good points to bring up as the OP could have a group like yours and less like mine.

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Off the top of my head... 6 players is average party level plus 2 so six level 4's would have a normal challange of a cr 6 encounter, So I would start with their cr +2 and then tone down 1-2 cr's to get the desired difficulty.

 

APL +1. A "normal" encounter for six Lvl 4 characters would be CR 5.

 

Note that only some encounters should be "normal". With a group that level, I'll run them through anything from CR 4 through CR 9 or so, depending on the monster and what effect I want:

 

"But the rules say that we're supposed to get 4 encounters a day. That was the 15th!"

 

"Strange. What was your initiative number again?" :devil:

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One thing I've done to help when running a low magic campaign, and not everyone will agree with this, is give the players an additional few stat points to spread around as they so choose. It might make the early levels, where magic items aren't really necessary, a lot easier but it makes everything past that go a lot smoother. In my first group we had two house rules to go along with our stats, which we always rolled. The rules were - every player get one guaranteed 18, and everyone can reroll their 1's if they so choose but you have to take that second roll regardless of what it actually is. I think our average score ended up being around 15 with those rules, but we played with a fairly strict loot and magic item system. Loot always used the tables, monster loot ratings were modified down at least one step, and magic item shops were only found in major cities and only had a limited selection.

 

This was for regular 3rd edition D&D. A lot of people would think that the game would turn out horrible like that, but it was always really fun. They only lasted into the early teens in terms of levels, so for a while we just smashed our way through things all heroic-like, but when it came time to play with the big boys it became a struggle and the pressure was on to play smart. We rarely had characters get killed, so maybe our DM was just taking things easy on us, but it never really felt that way. There were plenty of fights where we'd stumble out barely alive and by the skin of our teeth. But character deaths were memorable, because the things that caused them weren't just mooks getting lucky or an overpowered BBEG. It was the DM outwitting us and doing something that we didn't think of. And, for the most part the BBEGs were built subject to the same rules as our characters were. So things balanced out pretty well overall.

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