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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Felandria's Avatar

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    Default I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Can anyone recommend a good Pathfinder module.

    I have a basic structure in place, I know how to send them on a quest, but I need a quest to send them on.

    Also, any advice for a first time DM?

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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Well, I don't Pathfinder, but a good trick I learned for DMing in general is maintaining pacing throughout adventures/sessions. Generally you want:

    Hook (Which could be an action scene or not)
    Action Scene
    Not
    Action Scene
    Not
    Repeat as needed until...
    Climax
    Resolution

    Action scenes not necessarily HAVING to be combat. Could be challenges, chases, etc. The "Not" scenes are generally Plot/Story gristle moments, things like finding that ancient tome in the library which tells you the Lich's Weakness or something.

    The benefit to running games in a pattern like that, is that you're making sure things are fresh. Your team doesn't feel like just a bunch of murderers and burglars, because the combat is spaced out a bit. And it gives you a chance to spread out Plot/Storyline information and clues rather than having to Info Dump as the standard Adventures tend to go... You know how it is. NPC goes and talks on for about 5 minutes... answers some questions. That's all the information players are going to get on the plot in one chunk up front.

    The hidden secondary benefit to running it like that is that if your players decide to go off the rails you can smoothly maintain pacing until you can get back on track. Just keep altering scene types as needed. You do it right your players have a much harder time detecting that they went rogue.
    Currently sick as a dog and unable to focus properly. Will heal soon.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Felandria's Avatar

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Now that you say that, all I can think of is starting the campaign in the middle of some kind of exciting action sequence, like some movies do, thinking of James Bond or Charlie's Angels.

    I wonder if it would work.

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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
    tbok1992's Avatar

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    The King has been kidnapped by ninjas. Are you bad enough dudes to rescue the King?

    Boom, there's your story.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Oh, it can work. It can work quite well from my experience. Though if you start it in an actin scene without a lot of backstory involved you're going to get some "WTF?!" moments from players. So it fits better for a mystery style game. If you want to play something akin in feeling to "The Man Who Knew Too Much" or "North by Northwest", where things are happening and the characters have no idea why only that they have to react to it, figure out why they are happening, and then figure out a way to make them STOP happening.

    ...

    ...

    That's probably a good way to do a Ravenloft style campaign. Do NOT tell the players they are in Ravenloft. Start it mid action sequence. Ensue confusion and horror, exactly what you want for Ravenloft.

    EDIT: Or you can do a quick recap backstory and start mid action. "Okay, you're spies for the Crown. You are breaking onto a base set in a Hydroelectric dam.... (And insert action scene)." Also works. it doesnt' have to be EXHAUSTIVE backstory, but it has to give the guys an idea of what is going on.
    Last edited by ArcturusV; 2013-02-13 at 11:53 PM.
    Currently sick as a dog and unable to focus properly. Will heal soon.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    You could do a surprise attack by rebels or ninjas. Panic in a crowded market; arrows flying, fireballs(or alchemical fire) scorching, masked men lashing out at passerbys. Falling the guards before they even cross the market square. What do the characters do? Help heal the wounded, shepherd the panic citizens or fight the masked marauders?????

    Also a great way to throw the characters in together. Maybe a chase sequence follows. either way the players are hopefully going to want to know what is going on and if not give them a treasure map to some random dungeon and pass the time killing kobolds for cure light wound potions and silver pieces? Meanwhile the townsfolk wonder to the attack and treat the players with suspicion as to their indifference to the attack. Raising prices closing doors as the pieces approach.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Don't be afraid to kick-start the game with motivation. Like "You're all currently working for Y organization. Give me some reasons for your characters to stick with that" or "you're all in Z location. Give some reasons for your characters to be there". It can help prevent them from wandering too far from the plot, especially if there's some sense of urgency.

    No "cutscenes". If the PCs are there, the scene is interactable.

    Run enemies intelligently. This includes everything from retreating at appropriate times (more disciplined enemies will be able to stick around longer. Cowardly enemies may reduce CR), to establishing Flanks, to using the environment (cover, concealment, shadows, visibility, ambushes, walls high ground, etc), to buffing when they anticipate a fight. It also includes studying and adapting to one's foes. Spellcasters can be deadly when properly prepared. This will encourage tactical thinking.

    Have the magic item vendors, if they even exist, guarded by something truly scary. Letting the PCs loot shops is a bad precedent.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Felandria's Avatar

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    If it helps, the players will be starting at level 5.

    I know the setup, where they meet, where they go to receive their quest, just need a quest.

    It's my first time and they want to start in a week, so I just want to plug something in to get them started.

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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    ok, some thoughts:
    1- there have been people vanishing along the king's road for a few weeks now. the party is told to go and investigate (they find that there is a group of slavers, taking them into the troll hills. some slaves (the unsueful ones) are given to the trolls for their... pleasure) useful ones are sent to search for some item in an old dungeon with quite foul implications for all who work in it (a curse, a disease, something else?) but what are they searching for? and who do all of these work for?

    2- An old legendary sea farer is retiring, and wishes to pass on his/ her ship to people who might do justice to the ship's legend. he may have a few simple tests to see how they fare. (we might detail a few ideas if that is what you want) or just give a simpler test- he gets the PCs (and also a few competing crews). a few simple ships. Their goal- to seek out a treasure he has hidden between the isles. here are some clues, now go get it!

    3- there is new land on the horizon! the party is sent as an exploratory team to map the laands, identifiy it's dangers, and try and set a place for new settlers. they might get a high position in the settlement if they do (similar to Pathfinder's Kingmaker, I'm sure you can use that and adjust)

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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    I can't think of any good adventure modules you might want to update to PF. Don't play PF specifically. I hear terrible things about PF adventure modules in general. So probably not the place to look. Only adventure module I can remember having that started out at level 5 was... Icewind Dale? In 2nd edition? It wasn't all that great and it was mostly Salvatore Fanwank for Faerun as you ran into all of his major characters in the region.

    Just an awkward level. most of them I can think of were level 1-4 and 4-8 and so. But I don't really remember anything too stellar outside of the Solo Adventure modules like Cleric's Path (Which was quite a bit of fun as I recall).
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Doorhandle's Avatar

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcturusV View Post
    I can't think of any good adventure modules you might want to update to PF. Don't play PF specifically. I hear terrible things about PF adventure modules in general. So probably not the place to look. Only adventure module I can remember having that started out at level 5 was... Icewind Dale? In 2nd edition? It wasn't all that great and it was mostly Salvatore Fanwank for Faerun as you ran into all of his major characters in the region.

    Just an awkward level. most of them I can think of were level 1-4 and 4-8 and so. But I don't really remember anything too stellar outside of the Solo Adventure modules like Cleric's Path (Which was quite a bit of fun as I recall).
    Really? What have you heard?
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Poorly written. Have not been thoroughly tested. Often some "broken" parts of the game. Has some balance issues. Too easy or too hard, not in the middle.

    Then again you hear that about A LOT of modules. So it's not like it's PF specific. It's not PF bashing. I had enough fun when I've run a character in PF though we never used prepublished modules, and in particular my DM was saying the above reasons were why (As others would chime in. I haven't heard too much to refute that either).
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    On a more serious note than my whole "Do a riff on Bad Dudes" post (Which you still totally should do), I recommend maybe homebrewing your own setting, and then seeing what storyline "hooks" emerge naturally from there.

    You could also look through standard setting books and look for hooks much the same. Hell, I have my own weird-ass setting, called Dungeonworld, maybe you could use that. I'd be tickled pink if anybody decided to play in it, and I'd answer any questions you might have. But, I digress.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    http://paizo.com/products/btpy8dmj?P...f-Golden-Death

    There is this. I have no experience with Paizo modules, but don't really care for their adventure paths much. They have more but this one is 5th level.


    EDIT: or this one, which is a free PDF.

    http://paizo.com/products/btpy8dmj?P...f-Golden-Death
    Last edited by Surfnerd; 2013-02-14 at 09:44 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    New DM...adapt and run this labyrinth of madness
    One you will no longer be a new DM, Two your players will not ask you to DM again. You can find the PDF if you look.
    If you wish to have a voice chat, Send me a PM and we can arrange it. Provided you use skype.

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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Felandria's Avatar

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfnerd View Post
    http://paizo.com/products/btpy8dmj?P...f-Golden-Death

    There is this. I have no experience with Paizo modules, but don't really care for their adventure paths much. They have more but this one is 5th level.


    EDIT: or this one, which is a free PDF.

    http://paizo.com/products/btpy8dmj?P...f-Golden-Death
    Those are both the same thing, and neither is free.

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    OOPS!!! my bad! sorry. I must've have imagined copying the 2nd link!!!

    http://paizo.com/products/btpy83w1?P...he-Kobold-King


    and for following my incorrect link theres this too.

    http://paizo.com/products/btpy8rgh?P...he-Scarlet-Sun

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    You have the old cliches. You can always dust them off with a twist.


    Wild animals have started attacking passers-by seemingly at random. Some dark force has taken over the forest (perhaps the forest-spirit has been enraged, or some militant Druids, frustrated with failed efforts to halt civilization's encroachment, have been organizing the attacks). After carving their way to the forest's spirit-shrine, the PCs must choose to either kill the source of the trouble (which weakens the forest), or attempt to soothe or purify it (harder, but better for both the forest and the PCs' 100% completion run).

    A local noble (or mayor) was expecting a shipment of something, and it hasn't shown up. Bandits attacked the shipment, and are presumably keeping the desired item in their cave hideout, beyond the jurisdiction of the town militia (sending troops would encroach on the King's land). Bust the marauders and retrieve the items. The noble will reward the PCs handsomely. Maybe the "item" is one of the noble's relatives or friends.

    A wealthy collector wants an artifact (in the conventional sense) retrieved from some dangerous faraway ruins, and offers a reward for both the piece itself, plus a bonus for any other historical objects the PCs return with. Perhaps the ruins intersect with monstrous catacombs, burrowed right through the walls, which lead into hives of antmen or something nasty. The ruin itself may be home to all manner of enemies. Classic dungeon crawl material.

    PCs can wake up in prison together. This gives them a short-term reason to stick together and build trust (escape the prison, recover their stuff), and the opportunity to give them a longer-term one ("you folk know more than anyone about the [group who imprisoned you]. So we're sending you in after them").

    PCs can also be members of (or at least working for) the same organization, or have been called together as an elite force to do important work for someone powerful. Being part of the same work group, and needing to maintain professionalism are both reasons for the PCs to stick together and tolerate one another.
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2013-02-15 at 12:28 AM.

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    The sun and the moon have stopped turning at exactly sunset, when one is visible on one horizon and one on the other. Gods stop answering prayers, animals go nuts, and crazy magical **** goes down. The players journey to the temple of the sun to find out wtf is going on, and find that the princes of sun and moon have been kidnapped by the queen twilight, who killed her sister dawn out of jealousy. The princes must be rescued, the queen twilight defeated, and a new queen twilight and queen dawn instated before the world tears itself apart.

    Based on a dream I had.

    The world's last forest that had been able to resist magic falls, and now all forests are tainted by magic and dangerous. To gain an item that can cleanse the forests, the players have to appease the goddess of nature by finding her Daughters Seed, Soil, and Rain them find a place where they can start a new, non-magical forest.
    Last edited by TechnoScrabble; 2013-02-15 at 12:48 AM.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    Ripped from the headlines:

    The sun (Helios' chariot) fell out of the sky into the Bad Lands. Are you a bad enough dude to save him?

    A shooting star blazed through the sky, landing in an inhospitable mountain valley, injuring 1,000 people and fulfilling the first part of an ancient prophecy. Are you a bad enough dude to make the epic journey across the country and scout it out?
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2013-02-15 at 04:57 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    yougi's Avatar

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    The best two PF modules (imo) are for level 5: Tower of the Last Baron and Carnival of Tears. In the first one, the PCs are sent in a barony to kill the traitorous Baron who sided with Chelish forces, you have to find your way in, find sympathizers; in the second one, PCs are hanging out at a Carnival that
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    ends up being a murderhouse with illusions on top of it.
    Carnival is... different, in that it's not really a quest, more of a reaction to the environment, but it gets funny when
    Spoiler
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    one of the PCs fails his Will save and still sees that regular Carnival, and gets in line to be split in two and what not.


    If you want a regular module, I'd play TotLB, but if you want something different, I'd go for CoT.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    I'm currently playing through the Rise of the Runelords adventure path from Paizo, which my group is enjoying greatly. That AP is designed to go from level 1 to ~18, though, meaning finishing an AP tends to take 6 months+ for the average group.

    Actually, an adventure path might fit the bill pretty well. Part 2 of RotRL starts at level 5 and features a murder mystery quest line, with a bit of tweaking it would probably work for your party.

    Other ideas... We Be Goblins is a free one-shot adventure module from Paizo where the players are all goblins on a quest to recover fireworks. It's very, very funny if you get in the right mood for it. I realize it doesn't fit your level 5 players, but you could always suggest it as a one-off to buy yourself an extra week or two to get your real campaign together.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Dr.Epic's Avatar

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    Default Re: I just agreed to be the new DM, and I need a story.

    The uncle of one of the PC's characters leaves behind a piece of jewelry that turns out to be a powerful magical artifact, and it's up to the PCs to go on an epic quest to destroy it for the fate of the world!

    I'm pretty sure that's never been done before.

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