Stay (10 Random Tips to Help Games Reach 20+ level)

Sarrosian Mirror Slayer

Sarrosian Slayer – Artist: Vincent Coviello

While we toil away making City of Seven Seraphs progressively more amazing, here is a list of a few of our tips for GMs and Players who want to buckle-down for a full 1st to 20th level campaign:

10 Random Things for Getting a Campaign to 20+ level:

1) Check Commitment Levels (Everyone/Pre-Game): Make sure your entire group is willing to commit to characters for that length of time, At medium progression a PathfinderRPG game played weekly (in 4-6 hour games) takes just a little between 1.5 and 2 years to hit 20th level. That is around 80 game sessions people are agreeing to attend to. This is NOT a casual thing. If it looks like this might be an issue, consider Fast Track experience. Make sure everyone is REALLY interested in that length of a game. A lot of people are, but you might be surprised how many aren’t willing to lock-in to that.

2) Plan for Change (Everyone/Pre-Game): Make sure you have backdoors in your story to allow for change in both players and characters. 80 sessions at Medium Experience is a lot to play. Most players will think of this as a privilege and treasure it.  But, sometimes players make mistakes and over-commit. This can be to actual games or to a character concept that turns out to be less enjoyable to them than expected. Have a strategy for dealing with these situations. Don’t make any one character too important in the meta-plot of the game until you know how well the player’s experience is going. After a few campaigns you will probably know who you long term gamers are going to be and you can build stories with respect to those known levels of engagement. Also see 10.

3) Outline the Story (GM/Pre-Game): Have an adventure outline and story-arc in mind for a large share of the scope of the game. I highly discourage a newer GM from running a total sandbox game until they feel very comfortable with the system. Sandbox games tend to be more wild and unpredictable. However, also remember a campaign is NOT a novel. Player agency is crucial to most gamers’ enjoyment of the hobby. Make sure you get a player to have some degree of buy-in before you script out their “destiny.”

4) Check GM Intentions (GM/Pre-Game): Realize that most GMs want to be their own players. This is hard to grasp sometimes but every GM is by nature going to create the game experience THEY want to have. The key here is understanding that a GM does not run for themselves, they actually will get the least fulfilling “player experience” at the table and they should understand that their players might have different desires, wants, and even needs. This is VERY hard to learn. If you want to tell a story with a definite end and strict requirements of the cast of characters, write a novel instead.

5) Know Your Players & GM (Everyone/On-Going): Usually, a home playgroup is comprised of friends. But a lot of groups do start as strangers. The ability to come together over a game is a strong bonding agent. Sometimes people like each other rapidly and “jump in” to a long-term game without any real period of acquaintance or understanding. This can be amazing. Lifelong friendships can begin casually at a Convention or LGS. But sometimes we join forces with someone with radically different out-of-game views than ourselves. Make sure you can respect one another before trying to share a long-term game with them. Or institute a “table-only” protocol for a group of relative strangers and keep the game about the game.

6) Session Zero (Everyone): Have a Session Zero. It doesn’t have to be formal. It doesn’t have to take all night (I recommend planning for that though). It IS a very good idea to do. Level set story expectations, level set description intensity. Confirm commitment. Discuss player agency. Verify that people understand your GMing style and preferences. Talk to players about the kind of game they want. Let your players talk to each other. Make sure the energy feels good. Be willing to identify problems and warning signs.

7) Tear Down Vacuum Builds (Everyone/On-Going): In the current metagame for Pathfinder there are a LOT of resources to aid in character construction. A common player pitfall is to dive into this advice as “bible.” Players commit to the “monk build” from so-and-so’s guide and carry another gamer’s opinions and baggage with them to your table. A player who knows nothing about your campaign. This in-turn can create dissonance with story-elements or cheapen the value of homebrewed rules content. Generally speaking vacuum characters are strong numerically and weak in terms of story integration.

8) Own Your Head-Cannon and House-Rules (GM/On-Going): It is vital as a game goes on to make changes for your table. The GM is final arbitrator of rules. Try to be aware of those changes. Log them if you need to. Nothing is more alienating to a new player than an established groups meta-myths and house-rules. If you have a lot of these consider codifying them. At the very least be willing to discuss them with new players and explain their origins without being defensive or overly “sovereign” about them. What works at your table WILL NOT work at every other table. Try to not rapidly “course correct” or overreact. Among a fantasy storytellers most important jobs is to create consistency and enhance verisimilitude. Changing rules weakens this fundamentally. So does hiding them. This also applies to alterations to a printed Campaign Settings history and storylines.

9) Let Go of Fear (Everyone/On-Going): Two years is a long time. Let people explore. Say yes to stuff. That can be new rules content for characters. It can mean letting them go off course for adventure. Let them ask you about the world you are creating with them. You might be surprised by your own answers. In my experience, people are too afraid. Afraid of losing control of games. Afraid of not being as powerful as another player’s character. Afraid to explore extremes of story or heroism because they are too worried about control or fairness or balance. If you want to build trust at the table, start by giving it.

10) Player Trajectory (Everyone/On-Going): Be willing to address the monsters AT the table. Problem players happen. Usually it is a misunderstanding or lack of setting clear expectations. But sometimes it is a person who has not been looking for friends. They’ve been looking for an audience or rivals or worst of all.. victims. Be aware of player intention. If you sense that a player is moving in a direction that is detrimental to the well-being of your table or your campaign… question it. It doesn’t have to be an interrogation. But it is totally ok to ask OOC why a player wants to do something that seems problematic. Once the motive is established it is easier to identify other work-arounds that work for everyone or to identify a damaging behavior earlier and dealt with it.

Look for more GM Advice here.

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I Wanna Be Sedated! (FINAL HOURS! 112% FUNDED!)

(112% Funded! FINAL HOURS! Visit Kickstarter!)

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Aethernaut Preview – Artist: Vincent Coviello!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

City of 7 Seraphs FINAL HOURS!!! Wolfgang Baur is UNLOCKED! How many more???

Links for Sharing:

Kickstarter Campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lostspheres/city-of-seven-seraphs-a-planar-campaign-capstone-f

Kicktraq: http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/lostspheres/city-of-seven-seraphs-a-planar-campaign-capstone-f/

Visit the Coinspinner Preview here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/220738/City-of-7-Seraphs–Coinspinner-Preview!

Visit the Orchard District Here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/220515/City-of-7-Seraphs–Orchard-District-Preview

How many Stretch Goals can we get?

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Almost…. (City of Seven Seraphs: Bloodhulk Spawn Preview)

(ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT! 95% Funded! Visit the Kickstarter Here!)

That is a vampire? But shouldn’t it… sparkle?”

-Primeworld Recruit to the Wardens on their first visit to the Chapel of the Faith Devoured.

This is it! Less than 5% remains between us and the City resolving from Shadow and Dream.

Thank you to all of our team members, friends, family, backers and for getting us to this point. But we need to see it home (and maybe into some amazing Stretch Goals!). Spread the word!! Here are links for ease of sharing:

Kickstarter Campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lostspheres/city-of-seven-seraphs-a-planar-campaign-capstone-f

Kicktraq: http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/lostspheres/city-of-seven-seraphs-a-planar-campaign-capstone-f/

Visit the Coinspinner Preview here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/220738/City-of-7-Seraphs–Coinspinner-Preview!

Visit the Orchard District Here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/220515/City-of-7-Seraphs–Orchard-District-Preview

Can we fund today and get into Stretch Goals in the last 48 hours?

 

 

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Face the Future (City of Seven Seraphs – Shadow Lock: Infinity – PC Races)

(ONLY 3 DAYS LEFT! 88% Funded! Visit Kickstarter Here!)

(PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!)

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Rhyzala sporeborn racial iconic – Artist: Vincent Coviello

“I enjoy this Now, it is mine and I am its. I would not bloom here were their not need but I know now I shall enjoy discovering what it is.”

– Xejyls, rhyzala mystic.

City of Seven Seraphs – Shadow Lock: Infinity – Races Reveal

 

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Tieflings, oreads, and other planetouched fill the streets of the City of Seven Seraphs much like other great metropolises but they aren’t alone. In today’s Infinity Lock reveal we introduce you to the races of the City that are new to people unfamiliar with its populace.

In the increased pagecounts the PC Races Section expands to its full vision of :

  • Rhyzala – Thilo “Endzeitgeist” Graf gives us these spore-born wonders. Each rhyzlala are individualized blooms of the Grand Rhizome, a massive cross-temporal organism. Rhyzala differentiate to to increase their successes interacting with the cultures and time periods they encounter.
  • Judow – N. Jolly’s race born of inevitable and kyton influences upon the ancient Judges of the pre-Wonder War era. Enemies must face the powers of their nocturne gaze or lose clarity in the face of Shadow judgement.
  • Veryx – Often thought of as the Archweaver’s own brood, these spiders have a long history in the City of Seven Seraphs. Their species’ ancestral links to the chelicerae share a less parasitic relationship with spellcasters, allowing for various symbiotic bonds to develop between them and partner magic-using organisms.
  • Xodai – Living prisons created to contain the sundered essences of Great Fiends and Elder Creatures, these beings are reborn from willing volunteers offering themselves up to take on this sacred charge. Able to draw strength from their hellcore prisons they wield the powers of their prisoners against those yet to be contained.
  • Mirrorkin – Renegade Sarrosians’ these strange creatures shift in essence to become expressions of those they travel with. Mirroring similar abilities and traits or allies or reflective opposites, they are prone to shifting identities and chimeric abilities. Those wishing to remain as they are strive for lifelong traveling partners and friendships.
  • Shadow Fey – These creatures (originally introduced in the amazing *Advanced Race Compendium from Kobold Press) have a native population in the Glarewood and many have settled the City proper trying to distance themselves from the Mithral Throne and Prince Maelwyn’s intrigues.
  • Ceptu – A race of telekinetic creatures resembling jellyfish of the Prime Worlds, this race originally appeared in Oathbound: Seven for Pathfinder. Their psychics were drawn to the Radia in the City’s earliest days and they have been instrumental in the days since the Resolution. Many find themselves among the visionaries of the Descendants of Dream and the Foreseen.

Don’t forget each of these races will be presented with feats, alternate racial traits and options in the tradition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Race Guide.

Visit the Coinspinner Preview here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/220738/City-of-7-Seraphs–Coinspinner-Preview!

Visit the Orchard District Here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/220515/City-of-7-Seraphs–Orchard-District-Preview

 

*=Advanced Race Guide is a copyright of Kobold Press and is used by permission. **=Oathbound: Seven is a a copyright of Epidemic Book and is used by permission.

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A Sky Full of Stars (City of Seven Seraphs – Shadow Lock: Infinity – Classes)

(ONLY 4 DAYS LEFT! 86% Funded! Visit Kickstarter Here!)

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Mirrorkin echo iconic – Artist: Vincent Coviello

“What am I? I am the reflection that completes your story…. The confrontation that weighs your heart before the Elder Things you adore. I am your opposite and equal reaction.”

-Ayoya, mirrorkin echo facing a cultist of the Yellow King.

City of Seven Seraphs – Shadow Lock: Infinity – Classes Reveal

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While the Kickstarter Campaign has been running our game of puzzles and riddles were a fun way to entertain backers and show them a taste of our enigma. But at the end of our campaign it is time to draw back the curtain and show you the full value of the project!

Christen has been working around the clock to increase the value of the project to backers and we can happily confirm an expanded page count that moves total to 400+ pages!! Extra page count means extra player options without impacting over 200 pages of City details and planar adventure tools.

In the increased pagecounts the Classes Section expands to its full vision of :

  • Nexus – A living conduit between multiple planes, the nexus powers veils of drawn from the eternal essences that form outsider type creatures. Tables all over the world have been wielding the might of planar detonations and weapon veils in exclusive backer playtests already. Back at the $21 “Descendant of Dreams” level to gain instant access.
  • Shadewalker/Eclipse – A master of the powers of shadow and night, this class will hold the power of the Dark to vex the foes of the City. Wield umbral energies shaped into unique veils of debilitating power.
  • Radiant – A support and healing class empowered by the Light of Radia (or other fonts of planar life energies) to enhance allies and wield powerful veils of purification and natural fury. Seed life into plants to create a companion of the forest to fight your foes!
  • Aethernaut – Aethernauts are warriors that glimpse the future and unleash unpredictable primordial forces from planar essence or from carried magic items. They rip reality with their weapons, harness planar phenomena, and navigate ley lines. All aethernauts are natural survivors in strange universes, skilled handlers of magic items, and experts on the planes!
  • Echo – A reprise of our very first class, our master of reflection returns with a fully revised and expanded envisioning. New reflections and abilities expand the options of the original to a new infinite variety. Master the abilities of the Mirror Pool and give as good as you get!
  • Theurge – Kobold Press’ mixed Source caster shows our Bookbinders and Steamwalker researchers the secrets of the universe. Expanded options for incorporating Occult Adventures content, Shadow Weaver magic are expanded with new archetypes and feats  enhancing this class’ base design!
  • Aberrant/Aegis – The aberrant aegis from Dreamscarred Press serves as an excellent leaping off point for the guided self-evolutions prominent in the Parities of the City of Seven Seraphs (such as the Chrysalis Covenant and the House of Heights). Traditional psychic armor wearing versions of the class are prominent in the Eternal Dawning and the Foreseen. Follow us further into the class’ potential as we unlock the next stage of our own evolution.

And don’t forget archetypes, feats and options for dozens of other classes including our own Shadow Weaver casting class and Paramour expressions!

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To Infinity! (The Final Shadow Lock is Solved!)

(ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT! 85% Funded! Visit Kickstarter HERE!)

Just Onyx

“Often we can’t truly know a thing until we stand in the right place to see the whole of it.”

– Professer Asarka, PonPon Acadamié instructor, Day 1 Introduction to Cosmologies

Shadow Lock Seven is solved by Aaryn of South Jordan, UT!

We’ve had our fun, and want to thank everyone for playing our mini-campaign with us! But Catherine, Nichole, Mike, Matt, Jamie, Vannesa and Aaryn have managed to crack all the Shadow Locks and reveal the hidden depths of our project!

The final reveal includes the Shadow Lock Design Team:

You saw in the First Shadow Lock Reveal that Thilo “Endzeitgeist” Graf was added to the City of Seven Seraphs Team, well all good things come in 7’s on this project so here are the rest of the Shadow-Weaver Design Team:

Framed- Brian

 

Brian Suskind (District Design & Dark Dealings) – Brian will be taking on the Pacts District, home to the Loci of Eternity, the Radia-powered ascension engines of the House of Heights and the Grand Brokerages of the Temple of Coin, where nearly anything can be had for a price!

 

 

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Richard Moore (Additional Development & Cat/Christen Herding) – Having already been broken in dealing with Christen’s madness on the Jon Brazer product Nine Lives for Petane, Richard foolishly is coming back for more! He will be polishing our prose and tightening our mechanics where we need it most

 

 

Framed-Andrew

 

Andrew Mullen (Equipment Design & Spidery Shopping Sprees) – Andrew brings fresh eye (and he’ll need a lot of them!) to the task of gearing up our unusual planar races and supporting the Wardens on their missions through the Infinite! He might also help Savannah with Souffle.

 

 

Framed-Kate

 

Kate Baker (Worlds of the Lattice & Equipment Inspector) – When not helping Andrew fit veryx with filigree armor, Kate will be walking the Lattice and looking for promising worlds to detail in the Worlds of the Lattice section of the book, helping Christen fill out the unique destinations travelers may find along its reaches.

 

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Erik Frankhouse (Mapping Infinity & Graphics) – Erik took enough time wiping off the blood of the fallen after IronGM this year to sketch out the vision of the Planar Map known to the inhabitants of the City of Seven Seraphs and as the project nears completion his madness may also touch elsewhere.

 

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Isabelle Lee (Enemies of the City: Kyton Exarchs!) – As with Colin McComb, the dark patron of the Kyton race, we had to bookend those creations with the modern Queen of Choirs, Isabelle Lee! She will be rendering the Kyton Exarchs, among the greatest of all the Foes of the City. Be prepared to tremble in the sounds of Darkest Delight!

 

Not enough yet?

Check back soon because–Spoiler Alert–We are about to spill the beans on the OTHER classes and races in the City of Seven Seraphs! Remember awesome things come in 7’s right?

Stay tuned!

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Aflight! (City of Seven Seraphs Preview: Coinspinner!)

(Only 6 DAYS LEFT! 81% Funded! Visit the Kickstarter Here!)

City of 7 Seraphs Preview - Coinspinner-1

Sail into adventure’s heart about the Coinspinner! An extraplanar vessel salvaged from the clutches of the Undreamt, this unique ship (designed by George Loki Williams) will take its crew to the far reaches of the Unknown! Are you her next Captain?

Find out here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/220738/City-of-7-Seraphs–Coinspinner-Preview!

Visit the Orchard District Here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/220515/City-of-7-Seraphs–Orchard-District-Preview

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