Friday, April 22, 2011

DM Help - Sourcebooks

A good company seems to put out at least one sourcebook every three months. Those sourcebooks worth a darn should include new rules, new feats, abilities, items and spells. What’s the problem with this? Well really none except…

Suppose that one of your players REALLY wants to add something from one of the new source books. Your campaign is several months in and the players are all well established with one another. You have been able to read and learn the rules for the new system as a GM. You have access to the new source book either by getting it yourself or your player telling you its ok to borrow the book. Not surprisingly most GMs allow the source material in play right away but some do not.

Why?

Well it is a matter of personal taste and need for control of the game. I used to fall into the former category but now I am strongly in the latter.

Why?

Because I feel that source books really need to be vetted before they can be added to an existing campaign - especially source material that contains completely new rules. So I read them over and stew on them. Sometimes I will add an npc or villain using the new source material. The players may not like that I am using it but not allowing them to use it but in the long run they thank me because we’re able to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t.

In our Kingmaker game that just started last Saturday night, I explicitly told everyone that I was only allowing the players to use the Pathfinder Core and Advanced Player’s Guide. I know for a fact that they are coming out with a magic book and that the Galatia campaign book just came out. I’ve seen it. It’s very nice.

What about you? What is your preference for source books? Do you add them in immediately or wait a few months to vet them out? Do you allow them at all once a game starts?

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