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Best Version of DnD?

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15 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Low levels do have a higher chance of death but even at higher levels...

 

There's this.

There's also SOME pretty powerful opponents especially at low levels. The bugbear's 2d8+2 is already pretty hard on a 1st-level character, but it can also deal an extra 2d6 on that attack if it got a surprise round. And a bugbear has a challenge rating of 1.

 

There was actually something of an argument about that very thing back in the start of this thread. I believe it was about CR, and it used the Centaur as an example of why that person thought CR was worthless. See, they argued that a CR2 enemy should be able to be single-handedly defeated by a level 2 PC, but the Centaur is capable of doing 1d10+4+3d6 damage with just one of its attacks on a charge, which on average rolls deals 19 damage. Then they get an extra hoof attack, which does an additional 11. So 30 damage in a single turn from a CR2 enemy, which is capable of rendering just about every level 2 PC unconscious. But things like that are why CR is meant to account for a party of 4, not a single character.

 

Hobgoblins have a CR of 1/2, and that Martial Advantage trait is a potential killer. Throw a hobgoblin raiding party at a group of PCs early on, say levels 1-4, and it could get really nasty, really quick. Especially since Martial Advantage only requires a hobgoblin ally to be within 5ft of the target, so even ranged weapons benefit from it.

 

Quote

Then you have all your nasty undead drainers like Wights, Wraiths and Shadows... If they reduce your hit point maximum or your strength score to 0, it's instant death, no death saves.

And of course there's the Jerk DM method... have monsters keep hitting downed PCs after they went unconscious.

 

14 hours ago, DocPiske said:

Hey, that's not a jerk DM method, that's a smart opponent method. Orcs and trolls probably wouldn't, but dark elves definitely would. And mind flayers have been known to withdraw from a fight with a dominated character in order to get a quick snack in. :poke:

 

Yup. Playing smart enemies as smart doesn't make you a Jerk DM. I wouldn't blame a DM if he had basically any humanoid enemy capable of rational thought perform a coup de grace on a downed PC. After all, those Orcs(7), Hobgoblins(10), Drow(11), etc are of the same general intelligence as an average human(8-10). I'm sure they've put together the fact that sometimes the people they stab get better, even during the fight, and the best way to make sure they don't get better is to stab them some more...

Edited by Unruly
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Yeah I might at the very least start having enemies keep attacking downed PCs... at least after it's clear to them "going down" isn't like "staying down", once the cleric or the bard throw some heals on those downed characters.

 

Or have them flee at the sight of "unkillable foes", if they're primitive enough.

Edited by BlazingTornado

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Coup de grace is absolutely a reasonable choice in the world of the game (which is why PCs sometimes use it, after all). But I don't find it fun for the players, so I would only use it to demonstrate the callousness of a specific major foe. (What that says about the PCs that use it, is perhaps best left to speculation. ^_^)

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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Remember, being a GM does not mean trying to beat the players - it is about trying to make an enjoyable game for all concerned - GM and PCs both. (See the Die Hard Effect poster.)

 

There needs to be risk, and PCs should chance death - but a GM has enough advantages that if he tries to outright kill PCs, he will. (There is a reason I loathe the Tomb of Horrors.)

 

So, yeah, it does mean taking less than optimal tactical choices sometimes - when I want 'fair' I throw in a wargame to determine outside events.

 

The Auld Grump

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1 hour ago, TheAuldGrump said:

There needs to be risk, and PCs should chance death - but a GM has enough advantages that if he tries to outright kill PCs, he will. (There is a reason I loathe the Tomb of Horrors.)

Tomb of Horrors... I think it has its worth.

 

Not as any sort of part of a campaign, mind you.

But as a one-shot with new characters so the DM can be rewarded with an actual shot at victory for a change.

 

I'm thinking about running it for my gang once the campaign ends, to give me some time to prep the next campaign.

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I tend to agree. I will use coup de gras with particularly vindictive or dangerous foes, to emphasize their bad-elfness. Most foes will only do so once the party has wiped and they want to loot the corpses. But that red dragon you attacked? She will absolutely make a point of stomping your corpse into the mud on the way to ravage the rest of the party.

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3 hours ago, DocPiske said:

I tend to agree. I will use coup de gras with particularly vindictive or dangerous foes, to emphasize their bad-elfness. Most foes will only do so once the party has wiped and they want to loot the corpses. But that red dragon you attacked? She will absolutely make a point of stomping your corpse into the mud on the way to ravage the rest of the party.

Okay, that one I'll grant you.

 

The Green or Blue is more likely to keep you alive and interrogate (torture) you.

 

Megan has a tee, from gods know where, that has the slogan 'Mothers Against Drunk Dragons'....

 

The Auld Grump

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7 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Tomb of Horrors... I think it has its worth.

 

Not as any sort of part of a campaign, mind you.

But as a one-shot with new characters so the DM can be rewarded with an actual shot at victory for a change.

 

I'm thinking about running it for my gang once the campaign ends, to give me some time to prep the next campaign.

 

You clearly have a very different idea of 'shot at victory' for a DM means than I do.

 

I frequently - usually when the dice insure somebody's going to get nailed to a wall - remind my players that I, personally, am not out to get them. My monsters, however... they're another story. Unless convinced otherwise, my monsters will happily eat intruders (usually player characters) all day long.. so to speak. My 'win scenario' happens frequently - the players figure out what's going on, and work out a way around it that I didn't see coming. Everybody has fun, and usually, no one loses a character. Or, in my case, too many characters.

 

I've never played Tomb of Horrors, or ToEE. I don't think either would be my usual cup of tea, because as a player, I despise losing characters to stupidity, and all I have heard of both modules is that they are stacked in such a fashion that even a minor mistake can result in party-kills. 

As a GM, I don't like 'punishing' players for having the temerity to show up. That's not how I roll. :/

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34 minutes ago, Sylverthorne said:

 

You clearly have a very different idea of 'shot at victory' for a DM means than I do.

 

I frequently - usually when the dice insure somebody's going to get nailed to a wall - remind my players that I, personally, am not out to get them. My monsters, however... they're another story. Unless convinced otherwise, my monsters will happily eat intruders (usually player characters) all day long.. so to speak. My 'win scenario' happens frequently - the players figure out what's going on, and work out a way around it that I didn't see coming. Everybody has fun, and usually, no one loses a character. Or, in my case, too many characters.

 

I've never played Tomb of Horrors, or ToEE. I don't think either would be my usual cup of tea, because as a player, I despise losing characters to stupidity, and all I have heard of both modules is that they are stacked in such a fashion that even a minor mistake can result in party-kills. 

As a GM, I don't like 'punishing' players for having the temerity to show up. That's not how I roll. :/

 

1e Tomb of Horrors conveniently has a dozen or so pregenerated characters in the back. 

 

You would likely need them. 

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59 minutes ago, Sylverthorne said:

 

You clearly have a very different idea of 'shot at victory' for a DM means than I do.

 

I frequently - usually when the dice insure somebody's going to get nailed to a wall - remind my players that I, personally, am not out to get them. My monsters, however... they're another story. Unless convinced otherwise, my monsters will happily eat intruders (usually player characters) all day long.. so to speak. My 'win scenario' happens frequently - the players figure out what's going on, and work out a way around it that I didn't see coming. Everybody has fun, and usually, no one loses a character. Or, in my case, too many characters.

 

I've never played Tomb of Horrors, or ToEE. I don't think either would be my usual cup of tea, because as a player, I despise losing characters to stupidity, and all I have heard of both modules is that they are stacked in such a fashion that even a minor mistake can result in party-kills. 

As a GM, I don't like 'punishing' players for having the temerity to show up. That's not how I roll. :/

 

I'm with Sylverthorne on this.

 

I have no problem with Tomb of Horrors but I would only run it as a one-shot with the players fully aware that it was a grindmill scenario and that the whole point of the one-shot was to see how long they survived.  It wouldn't be for the purpose of rewarding the DM with a chance to win because honestly, if winning is a TPK, I can win at any time. 

 

Seriously, getting a TPK is trivially easy (I've even managed it when I wasn't even trying!).  Can any DM here honestly say that they couldn't find a way to kill their party of PCs if they were really trying?  And you don't even have to resort to ridiculous insta-kill traps ala the original Tomb of Horrors.  Getting a TPK can be achieved as easily as putting the PCs into a level inappropriate encounter.

 

The difficulty of the DMs job is not in killing the PCs - it's in taking the PCs to the point of death before they heroically succeed despite the odds.  Trying to find that thin line where the players feel as if their characters are really in danger of death - where the player starts to feel apprehension for their characters - but yet are still able to win through in the end.

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52 minutes ago, Jokemeister said:

 

I'm with Sylverthorne on this.

 

I have no problem with Tomb of Horrors but I would only run it as a one-shot with the players fully aware that it was a grindmill scenario and that the whole point of the one-shot was to see how long they survived.  It wouldn't be for the purpose of rewarding the DM with a chance to win because honestly, if winning is a TPK, I can win at any time. 

 

Seriously, getting a TPK is trivially easy (I've even managed it when I wasn't even trying!).  Can any DM here honestly say that they couldn't find a way to kill their party of PCs if they were really trying?  And you don't even have to resort to ridiculous insta-kill traps ala the original Tomb of Horrors.  Getting a TPK can be achieved as easily as putting the PCs into a level inappropriate encounter.

 

The difficulty of the DMs job is not in killing the PCs - it's in taking the PCs to the point of death before they heroically succeed despite the odds.  Trying to find that thin line where the players feel as if their characters are really in danger of death - where the player starts to feel apprehension for their characters - but yet are still able to win through in the end.

Grump calls that The Die Hard Effect.

 

A TPK means he miscalculated, and didn't see a way to recover.

 

It hasn't happened since we handfasted.

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9 hours ago, PaganMegan said:

Grump calls that The Die Hard Effect.

 

 

You've got to be careful with this idea in ways other than avoiding a TPK.  Not every player is keen on the idea that there is a requisite quantity of abuse they have to take in order to move things along.  I've seen DMs get trapped in the "this has been too easy for them" mentality and ruin games, even if the players were all otherwise  having a good time.

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I vote for 3.5e, or Pathfinder AKA D&D3.75 if that counts, which it should.  I have not played 5e FWIW, but I'd played every other edition dating back to (pre-red-box) Basic D&D, and the only one I hated was 4th ed., which we only played through one adventure of - if I wanted to play a D&D miniatures skirmish game, I'd have played DDM!  :poke:  

 

They lost me for good when they killed the printed Dungeon and Dragon magazines right after I'd re-upped both my subs.  Hence, zero interest in 5e even if it is better than 4th.  Our group switched seamlessly from 3.5 to Pathfinder when it came out, though I still have a lifetime's worth of 3.0/3.5 material in my collection of books and mags. 

 

Kang

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11 hours ago, Jokemeister said:

 

I'm with Sylverthorne on this.

 

I have no problem with Tomb of Horrors but I would only run it as a one-shot with the players fully aware that it was a grindmill scenario and that the whole point of the one-shot was to see how long they survived.  It wouldn't be for the purpose of rewarding the DM with a chance to win because honestly, if winning is a TPK, I can win at any time. 

 

Seriously, getting a TPK is trivially easy (I've even managed it when I wasn't even trying!).  Can any DM here honestly say that they couldn't find a way to kill their party of PCs if they were really trying?  And you don't even have to resort to ridiculous insta-kill traps ala the original Tomb of Horrors.  Getting a TPK can be achieved as easily as putting the PCs into a level inappropriate encounter.

 

The difficulty of the DMs job is not in killing the PCs - it's in taking the PCs to the point of death before they heroically succeed despite the odds.  Trying to find that thin line where the players feel as if their characters are really in danger of death - where the player starts to feel apprehension for their characters - but yet are still able to win through in the end.

My personal barometer is this: if you cant figure out how to work within the rules to TPK a party of any level with a group of kobolds, you need better familiarity with the rules and the D&D worldview in order to effectively DM. If you want to deliberately USE that ability, you should likely rethink what it means to be a DM.

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57 minutes ago, Kang said:

I vote for 3.5e, or Pathfinder AKA D&D3.75 if that counts, which it should.  I have not played 5e FWIW, but I'd played every other edition dating back to (pre-red-box) Basic D&D, and the only one I hated was 4th ed., which we only played through one adventure of - if I wanted to play a D&D miniatures skirmish game, I'd have played DDM!  :poke:  

 

They lost me for good when they killed the printed Dungeon and Dragon magazines right after I'd re-upped both my subs.  Hence, zero interest in 5e even if it is better than 4th.  Our group switched seamlessly from 3.5 to Pathfinder when it came out, though I still have a lifetime's worth of 3.0/3.5 material in my collection of books and mags. 

 

Kang

This is me as well. And while I'm running 2 Pathfinder campaigns, I'm currently playing in a 5E game. Don't much care for the system, but it's a good group.

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