Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

704 posts in this topic

On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 11:06 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

I have been informed that I tend to play rascals, ne'er do wells, flirts, religious zealots, and elfholes.... (Swashbucklers, wizards, paladins, and magi, for Pathfinder. Nearly all some flavor of Good.)

 

The kids game went exactly as planned - and was followed by the party fleeing from a dragon that was a good deal less powerful than the one that they beat just a few weeks ago. ::P:

 

They also took a whole lot of damage while running away, mostly from the breath weapon - if I hadn't had the dragon turn off when they reached the edge of the swamp, it might have been a TPK.

 

If it sounds like I was being either overly cruel (chasing them with a dragon), or overly kind (letting them get away), then don't worry - in a few weeks they are going to need to talk with the dragon - who is a cranky old curmudgeon, that does not like trespassers. (Which is why he chased them off, rather than killed them - to warn others away from his swamp.)

 

The Auld Grump

You've been reading Famer Giles again, haven't you?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, after a villain used his own vile means to escape them and brought back the witches once more... the indecisive player complained about how it was bullstuff, I told him off, called the game off there, see you guys next week. This is hardly the first time he complained about me using what the module provides me for the villains' own possible success.

 

But this led to both he and the powergamer to quit. They were decent guys but tedious to DM for because powergamer wants to "beat" D&D and the other just wants "interactive Skyrim".

 

These guys just expect adversaries to sit still until it's time to fight, and then fight to the death, and get pissy when something else happens.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an hour ago, I and my kids finished our first session of Dungeon World.  We generated our characters in minutes (Human Paladin, Halfling Fighter, Elf Wizard) and ran through a completely improvised session, as we picked up the rules.  We fought a group of were-rats coming up through the catacombs to the assassinate the paladin in the chapel he ran.   An evil plan was thwarted, were-rats were defeated, bonds were forged, and the wizard saw a brief glimpse of eternity.  And all this was DM-ed by... my daughter.

 

This whole thing ran much smoother than our last Pathfinder session.  The boys were engaged nearly from the start, and there was no waiting for turns or downtime as we worked out the rules or re-explained the situation for each turn because people's attention faded.  I don't know how it'll play out for a campaign, but for now, we've found our "version" of D&D.

 

(We found we still very much have a use for minis, even for a narrative game without a ruler or grid -- the theatre of the mind stuff goes only so far in telling who is where, facing what.)

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand wanting to "beat" the game. I mean, that's part of the reason why everyone plays. No one wants to play a campaign where you always fail. But at the same time, failure happens. Heck, I "failed" in my most recent session as DM by not paying enough attention to one of the enemy spell lists and not realizing that she had counterspell prepared. That allowed one of the players to hit her with dispel magic, which dropped her Fly and Mage Armor spells and made her plummet 40 feet out of the air, almost killing her outright and landing her prone at the feet of two of the players. I got a bit mad at myself for not catching that at the time, but at the same time I know that if I had countered the dispel that the fight probably would have been a wipe because my players are woefully unprepared for ranged fighting. They're a barbarian, a fighter, and a cleric with an NPC rogue that's 4 levels behind. Only the cleric has any reliable ranged options, which I think I've made apparent in the last couple sessions because they've fought 3 flying enemies who have simply cast spells from a distance until they found some other way to bring them to the ground.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Unruly said:

I can understand wanting to "beat" the game. I mean, that's part of the reason why everyone plays. No one wants to play a campaign where you always fail.

This is so true!

 

BUT, there is a huge difference between wanting to triumph against your enemies, and 'beating' the DM....

 

This is one of the advantages of a group that has been together for a while. We moan at the fact that we keep getting critted while our own dice suck, but that is the way the world works at times...

 

Of course, there are the nights that the DMs dice suck....:devil:

 

It can take time to find the group that works well together as a group, and that includes a DM (or DMs) that seem to have the same approach to PLAYING THE GAME.

 

There are times when people forget that we are playing a game, for the mutual enjoyment of playing a game, in a social setting, with our friends.

There are other times when things just don't 'click' on certain nights for what ever reason....

 

In these circumstances, my group, which meets once a month at most, we stop playing the current game, and do something else.

 

It may be that we watch a movie, play Munchkin or some other "Beer and Pretzels" game. 

Sometimes, we just hang out and talk about 'shoes and sips and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings'....

Usually humorous accounts of games past, but it could be anything....

 

There are certain stories that never get old....

 

Off topic Ramble...

 

Back in college, I made my own DM screen, using the different charts that we used in our games. The outside I covered with blank parchment paper.

It became a tradition that "Gamers quotes" either chosen by me, or the group, got inscribed on the outside of the screen.....

The quotes were often stuck on the outside of the screen with post its before they were inscribed...

(Yes, I just went and spent 20 minutes looking for the thing!)

 

Some were from books as well....

and cartoons....

 

Examples:

  • "You're unconscious, now role play!"
  • "Druid! Help the Ranger! He's stuck in a TREE!"
  • "just lie there and try not to bleed to much...."
  • 3.5 Update, the DM says "on segment 1..." "the party in unison "ELF!!!!"
  • 3.5 Update, the DM says "on segment 30... "the party in unison "ELF!!!!"
  • The thief-"A short life, but a merry one?", The Gladiator- No, not really as I spend most of it Unconscious..."58d74dcff2476_dmscreen.thumb.jpg.d1e341ae97f417cddf2d3afb6e629ff5.jpg"

Scan of 1 page as an example....

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Unruly said:

I can understand wanting to "beat" the game. I mean, that's part of the reason why everyone plays. No one wants to play a campaign where you always fail. But at the same time, failure happens. Heck, I "failed" in my most recent session as DM by not paying enough attention to one of the enemy spell lists and not realizing that she had counterspell prepared.

 

I'm with you there Unruly. I often just forget about features of even the simplest of monsters (Zombies have a con save that allows em not to die just yet?) in the heat of the action but I never "rewind" the game. It is my own failure and I take it in stride, congratulate the players on besting the encounter and move on.

 

They seem to usually take the failure of the dice in stride... but never their own failures, or my own clever use of the dungeon environment.

And it's not like it leads to TPKs or a complete failure on the party's part. The villain played smart but ultimately the heroes still killed him and freed all the charmed or body-swapped elves! And they found a friendly sentient +1 mace!

 

1 hour ago, knarthex said:

There are times when people forget that we are playing a game, for the mutual enjoyment of playing a game, in a social setting, with our friends.

I agree. Some DMs might consider this blasphemy but I very often fudge in the players' favor! Because sometimes things just go a bit too sour and they are a bit too doomed and I'm a guy that loves D&D for the storytelling and I don't have fun telling a story where all the heroes die.

Even this, it was so climactic, because they'd just triggered a secret door, and right behind it, there's the four villains, the three witches in their fresh bodies, and the heroes right there, literally between them and the macguffin they want. And I'm beaming and overjoyed and thinking to myself "This is awesome! So perfect! An epic final confrontation!", and then one player asks "Where did he get that new host body for the third witch?" and the complainy guy who never sticks with a character says "from bullstuff". And it's not the first time he pulled this, either. Everytime something seems to deviate from running the game the same way a video game might be programmed (where nothing happens unless the player is there to trigger it), he got his underoos all bunched up.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, yes. Because game worlds are not living things that can and will change if the players aren't paying attention...

And gods help you if your villains /learn/... It doesn't always do mine any good, but it has led to some hilarious exchanges.

 

You are, by the way, not the only one who occasionally 'misreads' a roll in the player's favor. I don't do it often, but if I pulled a TPK, it wouldn't be much fun. Still ... the risk of a Horrible Demise must remain real, so I off one every once in a while to keep them sharp....

 

It's a shame to lose players, but you might find things smoother without that pair. If they can't adjust, they will probably be happier with another group.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In other news, just over a week and the new Tomb of Horrors drops! I have my copy on preorder, and I can't wait to have it in my fat, grubby hands. I mean, I also want the book for the remake of Against the Giants, but Tomb of Horrors is the really big one.

Edited by Unruly
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm trying to wrap my head (and story) around a player who wants to come back to the campaign.

 

I first started to build a DnD group 2.5 years ago, only with my bf and a friend from high school, who coincidentally moved to the same city as I  in tow. The latter was super hyped for the whole idea, he always wanted to play, but it's kinda hard to find groups around here, since DnD isn't translated into our language anymore and so on.

Long story short, he brought a friend from his uni, I asked his sister (who isn't really the 'nerd' type but super into fantasy novels) and finally the two guys that know each other from uni brought another of their fellow students.

 

Scheduling was always a huge pain, since my high school friend is super busy and his gf doesn't like him playing DnD with us. She always demanded some sort of compensation for the saturday lost.

 

We ran through LMoP pretty much scheduling around him, but it worked okay-ish.

 

We then started our new campaign in January, and all the players made new characters for the first time. They were all pretty excited, especially the high school friend, since a lot of them never connected with the premade they picked.

 

I took some time to talk each character over, and when I got to that high school friend ... he hadn't even started looking at the books. We created a human sorcerer together, which took ofc way longer than what I'd planned. He promised to fill in the blanks (like a name for his character and some back story elements).

 

Well, he turned up on the first session without a name -.- Which was pretty golden, since he complained about wanting to RP more and people staying in character and similar stuff before.

He then decided to drop out after the first session, which was kind of a blow.

 

Sooo, he NOW wants to come back, but his character isn't with the party ofc. It might also take some time for them to come to some sort of hub and join up with him, since they are in the middle of the Underdark right now. I offered to have him play a NPC that is with the party right now, and message me to talk about his character and what had he been up to (and finally a name maybe?). He did not do that. He also let us know in group chat yesterday morning, that he wouldn't be joining us for our session, since he only wanted to play "his" character.

 

Needless to say, I'm kinda annoyed and not really motivated to let him play with us. But at the same time, I do like him, and we're all friends with him. Also, I kinda fear he will bring down the group a bit, which has been developing into a more RP focussed team quite nicely, and he tends to be the type who ridicules and laughs when he is embarassed by a situation (but still demands more role play).

I'm kinda at a loss here.

 

Whoops, that got longer than expected. Sorry. /vent over

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Unruly said:

In other news, just over a week and the new Tomb of Horrors drops! I have my copy on preorder, and I can't wait to have it in my fat, grubby hands. I mean, I also want the book for the remake of Against the Giants, but Tomb of Horrors is the really big one.

I'm pretty excited.

 

Heck most of what's in that book that's pre-3rd edition looks pretty exciting. I'm even debating holding off the game or doing one-shots and running the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan instead of Dwellers of the Forbidden City. Much as I love the idea of city-dwelling with Yuan-Ti and Bullywugs and Bugbears and even an old Chinese dragon... and especially adore that one "you come up with it" adventure hook of the Yuan-Ti striking a deal with a Lovecraftian horror.

 

Aside from "it'll be quick to convert", I don't get why a Next module was worth including in there, though. I think they said they'd make it more "campaign-neutral" so it might be worthwhile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mind that they put 3rd edition modules in there. I mean, there's still enough conversion between 3rd and 5th that it isn't a bad thing. But yea, putting a Next module from the playtest into the book is kind of a cop-out. Yes, things changed during the test that may make it less than 100% compatible with 5th, but from what I've heard it isn't enough to make that big of a difference.

 

That said, I would love if they continued putting out further Tales from the Yawning Portal style books. Make it into a series of books, and have each one work in some popular older modules from 1/2e. Like, the next one could have Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and the Drow series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At a guess, that Next adventure is there because something else wasn't - an adventure that did not convert over as easily as hoped, a designer that had to drop out at the last minute... The Next adventure was edit ready, and could be plugged in with little extra work.

 

Not a complaint, by the way, having a 25 page hole in your project is something that needs to be fixed ASAP.

 

The Auld Grump - heck, I remember Reaper having to do a last minute substitution in the first Bones KS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Nunae said:

Needless to say, I'm kinda annoyed and not really motivated to let him play with us. But at the same time, I do like him, and we're all friends with him. Also, I kinda fear he will bring down the group a bit, which has been developing into a more RP focussed team quite nicely, and he tends to be the type who ridicules and laughs when he is embarassed by a situation (but still demands more role play).

I'm kinda at a loss here.

 

Ultimately, I think you have to decide whether you and your group's fun would be increased if he were to show up. From your description, it sounds very much like it would not, but I'm not there.

 

If you decide to invite him, I'd recommend having a long and specific talk about your expectations and the problems you've seen in his previous actions and at the end ask him what he plans to do differently this time.

 

And perhaps the better choice would be to play boardgames with him every once in a while, or go out to dinner as a group, or play a miniatures game like Frostgrave that has roleplaying elements, or do something else that isn't playing the game that the rest of you have built up.

 

HTH

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

I agree. Some DMs might consider this blasphemy but I very often fudge in the players' favor! Because sometimes things just go a bit too sour and they are a bit too doomed and I'm a guy that loves D&D for the storytelling and I don't have fun telling a story where all the heroes die.

 

 

I personally have no problem with fudging in the players' favor and used to do it all the time.  The thing is - creating balanced encounters is really hard.  You want the encounter to challenge the party which means that there has to be a risk of death but not such a huge risk that there is a TPK.  That's a pretty thin line to walk and no matter how good you are at creating encounters, it can be very easy for some random luck (i.e. great DM rolls and poor PC rolls) to upend everything and make the risk of a TPK very real.

 

To be fair, I have no problems with TPKs.  If the party acts stupidly, I am more than happy to kill the entire party off.  However, having a TPK from poor dice rolls in a combat encounter isn't fun for anyone.

 

16 hours ago, Nunae said:

Sooo, he NOW wants to come back, but his character isn't with the party ofc. It might also take some time for them to come to some sort of hub and join up with him, since they are in the middle of the Underdark right now. I offered to have him play a NPC that is with the party right now, and message me to talk about his character and what had he been up to (and finally a name maybe?). He did not do that. He also let us know in group chat yesterday morning, that he wouldn't be joining us for our session, since he only wanted to play "his" character.

 

Needless to say, I'm kinda annoyed and not really motivated to let him play with us. But at the same time, I do like him, and we're all friends with him. Also, I kinda fear he will bring down the group a bit, which has been developing into a more RP focussed team quite nicely, and he tends to be the type who ridicules and laughs when he is embarassed by a situation (but still demands more role play).

 

 

Some great advice already.

 

In addition, you might want to start off by simply asking him to finish creating his character and backstory and send it through to you (this would include the name and some possible reasons why his PC is in the Underdark).  Tell him that once he has done that, then you can start thinking about how to integrate his PC into the story and how his PC meets up with the rest of the party.

 

This puts the onus back on him first.  If he actually does this, at least it tells you that he might be serious this time around at which point, you can then sit down with him and have the conversation around expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now