Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

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Posted (edited)

Tonight's session kicked off a new DM's stint in the chair. I played a dwarf abjuration wizard who's pretty much an elf. He's kind of a sociopath, too. He harbors a deep desire to kill, and for years he essentially isolated himself because of it in an attempt to learn to control his urges. But after a couple decades of that, and not having any change, he's decided that he can try to channel it by doing mercenary work. He gets to kill, and no one really cares all that much.

 

I thoroughly convinced my partymates that my wizard is not to be sent to engage in diplomacy. They sent me to talk to an elf wizard, and the way I went about it left my friends in damage control mode and the elf crapping himself. I sat down at his table unannounced and started the conversation with "People suck, don't they?" and followed it up by asking him if he had anything he wanted me to help him kill. Then when the elf said that he didn't trust me enough to tell me what was troubling him, I said distrusting me was a smart move because blind trust can get you killed. At that, the elf attempted to extricate himself by casting invisibility. 

 

Now, my wizard doesn't look like a stereotypical wizard. He's a burly dwarf in heavy armor who carries a big axe, not some waif in robes with a staff. So when I cast counterspell as the elf tried to get away, it was an unexpected development. And the elf practically pooped himself as his spell was shut down and a glowing field of energy formed around me. And I just laughed as I told him not to try running away...

 

I think I'm going to like playing Hogram. He's going to be fun! And we finally decided on a name for our adventuring group. We're Procurement Solutions GmbH: An Acquisitions Incorporated acquisition. I wanted it to just be Procurement GmbH, as a play on Acquisitions Inc, but the other members voted to add "Solutions" to the title as well.

 

In other news, when my turn comes to sit in the DM's chair again, I'm going to be running the group through the newly reprinted White Plume Mountain, since we'll be level 8 then and that's the level it's been printed at.

Edited by Unruly
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9 hours ago, Jokemeister said:

Level 4 and some healing in the party - they'll be fine!

Everyone but one of the rangers has healing spells, the bard has healing word and the other ranger has cure wounds. And they currently have 20 potions of healing, although the grungs and their poisons will probably also deplete that supply.

(they're kind of living it up right now because I neglected to adjust the treasure rewards from D&D Basic modules. Maybe I'll try and have a few hungry rust monsters wander out of the caverns to feed on some of that bling, ignoring their more valuable magic items and pricy armors)

 

9 hours ago, Jokemeister said:

Which isn't to say that letting the snakes bite the rats is a bad idea.  After all, if the party can think of a good loophole, that should be encouraged.  However, even if they let the snakes bite them, the damage doesn't seem like it would be crippling.

I hadn't really planned on there being any rats. Really, the only three living beings I considered in the area were the weak, faceless, corrupted Guardian Naga and the two surviving Histachi/Broodguards who mindlessly continue to tend to the corpses of the priest and acolytes of the temple.

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38 minutes ago, BlazingTornado said:

I hadn't really planned on there being any rats. Really, the only three living beings I considered in the area were the weak, faceless, corrupted Guardian Naga and the two surviving Histachi/Broodguards who mindlessly continue to tend to the corpses of the priest and acolytes of the temple.

I'm of two minds concerning the rats. Rats *should* be present, but mostly because snakes gotta eat after all, and rats are just the right size. Heck, rats are probably a popular Yuan-ti snack.

 

At the same time, you don't want the snakes to accidentally open secret passages at feeding time. Or maybe you do and that's the whole idea as rat *and* snake are the keys.

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Well it's a bit of a "it's magic, I don't have to explain it" but the snakes aren't really living snakes. They function as live ones but require no food, sleep or activity. They are just the mechanisms that open and close the doors.

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Over the next few days (including today) three of my main players are all getting birthdays....

 

Including my good lady, who has hers tomorrow. (I am going to get her goat... literally - a haunch of goat, grilled over coals, and served with  yogurt.)

 

So, we are having an impromptu game at the park tomorrow, goat and all.

 

The Auld Grump - so happy looking forward to that that I almost used my actual name. ::):

Tonight's game, on the other hand, is all about tormenting the kids - they have split up the party, and one of them has come to the attention of somebody that is after the same secret that the party is - the halfling is gonna be kidnapped tonight!

 

The Auld Grump

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Well, the kids managed to rescue the halfing - in spite of the efforts of the halfing's player.

 

To keep the kid in the game, I gave him control of an apprentice alchemist for the thieves guild that had captured his character.

 

The 'apprentice' was wanting to step into his 'master's' shoes if the old [bleep!] died - so he was kind of indiscriminate as to where he threw his bombs... hitting PCs and his master both, when possible.

 

The scheme to rescue the halfing was well thought out - and took advantage of there being so many PCs - they found both the entrance and the secret escape tunnel before making their attack. (The wizards is from the city - and had points in Knowledge [Local]. ::): )

 

And now the players know that there are at least three factions - them, the thieves guild, and the dragon... but still have no idea what the dragon is guarding. ::P

 

The Auld Grump

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On 4/11/2017 at 6:51 AM, BlazingTornado said:

Everyone but one of the rangers has healing spells, the bard has healing word and the other ranger has cure wounds. And they currently have 20 potions of healing, although the grungs and their poisons will probably also deplete that supply.

I forgot to mention they also have a staff of healing.

 

I still need to figure out treasure rewards for this. Not even worth my time to put in monetary treasure so it'll probably be a handful of magic items. A ring of protection buried under a glowing beetle sculpture, a +1 weapon down the murky swamps... Not sure what else would be useful yet balanced for a party of four adventurers on their way to level 5 (Ranger 1 has two +1 handaxes as secondary weapons, Cleric has a +1 mace and a +1 shield, Bard has an Elven Chain, a +1 dagger she never uses and carries the Staff Of Healing, and Ranger 2 just joined up so she hasn't acquired anything yet).

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Posted (edited)

On 2017-03-03 at 5:32 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

Then again, I had read the original Howard stories, and those by deCamp, more than a decade before seeing the Arnie movie - so my expectations might have been for something that implied that the screenwriter had read the danged books.

 

 

I remember reading that when Ironman came to film, Robert Downy had read the original script and asked the screenwriters if they'd read any ironman comics.

 

Nope

 

So these guys think that they can do better than a creation that has survived forty plus years as one of the most popular comics out there without even analyzing what makes it iconic and/or popular, and have the character stay at least a little true to the original? Sounds like a recipe for disaster (Fantastic four) to me. Fortunately, the star of the piece managed to call them on it. 

 

I'm not sure what flavor of professional arrogance makes Hollywood screenwriters look down on so many sources of media. Comics certainly, but like Grumpy mentioned, Conan and a lot of other pulp era stuff isn't treated well, along with anything derived from animation. The problem has gotten better the last decade though.

 

-----

 

I think I'm going to have to name 5th as my favorite D&D. I don't like the books - formatting is nowhere near as nice a 3. The classes aren't as balanced as fourth, but fourth was a wargame with roleplaying aspects tacked on. In fifth life isn't fair, you have to decide to frontload your power (Fighter,) gain it later in class progression (Wizard,) or swallow your inner diva and support the party (Cleric, bard.) Not unlike real life, but it isn't as out of whack as 3rd.

Edited by Club
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13 hours ago, Club said:

 

I remember reading that when Ironman came to film, Robert Downy had read the original script and asked the screenwriters if they'd read any ironman comics.

 

Nope

 

So these guys think that they can do better than a creation that has survived forty plus years as one of the most popular comics out there without even analyzing what makes it iconic and/or popular, and have the character stay at least a little true to the original? Sounds like a recipe for disaster (Fantastic four) to me. Fortunately, the star of the piece managed to call them on it. 

 

I'm not sure what flavor of professional arrogance makes Hollywood screenwriters look down on so many sources of media. Comics certainly, but like Grumpy mentioned, Conan and a lot of other pulp era stuff isn't treated well, along with anything derived from animation. The problem has gotten better the last decade though.

-----

Can't say I understand the reasoning behind what seems to be deliberate ignorance/avoidance of source material, but sometimes it works, while others who do follow the source material fail.

 

For example, the Conan movie is a classic in its genre (second one is meh), and then think of Watchmen which was very close to the source material, and it flopped in the eyes of the general public unfamiliar with the setting (Zack Snyder's style *was* a good fit for it). 60s TV Batman was a campy success, yet the original detective comics were anything but campy (took 15-20 years to get back to serious stuff). Tarzan has been through many, many incarnations (none have ever been accurate IMO) with various degrees of success.

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1 hour ago, Cranky Dog said:

think of Watchmen which was very close to the source material, and it flopped in the eyes of the general public unfamiliar with the setting

In regards to Watchmen, I saw this quoted somewhere so I've no idea who to attribute it to, but it sums up my thoughts on it: "I've never seen a movie adapted so faithfully while missing its point so completely".

 

3 hours ago, Cranky Dog said:

60s TV Batman was a campy success, yet the original detective comics were anything but campy

The 60s Batman comics were campy (they were an era where Batman ran into more than his fair share of aliens!), and even the old Kane/Finger 30s and 40s Batman comics had their fair share of camp. Batman was dishing out goofy one-liners even before Robin joined up and it had stories with faceless men and flowers with human faces on em and villains with Napoleon complexes riding in war dirigibles...

 

As for Conan, it did its own thing but one can hardly say it was written and directed by people unfamiliar with the source material. It diverged a lot yet retained a lot of the tone and feel and there's plenty of scenes that pretty directly take inspiration from the classic tales.

I love both the film and the old stories. I'd love to run or participate in a campaign in such low-fantasy settings.

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So I managed to kill about half+ of the party last week, mostly with a poison gas trap. Including the leader of the party, the 5th level dwarf! He only needed a 7 on his SECOND saving throw to survive. Rolled a 6. 

http://towerofthearchmage.blogspot.com/2017/04/stonehell-blood-bad-gas-and-lizards.html

 

I love old school D&D....

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1 hour ago, BlazingTornado said:

The 60s Batman comics were campy (they were an era where Batman ran into more than his fair share of aliens!), and even the old Kane/Finger 30s and 40s Batman comics had their fair share of camp. Batman was dishing out goofy one-liners even before Robin joined up and it had stories with faceless men and flowers with human faces on em and villains with Napoleon complexes riding in war dirigibles...

 

As for Conan, it did its own thing but one can hardly say it was written and directed by people unfamiliar with the source material. It diverged a lot yet retained a lot of the tone and feel and there's plenty of scenes that pretty directly take inspiration from the classic tales.

I love both the film and the old stories. I'd love to run or participate in a campaign in such low-fantasy settings.

True, Silver Age comics had their fair share of silliness (by today's standards), but the Batman TV series purposely pushed it to new extremes (and it worked!).

 

Hmm, after a bit of research, it looks like some of the episodes were exactly faithful to the source material, but with an added level of camp. Afterwards, the comic books had new fans that expected that new level of silliness.

 

More recently, the Teen Titans animation was far more popular than the comic book ever was and the differences are immense.

 

In the end, being faithful to the source is neither always good nor always bad.

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45 minutes ago, Cranky Dog said:

True, Silver Age comics had their fair share of silliness (by today's standards), but the Batman TV series purposely pushed it to new extremes (and it worked!).

 

Hmm, after a bit of research, it looks like some of the episodes were exactly faithful to the source material, but with an added level of camp. Afterwards, the comic books had new fans that expected that new level of silliness.

 

More recently, the Teen Titans animation was far more popular than the comic book ever was and the differences are immense.

 

In the end, being faithful to the source is neither always good nor always bad.

 

By the very early 1970s, when I started reading the comics, Batman had gone all serious and dark and I loved it.  Rā's al Ghul (pronounced "raze" or "rage" but not, as so many on the current TV shows say, "roz"), Talia, grimdark, yum.  I suspect it was in reaction to the campy stuff, which felt like a relic from the 1930s.

 

I hope to goodness you do not mean "Teen Titans Go".  

 

It certainly is ... different ... from Marv Wolfman and George Pérez' New Teen Titans, on which it is based, I will grant you that.  Making the tormented half-demon Raven into a pouty goth and -- especially -- making the proud alien warrior princess Starfire into some sort of giggly girl thing played for laughs like Urusei Yatsura is indeed a dramatic change.

 

Part of the reason Alan Moore's "Watchmen" succeeded so well was that he was suprememly unfaithful to the ridiculousness of the original source material, the superheroes of Charlton comics, whilst and at the same time giving the utmost respect to their internal logic and how they would behave if someone really intelligent and well-read were basing a story on them.

 

But changing a well-loved comic needs to be done for good reasons.

 

 

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Looping back to the original thread theme: How about them changes to the D&D campaign settings when 4e came out, huh! HUH?!

 

Now there's some changes to the original source material that didn't go down well.

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Isn't that a thing that happens with each edition?

 

5th edition completely changed Orogs, Bhargests, Urds.....

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