Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

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@TheAuldGrump @Jokemeister

I can dig where you guys are coming from with your responses.  What do you guys do with plot hooks that your players dislike and want deleted?  Not, "oh we're putting off the ogre bandits to deal with another day."  Rather, "We are (for whatever reason) uncomfortable with, or otherwise strongly opposed to, the presentation of these ogre bandits, and would rather not have them featured in the game.  We don't want to be forced to deal with them in any capacity, period.  Come up with something else."

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19 minutes ago, VitM said:

@TheAuldGrump @Jokemeister

I can dig where you guys are coming from with your responses.  What do you guys do with plot hooks that your players dislike and want deleted?  Not, "oh we're putting off the ogre bandits to deal with another day."  Rather, "We are (for whatever reason) uncomfortable with, or otherwise strongly opposed to, the presentation of these ogre bandits, and would rather not have them featured in the game.  We don't want to be forced to deal with them in any capacity, period.  Come up with something else."

Well, ultimately that comes down to expectations for the group.  Players and the GM should have a conversation about what kind of game they enjoy and the ratio of the various parts (combat, exploration, social is how PF breaks it down IIRC).  If they are burned out on the whole dungeon crawl thing then maybe you go with a wilderness adventure or some city intrigue.

 

Maybe it's my gaming background, but I usually don't have many problems with going for adventure hooks.  I used to play every weekend, all weekend; multiple games and systems.  Many times we would shoe and ask "who's got something to run"?  And we would get someone who had a SLURP (homebrew fantasy ruleset) adventure and someone who has a Shadowrun game, or a Mech Warrior game.So we'd play through that and if we finished it, someone else would go, I've got an idea, why don't you go on a food run and give me 20-30 minutes to flesh it out.  Very infrequently did we ever have a complete cohesive overarching campaign (though Tim did sort of do that with some long running characters, but not everything they did was part the overarching plot).  So, I'm used to running games based upon what the players want to do, vice my detailed narrative.

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9 hours ago, VitM said:

@TheAuldGrump @Jokemeister

I can dig where you guys are coming from with your responses.  What do you guys do with plot hooks that your players dislike and want deleted?  Not, "oh we're putting off the ogre bandits to deal with another day."  Rather, "We are (for whatever reason) uncomfortable with, or otherwise strongly opposed to, the presentation of these ogre bandits, and would rather not have them featured in the game.  We don't want to be forced to deal with them in any capacity, period.  Come up with something else."

Most of that is actually handled in the pre-game. When the campaign is being set up.

 

I use what 7th Sea called The Other 100 Points - giving each player 100 points to split among possible directions for the campaign.

 

Then I take both the totals for each category, and what each individual player put into the categories.

 

For Beyond the Borderlands one of the categories was Exploration, another was Kingdom Building & Military - both came to about the same total, but Exploration was split pretty evenly through the group while there were a few really strong votes for Kingdom Building Military and most were less interested.

 

Likewise Romance had only a few votes, but all of those votes came from three players.

 

I figured that we had four players, it was likely that there would be some desire for Romance. As it turned out, two of those three that really wanted Romance were men - and one has been married for years. (Hi, Jon!) The one strong female vote is also the one person that actually reads mainstream romance novels.

 

So the problem doesn't actually come up that often.

 

The Auld Grump

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13 hours ago, VitM said:

@TheAuldGrump @Jokemeister

I can dig where you guys are coming from with your responses.  What do you guys do with plot hooks that your players dislike and want deleted?  Not, "oh we're putting off the ogre bandits to deal with another day."  Rather, "We are (for whatever reason) uncomfortable with, or otherwise strongly opposed to, the presentation of these ogre bandits, and would rather not have them featured in the game.  We don't want to be forced to deal with them in any capacity, period.  Come up with something else."

 

Believe it or not but this never actually happened with my group.  Even in situations where I only gave them 1 plot hook or said we were playing a published adventure, they always said "OK" and then kept on playing.  With that said, this is probably simply a result of that group being primarily a murder hobo group who's main motivation in going around killing monsters was to level up and grab "phat" loot.  Given their motivations, I think they would have accepted any plot hook that gave them a chance at murdering monsters. ::D:

 

Anyway, if I was in a situation where this happened, I would probably do my best to remove the plot hook entirely.  At the end of the day, the game is meant to be fun for everyone and if the players hate that hook, there isn't much point in forcing them through it.  If the players did hate a particular hook though, it's worth asking them why they hated the plot hook.  Hopefully, it's a very specific issue that can be easily fixed eg "I HATE ogres - most overused enemy EVAH" then the simple solution is just to change the enemy type and keep the hook.

 

I think the big concern is that the PCs are looking for a different style of game entirely.  In this case, I think it's worthwhile temporarily stopping the campaign so that everyone can go back to session zero and having a chat around the type of game that everyone wants to play.

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On 5/6/2017 at 8:07 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

Harder than it sounds - there is an emotional element that is difficult to ignore.

 

Basic D&D and its line (BECMI)were simpler systems - easy to get into, and easy to convert to later editions.

 

Not so great when it came to any form of skill use, aside from rogues doin' their thing.

 

1e AD&D... ... ... To this day I have mixed feelings about. The game was changing, even while in development - and there are lots of systems and subsystems which very few people actually used - even Gary Gygax skipped Weapon Speed Factors and the horrible, bad, godawful unarmed combat system.

 

Balance was poor to non existent.

 

2e AD&D was an improvement - and added some much needed systems for handling things outside of combat - but suffered from the 'don't even say demons or devils! syndrome. And some of the worst 'Splatbooks' that gaming has seen.

 

But it also had some really good settings - Birthright remains a model of world building, in my not at all humble opinion.

 

3e and its descendants is my favorite - going to a single unified skill/combat system, and becoming a lot more of a toolbox than the previous editions.

 

More complex, with systems that interlock - perhaps to too great a degree.

 

Neglecting one aspect could throw the entire campaign into unbalance - if you allow the PCs to have the '15 minute Adventuring Day' then the wizards, clerics and druids could dominate the game. But if you prevented this then the balance was good, not great, but much better than OD&D through 2nd edition.

 

Pathfinder handles it by bumping the non-spellcasting types up in power - in my campaigns, it is often the fighter that both takes and deals the most damage over the course of an adventuring day.

 

Setting wise - I cannot say enough nice things about Eberron.

 

4e... ... ... is where I have to be quiet - since I really do not have much nice to say about the game, though admittedly, that is in large part due to the really badly handled rollout and the fact that they scrapped it in mid course, and had to hurry it out in order to hit their deadline.

 

The three good things that I can say - Balance was good, scenario design was made much easier, and the idea (though not the execution) of Skill Challenges was good.

 

For the boardgames it was later used for, it was a very good game. For an RPG... it probably needed another year of work - and it really needed the online tools that it never really received.

 

I think that, in the end, the game designers had fallen too in love with their creation, and refused to see where it had weaknesses. (They kicked playtesters out if they complained about systems... and complaining about systems is part of the whole reason to have playtesters.)

 

5e... is the one that I have the least experience with. The one thing that hit me in a bad way during the playtests was skill and task resolution being... kind of weak.

 

About on par with the old BECMI system, compexity wise, up to the M but before the I. ::P:

 

Nothing against the system - I just don't play it - which is a very different thing from avoiding it. ::):

 

The Auld Grump - 4e was an exercise in how not to promote a game.

Watch out for the carrion crullers.

 

The Auld Grump - I would love a gaming cafe - but I have a weakness for running games in public - I have run at fast food restaurants, buffets, at the park, and in the main concourse at the mall....

 

Oh man, now I'm remembering college, when for a while our game was scheduled at a table in a wide spot in the hall which led to the weekly Hare Krishna dinner.

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On 5/9/2017 at 6:35 AM, VitM said:

@TheAuldGrump @Jokemeister

I can dig where you guys are coming from with your responses.  What do you guys do with plot hooks that your players dislike and want deleted?  Not, "oh we're putting off the ogre bandits to deal with another day."  Rather, "We are (for whatever reason) uncomfortable with, or otherwise strongly opposed to, the presentation of these ogre bandits, and would rather not have them featured in the game.  We don't want to be forced to deal with them in any capacity, period.  Come up with something else."

 

On the whole, I like to make adventures that are directly relevant to the PCs.  Along with that I try to assist them to come up with PCs that are rooted strongly in aspects of the world that will lend themselves to good adventures.  I also try to encourage the kind of cooperative party that's willing to help with each other's problems.

 

Taken together this produces several benefits.

1.  Lots of adventure hooks to draw upon. 

2.  Characters that fit into and therefore have an easier time affecting the game world.

3.  Everyone knowing that their characters will be central to some of the adventures.  Therefore, they tend to put more work into the characters which leads back to #1.

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I've been trying to do that with my group but only one of the four players has given me anything...

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So tonight in our D&D game we turned two vampire spawn into kabobs on a spiked palisade wall, then promptly beheaded them. Then we went on an undead murdering spree, where my dwarf physically assaulted a couple clerics trying to get them to cast remove curse on him so that in a few hours his head wouldn't fly off of his neck and start murdering people. Eventually one of them was able to cast remove curse on me and fix everything, but it made for some fun roleplaying as we rescued a couple clerics who were being overwhelmed and my next action was to run up to them, grab them, and start shaking them while I yelled "Cursed! Fix me!" And because of the curse, my face was beginning to sprout wings and take on a fiendish appearance.

 

Also, I had the magic ability to tell people what to roll and they would actually roll it until the very last roll of the game. We rolled a total of 9 criticals in the span of 3 hours. And it was amazing.

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The kids game continues to go well - they have managed to find the first location, and the wizard cast Detect Magic on the door even before the rogues had a chance to look for traps - sure enough, magic on the lock.

 

And a very complicated lock.

 

With the wizard remembering that the petrified evil rogue has a ring of keys, one of which looks to be the right size... and then they realized that the key itself looks like a map.... (I cheated, and used the key from the back of the 3e DMG.)

 

If they use the key as a map, they will be able to get in and out inside of maybe twenty minutes, and avoid a whole lot of traps and monsters. (And the prize at the end? Another key... for the next dungeon*.)

 

So, they are trucking back to town to depetrify the rogue and get his key. (And maybe the list of the parts of the maps that the thieves' guild has decrypted....)

 

The Auld Grump - a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and traveling....

 

* This key will do them no good whatsoever, except tell them that they are on the right track - someone has already busted down the doors and moved in.... and used the bits of the door to make barricades. Gobbos - lots of them, with bows and cover....

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Does anyone happen to have a link to the pennyarcade 5E intro fail that was mentioned a few months back?  Now that I have a copy of the 5E PHB and started reading it I'm kind of curious to watch how it went.  My google-fu is turning up many videos, but not in a manner that lets me easily identify the one I want to watch.

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Looking at what I have planned for the kids... this is gonna be brutal. (Not the dungeon for next week - the one after that, which they may or may not hit in the same session.)

 

The PCs won't be the only ones with fireball - and some of the gobbos will be able to chug some fire protection potions before the battle begins, so the gobber sorcerer isn't going to be all that careful with how he throws them....

 

The goblin witch will be ignoring the wounds on the goblins, keeping her healing for herself and her ogre henchthug - and throwing a lightning bolt or two if she can do it without risk.

.

Hopefully, the PCs will realize that they won't be able to finish the whole thing in one go - this won't be a battle, it will be a small war. There are more than fifty goblins in the place, not including character types, the goblin hounds, an ogre, and the barghest that acts as their chief. (Close enough to being a greater barghest that he may take the time to murder some of his own goblins, just to 'level up' for the party.) For that matter, the witch will not be all that careful about the barghest when it comes time to throw lightning bolts. (She neither likes nor trusts him, and thinks that she would make a better chief than he does.)

 

It is going to be a glorious chaotic mess!

 

The Auld Grump - I need to print out battle maps for this one....

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I still haven't see the video but I'll go ahead and drop a post about the edition change. I still stand by my earlier comments about finishing whatever adventure you are in the middle of before switching to the shiny new thing, But in the case where your corporate master says “switch now or be destroyed,” that luxury is lost.

 

As I mentioned a short time ago, I've just started really learning 5E (post playtest). When I picked a class to play I just glanced at all of the others and really read only the one I was going to make a character with. Now that I have a print copy (and for you print is dead people, I like my dead trees thank you very much) I've read through all of the classes. Between what I saw when I did the playtest and the comment many pages ago about a D&D rep failing to handle the situation where he revealed the Warlord class was gone, I assumed that a number of classes didn't make the transition. What I've found upon reading is that some of those missing classes were subsumed under traditional classes as options.

 

Were I the D&D person in the video I have never seen I would have said:

 

“So you like Warlords do you. Technically they don't exist as a class anymore but if you look at the fighter you'll see that they pick an archetype at 3rd level. One of those is the Battle Master which gets maneuvers to use in combat. See the first one, Commander's Strike? Yes it is the same idea as the Warlord's Commander's Strike power from the last edition; that's why it has the same name. In fact Distracting Strike, Goading Attack, Maneuvering Attack, and Rally are all basically things you were doing before. Sure the mechanic is a little different and you do lose your healing abilities, but you can still help your party fight better like you did with the Warlord last edition.”

 

or

 

“So the Avenger isn't a class anymore but if you look under Paladin you see that they take a Sacred Oath at 3rd level. One of those is the Oath of Vengeance and see that Vow of Enmity? Sure we called it Oath of Enmity last time. We had to change the name or else the previous edition could sue us for copyright infringement and we call it “advantage” now instead of saying “make two attack rolls” every time because we hadn't codified a phrase into a single word eight years ago, but you are still doing exactly the same thing. We even threw in some of the other powers as class features for you.”

 

or

 

“So you want to play a Warden? Well if you check out the Paladin you'll see they have an Oath of the Ancients...”

 

You get the idea. So if I can see this the first time I really read the book, why didn't the D&D guy make the sale? Battle Master uses the mechanic we played with during the playtest so it would give them a chance to show it off to the wider audience. Maybe they were worried the player would spend the rest of the episode saying “this isn't a Warlord,” but I wasn't in on the planning session.

 

But if you are just now making the switch and have a Warlord/Avenger/Warden/Swordmage in your party they do actually have a 5E option to try.

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Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide's "Purple Dragon Knight" fighter archetype (also referred to as a "Banneret" if you're using it outside of Forgotten Realms) covers some of the Warlord's ground as well.

 

Oddly enough, Volo's Guide To Monsters provides an NPC statblock for a Warlord.

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The Goblin Dungeon undergoing some big changes - and by big, I mean that it is getting another level, a Queen, and another King - with none of the monarchs actually being Goblins.

 

The first King is the barghest, soon to be greater barghest, the second is a Hag that can shapechange, and the third is a hill giant - the goblins call him king, feed him good, so he does what they say... (The two factions play him off against each other.)

 

At least one Stupid Goblin Trap that will involve a goblin log rolling on top of a barrel of Alchemist Fire, while carrying a torch - the gobbo will have to make Acrobatics checks - if he succeeds then he can ride it all the way to the bottom and light it on fire - ending up in flames. (*Boom!* Crackle, crackle, crackle!)

 

If he fails then he falls off, and ends up chasing the barrel to the bottom, where he throws his torch into the now shattered barrel - ending up in flames. (*Whoosh!* Crackle, crackle, crackle!)

 

If he fails by five or more then he falls off in front of the barrel, which rolls over him... (*Squish!*) The barrel will burst when it reaches the bottom, but with no torch to set it off just spays unlit alchemists fire everywhere. (Which may mean naptha soaked PCs later on, if they don't clean it off - so if they catch a fireball while soaked in naptha... Crackle, crackle, crackle!)

 

If he fails by ten or more then the he falls off in front of the barrel, which rolls over him, then gets stuck and catches on fire from his torch. (*Squish!* *Boom!* Crackle, crackle, crackle.... But the PCs are safe. ::P: )

 

Pathfinder goblins are silly creatures....

 

The main reason for the second level is that just as the PCs are breaking in, the two factions are beginning an open war in the great hall - which is where the Giant King holds 'court'.

 

Number of goblins climbing to around 175 - most of which are too busy setting themselves and each other on fire to really be a hazard for the PCs....

 

The Auld Grump - any ideas for more Stupid Goblin Traps?

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Speaking of traps I need some good ones for Kobolds... and maybe a good way to use some Urds.

 

There's a lot of nice jungle trails and open areas... and all I put down so far is a pit trap... mostly because it was already set up for the map. <_<

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