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Best Version of DnD?


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3 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Dark Sun?


With Dark Sun, there simply are no gods and no religions at all, rather than there being a situation where the gods are silent and so different cultures have developed their own religions to fill the gap. It's not quite the same as having a god, then something happening that causes the god to fall silent for centuries, which results in their followers being forced to interpret things and that spawns whole new religions.

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You know, there's nothing quite like providing the party with a Cloak of the Manta Ray in an earlier delve and then having one PC use it to scout ahead in the floating water tunnel in White Plume Mountain and getting utterly ravaged by Sir Bluto and his men while the rest of the party waits. And then when the rest of the party goes in with the kayaks, they're one player short as these very powerful armored warriors swarm in on them.

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Playing at the board game café, seven players, with a couple of beginners, one was at his first game of tabletop ever. New player made a halfling rogue/assassin who did a lot of hiding and sneak attacking. I play a halfling sorcerer fond of illusions.


Classic story, PCs are hired extra guards for a fort overlooking a passage. Waves of goblins are attacking. I use Silent Image to create a dragon head poking over the wall and cast Fire Bolt through it to emulate a breath weapon. My halfling voiced roars were not very intimidating, so no special advantage. Fairy Fire spells are cast on the goblins to make them sparkly. Are dark elf (evil elf, not drow) taskmaster was leading the goblins and was one tough cookie (dropped a PC). We eventually manage to beat the goblins, but soon hear war drums in the distance where armies await.


Reporting to the base commander, they can hold off the attacks for only a few more days so need reinforcements. There's an ancient tunnel that runs through the mountains that'll allow us to reach the next garrison in time, so the PCs are sent. As soon as we enter, we find tracks for giant lizards at certain intersection, and avoid those paths. We get led to a dwarf's tomb, where the half-orc fighter and halfling assassin disregard common sense and loot the tomb (which had writings mentioning eternal grudges), despite the warnings of the "good" characters who stayed back. Half-orc gets stabbed by a pressure plate trap but gets a magic heavy axe; and halfling gets cursed golden bracers. Following thew tunnel, we find bird tracks. And find a subterranean species of ostrich :blink: who attacks us. I cast a Silent Image of another ostrich and improvise a mating dance similar to exotic dancers with those big feather fans. As I gesticulate the movements of the ostrich, everyone lost it (we were in tears) when I said my stripper name is Cave Ostrich. After catching our breaths, and several stories about bachelor parties, we quickly dispatch the ostrich, I find three eggs, and through another side tunnel, we find an exit and are able to sneak by the enemy army.

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It's inching ever closer to release! :D



Meanwhile, today I ran my first in-person game since... September 2015... for six co-workers. Two of them had experience with older editions of D&D and the other four were complete newbies. One of the old schoolers had a massive haul of old prepainted miniatures so he provided pretty much everything.

A good time was had by all so I guess I must be a half-decent DM. Some even snapped pictures during the game. I have none to show off, but have all my pre-game notes.


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I need advice.

My players are in White Plume Mountain and have not even reached a single weapon. After going through the metal-heating corridor, fighting off the ghouls, dealing with the frictionless room and having to fight off Sir Bluto and his henchmen, they made it to the inverted ziggurat...

And just proceeded to not do much. I mean they discussed strategy, split the party poking around the top level, which left two members completely outmatched when a Random Encounter black pudding oozed their way... Anywho two heavily damaged suits of plate armor later...

The bard uses her means of animal communication to try to reason with the giant crayfish. And fails. (one player had a blast listening to his interaction because he felt my having the animals be single-minded about considering the adventurers as food and even referring to them as "the food" was the perfect interpretation of a creature with an intelligence of 1). Then she gets fed up, wastes a spell slot on a Thunderwave which makes the glass shatter, the crayfish drop to the lower floor while the giant scorpions scatter to the now-less-watery upper level.

And then she tries speak with animals with the scorpions, also a 1 int. Same result.

And then the cleric just gets tired and starts using offensive cantrips on the creatures, which he'd done before but I let it slide... this time he was literally saying "They won't come get us if we stand against the wall, they won't come get us."...

So after a near-TPK avoided basically thanks to some nat 1s from the giant scorpion's stingers, they escape that room and shut the door.


Now they want to either set up camp in the secret passageway or Sir Bluto's guardpost, wait it out until they're fully rested and their spells get restored.

I think that's a bit bull. This is a dungeon, a funhouse dungeon at that... there shouldn't really BE any place where they're safe, it's all a playhouse for Keraptis' amusement...


So what should I do? Have random encounters constantly happen and prevent them from resting? (they happen on a roll of 1 on a d12 every 10 minutes) Should I have Nix and Nox show up and take them away for conversion while Keraptis taunts their failure? Should I have Keraptis teleport them out of the place and make the entrance vanish, branding them as failures in the process?

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I think that the point Megan was trying to make was not whether they can heal - but whether the game will be better if they don't get to heal and get spells back.


For myself, I would be asking - is there a good reason that they can't rest and recover - and will the game be better if I force them to soldier on?


*EDIT* Better in this instance just means 'more fun'.


That said - I don't play the same edition that you do - and it seems very unlikely that I ever will. (Sometimes the best advertising for a game you already play is someone talking about a game that you don't.)


The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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I don't want a TPK.


Hell if I hadn't fudged a few times over the past few sessions, TPK would have happened already.

I'm always fudging things during encounters. I think Matt Colville describes it as "curating the experience".

The Sir Bluto encounter would've been a TPK but I depowered his henchmen a bit, fudged a few rolls and everyone seemed to have a good time with the encounter.


But it was still hard because of a bad decision to split the party.

Yesterday was also just a lot of BAD decisions on the player's behalf, from splitting the party three ways to wasting a lot of ressources (seriously, three uses of Speak with Animals!!) trying to reason with 1 int beasts to the cleric constantly trying to just taunt the beasts to leave their enclosure and "fight me bro".

And they don't want to retreat to the safety of Dead Gnoll's Eye Socket, rest and restrategize, they want to rest IN THE DUNGEON.

This means:

A) random encounters (the area they want to rest in is defendable but not impregnable)

B) spending eight hours leaving the rope they NEED to get back past the frictionless room completely unattended, so they'll have no way out without contracting super-tetanus if it gets disabled (and really in eight hours, something's gonna find it)


There's only so much I can do to curate the experience without making it blatant that they are just playing on Easy Mode and no bad decision results in dire consequences.

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Hi everyone,

I have read a part of this topic and found interesting things.

I did not know there xas a monster builder program (offline) for 4thE. I'm desperately lokking for it, if anyone has it...Otherwide i will crate a topic just for this.

Thanks ! ::):

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So the party made it out of White Plume Mountain reasonably safe... The worst thing that happened, really, was when the neglected to send someone with light ahead in the frictionless room so the poor human fighter ended up nearly falling into the super-tetanus spikes, because he couldn't see when the frictionless floor ended and the pit started.

(and it's not my fault for not reminding them, we use Roll20 with dynamic lighting so they could see the darkness ahead!)


One long-rest briefly disturbed by Warduke, and a bunch of contested draws from the Deck of Many Things (cleric has 2 wishes, lost 3 Intelligence and can level up if he solos the next encounter, ranger got the fates and managed to reverse the slaughter of his dragonborn tribe with it), they've ventured back in...




The next 5th Edition splatbook has been announced:

Mordenkainen's Tome Of Foes



Basically another lore + mechanics book, on one hand describing all the "universal conflicts" like elves vs drow and dwarves vs duergar and devils vs demons and gith vs mindflayers (and themselves) plus some new statblocks (including many more intended for high level play) and some new race and subrace options.

I'm on the fence... If a good chunk of the book is dedicated to stat blocks I might get it but if it's an afterthought it just won't be as worthwhile as Volo's Guide To Monsters or Xanathar's Guide To Everything.

Edited by BlazingTornado
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