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Best Version of DnD?


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@BlazingTornado

 

Looking at your various responses and the responses from your party, it does occur to me that you might need to go back and sit down with your group to discuss the kind of game they want to play.

 

The reason I'm saying this is that I'm getting the feeling that you are interested in the RP side and in running a story based campaign - with developing heroes, villains and possibly even an overarching campaign if you can develop it out of events that happen in game.  For example, you specifically mentioned enjoying developing a personality for the villain and interest in the villain being a recurring character as well as considering running Rahasia.

 

On the other hand, it feels like your group just want a dungeon delve experience where they are a bunch of murder hobos who wander into dungeons and kill everything before looting the place.  In particular, it feels like the powergamer you previously talked about fits very much into this.

 

I'm guessing you already did this with them but from the recent posts, I'm wondering if maybe people weren't fully candid during that initial conversation.  Possibly, they really only wanted a murder hobo game but didn't want to say that as they got the feeling you were interested in more than that.  Or maybe they were afraid there was a stigma attached to only wanting to play murder hobos.  Obviously, I don't know your group and I'm throwing out random thoughts here but it may be something worth considering.

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Yeah bail, that game cannot be saved. For future reference, I'd strongly recommend having a session zero with players, listening to them and setting expectations about what you (being the DM and players) want to do.

 

Stuff like slowing down 5E's ridiculously slow level progression (did you realise that they've intentionally speeded up the first 3 levels, because the game doesn't work, then it halves in rate in the mid levels, before getting faster again from about level 14?) and stealing players equipment would create pacing and situations that I personally would hate. Lots of people have talked about the risk of stealing equipment in D&D, so let's talk about pacing. 

 

It's worth examining pacing as a DM when you set out, and think about it in terms of 'sessions' and 'real world months;. My groups are either have young kids or have older kids, so the maximum session length is 4-5 hours. That's time for 2 combats + some RP + some exploration in 5E. At the expected rate of leveling in 5E that's 8 sessions to go from 10->11. We play fornightly, so that's 16 weeks, or given holidays and real life that means the game wants you to level up *three times a year*

 

This is completely ridiculous imho. I shoot to level up every 2nd or 3rd session so you might actually experience progression at a rate you notice. Any attempt to make that even slower would be completely intolerable - running a 1-14 campaign is going to take, what, 3.5 years out of the box. If you reduce that by 50% that means you're asking me to commit to a campaign that's going to last over 5 years. That's just not plausible. A TWO year campaign is a big ask. 

 

However, some people might want to play in a game where you level up twice a year or whatever. Talk to them in advance, sell them on an idea, and see if they buy in. If they don't, they should make a counter suggestion and if one side isn't happy they should opt out. 

Edited by CthulhuDreams
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Played in my friend's game again tonight. Got to actually use some of my bardly social skills, except my ally is a truth-telling goody-goody who wouldn't let me half-lie our way out of the situation we were in and wouldn't stop blabbing about how we had all of that dead guy's stuff...

 

Stupid paladins. When you've got a dead guy's awesome magic sword, his magic armor, and his magic ring, and all you had to do was pick it up off his corpse that you stumbled upon, you don't tell his wife that you have it. You lie, and you say "nope, never seen him or heard of him, and this ring has been in my family for about 3 centuries now." And then you go about your merry way after the bard rolled a 25 on his persuasion check and she bought it all. You don't then immediately counteract everything he said with the whole truth..

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Played in my friend's game again tonight. Got to actually use some of my bardly social skills, except my ally is a truth-telling goody-goody who wouldn't let me half-lie our way out of the situation we were in and wouldn't stop blabbing about how we had all of that dead guy's stuff...

 

Stupid paladins. When you've got a dead guy's awesome magic sword, his magic armor, and his magic ring, and all you had to do was pick it up off his corpse that you stumbled upon, you don't tell his wife that you have it. You lie, and you say "nope, never seen him or heard of him, and this ring has been in my family for about 3 centuries now." And then you go about your merry way after the bard rolled a 25 on his persuasion check and she bought it all. You don't then immediately counteract everything he said with the whole truth..

 

 

I feel your pain. I play a bard in our D&D campaign, and at one point he came into posession of a Rod of Golem Command, which he totally lied his butt off to get ALONG WITH A GOLEM! But the rest of the goody-two-shoes made him destroy said golem because it was "evil" or something...pfah!

 

He still has that trident of Fish Command he may have accidentally looted off that evil cleric of Dagon, however...

 

Damon.

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If this is 5th Edition, the only Golem in the MM that has an alignment is the Flesh Golem. It's alignment is Neutral. Golems by and large have no will of their own, and thus cannot be evil. The person commanding them can be.

 

Were you evil?

Not all DMs run things as written. :devil:

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If this is 5th Edition, the only Golem in the MM that has an alignment is the Flesh Golem. It's alignment is Neutral. Golems by and large have no will of their own, and thus cannot be evil. The person commanding them can be.

 

Were you evil?

Not all DMs run things as written. :devil:

 

 

Exactly. It was a "special" golem run by an organization aligned with Hextor, the god of tyranny and war from the World of Greyhawk setting. And for the record my bard is CG with a strong Robin Hood type persona. But he's not above pocketing powerful artifacts...you know...for later...

 

Damon.

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Played in my friend's game again tonight. Got to actually use some of my bardly social skills, except my ally is a truth-telling goody-goody who wouldn't let me half-lie our way out of the situation we were in and wouldn't stop blabbing about how we had all of that dead guy's stuff...

 

Stupid paladins. When you've got a dead guy's awesome magic sword, his magic armor, and his magic ring, and all you had to do was pick it up off his corpse that you stumbled upon, you don't tell his wife that you have it. You lie, and you say "nope, never seen him or heard of him, and this ring has been in my family for about 3 centuries now." And then you go about your merry way after the bard rolled a 25 on his persuasion check and she bought it all. You don't then immediately counteract everything he said with the whole truth..

 

 

I feel your pain. I play a bard in our D&D campaign, and at one point he came into posession of a Rod of Golem Command, which he totally lied his butt off to get ALONG WITH A GOLEM! But the rest of the goody-two-shoes made him destroy said golem because it was "evil" or something...pfah!

 

He still has that trident of Fish Command he may have accidentally looted off that evil cleric of Dagon, however...

 

Damon.

 

Ain't that the truth. When the bard says "Let me handle the talking" it's usually because they're going to handle it better than you and someone is gonna get away with something. My friend that's running the game keeps telling me "I told you this was a good campaign, you should have rolled a good character." And I'm just over here like, man, you can be chaotic neutral and do the good thing for the wrong reason. Just because I don't want to be Mr. Paladin-lite doesn't mean that I can't be a good guy. So I might forge some papers, or unceremoniously loot corpses that we find in a traveler's inn that was just attacked by monsters, doesn't mean I'm not still trying to save the world.

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This time it was Eric (who plays the paladin) that put things together at the Pathfinder game - as he realized that the Scary, Scary Evil Elves are attacking in an attempt to take over the same area that Dispater told the party was where a gateway to a region of Hell was located.

 

Dispater had an agenda?! Who knew?! (The paladin is a prime place to say 'I told you so!' - and I am willing to bet that he will take it. ::P: )

 

***

 

Second hand information from the local BaM! - 5th edition continues to do poorly - but Jenny thinks that this is more because people are sharing books than because they are not playing the game. And that many of those running 5e are buying Pathfinder material and converting.

 

Tome of Monsters for 5th edition - published by Kobold Press - is outselling the Monster Manual by about 3:2. (Twice the thickness, same price... might have something to do with it.)

 

The collected and updated Curse of the Crimson Throne for Pathfinder sold through - six copies, all gone within a week.

 

Pathfinder Adventure Paths still seem to be selling to both people that run Pathfinder and people running 5e.

 

Ditto for the Pathfinder map packs and flip mats.

 

The Auld Grump

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Someone has just release Starjammer for Pathfinder.... an expy for Spelljammer.

 

The first Dungeons and Dragons game that Megan ever played in was Spelljammer...

 

I think that I have just found my St. Valentine's present for her. ::D:

 

The Auld Grump - I have neither run nor played Spelljammer - but Megan loves it.

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I tried to convert some 3.5/PF stuff to 5E and I just can't. Maybe you need to have played them since 2000 to get em but they're just full of pretentious overcomplexity. I can't figure out how to adapt all the skill ranks and all the DC increments to 5E's more conservative figures.

 

Much easier to do BECMI/AD&D conversions.

 

 

On that note I just had a peek at Dwellers of the Forbidden City and that one also looks like a lot of fun, and would allow my players to level before taking it on.

Sadly I can't find any good maps to use for it through Roll20.

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I tried to convert some 3.5/PF stuff to 5E and I just can't. Maybe you need to have played them since 2000 to get em but they're just full of pretentious overcomplexity. I can't figure out how to adapt all the skill ranks and all the DC increments to 5E's more conservative figures.

 

Much easier to do BECMI/AD&D conversions.

 

Having converted AD&D to 13th Age and some old 2E to 4E my advice would be to not sweat the small stuff when converting.  Look at it more as "what was the point of this encounter and how do I accomplish that in the system I am using?"  Some things won't have a direct equivalent, so you'll have to decide if you want to go to the effort of figuring out the best way to substitute it in your system, or if deemed unimportant just drop it.  For skills just ask if you want it to be an easy, moderate, or hard task in your game and then set it as such. 

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I tried to convert some 3.5/PF stuff to 5E and I just can't. Maybe you need to have played them since 2000 to get em but they're just full of pretentious overcomplexity. I can't figure out how to adapt all the skill ranks and all the DC increments to 5E's more conservative figures.

 

Much easier to do BECMI/AD&D conversions.

 

Having converted AD&D to 13th Age and some old 2E to 4E my advice would be to not sweat the small stuff when converting.  Look at it more as "what was the point of this encounter and how do I accomplish that in the system I am using?"  Some things won't have a direct equivalent, so you'll have to decide if you want to go to the effort of figuring out the best way to substitute it in your system, or if deemed unimportant just drop it.  For skills just ask if you want it to be an easy, moderate, or hard task in your game and then set it as such.

Perhaps, but it gets a lot tougher when you find something unique to a system, like Pathfinder's Ghalshoaton creature, and try to convert that to something usable in 5E....

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Second hand information from the local BaM! - 5th edition continues to do poorly - but Jenny thinks that this is more because people are sharing books than because they are not playing the game. And that many of those running 5e are buying Pathfinder material and converting.

 

Tome of Monsters for 5th edition - published by Kobold Press - is outselling the Monster Manual by about 3:2. (Twice the thickness, same price... might have something to do with it.)

 

The collected and updated Curse of the Crimson Throne for Pathfinder sold through - six copies, all gone within a week.

 

Pathfinder Adventure Paths still seem to be selling to both people that run Pathfinder and people running 5e.

 

Ditto for the Pathfinder map packs and flip mats.

 

The Auld Grump

 

I think it may also be that it's cheaper to buy Wizards stuff online. Most Pathfinder rulebooks, excepting the Core Rules, are sitting at about $40 MSRP while all the Wizards books are sitting at about $50 MSRP. Buying online you can get those Wizards books for $30. At my local shop they're $45. I mean, I try to support local when I can, but after a point it becomes a question of finances. I think that's shown with the Kobold Press Tome of Monsters outselling the actual Monster Manual at your local shop. It's the same price, but more content, so it's technically cheaper. Just like how the Pathfinder Core Rulebook covers the equivalent of both the PHB and DMG for D&D while costing the same as a single D&D book, or a package of generic creme-filled chocolate cookies may have an extra half the size of a pack of Oreos for the same price.

 

But then there's also the fact that Pathfinder follows a much more rapid release schedule, which may make their products more appealing. They're following the kind of schedule that Wizards, and D&D in general, had followed since about AD&D 2E, where you've got at least one supplement coming out every month, and often 2-3 or more. It means there's a lot more content available for Pathfinder, and since it's still d20-based it's relatively easy to convert to 5E. But Wizards killed that schedule for D&D with 5e, being more concerned with putting out one book every few months and making it something really nice in order to slow down the process of "bloat." That's not to say that the Pathfinder stuff that Paizo puts out on the regular isn't good, but at times it does seem rushed and not quite thought through.

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