Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Ralith The Third
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Ralith The Third » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:22 am UTC

See, I'm a firm believer in GM powahs.

If we're playing Tomb of Horrors I'll let them be as OP as they want... and find a way to kill them anyways.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Dauric » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:36 pm UTC

I try to avoid PC slaughter as some kind of an objective. As a GM/DM I'm interested in telling an interesting story, not in "winning". As a Game Master I can always "win" by fiat, to paraphrase an old Dorito's commercial "Crunch all (the monsters) you want, I'll make more." I find "victory" by these means unsatisfying and annoying, especially as I will have planned out interesting plot twists and reveals that will go forever un-revealed. No, I don't play tournaments or conventions as that kind of play doesn't interest me.

Now that's not to say that if the players are asking for mass PC slaughter they're not going to get it, dramatic storytelling involves a certain potential loss of life and limb, and if the party is going to be colossally stupid then I will be more than happy to oblige their collective death-wish. For example in the game I detailed on the previous page the cultists did indeed get their hands on the artifact* and about a week later game-time a portal opened up and started spitting forth elder horrors, one of which took great joy in eating the party like a bunch of Otter Pops.

*(the guy who was watching for action at the museum disguised as a homeless person decided that around midnight he was going to walk a few blocks down the street to mug drunk bar patrons.. and in the meantime the cultists showed up to rob the museum while nobody in the party was looking.)

The thing is I don't set out with the goal of killing the party. My goal is to set an interesting environment with intriguing events, if the party dies in their pursuits then so be it, if they don't get killed then I get to tell more of the story and the players get to develop their characters further, everybody wins.

Now all that said, I'm of the opinion that if you're going to DM/GM a last-man-standing game set in a deathtrap dungeon, at least have the decency to be using either a) pregenerated characters, or a ruleset with simple character generation. Don't use say GURPS, which has a fairly detailed character (in the literary sense) system and can take an hour or more for even an experienced player to make a character. If your plan as the DM/GM is for the PC's to be ultimately throwaway then make sure the players don't have to invest a whole lot of time in their creation.

Using modules like Tomb of Horrors on even a modestly long-running campaign is just the DM ragequitting the campaign.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:54 pm UTC

I think even in the case of tournament play, a properly designed game will always contained clues. I don't know how the newer eds of the Tomb are... but the cluelessness it what really kills it.

By all means have stuff one hit everyone if they do something wrong but there should always be hints (and the corollary to there being hints is that the world works in a consistant manner). If you don't have hints you're not playing a game... you're playing "arbitrary bullshit stuff happens, just bash your head against the wall until you eventually get through for some arbitrary reason".

Why not just have the PCs stuck in a single magical room where the DM rolls a d100 and random lethal stuff happens and they are somehow expected to survive it? I rolled 12, rocks fall, what do you do? I rolled a 74, floor turns to a void zone, if you touch it you die! How many rolls can you survive? If the DM rolls a 1 the PCs win. I think this is much better than Tomb of Horrors because then at least its not pretending to be something legitimate, the PCs go into it knowing it's just random bullshit and they can relax and have fun.

There is a difference between a hard game (ie. a well designed one that happens to be difficult) and a bullshit game (Tomb of Horrors, but maybe not its recent incarnations).
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Dauric » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:10 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:There is a difference between a hard game (ie. a well designed one that happens to be difficult) and a bullshit game (Tomb of Horrors, but maybe not its recent incarnations).


This too. The players have to have some means of agency in the game. If there's no clues as to what is coming, some indication of the outcome of a particular choice then it's at least as bad as railroading the campaign (arguably worse, at least a railroader wants to get to the end of the story). A game shouldn't make a player wonder why they're participating if their participation seems to have no discernible effect on the outcome.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:20 pm UTC

The big issue with running the Tomb of Horrors now is how the style of play has changed. The Tomb of Horrors depends on paranoid players making generous use of the poor man's thief (a 10-foot pole). The poem at the beginning has several clues to the functions in the dungeon, as do the mosaics and every written bit. there are a few asshole bits, (particularly the invisible gem of true-seeing and the gem of granting asshole wishes) but overall it is very well designed if you assume the players are super-paranoid.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:31 pm UTC

clockworkmonk wrote:The big issue with running the Tomb of Horrors now is how the style of play has changed. The Tomb of Horrors depends on paranoid players making generous use of the poor man's thief (a 10-foot pole). The poem at the beginning has several clues to the functions in the dungeon, as do the mosaics and every written bit. there are a few asshole bits, (particularly the invisible gem of true-seeing and the gem of granting asshole wishes) but overall it is very well designed if you assume the players are super-paranoid.


It also depends on how you're playing the game. As a simulationist open world type thing it makes sense. If I'm a crazy wizard why would I leave hints to where the traps are in my tomb full of treasure? Of course if that's the case players should likely realize the place could be trapped to all hell and take the appropriate precautions (summons, 10 ft poles, divinations etc).

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:24 pm UTC

Yes, you leave hints where your traps are. Because otherwise you (or people working for you) keep on getting killed by your own traps.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:32 pm UTC

5
6
10
0 days since a trap accident.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby d0nk3y_k0n9 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:19 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:Yes, you leave hints where your traps are. Because otherwise you (or people working for you) keep on getting killed by your own traps.

Occupational Health And Safety -- not just for the Spreadsheets and Scanners RPG!


Not if I'm particularly evil (and arrogant). I mean, I clearly don't need reminders, since I put them there in the first place. And if my minions fall into my traps, well, then the only downside is having to clean the blood off the walls and reset the traps. One can always get more minions.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:43 pm UTC

...Which is why the crypt is abandoned, after all.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:44 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:...Which is why the crypt is abandoned, after all.


What about all the demons?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:45 pm UTC

That's John's problem.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Ralith The Third » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:49 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:I try to avoid PC slaughter as some kind of an objective. As a GM/DM I'm interested in telling an interesting story, not in "winning". As a Game Master I can always "win" by fiat, to paraphrase an old Dorito's commercial "Crunch all (the monsters) you want, I'll make more." I find "victory" by these means unsatisfying and annoying, especially as I will have planned out interesting plot twists and reveals that will go forever un-revealed. No, I don't play tournaments or conventions as that kind of play doesn't interest me.

Now that's not to say that if the players are asking for mass PC slaughter they're not going to get it, dramatic storytelling involves a certain potential loss of life and limb, and if the party is going to be colossally stupid then I will be more than happy to oblige their collective death-wish. For example in the game I detailed on the previous page the cultists did indeed get their hands on the artifact* and about a week later game-time a portal opened up and started spitting forth elder horrors, one of which took great joy in eating the party like a bunch of Otter Pops.

*(the guy who was watching for action at the museum disguised as a homeless person decided that around midnight he was going to walk a few blocks down the street to mug drunk bar patrons.. and in the meantime the cultists showed up to rob the museum while nobody in the party was looking.)

The thing is I don't set out with the goal of killing the party. My goal is to set an interesting environment with intriguing events, if the party dies in their pursuits then so be it, if they don't get killed then I get to tell more of the story and the players get to develop their characters further, everybody wins.

Now all that said, I'm of the opinion that if you're going to DM/GM a last-man-standing game set in a deathtrap dungeon, at least have the decency to be using either a) pregenerated characters, or a ruleset with simple character generation. Don't use say GURPS, which has a fairly detailed character (in the literary sense) system and can take an hour or more for even an experienced player to make a character. If your plan as the DM/GM is for the PC's to be ultimately throwaway then make sure the players don't have to invest a whole lot of time in their creation.

Using modules like Tomb of Horrors on even a modestly long-running campaign is just the DM ragequitting the campaign.


If I run something like Tomb of Horrors, I'll make characters for them, or let them use a preexisting one (bumped appropriately), and I do it fully standalone from any other campaign.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Dauric » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:54 am UTC

d0nk3y_k0n9 wrote:
Yakk wrote:Yes, you leave hints where your traps are. Because otherwise you (or people working for you) keep on getting killed by your own traps.

Occupational Health And Safety -- not just for the Spreadsheets and Scanners RPG!


Not if I'm particularly evil (and arrogant). I mean, I clearly don't need reminders, since I put them there in the first place. And if my minions fall into my traps, well, then the only downside is having to clean the blood off the walls and reset the traps. One can always get more minions.


And this 2002 Darwin Award comes to mind, where a 79 year old man had extensively booby trapped his home and left cryptic notes to aid his failing memory, although the notes didn't help enough.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby halbarad » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:19 am UTC

Ralith The Third wrote:
Dauric wrote:*snip*


If I run something like Tomb of Horrors, I'll make characters for them, or let them use a preexisting one (bumped appropriately), and I do it fully standalone from any other campaign.


That's pretty much how I ran it. Completely standalone with characters that each player made. My only issue was not getting the players to roll a spot/search to find the riddle at the start as I suspect that would have made things a lot easier for them and they would probably have progressed further.

On a different note, we are starting a new campaign soon where everyone (or almost everyone) has a go at DMing. Should be interesting as there won't be an overarching story unless people develop it themselves. Hopefully we will get a few more people involved in DMing future games.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:
Yakk wrote:...Which is why the crypt is abandoned, after all.


What about all the demons?

The demons are insubstantial or locked in particular rooms because Acererak is a dick.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby halbarad » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:04 pm UTC

Anyone have experience running a D&D group without a wizard(or other arcane caster)? Our current group of people has me as the wizard and when it's my turn to take over DM'ing then the party loses out on that. The group currently has Cleric, Paladin, Artificer (kind of makes up for the wizard to some degree but not much), Scout, Ninja and Spellthief, so we're pretty high on melee damage and have some useful healing. I'm not sure if I'll be running a short adventure for a level or two, or possibly go all out and run Red Hand of Doom as I've heard it's pretty good (but needs twerking).

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Adacore » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:43 pm UTC

What edition are you playing? Unless you're going to do something really arcana-focussed as DM, you should be fine without an arcane caster, I'd think.

My current 4e group doesn't have any casters at all, at the moment. Two rogues, a ranger, an ardent, and a paladin. Crazy damage on small numbers of big things, not so good at handling hordes of smaller monsters. We're doing fine, though.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby halbarad » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:58 pm UTC

Playing 3.5. We've tried 4e a bit but didn't really enjoy it.

Mostly I'm not sure how they will handle opposing casters, especially once they get to levels 6+ when they can be throwing round big spells and more enemies start to fly etc.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

I just played my first tabletop RPG. It was a paranoia, but somehow most of the players managed to stay alive for the mission (I think this was mainly due to time constraints so there wasn't time to kill us all).

The mission was to deliver a box (it turned out to contain a pair of socks) but, along the way, one player got run over by a transbot before we got to the mission briefing, another (me) trapped all but one of the other troubleshooters in a portable hole before being vaporised and then the party caused the destruction of the entire sector containing the guy whose socks they were by reprogramming a warbot to destroy the troubleshooter who'd trapped them all in a hole and then tried to kill the team leader in his new clone. The first player (who got run over before the briefing) then decided to try to rob a bank and instead shot a taxi driver, was chased by an angry mob and murdered a high programmer.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:52 pm UTC

halbarad wrote:Anyone have experience running a D&D group without a wizard(or other arcane caster)? Our current group of people has me as the wizard and when it's my turn to take over DM'ing then the party loses out on that. The group currently has Cleric, Paladin, Artificer (kind of makes up for the wizard to some degree but not much), Scout, Ninja and Spellthief, so we're pretty high on melee damage and have some useful healing. I'm not sure if I'll be running a short adventure for a level or two, or possibly go all out and run Red Hand of Doom as I've heard it's pretty good (but needs twerking).


Caster utility can be replaced by UMD if you have a source of scrolls/staves.

If you actually want to counter a good 3.5 wizard, unless you kill him in his sleep (provided he's low level enough to not have lasting defenses), or use another wizard, you're fucked.
If you can get a hit in (no Shield...) try poison darts, wizard have shit fort saves. Hit him in the nuts: Dex or Str.

Example: Terinav root. Total of 3D6 dex damage over a minute. Has a good chance of fucking over royally a 10 dex wizard, unless his team helps him. DC 16.
Someone really wants him dead? Grab the motherfucking black lotus extract. Expensive as hell, but deals a whopping total of 6D6 con damage over a minute (3D6 initial which can kill him outright), DC 20.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:53 pm UTC

Or, you know.. grapple. Hard to cast a spell when you keep hitting yourself. Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:04 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Or, you know.. grapple. Hard to cast a spell when you keep hitting yourself. Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself.


With enlarge person and various "hurt stuff around me" buffs, a wizard can easily outgrapple a warrior. Far more so with polymorph self, whereas it evolves into full-blown hentai.
Even without polymorph or preparation, looking for spells without somatic components:

Shout (meh)
Many many movement spells, such as teleport or word of recall
"I win" buttons (blasmephy, time stop)

The wizard is far from doomed.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Adacore » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:50 pm UTC

But it's kinda just a DM thing, right? As a DM, you shouldn't put a broken wizard against a party that can't handle it at all. Giving the players a fight they can't win (unless there are diplomatic/other ways out) is no fun for anyone.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:46 am UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:Or, you know.. grapple. Hard to cast a spell when you keep hitting yourself. Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself.


With enlarge person and various "hurt stuff around me" buffs, a wizard can easily outgrapple a warrior. Far more so with polymorph self, whereas it evolves into full-blown hentai.
Even without polymorph or preparation, looking for spells without somatic components:

Shout (meh)
Many many movement spells, such as teleport or word of recall
"I win" buttons (blasmephy, time stop)

The wizard is far from doomed.
If you let a wizard get more than two or three spells off, you're boned of you don't run away...and strike again in three hours. And do that repeatedly until the wizard is out of spells.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:09 am UTC

Adacore wrote:But it's kinda just a DM thing, right? As a DM, you shouldn't put a broken wizard against a party that can't handle it at all. Giving the players a fight they can't win (unless there are diplomatic/other ways out) is no fun for anyone.


I was considering that in the context of "oh god the wizard is doing everything and taking the spotlight, everyone is bored, what do I do!?".

"A dozen goblins jump out of the nearby bushes. Roll for ini-"
"I cast Sleep."
"Goddamn you wizard"

"The crypt awaits before, a large stone slab of a door taunting you with its immobility."
"I cast stone shape."
"Fuckkk youuu"

"You'll have to infiltrate the duke archives if you want to..."
"I cast greater teleport and greater invisibility"
"Why would you do that to the poor rogue!?"

"The dragon roars in defiance, flames..."
"My familiar casts maximized shivering touch"
"AZEHZURHUZHBLBLBL"

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:43 pm UTC

Important information for tabletop gamers everywhere.

http://www.awesomedice.com/blog/353/d20 ... mescience/
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Ralith The Third » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:02 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:What edition are you playing? Unless you're going to do something really arcana-focussed as DM, you should be fine without an arcane caster, I'd think.

My current 4e group doesn't have any casters at all, at the moment. Two rogues, a ranger, an ardent, and a paladin. Crazy damage on small numbers of big things, not so good at handling hordes of smaller monsters. We're doing fine, though.


Get a 3.5 frenzied berserker in there.

Warrior class that will *wreck* large numbers of small things.

I was considering that in the context of "oh god the wizard is doing everything and taking the spotlight, everyone is bored, what do I do!?".


Simple. Rakshashas. MORE RAKSHASHAS. MORE, MORE, MORE!!!!!!
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby pseudoidiot » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:50 pm UTC

For World of Darkness fans, a friend of mine is doing some work on merits and is looking for some feedback:
http://forums.white-wolf.com/default.as ... ts&t=66457
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:29 pm UTC

So tonight is promising. Getting a group together for the first time in quite a long time. It will be mostly discussion of what we want to play, though I'll be pushing to Rogue Trader.

Mostly because I wanna run Star Trek in 40k.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Dauric » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:33 pm UTC

clockworkmonk wrote:Mostly because I wanna run Star Trek in 40k.


This comes to mind.

"We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill."

"There's Chaos on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow. There's Eldar on the Starboard Bow Jim."

"It's heretics, Jim, that we've yet to purge, that we've yet to purge, that we've yet to purge. It's heretics that we've yet to purge Captain."

"Ye cannae change the Machine God Rites, Machine God Rites, Machine God Rites."
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

I seriously plan on watching original series episodes and altering them to 40k.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:42 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:
Adacore wrote:But it's kinda just a DM thing, right? As a DM, you shouldn't put a broken wizard against a party that can't handle it at all. Giving the players a fight they can't win (unless there are diplomatic/other ways out) is no fun for anyone.


I was considering that in the context of "oh god the wizard is doing everything and taking the spotlight, everyone is bored, what do I do!?".


This is something of an internet meme, but it's a bit overrated. Wizards are still good, mind you, but not that good.

"A dozen goblins jump out of the nearby bushes. Roll for ini-"
"I cast Sleep."
"Goddamn you wizard"


Sleep's a full round spell, so there's a severe targetting issue here. You've got to guess where the gobbies will be in a round. Also, it only can sleep four goblins. Also, the awake ones can wake the sleeping ones with a single action. It's a useful opening spell when the party is ambushing, but it's really not good in this situation. More likely, the wizard gets stabbed multiple times before the second round, resulting in blowing the concentration check, and losing the spell, doing nothing at all.

"The crypt awaits before, a large stone slab of a door taunting you with its immobility."
"I cast stone shape."
"Fuckkk youuu"


Thanks to the sunder rules, basically anyone can do this. It may take a couple of rounds. Meh. If there's no enemies there, who cares?

"You'll have to infiltrate the duke archives if you want to..."
"I cast greater teleport and greater invisibility"
"Why would you do that to the poor rogue!?"


These are awesome, but keep in mind that both have limitations and drawbacks that more subtle plans do not. For instance, this just blew two fairly high level spell slots, can be seen through by true seeing, requires you know what the destination looks like, and will probably trigger any trap in destination when you arrive. On the other hand, rogues are pretty awesome at detecting traps, and by this level, will have likely picked up hide in plain sight or other helpful abilities, basically just waltzing through this without wasting precious resources.

"The dragon roars in defiance, flames..."
"My familiar casts maximized shivering touch"
"AZEHZURHUZHBLBLBL"


Maximized shivering touch is awesome. That said, it's a touch spell. What are you doing, throwing your tiny little familiar like a softball, hoping to god the dragon rolls a 1 on the AoO? Because if he connects(which he probably will), your familiar is done, and you've gotta wait the year and a day, eat the xp loss, etc, etc.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:49 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Sleep's a full round spell, so there's a severe targetting issue here. You've got to guess where the gobbies will be in a round. Also, it only can sleep four goblins. Also, the awake ones can wake the sleeping ones with a single action. It's a useful opening spell when the party is ambushing, but it's really not good in this situation. More likely, the wizard gets stabbed multiple times before the second round, resulting in blowing the concentration check, and losing the spell, doing nothing at all.


Replace it with something like Glitterdust or the like. The point was AOE save or suck spells can drastically trivialize encounters.

These are awesome, but keep in mind that both have limitations and drawbacks that more subtle plans do not. For instance, this just blew two fairly high level spell slots, can be seen through by true seeing, requires you know what the destination looks like, and will probably trigger any trap in destination when you arrive. On the other hand, rogues are pretty awesome at detecting traps, and by this level, will have likely picked up hide in plain sight or other helpful abilities, basically just waltzing through this without wasting precious resources.


Teleport and invis bypass one of the biggest problems with stealth. Its not the ease of detecting it, its the splitting the party up aspect. If your whole party tries to sneak SOMEONE is going to fail. Most people are not sneaky. Wizards can work around this by making everyone invisible or teleporting everyone. Rogues cannot help make other people sneaky enough to succeed on checks that are a challenge for them. This is both an in game issue (rogue ends up alone wherever he had to sneak) and a metagame issue (other players have to wait around while the rogue player does his thing). Forget the fact knock and find traps just plain work better than the respective abilities a thief has.

Maximized shivering touch is awesome. That said, it's a touch spell. What are you doing, throwing your tiny little familiar like a softball, hoping to god the dragon rolls a 1 on the AoO? Because if he connects(which he probably will), your familiar is done, and you've gotta wait the year and a day, eat the xp loss, etc, etc.


Shivering touch is just a broken spell though. And the wizard would likely spectral hand it, if that was the plan from the get go. I think there's a Draconomicon spell that lets dragons add their natural armor to their touch AC though. That's a nice surprise for someone trying this. Or for more hilarity make it a white dragon disguised as a red dragon and have it full attack the wizard when he gets up close to finish it off after thinking the spell worked :P

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:25 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Or for more hilarity make it a white dragon disguised as a red dragon and have it full attack the wizard when he gets up close to finish it off after thinking the spell worked :P


That's a great idea and I'm definitely stealing it for less serious games (maybe have the adventurers stumble upon large quantities of red paint first to give them a warning :D ).

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:53 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:That's a great idea and I'm definitely stealing it for less serious games (maybe have the adventurers stumble upon large quantities of red paint first to give them a warning :D ).


We had an albino red dragon in a more serious campaign once. But there were hints at it so going in we weren't solely focussed on it being a white dragon otherwise it could have been pretty messy.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Eseell » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:24 am UTC

Has anyone tried D&D Next yet? My friends and I are about to start a new game and I am considering running the Next playtest rules instead of Pathfinder or 4E rules. I saw them play with these rules at PAX and it seems to flow a little better than 4E.
"Math is hard work and it occupies your mind -- and it doesn't hurt to learn all you can of it, no matter what rank you are; everything of any importance is founded on mathematics." - Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Vaniver » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:40 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:If you let a wizard get more than two or three spells off, you're boned of you don't run away...and strike again in three hours. And do that repeatedly until the wizard is out of spells.
Of course, this is something that the wizard is better at doing than other classes. Good ol' scry and fry.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:02 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:If you let a wizard get more than two or three spells off, you're boned of you don't run away...and strike again in three hours. And do that repeatedly until the wizard is out of spells.
Of course, this is something that the wizard is better at doing than other classes. Good ol' scry and fry.


I remember seeing a weird theoretical feat combo in which the wizard used a spell to scry someone in the past (his enemy as a fetus), then used a bunch of feats to deal 1 bonus frost damage, making the spell qualify for fell drain. BAM, your foe never existed as he tore apart his mother's womb as an baby wight.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:15 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Replace it with something like Glitterdust or the like. The point was AOE save or suck spells can drastically trivialize encounters.


Actually, nothing I've ever seen has trivialized encounters the way a frenzied berzerker can. Supreme cleave and immunity to death means that for most encounters, rolling dice isn't worth it. Hell, for sufficiently large encounters, you're better off just modeling them using statistics. Much faster.

Teleport and invis bypass one of the biggest problems with stealth. Its not the ease of detecting it, its the splitting the party up aspect. If your whole party tries to sneak SOMEONE is going to fail. Most people are not sneaky. Wizards can work around this by making everyone invisible or teleporting everyone.


That's true...but then it's no longer a case of wizard doing everything and making the rest of the party irrelevant. It's more of the wizard enabling the rest of the party. It's certainly vastly better than a rogue solo mission.

Rogues cannot help make other people sneaky enough to succeed on checks that are a challenge for them. This is both an in game issue (rogue ends up alone wherever he had to sneak) and a metagame issue (other players have to wait around while the rogue player does his thing). Forget the fact knock and find traps just plain work better than the respective abilities a thief has.


If you're burning spell slots to open doors, you're going to be low on resources for other stuff. And frankly, door opening is not generally a great encounter to begin with unless there's something else involved(which knock doesn't fix).

Find traps doesn't give you disabling. And it's still a skill check, with a skill that isn't a class skill. It's also not on the wizard spell list, which is also a notable flaw for a wizard attempting to replace a rogue. Sure, I suppose the wizard could get a magic item of it...but UMD isn't on his class list either, and is on the rogues, so it's still not really a great fix.

Maximized shivering touch is awesome. That said, it's a touch spell. What are you doing, throwing your tiny little familiar like a softball, hoping to god the dragon rolls a 1 on the AoO? Because if he connects(which he probably will), your familiar is done, and you've gotta wait the year and a day, eat the xp loss, etc, etc.


Shivering touch is just a broken spell though. And the wizard would likely spectral hand it, if that was the plan from the get go. I think there's a Draconomicon spell that lets dragons add their natural armor to their touch AC though. That's a nice surprise for someone trying this. Or for more hilarity make it a white dragon disguised as a red dragon and have it full attack the wizard when he gets up close to finish it off after thinking the spell worked :P


Scintillating Scales...the usual miss chances are also effective in avoiding it, and of course, dragons also have spells and a larger than normal access to magic items. It's mostly a problem for lazy dragon encounters...it's still a good option, mind you, but not great.

Also note that as maximized shivering touch is level 6, spectral hand can't deliver it. There are ways around this, but all of them involve further resource investment into the trick. Which, really, is what it's all about. It's not that killing the dragon is inherently bad...it's about the effort put in to get there.

Eseell wrote:Has anyone tried D&D Next yet? My friends and I are about to start a new game and I am considering running the Next playtest rules instead of Pathfinder or 4E rules. I saw them play with these rules at PAX and it seems to flow a little better than 4E.


Ran a few playtest sessions. It seemed to have some promise, but was woefully incomplete. There was some mass testing at Gencon I didn't participate in, but was informed by those who tried that it was a clusterfuck.

Menacing Spike wrote:
Vaniver wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:If you let a wizard get more than two or three spells off, you're boned of you don't run away...and strike again in three hours. And do that repeatedly until the wizard is out of spells.
Of course, this is something that the wizard is better at doing than other classes. Good ol' scry and fry.


I remember seeing a weird theoretical feat combo in which the wizard used a spell to scry someone in the past (his enemy as a fetus), then used a bunch of feats to deal 1 bonus frost damage, making the spell qualify for fell drain. BAM, your foe never existed as he tore apart his mother's womb as an baby wight.


Probably the old flash frost/snowcasting combo...but strictly speaking, I'm not aware of any official scry into the past sort of spells. WoTC avoids time manipulation of this sort pretty hard, usually...the only option I'm aware of is teleport through time(followed by a normals cry), and even that is heavily DM dependent. The spells in an obscure web supplement only, and requires that your char find natural terrain that's been undisturbed for the length of time you wish to teleport back to...so basically, your DM has to be pretty much on board with the idea in the first place.

Strictly speaking, the flash frost/snowcasting/fell drain combo isn't at all essential(though can be entertainingly added to many spells not meant for damage). The core spell Nightmare should suffice. The past thing is really the problem.


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