Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Gelsamel
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:54 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:I... what... I don't even...


This is possibly the best thing.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:37 pm UTC

So, I found cbloader. It is an app that lets you load the downloadable 4e character builder with arbitrary homebrew.

As a kicker? The downloadable character builder has all the capabilities needed to implement dark sun and essentials content, as the loader just uses what is there. They just didn't push the data.
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

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Unbeliever » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:53 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:
Menacing Spike wrote:I... what... I don't even...


This is possibly the best thing.


I laughed so hard.
"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:23 am UTC

Yakk wrote:So, I found cbloader. It is an app that lets you load the downloadable 4e character builder with arbitrary homebrew.

As a kicker? The downloadable character builder has all the capabilities needed to implement dark sun and essentials content, as the loader just uses what is there. They just didn't push the data.


Wait, I don't understand. I thought the Download Version of the 4e Character Builder didn't ever update to include essentials? Wasn't that when they switched to the web-based builder? Or was the essentials stuff just hidden in the builder?

Edit: Nevermind, just downloaded it and it has a Dec 2010 Update in it that includes Essentials, wow... awesome.

Edit: Or not? Now I'm just confused.

Edit: So even though when you load the CB loader it says there is a Dec 2010 update that includes Heroes you actually need to download .part files to fuse with the database or something.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:37 am UTC

Full codebase support for essentials and dark sun seems to be in the builder.

Next to no data was added to the builder from dark sun and essentials.

It appears as if they end-of-lifed the offline builder and didn't push the data so they could use it as a selling point for the online builder (which is, in its current state, worse than the offline builder for most everyone)
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

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Gelsamel
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:04 am UTC

Yakk wrote:Full codebase support for essentials and dark sun seems to be in the builder.

Next to no data was added to the builder from dark sun and essentials.

It appears as if they end-of-lifed the offline builder and didn't push the data so they could use it as a selling point for the online builder (which is, in its current state, worse than the offline builder for most everyone)


I can see benefits to the web based one (can use it and look at characters from anything with net rather than just your laptop/pc. Always updated). And it's clear they did it to stop piracy... but the offline one is still awesome :o.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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rrwoods
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rrwoods » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:15 pm UTC

These guys are supposed to have a freeware Excel-based character sheet, but I'm having quite a bit of trouble locating it on their website. (The character sheet page has no download link from what I can tell...)

Does anyone have this character sheet, or any other for that matter?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Arabascan » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

I reanimated the PbP-Thread with another scenario. Just look in. It's a new setting with a free system.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:56 am UTC

rrwoods wrote:Does anyone have this character sheet, or any other for that matter?
I remember making one for 4e, but I'm not finding it in a quick search. It should be pretty simple to make another, since everything is just half level + stat + misc, pretty much.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:09 am UTC

I've been wanting to make a world inspired by the type of artifacts that are in To Aru Majutsu no Index.

Basically governments, individuals, and other organizations want to get their hands on artifacts that have power basically because they're quality simulacrum of divine, arcane, or other power sources. The artifacts would range from mundane stuff like cups and lamps to weapons and will have a whole bunch of different uses from combat to esoteric magic that changes ontology via. linguistics. All of them will have useage rules, although some will be more lenient than others which I guess might make battles with artifact users very interesting (figuring out the artifact's abilities and useage rules will help the PCs win). Preferably these artifacts will relate somehow to the mythology of the world itself and it's gods, religions, great heros of yore, ancient civilizations etc.

It wouldn't have an overarching storyline, but just a bunch of Major NPCs with their own goals that they'll try to work towards, some of which might lead organisations and governments, then I'd just let the PCs do what ever they want after setting up a hook, and the world will just develop on it's own depending on the interactions the NPCs have with eachother and the PCs.

I'll probably set it up so that while the major NPCs will otherwise have their own normal class levels and stuff that they'll have unique spells and abilities and stuff that make battles interesting and somewhat puzzle oriented.


Problem is I'm lazy and I don't know how to DM, so I put up a little ad for a DM to collab with who doesn't suck at writing on dndonlinegames.com
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:28 pm UTC

Man have I ever been having fun with a GURPS campaign I just started. It's been a really refreshing change of pace from D&D 4e. More indepths and more little things to fiddle with in my character. Let me tell you, telekinesis plus extensive grappling skills and techniques can make for some serious limb destroying action.

Especially in the hands of a one pound stoat.
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rrwoods
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rrwoods » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:05 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
rrwoods wrote:Does anyone have this character sheet, or any other for that matter?
I remember making one for 4e, but I'm not finding it in a quick search. It should be pretty simple to make another, since everything is just half level + stat + misc, pretty much.

I ended up making one myself, on Google Docs. I'll blank my character's stuff from it and link it in this post. It's kinda crazy; my character is a Hengeyokai and has three forms. They have different physical ability scores, which affects basically everything, and in one of the forms I don't have items (they "merge into" the form as with polymorph, and magic items cease functioning). So there's a lot of complexity in the sheets to do all the number crunching. There's lots of rules it doesn't know about, and it may not be useful for a spellcaster yet; since my character isn't one I didn't put any effort into that.

Essentially all the light blue cells are where you input stuff. If a header or label isn't entirely clear (for space concerns) I tried to use comments as best I could. If your character has multiple forms it'll support it automatically.

EDIT: Here it is.

The feats/traits page is *basically* just a notepad. However, the rest of the sheet will look for some feats and change numbers based on those feats:
Far Shot -- automatically changes the range increment on the Combat and Saves tab (just enter the weapon's listed range increment on the Weapons tab)
Dodge -- shows dodge AC's on the Combat and Saves tab on a separate line
Mobility -- shows mobility AC's on the Combat and Saves tab on a separate line
(if you have both Dodge and Mobility, you'll get three extra lines, one for Dodge, one for Mobility, and one for both since dodge bonuses stack)
Two-Weapon Fighting -- changes attack roll penalties when fighting with two weapons (in the "2w" column on the Weapons tab)
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting -- shows extra attack with off-hand weapon at -5 penalty
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting -- shows another extra attack with off-hand weapon at -10 penalty
For these to work, they must be spelled correctly (punctuation is important, capitalization is not) and must be in their own cell in column B of the Feats / traits tab.

I also have a character planning sheet that I'll publish once I'm done with it. Basically it's for planning a character build out to 20th level. Automatically calculates BABs and saves, accounts for class skills, max skill ranks, shows when you get class features, etc. Essentially all that's left to do right now is enter all the class features of the base classes (if you have a prestige class you want you'll have to enter its stuff manually; though BABs and saves are just a fast/medium/slow). Again, no spellcasting stuff right now because I don't know how I'll do it without having needed to do it yet.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Levi » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:54 pm UTC

There's also chartool, which is a java thing that does really well just so long as you don't do anything outside of the core rulebooks.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rrwoods » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

This is a character build I've been working on and twerking for a while. This is mostly a show-off post, but I'd love to hear suggestions on where to take this character.

Race is Human.
Initial ability scores -- Str 14, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.
[My DM uses the point buy system, allowing 32 points (high power).]

Code: Select all

Level  Class            BAB  Base Saves   +Abl.    Features; feats                                             Skill points
   1    Rogue 1          +0   +0/+2/+0              Sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding; Weapon Finesse, Quick Draw  Ahp 2, Bal 4, Esc 4, Jmp 4, Lis 4, Sch 4, SoH 4, Spt 4, Tmb 4
   2    Ranger 1         +1   +2/+4/+0              Favored enemy, track, wild empathy                          Concentration 5, Listen +1 = 5, Spot +1 = 5
   3    Ranger 2         +2   +3/+5/+0              Combat style (two-weapon combat); Flick of the Wrist        Handle Animal 5, Sleight of Hand +1 = 5
   4    Fighter 1        +3   +5/+5/+0    Dex (18)  Bonus feat: Dodge                                           Jump +3 = 7
   5    Rogue 2          +4   +5/+6/+0              Evasion                                                     Balance +4 = 8, Spot +1 = 6, Tumble +4 = 8
   6    Ranger 3         +5   +5/+6/+1              Endurance; Mobility                                         Listen +4 = 9, Spot +3 = 9
   7    Fighter 2        +6   +6/+6/+1              Bonus feat: Spring Attack                                   Jump +3 = 10
   8    Ranger 4         +7   +7/+7/+1    Con (14)  Animal companion, spellcasting                              Concentration +2 = 7, Jump +1 = 11, Listen +2 = 11, Spot +2 = 11
   9    Rogue 3          +8   +8/+7/+2              Sneak attack +2d6, trap sense +1; Elusive Target            Balance +4 = 12, Jump +1 = 12, Tumble +4 = 12
  10    Blade Dancer 1   +9   +8/+9/+2              Acrobatics +10, fast movement (60)                          Balance +1 = 13, Jump +1 = 13, Tumble +1 = 13
  11    Blade Dancer 2   +10  +8/+10/+2             Enchanted blade I                                           Balance +1 = 14, Jump +1 = 14, Tumble +1 = 14
  12    Blade Dancer 3   +11  +9/+10/+3   Dex (19)  Improved Initiative                                         Balance +1 = 15, Jump +1 = 15, Tumble +1 = 15
  13    Blade Dancer 4   +12  +9/+11/+3             Ride the wind, fast movement (70)                           Balance +1 = 16, Jump +1 = 16, Tumble +1 = 16
  14    Blade Dancer 5   +13  +9/+11/+3             Acrobatics +20, acrobatic attack                            Balance +1 = 17, Jump +1 = 17, Tumble +1 = 17
  15    Blade Dancer 6   +14  +10/+12/+4            Enchanted blade II; Raptor School                           Balance +1 = 18, Jump +1 = 18, Tumble +1 = 18
  16    Blade Dancer 7   +15  +10/+12/+4  Dex (20)  Fast movement (80)                                          Balance +1 = 19, Jump +1 = 19, Tumble +1 = 19
  17    Blade Dancer 8   +16  +10/+13/+4                                                                        Balance +1 = 20, Jump +1 = 20, Tumble +1 = 20
  18    Blade Dancer 9   +17  +11/+13/+5            ****                                                        Balance +1 = 21, Jump +1 = 21, Tumble +1 = 21
  19    Blade Dancer 10  +18  +11/+14/+5            Acrobatics +30, enchanted blade III, fast movement (90)     Balance +1 = 22, Jump +1 = 22, Tumble +1 = 22
  20    Ranger 5         +19  +11/+14/+5  Dex (21)  2nd favored enemy                                           Balance +1 = 23, Jump +1 = 23, Tumble +1 = 23, Spot +2 = 13

[ **** WHAT DO I PUT HERE this is the only thing I haven't decided on really ]
Apologies if that wraps weirdly on your screen (it probably does). Paste it into a fixed-width-font text editor :-P Or just look at it on the spreadsheet linked below.

The primary goal of this build is to hit Blade Dancer as early as possible. Blade Dancer is a prestige class from Oriental Adventures that, at least in my mind, is essentially "combat with swords is an art form". There seems to be a lot of hate against Blade Dancer power wise among various forums, but it's a class that looks really enjoyable to play from a flavor perspective, and I think there's a little power there too if you do the build right. So the main focus of the first nine levels is making the prerequisites for that prestige class.

The hardest prerequisite is "Jump 12 ranks, Tumble 12 ranks". Thus I need Jump and Tumble as class skills, and the earliest I can take the first level of Blade Dancer is character level 10. The other two "tough" prerequisits are Base Attack +7 and the ability to cast arcane or divine spells. The Ranger has the fast BAB progression, and at level 4 gains spellcasting. The Blade Dancer also requires Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack, all of which are useful, but eat up three feat selections. Some Fighter levels are sprinkled in to pick up bonus feats along the way.

Thus the first nine levels are Ranger 4, Rogue 3, and Fighter 2. This configuration is fairly tight: I must have Ranger 4 for spellcasting, I must have Rogue 3 in order to get 12 ranks in Tumble (it's the only class of the three that has it as a class skill) and Sneak Attack +2d6 is fairly important to this character as well, and in order to avoid multiclassing XP penalties I need the second level of Fighter. The easiest way to get the 12 required Tumble ranks is to put the Rogue levels at character levels 1, 5, and 9, and put 4 ranks in Tumble at each of those levels.

Where I actually have choices to be made, they are mostly focused on the fun of playing a bouncing tumbling dual-shortsword-wielding artist of death. The Acrobatics class feature is the prime example -- At Blade Dancer 1, I can essentially "take 39" on any Tumble check, which means that even with the -10 for tumbling full speed through an opponent's square, the DC 25 check to not provoke an attack of opportunity may as well not exist. Combine this with a doubling-to-tripling of the base speed, plus Spring Attack, some crazy combat maneuvers are possible. Acrobatics also grants the "take 10 any time" to Balance checks, so keeping that skill maxed is also somewhat a priority.

Level by level breakdown:
Spoiler:
Level 1. Wielding one shortsword. Weapon Finesse immediately to have good attack rolls right off the bat, Quick Draw for the Flick of the Wrist prerequisite. Getting Balance, Jump, and Tumble off to a good start, as well as Listen and Spot. Autohypnosis is a skill from the psionics handbook that non-psion characters can take (can't be used untrained); one of its uses is to substitute a DC 15 Autohypnosis check for the 10% stabilization roll. Maxing Sleight of Hand for Flick of the Wrist. The rest of the skill points are somewhat thrown away.

Level 2: 5 points in Concentration gives a +2 synergy bonus to Autohypnosis. I could spend one fewer skill point to just put 2 in Autohypnosis, but the concentration ranks are also generally useful since I'm somewhat a spellcaster. Maxing Listen and Spot. Points in Jump will wait until the first Fighter level.

Level 3: Combat style (two-weapon combat). Picking up the second shortsword and fighting with both; penalties will be -2/-2 since the shortsword is light. 5 ranks in Handle Animal for wild empathy synergy, and the fifth rank in Sleight of Hand for Flick of the Wrist, followed by taking Flick of the Wrist: "If you draw a light weapon and make a melee attack with it in the same round, you catch your opponent flat-footed (for the purpose of this attack only). You may use this feat only once per round and once per opponent during any single combat encounter."

Level 4: Jump is the only class skill the Fighter has that's actually useful to this character, so in go all 3 points. Bonus feat is Dodge, starting with the Blade Dancer prerequisite feats.

Level 5: Bumping Balance and Tumble to max.

Level 6: I contemplated making this a Fighter level to get the bonus feat earlier, but then putting 3 points in Jump would put me over the max ranks so I delayed it to level 7. Thus this is more-or-less a "waiting" level skills-wise; just maxing Listen and Spot. Mobility for the second Blade Dancer prerequisite.

Level 7: Jump +3 again, and Spring Attack for the last Blade Dancer feat prerequisite.

Level 8: Another "waiting" level for skills; maxing Listen, Spot, and Jump, and throwing a random 2 ranks in Concentration.

Level 9: Jump and Tumble to 12 to hit the last Blade Dancer prerequisite, and Balance to 12 for good measure. Elusive Target is a tactical feat from Complete Warrior. The two tactics that are of interest are "diverting defense" (a flanker you are Dodge-ing will automiss with their first attack in the round and has a chance to hit the other flanker instead) and "cause overreach" (when someone misses you with an attack of opportunity you make a free trip attempt against them). Combined, it's possible to provoke an attack of opportunity from a flanker you are Dodge-ing, have it automatically miss (diverting defense), and therefore get a free trip attack (cause overreach). If you succeed the trip, on your next round they'll be prone, allowing you to probably full-attack them and make tons of Sneak Attack damage.

Level 10: Blade Dancer! Fast movement changes my base speed to 60. Acrobatics allows me to take 10 on any Balance, Jump, or Tumble check, even when circumstances would normally prevent me from doing so. I also get a +10 bonus on these checks. In total, I can "take 39": 10 + 10 + 4 (dex) + 13 (ranks) + 2 (skill synergy). Jump is even higher since I get speed bonuses to Jump.

Level 11: Enchated blade I allows me to enchant my sword for 1 minute/level with various special abilities (defending, flaming, frost, shock, or ghost touch) once per day.

Level 12: Improved Initiative, in order to cause the Elusive Target self-synergy more often, and in general just be attacking first.

Level 13: FASTER! Ride the wind allows the use of air walk as a spell-like ability once per day.

Level 14: Acrobatic attack: If I attack by jumping at least 5 feat toward or down onto my opponent, I get a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls.

Level 15: Enchanted blade II: Use two enchanted blade I abilities (simultaneously or separately) per day, or enchant sword with bane, disruption, flaming burst, icy burst, shocking burst, thundering, or wounding. Raptor School is another Complete Warrior tactical feat. The "eagle's swoop" tactic grants an extra 4 damage when making a DC 25 jump check jumping down on the opponent from at least 10 feat. At this level I can "take 70" on jump checks; this means I can automatically jump 17.5 feat (high enough to come down on most enemies by at least 10 feet) and I can certainly make a DC 25 check.

Level 16: FASTER!!! Dex bonus +5!

Level 17: ... This is the only real "dead" level in the entire progression.

Level 18: Don't know what feat to take here. Suggestions? Isn't there some feat that does something insane with full attacks and Spring Attack?

Level 19: Acrobatics is nuts, speed is nuts. Enchanted blade III is either 3x enchanted blade I or one of dancing, flying*, passage*, or speed (*new weapon special abilities in Oriental Adventures).

Level 20: This is Ranger 5 because it's essentially the same thing as Blade Dancer 11, except with a class feature and more skill points. Lower HD but meh.


I used the spreadsheet I mentioned earlier to help plan this, and it's been a HUGE help. It's at https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key ... ey=CMfSySM The notes tab is mainly just for my own sanity so I can say "why did I do this" or "if I change X, how does it affect the build".
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Arabascan
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Arabascan » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

Arabascan wrote:I reanimated the PbP-Thread with another scenario. Just look in. It's a new setting with a free system.
"Everyone has his price. Mine is a clean conscience."

If I make any spelling or grammar mistakes, just tell me (if you stay polite).
(Edit:Or if I write anything stupid.)

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby BoomFrog » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:44 am UTC

@rrwoods: Looks fun. It's been a while since I played 3.5, but doesn't weapon finesse require +1 BAB? I always remember that annoying my rogues.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:35 pm UTC

BoomFrog wrote:@rrwoods: Looks fun. It's been a while since I played 3.5, but doesn't weapon finesse require +1 BAB? I always remember that annoying my rogues.


It does and is a pretty bad rule. Most people will house rule away that restriction though.

For level 3, do you get skills before choosing feats? I always forget the order. I'd check that out just to make sure otherwise you can't take Flick of the Wrist here.

I'm not terribly sold on the Quick Draw/Flick of the Wrist route either. You only have 2D6 sneak so I'm not sure if 2 feats is worth it. Also if I recall Quick draw does not let you sheathe a weapon as a free action.

I think you need something to increase your damage output though. From what I can see, each attack in a full attack is dealing somewhere around: 1d6 + 2 + 2d6 + weapon enchants. Now this is decent if not quite good at the lower levels but it doesn't look like that number changes at all as you level. The only bonuses to this is if you forgo a full attack and jump at the opponent which ends up being a 1d6 + 8 +2d6 + weapon enchants but only a single attack. Your average damage on a single attack without Raptor school or Acrobatic strike is 12.5 which is about double the benefit you gain from giving up the ability to full attack (the +6 from acrobatic strike and Raptor school).

If you have the Tome of Battle I'd suggest replacing your Rogue levels with Swordsage levels. In fact I think they get Jump in class too so you could replace all the Rogue AND Fighter levels with them (if you drop some feats to get the pre-reqs). Warblade also works since I know they get Tumble and Jump in class. This might add some later game staying power. Plus if you throw in a level of one of the martial adept classes later in the progression you can get higher level maneuvers since your initiator level is still +1/2 for every non-martial adept level you have. I don't think it would really change the feel of the character much and it would add some necessary damage increases to keep you viable later.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rrwoods » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:13 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
BoomFrog wrote:@rrwoods: Looks fun. It's been a while since I played 3.5, but doesn't weapon finesse require +1 BAB? I always remember that annoying my rogues.


It does and is a pretty bad rule. Most people will house rule away that restriction though.

For level 3, do you get skills before choosing feats? I always forget the order. I'd check that out just to make sure otherwise you can't take Flick of the Wrist here.

I'm not terribly sold on the Quick Draw/Flick of the Wrist route either. You only have 2D6 sneak so I'm not sure if 2 feats is worth it. Also if I recall Quick draw does not let you sheathe a weapon as a free action.

I think you need something to increase your damage output though. From what I can see, each attack in a full attack is dealing somewhere around: 1d6 + 2 + 2d6 + weapon enchants. Now this is decent if not quite good at the lower levels but it doesn't look like that number changes at all as you level. The only bonuses to this is if you forgo a full attack and jump at the opponent which ends up being a 1d6 + 8 +2d6 + weapon enchants but only a single attack. Your average damage on a single attack without Raptor school or Acrobatic strike is 12.5 which is about double the benefit you gain from giving up the ability to full attack (the +6 from acrobatic strike and Raptor school).

If you have the Tome of Battle I'd suggest replacing your Rogue levels with Swordsage levels. In fact I think they get Jump in class too so you could replace all the Rogue AND Fighter levels with them (if you drop some feats to get the pre-reqs). Warblade also works since I know they get Tumble and Jump in class. This might add some later game staying power. Plus if you throw in a level of one of the martial adept classes later in the progression you can get higher level maneuvers since your initiator level is still +1/2 for every non-martial adept level you have. I don't think it would really change the feel of the character much and it would add some necessary damage increases to keep you viable later.

Huh, I think I just overlooked the Finesse restriction.

I will have a look-see into Swordsage. Over the weekend I was introduced to Dervish from Complete Warrior and that class is pretty sexy too. I changed up the build to basically be Ranger 4/Fighter 1/Dervish 4, then taking levels of Blade Dancer and Dervish. The dervish dance ability fits really well with the flavor I want to play, and Blade Dancer gets Perform as a class skill so I can power up the dance while taking Dancer levels. Dervish's level 10 feature, a thousand cuts, doubles the number of attacks I get during a dance. I'll write up the build like I did before in a bit. EDIT:
Spoiler:
Google docs version
Str 15, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 8

Code: Select all

Level  Class           BAB  Base Saves   +Abl.    Features; feats                                           Skill points
   1    Ranger 1        +1   +2/+2/+0              Favored enemy, track, wild empathy;                       Jmp 1, Ahp 2, Spt 4, Lis 4, Sch 4, Con 4, Hid 4, MvS 4, Sur 3
                                                       Weapons Focus: scimitar, Dodge
   2    Fighter 1       +2   +4/+2/+0              Bonus feat: Mobility                                      Jump +4 = 5
   3    Ranger 2        +3   +5/+3/+0              Combat style (two-weapon combat); Combat Reflexes         Spot +2 = 6, Listen +2 = 6, Concentration +2 = 6, Hide +2 = 6
   4    Ranger 3        +4   +5/+3/+1    Str (16)  Endurance                                                 Tumble 3, Spot +1 = 7, Listen +1 = 7
   5    Ranger 4        +5   +6/+4/+1              Animal companion, spellcasting                            Perform (dance) 3, Jump +1 = 6, Listen +1 = 8
   6    Dervish 1       +6   +6/+6/+3              AC bonus +1, dervish dance 1/day, movement mastery,       Perform (dance) +5 = 8, Tumble +1 = 4
                                                       slashing blades; Power Critical: scimitar
   7    Dervish 2       +7   +6/+7/+4              Fast movement (35)                                        Perform (dance) +2 = 10, Tumble +4 = 8
   8    Dervish 3       +8   +7/+7/+4    Str (17)  Spring Attack, dervish dance 2/day                        Tumble +3 = 11, Jump +3 = 9
   9    Dervish 4       +9   +7/+8/+5              Dance of death; Improved Critical: scimitar               Perform (dance) +2 = 12, Tumble +1 = 12 Jump +3 = 12
  10    Blade Dancer 1  +10  +7/+10/+5             Acrobatics +10, fast movement (65)                        Tumble +1 = 13, Jump +1 = 13, Balance 2
  11    Blade Dancer 2  +11  +7/+11/+5             Enchanted blade I                                         Perform (dance) +2 = 14, Jump +1 = 14, Jump +1 = 14
  12    Dervish 5       +12  +7/+11/+5   Str (18)  AC bonus +2, fast movement (70), dervish dance 3/day; ?   Tumble +1 = 15, Jump +1 = 15, Balance +4 = 6
  13    Dervish 6       +13  +8/+12/+6             Improved reaction                                         Pfm (dance) +2 = 16, Tumble +1 = 16, Jump +1 = 16, Balance +2 = 8
  14    Dervish 7       +14  +8/+12/+6             Elaborate parry, dervish dance 4/day                      Tumble +1 = 17, Jump +1 = 17, Balance +4 = 12
  15    Dervish 8       +15  +8/+13/+7             Fast movement (75); ?                                     Pfm (dance) +2 = 18, Tumble +1 = 18, Jump +1 = 18, Balance +2 = 14
  16    Dervish 9       +16  +9/+13/+7   Str (19)  AC bonus +3, tireless dance, dervish dance 5/day          Tumble +1 = 19, Jump +1 = 19, Balance +4 = 18
  17    Dervish 10      +17  +9/+14/+8             A thousand cuts                                           Pfm (d) +2 = 20, Tmb +1 = 20, Jump +1 = 20, Bal +1 = 19, Lis +1 = 9
  18    Blade Dancer 3  +18  +10/+14/+9            ?                                                         Tumble +1 = 21, Jump +1 = 21, Balance +2 = 21
  19    Blade Dancer 4  +19  +10/+15/+9            Ride the wind, fast movement (85)                         Perform (dance) +2 = 22, Tumble +1 = 22, Jump +1 = 22
  20    Blade Dancer 5  +20  +10/+15/+9  Str (20)  Acrobatics +20, acrobatic attack                          Tumble +1 = 23, Jump +1 = 23, Balance +2 = 23

Feats at 12, 15, and 18 I don't know what I want there. Something to increase damage.

I'm getting fast movement bonuses from two classes at once, so the fast movement speeds listed there are cumulative. Dervish class features:

AC bonus: What's on the tin

Dervish dance (1): As a free action you may enter a dervish dance. While in the dance, you may make a full attack while moving up to your speed. You must move at least one square between each attack. The dance lasts a number of rounds equal to half the number of ranks you have in Perform (dance), rounded down. At the end of the dance, you become fatigued for the remainder of the encounter.

Movement mastery (1): Can take 10 on Jump, Perform (dance), and Tumble checks any time

Slashing blades (1): Scimitars are light weapons

Spring Attack (3): Dervish gets this as a class feature.

Dance of death (4): Cleave while dancing. You don't have to move a square between cleave attacks, though you may move if you want to.

Improved reaction (6): +2 initiative

Elaborate parry (7): +4 AC when fighting defensively or using all-out defense.

Tireless dance (9): No fatigue at end of dance

A thousand cuts (10): Double number of attacks during full attack action (whether dancing or not; extra attacks from spells are not doubled). If dancing, you may attack twice between moves. Also Great Cleave while dancing with slashing weapons. Don't need to move between making great cleave attacks, though you may if you want to.


Your concern about the damage not really scaling isn't really addressed in this new build either though, and it is definitely one that worries me a bit. There is the attack doubling at Dervish 10, but other than that no real increase in damage output. I *might* be okay with that, just being the distractor that runs around hitting people so someone else can do the "real" damage, but it's much less satisfying than actually dropping foes. I will probably pump strength all the way to help, but feats that increase damage would be good. I just don't know any!

[ you do get skills before feats, the order is Choose a class, Base Attack Bonus, Base Save Bonuses, Ability Score (every 4th char level), Roll HP, Assign skill points, Choose feats, Update spells, Check class features ]
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:53 pm UTC

Dervish is good for damage if you continue getting the two weapon fighting feats. With greater two weapon fighting you have something like 6 attacks (3 primary and 3 offhand). Doubling that with the level 10 ability is very good. I think it needs 19 dex though to take that feat.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Vaniver » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

rrwoods wrote:Huh, I think I just overlooked the Finesse restriction.
Everyone does, because it shouldn't exist. That was just such a terrible idea. "Yeah, no dex-to-attack for rogues until level 3. This is a great plan!"
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rrwoods » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:05 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Dervish is good for damage if you continue getting the two weapon fighting feats. With greater two weapon fighting you have something like 6 attacks (3 primary and 3 offhand). Doubling that with the level 10 ability is very good. I think it needs 19 dex though to take that feat.

Ooh yeah! Definitely should take those. If I change the ability bumps to have three Dex increments I think I have 19 dex by the time I'd be taking greater two-weapon fighting.

EDIT: Found the last feat. Acrobatic Strike (requires Tumble 12 ranks) -- +4 to hit an opponent I've tumbled past without provoking an attack of opportunity. Being able to take 29 on those checks makes this pretty sexy. So the feats I'm taking are:

1 - Weapon Focus: scimitar, Dodge
2 - Mobility
3 - Combat Reflexes [and Two-Weapon Fighting as ranger class feature]
6 - Power Critical: scimitar
[8 - Spring Attack as dervish class feature]
9 - Improved Critical: scimitar
12 - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
15 - Acrobatic Strike
18 - Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Arlondiluthel » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:33 am UTC

(v3.5) Grimlock Samurai L4G... can play over the internet any day between 11 AM and 11 PM Eastern Standard Time.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:01 pm UTC

So I'm starting up an online game with some old buddies from high school. We are going to use maptool. I'm poking at the frameworks.

Anyone have experience with it?

There seems to be two frameworks: Veggiesama's and Rumble's. Recommendations?

Good spots to get maps/encounters to get me started?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Solo » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:56 pm UTC

There's a few downloadable packs on The Tangled Web.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Goldstein » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:11 pm UTC

I played with Veggiesama's for a bit. It's very powerful and allows you to create almost any ability of any type in the game, but being so versatile it is obviously very demanding to do so. Prepare to spend hours creating new creatures, and to find out mid-game that the Goblin Shaman's curse ability has the same flavour text as your Paladin's lay-on-hands. On the plus side, you should only have to create everything once and keep a toolbox.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Age of Fable » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:00 am UTC

Maybe some of you guys can help me with an ongoing problem.

I have DM'd a very old version of D&D a few times. It's mostly the 1974 rules, but with some extra rules from Basic. I run it without much fudging: attributes 3d6 in order, no maximum hit points at first level, 0 hit points is dead rather than unconscious, searching a body in the dark takes 10 minutes and therefore generates a wandering monster roll, no first-level spell for clerics and so on. The only fudging is that if a player dies and the party doesn't have any hirelings that can be 'promoted', then I'll create a wandering monster roll that involves a potential new PC.

Every time I've run it people have had a good time (as far as I can tell - they laugh a lot anyway). Despite this, no one has wanted to continue a campaign.

Why won't guys commit aren't people interested in continuing a campaign?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:26 pm UTC

Because 3d6 in order is a terrible way to make a character you give a shit about? People tend to want to continue if they get an emotional attachment to the character and/or the story, and your Classic rules make D&D even more of a straight up dungeon crawl. People... aren't really in to that anymore.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:28 pm UTC

A lot of the original D&D rules were "hardcore" for no real reason too. No maximum hit points at first levels make the ridiculousness of low level combat even worse. 3d6 in 2nd edition (which is new I think that the version you're using) would get you, on average, practically no bonuses at all due to stats. So level 1 combat devolves into who rolls a hit first with no strategy or tactics needed because 1 hit is likely to kill almost anything just due to the die roll. Not to mention wandering monster rolls even in 2nd edition were horribly balanced. Oh you rolled a 10 you encounter 4 orcs. What you rolled a 20? Red Dragon. Tough luck level 3 party. TPK.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Age of Fable » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:35 am UTC

Chen wrote:What you rolled a 20? Red Dragon. Tough luck level 3 party. TPK.


Maybe someone can answer this for me: why don't players run away? Is it because other DMs have 'trained' them not to?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby McCaber » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:07 am UTC

Age of Fable wrote:
Chen wrote:What you rolled a 20? Red Dragon. Tough luck level 3 party. TPK.


Maybe someone can answer this for me: why don't players run away? Is it because other DMs have 'trained' them not to?


Dragons can fly a lot faster than most low level dudes can run. And fleeing doesn't stop an encounter from being a TPK, especially if the party splits in the confusion and has to find each other (which leads to more monster encounters and more flight and confusion).
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:25 am UTC

McCaber wrote:
Age of Fable wrote:
Chen wrote:What you rolled a 20? Red Dragon. Tough luck level 3 party. TPK.


Maybe someone can answer this for me: why don't players run away? Is it because other DMs have 'trained' them not to?


Dragons can fly a lot faster than most low level dudes can run. And fleeing doesn't stop an encounter from being a TPK, especially if the party splits in the confusion and has to find each other (which leads to more monster encounters and more flight and confusion).


He can also cast haste or shit, or kill them in one breath.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Age of Fable » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:04 am UTC

That's not how evasion works. But really I don't think this is answering the question, so let's just leave it.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:13 am UTC

Actually I find a lot of people roleplay perfectly fine outside of battle, but the instant they hit battle they're game theorizing AI robots. Same goes for the DM's monsters/enemies. Often they'll just attack until they die... what? Don't they care for their life? They don't try and run or surrender to their attackers in the hope they'll be let off? Players don't seem to do anything like that either (bar the few intimidate checks on Kobolds making them run away). What about diplomacy, bluffs, neat little tricks that end the encounter, or indeed... running or begging if you're in trouble.

Not to say it doesn't happen, just it doesn't seem to happen enough from the games I've been watching.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:11 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Actually I find a lot of people roleplay perfectly fine outside of battle, but the instant they hit battle they're game theorizing AI robots. Same goes for the DM's monsters/enemies. Often they'll just attack until they die... what? Don't they care for their life? They don't try and run or surrender to their attackers in the hope they'll be let off? Players don't seem to do anything like that either (bar the few intimidate checks on Kobolds making them run away). What about diplomacy, bluffs, neat little tricks that end the encounter, or indeed... running or begging if you're in trouble.

Not to say it doesn't happen, just it doesn't seem to happen enough from the games I've been watching.


Dude, unless you cheese diplomacy or something, there is no way to have an angry dragon leave you alive at that level. (fear my level 7 bluff!)

And even then rushed diplomacy has a HUGE penality. So if you don't use item familiars or the such... Stopping someone from killing you is DC 35. (and with DC 150, you gain a dragon fanatic!)

Wait, according to http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Diplomacy_Skill, a fanatical follower may throw oneself in front of an onrushing dragon. So if you diplomacy it mid-charge, how does it even work?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

Age of Fable wrote:
Chen wrote:What you rolled a 20? Red Dragon. Tough luck level 3 party. TPK.


Maybe someone can answer this for me: why don't players run away? Is it because other DMs have 'trained' them not to?
Pretty much.

There's also a trust issue that a lot of players have developed with DMs which basically boils down to "Yes, some of us may die, but the DM wouldn't put us in a combat situation where victory isn't effectively impossible without warning".

There's also the issue as stated above which isn't specific to red dragons but.. if you encounter a creature who's movement is equal to or superior to your own, particularly if there are more than one of them, and the DM is treating the creatures as semi-mindless "Kill the Party" monsters, the only escape you have is for one person to sit there, do their damnedest to get the monster(s)'s attention, and die while the rest of the party runs away. And yes, sometimes that can be memorable. If a player's tired of a character and wants something different, or they're fine with their last action in the campaign being a Heroic Sacrifice or whatever (See : Sturm Brightblade of the Dragonlance series, Spock in Wrath of Khan, and 8,000 bajillion instances on TV Tropes as goddamn is this overused) then that's fine. It's something the player and DM can even discuss ahead of time so the DM knows what's going on.


Now don't get me wrong - if there's a legend of a Dragon in a mountain or something, and stories of how ancient and horrible it is, and the players at level 4 decide to go kill it... well, you slaughter the entire party with the level 20 Red/White/Blue/Chartruse/Aquamarine/Whatever Dragon and ask "The fuck did you expect was going to happen?" when they bitch. And yes, if you make it abundantly clear that an area is considered unsafe due to X creatures running around, and X creatures are above the party's ability but the party for no reason still wanders into that area... okay, you drop the hammer on them. That's fine. That's the whole Warning thing I mentioned in the above trust relationship.

What you don't do is use a generic All Levels wandering monster table. 4 nonleveled orcs are deadly serious at level 1. 4 nonleveled Orcs aren't even a speedbump at level 8.. but one Level 12 Orc? Okay, that's going to be potentially rough.


And don't get me wrong about 3d6 In Order... that's a fine way to run a one-shot. It's a great way to run a meatgrinder. It's.. actually a fantastic way to run a meatgrinder. There's no thought, no planning, no nothing. Roll dice and your character is decided for you, you just pick a race. Given that it's a meatgrinder, your height, weight, gender, hair color and so on don't really matter. Characters can be cranked out almost as fast as a computer can randomly generate them. But I wouldn't want to keep coming back to a game that was 3d6 in order as it's going to be... way the hell too imbalanced. Shelia the Great (lowest stat, 15 Wis) is going to carry the party on her own while Tim the Tiny (Highest Stat 8 Cha) is going to be .. at best... bait.

(Not even to mention that 3rd edition was designed around a PC's average stat being 12, and I suspect 4th has something similar going on, but whatever)

No one wants to play Tim the Tiny. Except for maybe that one guy who keeps rolling up blind one-legged kobolds, but if you're running a game where that sort of thing is common enough, you're... probably not doing 3d6 in order.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Vaniver » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:59 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:That's the whole Warning thing I mentioned in the above trust relationship.
Though I should mention that a lot of the time the party's expectation is that they will be able to defeat the mythical beast that no one else has defeated yet (because who wants to run around killing already defeated monsters?).

And so it's a legitimately hard problem to convey "yeah, this is the dragon whelp you can kill but is terrifying all the villagers" vs. "yeah, this is the high dragon who has put down scores of people twice your level." The most direct way to get around that is just use numbers- "There's a CR 14 dragon in those hills!"- though of course that can cause problems with suspension of disbelief.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:16 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:That's the whole Warning thing I mentioned in the above trust relationship.
Though I should mention that a lot of the time the party's expectation is that they will be able to defeat the mythical beast that no one else has defeated yet (because who wants to run around killing already defeated monsters?).

And so it's a legitimately hard problem to convey "yeah, this is the dragon whelp you can kill but is terrifying all the villagers" vs. "yeah, this is the high dragon who has put down scores of people twice your level." The most direct way to get around that is just use numbers- "There's a CR 14 dragon in those hills!"- though of course that can cause problems with suspension of disbelief.


You could just mention he easily slaughtered heroes far more renowned and better equipped than the party. Or put a ripped apart kraken near his lear or... or something.

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Vaniver
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Vaniver » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:33 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:You could just mention he easily slaughtered heroes far more renowned and better equipped than the party. Or put a ripped apart kraken near his lear or... or something.
"You mean there's great loot there? Let's go!"

For a signal to be effective, both parties have to understand what it means. Developing that language is an important task that should be taken seriously, especially when a TPK is on the line.

4th actually has the start of a decent tool for this, with the explicit terms heroic, paragon, and epic- you can tell the party that there's an epic-level dragon in the volcano, that the king is a paragon-level wizard, and that the bandit leader is a heroic swordsman, and those are all code for numbers.

It's also a good idea to think about why you're putting challenges they can't defeat within stumbling range of the party. There are legitimate purposes for such things, but those purposes don't fit in most games.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby BlackSails » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:52 pm UTC

Age of Fable wrote:
Chen wrote:What you rolled a 20? Red Dragon. Tough luck level 3 party. TPK.


Maybe someone can answer this for me: why don't players run away? Is it because other DMs have 'trained' them not to?


How do you plan to run away from something that is faster than you, stronger than you, and can cast more powerful spells than you? Trying to flee from a dragon at low level is like basically like trying to flap your arms and fly. Sure, the mechanics are all there, but its just not happening.

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Menacing Spike
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Menacing Spike » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:53 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:It's also a good idea to think about why you're putting challenges they can't defeat within stumbling range of the party. There are legitimate purposes for such things, but those purposes don't fit in most games.


Aha, but there is more than a challenge than charging it swords drawn. The players could perhaps raise an army to fight it. Or lure another Big Bad Thing to the dragon. Or engineer the collapse of his cave. Or weave baskets until it dies of old age (warforged party!). Or try to parlay/negociate with it at a safe distance with magical or mechanical means.
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