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[Roleplaying Games] Thank God I Finally Have A Table For Cannabis Potency.

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Posts

  • MarshmallowMarshmallow Swish SwishRegistered User regular
    edited April 21
    I recall party composition being a pretty big deal if the DM doesn't compensate accordingly. Back when I was running 4e, I had a group that technically covered the roles, but was actually very heavily leaning into the Defender and Leader (had two Paladins and a Warlord, for instance), and didn't have a lot of heavy damage available (Striker was an Avenger, for instance). Combats could get very sloggy and lame if I wasn't careful.

    Had to really take it easy on Soldier role monsters or anything with a lot of HP, for instance, but on the other hand I could throw some really scary Lurkers and Artillery into the mix because I knew they were tough enough, and had enough healing, that I didn't need to worry about a random crit or sneak attack leading to too much trouble.

    Marshmallow on
    img]
    Auralynx
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Another point I’ll add as a general thought. A game, any kind of game, should be built around the feelings you want the players to have. D&D often describes itself in its text as a pretty serious high stakes fantasy chronicle, but due to the swingy rolls characters often come across as unfortunate fools. Like my pal in the last game I played in failed to cast Hold Person every single time. It became a running gag eventually.

    When I play D&D these days we all agree it’s a comedy of errors by default, with perhaps some pathos in the downtime. It works so much better that way. Basically The Princess Bride rather than Lord of the Rings.

    Contrast D&D to say, Apocalypse World, and you’ll see how every rule and move in it forces the game to be played as it was intended. The game says you’re a morally grey scavenger (physically and emotionally) and you are. Straight up. You character will have burdens placed on them, have wants due to scarcity and be tied to the few people that are left.

    Another example is Blades in the Dark, a game about criminals gaining territory over a city, with built scene escalation rules that genuinely make things more dangerous as low rolls add complications, not failures, to your situation. You will be a twitchy paranoid thug, thief or assassin, you will make witty or cutting remarks. It’s very focused on the kind of stories it wants to tell. If I wanted to run an Eberron game I think I’d use this system over D&D despite it originating there.

    On the flip side Genysis, Fate, and all other other point buy systems are neat, and can be worked into anything with a bit of effort.

    I hear tell 13th Age is a great alternative. I once played a play-by-post game for a bit but a deployment got in the way, so I can’t say I’ve a firm grasp of it.

    Pablo the PenguindavidsdurionsKadokenadmanbdescBrodyJustTee
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    I recall party composition being a pretty big deal if the DM doesn't compensate accordingly. Back when I was running 4e, I had a group that technically covered the roles, but was actually very heavily leaning into the Defender and Leader (had two Paladins and a Warlord, for instance), and didn't have a lot of heavy damage available (Striker was an Avenger, for instance). Combats could get very sloggy and lame if I wasn't careful.

    Had to really take it easy on Soldier role monsters or anything with a lot of HP, for instance, but on the other hand I could throw some really scary Lurkers and Artillery into the mix because I knew they were tough enough, and had enough healing, that I didn't need to worry about a random crit or sneak attack leading to too much trouble.

    Yeah, that party composition would tend to slog its way through fights unless the Avenger was optimized for crit-fishing.

    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    edited April 21
    4e isn't like other games where your bad rolls can be minimized. If you're whiffing you're effectively not doing anything, and that's a problem with the basic design of D&D. In most editions it only affects martials, but in 4e it affects everyone. If your group wants to keep playing 4e -- which is a tactical RPG where your tactics matter almost as much as anything else, something rarely seen in tabletop RPGs -- I'd suggest looking at implementing things like higher "ping damage" where even if you "miss" you're dealing like half damage. I'll also note that 4e doesn't require much party-wise by design but if you don't have a Defender who is really good at managing aggro, the game can get out of hand really fast. Meaning you often want your tactically strongest player to play the Defender and let them set the encounter plan. There are also secondary issues with Defenders where some of the classes aren't nearly well-equipped enough to really handle an encounter that goes more than a few rounds.

    4e also punishes compounding errors with compounding interest; if you don't have a tactically strong Defender player and you don't have someone playing a Leader with robust inspiration options, you're going to suffer really brutal encounters because you're behind the power curve. If you don't have the former two and your Strikers aren't above average at damage output, every encounter becomes a brutal slog. Controllers can mitigate all of these problems to an extent but they can't just Wizard Win™ encounters like D&D players are used to.

    13th Age is genuinely the best D&D that has ever existed. But it's also not for everyone. People who like Paladins, for example, will probably hate it.

    Ardent on
    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
    DarkPrimusitalianranma
  • Pablo the PenguinPablo the Penguin Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Are you playing with normal stat blocks/stat buy?

    We started our characters with normal stat blocks at level 1 and are now at level 5. I've heard before that low level D&D tends to be extra swingy, so that's probably been part of the problem.
    What rulebooks are you using? The later "expertise" feats were a sort of stealth errata and are ridiculously good. Everybody should take one as they're all +1 to hit.

    We all have player's handbooks and the DM owns a copy of player's handbook 2, so our options for feats are not too extensive. Though he probably would allow some other feats if we looked them up online.
    Thank you everyone for the advice. It's given me some stuff to think about.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    A little late to the party, but I can offer a few house rules that will not break 4E but can go a long way to relieving this issue.
    • Action Points, instead of just letting you take another Standard Action, can also be used to retry whatever it was you just did. Just whiffed your big Daily? Spend an Action Point and try again.
    • I don't actually remember if this is a house rule, but players should start every session with at least one Action Point, and they can earn more in a session.
    • The most experimental rule, but I really like it: Players can "buy" another Action Point by essentially giving one to the DM that they can use the same way the players can. Sure you can try again to land that attack, but it means that at some point the DM is going to get the same opportunity for a monster. It's a form of player agency that I think really fits the tactical philosophy of 4E and can make for some great moments in play.

    destroyah87MahnmutRhesus PositiveKadokenElvenshaeArdentAnialosPablo the PenguinLord_AsmodeusitalianranmaBrody
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited April 21
    That sounds like the fate and force systems from FFG 40K and FFG Star Wars. Is that where FFG got it from?

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
    crimsoncoyote
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Kadoken wrote: »
    That sounds like the fate and force systems from FFG 40K and FFG Star Wars. Is that where FFG got it from?

    Personally I took inspiration from the Doom Pool in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. I'm not sure which system came first but however you slice it I find it to be an enjoyable mechanic. Especially if you have some physical representation (tokens, dice, chits, whatever) that the table can see ominously growing.

  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    edited April 22
    Has anyone else experienced this, or have any advice on what I can do about it?
    The game ended badly. One of characters is dead. It is game over and it is game over in bad style. They had no chances. They weren't even close. It wasn't a good game.

    'You were unlucky. Too many bad events. It's adventure game, sometimes you have luck, sometimes you don't...' I say. Vlaada is searching through decks of cards. 'There are good and bad events in all of those decks?' he asks pointing four decks of cards.

    'Yep.'

    'You can't have good events, here, Ignacy' he says.

    Did I just hear him saying the thing he just said? 'Are you kidding?! You've just lost because of lack of good events!'

    'There can not be good events in those decks. You have to get rid of them. You don't control the game at this moment. Ignacy, you – as an author – have to have control over your game. You can't design game that you don't control.

    'You want game to be difficult, you want game to throw at players 3 bad events and you want the game to help them twice. That is your dream configuration. But math is cruel. There will be games like ours today, with 4 bad events and only one good. There will be even games with 0 bad and 5 good events. Players will play it, will have 5 good events, finish the game without smallest effort and then they will write on BGG that game is easy like piece of cake and boring and they don't recommend it.'

    Math is cruel, and D&D will never care. If that's really starting to bug you, find a system where the GM gets more leeway to interpret "you failed the roll" as less "better luck next time" and more "you succeed and then immediately wish you hadn't".

    Glazius on
    ElvenshaeAuralynxCalica
  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    Ardent wrote: »
    Fate Accelerated (I don't recommend full-fledged Fate to anyone who isn't comfortable doing mechanical work)
    Would you mind elaborating on this a bit? Are you saying that Fate Core needs a lot of additional mechanical tweaking on the part of the GM (and perhaps the players) to make it functional? Or, that Fate Core already has a lot of moving parts, and everyone at the table has to be ready to move those parts on a regular basis (which is more involved than moving the moving parts of something like D&D)? Or both? Or something else?

    (I've never had the opportunity to play any flavor of Fate, but I'm very intrigued by the mechanics of it, so I'm curious what someone with experience in it thinks of it.)

    dresdenphile
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    Delduwath wrote: »
    Would you mind elaborating on this a bit? Are you saying that Fate Core needs a lot of additional mechanical tweaking on the part of the GM (and perhaps the players) to make it functional? Or, that Fate Core already has a lot of moving parts, and everyone at the table has to be ready to move those parts on a regular basis (which is more involved than moving the moving parts of something like D&D)? Or both? Or something else?
    So, basic Fate gameplay requires that both players and the GM buy in to several conceits; the Fate Point economy, which requires players being willing to eat bad things happening to gain Fate Points, and GMs being willing to offer opportunities to get Fate Points to the players. This is tied into the aspects, and writing good aspects is absolutely the hardest part of Fate for a lot of people. Some people are just plain bad at this, and it turns them off to Fate forever.

    But beyond this Fate Core introduces a lot of the moving parts we see in other RPGs; each moving part creates another thing for the GM to keep track of on top of managing the Fate Point economy and for the players to be concerned with beyond the basic narrative approach to play. Fate Accelerated Edition, by comparison, keeps most of the moving parts at arms length to focus on narrative gaming and the Fate Point economy.

    The primary difference between Fate Core and Fate Accelerated is Skills; Skills being a way to add complexity to the game, but one that isn't necessarily well-suited to the generally cinematic narrative style that Fate both encourages and eventually requires to satisfy the Fate Point economy. But Fate Core is a toolkit; Skills are just the most obvious difference. You can add equipment that does things besides provide a flat bonus to a certain kind of roll (mecha and vehicles being general examples). You can add Attributes if you want to add more granularity into the game's characteristics. There's a lot you can do and bluntly not a whole lot you should do. Which is why a GM who's experienced with mechanical fiddling is going to be a better fit for Fate Core.

    With that said, Fate Accelerated Edition can go pretty deep! The primary difference is that instead of increasing granularity with Skills and other characteristics, it tries to keep things really simple: you use narrative approaches. You assign your character's facility at various narrative approaches and then use those approaches to accomplish tasks as modified by stunts (think D&D feats) and other "narrative permissions" like your Aspects. This makes players focus on the cinematic narrative style of the game and the emphasis on Aspect importance is a good way of enforcing the Fate Point economy. It's tough to pull off anything big in FAE without invoking an Aspect, making your Fate Points really valuable.

    As an example, playing in a supers-cyberpunk mashup game with FAE, I have a character whose superpower is Charisma. Just raw, unadulterated "it" factor. So their primary Approach is "Flashy," meaning they tend to go big. The Flashy approach has a lot of drawbacks: it isn't the quickest solution, nor is it one that you can "keep on the down low." If you're doing it, everyone nearby knows it. This character got into a scuffle with an NPC, and doesn't have good approaches for that sort of thing. So instead of fighting "straight up" like the NPC wanted, the PC basically turned it into a pro wrestling match. Everything they did was big, flashy, and inefficient, but they were able to completely control the fight until the bruiser showed up. The whole thing was caught on camera (of course), but it was true to the character's approaches, narratively appropriate (a superhero who doesn't know self-defense isn't really a superhero, even if it's largely pro wrestling stuff like hip tosses, dropkicks, and elbow drops), and burned several Fate Points. The poor thug, who would normally be a very good fighter in a Force-on-Force approach encounter, was completely out of their element.

    Also worth noting that the Fate games work best when they tend to ignore scenes where some kind of action isn't going on. Meaning it's not an ideal fit for every group.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
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  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    Thank you for the detailed breakdown, @Ardent! When I was reading the Fate Core rulebook (a thousand years ago, so I should probably refresh my memory), I saw them make it pretty clear that Aspects should be invoked all the time, that Fate Points should be flowing back and forth on a regular basis, but it also seems like creating interesting aspects requires a certain knack and/or degree of experience. Like, you don't just pick a random set of words from the tables in Appendix 1-B or whatever, you need to come up with something that has both positive and negative facets; something that isn't overly generic or specific; something that will come up often enough to make an impact on the game. I can see this being a hurdle for lots of folks who aren't creative writing majors.

  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    Any good suggestions for a lower powered but NOT d20/level based fantasy game.

    Zweihander is a love letter to the old school "grimdark" Warhammer Fantasy RPG. It's low powered, not d20-based, and uses career progression as opposed to levels.



    Also on Steam and PSN: twobadcats
    italianranmaMrVyngaard
  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    Delduwath wrote: »
    Thank you for the detailed breakdown, @Ardent! When I was reading the Fate Core rulebook (a thousand years ago, so I should probably refresh my memory), I saw them make it pretty clear that Aspects should be invoked all the time, that Fate Points should be flowing back and forth on a regular basis, but it also seems like creating interesting aspects requires a certain knack and/or degree of experience. Like, you don't just pick a random set of words from the tables in Appendix 1-B or whatever, you need to come up with something that has both positive and negative facets; something that isn't overly generic or specific; something that will come up often enough to make an impact on the game. I can see this being a hurdle for lots of folks who aren't creative writing majors.

    Yeah so the thing about Fate is that it plays way worse in the book than it does in real life? Kind of?

    Like, you're sitting alone in a featureless white room with a book talking at you, and you're expecting to be able to work to the standard that the book is setting up, which is to write broad-appeal aspects that can be understood by total strangers on a different continent five years later.

    But that's not who you play Fate with. The purpose of writing down Aspects is to tell everybody at the table, the GM included, the important plot things about your character. You work to their satisfaction, and you can help each other out. Heck, the GM isn't anybody's enemy when it comes to that, because if they get good aspects that means they can set exciting and relevant scenes and buy you into them.

    Nips
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited April 23
    @Pablo the Penguin what's your character's race/class/build, and what's your primary attack bonus and defenses?

    Also what weapon/implement, armor, and neck slot do they have?

    Tox on
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  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Anyone using Scrivener for campaign notes? I decided I need a way to track notes on locations and NPCs outside of my in-the-moment physical journaling and it seems like a better piece of software than any of the RPG-focuses web apps.

    MrVyngaard
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Anyone using Scrivener for campaign notes? I decided I need a way to track notes on locations and NPCs outside of my in-the-moment physical journaling and it seems like a better piece of software than any of the RPG-focuses web apps.

    I use one note, but Scrivener does look cool!

    Steam ID: Webguy20
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  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Anyone using Scrivener for campaign notes? I decided I need a way to track notes on locations and NPCs outside of my in-the-moment physical journaling and it seems like a better piece of software than any of the RPG-focuses web apps.

    I use one note, but Scrivener does look cool!

    I’ve seen a lot of recommendations for OneNote but it’s just way too strongly associated with work for me. I can’t even bring myself to try.

    JustTeewebguy20
  • FroThulhuFroThulhu Registered User regular
    So, way along in thread-

    Thanks to you nerds, I've hybridized 5th Age and Stars Without Number, and my players have bought in.They love my psychic goat man who sounds like Dr. Dugong, and they show a strange loyalty to my Amphrid bartender/slum mayor with a gator grin. They've managed to dodge all-out combat, knowing that sci-fi weaponry is inevitably deadly.

    Nova_C wrote: »
    "I'm arresting you for failing to check yourself. You have the right to wreck yourself."
    ElvenshaeJustTeeKadokenArdentBrody
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    So, way along in thread-

    Thanks to you nerds, I've hybridized 5th Age and Stars Without Number, and my players have bought in.They love my psychic goat man who sounds like Dr. Dugong, and they show a strange loyalty to my Amphrid bartender/slum mayor with a gator grin. They've managed to dodge all-out combat, knowing that sci-fi weaponry is inevitably deadly.

    I'd love to see the hybridization! I really liked SWN's systems, but I haven't gotten a chance to run it yet.

    Also, I need some brain storming ideas. My former weekly campaign broke down due to schedules changing after babies being born, but we're getting the gang back together for a one shot to give a little epilogue. The last time we saw the heroes, they were stuck in a deadly forest, inescapable forest. They had a string of bad rolls and bad character decisions, and were basically walking into the boss fight depleted of basically everything.

    There was no way that the characters in-world would retreat (pride / saving a kid / saving the forest). There was also no way for them to retreat/rest (timing of a ritual that they knew going in and burned a lot of their "free" time doing side stuff they knew they didn't need to do). So this was more or less an unavoidable TPK (mostly) or otherwise would be narratively extremely dissatisfying to all players involved. Everyone could see the guillotine blade being raised, and they all walked up voluntarily and put their heads in the slot. If the blade didn't fall, the game would basically break.

    However, I had a trick up my sleeve. There's a fantasy version of the SWN system made by the same author called Godbound. It's basically D&D OSR but you get to play Demigods bound to individual words. Those words can allow you to work incredible miracles, and there's a cool little way to denote resource usage and creative space to allow for player ingenuity. It's great.

    So, my idea was that post-TPK, each player goes to their version of the after life, and is given the choice. They can move on and rest (thereby offering the player a chance to make a new character / get closure) or, they can be returned to life. However, they will be bound and shaped to a single word. That word will grant them power, but at a cost.

    So I'd jack the Word mechanic from Godbound, slap it into D&D 5E characters, and let these semi-DemiGods back at this corrupted nature spirit.

    For the one shot, that means we'll have a bunch of characters tied to specific, evocative words.

    You better believe they are going to have to Captain Planet BY OUR POWERS COMBINE to defeat the evil polluting nature spirit.

    What I need ideas for are the 4 words and themed encounters they'll have to get through in the 1 shot before being able to tackle the big bad. Here's the list of Godbound words:
    Sun, Bow, Alacrity, Artifice, Sea, Command, Knowledge, Fertility, Might, Death, Health, Luck, Time, Fate, Passion, Night, Deception, Beast, Earth, Endurance, Journeying, Sword, Sorcery, Sky, Fire, Shapeshifter, Wealth

    These all have paragraphs in the Godbound rules for how they work, but I'd also be open to other words. I'm super bad at coming up with the starting seed ideas, but much better at taking a different seed and running with it. Any ideas for encounters designed to let one of the words shine?

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    MahnmutEndless_Serpents
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    You could always try to define humanity:
    Love/Passion, Want, Invention, Change

    Or heroism:
    Justice, Glory, Might, Luck/Fortune

    Legit go Captain Planet:
    Earth, Water, Fire, Air

    Or maybe go Biblical:
    Conquest/War, Death, Pestilence/Famine/Ruin, Knowledge (in the vein of madness inducing Cthulhu stuff)

    Or if you like the idea of them being at odds much later:
    Law, Chaos, Heaven, Hell

    This is such a neat idea! I’ll have to think on encounters...

    JustTee
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited April 24
    Fundamental properties of the universe? How about Up, Down, Charm and Strange?

    One being that wants you to focus on your goal/ascension and not get distracted by temptations on the way.
    Another will test your spirit and subject you to various torments and obstacles in order to see that you won't surrender and give up on your quest.
    A third that cares little about how well you do or where you want to go, but wants to know (and for you to know) why you want to go the way you've chosen and will challenge you to pit your principles against your drive.
    The final one that wants you to reconsider if you know why and where you're going in it's entirety, and will challenge everything about the way you are looking at this challenge.

    That way you can have four very similar encounters, but all slightly and subtly different, which might add a slightly mythic quality to the scenario, reminiscent of old fables.

    Plus your players can go mad working out which of the Fundamentals is trying to challenge them at this point in time, and worry about the choices they made in the past - which is what the Fundamentals are trying to get them to do. And the concepts are vague enough that you've got a lot of scope to shape it to whatever characters you have (and maybe even let them pick an appropriate keyword from a set you've pre-approved for each challenge).

    Tastyfish on
    MarshmallowJustTee
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    I'd say before deciding on Words, you need to think about what kind of encounter you want. Is this a mostly figurative fight that is more about a struggle of ideals, or are they returning to the physical plane to wreck this polluter? Or, is it somewhere in between? I'm seeing a number of scenarios here since this is so open.

    Maybe it's all 4 doing all 4 of either one, maybe there's 3 guys in the material and one more abstract/puzzle to help them out, maybe there's a single physical champion and 3 puzzlers. I would say you should try to design an encounter for each player (and maybe character) that they would enjoy, and then maybe work backwards to what Word it would refer to.

    You could do aspects of nature/existence since it's a pollution monster. I was always partial to Strong Nuclear Force as an element.

    JustTee
  • Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Evil, Evil, Jump for joy! Registered User regular
    So, I took your suggestions to heart...and kinda took a very different tack. I picked up Blades in the Dark (and Scum and Villainy). I love the heist/team logic behind it.

    PSN ID - Mostlyjoe Steam ID -TheNotoriusRNG
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  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    So, I took your suggestions to heart...and kinda took a very different tack. I picked up Blades in the Dark (and Scum and Villainy). I love the heist/team logic behind it.

    Blades in the dark is one of my favorite systems to run, but one of the games I feel like I'm the worst at DMing? The setting is so evocative and yet I freeze all the time for generating scope / scale / stuff. It's almost like I need something more specific to run in that setting and the book leaves me feeling inspired and yet empty at the same time? It's hard to explain. I think it comes down to the fact that I'm a better editor than I am creator, so most of my DMing is done using pre-existing modules to expand off of rather than wholesale creation.

    As for my 5E->Godsbound Smash Up, here's my smash cut framework idea:

    I have about 3 to 4 hours max to run the one shot. Any longer than that and we start getting into issues with attention and responsibilities. We'll also be playing on a Sunday fairly soon, so that means Game Of Thrones provides a hard stopping point to the night. So, I plan to divy up my time:

    ~30 minutes for intro, recap, "TPK", and presentation of choice to each character. Designing this will be easy, but requires the other designs to be locked in.
    ~2 hours for 4 unique encounters, each designed to highlight one of my players. They don't have to be equally spaced, because each player likes being in the spot light a varying amount.
    30-60 minutes for a final epic encounter with the nature eroding demonic creature thing.

    For the players:
    Player #1 is:
    • Fond of interplay between light / dark, good/bad, using bad powers to do good, temptation
    • Loves moments of romance between unlikely characters
    • Favorite moment to date was a battle between the characters and a dragon while the dragon tried to burn down their town and they tried to stop it.

    Player #2 is:
    • Loves puzzle solving
    • Loves to sit in the sidelines but to swoop in with a solution
    • Favorite moment was a side-adventure where they had to solve color-coordinated portal based room puzzles

    Player #3 is:
    • FIREBALL
    • Silly in play but loves characters / stories with a dark history
    • Favorite moment was his character innocently accepting a deal with a merchant demon without a second thought (past character, not this campaign)

    Player #4 is:
    • Likes playing odd-ball characters (currently playing a Dwarven Druid who was raised by animals)
    • Likes to try to talk things out rather than go in guns blazing

    The idea is that they're going to be brought back to the physical plane to wreck the nature-polluting beastie that put them in the ground the first time. They will owe a tie to the creature that brought them back, but the one shot most likely won't deal with that over much.

    Each character, if they choose to return, will be given a Word. Then, the 4(ish) encounters they face would be designed to allow for space for each one of the characters to shine using their new word. The final encounter would be designed to require each of those unique words to be used in order to defeat and overcome the Big Bad. Each of those themes would ideally be telegraphed (somewhat) during the initial 30 minute recap/TPK.

    So, since there's a strong Nature element, I would think Primordial / Fundamental forces would be natural fits.

    For Player #4, I think giving his character a social power is a good choice, as it would allow him to take a former weakness of his character, and turn it to strength. Possibly Command, Knowledge, or Passion.

    Player #3 has always had a bend towards FIRE in every character he's had, and is currently playing a warlock. I think giving him the ultimate power and control over FIRE is the obvious choice. But perhaps something less obvious like Sea or Might could work better? Trying to think how to tie in the desire to bond with dark powers to do well. Maybe Death?

    Player #2 is playing a bard, and generally likes cleverness, and being able to pick and choose where she's in the spot light. I was thinking Luck or Time might be good fits...

    Player #1 I think needs something big. Maybe SUN to be like Escanor. Possibly Death, as he also likes the interplay of light/dark, good/evil. Maybe Night?

    Maybe something like:
    Passion + Fire + Time + Death
    or
    Knowledge + Sea + Luck + Sun

    I'm having trouble unifying them into a cohesive theme. Thoughts / ideas / suggestions very welcome.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited April 25
    I think I am breaking a cardinal rule of RPGs but I’m doing it to rectify weak parts of my GMing and conveyance to the players. I want to have the archvillain to come in, stab one of their friends, and show them how powerful the guy is and why they should fear and hate him mechanically and narratively. I want to do this because I’ve made a bad habit of telling them things rather than letting them play with those things in a way that would matter to them as I have said before.

    For context, the players are right now traveling through tunnels. They’re going to stop a ritual that would turn the planet they’re on into a daemonic garden. They have a retinue of folks with them including the samurai space marine. That guy has made trouble for the archvillain. He keeps killing off the lieutenants of one of the archvillain’s partners. His appearance alone has messed with that partner’s mind and is messing with the archvillain’s plans because he’s not focused on what the archvillain wants. The archvillain set the players down the current adventure to wipe out a rival group so their plan can go down without a hitch. For a mixture of pragmatism, future planning, and pettiness he wants to weaken the marine enough to have him possibly die in the immediate upcoming battle. Mechanically that means damaging the marine to half or less health. Not automatically but through genuine dice rolls. Which does give the players time to see if he has weaknesses. Narratively it might help them feel helpless which is part of the archvillain’s hypocritical nature and why he’s doing what he does. Also if he dies, which he really can’t here because of the burning of fate points, he has three other defined dudes replace him.

    I think this is something he as a character would do. It wasn’t to try to disadvantage the players. Also one of them has a daemon following them controlled by another partner of his that they never dealt with. That thing has been feeding him info so he would know where they were along with making sure they were on the right track to kill his enemies.

    I do have some things in place to make sure he doesn’t die (along with weaknesses the players might find if they choose to attack him). Besides being very fast and having high skill for evasions, he has a relic which is essentially a JoJo stand that acts like a lot of armor when in reality is basically a lightning fast translucent incorporeal animated suit of armour made of warpstuff. I call it Brass Warden. Along with that, he brought along six unique daemon engine constructs just in case the psyker gets tricksy with the Crush ability.

    The thing is weak to sanctified weapons and untouchables. Which they do have a powerful NPC one in tow. He is also weak to untouchables because his main abilities are based on a mixture of body morphing and warp based powers.

    Am I replacing bad GMing for bad GMing or if this happened to you would you think it would work to convey threat to the players?

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Kadoken wrote: »
    I think I am breaking a cardinal rule of RPGs but I’m doing it to rectify weak parts of my GMing and conveyance to the players. I want to have the archvillain to come in, stab one of their friends, and show them how powerful the guy is and why they should fear and hate him mechanically and narratively. I want to do this because I’ve made a bad habit of telling them things rather than letting them play with those things in a way that would matter to them as I have said before.

    For context, the players are right now traveling through tunnels. They’re going to stop a ritual that would turn the planet they’re on into a daemonic garden. They have a retinue of folks with them including the samurai space marine. That guy has made trouble for the archvillain. He keeps killing off the lieutenants of one of the archvillain’s partners. His appearance alone has messed with that partner’s mind and is messing with the archvillain’s plans because he’s not focused on what the archvillain wants. The archvillain set the players down the current adventure to wipe out a rival group so their plan can go down without a hitch. For a mixture of pragmatism, future planning, and pettiness he wants to weaken the marine enough to have him possibly die in the immediate upcoming battle. Mechanically that means damaging the marine to half or less health. Not automatically but through genuine dice rolls. Which does give the players time to see if he has weaknesses.

    I think this is something he as a character would do. It wasn’t to try to disadvantage the players. Also one of them has a daemon following them controlled by another partner of his that they never dealt with. That thing has been feeding him info so he would know where they were along with making sure they were on the right track to kill his enemies.

    I do have some things in place to make sure he doesn’t die (along with weaknesses the players might find if they choose to attack him). Besides being very fast and having high skill for evasions, he has a relic which is essentially a JoJo stand that acts like a lot of armor when in reality is basically a lightning fast translucent incorporeal animated suit of armour made of warpstuff. I call it Brass Warden. Along with that, he brought along six unique daemon engine constructs just in case the psyker gets tricksy with the Crush ability.

    The thing is weak to sanctified weapons and untouchables. Which they do have a powerful NPC one in tow. He is also weak to untouchables because his main abilities are based on a mixture of body morphing and warp based powers.

    Am I replacing bad GMing for bad GMing or if this happened to you would you think it would work to convey threat to the players?

    There's an interesting discussion in the 5E thread right now about this. And personally, I think this is super dangerous ground to tread. For a few reasons:

    #1 What If They Kill Him-
    Whenever your plan involves showing your players your big bad but expecting them to get away unscathed can lead to a bunch of shenanigans. Any time you do it, you're basically risking that the party blows all their resources immediately upon trying to kill the big bad. If you're not prepared to accept him dying...don't do this.

    #2 Hand Waving Player Responses
    If you still introduce the players to the big bad in this manner, and they reply, make sure you don't just say "Oh your attacks miss" or "Your attacks do no damage" or "He escapes! Sorry no chasing". I think a lot of GMs expect that they'll introduce their players to the big bad in this huge moment of bad assery and the players will just like...cower? Allow it to happen? I dunno. I don't know what you THINK your players will do, but you should absolutely PLAN on them replying with the full force they're able to bring to bear.

    #3 Forgetting Players Are the Heroes
    Outside of specific games like Blades in the Dark or 10 Candles or their ilk, generally speaking, the player expectation is that anything they encounter is a thing that they could possibly beat. So, by introducing your boss to them, they're going to have the expectation that they can beat him. Unless you've already established several facts, this is going to be the reality. So ask yourself:
    Have your players ever successfully retreated from an encounter?
    Have you established a horror / survival theme where players aren't "supposed" to "win" every encounter?
    Do your players fight to the death every time or do they accept narrative endings to combats?

    Generally I find other ways to sign post that my Big Bad is Big and Bad. There are a number of ways to do it. How you go about it is dependent on your table and your story, but any time you plan something of an attack on your players, expect them to not respond meekly.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    SleepElvenshae
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    JustTee wrote: »
    Kadoken wrote: »
    I think I am breaking a cardinal rule of RPGs but I’m doing it to rectify weak parts of my GMing and conveyance to the players. I want to have the archvillain to come in, stab one of their friends, and show them how powerful the guy is and why they should fear and hate him mechanically and narratively. I want to do this because I’ve made a bad habit of telling them things rather than letting them play with those things in a way that would matter to them as I have said before.

    For context, the players are right now traveling through tunnels. They’re going to stop a ritual that would turn the planet they’re on into a daemonic garden. They have a retinue of folks with them including the samurai space marine. That guy has made trouble for the archvillain. He keeps killing off the lieutenants of one of the archvillain’s partners. His appearance alone has messed with that partner’s mind and is messing with the archvillain’s plans because he’s not focused on what the archvillain wants. The archvillain set the players down the current adventure to wipe out a rival group so their plan can go down without a hitch. For a mixture of pragmatism, future planning, and pettiness he wants to weaken the marine enough to have him possibly die in the immediate upcoming battle. Mechanically that means damaging the marine to half or less health. Not automatically but through genuine dice rolls. Which does give the players time to see if he has weaknesses.

    I think this is something he as a character would do. It wasn’t to try to disadvantage the players. Also one of them has a daemon following them controlled by another partner of his that they never dealt with. That thing has been feeding him info so he would know where they were along with making sure they were on the right track to kill his enemies.

    I do have some things in place to make sure he doesn’t die (along with weaknesses the players might find if they choose to attack him). Besides being very fast and having high skill for evasions, he has a relic which is essentially a JoJo stand that acts like a lot of armor when in reality is basically a lightning fast translucent incorporeal animated suit of armour made of warpstuff. I call it Brass Warden. Along with that, he brought along six unique daemon engine constructs just in case the psyker gets tricksy with the Crush ability.

    The thing is weak to sanctified weapons and untouchables. Which they do have a powerful NPC one in tow. He is also weak to untouchables because his main abilities are based on a mixture of body morphing and warp based powers.

    Am I replacing bad GMing for bad GMing or if this happened to you would you think it would work to convey threat to the players?

    There's an interesting discussion in the 5E thread right now about this. And personally, I think this is super dangerous ground to tread. For a few reasons:

    #1 What If They Kill Him-
    Whenever your plan involves showing your players your big bad but expecting them to get away unscathed can lead to a bunch of shenanigans. Any time you do it, you're basically risking that the party blows all their resources immediately upon trying to kill the big bad. If you're not prepared to accept him dying...don't do this.

    #2 Hand Waving Player Responses
    If you still introduce the players to the big bad in this manner, and they reply, make sure you don't just say "Oh your attacks miss" or "Your attacks do no damage" or "He escapes! Sorry no chasing". I think a lot of GMs expect that they'll introduce their players to the big bad in this huge moment of bad assery and the players will just like...cower? Allow it to happen? I dunno. I don't know what you THINK your players will do, but you should absolutely PLAN on them replying with the full force they're able to bring to bear.

    #3 Forgetting Players Are the Heroes
    Outside of specific games like Blades in the Dark or 10 Candles or their ilk, generally speaking, the player expectation is that anything they encounter is a thing that they could possibly beat. So, by introducing your boss to them, they're going to have the expectation that they can beat him. Unless you've already established several facts, this is going to be the reality. So ask yourself:
    Have your players ever successfully retreated from an encounter?
    Have you established a horror / survival theme where players aren't "supposed" to "win" every encounter?
    Do your players fight to the death every time or do they accept narrative endings to combats?

    Generally I find other ways to sign post that my Big Bad is Big and Bad. There are a number of ways to do it. How you go about it is dependent on your table and your story, but any time you plan something of an attack on your players, expect them to not respond meekly.

    I think I can answer these. #1 burning fate is a mechanic that allows characters to “die” but by extreme luck or literal fate barely survive. Plus if they did it here that’s still a victory because the stock of fate goes down. Also as I said before he’s got three other known guys I could replace him with. #2 I’m genuinely letting this work through rules. I of course invented the relic business but it’s even relatively fairish although it brings his armour closer in line with a vehicle like a tank. The weaknesses are there and they do have the resources to exploit them if they figure them out. #3 they have run away from a final boss before by talking their way out and retreating after getting the final thing they had to do done. DH as a 40k RPG already has the idea of quick and lethal fights and one player of the group has been subject to that a lot. I don’t pull punches but allow them alternate ways through or out of encounters including running away. They have accepted narrative ends to combat before.

    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    Also the big issue is that I sign post the crap out of stuff and it didn’t work. Reading this thread and the dnd thread has me believe I need personal and mechanical experience to maximize the player’s experience.

    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    My next big bad to show and go in front of the party is a necromancer working with a lich, demi lich, and skull lord along with an un fortunate number of wights. The culmination battle is gonna involve a zombie T rex, a lich, a wight, and a number of zombies already on the board. The big bad knows who the party is, and upon seeing them enter his little domain he's firing up every slot 4th and above to dimension door as far away from this plan as possible. He immediately knows he's fucked and that there's enough distractions here to keep folks from following him quickly.

    He'll run off to the next plan. This particular big bad was a player character that heel turned real quick. That player is working with me to use that character as the bad guy for a campaign elsewhere in the world to take place in a time skip for the main plot of the setting.

    KadokenElvenshae
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited April 25
    I got a similar thing with him having a teleporter and his partner whose big contribution so far has been opening gates of infinity (which are essentially dimension doors) being on standby.

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 25
    JustTee wrote:
    Blades in the dark is one of my favorite systems to run, but one of the games I feel like I'm the worst at DMing? The setting is so evocative and yet I freeze all the time for generating scope / scale / stuff. It's almost like I need something more specific to run in that setting and the book leaves me feeling inspired and yet empty at the same time? It's hard to explain. I think it comes down to the fact that I'm a better editor than I am creator, so most of my DMing is done using pre-existing modules to expand off of rather than wholesale creation.

    I've run almost 50 sessions of Blades and I still feel like I'm bad at DMing it compared to the other games I run (Stars Without Number/Apocalypse World). I think it's because Blades gives you so many tools to make the fiction feed the mechanics feed the fiction and so on that when you hit the flow it feels great but when you don't it feels like you're failing, even though the gameplay is still great.

    FWIW we're definitely not the only ones who feel that way (click through for thread):

    admanb on
    MahnmutJustTee
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    Blades plays best when you're sitting with the group in person because the by-play and meta conversation are a designed part of the game experience.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
    JustTee
  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    Another point I’ll add as a general thought. A game, any kind of game, should be built around the feelings you want the players to have. D&D often describes itself in its text as a pretty serious high stakes fantasy chronicle, but due to the swingy rolls characters often come across as unfortunate fools. Like my pal in the last game I played in failed to cast Hold Person every single time. It became a running gag eventually.

    When I play D&D these days we all agree it’s a comedy of errors by default, with perhaps some pathos in the downtime. It works so much better that way. Basically The Princess Bride rather than Lord of the Rings.

    Contrast D&D to say, Apocalypse World, and you’ll see how every rule and move in it forces the game to be played as it was intended. The game says you’re a morally grey scavenger (physically and emotionally) and you are. Straight up. You character will have burdens placed on them, have wants due to scarcity and be tied to the few people that are left.

    Another example is Blades in the Dark, a game about criminals gaining territory over a city, with built scene escalation rules that genuinely make things more dangerous as low rolls add complications, not failures, to your situation. You will be a twitchy paranoid thug, thief or assassin, you will make witty or cutting remarks. It’s very focused on the kind of stories it wants to tell. If I wanted to run an Eberron game I think I’d use this system over D&D despite it originating there.

    On the flip side Genysis, Fate, and all other other point buy systems are neat, and can be worked into anything with a bit of effort.

    I hear tell 13th Age is a great alternative. I once played a play-by-post game for a bit but a deployment got in the way, so I can’t say I’ve a firm grasp of it.

    I've never played a session of Apocalypse World that didn't devolve into absurdist comedy within the first half hour :sad:

    Is there a word for the kind of player who gets enjoyment out of... whatever the opposite of buy-in is? There are three of them in my old group, and it's why I don't play RPGs with them anymore.

    Jedoc wrote: »
    The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.
  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    Ardent wrote: »
    Blades plays best when you're sitting with the group in person because the by-play and meta conversation are a designed part of the game experience.

    Blades lets you resist as an interrupt. I find it tough to imagine playing that well by post or even by text.

  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    JustTee wrote: »
    So, I took your suggestions to heart...and kinda took a very different tack. I picked up Blades in the Dark (and Scum and Villainy). I love the heist/team logic behind it.

    Blades in the dark is one of my favorite systems to run, but one of the games I feel like I'm the worst at DMing? The setting is so evocative and yet I freeze all the time for generating scope / scale / stuff. It's almost like I need something more specific to run in that setting and the book leaves me feeling inspired and yet empty at the same time? It's hard to explain. I think it comes down to the fact that I'm a better editor than I am creator, so most of my DMing is done using pre-existing modules to expand off of rather than wholesale creation.

    As for my 5E->Godsbound Smash Up, here's my smash cut framework idea:

    I have about 3 to 4 hours max to run the one shot. Any longer than that and we start getting into issues with attention and responsibilities. We'll also be playing on a Sunday fairly soon, so that means Game Of Thrones provides a hard stopping point to the night. So, I plan to divy up my time:

    ~30 minutes for intro, recap, "TPK", and presentation of choice to each character. Designing this will be easy, but requires the other designs to be locked in.
    ~2 hours for 4 unique encounters, each designed to highlight one of my players. They don't have to be equally spaced, because each player likes being in the spot light a varying amount.
    30-60 minutes for a final epic encounter with the nature eroding demonic creature thing.

    For the players:
    Player #1 is:
    • Fond of interplay between light / dark, good/bad, using bad powers to do good, temptation
    • Loves moments of romance between unlikely characters
    • Favorite moment to date was a battle between the characters and a dragon while the dragon tried to burn down their town and they tried to stop it.

    Player #2 is:
    • Loves puzzle solving
    • Loves to sit in the sidelines but to swoop in with a solution
    • Favorite moment was a side-adventure where they had to solve color-coordinated portal based room puzzles

    Player #3 is:
    • FIREBALL
    • Silly in play but loves characters / stories with a dark history
    • Favorite moment was his character innocently accepting a deal with a merchant demon without a second thought (past character, not this campaign)

    Player #4 is:
    • Likes playing odd-ball characters (currently playing a Dwarven Druid who was raised by animals)
    • Likes to try to talk things out rather than go in guns blazing

    The idea is that they're going to be brought back to the physical plane to wreck the nature-polluting beastie that put them in the ground the first time. They will owe a tie to the creature that brought them back, but the one shot most likely won't deal with that over much.

    Each character, if they choose to return, will be given a Word. Then, the 4(ish) encounters they face would be designed to allow for space for each one of the characters to shine using their new word. The final encounter would be designed to require each of those unique words to be used in order to defeat and overcome the Big Bad. Each of those themes would ideally be telegraphed (somewhat) during the initial 30 minute recap/TPK.

    So, since there's a strong Nature element, I would think Primordial / Fundamental forces would be natural fits.

    For Player #4, I think giving his character a social power is a good choice, as it would allow him to take a former weakness of his character, and turn it to strength. Possibly Command, Knowledge, or Passion.

    Player #3 has always had a bend towards FIRE in every character he's had, and is currently playing a warlock. I think giving him the ultimate power and control over FIRE is the obvious choice. But perhaps something less obvious like Sea or Might could work better? Trying to think how to tie in the desire to bond with dark powers to do well. Maybe Death?

    Player #2 is playing a bard, and generally likes cleverness, and being able to pick and choose where she's in the spot light. I was thinking Luck or Time might be good fits...

    Player #1 I think needs something big. Maybe SUN to be like Escanor. Possibly Death, as he also likes the interplay of light/dark, good/evil. Maybe Night?

    Maybe something like:
    Passion + Fire + Time + Death
    or
    Knowledge + Sea + Luck + Sun

    I'm having trouble unifying them into a cohesive theme. Thoughts / ideas / suggestions very welcome.

    Four elements by way of (highly subjective) personality aspects, or vice versa:

    Freedom/Clarity/Sky/Luck (air)
    Conviction/Stability/Strength (earth)
    Fire/Might/Passion (fire)
    Emotions/Flexibility/Shapeshifter (water)

    Jedoc wrote: »
    The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.
    JustTee
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Calica wrote: »
    JustTee wrote: »
    So, I took your suggestions to heart...and kinda took a very different tack. I picked up Blades in the Dark (and Scum and Villainy). I love the heist/team logic behind it.
    *snip*

    I'm having trouble unifying them into a cohesive theme. Thoughts / ideas / suggestions very welcome.

    Four elements by way of (highly subjective) personality aspects, or vice versa:

    Freedom/Clarity/Sky/Luck (air)
    Conviction/Stability/Strength (earth)
    Fire/Might/Passion (fire)
    Emotions/Flexibility/Shapeshifter (water)

    O dang. I can work with this. Thanks!!

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    Calica
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Kadoken wrote: »
    JustTee wrote: »
    Kadoken wrote: »
    I think I am breaking a cardinal rule of RPGs but I’m doing it to rectify weak parts of my GMing and conveyance to the players. I want to have the archvillain to come in, stab one of their friends, and show them how powerful the guy is and why they should fear and hate him mechanically and narratively. I want to do this because I’ve made a bad habit of telling them things rather than letting them play with those things in a way that would matter to them as I have said before.

    For context, the players are right now traveling through tunnels. They’re going to stop a ritual that would turn the planet they’re on into a daemonic garden. They have a retinue of folks with them including the samurai space marine. That guy has made trouble for the archvillain. He keeps killing off the lieutenants of one of the archvillain’s partners. His appearance alone has messed with that partner’s mind and is messing with the archvillain’s plans because he’s not focused on what the archvillain wants. The archvillain set the players down the current adventure to wipe out a rival group so their plan can go down without a hitch. For a mixture of pragmatism, future planning, and pettiness he wants to weaken the marine enough to have him possibly die in the immediate upcoming battle. Mechanically that means damaging the marine to half or less health. Not automatically but through genuine dice rolls. Which does give the players time to see if he has weaknesses.

    I think this is something he as a character would do. It wasn’t to try to disadvantage the players. Also one of them has a daemon following them controlled by another partner of his that they never dealt with. That thing has been feeding him info so he would know where they were along with making sure they were on the right track to kill his enemies.

    I do have some things in place to make sure he doesn’t die (along with weaknesses the players might find if they choose to attack him). Besides being very fast and having high skill for evasions, he has a relic which is essentially a JoJo stand that acts like a lot of armor when in reality is basically a lightning fast translucent incorporeal animated suit of armour made of warpstuff. I call it Brass Warden. Along with that, he brought along six unique daemon engine constructs just in case the psyker gets tricksy with the Crush ability.

    The thing is weak to sanctified weapons and untouchables. Which they do have a powerful NPC one in tow. He is also weak to untouchables because his main abilities are based on a mixture of body morphing and warp based powers.

    Am I replacing bad GMing for bad GMing or if this happened to you would you think it would work to convey threat to the players?

    There's an interesting discussion in the 5E thread right now about this. And personally, I think this is super dangerous ground to tread. For a few reasons:

    #1 What If They Kill Him-
    Whenever your plan involves showing your players your big bad but expecting them to get away unscathed can lead to a bunch of shenanigans. Any time you do it, you're basically risking that the party blows all their resources immediately upon trying to kill the big bad. If you're not prepared to accept him dying...don't do this.

    #2 Hand Waving Player Responses
    If you still introduce the players to the big bad in this manner, and they reply, make sure you don't just say "Oh your attacks miss" or "Your attacks do no damage" or "He escapes! Sorry no chasing". I think a lot of GMs expect that they'll introduce their players to the big bad in this huge moment of bad assery and the players will just like...cower? Allow it to happen? I dunno. I don't know what you THINK your players will do, but you should absolutely PLAN on them replying with the full force they're able to bring to bear.

    #3 Forgetting Players Are the Heroes
    Outside of specific games like Blades in the Dark or 10 Candles or their ilk, generally speaking, the player expectation is that anything they encounter is a thing that they could possibly beat. So, by introducing your boss to them, they're going to have the expectation that they can beat him. Unless you've already established several facts, this is going to be the reality. So ask yourself:
    Have your players ever successfully retreated from an encounter?
    Have you established a horror / survival theme where players aren't "supposed" to "win" every encounter?
    Do your players fight to the death every time or do they accept narrative endings to combats?

    Generally I find other ways to sign post that my Big Bad is Big and Bad. There are a number of ways to do it. How you go about it is dependent on your table and your story, but any time you plan something of an attack on your players, expect them to not respond meekly.

    I think I can answer these. #1 burning fate is a mechanic that allows characters to “die” but by extreme luck or literal fate barely survive. Plus if they did it here that’s still a victory because the stock of fate goes down. Also as I said before he’s got three other known guys I could replace him with. #2 I’m genuinely letting this work through rules. I of course invented the relic business but it’s even relatively fairish although it brings his armour closer in line with a vehicle like a tank. The weaknesses are there and they do have the resources to exploit them if they figure them out. #3 they have run away from a final boss before by talking their way out and retreating after getting the final thing they had to do done. DH as a 40k RPG already has the idea of quick and lethal fights and one player of the group has been subject to that a lot. I don’t pull punches but allow them alternate ways through or out of encounters including running away. They have accepted narrative ends to combat before.

    #3's the big one.
    I had my players led into a combat by the big bad, with the intent of weakening them so that he could complete his plan.
    But allowing them to be led that way removed the players' agency, and they hated fighting a fight that they could not win, even though this guy had been attacked in front of them (by giant intelligent cockroaches) and I had attempted to broadcast that the guy couldn't be trusted.

    So yeah, don't remove your players' agency of they're not expecting it.

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
    JustTee
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    Kadoken wrote: »
    JustTee wrote: »
    Kadoken wrote: »
    I think I am breaking a cardinal rule of RPGs but I’m doing it to rectify weak parts of my GMing and conveyance to the players. I want to have the archvillain to come in, stab one of their friends, and show them how powerful the guy is and why they should fear and hate him mechanically and narratively. I want to do this because I’ve made a bad habit of telling them things rather than letting them play with those things in a way that would matter to them as I have said before.

    For context, the players are right now traveling through tunnels. They’re going to stop a ritual that would turn the planet they’re on into a daemonic garden. They have a retinue of folks with them including the samurai space marine. That guy has made trouble for the archvillain. He keeps killing off the lieutenants of one of the archvillain’s partners. His appearance alone has messed with that partner’s mind and is messing with the archvillain’s plans because he’s not focused on what the archvillain wants. The archvillain set the players down the current adventure to wipe out a rival group so their plan can go down without a hitch. For a mixture of pragmatism, future planning, and pettiness he wants to weaken the marine enough to have him possibly die in the immediate upcoming battle. Mechanically that means damaging the marine to half or less health. Not automatically but through genuine dice rolls. Which does give the players time to see if he has weaknesses.

    I think this is something he as a character would do. It wasn’t to try to disadvantage the players. Also one of them has a daemon following them controlled by another partner of his that they never dealt with. That thing has been feeding him info so he would know where they were along with making sure they were on the right track to kill his enemies.

    I do have some things in place to make sure he doesn’t die (along with weaknesses the players might find if they choose to attack him). Besides being very fast and having high skill for evasions, he has a relic which is essentially a JoJo stand that acts like a lot of armor when in reality is basically a lightning fast translucent incorporeal animated suit of armour made of warpstuff. I call it Brass Warden. Along with that, he brought along six unique daemon engine constructs just in case the psyker gets tricksy with the Crush ability.

    The thing is weak to sanctified weapons and untouchables. Which they do have a powerful NPC one in tow. He is also weak to untouchables because his main abilities are based on a mixture of body morphing and warp based powers.

    Am I replacing bad GMing for bad GMing or if this happened to you would you think it would work to convey threat to the players?

    There's an interesting discussion in the 5E thread right now about this. And personally, I think this is super dangerous ground to tread. For a few reasons:

    #1 What If They Kill Him-
    Whenever your plan involves showing your players your big bad but expecting them to get away unscathed can lead to a bunch of shenanigans. Any time you do it, you're basically risking that the party blows all their resources immediately upon trying to kill the big bad. If you're not prepared to accept him dying...don't do this.

    #2 Hand Waving Player Responses
    If you still introduce the players to the big bad in this manner, and they reply, make sure you don't just say "Oh your attacks miss" or "Your attacks do no damage" or "He escapes! Sorry no chasing". I think a lot of GMs expect that they'll introduce their players to the big bad in this huge moment of bad assery and the players will just like...cower? Allow it to happen? I dunno. I don't know what you THINK your players will do, but you should absolutely PLAN on them replying with the full force they're able to bring to bear.

    #3 Forgetting Players Are the Heroes
    Outside of specific games like Blades in the Dark or 10 Candles or their ilk, generally speaking, the player expectation is that anything they encounter is a thing that they could possibly beat. So, by introducing your boss to them, they're going to have the expectation that they can beat him. Unless you've already established several facts, this is going to be the reality. So ask yourself:
    Have your players ever successfully retreated from an encounter?
    Have you established a horror / survival theme where players aren't "supposed" to "win" every encounter?
    Do your players fight to the death every time or do they accept narrative endings to combats?

    Generally I find other ways to sign post that my Big Bad is Big and Bad. There are a number of ways to do it. How you go about it is dependent on your table and your story, but any time you plan something of an attack on your players, expect them to not respond meekly.

    I think I can answer these. #1 burning fate is a mechanic that allows characters to “die” but by extreme luck or literal fate barely survive. Plus if they did it here that’s still a victory because the stock of fate goes down. Also as I said before he’s got three other known guys I could replace him with. #2 I’m genuinely letting this work through rules. I of course invented the relic business but it’s even relatively fairish although it brings his armour closer in line with a vehicle like a tank. The weaknesses are there and they do have the resources to exploit them if they figure them out. #3 they have run away from a final boss before by talking their way out and retreating after getting the final thing they had to do done. DH as a 40k RPG already has the idea of quick and lethal fights and one player of the group has been subject to that a lot. I don’t pull punches but allow them alternate ways through or out of encounters including running away. They have accepted narrative ends to combat before.

    #3's the big one.
    I had my players led into a combat by the big bad, with the intent of weakening them so that he could complete his plan.
    But allowing them to be led that way removed the players' agency, and they hated fighting a fight that they could not win, even though this guy had been attacked in front of them (by giant intelligent cockroaches) and I had attempted to broadcast that the guy couldn't be trusted.

    So yeah, don't remove your players' agency of they're not expecting it.

    I think the situations between yours and mine are different. For one, the dungeon-esque crawl they’re about to embark on was made for their equipment and experience level and then then they bought the big boy and the rest of their handler’s retinue to come along. Which I’m good with, I didn’t rebalance the map after they bought him because it’s all fair even if his presence will ease their way. This is also not a way to get draw them into a fight, they’re already going to it and found it their own way. They also, and I have implied this greatly, could win even if the encounter is not really to be a binary win/loss scenario. One of them has a stake made for psykers, one of their npc followers is an untouchable. They have the tools they just would have to realize it before the guy takes his pound of flesh for his troubles and skedaddles. He’s not even going to call in the constructs to dissuade them unless he feels he’s in actual danger. The player characters aren’t going to be touched and even if they get through his high evasion skills and armour I’m not going to punish them for it because he wants them specifically to finish the job against his rivals. He’ll remember them, though.

    The point isn’t even to mechanically lower the space marine’s wounds, it’s just a practical sign of his power. The point is to exude the guy’s pettiness and ego with an act that says, “I can do whatever I want, and you can’t stop me,” (even if they can). Using genuine rolls and mechanics.

    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Evil, Evil, Jump for joy! Registered User regular
    Glazius wrote: »
    Ardent wrote: »
    Blades plays best when you're sitting with the group in person because the by-play and meta conversation are a designed part of the game experience.

    Blades lets you resist as an interrupt. I find it tough to imagine playing that well by post or even by text.

    Can you explain that?

    PSN ID - Mostlyjoe Steam ID -TheNotoriusRNG
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